24 April 2017

humility? y?


24 April 2017

y should i be humble? i worked hard for what i have.



EVERYWHERE I GO:

Matthew 11:29 NASB

[29] Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS.


also included in today's readings r 1 Kings 1, 2; Psalm 31.


THE HUMBLE MAN

Humility is not thinking poorly of yourself. Humility is not thinking of yourself at all. Humility is the one grace that, as soon as you declare you have it, you've lost it.


Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Savior, the King of Kings, was a humble man. "He was a man of no reputation," it was said. Nothing about His appearance or manner suggested divinity. The apostle Paul wrote to the Philippians that it would please him (and God as well) if the Philippians would become humble men and women, in imitation of Jesus Himself.


Modern man is chiefly concerned with working his way up. Up the corporate ladder. Up the office pecking order. Up the social register. Jesus worked his way down. Jesus started at the top. Paul said, "He existed in the form of God." But He didn't cling to that position. "He did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped." Not only did He not cling to His top spot, He emptied Himself. He cashed it in. Walked away from it all. We're stunned when we see people at the top walk away, aren't we? But Jesus left it all and became not only human in form- -He adopted the role of a servant.


Do you see it? He worked His way down. And finally, He died the death of a desperate, wicked criminal. Then God brought Him back to life, and brought Him back home to glory. Jesus emptied Himself - and God exalted Him. Can you imagine the applause in Heaven over Jesus' return? Humility is a key to true joy. Jesus didn't just say it - He proved it.

21 April 2017

Motivation


want to share my answers to the questions below. so u may read this one blog many times before i finish. i will post each time i have completed a question.


21April2017

What motivates you?

motivation is something i am struggling with right now.


so many times i make plans to do something and actually finish it but end up getting it half done or not at all or procrastinate to the point of stressing.  the procrastination still happens but it no longer causes stress for me. i have learned to let it go and be ok that i did not get it fully accomplished. but that leaves me regretting that i put it off when i know i could have finished it.

my quiet time with God actually started out like that. i used the excuse that everything else needed my attention right then or i wanted to play a game so i could chat with my gaming friends. God took care of that in the perfect way and now i find if i do not take the allotted time, i am unfocused and 'unfinished'.

the motivation for my quiet time came becuz of my personal struggles. it actually started out as a "venting" session with God. and u know what? He listened! God took the time to let me vent. that slowly turned into reading His word and actually listening for His voice. i still vent to Him when i am alone with no one in the house. however, His voice comes thru loud and clear during those vents. as i have changed how i come to Him in the morning, God has most eagerly taught me about myself, and has helped me incorporate more of His character into my life.

motivation now is to get quiet and listen for Him to speak to me thru His word and spend time in His presence. if i do not get that, i feel out of sorts, like i have lost something. it was a real struggle when my daughter's family stayed here for awhile. i tried to keep y time with Daddy but it was really hard to concentrate with grandbabies being kids. i really enjoyed them while they were here. i did struggle tho. i continued to struggle even after they found a place of their own. the room the babies slept in was not the same. i did get it back in order and now, i can "feel" it. 

now, let me share about how God helps me get motivated to cycle on Tues., Wed.,  and Thurs.

at first, it was a real struggle to get into the routine. for a long time i had to actually tell myself to get up off my butt and ride the bike. desire was there but the motivation was lacking severely. once i made a schedule on the days i would ride, it became easier to make a plan of where i would ride. i started out in my neighborhood. this was best since i am a bit overweight. i then expanded my route little by little. with each successful ride, i gained more motivation to get out and ride.

this year has been particularly challenging cuz of being sick for 3 months strait. i rode a total of 4 times before April2017. the weather also played a huge factor. i am slowly getting my motivation back. the desire is there, it has never left. in fact, my legs begin to "itch to pedal". won't be long b4 i am back to my regular riding habits.

there is also something else that plays a huge role in motivation to get off your butt and exercise, how u feel. i am hypothyroid as is my hubby. i am in the process of getting that back into balance. i also have adrenal fatigue. hubby says i am blessed to NOT be in hospital with what my labs showed. adrenal fatigue is directly related to how well  your heart works. it also plays a big factor in how well u sleep. eating right, taking the right supplements, and getting the right meds from an "out of the box" physician (click to see where i am getting help) definitely helps. 

this also affects how u see yourself. u can read all about how God sees u but if u do not have your physical body taken care of, the motivation can disappear quickly. God's motivation is love. He bases everything He does on love. cultivating a relationship with Jesus gives the motivation needed to get thru every day life. motivating yourself to cultivate that relationship should be your love for God and a desire to get to know Him. but sometimes it is coming to Him when u r struggling, hurt by people, or just plain tired of handling things alone. God just wants u to spend time with Him. make it quality time and the length of time is no issue.


my motivation now for cultivating my relationship with God is purely to be in His presence for just a little while and let Him love me.



What compels you to follow Christ in obedience, choosing His commands over the world's temptations? Is it fear? Pride? Guilt?


Motivation is so important.



18 April 2017

experiencing the cleansing blood of Jesus


18 April 2017
i sometimes wonder about people that say they have experienced God's salvation. i watch how they live and what they do and what they say. and many times, it does not match what the blood of Jesus does. notice, i only see the outside. i know that what u see comes from your very core, and many people that say they r believers r not fooling anyone. one that is "pretending" on the outside can not see that those who really have experienced the cleansing blood of Jesus see right thru a "pretender".

i know such a person. they think i cannot tell the difference. i can see the struggle and the way they talk only proves that the cleansing blood of Jesus has not yet taken hold fully. i have watched this person and i can see the loneliness standing right there, i see the pride. i have also seen the stronghold within that person. it reminded me of someone i know even better: me.

so i have been praying for this person. i am speaking God's word over this person. i am also asking God to fill me so i can be His example. i do not want this person to suffer any more than they have to. 

it hurts to watch as they continue to walk as if nothing is wrong. a good talk with someone they trust would do a world of good for them so they can be freed from the stronghold and finally walk without having to hide anything. and more people just might want to hang with 'em.

everything we do affects those around us. learning to live in the cleansing blood of Christ Jesus helps us live better and walk in truth for ourselves and others r then drawn to Christ thru our lives. when we stop living the "pretend believer's life" and start living the real believer's life, there is no comparison.

the cleansing blood of Jesus is evident in all aspects of our life.

below is the devotion that triggered the above thoughts.

MORNING
Hebrews 12:24 NASB
[24] and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood, which speaks better than the blood of Abel.

Morning - Day 108 
"Ye are come to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel." 

Reader, have you come to the blood of sprinkling? The question is not whether you have come to a knowledge of doctrine, or an observance of ceremonies, or to a certain form of experience, but have you come to the blood of Jesus? The blood of Jesus is the life of all vital godliness. If you have truly come to Jesus, we know how you came--the Holy Spirit sweetly brought you there. You came to the blood of sprinkling with no merits of your own. Guilty, lost, and helpless, you came to take that blood, and that blood alone, as your everlasting hope. You came to the cross of Christ, with a trembling and an aching heart; and oh! what a precious sound it was to you to hear the voice of the blood of Jesus! The dropping of his blood is as the music of heaven to the penitent sons of earth. We are full of sin, but the Saviour bids us lift our eyes to him, and as we gaze upon his streaming wounds, each drop of blood, as it falls, cries, "It is finished; I have made an end of sin; I have brought in everlasting righteousness." Oh! sweet language of the precious blood of Jesus!

If you have come to that blood once, you will come to it constantly. Your life will be "Looking unto Jesus." Your whole conduct will be epitomized in this--"To whom coming." Not to whom I have come, but to whom I am always coming. If u have ever come to the blood of sprinkling, u will feel your need of coming to it every day. He who does not desire to wash in it every day, has never washed in it at all. The believer ever feels it to be his joy and privilege that there is still a fountain opened. Past experiences are doubtful food for Christians; a present coming to Christ alone can give us joy and comfort.
This morning let us sprinkle our door-post fresh with blood, and then feast upon the Lamb, assured that the destroying angel must pass us by

we have to walk the talk cuz God is not pleased with lies. the world really is watching.





13 April 2017

something to think about...


WORDLIVE-YEAR ONE:
from 11 April 2017

Genesis 17:15-27 MSG
[15-16] God continued speaking to Abraham, "And Sarai your wife: Don't call her Sarai any longer; call her Sarah. I'll bless her---yes! I'll give you a son by her! Oh, how I'll bless her! Nations will come from her; kings of nations will come from her."
[17] Abraham fell flat on his face. And then he laughed, thinking, "Can a hundred-year-old man father a son? And can Sarah, at ninety years, have a baby?"
[18] Recovering, Abraham said to God, "Oh, keep Ishmael alive and well before you!" 
[19] But God said, "That's not what I mean. Your wife, Sarah, will have a baby, a son. Name him Isaac (Laughter). I'll establish my covenant with him and his descendants, a covenant that lasts forever. 
[20-21] "And Ishmael? Yes, I heard your prayer for him. I'll also bless him; I'll make sure he has plenty of children---a huge family. He'll father twelve princes; I'll make him a great nation. But I'll establish my covenant with Isaac whom Sarah will give you about this time next year." 
[22] God finished speaking with Abraham and left. 
[23] Then Abraham took his son Ishmael and all his servants, whether houseborn or purchased---every male in his household---and circumcised them, cutting off their foreskins that very day, just as God had told him.
[24-27] Abraham was ninety-nine years old when he was circumcised. His son Ishmael was thirteen years old when he was circumcised. Abraham and Ishmael were circumcised the same day together with all the servants of his household, those born there and those purchased from outsiders---all were circumcised with him.

Commentary:
Prepare: ‘Lord, it is hard to wait in the silence and the dark. Help me to be sure of what I hope for and certain of what I do not see, and never to doubt your goodness.’ 

An improbable promise 
Abraham heard from God on many occasions, and each time God spoke about the great nation that he would build from his descendants (12:2; 13:15–17; 15:4–6,18; 17:1; 18:10). Each time, Abraham became a little more sceptical about how God would fulfil his promise. 

By the time he was 100, he laughed to himself at the sheer improbability of the idea, even as he fell face down in acknowledgement of God’s holiness (v 17). Would God perhaps like to change the terms of the agreement, and transfer the blessing to the son he has by another woman? 

Faithful obedience 
Abraham and Sarah had a long, barren wait. But while they might have questioned whether God would ever deliver (pun intended!), they were faithful and obedient. Today’s reading concludes with Abraham fulfilling his part of the covenant by circumcising all the males in his household (v 23). 

We all live awaiting the new age to come, when God will wipe every tear from our eyes, and there will be no more suffering or pain (Revelation 21:4). He is faithful to his promises, but in the meantime, how shall we live? 

Respond: Are you waiting for God to act in a seemingly impossible situation? Ask him to renew your faith and to comfort you in your pain. 

http://www.wordlive.org/Session/Classic/2012-04-10 

11 April 2017

morning time with my Daddy

11 April 2017


EVERYWHERE I GO:

Hebrews 12:1 NASB

[1] Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,


1 Samuel 28-31 is also part of this morning's read.


Superfluous Weight

The successful runner knows he must strip down to run his best. At any track meet, you'll see plenty of runners preparing for their races in warm-ups, but they take them off to run. Some athletes even train carrying weights - but they never compete with them. When the writer of Hebrews says to lay aside every "encumbrance," he uses a Greek word that means - superfluous weight. If we are to run with endurance, we must lay aside any superfluous weight! Now, in the race of life, what constitutes extra weight? It may be that our excess weight includes some good things, like hobbies, recreational pursuits, or even charitable works. But if we get so caught up in these good things that we lose sight of what is best - they must be laid aside. Other, not-so-good things can be extra weight in our lives. Besetting sin can slow us down. Ignorance can slow us down. So can a victim mentality that excuses us from taking responsibility for our own actions and choices. Procrastination can be extra weight as well. Tomorrow I'll get right with God. Tomorrow I'll seek His will. Tomorrow I'll study His word. And then tomorrow becomes today, and today becomes yesterday, and you've missed the race of life! We are to run our raceラthe one God has set before usラand run it with endurance. Don't join the throngs of whiners and quitters who have been worn down by extra weight. For the glory of God in Jesus Christ, run the race!


my thoughts:

in order for us to "run the race", we need to first get on our face before God as we stand in His courts under the blood covering of Christ facing the charges against us. CONFESS, ASK FOR FORGIVENESS, and GOD'S VERDICT. then humbly ask for the scroll that is written to be made flesh.

the race is run by believing God is who He says He is, as well as beliving God will do what is already written in the books of Heaven.



05 April 2017

CHOICES have CONSEQUENCES

one of my devotions stood out to me very strongly this morning. in EVERYWHERE I GO: LEARNING TO SEE JESUS, something struck me very clearly, everything we do is a choice and every choice has a consequence. right choices bring good consequences; wrong choices bring bad cosequences.

1 Samuel 16, 17 - Saul has rejected God; Samuel, led by God to annoint a new king. David chooses to take a stand against Israel's enemy trusting in God with just 5 smooth river rocks.
Psalms 7-9 - David chooses to sing praises to God giving Him glory.
Genesis 13:11 - Lot chooses the easy way but ends up loosing everything.

Making Wise Choices
When the time came for Abram and Lot to part company, Abram gave Lot his choice of land in which to dwell. He gave Lot "first pick" so there would be no animosity between them. But Lot did not choose well. He decided to homestead in a place called Sodom - a place that would become synonymous with sin and disaster. How could Lot have made such a poor choice? Easy. Lot looked with his eyes. He saw a lovely, well-watered valley. He saw prosperity and riches and ease. Because generally speaking, we see what we love.
When I go to another town, I see churches. I look at their steeples, their grounds, their doors and windows. That's my love. I love the church. I have a good friend who sees cleaning businesses because that is his love. He'll drive through a small town and say, "Gosh, look at that, they've got a dry- cleaning operation." I wouldn't see it - but he does. 
Lot loved the easy life - and he saw a glimpse of it in Sodom. So he chose the valley. But in so choosing, he lost everything.
When we choose with only ourselves in mind, we mix together the deep drink of selfishness and godlessness with disregard for future consequences. And the combination, as Lot discovered, can be deadly.

my thoughts:
my hubby and i were discussing about things that have recently happened in our lives. the main concern was our son-in-law. we shared how we have seen growth within and really good changes. we also discussed how we see him struggling with pride and arrogance. this has caused him to be angry and hurtful towards his wife. it pains both of us and we have concluded that we need to stand in the courts of heaven with his wife and ask God to handle this. only thing we can do honestly.
now understand this, my daughter loves him deeply and i can see that he loves her. the actions he shows her is totally opposite of his words which negate what he says. this causes a lot of hurt and questions on her part. the struggle within him is most definitely a spiritual one. something he may or may not realize. this kind of thing can only be dealt with with prayer, fasting, and gap standing. 

Romans 12:1 NASB
[1] Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.

please pray for him (not giving out name). both my hubby and i want to see our son-in-law victorious in Christ. the spiritual battle will be won becuz Christ is the victor already. 















03 March 2017

Who searches the heart?


03 March 2017

Morning

EVERYWHERE I GO:

Romans 8:27 NASB

[27] and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.


WHO SEARCHES THE HEART?

Who searches the heart? The Bible says that the Father searches our hearts. In fact, God is searching our hearts right now! Does that make you uncomfortable? Someone might say, "I'm not sure I want God to search my heart. He may not like what He finds there." But the truth is, God searches our minds, our consciences, our hearts, not like a criminal investigator, but like a treasure hunter. He is looking for glimpses of His Spirit, searching for evidence of His own presence in us. And His aim in searching is not to condemn, but to work out the very best in our lives for His honor and glory, and for our joy. At Christmas time each year, I think long and hard about what gift to give Jo Beth. I want to buy her something that she needs, certainly, but also something that expresses my personality and brings her great joy. To discover that certain something, I try to search her heart and see if there is something special she desires. I look for clues - for things that make her eyes light up, things she lingers over. As much as I love Jo Beth, our heavenly Father loves us even more. He's constantly searching our hearts to bless us, and to make a difference in our lives. So don't be afraid. Ask God to search your heart, and trust Him to deal lovingly and rightly with what He sees.


my thoughts:

a year ago i discovered a series called COURTS OF HEAVEN with my husband. we watched all the videos together. it made a deep impression on me that i keep in front of me all the time.


today's reading and commentary brought it back once again as confirmation and i renewed my commitment to letting God search me. it is my desire to be fully vested in my God. i know no other that can do what He does. i know no other who fulfills His promises and keeps His word. i want nothing more than His approval each day. and all i have to do to get His approval is accept Jesus' blood covering and grow our relationship.


i am not one who forces my belief on anyone. my favorite way of showing Jesus is being a friend, helping when and where i can, listening, spending time with those in my life. this is how i show Jesus to others.


having a right relationship with my best friend is first and foremost. i find my life has more meaning and i am fulfilled just becuz i took time with my best friend. i can not explain the peace, patience, or knowing i have in handling everyday stuff. i just know my day/life is much better.


here r the scriptures i read regularly as a prayer:

Psalm 139:23-24 MSG

[23-24] Investigate my life, O God, find out everything about me; Cross-examine and test me, get a clear picture of what I'm about; See for yourself whether I've done anything wrong--- then guide me on the road to eternal life.

here i wait to find out if my accuser is saying anything against me. if so, i confess it before God, asking that it be covered under the blood of Jesus. i then wait for God's verdict. once given, i ask for the scroll that is written about me to be made flesh so i can accomplish what is there.

Hebrews 13:16 MSG

[16] Make sure you don't take things for granted and go slack in working for the common good; share what you have with others. God takes particular pleasure in acts of worship---a different kind of "sacrifice"---that take place in kitchen and workplace and on the streets.

Colossians 3:15-17 MSG

[15-17] Let the peace of Christ keep you in tune with each other, in step with each other. None of this going off and doing your own thing. And cultivate thankfulness. Let the Word of Christ---the Message---have the run of the house. Give it plenty of room in your lives. Instruct and direct one another using good common sense. And sing, sing your hearts out to God! Let every detail in your lives---words, actions, whatever---be done in the name of the Master, Jesus, thanking God the Father every step of the way.


i am learning that praying God's Word is best. it's proven to work. just be prepared for God to act on what u pray. IT WILL CHANGE YOU AND YOUR LIFE.




02 March 2017

Our choices frequently determine our circumstances...


02March2017

NIV365-DAY

Jeremiah 40:3 NASB

[3] and the LORD has brought it on and done just as He promised. Because you people sinned against the LORD and did not listen to His voice, therefore this thing has happened to you.


Consequences


When confronted with risky situations, many of us are like the people of Judah: slow to listen and reluctant to obey. We stubbornly plow ahead with our own agendas until we find ourselves in trouble. Our choices frequently determine our circumstances. If we take the time to prayerfully consider the decisions we face, we have a better chance of making the right choices for ourselves and our families. But if we ignore God’s warnings and deliberately reject his guidance, we must bear the consequences. Let God lead you through his words and through the advice of others whom you trust. Then obey him and follow his leading.


REFLECT & PRAY:


*Do you think listening and obeying go hand in hand? Why or why not?


*When have you failed to listen to God and suffered the consequences?


*What are some practical ways you can pass this important lesson on to your children?


Taken from NIV Busy Dad’s Bible

balanced view...



01 March 2017

Matthew 5:48 NASB

[48] Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.


A Higher Standard, A Richer Grace


As we grow in our spiritual lives, the high calling and exacting standards of God become increasingly clearer. Some of the most challenging mountains to climb do not look very imposing from a distance. It’s only when you begin climbing the mountain itself that you sense the difficulty of the ascent. Likewise, the difficulty of God’s call to holiness only becomes clear as we embark on the ascent of faithfulness.


In his Sermon on the Mount, Jesus presented a vision of a new level of obedience to God. God judges not simply murder but anger, not simply adultery but lust, not simply religious ritual but heart motivation. Jesus taught that God’s standards rise far above the mere letter of the law. Human effort alone can never satisfy them (see Romans 3:23). These facts should drive us into the arms of grace, however, not into the depths of despair.


In Matthew 5:48, the Greek word translated as “perfect” is teleios. Indeed, teleios means “complete in labor, growth, mental and moral character; the goal, the final purpose toward which we are moving.” This fits with Jesus’ elevation of the law to an unattainable plane. Yet the word also carries with it the sense of being complete and mature. For example, a blossoming tree can be “perfect,” even though there is no fruit, because it is at the appropriate stage for fruit to be produced in time. Likewise, we can be teleios, mature, even when we are green in the practices of spiritual living. What matters to God is our journey, not just the arrival at the goal. God’s concern is not that we’ve arrived but that we continue to travel in the right direction, for his grace both empowers our obedience and forgives our sin.


Putting It into Practice


Our spiritual lives are energized when we remind ourselves of the two facets of faith in Christ: a higher standard for our behavior and a richer mercy for our sin. Neglecting either can lead to spiritual weakness and discouragement. Some become careless through forgetting this higher standard. Others are oppressed by their failure to meet this standard on their own, losing sight of God’s forgiveness through Christ.


Which facet of faith are you most comfortable with? What do you need to learn from the other? Cultivating a balanced view of both a higher standard and a richer mercy will prepare our hearts for further spiritual growth.


Taken from NIV Spiritual Renewal Bible


23 February 2017

IS THERE A FATHER IN THE HOUSE?


23 February 2017


Morning

EVERYWHERE I GO:

Psalm 144:12 NASB

[12] Let our sons in their youth be as grown-up plants, And our daughters as corner pillars fashioned as for a palace;


IS THERE A FATHER IN THE HOUSE?

Fatherhood is a relationship - so a man who is uninvolved in the lives of his children and unaware of their struggles, dreams, and desires, is not really a father. Unfortunately, our society tends to applaud the successful man more than the family man, but the truth is, if you are genuinely a family man, you are a successful man.

Frederick Flick was a West German industrialist worth more than $1.5 billion. Prior to his death he controlled some 300 companies and interests. A profile of this powerful businessman in a national magazine said that he had made all the right moves when it came to accumulating wealth. But every one of his children was a failure.

Peter Drucker might have called Flick a success, but according to biblical standards, he was a dismal failure. Why? Because he neglected to give his children what they needed from a father: love and leadership. When Flick's wife died, he buried her at 3:00 p.m., went back to the office at 5:00, and never broke stride.

As a pastor, I talk with so many parents who want the church to instill values in their children, and to educate them concerning life. The church can certainly help in these areas, but no church, school, or summer camp can be expected to rear children and successfully guide them through the maze of childhood and adolescence. There is absolutely no substitute for a parent's time and touch in the life of a child.



16 February 2017

16Feb2017~Evening Time With God


i found these to be quite interesting. answers r there if we seek out the One who can lead us to the answer.
each of the following individual devotions build on the one b4.

finding the right opportunities comes after seeking God's kingdom. His compassion towards us gives us the opportunity to explore the open doors. before entering the chosen open door, we need to seek God's kingdom so the opportunity does not become trouble.

PRAISE IN THE PRESENCE OF GOD:

Matthew 19:26 NASB

[26] And looking at them Jesus said to them, "With people this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."


God-Given Opportunities 


Opportunity is never a matter of pressure with God. 


When God opens a door it stays open long enough for us to enter decisively and wisely. His Spirit brings peace to every action, movement, choice, or change that is ordered by Him. The way we abide under the government of His given opportunities is by giving time to prayer. 


Bring every opportunity to God, ask His will, wait on Him, and be honest in acknowledging any inner disturbance that may signal His Spirit’s cautioning. His doors of opportunity always stay open to His will. 


Taking Hold of Tomorrow



FACE TO FAITH

Luke 12:31 NASB

[31] But seek His kingdom, and these things will be added to you.


I want you to think right now of the top five characteristics you want in your close friends. I’ll give you a second to think. 


Alright, got them? I can almost guarantee that somewhere on that list is faithfulness. 


Maybe you said it differently—loyalty, dependability, steadfastness, trustworthiness, or integrity—but we all want to surround ourselves with people who are faithful. 


So faithfulness is a big deal, right? And if we want to be around faithful people, how much more does our God, who is perfect in faithfulness, desire for us to be faithful? Let me spell out for us today five things that often get in the way of us being faithful. Ready? 


First, being superficial gets in the way of being faithful. Here’s the deal, the root of faithfulness is faith, but how deep do the roots of your faith go? Is your faith in Jesus superficial, only skin deep? Or has it gone deeper than that, changing who you are deep inside so there is no longer a question of who is your God and for whom you live your life? 


Second, fearing the wrong thing can damage our faithfulness. A lot of people are afraid about things in this world. “Will I make enough money? Can I afford the house I want? What if I lose my job? What if I’m rejected when I stand up for Christ?” Jesus says not to fear for those things because God will meet those needs. Instead, fear God, because He has authority to cast you into Hell if you aren’t right with Him. 


Third, being stubborn kills faithfulness. Listen—sinning isn’t what sends you to Hell. We’ve all sinned. You say, “What sends people to Hell then?” Being stubborn and not accepting the salvation and forgiveness that Christ has provided for our sins is what will land us there. 


Fourth, covetousness robs us of faithfulness. Here’s why: Because when all you can think about is the stuff others have that you don’t have, then your heart belongs to the stuff and not to God. 


Fifth, greediness crowds out faithfulness by turning our commitment into something that’s for sale. Suddenly our faithfulness can be bought by whatever opportunity comes up for the next promotion, raise, or increase. “Yeah, I know church and family are important, but I’ve got to work Sundays if I’m going to get that raise.” Maybe you need to ask what you need more—that raise or Jesus. 


Everyone wants faithful people around them, especially God. Commit to Him today and become someone He can count on. 


Prayer 

Father God, 

Thank You for never changing! I always know what I’m going to get when I come to You. Please help me to be faithful, so that You always know what You’re going to get when You come to me. 

Amen



WORDLIVE-YEAR ONE:

Jonah 4 NASB


[11] Should I not have compassion on Nineveh, the great city in which there are more than 120,000 persons who do not know the difference between their right and left hand, as well as many animals?"


Prepare: Don’t edit your emotions. The psalmists show us that total honesty with God is the best policy. Be honest with God now. 


First step: prayer 

Even after the most successful mission in history, Jonah is not satisfied because he still hasn’t resolved his underlying issues with God. At least this time he communicates his problem rather than ignoring God (v 2). 


Whatever our issue with God – doubt, anger, disappointment – prayer is the first step towards resolving it. 


Challenging expectations 

Jonah is uncomfortable with the God he serves (v 2). He wants a God of fixed boundaries, who punishes evil, who has favourites, who fits his expectations. 


God is too good to allow this, so he uses Jonah’s circumstances and even physical discomfort (vs 7,8) to challenge Jonah’s attitude (vs 4,9,11) and help Jonah grow in his understanding of and appreciation for God’s love and grace (v 11). Notice how patient and compassionate God is with Jonah (v 6), even when Jonah sulks (vs 3,5,8,9)! 


God won’t give up 

We don’t know whether Jonah remained self-absorbed (vs 3,8) or whether he began to see life from God’s perspective (v 11). We can be sure that the God who pursued Jonah to the ocean floor, who put up with Jonah’s anger, is a God who wants a relationship with us and will not give up on it. 


Respond: Romans 8:28 reminds us that God works through all situations for our good, so that we become more like Jesus. Consider your own trying circumstances. What is God saying to you through them? 


http://www.wordlive.org/Session/Classic/2012-02-16


09 February 2017

some good stuff tonight


Evening

FACE TO FAITH:

1 Corinthians 13:4-5 NASB

[4] Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, [5] does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered,


I have good news and bad news. 


The good news is that you are the best thing that could possibly happen to your marriage. The bad news is that you could also be the worst thing that could possibly happen to your marriage. 


How can both of these be true? Well, it comes down to whether you will die to yourself for the sake of your spouse, or whether you will be selfish, insisting on taking care of yourself first. 


Hands down, selfishness is the number one problem in marriage, the biggest reason for divorce. Selfish expectations, wanting things the way you want them, are marriage killers. 


God designed us so that the blessings come when we die to ourselves, and this is espe- cially true in our marriages. Yet for some reason, it’s easier to be unselfish with our children, friends, or even sometimes with strangers than with the one person who is our first responsi- bility. Somehow it suddenly becomes about the way we want things, expect things, or about what we need and want. 


Selfishness is a black hole whose desires are never fulfilled. Selfishness is never happy, never satisfied, and never whole. It never stops making demands. The result of this is that, at best, one unselfish spouse works their tail off to satisfy their partner, but it’s impossible and they become increasingly frustrated as their efforts to love are met with ingratitude and an even longer list of entitlement-minded demands. At worst, two selfish people make continual demands of each other and become repeatedly offended with one another as these demands regularly go unmet. 


Finally, the selfish person’s desires cannot be met and they decide to look for someone else to meet their “needs.” Since marriage was about them to begin with, of course, this is no great sacrifice to walk all over their spouse’s and children’s hearts, needs, or lives. 


Love, on the other hand, does not seek its own. It seeks to benefit others. And when we actually embrace love in a marriage then not only are all our needs met, but trust and true intimacy are built over time that makes our marriage and our family a rock-solid pillar of love in our communities. 


Doing family right is the ultimate witness for Christ, and it starts when we reject selfish- ness and choose love. 


Prayer 

Father God, 

Thank You for not being selfish with me! Please help me to be loving and unselfish like You are so that my family will not only survive, but so that it will become even better than I have ever imagined that it could be! 

Amen


WORDLIVE: YEAR ONE:

Joshua 5:13-15 NASB

[13] Now it came about when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, a man was standing opposite him with his sword drawn in his hand, and Joshua went to him and said to him, "Are you for us or for our adversaries?" [14] He said, "No; rather I indeed come now as captain of the host of the LORD." And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and bowed down, and said to him, "What has my lord to say to his servant?" [15] The captain of the LORD'S host said to Joshua, "Remove your sandals from your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy." And Joshua did so.


Prepare: Can you recall moments when you have felt a particular closeness and intimacy with God; times when he has made his presence known in a particularly significant way? Reflect on what those times have meant to you. 


Holy encounter 

This seems like a strange interlude in the story. It reminds us of other moments of holy encounter – face-to-face meetings with the Lord or his messenger – in the Old Testament: Abraham at the oaks of Mamre (Genesis 18), Jacob at the Jabbok (Genesis 32) and Isaiah in the Temple (Isaiah 6). 


What is the purpose of such encounters? They are moments when God establishes beyond any doubt who is in control. He sets the agenda. 


Let God be God 

That is so here too as Joshua meets the commander of the army of the Lord (v 14). His question (v 13) is entirely reasonable: whose side are you on? But the reply he gets must have stunned Joshua: ‘neither’. He is on God’s side, and God’s alone. 


Joshua doesn’t get much of an answer to his second question either (v 14): no instruction for the next stage of the campaign, only a simple command to take off his shoes as he’s already fallen face down on the ground. This is a simple but profound call to holiness and commitment, and to let God be God, and to give him the first place that is his due. 


Respond: We mustn’t try to recruit God to our causes, but dedicate ourselves to his. Take time now to commit yourself afresh to the cause of his kingdom. 


http://www.wordlive.org/Session/Classic/2012-02-08 


enquiring


09 February 2017


Morning

MORNING & EVENING:

2 Samuel 5:23 NASB

[23] When David inquired of the LORD, He said, "You shall not go directly up; circle around behind them and come at them in front of the balsam trees.


Morning - Day 40 

"And David enquired of the Lord." 


When David made this enquiry he had just fought the Philistines, and gained a signal victory. The Philistines came up in great hosts, but, by the help of God, David had easily put them to flight. Note, however, that when they came a second time, David did not go up to fight them without enquiring of the Lord. Once he had been victorious, and he might have said, as many have in other cases, "I shall be victorious again; I may rest quite sure that if I have conquered once I shall triumph yet again. Wherefore should I tarry to seek at the Lord's hands?" Not so, David. He had gained one battle by the strength of the Lord; he would not venture upon another until he had ensured the same. He enquired, "Shall I go up against them?" He waited until God's sign was given. Learn from David to take no step without God. Christian, if you know the path of duty, take God for your compass; if you would steer your ship through the dark billows, put the tiller into the hand of the Almighty. Many a rock might be escaped, if we would let our Father take the helm; many a shoal or quicksand we might well avoid, if we would leave to his sovereign will to choose and to command. The Puritan said, "As sure as ever a Christian carves for himself, he'll cut his own fingers;" this is a great truth. Said another old divine, "He that goes before the cloud of God's providence goes on a fool's errand;" and so he does. We must mark God's providence leading us; and if providence tarries, tarry till providence comes. He who goes before providence, will be very glad to run back again. "I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you shall go," is God's promise to his people. Let us, then, take all our perplexities to him, and say, "Lord, what will you have me to do?" Leave not your chamber this morning without enquiring of the Lord




07 February 2017

"what is your life about today?"


from my 05 February 2017 evening devotion. right after is 06 Feb 2017 evening devotion. when u read these, ask God to open ur heart up. honestly look at u and let God remove what to be removed and place what He needs u to have. love is more than what the world sees it as. pure love comes from only one source and u must be willing to open up honestly so God can fill u up with His love.

FACE TO FAITH:

1 Corinthians 13:13 NASB

[13] But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love.


If you could boil your life down to one thing, what would it be? What is the repeated, prolonged echo that fills your life? 


My hope for you today, because this is the will of God, is that this one thing in your life is love. Strip everything else away, all other motivations, all other callings, all other attitudes, and I hope that we would find love in each one of us today. 


You might wonder why love is so important. Well, it’s because everything we do, no matter how wonderful or good, is worthless if it doesn’t come from love in our hearts. 


That’s quite a challenge for us as we approach the topic of marriage, isn’t it? I mean, look at an average day and tell me, is everything you do for even one day toward your spouse motivated by love? 


“Well, what does that look like, Bob?” I can tell you, because 1 Corinthians 13 tells us. I encourage you to read it in full, but let me boil it down by saying this—the opposite of love is not hate; the opposite of love is selfishness. 


Love is a choice we make to pursue another person, to seek their benefit above our own. This choice requires us to shape our actions and guard our heart with our spouse in mind, considering them to be of more consequence than ourselves. 


Chances are good, however, that this has not always been our experience, either with our spouses or with other people in our lives. All of us come into our marriages as damaged goods, so to speak, to one degree or another. This is why it is vital for us to remember one of love’s most important keys—forgiveness. 


Forgiveness doesn’t mean that what’s happened in the past was right or that those who have hurt us are off the hook, but it does mean it’s out of your heart. It releases us from the past so that we can freely enter a good future.


What future is that, you ask? Isaiah 60:1,7 tells us, “Arise, shine; for your light has come! And the glory of the LORD is risen upon you...and I will glorify the house of My glory.” 


Your future and the future of your marriage is that God wants to glorify you and make you the example marriage on your block, so that everyone will wonder what you have figured out that they need. 


All this will happen, but only when we make our lives about love. What is your life about today? 


Prayer 

Lord Jesus, 

You are the God of love and I am Your child. I choose to forgive those who have hurt me and ask that You would heal my heart so that I can freely love as You created me to do. 

Amen

              -—----------------—-----------------—------------------—-----------------—---------------—-

this is taken from 06 February 2017. it ties into the one above.


06 February 2017


Evening

FACE TO FAITH:

Ruth 4:13-14 NASB

[13] So Boaz took Ruth, and she became his wife, and he went in to her. And the LORD enabled her to conceive, and she gave birth to a son. [14] Then the women said to Naomi, "Blessed is the LORD who has not left you without a redeemer today, and may his name become famous in Israel.


Life is better when God is King. I mean, it just makes sense, because if God is King then He’s in charge, so He looks out for us because we belong to Him. 


The story of Ruth is a great story to help us understand how powerful it is when we make God the King over our lives. In a nutshell, Ruth marries into a family that did not make God King. Without God as King, they had to look out for themselves and it didn’t work out well. In fact, all the men—three husbands total, including Ruth’s—died. 


Well, if you want a different result then you have to try a different way, and Naomi and Ruth do just that. They made God King over their hearts, following Him wholeheartedly. They made Him King over their plans and futures. They made Him King over their needs, following Him to the right fields for gleaning and the right man to marry. 


Now, with Ruth having followed God as King in all of these things, Boaz (the right guy) also makes God King. He follows the right procedures God had set up in order to marry Ruth and the two are married. In all this, they make God King over their home and marriage. 


God’s got a thing about marriage and absolutely wants it to be honored in us within this culture and society as much as He honors it in His Word. And marriage is honored in His Word. A marriage bed is to be honored and not defiled. And here, they take that example of allowing God’s way to become King over their home, over their marriage, over their plans, over all that He has now led them to accept and believe by faith. 


And guess what happens. As soon as they get married, Ruth conceives and bears a son. Can I just remind you of the miracle of that verse? She’s been married before. In fact, she was married for ten years and never got pregnant—she has been barren her whole life. And all of a sudden, she meets Boaz and, upon this marital conception, is now with child and seeing the blessing of this covenant in allowing God to be King over this relationship. 


I hope today that you are allowing God to be King over your relationships. Because if you are, there are blessings to receive, my friends, just as God blessed Ruth. 


Prayer 

Lord God, 

Thank You for giving me the story of Ruth to encourage me about the blessings of letting You be King! Please come today and be my King forever; lead me and give me the courage to follow You in all things! 

Amen