Friday, January 20, 2012

~Are You Afraid to Ask for More Faith?~

 1Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.  2For by it the elders obtained a good report. 3Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear. 4By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaket 5By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.  6But 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. 7By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.  8By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went.  9By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: 10For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.    ~Hebrews 11:1-10

Faith.  Do we know what it is?  I think one of the best answers is found in Hebrews, however, I also like the definition that Webster's Dictionary said:  "Unquestioning belief, specifically in God; complete trust or confidence."

So how can we apply faith to our lives like Abraham did?  Do we really mean it whenever we ask God to increase our faith?  I think we are often afraid to ask for more faith because we dread what the consequences will be.  We are afraid that God will ask something of us that we are not willing to do.  That is such a sobering thought!!  

Question:  Are you holding back because you are afraid God will ask you to:

~teach a Sunday school class?           
~to witness to your neighbor?
~to give up something that you hold dear?
~to lose a love one?
~to move away from your friends and family?
~to go to the mission field?

Even though God required some rather difficult things of Abraham, he trusted God completely.  And because of Abraham's complete obedience and faith in God, he was called the Friend of God.  Does our response to God's requirements show that we too, are His friend?

Monday, September 19, 2011

~Do you have the right to be angry?~

But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was very angry.  And he prayed unto the Lord, and said, I pray thee, O Lord, was not this my saying, when I was yet in my country?  Therefore I fled before unto Tarshish: for I knew that thou art a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repentest thee of the evil.  Therefore now, O Lord, take, I beseech thee, my life from me; for it is better for me to die than to live.  Then said the Lord, Doest thou well to be angry?  ~Jonah 4:1-4~

Most of us have heard of the story of Jonah the prophet.  How he thought he had a right to hate the pagan Ninevites. When they repented and God showed them mercy, the Bible says Jonah “was greatly displeased and angry.”  How could a prophet that was showed mercy in his own life, get so angry and upset when God showed mercy to the Nivevites?  

What was God's response to Jonah's anger?  God asked him, "Doest thou well to be angry?”  In other words, do you have a right to be angry??  If you stop and think about it, we tend to let things make us angry.  We choose to get angry.  If we choose to get angry, we can choose not to get angry. 

Jonah is a little bit like us all,  he thought he had the right to control his own life and environment—to have things go his way and to get upset when they didn’t.  Sadly, that sounds a lot like a lot of us.

Do you often find yourself annoyed when things don’t go your way: a rude driver, a decision at work, a long line at the checkout counter, child constantly asking for something, or a person that gets on your last nerve.  Or what if it is something like you finding out you have cancer, or your child has a terminal disease or something traumatic has happened.  It's enough to leave you moody and uptight.  And when you are moody and uptight, you are not a joy to be around.  Remember, we can choose to be angry or not to be angry or annoyed. 

We then have to answer the question, just like Jonah did : “Doest thou well to be angry?”   Did I have the right to be angry at God when we found out about Camryn having Cystic Fibrosis or when Ethan got shot?  And the answer to that question is, no.  I had to accept what the Lord had for my life.  Is it alright for you to be angry at God when things do not go your way?  And the answer for the things that happen in your life must always be “No. Lord, all Your ways are right even if I don’t understand them.”

Want to know a way to get off an emotional roller coaster?  Here it is:  yield your rights to God's plan and purpose for your life--remember this as you face annoyances, frustration, and unexpected happenings today.

Monday, August 15, 2011


~Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.  Let your moderation be known unto all men.  The Lord is at hand.  Be careful for nothing, but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.  And the peace of  God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.  Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.  ~Philippians 4:4-8~

Have you ever traveled down a muddy, deeply rutted road, that you had to go down?  How about being in  a car that coughs & sputters and is the only vehicle you have to travel down that old muddy, rutted road?  You are going down the road and climb the the first hill, and then your car stalls out at the top.  So you start the engine up again, and you jerk through one mudhole, and revved the motor and choke through another one.  As you get through that one, you view the worst spot ahead of you with its deep ruts, and you knew if you didn't get through that place the first try, that you would for sure be stuck.

So you stopped.  Then you pray for safe passage through that muddy, deep rutted road.  And as you go through it, you are amazed, humbled and deeply grateful as the car's coughing stopped and you slid through the ruts to the better road.

How much like our lives is that experience?  The mudholes in our minds, thoughts that are deep ruts that we slide into and get so high-centered on----fears of all kinds, selfishness, unbelief, what about guilty feelings and doubts?  How often do we try to make it on our own in our strength, by coughing, jerking, stalling and getting nowhere at all.  We then reach the end of ourselves and reach beyond ourselves to our Strength, our Strong Tower, greater than ourselves.

How amazed, humbled, and so deeply grateful we are as we feel God's strength and leave the mudholes and ruts of depressing thoughts to come out victorious on the other side!!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Are You Gracious?

~A gracious woman retaineth honour: and strong men retain riches.  Proverbs 11:16~

I was reading in a book and it covered being gracious.  Things that I thought I would share with you that I gleaned from the book.

If you are a gracious woman, you would not make thoughtless observations about a person's physical appearance or say hurtful things or forget things in other people's lives.  You also wouldn't get upset if you did all the work on a project, and someone else got the credit.  Some characteristics of a gracious woman is that she is genuinely caring, gentle, pleasant and as precious as she is rare.  A gracious woman's beauty is not merely outside; her beauty radiates from spending time in the Bible and in prayer daily.  Moses had a so called "shine" about his face after spending time alone with God on Mt. Sinai.  So as Moses, so should a Christian lady that spends time with the Lord have a shine to her countenance, and not only that, but also a tender, compassionate manner about her.

The book gave a Gracious Woman Checklist.  See how you do with this checklist.

1.  A gracious woman is kind.  Are you understanding and friendly?  Understanding and friendliness are attributes which make up a kind and gracious woman.

2.  A gracious woman is considerate.  Do you consider the feelings of others before you speak?  A gracious woman would take into consideration the feelings of others before she says a word.  She thinks of how her words and/or actions might be perceived by the person she is talking to.  She is extra careful when handling a difficult situation.  Are you thoughtful?  Do you remember birthdays and other special events to other people?  A gracious woman remembers.

3.  A gracious woman is pleasant.  Are you enjoyable to be around or are you obnoxious and disagreeable? Nothing every pleases you, little things bother you.  Quick to anger. The gracious woman is enjoyable to be around, not obnoxious or disagreeable.  A gracious woman works hard at 'ruling her spirit'  She can remain consistently calm when in the midst of strife.  One of the pleasing trade marks of a gracious woman is her even temper.

~He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city.  Proverbs 16:32  ~

~He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls.  Proverbs 25:28~

4.  A gracious woman is valuable.    In your life is it all about you?  When others come to you to talk of a problem, do you listen to it or turn it around to be about you?  Can you listen to others and be of assistance to them in whatever capacity?  The gracious woman understands that life isn't all about her, but that it is about being of assistance to others.  In our homes, ministries, and workplaces, almost all facets in our life benefit from the presence of the gracious woman.

A gracious woman is the type of woman who is of great worth, and the reason being is that she is in short supply.  Why she is of great worth?  It is because of her selflessness, she is a woman that is often honored and appreciated.  There are many woman who view life as a race to win only for themselves; however, a gracious woman goes through her life earning the trust of many people because she has a beloved nature and a desire to benefit others.

We all can paint on a face that isn't our wake-up one......we are all good at "faking it."   However, we can't paint on a gracious Christian womanhood.  Comes down to it, either you are gracious or you are not.

Time in the Word of God is one of the easiest things to skip.  Especially for Moms, we always seem to have "other things" pulling at us.  I read in another book that a mother would rise a little more early in the morning, go into the bathroom shut the door and have her quiet time.  Her little son would come to the door and lay on the floor and slide his little hand underneath the door, he knew his Mom was in there having her alone time with the Lord.  Make sure you have a daily time with the Lord.  Desirable qualities of a woman that is gracious is developed by spending time in the Bible.  When we skip our daily time with the Lord, it is the result in shallow Christian living.  When we are tempted to put off our reading of the Bible day after day, we are depriving ourselves of the knowledge of how to live.  We cannot achieve godly gracious womanhood without the know how, and those directions come from God.  

Another aspect of the gracious woman's life that is indispensable is prayer.  None of us can't ask help for the need to walk in a way that would best glorify God without praying.  We need to speak to God not only on a day to day basis, but throughout the day.  We need Him!  Have you been frustrated over your daily issues, has your prayer life been slacking??  Did you ask God about your struggle and to help you with it?

The last thing about a gracious woman is that she is polished by hearing the Word of God preached.  How does she graduate from being a "hearer to doer?"  She soaks up the preaching of God's Word and then she applies it to her life.  For the gracious woman, church ISN'T an option!

In this book they talk about a church in Alabama that honors a godly woman each year.   They select a lady that would rather not be put "on a pedestal" in such a way, but this type of person is all the same. They invite her to the platform during this particular conference to where she will receive gifts and much praise.  We call these the unsung heroes, these are gracious ladies in action.  They are being honored for who they are in Christ and what they do.  God is truly magnified by their quiet yet steadfast testimonies.  Can it be possible for us to be wonderful instruments of grace and not get any recognition at all??  Are you a godly gracious woman?  If  you are, then your life will glorify the Lord in ways in which you could never imagine.  So why would you settle for fleeting praise when you can have lasting honor? 

Like I said earlier, just some information I gleaned from a book I read & thought you might enjoy!  

Friday, June 24, 2011

Are You Fainting??

~And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.  Galatians 6:9~

I want to share a devotion with you about what to do when you THINK you are fainting.  

Has there ever been a time where you wanted to throw in the towel, give it all up, just up and quit on God?  I know at times I have been there.  Times where I have cried in the depths of my heart, "Lord, help me I'm fainting!"  

There is a 4 letter word that I would like to share with you that is a simple 4 letter word to this crisis.  It isn't a deep nor is it unreachable.  This is what I can tell you to P~R~A~Y!!  Just pray!
Let's break the word pray down and put it into an acrostic form with 4 short points.

P= Pause & Wait on the Lord:  When you think you are going to faint because of circumstances beyond your control, just pause and wait on the Lord.  Waiting on the Lord is expecting His strength to help us rise above the difficulty we are enduring.  When we pause and wait on the Lord, He will give us new strength each day so we don't faint.
~Casting all your care upon Him for he careth for you.  1 Peter 5:7~
~But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary, and they shall walk, and not faint.  Isaiah 40:31~

R= Refuse to Give Up:  If we choose to faint or quit then our strength is small.  How we handle the small challenges that is brought our way is preparing for the big ones that will come our way.  Our character is developed more and more with each challenge we face.  Think about you handle the challenges you face tells a lot about you.  You might not realize it, but you are being watched not only by other Christians, but also the ones that do not know Christ as their Savior.  How strong is your faith when the challenges come your way?  How can we ever face the big challenges (that will come one day) if the small ones make us weary?  Don't give up, refuse to quit and commit!  Commit to God even when the going gets tough and when God's answers to our prayers don't bring immediate relief or the answer we are looking for.   When we continue to pray, we will grow in character, faith and hope.  Refuse to give up, give in, or give out!  In other words, faint not!

~If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small.  Proverbs 24:10~ ought always to pray, and not to faint.  Luke 18:1~
~I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.  Philippians 4:13~ cometh in the morning.  Psalms 30:5~
~His mercies are new every day.  Lamentations 3:22-23~

A= Acknowledge Your Weakness:  ...lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds, Hebrews 12:3.  When we are facing difficulties, it is easy to lose sight of the big picture or goal that we are working towards.  Our suffering is training ground for the Christian maturity.  As we suffer, keep this in mind :  For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing, 1 Peter 3:17.  We need to acknowledge our weakness and remember the words of Jesus, ...for my strength is made perfect in weakness,  2 Corinthians 12:9.  When we admit our weakness, we then affirm God's strength, ...The flesh is weak, Matthew 26:41

Y= Yield Yourself to God:  If you faint and don't yield yourself to God, you will never see His goodness come from your challenges.  

   ~I had fainted unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.  Wait on the Lord: be of good courage and he shall strengthen thine heart: Wait, I say on the Lord.  Psalm 27:13-14~

Don't be hungry and thirsty and allow your soul to faint.   ~Hungry and thirsty, their soul fainted in them.  Then they cried unto the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them out of their distresses.  Psalm 107:5-6

So, as we:    Pause and wait.
                   Refuse to give up.
                  Acknowledge our weakness and
                 Yield to God,
We will reap God's goodness and faint not!  ~Then they cried unto the Lord in their trouble and he delivered them out fo their distresses.  Psalm 107:6~

~Behold, we count them happy which endure.  James 5:11~
~Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.  1 Peter 5:7

REMEMBER:  Greater is HE that is in YOU than he that is in the world!!


Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Unconditional Love & Forgiveness

  ~~Love has its source in God, for love is the very essence of His being. ~~ Kay Arthur

~~Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.  1 John 4:10~~

I have been sitting here thinking of God's love for us.  How undeserving we are of His love.  I think of Him hanging on the cross, the ones that put Him there and asking God to forgive them for they know not what they do.  What kind of love is that?  To me, that shows his unconditional love toward us, before we are saved and after we accept him as our Savior.  He loved us first.  We didn't love Him first.  We love Him because He first loved us.  That just amazes me--that before I accepted Him as my personal Savior, He loved me.  He didn't love me because of my sin, He loved me for me.  He loves the sinner, not the sin.

~But God commendeth his love toward us, int hat, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8~

~And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us.  God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in  God, and God in him.  Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.  There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment.  He that feareth is not made perfect in love.  We love him because he first loved us.  1 John 4;16-19~

God loved us so much that He wanted us reunited back to Him.  He didn't created some for heaven and some for hell.  And he surely doesn't take pleasure sending anyone to hell.  That isn't unconditional love or forgiving love.  If  he created some for heaven and some for hell, what would be the purpose to share that love if that person wasn't created to be saved, but was created for hell.  That would be giving that person false hope.  God isn't in the business of giving people false hope.  He doesn't lie.  He said he sent his Son for the whole world, and that is what he means.  Like Jesus said:

~ Jesus said unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.  John 14:6~

~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~ 

~And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. 1 John 2:2~ 

~If the wounds of millions are to be healed, what other way is there except through forgiveness?  Catherine Marshall~
~For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upont thee.  Psalm 86:5~

~And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.  Ephesians 4:32~

I am amazed that no matter how much I mess up, He is always there ready to forgive me all I have to do is ask.   He doesn't just forgive me one time and then no more.  He forgives me of ALL my sin, past, present and future!  Not only am I undeserving of His love, I am also undeserving of his forgiveness.  

So, now to the point.  If Christ loves us unconditionally and forgives no matter what we do, then why don't we do the same?  Are we not called Christians after Christ?  Is it hard to love someone unconditionally and forgive them when they hurt you?  Of course it is.  No one said it was going to be easy, but through Christ we can do anything.  May we love others as Christ loved us and forgive them as he has forgiven us.  When others hurt you ask God to help you extend to them the same forgiveness that He granted you.  The forgiven forgive.

~And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.  But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.  Mark 11:25-26~

~Take heed to yourselves:  If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him.  And if he trespass against the seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to the, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him.  Luke 17:3-4~