Beloved Zion Memorial,
It was such a blessing to see so many of you on Sunday. I have truly missed you and am glad to be back with you. I also am so appreciative of your cards, calls, emails, texts, and gifts during my time of healing after my surgery. I pray that you will pray for me; but, I pray that you will not worry about me. As our message was given on Sunday, instead of worrying, I hope that you will take it to God. You see, God has all of this in His control.
My surgery has hindered me; but, it did not kill me. Therefore, I am not going to act like I am dead.
I am going to keep on doing what God will allow me to do, trusting and believing that He has greater in store for me to do for His glory.
I pray this for you, Zion Memorial, individually and collectively. I pray that you will not let what you are going through define you. I pray that you will use what you are going through, right now, to reveal your relationship with God through His Son, our Lord and Savior, Jesus the Christ, as guided by the Holy Spirit, and the world will see you as the salt and light of Christ that it should desire to be, just as you are it and live as it.
Jesus put it this way in Luke 12:25-26, 30-31, "And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life? If then you are not able to do so small a thing as that, why do you worry about the rest? For it is the nations of the world that strive after all these things, and your Father knows that you need them. Instead, strive for his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well."
Are there things that trouble me? Yes.
Am I tempted to worry about them? Yes.
Does my worry help? No.
Worrying actually makes things worse. How?
Excessive worry leads to anxiety and anxiety is harmful to your body, the body that is supposed to be the temple of the Most High God where the Holy Spirit is supposed to reside.
Chronic worry negatively impacts your appetite (you don't want to eat or you excessively eat the wrong things), lifestyle habits (you find unhealthy ways to escape like sex, drinking, drugs, and smoking), relationships (you push away those who can help and embrace those who may hurt), sleep (you stay up too late and cannot rest when you finally close your eyes) and job performance (your 5pm to 9am away from work life negatively impacts your 9am to 5pm work life).
Do you see any of this in yourself or anyone else?
Basically, instead of enriching your life, you, by worrying, rob your life of the vitality, energy, excitement, and hope that comes from trusting in God more than your problems.
And, this is a world-wide epidemic. But, we are supposed to be in this world but not of this world. And, the not of this world God knows what you need that will relieve you of the worry that is robbing you of your best life.
How do you find what God has for you?
Seek Him and seek His kingdom. Strive, struggle to thrive, for the things of God instead of for the fleeting things of this world.
That is God's Plan G.
And, when you take your eyes, your hands, your mouth, your mind, your heart, and your spirit off of worldly issues (not that they will ever fully go away) and put your eyes (read your scripture), your hands (get busy in doing some ministry or service for God), your mouth (praise Him at all times), your mind (pray to Him at all times), your heart (stay focused on Him at all times), and your spirit (commune and yield yourself to Him at all times), then you will find that His grace is sufficient to help you through what you are going through until He brings you to the other side of what you are going through.
Beloved, after my surgery, being completely honest, my leg hurts and it really stinks to be in the situation that I am in. I know that. You know that. But, most importantly, God knows that.
And, in spite of all of this, I am going to let God use me right where I am to bring Him praise, honor, and glory. Why?
Because God does not want me to worry. God wants to strive for His kingdom. And, in living for His kingdom, some of the things that I could worry about are just not but so important, especially if my worry will hinder me in doing what God wants me to do.
If my worry got me a reward, I would focus on worrying but, I am not going to be rewarded for my worry. The exact opposite occurs. By worrying, I actually punish myself and make things worse.
I am going to be rewarded by God by consciously choosing to focus on Him and His kingdom and not on my worries.
What if we all did that? Maybe we should.
I hope to see all of you at HOPE Wednesday tonight where we, the church family, will be striving to learn more about God's kingdom and how to live like kingdom-minded people on this side of glory. And, maybe, just maybe, some of us will leave our Hour Of Power and Encouragement with a little less to worry about and more to praise God about.
And, remember, God loves you and I love you too!