Not scripture, but it preaches…

  1. Simplicity:

Luke 10:38–42 English Standard Version

Martha and Mary

Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”

2. Harmony

Romans 12:16-18

Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.

3. Opportunity

Ephesians 5:16 Amplified Bible

Making the very most of the time [buying up each opportunity], because the days are evil.

Let’s Be Real…It’s Hard

I struggle every day to stay connected to God. So many things rise up to distract me, to infuriate me, to confound me. The thing that has been made abundantly clear is that I cannot do anything apart from God (John 15:5). He wants me to love people I disagree with, that I struggle to not hate. Guarding my own heart and keeping myself transparent before Him, not because He can’t see me, or doesn’t already know my inner thoughts, but so that I do not slip into self deception, has become a way of life.

I think the times we now find ourselves in reveal what is in each of our hearts. You can either face it, confess it & own up to it, or accept the hate, embrace it, perpetuate it and look away from the mirror.

Jesus knows we can do nothing of any righteous consequence apart from Him. He doesn’t turn away in disgust when we come to Him with our ugliness and sin. He knows what it’s like to feel the feelings we experience and He knows what we need to overcome.

Hebrews 4:15-16

This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for He faced all of the same testings we do, yet He did not sin. So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive His mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.

Faith in Difficult Times

The scripture above is challenging and encouraging at the same time.

To be a person of unwavering faith, as Abraham was, is what I seek. Paul shared Abraham’s strength in Romans 4:20-21:

“Abraham never wavered in believing God’s promise. In fact, his faith grew stronger, and in this he brought glory to God. He was fully convinced that God is able to do whatever He promises.”

It’s only possible to do this as you learn to put your trust in God. As you walk out your life in close union with Him.

But let me encourage you with this: at times when I have wavered in my faith, when I have battled doubts and unbelief, God remained faithful to me.

Whenever I confess, “Father, please help me. I’m struggling to hold on…struggling to believe…” He has been right there to lift me up with a Rhema word:

Rhema is the Greek word used in the Bible for word, and refers to the instant, personal speaking of God to us.” ~ from Bibles For America website

Don’t give in to fear and doubt, just call out to God and He will be right there to hold you up and keep you from falling. If you do fall, don’t allow condemnation and guilt keep you from the One who will comfort you, forgive you & pick you back up.

Blessings & strength to you, in the wonderful name of Jesus.

“God is our Refuge and Strength [mighty and impenetrable to temptation], a very present and well-proved help in trouble.” Psalm 46:1 Amplified Bible

“If we are unfaithful, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny who He is.” 2 Timothy 2:13

He Sees Everything

“But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.” ~ Matthew 6:6

To the person alone in your room, in your apartment or in your house…God sees you. Don’t allow the current circumstances to shut your mouth even though we are shut inside for a time. Open your mouth in prayer!

If you don’t know what to pray about, look around & look to the word of God in scripture. Here are just a few things to start you off & direct your prayer path:

This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us–whatever we ask–we know that we have what we asked of Him.~ 1 John 5:15

Are you feeling anxious, fearful or unsettled? Read God’s direction to you through the Apostle Paul out of Philippians:

“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” ~ Philippians 4:6-7 New Living Translation (NLT)

Pray for our leaders, even if you don’t like them. God wants to direct their steps. He wants to reveal Himself to them as their most essential need. He is looking for humble men & women who will lead with righteous intentions, with a love for truth, a desire for justice and with an awareness of the great responsibility they have toward God and their fellow man:

“I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity. This is good and pleases God our Savior.” ~ 1 Timothy 2:1-3

Here is an example of how to speak to God in prayer, using the scriptures as a guide. Fill in the blanks with your concerns or fears and with the names of people who come to your mind:

Holy Father, thank you for the blood of Jesus that was poured out for me on the cross. It cleanses me from every sin and makes me able to come before you in prayer, humbly grateful for all that I have received. Jesus is your gift to us, your love letter of promise. We are acceptable to you when we come through the door you provided.

I confess that I am scared & anxious about __________. You tell me not to worry about ANYTHING but to pray about EVERYTHING, so here are the things occupying my mind___________________________. I need your help to trust you. I desperately want & need your peace. Things are out of control but I choose to believe that you are IN CONTROL. I’m like the father who came to you needing help for his poor son and I cry out “I do believe you, please help my unbelief!”

Father, please have mercy on the leadership of our country, our state, our city and our family. They need wisdom. They need guidance and direction. I pray that they will be humble enough to realize that they need you above all else. Place in them a desire for truth, and for righteousness. That __________ will have wise counselors around them, pointing them in the right direction. Give them ears to hear You. We need people of courage who are more concerned with pleasing You and doing what is right than pleasing people.

(continue to add prayers for family members, people you know, people you don’t know but who are suffering. Pray GOOD things over people)

I ask all these things in the name of Jesus.

Amen.

Now back to the first scripture in this post: Matthew 6:6. God sees you when no one else does. It pleases Him when we come to Him with our needs and with our requests on behalf of others. This is evidence of faith on your part because it shows that you believe God is real. That you believe He hears you. Please know that God wants you to have the rewards of your faith in Him. You WILL see answers to your prayers. The greatest reward will be your deepening relationship with God as you come to know Him through prayer & through His word: “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” ~ Hebrews 11:6

Stay healthy & prayerful! Blessings ❤

The Dangers of avoiding correction from God

Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity.
I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord.”
And You forgave the guilt of my sin. ~ Psalm 32:5

The words above are lyrics to a song or possibly a poem, a psalm, written by David, the King of Israel. Like many songwriters & poets, David communicated his emotions through words and music, pouring out his heartfelt expressions of love, anger, fear & contrition. Psalm 32 falls into the last category.

David committed several egregious sins during his lifetime, yet God forgave him when he confessed those sins…each and every time.

Around the time Psalm 32 was composed, David had been confronted about his sin of adultery with Bathsheba, another man’s wife. Not only did he have sex with her, she became pregnant with his child. In a desperate attempt to hide his sin, he first tried to get the man, named Uriah, to leave the battlefield and spend time with his wife, and by spend time I mean intimate time, which the man refused to do. David then instructed a military leader to ensure that Uriah be placed into battle where he was sure to be killed, which is what happened.

That was a cold blooded and devious way to deal with a problem. You can read the account in 2 Samuel 11:1 2 Samuel 12:25.

Most people would never consider bringing something this ugly, this heinous to God. But David knew God. He had spent years upon years in intimate fellowship with Him, learning to hear God’s voice and becoming acquainted with God’s character. He knew that God was merciful. He has experienced God’s mercy and grace in His life multiple times.

The beginning of Psalm 32 starts out like this:

Oh, what joy for those
whose disobedience is forgiven,
whose sin is put out of sight!
Yes, what joy for those
whose record the Lord has cleared of guilt,
whose lives are lived in complete honesty!
When I refused to confess my sin,
my body wasted away,
and I groaned all day long.
Day and night your hand of discipline was heavy on me.
My strength evaporated like water in the summer heat
.

We suffer physically, emotionally & spiritually when we refuse to acknowledge sin. It’s a heavy burden that produces guilt, shame, fear and condemnation. The more we harden our heart to the loving conviction of God, the farther away we drift from His grace, to the point where we cease to sense conviction and end up deceived and spiritually blind. This is a frightening place to be.

The next verse is the one at the top of the post, verse 5, when David finds sweet release & forgiveness:

Finally, I confessed all my sins to you and stopped trying to hide my guilt. I said to myself, “I will confess my rebellion to the Lord.” And you forgave me! All my guilt is gone.

David was grateful and overjoyed once he came clean before the only One whose opinion mattered – God. And he didn’t leave it there. David wanted others to experience the freedom and joy that comes from owning up to one’s own sin, and the consequences that come if you don’t:

Therefore, let all the godly pray to you while there is still time,
    that they may not drown in the floodwaters of judgment.
For you are my hiding place; you protect me from trouble.
    You surround me with songs of victory. 

The Lord says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life.
    I will advise you and watch over you.
Do not be like a senseless horse or mule
    that needs a bit and bridle to keep it under control.”

Many sorrows come to the wicked,
    but unfailing love surrounds those who trust the Lord. So rejoice in the Lord and be glad, all you who obey him!
    Shout for joy, all you whose hearts are pure!

I’m going to leave you with a scripture that I never tire of sharing. The truth is powerful, so don’t allow anyone or anything keep you from God’s loving arms of mercy –

Come, let’s talk this over, says the Lord; no matter how deep the stain of your sins, I can take it out and make you as clean as freshly fallen snow. Even if you are stained as red as crimson, I can make you white as wool! ~ Isaiah 1:18 The Living Bible