Maybe you are participating in Lent. Maybe you are searching for God. Maybe you are experiencing a desert and you just want more of God. Whatever, you are going through - may I introduce my son, Ken Jansen. He is the senior music pastor at Crossroads Community Church in Freeport, Illinois. I hope his journey to a closer walk with Jesus will help you in your own walk.
Crossroads Stories from Crossroads Community Church on Vimeo.
The Reinvention of Ken Jansen
Thank you Ken. I'm so proud of you.
God Loves you,
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Wednesday, February 3, 2010
I have quick verse on my computer and I love it. It's a program that will look up any word in the Bible, tell you where it's found, how many times it's used in how many scriptures and take you right to those scriptures.
Did you know that the word Afraid is used 211 times in 206 scriptures. Apparently there was a lot of fear in biblical times as well. But....the wonderful fact about these verses and other verses I found on fear and worry - is that they are all followed by scriptures that tell the characters in the story - "DON'T be afraid!" In fact, there are more verses that tell us NOT to be afraid than there are verses that illuminate our fears. I love the passage in Luke 12:22-34 that not only tells us not to be afraid- it also tells us "why" we shouldn't be afraid. It speaks to our entire life not just moments in our lives.
Luke 12: 22-34
Then Jesus said to his disciples: "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes.
Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life ? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest? "Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.
If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith! And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.
"Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom.
Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
The real truth is that if all of us would simply put these verses into practice in our own lives....we could illiminate most of our physical and mental problems.
I deal with this issue myself. I can get so involved in a situation that fear takes over. I think it's because I'm old. What?
What I mean is that I've lost that reckless motion of my youth. I've had enough bumps and hit enough pot holes in my life that I now understand that sometimes....sometimes we are required to go through problems. Sometimes everything doesn't go as planned. Sometimes we are asked to live through the uncomfortable consequences of our lives. It's hard to be 100% trusting when you've been let down before. It's hard to be 100% positive when you have lived through the consequences of failure.
So...how can we make this verse true in our lives? We have to change the focus. Don't focus on getting everything you want. Don't focus on having an easy victory or winning the prize or having an easy life. Focus on things that are certain.
Try to refocus this way....."Do not be afraid, little flock, for your father has been pleased to give you the kingdom." It really doesn't matter what you have and don't have here....if you are a child of God you will have it all - over there. Eternity means that you get all the prizes, you wear the crown, tout the ribbons, obtain the respect and your wildest dreams will come true. Right now you are paying for your trip over there. Don't skimp. Sign on for the upgrade to first class.
"For where your treasure is, there you heart will be also." It doesn't matter what failures you face, if you love your God, your family, your talents - your treasures will be secure. You will never lose if you concentrate not on circumstances but rather on relationships, love, talent, accomplishment, God's grace.
Whew! I've got some work to do....how about you?
God loves you,