Saturday, May 30, 2009

Walking through the Storm

Our walk with God is full of peaks and valleys. This is not something that is peculiar to the period of time in which we live, it is a timeless truth. It has been this way for servants of God since the beginning. Your walk with God will be full of moments that you stand on the mountain top and see God move in mighty ways. There will be those times when you question where He is. I have had these highs and lows occur back to back numerous times. This is part of the unseen battle darkness wages against us as believers in Christ. God allows us to go through trials so we may learn, grow, and be mature as Christians. The short answer to "Where is God?" is He is right there with you always,even unto the end of the world.

And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea. And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear. But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid. And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt? And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased.
(Matthew 14:25-32)

There is a lot to be learned about our walk with Christ in this passage. Peter goes to the mountain top of walking on water to the depths of the fear of drowning. He then realizes that his hope is in the Lord, as it should be. Peter tested the spirits when he asked if it was Jesus. We need to test the spirits when we aren't sure of the situations that face us. We need to be sure of God's instruction to us. Peter stepped out of the boat on faith because Jesus said "come." Peter knew he would be able to go to Jesus if he told him to do so. What kind of faith do we have when it comes time to step out of the boat? How many times are we told to come or go based on nothing except what He has led us to do? How many times are we asked to simply trust God? One of the first things Jesus said to them was "be not afraid." What did Peter do when he saw the waves and the wind? He became afraid. It all comes back to fear and faith again doesn't it? He did have the faith to ask Jesus to save him. Peter did not doubt Jesus could save him. He will help you even in the midst of your fear. All you have to do is ask Him. Finally Jesus put an end to the storm. God always puts an end to the storm. He did this for Peter. He does this for me. He will do this for you. What a blessing it is to reach the end of a trial that you are going through. What a joy to see the promises of God fulfilled in our lives. Whatever life may throw at you, be assured that Jesus will be right there with you if you are His. He will help you. When you finally get to the other side of a major trial in your life you will see the things God has brought you through more clearly. I think that you will ask yourself the question that Jesus asked. "Wherefore didst thou doubt?"

Father, again I come to you and thank you for the simple truths you have given us in the Bible. There are so many examples of faith and overcoming. There are so many ways that you have shown your love to those who love you. I ask that you would be near to those who read this and are going through a trial right now. Whether this be a trial of faith, finance, health, or a burden for someone else, I ask that you would bless them and remind them of your presence. I ask that you would strengthen them and grant them wisdom during this time. May they come through this glorifying you and what you have done for them. I give you the praise and the glory for all of them Lord. In the name of Jesus I pray, Amen.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Off topic--Lemonade "Attitude of Gratitude Award"

I was informed I have received the Lemonade "Having and Attitude of Gratitude" award. I would like to thank Kim over at "stuff could always be worse" for this award. She is a very kind lady and I am sure she would enjoy it if you would pay a visit to her wonderful blog. I know that you are supposed to nominate 10 other people to receive this award and tell how you came to have an attitude of gratitude. Telling you how is no problem.

Having gratitude for me is something that the Lord Jesus Christ has taught me. I have to claim Christ in this respect because there was no gratitude in my life before He came into it. I highly recommend getting to know Jesus in a personal relationship. It would be the best decision you could ever make.

Nominating other sites is a bit more challenging to me but I have these for right now.

at " Daisy Gray Design"

at "Christian Blog"

at "A Christian Guy's Random Thoughts"

at " LIVE and learn!"

at " Disjointed Thoughts"

Eva Marie
at "Thankfully Chewed Up and Spat Back Out"

at " -Life of Thomas-"

at " Simply Blessed"

at " Nona Nita's Grandparenting Blog"

at " God Nuggets Blog "

Thank you again Kim for your kindness.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A New Temple

Now when Solomon had made an end of praying, the fire came down from heaven, and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices; and the glory of the LORD filled the house. And the priests could not enter into the house of the LORD, because the glory of the LORD had filled the LORD'S house.  
(2 Chronicles 7:1-2)

King Solomon had finally completed the building of the temple in Jerusalem.  In chapter 6, he offers his prayer of dedication to the LORD. This passage of scripture shows what happened next.  I have read this scripture many times over the years, and to this day it moves my heart because of its beauty.  To me, this is an Old Testament passage which describes what happens to a believer at the moment they pray to accept Christ as Savior.  God will always honor a prayer that is in His will.

The prayer we term the "sinner's prayer" is always in His will.  Many people have said this prayer at an altar of a church.  Some people have said this prayer at home after watching a Christian television  program which prompts them to do so.  The last time I said this prayer was in the parking lot of a grocery store.  That night, I chose life over death.  I chose God's way over my way.  God isn't hung up on where the prayer is said but it is always in His will for the prayer to be said.  When you finish this prayer, the Holy Spirit fills your heart.  He lives inside of you because you invited Him.  You become a new creature in Christ!  It is the first step of an incredible journey that lasts until you see him face to face.  It lasts beyond that!  I am going to close today with a sinner's prayer.  Feel free to say it with me.  If you mean it with all of your heart, God will transform your heart.  You will pass from death to eternal life, and the glory of the LORD will once again fill His temple.

I encourage you to say this prayer out loud.  For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. (Romans 10:10)

Father God, I am a sinner.  I confess this sin before you and ask for your forgiveness.  I turn from this sin and accept Jesus as my Lord and Savior.  I accept his sacrifice on the cross as the payment for my sin in full because I have no other way to pay for sin on my own.  Fill my heart with the Holy Spirit and guide me in the way of your truth. Help me to live my life for you.  Teach me your ways and your words and fill me with your joy. Thank you Father for hearing this prayer.  I ask this in the name of Jesus, my Savior. Amen.

I want to say a prayer for you now.

Father, I thank you that you are still concerned with the lives of people.  I thank you that you loved us enough to give your Son Jesus to die for our sins.  For those who did not say this prayer, I  ask you would continue to draw them to yourself.  Let them see Jesus everywhere they turn.  Lead them to your truth.  For all who  said  this prayer today I ask you would fill them with a powerful presence of yourself.  Guide them and keep them Lord.  Give them a hunger for your word and the people of God.  Give them a desire for all things that are of you and use them for your glory.  I thank you and praise you for this in the name of Jesus.  Amen.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

To fulfill the law of Christ

Today I want everyone who does not have a need to raise their hands!  No one?  Anywhere?  Since I can't see you this question has no merit at all does it?  If you are like everyone else you have needs and concerns you would like to see met.  I knew that before I even asked the question.  The reason I am asking is simple.  I think that we all desire to have someone that will stand with us during a difficult time.  We all need someone that wants what is best for us and no one is better than God for this.  Still we need that human factor.  We need that human touch.

Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.
(Galatians 6:2)

A few posts ago I spoke on the compassion the Lord has for people.  What about us as Christians?  What kind of compassion do we have for others?  We go through life and see all manner of suffering.  It is not as though there is a lack of someone to pray for or pray with.  We all have concerns in life because we are all human.  Sometimes the burden people carry is about health.  Perhaps the burden is about loved ones who do not know the Lord.  Christ saw and met needs in his earthly ministry.  He still meets the needs of people.  We are allowed the opportunity to share in the ministry of Christ.  He said that if we Loved the Lord God with all of our hearts and loved our fellow man as we love ourselves that we have fulfilled the law.  I don't look at it as only fulfilling the law, Christ did this for us.  I look at this as meeting the need of one Christ shed His blood for.  There is really no need so small or any prayer insignificant enough that we shouldn't reach out to the ones around us.  It doesn't matter if you are a young Christian or an old Christian.  Some of the most heartfelt prayers I have ever heard came from Christians who were newly converted.  They prayed with their hearts and you could feel the fire of God in the sincerity of their prayers.  May God help me to pray with that sincerity and intensity.  I encourage you today to seek out those who have a need.  You won't have to go far I assure you.  Lift them up in prayer before God.  Allow them to lift you up in prayer as well.  Let us together fulfill the law of Christ.

Father, I thank you for those who you allow me to minister to in your name.  Help me to always be an encouragement to others.  Help me to always make the time to do this.  I thank you for the love I have for you and the love that you have given to me for others.  Help me to grow in this even more.  I give thanks and I pray for those who read this today that you would bless them and encourage them with anything in life they carry a burden for.  Bless them and comfort them Lord.  Meet all of their needs in whatever they need a solution for.  I ask these things in the name of Jesus.  Amen.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

The Garment of Praise

When I was 18 years old, I suffered through something a lot of Christians don't or won't talk about. I have had several bouts with depression during my life. The first one was by far the worst because I didn't recognize what it was. Depression strikes so many good people. I was not walking with the Lord as I should at the time this struck me. The onset of depression did play a major role in my revival. While I believe those who have depression should seek medical help, I do not want to discount the role of faith. It is my belief we wrestle with forces which cannot be seen that intend us harm. These cowards attack without provocation and at our weakest points. God in his mercy showed me something a few years ago that makes this much easier to win this battle. He has given me a sword with which I can stand and fight. I wanted to share this with you today.

To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.
(Isaiah 61:3)

The keys for successful combat over the spirit of heaviness are humility, the Spirit of God and pure undefiled praise.

The beauty for ashes is humility. This is what Job did when he saw his affliction. This is what David did when he realized he was the man Nathan said had sinned. Job committed no sin but David did. Depression doesn't mean you have sinned. It could be that you have or have not sinned. If you have you should confess it before God and ask forgiveness for it. If you haven't committed any sin you are aware of, humble yourself before God and seek His face. God will give you beauty for the ashes.

The oil of joy for mourning...Anytime I see a reference to oil in the scriptures my mind automatically looks for the presence of the Holy Spirit. Saul was anointed with oil. David was anointed with oil. The parable of the Ten Virgins had oil or a lack of oil. Make sure you are in communion with God is what I am trying to say. Your relationship with God needs to be current. It is that simple. God will be near to those who are of a broken heart. You only have to reach out to Him.

The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness is exactly what it says. Put on your garments! Praise God for who He is. Praise Him for what He has done and what He will do! Make a joyful noise to God. Be sincere! The Psalms tell us God inhabits the praises of Israel (Psalm 22:3). He will inhabit your praise too! So go ahead and praise Him! I enjoy this part even when there is no depression to be found.

If you are having trouble with the spirit of heaviness, I encourage you to do this. It was years before I learned to apply the truths in this scripture. I don't want this to be the case for you. There is so much more God has for you that doesn't include this baggage.

Father, I praise you for who you are and for the things you show me. I praise you for Jesus who is worthy of all of the praise I can give. I praise you for those who will read this and apply your Word which is better than anything I have to offer them. I give you all of the praise, honor and the glory for what you want to do in their lives in the name of Jesus! Amen.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Promise of Life

I have a cousin on my father's side of the family that had cancer a few years back. She was a Christian who truly loved the Lord.  We all prayed for God's mercy concerning this situation.  My brother in particular prayed for her healing.  He felt sure that he had God's confirmation that everything was going to be all right.  A few months later she passed from this life to the life that is promised to all that love the Lord.  My brother was discouraged by this and few months later he was working on one of his many projects. While he was working he began to think of this and said to himself..."I really believed that she was going to be all right."  He told me as soon as he said that a thought came to his mind. "She is all right, she is right here with me."

But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
(1 Thessalonians 4:13-14)

When my brother told me this I was given a sense of peace about what happened.  While she did die in the physical sense as we know it, she lives a new life in the Lord.  For the Christian there are things far worse than physical death.  We have the hope and promise that Jesus will never leave nor forsake us.  I still believe in physical healing of the body.  I believe that petitions should be made on behalf of the sick.  I am just saying that the Lord chooses the time that we are to go through the veil from this life to the next one.  Grieving is a natural thing to do.  We do miss our loved ones after they have passed away.  I think you should not have to grieve as if there is no hope.  There is always hope in Christ!  While you grieve you should also think of the life your loved one has passed into.  Rejoice for them because they have realized the promise of God. We have all lost someone that was very special to us.  I hope that you will turn to God in your grief with thankfulness for the times you had together. Turn to God for the hope and promise of seeing them again in the life that is to come through Christ Jesus.

Father, I thank you for all of those that I love in my life.  I think of my parents whom I loved and still love so dearly.  I think of friends who have gone home to be with you, Lord.  I think of those that are still with me and rejoice in the promise of life eternal with you.  Bless those that read this today and give them peace with their past, comfort for today, and hope for their future. While I thank and praise you for the things that you have given me, the ones that I love are truly the most wonderful gift of all.  I ask this and praise you in the name of Christ Jesus my Lord. Amen.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Hidden Camera

 I used to watch the show "Candid Camera" when I was younger. It was great fun to watch all of the practical jokes they played on people.  Perhaps that is one of the reasons I have such a sense of humor.  These people did not know the cameras were rolling and were caught in some pretty awkward situations.  I think most of you, with any age on you at all, have seen this hidden camera show.  There is one camera which rolls continuously on all of us.  When the camera stops rolling we will have to give an account to God for what is on the tape!  There will be two Judgments when all things are finished.  There will be the "Great White Throne Judgment" for all of those that died in their sin.  There will be "The Judgment Seat of Christ" where all of those who have accepted Jesus as their Savior will have their works since their salvation judged.

And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.
(Revelation 20:11-13)

But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.  So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.
(Romans 14:10-12)

From these scriptures, it is clear that everyone (and I mean everyone) will acknowledge Jesus as Lord before everything is complete.  It is my hope this confession will come on this side of Heaven. It is important! The Great White Throne Judgment is serious stuff!  It is the place where all non-believers of Christ will stand to be judged on their own merits. No one will be found good enough to warrant a favorable outcome at this Judgment.  Christians get accused of judging non-believers.  This is not true for the most part.  If you are born into sin, you will sin as a part of your natural being.  This is not judgment, this is fact!  The Judgment is yet to come.  I wouldn't wait for that since God has provided a way of salvation through Jesus.  I am amazed at the number of people who believe they will go to Heaven if their good deeds outweigh their bad deeds!  Scripture doesn't bear this out at all!  This is a massive lie of the devil! 

For the Christian, there will be the Judgment Seat of Christ.  It doesn't scare me but it makes me want to be serious with my relationship with God when I think of it.  I want to either be all in or all out.  I don't want to be straddling a fence with sin on one side and holiness on the other side.  It is way too easy to fall off the fence!  The fact that anyone is on the fence at all should be an indication that your relationship with Christ needs revisiting.  If you are a Christian, you need to be serious about your relationship with Jesus.  He doesn't have a taste for lukewarmness!  Although your works will be judged, it is not your works that earn salvation.  Salvation only comes through what Jesus did on the cross for us.  It is a gift!  No merit of your own can earn it.  Works are just a natural by-product of a believer.  Believers do works because they love God.  So today, I encourage you to walk closer to Jesus if you are a Christian.  I want to encourage those who haven't received Christ to seriously consider doing so.  The cameras are rolling!

Father, help me to look at myself the way that you see me.  Help me to live my life in a way that is pleasing to you. I want to be a man after your heart, Lord.  I can only do this with your help.  Bless those that read this today and grant them the wisdom and grace to look at themselves honestly.  I ask your blessing on each and every one, Lord.  May your peace rest upon them this day.  I ask this in the name of Jesus, Amen.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Being well read

I cannot keep talking about things relating to Christianity without mentioning the Bible. It is just not possible. Sooner or later it will have to be referred to as the final authority on this side of Heaven. The Holy Bible is a remarkable book! Written down for us over the course of many centuries by God through the hand of numerous writers. Every time I open the pages I learn something new! I see something in a verse I may have read a thousand times before and something new will reveal itself to me. The more I read, the more this happens. Now I have read other books of all sorts and this kind of thing just does not happen with them. Sometimes I read a secular book or even a book by a Christian author and I gain clarity from multiple readings, but never like the impact of revelation I get from scripture. The Bible itself explains why this is better than anything else I could share on the subject.

For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12) KJV

The Bible is quick or alive! This explains a lot of things then does it not? It has the power to separate soul and spirit. In my life, it has acted as a reflecting pool. I see Jesus in almost every page if I apply the page properly. I keep looking to see myself. It is my heart's desire to look more like Jesus everyday. Not in physical appearance, but in the appearance of my heart. The Bible has the power to separate the reader from sin. If you stop reading it for any prolonged period, it is probable sin has separated you from it. Reading my Bible is what convicted me and broke my heart in the first place. I know of its power first hand! How joyful it is to walk someone through the scriptures to receive Christ! If I don't read it, what pages would I turn to? I don't want to look at them and say "the answer is in there somewhere" and walk away. I want to be able to show them how God loved them while they were yet sinners. I want to show them the price that was paid for their sin. I want them to know how to receive Christ and know they are saved. I want to be able to give them hope for a difficult problem in their life. I don't have those kind of answers apart from God and his scripture! If I don't read and study, I won't be able to show them God's answers. Neither will you. So today if you have a Bible laying around somewhere that is dusty or tucked away in a corner shelf, pick it up. Open it up and ask a little prayer that God would reveal Himself through His word. I have never seen this prayer go unanswered. Do this everyday for a few weeks. Let me know what happens.

Father, I thank you for the Bible. I thank you that you have made it so available for people to read. Grant everyone who reads this today a desire for more of you through your word. Help them to understand the things you want them to know through reading it. Help them to seek it as nourishment for their soul. I praise you and thank you for your faithfulness in this and I ask it in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Only Believe

I am using a lot of scripture today. I think the bible can say this better than I ever could. I have no doubt in the authority in God's word. I will try to be as concise as possible, but there is a lot I want to say. All scripture references are taken from the King James Version of scripture unless otherwise noted. The other day, I spoke of fear. Today I want to elaborate on the other side of that thought. I want to speak on faith. In the book of Hebrews, in chapter 11, is what Christians refer to as the "Hall of Faith." It defines faith this way:

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. (Hebrews 11:1)

Now that faith has been defined for us, the writer goes on to list how great men of God went on to do great things because of their faith. Let me be clear. It was God who did the great things through and for these men. These men set no limitations on the power of God. They trusted God with their very lives! Some gave their lives in His service. All things were possible in their minds. Then we get to verse 6 which states:

But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. (Hebrews 11:6)

I don't know about anyone else, but that verse makes me want to shout! This is the promise that God will reward those that seek him with all of their heart. To be diligent is to keep on seeking no matter what! You keep on believing even when it even defies logic. We are not talking about logic. We are talking about faith. To believe that God will do that which we petition Him to do. According to verse 6, giving up shouldn't be an option. Only believe that He will do it. You also have to believe that God exists. I don't see how anyone can expect things to turn out right in their lives when they don't believe in the One that has the power to make that happen. Let me give just one more scripture to illustrate this point.

But Jesus, said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house. And he could there do no mighty work, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them. And he marvelled because of their unbelief. And he went round about the villages, teaching. (Mark 6:4-6)

Here Jesus was ministering in Nazareth. This was His hometown. The people there knew him, but did not believe in His power. He had the power to do all they could have dreamed of. They just would not believe. He was only allowed to heal a few sick people. They limited the blessings of God with their unbelief. Do we ever do that? This brings up my last point. Do you believe He can take care of what you bring to Him? Be very honest with yourself. I am not asking whether or not you believe in yourself. I am asking, do you believe in God? Is He able? Is He worthy of your trust? If you believe God is, then I am very happy for you and rejoice with you. If you don't, however, it is time to set that right. Don't limit God with unbelief! It doesn't have to be that way. It is so easy to just yield to God and ask Jesus into your heart. It only takes a few seconds and your life, and faith, will be turned around forever! The God that spoke creation into existence can certainly help you with coming to a saving knowledge of Christ!

Father, I feel so inadequate speaking on this subject. There is so much I would like to convey. I know that you can open the windows of Heaven to all who will only believe you! I truly believe this is what you want to do. Take what I have said and magnify it by your power. Magnify it for the sake of grace. Take what you have said and let it bring forth fruit for your harvest. Bless those who read this and let them study their own hearts. Help them be honest with themselves. Let them be honest with you, Lord. Thank you for the opportunity to share this today. Encourage those who believe. Help those who are struggling with unbelief. Save those who are lost. I pray this and thank you for all of them in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Being content with yourself

I spoke to someone earlier this week and they said I seemed happy. I told them I wasn't so much happy as I was contented. What does it mean to be content? According to, it means to be "satisfied."To have "ease of mind." There seems to be a shortage of that in people these days. Now I do know many people who are truly content with their lives. There seems to be many people who are not. To me, this is sad. It can be had for no cost, yet it is its own best reward. You cannot put a price on something like this. Its value far exceeds any wealth we can assign to it. Contentment is valuable in the sense that it puts you at peace with yourself. If you can truly look at your life and wouldn't change a thing, you are probably content with your life. It has more to do with wellness of spirit than with present circumstances. I am going to give a passage of scripture today that talks about this.

Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
(Philippians 4:11-13) KJV

I give you three verses here because I want to keep this in the context in which it was written. He was talking about being content with his life regardless of circumstances. This is an awesome scripture! Especially when you think about the fact that it was written from prison. You want to talk about being content with your life? Paul was yielded to the will of God. He was an obedient servant of Christ. He also knew that many hardships would befall him as a result of the call God placed on his life. We all have moments when things don't go as we would like when it comes to careers, finances or even matters of love. I also know people who are great with money but have trouble with relationships in their life. I also know those without much money to their name that have wonderful relationships. With the help of God, all types of people can find the peace and contentment they long for. God made a way, through Jesus, whereby we can all be at peace. Not only peace, but also have contentment and joy as well. It isn't about what you have or don't have. It is about the state of your soul and spirit. You notice I haven't mentioned happiness. That is because happiness by its definition relies on circumstances. Joy, peace and contentment do not. If you read this, and feel that you are not content with your present situation or state of being, talk with God about this. This is where you can learn, like Paul, to be content. He has a plan that He has made just for you! I will give you a hint: It involves receiving Christ as Savior. He only asks that you follow the plan His way. Your life may be turned upside down but He will give you peace.

Father, I pray for all who read this today. I ask that you would help them search their hearts today to see if they are truly at peace with you. If they are, I give you the praise and glory for this. If they aren't, I ask for a special blessing for these, Lord. I ask that you would lead them to your truth through the cross. I give you praise and thanksgiving for each soul who reads today. Be with them in a mighty way this day. May the peace that passes understanding find a home in their hearts. I pray this in the name of Christ Jesus, my Savior. Amen.

P.S. An updated post on how to implement contentment in your own life can be found here.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Work of the Spirit

I have seen many things in the time that I have served the Lord. Wonderful things. Things that bear witness to His divinity. I never saw Him physically, I still have that to look forward to. I see instead the working of the Holy Spirit in the lives of believers and in the transformation of souls. Only God can do what I have seen.

But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. (John 14:26) KJV

Here Jesus gives us a glimpse of the Trinity. The Father glorifies the Son, Jesus came in human form, ministered and bore our sin, and the Holy Spirit comforts and helps us in our daily lives. The Holy Spirit bears witness to our hearts, convicts of sin, and leads us to the cross. My walk with God would be impossible without the Holy Spirit. It is He that leads me in the way I should go. I have seen Him bless an entire congregation of believers to a point where no one could speak. Not even the pastor. He was unable to deliver his sermon that week. We could only be in awe of a living God. This has happened on more than one occasion. Several times non Christians would come to me and ask me about God. They were eager to know! I did not even have to initiate it. That is the work of the Holy Spirit. That is the work of God! He has told me when to speak, when to be quiet, and when to look out for danger. He helps me to make decisions on a daily basis. He bears witness to my spirit when I meet another person that is a Christian as well. Somehow, we both know. He is always faithful, always a gentleman. He is always with me, and He wants to be with you too.

Father, I thank you for the work and ministry of the Holy Spirit. I know that your word never returns to you void. It always goes forth and accomplishes the purpose for which You have sent it forth. I ask now that you would stir the hearts and minds of those that read, and stir my heart and mind as well. I ask this, and thank You for it in the precious name of Jesus, Amen.

Thursday, May 7, 2009


When I first gave my life to Christ, I understood what I was doing. I realized that all of the old things of my life, that displeased God, would have to go away. Only later did I realize that this is the work of God. In my ignorance I ran into one stumbling block that I tripped on again and again, but could not understand why. God had forgiven my sins, I could accept that, but I could not forgive myself.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16) KJV

I was stuck with the thought that I am still not good enough. I thought the verse read: For God so loved the world, except for me. That whosoever, except for me. That was a lie of the devil! That lie made me try to do things in my own strength for the longest time. I was miserable. One thing I know about God that is very true. He is patient. He was very patient with me until I realized my true identity in Christ. I never shared this until now with anyone, except my wife. I was truly embarrassed about it. It has not been that many years since I learned to forgive myself as God forgave me.

There is no sin so big that God cannot handle. You will not surprise Him. Why would He be surprised that sinners commit sin? The repentant heart is beautiful to God. God can work with a soul that accepts His terms. Read this verse again. These are God's terms! How can we add to something that is already perfect? When a person comes to God and sincerely acknowledges their sin, and asks Jesus to come into their heart, He forgives. You should forgive as well. I still have no idea why this is what I was supposed to share with you today. I do feel a strong need to share it though.

Father, I thank you for the salvation that you offer through Christ. I thank you for teaching me how to forgive others the way that you have forgiven me. I thank you that you have also taught me how to forgive myself. I pray that others will not have the same difficulty with this as I did. If they do Lord, be merciful to them and do not let them give up on themselves. Teach them your love and your truth. I praise you for this in the name of Jesus, Amen.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Faith Over Fear

We humans are emotional creatures. We laugh, we cry, we sing with joy, and sometimes cower in fear. If you pay attention to the news on television and the print media, it would seem that there is a lot to be fearful about. I have found myself worked up into a frenzy at the mere thought that something might happen that would be detrimental to me. It is always something that could happen, not something that has happened. For those that have put their trust in Christ, there is truly nothing to fear from this world.

What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee. (Psalm 56:3) KJV

Just because we shouldn't be afraid, doesn't mean that it doesn't happen sometimes. I would like to be able to say that I am writing this for everyone else that reads this. The truth of the matter is that I am writing it for myself as well. I too get fearful every once in a while. There are times that I become distracted and take my eyes off of the Lord for just a little while. That is all the time it takes for the enemy to get a foothold of fear in me. He looks for any opportunity to destroy that which gives God glory. A person gripped by fear is a poor witness. Fear makes a person doubt themselves. Sometimes it can make a Christian doubt their own faith. The verse says what to do in case of fear. It says to trust in God. That takes faith. Fear and faith have trouble co-existing together, because they are polar opposites on a spiritual level. Faith is one of those things that doesn't always make a lot of sense to a human mind. It is, however, just as real as fear. When we can learn to take God at His word, we can replace that fear with faith. Trusting God for the things that are uncertain will put an end to the fear factor that is a part of so many lives today. I really believe that fear is one of Satan's most powerful tools. So are lies. Most times, when you take the time to break it down, Satan is really lying to us to trap us into these unreasonable fears. So today, whatever your concern is that holds you captive in a fearful manner, you can trust in God for the deliverance from fear. You have His word on it.

Father, I thank you for your word. I thank you for the truths in it. Grant me the grace this day to choose faith over any fear that I may have. It really doesn't matter what the fear is about in our lives. It only matters that we trust you to not give it a place in our lives before you. I choose this day to trust you in any and all matters that come before me. You have proved so faithful to me and there is nothing that you cannot overcome in my life. Help me to live a life of faith before you in the name of Jesus I pray, Amen.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Holding the Rope

On both of my blogs, I have written about how much I love my wife.  My dating relationship with her began in 1984, and we were married in 1986.  There have been all sorts of trials and blessings throughout our marriage.  Never in our marriage, even in our darkest times, did I ever think about leaving this relationship.

And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken. (Ecclesiastes 4:12) KJV

Read this verse carefully.  It is the secret of the "strength of  love" that I have for my wife.  I took a vow before God, and to her.  There are three of us in this relationship.  There is God, my wife, and myself.  All three were present, and fully aware of the vows we were taking.  We took those vows joyfully.  When things have gotten out of sorts in my head, I go back to that day we took those vows.  I remember how much I loved her at that time.  I will share a little secret with you.  I love her more this day than I have ever loved her before!  This is the work of God and I cannot explain it any other way.  If you notice, that it does not say that it cannot be broken.  It only says that it is not quickly broken.  This is good in the fact that you have time to remember the love that you once had for one another.  This is good because it gives you time to reconsider, if you are planning on ending your relationship.  This cord does not have to break at all!  When God is involved with the day to day life of a married person, you will consider your spouse above yourself. So view this as an appeal to all that are considering ending their marriage.  Allow God to be the Lord of your marriage. Give your marriage one more chance before you give up!  He is able to heal a marriage just as He is able to heal anything else. If you feel that you are at the end of your rope...God wants to be the third strand in that rope.

Father, I thank you for the wife that you have given me. I thank you for all of those that will read this. I ask that you would minister to anyone that is hurting from a bad relationship. Heal the unions of men and women that have taken the vow of marriage before you. Minister to them and grant them peace and love.  I pray this in the name of Jesus, Amen.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Why did I say that?

How many times have you said something and thought..."I wish that I had not said that." I have been there and done that. Not once, but on numerous occasions. If I am not careful about what I speak, I can cause great harm to someone that I love. The wrong choice of words can destroy a first impression with someone that you meet. Words can't be taken back as easily as some things in life. The hurt that they can cause can last a lifetime. The encouragement they give can last a lifetime as well.

A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh. (Luke 6:45) KJV

This verse puts a completely different spin on what I just said. Why did I just say that? What was I thinking? Was I trying to cause harm? Well, was I? It speaks of my motives. More than that, it speaks of my spiritual condition. It starts in the heart. A loving person will naturally say loving things. Cruel people will say....well, you get my meaning. God has called us to be salt and light to a lost and dying world. How will we ever point them to the cross if we do not let God help us choose our words wisely. This is His work, He will help us to say the right things to those in need. He will even help us to be civil to one another, even when we have disagreements over doctrine or protocol. We need to make sure that our motives are based in Christ. We need to fill our hearts with His word and allow ourselves to be used of Him. We need to speak the truth. Sometimes the truth is painful in itself. Some things must be said when forever is at stake. We cannot always say what makes someone feel good just for the sake of making them feel good. Some facts are just downright difficult to hear. However, God will guide you if you are acting in His will. This is not to say that you won't ever make a mistake, but I guarantee the mistakes with words will be far fewer if we allow Him control of our hearts and minds. What is in your heart today?

Father, search my heart today. If there be anything displeasing to you, bring it to the forefront of my mind so I may repent of it and forsake it. I want my heart and tongue to be fully cleansed and used of you. Help me to choose my words wisely as a witness for you. Help me to be kind, but never afraid to speak the truth. I am trusting in you for this, and ask this in the name of Jesus, Amen.