Crazy Faith

 

2 Timothy 2:13 New International Version (NIV)

13 if we are faithless,
    he remains faithful,
    for he cannot disown himself.

 

It has been said by Dr. J. Oswald Sanders, “Faith enables the believing soul to treat the future as present and the invisible as seen.” How many of us live in assurance of things hoped for? When was the last time you made a decision with the future in plain sight? Is that what people mean when they say, “You just need more faith.” How do I know how much faith I have?

What if your crazy faith cost you everything? That was a question, I believe, that the disciples grappled with while they walked with Jesus, and as he ascended back to heaven. Look at this portion of Scripture in Matthew 17:20, ‘You do not have enough faith.’ Jesus told them, “I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, move from here to there, and it would move. Nothing would be impossible.”

Jesus is rebuilding the disciples because of their lack of faith from being able to cast out a demon in a boy. It was all because of faith.

All of us have the crazy faith moments. We either seize up in that moment or have a little faith as the size of a mustard seed and believe. This year I am challenged with the one word, ‘Deeper’.

I want to have the crazy faith of believing I can see the miraculous in my life. I want to have deeper encounters with Jesus. I want to be called a friend of God like Noah, Moses, and other men of God.

I want to have the crazy faith in 2016 of seeing people come to Christ, addictions broken, marriages saved, cancer beaten, and life given. That takes crazy faith, but I pray to have it.

Where is your crazy faith for 2016? Want to walk on water? Want to see demons flee? Want to see the spiritually dead come back to life? It will take crazy faith on your part. It will take reading God’s Word, cultivating a deeper prayer life, and resisting the devil. Join me in ‘Crazy Faith’.

Strength and Courage

Mike

 

I came across the name of a man today.  It is a name with which I’m very familiar, but I was led to read a little more in depth.  The man is Norman Borlaug.  Some of you may know who he is, but for any who do not, I’ll give you a brief account of his life and accomplishments.

Norman Borlaug was born March 25th 1914 to a farm family outside of Cresco, Iowa.  He had a prototypical upbringing for a midwestern farm kid of the age.  He grew up hunting, fishing and working the family’s 106 acre farm.  His primary education took place in a one room school house, and he was baptized and confirmed in the Saude Lutheran church.  He graduated from Cresco high school, where he also participated in football, baseball and wrestling.  

Through an Depression-era program known as the National Youth Administration, he was able to enroll at the University of Minnesota.  While earning his Bachelor of Science in forestry, Norman, like most had to take jobs to support himself.  One such job was as a leader in the Civilian Conservation Corps.  Many of the people who worked for him in those days came to him starving.  Though he didn’t realize the impact at the time, the scars those images left would forever change his life and the lives of over a billion others.

 Before and after graduation, Norman worked for the US Forest Service.  He had his career and life coursed out and was headed down it.  It wasn’t for long, though, and due to budget cuts he lost that job.  That’s a pretty significant blow to be dealt, for anyone.  I’m sure he thought, as most of us would, he had arrived.  He had made it.  Then blindsided.  Have you ever felt like that?

Romans 8:28 (NKJV) And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.

Well Norman returned to the University of Minnesota and under the tutelage of his mentor Elvin Charles Stakman, received a master of science degree in 1940 and Ph.D. in plant pathology and genetics in 1942.  He went to work for Dupont, where during World War II a number of his projects worked to aid our soldiers in combat.  Impacting lives.

After the war years his research and efforts changed complexion.  He remembered the look of starvation in the faces of his past workers.  The rest of his life was dedicated to the development of high yield, disease and drought resistant crops.  Crops that could be grown in regions ravaged by hunger, where conventional crops and farming techniques were useless.  His life’s research led him to countries around the world, Mexico, South America, Asia, India and finally Africa.  

Norman Borlaug became the man God would use to feed the world.  Norman’s life work is credited with saving over a billion lives from starvation.  All this from a boy who started from such humble beginnings.  A young man who’s life course was set, or so he thought.  However, God had different plans for Norman.  

As I read about Norman’s extraordinary contributions to the world, I can’t help but think about how it almost wasn’t was.  I think about the chain of events required to bring God’s plan for his life to fruition.  I wonder how often Norman felt stuck in the mud, that things weren’t going according to plan.  I find my heart overflowing with faith in the knowledge that Norman’s life played out by design.  God’s design.  What reassurance can be found in this story.  Reassurance that no matter what happens in our own lives, though we may not see it, want it or understand it, if we hold onto that faithful knowledge that it is by God’s design, great things will happen.  

I think about all the people that God brought into Norman’s life.  Each person necessary in the development of “the man who fed the world”.  I wonder how many of those people lived an entire life not knowing the contribution they made in his development, their role in feeding the world.  Not all of us are destined to be Norman Borlaug, but every Norman Borlaug needed a great many of us to realize their design.  

As I go forward from this day forth, I will try to be more mindful of the “Borlaug Effect”, how my life impacts others, who in turn affect others, who affect others who will affect the next man who feeds the world.  

Lord let me no longer doubt the plan and design You have for my life.  Heavenly father erase from me the doubt of the significance and effect my life has on those around me, rippling out to the rest of the world and generations to come.  How great is Your design and plan, Lord?  I can’t see it fully Lord, but this I know, the gift of faith You fill my heart with assures me that it is a grand and perfect design.  I pray Lord that my ripple in this world will have the effect You desire.  In Jesus’ precious name Amen.

In full pursuit of the greatest Trophy

Scott Pace 

 

Image

What did you see when you looked in the mirror this morning…Your need for more sleep, your potential, your faults, evidence of aging, your image as a child of God, or just blank eyes staring back at you?  You have probably heard the phrase ‘Image is everything’. Maybe when you were in high school is was very important – how you dressed, what your friends thought of you, and through their adult years many are still motivated by this image. While I wouldn’t put the most value on keeping up appearances, I would venture another statement…’Image is Something.’ Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.    Genesis 1:26-27 If you see the selfish or hurtful actions of others, is it possible to see them as created in the image of God?  When others just meet you, or when you ask someone you have known for years…can they tell you are a follower of Christ? In your daily life, business dealings, and interactions can others see Christ shining through you? That is a question I ask myself occasionally…”Do people see me as a representative of Christ?  Do they see Christ in me?” A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.    John 13:34-35 We are bombarded by thousands of images every day…from the newspaper, internet, and television, from people we see each day, and even from our own imaginations, dreams and memories. The first memory in my life where I can pinpoint a date is a couple months before my third birthday…sitting in my dad’s pickup watching a special train go by. Why some images stay with us and others don’t is not exact, but unique circumstances seem to imprint in our brains and help form who we are.  Positive images can encourage us and negative ones can haunt us. When we see someone for the first time we can make 20 judgments about them in 2 seconds whether we realize it or not…based on their clothes, car, skin color, haircut, complexion, height, faults, scars, body size, etc we can form an impression of whether they are someone we want to spend time with before we even speak to them. If you are married, there must have been something about your spouse that first caught your eye. The experience of seeing a beautiful image in nature can inspire us for years. Images are powerful. They can also be powerfully damaging. Images imprinted on your mind from abuse, bad choices or pornography can pull you into a pit of despair, regret, and enslavement that seems impossible to climb out of. With God all things are possible. In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.  And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.   Romans 8: 26-30 So, treat images with respect. Avoid those things that tear you down and set you apart from God…dwell and meditate on those images that inspire you and draw you closer to Him. This is a painting that a brother in Christ did several years ago that has been inspiring to me…it says that in spite of the sometimes chaotic mess that is my life, God is calling me and using me for a purpose higher than just myself. He sees beyond the clutter that often distracts me to who I truly am in Him…my true Image in Christ. The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.   Colosians 1:15-20 In His Image, Clark

Every Sunday at 8:30 AM

Listen to Mike Sereg on kBOE 104.9FM

LISTEN NOW

Sign me up!

  • Yes, I would like to receive the the Vital Men Daily Devotion email. Sign me up!
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.