Worry Wart

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“ Worry is like a rocking chair—it’s always in motion but it never gets you anywhere. ” Joyce Meyer

So are you a worry wart? Do you constantly find yourself worrying? Worrying is one of the biggest wastes of our time and energy. There are a lot of uncertainties in life, circumstances that are out of our control and people we care about who are suffering. But we serve a God who is all-knowing, sovereign and cares more about the people we love than we do. When we worry, we show a lack of faith.

Worry causes us to put ourselves in the driver’s seat and put our faith in what we can do. Worry comes from looking at a situation and trying to figure out all the possible outcomes and how we can avoid the ones we don’t want. It means putting our trust in ourselves and our abilities rather than putting our trust in God. God wants us to put our faith and trust in Him and what He can do.

1 Peter 5:7

 casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.

Casting our anxieties onto the Lord sounds like a great idea, but how do we do it?

Philippians 4:6

do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

The key to avoiding worry and being able to cast our anxieties onto the Lord is found in prayer. This verse doesn’t say we are to just take our ‘big’ concerns to the Lord but to take EVERYTHING to Him. Imagine how much lower your anxiety might be if you were taking EVERYTHING to the Lord. He wants us to share everything with Him in prayer, all of our fears, worries and concerns.

Supplication is defined as “the action of asking or begging for something earnestly or humbly”. When we take our worries to the Lord we do so in humility because we recognize that we cannot do it on our own; we are dependent upon our God. We also approach the Lord with an attitude of thanksgiving because we have faith that He is already working in our circumstances even if we can see it. We know He hears us and He will act. His actions may not come in the way we are expecting them, but He does respond.

If you find yourself worrying about something today, take it the the Lord in humility and thanksgiving. Know He cares for you and wants you to put your faith and trust in Him and His strength rather than your own. He will give you what you need to face whatever comes your way.

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Good Friday

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1 Peter 2:24

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The Lenten Prayer of St. Ephrem

This is a beautiful prayer for Lent.

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Holy Week Prayer

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Holy Week is such a wonderful time for us to take time to really focus on our relationship with our Lord and Savior who was crucified for us.

Isaiah 50:4-5

The Lord God has given me
    the tongue of those who are taught,
that I may know how to sustain with a word
    him who is weary.
Morning by morning he awakens;
    he awakens my ear
    to hear as those who are taught.
The Lord God has opened my ear,
    and I was not rebellious;
    I turned not backward.

These two verses provide us with words that can be a beautiful and powerful prayer for us to use during Holy Week. “As those who are taught” – in order to be taught, you have to be fully engaged. Learning doesn’t just happen. It requires us to be intentional. We have to listen to what is taught in such a way that we can do more than hear the words. We have to think about and process the information. May we be willing to be taught by the Lord this week.

“The Lord has opened my ear” – in order to learn things of a spiritual nature, you have to have your ears opened by the Lord. As followers of Christ, the Holy Spirit that dwells within us will help us to hear what the Lord has to say to us.

1 Kings 19:11-12

11 And he said, “Go out and stand on the mount before the Lord.” And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore the mountains and broke in pieces the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake.12 And after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire the sound of a low whisper.

The Lord was not in the wind, earthquake or fire; He was in the low whisper. In order to hear a low whisper, you have to be quiet and really be listening. How much time do you spend in quiet before the Lord? If we don’t allow ourselves to sit quietly before the Lord, we won’t know what He has to say to us. Make some time to sit quietly before the Lord during Holy Week and hear what He wants to speak to you.

Morning by morning he awakens; he awakens my ear to hear as those who are taught.” Allow yourself to spend time with the Lord every morning this week. If you wake up a little early, take advantage of that time. Instead of hitting the snooze button on your alarm, spend that time with the Lord. 

The Lord God has opened my ear, and I was not rebellious; I turned not backward.” When the Lord speaks to you, do not be rebellious or turn backwards. Many times the Lord speaks to us about our sinfulness. Allow Him to show you were you are not walking in His ways so you can seek His forgiveness and repent. Holy Week is the perfect time for us to ask the Lord to reveal our wretchedness to us in comparison to His holiness. If we allow Him to show us our sinfulness, we will more fully appreciate what Jesus did on Good Friday and be able to celebrate more fully on Easter Sunday.

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Changed Day by Day

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“Being a Christian is more than just an instantaneous conversion – it is a daily process whereby you grow to be more and more like Christ.” by Billy Graham

What Billy Graham is talking about in this verse is sanctification. It is defined by Merriam-Webster as “the state of growing in divine grace as a result of Christian commitment after baptism or conversion”. When we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior our new life begins.

2 Corinthians 5:17

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.

The accepting of Christ, however, is just the beginning; the tip of the iceberg because there is so much more. When we follow Christ we are lavished with His love and grace. It is a love that is unconditional and everlasting. It is a love like nothing we have ever experienced from another human being. Because we are blessed to feel His love, we want to please Him and become more and more like Him each day.

For those of you who have been walking this Christian walk for a while, think back to when you first felt the love of Christ. What a wonderful feeling it is to experience first love! It is easy to get busy with our own lives and our own plans and agendas and forget that the One who created us has the perfect plan for our lives. His plan is not for us to stay the same but to change so that we are more like Him.

Romans 12:2

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

Think back about what you were like ten years ago, five years ago, even one year ago. Are you a different person today than you were then? Are you more like Christ today than you were then? Does your life reflect transformation? Do others see a difference in you?

We are called to become more like our Savior in how we think and feel as well as what we say and what we do. Do you recognize that your thoughts are not the same today as they were in the past? Do you feel differently about certain activities and relationships than you used to? Does your speech reflect the transformational power of Christ and the Holy Spirit in taming your tongue? Do your actions reflect His humbleness and servanthood?

Sanctification is a process, it is not something that happens over night. However, if we are yielding our lives, desires, thoughts, words and actions to the Lord then they should reflect more of Him and less of us to the world. Are you a different person today or have you lost sight of the amazing love and transformational power the Lord provides us? Take some time to reflect on your feelings, thoughts, words and actions and allow the Lord to show you where you are reflecting more of His Son and where you need to seek Him more wholeheartedly.

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