No Disappointment With Christ!

No Disappointment With Christ!

Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory. We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love. When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners. Romans 5:2-6 NLT

Though there be many things and people that might disappoint us in life, when we are in Christ, we are not disappointed–for we know His love will see us through whatever falls upon us.

Sometimes–we see not getting what we want as a disappointment, but we have to learn how to rise above above what we thought we wanted and accept what God has for us. After all, He knows more than we do about what is best for us.

But knowing this does not stop us from appealing to Him for those things we desire. What helps us in not being disappointed is when we align our petitions to Him based upon His Word.

We are to pray for leaders in the world and when we ask God to pour out wisdom upon them and those leaders are receptive to hearing God and obeying, we can rest assured of peace in the land.

However, when we can see that leaders are not hearing from God–and we can tell by what they say and do–we must seek God’s wisdom for ourselves so we can endure to the end–never wavering in our faith in Him–because He will never fail us.

I’ve expressed my disappointment in church leaders and political leaders and lawmakers and teachers and in so many others that I’m now tired of being disappointed by people. My focus has to be turned to Christ in whom there is no disappointment. That does not mean I ignore what is going on around me, but that I consistently reaffirm my faith in God and know that He will work it out!

Therefore–it is to Him I give the glory; it is to Him I give the praise; it is to Him I commit my soul until my dying day. There is no one like Him–no one in the earth who can do the things He does and no one who has a place for me for all eternity where I will live in peace and rest with Him.

We don’t have to worry about being disappointed with Christ as long as we live to please Him and not people!

Forgiven and Healed!

Forgiven and Healed!

Of David. Praise the LORD, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the LORD, my soul, and forget not all his benefitswho forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. Psalm 103:1-5 NIV

Lord, You are great and greatly to be praised. There is no one else like You in the whole wide world. We could climb the highest mountain, or sink to the depths of the sea, explore the earth from east to west and north to south and still would discover, You alone are God!

With a heavy heart, but a determined faith, I am standing in the gap for a friend who has just been told she has breast cancer. She does not understand how great God is or His loving mercy so I’m praying on her behalf. I’m praying that God will reveal Himself to her greatly, that she’ll receive His love and mercy and commit to living for Him, and that God will heal her body and all traces of cancer will be eradicated. I’m also praying for strength and wisdom in knowing how to be a friend to her without overwhelming her.

I know The Lord as Savior, redeemer, friend and healer, provider of all my needs. I pray that I have truly pleased Him and that He’ll hear and answer my prayers for this woman and for all who are facing the challenge of fighting cancer.

We never know who or when this diagnosis will be presented to anyone, so I encourage all to pray with me during this time that if–we ever hear it–we’ll be strengthened by the knowledge of a loving-God who never abandons His children and that He will heal us of all diseases.

Father, prompt Holy Spirit to rise in all who love You and impart strength and wisdom to those who are battling disease and those who are praying for them. Help us to endure to the end–to see the victory that can only come from above. In Jesus’ name I pray and thank You, Amen!

Enduring To The End!

But the one who endures to the end will be saved. Matthew 24:13 ESV

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.  I Corinthians 9:24,25 NIV

Today, I’m participating in a walk-a-thon to raise money for band camp for our students’ Marching Band and it appears that we’ll be walking in the rain on a cooler morning than we saw yesterday. I will dress to meet the test!.

To get ready for this event, I’ve been working out to a song for 20 minutes every morning and walking when weather permits. I can normally work a mile in under 20 minutes and recently have walked 2 and half miles in 40 minutes. Today, the goal is to walk 5 miles and I have at least two hours to get it done.

I wonder, if we knew how much time we had left to get living right for God, what we would do. Would we practice living right or just think by some “magical event” it would just happen?

Living right for God according to His Word is a daily exercise–physically and spiritually and the best time to start is early morning–to set the pace for the day. Get into His Word, meditate upon His Word, and then practice what you have read with all you meet and greet throughout the day. Living right for God is not going to just happen–like anything else that we value–we must practice. Exercise faith in the moment every day and watch how God will work in your lives.

Only those who endure–keeping the faith and exercising the Word–will be saved and in my case today–if I endure to the end of the time allotted–I shall reach my goal and will have earned enough from pledges to support two students for band camp.

Our God is awesome and at my age–I need His awesomeness to strengthen me at the turn of every lap until I complete my 20 laps.  Thank You, Lord for power from within and without to achieve-to Your glory!

Now Is Not The Time To Get Tired!

Now Is Not The Time To Get Tired!

Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers. Galatians 6:7-10 NIV

No matter what happens–locally, nationally, or globally, we must keep our focus on doing what God has called us to do–promote His love and love others.

Let’s face it–none of us has any control over anything that happens in our communities, our nation and certainly not in the world at-large. What we do have is an ability to seek God and His wisdom and the power to love others–continuing to always seek what is best for all.

However, what is best for all–according to The Word–will not be what everyone wants to see, especially the enemy. For what is best for him–is for all mankind to cease to exist. Therefore, he will always stir up confusion and strife among mere mortals because he loves to see us at odds with one another. The devil wants us to hate one another because God wants us to love one another. The devil wants people confused about their gender because God has a specific purpose in making men–men and women–women (male and female). God was not confused when He created the universe or mankind nor is He the author of confusion, but we know who is.

And this is why we (who have a relationship with God) must continually, without fail or getting weary of repeating the same message–God is love and we–as human beings–can only receive His best in our lives when we choose to do things His way.

If the only thing people care about is what pleases their flesh, then they have nothing coming from God for He has said in His Word that the flesh is enmity against the Spirit. In other words–what the Spirit desires for us is what God wants, but what the flesh craves is what the flesh craves and the satisfaction is temporary at best, while the benefits from allowing Holy Spirit to lead us are eternal.

Let me say it this way–giving into fleshly desires–leads to obesity, sickness and disease, sexual depravity, addictions of all kinds and crimes of all nature–theft, murder, extortion, and more. Allowing Holy Spirit to lead us–keeps us from all harm because He wants us to do all things–decently and in order. Holy Spirit will never steer us wrong or in doing wrong and when we get tired–weak from fighting against the demonic forces we face on a daily basis–He is right there–empowering us to keep going and we find we can accomplish more in His strength than in our own.

This then is what we must remind ourselves on a daily basis–God is not fooled by anything the devil influences anyone to do. He is not fooled by fake conciliatory pronouncements by foolish politicians; He is not fooled by the phony rhetoric designed to deceived others; He is not fooled by anything and the only thing the devil does is to make himself in those he has influenced. The devil is a master of deception, but those who know God can spot the deception because we know The Word.

Remember the enemy works to defeat all God loves and when we get tired–physically and spiritually–he’s ready to pounce to convince us our efforts are in vain. Our efforts in promoting The Gospel of Jesus Christ are never in vain and when we feel we’re getting weary, we need to be refreshed and restored, by constant re-visiting of The Word. We can do all things through Him who loves us and with Him, nothing is impossible! He will not withhold any good gift from those He loves and no weapon–not fear or tiredness or anything else–formed against us shall prosper. Nothing the enemy attempts to do to deter us will work. We have victory in Jesus!

Moving Forward With Greater Determination!

The fifth time, Sanballat’s servant came with an open letter in his hand, and this is what it said: “There is a rumor among the surrounding nations, and Geshem tells me it is true, that you and the Jews are planning to rebel and that is why you are building the wall. According to his reports, you plan to be their king. He also reports that you have appointed prophets in Jerusalem to proclaim about you, ‘Look! There is a king in Judah!’ “You can be very sure that this report will get back to the king, so I suggest that you come and talk it over with me.” I replied, “There is no truth in any part of your story. You are making up the whole thing.” They were just trying to intimidate us, imagining that they could discourage us and stop the work. So I continued the work with even greater determination. Nehemiah 6:5-9 NLT

Most Believers know the story–Saballat’s envy and deceptive ploys to stop Nehemiah from building the wall. And for those who don’t know–any good translation of the Bible will reveal the plot to deceive and thwart, but when God has put something on our hearts to do–nothing the enemy does, will matter. When Nehemiah, the king’s cupbearer, prayed and repented for the people, he went before the king with his request to rebuild the wall in Jerusalem. “And because the gracious hand of my God was on me, the king granted my requests.” Nehemiah 2:8 NIV.

The first chapter of Nehemiah contains his prayer and why he was praying. The second chapter reveals his requests and the king’s response. After that–the story unfolds as the challenges, the belittling and persecution those who were working on restoring the wall endured. And when Sanballat conspired to stop the rebuilding, God strengthened all the workers involved and by His spirit–kept Nehemiah encouraged and determined to complete the mission.

Perhaps, there are some people today who want to have something restored in their lives and need the courage to complete the mission–regardless of the challenges set before them. Perhaps, there are some already in the process of completing a mission and need encouragement to keep going to finish the task.

Perhaps, what is getting in their way, is the lack of repentance and submission to God’s Will. Prayer–for all involved in the task–and repentance is in order. When we speak to God in sincerity, recognizing our shortcomings and the wrong paths we’ve taken, He is faithful and just and will hear and honor our requests.

Now, we have a job to do. God has put on our hearts a variety  tasks that only we can do and those tasks vary for every individual. Hear God and know what He wants done in your life and then–be determined to move forward. When obstacles get in the way, pray–asking God for strength to endure and move forward with greater determination to get the job done to the glory of God.

Gather your courage, pray for endurance, and keep moving forward with greater determination to do all God has put on your heart to do!

 

Enduring Love!

“For the Lord is good and His love endures forever; His faithfulness continues through all generations” (Psalm 100:5 NIV).

One of the reasons (just one) we should arise in the morning thanking God for His love is because His love endures (remains steadfast, in spite of us) no matter what we do.

Every once in a while, we forget–our forgetfulness can be seen in how we treat others–just how much God loves us.  We forget about His love when we callously ignore the needs of the poor and the vulnerable.  We forget about His love when we don’t know how to love others or refuse to love them.  We forget about His love when we forget our roles as parents, ignoring the needs of our children.  We forget about His love when we don’t treat others as we want to be treated. We forget, but He does not–He continues to love us and forgive us when we confess our sins.

Sometimes, we seek relationships with others in marriage and the love we thought was there, did not endure the transitional period of adjustment–to each other.  The tiny challenges became major conflicts and since neither party wants to admit fault, the relationship endsdoes not endure, cannot handle the difficult times.  Thankfully, there is no transitional adjustment time for us with God–at least on His part–He knows everything about us and loves us just the same, even when we cannot admit to being at fault.  Can we ever love like Him?

Father, help us to love like You love–with endurance and determination to stay the course.  Help us to look beyond the shortcomings of others like You look beyond ours.  Help us to see us as You see us, lovable–no matter what.  Help us to stay focused on You, learning to be more like You each and every day, loving You the way You love us. In Jesus’ name, I pray, Amen!