Monday, December 25, 2017

Love Came Down poem

Last January I posted a poem called Love Came Down. I edited it a little bit and added to it. This message is dear to my heart.



Love came down.
He took off His crown.
He came to save,
But He was turned away.
He stepped off His throne,
To be born where animals roamed.

Love came down,
Born into a humble little town.
He came to have His flesh pierced,
Because His love was fierce.
He bore our sin and suffering,
His great love He keeps uncovering.

Love came down.
Let’s proclaim of Him with joyful sound.
Because of sins’ progression,
He bore our transgressions.
Redemption shone on this earth.
Love reflected through His birth.

Love came down.


~~~

Isaiah 53:4-5, "Yet He Himself bore our sicknesses, and He carried our pains; but we in turn regarded Him stricken, struck down by God, and afflicted. But He was pierced because of our transgressions,
crushed because of our iniquities; punishment for our peace was on Him, and we are healed by His wounds."

That verse is part of the inspiration for that poem and so is the beautiful song Love Came Down by Brian Johnson

I hope you have a merry Christmas and I hope that you take this time to reflect on the Love God has shown us. 

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Christmas Time



It's Christmas time once more, the lights and decorations are everywhere, Christmas songs play on the radio, if you're lucky then there's snow, and there are presents. Yet behind every holiday there's a reason. Why would we have Christmas just for all the decorations and presents? It's something more.

I love Christmas. I love Christmas music, I like most of the decorations, and the giving, and I like the food of course. But the reason behind Christmas makes me love it even more.

Christmas is Jesus' birthday. Most people know this. Yet often when we think about it we forget what He came to do. He came to save the world.

God first promised to send a Savior after sin entered the world.

Genesis 3:15, "I will put hostility between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed. He will strike your head, and you will strike his heel."

God meant He would send His Son, and Satan would strike His heel (when Jesus dies on the cross) but that Jesus would strike his head (Jesus rose from the dead, therefore conquering death).


Jesus was born in a stable, born to save the world, born to one day die on a cross and take all of our sins onto Himself, born to redeem.

Isaiah 53:5, "But He was pierced because of our transgressions, crushed because of our iniquities; punishment for our peace was on Him, and we are healed by His wounds."

He came to this earth to save us. We're healed by His wounds... this verse doesn't mean physically, but spiritually.

The past few weeks in a sermon series at my church there was a theme: He who was whole became broken, so that we who are broken can become whole.


So this Christmas season, remember Whose birthday it really is. Remember why Jesus came, remember what He did, remember that we can have redemption and hope.


~~~~~

How can you live for Christ this Christmas season? What do you do to remember Jesus during the busy time? Do you love Christmas? What are your reasons? Any favorite Bible verses referring to Jesus' birth or Him coming? Any other thoughts on the subject?

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Living for Christ: selflessly



Living for Christ.... selflessly. I have to admit, this is a LOT easier said then done. For some it comes naturally but for others, such as myself, sometimes we tend to think about what I want to do. But when we live for Christ we're focusing on Him, not ourselves.

Jesus Himself lives out this example of living selflessly in John 13.

Jesus washes His disciples feet. That was considered a job for the lowest of the low servants, yet Jesus took it upon Himself to do this selfless act. He did it to set an example for His disciples - and us - to follow.

John 13:14-15, "So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet.  For I have given you an example that you also should do just as I have done for you."

(click here to read the full passage)


So how do we live selflessly?

Well one thing to remember is that what we do for other people we do for Jesus.

Matthew 25:40, "I assure you: Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of Mine, you did for Me."

Another is that love is selfless. (1 Corinthians 13:4-7)

 But still, how do we in our day to day lives live selflessly? One thing I remember is to do unto others.

Matthew 7:12, "Therefore, whatever you want others to do for you, do also the same for them"

I mean I would love it if someone would do one of my chores for me, or bring me Starbucks. We should do for others what we want them to do to us. Do we want people to yell or get frustrated at us? Of course not. Do we want people to ignore us? No.

Being selfless is hard and I'm definitely not 100% selfless. But we can all try... little by little. Simple acts or words that we would want someone to do or say to us. And to remember that what we do for others we do for Jesus.

~~~

Any scriptures come to mind when you think about being selfless? How do or can you be selfless in your day to day life? How can we strive to live selflessly? Any thoughts on the subject?


I love to hear from my readers so feel free to comment below!

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Living for Christ: Completely



Living for Christ.... completely.

What does that even mean? It means with utter abandon, with surrender. Doesn't that kind of love sound beautiful? Doesn't living for Christ in that way sound almost perfect?

A lot of the time we try to follow Jesus... but with a lot of baggage. What we're called to do is to lay that all at Jesus' feet and follow Him completely.

In the Bible it tells of Jesus walking along and He calls out to two brothers, Simon (also called Peter) and Andrew, He says to them to follow Him and He will make them fish for people. The Bible says that immediately they left their nets and followed Him. They left everything to follow Jesus. (You can read the story here).

There's another story in the Bible where this rich young ruler comes to Jesus. He asks Jesus how he can inherit eternal life. Jesus says that he knows the commands. The young man says that he's kept all these things from his youth. Jesus says this, "You lack one thing: Go, sell all you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow Me." (Mark 10:21). And what does the young man do? Sell everything and follow Jesus? Drop everything like the men in the previous story and follow Him? No, instead he's stunned by what Jesus said and went away grieved because he owned many things.  (You can read the story here).

Those are two stories, two examples of men called to leave everything and follow Jesus. In the first story they do, in the second then the young man isn't willing to give it all. Which one are you?

Sometimes it's easy to get so focused on earthly things that we lose sight of what's above.

2 Corinthians 4:18, "So we do not focus on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal." 

Examine your own life... has something taken priority over God? If something has then drop it. Or if it's something like reading then just moderate how much time you spend doing it. But don't be blind to it because your relationship with God can suffer, others around you can be effected as well.


God loves us completely. He hasn't held anything back from us, not even His own Son. How can we hold back ourselves?

I wrote this a few weeks ago:

"How can I not give all of me?
When You're the One who set me free?
A life without You is a life unlived."

~~~

Is there anything in your life holding you back from following God completely? What has God called you to surrender? What has God taught you about surrender? Out of the two examples of the men called to give up everything for Jesus and follow Him which are you? Is there a priority in your life over God? Do you live for Christ completely? Any thoughts on this subject?

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Living for Christ: through praise



Last week we celebrated Thanksgiving. It's a time that we can remember our blessings and thank God. Often we take things for granted... I know at times I do.

I have a small notebook/journal that I keep... I write down things I'm thankful for. It's nice to have because besides remembering my blessings I can look back and remember what I'm thankful for.

When we pray, or at least when I pray, a lot of the time I guess I'm asking things of God. But we also need to thank God, to praise Him.

He is the Maker of the universe, King of the world, Lord of lords, King of kings, He controls everything... He is God and He chose to send His Son to die on a cross, to take on Himself our sins, so that we can have a relationship with God. How can we not thank Him? How can we not praise Him?

We can live for Christ through being thankful - through praising Him. Because when we look at our blessings we can see how incredibly blessed we are and we have a more joyful outlook... not a negative one.

We can see the early believers living this out as well.

Acts 2:46-47, "They ate their food with a joyful and humble attitude, praising God and having favor with all the people."

Psalm 100 says, "Shout triumphantly to the Lord, all the earth. Serve the Lord with gladness; come before Him with joyful songs. Acknowledge that Yahweh is God. He made us, and we are His — His people, the sheep of His pasture. Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him and praise His name. For Yahweh is good, and His love is eternal; His faithfulness endures through all generations."

It doesn't have to be Thanksgiving to be thankful and to praise God. Let's praise Him and be thankful.

~~~

What are you thankful for? What blessings has God blessed you with recently?

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Living for Christ: through love



1 John 4:8, "Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love."

God is love. Everything about Him - His grace, mercy, compassion - reflect His amazing love. He showed us His perfect love throughout scripture. I mean He even sent His Only Son to die so that we could have a relationship with Him. He did that because of His love.

John 3:16, "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."

How do we live for Christ? We can't do it without love. All of our actions reflect something... all of our words reflect something. Do they reflect love? I'm not talking about the love between a man and a woman who are "in love", I'm talking about God's love. He is love. So if our actions and words don't reflect love, then, they don't reflect love. 

Last week we talked about spiritual gifts. And those are important. But even more important is love. Right after Paul talks about spiritual gifts and unity in the Body of Christ he goes on to talk about love.

1 Corinthians 13:1-3, "If I speak human or angelic languages but do not have love, I am a sounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith so that I can move mountains but do not have love, I am nothing. And if I donate all my goods to feed the poor, and if I give my body in order to boast but do not have love, I gain nothing."

Love is the key. No matter how many spiritual gifts we have, no matter how much we give, no matter what gifts or talents we have... without love it's meaningless. 

I've read that scripture several times, I've always loved the chapter 1 Corinthians 13. But never before did I realize what I've realized now while writing this. 1 John 4:8 (verse shown at top of post) says that God is love. 1 Corinthians 13:1-3 is saying that without love all of it is meaningless... God is love so without love then it's without God and apart from God all those things are meaningless. 

So what is love? Paul goes on to write what love is.

1 Corinthians 13:4-7, "Love is patient, love is kind. Love does not envy, is not boastful, is not conceited, does not act improperly, is not selfish, is not provoked, and does not keep a record of wrongs. Love finds no joy in unrighteousness but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things."

Love is kind, patient, it hopes, it believes, it never ends, it keeps no record of wrongs, it rejoices with the truth, it doesn't envy, isn't boastful or conceited, it isn't selfish... the list goes on. Love sounds simply amazing doesn't it? God is all of those things and more. 

Let's strive to live for Christ through loving others. Love is the key. If we live without love we live without God and without God our lives don't mean a thing.

~~~

How can we put love into action? Any favorite Bible verses about love? Any thoughts on the subject?

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Living for Christ: spiritual gifts





Last week we talked about the Holy Spirit. The Holy spirit equips us. When we believe on Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we have the Holy Spirit dwell within us.  God gives us spiritual gifts for His glory.

1 Corinthians 12:4-6, "Now there are different gifts, but the same Spirit. There are different ministries but the same Lord. And there are different activities, but the same God activates each gift in each person."

There are many spiritual gifts... Paul goes on to mention some in 1 Corinthians 12:7-10 and in Romans 12:6-8.

We can live for Christ using these spiritual gifts. Each of these gifts help us to serve Christ. He equips us each differently and for different reasons. He gives some of us the gift of encouragement and you should use it to encourage others. He gives others the gift of teaching and you should use it to teach. He gives others of us the gift of mercy which you can use to show compassion to others.

It's good to know our spiritual gifts, to know how we can best serve the Lord, but please know if you think you don't have giving or mercy isn't your spiritual gift doesn't mean you shouldn't do it. We should still give, show mercy, and encourage others - even if it isn't our spiritual gift.

Also, even though we have different spiritual gifts we are still the body of Christ... and should be united. We can go more into that in a different post.

1 Corinthians 12:11, "But one and the same Spirit is active in all there, distributing to each person as He wills."

If you are a follower of Jesus God has give you spiritual gifts. Use those gifts for His honor and glory. Seek to glorify Him in all that you do.


If you aren't sure what your spiritual gifts are then you can take a spiritual gifts test here.


~~~

What are your spiritual gifts? How do you use them for God? Or how can you use them for God? Any thoughts on the subject?

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Living for Christ: With the Holy Spirit


Acts 1:8 says, "But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come on you, and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."






After Jesus rose from the dead after dying on the cross, before He ascended back to heaven, He promised something to His disciples. He promised them that they would receive the power of the Holy Spirit upon them after He left. That way they weren't going to be left on their own. No, they were left with the Holy Spirit.

John 14:26, "But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit—the Father will send Him in My name—will teach you all things and remind you of everything I have told you."

And Jesus' promise was fulfilled...

Acts 2:1-4, "When the day of Pentecost had arrived, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like that of a violent rushing wind came from heaven, and it filled the whole house where they were staying. And tongues, like flames of fire that were divided, appeared to them and rested on each one of them. Then they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in different languages, as the Spirit gave them ability for speech." 

The Holy Spirit came upon them and filled them. The Holy Spirit gives us each unique gifts - spiritual gifts - but we'll talk more about that in a different post.

The Holy Spirit, the Son (Jesus), and the Father are the Holy Trinity. Three in one. I can't wrap my mine around it but here's something that might help you understand it better:
water. It's in three forms: liquid, steam, and ice. But even though in different forms it's still H2O. It's still water. That's what it's like the Holy Spirit, Jesus, and the Father... three in one. Father, Spirit, Son. It's hard to understand but that's okay... if we could understand God He wouldn't be God.

Ephesians 1:13, "When you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and when you believed in Him, you were also sealed with the promised Holy Spirit."

When we accept Jesus into our hearts then the Holy Spirit comes to dwell inside of us. The thing is, we can't live for Christ on our own. We need God's help. The Holy Spirit is there is guide us and help us. For instance, if you start talking to someone about the gospel then the Holy Spirit takes over. You can't 'mess up' when sharing the gospel... but if you don't start talking then the Holy Spirit can't take over. You have to be willing.

Acts 9:31, "So the church throughout all Judea, Galilee, and Samaria had peace, being built up and walking in the fear of the Lord and in the encouragement of the Holy Spirit, and it increased in numbers."

"In the encouragement of the Holy Spirit." The Holy Spirit encourages us.

Sometimes we feel the urging to do something for Jesus. Like sing at the top of our lungs for praising Him. Or maybe to give money to missions. That's the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit guides us.

Also, the Holy Spirit tries to prevent us from doing the things of the flesh.

Galatians 5:24, "Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires."

When we belong to Jesus we've crucified the flesh and its passions and desires... those of the flesh desire things of the flesh and those of the Spirit the things of the Spirit. We aren't to live for the flesh. But to live for God.

~~

How can I apply this to my life?

That's a question I ask myself often after spending time in God's Word. How can I? Well there are a few things.....


  • Remember if you've accepted Jesus into your heart then you have the Holy Spirit dwelling in you.
  • Tell others about Jesus - this is a hard one. But we can remember that the Holy Spirit is in us and will guide us.
  • To not satisfy the flesh... if we belong to Jesus the flesh is crucified... so stop trying to please it.
  • Listen to the Holy Spirit. But make sure it's the Holy Spirit. You can tell if its the Holy Spirit by spending time in Truth (the Bible). But when the Holy Spirit calls us to action we need to act. 

Those are a few things I saw... though I'm sure there are many more.



----

Any other things you can think of how to apply this to your life? Have you ever shared the gospel and felt the Holy Spirit take over? Have you given into the fleshes desires instead of the Holy Spirit's desires? (for that one I'm sure we all have)

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Living for Christ: Prayer



Living for Christ.... through prayer?

That sounds kind of confusing... but Acts 1:14 says, "All these were continually united in prayer."

And later in chapter one of Acts then they pray about who should be the twelfth disciple.

In the book of Acts then the word pray or prayer is mentioned 32 times (at least in the HCSB version). That emphasizes it.

A few points it makes about prayer...


  • The early believers were united in prayer (Acts 1:14)
  • They prayed about all decisions and asked for guidance (Acts 1:24)
  • They prayed constantly (Acts 2:42)
  • They devoted themselves to prayer (Acts 6:4)
  • They prayed earnestly (Acts 12:5)
  • They prayed anywhere and in any circumstances (Acts 16:25)
  • They prayed for boldness (Acts 4:29)

The theme of prayer in Acts is key. 

One thing I love about verse 1:14 is that they were continually united in prayer. Continually. That means it wasn't a one time thing, not one prayer meeting or praying for someone once. 

We who are brothers and sisters in Christ are united through prayer. I pray daily for my brothers and sisters, those where I live and those I don't even know. We have in common at least one thing: Jesus. 

Acts 2:42, "And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread, and to the prayers."

So how do we put in action to live for Christ through prayer? Well it's simple... pray! Recently I've spent more time talking to Jesus and I've felt closer to Him because of it. I pray for other people, myself, thank Him, and really just talk to Him. 

We also can look at the early believers example and see how much they prayed and how important it is.


Psalm 66:19-20, "However, God has listened; He has paid attention to the sound of my prayer. May God be praised! He has not turned away my prayer or turned His faithful love from me."



~~~~~


What are some other examples of prayers the early believers gave? What can we learn from it? How often do you pray? What are some things you pray about? 

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Living for Christ: what does it look like to you?



Recently I've been wondering what God has in store for my blog... what He wants me to do next. He's laid on my heart to do a series called Living for Christ. I'm going to do a in depth study in God's Word about living for Christ. I'm going to take a look at believers in the Bible and try to figure out what it really means to live for Christ... and how to live it out daily.

John 3:21, "But anyone who lives by the truth comes to the light, so that his works may be shown to be accomplished by God."

When we've believed on Jesus  we are called to be set apart. We're to be in the world but not of the world.

Ephesians 5:8-11, "For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light—  for the fruit of the light results in all goodness, righteousness, and truth— discerning what is pleasing to the Lord. Don’t participate in the fruitless works of darkness, but instead expose them."

We can't have Jesus in our hearts and still try to satisfy the flesh.

 Galatians 5:17, "For the flesh desires what is against the Spirit, and the Spirit desires what is against the flesh; these are opposed to each other, so that you don’t do what you want."

When we're in the Spirit - in Jesus - then we desire what is against the flesh, it desires things of the Spirit. But if we're still in the flesh we have worldly desires. It's in our human nature to want to sin and to sin, but that's not an excuse. We can't be perfect, but we can try not to satisfy the flesh.

When we've accepted God into our hearts we've accepted Him as our heavenly Father and we've been adopted into His family.

1 John 3:1, "Look at how great a love the Father has given us that we should be called God’s children."

I have a question, when you love your dad do you try to please him? That's how it is with God, since we love Him we try to please Him. We fail and mess up but He still loves us. And because He loves us He has certain things He doesn't want us to do because He knows it can hurt us.
Like as a kid have your parents ever told you not to run into the middle of the road? They said that because you could get run over. When you were little did they tell you to always wash your hands before a meal? They told you that because they know germs can hurt you. It's the same way with God. He doesn't want us to dwell in the world's garbage because He knows what is best. We just have to trust Him.


~~~~~

What about you? What does living for Christ look like to you? Have you been living that way? What are some things that have helped you live for Christ?

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Trusting in God



In Genesis 12:1-9 we met Abram. God calls out to him and tells Abram to leave his land, relatives, and everything familiar to go to a land He will show him. God says to Abram that He will bless him and make him into a great nation, that the nations would be blessed through him, that those who curse him will be cursed and those who bless him will be blessed.

Can you imagine? What could be going through Abram’s mind? What would you do if you heard God speaking to you, telling you to leave everything you know to go where He leads, and that all the world will be blessed through you? God was literally asking Abram to leave everything. He wasn’t moving down the road, he was leaving and would never see his family again. He was called to leave his house, wealth, relatives, and everything comfortable. God was telling Abram to trust Him. Abram would have to trust Him because he didn’t know where he was going, God was leading him. He would be completely reliant on God. He would have to trust God. What would you do?

Abram chose to obey God and left all he knew. He chose to trust God. Look at your life, how can you learn to completely trust God? Why trust God? God is the Maker of the universe, He knows our thoughts and understands them. He forgives us despite the fact we fail Him daily. How could we not want to trust Him?

Psalms 139:1-3, “Lord, You have searched me and known me. You know when I sit down and when I stand up; You understand my thoughts from far away.”

 Psalm 22:4, “Our fathers trusted in You; they trusted, and You rescued them.”

Psalm 31:14, “But I trust in You, Lord; I say, “You are my God.””

Psalm 37:5, “Commit your way to the Lord; trust Him and He will act,”

Relying on God is hard because we want to rely on ourselves. We aren’t willing to step down from the throne of our hearts. We want to be in control. But when we try to then we fail. We mess up. Sometimes it’s hard to trust God in hard times, but sometimes bad things are allowed so we can learn, other times simply because of our wicked world. We need to trust in God.

~~~~~

Discussion....

How can we, like Abram, trust fully in God?
What do you think you would have done in his situation? This is before they had phones or anything like that so he couldn't call his family or make any contact with old friends.
How do we rely fully on God?
How much do you trust God?

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Paid in Full




He was beaten, tortured, scorned.

They put on Him a purple robe and crown of thorns.

He was hung on a cross to die,

As if He was the bad guy.

But that wasn’t the reason.

He didn’t commit treason.

He looked down on me, down on you,

and knew.

He knew our short comings and sins.

He knew we’d deny Him.

But when it was said we deserved to die,

He took it upon Himself to be crucified.

He did it because of His love,

because of His Father above.

He forgave us of our sins,

And with His own blood He cleansed.

He saw us and for us took the fall.

Jesus paid it all.


Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Joy




Joy. Joy is something we strive for. We want happiness. We want to have joy.

But how can we be happy or have joy?

Well I think a lot of people get confused on the meanings on those words. Happiness depends on your circumstances. With joy it doesn't matter your circumstances. But in this world we crave happiness. And we do have it... but only for a brief time before it passes away. How can we stay happy?

Easy answer: we can't. Happiness is only temporary. People search for it in relationships, money, jobs, fun, etc.. I think we all have before too, I know I have. But we can't strive for happiness because it doesn't last.
Then what does last?

Joy. Joy is something you can have inside of you if you let it. Joy is eternal. Joy can only be found in Jesus.

A quote I read recently says this, "In His presence is the fullness of joy."
That's right. In Him and in Him alone can we find the fullness of joy. No matter what happens in this world then we can cling onto our joy which we find in Him. Joy is found in knowing God.

That's what this world is missing. In each of us is a gap only God can fill. We look for happiness but that's temporary.

Let's strive for something more. Let's strive for the joy that comes from Jesus.

John 15:11, "I have spoken these things to you so that My joy may be in you and your joy may be complete."

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Striving to Thrive...

(the beautiful sunrise I saw Sunday morning ^)




Hey! I was wondering today what I would write about... so I'm just going to let God take the lead.

Have you ever wanted to change the world?

I know I have. I still do. But I don't want to in the way most people may expect. I want to change the world one person at a time.

Jesus taught a lot of people... but He invested His life especially into twelve men. He discipled them, taught them, lived life with them.

Think about the people God has surrounded you with... maybe friends from church, or from some sports you do, or maybe from school. What does your life reflect to them? Go beyond that... think about the people you pass on the street, or in the store, or your waiter or waitress in a restaurant... what do your actions and words reflect to them?

To be honest I just want to live my life for Jesus. Completely and whole heartedly. It's hard. I fail all the time. I'm not even sure how to do that. But I rely on God.



What does your life reflect? Do you want to change the world? Do you want to live for Christ and Him alone?

Well then if you want to change the world, for Jesus, if you want to live for Christ, let's start now. It's not going to be easy but is following Jesus easy? No.

Let's strive not to just live, but to thrive. Thrive for Him.

Let's invest our lives into those around us, let's smile at a stranger because maybe they're having a bad day, let's let our words and actions reflect Him.


I'm still not sure how to do all of this. But I'm going to try day by day to do so while trusting in God to take the lead.

What about you?

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Jesus Paid it All




This past Sunday God convicted me about something in my life.

In church some of the songs were about Jesus breaking chains, about Him still loving me, that He is for me, and that He paid it all.

In the sermon it was mentioned how we aren't to turn back to our past, that we are to forget our sins because they have been covered by Jesus's blood.

I was convicted. I realized... as I have before... that I've still held on to chains that used to bind me. That I've held onto past sins. That I haven't surrendered it all to Jesus.

But then as the song lyrics reminded me, Jesus still loves me. He is for me. No matter my sins, no matter the dirty parts of me, no matter what I've done, He still loves me.

And I was also reminded that I can't cleanse myself. Only Jesus can.

1 John 1:7, "But if we walk in the light as He Himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin."

Jesus has forgiven me.

Matthew 26:28, "For this is My blood that establishes the covenant; it is shed for many for the forgiveness of sins."

Jesus has broken your chains, He still loves you, He is for you. No matter your sins, no matter the dirty parts of you, no matter what you've done, He still loves you. He has forgiven you.


Do you hold on to past sins? Do you still cling to chains that bound you? Have you surrendered everything to Jesus? Laid it at His feet?

Let's surrender everything to Jesus.

After church on Sunday I wrote down all the sins I could think of that I've committed. Then I wrote in big letters across it COVERED BY JESUS' BLOOD. Then, as I torn the paper to small pieces, I confessed to God. I confessed more sins I thought of. I laid it at Jesus' feet.

It's hard to surrender. To surrender everything. It's hard to remember God still loves us. That He cares about it. But know that He does.

Remember, if you've surrendered to Jesus and accepted Him into your heart... then you're FREE. Free from the bondage of sin, from the chains of slavery, from the darkness that holds tight.
So don't try to hold on. Let it all go.

Let's give it to God and let go. Let's live for God today.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Let's be Praying



Earthquakes, hurricanes, fires, droughts, famine, mudslides, floods......

Sin, darkness, Christians persecuted, sickness, lies.....

The list goes on. We live in a dark, broken world.

It reminds me of in the garden of Eden when sin first entered the world, mankind's relationship with God was broken. But God sent His Son Jesus to die on a cross to heal that relationship.

1 Timothy 2:5-6, "For there is one God and one mediator between God and humanity,
Christ Jesus, Himself human, who gave Himself—a ransom for all, a testimony at the proper time."

As I was reminded recently  (http://paigespages4thelord.blogspot.com/) then Jesus could come back at anytime. And when that time comes then Jesus will heal our broken world.

But for the time being then we still live in a broken world. What are we going to do about it? We need to share the gospel.

Another thing is to pray. Let's all be praying. Praying for those effected by hurricane Harvey in Texas, those who have been and will be effected by hurricane Irma. Praying for those who have been caught up in fires, droughts, earthquakes, mudslides, floods... let's be praying. Not only for our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ around the globe, but to be praying that God would draw the nations to Himself.

And even in dark times never forget that God is good, no matter what. Sometimes all we can do is trust Him and pray.


Matthew 9:38, "Therefore, pray to the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest.”

Matthew 18:19, "Again, I assure you: If two of you on earth agree about any matter that you pray for, it will be done for you by My Father in heaven."


Acts 1:14, "All these were continually united in prayer,"

Let's be united through praying. Be praying.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Truth or Lies?...


In this world... sometimes it's hard to tell what is truth and what is false....





There are false teachers out there.

1 Peter 2:1 says, "But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you."

But sometimes it's hard to tell if they are false teachers or not. Some can claim to be Christians, they can claim any denomination... but that doesn't mean they teach truth.

It's easy to wander over the internet or another blog or hear a speaker... but you need to make sure you see if it lines up with truth. The Truth.

We can do that by knowing the Bible and studying it. By spending time in the Word, in the Truth. That way we can see what are lies.

John 3:21, "But anyone who lives by the truth comes to the light, so that his works may be shown to be accomplished by God."

___


Also, Satan, who is the father of lies, tells us lies all the time. He whispers doubt into our ears, he tells us things to discourage us. But we can tell what are lies by spending time in the Truth, in the Bible.

John 8:44, "When he tells a lie, he speaks from his own nature, because he is a liar and the father of liars."

John 8:32, "You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."

Never fall for Satan's lies, don't believe them. And sometimes he simply tries to distract us from the Truth.

Stay focused on God, and on His Truth.

___


This world is full of lies. There are false teachers, Satan tells you lies, he tries blocking truth. You will read, see, and hear lies. Always be on guard.

1 Peter 5:8-9 says, "Be serious! Be alert! Your adversary the Devil is prowling around like a roaring lion, looking for anyone he can devour. Resist him and be firm in faith, knowing that the same sufferings are being experienced by your fellow believers throughout the world."


John 14:6, "Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.""

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

In the world, not of the world


Ever heard the song that goes, "be careful little eyes what you see, be careful little eyes what you see, because our Father above, He's looking down with love, so be careful little eyes what you see"? It's a children's song, but it still shows us something today.
It goes on to say "be careful little ears what you hear. Be careful little hands what you do. Be careful little mouth what you say. Be careful little feet where you go..."

I was wondering what I should post about today and well, God showed me (and convicted me).


We live in a dark, sinful, evil world. But I heard somewhere that it isn't just dark because of the dark, but because of the absence of light.

We are to be in the world, not of the world.

To be honest it's easy to be caught up in what the world does. But like that song says, we need to guard our ears, eyes, mouth, and watch what our hands do and feet go.
 Sometimes it's easy to be able to tell what's good and bad. But other times it's easy to be distracted by what isn't exactly bad, but what distracts us from the Bible. An idol is anything that takes place above God. We say, 'of course I don't worship idols'... but are you putting something above God or your time with God? Is there something stopping you from doing what God wants you to do? Examine your life right now.

Romans 12:2 says, "Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God."

Do not be conformed to this age. Don't fall into the trap of this sinful world. Be transformed by the renewing of your mind so that you can discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.

Philippians 4:8, "Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable—if there is any moral excellence and if there is any praise—dwell on these things."

Whatever is pure, lovely, commendable, whatever has moral excellence, if there is any praise... dwell on those things. It's easy for your thoughts to wander, sometimes they can wander to bad things. Don't dwell on that. Don't dirty your mind with the world's garbage. It's not healthy. Dwell on what is good. Dwell on Jesus.

Matthew 16:26, "What will it benefit a man if he gains the whole world yet loses his life? Or what will a man give in exchange for his life?"

There is no benefit to gaining the world if you lose your soul. The world and it's things are temporary (Matthew 6:19-21). But God is eternal.

Jim Elliot, a missionary to Ecuador, who was killed for his faith, said these words, "He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose."

It's better to give up what we can't keep, to gain what we can't lose.
Meaning: it's better to give up something that is temporary... like if something is taking its place above God, or if it's not good. To gain what we can't lose. Jesus is the One thing we can't lose. Our faith in Him, our joy and love in Him, we can never lose that.

~~~

Examine your life. Is there anything that takes place above God? Is there something you are more obsessed with than God and His Word? Something that you love more than God and His Word? Are there thoughts that you think about regularly that are not good? Are you shining His light on this dark world?

God has convicted me with this post. These are hard questions. Really think about them.

Always remember: this world is temporary, God is eternal. Look up.

Shine His light :)

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Living is Christ....




Last Saturday night I was lying in bed awake, I couldn't fall asleep. As usual I had a million thoughts running through my brain and a question came to mind. I've thought about this question before...

What if someone told you that you had one year to live?

I started thinking about how I would be joyful all the time and share Jesus to random people and just live each day to the fullest among other things.
But then another thought occurred to me.

Why am I not living that way now?

We aren't promised tomorrow... that phrase is used a lot and after a while it loses what it takes to make me think about it. But for some reason the question about living just one more year really got me thinking. But then the question why I'm not living that way now really convicted me.

In Philippians 1:21 Paul says, "For me living is Christ and dying is gain."
Paul got the real picture. The thing is, while here on earth we get to bring glory to God's great Name, and if we die and we have confessed Jesus as our Lord and Savior then we get to go to heaven to spend time in His glory.

It's not about dwelling on the fact about us dying. It's about dwelling on the question how are we going to live each day knowing we will die one day.
I'm not trying to be morbid here, but these are facts we need to face. We aren't promised tomorrow, or next week, or a year.

How are we living our lives? Are we living with eternity in view? Because this world and it's things are temporary.

Matthew 6:19-21 says, "Don’t collect for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal. But collect for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves don’t break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."

Philippians 1:27, "Just one thing: Live your life in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ."

We are to live each day, each moment, for what it's worth. We are to live in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. There are so many ways we can live for Him in our day to day lives.

So let's live for Christ today.

~~~

How are you living each day? What would you do if you had one year to live? Are you living that way now? Are you living with eternity in view? Are you living your life in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ? Are you living each moment for Him?

These questions have really convicted me... so really think about them. Examine your own life.

Live for Him. :)

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

All for Him...


We all have talents or gifts. Something that we're good at. God gave us these talents and gifts for a reason.


There are talents, such as dancing, drawing, writing, being good with kids, cooking... ect.. And there are also spiritual gifts that God gives believers. So if you have been saved by God's grace then you have a spiritual gift.

It's important to know what talents and/or spiritual gifts you have so that you can use them for God's glory.  Let's say that you are a huge people person and love to talk, well there you go. You can talk to people, build relationships, and share the gospel. Or strengthen people in Christ if you have the spiritual gift of encouragement. Or maybe you're the kind of person who likes to do the 'behind the scenes things'. Well at your church then there could be many things you could do. Just ask someone. And your spiritual gifts aren't limited to church. You can serve in your home as well.

1 Corinthians 12:4-6, "Now there are different gifts, but the same Spirit. There are different ministries, but the same Lord. And there are different activities, but the same God activates each gift in each person."

Now let's talk talents. Everyone has different talents. Sometimes your talents aren't as obvious. For instance, I have a sister who doesn't have a talent you might think of (besides cooking, she's a great cook) but she is great with kids. She uses that to bring glory to God.
So think about what your talent is or could be your talent. I have a couple of suggestions...

1.) Practice that talent. If it's singing then sing. If it's drawing then draw.

2.) Look for ways you can bring glory to God through it. For me, I love writing. I try to use this blog to bring God glory. I also sing so I sing in our youth band.

3.) Also, remember, whatever you're talented at, see if that's what you're passionate about.

It's great to be passionate about something, and to use that passion to bring God glory.

So no matter what you do: do everything for the glory of God.

Colossians 3:17, "And whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him."

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Missions


(Detroit, Michigan to the left. Windsor, Canada to the right)


This past week I went on a mission trip to Detroit, Michigan/Windsor, Canada. It was amazing. There are so many things I learned, so here are a few....

Fellowship : one thing about mission trips is that the team you go with... well, you're with them almost 24/7 so you'll get to know them. The fellowship is amazing and you feel more comfortable around them... your brothers and sisters in Christ.

Going out : going out and sharing the gospel in different cultures. We are called to show love to everyone, whether Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, and so on... they are people, like us. We are called to show them hope, to shine His light in the darkest of places.

Flexibility : over the past two years or so then flexibility has been a key word on the mission trips to Detroit, Michigan/Windsor, Canada. No, not the flexibility in gymnastics... otherwise I would be in bad shape (no pun intended). But sometimes we want everything to go according to plan. Well, that's not going to happen most of the time. Our plans will change, and sometimes we end up doing something completely different then expected.

Patience : flexibility has been a key word, but along with it has been patience. And let me just say that patience isn't exactly my strong suit. But no matter where - whether on a mission trip or just a regular day - patience is very important. The Bible says that love is patient (1 Corinthians 13:4). Let's try to be patient :)

Trials : we are going to go through trials. Being a Christian isn't easy, you're going to have a hard life because of it. But it's worth it.


Let's not forget to be on mission for Jesus everywhere, all the time. Let's shine His light :)


Tuesday, July 25, 2017

This is War : Spiritual Warfare




One of the things we talked about at Global camp was spiritual warfare. To be honest the subject has always fascinated me, but sometimes spiritual warfare just doesn’t seem real. But let me tell you that it is real. Sometimes the most real things are the things you can’t see.

Take the wind for example. You can’t see it. But you can feel it and see the effects of it all around you. It’s the same way. You can’t see it but you can feel it and see its effects all around you.

Ephesians 6:10-12 says, “Finally, be strengthened by the Lord and by His vast strength. Put on the full armor of God so that you can stand against the tactics of the Devil. For our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the world powers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens.”

Our battle isn’t against people. Not against flesh and blood. It’s against the unseen powers of the darkness. Satan is the real Enemy. But we are to be strengthened by the Lord and by His vast strength. We studied through the book of Daniel at Global.  Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego didn’t rely on their own strength… but on God’s strength. It’s God who has the victory.

Bill, the pastor who taught at Global, made some points.
The mind of a soldier…
We are to expect the unexpected; recognize the Enemy’s tactics; and we are to be willing to endure hardships, ridicule, and hostility.

How shall we fight?
We are to prepare for battle, prepare for it through prayer and God’s Word, which is the sword of truth. We are to develop a plan; fight as an army – we who are brothers and sisters in Christ - ; celebrate victories and bandage the wounded. We are also the fight shield to shield, unity is important.

Bill also made another great point, “if you’ve been reborn in Christ then Satan can’t get into your head. But he can whisper in your ear.” And Satan will. He will tell you doubts, fears, and anything to make you stop doing what God has created you to do. Satan always works his hardest when he sees that God’s people are doing something big.

Let’s say that you were locked out of your house. What would you do? Probably go around and see if any other doors were unlocked, maybe see if a window was open. It’s the same with Satan. He will look for any open windows, unlocked doors, cracks… anyway to get in. He looks for your weakness.

You may wonder or ask, ‘what can I do about it?’ Well the answer is simple, but not always easy. Pray. We studied through the book of Daniel and one thing that he did whenever faced with spiritual warfare or opposition was that he prayed. Prayer is powerful. I could write pages of what I've learned about spiritual warfare or prayer... but I won't (at least not today in this blog post). Prayer is the most powerful weapon against the Enemy.

Remember: we're in a war.

~~~

When faced with spiritual warfare what do you do? Do you pray? Do you try to ignore it? Are you ready for the battle that is coming? The battle that is here?


Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Things I've learned....

Last week I went with my youth group to a youth camp called "Global". I wanted to share some things I learned from it (or was reminded of)....

One thing about Global youth camp is that you are going to be moved out of your comfort zone. And that's a good thing. I went with my youth group, but there were other youth groups and I was able to talk to other people and make new friends, which was great :).

We were in the Word of God multiple times and it felt so good to be deep in God's Word. It's important to be in Bible daily.

Also, communication is important. Never bottle up what you're going through. We talked about how important having a "fox hole" friend is. During the war soldiers would dig small holes, smaller than a trench, called fox holes. They would get in and there was enough roll to fit two people. One would face one way and the other facing the opposite way. They did that so you wouldn't get shot. It's the same in real life. We are in a war. A spiritual unseen war. You need someone to have your back, to pray with, talk to, and encourage each other.

Prayer is powerful. It is powerful and we need to pray big.

The pastor who spoke said something like if you can understand God then your God is too small. God is bigger and greater than we can imagine. He parted the Red Sea, gave the blind man sight, and raised the dead to life. He can and wants to do big things. We just need to ask Him. He is a God of the impossible.



These things are only a small part of what I learned. I'll go into more depth over the next few weeks as well.

~~~

Have you ever been to Global? What was your experience like? Do you have a fox hole friend? Do you bottle everything up or pray about it? Do you talk to God regularly? Are you in God's Word daily? 

Feel free to comment your answer(s) below :)

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

God is Good



This isn't exactly my normal post.... I really just wanted to remind you of something you already know. God is good.

But this fact is hard to accept. People question (and I think we all have before) how God is still good even in the hard times.
It's hard to remember that even in this dark, sinful, lost world that God is still good, loving, and kind and cares about us. We don't always understand what's happening or what's going to happen but that's okay because God is in control.

Job is a great example. He lost his wife, children, everything he owned... but he didn't curse God. He asked God why, there is nothing wrong with that, but he still didn't curse God.

Sometimes we go through trials and we don't know why. But we go through them for a reason. No one grows without endurance. And you can't have endurance without being tested.

James 1:2-4, " Consider it a great joy, my brothers, whenever you experience various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. But endurance must do its complete work, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing."

A few days ago I was just smiling. I was smiling and full of joy simply because of the fact that God is good and nothing can change that.

No matter what God is always good...

Even in the trials... God is good.
Even in the pain... God is good.
Even in the suffering... God is good.
Even in the hard times... God is good.
Even when things don't seem to be going right... God is good.
Even when you're scared... God is good.
Even when life is chaos... God is good.
Even when you don't think you can get back up... God is good.
Even when you want to quit... God is good.
Even when you walk through the storm... God is good.

No matter what... God is good. Always remember that.

~~~

What are some ways God has shown you that He is good? How have trials you've been through stretched you? When everything seems to be going the wrong way what do you remember? Do you remember that God is good?

Feel free to comment your answer(s) or thoughts about it below :) 

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Prayer: Pouring out our hearts to God




Recently I read 1 Samuel 1. It starts off with Hannah.

Picture it: Hannah is married to a man with another wife, the other wife has children and she doesn't. She has no children, yet she is the favorite of her husband. She goes to the temple to pray, and with tears streaming down her face she asks God for a son and she vows to give him back to the Lord. Eli walks up and asks if she is drunk. Eli was so out of touch with true prayer he didn't recognize that she was praying from the bottom of her heart. She tells him she was praying and he tells her may the Lord grant her what she asked for. She goes home and later she gives birth to a son, she brings him to the temple and Samuel goes on to live for the Lord.

I'm not focusing here on Samuel or on Hannah, but on praying.

1 Samuel 1:15 says she was "pouring out my heart before the Lord." 

How often do we pour out our hearts before the Lord? I mean we can pray all the time, but how often do we truly pour out our hearts before the Lord? Jesus is my friend, and we can tell Him everything.

I've asked myself before "why do we pray when God already knows all about us and all that happens/has happened to us?  Think about one of your closest friends. You know all about them, but you still want them to talk to you about what they've been doing/going through/ect.. Same with God. He wants us to tell Him what's been going on in our lives, what we've been struggling with, what we've been going through. He wants us to not be afraid to ask questions, to pour out our hearts before Him.

Hannah was in tears. She was praying fervently before the Lord. Her story reminds me of Someone else praying a few thousand years later.

Luke 22:41-44,  (Jesus) "began to pray, “Father, if You are willing, take this cup away from Me—nevertheless, not My will, but Yours, be done.”
[Then an angel from heaven appeared to Him, strengthening Him.Being in anguish, He prayed more fervently, and His sweat became like drops of blood falling to the ground.]"

Jesus prayed fervently. He prayed so fervently that His sweat became like drops of blood. That's some pretty serious praying.  Jesus prayed to His Father. He was open with His Dad. He told Him that He wanted God to take that cup away from Him - we need to be open and honest with God - but He also said He wanted God's will to be done, not His - we need to accept God's will in all things that happen -.

To round up what we can learn about prayer from both of these passages from Scripture I'll make a few points...


  • When we pray we need to pour out our hearts before God.
  • We need to be open and honest with God.
  • We need to accept His will no matter what it is because He knows best.
  • And we need to just be ourselves with God.

Let's open up our hearts to God, pour out out hearts before God. Let's get to some serious praying. 

~~~

Do we pray fervently? Do we truly pour out our hearts to God? Or do we pray a quick prayer to "get it over with"? 

Feel free to comment your answer(s) below :)


Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Light for Jesus





I read 1 Samuel 4 and something occurred to me as I was reading it... the Israelite's brought out the Ark of the Covenant (which represented God's presence) to the battlefield, thinking that it would help them defeat the Philistines. They took something holy that represented God's holy presence and treated it like a good luck charm.

.... but how often do we do the same thing?....

I mean think about it: we read God's Word or pray a quick prayer or go to church and think that we are 'good to go'. We think about how 'good' we are, we think about how we'll have a good and happy life since we've fulfilled our 'Christian duties'. We treat things like that like a good luck charm. And sometimes we treat God like a genie. We 'rub the lamp' for the genie to pop out and we tell God what we want. We talk to Him when it's convenient.

I was talking to a friend about this, about what God had been teaching me through His Word and she said "we really need to be in a constant conversation with God"... wow. A constant conversation.
Think for a second about one of your friends, who you talk to constantly, Snap Chat or message on Instagram? Who you talk, face-time, or talk to on the phone constantly? I mean you don't have to be with them to talk to them because they are one text away, or one message away.
God is one word away. He's actually already there. All you have to do is speak.

I had this other thought... it only takes one spark to ignite a flame. And if it only takes one spark to ignite the flame, why can't I be that spark? I mean think about it, we live in a dark, lost, and honestly pure evil world. If we don't rise up to shine His light, who will?

It's not going to be easy. I love the way my friend put it, "Jesus didn't call us to be comfortable, He called us to go." And that is so true. No where in the Bible does it say follow Jesus and live a happy comfortable life. No, it says the opposite. Jesus Himself told us we would be persecuted (John 16:33), but He also says to have courage because He has conquered the world.

To sum it up-- we live in a dark world so we need to step up and shine His light. We need to be in a constant conversation with Him, to not treat Him like a genie.

Matthew 28:18-20, "Then Jesus came near and said to them, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

~~~

When the world sees us what do they see? Are we shining Jesus? Are we living in a constant conversation with God? Do we treat God like a genie or go to church or read our Bibles as a good luck charm? Are we willing to give our all for Jesus?

Feel free to comment your answer(s) below :)


Note to readers: I'm going to be posting every Tuesday now (as long as I don't forget :) )

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Glory to God



We serve an amazing God.

I mean think about it... God, He is the One True King, He rules forever.

He split the Red Sea so His people could walk through it (Exodus 14:15-31), He rose a dead man to life (John 11:39-44), He gave the blind man sight (John 9:1-6)... and He did, does, and will do much more than I can even begin to name.

I think a lot of the time we focus on "growing in Christ"... but do we truly spend time getting to know the One in Whom we want to grow? God is so amazing and beyond description... how often do we praise Him? How often do we worship Him?

A lot of the time we don't think about what worship really is... worship isn't just singing; it is anything you do that glorifies God.

Worship can be in the form of writing, singing, playing an instrument, dancing, serving, and really anything that you do that glorifies God. Worship is simply bringing glory to God's name.

I love Psalm 104, the writer gives a very detailed image in mind of God's glory and giving glory to Him.

Psalm 104:1-4,
"My soul, praise Yahweh!
Lord my God, You are very great;
You are clothed with majesty and splendor.
 He wraps Himself in light as if it were a robe,
spreading out the sky like a canopy,
laying the beams of His palace
on the waters above,
making the clouds His chariot,
walking on the wings of the wind,
and making the winds His messengers,
flames of fire His servants."

God is worthy of our praise, so let's worship Him and praise His name.

It's time to turn our focus off of ourselves and onto Him. I think we focus on ourselves a lot (which is very easy to do, I am guilty of doing it) and we don't focus on God. We focus on "growing" in Him, or making sure we get done our goal of spending time in His Word everyday, or praying for at least five minutes a day... but when we do we often then we don't focus on Who we do it for.
I'm definitely not saying it's wrong to have a goal or trying to grow in Him... we should spend time in His Word, pray, and grow in Him... but when we focus too much on it we forget Who we do it for.

Instead of focusing on spending time in His Word let's think about what/who His Word is about. I mean God's Word, the Bible, is His words to us. We should cherish them, not rush by to get it done.
Instead of focusing on praying for a long time let's think about Who we are praying to. Praying is simply talking to God, why do we make it such a chore? We should simply pour out our heart to God (more on that in another blog post soon).
And instead of focusing on "growing" in Him let's think about Who we are trying to grow in. I mean God is so amazing... how can we not want to get to know Him?

Let's turn our attention off of ourselves, our Christian "goals", and let's focus on Who life revolves around.

Let's worship God.

---

How often do we truly worship God? How much time do we spend dwelling on the greatness of God? Do we spend more time thinking about growing in God or about God Himself?

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Proverbs 31:25 part 2


Proverbs 31:25 (HCSB), Strength and honor are her clothing, and she can laugh at the time to come.”
Last week we looked at the first part of the verse (God’s Word is so deep and mysterious we can never capture it all!) about strength and honor being our clothing. Today we will focus on the second part of the verse, about laughing at the time to come.

What does that mean?

The Modern English Version (MEV) uses the word ‘rejoice’ instead of ‘laugh’. Again, have to use dictionary.com to look up the words….

Rejoice – “to be glad; take delight. To make joyful; gladden.”
Laughter/laugh/laughing – “to experience the emotion so expressed.”

To me laughter is having joy so full that it overflows into laughter.
When are you most joyful? What do you usually laugh at?

Luke 6:21, “You who now weep are blessed, because you will laugh.”

Psalm 9:2, “I will rejoice and boast about You; I will sing about Your name, Most High.”

To me, I can laugh and rejoice at the time to come because I know that God holds it in His hands.
Sometimes we’re so worried about what the future holds we forget Who holds it all.

Are you worried about the future? What are you worried about?


God is in control, in Him we can have joy.


Jesus is joy. Only in Him can true joy be found. Happiness depends on your circumstances, joy is eternal because of Who you can find it in. Laugh and rejoice at the time to come.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Proverbs 31:25 part 1

Proverbs 31:25 (HCSB), Strength and honor are her clothing, and she can laugh at the time to come.”

What a beautiful verse. A little background: this passage (Proverbs 31:10-31) is talking about ‘in praise of a capable wife’. You don’t have to be married to learn from this.

Strength and honor are her clothing. What does that even mean? I looked up the verse in a few different versions (this is cool to do if you really like a verse and want to dig deeper), ESV version used the word ‘dignity’ instead of ‘honor’.
Below are the definitions of those three words (from dictionary.com) I’m not using the entire description, but my favorite or the one I thought best fits it.
Strength – “moral power, firmness, or courage.”

Honor – “honesty, fairness, or integrity in one's beliefs and actions.”

Dignity – “bearing, conduct, or speech indicative of self-respect or appreciation of the formality or gravity of an occasion or situation. Nobility or elevation of character; worthiness.”

That’s a lot to swallow.

Courage. Honesty. Self-respect.

Where do you find your courage? How are you honest? And how often are you not? Do you respect yourself?
Philippians 4:14 (HCSB), “I am able to do all things through Him who strengthens me.”

I can only do things through Jesus Who strengthens me. He is the Truth, so He is where my honesty is found. He is a Rock, so He is my strength. He is in control, so He is where my courage is found. He is my heavenly Father, so my identity is in Him so in Him I have self-respect.

Look back at your answers…. Think about the questions and your life… how you’re living.
Jesus is my strength and honor so I will wear Him proudly.



Friday, June 2, 2017

Letting Go



It occurred to me the other day that although we think we have let go... there are still things we hold onto.

It's hard to let go... sometimes we don't even realize we are. But I have a question for you, and be honest with yourself: What are you afraid of?

It's hard to let go of fear... we might be afraid of snakes, spiders (I do NOT like spiders). robbers. murderers, death... fear shows we aren't trusting God.

I'm not condemning you... I am afraid all the time, it's hard to break a habit we've had since birth.

But if we trust God, we let go of our fears. Because if we look ahead, and if you're truly saved, then if we die we will be with Jesus. There is nothing to be afraid of.

Matthew 10:28, "Don’t fear those who kill the body but are not able to kill the soul; rather, fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell."

When we fear then we are holding on. For instance: I realized recently that I have been scared to death if one of my family members died. But I also realized I was holding onto them. I love them, but I know that if something happened to them - or to me - we would be with Jesus and see each other on the other side,

So I surrendered.

Surrender is hard, because it's completely laying yourself and what you're holding onto in God's hands.

~~~

Maybe you aren't afraid of things like that... are you afraid of expressing yourself? Of being who God has made you to become? Are you afraid of what others will think of you? Are you afraid of not being who God has made you to become?

These are hard questions to answer... and honestly right now I'm in the process of completely letting go (every time I think I have then God shows me something else). Take your time to search inside, pray.

But let me tell you this truth :::::: In Christ you have been made FREE. REDEEMED. Your CHAINS HAVE BEEN BROKEN. We have a freedom in Jesus Christ that a lot of the time we don't embrace.

But we are FREE in CHRIST JESUS. In Him we can let go.

Are you letting go? Surrendering your all?

~~~

Before I even wrote this then God laid on my heart to write something expressing what I was feeling. So I wrote a poem entitled 'I Can Because of You'. The first few lines are about how I want to be free, ect., .... then a few lines about how I'm free because of Christ. The last part is about how now I can be free... because of Jesus.

Here are a few of those last lines...

"I can dance around,
Not caring if I fall on the ground.
I can let my hair fly proudly.
I can sing loudly,
Not caring if I sing off key.
I can be wild and free.
I can because of You.
I’m letting go.
In the wind my fears, doubts, and worries blow.
I’m releasing it all.
I know sometimes I’ll fall.
But I know You will be with me.
Even if You are all I see,
That’s okay with me.
I can because of You."


It's time to let go.