"Call to me and I will answer you, and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know. " Jeremiah 33:3

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

"For the time has arrived for judgment to begin with the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the end of those who do not respect or believe or obey the good news, the Gospel of God?" 1 Peter 4:17 AMP

I love to write according to themes, or in links or repetition as it pertains to the Scripture or to the body of Christ and today is an example of that. Three types of Christians, three "C's".

Billy Graham said of this Christian that they have little or no influence for good upon others.  The dictionary defines casual; without definite or serious intention, tending to be indifferent to what is happening, unconcerned.  This person is not surrendered to Christ, they believe in Him, they go to church regularly but there is no real personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ, they do not truly know Him because they are indifferent to the Scripture and that is where we learn about Jesus. "Not everyone who calls out to me, 'Lord! Lord!' will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter." Matthew 7:21 NLT.  The life that Christ calls us to is the opposite of casual it is intentional a complete surrender of your life with no turning back. O what an abundant life it is!

This Christian is in love with world and the things of the world.  They confess the name of Jesus and deep inside of them they do desire a relationship with Him but the riches and pleasures of life in the world, keep them from bearing any mature fruit for the kingdom of God. (Luke 8:14) Their attempts to love God and love the world makes them double minded unstable in both pursuits; "You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God."  James 4:4.  There is hope, turn from the world with all of its smoke and mirrors and surrender completely your life to Christ. Call upon Him today, and He will hear and answer you.

Charisma; from the Greek meaning a gift of grace, favor, spiritual gift. This Christian is full of the grace and the favor of God and their focus is centered on Jesus Christ, and pleasing Him is the desire of their heart! They have completely, without reservation surrendered their lives to Christ to do with as He wills.  They are not sinless perfection, yet they do not practice sin.  They know God's Word and deliberately seek to be obedient to it.  They are full of love for God, filled and led by the Holy Spirit of God. They love the body of Christ and it shows in the way they relate to others. They know full well that all of this is made possible only through God! They know the truth of 2 Corinthians 3:4-5; "Such confidence we have through Christ toward God. Not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God."

The lost in our world don't need Casual Christians, for they have nothing to give. The lost don't need Carnal Christians they look and sound just like them.  The lost need an encounter with a Christian that can and will share the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. A surrendered, spiritually gifted charismatic, full of and led by the Holy Spirit.  Humble, because they know it is not them but Christ in them and they are free to live a life that will make a difference.
Charles Spurgeon a Victorian preacher who was against Liberal Theology said; "stir the fire in your heart, and get your own soul all aflame with love to Christ, or else you will not be likely to be greatly used in the winning of the souls of others."

 Today is the day. Now is the time for you to decide which type of Christian do you desire to be?  The choice is yours.

Friday, May 25, 2012

I will be back starting May 28th

Hi everyone, once again I had a problem with the router. At least I did until I prayed and asked the Lord to show me what to do to fix it, and He heard me and He helped me and I am now back up and running!  God has shown me how to program the overhead garage door, my new heating/cooling system, and numerous technical things on the computer.  I will praise Him and give Him the glory for as long as I live!!  

The purpose behind this blog is to introduce people to Jesus Christ, to share the wonder of God's Word and encourage everyone who just happens to open this and read it.  I love Him with all of my heart, mind and soul and I can't help but tell others about the wonders and the majesty of my Lord. 

This is for Emily, you are a great encourager and I want to thank you for the sweet way the Lord uses you to encourage others, I know you do for I am one that you have encouraged more than once! Thank you so much!  I don't want to post my email here but if you care to leave yours I will contact you. If you don't want to I understand. Keep using your gift of encouragement it is so needed in this day and time especially.

Thank God for all of our soldiers all over the world that are laying down their lives for us, and for their family members who are left behind waiting for their return. Father God minister to our soldiers, hold them close, protect them from evil Lord, encourage their hearts with Your love, grace and comfort and bring them home to their families. Watch over the families Lord, encourage the single Moms and Dads and help them bear their loads, put your angels with the children Lord and keep them safe until their family is all together once again.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

"When you're in over your head, I'll be there with you. When you're in rough waters, you will not go down. When you're between a rock and a hard place, it won't be a dead end. Because I am your God." Isaiah 43:2-3 MSG

Today's Scripture title is the same one that was in the devotional journal that I am doing.  The theme was when we find ourselves in situations where we are way in over our head we are not to despair because God has promised to always be with us.  Yet today in my journaling it was greatly enhanced because of something that the Lord had shown me two days ago...

In the women's weekly Bible study that I am in we are currently doing Thirty Discipleship Exercises, The pathway to Christian maturity put out by the Billy Graham Evangelistic association. The exercises are designed to get each participant deeply into the Scripture based on thirty topics that every believer needs to know if we are going to share our faith effectively and then disciple those who become believers.  Each topic has at least six scriptures some more.  It is all the Word of God, and I am loving it!

I journaled the following today; I thank You Lord for the over-my-head situations that I find myself in and consider each one a gift from you, because when I am weak, I am dependent on You!  And when I am weak, You give me Your strength! 

Two days ago I was reviewing the homework assignment that we would be discussing in Bible study that night.  I had circled the key words or phrases in a very familiar verse Romans 8:26; "In the same way, the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness, we do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express."  I circled  Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness, and as I circled weakness the Spirit within me prompted me to go back and read that portion again.  

Right here I want to say that I have never heard the audible voice of God, but having said that, I know His voice, I have been studying Scripture for years and I hear Him speak all the time in Scripture.  Jesus said His sheep hear His voice, and I know that to be true.  I didn't have to read very far before the word jumped off the page, the Spirit helps us in our weaknesses, never in our perceived STRENGTHS.  

I say perceived strengths because those are the times that we serve the Lord and we don't discuss it with Him, we aren't depending on Him, in other words we don't need Him (we think) after all we have done it so many times before!  When we do things in our own prideful strength and leave God out of it we will yield filthy rags.  Flesh cannot do kingdom work.  Maybe it isn't even service maybe its those days that we go about our business without giving God a thought, how arrogant we don't even know what a day holds and the One who does we don't even consult. 

God's plan for our lives, His agenda for our day, yes He does have one, will be way beyond anything that we would even dream of, it will be out of our comfort zone, He will never call us to do the things that we can accomplish without Him!  He wants to break us forever from leaning on the arm of flesh.  God will give us things to do that only He can do...when we  humble ourselves before Him and surrender to Him all of our lives to do with what He has planned, He will do it through us!! That truth gets me very excited!!

Now I know what the Apostle Paul was talking about when he wrote; "Each time He said,  "My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness."  So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me."  2 Corinthians 12:9 NLT.  

I used to despair when I would try and fail, all my attempts at good works seemed to fall flat, now I know that God's plan for all believer's is to fill them with Holy Spirit and He is the one who is at work in and through us to do the over the top things that He calls us to do!! And God gets all the glory!!!  And we are as amazed as anyone when He begins to do it in our lives!

"My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me." Galatians 2:20 NLT.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

"Which of these three do you think proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell into the robbers hands? Luke 10:36 NASB

Many Christians today live their lives as the priest and the levite did in story of the good Samaritan. (Luke 10:30-37).  We are loving and kind to those that are just like us, meaning they attend the same church we do, are in the same bible studies etc. But too often we cross to the other side of the road to keep from being put out or soiled by people in the world. We limit our giving to a check rather than hands on involvement.
It isn't just the lost that we treat that way it can be other believers that attend a different denomination, or who worship differently, live differently, look differently, dress differently so we feel uncomfortable with what we don't understand and we end up avoiding them completely.  
That is not what the bible teaches, we are to love one another period! We are not to hold our faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ with an attitude of personal favoritism.   James 2:8-9 says; "If, however, you are fulfilling the royal law according to the Scripture, You shall love your neighbor as yourself, you are doing well. But if you show partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors."
Jesus ate and associated with tax collectors and sinners because they knew they were sinners in need of a Savior.  Self righteousness will blind us to our need for help, and our sins! That attitude prevents us from reaching out to others that don't look or think like us.  The Samaritans were despised by the Jews for their mixed gentile blood and different worship practices, yet the unlikely hero of the account in Luke 10 is a Samaritan.
The Samaritan saw the man who was robbed and beaten and rather than crossing the road and ignoring him, he had compassion on the man and responded to his need. He did as Jesus did, Jesus had compassion on the sick, the demon possessed, sinners, the poor and everywhere He went He healed, He cast out demons, He forgave sinners and fed the poor.  He viewed every person, young and old, as someone who needed ministry, and He fulfilled their need. 
What needs do we pass by everyday, who do we interact with that needs ministry? Are we willing to be Jesus eyes, ears, hands and feet towards the neighbors we have? Lord Jesus open our eyes and ears to respond with the same love and mercy that You show to us every day.  As we get beyond ourselves and our needs we begin to be aware of others and then life really gets exciting, it is amazing how meaningful our lives become when we reach out to the world in the love and name of Jesus Christ!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

"So be on your guard, not asleep like the others. Stay alert and be clearheaded." 1 Thessalonians 5:6 NLT

In the physical sense, when a person is sleeping he is not aware that he sleeps.  Is that true in the spiritual sense as well? Could I be asleep spiritually as I type this, could you be sleeping spiritually as you read this? I believe the answers to both questions are yes. Physical sleep is good, God gave us sleep for rest and renewal.  On the other hand spiritual sleep is most assuredly not good!  Today's title Scripture contains a powerful admonition not to sleep like others do that do not know the Lord.  The world knows nothing about the return of Christ but believers do and we are to be alert and awake, and about our Father's business.
How do we check to determine if we are slumbering when we need to be watchful?  Holy Spirit guide us into all truth and warn us about those areas within us where we need to be more alert, reveal to us if we are comatose and quicken our spirits to awaken us before it is too late. For our Lord is coming soon!!
1.       Do I have a daily quiet time with the Lord?
2.       Am I just going thru the motions or am I expecting to hear from Him?
3.       Do I humble myself daily and pray to be filled and led by the Holy Spirit?
4.       Do I still view my life as my own?
5.       Am I depending on the Lord to direct my steps according to His Word?
6.       Do I love Jesus more today than at any other time in my life?
7.       Do I obey His commands because that is how I show my love for Him?
8.       Is Jesus my favorite part of me?
9.       Does my life reflect Jesus heart for the lost of the world?
10.     When was the last time I shared the gospel with a nonbeliever?
11.      Is my faith growing?
12.     Do my prayers honor the Lord by the enormity of my requests?
13.     Do I tithe, do I give joyfully?
14.     Do I have unforgiveness in my heart towards anyone?
15.     Do I put the needs of others before my own needs?
16.     Am I growing in the wisdom and knowledge of Jesus Christ?
17.     Are my eyes open to the needs of others and do I give in response?
18.     Do I love the unlovely as Christ loved me in my unloveliness?
19.     Do I confess my sins daily so I can maintain fellowship with the Lord?
20.    Do others see Jesus in me, and give the glory to God?
Please don't feel condemned because God does not condemn you (Romans 8:1) we  can thank the Lord for showing us those areas of our life that He desires to remove from us because they hinder our relationship with Him. He is giving us a wake up call, let us heed His voice and wake up, let us follow where He leads, let us nudge one another lovingly to wake up and follow Him.       

Monday, May 14, 2012

"Why are you afraid? Mark 4:40

What is it that causes fear in our lives? Is it lack of faith? Maybe our fear is grounded in what we fill our minds with? Are you a news junkie? If you are then odds are you know fear.  Madison Ave is expert in using fear as a motivation for buying everything from home security to pest control!
If we are ignorant of God's Word we will always be trapped by fear, because the truth of Scripture sets us free from the lies that entrap us.  One such lie is, if I am to be a good parent then I have to worry! Does that sound familiar?  The alternative to living a life of fear, of anxiety attacks, is to know Scripture and apply it to our lives. This isn't mind over matter this is applying truth to our lives in this world that is blinded by lies.
A Scripture that I know that has personally set people free from a life of worry and fear including me, is "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6-7.  We must understand the truth before we can dispel the lie we have been living.  
Christ expects us to be obedient to His commands. He also knows full well that we are prone to fear, and 'fear not' is found over and over everywhere in Scripture! Because we belong to Jesus Christ who is Sovereign over all is the one who loves us, He knows everything about us,  He has promised to never ever fail us, He is with us when we go through scarey things and He alone fills us with peace when nothing makes sense in our lives. His grace and comfort is sufficient and He will work everything together for good in His time for His purposes.  He has our back, He is for us and He will move heaven and earth on behalf of one of His children!
How do we surrender it all by bowing our knees and crying out to our God, our ever present help in times of trouble, we lay everything that keeps us awake at night at His feet, turning it over to the only one that really has control over everything! Our children, our spouse, our jobs, our homes, our health, our money, everything is entrusted to Him.  And now we go on about our lives, trusting Him to direct our steps and take care of all the things that concern us.  
Fear Not! For God has redeemed you, He has called you by name and you are His.  Fear Not! He will never fail you or forsake you and He will never leave you. Fear Not! Worry, fear and anxiety sap our strength and don't add one minute to our lives, they do great harm, trusting and turning over our lives to the One who created us, and He loves us with an everlasting love, trust in God changes everything!!