Wednesday, October 12, 2016
Philippians 1:27 "Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel." (ESV) In this scripture Paul was reminding the community to always behave in a way that would show others that they were Christians. He reminded the faithful that they were to set good examples all the time; not just when they were among the other believers. We would do well to follow this advice ourselves. No matter if we are at church in at our jobs on a week day we must hold ourselves to a high standard of living. We must let others see our Christian values even when we are not in a religious setting. Further, it is important to stand with others and support and encourage them. Christians should look different to the world. Let's work hard to make that happen.
Tuesday, October 11, 2016
Romans 7:25 "Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin." (ESV) What do you serve my friend? Paul is talking to his fellow believers and says that he serves the law of God and the law of sin. Paul's statement rocked me and made me take a good look at myself. I do have the assurance that Jesus Christ is my Lord. I do spend time studying the Word and filling my mind with knowledge of scripture and application. Many of you do as well. We know the truth and work hard to live lives that are pleasing to God. But sometimes our world gets in the way and we falter and turn away from God. However, God, in his infinite wisdom, has given us the gift of discernment and choice and he gives us the ability to serve His law so that we might prepare ourselves to enter heaven. Help us, Lord to have the courage to follow that law.
Monday, October 10, 2016
Our church is doing an entire month focusing on service to our community. I am very proud of the efforts of our congregation. Many of us have stepped way outside of our comfort zones to serve God's people in so many ways. We are just people. We don't have to have a fancy title or a ton of knowledge to serve. We just have to love the Lord and have a desire to take care of His flock. Acts 4:30 reads, "Stretch out your hand and perform miraculous signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant, Jesus." These words of Peter and John clearly call all believers to action. These men did not have formal religious education but they did have a deep belief in the power of Jesus. Jesus gave these men the gift to serve and He has given us that gift as well. These men prayed that the Lord would give them opportunity to serve. We should follow their lead and fervently ask God to provide the way for us to serve Him. Hold on to your hat though! You never know what Jesus will do with you when you offer Him a willing heart!
Saturday, October 8, 2016
With the change in the seasons, comes early evenings. A month ago we had at least one hour more of daylight in the evenings. Now darkness creeps in before I am ready for it. Trying to do "outside" things after school is now a race with the clock. I can't get all the mowing done now between the end of my work day and dark. I can't get my horse rode and everything fed and tended to in that time frame either. The dark makes outside chores more difficult because I can't see things clearly without carrying around a flashlight. II Samuel 22:29 reads, "For You are my lamp, O Lord, and my God lightens my darkness." This scripture is a very practical one to me. Essentially it tells us that when that darkness creeps in and we still have work to do, we need to call upon the Lord. He will light the deep dark shadows of our lives. He alone will provide the "light at the end of the tunnel, We need to continue going about the business of doing His work even when the darkness of our broken world threatens to make things difficult. Lord show us how to do that. Show us, Father, how to light our lamps off the eternal Light of Jesus.
Thursday, October 6, 2016
Luke 6:37 "Judge not, and you will not judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven." (ESV) Sounds logical. Sounds practical. Sound like good advice. Sounds really hard!! Friends this means - everybody- we don't get to pick who we forgive. We don't get to pick who we will not judge or condemn. This scripture calls us to give grace to everybody! Yep, even the one at work who cheated you out of that promotion. Yep, even the one who told everyone your secret. Yep, even the one who hurt your child. All inclusive. Everybody. And we can't do this at all without Jesus. Jesus, the one who came to show us all love and grace by humble example. Jesus, the one who gave everything that he had to take the judgement away from each of us. Only Jesus.
Wednesday, October 5, 2016
Psalm 128:1 "Blessed is everyone who fears the Lord, who walks in his ways!" What a wonderful promise we have in this scripture. Those of us who are faithful to our Lord will be blessed by our Lord. Wow! This scripture does not promise that we will have fancy cars and swimming pools in our backyards. It does not say that we deserve special things or that our life will be easy. It simply states that those who are faithful and desire to follow God will receive blessing. God will in turn walk with us. He so desires to have relationship with us and is pleased when we turn to Him and trust that His path is the right one for us. God show me how to walk in your way!
Tuesday, October 4, 2016
As I was taking time today to look back and count my blessings (a little habit I started several years ago after my sweet sister gave me a book about being blessed) I couldn't help but see the smiling face of my dear friend and prayer partner. She is the one who I always turn to when I need prayer NOW because I know she will drop whatever she is doing and petition for me. She knows me - all of me. She knows the dirt, as well as the lovely, and she still walks by my side. She is very much a blessing to me! I am grateful to God that He saw fit to mesh our two worlds together and bond us as friends. My friend and I are so very much different but somehow we are together in Christ, and that is all that matters. Thank you God for giving me such a wonderful friend. Proverbs 18:24 "A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother." (ESV)
Monday, October 3, 2016
Colossians 3:2 "Set your mind on things that are above, not on things that are on earth". (ESV) I found this little gem this evening as I was reading the scriptures. I pondered on this for a bit and decided that God gave me these words because he wants me to start my new week on the right foot. You see, last week I was a bit of a mess. I was very much focused on earthly issues and failed to recognize that I am a daughter of the King. Yes, we still have to live on this earth, and yes we still have to deal with a lot of stress and aggravation on this earth. But all falls into perspective when I realize that my focus should be on God above rather than Satan on this earth. too often I give Satan way too much attention, at the expense of my relationship with our Father in heaven, Too often I let Satan usurp the love and adoration that should be directed to God because I am too busy trying to dance with life and the tricky ways if the evil one. Scripture says "set your mind on things that are above and that is exactly what I intend to do!
Sunday, October 2, 2016
Sometimes at the end of the day all I can do is rejoice. My life is pretty special. Our God is on the throne and at this moment all seems about right. Sure I have had disappointments today. Sure I have had disagreements with others today. Sure things have not been exactly the way that I had planned today. But as my day winds down I realize that everything is ok and my day was so very blessed. I spent the entire day with our daughters and three of our grandchildren and we had a great day! Thank you, Father. We had a wonderful dinner in our warm home. Thank you, Father. I spent some time in the barn riding horses with my daughter. Thank you, Father. I am truly blessed! I will praise the Lord for His goodness and His grace poured out for me. Psalm 21:1-2 describes how I feel right now. "O Lord in your strength the king rejoices, and in your salvation how greatly he exults! You have given him his hearts desire and have not withheld the requests of his lips". (ESV) Thank you, Father!
Saturday, October 1, 2016
Psalm 105:3 "Glory in His holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice." I love this scripture. Shouldn't we all be rejoicing in the name of our Father God? How much we should desire to lift Him up in praise and thanksgiving. He has given me so much. He has provided me with physical material things. He has provided me with good health and a job. He has provided me with a great husband and daughters. He has provided me with a wonderful extended family and special friends. He has provided for me, and you too, a way for eternal salvation and a book full of His words to get us all there. Praise God in the heavens! My heart is so full of thanksgiving to the Lord that I am overwhelmed by His goodness. Rejoice with me!