What Kind Of Security System Do You Have?

“Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and will not be afraid; for the Lord God is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation.’ With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation. And you will say in that day: ‘Give thanks to the Lord, call upon his name, make known his deeds among the peoples, proclaim that his name is exalted. Sing praises to the Lord, for he has done gloriously; let this be made known in all the earth. Shout, and sing for joy, O inhabitant of Zion, for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel.’” – Isaiah 12:2-6.

It is time for the college football national championship game. The stage is set as Los Angeles prepares to welcome more than 70 thousand fans downtown for the College Football Playoff National Championship game. As coaches, players, and fans get ready, many security preparations are taking place behind the scenes that include K-9s to search the bleachers, team locker rooms, and club-level suites. All vendors entering the stadium will be vetted and searched. All these measures are to ensure the night goes smoothly and the fans feel secure.

Security is a concern for most people, Christians included. When we give our lives to Jesus Christ, He becomes our safety and our security. Because of Him, we can risk living life to the fullest and be all that we were created to be. He keeps us secure, even when we feel insecure. The prophet Isaiah points us toward the future, showing us a picture of what it means to trust in God. The reality is that our security can only be found in God. We should solely place our confidence and security in God alone. Not in our jobs, possessions, status, and even relationships. Because if God is not your security, then security will always seem fleeting.

Everyone was faced with this reality when the COVID pandemic happened. People were forced to face their fear of losing the things they placed their security upon. Most especially with their careers. The closing of millions of businesses around the world resulted in millions also losing their jobs. Fear of death engulfed nations amidst the realization that our security could be gone in the blink of an eye. God is the only one who can make us feel free from fear and anxiety.

In 2023, encounter the Lord’s presence through prayer, Scripture reading, listening to worship music, in small group conversations.  Each is a means of minimizing the stress of insecurity and increasing our trust in the Lord.

Discussion questions:

  1. How often do you feel genuinely secure? Free from fear or anxiety? Why do you think that is?
  2. Do you believe God wants you to be secure? What can you do this week to trust God a little more?

Midlife Blues

“So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while. These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.” –  1 Peter 1:6-7

Can I be middle-aged already? Really? Middle age” has been described as that period of life that you never want to enter and you never want to leave. Midlife brings new insecurities and awakenings to long-dormant regrets. Many of us face empty nests and the prospect of, in effect, starting over with spouses. Many of us face the reality of aging parents and any fears or worries or responsibilities that come with that. And of course, we daily face the reality of lost youth, waning strength, and more difficult processes for maintaining health. Time moves a lot faster the older you get. Doesn’t sound all that good, does it?

Joshua 13:1 (KJV) addressed this subject: “Now Joshua was old and stricken in years; and the LORD said unto him, Thou art old and stricken in years, and there remaineth yet very much land to be possessed.” The “old and stricken” is not very reassuring, but it does remind us there is a lot left to do regardless of our age. Psalm 92: 14 confirms this: “Even in old age they will still produce fruit; they will remain vital and green.” In midlife, as in every stage of life, there are things we wish we had done. Fortunately, Christ doesn’t change our past, He redeems it. He is faithful to do that. He does not judge us by our actions but by His own, freely given to us in love.

In midlife, Christ is a companion through all the worries and stresses. As we get more serious about our health each decade we don’t have the strength and energy we did at 25. But Jesus is as strong as He’s ever been, and wherever we have to go or do, He will go with us. He will never leave me or forsake me.

In midlife, we have the opportunity to transfer some of our hard-earned wisdom to those coming along behind us. There are younger people seeking their way in life that we can mentor or minister to. They will benefit from people who can share their life experiences.

If you’re reaching middle age, work to continue strengthening your relationship with Jesus. He’ll be always there, waiting for you. Imagine yourself in those days of thinning hair, stubborn paunch, creaky bones, and joints, callouses of hand, and scars of heart, walking closely with the Lord.  It will make middle age something to savor.

Discussion Questions:

  1. What are your fears about old age? You can get wiser as you get older. What mistakes do you recall making in your younger days? What did God teach you? What would you do differently now?