Accepting Life

The Lord says, “Forget what happened before, and do not think about the past. Look at the new thing I am going to do. It is already happening. Don’t you see it? I will make a road in the desert and rivers in the dry land.” – Isaiah 43:18-19
Accepting Life

If you’re like most people, you like being in control. Period. You want things to happen according to your wishes and according to your timetable. But sometimes, God has other plans . . . and He always has the final word.

Oswald Chambers correctly observed, “Our Lord never asks us to decide for Him; He asks us to yield to Him—a very different matter.” These words remind us that even when we cannot understand the workings of God, we must trust Him and accept His will.

All of us experience adversity and pain. As human beings with limited comprehension, we can never fully understand the will of our Father in heaven. But as believers in a benevolent God, we must always trust His providence.

When Jesus went to the Mount of Olives, as described in Luke 22, He poured out His heart to God. Jesus knew of the agony that He was destined to endure, but He also knew that God’s will must be done. We, like our Savior, face trials that bring fear and trembling to the very depths of our souls, but like Christ, we too must ultimately seek God’s will, not our own.

Are you embittered by a personal tragedy that you did not deserve and cannot understand? If so, it’s time to make peace with life. It’s time to forgive others, and, if necessary, to forgive yourself. It’s time to accept the unchangeable past, to embrace the priceless present, and to have faith in the promise of tomorrow. It’s time to trust God completely. And it’s time to reclaim the peace—His peace—that can and should be yours.

Acceptance means learning to trust God more. Today, think of at least one aspect of your life that you’ve been reluctant to accept, and then prayerfully ask God to help you trust Him more by accepting the past.

– Steve Arterburn

Prayer may not get us what we want, but it will teach us to want what we need. – Vance Havner

I am truly grateful that faith enables me to move past the question of  “Why?”– Zig Ziglar

What’s Wrong With Grownups

Fathers, do not embitter your children or they will become discouraged. – Colossians 3:21

Whats Wrong With Grownups

What’s wrong with grownups?” This was a question posed by a Sunday school teacher to a class of ten-year-olds. See if you recognize yourself in any of these complaints:

  • Grownups make promises, then forget them, or say it wasn’t a promise, just a “maybe.”
  • Grownups don’t do the things they tell their children to do—like pick up their things or always tell the truth.
  • Grownups don’t listen. They decide ahead of time what they’re going to answer.
  • Grownups make mistakes, but won’t admit them. They pretend they weren’t mistakes at all—or that somebody else made them.
  • Grownups always talk about what they did and what they knew when they were ten-years-old, but they don’t try to think what it’s like to be ten-years-old right now.

If you’re like me, right now you’re thinking, “Ouch!” Children are perceptive, and they are much more pure in heart than we give them credit for. Take time for them, be honest with them, don’t be afraid to say, “I’m sorry“.

– Steve Arterburn

Nothing you ever do for a child is wasted. – Garrison Keillor

Children are the brightest treasures we bring forth into this world, but too large a percentage of the population continues to treat them as inconveniences and nuisances, when they’re not treating them as possessions or toys. – Charles de Lint

Easter in Narnia

He will swallow up death forever. The Sovereign Lord will wipe away the tears from all faces; he will remove the disgrace of his people from all the earth. The Lord has spoken. – Isaiah 25:8

Easter in Narnia

In C.S. Lewis’ The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, the lion, Aslan, offers himself as a sacrifice for a little boy, a traitor named Edmund. When the lion rises from the dead he says:

. . . [the Witch’s] knowledge goes back only to the dawn of time. But if she could have looked a little further back, into the stillness and the darkness before time dawned, she would have read there a different incantation. She would have known that when a willing victim who had committed no treachery was killed in a traitor’s stead, the Table would crack and Death itself would start working backward.

Does that story sound familiar? It should; it’s the story of Easter. Jesus Christ gave his life for traitors whom he loved, was raised from the dead, and therefore broke the curse of death.

– Steve Arterburn

Our Lord has written the promise of resurrection, not in books alone, but in every leaf in springtime.” – Martin Luther (1483-1546)

Jesus Didn’t Hurry

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven. – Ecclesiastes 3:1

Jesus Didnt Hurry

One of my staff members has a habit of reminding me that Jesus was never in a hurry. I’m always in a hurry, hoping for quick answers and looking for motion in the direction I want to go. But then I hear him say it again . . . “Jesus was never in a hurry.

I’ve thought about that and it makes me think of using a crock pot. The most tender, juicy meat you can fix is in a slow cooker. And, that’s how it is with healing. Healing is a process that won’t be hurried. It’s a slow cooker experience. And if you accept that, it will take the pressure off you to finish it up.

God desires for you to pay attention to Him and His creation in your life each day. When you race through life doing everything as fast as you can, you miss some pretty awesome things along the way. Every challenge, every growth opportunity, every surprise that comes your way is an opportunity for your to look for God.

Healing can be slow, but it doesn’t mean you’re not growing. Allow it to slow cook and you’ll have a tastier recovery filled with some mouth watering nuggets of wisdom. Let the Master Chef do His job with you.

Jesus was never in a hurry. Why are you?

– Steve Arterburn

Being in a hurry. Getting to the next thing without fully entering the thing in front of me. I cannot think of a single advantage I’ve ever gained from being in a hurry. But a thousand broken and missed things, tens of thousands, lie in the wake of all the rushing…. Through all that haste I thought I was making up time. It turns out I was throwing it away. – Ann Voskamp

Rivers know this: there is no hurry. We shall get there someday. – A.A. Milne

New Life Live: February 19, 2016

Play

From the Archives of New Life Live, This Show Originally Aired January 27, 2004

classic-fridays-boys-fb
Topics: Homosexuality, Parenting, Tolerance, Engagement, Christian Walk, Making Decisions
Hosts: Steve Arterburn, Dr. John Townsend, Dr. Henry Cloud

Caller Questions:

  1. My 13yo son is asking about homosexuality; is he struggling with his own identity?
  2. How do I stop being annoyed by noisy people?
  3. I am engaged after being married twice; how do I know if I should call it off or not?
  4. Can you recommend a Scripture so I will have peace with my salvation instead of feeling condemned?
  5. My family is pressuring me to get more education, but I want to spend more time with my toddler.

Suggested Resources:
Download the Tip Sheet – Six Steps for Effective Confrontation
Every Young Man’s Battle
Boundaries
Changes That Heal
You Can Do This  (option for God Will make a Way)

Subscribe to the NEW LIFE LIVE Podcast via iTunes or streaming audio from Stitcher, the Smart Radio App.

What Have You Got to Lose?

There are many burdens that weigh us down, like the need to control, unrealistic expectations or getting trapped in the past. Let’s take a look at some of these rocks we carry and see if it’s time to surrender them to God’s grace. Click here to watch the video.

steve-vault

Get more from tv.newlife.com.

Never Give In

What, then shall we say in response to this?  If God is for us, who can be against us? – Romans 8:31

Never Give In

World War II ravaged through Europe for more than two years. The Axis forces looked invincible.  England had suffered massive air raids by German forces in late 1940, and again in the spring of 1941.

On October 29, 1941, Great Britain’s Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, visited the Harrow School for boys, his alma mater-to speak to its students.  What message did the times demand? What could Churchill say to these young men in the face of the Blitzkrieg that seized Europe, leveled London, and cast their lives and futures into a thick fog of uncertainty?  His words were simple, moving, and unforgettable: “Never give in—never, never, never, never, never give in.”

Are you tired, have you grown weary from the “Blitzkrieg” in your life? There is hope at the cross for you. God is in the business of turning hopeless situations around. Remember, Lazarus had been in a grave for four days, his family was in mourning when Jesus showed up and called him back from the place of the dead. God can make something of the ashes that we bring to Him—Isaiah 61:3 tells us that “He will give us beauty in exchange for ashes.” We need to stand firm in our faith and never give up or give in to the belief that He cannot redeem us or the situations we find ourselves in.

Perseverance—it’s born of faith, it’s nourished by hope and it’s a sure sign of strength of character.  What role does it play in your Christian life?

And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. – Galatians 6:9

The greatest glory in living lies not, in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.Nelson Mandela

Asking for Directions

I call to the Lord, who is worthy of praise, and I am saved from my enemies. – Psalm 18:3

Asking for Directions

God has a way of showing us that we don’t know as much as we think we do. And He will certainly act when we need to be shown that we don’t know better than He does.

That’s what happened to King Nebuchadnezzar who had to learn a serious lesson in humility. Talk about a severe act of mercy. This once proud king was struck with a mental illness for seven years. His mental illness caused him to roam the pastures outside the palace and chew grass like a cow. After paying the price for his pride, the once self-sufficient and self-centered king said, “Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and exalt and glorify the King of heaven, because everything He does is right and all His ways are just. And those who walk in pride He is able to humble.” (Daniel 4:37) In this confession, three things are important, the words: “everything,” and “all,” and the phrase “His ways.”

These words speak to the king’s new understanding of God’s control and to the choice He wants each of us to make: God’s way or my way? Too often we neglect to ask God, “How do you want me to handle this?” or “How should I respond to this situation in a manner consistent with God’s word?”

The reasons for not asking these questions boil down to one of two issues: ignorance or arrogance. I don’t recommend either. Neither will benefit you, and both carry very high price tags.

“No time is so well spent in every day as that which we spend upon our knees.” J.C. Ryle (1816-1900)

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, help me to always take the time to seek your will and direction. Your word is a lamp unto my feet, help me to remember to consult your word and help me to remember that Your way is always better than mine. Amen

Perseverance

Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. – James 1:12

Perseverance

Soon after making a decision to follow Christ, a young Nigerian named Daniel returned to his Muslim village. He was excited about his new faith. . . the people of his village were not. Furious at him, the women of the village beat him and left him for dead.

When he regained consciousness the following day, he decided he must not have been clear in explaining his new faith. So he went back to the village and witnessed again. The women beat him and left him for dead again. This time he remained unconscious for two days.

When he awoke, he again assumed he hadn’t expressed himself well. So he returned a third time. This time the village women broke into tears at his perseverance, and eventually the good news of Christ gained a foothold in that place.

If you’re weary in sharing the good news of Jesus with friends, family, or your kids, take heart. And remember, we share Christ by our actions and how we conduct our lives, as much as we do with our words.

– Steve Arterburn

Perseverance is a great element of success. If you only knock long enough and loud enough at the gate, you are sure to wake up somebody.” – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882)

A Good Name

Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.  The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. – James 5:16

A Good Name

I recently heard a story about a man who was arrested at a hospital where he went to get treatment for a serious animal bite on his leg.  Why was this insult added to the man’s injury?  That’s where this story gets interesting.

The man claimed the bite was from a pit bull.  But authorities discovered it was really from a ten-foot-long, 450-pound Siberian tiger he was keeping as a pet in his apartment!  To make matters even worse, the man had a six-foot-long alligator roaming around his apartment as well.

Does this strike you as bizarre?  Irresponsible?  Perhaps even a bit insane?  It should.  But think about it . . . don’t we too often treat sin—a threat ultimately more dangerous to us than any tiger or alligator—with a similar nonchalance?

What sin are you hanging on to as a pet?  It’s bound to have some serious consequences sooner or later.  Perhaps it’s time to release that pet back in to the wild.

– Steve Arterburn

Never hold discussions with a monkey when the organ grinder is in the room.” – Winston Churchill (1874-1965)