Please visit and share my new store on Scott’s Market Place. I do intricate, high quality work. Many years’ experience. Maybe you will find something you like or ask and I can create it for you.❤
Thank you in advance:
Please visit and share my new store on Scott’s Market Place. I do intricate, high quality work. Many years’ experience. Maybe you will find something you like or ask and I can create it for you.❤
Thank you in advance:
Yes, one of the toughest lessons God is still trying to teach me is to praise Him in the midst of trials. This song goes along with the story in God’s Word of Paul and Silas in the jail and how God threw their shackles off as they praised Him in one of their darkest hours!
Many who know me know that my greatest gift from the Lord is His calling me to be the prayer warrior that I am today. To me it is a great honor and privilege to spend time in conversation with my Master, lifting others up to Him. That He would even consider a sinner such as I to come into His presence is a mystery to me, but while I am there those thoughts vanish as I attempt to lay my worries and concerns at His feet. I have learned from the storms God has allowed in my own life that the prayers of others have been a reason for the peace and comfort I have experienced in the hollow of His hands.
In that quiet, prayerful time this morning several dear sisters in the Lord came to mind, the first being my Pastor’s wife. She was paralyzed in a bad car accident 3 years ago yesterday. I can’t help but think about how hard it must be for her since this accident. Just a young woman in her 30’s with 4 young children. My heart aches for her at the thought of how very drastically every area of her life has changed since that horrible accident. Yet, she is a wonderful example to others as she gets up every day and continues on in her work for the Lord. I look at myself and wonder if I would be able to stay so strong in the Lord if I were faced with the trials she has faced and will face to the end of each day. I suppose it is true what they say that “We don’t really know how we would react in a certain situation unless it actually happened to us.” I believe that God places an empathy for others on our hearts when these things happen. I continue to pray and ask my Lord to heal this precious sister and let her walk again, but I can’t help but wonder how would I become if I were in her shoes. Would I keep on keeping on like she does, staying in church and serving our Lord when many of us would give in and say, “No, I can’t today. I just don’t feel like it.” Perhaps she knows that we truly do gain strength in times of trial when we choose to stay close to our brothers and sisters in Christ. We so need the Godly support that they have to offer. I wonder if she knows the huge difference her example has made to so many.
Another sweet sister who was laid on my heart this morning recently had her 30-year-old son go to be with Jesus through a tragic accident. I cannot even imagine what she faces each day as she awakes and realizes that she will not be hearing from her sweet boy, or by chance run into him in her travels around town. Yes, she must take some comfort in knowing that she will join him with Jesus one day, but until then, there is a great storm to get through here in our world. And again, here is a Godly woman who continues on sharing Jesus as she visits with others who have visited our church, encouraging them to know God and live for Him. I have a young son, and as I have tried to put myself in her shoes, the hurt in my heart just thinking about it is too great for me to stay there for any amount of time. I have a sweet momma and daddy in Heaven now, and of course several other family members, and two best friends over the past several years who have also went to be with Jesus. The thought that Heaven is indeed looking sweeter to me each year that God gives me on this earth comes to my mind more and more. So, I know that pain of losing a loved one, but there is something so very different about the thought of having to say good bye to a child I have raised and has been a part of my life for many years, unimaginable. That is just not the natural order of things. Oh well, I digress, as usual in these things, but my point is that I feel so very blessed to call this lady my dear friend. What a great example she is to me as I watch her stay close with God as she goes through this storm.
What a great example and encouragement these women and others like them are to so many of us, as we watch them trusting in God’s healing, in His time, as they lean on Him “Til the Storm Passes By.” They know that The Master is Nigh! None of us can get through this life’s storms without Him.
The song “Til the Storm Passes By” was the song for today in my morning devotion. How very fitting for each and every one of us.
Sin cannot be understood or described without reference to self-centeredness. “The flesh” is self focused. Carnality is self-expression in behalf of our own interests – Galatians 5:24 “And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.” 1 John 2:16 “For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.”
The self is the unique gift of God to each person, the basis of individuality, the bearer of the divine image. But turned in upon itself, self becomes the source of temptation, the evidence of sin, and the obstacle to holiness – Romans 1:28-31 “And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.”
“Every evil work” can be traced back to the desire to gratify self, whether envy, boasting, lying, wisdom that is “earthly, sensual, devilish” (James 3:14-16), or the many other descriptions of ungodliness in human behaviour. This mind-set ultimately leads to our own destruction and much division in God’s church. – Philippians 3:19 ” Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.)”
Self-centeredness is a product of the will: We choose whether the center of our affections will be self or God. When we trust God with our innermost being, then our wills also belong to Him, and His will becomes our motivation. Jesus describes self-denial as that state in which God has center stage.
1 From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members?
2 Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not.
3 Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.
4 Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.
(In the Old Testament, Israel is pictured as the bride of Yahweh (Isaiah 54:1-6; Jeremiah 2:2: Hosea 2:5). This imagery would have been familiar to James’ Jewish readers. James argued that through their selfish, quarrelsome behaviour, his readers were seeking “friendship of the world.” They were breaking their covenant with God and committing spiritual adultery. God would not tolerate a rival. He requires total, unwavering allegiance from the people with whom He has joined Himself. By calling his readers “adulterers and adulteresses,” James wanted to prick their consciences, encourage their repentance, and renew their commitment to love and obey God alone!)
5 Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy?
6 But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.
7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.
9 Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness.
10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.
11 Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge.
(“Speak no evil” (Greek katalalon) covers more than slander, it extends to any form of speaking against someone, including truth, if it is delivered in a harsh and unkind way. Speech is evil when it is motivated by the desire to harm others or to exalt oneself. Such speech questions legitimate authority – Numbers 21:5; 2 Corinthians 10- 7-13 – it slanders others – Psalm 101:5 – or it brings incorrect accusations – 1 Peter 2:12; 3:16 – The form of James’ rebuke suggests that his readers were speaking against each other in one or more of these ways. They were breaking the commandment to love their neighbors as themselves. When love is present, abusive speech is not – Ephesians 4:15 “But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:”)
12 There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another?
13 Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain:
14 Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.
15 For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.
16 But now ye rejoice in your boastings: all such rejoicing is evil.
17 Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.
(James reminded his readers that sins of omission are just as real and serious as sins of commission. In His parable, Jesus condemned one servant for failing to use the money with which he was entrusted – Luke 19:11-27 – and another who knew his master’s will and failed to do it – Luke 12:47. Failure to do what is known to be right is sin. The greater the knowledge, the greater is our accountability.)
You say, “What do you mean, Got problems?! Of course I’ve got problems. Don’t we all?” Well I guess it’s all in our perspective. Sometimes what we see as problems are just God’s way of bringing us through an experience to teach us to be more like Him. I am understanding more and more as my days go by, that if God is allowing a challenge in my life, it is because I need to learn something about Him and therefore, I am more able to become more like Him, and be more able to help others in their need. I can crawl within myself and have a pity party or I can ask, “What are you trying to teach me today Lord?” If we are truly saved by the Blood of Jesus, we will see as we mature that life is full of lessons to draw us nigh to Him. We can wallow in self-pity and never mature in our Walk, or we can seek God and ask Him what His solutions to these problems are.
The first step in overcoming problems, whether they are physical, emotional, or spiritual, is to admit to ourselves that we are in need and that we desire a change. Jesus asked the man who had been lying by the Bethesda pool for 38 years a very important question: “Wilt thou be made whole?” In other words, “Do you care enough about your problem to do something about it–even if it requires on your part some action, effort, sacrifice, or even suffering?”
As is typical of so many in need, this man answered the Lord with self-pity. When Jesus sees us in need of help and He sends a willing person to help, do we play the martyr role? “There is no hope for me. Nobody loves me.” The person who clings to this attitude is unlikely to experience healing.
Because Jesus is gracious and He knows our deepest desires, He often cuts through our weeping and self-martyrdom and puts us to the test. “Get up,” He says. “Take your problem and move on. Do not wait for other people to pity you. Get up.”
If we are in need of a touch from the Lord, we must ask ourselves if we are so eager to be changed that we are willing to do something about our situation. When we let God know we are obedient to His will and we are eager to do whatever it takes for us to be whole, He will send Jesus in the form of a person, a verse from His Word, or a new thought in our minds. We must act upon what God tells us to do. He made us, and He knows how to fix precisely what is broken within us.
Finally, when we feel God’s power bring about positive changes in our lives, we must not let doubters convince us that these changes are only coincidental. We must walk firmly away, as did the man with his mat under his arm, and simply say, “Jesus healed me.”
John 5:1-15 “After this there was a feast of the Jews; and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches. In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water. For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had. And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years. When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole? The impotent man answered him, Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me. Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk. And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked: and on the same day was the sabbath. The Jews therefore said unto him that was cured, It is the sabbath day: it is not lawful for thee to carry thy bed. He answered them, He that made me whole, the same said unto me, Take up thy bed, and walk. Then asked they him, What man is that which said unto thee, Take up thy bed, and walk? And he that was healed wist not who it was: for Jesus had conveyed himself away, a multitude being in that place. Afterward Jesus findeth him in the temple, and said unto him, Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee. The man departed, and told the Jews that it was Jesus, which had made him whole.”
Last week my best friend lost her 30-year-old son in a tragic motorcycle accident. I am sharing the GoFundMe Page with hopes that some will feel led to give some to help the family defer the costs for the service and interment. It is so sad to have such a burden in the midst of their grief. I thank you in advance for any help you might be. God Bless, Anna.
Looking around at Christian behaviour today, I have to ask myself if many are aware of why we need to live our lives on this earth with eternity in mind. If we know and understand what God has revealed about the end time, it should cause us to live now with eternity in mind. I have always told my children that what we do with Jesus after we are saved will determine our lives in Heaven forever. How can we specifically focus on living for Jesus with Heaven in mind?
We can share the Gospel regularly. In light of eternity, it is vital that we make time to obey Christ’s Great Commission on a regular basis. Our time here is indeed very limited. It can be gone in the blink of an eye. The missionary, Amy Carmichael, once wrote “We shall have all eternity to celebrate the victories, but we have only the few hours before sunset in which to win them.” And contrary to some opinions, it is not just the Pastor’s or Missionary’s job to “go and tell.” Once we are Saved by Jesus’ blood, we are all His disciples. Mark 16:15-16 “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.”
We will give an account. 2 Corinthians 5:10 During the Tribulation time on earth, we will stand before the Judgment Seat of Christ. “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.” This judgment is not the same as the Great White Throne Judgment. It is not to determine if we are going to Heaven or Hell. Jesus’ blood has already cleansed us from all our sin – I John 2:2 “And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for our’s only, but also for the sins of the whole world.” It is not to judge us for every wicked thing we have done, those sins were already judged at the cross. It is to test what we have done for Christ.
Just as a competitor in an athletic competition would stand before the ancient bema seat to receive his reward, so we will stand before our Lord to receive our rewards for our faithful service to Him after we took Him as our Lord and Master.The Judgment Seat of Christ is to reward us for the works that we do for God now, but they must be done with pure motives, not fleshly, selfish motives. I Corinthians 3:12-15 “Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.”
Have you ever received a ribbon or trophy after you competed in an event? You were rewarded for the skill you did develop, but the moments you could have been training but didn’t, or the moments you spent in a counter-productive way to your training, weren’t revealed during the giving of the rewards. Those moments were simply wasted–the only “punishment” being a loss of a higher reward.
Scripture mentions at least 5 rewards, or Crowns that we can win. Every child of God should have a goal to win each of these crowns. Why? Because we will have the chance to cast them at Jesus’ feet, giving Him the honor He deserves. After all, was it not He who took our punishment on the Cross, is it not He who enables us to serve Him? I will never forget how excited I became when I first learned about the Bema Seat Judgment and the Crowns that I might receive for what I do for the Lord now. I still experience that excitement when I am reminded of these rewards. Not because I want anything for my service, but because I believe when we see our Lord face to face, in His Holy presence, we will immediately be convicted about not having done more for He who took our punishment so that we can live in bliss forever with Him. I will be so happy to take those crowns and lay them at the feet of my Saviour, for without Him, I would not be there.
Every day, we are in the middle of a spiritual battle. satan actively works to resist us and to resist our efforts to live for God. We must always remember, however, that God is greater, and that He has given us the resources to live each day in victory. Here are a few practical ways we can live in light of eternity:
“Put on” the whole armor of God. Every day, think through the various pieces of the armor of God, and make a decision to “wear” each piece. Ephesians 6:10-20 “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth (Belt of truth-Believing in God’s truth to protect us from deception and lies; having honesty and integrity about our lives), and having on the breastplate of righteousness (Doing right); And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace (Being conscious of our testimony, ready to witness and bringing the gospel to others); Above all, taking the shield of faith (Trusting God), wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation (Remembering God’s grace that saved us and being assured of His promise), and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints (Praying for others); And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.”
Tell others about Christ, and invest in their spiritual growth. The most important way we can prepare for eternal rewards to cast at Jesus’ feet is to lead others to Christ, and invest in their spiritual growth.
Live every day looking forward to Jesus’ return. Like a bride anticipating her wedding day, remember Christ’s coming. This thought brings both joy and diligence!