Three years ago a waiter at a TGI Friday’s was clearing a table and found this napkin with these words written on it.
Are you, like me, wondering if the person who wrote this was trying to convince himself or herself? If they said it and wrote it enough, it would be true? Perhaps, it was meant as an encouragement for the next person who sat down. “I’m not afraid of tomorrow, you shouldn’t be either.”
It’s also possible this was a person connected to God, and, this is just a statement of faith.
Are you afraid of tomorrow?
Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. Hebrews 11
Chief Justice John Roberts, who has recently spent time presiding over high profile arguments on gay marriage, has been a victim of credit card fraud. Yes! The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States! What? A person that important in the federal government can be a victim of credit card fraud? You would think it could never happen to him.
Some people think they’ll never need God. Their lives are secure. Everything is going great. No need for any help. But the truth is…no one is above the need for God. And, besides, you are always just one incident away from chaos. You’ve heard those stories on the news of tragedies that were almost beyond belief, changing forever the lives of the people involved.
No one can afford to go through life without God. In times when you would fall apart, he’s the glue that holds life together. Check out God. Maybe you can find a way to attach your life to him. Don’t be a victim.
For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline. 2 Timothy 1
So many people in this world are concerned about…themselves. They’re not sensitive to the needs of others. Those are the people who, when in a group, are not attuned to what is happening with the other people.
For example, I observed a small group once where one member, telling the events of her mother’s death, started crying…and all the others in the group just sat and watched her. There was no one sensitive to her need for a touch on the arm or a hug…or just an “I’m sorry.”
Jesus, in being sensitive to others, went beyond reason and logic to respond to others.
There’s the story of Zacchaeus, the little guy watching Jesus from a tree because he couldn’t see over the people. Zacchaeus was a wealthy tax collector, despised by most. Reason and logic would say to ignore him. No one liked him anyway. Jesus looked up and said to him: “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.”
Do you find people you know to sometimes be thoughtless and inconsiderate? Don’t we all. You can always turn to one who’s understanding and empathetic. Seek Jesus.
You must show sincere love to each other as brothers and sisters. Love each other deeply with all your heart. 1 Peter 1
You know something we don’t have enough of in this world? Encouragement.
It’s so mind-blowing when you’re having a hard time, trying to get things right, unsure of yourself…and someone encourages you. Suddenly, you feel invigorated. You’re fired up, you can do it.
Too often we have discouragers. Or, almost worse, people who are just apathetic. They’re indifferent, unconcerned. In the Bible they were once called lukewarm. That’s just nada.
Jesus is not like that! He is an encourager. He wants you to do well. Some people have this picture of Jesus standing over you with a big bat making sure you toe the line. That is so far from who Jesus really is!
Jesus cares about you. His words are uplifting. His words will embolden you, they’ll rally you. He wants to stand right beside you, saying: “Buck up, friend, you can do it!”
Feeling discouraged? Had it rough lately? Step up beside the one who will encourage you as you make your way through life. He’s easy to find. Seek Jesus.
So encourage each other and build each other up…. 1 Thessalonians 5
Have you ever had to call an office to clear something up? Maybe they got your bill wrong. Or, you needed to reschedule an appointment. But, you can tell right off, the person you’re talking to isn’t really listening to you. You don’t have the person full attention. You keep talking…but it’s really not doing much good. Later, you find out you were right when the problem isn’t rectified.
Does that not make you mad! Does that not get your drawers in a bunch! Grind your gears! Push every one of your buttons! Few things are worse than not being listened to. It says to you: You’re not important to me. I don’t care about you.
That will never happen with Jesus. It’s not in his character. If you read about Jesus, you’ll find he listened to everyone. Even a despised leper who fell with his face down in front of Jesus and asked Jesus to heal him. Jesus said: “I am willing. Be clean.” He always values what you have to say. He always cares. And, today Jesus still listens to everyone.
Do you need someone who will listen to you? Someone to give you their full attention? Someone who hears your every word? Someone who answers you?
It’s as easy as speaking. That easy. Seek Jesus.
Jesus reached out and touched him. “I am willing,” he said. “Be healed!” And instantly the leprosy disappeared. Luke 5
Politicians and athletes are continually saying what they are going to do. That’s seems to take up a big part of their lives. They get all kinds of exposure for talking about what they’re going to do. There are entire tv shows which exist just to talk about these things.
As the old adage goes: Talk is cheap. That means just talking about something isn’t as good as actually doing something. Anybody can talk about it, but not just anybody can do it.
Another old adage moves the argument along: Actions speak louder than words. Don’t just say it, let me see you do it.
So it is with faith. People and churches talk about what great faith they have, but it’s meaningless if you don’t see it used. When life gets messy, that’s when your faith needs to kick in. When the project gets too big, that’s when your faith needs to step up.
In the Bible, James says it pretty straightforward: Faith without works is dead.
Do you have faith? A better question might be: Are you using your faith? Because if you’re not, it’s not worth a dime.
Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do. James 2
Seven examples of God’s amazing creativeness:
1. If you fake laugh hard enough, you’ll start to laugh really, really hard.
2. The nitrogen in your DNA, the calcium in your teeth, the iron in your blood were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. You’re made of stardust!
3. Cows have best friends.
4. Despite high infant mortality rates and lower life expectancies, not one of your direct ancestors died childless.
5. Butterflies can taste with their feet.
6. Neurologically speaking, seeing someone else smile actually makes you happier.
7. Sloths leave their tree once a week…to pee and poop.
God has made an amazing world! Today, what can you thank him for creating?
In the beginning God created…. Genesis 1
***If you say “my cocaine” you sound like the actor Michael Caine saying his own name.