Sheptock, Rudy

Pastor Rudy Sheptock.

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Do you see the cup half full or half empty? As you embark upon the rest of 2020, are you ready to seize the day, or are you searching for the nearest bunker?  

Decisions like these separate optimists and pessimists. The optimist sees possibilities in the problems, and the pessimist sees problems in the possibilities. One sees open doors to opportunities, and the other sees only the size of the obstacles in the way, but as Christians, we should be known more for our faith than our fear. When you process the coming days through heaven's eyes, the greatest pitfalls can become a great potential for blessings. 

Whether we like it or not, outlook determines the outcome. If we concentrate only upon the doom and gloom, we are destined to become discouraged and behave as if we have already been defeated, but if we fix our eyes upon Jesus, perhaps we will witness the Lord turning graves into gardens and transforming trash into lasting treasures. Looking through the eyes of love certainly influences how we will tackle today and tomorrow. 

When we read the Scriptures, do we truly believe that God can do what He did then in our day?  

God took Moses’ blunders, and after a 40-year hiatus in the back wilderness, it made him one of the Bible’s greatest leaders. Jesus took Peter’s cowardice and the inability to complete a simple sentence to a slave girl and turned him into the most powerful preacher to deliver a sermon. The same God that took us broken and battered sinners and transformed us into His beloved and blameless people is still looking to work His miracles today.  

God can take any of us, no matter how bruised we may be, and make something wonderful for his glory. Our attitude towards what the Lord does today will influence what story unfolds around us tomorrow. 

Stop looking at what you don’t have and instead see the Lord. Stop listening to all we can’t do and let’s get busy with what God is waiting for us to accomplish now.  

God always starts with what we have before giving us what's needed. Are you willing to lay your abilities down so God can, within us, raise the muster needed to slay the giants that blaspheme our faith? Without faith, it is impossible to recognize the movements of the Almighty.  

Rather than try to impress Jesus with our resume, He would be more pleased if we would surrender our hearts to Him. Heroes are born not out of charismatic personalities, but out of simple men and women who choose to not stay stagnant. I am not a pawn on the chessboard of chance. I am a child under the influence of an awesome God. 

If you trust Jesus as your savior, you have everything required to bring light into the darkness. Instead of whining, why not start with an attitude of worship?  

God inhabits the praises of His people, and when we get a clear view of Him, the other challenges don’t seem as daunting as they did when we attempted to walk this adventure solo. Man’s agenda is to look to this world to satisfy a thirst it is unable to quench.  

God’s will for us is to find all that we lack in our relationship with Jesus. Whenever we prioritize being happy over the Lord making us holy, we aim for a prize that is no reward. If God is not the one who will greet you after this race, you are running along the wrong road.  

Anything less than eternity is passing away. We must not forfeit the crown of glory that God promises for those willing to wait upon the Lord because we impatiently choose to settle for the cheaper carnival trinkets currently available. 

The God of today is the way of the quick fix. When we need to know something, we want instant access to information. When we’re hungry, we settle for fast food. When pain hits, we want immediate relief, no matter what it costs.  

When wrongs occur, we want swift justice. When trying new things, we want immediate success. When starting a new job, we don’t want to begin in the mailroom. We want to go right to the top of the ladder, and when God does something we don’t understand, we want to know why. 

If God is a worthy deity, we figure He won’t dilly-dally, especially when we need Him, but the Lord is not the one on trial. We will never grow in faith unless we constantly pursue Jesus. If God doesn’t have a free hand to construct a masterpiece from our mess, we are selling our faith short. 

What are you singing today, and do you have a song at all? Have this year's events caused the church to lose its voice? I don’t think so.  

I believe that the remnants of Jesus' real followers will continue singing songs of praise, even in the setting of prison walls. Our song is not one that celebrates our circumstances. The inspiration of the tunes we croon comes from the Holy Spirit residing inside of us wherever we are.  

Sing it loud and live your faith boldly. The old Coke commercial used to say, “I’d like to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony.”  

Today’s church should be teaching the watching world that our praise songs are not funeral dirges, but symphonies of hope. This is no time to sing the blues. Today is the day to raise the praise.  

God is everything He claims to be, and one day, He will rid this world of sin, evil, death and pain. While we wait, God allows these factors to continue, and our precious promise is that God uses pain and problems to draw His children back to Himself.  

I know that being in His arms is the safest place, even in the middle of a hurricane. Where are you today? 

ED. NOTE: The author is the senior pastor of The Lighthouse Church, 1248 Route 9 South, Court House. 

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