Fear is a Liar

 

“Fear not, O land, be glad and rejoice, for the Lord has done great things!” Joel 2:21

God doesn’t want us to go through life afraid. In fact, the Bible offers daily reminders. The phrase “fear not” appears 365 times in Scripture!

How much more reassurance do we need? The message is clear: If we trust Him, we can cast all fears aside.

Maybe easier said than done. Who doesn’t feel fearful every now and then?

The fear-inducing possibilities are many: failing to live up to others’ expectations. Not having enough money. Making wrong choices in business, or marriage, or even buying a house or car. Don’t forget speaking in public – cited by many as their second-greatest fear, behind only death.

Being fearful doesn’t make you a bad person. It makes you human. God created us all in His image. Still, we inevitably sin, so will always fall short of perfection.

We can’t control when we feel fear. We can, however control our response to it.

Ears Open or Shut?

“You shall not fear them, for it is the Lord your God who fights for you.”Deuteronomy 3:22

We’ve all known pathological liars. These people, for whatever reason, cannot be truthful.

Maybe they boasted about their swollen bank accounts, even as they never seemed to have money for lunch. They bragged of the beautiful people they dated – who, for some reason, you never met. They prattled endlessly about the exotic places they’d vacationed … yet didn’t have photos.

The truth eventually caught up. It always does. By this time, perhaps you’d distanced yourself from the person.

You might have blamed yourself, though, for the time you spent validating their untruths. You suspected they were all hot air, yet still kept their company. Maybe you feel gullible, or foolish. It’s easy to beat ourselves up. Hindsight is always illuminating.

Just like these former acquaintances, fear is a liar. God tells us that fear is a tool our enemies use. When we listen to fearful thoughts in our head, we validate them. Grant them an audience, and Satan starts talking.

Fear can be crippling. Once it takes hold, we’re enslaved. It’s a ball and chain on our lives.

So don’t listen. Fear is a liar. It’s like the pathological person we finally ditched. There was nothing in the relationship for us.

Instead, trust that God has a plan. He loves and strengthens us. We can believe His voice of truth … or fall for the fears and doubts that Satan spreads.

Bravery is about feeling fear, and advancing nonetheless. Don’t listen to that fear. You won’t go far with a chain and leg shackle.

Cast them into the fire, though, and the path becomes wide open. Fear not … and enjoy the journey.

(If you’re ready to embrace Christ, He’s ready for you. Visit C Suite for Christ to join in Christ-centered fellowship with other professionals. Submit a prayer request for a pressing need in your life. Follow C Suite for Christ on LinkedIn and Facebook. Questions? Contact Paul M. Neuberger at (414) 313-8338 or [email protected])

Rescue Those in Need

 

“The Lord will rescue his servants; no one who takes refuge in him will be condemned.” – Psalms 34:22

If you were in France in mid-1940, the future looked bleak.

The German blitzkrieg had torn through once-vaunted French defenses. Paris was threatened (and soon occupied). Defeat was a question of “when.”

With British and French armies cut in half by the German advance, tens of thousands of Allied troops were stranded near the northwest French seaport of Dunkirk. German forces weren’t far away. The sea lie at their backs. They had no place to go.

With disaster looming, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill issued a stirring call to arms, closing with “We shall never surrender.” He asked British civilians to help rescue the beleaguered soldiers at Dunkirk. Despite the very real possibility they might never return, thousands responded.

A flotilla of more than 700 watercraft, many nothing more than pleasure boats, crossed the English Channel. Over a nine-day span beginning May 26, nearly 340,000 British and French troops boarded and sailed to safety. The rescue was called a “miracle.”

What if these brave British civilians hadn’t stepped up? The sea at Dunkirk would have run red with blood. History would have been altered, and geopolitics perhaps changed forever.

But they did … and their actions hold lessons for all people of faith.

Who Needs Rescuing?

“Rescue the weak and needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.” – Psalms 82:4

Many people face a spiritual Dunkirk. A hostile, confrontational world has left them anxious and uncertain. Despite more means to connect with others than have ever existed, they feel isolated and lonely. Fear and uncertainty loom over their lives.

These people don’t know Jesus. Though seeking escape, they can’t find light in the darkness. Yet, they desperately need deliverance. Are we to turn a blind eye to them?

Some would contend we’re not in a position to help. We’re not clergy or counselors, after all. How are we qualified to pull these souls from the abyss?

Proverbs 24:10-11 offers guidance: “If you falter in a time of trouble, how small is your strength! Rescue those being led away to death; hold back those staggering toward slaughter.”

Consider the record rates of suicide, or people suffering from depression and similar challenges. There simply aren’t enough “experts” to step in. 

How can we ignore the untold number of souls in need of rescue? We, as Christians, are called into the breach … just as Winston Churchill asked his citizens to do.

Launching Our Boats

“Rescue me from the mire, do not let me sink; deliver me from those who hate me, from the deep waters.”Psalms 69:14

The onus is on us to rescue those trapped, and facing spiritual death. We must respond to our Heavenly Father’s command.

As Christians, we fight with love and mercy. Being sinners ourselves, we wade into battle for the broken souls in our communities. These people don’t need messengers who are perfect. They need disciples who are passionate.

In Matthew 14, Jesus invites Peter out of his boat for a stroll across the water. Similarly (and conversely), we are called out of the water and into our boats. We can invite those who are flailing and drowning in with us. We can save them from spiritual death.

How big is your boat? How many can you rescue? Perhaps you won’t know until you begin. The certainty, though, is that many will perish if we don’t answer God’s call.

(If you’re ready to embrace Christ, He’s ready for you. Visit C Suite for Christ to join in Christ-centered fellowship with other professionals. Submit a prayer request for a pressing need in your life. Follow C Suite for Christ on LinkedIn and Facebook. Questions? Contact Paul M. Neuberger at (414) 313-8338 or [email protected])

Change the Narrative

Image courtesy of LinkedIn

 

“But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.” – 2 Timothy 3:1-5

Are we in the last days?

Turn on TV news, or scroll through social media, and you might think so. Much of the discourse resembles characterizations described by Paul in his letter to the missionary Timothy.

People are angry. Intolerant. Loud and boastful. Unwilling to listen to others. Love of self, money and pleasure controls their lives.

Paul warned of terrible times in the last days. People would live wrongly and ignore God’s commands. Avoid them, he advised, lest you get sucked into their decadence.

Is this where we find ourselves? Staring down hordes who have turned from God, and are closed off to all but their own beliefs?

Maybe. Yet within every crisis lies opportunity.

God reminds that every one of us are created in His image. Let’s not be quick to write off others. Instead, let’s embrace the Great Commission, and seek to make disciples of even those who have strayed.

Let Us Speak Differently

“A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” – Proverbs 15:1

“Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger” – James 1:19

“Whoever restrains his words has knowledge, and he who has a cool spirit is a man of understanding.” – Proverbs 17:27

Consider these verses. What do they all have in common?

This guidance from Scripture runs contrary to our current environment, where people compete over who can shout the loudest, or win an argument at all costs. These passages counsel us to hold our tongues, and first listen and consider.

Herein lies our opportunity to share truth and the Good News. We can model the love of Jesus. By acting as true disciples, we offer a stark contrast to societal cacophony. Is it possible that many, worn out by the tumult, will not see a difference … and find it appealing?

Let’s first seek to walk in others’ shoes. Try to grasp the pain that makes them lash out.

Rather than respond in kind to sharp tongues, ask insightful questions: How did you come to this belief? Who told you the facts on which you base your statements? What are the perspectives of those who disagree?

Enact the 7-Second Rule: Wait seven seconds before responding. Let words sink in. Allow the Holy Spirit to shape an answer. Permit God to guide you in de-escalating conflict.

These are merely tactics to build bridges. The bigger picture – the part that really matters – is changing the narrative of anger and vitriol that seems to dominate the public square.

How can we do so? Listen actively. Show empathy. Respond lovingly. Who might notice, and see a new (and better) way forward?

This is our opportunity to demonstrate God’s healing power. As Romans 12:9 advises, “Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good.”

The other option? We can seek to win arguments … but if we lose souls in the process, what have we won?

(If you’re ready to embrace Christ, He’s ready for you. Visit C Suite for Christ to join in Christ-centered fellowship with other professionals. Submit a prayer request for a pressing need in your life. Follow C Suite for Christ on LinkedIn and Facebook. Questions? Contact Paul M. Neuberger at (414) 313-8338 or [email protected])

Release Your Worries

 

“Count it all joy, my brethren, when you meet various trials, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.” – James 1:2-3

It’s easy to worry one’s way through life.

Relationships. Money. Health. Career. Are any of these parts of our lives devoid of concerns?

Let’s not overlook larger fears, as well, over which we have even less control: economic security. Conflicts here and abroad. Environmental threats.

Day-to-day pressures can seem overwhelming. Joys can be hard to count. Worry takes over. Does anyone enjoy feeling this way?

Probably not – yet James writes that we should find joy in such trials. Our faith becomes more steadfast because of them. We can derive strength, and hope, and perseverance.

Everyone is in, approaching or leaving a crisis. It’s how life works. The critical part is how we manage the related stress, worries and fears. Do we trust God to guide us?

The Hidden Message in Our Prayers

“Night and day we pray most earnestly that we may see you again and supply what is lacking in your faith.” – 1 Thessalonians 3:10

Our prayers are revealing. Do you “worry” your prayers? Do they sometimes begin with “Just,” like a wheeler-dealer cutting a deal with the Lord? As in “Just let this happen, and I’ll do this in return?” Seriously?

Don’t put God in a box. Scripture promises He will do all abundantly for us. He fills in our deficiencies, which are often laid bare when we fail at something. To borrow a popular saying: God doesn’t choose the qualified, he qualifies the chosen.

Yes, this is indeed how He works. When our prayers are pleading and worrying, instead of trusting, we fail God. If “Just” enters the picture, it’s a neon warning sign to refocus, and believe bigger.

God is a finisher. He responds to our pleas for help, without condescending. When we

don’t know what we’re doing, or where we’re going, He leads us. His wisdom is profound, unceasing, and incomprehensible.

At the Last Supper, Jesus told his disciples that He was the vine, and they the branches; apart from Him, they could do nothing.

Thus, we should not hesitate to ask God for assistance. He will respond. He will grant us mercy. He will grant forgiveness. Of all these, we should have no worries.

(If you’re ready to embrace Christ, He’s ready for you. Visit C Suite for Christ to join in Christ-centered fellowship with other professionals. Submit a prayer request for a pressing need in your life. Follow C Suite for Christ on LinkedIn and Facebook. Questions? Contact Paul M. Neuberger at (414) 313-8338 or [email protected])

Let God Break You Up

 

“You crown the year with a bountiful harvest; even the hard pathways overflow with abundance.” – Psalms 65:11

If you’ve ever planted a garden, or grass, you know the critical first step.

You have to loosen the soil. Really get in there and dig it up. Ignore this task, and failure inevitably follows.

Seeds left atop hard soil won’t germinate. They’ll wither in the sun, get washed away by rain, or be eaten by birds. They need to be worked into the soil, sometimes several inches deep, to access its nutrients and protection.

Tilling the soil has other benefits, too. Water and oxygen penetrate. Fertilizer reaches a depth where it nourishes young roots.

Farmers, who grow crops on a large scale, can go nearly a foot deep with their tilling machines. Thank heavens we amateur growers don’t have to put in such effort!

Thousands of years ago, many, many people farmed for a living. The Bible is filled with literal and metaphorical references to growing and harvesting. There’s a powerful lesson to be learned.

Are You Ready to Harvest?

“Those who plant in tears will harvest with shouts of joy.” – Psalms 126:5

God has a plan for every one of us. He wants us to reap a bountiful harvest of love, joy and fulfilment.

First, though, we need to be open to His planting. Like the soil, we can’t be hard and inflexible. We need to be broken up. The conditions for spiritual growth have to be created.

Similar to a farmer, God tills us at a deep level. He goes far into our souls. Only there can He plant the seeds to fulfil His plans for us.

Just like farmers who work long hours, God toils continuously. His will cannot be denied.
We’re not always open to his tilling, though.

The Need for Tilling

“Then the earth will yield its harvests, and God, our God, will richly bless us.” – Psalms 67:6

When life goes swimmingly, it can get easy to forget about God’s blessings. If challenges are few, so, often, is reflection. We get cocky. Our hearts become like the hard soil: infertile and unwelcoming.

Until, of course, inevitable difficulties arise: health issues. Marital problems. Business struggles. Financial stress.

Suddenly, we remember God’s presence in our lives. “What should I do?” we ask Him. “Don’t you love me anymore?”

Oh, He does … which is exactly why your comfortable existence has been interrupted. God is trying to tell you something. Yet your heart remains hard soil. Before you can hear Him, God has to do some tilling.

Embrace His work. God only tills us so we can grow. Be thankful that He is digging deep, to snap us out of our blissfully ignorant reverie. Nothing good grows there.

All this tilling has a purpose. God is working something wonderful in you. To make it happen, though, we often need to first be broken up, and opened to the elements that nurture growth. Understand this, and God’s message will become far clearer.

We are His gardens. God wants to plant seeds of discipleship. The more open we are to His tilling, the less we need to be broken up.

(If you’re ready to embrace Christ, He’s ready for you. Visit C Suite for Christ to join in Christ-centered fellowship with other professionals. Submit a prayer request for a pressing need in your life. Follow C Suite for Christ on LinkedIn and Facebook. Questions? Contact Paul M. Neuberger at (414) 313-8338 or [email protected])

God is Speaking. Are You Watching?

Image courtesy: rawpixel.com

 

“Very well then, with foreign lips and strange tongues God will speak to this people.” – Isaiah 18:11

Has God ever spoken to you?

If so, it wasn’t a message you literally heard. You probably remember a situation that occurred, or a person who entered your life, through which you felt God telling you something. Nothing was verbalized. Interpretation was everything.

Indeed, the notion of a loud, booming voice emanating from Heaven is fallacy. Nowhere in the Bible is this portrayed. Instead, God typically spoke through people or events. Those hearing had to have open hearts and minds, to listen and understand.

Especially today, with the endless cacophony from traffic noises to beeping phones, God’s literal voice would be hard to hear. Even if ready, we might still miss it.

Waiting to hear God speaking, in a voice that never comes, is frustration personified. So don’t make yourself crazy.

Instead, avoid listening with your ears for God. Use your eyes.

Keeping an Eye(s) Out

“For God speaks again and again, though people do not recognize it.” Job 33:14

Consider your life. Are you approaching forks in the road, where significant choices await?

Is your family facing challenges? Is your health hitting roadblocks? What’s going on in your business?

God speaks to us through life circumstances. Or people. Or opportunities that present themselves. You never know.

Pay attention, though, with your eyes open, and you will always “hear” Him. God’s guidance is rarely heavily cloaked. We have to be cognizant, which can be difficult amid life’s unending distractions and demands for attention.

Try this approach. Take five quiet minutes, every now and then, to ponder what God is telling you. Use the OPAL roadmap:

  • Observe events
  • Pause and ponder
  • Ask God what He’s trying to tell you
  • Listen

Watch, and You Shall Hear

“In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways.”Hebrews 1:1

Stepping off the Hustle and Bustle Train for even a short while can reap enormous dividends. See if your life doesn’t gain clarity.

Hearing God’s Word requires using our eyes. If this seems counterintuitive … well, it is. God’s message is highly unlikely to be audible. Rather, we might find it written on a chalkboard somewhere.

Or, perhaps in a flash of insight after a conversation. Or maybe in the resolution to a longstanding dilemma.

These are all life events. They double as God’s messengers. Even small ones, such as encountering a stranger on the street, can hold infinite wisdom. Watch for them.

Why? No booming, God-like voices are coming. Instead, He speaks in far more quiet, subtle ways.

Don’t pray for God to tell you what to do. Ask Him to open your eyes. Only then will you be able to truly listen.

(If you’re ready to embrace Christ, He’s ready for you. Visit C Suite for Christ to join in Christ-centered fellowship with other professionals. Submit a prayer request for a pressing need in your life. Follow C Suite for Christ on LinkedIn and Facebook. Questions? Contact Paul M. Neuberger at (414) 313-8338 or [email protected])

Yes, Let’s Be Crazy for Christ!

Image courtesy of Crazy 4 Christ Ministry.

 

“If it seems we are crazy, it is to bring glory to God. And if we are in our right minds, it is for your benefit.” 2 Corinthians 5:13

Every entrepreneur has heard the lines from would-be naysayers.

“You’re crazy to believe this can succeed.” “You’re crazy to quit a good job to do this.”
“You’re crazy to risk so much on this venture.”

For many risk-takers, this fuels their fire. What’s life without challenge … even if it means potentially losing nearly everything?

Yet, everyday people can be called “crazy” for very innocuous reasons – asking out a seemingly-unattainable love interest, perhaps, or buying a motorcycle or sports car they’ve long dreamt about.

The world is a timid, risk-averse place. Most people are afraid to step out. Afraid to pursue their dreams. Afraid to take chances. Afraid to share their true selves with others … for fear they’ll be judged, or maybe even called “crazy.”

Truth be told, “crazy” has conflicting identities. If someone is “crazy” about their spouse, or a new child, or even a sports team … well, isn’t this good? It means they’re passionate and dedicated, right? Who could argue with this?

Crazy Like a Christian?

“You will see hallucinations, and you will say crazy things.” Proverbs 23:33

The other side of “crazy,” though, is decidedly unflattering. It’s associated with language such as unstable, unhinged, mad, lunatic, “off their rocker” … you get the point.

From a faith perspective, “crazy” remains a two-sided coin. Thousands of devout Christians have been called “crazy” through the centuries … often by fearful, falsely-accusing opponents who sought to imprison them, or worse.

Yet, as Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians, being crazy for God is hardly a bad thing. Christians everywhere would do well to seek to bring him glory. It’s what we’re called to do!

The passive society we live in might call us crazy for bringing God into the office, or posting about Him on social media, or using Scripture in an e-mail signature. You’ll “offend” someone. Or potentially lose business. Or maybe even be sued.

Don’t be surprised – nor intimidated. The world around us doesn’t share a passion to glorify God, and spread His Word. It doesn’t grasp that people of faith share a bond with Christ that is in this world, yet not of this world. Our devotion transcends any earthly measure.

Is it “Crazy” to Save Others?

“The light disturbs the wicked and stops the arm that is raised in violence.”Job 38:15

We should live for God, and talk about God … even if others call us crazy (or worse). Why? We never know who might hear us, or see us, at a pivotal moment.

Consider the violence in our society. Look at those who go on shooting sprees at schools and businesses. These people don’t know God. What might be prevented if they were exposed to Him – and embraced Him – at a dark point, where their lives could still go in another direction? Might a single “crazy” Christian make a difference?

Those who believe we’re delusional to seek to “Cover the World in Christ” can do so. Let them.

We know that God’s great love can overcome huge obstacles. We’ve experienced it in our own lives. Let us never allow our faith to waver, regardless of how we’re labelled.

Will you be a crazy Christian? Ready to go nuts for Christ? Let’s do it. If others don’t join in, or even fight us, we’ll pray for their sanity.

(If you’re ready to embrace Christ, He’s ready for you. Visit C Suite for Christ to join in Christ-centered fellowship with other professionals. Submit a prayer request for a pressing need in your life. Follow C Suite for Christ on LinkedIn and Facebook. Questions? Contact Paul M. Neuberger at (414) 313-8338 or [email protected])

He’s Just Outside the Door

Who's behind the door?

“And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, la’ma sabach-tha’ni?” that is, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?”Matthew 27:46

As a little kid, were you ever scared when Mom or Dad tucked you in bed, kissed you goodnight and turned off the light?

Suddenly you were all alone. The darkness closed in. No telling what (or who’s) under the bed, or in the closet, or ready to crawl through the window. Worst of all, you can’t see them because … it’s dark!

By now, the tables have probably turned. You’re the one walking out of your kids’ rooms, turning out the lights. They might scream. Or cry. Or worse. They feel scared … alone … abandoned in the darkness … just like you did, decades ago.

It’s so hard not to rush in and comfort them. Yet you don’t. They need to outgrow their fear of the dark. Time does so, eventually. It’s part of growing up.

Even as adults, though, we have times where we feel like the little kid in the dark again – scared, lonely, and thinking we just don’t matter. Except, we’re not worried about something under the bed. No, the source of our fear might be on a spreadsheet, or a bank statement, or a medical diagnosis.

In these moments of crisis, it’s easy to feel like everyone, including God, has abandoned us. Even Jesus, in his last moments on the cross, beseeched God not to forsake him. The feeling isn’t limited to mere mortals.

Plunged Into Darkness

“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, so far from my cries of anguish?”Psalms 22:1

If we trust in God, we believe that He does things for us, not to us. Every occurrence in life has a purpose. Events happen for a reason. We might not see the “why” right away. Eventually, we do … though it might take years.

Whether we sense it or not, God is always right outside the door. The question is: Why?

Are we not letting Him into our lives? Have we gotten cocky or overly self-assured? Have we convinced ourselves that everything’s under control, and we can handle any curveball thrown our way? In other words … have we strayed?

This is usually when the lights go out. Something happens. We find ourselves in a dark place. The feelings, and fear, that we haven’t felt in decades returns. Everyone is gone. We’re alone … and it’s really, really scary.

Let in the Light

“Those who know your name trust in you, for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you.”Psalms 9:10

We’ve all experienced these dark places … and sometimes we need to be there. Only then, when a crack in the door opens, do we see the light that was always with us. No matter how long we’ve lost sight, God’s light returns.

Maybe, upon seeing it, we realize how long we’ve been in the dark. Better late, than never. Coming out can be difficult. Our spiritual eyes have to adjust to the light, all over again. Yet we know it’s the right place to be.

We understand that God has always been with us. It’s a matter of whether we let Him in, or keep Him outside the door.

If we do the former, we see God everywhere. He’s always on our mind. We have purpose, and joy, and fulfilment.

If the latter? Well, God will just keep waiting … outside the door. We know how to open it. How long we choose to be in the dark, and stay scared, is up to us.

(If you’re ready to embrace Christ, He’s ready for you. Visit C Suite for Christ to join in Christ-centered fellowship with other professionals. Submit a prayer request for a pressing need in your life. Follow C Suite for Christ on LinkedIn and Facebook. Questions? Contact Paul M. Neuberger at (414) 313-8338 or [email protected])

We Are Tools For His Purposes

Image courtesy of Village Missions.

“I cry out to God Most High, to God who will fulfill his purpose for me.”Psalm 57:2

Most everyone has at least a few tools. Some have wildly impressive collections, covering walls in their garages, or filling multiple drawer levels in wheeled cabinets.

Professionals such as carpenters, plumbers and auto mechanics boast tool kits with highly-specialized implements, some of which the average person would have little idea how to use. They put them to work repairing intricate problems, or creating structures where none stood before.

Most homeowners have a toolbox of some sort, with essentials needed for basic household tasks and repairs. Each tool has a purpose. A pliers serves a different need from a screwdriver, which serves a different need from a wrench, which serves a different need from a hammer.

These tools, wherever stored, are always ready for use. We can grab a few for a specific need, or the whole box if several are required.

Are You Ready to be Used?

“You didn’t choose me. I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce lasting fruit, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask for, using my name.”John 15:16

Have you ever considered yourself as a tool of God? Indeed, as John wrote, God chose us to accomplish his will and purposes on earth. We are His instruments.

It’s important to reiterate who chose whom, as well. We are entrusted to do God’s bidding, not the other way around. Follow His guidance, and we bear fruit.

Just like the many different types of tools, God seeks to achieve different things through different people. We can’t know our exact purpose. We have to trust His will. For, as Paul wrote in 1 Thessalonians 2:4, “Our purpose is to please God, not people. He alone examines the motives of our hearts.”

Thus, we are expected to follow the path that God lays before us, without fighting or resisting. We are but broken, humbled beings. He is God! Do we somehow believe that we know better?

His Purposes are Rightful Ones

“What sorrow awaits those who argue with their Creator. Does a clay pot argue with its maker? Does the clay dispute with the one who shapes it, saying, ‘Stop, you’re doing it wrong!’ Does the pot exclaim, ‘How clumsy can you be?”Isaiah 45:9

God created us as tools for His holy purposes. We are perfectly created for His tasks.

When we accept this commission, and surrender to God’s preordaining for us, life improves. We feel peace. We find meaning. We experience joy in new ways, and in new places. We see the world through an entirely different lens.

We are the Heavenly Father’s tools. He will use us in good ways, to repair humanity’s fractures and construct new houses to praise His name. Jesus was a carpenter, after all. Let us never stop partnering with him to build the holy kingdom on earth, ever higher and ever brighter.

(If you’re ready to embrace Christ, He’s ready for you. Visit C Suite for Christ to join in Christ-centered fellowship with other professionals. Submit a prayer request for a pressing need in your life. Participate in a virtual prayer session to ask God to be with those who have submitted requests. Follow C Suite for Christ on LinkedIn and Facebook. Questions? Contact Paul M. Neuberger at (414) 313-8338 or [email protected])

Your Debt is Paid

“And this is the manner of the release: Every creditor shall release what he has lent to his neighbor. He shall not exact it of his neighbor, his brother, because the Lord’s release has been proclaimed.” – Deuteronomy 15:2

Debt can be crushing. The accumulated debt from credit cards, a mortgage, a car or two, student loans, maybe a line of credit … it can all feel like a 500-pound weight on one’s shoulders. Do we ever escape this burden?

The average American is more than $50,000 in debt. Financial hardship can make people up to 20 times more likely to commit suicide. Debt is increasingly realized as a catalyst for depression.

This doesn’t even take into account our national debt of more than $30 trillion, brought on by profligate government spending. Too much has been promised to too many, by irresponsible “leaders” who know they won’t be left holding the bag.

Will future generations really be better off? Or will our mountain of money owed, become an avalanche that buries their dreams?

Whom Do You Really Owe?

“Be not one of those who give pledges, who put up security for debt.” – Proverbs 22:26

Here’s the good news: Personal debt can be cleaned up. It takes a lot of discipline, and sacrifice, and often a strong dose of humility. Fixing the balance sheet is possible, though.

Have you ever considered your debt in the spiritual realm, which is far more important than earthly nickels and dimes?

We are all inherently broken souls. We want to do good, yet continuously slip up. Sins of the flesh, especially, can be hard-to-resist wrongful acts. Look no further than King David and Bathsheba, told in both 2 Samuel and 1 Kings.

Our sins of thought, word and deed add up to significant faith debt. Those chits on the wrong side of the ledger just keep growing. The weight gets heavier and heavier. It’s easy to feel hopeless about the burden, and inevitably doomed to hell.

So, are we?

A Debt Resolved – and Forgiven

“A certain moneylender had two debtors. One owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. When they could not pay, he cancelled the debt of both. Now which of them will love him more? Simon answered, ‘The one, I suppose, for whom he cancelled the larger debt.’ And he said to him, ‘You have judged rightly.’” – Luke 7:41-43

Whether you’re the larger debtor or the smaller one – and who among us really knows? – good news awaits.

God has forgiven us. Christ died a ghastly, brutal death to release us from our sins. Our debt has been paid in full. Our balance sheets are clean.

Consider the redeeming words of Colossians 2:13-14: “And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by cancelling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross.”

OK, let out the big “WHEW!” Wipe the sweat off the forehead. Shake the tension from the neck and shoulders. This should be the pinpoint definition of “relief.”

Now, some questions: What will you do with this newfound freedom? How will you reach the full potential that God has granted you?

How will you show God your appreciation? Are you willing to tell others about His amazing, all-forgiving “debt elimination service?”

It’s up to you. You’ve been granted a reprieve from the trouble (and searing heat) that surely awaited down the road. We’re all free, thanks to Jesus.

It’s the ultimate “weight off our back” … as well as the ultimate gift we’ll ever receive.

(If you’re ready to embrace Christ, He’s ready for you. Visit C Suite for Christ to join in Christ-centered fellowship with other professionals. Submit a prayer request for a pressing need in your life. Participate in a virtual prayer session to ask God to be with those who have submitted requests. Follow C Suite for Christ on LinkedIn and Facebook. Questions? Contact Paul M. Neuberger at (414) 313-8338 or [email protected])