Sunday, April 13, 2008

God Determines Who Walks into your life

Psalm 119:113-120 (New Living Translation) “I hate those with divided loyalties, but I love your instructions. You are my refuge and my shield; your word is my source of hope. Get out of my life, you evil-minded people, for I intend to obey the commands of my God. Lord, sustain me as you promised, that I may live! Do not let my hope be crushed. Sustain me, and I will be rescued; then I will meditate continually on your decrees. But you have rejected all who stray from your decrees. They are only fooling themselves. You skim off the wicked of the earth like scum; no wonder I love to obey your laws! I tremble in fear of you; I stand in awe of your regulations.”

There is a sermon that stays in my mind and resurfaces occasionally; it does not necessarily show up when I am struggling with an issue. At least I don’t think I’m struggling with one but maybe I am or, I am going to be and that’s why the Good Lord puts it on my heart and makes it fresh in my mind. (If an issue does come up soon I sure will let you know.)

It is a story Rev. Cowthran (my minister before we moved to Kentucky) told us one Sunday morning..."All the great minds in the world were gathered together to work on solving the problems of the world; war, poverty, AIDS, global warming etc. They had been working for a very long time and finally decided they should take a break, have some food, and return to tackle these many terrible issues.

While they were on break, a young boy entered the room, and when they returned, the young boy had put this massive dilemma together, the issues that had puzzled them were now completely in order and they were amazed. They questioned the young boy to determine how he had solved issues that these distinguished scholars were unable to unscramble. He simply told them that he had looked on the other side of these puzzling issues, found a picture of Jesus and when he put the image of Jesus in order, everything else fell into place."

I remembered that sermon as I thought about my scripture reading for today. When you keep the image of Jesus in order, everything else falls into stays in perfect order. Originally I was thinking about how we continually seek to keep Jesus in the forefront of our lives...He keeps you looking for God in your life. The more you seek God and the things of God-the more you seek quality, the more you seek not just the hand of God but the face of God. The more you seek things honorable, the more you seek growth, peace of mind, love and truth around you, the easier it will become for you to decide who gets to sit in the FRONT ROW of your life and who should be moved to the balcony.

Observe the relationships around you. Pay attention to; which ones lift and which ones lean? Which ones encourage and which ones discourage? Which ones are on a path of growth uphill and which ones are going downhill? When you leave certain people, do you feel better or feel worse? Which ones always have drama or don't really understand, know and appreciate you and the gift that lies within your?

Life is like a theater-so invite your audience carefully. Not everyone is holy enough and healthy enough to have a front row seat in our lives. There are some people in your life that need to be loved from a distance.

It's amazing what you can accomplish when you let go, or at least minimize your time with draining, negative, incompatible, not-going-anywhere relationships, friendships, and fellowships! You cannot change the people around you…but you can change the people you are around! Ask God for wisdom and discernment and choose wisely the people who sit in the front row of your life.

God determines who walks into your life....YOU decide who you let walk away, who you let stay, and who you refuse to let go.

Father, God bless all my family and friends in whatever it is that you know they may be needing this day! And may their life be full of your peace, prosperity, and power as they seek to have a closer relationship with you. Amen.

Psalm 119:108-109 (NLT) “Lord, accept my offering of praise, and teach me your regulations. My life constantly hangs in the balance, but I will not stop obeying your instructions.”

Friday, April 11, 2008

The Almighty Hand of God

All of the wonderful, unbelievable, and sometimes supernatural things that happen in our lives come from the Almighty Hand of God. I am learning, more and more each day, that when you pray to God and believe in His supremacy, something unexpected always happens. Sometimes it is that miraculous occurrence that your prayers included or, it is the blessing you forgot to ask for, and it can even be the blessing of not getting what you thought you wanted or needed. Ultimately, you learn that the Almighty Father works everyday miracles in your life that you could not even fathom.

It is a proven fact that our lives would be so very incomplete without Jesus. This unparalleled gift from God, His Son, who died for our sins on Calvary. Who taught us the source of all power and goodness in all areas of our lives. Once you know the source of all power, you learn where to get the power and strength to withstand the storms in our lives. And, most importantly, each day you live in His will you learn about the schedule of God....that He is always on schedule and on time.

Colossians 2:-10 cautions us to not ".... let anyone capture you with empty philosophies and high-sounding nonsense that come from human thinking and from the spiritual powers of this world, rather than from Christ. For in Christ lives all the fullness of God in a human body. So you also are complete through your union with Christ, who is the head over every ruler and authority.”
The Bible teaches us which way to go into righteousness and assures us the Our Lord and Savior will not let us ‘die’ in the wilderness. We learn, I learn each day how God blesses us when we obey, acknowledging that obedience is key to progress."

I know He has a schedule for my life.

I know my readers have been wondering why I have been very inconsistent in writing blog posts, but there was something stirring my heart that I had to do in order to rest at night. It was almost a compulsion, to the exclusion of everything else I was doing, except my daily scripture readings. Now, I feel I have done my best and I feel the compulsive stirrings of writing my blog. I know I lost some readers, and I feel pretty bad about that...but I have some wonderfully loyal prayer/study partners who have awaited a return to our daily thoughts. God bless you and I thank you for your support.


Deuteronomy 6:17-23 (New International Version) “Be sure to keep the commands of the LORD your God and the stipulations and decrees he has given you. Do what is right and good in the LORD's sight, so that it may go well with you and you may go in and take over the good land that the LORD promised on oath to your forefathers, thrusting out all your enemies before you, as the LORD said. In the future, when your son asks you, "What is the meaning of the stipulations, decrees and laws the LORD our God has commanded you?" tell him: "We were slaves of Pharaoh in Egypt, but the LORD brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand. Before our eyes, the LORD sent miraculous signs and wonders—great and terrible—upon Egypt and Pharaoh and his whole household. But he brought us out from there to bring us in and give us the land that he promised on oath to our forefathers.”

Thursday, April 10, 2008

God Takes Care of His Own

God is with us to encourage us
Thursday, April 10. 2008
“....Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed."—John 20:29 (ESV)

Jesus had told his disciples of his death and resurrection and had been transfigured before them. Then, after his resurrection, he began a series of appearances before them that would accustom them to expect hi to be wherever they were. God’s Word teaches us that he is the same yesterday, today , and forever. We know that the broadcast signal of our local radio station is all over our home, so much so that we know we can place a radio anywhere in the house and the signal will be picked up whenever the radio is properly tuned to the station. Likewise, Jesus’ appearances conditioned his disciples’ minds to feel his presence when they could not see him.

“Strong Son of God, immortal Love;
Whom we, that have not seen thy face,
By faith, and faith alone, embrace,
Believing where we cannot prove.”

Hymn: “Strong Son of God, Immortal Love.”

Prayer: O Christ, our Redeemer and Friend, may we feel thy presence so near to us that our greatest desire is to be found acceptable in thy sight. Take our lives, our minds, and our hearts and use them to thy honor and glory. In thy name, we pray. Amen.

This devotion is taken from April 1958, “Today-Think on These Things.” I thought it was so interesting when I found this booklet from so long ago (almost as old as me) that spoke to what I was thinking and feeling on this day.

A comment I made to readers on this blog was, “God will take care of His Own. Those who want to hear Truth as it is spoken to Power will go and listen, those who want to remain in their current state of denial will not. The rest of us who know the truth must continue to Pray, and to God be the Glory.” That comment continues to dance in my heart. and then I found the devotional above...Wow, look at God Work!

It is a fact from Scripture that God leads His own. Christ says that His sheep hear His voice, that He knows them, and that the sheep follow Him. Romans 8:14 confirms this, saying, "For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God." So let us not ever think that God is not in the business of leading His people.

One of the quickest ways to place ourselves in a position where we can't discern the leading of God or hear Him when He speaks to us is to hide sin in our hearts. If we regard iniquity in our hearts, the Lord says that He will not hear our prayers. I feel He is telling me not to be side-tracked by all the controversy I am hearing lately. Be of good cheer because He will lead His people where He wants them to go. My heart is soothed with this thought.
Peace Be Unto You All!

John 14:23-24 (New International Version)Jesus replied, "If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. He who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

God's Great Love

John 3:16 "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

God's greatest Love invites up to five (5) things for you to think on this Easter Season:
  1. The Price - of God's Love = His only Son
  2. The Purpose - so who ever believes will not perish.
  3. The Passion - intense Love dispensed from Heaven
  4. The Parameters - of God's Love (?)
  5. The Provision - for everlasting life!
John 10:16 "And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd."

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Are You Lost or Being Led

Exodus 15:22-26 (New Living Translation) “Then Moses led the people of Israel away from the Red Sea, and they moved out into the desert of Shur. They traveled in this desert for three days without finding any water. When they came to the oasis of Marah, the water was too bitter to drink. So they called the place Marah (which means “bitter”). Then the people complained and turned against Moses. “What are we going to drink?” they demanded. So Moses cried out to the Lord for help, and the Lord showed him a piece of wood. Moses threw it into the water, and this made the water good to drink. It was there at Marah that the Lord set before them the following decree as a standard to test their faithfulness to him. He said, “If you will listen carefully to the voice of the Lord your God and do what is right in his sight, obeying his commands and keeping all his decrees, then I will not make you suffer any of the diseases I sent on the Egyptians; for I am the Lord who heals you.”

We've all had an experience in our lives, at one time or another where we find ourselves in an area that we are totally unfamiliar with; and sometimes we feel ‘stuck’ wondering why God left us here. It is a frightening feeling not to know where you are or which way you need to go. You have arrived in a wilderness where everything appears dried up with nothing that seems to be growing. You may have lived in this wilderness so long that you may have given up on anything ever changing and you feel that God has nothing more in store for you or, has forgotten you altogether. Then again, you may not be lost at all; you may be squarely within the Will of God.

Not all dry places in life are the result of being lost and not all bitter water is un-fixable by God.
What a relief it is when we are with someone who is familiar with the area! We don't fret when we are following someone who is leading us to where we are going, because we have confidence that they know the way. But sometimes, we could be wrong; sometimes we could be following someone who is taking us away from where we need to go unless we are following God.

Whenever God leads you somewhere, He has a purpose and a predestined place for you, even if the route is a long or a dry one. Sometimes God uses dry places as a place of preparation as He did for Moses and the people of Israel.

God told Moses that He would deliver his people to a land of ‘milk and honey’ yet first, He led them into a "wilderness” where they spent 40 years. He took them to a place where the water was bitter and if they had not called on Him, there would have been no water to drink. Thru this lesson, we know that a wilderness experience has a purpose. All too often, your wilderness experience is the doorway to your promise.

If you are in a wilderness right now, remember what you learned while there because it will be necessary to sustain you in your Promised Land. Do not faint or lose heart, ask God. You may be at the door of your promise and purpose. You may not be lost at all. You might be simply being led!

Moses was being led by someone who knew the way. Like Moses, you should always be careful to keep your eyes on Him, because if you don’t, you could surely lose your way.
So it is with my life and following Jesus. I can go through life with the calm assurance that He knows the way and that He is leading me. And I will be careful to keep my eyes on Him so I won't lose my way because Scripture tells us that He leads His own. Don’t let the enemy tell you that God is not leading you or that He does not care about the direction of our lives. God definitely does care, He leads, and He speaks on a regular basis; the question is, are we listening, and more importantly, are we obeying? Don’t ever think that God is not leading you, just make sure you are listening when He speaks.

With the Love of Christ -- Loveable

John 10:27-29 (New International Version) “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father's hand.”