Monday, November 25, 2019
Today's blog is about why we should seek to know God. "Fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction" Proverbs 1:7 "For the gives ; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding." Proverbs 2:6 How often are we wise in our own eyes, only to be shown to be dead wrong? Deuteronomy 32:4 says God is "He is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all his ways are just. A faithful God who does no , upright and just is he." Seeking God should be a daily priority in each of our lives. Matthew 6:33 "But first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well."
It is not our wrong conduct that condemns us, but rather the fact that our nature is corrupt. Whether good or bad, our deeds don’t determine where we will spend eternity. Apart from the Lord, no one is righteous—not a single person has done enough good to earn a place in heaven. But the Father loves us and wants us to live with Him eternally. So, before the creation of the world, He planned a solution....the sacrifice of Jesus Christ and his resurrection.
"Perhaps you have been viewing God’s instruction book—the Bible—in a hesitant way. There are those 66 books to read and apply. Then there’s the obstacle of insufficient time or interruptions that distract you. Or, it may seem as if additional training is needed to understand divine truth. Any one of these could cause us to veer away from Scripture. Even mature Christians can find themselves inattentive to the Bible. But when we wander from God’s Word, we soon wander from God and His ways." [intouch.org]
""Many spend years searching out the knowledge of an earthly trifle. What pains, then, should we take in finding out the knowledge of God in Christ! There must be digging and searching for it, as one would search for a vein of silver: 'If you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God' (Proverbs 2:4-5)." [Thomas Watson]
"The Enemy works to create doubt in our minds. He wants us to question the truth of the Word, and even to feel unsure about our salvation. Once disbelief sets in, as it did for Adam and Eve (Gen. 3:1-6), our minds will start to rethink the interpretation of Scripture in order to justify our conduct. Regardless of what today may bring or the trouble you are now going through, don’t forget that your God is stronger than anything in your life. So, be confident! The shadow of His all-prevailing presence guarantees that His power can turn even the worst situation into something good." [odb.org]
If you don't know Jesus, I personally encourage you to seek Him and you will find Him. "Jesus....The One who will never reject us. The One who knows what it feels like to be rejected — though He should have been the most accepted. The One who will sit with us and remind us rejection from man doesn’t equal rejection from God. The One who whispers to each of us, “The voices of shame and rejection can come at you, but they don’t have to reside in you.”
As for myself, I was raised in the church with Sunday school, GA's, and choir. As a young adult on my own, I didn't make God's word a top priority. Life got in the way, but God opened doors of opportunities within my busy life. For example, when I went to the University of Texas in Arlington, I parked my scooter in the Church of Christ student center. I was invited to their bible study there and I accepted the invite. Another example, most of my co-workers at my job were believers and encouraged me in my path. Seeking God is a choice and God will provide opportunities to you to learn.
Psalm 53:2 "God looks down from heaven on all mankind to see if there are any who understand, any who God."
Wednesday, November 13, 2019
Today's blog is a combination blog on thankfulness, brokenness, and surrender. Now that it's November, we will soon celebrate Thanksgiving. As Psalm 138 states, we should be thankful with all of our heart and all of the time. Thankfulness isn't limited to the good, fun times of our journey but also, to the hard times that broke us of ourselves. "Brokenness is a lifestyle of agreeing with God about the true condition of our heart and life, as He sees it. It is a lifestyle of unconditional, absolute surrender of our will to the will of God—a heart attitude that says, “Yes, Lord!” to whatever God says."
"There is something about reaching a breaking point that causes us to seek the Lord more sincerely. There are some things in our lives that need to be broken: pride, self-will, stubbornness, and sinful habits, for example. To us, broken things are despised as worthless, but God can take what has been broken and remake it into something better, something that He can use for His glory. Broken things and broken people are the result of sin. Yet God sent his Son, who was without sin, to be broken so that we might be healed. Sometimes we must be broken before we realize our need. And our deepest need is to be reconciled to God. Only then can we be made whole. The solution can never come from our own efforts or striving, but comes only from Him. Only when we recognize our need for God are we able to take our eyes off ourselves and focus them on God and Jesus Christ. Only when we confess that we are broken can God make us into what He wants us to be. Once we let go of self and place God at the center of our lives, everything else falls into place." [gotquestions.org]
"Too often people drowning in the world’s fast-moving current refuse to grab onto the spiritual life preserver: Jesus Christ. He died on the cross for all of humanity, but individuals have a responsibility in salvation. A person must recognize his or her own helplessness and acknowledge the need for Christ. That means the new Christian accepts Jesus’ sacrifice as true and personal, believing that there is no other way to be rescued. It isn’t necessary to understand everything about faith and the Bible in order to be saved—God will ensure that His children learn whatever they need from the Holy Spirit. However, it is critical to realize that we cannot save ourselves." [Intouch.org]
Psalm 138 should help remind us to personally look back with thankfulness to our own experiences we have had of God's goodness in our lives. It should comfort us with the reminders of his unfailing love, faithfulness, and promises. It should encourage our boldness, with our praises and thankfulness, before the world.
"God opposes the proud, who think, I can do this myself (James 4:6). He pours out His strength to the ones who know that they cannot accomplish the goal but believe that He can do so through them. The Lord wants us to trust Him. He may at times ask us to remain in an uncomfortable situation or take on a task that seems far beyond our capability. In either circumstance, relying on Him will bring us the inner fortitude to choose His way."
As for myself, God has used my health, my desires, and the people in my life to break me. I praise him for those life-giving moments. They taught me that I can't do this alone and I need God every hour. I am not enough, but He is. May we always let the breaking times of life, make us better not bitter.
"Lord, Remind me today of your sacrifice; keep it close to my heart. Make me not only thankful for but a vessel of your grace. Don’t let your grace stop with me, but show it to others through me. Be with all those who do not believe in you and have hard hearts. Let them know the promise of your good news. Thank you for the depth of your love. You sent your Son to die a sinner’s death so that I could be redeemed. Thank you that you want to have a relationship with me through Jesus Christ." [God Is With You Everyday, M. Lucado]
Saturday, November 2, 2019
Today's blog is about change and the seasons of life that we go through. As you look outside, you can see we just went through a change of season, summer to fall. It is unstoppable, unchangeable, and so powerful because it is God-ordained. Some of us, may not like this particular season change but our turn is coming back. The shorter days, the cooler temps, the foliage dying, and heavier clothes are some of my own reasons I have an aversion to fall. Others may love fall for those very same reasons.
Matthew Henry says "these verses show us that we live in a world of changes, that the several events of time, and conditions of human life, are vastly different from one another, and yet occur promiscuously, and we are continually passing and re-passing between them, as in the revolutions of every day and every year . Every change concerning us, with the time and season of it, is unalterably fixed and determined by a supreme power; and we must take things as they come, for it is not in our power to change what is appointed for us."
There are also seasons of our life because life is not all good or all bad. There are transition times to learn and grow from. Did you notice that it doesn’t just say that there is a time for good and a time for bad? It also says there is a purpose! So, what season are you in? Is it a time to prosper or a time to want? Is it a time for sickness or for healing? Knowing the answers to these types of questions can be important to knowing what you might expect from each day. I don’t know about you but knowing that there is a reason for something means there is hope. No matter how hard something may be, knowing there is a purpose for it makes it a little easier to swallow.
"It is easy to give into the taunts of the enemy and believe that a season of hardship will last forever. It is hard is to look deep within yourself to find what the purpose may be. Finding an ounce of joy amongst the sorrow is what will hold you together on your darkest days.
Where do you find that joy? Look within the promises that are in God’s Word. Read the words, pray the words and seek God through them. In doing these things, God will show you how to face the obstacles that lay within your current season." [J. Cannon]
As for myself, I have sowed the seeds of sorrow over the past year, but now I am reaping joyous rewards. This year was like a mini-season in my life.
If I had to break my life down into 4 seasons, they would be: Season 1 [age 0-5]= where my life was all that it should be, without concern, Season 2 [age 6-16]= where my life was entrusted to God and physical, health trials tested my faith, Season 3 [age 17-29]= where my life was my own and God took second place to my worldly desires, Season 4 [age 30- present 48]= where my life desires were fulfilled by putting God first and above all.
When we look at others, we must not be too quick to judge them because we don't know their struggles or the season they are in. Remember, the valleys are right up next to the mountains and the trek of life is always changing. Give grace, because if you haven't been where someone is already then you may be soon. Young or old, sick or healthy, lost or forgiven... we can all relate to each other and still obey the commandment to 'love one another' in every season of life.
4 Strongholds To Remember in Your Season