Kevin Menezes

Loved and Saved by God alone to Love and Serve God alone.


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Let It Be Done

Kozzi.com

Kozzi.com

Two of Jesus’ twelve apostles caused Him more grief than all the others put together. The first was Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him. The second was Peter, who loved him.

Peter denied Jesus—thrice. He was as human as any of us, full of faults, weaknesses and doubts.

When Jesus walked on water, Peter wanted some of the action too. And he did actually walk on water before his doubts got the better of him. How many of us are like that? We ask God to help us accomplish our goals, and He does. But then we lose confidence in Him and start sinking. And yet, like a loving father, God reaches out His hand and pulls us out of the mess we so often get ourselves into. And He does it time and again, regardless of whether or not we perceive it and thank Him.

Peter was also confrontational. He caused Jesus, who had called him “the rock I will build my church on,” to rebuke him a little later saying “get behind me, Satan.” (Matthew 16:18-23). How many of us are like that? We think we have it all figured out. When God wants to do something for us His way, which is always perfect, we confront Him because we want it done our way. We do this despite knowing deep inside that God’s wisdom is several billion times more profound than our narrow insight, and that He has our best interests at heart. How many of us take comfort in just knowing that?

Yes, in many ways, we are like Peter, who reneged on his promise to stay true until the end and denied Jesus.

And yet, when Jesus restored him after the Resurrection, this same Peter became a man on fire. Peter had fallen too many times. He regretted it and yearned to do things differently. This time around he would not fail. This time around he would not be held back. This time around he had his mind on things of God. Peter was on a mission, and come hell or high water, none would stand in his way.

And what did Peter accomplish with that zeal burning in his heart? The Book of Acts says people would be healed as soon as his shadow fell on them. (Acts 5:15,16) Can you imagine that? Can you comprehend that level of grace and holiness? This is Peter we are talking about here, a man just like any other man. This is Peter, the denier, the doubter, the runaway—this is us we are looking at.

Peter’s shadow healed people!!! Just rest in that for a while.

What does this tell you? What does this mean? It means if Peter could reach that level of holiness, then we can too.

Yes! If you really love God and commit your life to Him, you too can become a miracle-worker. You will walk by and people will be healed. You will command the clouds and the winds and they will obey. You will make things happen with a word—by simply wishing it. People will perceive the love of God flowing through you when you speak. Quarrelsome, angry people will suddenly become docile in your presence. Lions and snakes—even the actual ones—will start feeling peaceful and happy when you are around. It may be snowing outside, but in your house, there will be sunshine. All things are possible with God. (Matthew 19:26) But first, God must indwell in you.

Let me make it easier for you to comprehend my point. Consider this hypothesis: You want to buy a fast car. You walk into the office of the CEO of a sports car company and ask him to help you pay for it. What are the chances he’ll agree? Zero, right? Chances are you would get kicked out at the same speed those cars travel at. But hold on for a second. What if you were the CEO’s son? What then? It goes without saying that you would get a sanction ASAP. No questions asked.

Why?

Because relationship matters, you see.

In the same way, if your one-to-one relationship with God is that strong, ask for anything and it will be given to you—possibly even before you are done with the asking. (Read John 14:12-14).

So it is all up to you, you see. Our Heavenly Father is a prayer-answering God. If your prayers are not getting answered, sit down in your closet and ask why? More often than not, our own iniquities and sins form a wall separating us from our Creator. Like the book of Isaiah says: “Surely the arm of the LORD is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear.” (Isaiah 59:1,2)

If that is the case, it is about time you start tearing that wall down. The grass is undeniably greener on the other side and you don’t want to miss it.

Know this: It is possible for all of us to rise to new heights, just as Peter did. And the best part is God wants that too. The most powerful force in the cosmos is on our side, an eager ally more than willing to help us. All we have to do is say, “Yes! So be it, Lord. Let it be done unto me according to Your holy and perfect will.”


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Don’t Jump Out

One day Jesus said to His disciples, “Let’s go over to the other side of the lake.” So they got into a boat and set out. (Luke 8:22)

Jesus makes this open offer to practically everyone. Life is tough and sometimes it almost seems like we are in a warzone. Lost! Stuck! Stranded! And then Jesus shows up in His truck and says, “I am going to the other side. I am inviting you to join me. Do you want to come along?”

The ones who respond “Yes!” are “saved”.

Now, here’s the thing: When you decide to give God control over your destiny, you don’t get to choose the route. You just have to sit back and trust Him to get you to the Promised Land.

It’s like you’re in the truck and it does not have any windows. You don’t know where you are, how much progress you’ve made, or how soon you’ll get there. You feel the bumps along the road and you wonder what’s happening. You wonder when you’ll get to the other side—if ever.

That’s exactly what happened to the disciples who got into the boat with Jesus. Not long after they had begun sailing to the other side, they were hit by a storm. The boat was swamped, and they were in great danger. (Luke 8:23) The disciples, being human like all of us, panicked and woke Jesus, who rebuked the wind and the waves and calmed the storm. Then, He asked the disciples, “Where is your faith?”

There is a lesson for us in this. We feel the bumps along the way and yes, it’s very inconvenient. But God cares about our safety more than our comfort. He said He would get you to the other side, and He will do it. He is not going to let you down. God is driving and He knows the best and safest route out—after all, He created this place. Where is your faith? Just sit tight and stop panicking. Stop grumbling. And whatever else you do, don’t jump out until you reach your destination.

The good thing is God does not leave us in the dark altogether. Every once in a while, God lets us know we are getting closer. Like when you get married, or when you hold your newborn baby for the first time, or when you receive an unexpected promotion. These are milestones along the way. They assure us that God is still in control…that we haven’t strayed, and that He is still watching out for us. They remind us that with each passing day we are getting closer to the Other Side. That’s how life is.

Sometimes God leads us down roads we never intended to take, but we always end up exactly where we intended to be. That’s the beauty of it.

It took the Israelites 40 years to get to the Promised Land—mostly because they kept grumbling and making a nuisance of themselves. Sometimes, they flatly refused to move ahead. But God did eventually get them to the place He promised to give them.

How long will it take you to reach the Promised Land? Are you going to murmur and grumble all along the way and make things difficult for yourself and everybody else? Or are you going to stop working against yourself, trust God, and be good and patient—grateful that God actually bothered to save you in the first place?

The choice is yours!


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Covered?

Photo: Kozzi.com

Photo: Kozzi.com

My dear wife Sharel and I sat down for dinner at the end of a long day. Moshe, our infant, watched patiently as the food was served, but the minute we started eating, he threw a tantrum. Although full, our little darling wanted some of what we were having too. Tsk! Tsk!

Like all parents, we want our son to have the best. In fact, I would have loved for him to have some of the good things set on the table. But his digestive system is not ready for all foods yet. Moshe does not realize this though, and probably wonders why his loving father won’t give him the good things he desires.

As I thought about that, a light came on inside me. Don’t we give God a hard time too by constantly nagging Him about the things we want? It is not that God does not want us to have good things. However, He knows that some of the things we desire may do us more harm than good. Or maybe we are simply not ready for them yet. Maybe this is not the right time to buy that house or car you are eying. Maybe God knows things will get easier when prices drop in a few weeks. He can see the big picture—what’s coming down the road—and He wants the best for us.

Sharel set Moshe down a little later to take care of some end-of-day chores. Since I was really tired, she told me not to bother about him. “Just relax. I have him covered,” she said.

Soon, she seemed lost in her work. So I kept a wary eye on our little guy who only seemed intent on crawling towards the most hazardous places in the house. I was about to swing into action when he was just an arm’s length away from the workstation, but Sharel suddenly snooped down on him, picked him up and set him down in a safe place. And she did this time and again.

Suddenly, another light came on. When we are in the midst of a crisis, doesn’t it seem that God is too busy to care? Don’t we wonder if He is even aware of what we are going through?

If we turned to Him in prayer, I am sure we would hear Him saying, “Just relax. I got you covered.”

God loves us. And He allows us to deal with life’s challenges because He knows that if He does not give us enough room to crawl, we will never learn to walk.

And since He has given us the ability to distinguish good from bad as well as free will, it is only fair that we bear the consequences of our actions. But when we are in danger of real harm, God snoops down, picks us up and sets us in a safe place.

I thanked God for using Moshe to show me things from His perspective. I also rested easy that night knowing Someone up there is watching over me and He has me covered.