Monday, October 31, 2011

Are You Haunted?

Happy Halloween Everyone! I pray that you have a fun & safe Halloween AND i pray that you are HAUNTED!!! Yes. That's what i said & i'll repeat it. I pray that you are HAUNTED by THE GHOST!!! The Holy Ghost!!!

"Do you know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit (aka Holy Ghost), who is in you, whom you have received from God." 
I Corinthians 6:19a (NIV)

That's right my friends, you are haunted (inhabited, frequently visited) by a ghost. Cool! Huh? I think so. Personally i love the haunting of this Ghost & have learned so much from being haunted.

"But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my (Jesus) name, will teach you all things & will remind you of every thing I have said to you."
John 14:26 (NIV)

So how do we know that we are being taught by the Holy Ghost? The things we learn from the Holy Ghost are reinforced by all the things that Jesus taught, which are written in the Bible - the written word of God - which is a work inspired AND directed by the Holy Ghost. These teachings promote righteousness & bring glory to Jesus. What an awesome "treat"!!!

But this Ghost can be "tricky" too! The Holy Ghost also convicts us of sin. And He won't leave you alone. He's there with you always - watching...listening. Are there times when you hear things? Especially things like "You know you shouldn't", "Tell them you are sorry", "Why did you do that", "You are only hurting yourself", etc. He's continually convicting you, reminding you. You can lie to yourself all you want. But you can't lie to the Holy Ghost. He is there all the time & knows the truth.

"Therefore, since the promise of entering His rest still stands, let us be careful that none of you be found to have fallen short of it"
Hebrews 4:1 (NIV)

God's rest is the best "treat" ever!!! It is both present & future. It is the enjoyment of His spiritual blessings. Missing God's present rest means living a frustrated life of spiritual frenzy. Those who struggle to gain salvation through their own efforts have not found rest in Christ. Missing God's future rest means missing eternal salvation.

So today, i pray that you become receptive & sensitive to this Ghost. And through His haunting, your relationship with the Holy Ghost will grow stronger. That you will find God's rest in the present & in the future.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Got Great Faith?

Have you ever watched people of great faith & wondered why they were given greater faith than you? Do you know the kind of people that i mean? The ones that any kind of adversity doesn't seem to affect them much at all. One of the best things you can do for yourself is to get to know someone like this. There was a lady in my church a few years ago whose faith i so admired. As our friendship developed, i learned that we had a lot more in common that i ever imagined. But one of the most important things that i learned was that people of great faith got it from their trials.....not from lack of trials. Trusting in God in one trial made it easier & gave them courage trust Him in another trial, & then another. This happened to me also & before i knew it, i had developed great faith in God. Faith doesn't happen overnight. It's a process. Faith - the size of a mustard seed - grows into great faith.

Through the growth process, we discover several things about faith. Faith leads to great undertakings when we face the trials &  challenges that are given to us. With faith we give those challenges & trials to God with believing that He will take care of them.

In Matthew 15, we find the story of a Gentile woman of faith. This woman came to Jesus crying out,

" 'Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is suffering terribly from demon possession.' Jesus did not answer a word. So His disciples came to Him & urged Him. 'Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us.' "
vs. 22b-23 (NIV)

The disciples were annoyed by this woman. But to Jesus, she was an example of great faith. Who was determined to do whatever she had to do to get what she needed. Great faith also brings great expectations.  Have you ever prayed for something but didn't expect great results. That's lack of faith. But not this woman! Oh no! She expected Jesus to heal her daughter.

Great faith also brings about great earnestness. This woman didn't care what others thought about her actions. She came to Jesus, fell at His feet, crying. There have been times during a church service that i have been moved to tears. Some people fight these honest, Spirit filled emotions. But it's those earnest emotions that keep us persistent in our prayers & actions, no matter what others think of us.

Great faith also conquers great difficulties. As the woman continued to pursue 7 beg Jesus, He reminded her of her position. She was not a Jew. 

"He replied, 'It is not right to take the children's bread & toss it to their dogs.' "
v. 26 (NIV)
("dogs" was commonly used by Jews to describe Gentiles)

The woman agreed with Him & then threw herself on Jesus' mercy again, knowing that even one morsel of God's power was enough to heal her daughter.

" 'Yes, Lord' she said, 'but even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters' table.' "
v.27 (NIV)

Great faith achieves victories. Jesus rewarded the woman's faith by healing her daughter.

"Then Jesus answered, 'Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.'  And her daughter was healed from that very hour."
v.28 (NIV)

Great faith is not something that is given to just a few & not others. It's a choice. We need to make the choice to consistently trust & pursue God, even & especially when there seems to be no response. Don't ask God to provide for a need & then try to take care of it yourself. Instead, follow the example of the Gentile woman. You're faith will grow.

"Everything is possible for him who believes."
Mark 9:23b (NIV)

Monday, October 17, 2011

Protects, Trusts, Hopes, Perseveres

"Love" is probably one of the most used word in the English language. You love your spouse. You love your kids. You love your family. You love your friends. You love your pets. You love your haircut. You love your new coat. You love pizza. You love the fall colors. See what i mean? And that's ok that you love all these & more. 

Today's blog is a bit different. But God has put it on my heart to ask you to read, reread, & really ponder on the Bible's definition of love from I Corinthians 13.

"Love is patient,
love is kind.
It does not envy,
it does not boast,
it is not proud.
It is not rude,
it is not self-seeking,
it is not easily angered,
it keeps no record of wrongs.
Love does not delight in evil
but rejoices in the truth.

It always protects,
always trusts,
 always hopes,
always perseveres. 

Love never fails.

And now these three remain: faith, hope & love. But the greatest of these is love."
(vs. 4-8a,13 NIV)

Precious Heavenly Father,
I do not know why you've put this on my heart today, but You do. You know all of our questions, trials, frustrations. etc. I pray that i have heard You correctly & that You will use this scripture to answer questions & enhance not only our earthly relationships, but our relationship with You. In Jesus name, Amen.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Happy Columbus Day

Hello my friends!

I just want to take a few minutes to wish you all a wonderful Columbus day. I was away over the weekend, so i am going to be doing some catch up on laundry, etc. So today's blog post is short & sweet. But my trip was such a blessing. I love spending time with dear friends!
"give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus."
I Thessalonians 5:18 (NIV)

Monday, October 3, 2011

Prayer, Devotion, Reading --- Down - Set - Hut!

I heard a wonderful message yesterday on TBN from Kenneth Haggin & i'd like to share the just of it with you. It is football season & whether you're a football fan or not, it was a message that we all need.
First, i want to talk about discipline. Now no matter what sport someone plays, it takes discipline. There are practices, practices, & more practices to get it right. Those practices take discipline.This can be applied to our spiritual life also. Through discipline, we find that we have more in us than we think we do. Football players & Christians have this in common. When we're hurting, we keep tough & keep going. In spring training, those football players are not only practicing, but they are studying & learning plays. They are preparing for their games. Just as we should prepare for our game every day with prayer, devotion & reading.
In football, it's down, set, hut.
Down - puts the players in their positions to handle whatever may come to them from the other team. We need to be in a position to look at life the same way & be ready to handle anything.
Set - The players are in a position for the play & their mindset is in determination that nothing will get in their way to complete the play. As Christians, we need to have the same mindset & determination that we will not compromise our faith, our character, our morals & ethics. We nee to be ready & determined to listen & follow God.
Hut - starts the action. The team is ready execute the play. Always be determined to execute what you've learned to live a Christian life.
Through prayer, devotion & reading God's word. We can have a winning game every day. Just remember to 
"Be on your guard;
stand firm in faith;
be men of courage;
be strong.
Do everything in love."
I Corinthians 16:13-14 (NIV)

And remember....God is love.