Saturday, March 11, 2023

 Do You Walk In the Spirit?

If asked what religion I was, for years I responded Christian. I believed that Jesus was the Son of God and that He went to the cross to cover my sins. I believed that everyone would go to heaven because of God's love and that there was no consequence of hell or judgement.

This philosophy opens the door to any kind of behavior. There was never a worry or thought about what God desired for my life. My conscience was dulled down to not feel any remorse or uncomfort. If I did feel uncomfortable I might drink alcohol or take drugs that would numb my feelings so I could just move ahead in my endeavors.

My choices brought me to a very low point in my life. Depression set in causing me to wish for something different. I needed a change. I started toying with the idea of taking my own life so I could escape the rollercoaster of emotions I was experiencing. I had no idea that there was a devil that was provoking these thoughts and attitudes. He desired to take my life so that I would never find eternal life in Christ. 

Fortunately for me, I cried out to God from the bottom of my heart. I needed to know that He was real. I immediately was given the assurance that God was real. He flooded my heart with peace and joy. I could overcome my circumstances. I did not know how or when, but I no longer felt alone in life. 

I love the following scripture that was revealed to me within the month of my crying out to God. I was forever changed:

"Jesus answered, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is Spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you,"You must be born again,"  John 3:5-7

I have found it a privilege and honor to be accepted by Jesus. He gave my heart new life by filling me with His Holy Spirit. He drew me to the Bible, His Word, to teach me, lead me
, and renew my mind.

I pray that this will be a reality for you too. God loves us with an everlasting love and desires us to spend eternity with Him. He helps us to walk through the trials of this earthly life with the knowledge there is a perfect world yet to come. It will be above and beyond our wildest dreams.

Put your full trust in the Savior today. Allow Him to lead you so you are able to walk in His Spirit daily. You will never regret it!

Monday, January 9, 2023

 Finding Joy

Stop and think. What things in everyday life bring you joy? It can be found in the simplest of things. Watching a beautiful soft white snowflake dance and prance its way to the ground, the smile or giggle of a little child, a hot cup of coffee or tea on a chilly morning, a handshake or hug from a close friend are a few of the simple pleasures that can flood our soul with joy. We just need to recognize these simple pleasures by opening our eyes.

Too often our focus is on the doom and gloom that can surround us. We tend to separate ourselves from other people causing unnecessary loneliness. Contemplating the harmful ways of this world can take all our initiative and personnel ambitions away. Wars and rumors of wars, sickness that seems to bring a lot of fear, the aches and pains of our own aging bodies, joblessness, inflation, climbing grocery and gas prices, medical expenses, taxes, etc., etc., are but a few of our worries.

We must return to the simple things in life. Start by looking to God who has plans to give us a future and a hope. How do we do this? How can we break out of the doldrums? You must have a Bible tucked away somewhere in your home. It has been on the best sellers list for years. Find it and pick it up. Ask God to lead you and give you understanding by the power of His Holy Spirit. Start by reading the New Testament, the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke or John. You will be amazed and lifted up as you see the wonderful miracles performed by Jesus. He wants you to recognize who He is and that He promises us a future and a hope.

I believe this will increase your joy, much deeper than your normal experience. The truths bring a depth to your own heart and mind that brings us back to appreciating the simple pleasures that come our way daily. Life becomes much more enjoyable. Open your heart today and your eyes will see the good that surrounds you. Embrace the joy!


Wednesday, December 14, 2022

 The Best Gift  (Dee)

Christmas is a very well known holiday in our culture and world. Shiny decorations start appearing in stores months before December. Our minds are bombarded through social media and television filled with advertisements. We start making lists and checking them twice.

Gatherings of all sorts start springing up. work parties, family gatherings church services, reunions with friends fill our days. There is a plethora of Christmas movies to choose from, school concerts and live performances through the arts and music in the city. Don't forget the Christmas Markets that spring up and driving through neighborhoods full of sparkling lights and decorations.

Where does Christ fit into all this Christmas hooplah? Has he gotten lost under the tree or thrown away with the torn wrappings and bows? Have we forgotten the humble beginning of our Lord being born in a lowly stable?

Slow your pace down, take a deep breath, and take time to remember what this celebration is all about. Jesus is the Son of God and was intimately involved in the creation  of heaven, earth and mankind. He and the Father knew as humans we would fail and be drawn into sin, which would ultimately separate us from God's free gift of eternal life with Him. Jesus was willing to be obedient to the Father. He stepped down from the Throne Room of the Almighty God to be born as a human with the intention of growing up and going to the cross to pay the penalty of our sins.

In His brief three years of ministry, calling and teaching His disciples, He changed our world forever. Historians can prove that He existed and was crucified. There were five hundred witnesses who saw Him ascend back to heaven with the promise of His return.

While we prepare our hearts for our Christmas celebrations, my hope is that we will see beyond the sparkling lights and recognize that Jesus is the true light of the world. He brings light, life, and freedom from sin. His desire is for us to worship Him every day of the year. He has given us the Bible, His Word, to know Him in a deeper way, showing us how we should and can live once we truly believe in Him.

Ask the Father to show you the Son. He will send His Holy Spirit to permeate your heart with His presence and love. Your life will be filled with eternal hope for your earthly and heavenly future. Now that's a gift! Merry Christmas!

John 3:3 "Jesus answered and said to him,"Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God."

John 3:16 "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life."

Monday, June 14, 2021

Guard Your Heart

Are the words from your mouth getting you in deep waters? Are your eyes looking and lusting after things not intended for you? Are your feet marching off in a direction contrary to God's leading? Time to do some serious introspection.

The scriptures give us great warning and clear direction when we open our heart and mind to receive what it is actually saying. As I read the following text I realize that we are to be extremely aware of our inner struggles and choices.

"Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life. Put away from you a deceitful mouth, and put devious lips far from you. Let your eyes look directly fixed straight in front of you. Watch the path of your feet, and all your ways will be established. Do not turn to the right nor to the left; turn your foot from evil." Proverbs 4:23-27

We are challenged to guard our heart because it leads us through life choices. Our heart is an expression of our feelings and emotions. Interestingly we are not aware that it can be extremely deceitful.

How do we go about guarding our heart? If we guard our heart what benefit do we receive? Reading God's Word and dwelling on it helps to strengthen right desires and right motives, but there is so much more. The scripture continues to show what prevents the springs of life, the abundant watering, we desperately need and desire from the Holy Spirit.

The first issue are the words that come out of our mouth. Are our words encouraging and uplifting to others? Are they subtlety demeaning to the listener, and or possibly elevating ourselves? Do we find ourselves whispering negative things about others, where we could otherwise be remarking on the positive work of God in their lives? These are questions that help us to recognize how easily sin enters our very being and then spills out on others.

The second issue is our eyes. Our eyes can misdirect our decisions and effect our contentment. Eyes are a gateway to our soul. Have we begun to desire things that are unseemly and sinful? Do we find ourselves gazing at what others have and wish they were our very own? How about looking down our nose with disdain, while we are covering our own fallen behavior, judging them and not ourselves? 

The Spirit desires to fill us with His goodness and love so that we will look on good and pure things. He wants us to open our eyes to see clearly all the wonders God has done in the land of the living. There is much to be thankful for such as the beauty and fragrance of a flower. the majesty and tumbling of a roaring waterfall. He wants us to see the magnificent mountain ranges and the simple precious smile of a little child. God has given us a plethora of things to look at that are good and pleasing. We need to make the responsible choice to live and see the beauty  that surround us.

The third issue found here is our feet. Where are they taking us? Are they heading in a direction contrary to God's leading by His Spirit? There is a multitude of places we can go, but should we? God has a good path for us and will illuminate the way. We need to press into His goodness to see we are heading in the right direction. When we follow His ways and walk forward, our head can be held high, not looking over our shoulder hoping not to be seen or exposed. We can be assured of His goodness and grace in everyday travels. It is a marvelous experience when you feel impressed to go in a specific direction to then run into someone you needed to talk with. They encouraged you or you may have encouraged them. In everything there are choices to be made. 

We desire to feel God's pleasure and love so we must be mindful to keep our heart clean before Him. I love how the scripture describes what our efforts should be;

"But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit; keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting anxiously for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life." Jude vs 20-21

Recognizing the wonderful gift of the Holy Spirit, that Jesus presents to us when we put our faith and trust in Him, is all the help we need. He takes our weaknesses and becomes strong within us. Continue to pray and seek for the things above, knowing the end result is everlasting springs of water. Your soul, your heart, and your mind will all be strengthened, renewed, restored to the joy of knowing you have a glorious future and a hope. Allow the Lord to guard your words, eyes and feet today. Enjoy the journey! 


Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Put on Love

 Jesus responds to a Pharisee questioning Him about the greatest commandment with the Royal Law;

"And He said to him,"'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.'This is the great and foremost commandment. "The second is like it, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' "On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets." Matthew 22:37-40

What an amazing world this could be if men and women embraced these commands. When God is at the forefront of our mind He influences our choices, decisions, and moods. You will find yourself being much more humble and kind.

 The world we live in does not desire to follow Jesus or His commands. We find ourselves living in a fallen world influenced by the fallen angel Satan himself. He distorts the truth, brings about greed, jealousy, hate, cruelty and complete selfishness. He has the opposite effect of Jesus love by causing all kinds of trauma, discouragement, and distrust. He blinds the minds of human beings from witnessing the goodness that God desires for them. Fortunately, God sent His Son Jesus to cover this sinful nature with His atoning blood and opens our hearts and minds to God's glorious light.

When we finally come to the end of ourselves and call out to the Lord, He immediately responds by sending His Holy Spirit to lead, guide, heal, restore and provide in a plethora of ways. His marvelous Word helps our limited understanding to grow, change and blossom. He chooses us because of His great love, not because we have earned it or impressed Him in some way. I love the following scripture because it shows us that we are a work in progress, His work;

And so, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. And beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity." Colossians 3:12-14

God's Holy Spirit produces real and lasting love in our hearts. By reading the Word of God and spending time in conversational prayer with God, He helps us, equips us, encourages us, to become more like Him. Our character changes and wonderful fruit replaces the rotten, decaying parts of our very soul.

Ask yourself, are you gentle and patient with others? Are you holding onto a grudge, a hurt or disappointment, that is causing unforgiveness in your heart? Do you find yourself complaining about others, pointing the finger? Are you harboring jealousy or envy toward someone, which in turn embitters your own heart?

If any of these questions zero in on a situation that is contrary to Jesus character take it to the Lord in prayer. Ask the Lord to help you to forgive, let go, be cleansed and ask for the infilling of His Holy Spirit. He desires to restore you to uninterrupted joy so you may live above the unfair circumstances that have befallen you in this sinful world.

God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit, working together as one, desire you to be clothed in His love. He says in the scripture to literally put it on. This is a daily choice. Examine your heart with the Lord' help. Be honest with yourself. Pray to be rid of any bondage that has been holding you as prisoner. Accept the freedom that the Lord holds out to you. 

If you are believing and following the Royal Law you will walk in the perfect bond of unity. You will be unified with God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Your desire should develop into a yearning to walk in unity with the Body of Christ which of course includes fellow Christians. True love never disappoints.

Todays takeaways:

* Know the Royal Law

* Recognize Satan brought sin into the world and Jesus came to restore it

* God has chosen you, you in turn need to choose Him

* Examine your heart, be cleansed

* Walk in love that comes from above