The Next Five Minutes…

“So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

~ Matthew 6:34

The_Next_Five_MinutesI can’t breathe. A pounding fills my ears. Taking another single step requires a momentous effort. Truth be told, I don’t know if I can do this. Life has overwhelmed me; I am drowning in a sea of heartache and worry. Just the thought of tomorrow causes panic.

As a Christian, we are reminded God is control of our tomorrows and we need worry for nothing. But what if tomorrow seems like an eternity away? It is today’s struggles overcoming our resolve to trust in the Lord and His strength. We aren’t worried about what is coming down the road. What’s standing in front of us is mean, ugly, and ready to devour.

My sweet friend, I’ve been there. In those moments I’ve cried out to the Lord, asking for His wisdom and strength. I’ve questioned my ability to conquer the challenge before me and come through to the other side. The Lord’s response was an unexpected one, “My child. Don’t worry about tomorrow. Don’t worry about later today. Just pray, and focus on the next five minutes.”

The Lord knows me well. He knows my desire to see the bigger picture. He understands my weakness of seeking control; my foolish belief that if I could behold what’s coming down the road, and how long the battle will rage on, I would better endure the struggle I am facing. Thus He blinds me to these things, knowing greater comfort comes in trusting Him. He asks me to trust Him in the now.

The next five minutes are all that need hold my focus. For the next five minutes I am asked to breathe, pray, and be faithful. Five minutes. Not my tomorrow; not even the hours which fill my today. Just the next five minutes. I only need to hold for the next five.

When my five minutes have passed? “Again,” the Lord reminds me. “Be faithful in the next five minutes.” Before long, five minutes have turned into an hour; which has turned into ten. The day passes, and another begins.

In those five minutes, the Lord speaks to my heart; calming my fears and reminding me of Who is in control. I cannot change my tomorrow. I cannot change what is beyond my realm of influence. But, my God can. God is not asking me to face my giants alone. He is merely asking me to be faithful, no matter where He takes me. Filled with understanding, He does not ask me to look at all my days to come, and trust. He knows my limits. He asks me to trust Him now. In the here and now. In the next five minutes. And, should the Lord decide my journey is at an end… My reward will be trusting and waking in His presence.

For five minutes I can hold. For five minutes seems so small. I need only to trust and obey.

“Be anxious for nothing, 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 comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

~ Philippians 4:6-7

Your Turn!: Are you in the midst of a struggle, how can we pray for you?

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The Mediator

Whats_in_a_NameWhat’s in a name? A name is more than just something by which we are called; in a sense, it is our reputation. Did you know there are a multitude of names for God? Each name unique and powerful; the list is endless.

Join us on this exciting adventure through Scripture, where we will learn some amazing verses, talk about how those verses should affect our lives, and discuss some practical ways to make these names “real”.

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“For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus…” I Timothy 2:5

Mediators are only called when two people are in conflict and need resolution. The job of the mediator is to make peace between the parties. In I Timothy, we are reminded that we are at conflict with God and Christ is the one who makes peace.

Exactly how are we in conflict with God? We are sinners; people who are in dispute with God. God cannot abide sin and, therefore, cannot be in a relationship with those who are filled with sin. What is sin? Sin is a transgression of the law and rebellion against God. Every human is guilty of sin, we inherited this from Adam and commit sin on a daily basis. The just punishment for our sin is death and separation; an eternity apart from God.

God loved us so much He wanted to provide a way for us to once again be close to Him. There is nothing we could do to make things right with God; no amount of good works which could ever save us. Without someone to go before God on our behalf we would be without hope.

Enter Christ! For all those who believe in Him, Christ becomes their representative before God. Christ speaks on their behalf and makes peace with God for them. Christ took on our punishment Himself, making those who believe in Him righteous and just in the eyes of God. His mediation is the only means of salvation.

A frequently used symbol of peace is a dove. To give our children a visual reminder of Christ our Mediator, now would be a perfect opportunity to mix a batch of your favorite sugar cookies. Nab a dove cookie cutter at your local bakery supply shop and have some fun. Frost your cookies with white or gray frosting glaze. For an added touch, ‘place’ an olive branch in each dove’s mouth!

 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” John 3:16-17