|Posted on August 13, 2019 at 2:55 PM||comments (0)|
Rejoice, you people of Jerusalem! Rejoice in the LORD your God! For the rain He sends demonstrates His faithfulness. Once more the autumn rains will come, as well as the rains of spring. The threshing floors will again be piled high with grain, and the presses will overflow with new wine and olive oil. Joel 2:23-24
Though fall is still officially over a month away, fall has begun in my home. I have survived the summer, my son has returned to school. So the time I know as “summer vacation” is over for me. I can actually hear my house breathing again. No drowning sounds of the TV or music or my son yelling on his headset while playing some video game. Ah how I missed this stillness when I can sit and be grateful having survived through one of the roughest adolescent years of his life. The things he did I didn’t think he would ever do. Things I didn’t even think I would need to be concerned about were hard truths to swallow this summer but we made it through.
…We were crushed and overwhelmed beyond our ability to endure, and we thought we would never live through it. In fact, we expected to die. But as a result, we stopped relying on ourselves and learned to rely on God, who raises the dead. And He did rescue us from mortal danger, and He will rescue us again. We have placed our confidence in Him, and He will continue to rescue us. 2 Corinthians 1:8-10
We weren’t ship wrecked or beaten like Paul but every day was a constant battle for control and independence. The testing of boundaries and freedom. Taking personal responsibilities and suffering the consequence of irresponsible choices. It felt like a twelve week war. A different battle every week till finally summer was over and for a moment there is peace. I read earlier in the summer that peace is not the absence of battle it is the ability to maintain calmness even in the middle of battle.
God said in Isaiah 30:15 that in quietness and confidence is my strength. So in frustration I found myself just being silent. If I said nothing than I wasn’t arguing and my voice wasn’t raised to control the situation but usually by then I had lost all control even of myself. There was no discussion. Nothing left to say. No matter how many times we repeated ourselves he relentlessly did the complete opposite even to the very last day. So we stopped saying anything and instead he merely suffered the consequences of his poor choices weekly at times daily. It didn’t matter to him what we said he would still live his own way on his own terms unfortunately just like me when I was his age and my ancestors before him.
My saving grace was re-reading the story of David found in 1 Samuel 17:12-51 and seeing my son through a different lens. I’m not sure how old David was but in verse 33 Saul refers to him as a boy and in verse 42 even Goliath thought of him as a boy so a good guess would be a teenager. I know how different times have changed. I can only hope that in the same boldness and courageous defiant ways of David’s heart I can see his spirit in my son today.
May he go on to slay many obstacles that appear to be giants. God knows how hard we tried to tame his rebel “lion” heart but perhaps we didn't give him enough credit. At such a time as this it is the only way to survive, to be both fearless and relentless in spite of how big the giants are. I will be bold enough to say that we have more authority over our son than anyone else on this earth, there aren't many in this world that can tell him what to do. So when he began to defy us as most teenagers these days do all I could think was for every battle he fought with us this summer may it give him the practice he will need to take down anyone who would dare come against this child of the King.
|Posted on August 10, 2019 at 12:00 AM||comments (0)|
Has any other god dared to take a people for Himself out of another nation by means of trials, miraculous signs, wonders, war, a strong hand, a powerful arm, and terrifying acts? Yet that is what the LORD your God did for you in Egypt, right before your eyes. Deuteronomy 4:34
Yup that sounds about right, I came to know God by more trials than I care to count. More miraculous signs that had no explanation but God for. Wonders that overwhelmed me to tears. War so torn in my own little world that it spread across generations of my family. A strong hand and a mighty arm that I knew it wasn’t by my own strength that held me together. And just when I thought life couldn’t get scarier those terrifying acts that made me clench my eyes, hold my breath and tremble with fear.
Yes this is how the LORD my God revealed Himself to me. This is what He did to bring me out of Egypt right before my very eyes. I can’t un-see the things I have seen Him do for me, I can’t un-know or deny there is a greater power at work in my life. Yet I look around at those around me who are still blind, still deaf to His voice and all I can feel is gratitude that He chose to reveal Himself to me. That nothing and no one in my life stopped that, hindered that from happening. I didn’t have a mother watching over me or an earthly father guiding me. Thrown into this world at the age of 13 so many “could haves” could have overtaken me had it not been for God with me.
What’s more, I am with you, and I will protect you wherever you go… Genesis 28:15
He was with me when I went to places I had no business being in. When I stayed out way past a curfew that was never set for me. Staying up so late that I saw the moon set when I should have been sleeping. Walking the streets with friends, listening to music, time was irrelevant. When I hid the deeds I did in the dark He was with me, He witnessed every single sin. Nothing was hidden from Him.
You see me when I travel and when I rest at home. You know everything I do. Psalm 139:3
This past week as we prepare for another school year I am struggling with my sons need for independence, rebellion, and style. I was reminded of John 16:33 “I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” I know that not even Jesus was exempt from the trials and sorrows in life yet when I stake claim to the same blood line I feel like I am entitled from being exempt from such things. Like I can order my life at the drive through, I will have a sorrow and trial free life please, biggie size.
When things happen that make me struggle, weep, try harder to reach for the prize that was won for me that I somehow get it in my head that in this part of my life, God is not with me otherwise I wouldn’t be struggling. But it is in those very trials He has revealed Himself stronger in me. Perhaps it was those trials and sorrows I faced that brought me nearer to God. I would not have a need to see a miraculous act if I could do things and make them happen on my own. I would not have a need to see wonders I couldn’t explain if nothing was a wonder to me. I wouldn’t need his strong hand or mighty arm to save me if I had the strength to save myself.
Don’t misunderstand if given the choice I could do without the terrifying acts but isn’t that what life is just one terrifying walk through this haunted day where every hour is of the unknown. If I knew what the future held for me I would have nothing to hope it could be. I wouldn’t wake hoping for a struggle free trial free sorrow free day. It would have already been decided that nothing is going to happen today and I would already know. But life is not like that. It changes in an instant…message, in an announcement before my morning devotionals, it changes in a phone call, in the sound of a siren, in a blink. Moments that bring me to my knees and make me cry out to a God I can’t see but pray to God He is with me.
Who am I to prevent my son from knowing God just so that I can save him from a trial free life? It is through the trials, the sorrows, the struggles, the unknowing, the miraculous, the terrifying, the untapped strength he never knew was available to him that is the invitation to come to know someone greater than him. I guess I wouldn’t have it any other way. What I know is that I am not god. Neither can I ever be. When I am always there to save, there to provide, always there to protect lest my son falls from this nest than I become his god. The person he looks to, to be his saving grace, his savior. Not anyone or anything outside or apart from me. Someone he can see touch and feel and explain why and how things happen. No wonder, no miraculous signs. No experiences in his life that he knows that something greater is happening because there was no way he could have survived otherwise because the truth is he never had to.
The truth is life is going to hurt. There are going to be times that I can neither stop, take away or even explain the pain. I can only feel it with him, nod my head and say I know exactly how you feel but it’s going to be okay. You will get through this because my life is proof I got through it too. Nothing will come against you that you can’t overcome John 16:33. Nothing will happen for you that you can’t get back up from Psalm 20:8. No misfortune is in God’s plan for you Numbers 23:21 even what seems unfortunate is God’s way of coming to you. He is shrouded in light covered in dark clouds, fire goes before Him, things you think you can’t withstand know He is standing up against them with you, His presence happens in a blink and then it’s gone. Psalm 97:2-4 Just long enough to make you think what was that? And have no explanation for why things happened or worked out in your favor all you know is there was something greater. I don’t want to deny my son that kind of life even if it hurts for just a moment.
Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory He will reveal to us later. Romans 8:18
|Posted on August 3, 2019 at 12:45 AM||comments (0)|
…”Be sure to carry out the ministry the Lord gave to you.” Colossians 4:7
God gave to me several ministries the first is my son, to be his mother. Like the land that was given to my ancestors God called me to “tend and watch over” Genesis 2:15…him. He is my first ministry. Then God gave me my husband. Yes, in that exact order. Like Mary, I was a mother before I was called a wife. My ministry was called to help my husband, to be his helper as he goes out to battle the world each day my job is to “tend and watch over” his castle. In the character of a Proverbs 31 wife, which I admit I thought was impossible at one time, I rise before dawn, I make sure the “cattle” are fed, the grain is gathered, the day’s work is done before I tend to my other ministry which is sharing His Word with others. Philippians 1:5-6 And as if that weren’t enough over the summer He called me to yet another ministry. This one was a little closer to home.
Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you. James 1:27
At first when presented with this ministry I thought “Oh no Father, I couldn’t possibly help another, I don’t have the time to devote to that, please give it to someone else.” But as the weeks went by like Jonah He patiently and persistently place this work on my heart. Finally with a deep breath, unknowing what I was signing up for, I sent out a single message and with it He sent me both an orphaned widow in distress for me to minister to.
It took a few months and some work of the Spirit in me but He made me to understand that everything I do is for His glory and honor. I am part of a priesthood Psalm 110:4 not because I meet requirements but because my life is an offering to many whether I choose to acknowledge it or not. I hold service in the car ride to work, I tithe my time when I listen to those seeking to be heard, I offer advice and counsel and share my wisdom from experience and the Word. Whether I am a mother, a wife, a sister, a friend it is all part of the ministry so that they might come to know and feel their way toward their Father the way I did. Acts 17:27
For in Him we live and move and exist. As some of your own poets have said ‘We are His offspring.’ Acts 17:28
The only reason I am alive today is because I live for God I tried living for myself and that didn’t get me far. When I awake each day it is to get up and move toward something greater than myself. To reach toward a prize I have yet to achieve. To look forward to a promise that is yet to be fulfilled. The reason I exist is not to make my life easier but to make the lives of those around me easier. It is my privilege to be of help. These are the sheep assigned to me, the little flock God has called me to lead. I shepherd this field with the same love and humility Christ shepherds me. God has called me to find the broken and seek out the lost. To feed and rescue. To tend to His sheep. John 21:15-17 To give them a place to lie down in peace and live unafraid of being harmed Proverbs 31:12. To bandage the injured and strengthen the weak. Ezekiel 34:15-16 whether that is one person, few or many, it is all part of His ministry.
But Jesus replied, “My Father is always working, and so am I.” John 5:17
And so will I, my Lord.
|Posted on July 27, 2019 at 11:40 AM||comments (0)|
Many will be purified, cleansed and refined by these trials…Daniel 12:10
I have refined you, but not as silver is refined. Rather I have refined you in the furnace of suffering. Isaiah 48:10
This has been a week of trials for me. I actually wrote several times this week as I walked through the trials I was facing but each seemed like they were messages for me. For what I was dealing with the revelations I was finding the personal insight I was going through.
I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world. John 16:33
I found myself clinging to God, to His Word, to teachings, to praise music, to bible study even more so in these last days that I had time for in weeks before. I can see in hindsight how the enemy used what was supposed to be a good thing to distract me, to keep me from His greater power which is the peace I have when I am in Him.
The LORD Himself will send on you curses, confusion and frustration in everything you do, until at last you are completely destroyed for doing evil and abandoning Me. Deuteronomy 28:20
This last week I admit in frustration and confusion I cursed at what I was a having to deal with. God was far from my thoughts. I thought I could handle it alone that I could do what only God could do which is to change a human heart. But I changed nothing. The only thing I allowed to happen was for the enemy to steal my peace. A game he has played since the beginning.
We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because He has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our heart with His love. Romans 5:3-5
That’s what my trials came down to love. Instead of being kind, able to teach and be patient with difficult people 2 Timothy 2:24 I got involved in a foolish ignorant argument. I did not gently instruct instead I shook my head in disapproval. But my words fell on deaf ears and blind eyes. I want a better life for them by living in His Word than in the ways of this world but they don’t want that life for themselves. I have a passion in me that I want them to have. To seek God above all else but I have fought this battle before with others who chose the ways of this world to satisfy the emptiness, the loneliness, the longing, the need for something more and not turning to God to fill it.
I remember it like de ja vu “What is it going to take for you to be satisfied, to be content, to realize that you have enough, you have everything you need? Because whatever you think it is, it will never be, you will always need more because the only thing that can satisfy is God.” A conversation I have had with so many people I have loved.
Then I was asked “What are you afraid of?” I said “I am afraid they will fall that just because things don’t work out as a result of the foolish choices they are making that somehow they will blame God. Because they have been living this self-destructive way their whole lives and they don’t see the wrong in it.” I wanted them to say that won’t happen but instead they said “They need to fall and if you keep rescuing them they can’t fall. They can’t feel the consequences, the weight of their decisions.” I was reminded that it is about surrender. That when we ourselves surrendered our lives to God we also had to fall, to cry out for Him every hour, every minute of every day from day break just to get through this day that is when we wanted God. We sought Him. We put Him first. We pursued a relationship with Him. But if they aren’t there yet, it’s not for us to bring them there. If they want to fill the time they have left on earth pursuing the world there is nothing we can say or do.
If they want to fill their minds with mindless things so be it. If they want to spend money they don’t have buying things they don’t need so be it. If they want to eat sugary foods to fill a craving so be it. If they want to eat unhealthy and do more harm to the Temple that God gave to them that houses His Holy Spirit then so be it. I watch and see the same things I did when I was in search of filling the emptiness, the insatiable void in me only God could fill and I weep for them knowing the result of a life lived this way can lead to nothing good.
I have to let them fall even it means I lose them. I have to let them fall even it means harm will come to them. I have to let them fall even if it means our relationship is severed. Because the truth is God loves them more than I do. I have to let them fall so God can show them He is with them. So I let go. I turned my face to God. My time to God. My words to God. As much as I love God I can’t make others love Him too only He can do that. So I wait on Him.
…Perhaps God will change their hearts, and they will learn the truth. Then they will come to their senses and escape from the devil’s trap. For they have been held captive by him to do whatever he wants. 2 Timothy 2:25
|Posted on July 24, 2019 at 7:50 AM||comments (0)|
Look straight ahead, and fix your eyes on what lies before you. Mark out a straight path for your feet; stay on the safe path. Don’t get side tracked; keep your feet from following evil. Proverbs 4:25-27
I was watching a movie the other night about a woman with autism called Please Stand By. She lived in an assisted living home and her “house mom” went over her daily schedule with her. From sun up to sun down every hour had a purpose every moment of her day mapped out by the next. Similar to her routine I have my own.
When my grandchildren read my journal they will see that yesterday I read devotionals. Walked on treadmill. Watched a teaching. Washed a load of clothes. Cleaned my bathroom. Washed the towels. Vacuumed. Mopped the floors. Finished a bible study. Wrote a letter to my nephew. Emptied the kid pool out back. Refilled it. Helped take apart a broken canopy. Made dinner- fish. Watched a movie. Nothing exciting but every hour of my day was filled with a purpose I had planned at the beginning of my day. I looked straight ahead and fixed my eyes on what was before me. I didn’t sit around discouraged about my yesterday. Disappointed about a past I could not change. Making up for time that had been lost. I just did what I could with the time I had today and hoped that it was enough.
When my ancestors traveled the land in search of their promised place they made a point to tell the kings in each territory “We will stay on the king’s road and never leave it until we have passed through your territory.” Numbers 20:17 and 21:22, Deuteronomy 2:27. They didn’t want what wasn’t theirs so why step off the road and search. Even when they were denied passage they repeated “We will stay on the main road.” Numbers 20:19 and not get sidetracked.
There have been times in my daily routine when I wasn’t able to do the things I had planned ahead of the day because I allowed myself to get sidetracked. Whether it was something on the internet that caught my attention, a movie, a marathon of a repeat show on TV or when I was doing one thing, then left it to do something else and another thing came up. Only to find none of the tasks I originally set out to do was completed at the end of the day. Just a bunch of tasks half way completed. I did not keep my feet from getting distracted.
Stay on the path that the LORD your God has commanded you to follow. Then you will live long and prosperous lives in the land you are about to enter and occupy. Deuteronomy 5:33
I am grateful to know that even when I do get side tracked I can easily turn around and go back to the things I had done before. There are some routines in my life that never change like having my bed made. The laundry will always need washed, dried, hung, folded and put away. The trash will need to be taken out, the cans put away. The dishes washed and put away, the kitchen counters wiped. The floors vacuumed, swept and mopped. Some things can wait but not too long like the dusting, filing and the brushing of the dogs. Food will always need to be made and served. These simple little routines that make up the straight path that is my everyday life help me to keep my mind and my hands from doing what is evil in the LORD’s sight.
Follow the steps of good men instead, and stay on the paths of the righteous. For only the godly will live in the land, and those with integrity will remain in it. Proverbs 2:20
God once said in Jeremiah 8:4-5 “When people fall down, don’t they get up again? When they discover they’re on the wrong road, don’t they turn back? Then why do these people stay on their self-destructive path? Why do the people of Jerusalem refuse to turn back? They cling tightly to their lies and will not turn around.”
For a long time I used to think like that, that since I already messed up there was no turning back to get back on the right path. If I lied why not lie more to cover up the first. If I had one drink why not have one more. If I bought something I didn’t really need why not buy even more. If I spent a hundred what is a thousand more. One self-destructive decision after another took me further and further from the path I should have been on. In tears I finally begged God through Psalm 25:4-5 Show me the right path, O LORD; point out the road for me to follow. Lead me by Your truth and teach me, for you are the God who saves me. All day long I put my hope in You. And it wasn’t so much as a hard thing but a daily decision I had to make to discipline myself with consistency to stay on the path He set out in front of me to keep these idle hands so busy doing what was good so I would not be led astray.
But I did find this: God created people to be virtuous, but they have each turned to follow their own downward path. Ecclesiastes 7:29
|Posted on July 22, 2019 at 11:45 AM||comments (0)|
Remember how short my life is, how empty this human existence! No one can live forever; all will die. No one can escape the power of the grave. Psalm 89:47-48
I thank God each day for setting me free from the fear of dying Hebrews 2:14-15. I use to live my life afraid of doing anything with it from a fear that it would result in my immediate death. Jesus showed me that death is the price we all have to pay. We don’t have the power of knowing the exact moment Mark 13:32 or even when and where but we do have the power to choose how we will live today. He lived courageously unafraid of death even though he knew his life would result in it he lived as though he had everything to live for.
In the beginning in Genesis when the brothers we know today as the tribes of Israel asked their father Jacob to take the youngest Benjamin to see “the man” who would give them grain to feed their families in the famine, they argued about it because Jacob was so afraid to lose his son to death. Judah said to his father in Genesis 43:10 “If we hadn’t wasted all this time, we could have gone and returned twice by now.” Jacob finally said…”if I must lose my children, so be it.”
In the middle of battle Joshua took his armor bearer with him to check out the odds against the Philistine army in 1 Samuel 14 he had to make a choice live afraid or live like he knew that God was on his side. In verse 6 he says “Perhaps the LORD will help us, for nothing can hinder the LORD. He can win a battle whether he has many warriors or only a few!” Two against many were defeated in the field that day.
All of us must die eventually. Our lives are like water spilled out on the ground, which cannot be gathered up again. But God does not just sweep life away; instead He devises ways to bring us back when we have been separated from Him. 2 Samuel 14:14
The lepers in 2 Kings 7:3-4 said perfectly “Why should we sit here waiting to die? We will starve if we stay here, but with famine in the city we will starve if we go back there. So we might as well go out and surrender…if they let us live, so much the better. But if they kill us, we would have died anyway.” So they did and they survived. They ate to their hearts content.
For we don’t live for ourselves or die for ourselves. If we live it is to honor the Lord. And if we die, it’s to honor the Lord. So whether we live or die we belong to the Lord. Romans 14:7-8
When Mordecai asked his niece to speak to the king on behalf of her people who were sentenced to die just approaching the king without being called would result in her own death though she hesitated fearful of death as any human in their right mind would do she finally agreed and said in Esther 4:16 “If I must die, I must die.” Refusing to live afraid to die, death will arrive whether she approached the king or whether she did not. He allowed her to live and save her people.
Indeed, how can people avoid what they don’t know is going to happen? None of us can hold back our spirit from departing. None of us has the power to prevent that day of our death. There is no escaping that obligation, that dark battle. And in the face of death, wickedness will certainly not rescue the wicked. Ecclesiastes 8:7-8
A coward stands in the company of unbelievers and the immoral in the fiery lake Revelation 21:8 there was a time I lived unafraid until I learned that my actions made my faith complete James 2:22 saying I believe and acting in that belief is why all my ancestors lived their lives unafraid to die.
|Posted on July 21, 2019 at 10:25 AM||comments (0)|
These things happened to them as examples for us. They were written down to warn us who live at the end of the age. 1 Corinthians 10:11
The other day I shared with a few close friends what I had done and the consequence of my actions. I shared with them so that God could use what was meant to cause me harm carry the guilt, the shame, the condemnation for a foolish thing for the purpose of what is good if just to be an example of what not to do because in the end it is not worth it. Even if it was something painful, something I was ashamed to admit, it was something I went through but not without purpose. I believe the purpose of me going through it and suffering the loss was to warn them so they wouldn’t sell themselves over to the same pit I fell into. I wanted them to have a real life example of how I believe God worked in my situation. There has yet to be a day for my sins that I didn’t suffer a consequence for even if I didn’t see it happen right away “my Father is always watching” Job 24:23.
My life has been an example to many because You have been my strength and protection. Psalm 71:7
There was a time I was a good listener. In other words I allowed people to share their life with me but I remained quiet. Ashamed of my past and who I was. I would rather listen to others go on about their lives than to share what was happening in my own for fear I might accidently say too much. I believed the lie that if it was enough to make me blush it was enough for others to look down on me in shame. So I listened. I smiled and I nodded as though I had nothing to say, hiding well the life I lived behind closed doors when no one was looking.
At that moment their eyes were opened, and they suddenly felt shame at their nakedness. Genesis 3:7
Before my ancestors felt shame they were naked and unashamed. The same was for me. Shame caused me to hide. Hide my truth. Hide who I was. Pretend to be someone I was not. And when they sinned and heard God walking in the garden they hid from Him because they were naked and afraid. Their truth was exposed. They saw themselves naked and they felt naked causing them to feel shame. Nowadays if anything happens to me good or bad I share it. I tell someone I let the people in my life share my life so that I am accountable to this journey. I don’t want to live in hiding, ashamed anymore. The only shame in hiding in not living an truthful life then what is life for if not to be lived in truth. My brother was not a private man he shared his life with anyone that was willing to listen.
I have given you an example to follow. Do as I have done to you. John 13:15
My life may not be biblical. I may not always get it right. You may not be able to quote what I say in stone but it is truth it is my truth and God knew the kind of truth it would be even if at time it got messy. It is real whether I share with many or with few. It does not go unnoticed it is not hidden anymore. Like the Word itself it serves as an example of both the good and bad. I am not here to give an example of a perfect life my brother already did that. My life is to be an example of how an imperfect life is being perfected in Christ. An example from my everyday life. It’s not pretty and there are times people will say I would never, well good for you I hope you don’t have to go through the things I went through but as for me God chose a different path, there was a time I thought I would never too but it turns out I did.
But God has mercy on me so that Christ Jesus could use me as a prime example of his great patience with even the worst sinners. Then others will realize that they, too, can believe in him and receive eternal life. 1 Timothy 1:16
|Posted on July 21, 2019 at 12:45 AM||comments (0)|
He piled up huge amounts of grain like sand on the seashore. Finally, he stopped keeping records because there was too much to measure. Genesis 41:49
I read this verse today and for the first time I saw the grain as my sins. I imagined this verse was about God how He was the one who piled up the huge amounts of my sins like sand on the seashore. My sins were all the lies I told. All the things I stole. All the times I was disobedient and devious and conniving not just to parents when they were around or family members but to friends, coworkers, acquaintances, people I just met or hadn’t known for very long. Yes my sins were many. I am no saint nor have I ever claimed to be I am quite the opposite being from my brother just like many who came after him it’s what we all have in common. You would think after all this time I would have figured out how to sin no more, but still I am here, not perfect, being perfected by the things that trip me up.
I tell you her sins- and they are many- have been forgiven, so she has shown much love… Luke 7:47
Finally, He stopped keeping records. God stopped keeping count. Keeping track of it all. That was just me and my sins now imagine God keeping count of the whole worlds’ sins, every human being that ever lived since the existence of time. It was too much to measure. I would become too weary to count. Who could keep track even if I tried with my own it would be too much and I know my memory would leave some out.
I prayed, “O my God, I am utterly ashamed; I blush to lift up my face to you. For our sins are piled higher than our heads, and our guilt has reached to the heavens. Ezra 9:6
For our sins are piled up before God and testify against us. Yes we know what sinners we are. We know we have rebelled and have denied the LORD. We have turned our backs on our God. We know how unfair and oppressive we have been, carefully planning our deceitful lies. Isaiah 59:12-13
I wonder if that is how I finally reached God, my sins got so high one atop the other like the tower of Babel in Genesis 11:4-5 that when they finally reached the gates of heaven God said “Enough! Stop! This far and no farther will you come!” Job 38:11 and just like that they obeyed Luke 8:25 one by one they all dropped off. Only humans measure. Only humans keep track. Only humans count. To movie quote “Lucy”- “Humans created a scale to forget its’ unfathomable scale”. It is impossible to keep track of it all, yet it is human to try.
…And I will forgive their wickedness, and I will never again remember their sins. Jeremiah 31:34
To God, for me to sin even just one sin one time as my ancestors Adam and Eve did is as bad as if I had broken all the sins James 2:11 and 1 John 3:4. A sin is a sin, no matter how small or how great we measure it or even how many times we count it is committed. It is all the same to God. The ground is leveled at the cross. The blood is red no matter how you take it or steal it or give it.
Jesus once said in Matthew 12:12, Mark 3:4 and Luke 6:9 not verbatim but condensed “Does the law permit good deeds… or is it a day for doing evil? Is this a day to save life or destroy it?” Sabbath is every day to me. Every day should be a day I want to do what is good whether I have permission or not to save life or to give life does not require a certain day of the week. But it seems I lived my life for what was evil. So every day my life was filled with evil and resulted in a wicked life.
If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. 1 John 1:8
The truth is I am a sinner and I need a Savior and I thank God He saved me by providing the Savior I needed through His Son. 1 John 3:5 The only reason I know that things I do are sinful is because there was a son who walked the earth who lived without sin. Who showed me what life could be like, could look like if I wasn’t so focused on what not do and fixed my thoughts not on what was wrong with me but what I was able to do.
“What sorrow awaits you experts in religious law! For you remove the key to knowledge from the people. You don'’ enter the Kingdom yourselves, and you prevent others from entering.” Luke 11:52
It’s like the enemy performed the greatest magic trick of all time when God sent His forces, Heavens Armies of His people 1 Samuel 17:26 to inhabit the earth. They all had the same ability His Son had to heal, to give life, to speak wise counsel, they had immeasurable strength- able to lift the fallen, free the captives not with might but with their words.
And the enemy said to them upon their arrival he repeated it over the air waves, over and over again till they were conditioned to believe that there is a list of rules and laws and regulations that we cannot do or God will not love us anymore. Fix our eyes on this. Forget what He sent us for. Forget about the courage, the wisdom, the honor, the glory God gave you and think about this instead. So that is what I did I spent my entire time on earth thinking about what I couldn’t do instead of what I could do. I can’t do this, I can’t do that and I became everything I thought couldn’t do till I believed I was unworthy of love, unworthy of the love of my one and only Father who sent me, who created me. I had forgotten about what I could do, who I really was, what I was sent for- capable of just like His Son Romans 8:29.
For the law always brings punishment on those who try to obey it. (The only way to avoid breaking the law is to have no law to break!) Romans 4:15
But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. There is no law against these things! Galatians 5:22-23
When I fixed my thoughts and mind on these things that were true, honorable, right, pure, lovely and admirable Philippians 4:8 I wasn’t thinking about what I couldn’t, shouldn’t be doing. I stopped thinking of what was best and good for me and started thinking how I could serve others. How I should serve others Hebrews 10:24 and as a result stopped living by the law and for God instead.
For when I tried to keep the law, it condemned me. So I died to the law- I stopped trying to meet all its requirements- so that I might live for God. Galatians 2:19
I do not treat the grace of God as meaningless. For if keeping the law could make us right with God, then there was no need for Christ to die. Galatians 2:21
For the law never made anything perfect. But now we have confidence in a better hope, through which we draw near to God. Hebrews 7:19
As a man thinks in his heart so he is…Proverbs 23:7
|Posted on July 18, 2019 at 10:35 AM||comments (0)|
For you said to yourself, ‘I will ascend to heaven and set my throne above God’s stars. I will preside on the mountain of the gods far away in the north.*(Or on the heights of Zaphon) I will climb to the highest heavens and be like the Most High.’ Isaiah 14:13-14
Ah the power of the word “I” the other day my teenage son was sharing his plans for his future and all I heard was the word “I” as in I want this, I want that, I will do this, I will do that, I think this, I think that, I feel this, I feel that, I am going to do this, I will get that… I, I, I, I said the plans you have are big, but how do you plan to accomplish these things yourself. Don’t you see it will take more than you to do those things. Be careful not to forget that you are not alone as others have before you.
Lot chose from himself a land apart from Abraham, a little place called Sodom and see where that got him Genesis 13:11
Abraham and Sarah laughed to themselves about the plans God had for them to bear a child but God had the last laugh Genesis 17:17 Genesis 18:12 Genesis 21:6
Esau consoled himself by plotting to kill Jacob for stealing his fathers’ blessing rather than believing in a God who could have given him so much more Genesis 27:42 2 Samuel 12:8
Saul set up a monument to himself and his reign was brief in comparison to King David 1 Samuel 15:12
His son Absalom built a monument to himself and named it after himself only to die a dishonorable death 2 Samuel 18:18
His other son Adonijah tried to make himself king before David died but Solomon still took the throne 1 Kings 1:5
Even Solomon humbled himself and asked God not for popularity and riches but the wisdom it would take to govern, to lead these people who belonged to God 1 Kings 3:9
It has been in my experience that God honors those who think less of themselves and more of others for even our own brother, Jesus came to serve not be served. Matthew 20:28 and Mark 10:45 my dear son you are closer to becoming made in His image when you reflect His true nature.
He was amazed to see that no one intervened to help the oppressed. So He Himself stepped in to save them with His strong arm, and His justice sustained Him. He put on righteousness as his body armor and placed the helmet of salvation on His head. He clothes Himself with a robe of vengeance and wrapped Himself in a cloak of divine passion. Isaiah 59:16-17
God has given each of us a gift from His great variety of Spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another. 1 Peter 4:10
For you have been called to live in freedom my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love. Galatians 5:13
|Posted on July 17, 2019 at 9:50 AM||comments (0)|
The godly may trip seven times, but they will get up again. But one disaster is enough to overthrow the wicked. Proverbs 24:16
I tripped yesterday. The sin that so easily trips me up is wasted time. Yesterday started great, I got up early took my sister to work, came home about the time I would have usually have awaken on my own. I read my devotionals, shared them with H and even blogged right after. I was done just in time to wake my son for the day and start him off with a teaching instead of Instagram and Snapchat. The Word before the world I like to call it.
After the teaching we straightened the room. He got ready for the day while I tided up the house. He helped me fill the dog food bowls, vacuum behind the TV (a first of month chore I was 17 days behind on) I cleaned the bathroom while he swept the floors. Then I got ready for the day, read my gratitude and sang praise. We went on errands. I showed him how to get postage at the post office kiosk so I could send him in alone in the future. We went grocery shopping then home and unloaded the groceries than out again for lunch. By the time we got back it was 1pm. A full productive morning that began at 5am for me but when we sat down to eat that is when I tripped.
We finished watching a movie we were watching the night before on Netflix. After lunch I was full and gave myself permission to watch another movie. And another. Then I switched to another movie site and I watched another move by this time it was 6pm. I had spent the last 5 hours on the floor or on the couch watching movies till 6pm. As if that weren’t enough I started watching TV while I waited to pick up my sister. An entire day wasted.
I could have written to family and a friend in prison. I could have completed a bible study workbook. I could have walked on the treadmill while watching movies. I could have light dusted the room. I could have pulled weeds. I could have washed the towels. Made dinner. Something anything really. But instead I did nothing. Absolutely nothing. Like my dogs that lay under the couch I choose to lay or sit all day long. This is the sin that so easily trips me up Hebrews 12:1 living a life of idleness.
Being idle or lazy is not listed on the 10 commandments written in stone but it written on my heart as a way of life that God is not pleased with. 7 mentions of the Word idle appear in the following verses:
Lazy people sleep soundly, but idleness leaves them hungry. Proverbs 19:15
Fools fold their idle hands, leading them to ruin. Ecclesiastes 4:5
Laziness leads to a sagging roof; idleness leads to a leaky house. Ecclesiastes 10:18
I tell you this, you must give an account on judgement day for every idle word you speak. Matthew 12:36
And now, dear brothers and sisters, we give you this command in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ: Stay away from all believers who live idle lives and don’t follow the tradition they received from us. For you know that you ought to imitate us. We were not idle when we were with you. 2 Thessalonians 3:6-7
Yet we hear that some of you are living idle lives, refusing to work and meddling in other people’s business. 2 Thessalonians 3:11
I woke up this morning so to me that means God has given me another chance to try again. To do what is right. To not live an idle life. Word before the world I think to myself. Serve others before I serve myself. I may not have to punch a clock to keep track of work in my time but I am held accountable to the way I spend my time and today is the start of a new day. God give me the strength not to live an idle life.
I am saying this for your benefit, not to place restrictions on you. I want you to do whatever will help you serve the Lord best, with as few distractions as possible. 1 Corinthians 7:35