Monday, September 19, 2016

What CAN We Change That Will Bless Us?



My great-grandmother was a three-time widow, who appeared to be very unhappy towards the end of her life. As I continued my genealogical research, my heart went out to her. How neglected and unloved she must have felt by God. She was blessed to find a new husband three times, only to find herself left alone in the end. Existing day after day, and though fit, caring for an elderly sister, and herself being elderly and alone.

As I thought back on the few times I remember being in her presence, I can see now what part of the reason could have been why she appeared cold and stand-offish. In fact, the last time I saw her, she looked simply dejected and miserable. She was born in the late 19th century, and married my grandfather's father in her 20's. By the time she was 61, he had died, she had married again and her 2nd husband died. A few years after that, and sometime between when I was born and my first memory of her, she had married her 3rd husband, who died before I remember him. Though I'd heard about 1 or 2 of her marriages, I'd only known her as a single woman.

As my heart ached for her, I thought about how it is these types of turns in life that cause many to feel that God does not care, that he does not love them. Some say in their hearts, "Afterall, why would he bless me with husbands who die and leave me? And here I am alone in the end. In the end, I have been left with years of loneliness, drudgery and boredom. No one to help me in my declining years, and  I have my single sister to care for. How cruel and unfair life has been to me!"

I don't know my great-grandmother's thoughts during that time. These are my general guesses on how anyone may have felt. From her demeanor when I knew her, it did not appear that she was happy, upbeat and optimistic. Not until I was well into my adult years, in fact, fairly recently, did I come to understand the course of her marriages, and how it must have been for her to endure it.

Sometimes life just beats us down, and we become tired, period. But we should start early claiming all that the Bible says that God feels for us, and all that he wants us to think and have. Why? Because his love and promises are in spite of life's twists and turns. Some have more sorrow and suffering than others. Things never seem to work out for many, and they can't catch their breath before another crisis happens. It doesn't just rain, it pours for so many Christians, and often the torrent of trials don't seem to let up. Does all of this negate God's love for each individual? No! Does it mean that he has forgotten us? No! Does that mean that his Bible is worthless? No!

There are going to continue to be problems, sorrows, disappointments and devastation in this world, until it is over for all of us, living and dead. We may have dreams fulfilled, and we may have happiness at every turn, and we may not. None of us knows as we live, what will happen. We do know that his Word is always true, dependable and everlasting. We know that there is always an answer in Christ, and that we can always ask and receive, seek and find, knock and the door will be opened for us by God.

It is good to start early, and no time is too late, determining in our hearts and minds what the end of our lives will be, no matter when that will come. No matter what our situations or conditions, we can determine that the joy of the Lord will be our strength as we live and age. We can live out the conviction that he will keep us in perfect peace  because our minds will be continually on him.

We can grab hold to and confess joy unspeakable, because our hope is for something more than what we are living. We can confess that we live in the peace that surpasses all understanding, because we know that God said he loves us no matter what. He has our best interests at heart, though all looks like disaster. It is not easy, but our tending to these things will help us to present different personalities and attitudes than the ones displayed by those who are consumed by the sorrows of life's downturns.

My heart truly breaks for those who have successive sorrows in life. We don't know why some have to endure these types of things, and others do not. Anyone who comes to the altar of God, though, has something to bring, however different than the other. I don't know what my great-grandmother thoughts were about her life's course. I do know that had she been immersed and focused on God's love and glory, she would have been more able to reach out to others, and even alter some parts of the course of her life.

Some things we can never change, but we don't know what we can change unless we have the physical strength, the mental and emotional fortitude, and the spiritual growth to try. I truly believe this. None of us who love the Lord can have the exact, perfect life that we desire here in this fallen world, but we can grow in him everyday. His everlasting love can flow through us and out to others. He even helps us, for moments at a time, to forget our sorrows in favor of helping others with theirs.

I am sorry that the end of my great-grandmother's life was not better. Was it meant to be? Is it what she wanted? I doubt it. By the time I knew her, she was too old and tired to care. I have felt that way sometimes, and I'm not the age she was when I knew her. I am not professing that I can do better than her, because they say we all do the best that we can with the life that we are handed. That's why I say it's never too early to grab this life by the horns. Rather than determining to accept and react to what comes our way, work with God to make changes.

We are either resigned and have given up, or we are resistant to defeat and are always planning for the best, for what we really want, now and towards the end. There is a way to make life more of how we really want it to be, to make whatever changes are necessary to attain that. As we work with God to bring it about, we present a certain face to the world, one of true love, never-ending hope and Godly happiness. We cannot change everything, like the death of my great-grandmother's 3 husbands. The important question is, what can we change that will bless us, and make a difference in the way that we treat others?

 Image: Pixabay.com Free Images

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

How Can I REALLY Witness About The Goodness Of God?




It's not being a Christian that witnesses.

It's the change that

growing as a Christian makes

in the attitude, personality and behavior

of the evolving Christian.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Generally, unless it is a specific work of The Spirit at that moment, it is not so important to 

broadcast to people that we are Christians. Most people couldn't care less about a 

statement that could be true, or not.


What is important is that we have taken Christ's yoke upon us, that we are learning of Him, 

and therefore, faithfully growing in the Lord. When we pray often, read the Bible daily, and 

commit ourselves to allowing God to show us the way, and obeying when we see it, we will

find ourselves becoming more Christ-like.  If we are committed to daily doing this, the gradual 

change that it will bring about in us will be an outstanding witness to the presence of God. 

~~~~~~~~~~~~


Pray. Read. Commit. Grow. Daily.




Image: Pixabay.com Free Images

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Have A Nice Sunday & Remember That God DOES Care!


...and a nice holiday.

Remember that God always has our best interests at heart,

no matter what it looks like, sounds like or feels like.

He loves us, and that's why we love him!

 

____________________________________
Image Credit: QuotesGram

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

WHY Am I Blamed For What Adam And Eve Did?

What Adam and Eve did was not my fault, so why should I be judged because of it?
When I was a teen, and didn't want to have anything to do with the things of God, it began to infuriate me when I heard the story of Adam and Eve. "Why am I being judged for something that two people did eons ago," I thought angrily! "What they did was just not my fault!" I felt an unfair, unjust burden hanging over my head.

Because I was repeatedly warned about sin from the standpoint of The Ten Commandments, and how Hell would be my eternal home if I made any slip-ups, I felt hounded and blamed for something that I did not do. I would ponder with disgust, "Is that ALL that this Jesus and God stuff gave me? Is that all that the Bible gave me to look forward to was eternal punishment for someone else's wrong turn? 

My adult life took damaging twists and destructive turns, and having no one else to help me, I turned to that God that I'd learned about. Why I turned to someone whom I did not trust, and through whom I felt condemned is a whole 'nother story.

So I asked Jesus Christ to come into my heart. I wanted to be saved, to live as a Christian. As I grew in the Lord, I began to understand more about what Jesus did for us at Calvary. You see, it is true that the failure of Adam and Eve is not our fault. It has just not been explained that way. It is that exact reason that God provided a way out of the unfair condemnation. No matter how much we hate it, and don't want it to be that way, it is a sentence passed on to us through the continuance of human life. 

What that errant couple, who possessed free wills, did when they made poor choices, horrendously affects our lives today, and in the afterlife. God loves his creation, us, so much that he determined in his heart that this will not stand. The human life that he created must go on, but the evil that influenced the downfall will not.

In his love for us, he provided a plan of redemption, a way to restore the connection to him that Adam and Eve's choices severed. Because it is not your fault, nor my fault, he provided a way out of the sentence that no one likes to hear about. He sent a Savior, someone to right the wrong done by evil influence. That Savior is Jesus Christ of Nazareth. Through the bloodline of Adam, we all inherited death, or separation from God. So Sacred Blood had to be given to restore our inheritance of life, or connection to God.

The Gospel of Jesus Christ, and what God offers through his Son, is not provided to take away anything we have, other than that unfair condemnation that we inherited by being born into this world. We all are descended from that tainted bloodline of that original, fallen couple. Alternatively, we each have the equal opportunity to have our bloodlines restored to purity by receiving God's provision for redemption. It's as simple as that. 

God is a good Father, and a wonderful God! What loving father would let his children die for something that is not their fault, if he could in any way prevent it? God is the ultimate loving Father. He recognizes our unfair condition. Afterall, he is the owner of creation. He is the Most High God, the Only Wise God and the One True God. He asks for one thing from any who wants the unfair judgment lifted. Confess that we are born into sin and can't help ourselves, accept that we need to be saved, and accept that his Son is the only Savior.

So the condition that we find ourselves in when we learn about God is certainly unfair. God in his love, however, has provided a way out. Adam and Eve, who had free wills, had a choice, and they made theirs. You, who have a free will, have a choice, but you don't have to stay with theirs. You don't have to stay with the deception that you were born with. Do what they didn't do. Choose life. One day God is going to restore it back to the way it was meant to be on Earth. It's there in the Bible! Read it! There will be no more evil influence either. Don't you want to be there?

For God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son,
so that everyone who believes in him may not die
but have eternal life.
John 3:16 GNT

 But God put his love on the line for us
by offering his Son in sacrificial death
while we were of no use whatever to him.
Romans 5:8 TMB


If you would like to be sure that you are Saved, say this simple prayer:


Jesus, I believe that you are the Son of God, and the only Savior. Come into my heart, and save me. I was born in sin and you died for me so that I can know God and not be blamed anymore. Thank you for my new life. Show me the way to turn away from bad things and help me to understand. I don't have to fear death anymore, and thank you for Eternal Life. 

Scriptures: BibleStudyTools.com
Image: Pixabay.com

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

7 Things For The Growing Christian To Be Happy About


I was reading Proverbs 11:1-23 this morning, and was struck by the number of scriptures that shared the blessings received by the righteous. We know that to become righteous we accept Jesus Christ as our one and only Savior. We who have done this are the righteousness of Christ, according to

Romans 8:10
And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness, and

Phillipians 3:9,
And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith.

But righteousness can be grown and extended if we choose to grow in the Lord. According to Phillipians 1:11, this is available to us,

Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.  

This last scripture is what the passage that I read this morning pertains to. When we take an active part in committing our day to God, in consulting him throughout the day, trusting him in times of not only sorrow, but joy too, and regularly reading what his Living Word says, we experience the abundance that Solomon talks about.

...righteousness delivers from death.
Proverbs 11:4

The righteousness of the perfect shall direct his way...
Proverbs 11:5

The righteousness of the upright shall deliver them...
Proverbs 11:6

The righteous is delivered out of trouble,...
Proverbs 11:8

...to him that sows righteousness shall be a sure reward.
Proverbs 11:18

...the righteous shall be delivered.
Proverbs 11:21

The desire of the righteous is only good.
Proverbs 11:23

So, for the growing Christian, there is positional righteousness, and then there is righteousness from growing in Christ. The latter results in more bounty, here and now.



If you would like to be sure that you are Saved, say this simple prayer:

Jesus, I believe that you are the Son of God, and the only Savior. Come into my heart, and save me. I was born in sin and you died for me so that I can know God and not be blamed anymore. Thank you for my new life. Show me the way and help me to understand. I don't have to fear death anymore, and thank you for eternal life. 


Image: Pixabay.com
 

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Three Strikes And Satan Is Down! For A Season

He also uses trials to promote us higher into his benefits, so that along with our own blessings, we can better benefit others and glorify his name.

So I swallowed, ignored the pinprick of irritation,
and decided not to.


I made a comment in a craft forum, and someone else commented on my comment. She gave a definition of the word artisan and somewhat refuted my comment. She was not the OP and the dictionary def of the word had nothing to do with my point. I felt annoyed and wanted to comment back. I was going to say that I know the definition and that was not my point. I wondered if it really mattered. I had heard that we should choose our battles. This means to weigh the value of locking horns with someone, which I knew could happen. So I swallowed, ignored the pinprick of irritation, and decided not to.

So I squeezed my eyes shut and decided not to do it.


A little later the desire to challenge her returned. It just popped up. The devil is always busy. I was miffed, and wanted to tell her that I did not need her to post the definition of that word. I thought about what Jesus had said though about being a peacemaker. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God. I wanted to be called a child of God. I was really annoyed, but I wanted to be a peacemaker, so I squeezed my eyes shut and decided not to do it.

Later that day I felt the desire to confront her. It was stronger. It was so ridiculous that even I, the one who was feeling it, was able to step back and objectively ask what in the world?! Why is this back! Why is it stronger!!! I defeated it earlier!. I asked myself why I wanted to attack her, what was my goal, and what did I expect to accomplish. The idea of pride came up. I did not think about that word then, but an idea. In retrospect the word pride has appeared. Don't ask me how the word and the idea are different, lol. It's a psychological thing.


So I gritted my teeth, and decided not to.

I also knew from experience that confrontations like this can go on and on, exploding into something that causes destruction. That is the plan of the devil and his fallen angels, to lead us blindly down the path of destruction, like ignorant sheep to the slaughter. From a little thing to an atomic bomb, that's always his goal. I remember thinking this is a test. So I gritted my teeth, and decided not to, that it wasn't worth it. Then the pressure lifted.

It was a pressure that I was enduring. I see that now. A strong pressing, a heavy bearing, a subtle prodding. Almost irresistible. It left, and it was like a swirling, rushing breeze came in and twirled around me. I felt free. I felt like I could take deep breaths of fresh air. I felt released. As I write this I know that it is over, and that feeling to reprimand her will not return. I can truly ignore the post.


This experience reminds me of the temptation of Christ, who defeated Satan's three challenges with the Word of God. The third time Jesus resisted, that miraculous lying wonder left him for awhile. I didn't use the word of God, though I know many scriptures by heart, but I did use God's principles and one of the Beatitudes. My strength came from reading the Bible everyday, and through prayer committing my day to God, everyday.


It seems like a small thing, but these little skirmishes do matter. Being able to recognize them and who is behind the pressure that we feel to attack is important. God uses these trials to show us where we are in our growth. He also uses them to promote us higher into his benefits, so that along with our own blessings, we can better benefit others and glorify his name.
I feel great that that pressure is gone. I feel relief and I feel that I was successful. I must not stop, and rest on my laurels. The devil never rests, but neither does God. That fallen angel Lucifer was defeated, and left Christ for a season only. The opportunities to grow are never-ending.


Blessed are the peacemakers, For they shall be called the children of God.
 Matthew 5:9 KJV

And when the devil had ended all the temptation, he departed from him for a season.
Luke 4:13 KJV


If you would like to be sure that you are Saved, say this simple prayer:

Jesus, I believe that you are the Son of God, and the only Savior as it says in The Bible. Come into my heart, and save me now. I confess all of my sins to you and believe that you died for me so that I can come to know God. I believe and I receive all that you have for me. Thank you for my new life. Show me the way and help me to understand. Thank you that I don't have to fear death anymore, and that I have eternal life in you. 

Scriptures: BibleStudyTools.com 
Image: Pixabay.com Free Images
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...