First blog post

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!post

THEIR BLOOD CRIES OUT TO GOD

Genesis 4:3-10
“And in the process of time, it came to pass that Cain brought an offering of the fruit of the ground to the Lord. 4 Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat. And the Lord respected Abel and his offering.
5 but He did not respect Cain and his offering. And Cain was very angry, and his countenance fell. 6 So the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen?” 7 “If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it.” 8 Now Cain talked with Abel his brother; and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother and killed him. 9 Then the Lord said to Cain, ” Where is Abel your brother?” He said, ” I do not know. Am I my brother’s keeper?” 10 And He said, “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood cries out to Me from the ground.”

This is the story of Cain and Abel, children of Adam and Eve. Both brought offerings, one was accepted and one wasn’t. But the part I want to focus on is verses 9 and 10. First, God knew what had occurred, He
knew Cain had killed his brother, and God was giving Cain an opportunity, to be honest with Him. But as we read in verse 10 God told Cain that Abel’s blood was crying out to Him from the ground. Think about that for a moment; Abel’s blood crying out. You know that life is in the blood, both literally and spiritually. We need blood for our bodies to continue to live, our organs to work, and our hearts to beat, but we also need the blood of Jesus to wash us clean and save our souls.

Having said this, I want to address the sin of abortion. I know this is one of those subjects people try to avoid. You are either for or against it. I am totally against it. I cannot imagine what it must sound like in the ears of a Holy God to hear all the blood of these innocent babies crying out to Him constantly. Can you even imagine what millions of babies screaming would sound like? Abortion is murder. Plain and simple. People can yell at the top of their lungs, what about rape victims, or people who have experienced incest? But do you know that the majority of abortions do not happen because of rape? No, they happen because someone had consensual sexual intercourse with a person and now finds themselves pregnant. And they simply do not want a baby now, or a baby with that person. The timing is all wrong, and the list goes on. But whatever the reason it is still murder!

God is the one who brings life, God is the one that caused that baby to be conceived, and God hears the cries of that baby when it is ripped out of your womb, or chemically murdered inside the womb. And His heart breaks. There are many sins, and none of us are innocent, we are guilty even if we think it in our hearts, but today’s topic is about going through with it. Maybe you have had an abortion, and if you have truly repented of that sin and asked for forgiveness, then you are forgiven. But if you were just sorry, and now still advocate for a woman to be able to have an abortion, then you may need to examine your heart and your motives. Why would you want someone else to murder their unborn child? Because your heart has not truly learned to hate those things God hates.

We Christians are called to repentance, and what does repentance mean? Repentance is not a punishment, it is agreeing with God that what we have done is sin, it is deep sorrow for our actions, and a turning away from those things that God calls sin. We recognize that we have sinned, and we see that there is a better way, God’s way. We need Godly sorrow.
All too often we are sorry we got caught, we are sorry because we are uncomfortable, but Godly sorrow goes deep into the heart, and demands a change.

If you are that person who had an abortion, first know that God can and will forgive you. There is no sin that He will not forgive when we truly repent and turn from our sin. You need to learn to hate what God hates and love what God loves. The Bible says that “All have sinned and fallen short.” We cannot undo our sin, once we have done the act, whatever it may be, we cannot go undo it. An egg cannot be unscrambled and put back into its shell. What is done is done, but again we can go to God, be honest about our sin, repent and turn away from it, (do not repeat it), learn from our sin, and be cleansed by Him. Once we have done that, God no longer sees us as guilty He does not even remember our sin, He throws it as far as the east is from the west.

You cannot advocate for people murdering their babies, you cannot decide to play God and commit the murder yourself. If people think that God is turning a blind eye to this horrible black mark on our world, know that He is not. We as individuals and as a nation need to be on our knees repenting and asking for forgiveness. I pray that you will. I pray that you will examine your heart. Their blood cries out to God.

HABIT OR SINCERITY?

Psalm 50:7-15
7 “Hear, O my people, and I will speak, O Israel, and I will testify against you: I am God, your God. 8 I do not rebuke you for your sacrifices or your burnt offerings, which are ever before me. 9 I have no need of a bull from your stall or of goats from your pens. 10 for every animal of the forest is mine, and the cattle on a thousand hills. 11 I know every bird in the mountains, and the creatures of the field are mine. 12 If I were hungry I would not tell you, for the world is mine and all that is in it. 13 Do I eat the flesh of bulls or drink the blood of goats? 14 Sacrifice thank offerings to God, fulfill your vows to the Most- High, 15 and call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you will honor me.”

Revelation 2:4-5 “Yet I hold this against you. You have forsaken your first love. 5 Remember the height from which you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place.”

News flash people, God does not need our rituals or habits. So many people go to church and do religious activities out of habit. They pay tithes, attend all the functions, gather, and repeat. This is their pattern of worship and obedience. Their parents took them to church, they witnessed their behaviors, and now as adults, they mirror their behaviors. These things in and of themselves are not bad, they show that we decided at some point that we would follow Jesus, He called us and we repented of our sins and were born again. However, as time has passed and we no longer have that enthusiastic excitement about us. You know the kind: “you fall in love, and you cannot stop thinking about that person; you desire to spend as much time with them as possible, when you are away from them you feel it in your very core. You could spend hours with them and never tire of it. Love is grand! But what happens often as time goes by? Our enthusiasm dwindles, and that first love excitement fades.

When love fades or becomes so familiar that it loses that spark, we need to stop and rethink things. We need to have a heart-to-heart talk with ourselves. We need to examine our actions. God wants a relationship with us. He should be our “first love.” We need to keep our love for him fresh and new. How do we do this? How do we keep the staleness away from our relationship with him? We read and pray, and we talk with him. God’s word is living and active, sharper than a two-edged sword. Everything we need is in His life-giving word. How do you keep your relationship with your husband going, because marriage good ones are hard work. They require constant attention, good communication, good listening ears, active participation, intimacy, and so on. Our relationship with the Lord can grow stale as well when we do not wholeheartedly seek Him; in prayer, in His word, in our decisions; when we do not sit with Him and gaze at His beauty when we do not remember that He alone has saved us, He alone keeps us, He alone gives us eternal life. God does not need what we do, He wants our hearts, our minds, and our souls fixed on Him, in constant loving communion and obedience, and relationship.

At the beginning of our walk with the Lord we often find ourselves with great excitement without knowledge, then after time goes by we may have knowledge without excitement. Both of these things are needed in our walk with the Lord. We need to do what the scriptures tell us and return to our first love. We need to rekindle that Holy fire we once felt. Yes, Give your tithe, Yes, assemble yourselves with other believers, yes, go to church functions, help, participate, etc. But do not let it be from habit, or because you were taught to do it. Do it out of love for the Lord, let him be your first love. Examine your heart so that your motives are pure before Him. Let that spark return to your heart and your actions when you return to that moment when He saved your wretched soul!

I too, need to remember why I do the things I do. I too, need my heart, my mind, and my soul fixed on Jesus. I too, want to feel that Holy Fire excitement when I think of all He has done. I too, need time in His word, allowing the food of heaven to nourish my soul. I too, need time in prayer or sitting quietly waiting on Him. Just like my marriage I need to be purposeful in the things I do to keep it fresh, exciting, loving, and close. I desire to know Him, I long to please Him, and I never want to take my salvation for granted in the sense that I do not feel the need to actively seek God every day. Maybe you will join me in praying this prayer.

Lord, forgive me for every time I did anything out of habit, or ritual. Forgive me for not seeking time alone with you more. Forgive me for any time I have ignored your loving nudge for me to sit down and be quiet and wait on you. Thank you for loving me regardless, thank you for chastizing me as needed, thank you that even though I may lose my way, my excitement, you NEVER feel that way about me. I love you Lord, and I desire to keep that Holy flame going until the day you return or call me home. It is in your name, Jesus, amen

NOT PRETTY, JUST PERFECT

Mark 15:25-30,33-34
“It was the third hour when they crucified him. 26 The written notice of the charge against him read: KING OF THE JEWS. 27 They crucified two robbers with him, one on his right and one on his left. 29 Those who passed by hurled insults at him, shaking their heads and saying, “So, You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, 30 come down from the cross and save yourself!”
33 “At the sixth- hour darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour. 34 And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice. “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?”- which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

These tell us the final hours leading up to Jesus’s death on the cross, and many other scriptures tell us of the terrible beating he received, he was whipped until flesh hung on him, so bruised and battered he could hardly be recognized, his beard was plucked out, and a crown of thorns placed on His head. His disciples denied they even knew him. One friend even betrayed him with a kiss. He was made to carry His cross all the while weak, bleeding, and in horrible pain. Once at the crucifixion sight his hands and feet were nailed with huge spikes to the cross, each spike 6 to 8 inches long, driven into his wrists which caused the tendons to tear and break, forcing Jesus to use his back muscles to lift himself. Because his feet were nailed together, it forced Jesus to support himself on a single nail that impaled his feet.

Jesus would have had to alternate between lifting with his back muscles and his feet just to breathe. The pain must have been excruciating. Eventually, his side was pierced and water poured out. His body had given all the blood it had. He endured all of this for three hours. Imagine if you can the scene, all the while his mother watched.

We Christian’s like to wear our crosses to show our belief in the death and resurrection of Jesus. They are always perfectly straight, and some very ornate. I have a necklace I wear that the cross on it is crooked. I am wearing it right now. People always look at it and say:
“Your cross is crooked, what happened to it?” I just smile and say I know. I guess many would not wear it, but I love it. The cross Jesus died on was not perfectly cut. I am sure it was uneven, and probably had knots which only further agitated our Lord’s wounds. It came from a tree growing nearby.

The pain and anguish the Lord suffered while on that cross was ugly, beyond what we can imagine. Hour by hour he was bleeding out until every drop was gone. He did all this for me, a sinner, without hope, damned and headed for hell. But that blood he shed has cleansed me from all my sin, and now I am seen by the Father through the blood of Jesus, clean.

So, I wear my crooked cross and am reminded of the ugliness of the cross that Jesus died on in my place. I remember the pain and suffering that He endured so that I might be saved and have eternal life.
His death was not pretty, but the cross and Jesus were perfect. His death on it accomplished the final act Jesus had to do to make a way for us. Death holds no victory now and has lost its sting, because of that Old Rugged Cross and the Lamb that was slain.

Hallelujah and praises to Him who alone is worthy. Jesus, Jesus, Jesus is his name!

UNSPOTTED

James 1:27-33
“Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.”

Pure religion undefiled, what is it? The greek meaning is to look after, take care of & provide for this is an act of worship when we do these things and are pleasing to God and the Father. As the body of Christ, we are to give ourselves to serving others, often we excel at that, and other times we fail, and we are selfish in our desires. But if this is a part of our worship, why would we not do it? There are many ways to help someone in need; sometimes all they need is a listening ear or a kind word, other times they may have a real need, and if we can meet the need we should, without counting the cost!

But today I want to focus on the latter part of these verses. “to keep himself unspotted from the world.” How does one go about doing that?
All too often we get caught up in the agendas of this world, we operate like one of its citizens and not like a citizen of the Kingdom of God.
We hang on to every word that comes out of the newscaster’s mouths, we listen to the arguments around us, and we get caught up in the causes that divide. Often, we dislike people groups, because the world has said we should. No group or nationality of people is better than another. All are created in God’s image. We think the President is the final say in everything and that he can do no wrong. WAKE UP, PEOPLE!!! We do not belong to this world, we are aliens just passing through. The only thing we should be caught up in and defending is God’s word, and anything that goes against it, but even in that we should do it in love.

If you are the person who thinks the news, even so-called Christian news is complete & undefiled truth you would be wrong. To some extent, all news is skewed to some degree, wanting your loyalty to them. The President is a man, yes we should respect the position of authority God has given him, and we should obey the laws in place as long as they do not violate scripture, God’s holy word, however, we need to remember that the people who hold office are flawed, they have sinful natures and an agenda. Power so easily corrupts people. The only truth is the truth God has given us between the pages of Genesis and Revelation. God’s word is living and active, able to change even the vilest sinner. When we take up the banners of the world and start looking and acting like them, we become spotted with the weight of sin that the world carries. We are too entangled in the goings on around us. Our focus has been lost.

Another way we get spotted by this world is to get caught up in all the nastiness of the celebrities out there. Not all are bad, some are Christian and live their lives displaying their faith, but more often than not they make nasty movies, and tv, and their clothing and behaviors should not be worshiped and glorified. Man cannot handle glory and should not receive it. God alone is to be glorified. We need to hate sin, just like Jesus does, however, in the hating of sin, we do not hate the person. So many things are sinful and flat-out wrong and against God’s word, homosexuality, abortion/murder, gossip, etc., and the list goes on. We need to call it what it is, but in doing so, continue in love, you pray for that person, and you should be kind to those people if it is in your ability to do so.

We should not be so like-minded in our thoughts and deeds with the world that the world cannot tell us apart. We need to remember that we are the only bibles some will ever read. To the best of our abilities we need to live Christlike lives, fully surrendered to the Lord, obeying his commands, loving and forgiving as he does and has done for us. We too were once dead in our trespasses and sin, and are now made alive through the cleansing power of sin, & the unmerited favor of God.

Our world is under a curse and is passing away. Every generation has its stuff it picks up and marches forward with, but as Christian, we need to be very careful if we walk arm in arm with it. Through prayer and the power of the Holy Spirit, we can live in this foreign land, I believe we can do it in such a way as to be pleasing to God. If it were not so, he would already have removed us!

Do you want to live unspotted? Do you want to hear those words “well done” when you enter heaven’s gates? Do you want to hate sin and love well? It is possible, but only when you allow God’s word to feed you; it is living and active, and only when you allow yourself to be led by the Spirit, purposeful in prayer and eyes fixed on the prize before us. I pray that you will; I pray that the so-called causes of this world, the entrapments of stuff, celebrities, and all the other silliness will not hold you captive, only Jesus!

One day all this stuff will be gone, I look forward to that day when I will see my Jesus face to face, the one who bled and died for me, whose unmerited favor saved my soul. I want to live a life pleasing to him, I want others to see Him in me, I want to love as he loves, forgive like he forgives, fully surrendered, fed by his word, and filled by His Holy
Spirit until he either calls me home or returns in the clouds to get me. I do not want to stand before him with the stench of this world on me.
How about you?

Blessings my friends… I love you and pray for you!

Lord, may each of us cling to you our God and Father, to your word so that this world will not have any hold on us.

HOW BRIGHTLY DOES YOUR FLAME BURN?

1 John 1:5-7 “This then is the message which we have heard from him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.
6 If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: 7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.”

Per my notes in my bible: Light represents what is good, pure, true, holy, and reliable. Darkness represents what is sinful and evil.
“God is light”, means that God is perfectly holy and true and that he alone can guide us out of the darkness of sin. Light also exposes whatever exists.

Knowing that God is light, that he is perfect, holy, and true; how then should we be? How bright should the flame of our light be? We are to be salt and light to those around us. We are to burn so brightly that it draws others to Christ. (Matthew 5:13-16) Our flame should be so high, so bright that it makes others take note, wonder, and want what we have.

I love the example above which says that light exposes whatever exists.
When the light of Christ comes into our lives and we are filled with the Holy Spirit we should at that point start seeing our darkness, our sin. As the light of Christ shines into our souls, our minds, and our hearts, we should start looking and sounding different than the people and the world around us. Our flame should draw others to Christ like a moth to light; the brightness almost calling out silently saying, hey moth come over here.

How do we keep our flame high and bright? Glad you asked; through prayer, the reading of the Word, fellowship with like-minded believers, and being a part of the body of Christ in regular worship and fellowship.
Being in a relationship with Jesus. If you do not study His word, you are not going to have it hidden in your heart, and when the enemy of your soul comes your way, you will have nothing to fight him with!

Do you think others can see a difference in you? Has there ever been a time when someone asks you, or just says it as a statement of fact, “you are a Christian aren’t you?” Others ought to see Jesus in your countenance, your words, your actions, your love. We should be “living bibles” for all to read and see.

Maybe if you feel your flame is not very bright, this would be a good time to stop and pray. Ask the Holy Spirit to cleanse you and forgive any sin you may or may not be aware of; ask him to fill you new and fresh, to give you and hunger for his Word. Ask him to ignite the flame of your love and relationship with Jesus, so that it burns bright; that others will see.

If each of us who bear the name of Christ would conduct ourselves in a way pleasing to the Lord, and not get caught up in the sin, vanity, lusts, and evil of this world, I think everyone would take note of it. The problem is too many Christians look and sound far too much like the world. Their flames are so low, so dim that it is very hard to see Jesus in them.

I want to be a flamethrower. I want my flame to burn hot and be far-reaching. I want others to not see me, but the Jesus in me. I want my flame to burn bright and destroy any darkness in me and any darkness around me. We have the ultimate, purest form of light in us, we have Jesus and the precious Holy Spirit to help and to guide us. We have God’s Holy Word, to teach, admonish, encourage and grow us. We have not been left abandoned to figure it out. Be the horse that not only is guided to the water but drinks also!

My prayer for you is this: That you will have a hunger and desire for the Word of God, that you will take the time to read it and hide it in your heart; that you will talk to God in prayer and grow the intimacy between you, and that your flame will start burning so bright that people stop and say, “what is it about them, I want it!”

PROPER TIME

Psalm 145:15-16
“The eyes of all look expectantly to You, and you give them their food in dues season. 16 You open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing.”

Philippians 4:19
“But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”

1 John 5:14
“And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask anything according to his will, he heareth us.”

James 1:17
“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.”

How do we approach God? If we are students of scripture, we are told over, and over that God is Sovereign and in control of all things at all times. We are reassured that he hears our prayers and he answers them. Yet, still, we go with an almost worried, anxious, will he mentality.

In Psalm 145:15, we see where God has said that “he will them their food at the proper time.” God knows your every need, and He alone knows when the “right time” to answer is. We as his children have access to the Father through Jesus every second of every day. He who is faithful, knows what we need before we even ask, but like spoiled children when we ask, we want it yesterday, am I right? We do not want to wait for that proper time, the time that God sees we will need whatever it is the most. I have said it before, we want a microwave life and microwave prayers. The faster the better. But see God loves us enough to let us wait, to trust, to remember who he is and that he is in control. God’s word tells us He never comes/acts too soon or too late, God is always right on time!

Jeremiah 29:11 says this: “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” Some translations end it with this: “to give you a future and a hope.” God has you on His mind, Jesus is interceding for us, and with every prayer, we utter whether with just deep sighs or with words or through tears, Jesus, speaks to the Father on our behalf.

So, knowing that God’s timing for all things is perfect, why are we worried, why be anxious? The next verse we read is Psalm 145:16, which tells us: “You open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing.” Do you remember how God knows even when a sparrow falls to the ground, well, not only is he aware of that sparrow, but every living thing on this earth. Whatever the desire or need, God has it! And at the proper time will bring whatever it is to pass. He is on it, He has got it!

We read in Philippians 4:19 how he supplies (all) our needs, not just some of them. In 1 John 5:14 we are told that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. But, how do we know his will? If you are fully surrendered to the Lord, walking with him in a relationship, seeking him daily in prayer, reading his word, full of the Holy Spirit, you will know his will, the Spirit will speak it into your mind and soul, and help you to discern it. As we pray through things our minds, hearts, and souls are molded into the place God wants us. Often it takes time, as we seek, He reveals, as we wait, our faith becomes stronger, more laser focused.

Lastly, we read in James 1:17, that, “all good and perfect gift from above, from the Father of lights.” I want what God considers good and perfect in my life, not what my deceptive heart thinks is good and perfect. And sometimes when we receive these perfect gifts, they do not feel that way. Often the greatest gift we receive from God is a hard path, a season of pain and hurt because God is growing something deeper and eternal in us that could come no other way. His love acts in ways that are always for our good and glory.

I don’t know what it is you are praying about/for. But I do know God has a time that is perfect to bring whatever it is to pass, in a way that He alone receives the glory, and at the “proper time.” So, in closing, I say this to my friends: “keep praying and seeking, keep telling Him all about it, wait patiently knowing God has heard, and He will answer. Read his word, so that you will be reminded of his faithfulness, and rejoice knowing that Jesus is interceding for you at all times, and submit your will to his.”

Beauty for Ashes

Isaiah 61:3 “To console those who mourn in Zion, To give them beauty for ashes, The oil of joy for mourning, The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; That they may be called trees of righteousness, The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.”

I want to concentrate on this portion of the scripture, “beauty for ashes.”
What exactly does that mean? When we read these words it is referring to God’s redemptive power in humanity & throughout the ages since the beginning of time.

Many scriptures tell us that we will experience trials and tribulations. We will succeed and fail, we will be strong and fall away. Life is hard. Often we find ourselves in places we never dreamed we would be, circumstances that feel they will end us. We just can’t…continue, get over it, move forward, forgive; we are undone.

I have been there, that place where the hurt runs deep that I can almost taste the bitterness of it all. So overwhelmed that I cannot think and can barely breathe. Looking for a way out, needing desperately for something to change, feeling as though I could not go on, maybe I should end it all.
But God…

Even though at times my faith has been small, God showed up. He was always with me. God never leaves us alone to face anything. Yes, there are times He seems far away, and very quiet, but in reality, He is closer than ever. We just cannot see it or feel it. But God honors our faith no matter how big or small, and when we activate that faith and surrender it all to him; He does what seems impossible, the mountains and trials in life start shifting, and we begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Hope starts bubbling to the surface, and what you thought would end you has now made you stronger. Those ashes are now looking less life-ending and more life-beginning, fresh, and new.

When I take a long hard look back at my life, I see the times, often years that I felt nothing would change, how could it, when would it get better; and I see that without my noticing, life did move forward, that hard season did end, my heart found the beat of hope, I moved forward, old baggage fell off, and I was being made new, being filled fresh and new with the Holy Spirit, the tears dried up, the ache had left my heart, I had a bounce in my step…God had changed it all and gave me the grace and mercy I needed. Lifted me and even held me & I had not noticed it all the time.

Fast forward, so many of those things seem so distant and now so unworthy of my time and pain. I see them with new spiritual eyes and I am even grateful for them, Why, because they changed me, they helped me to see my need for Jesus. They allowed me to crawl into his lap and say I cannot, but You can! They also let me see His faithfulness in my life, that when I fully trust that He is, and He can and I lay it all down, things change, mountains fall, and life is breathed back into me.

God longs to hold you, to help you, to fill you, and to give you that beauty for ashes, but He will not force you to surrender your so-called right to be hurt, to stay where you are. He stands at the door of your heart knocking, waiting, will you let him in?

If you do not know Jesus as your Savior let me tell you that He is so good, He is so faithful, and the life He gives is eternal and better than anything this world has to offer, let him give you your beauty for ashes.
And if you are His child and yet you find yourself struggling through a hard season, a deep hurt, whatever it is, He is there already, crawl into his lap, cry it out and let him wipe away your tears and restore your hope. This world with all its hurts and trials is just for a moment, remember that!

Also, take time to look back at the faithfulness of God. Here you are on this day, you made it through yesterday…and God has not left you and is moving you forward, your beauty for ashes is just around the bend…you can’t see it, but He does, hold on!

WAIT

Isaiah 30:18 “Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; he rises to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait on him!

1 Corinthians 1:7 “Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed.”

Galatians 5:5 ” But by faith we eagerly await through the Spirit the righteousness for which we hope.”

Hosea 12:6 “But you must return to your God; maintain love and justice, and wait for your God always.”

What do all these verses have in common? If you answered waiting, you are correct. All through scripture we are told to wait, there are so many verses that speak about waiting and how we are to wait. Never do we find where we are told to throw fits, be loud, make our agenda at the forefront, drag another down, be angry, be resentful, be sinful, to love the world and all it holds.

We want life to operate like a microwave so that we have instanious grativication. But all through scripture the Lord tells us to wait. I wonder why? What happens when we wait?

I recently went on a trip, and on our way back home we had a layover. When it was approaching the time that they would normally start lining you up to seat you by sections, we instead were informed that there was an issue with something electrical in the cockpit. So we waited, about thirty minutes later they came over to the speaker to tell us they knew the issue, it was being addressed, but would take time to download the data. So, again we waited. At this point, you could see people walking up to the desk to talk to the airline workers. I am not sure what they were hoping to find out because we had already been informed what the issue was and they had no real time for it to be resolved.

After about another half hour the man came over the speaker and informed us that they had found another issue that had caused the problem and now they would need to find us another plane, gas it up, and get it prepared. And again people went forward to speak with the airline workers trying somehow to get them to go faster, or get more answers when we had been informed already throughout the process. I found this slightly amusing. Why bother harassing people who could not change a thing? They simply were the messengers. After a while longer we were told to go to another gate and wait there for our flight.

Now I was very thankful that I did not get on a plane that was compromised and possibly would have had an inflight issue. I was grateful for the information given and felt it was enough for me to understand. I was thankful for a plane with no problems that brought me home safely.

This is just a small example of how people get easily irritated and demanding. How they get impatient with the waiting and want all the answers right now!

God has given us everything we need as we await his return. Every word in the Bible is inspired by the Holy Spirit, and every word has life in it. When life runs us over we can run to the word and find all that we need to carry on, and instruction as to how we are to do it. And one of the things we see is waiting. So, often what we need is not instantaneous, God makes us wait. During that waiting He is growing us, molding and shaping us, revealing things to us, and so on. And we are to live a life that pleases him while we wait. We are to love our neighbor, do good to those who have wronged us, forgive, give, be humble, be kind, be gracious, and be Jesus in this lost and dying world.

As we wait for him we are never told to get even, pay back wrong for wrong, be selfish, or any such thing. All that we do needs to be Christ-like. God’s word tells us that we have all we need to live in this world as Christian’s maintaining our witness and being salt and light. If you are not of what to do or how to act, open your bible and read it!

Don’t allow yourself to get so caught up in this ball called earth and all of its drama that you lose sight of what you are waiting for. We as Christian are awaiting Christ’s return. Be ready! Make sure your lamp has plenty of oil in it. God tells us that He will return in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, there will be no time to prepare then, there will be no running to find oil and no time for questions. As fast as you can blink you will be with him if you are one of his sheep.

We are always going to have time that we wait. Traffic lights, hospital ER”s, doctors’ offices, the grocery store….why not be light as you wait rather than the one complaining or trying to find another way?

Open God’s word, see what he says about how we should wait, and maybe this time we have will be more fruitful and purposeful.

DOES YOUR LOVE HAVE LEGS?

I know what you are thinking; has she gone bonkers?
No, I have not. We read in 1 John 3:17: “If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him?” What does this verse say to you?
For me, it is a call to action; it tells me that my love of & for others should have legs on it.

Suppose you come across someone who desperately needs food; you look this person square in the eye and say to them, I love you and walk away; what was the impact of your words; did they mean anything to this starving person & did they fill their stomach?

The verse above is an example of how we are to; ‘lay down our lives for another.’ Are your actions conveying “I love you?” Love is both an action and sacrificial. Love usually costs something; our time, our talent, our money, etc. Rarely, is it an easy thing, where nothing is required of us?

Luke 10:30-35 “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho when he fell into the hands of robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him, and went away, leaving him half dead. 31 A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32 So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him.
34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine.
Then he put the man on his own donkey, took him to an inn, and took care of him. 35 The next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper. Look after him, he said, and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.”

This Good Samaritan did not just say to the man, I hope you feel better soon, know that I love you! The Samaritan’s love and compassion had legs. He saw the need and was moved in his heart to help this stranger. He did not count the cost, did not wonder if the man was worthy, and did not worry about his class or race; he loved the man in the action needed for this man’s circumstance. The priest avoided the problem he saw, the Levite saw something of a curiosity, and neither saw a man in need. Only the Samaritan saw a man in need of love and help.

It is easy in our turbulent crazy world to look at someone with judgment, to decide that they do not merit our help. Our world does not operate on biblical love. The world has twisted loves meaning to meet depraved minds and hearts. Innocent people are being killed by evil people all the time. People are getting targeted and beaten up, and sometimes even killed simply because of their race or beliefs. We who are “the called” who have been born from above should look and act differently than the world. Our hearts should operate from a place of love and compassion for our fellow man. God knows our hearts and our motives, and He gives us all opportunities to be his heart, hands, and feet in this world. God gives us the opportunity for us to put legs on our love. To step out of the comfortable, and just do. It usually costs us something we do not want to give; money, time, emotions & so on, and sometimes all of those things.

Don’t let this world and all the lies, evil, and craziness rob you of your love and compassion. Don’t let it harden your heart and ears to the cries of those in need. Don’t count the cost, simply reach out with a heart of love doing those things that are needed, knowing that your heavenly Father will supply all you need of. Nothing ever done for Him or in His name falls to the ground and is wasted.

So, my prayer for you is this: Don’t be the priest, don’t be the Levite, be the Good Samaritan. Let love be your motive. Put legs on your love, and do what you can. God sees your actions, knows what motivates you, and will help you to be a help and bless you for being the blessings. As Christians, we cannot live selfish lives. We need to remember that Jesus gave the ultimate gift, His life, for ours. He did not count the cost, His love had legs. Think about it!