The Struggle

For some, the struggle to do what is right is a daily fight. This struggle includes making wise decisions, being considerate of others, standing up for justice, doing what God says to do, and do it well. Why is this struggle so great?

The struggle to do right is greater because it is so much easier to give in to temptation. It is easier to think and act selfishly. It is easier to cuss someone out than to think about how to say what you want to say. It is easier to go along to get along than to stand on principles aligned with God’s Word.

 

If the struggle to do right was easy, many people would be saved and living abundant lives. But it is so much easier for people to live unsaved, without thinking about the consequences of their action, and how what they do impacts others. Since there are so many people struggling to live–without fear, without concern about finances or what the economy will bring or what the politicians will do, we know the struggle is real, we know there are people who have yet to find peace with Jesus, who are yet unsaved.

 

Lord Jesus, help us in our struggles to do what is right and help others to do the same. Help us to fight the good fight of faith in you, not self. Help us to resist the devil and watch him flee from us.

We Know His Name!

“And those who know Your name will put their trust in You; For You, LORD, have not forsaken those who seek You.” (Psalm 9:10 NKJV)

One of the reasons many people don’t know God is because of all the negatives that some have attributed to Him. When people believe the worst of anyone–what they think they know–is a different perspective from one who actually knows.

Our God, The Lord Jesus Christ–is love and therefore, He can only love as a loving Father.

Our God, The Lord Jesus Christ–is the Son of the Father (God in the flesh) and He can only do what He has seen the Father do and say what the Father says.

Our God, The Lord Jesus Christ–is Holy Spirit–the spirit of God living in us–and He will only tell us what He hears the Father say.

How can we put our trust in someone we don’t know? Most people cannot and since they cannot trust Him, they choose to refute who He is.

Now, here is the real challenge–why is it that those who claim to know Him and His name, have difficulty fully trusting in all He is and His Word?

If, we as Believers–fully understand and know who He is–we should not have a problem trusting Him–in all things–and never worry about the outcome of anything. Do we worry? Do we have doubts and are overanxious about things over which we cannot control?

I have learned and still learning that when I trust Him–totally trust Him–I can navigate life without concern about what “may” happen next. I know from experience that whatever happens–I will get through it if I just praise Him and trust Him to do what He said He would do--never forsake me, never abandon me, never leave me alone, always guiding me, loving me, setting me in position for victory. I am more than a conqueror through Him because of His love. I can do all things through Him and therefore there is nothing, I cannot do and do well to His glory!

I not only know who He is–His name–I know His attributes and His character and I know beyond a shadow of doubt, that He will never withdraw His love from me.

Thank You, Lord Jesus for love, mercy, and favor–even though I may not be worthy because I sometimes miss the mark, yet Your abiding love keeps me from being perpetually lost to the temptations of this world. It is because I desire to please You above all things that I know I cannot bring shame to Your name, by my actions or attitudes. Thank You for always curbing my tongue and comforting my heart, giving me peace and understanding in how to do those things I must. 

Simple Version–I Agree With God!

“Can you solve the mysteries of God? Can you discover everything about the Almighty? Such knowledge is higher than the heavens—and who are you? It is deeper than the underworld—what do you know?” (Job 11:7,8 NLT)

Age-old questions that man is still trying to answer and because there are some things that no one can explain–many have said, “There is no God!”

Why does God allow this happen? Why does God allow that to happen? Why are there starving people in the world? Why are there wars? Why do children suffer? Where was God when all the negative things in the world happened?

Instead of trying to waste brain power and time in explaining the “whys or why nots” of God’s allowance of things, I’ve determined there is one simple answer–I agree with God!

No, I don’t know everything and I’m in good company–neither does anyone else! But this one thing I do know–God knows and the last time I checked, He doesn’t owe anyone an explanation for anything since He created all things–on His own–without consulting us.

What He has done–for our benefit–is to speak to those who were willing to listen and record what He said. Even though some think The Word is a book of fiction, they have yet not been able to deny the authenticity of actual segments of history. For this reason, scientists are always trying to disprove something in the bible only to discover they were wrong and God is right.

Pride truly is a terrible thing when we allow it get in the way of receiving God’s blessings. Only those with so much pride in their own limited knowledge of what they have discovered–will never see what God has truly planned for them. If we stop wasting our time in trying to determine the whys and just accept what He has done and is doing for all those who love Him, our time would be better served in accomplishing all that He wants us to do!

So, I don’t have any more answers about why God does or allows things than anyone else, but I have decided–rather than question Him–I’ll simply agree with Him and enjoy life and His many blessings!

He’ll Work It Out!

“The LORD will work out his plans for my life—for your faithful love, O LORD, endures forever.Don’t abandon me, for you made me.” (Psalm 138:8 NLT)

Have you ever planned something–dinner, party, travel–and no matter how carefully you planned, there was still a glitch to upset your plans?

I’ve learned from experience that even though I plan with a checklist–there are some things we simply cannot anticipate–and that is why it is important to consult God about every aspect of our lives. When the glitches occur–He has the answer–when we listen.

But His plans for our lives–no matter how many glitches enter into the picture–will be fulfilled! The glitches that occur with His plans are us–when we choose to take another direction other than what He has planned. How do I know? I simply look back at my life and consider where I was headed and where I am now. Where I am now was part of His plans for my life from the beginning, I was just too obstinate to know it. So, when I think (and have actually asked Him), why I didn’t reach this place sooner, He reminds me of the choices I made that had nothing to do with Him.

He is such a gentleman! He never forces us to choose His path, and He will honor our choices–allowing us go against the grain for as long as we desire. When we finally reach the end of ourselves and understand that our plans–without Him–mean nothing, He’s right there–waiting to set us upon the path He wanted us on and if we listen carefully, we will see the results of His plans–that are far better than ours.

I know many people resist knowledge and belief in our Awesome God and go their own way and that’s okay. God sees and knows when we’ll turn back to Him and even when we won’t. I encourage all to look at their lives, think about whether or not their plans have worked well and then seek God and allow Him to have full control of the direction of their lives and reap His many benefits.

I have learned from experience that His plans are always better than mine and I love seeing His plans fulfilled in my life. He is so awesome and because of Him, so is my life–no matter what others may think–I have an awesome life because He is an Awesome God! He will work it out!

Church Goers!

Why are we really going to church? Is it because we have nothing better to do or is it a social event? Do we think our attendance will reserve our place in heaven or is it just a status thing?

If we’re going to a building, just because it’s Sunday or to Mid-week services, and we’re simply going because it’s the thing to do, we’re wasting our time and taking up space better used for another purpose.

The body of believers of Jesus Christ—all of us—comprises The Church. For many, we assemble in one location to fellowship with other believers and to encourage one another to stay in the faith.

If we think that we have to go to church to worship God—we really don’t know Him.
If we think that we have to go to church to hear The Word—we really don’t know Him.
If we think that we have to go to church to praise Him—we really don’t know Him.

And at about this point—some might comment—Paul tells us “not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together” and he does. But does he say when, or what time? Does he tell us which building to go to when we assemble ourselves together? No, he doesn’t and it doesn’t really matter which building we enter.

What matters the most is this—having a relationship with God, knowing and understanding His purposes for our lives, knowing and understanding His Word so we can increase our faith, every time we hear it. Knowing and understanding His Word is not just for the preachers or the deacons but for every born-again believer—who dares to get to know Him and stay in fellowship with Him.

I am absolutely amazed at the number of people who are involved in “church work” but have no relationship with God. They think only the pastors or church leaders need to know The Word and sit in service after service, getting nothing out of the event other than a time to meet up with folks and to brag about much they do in and for the church. This attitude then—is the result of religious affiliation, rather than being in relationship with God. Of course, before we can claim to have a relationship with God, we must understand and accept the work on the cross, by which we are made joint-heirs with Jesus Christ. And Jesus has said, “No man gets to the Father, but by Him.” He did not say “mother” or “it.” He was clear about God being our Father, but we cannot make this claim until we know Him.

How can we acknowledge someone having a love relationship with us, if we don’t know them? This love relationship is two-fold—God loving us and us loving Him. He said in His Word, that “if we love Him, we’ll keep His commandments.”Now, how can we say we love Him when we do not know what He has said or why he said it? David said it best, “Your Word have I hidden in my heart that I might not sin against You!”

I defy anyone who has ever read His Word–with understanding–to claim they can support anyone living in opposition to God’s Word or that they have a relationship with God, but refuse to believe His Word!  And for those who want to debate the issue—do this first—read the Gospel of John and Romans—in their entirety, asking God while reading to reveal Himself. Then and only then can a rational discussion be held about being in relationship with God.

If our heart is open to hearing Him when He speaks, we won’t just go to church to be going, but we’ll be anxious to hear more of what has been spoken to the messenger in the building, and not just because he or she is there. Relationship with God, means we hear Him when He speaks and we know when others are not saying what He says.

So, we can go to our buildings whenever we go, but we need to allow Holy Spirit to establish us as part of—The Church—the Body of Believers who need no building before we go. And remember this—our service to God is not in going to the building, but in living the life we proclaim to have with Him and in serving one another as He leads us to do it.

Can I get an Amen? How about an “ouch?

Once Truth is spoken, whether we believe it or not, accept it or not, God knows all and we will be held accountable for responding to Truth or not as He determines.

He’s Doing Amazing Things!

“Yes, the LORD has done amazing things for us! What joy!” (Psalm 126:3 NLT)

Singing a song of praise for all The Lord has done is as natural to some people as breathing is--when we acknowledge Him.

Throughout the Psalms, we see prayers, songs of contrition, repentance, and praise for all the amazing things He has done for the people He loves.

What I’m reminded of in reading this entire Psalm is that the captivity or bondage of people is a result of willful disobedience on the part of those who are held captive. When we continually ignore God when He speaks through those He has chosen to be a vessel of communication, we reap the consequences of our actions. God has never planned for His people to be held captive, but He allows it when we refuse to turn away from ungodliness and turn back to Him.

And when we turn back to Him, we can reflect upon the time of captivity and understand that even in the state of bondage, He never leaves us, but patiently waits for us to get our act together.

Those who were held in exile rejoiced in returning to their homeland. We, who have been held captive to our fleshly dictates–whatever they are and they are different for different people–can rejoice and sing praises to Him who does all things well for our benefit.

Many are those who were held captive to all sorts of addictions–who lost homes, jobs, family trust–and yet were brought back to a state of total redemption and trust in The Lord for what He allowed them to go through, yet brought them out to His glory.

Many are those who were held captive to their own ideologies when they thought they were based upon sound doctrine, but discovered their faith was in religious affiliation and when they discovered Truth, were turned around and turned to Truth in relationship with God–who loves us so much, He is not willing to see any of us lost or held captive by erroneous beliefs.

Some are held captive to beliefs that their bodies are their own–thinking they can treat them any way they want and still know victory in long life. In spite of illnesses that could have been terminal, God has shown them a different path and now they praise Him with a renewed, energetic outlook of preserving their bodies to His glory.

Yes, our God is truly Amazing–look at how He loves us when we did not love Him. Look at the mercy He bestows upon us when we did not deserve mercy. Look at the favor He has given us with all–even though we did not earn it. He is truly amazing and we praise Him for being our awesome God, doing amazing things for our benefit, when we turn our lives back to living for Him!

Help in Every Situation!

“My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth!” (Psalm 121:2 NLT)

I know a number of people who are always looking for someone to come to their rescue, when they need help. Some people are gifted to help others–whether with a kind word, encouragement, or comfort–whether with financial contributions, or other tangibles--the gifting comes from The Lord.

When we are in Relationship with God, Holy Spirit speaks and we hear and obey and do what The Lord tells us. It is The Lord speaking to people to “help” others that keeps us going, no matter how dire the situation might be.

Some people think–”God helps those who help themselves” is scriptural when it is not. God never designed us to live independent of Him–He wants us dependent on Him and through Him, He speaks and we obtain the help we need.

When I see suffering in other countries because the leadership in those countries are too greedy to help their own people, I pray that God will give the leaders a heart of compassion. After all, if they are too blinded by their own greed that people starve and die needlessly, the suffering of the people shall be on their heads.

While I admire those in this country who have hearts as large as the universe and who are always giving, I often wonder just how much of what is given is actually reaching those in need. When corrupt leadership smacks its lips and rubs its grubby hands at the mere thought of obtaining more riches through the auspices of the kindhearted, are the needs of the people really served?

I am not against helping those in need and have–with The Lord’s guidance–given far beyond my means to help others, but it is only when I hear The Lord speaks–not the commercials–designed to tug on hearts. I have–with careful observation and through prayer for truth–detected deception in much of the public service announcements. One only needs a discerning spirit to notice.

We have to remember–that it is The Lord–who is our provider and He will also provide for others through us, when He speaks to our hearts. It is He who is our help in every situation and since He is not a respecter of persons, will He not help others who are open to hearing Him?

Lord, in every country, region, state, city,  and village all over this world, speak to the hearts of leaders and create in them a heart of compassion to see to the needs of their people. Let every decision in every situation be a result of direct counsel from You and not dependence by deceptive means. Only You, Lord can change the landscape of every heart and see that no one who loves You, shall be hungry or thirsty or in need of shelter, ever again. In Jesus’ name, I pray, Amen!

How People Read Us!

“Clearly, you are a letter from Christ showing the result of our ministry among you. This “letter” is written not with pen and ink, but with the Spirit of the living God. It is carved not on tablets of stone, but on human hearts.” (2 Corinthians 3:3 NLT)

If we are a letter from Christ for others to read, what is the letter saying?

Does the letter inform others of our desire to please God and to do–always–those things that are pleasing in His sight?

Can people read our compassion for others in what they see us do?

Do they see the commitment we have to stand firm on The Word and not be swayed by man’s corrupt thinking?

Is the letter they are reading so full of light, hope and faith that our lives ignite hope in them?

Do they see someone on fire for The Lord or do they see complacency?

Exactly, what do we want people to read of us–since we supposed to be the living epistles (letters) read by men?

I pray that the letter written upon my heart is confirmation and testament of my receiving God’s love and sharing it with others. I pray that others read the desire I have to please God in everything I do and say. I pray that others read upon my heart a blueprint for being a Godly mother, wife, grandmother, and witness of all God’s goodness. I pray that all that is written upon my heart from Christ ignites a love of Christ in others that overwhelms and spills over onto every person reading it.

I would rather people read a letter that sets them on fire–burning with desire to repent and turn to God, than one that is simply a copy or imitation of some other person’s life. For which is better for societal change that turns hearts to God–a never-ending flame to please Him or a flickering light that changes with every wind of doctrine, changed by man.

Allow the love of Jesus to burn brightly within and people will see and read the letter He has written upon our hearts–to His glory, so all will know to whom we belong.