Archive for the ‘Scripture’ Category


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Proverbs 22:3

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I’ve been the person who invited people to drinking parties and I’m now the person that invites people to come check out the church I’m part of. Because of this, I’m comfortable in a pub and I’m comfortable at a church gathering. Needless to say, I’ve seen what people think about faith from so many different vantage points. I remember being in High School and College and being at church where I looked around at the crowd to spot the people I’d being partying with the night before. It didn’t bother me at the time but I did find it ironic. I’m sure that some of the people that saw me knew that I didn’t take my faith very seriously and they would’ve been right (though I would’ve argued with them about this at the time). Then, with alcohol on my breath from the night before, I became a Christian at a church gathering on March 1, 1998. After that, whatever people thought about me, I think they would have said that I do take my faith seriously. In college, my life didn’t reflect a serious faith but later it did.

This leads me to something I heard that resonated with me (I don’t remember who said it): “There are two things that have surprised me most after becoming a Christian. The first is how much a life can change after someone says they’ve become a Christian. The second is how little a persons life can change after they say they’ve become a Christ-follower.” I’ve spent more than just a little bit of time wondering about why this contrast exists. Now, I could address some theological points on this that are true and important. But I want to look at this from an angle that you might not have invested a lot of time thinking about. I believe a big part of why so many people that call themselves Christians haven’t experienced much life-change is because so many don’t take their faith personally. Let me explain.

Have you noticed, the most passionate people about a cause are the ones who have personally been impacted by it? Michael J. Fox was probably not nearly as passionate about Parkinson’s until he go it – personally. You’ve heard people say something like – “Don’t take it personally.” One way to define this is for someone to not take something so serious. You and I have both seen times when people have taken something personally and times when they haven’t.

If you are a Christian (even if you are not), you can probably remember times when you heard something from the Bible and didn’t take it personally. It could’ve been during a church gathering, or someone quoting something that was in the Bible. Perhaps you may have even felt something tug on your heart to serve, give, volunteer, forgive, get involved, be baptized, heal your marriage or whatever. It may have even been a tug on the heart saying, “You really need to find a church home.” But, right when we hear it or feel it, it’s like we create our own little voice that says, “Yeah, but don’t take it personally.” Then we breathe just a little bit easier and say, “Whew, now that was a close one. I thought I might have to actually do something with that one.” Have you noticed that the Christians who have seemed to have experienced incredible life-change are the ones who have taken it very personally. They realize how much the Lord has done for them and, out of thankfulness, they can’t help but to follow the Lord (though no one is perfect in this, of course).

I don’t know where you are in all this. But I do believe that the Lord is tugging on your heart and placing opportunities right in front of you (and me). The Lord is giving you these steps for a reason. If you follow Him, He will lead you to a life that is more enriching than anything you could’ve dreamed up on your own. All you have to do is follow those tugs of the heart and opportunities that He gives you. He will see to it that you get where He wants us to go. The reason? He takes you very personally.

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One of the more famous people out of the Bible is a man named Moses. Perhaps you picture Charleton Heston and maybe you visualize the cartoon Moses out of The Prince of Egypt. Of all that Moses did, he is probably most famous for the incredible story where he parted the Red Sea. Since that day, more people than could be counted have imagined what that could really have been like. That being said, while many people believe the Lord still does miracles, most of us just don’t believe He’ll do them for us. But what if He wanted to?
Now we must start by saying that miracles often look different than we’d think but they are miracles nonetheless. Everyone of us would say that we could use a few miracles but most just don’t think they will ever happen. I have some news for you…Moses didn’t think so either. To make a long story short, Moses was past his prime and had blown it…big time! One day he is doing everyday stuff and he sees something unusual…a burning bush. What was unusual was not that it was burning but that this burning bush was not being burned up. As He approaches, the Lord tells Him to take His shoes off. While I’m not going to explain what this was all about, I want to point out that this was before the whole Red Sea thing. Now, Moses taking his shoes off isn’t exactly what would be put on the highlight reel but let me ask you something…
Do you feel a tug on your heart to do something small and just maybe it is from the Lord? I don’t know you, but maybe your thinking – “How could I possibly know if it is from the Lord?” Well, it’s hard to explain because they are subtle and we do have to be careful because we could try to find “a sign” in anything. But, from my experience, it sometimes shows itself in a tug on the heart to do something good but that we’d not ever tell ourselves to do. It can be things like:
–Checking out some churches till you find the one that is right for you.
–Forgiving someone (might even be yourself).
–Helping someone or getting help.
–Reaching out to someone that we don’t feel like reaching out to.
–Working toward healing a marriage.
–Doing that thing that doesn’t makes sense, is unappealing or that you are afraid to do.
–Giving your life to the Lord once and for all.
You know what? It really might be an everyday something that doesn’t seem like it has a lot of significance. Let me ask you something…What if that simple little thing is the beginning of a miracle that God is going to do in your life? You might crinkle (not sure if that’s a word) your forehead and just think, “I don’t think so…that’s just everyday stuff.” Let me tell you a secret. It is in the everyday stuff that God does His biggest miracles. It’s often the relationship, the circumstance or the struggle we’ve never been able to overcome. But most people just shrug off this tug of the heart and they miss out on what the Lord wants to do. What do you think…is it time for you to follow that tug of the heart? You may wonder it really would make any difference at all. Well, let me close with this: Let’s remember that before Moses parted the Red Sea, He had to first take His shoes off. If you want to experience the miracles the Lord has for you, you have to be willing to first take a little step. It may not end up looking like we’d ever think or even pick. The biggest miracle is not what He does around us. The biggest miracle is what He does in us. That, my friend, is good news.

Ray Miranda
Pastor of the Story church in Wylie

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All verses in the English Standard Version.

“Have faith in God. Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” Mark 11:22-24

“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.” James 1: 5-8

“What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.” James 4:1-3

“I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life. And this is the confidence that we have toward Him, that if we ask anything according to His will He hears us. And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of Him.” 1 John 5:13-15

“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:1-2

“If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” John 15:7

“Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37:4

“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Matthew 6:33

“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”  Philippians 4: 4-7

“It without faith it is impossible to please Him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that He exists and that He reward those that earnestly seek Him.” Hebrews 11:6











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