This is really a wonderful example in how we all need each other to product fruit! Just watch and please add a comment below to tell me what you think! Be blessed and encouraged with my 2 min devotional. http://youtu.be/yJpWmfVCz8Y
So I am starting something new today! My prayer is to encourage someone today!
One of the things I noticed as Paul was writing to the church of Corinth:
*He encouraged believers
*He wanted them to be blessed
*He wanted them to have peace in their heart and mind
*He doesn’t want to stop thanking God for having people in his life especially other believers
*He reminds us all to be thankful in how God has enriched our lives, given us truth, power and the ability to speak, and has given us forgiveness and grace
He also tells us:
* Don’t argue or have church splits
*Desire unity in thought and purpose
*Boast only what God has done
Sometimes we desire signs, or sometimes people think Christians are foolish but we must remember that Jesus has made us acceptable to God, pure and holy and that He alone purchased us.
In this little chapter it speaks much to me. My prayer and focus is to always remember to encourage others and be happy for the blessings that come their way. Every decision I make must be that of peace and to promote peace and unity within the hearts and minds of people. I must always remember to be thankful for what Jesus has done for all of us, purchased us so that we may be a blessing to others.
There was a time when British men went to America to increase their wealth. During this time one poor Englishman decided that he also wanted to journey to America to seek his fortune. He saved his money and bought a third class ticket on a boat bound for America. Although he did not have money remaining for food, he decided that his venture was worth the sacrifice.
After he boarded the boat he went down to third class section. During mealtime he remained alone in the large cabin, pondering the moment when he would arrive at New York.
An unexpected typhoon sent the boat off course and it took fourteen days for the crew to adjust to the planned cruise. By the end of those two weeks, the young man felt as if he were dying from starvation. “Whether I die from starvation or die from punishment when the restaurant finds that I have no money to pay, it is all the same to me” he thought.
So he went to the dining room for the first time and ordered a full course meal. He devoured the food like a starving man, ordered more, and ate until he was full and satisfied. He turned to the waiter and said, “Bring me the bill”. The waiter looked at him being confused. After several minutes, the waiter replied, “Sir, when you bought the ticket to travel on the boat, you also purchased all the meals you would need during the trip, you already paid the bill.”
The young man had almost died from starvation. Yet the bill had already been paid for all the food he could have wanted.
Many Christians are like that young man. They receive a ticket to heaven through faith in Jesus Christ. But in that ticket there is also a promise of abundance. Blinded by their own preconceptions, they live life of sparsity, with prosperity seeming an impossible feat. They grab and hold on to everything, blinded by their own selfish desires either to be right or to pay back with judgement of the nature of the old man. It is sad yet true as people struggle day-to-day leaning on themselves instead of on the One who has paid it all.
If we want to live in abundance while traveling on our journey here on earth, we must realize that Jesus already paid for everything. To be prosperous, search your heart to find your true motives. We should want to be prosperous to bear more fruit, to be productive for God and His Kingdom. Putting God first in our lives and helping others realize the value of His sacrifice, the value of their talents to be used for the Kingdom will bring prosperity in your own life. It is about loving God first, living in relationship with Him and others, and lead by example in serving, giving, loving and motives. Prosperity will come because it has already been paid for by our King. Realizing you are a child of the King, and no longer a slave to the sin of this world will completely change your life, not only will your belly be full but you will no longer be starving. The bill has been paid. 🙂
This news is more disturbing than ever to hear about an innocent man beaten almost to the point of death. This innocent man who quietly was at the park with some friends, was captured as if he was a dangerous criminal. One of the man’s friends led authorities straight to the man and the group that he was with. The group of people managed to escape but the man was arrested. The man was taken straight to authorities for questioning his bizarre behavior along with his outlandish religious views. During this time the authorities spit on him, blindfolded him and hammered his face with their fists. What’s more disturbing not only did the authorities allow this to happen, they also let the bailiffs get in a few swings upon the innocent man too. He was placed in holding for more questioning without a lawyer.
Upon the next day, the bruised and bleeding man was automatically sent to the governor. After questioning him, the governor wanted to release the man in reference of no crime committed, however in fear of the people in high authority and the crowd of people hearing of the news, he decided he wouldn’t have part in the entire mess. He called for a jury to decide the verdict. After the jury claimed the man to be guilty without even a trial, the man was placed back in the hands of the authorities who brought him to the governor in the first place. In the process the man was taken out back and the chief captain’s men again beat the man only with this time a whip containing a razor at the end of the leather. This tore into the man’s back and left him barely breathing. He was taken back into the barracks behind closed doors and given a set of clothes only to again hit him over the head and spit on him. They also put on his head a circle containing sharp thorns.
He was then made to walk in front of people bleeding profusely. Protesters against the governor pressed into the man to get in their full swings and pulling out the man’s beard and swearing at him. The man was forced to carry a wooden beam, tortured in the process. He was then nailed to the wooden beams and crucified in front of the town where he died in this hanging.
The innocent man’s name was Jesus.
What makes this story so unique is that Jesus didn’t stay in the grave. He rose again on the third day and walked among the people. We know this day and celebrate it as Easter.
Jesus did not only die as an innocent man, but he chose to receive this torture and take on the sin of all man, and die for man. The result of this would be that all people including you and I can have everlasting life in eternity with him for our choosing to do so. The grace is that we no longer live by the law of the Old Testament but enter into an agreement with Jesus that He died for our sins and came back to life. In doing this, we confess our wrong doings, we also turn from our sinful nature and accept his ways. As gruesome of a death this was, it was not an ending to life but the beginning. Although he returned to heaven, the Spirit of God is here upon earth to give us power, to be witnesses for Him, to comfort us and to teach and unite us. He is with us always. Love. Live. Lead.
In my last blog we learned: In the “Why” moments: The inability to understand God is NORMAL in the process of spiritual growth.
Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding (Proverbs 3:5).
- Have rest and peace in the situation – it is a life long journey
- Reach a point where you trust God about it instead of yourself or circumstances
- OK to ask God why just don’t demand them – why stage is like the child why stage
- Position to seek God’s presence, provision, guidance and promises
- Don’t try to understand the ways of God because it is impossible
- God suffers when we suffer and count it joy to suffer or when trials come
- God will help us on His time – He sees the bigger picture : the ending that benefits others
- We all have been thru something – somewhere there is somebody going thru same thing
- God has to be enough and He is faithful is at present OUTSIDE of our understanding
- God allows things to happen to make us stronger – makes us able to handle it and sees us thru it
- God doesn’t cause bad things to happen – sin does – Adam brought it into the world
- Everything we go thru is to bring Him glory – remember we were created to worship Him
- If you change your thoughts – you change your brain which changes thoughts – renew your mind
- When you go thru something be obedient : do what is right cause God will lead you
- There is true freedom when you overcome something, easier to face it again if you trust
We can all agree In Life: our goal is usually temporal
- We don’t choose suffering as a goal but be glad we go through it when we reap the rewards
How is God’s goal different from our goal?
God’s goal is always eternal. And He will smash every one of our goals if they are in the way. He will use our obedience to bring us to our Calvary, and He will use our sin to bring us there as well. He will take our fear and worries and make us face them, and He will reduce us down to where we know that there is nothing we can do to help ourselves. God is seeking to adjust us for the eternal ages. And if we only understood this, we would be thankful that He is doing this.
- ALTHOUGH GOD GAVE US A FREE WILL The bottom line is that our wants may not agree with God’s wants for us.
- Trusting in the Lord can require that you abandon everything you’ve ever believed about what brings happiness and fulfillment.
- Sometimes you do get what you want, only to discover that it doesn’t make you happy after all, just disillusioned. Many Christians repeat this cycle their entire life, wondering what they’re doing wrong.
Ask yourself: If God only worked WITHIN your present understanding, would it ever increase? No.
- God will bring you and I to the place where we CANNOT understand. Get that: We CANNOT.
- No secret formula
- Can’t pray enough to understand
- Can’t read the Word or study enough to understand
- Bring us to a place of “Do I believe”.
- View our adverse circumstances through the eyes of faith, not sense.
Our “why God” questions requires trust and not to understand – HOW DO WE GET THERE?
HOW DO WE GET TO THE PLACE WHERE WE STOP ASKING “WHY GOD” QUESTIONS?
To trust God, and not in our understanding of Him, requires a certain surrender to Him
- Relinquish control
- There really isn’t anyway to trust God in this way without dying a death to our self
- With death to self comes REAL understanding of GOD HIMSELF
- Death to self-will and self-life
- Lay aside our right to understand
- Surrender without understanding
If you trust God in surrender – the information you thought you wanted will become unnecessary. You will come into a REVELATION.
Trust brings you into surrender, which brings revelation – Revelation produces walking in spirit instead of flesh. Trust is knowing the Word and promises of God.
Instead of letting our reactions, fears, worries, and inability to understand direct traffic, we allow faith to direct.
His ways are past finding out… even if we knew God in a way just like Him, then he wouldn’t be our God would he?
God isn’t worried because we don’t understand. He wants our soul for eternity. He wants us.
We shouldn’t be worried or try to seek the “why questions”.
Seek God. Obey Him. Believe Him. Worship Him. And walk by faith. God is God. Trust Him, and not our understanding of Him.
Trusting God when you don’t understand…. we must reach a place in your relationship with Him and have such a confidence in Him that you believe He is with you in adversity even though you don’t see any evidence of His presence and His power.
God is a friend, our buddy, close fellowship etc…. but He is also awesome, all-powerful, mighty, can do anything, is with us always, we can’t hide, knows all and the beginning and the end….
In order to trust God we must always view our adverse circumstances through the eyes of faith, not sense. Comes through the Word of God alone.
The secret lies in putting this truth into practice, by making it such a powerful theme in your life that you view every event, every sorrow, every prayer with the unshakable conviction that God is totally, spotlessly trustworthy.
Why God Moment (really questioning believing in God & if He is really going to be with you) – Know Word + reshape our thoughts + increase our faith + trusting in God = brings Revelation as we surrender = walking in His Spirit = abundant life Jesus came to give us to make it = goal of eternal life which is His will for all of us.
Knowing this will bring us happiness, peace and joy while living here instead of questioning the why moments.
Why does God allow suffering? Why does God let bad things happen to good people? Why does children die? Why does God let murders go free? Why did this happen to me? Why is there starving people? The questions of why will continue on WHY?
Everyone is on different stages/relationship with God: Lack of knowledge of word , revelation to the faith it takes from His word to fully trust in Him. It will continue on until we realize that God is in control and without Him we are nothing, however what He wants for us is to trust Him enough for eternity. Eternity is God’s goal and that is where everything we do or questions we ask should start with the ending in mind. In other words, everything that happens to you that causes why moments or questions you may ask, should have attached to it – the eternal value in all your answers and decisions.
I recently also commented on a status from a woman who was abused as a child who asked the question why she was abused. Here is how I responded.
Sin entered into the world, there will always be sin. We cannot control sin of others only ourselves.
Since there is sin Jesus was sent into the world to get rid of sin in people’s lives and to heal.
When a little girl gets hurt, although God saw it, allowed it, He didn’t want it nor did he do it. Sin is a by-product of satan and the fall of man.
When God saw you then, he sees you now and he sees what you will become. He uses what the enemy meant for destruction, to bring Him glory. When we give our lives to God, He uses the pain from the past that the enemy tried to enslave us with sin, and use it to help others. If we have never been enslaved before by sin, whether as a little girl or as adult, we would never need to be cleansed or in need of God for our healing. God allows things to happen so we will depend upon Him. He then directs our paths with the ending in mind, and as a result we are healed and we help others find God on their journey that has went through the same thing.
We must reach a place in our relationship where we won’t know the answer but we must be happy with not knowing the “why” but trusting in God enough to know the ending is much better than if we had never went through it….
We must walk in faith, trust Him and look forward to the future God holds, we cannot change the past but we can change the future.
I love the promises of God! If we truly set our vision on His Word and the plans He has for us, then we should never get in the pity party stage. Pity party stages come and go and they are based on how we are feeling at that particular moment. However when we look into the Word of God, it says….
Jeremiah 29:11 I know the plans I have for you. Says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope.
Your age doesn’t matter. Your circumstances don’t matter. Your looks don’t matter. For every individual, every life, God has a plan for the future. Don’t give up just yet on life and it’s possibilities because the promises of God are to give you a future with hope. He doesn’t want anything or cause anything to harm you. When your life is hid and grounded in the promises of His Word, your possibilities are endless. Your future is bright and with the greatest abundant adventure you can ever imagine. It is not a bed a roses all the time but when you stand on the Word you endure, you get stronger, your faith grows, you get tough skin, you learn to love deeply and most of all you trust in God. What is so great in the end is that your destination is certain. Heaven is our home, waiting for our arrival and there’s only rejoicing, not pity party going on there!
Prayer: Jesus help me remind myself of this promise when I am under attack, when I feel down, when others pray against me, when things go wrong, when bad days happen…. well you know the things Lord. I will stand and hold tight to your promises, for it is only YOU who gets me through! I praise you for the awesome King you are! Amen
There is something interesting about Facebook that can just consume people’s time. I ponder if it is just the social interaction people were created to have, to establish relationships, to stay in contact with people and make new friends. I loved hearing the responses to my friends on their answer of why they use Facebook when I posed the question “why use Facebook.” For the most part it was for social reasons and to keep them connected with other people. Some argue that Facebook should not be used to replace actually interaction with people literally but how can that be argued with a person who chooses to stay home and Facebook is their only outside source of social interaction?
Something that intrigued me is a poke button on Facebook. This little procedure called “poke”. This is where you can poke someone on your friend list, which they may or may not poke you back. I did a little research on this and asked people “why” they poked their friends. Sometimes it was just for fun, letting them know they were thinking of them, or they didn’t poke at all because they thought it to be flirtatious or rude, but the original meaning:
The poke feature is intended to be a poke gesture (similar to “nudge” in instant messaging) to attract the attention of another user. A previous version of Facebook’s FAQ gave additional insight into the origin of the feature, stating: When we created the poke, we thought it would be cool to have a feature without any specific purpose. People interpret the poke in many different ways, and we encourage you to come up with your own meanings.
The other night God spoke to me with a little nudge. It reminded me of the “poke” on Facebook. I giggled knowing that sometimes we always have a way of letting other things come before Him. He is constantly and patiently waiting for us to notice Him. I realize that I may go around the same mountain again and again before I learn something, Lord knows I want wisdom in my life. How many times do we continue our own agenda, do what we want to do without giving time to Him? How many times do we justify our good actions and intentions without including Him? It is easy to get caught up in the social action of “getting busy” or “Facebook addiction”, but it is not the true meaning of life. God can only fill the void that as humans crave for social interaction. I have to watch myself to stay balanced in this area. Of course I have God on my mind throughout the day, I know He is with me always and I am constantly thinking of Him. I guess what I am really saying is that I need to set aside the morning time again to walk with only Him. He has started again to awake me early. He has poked me and is waiting for me to poke back. He wants that relationship, that social interaction without all the white noise in the background. He wants me to listen for His voice, see His messages, more than instant messages or blips on a screen.
As I was reading this morning: Be honest in your estimate of yourselves, measuring your value by how much faith God has given you. Just as there are many parts to our bodies, so it is with Christ’s body. We are all parts of it, and it takes every one of us to make it complete, for we have different work to do. So we belong to each other and each needs all the others. God has given each of us the ability to do certain things well. …. Don’t just pretend you love others; really love them. Hate what is wrong. Stand on the side of the good. Love each other with brotherly affection and take delight in honoring each other. Never be lazy in your work but serve the Lord enthusiastically. Be glad for all God is planning for you. Be patient in trouble and prayerful always. Romans 12
What does God say?
I am here daughter, don’t be afraid, here my call for I will never leave you nor should you be anxious for nothing. Trust in my plan and have faith in your destiny. You must rely on me more and not on your own strength, talents or what you can give to others. I made you that way, and I can give you what you need to do the work I have chosen for you. I God who have made the trees, the animals, the waters, the deepest sea, the darkest night, I also have made you. I have equipped you for the plan that is laid out for you to follow. Do not get off the path, stand tall and walk. Do not let others distract you as you are walking and trusting. Keep your vision on me. Keep your sight on me. As a baby walks toward his mother for the first time, I am calling with my arms outstretched. You are mine and I am yours, no one can take me away from you. Just as a new mother stares at every detail at her child there is so much love, and more so I have for you. I will help you must you must let me, not on your own strength but my strength. Display my fruit of love, do not stray from me but stay focused on me, it is I who provides and not anyone else. You are a tree planted by waters and you will flourish. Run to me daughter like a daughter daddy moment and let me take care of it. Do not fret or get upset when dealing with your siblings, you are good, please do not cause harm but pray for them, forgive them and encourage them. I call out to them also this very same thing and yet they also get distracted. I love you with an enduring love, come and play with me. Sit with me, talk to me and rest. Let me consume you with my love to overflowing.
As I continue Romans 1: 6-18 today: I loved the fact that wherever Paul went, he heard the church being talked about. It’s funny to say, the city of Owensboro and surrounding area, PromiseLand Metro is being talked about. I hope it is good and not just the gossip. Either way, it will be none effect to what God is going to do and is doing while we continue to share the gospel. The good news is something to proclaim and I pray that Jeff and I will always be able to uphold the standards and withstand the pressures of the leadership you Lord have set before us. Here are some things I learned from Paul as He wrote to his friends at Rome.
- Thanked God for people who told the good news
- He prayed for them.
- Prayed for the opportunity to be in fellowship with other believers
- Wanted to impart faith into believers to help the church grow strong
- Needed encouragement from other believers
- Be blessings to each other
- Wasn’t ashamed of the gospel
- Knows what true life and salvation is
Lord, I will always seek your direction and honor you for you Word, your guidance of your spirit. You lead me to the part that we play in this world. You have equipped us into your ministry. I don’t want to always be about me, but others, so remind me to check myself on a regular basis, check my motives in what I do on a daily basis. Do not let me slumber or drown out your voice with noises of busyness that I cannot hear your pulling or calling. I thank you lord for giving and surrounding me with people who do you work for your Kingdom. I pray strength and unity among the brothers and sisters and ways to fellowship to impart, to encourage and to be encouraged. I thank you Lord you put others in my life in which I can minister to them and they to me.
It is funny how something that was written over 2000 years ago can impact a woman who sits here early in the morning, drinking her coffee and pondering on people of Rome. I smile and know that God has everything under control. 🙂
I wanted this new year to start blogging my thoughts with more encouragement. I also have been reading more about teamwork and looking at our entire life’s relationships as a team since we are on all God’s team.
What sets us apart from everyone else is our ability to recognize that we are nothing without everyone else…this is the quote I chose for today, and let us remember, we must have each other. God made us for relationships. He stated that it is not good for man to be alone. We need each other! We also need to realize there is an enemy of our soul who wants to divide our relationships causing suffering, division and hatred. He will try to isolate us as individuals with the trick of lies telling us that we don’t need anyone.
We must look into the Word of the examples of leadership styles.
- He saw them as dear friends
- He knew what he was called to do and that he was chosen, so he knew his identity
- He believed in Christ and in his mission
- He wished for the best for them
- Prayed for opportunities for fellowship
- Wished to impart into other believers as well as learn and be encouraged by them
- Wanted the church to grow strong
- Wanted to share faith
- Expected to see good results even though obstacles came along
10. Appreciated other believers
11. Trusted God
12. Showed no favoritism
13. Willing to proclaim expose sin
As we reflect our own personal relationships, let us keep these in mind. I am thankful that God gives us the wisdom to pull from His word. It keeps us on the right track!