What to Do When You Don’t Know What to Do

stress-out

I have been there many times. I am sure that you have been there as well— it is getting later and later but you cannot seem to fall asleep. Every single worry that you have seems to have multiplied. Your mind will not shut down, and you just lie there, staring at the ceiling. You have to be at work early the next morning, but it is morning by the time you finally doze off. So, on just a few hours of restless sleep you rush off to your job. You cannot think straight because the things that kept you awake are still there, and the exhaustion just compounds the problem. You suffer, your family suffers, and your employer suffers when you find yourself in that state. Unfortunately, far too many people are in that state.

I believe there are a few things that one can do when they do not know what to do that will help them deal with the many anxieties we all have in life. I haven’t always done these things. But, I am implementing them more and more. What a difference they are making in my life. I am sure they will in your life as well.

1.Read God’s Word I have discovered that no matter what happens to be troubling me, if I will just open my Bible and spend some time reading and meditating on what I find there, I will soon feel a swelling up of joy inside of me that no words I could ever find could accurately describe. One of the more interesting things is how I can read a verse that I may have read many times before, but in that very moment that I need help, God reveals a new message I never received before.

2.Focus on others What if, instead of lying there at night, tossing and turning until the sun rises, we were to think about the people we know who are also going through trials. What if, during our hectic, stressed-out moments, we stopped thinking about our own problems, and instead got down on our knees and talked to God, telling him about our brother’s and sister’s in Christ who are facing mountains they cannot climb. It is very difficult to focus on our troubles if we are focused on others.

3.Praise God for His blessings It does not matter if you are broke, living paycheck to paycheck. It does not matter if your car needs to spend some time in a garage. It does not matter that the bills just keep piling up around you. There is always a reason to praise God. He loved you before you were even born. He loved you so much that He sent His Son to die upon a cross to pay the penalty for your sin and mine. If you have placed your faith in the shed blood of Jesus, you are going to spend eternity in Heaven with Him instead of an eternity burning in hell. Isn’t that worth shouting about?

J—Jesus first
O—Others Second
Y—Yourself last

Posted in Christian Life, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

I Am Just A Sinner

Twenty days. It has been that long since I last smoked a cigarette. I have been fighting an addiction to tobacco for six months. I believe I can actually hear all the gasps as you read this. I suppose none of you would ever commit such a sin. You are such great Christians. Me? I’m not a great Christian. I’m just a sinner that accepted a gift that I don’t deserve — salvation. I still have to fight every single day against this flesh. The intent to do right and please God is there, but at times I fall. I have to ask forgiveness more than I would like to. One day I hope to be as good a Christian as you. Do you think I am being sarcastic? I am. A little bit.

I believe pride and an attitude of self-righteousness is one of the biggest problems I see in Christians, including myself. We far too often have a tendency to ignore the sin in our own lives while noticing and pointing out the sins in other people’s lives. It’s always easier to notice the sins that we are not guilty of. But, do you honestly believe God sees things the same way we do?

It is my prayer that I will continue to stay in God’s Word, draw closer to Him, and that I will not be a self-righteous, proud Christian as I continue walking with Him. Please, remember me when you pray. Imagine what a difference Christians could make in this world if, instead of talking about each others’ failures as Christians, we were to pray for each other.

If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 1 John 1:8 KJV

But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.Isaiah 64:6 KJV

Posted in Christian Life, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Go Tell Someone

A couple of months ago, while crossing the parking lot of the complex where I work, I noticed ambulances and fire trucks  pulled in front of one of the apartment buildings. I immediately begin to wonder which tenant they were there to check on. I have been an employee here for several years now, so I know many people on a first name basis. I also have became friends with some who live there so I feel a sense of worry and anxiety whenever an ambulance shows up. At the time, I wasn’t able to wait and see which apartment the emergency crews were headed to because I was headed to another building. But some time later, I was able to head back to that building. Parked in front was a vehicle from a local funeral home. The sight of that rendered me speechless for a few seconds. I stopped speaking mid-sentence and could only stare, wondering who was now gone.  After a few minutes lost in my thoughts, I asked a police officer that I know about what happened. I was shocked when he told me who had died. The man was once a neighbor of mine for awhile until I moved into a different apartment. He was the type of guy who was never sick; the type of guy who never missed a day of work. He was not the one I expected to hear had passed away.

I’m sure in your life that you have experienced the same kind of thing. We never know when we will die. We can be laughing and enjoying life one minute, and stepping out into eternity the next. The Bible says, “Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.” James 4:14  KJV Knowing this, should change how we live our lives. First, we should definitely make sure that we know we are saved. Second, if we are saved, we should do everything we can to reach others for Christ. What if you know someone isn’t saved and you never talk to them about God? Think about that. What if you are last person to speak to them and you never witness to them? You could have prevented that person from spending eternity in hell if you had only opened your mouth and shared the Gospel. There’s a chance you would have felt uncomfortable. There’s a chance you would have been cursed at and told to shut up. But, there’s also a chance that you would have watched that person call upon the Lord.

What if you are saved, but backslid on God and not the testimony that you should be to others? Have you ever thought about how many people have been watching you? How many people you could have reached? I have. For years, I was away from God. I was living a sinful, selfish life. I wasn’t reading His Word. I wasn’t praying. I wasn’t attending church. I wasn’t pointing others to Christ. It’s difficult to think about and difficult to admit, but it is possible there are people screaming in hell right now because I never spoke to them about salvation. My heart aches to realize that so I’ve determined that with God’s help I will be a sermon to those watching me, and I will tell them about Jesus.

Posted in Soul-Winning, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Greatest Ability A Christian Can Have

Do you often hear a singer praising God in song and wish that you, too, had the ability to do that? Do you sometimes hear a preacher that has such a wonderful ability to get the message across that God wants people to hear?  Do you see how some people seem to have such a way with words that they are able to talk to anyone and share the Gospel with them? Perhaps you sometimes feel that you are too shy, or wouldn’t know what to say to people. Maybe you even tell yourself that since you haven’t been to Bible school that you cannot do what you should be doing to lead others to Jesus.

If you are like me and want to please God, you are trying to find His will for your life. You are reading His Word. You are praying. You are asking Him to guide you where He wants you to go. But, you also get discouraged at times because you feel that you have no clear direction. Maybe, you believe that you have no special talents or abilities that you could use to serve God. Perhaps, you feel like you just cannot do it; like you simply are not going to be able to live the Christian life in the way that you should.

Stop. Stop all the worrying and all of the excuses now. I discovered a secret. I’m going to share the secret here in this blog post.

Does God use people with a great singing voice? Absolutely. Does God use people who are talented musically and can play an instrument? Yes. Does God use men and women who are outgoing and have no problem talking to other people? Sure He does. Does God use the man who can preach a great sermon? Without a doubt.

No matter what talents or abilities people have, if they are not using those talents to serve God, they are wasting what God has given them.  You may be thinking that you have no talent or ability. Perhaps you don’t sing or play an instrument. Perhaps you feel uncomfortable when talking to strangers and cannot see yourself sharing Jesus with them.

I’m writing this post to remind you and myself that God has a purpose for each of our lives. Trust Him. If He has a purpose, He has a plan to fulfill that purpose.

Earlier, I wrote that I discovered a secret. I’m not the first to discover it. But I discovered it for myself, meaning that I realized that I needed to apply it to my life. What is the greatest ability a Christian can have? Is it a great voice? Is it a way with words? Is it the ability to play an instrument? All of those things are great. But none of them are the greatest ability we can have as Christians. The greatest ability is availability. God is calling. Are you available?

“Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.” Isaiah 6:8 KJV

Posted in Christian Life | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

A Secret Is Revealed!

I am going to let you in on a big secret. But you have to keep reading before you find out what it is.

I am a PK. A preacher’s kid. My dad was called to preach before I was ever born. He and my mom met in church and were married while my dad was in Bible college in Tennessee. I was practically born in a church. I grew up in an independent, Baptist church and Christian school. I started in the nursery and went all the way through the twelfth grade. I  never attended a single day in a public school. My dad even gave me my first and middle name, Jonathan and Lee, after two preachers— Jonathan Edwards and Lee Roberson.  Growing up, I would browse his bookshelf, which was full of books by people like Jack Hyles, John R. Rice, J. Harold Smith, the aforementioned Lee Roberson, and many others. At night, I usually fell asleep to sermons on my dad’s radio by men like Maze Jackson and Lester Roloff. Giants of the faith were household names in our home.

You may be wondering why I am writing all of this. I am doing so to inform you of the way I was raised. I had quite the Christian heritage due to the Godly parents I was blessed with. These things are not the secret though. Keep reading.

At my church, twice a year, we had a huge revival. It was called the King James Bible Jubilee. People from across the country came. We had morning services. We had evening services. Nearly the entire day was devoted to Gospel singing and preaching.  I heard at least six different preachers a day, and watched many times as the place “came apart” after people were saved and lives were changed. People would be shouting and running around. I’m sure there were some people there who thought the whole place was full of crazy people. But, it was just normal to me.  That was my life.

Here is the secret. I still had to do the same thing everyone else has to do. I couldn’t count on the fact that my dad was a preacher, or that he and my mom were Christian school teachers. I couldn’t count on the fact that I was immersed in all things of the church and surrounded by Godly men and women every day of my life. I still had to do the only thing anyone can do to stay out of hell. I still had to realize and admit that I, too, was a sinner. I still had to repent and call on Jesus to be saved. At the age of eighteen, the Holy Spirit of God got a hold of my heart and I was humbled. I went forward and got saved. The head knowledge I had been taught so well that I could have taught others became a heart knowledge I cannot fully express. I was changed from the inside out.

Perhaps you are reading this and have been, or are, in a similar situation. Don’t hesitate. Don’t wait like I did. Call on Jesus today. Right now. He will save you.

Posted in Life | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Almost Home

Growing up, my family and I lived too far away from everything. At least that is the way it seemed to my sisters and I when we were in the back seat, tired and half-asleep, on the way back from wherever we had been. There were nights we would go see how my grandparents were doing and would not get home until late, and there were nights we had been to the latest revival at our church and things got “carried away.” I am sure as we rode along my parents knew it was coming. It had happened so many times before. One of us would inevitably ask, “are we almost home?” Mom had the same answer every time. “We will be soon,” she would say as she looked back at us and then over at my dad. “They’re worn-out, daddy,” she would say with a smile. I could tell just in the way she answered and looked at us that she was thinking about how much she loved us. That always made me feel so secure.

Right before the last turn onto the street where we lived, there were a few bumps in the road. I knew when we hit those bumps that we were almost home. I would jolt upright, wipe my eyes, and look around. A surge of joy would rise up from somewhere within me. I knew that soon I would be able to lay my tired body into my warm bed and continue the dream where I was the star basketball player, or the detective that solved the big mystery.

The memories of those days are pressed into my mind. I still have a wonderful feeling inside each time I think about them.  It does not matter where you go or how great it was while you were there, there is nothing quite like going home.

As a Christian still in this body and still on this earth, my journey with God can be exhausting sometimes. There are trials, temptations, and tests of my faith all along the way. It truly is a daily battle against the world, the flesh, and the devil. I often feel weary and restless. But when I go to God in prayer, I find peace and comfort because I can tell in the way he answers me how much he loves me. And when I do hit those bumps in the road, I  can feel secure because I know that we are almost home.

Posted in Christian Life | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Are You Ready?

Everyone scatters, running to hide while I lean against a tree counting to ten. “Ready or not, here I come!” I scream out. Not everyone is ready. “Wait! I didn’t have time.” I hear my buddy Shawn yell from behind my dad’s car.

I am eight years old. It’s autumn in North Carolina, and I’m running through the fallen leaves.  It’s another exciting game of hide-and-seek in the neighborhood, and I am “it”.

Do you remember those days? It’s amazing how when you think back that it doesn’t seem so far in the past, yet, it has been years. It went so quickly, too.

I was sitting here looking out the window, thinking about playing that game so long ago. The particular thing that struck me was the phrase, “Ready or not, here I come!”  In the game most of us probably played as children, you finished counting and went to get the others, whether they were ready or not.

The day is drawing near when the last trump will sound and Jesus will come. Thinking about that, I’m happy to know that I am saved. I’m ready. He’s coming, ready or not. You won’t be able to say you didn’t have time. Are you ready? Not everyone is. Let us continue to share the Gospel with others until he comes to get us.

For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
Then we which are alive [and] remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
1 Thessalonians 4:16 – 4:17  KJV

Posted in Life | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments