Tag Archives: Racing with Jesus Ministries

UNBELIEF

By Rev Don Rivers

We left off talking about action; doing something. I think it is safe to say we are all ready to do something! I’m watching the long-range forecast of higher temps and no precipitation and I feel the cabin fever starting to melt away. How about you? Are we looking ahead for better days or are we stuck in our unbelief? Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

The verse that we have referred to many times over the last few weeks also helps us as we look ahead and make preparations for the new racing season;

Hebrews 11:1; Faith is being sure of what we hope for. It is being sure of what we do not see.

I know we can all be a little gun shy when we look back over the last year, life changed quite a bit. The things we were sure of all of a sudden disappeared. For many of us our world view has been challenged and redefined. The question remains, how do we move forward?

For many of us we have spent the last few weeks planning. Looking at the race schedules and deciding which events we will compete in and attend. Getting things in order to pursue our passion. This season however presents a different challenge. There is a nagging doubt. What if?

Try to think of it like we do the weather; we don’t have control over what the weather is on raceday, but we prepare as if we are going to race. We don’t wait until we are sure the event will happen, then it will be too late to get ready. As we look ahead to this season it will be different, a work in progress but I believe it will happen. I have hope.

But how do we get past our unbelief and find hope in the future? We do it by turning to God. We turn to him because He is the only one who knows what tomorrow brings. We can look to the signs and circumstances but they sometimes are false indicators of what the future holds.

As we move into our preparation time for the upcoming Easter Holiday the question is, what if God does something that we have never seen before? What if He shows us something new? What if he breathes life back into something that was dead? Would you believe it?

John 12:44-46; Jesus shouted to the crowds, “If you trust me, you are trusting not only me, but also God who sent me. For when you see me, you are seeing the one who sent me. I have come as a light to shine in this dark world, so that all who put their trust in me will no longer remain in the dark.

How well do you know your house? How about your shop? Well enough to find your way in the dark? I didn’t think so. We all try, we all think we remember where things are. Then there is that one thing we forgot and bam, we stumble and fall. Funny thing is we still don’t turn on the light. We will attempt to feel our way through the dark over and over again. Jesus says, turn on the light!

Now the challenge for us is, do we believe Jesus knows the way, can he guide my path? We struggle to give control over to him. We do not want to submit to His authority. We think that doing so requires that we give up the things we “enjoy”. Nothing could be further from the truth. Those thoughts are given birth in unbelief. They have their root in our prideful desire to decide for ourselves which way is right.

Proverbs 14:12; There is a way that appears to be right (to us), but in the end it leads to death.

One thing this past year has brought into clarity is what is truly important, what we cannot live without. I’m not saying it was easy and I’m not saying we didn’t struggle with what our time of isolation revealed in us. I am saying that we were put into circumstances that challenged each of us to determine what is truly valuable to us and life itself. My conclusion is that we see things differently, priorities have changed, moving forward we have a new perspective. My prayer is that our unbelief is overcome by faith, our fear is replaced by faith. Not in our abilities or our control, but in the one who has absolute authority and control, Jesus.

John 12:47-50; (Jesus continued) I will not judge those who hear me but don’t obey me, for I have come to save the world and not to judge it. But all who reject me and my message will be judged on the day of judgment by the truth I have spoken. I don’t speak on my own authority. The Father who sent me has commanded me what to say and how to say it. And I know his commands lead to eternal life; so I say whatever the Father tells me to say.”

Jesus helps us understand that he is in the saving business, not the condemning business. We are made to believe that God is mad at us and punishing us for the things we do that do not honor him. That is not true. Jesus said that time will come, but right now we need to get you off the merry go round and get you moving is a direction that leads to life, eternal life.

Don’t misunderstand, there are consequences for each decision we make. Those consequences can be very uncomfortable and challenging if our decisions are based on serving ourselves. We made those decisions that led us into those circumstances, don’t blame God. Someone once asked, “What’s He saving for?” He is saving us from ourselves.

Jesus reveals his plan and offers it to us;

John 10:10; 10 The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.

The choice remains ours; We can stumble around in the dark or we can walk in the light. I think we should look ahead with the hope that God can and will save us from ourselves. That faith in him is what we need to overcome our fear. Let us commit to follow the light along the path that leads to a rich and satisfying life, a life that demonstrates faith in Christ.

Until next time, remember God loves you and Jesus is Lord over Auto Racing! God Bless. Remember, that your prayerful support and donations helps us continue this ministry. Thank You.

Faith Requires Action

By Rev Don Rivers

As we close out our Winter Bible Study and our discussion of Faith there is one final thing we need to cover, Faith Requires Action. We need to do something! Not just anything, but actions that reveal and support the faith we claim to have. Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

A few weeks back I read something that challenged me. God has led you to the edge. As you stand there and contemplate your next step you realize the reality of faith. You have to take that leap of faith and to do it you have to trust God. His promise is that He will catch you or teach you to fly! Do we trust Him? Remember this verse?

Hebrews 11:1; Faith is being sure of what we hope for. It is being sure of what we do not see.

Without trust and faith, we are stuck in the garage. We would be hesitant out on the track. There is a time to test things out and make sure everything is as it should be. Then there is a time to run the race. Having faith in the way the car is prepared goes a long way toward winning the race.

Back in the day, before the 5-minute rule, you could make most any repairs to the car and send it back out on the track to collect some additional laps and maybe gain a spot or two. This was significant when the season was one long championship run and every lap counted. I admire the faith of some of those drivers, putting everything into it as long as they could with a pieced together, bandaged up car.

Opportunity exists but if we don’t have the faith to head into the unknown, we will never experience the presence and blessing of God. I don’t know how that car held together but we made it. It was a wing and a prayer.

James reminds us;

James 2:14-17; What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone? Suppose you see a brother or sister who has no food or clothing, and you say, “Good-bye and have a good day; stay warm and eat well”—but then you don’t give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do?

So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless.

We can say we have faith but if it doesn’t result in action it is useless. We see that in some people’s lives, all talk no action. They tell a good story but when it comes time to do something they don’t follow through. We all fall short sometimes of acting on our faith.

Let’s take a look at how our faith can result in action. First, we need to have our priorities right. What priority does the work of God play in our lives? Is it the highest? We need to give to God what is right, not what is left! How many times is God an afterthought? When all else fails I’ll ask God. We need to ask Him first. We are a new creation in Christ Jesus created to serve God

Ephesians 2:8-10; NLT; God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.

You see we have to have things in the right order. Works don’t come first; faith does, but that faith should lead us to submit to God and His plan for our lives. God has a to do list for each one of us. If we sit by and wait for an opportunity to come by, we will miss what God has for us. We need to be seeking God, asking Him for directions and join Him where he is working.

A mere profession of faith proves nothing as to its reality; only action can demonstrate faith’s genuineness. Faith is an attitude of the inner man; it can only be seen as it influences the actions of the one who possesses it. It is not enough to claim to have faith we have to live it. We need to act in such a way that shows others that we depend on God. When we are faced with a situation that challenges us beyond our abilities, we should turn to God.

When we need to make decisions or choices whose advice do we follow? Do we try to figure it out for ourselves? Do we trust someone else? Who do we seek out for guidance and direction?

We should turn to God and ask for His direction. God has the right direction for us, but it will require two things. First, that we rely on His power, not ours. Second, it requires that we do something that only God can enable us to do.

Our actions indicate who we place our faith in. Just saying we have faith is not enough, we have to do something.

What are we doing? Are we demonstrating how much we care for others? Are we willing to reach out and help others? Are we willing to set our wants and desires aside and put others first?

When we believe that God will provide what we need we are free to give what we have to others. We show the faith we have by living without the fear of losing what we really do not possess. We should act with a trust and faith that God is able to provide for us no matter what we give away.

Commit to getting active about your faith.

I hope this study has helped you have a better understanding of faith and how we demonstrate who our faith is in. If there are other topics you would like to explore drop me a note; don@rwjm.com. We look forward to providing guidance and direction as God leads us.

Until next time, remember God loves you and Jesus is Lord over Auto Racing! God Bless. Remember, that your prayerful support and donations helps us continue this ministry. Thank You.

Journey of Faith

By Rev Don Rivers

We took a little break from our journey of faith and I wanted to review where we’ve been. What gets us moving down the road? What is it that prompts us to start the journey? What do we need to encourage us to follow? Let’s take a look at our journey. Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

I have often thought about the effort it takes to get from the garage to the track. Where does the motivation come from to embark on a racing adventure? Some can see the potential in a pile of metal tubing. Others can see an old car and imagine the future racecar hidden inside. Do you remember the junkyard days? The journey began with a trip out to the yard. Let’s see what we can find and make into a racecar. Today the journey may begin searching the internet to see what’s available. No matter, the journey begins with a spark, a thought, a desire to see what you can do.

Hebrews 12 :1, NLT; Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.

We begin the journey to join those who have already gone before us. Maybe to match their efforts or exceed what they were able to accomplish. Very few times do we start a journey on a road no one has traveled. We follow in the footsteps of those who have come before. It is important to acknowledge, remember where we come from and those who came before us.

We’re conditioned to think that our lives revolve around great moments. But great moments often catch us unaware – beautifully wrapped in what others may consider a small one. Sometimes the greatest thing we can do is honor the journey of someone who came before us. As we are inspired by their journey we might ask; what has God placed me here for? Whose lives have we been placed here to touch? And so, our journey begins.

Our goal in life as a Christian is to be a follower of Jesus Christ. To do that requires faith. Not in our abilities or understanding, but in God’s sovereignty. Sometimes we question if God is still in control. Sometimes we wonder if He has things figured out. Will God do it or does he need my help? We even have the thought that we need to lead God. We need to show Him where we think He should be working.

There are some things God tolerates that we do. There are some things God allows us to do. But there are things that only God makes happen. God’s Sovereign Will, will be done. As followers we need to remember that, we need to understand two important things about God;

God is Sovereign, God has absolute control over His creation and determines the outcome of all things according to His wise, just and righteous purposes.

God is Good, God not only controls everything but he reveals his character in the outcome of His plan, it accomplishes good and is beneficial for us.

Whether we believe it or not! When we fail to acknowledge God’s sovereignty we become, as James described, tossed about.

James 1:5-8; NLT: 5 If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. 6 But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind. 7 Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. 8 Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do.

When it does not seem likely. When it does not seem possible. When it does not make sense to us. Then it has to be God! Remember our goal in life is to be a follower of Jesus Christ. To do that requires faith, not in our abilities or understanding, but in God’s Sovereignty.

What enables us to persevere? What is it that gives us hope? What is it that gives us peace?

Faith; We receive them as we walk by faith.

… let us strip off every weight that slows us down …

We need to take a look at our lives and ask; What keeps us from serving God; Job, Home, Racing, Family or maybe Debt, Pride, Fear or Greed?

… the sin that so easily trips us up…

Most of us think we are good people. We try to do what’s right in God’s eyes. We try to treat others as God would but this is where we get tripped up. Have we ever been unkind, unloving, lacked faith, abrasive, out of control, impatient, anxious or worried, prideful or arrogant? There it is, the sin that so easily trips us up. The things that keep us from experiencing the full blessing of God.

When we place our faith in God through Jesus, he enables us to walk in faith. When we walk in faith, we persevere through all the hindrances and entanglements with our focus on Jesus.

How can we maintain our faith in God when things are not going the way we think they should?

Isaiah 43 1b-3b; “Fear not, for I have redeemed you;

    I have summoned you by name; you are mine.

  2 When you pass through the waters,

    I will be with you;

  and when you pass through the rivers,

    they will not sweep over you.

  When you walk through the fire,

    you will not be burned;

    the flames will not set you ablaze.

  3 For I am the LORD, your God,

    the Holy One of Israel, your Savior;

God is with us! Facing hardship, persecution and difficulties is part of the journey, but we should never forget that we cannot be separated from the love of God through Jesus Christ! The source of the fire may be cruel or malicious intentions on the part of others, but ultimately God is the one who is controlling the temperature and allowing us to pass through it. First, remember God knows the way that we take. God is not unaware of our difficulty; God is not insensitive to the pain we are feeling. He knows. He is intimately acquainted with our situation and our condition.

And if the all-wise, all-powerful, all-loving God is allowing one of his children to pass through affliction, we can rest assured that there is a purpose behind it. We may not see it yet. We may not even agree with it. But rest assured that when God has tried us, we will come out as refined, purified gold, reflecting His image.

We can rest in the wonderful assurance that God is next to us on our journey and on his throne in heaven. He knows the way we are taking, and is in control over every detail of our journey until it is complete and we join Him in glory. Until next time, remember God loves you and Jesus is Lord over Auto Racing! God Bless. Remember, that your prayerful support and donations helps us continue this ministry. Thank You.