I was lost in Cozumel. No directions, my Spanish was horrible, and this was the pre cellphone days. I had no idea where to go and really couldn’t ask for help. This man came up and waved me over to come to him. As I approached him, he had this big, friendly smile. I had been lost before and the people who waved me over meant harm for me. Could I trust this man? Would he really be willing to help me? Why would he help? For a moment going to him felt like the right thing to do and as I took a step, fear and doubt took over.

Just as I was cautious of this man’s help, there have been times in my life when I am afraid of God’s help, have you ever felt that way? When that happens, we don’t want to receive what He has for us. Jesus reaches out to us to give us life, love, and family, but circumstances we face cause us to remain in sin, fear, doubt and we don’t receive His help.

Think of Nathaniel’s words when Philip told him about Jesus, “What good can come from Nazareth?” (John 1:46). Sometimes we are stuck in our own little world and we just don’t see Jesus in our everyday life.

Maybe you can relate to the story of Cain and Abel (Gen. 4:1-12). In the story Cain did not receive what he wanted from God and his anger gave him a hard heart and led him to horrific sin. It is hard to hear the Shepherd’s voice when our heart has hardened towards God.

Sometimes we don’t want what God has because of plain old pride. Think of the parable Jesus told of the pharisee and the tax collector in Luke 18:9-14. There have been those days where I think, I am pretty good, I’m not as bad as those people God. When pride creeps in then we really want our own work/effort for blessing and not Jesus grace.

Yet our Savior waits patiently for us (1 Tim 1:16), laid down His life so even though pride creeps in, our hearts are hard, or we are stuck in negative thoughts, His love prevails (Rom. 5:8). Jesus loves you and is waiting for you to receive what He has; will you take a moment and think about what Jesus is doing for you? Will you thank Him for what He has done for you?

Jesus thank you for being with me always, being patient with me, help me see you and know you. Amen.

Jeremy Johnson
Pastor of Men’s Ministries

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