Hello, I hope that you will enjoy reading my devotions. I do not claim to be an expert in the word, but I am a student of the word and desire to share the insights that the Lord gives to me. I love the Lord, my desire is to please him above all else. I want to hear him say “well done” at the end of each day. I pray you are blessed and challanged!
“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead, they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”
Light dispels darkness. If you go into a dark room and turn on the light everything becomes visible. Jesus is light. The gospel of Jesus Christ can and does bring light into a dark and evil world. Jesus can shine a light so deep into your soul that nothing else matters. He alone can bring unspeakable joy into our lives. We who bear the name of Christ ought to conduct ourselves in such a way that we are light in the darkness.
Every day our world grows dimmer and dimmer. People think it is progress, freedom to do whatever they please. Murders, especially mass killings are up; people are angry about court rulings either for their cause or against another. The sins of this world are so many and so vast. This world is blind, hell-bent, and hell-bound. The words from Isaiah 5:20 “They say that what is right is wrong and what is wrong is right; that black is white and white is black; bitter is sweet and sweet is bitter.” We then read these words in 2 Timothy 3:1-5 “But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: 2 For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self -control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasures rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power, from such people turn away!”
Does this sound a lot like our world today? I’ll be honest, I do not watch the news. I see headlines, and that is usually enough for me, sometimes I will read enough to get the gist of it, but I do not want to fill my mind and especially my heart with all the foolishness of this world which is passing away. And be sure of this “IT IS PASSING AWAY!”
People think they can live however they want, and God will turn a blind eye to it, but not so friends; God sees it all, hates sin, and will punish, must punish it because He is a Holy God. The only way to avoid punishment is with true repentance, which leads to salvation. You must be born-again.
Here is what I want to say: We who are born again, Spirit-filled believers should not be walking around, or talking or looking and sounding like the world. We should not allow our passions for anything to take precedence over being a light to a dying world. How you live and act matters. Whether you like it or not people are watching you, listening to you. What we need to be saying is “you need Jesus, He alone is the answer to all your questions, He alone can heal the broken-hearted, dispel loneliness, He alone can bring beauty from ashes, He alone is peace. I know full well how hard life can be, the hurts that another can inflict. But in the light of eternity and the joy that comes from Jesus, it does not matter. All of these things will all be gone one day.
I want to be a light, just as Jesus was when he walked this earth to those around him. He pointed everyone to the Father. He did those things that pleased his Father. He spoke words of love and peace. He lived sinlessly in a sinful world. I am not sinless, but I am Christ-filled. I have repented of my sin and do my best to live a life pleasing to Jesus. He fully knows me, there is nothing hidden from God, and I want to know him as fully and completely as I can this side of heaven. I will not argue with anyone about scripture, my position on whatever. I choose to love those around me as best I can and live in peace with them. I will tell them about Jesus, live as an example before them, and do my best to be His hands, feet, and heart to a dying and desperate world. Arguing with someone never convinces them to come on your side, most of the time they will do the opposite if for no other reason than to spite you. Jesus did not argue, He did say this: “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6
Whoever or whatever you think will get you to heaven other than Jesus, you are wrong!
Let Jesus be your center, not someone else, not politics or a cause, just Jesus. The world will kick and scream as it becomes more and more corrupt. Our world will demand its way, it will try to convince you that it is right, and its flawed thinking is freeing when in reality it is damning you to judgment and eternal punishment. People turn to celebrities, and politicians to tell them what to think, what to eat, what to wear, how they should look, seriously people! Most of them will spend eternity in hell if they do not repent and turn to Jesus. Their wealth, fame, and influence will not spare them an eternity in hell with all of the horrible pain and torment.
Instead of having your head and face deep into the world and its views and craziness, pray, read the word, think before you speak, but above all be Jesus, and don’t hold hands with the world. We really can agree to disagree. Let us spend our time on this earth looking inward, making sure our hearts and minds are right before God. We need to repent of anything unlike Christ, any sin in us. We need Jesus to be not only the center of our lives, but the top, bottom, and sides. We need to: “Know Him,” “Love Him,” “Serve Him!”
Be light…Shine Jesus into any room you enter, any conversation you have, any work you do. Let the light that is in you shine so bright that it makes people say…I want what they have!
Romans 12:2 “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is-his good, pleasing, and perfect will.”
I love weddings. A wedding is the culmination of the dating period and falling in love of two people who have decided to become “one.” It is always fun to finally see the bride’s dress, the colors she chose, the bridesmaid’s dresses, and the groomsmen all decked out in their attire. Everyone looking to watch this act of love in action. We all sit with anticipation for the service to start. And once they have pledged their love your focus then turns to the reception. What have they chosen as their wedding cake, what decorations will be tantalizing your eyes? Will the bride change into another dress? Some weddings are very Christ-centered in their delivery, while others are funny, and some are serious with lots of tears. Weddings I think are just fun, romantic, and lovely.
When there is a wedding taking place in a family the excitement level goes up the closer it gets to the wedding day, whether for the good or bad. Nerves can sometimes get the best of people and may even bring out the worst in them. But I think overall it is a happy excitement for most people. Lots of work and planning goes into weddings. Watching your child take that next step for parents brings joy.
So, where am I going with all this wedding talk? Let me first give you these scriptures: Revelation 19:6-8 “Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like the peals of thunder, shouting: “Halleluiah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns. 7 Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready. 8 Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear. (Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of the saints.)
The wedding that is about to take place that all of heaven is rejoicing and praising God for is the wedding of Christ’s return for His church (the Bride.) This is the culmination of history. Our Lord, the Lamb returning for His Bride and taking her to be with Him forever. He has given her time to prepare herself for this wedding. No more time will be given! The church, all those who have believed in Christ Jesus, and all those whose names are in the “Book of Life” will finally be face to face with their Savior for all eternity. Every person who has repented of their sins and been saved by the blood of the Lamb will be with him forever. The bride’s clothing is the righteousness of the saints.
We are not to get so caught up in the wedding, but the Groom, our Lord Jesus Christ. Our focus should be on Him. He is worthy of our worship. Jesus is the central focus of God’s redemptive plan, His coming for His bride is the culmination of all that has come before. This is when Jesus comes back in victory. All evil will be done away with. His bride will live with him for all eternity. As His bride, we are to be making ourselves ready. How do we do that? There will no longer be a second chance. You cannot say I need a few more minutes, no this is it! So, how do we prepare?
The first thing you need to do is search your heart, do you belong to Christ? Are all your sins covered by the blood of Jesus? If so, then how are you living? Does your life reflect the new life inside of you? As Christians, we need to live a life worthy of the calling. Every day we should be letting our light shine for Christ. We should be putting to death things like sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desires, covetousness, or idolatry. (Colossians 3:5-8) We also need to bridle our tongues. (James 1:26) You are not free to say whatever you want! We need to be quick to hear and slow to speak, slow to anger. (James 1:19-20) We are to be kind to one another, forgiving one another. (Ephesians 4:32) We are to present our bodies as living sacrifices, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. (Romans 12:1)
We are not to repay evil with evil, and we are to live peaceably with all men. We are to feed our enemy and give him a drink if he is thirsty. We are to overcome evil with good. (Romans 12:17-21) We are to think about those things that are true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, things worthy of praise. (Philippians 4:8-9)
We need to read our bibles, pray, and seek God always. Love should be the central heartbeat of our lives. Our actions and reactions should be Christ-like. We should live lives obedient to God’s words and instructions. We need to be kind, compassionate, loyal, and full of the Fruits of the Spirit which are: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. (Galatians 5:22-23) All this to say, we should not look or act like this sinful world. We have been set apart.
And when Jesus returns for us He needs to find us doing those things He has called us to do. We should be the living example of what the scriptures tell us to be and do. We should look and act a whole lot more like Jesus than anything else.
Before you can be a bride you will have had to say “yes” to the proposal. So, before you can be the Bride of Christ, You must have said yes to His free offer of salvation. Your sins must be covered by the blood of the Lamb. Jesus is the only way, have you said Yes to Him?
You must allow the Holy Spirit to transform you. Ephesians 5:25-27 says:
“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless.”
We need to put on the bridal dress, we need to live holy, obedient lives as we prepare ourselves for our groom. We do not earn the status of the bride by the good deeds, it is the response to our yes to Jesus. Good deeds and obedience, and our pure lives are just ways we prepare ourselves for when the bridegroom comes.
Because of the cross, Jesus’ blood that was shed for us; and our acceptance to come to Him for salvation is the only way we can become the bride of Christ. You must first say “yes” to Him, He is the only way. His name is Jesus!
COME LORD JESUS, COME! YOUR BRIDE IS WAITING!
How do we find joy in hard seasons? In times of death, or you lost your job? Or in times when nothing is going right for you? You fill in the blanks. What is your reason for struggling to find joy?
Do we have to lose our joy in the difficult times?
I do not think so!
I personally am just now coming out of a very difficult and long season of hard. Life has not played fair with me. At times I have felt like I was walking in quicksand. It took all my effort to decide to press on. I felt physically drained as a result of the pressing in of life. So, where did I go for my comfort and to retain my joy? Remember joy and happiness are not the same thing. Happiness comes from external places, joy is found deep inside, in our relationship with Jesus Christ.
Really I was not happy about the unfairness and hardness of life, but my joy in my Savior remained.
I found myself thinking of these and other scriptures along the way.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
I can say many prayers went up, for help, guidance, patience, endurance and just everyday things. I even said out loud to myself as an encouragement; I will give thanks even in this hard place.
And while walking through my desert, I also gained a few extra pounds, (truth.) I am an emotional eater, so I find food to be my friend in hard times, not really good thing, but true. I guess you could say this verse below was what I was doing. LOL
Ecclesiastes 2:24 “There is nothihng better for a person than that he shouold eat and drink and find enjoyment in his toil. This also, I saw, is from the hand of God.”
But mostly, I kept going forward. I prayed, I went to church, and worshipped the One who died for me. I shed a few tears, laughed with friends, and allowed the Lord to refill my empty tanks. I remembered that Jesus was interceding for me always. I was not walking through this hard time alone, my Lord was with me, comforting me when it seemed too much, and encouraging me in tangible ways through his word, and friends and family.
Ecclesiastes 7:14 “In the day of prosperity be joyful, and in the day of adversity consider: God has made the one as well as the other, so that man may not find anythig that will be after him.”
God brings us to the hard places of life. Nothing touches our lives unless God himself allows it. And when it comes we need to keep pressing into Him. We need to surrender all our frustration and hurt and move closer to Him. When we do we will find ourselves being renewed. We will feel the joy rising up inside of us. God has promised us that He is faithful, He will never leave us or forsake us, (Deuteronomy 31:6.)
When you walk through difficult times it does not mean you are being punished, but it does mean it is a chance to grow in your walk with the Lord, and to stretch your faith.
My joy is found in Jesus. My joy starts when I focus my attention on Jesus and all that He has done for me. My joy comes in knowing that I am His and He is mine. My joy comes in remembering that this too shall pass. All the days of my life He has brought me through many dangers, toils, and snares. All the days of my life He has been with me, praying for me, faithful to the end.
So, the better question is; Why not joy in the hard seasons?
We may not feel happy, but when we focus our hearts and minds on Jesus Christ, joy is found. Your joy may not be bubbling over, but it is there. A calm assurance that He will see us through. Think of the hardest day of your life, if you are reading this you are still here, moving forward. Think of how He carried you and cared for you during it. Do you feel the heartbeat of joy rising up?
I also like to think about His return. Will I be alive, and caught up, or will my eyes close in eternal sleep, and I will be instantly transported to the ONE in whom I have placed my trust? I don’t know, but I do know that this life with all the hard is but a vapor, nothing here lasts forever.
My hard for now is ending. And another will come eventually. Although I was not always happy about it, I was, and I am always joyful. Thanking God for all the times He has seen me through, and how he has held me close all this time.
I hope you will let joy rise in your soul…through him we are already victorious.
John 10:10 “The Thief cometh not, but to steal, and to kill, and to destroy; I am come that they may have life and that they might have it more abundantly.”
This abundant life Jesus is talking about is not what the world would call abundant. The world wants riches, fame and has a more, more, more mentality. Our world is self-centered in its desire to “have it all,” “live your best life now.”
What constitutes an abundant life to you? Take a minute to think about it. Do you want a better home, car, more money in the bank, to travel, more time for fun, toys? Those things might make you more comfortable and fulfill some of the desires in your heart, but will they draw you closer to the Lord?
Our abundant life starts the moment we come to Jesus. The Holy Spirit comes in and starts cleaning out all the junk we were born with and have accumulated over our lifetimes. There is no room for pride in this abundant life Jesus offers to us, He is the one who has called, filled us, and leads us. He is the One who will get us all the way home to heaven. We cannot save ourselves or keep ourselves saved. He does!
This abundant life is filled with love, joy, and peace as we surrender our will, our desires to come in line with His will. This world will dry you up, use you and abuse you. It will rob your peace and confuse your mind. But God’s abundant life leads you down paths full of more of him, more contentment. He tells us in his word that He can do abundantly more than we ask or think. (Ephesians 3:20)
We take the uncertainties of life and place them at the feet of the One who can change them or change us, whichever He sees is best for us. When we begin our relationship with Christ, He comes in and starts cleaning us up, reshaping our thoughts and desires to come into alignment with His will.
As we let the cares of this world lose their grip on us we learn to walk in His peace, His joy. God already knows what we need and He can supply all our needs. (Mattew 6:8) The world will try and convince you of the things it says you need and will rob you of rest and peace of mind chasing after it all.
Enough never is enough.
There is a vast difference in need and want. And sometimes even those wants come to us because God said yes, but the yes is because somehow our want was His want, which happens when we read his word and pray, and when we seek him first. Our desires start lining up with His will.
Years ago when I had far less money than I do now, God supplied me with a car. I had asked him to help me, and that if He thought I needed a car as badly as I did, then it needed to be very cheap and dependable. I got it for a dollar…which I did not have to pay, but did anyway. God moved in someone’s heart to give me the car. Remembering it still makes me cry because God supplied a huge need, and He was right on time, and He moved in someone’s heart to do this grand thing for me. This man prayed and sought the Lord on what to do, and heard him, then acted on what he knew the Lord wanted him to do. I can tell you I felt like God had picked me up and given me the biggest hug and kiss of my life!
God did not have to do that, but the need was great and I went to him in prayer seeking His answer. It came in such a way that it could only be God who caused it. He cares about you, me! He sees every need and He will meet them. He doesn’t always do it in a way that seems like He should, it will always come in a way that He gets all the glory, and He alone is deserving of all the glory. This is just one example of the abundant life that He has given in my life. There have been far too many to name them all.
There is more to this abundant life and we are not experiencing it yet. 1 Corinthians 2:9 tells us that no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor mind conceived what God has prepared for those who love him.” People, we cannot with our finite minds begin to conceive a glimpse of what is coming when we are either taken in death or caught away one day. Heaven is more than whatever you are imagining. Jesus has been preparing it since he ascended into glory. Think about that…for over 2,000 years.
God is with us, no matter what comes our way, we can rest assured that it has been filtered through his loving hands. We can be sure it was not an accident. We can also be sure we are never alone in it, whether good or bad, God is with us, surrounding us, leading us, and helping us. More of the abundant life.
Here is the center, the all in all of abundant life, it is not stuff or things we need, it is Jesus, He is our abundant life. He should be the reason for everything we do, He should be who we seek above all else. Jesus makes us content in this life. He can give us that peace that stays with us even on our worst day. Sometimes He gives much to people, and at other times he withholds, but whatever He does or gives comes from the depths of His wisdom and is right and perfect for us.
I am living an abundant life, not because I have great wealth, ( I don’t), not because every detail of my life is going smoothly and without problems. ( It isn’t) I have abundant life because I am secure in Jesus. I am His. He knows me, He gives me peace in the hard times, comfort when I need it. He supplies my needs and is always right on time. He keeps me through every day. And I already know that one day I will be with him in glory, oh what a day it will be! On that day I will get to see with my own eyes the fulfillment of this abundant life He gives. For ALL ETERNITY!!! It will never end! I will never need anything, I will never cry again. I will never …. fill in the blanks for yourself.
Get your eyes off of stuff. Turn off the TV if need be. Stop comparing what you have to someone else. Seek the Lord first and He will supply your every need, and sometimes even those wants! He is faithful to complete what He has started in you. And one day, you too will see the fulfillment of the abundant life He has been preparing, and you will be able to look back at the abundance He is supplying even now.
Read and pray my friends, and when you finish, pray and read. Good words my pastor remind us to do. There is abundant life to be found in the scriptures…start reading more about this Abundant Life!
Today someone asked me how I was doing, and my reply to them was this, “I am in the waiting room of life.” It pretty much sums up my feelings on things. Every person waits on something or someone.
I think we are to be like Jesus. I/We are to be His hands, His feet, His mouth, His heart, His love, His help, His kindness, His patience, His forgiveness, His joy, His compassion, His encouragement; to those around us. His children are waiting on Him. We are waiting for Him to either take us in death and carry us home, or to return and catch us away. This earthly life we are living is our “waiting room.”
In Galatians 6:2, we read: “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way, you will fulfill the law of Christ.” How do we go about carrying a burden for someone else? One way is by being an encourager to those who are struggling.
1 Thessalonians 5:11 says, Therefore, encourage one another and build each other up.” Sometimes just a word of encouragement can change a person’s day or week, it can warm a heart and soul to know that someone cares.
1 Peter 4:10 tells us, that we need to use whatever gifts we have to serve others. I/We need to administer God’s grace to those around us.
Prayer is a very important something we can do for someone.
James 5:16 says, “Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” Prayer is a BIG DEAL!
If we spend our time in our waiting room helping and serving others, it makes the time pass more pleasantly. Our focus should not be on ourselves and the next whatever. We should be living spiritual lives, sacrificial lives, putting the needs of others before our own.
Philippians 2:3-4 says it this way: “Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. 4 Let each of you look out not only for his own interests but also for the interests of others.” Are you esteeming yourself? If all you ever focus on is self…You have become the idol where you worship and spend your time. We have an example in Jesus of what the ultimate burden-bearer did.
Jesus WAS and Is the ultimate burden bearer. He took our sins upon himself. Every vile and evil act you and I have done, Jesus bore upon the cross. We who have been born-again will never feel the punishment for our sins that we deserve. Jesus suffered and died on a cruel cross the most painful death for us. He who knew no sin became sin for us.
Isaiah 53:4-5, “Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; Yet we esteemed Him stricken, Smitten by God, and afflicted.
5 But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities, The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes, we are healed.”
While Jesus walked this earth, He was never self-centered and about himself. Every day was lived in obedience to the Father. Each day was sacrificial. Even though His time in this earthy “waiting room” was short, He still carried out the will of His Father, obedient even to death. Jesus is our ultimate example of what our lives should look like. Not one of us is perfect, we don’t get it right all the time, but God knows our hearts and sees our efforts and is pleased when we do those things that He calls us to, those things that push us past ourselves.
Since we have no choice but to wait, why not do it in such a way that brings joy, help, encouragement, and love to another. God gives us opportunities each day to show His love to others. He will put someone in your path and say, “I choose you!” It isn’t always a hard task, sometimes just a smile or kind word will do nicely. As we bear their burdens, He will send someone to help us along our way.
I don’t know about you, but while I am in this waiting room of life I want to invest my time, my help, my prayers in bearing the burdens of others. I want to be an encourager, a prayer warrior. I want to be Jesus to those around me in tangible ways. I know there have been many times, even recent ones, that if it were not for the prayers and encouragement of others, my burden would weigh me down to the point I would just want to sit and cry, but it hasn’t. I am still smiling and full of joy. I live in hope, and my heart is full. All because others have helped me bear my burdens. They have encouraged me, prayed with and for me, even shed tears with me, I could not do this life, this waiting room without them, and certainly not without Jesus!
I am a visual thinker, so when I envision what my “waiting room” looks like, it is this: “Full of sunlight/Son-light, flowers on the wall, my favorite song playing softly, my husband, my children and grandchildren by my side, my dog at my feet and a whole host of friends to keep me going. There are sounds of laughter coming from various places, and the sweet fellowship of believers is everywhere. My “waiting room” isn’t fancy, just warm and inviting.” Come on in!
I do not know how long I will be in this waiting room, only God does, but while I am here waiting, I will be busy bearing another’s burden when called upon to do so. And because I am mine won’t feel so heavy! I so want my life to reflect the ONE who gave His life for me. I want to hear my Father say, “WELL DONE!” I will decorate my “waiting room” with anyone and everyone God sends my way!
“Consider it pure joy my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4 Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 5 If any of you lack wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.”
How do we go about finding the true depth of our character? We find out who we are when we are surrounded by the hard of life, and it is when we are in those hard places that ‘who we are,’ comes to the surface, whether good or bad. How do you treat others when your world is not going well? Are you kind, or do you suddenly become someone else? Do you get an attitude that others catch just because they happen to cross your path? Are you jealous of others’ good fortune, or easy pass that you feel they are getting?
God wants to make us mature and complete, and that happens when we are pressed in and shaken up. When the hard of life steps on our hearts, minds, and bodies. God does not desire to keep us from trials, instead, he presses us in those places where He knows we need it. He makes us look hard at what we believe about Him. These moments are not meant to completely break us, but instead are opportunities for growth and a deeper walk with Christ.
God has promised us many times in His word that He is always with us. There is no trial, no pain, no hardship that we face alone. He is always there to comfort, help, and guide. We just need to ask Him. We need only to talk to him, tell him what we need, and wait for His answer to come. He will give us the strength we need to endure. All too often we want instant deliverance. We do not like being uncomfortable, sick, weary, hurting, or whatever it may be. We don’t like hard relationships or a job that stresses out. We want him to wave a magic wand over us, and it instantly is gone.
Often what we need is wisdom. And God promises when we seek His wisdom or wisdom for a circumstance that he will give it. He can show us the right path to take if we but ask. There is no need for a Christian to grope around, hoping to just happen upon a good answer, when we call on Him for wisdom and help, it is ours for the taking! Wisdom is “practical discerning.” We gain wisdom when we fear and reverence God, when we live right before Him, and obey His word. As a result of all of these, we are better able to discern between right and wrong, this or that.
We need always to read God’s word. It is living and active and its pages are filled with the knowledge of God, and what He desires from us and for us. The power those pages contain, can and will change our lives. The pages of the bible contain the truest truths. God’s word reveals who He is, and teaches us about His love for us, His faithfulness, His keeping power, Salvation and Righteousness. His word reminds us that we are His children, and as His children, He cares for us and supplies our every need.
Do you know it is possible to have joy even on your worst day? Happiness is fleeting, it can come or go depending on how things are going, or what side of the bed we got upon, but joy comes from that deep place inside of us, that place where we reside in Christ Jesus. Joy is security in knowing Him, Eternal Salvation, Security in Christ, Forgiveness, Grace, Mercy, Hope, His faithfulness, even when we are not. It comes when we read and pray, and pray and read. When we open His living and active word and we feed on the manna inside. Joy is not determined by my circumstances.
When life gets hard, keep on keeping on. Keep your eyes fixed on Jesus. See the problems of life through the lens of Jesus and not Jesus through your problems. Remember who you are, and whose you are. Look back at all He has seen you through. Look back at how He took care of His own all through the pages of scripture.
Let’s face it, life is hard, and nowadays it seems harder. People seem meaner, more impatient. We have so much input from our phones and computers. The world’s messed-up views creep into our minds and hearts and we start reacting as the world does. STOP! REPENT OF YOUR DIVIDED HEART, SEEK GOD, PRAY, READ HIS WORD, FIX YOUR EYES ON HIM…when you do, those things that seemed to be too much, that threatened to overwhelm, will shrink. Look for the lesson in the hard, and remember, He is right there, waiting for you to say; “daddy I need you.”
I have been walking in a hard season for a while. Just a couple of days ago I caught myself focusing on all the things I did not like, wanting to see it end, right that moment. I wanted God to say, enough and wave a magic wand and make it all better. It did not last long, I decided to take a long walk. I started with I am sorry, forgive me, then I moved into worship and praise, and then I just walked in silence knowing that this too shall pass, He is with me, He is sustaining me, He is loving me, and He has been faithful to supply all my needs and most of my wants. He is a GOOD, GOOD FATHER. My sour attitude dissipated and I felt His warmth again.
We are promised trials and tribulations…how we respond, and the things we learn…well it is in our character…it is in the hard when we find out who we are, and what we believe about God.
I believe He was and is, and will always be…and one day my trials will end, the trumpet will sound and I will be caught up in the air, to meet Him, my faith now sight, forevermore with the one who called me and saved me. OH, WHAT A DAY!
I find myself in a season where the constant noise of the world is pushing on me, begging for a response from me. It wants me to tell it that the things I see and hear going on around me are okay. I will be honest I hate the news. I figure the truth is somewhere in the middle at best. Their job is to sensationalize everything going on, make it a bigger deal than it needs to be. We are experiencing a time where the things that have always been right are now wrong, and vice-versa.
I have a response: “THIS WORLD IS NOT MY HOME!”
“MY GOD IS STILL ON THE THRONE, AND HE IS STILL IN CHARGE!”
Everything He spoke about we are seeing come to pass. There is nothing that has taken him by surprise and nothing He cannot handle, and if He were not allowing it, IT WOULD NOT BE HAPPENING! I have written on more than one occasion about the Sovereignty of God. He is the supreme authority!
Psalm 115:3 “But our God is in the heavens; He does whatever pleases Him.”
Psalm 135:6 “Whatever the Lord pleases, He does, in heaven and in earth, in the seas and in all the deeps places.”
Daniel 4:35 “All the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing; He does according to His will in the army of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth. No one can restrain His hand or say to Him, “What have You done?”
Here are just three of many verses that speak about the Sovereignty of God. All the chaos of this world that seems to be so out of control, is under the complete control of the One who created it in the first place.
So, knowing that how should I respond, what should the answer I give be?
I choose Jesus, I choose to love those around me, I choose to be a light in a dark place. Give generously, love lavishly and pray continually. I choose to remember that my God has promised He will never leave me or forsake me. He tells me to conduct myself in the right way, to walk with Him daily, and seek to please Him in all I do. Hebrews 13:5-6 “Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, I will never leave you nor forsake you. So we may boldly say: “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?”
I need to fear God, to make sure my walk is right, my heart is right, my words are right, not in man’s sight, but in God’s sight. I need to continue to be salt and light, a city on a hill for all those looking for the answer. I need to let my words be few, my prayers many.
Matthew 5:13-16 “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men. “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”
I do not need to contribute to the negativity surrounding the world today. I do not need to parrot the actions of the unsaved, and sadly some Christians. I need to make sure I am filled to overflowing with the Holy Spirit of God. I need to make sure that others see Jesus in me. I need my words to be kind and my heart to be tender. I need to remember that I am a child of the Most-High God. I need to remember this is not my home.
The world will not get the answer from me it desires. I will not tell it that wrong is right. I will not say that God does not care how we live and conduct ourselves. I will not say sin is good. I will never be okay with people trying to push God out of everything, which by the way is impossible!
My answer has been and still remains, JESUS, JESUS, JESUS!! All-day every day. Even in the midst of a hard season that I myself am going through. Jesus is the answer, Jesus is my peace, Jesus is THE WAY THE TRUTH AND THE LIFE! I say to the world around me, You need Jesus. You need to repent and turn from your sin. You need a heart makeover, not more Botox, not more plastic surgery, not better clothes, or a faster car, you don’t need more fun and games, more, more, more. You need THE ONE WHO CAN SAVE YOU AND CLEANSE YOU FROM ALL UNRIGHTEOUSNESS. YOU NEED JESUS!
The world screams that you are not enough. How you are is not good enough. It is a lie, It is the enemy of your soul doing all he can to distract you from the truth. If he can bind you up in fear and confuse you, he will still every once of joy you have, keep you beaten down, and defeated. He knows he is running out of time, the time limit God gave him to do his dirty deeds is winding down, so he will do all he can to keep you from hearing and seeing the truth. If his lips are moving, he is lying!
My prayer for you is that you will come to Jesus. He will give you His peace that passes understanding, and although you have to walk in this world, you do not have to take up its fear and hatred. He is the only way to the Father, He is the only truth there is. He is calling…will you come?
In conclusion to the NOISE AROUND ME, I CANNOT HEAR YOU, BECAUSE MY GOD SPEAKS LOUDER THAN THIS OLD SAD WORLD!!!
As I was sitting in line this morning to get my car washed, I looked up to see the sign above that said: “Pay Here.” It got me thinking about my salvation and the debt that has been paid in full by my Lord Jesus Christ. When I came to Jesus in repentance and asked him to come into my heart, He filled me with His spirit, and “ALL” my sins were erased, to be remembered no more. I will never stand before the Lord naked in my sin. He does not and will not remember those things I have done. When the Father looks at me, he sees the blood of Jesus that covers me.
All too often people think they have to get themselves cleaned up before they can come into the church let alone come to Jesus. He tells us to “come as you are.” We can never clean up enough for Jesus. We cannot have access to the Father without Jesus and we can never enter heaven another way. So being “born-again” is the only way.(Matthew 11:28-29)
If you die without Jesus Christ, you will pay the ultimate price for your sin. Hell is your destination, where every sin is remembered, and you will spend all eternity in hell paying for them.
Can you imagine being cast into utter darkness, where the word tells us there is “everlasting fire,” and wailing and “gnashing of ?”
(Matthew 13:50) (Matthew 25:41)
Hell is not going to be just hanging out doing your thing, it is called the second death. There is “NO HOPE’ in hell. The first death happens when your earthly body ceases living, ‘the second death happens when you are ‘cast into hell,’ to be punished in whatever horrible ways that we cannot even imagine. So many think that hell must be for the hardcore offenders, like murderers, rapists, and the like. News flash, even if you have not literally committed these crimes, each of us has broken the “Ten Commandments” in our hearts and minds, and scripture tells us it is the same as if we had done them in the flesh. (James 2:10)
There will be a lot of really nice people who die and go to hell. People that you hear things like: “they are the most giving people,” “they help everyone they can,” “they never talk about anyone,” “they love everyone, no matter what social status, color, etc.” It does not matter!! If these people have not been “born-again” then theirs is a future for all eternity in hell! Some of the nicest people I know are lost and on their way to hell.
Jesus offers us the “free gift of salvation.” All we must do to receive this is to understand that no matter how nice you are, you are a sinner and need a Savior. There is only one way to heaven and it is through Jesus Christ and belief in him and him alone. It is not a religious experience of going to church, singing hymns, and hanging out with Christians. You must know that you are a sinner and call to Him who can save. Ask Jesus to come into your heart and let Him become the Lord of your life. Repent (or turn) from your sin. The Spirit bears witness with your spirit that you are saved. And you will know it as you walk with the Lord. Once the Holy Spirit enters you, He starts that changing of your heart and mind that causes sin and all its evil to lose its grip on us and we naturally turn from those things that displease the Lord.
Anything against God and His law is sin. And if you continue to live a life of sin, you need to be worried. You cannot continue a sinful life and also claim to be a Christian. The Holy Spirit starts changing us at the moment of our salvation. Also, you cannot remain in a lifestyle that is against God. I know people want to say you can be homosexual and live that lifestyle or any way you want and still go to heaven. Not so my friend, definitely not so! (Romans 1:18-32) It is clear in these verses what God thinks about homosexuality. We are all born sinners, no one can escape the title of “sinner.” However, Jesus offers us a “free gift,” that gift of eternal life with him. Once we are “born-again” our future is sealed with Christ Jesus. We are His and He is ours. We are promised that when this earthly body is put into the ground in death, we are in a moment with the Lord in heaven. Our faith becomes sight. There is no pain, no tears, no anything bad in heaven. We are promised “fullness of joy.” (Psalm 16:11)
My prayer is that you will look deeply into your heart, truly examine it and if you have any reason to hesitate, or any fear that comes over you, pray and ask Jesus to save you. He will!
I am going to leave you with a few verses. I encourage you to look them up. Read it for yourself, read your bible! Examine your heart and be sure you are saved.
Jesus is the only way to heaven…John 14:6
1 John 1:9
1 John 5:11-12
Hebrews 12:1-3 “Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking unto Jesus, the author, and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls.”
Let’s face it, our lives have not been easy for quite some time now. The normal we lived is no longer here. It was shattered when the pandemic hit. Many have suffered the unimaginable loss of loved ones, so many are ill or still struggling with lingering side effects. Stores have closed, people refuse to work even though jobs are out there. The government seems shady at best, the news tells partial truths, and so on. It is hard to know where to turn or what to do, but I know! GO TO GOD’S WORD! None of this is a surprise to Him. He is Sovereign and in control of all the events unfolding on this earth. You ask yourself WHY is God allowing such things. TO WAKE HIS CHURCH UP FROM THEIR COMPLACENCY is one reason, and probably the biggest. Also, to separate the sheep from the goats.
All throughout the bible, we see where God used plagues, natural elements, the threat of wars, etc. My Pastor touched on this in his sermon, it is from Isaiah 8:12-13 does this sound familiar with all that is going on right now? “Don’t call everything a conspiracy, like they do, and don’t live in dread of what frightens them. 13 Make the LORD of Heaven’s Armies holy in your life. He is the one you should fear. He is the one who should make you tremble.” Those are powerful words. Why are God’s people so wrapped up in the foolishness of what is going on? We are to FIX OUR EYES ON JESUS. We are to look different than the world. We are to persevere with our hearts and mind in peace, knowing that God has us.
When we read our Bibles and pray, we will have peace. We will see and understand that our God has not forsaken us and He is working all things out for our good and His glory. See, we need to be Heaven-ready. We are to live righteously in the fear and reverence of our God. We are not to get caught up and swept away by the foolishness of the world around us. Sinners have no hope, except in the government and authorities of this earth. And they have no future with God, theirs will be eternal darkness.
We are still in the age of grace, the word is still going out in pulpits, everyone has the opportunity to know and receive forgiveness and salvation. But you know what, people don’t want it and their hearts are growing darker by the minute.
Here is what the dictionary says about perseverance, “persistence in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success.”
We have not yet received the reward that is waiting on us. We must still navigate the crazy of this life and keep our eyes and hearts fixed on Jesus, marching on, knowing that one day will either die and be with him immediately or we will be raptured when he comes. When you see the word Therefore in the Bible, you need to know what is there for. Therefore means “for this reason.” What reason? In Hebrews 12:1-3 we are instantly told the why. “since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses.” Who are the witnesses? It is referring to the saints who have gone on before us, and the faithful ones who endured looking for the Messiah, like Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. We already know the Messiah was and is Jesus, and He also had to endure the cross and the shame. Many that followed Him died terrible deaths, but they had seen the resurrected Christ, and nothing would shake them or turn them away.
Many generations throughout history have had difficult times. None have just glided by, but the faithful stayed true to their faith. Their hope was firm. They understood that God was orchestrating all things, and He was faithful and would be with them with every step they took. Saints in Heaven are not looking down rooting us on, but it is a figurative representation of them. We should get our inspiration to persevere from all those who have gone before us, especially Jesus Christ.
We are to encourage one another as we press on towards the mark. The race we are running has an amazing “prize” at the end. Eternal life with the One who saved us. No more tears, no more pain, no more anything bad. Wow!! This should bring you peace, this should be the reason you keep going forward, eyes and heart fixed on Jesus. Life is hard, and it may get much harder. There may come a time when the gospel cannot go out. Now is the time of salvation, now is the time to be rooted and grounded in God’s word. Now is the time to lay fear aside, and be the salt and light in this world we have been told to be.
Keep pressing on. Keep looking up, who knows it could be today that our Lord returns for His people. What will he find you doing?
Blessings to each of you…may we who are the sons and daughters of the Most-High God have holy fear, be humble, be kind, be loving, be helpful, and be powerful witnesses, and the ones with the most hope, as we wait. We should look and act like Jesus, we should walk and talk like Jesus. We should not look like this world, if you do, check your heart!