Posts Tagged ‘Life’

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For the last several years, I have had the pleasure of working with an atheist who is 100% adamant that there is no God, or any god, in this universe. Her premise is simple; she is here and she makes her own way through life and there really isn’t much after that. Our conversations about this topic tend to be very short because in her mind, there really isn’t another side to this argument. She refuses to accept the notion that there is a higher power and that He created this world from scratch. She tells me what she thinks sometimes, but it just sounds like a rationalized excuse.

Now it has never been my job to judge anyone because they have the beliefs they have. All I can do is share and then let God do the heavy lifting in their lives. What is always hard though is when you think about the physical examples that God has given us to recognize Him as we see in nature or as we learn more about the human body and how the microscopic world functions on our behalf. All these things that we didn’t know but have discovered along the way, they always were there but now discovered, are an example of the kind of Creator we serve.

All of these physical examples have not swayed my coworker into any acceptance of what she sees around here having any connection to a God.

Honestly, that fact alone scares the heck out of me because of these verses:

The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse. Romans 1:18-20

Please inspect these verses carefully and understand the critical nature of what they mean for you, for me, and my friend. God expects us to recognize Him by what we see around us. This verse explains that, God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen and separated from what has been made.

In other words, what MAN has made versus what God has made.

Man builds a skyscraper. God creates a mountain. Man discovers DNA. God invented DNA. Man can perform surgery on the human body. God created the human body.

Do you see the difference?

Then there are the constant physical examples like Yosemite, or the Pacific Ocean, the miracle of birth with your own children…all these examples around you that if you wanted to, you can try and make an excuse, or labor to explain all of what you see because of just science, but I speak the truth when I say to you…You cannot go about your daily lives living in ignorance.

As the verse clearly explains…In Gods eyes, we are without excuse. We have our time here on earth to get this right. We don’t get a “do-over” and we certainly don’t get a chance to explain to Him why we didn’t choose to believe when we had the chance to. We have the here and now. One time through this world and that is it. We get to choose 100% of which direction we should go and where we spend eternity is determined by what we believe.

This post is NOT intended to upset you, but when I see Gods word communicated so clearly for this generation, I put it into a blog so you can see it also.

My only goal is that you too will look around you at the examples God has shown us as examples of His presence and see for yourself.

Would you do me a favor and look closely first and then make your decision?

 

Until next time guys…

 

 

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I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, (Ephesians 4:1 ESV)

 

I have a friend that always tells other men to “man up” when he thinks they are not acting in a manner worthy of their gender. He always laughs at their reaction because they are usually stunned when he tells them. Most recently, he surprised someone I know with this same declaration only this time it got me thinking about this idea that we have all been called by God to be something really special only many of us are just not living up to that call.

What I mean is, what this verse above actually says, “walk in the manner that is worthy of the calling”. Guys, this is Paul the Apostle talking. Remember him? He was a punching bag for almost his entire ministry but yet he continued to stand worthy of Gods calling throughout his many journeys. This guy was literally responsible for enormous church planting in the beginning in the early days of the gospel. Yet sometimes his message wasn’t received, and as a result, he was beaten, imprisoned or even worse…

Are they servants of Christ? I am a better one—I am talking like a madman—with far greater labors, far more imprisonments, with countless beatings, and often near death. Five times I received at the hands of the Jews the forty lashes less one. Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I was adrift at sea; (2 Corinthians 11:23-25 ESV)

Here is a guy that honestly could have quit early on in his ministry solely based upon injuries alone…but he didn’t. He could have chosen to quit when his message was rejected…but he didn’t quit then either. Instead, he constantly made statements like “he rejoices in his sufferings…”

Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope. (Romans 5:3-4 ESV)

 

What is my point?

As a believer in Christ, you have been called to be His follower. That means something. That means you MUST act different than you did before you were a believer. Paul reminds us that we need to walk a walk that is truly worthy of His calling on our life.

Don’t assimilate into the culture… Separate yourself

It may cause some discomfort…but trust me…Christ has your back…

 

Until next time guys…

humility

In my own life, I have found that fear can be a very strange motivator. In the heat of the moment it can cause us to move towards both good and bad behaviors. Sometimes fear can cause the hero in us to come storming out of the depths of our core ready to take on anything…

Other times fear can also cause some of us to cower in the corner and be almost paralyzed. Either way, fear has very different reactions for each of us…with none of them predictable.

I have written about fear before in past posts but I felt the need to revisit it again because of some recent reading in the Bible where once again I learned more about the absolute might of our Lord God. It has always amazed me that God describes Himself as “Love” as well as our “sanctuary of refuge” yet throughout the Bible He reminds us that we need to fear and dread Him as well. Those have always seemed completely opposite to me, but then let me remind you of the love of your earthly father. On one hand he is the one who teaches and helps guide us along our path as we grow but yet when we do wrong, he is there to punish us and remind us that there is always a consequence for sin. At the same time, we experience both fear of the punishment and love from the same person because he is a father who loves his children.

The Lord God Almighty is the one you are to regard as holy, he is the one you are to fear, he is the one you are to dread, and he will be a sanctuary. Isaiah 8:13-14a

But as I think about this world around me and our human nature I think that without actual fear in our relationship with God, humanity would become to comfortable and relaxed towards Him…oh wait…many of us ARE to comfortable and relaxed and that my friends, I believe, is a big mistake.

We cannot forget that no matter what is going on right now…He is God and we are not. Everyday the business of life piles up in front of us and we get distracted and diluted with our responsibilities. Trust me when I tell you this guys, I am speaking to myself just as much as my audience. We cannot be too busy to be humble in the sight of God…to recognize His might as well as His love for us.

This is simply a friendly reminder for all of us. If we can maintain that fear relationship with God, there is a humility there in all of us that God can use. When you focus on maintaining that condition of the heart, that Humility…well simply put, life is better because the joy of the Lord will be your strength.

Remember Proverbs 22:4

Humility and fear of the Lord bring wealth and honor and life…

I don’t know about you but I could use all three of those…

 

Until next time guys…

WTBtower-of-babel2Some of you may have read the Old Testament before and remember the story of the Tower of Babel (Genesis 11). To help you recall, this story comes right after the epic saga of Noah in Biblical sequence. What I have always found to be sad in this story is how in so few years after the flood, where we saw God destroy everyone and every thing because of evil everywhere on the earth (Genesis 6:5)… that here we see once again, the people of the earth essentially following the same path. When will they learn?

God had already promised to not destroy the earth again (Genesis 8:21) but when He comes down and sees what the people are doing and saying, I can only imagine what He was thinking, something like, “here we go again”. Possibly? But I would like to give you another perspective on this issue that I heard shared recently that I found enlightening.

All my life I just took this story at face value; In other words, God came down, saw these people full of themselves to the point that they decided to build a tower to Heaven. In their minds, they were working every day on this project and as it grew taller and taller, they hoped they would somehow meet God in the air? From our vantage point now, that idea seems extremely crazy but let’s go with it for a minute; In the meantime, God comes down, sees what they are doing and instead of wiping them out…again…He confuses them by changing their languages. In other words, one minute you can communicate with the guy next to you and the next minute he is speaking French. Very quickly after that happened, the people collected together in their language groups and then went off and settled elsewhere leaving the tower project unfinished.

I would like to submit the idea to you that on that day, when God confused them with different languages, He saved them from sure destruction. Think of this scenario this way:

  • These people were doing what THEY wanted to do and NOT what God wanted them to do…
  • By pursuing what they wanted to do, they excluded God.
  • Because their pursuit was for their own glory and NOT Gods, this is a quick ticket to a very bad place.

Guys, I share this with you because I know it is easy to get sidetracked along the way in our lives. The pursuit of what we want to do is a very powerful thing and can or will overwhelm us to the point of complete exclusion from God. That is exactly what these people from the tower began to say:

Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be dispersed over the face of the whole earth.” Genesis 11:4

I am telling you that God saved mankind that day by confusing them with different languages. They were on their way to sure destruction with the intent inside their hearts…

I am telling you the very same thing today. If your existence is to make a name for yourself at the exclusion of God, you too are on the wrong road and I caution you right now to recognize this and refocus back on Christ.

Let me leave you with this verse in Proverbs:

Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established. Proverbs 16:3

An easier way to look at this verse is simply this:

Commit your plans to God FIRST…and they will succeed…

 

Until next time Guys…

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I wanted to start this New Year off by going on the offensive against our common enemy…Satan. All of us are preparing on this last weekend of the holiday to head back to our regular routines…whatever that means for you, however before you take that first step this coming Monday in January, I wanted to remind you guys of the power that exists within you as believers in Christ and that when faced with life’s difficulties, we can wield this power and achieve results. I have used the verse below before in this blog but from my vantage point, it never gets old and frankly continually cuts when it needs to. So as you begin your New Year for both you and your family, I remind you to always remember to resist the evil one…

Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world. After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you. To Him be dominion forever and ever. Amen.

1 Peter 5:8-11 NASB

This is one of those very powerful “get your attention” verses in the Bible put there to remind all of us that we are not at a country club in this life. It is an unseen war for your soul and Satan is the General in charge who is looking to beat you at all costs and he does not care who gets in his way because the more destruction he can release on you and everyone you care about…the better. Bodies in his wake are a victory for him.

Guys, I would like to point out the obvious for you…simply by using the word “resist” in the verse above God is telling us that we have the power to resist. Life is not a game of Russian roulette where we know eventually someone is going to get it and we just hope the bullet is NOT in the chamber when its our turn. Just because Satan is out there prowling around looking for you doesn’t mean he will win. My point is that your life is NOT already LOST. It is NOT inevitable that Satan is going to gain victory. In Christ, you have the power to tell Satan to “take a walk, I am NOT interested in what you are peddling today.”

Were you even aware that you could resist him?

I will tell you something else, when you wield the power that His word tells us we have because of Christ, did you know then that Satan is no longer a lion but rather more like a kitten? He can’t devour you, or affect you, or beat you, when you resist him in strong faith. When you deny him access to your personal vulnerabilities by telling him to take a hike, Satan is powerless.

What I don’t want you to hear me say however is not to be aware or be on the alert. Satan still knows your weakest areas where you are most likely to be vulnerable and those are the specific spots he will target in your life. He is not dumb. He knows where to stick the temptation and when and to NOT be prepared for that to happen is your fault not Gods.

Here is my bottom line…

You must RESIST and because of Christ…you have the power to…

Happy New Year…

 

Until next time guys…

 

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It occurred to me recently that after the last few years of posts here on IronManStrength that I could possibly be taking something for granted with my audience…Simply put, I write to men who as believers, travel down the road of life and deal with everything that entails…pain, difficulty as well as happiness and joy and all of the above. But one thing may be true about you that I have failed to address and that is the very simple act of becoming a Christian.

You see, you can read this blog and hopefully feel somewhat encouraged and even moved to change…but if you have not placed Christ inside your personal heart, then you have missed the crux of what I speak about. Otherwise, these posts are just stories for men who hope to feel better. Although I confess that my goal is to give a strong support to guys out there who just need a lift, at the heart of why I write is just simply…God. I believe that He changed me on the inside from a tough piece of old leather to someone who is a little bit more affected by the heart of God.

What that means to me is that all of us were put here for a reason…some of us know what that reason is…while others might still be searching…and that’s ok. As long as you are moving forward, that still counts as positive. My point is, along our way we gain callouses when dealing with life and that is NOT the way God intended things to be. His original plan was far better…but that’s another blog post altogether. God understands that the journey you are on can be painful and over time, that pain changes you, on the inside and out. The reality is that we, MEN, tend to become like that old piece of leather I was talking about earlier…literally so calloused ?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????
that we miss out on why we are here…that is where being a believer comes into this conversation. The only way we can hear Christ is to be tapped into the heart of God and the only way to tap in…is to be a believer…

So with the help of some friends, we put together a very simple “How to become a Believer” including the prayer you must pray in order to let God know YOU mean business. Please know this is a very simple process but once you commit, you will need to get connected with a church that believes similarly to you so you can keep your heart linked to Him. Walking with God isn’t one time and forget commitment. God desires a relationship with you, and that means everyday…

How to become a Christian

  1. Understand and believe in your heart that God Loves YOU. I know this can be very painful for some of you out there simply due to the fact that this world does NOT exude love. Plainly put, this world sucks at giving love. But please understand me when I say that the God I serve loved YOU, so much that He sent His son to die so that we might have eternal life. In my book, that is an exhibition of the truest love there is…

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life(John 3:16)

  1. God has an amazing plan for your life! You were NOT put on this earth be just vanilla, with no color and barely any taste. You were put on this earth for something special. Now I understand that for some people, the word life and special probably don’t go together but hear me when I say if you haven’t had God in your life up to this point, He is the one who can put things together in a way that you would not have even expected.

I have come that they (YOU) may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. (John 10:10)

There are 5 verses in the book of Romans in the Bible that explain the “Road to Salvation” for all of us. Read these next…

  1. Very simply…because you were born into sin, you are separated from God.
    For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.  (Romans 3:23)
  2. The Penalty for your sin is death.
    For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord(Romans 6:23)
  3. I have good news for you…the penalty for your sin was paid by Jesus Christ!
    But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)
  4. If you repent of your sin and then confess and trust Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you will be saved from your sin! It is that easy…

For whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.  (Romans 10:13)

…if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. (Romans 10:9,10)

Once you read these verses and confess your sin to God…and most importantly, believe in your heart that God can do all of these things…then pray this prayer with me:
Lord Jesus, I am like everyone else – I can’t make it through life on my own. I am imperfect and I’m prone

to sin. I have come to realize that there’s nothing in the world I can do to make myself acceptable to You.

But I know that You have loved me so much that You were willing to submit to the cross and die on my

behalf. That is an act of grace so amazing, that I cannot understand it; I can only accept it. And I do. I

accept Your free gift, the gift of salvation and along with that, you into my heart, and I know that from this

moment on, I am saved. I am a child of God. And I give the rest of my life to serving You and experiencing

the joy that only You can offer. Fill me now, dear Lord, and raise me to walk in the newness of life. I thank

You and praise You! Amen.

Now that you are a “new creation” in Jesus Christ, the road ahead will be full of life-changing experiences. Growing in knowledge and understanding of the Bible and your Christian walk with God is essential for your spiritual growth.

If you prayed that prayer, I am so very happy for you. Your name was written in the most important book of all, The Lambs Book of Life and from this day forward, you are truly…not alone.

I have more for you next time but for now, I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from IronManStrength Blog.

Until next time Guys…

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Four years ago, I wrote a blog post simply called Why cant life be easy? Because it kind of fit where I was at that point. Well today, 4 years later, I have reached into the archives because it seems to fit yet again for me. Sometimes none of us can understand the ebb and flow of life’s changes both personally or collectively as a family and how they affect us. Waves roll in and out with some being just annoyances while others knock us off our feet completely. This post is just to serve as a beacon along your journey to NOT give up. Stay the course and stay strong for the people who love you. I hope you enjoy the new and improved version of Why can’t life be easy

 

Have you ever wondered why God allows or even requires the Christian journey to be filled with pain, problems, unhappiness and sometimes misery? Because I have… Why does God put so much emphasis on perseverance, or striving for the prize and winning the race like it says in Philippians?

I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:14

Why cant the Christian walk be more like a Sprint instead of a Marathon?

I believe that all the lessons and experiences we learn through life; the “Iron Sharpening Iron” moments like we read in Proverbs 27:17; the falling down and getting back up opportunities, but most importantly and through the adversity, is our ability to keep our eyes focused on Him in spite of whatever is set against us…

Because the reason why the Christian walk is a marathon and NOT a sprint is because God intended life to be truly ALL about the journey.

God watches how WE handle the problems we face in this world…are we the kind of guy who gives up and just walks away? Or do we get back up on our feet and keep forging ahead?

Guys, listen to me here because I truly believe that the ones that can pick themselves up from the problem and still keep their eyes on Him…They are the ones that I firmly believe God has chosen to surround Himself in eternity.

 

Life is hard…there I said it…but don’t just give up and let it overwhelm you! Fight back…

 

One of my favorite warriors of the Bible was David who wrestled with these very same questions. Look at what he says to God in Psalms:

Why, O Lord, do you stand far off? Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble? Psalms 10:1

The reality is that David, one of the greatest men in the Bible, struggled just like us. He wrestled with pain and suffering and he cried out to God continuously…and do you know what?

God did NOT forsake him.

The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. Those who know your name will trust in you, Lord, for you have never forsaken those who seek you. Psalms 9:9-10

Guys, this post is titled, Why can life be easy because many times we cant help but ask that question. I encourage you today, as we move into the holiday season to remember that God hasn’t left you during these times of difficulty but rather He is right there next to you lifting you up. Just hang on and trust because someday here is what we, the ones who have persevered, have to look forward to:

And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and He will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away. He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” Revelation 21: 3-5

Guys, enjoy the journey that you are on and keep the faith because ultimately you will overcome.

 

Until next time Guys…