Monday, April 30, 2012

Unsearchable Things

Sometimes we are so ready to believe that we always know the right thing to do. But then comes a time when we have no words, no wisdom, no strength in ourselves. God is the only one who can do the work that needs to be done in all of our lives. He always has a way of teaching us something new, especially when we think we have all the answers.

It's comforting to know that God is interested in the smallest & largest details of our lives. It's also comforting to know that only He can -- and does -- orchestrate events & people to meet our deepest needs.
"Call to me & I will answer you & tell you great & unsearchable things you do not know."
Jeremiah 33:3

When we call on His name & seek His face, He will show us where He wants us to be & also gives us direction to reach that place. We know, we can call on Him anytime. But please don't let His call & messages go to voice mail. He has great & unsearchable things that He wants to tell us & show us. The mere fact that God. who created the heavens & earth, would take time to speak to little ole me, is simply amazing! I'm just one of a bajillion people who struggles with issues. And there are so many other issues in this world that are so much worse than mine.
Jeremiah 33:3 can set you free. Free from believing that "nothing great could happen to me". God is telling us that if we call to Him, He will answer us. And He'll not only answers us but tells & shows us "unsearchable" things that we would never know or see without Him. Personally, i feel extremely honored & grateful that our magnificent God would share these thing with me.
Today & every day, please remember that we are all extraordinary enough that Jesus died on the cross for us. And since God created each & every one of us, He has a special plan for our lives. Call to Him & watch in awe, how His plan for you unfolds every single day.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Be Alert & Ready - Always

"Be self-controlled & alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour."
I Peter 5:8 (NIV)

Did you know that the oldest lion, usually the one without any teeth, roars the loudest? When the lion pride is on a hunt, the oldest lion will lay on one side of the clearing while the young lions gather on the other side. When the prey enters the clearing, the old lion roars his loudest roar & the prey immediately runs the other way - right into the clutches of the young lions.

Now, Think of the enemy as old & toothless even though his is powerful. He prowls like a lion. He roars loudly, hoping to paralyze God's children with fear, so that we might run right into the very traps we're trying to resist.

What type of things are you fearing today? Are you afraid that you will never lose the weight that you want to or that you will never get organized? Those are two biggies for me right now. But maybe you're afraid that your marriage is doomed or that your rebellious child will never come back to God. Whatever the issue is, think about who really has the power in your situation. Jesus is able to accomplish anything on your behalf.

"Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes."
Ephesians 6:11 (NIV)

When you are wearing the full armor of God, you will find how much easier life is. And when you allow God to be in control, He keeps you alert to the enemy's schemes & stands guard over you. The enemy who tempts us & tries to divert us & litters our paths with obstacles. But by practicing self control through the power of the Holy Spirit, self control becomes God-controlled. And be being God-controlled, each time we decline a temptation that we face, we grow stronger & more able to resist the next one.

In our daily routines it's sometimes easy to forget that we are all targets & that we have a vicious lion on our heels. Often times I realize that i have been bitten with procrastination or distractions. Our Father has told us to be alert & ready - always! Maybe this acrostic for PRESERVE, may help us to do just that. 

Pray without ceasing (morning, noon, night & in between).
Enlist others in the fight. The lion doesn't like it when two or more gather.
Rejoice in the Lord. Praise & worship of God disturbs the lion! (And it's not just on      Sundays.)
Submit to God's control each day, allowing Him to lead.
Encourage others on this journey to be wary & prepared.
Victory - remember Christ has already secured victory through the cross! Remind      the lion that he is defeated.
Enlarge your arsenal of weapons. Keep God's armor on as protection against            teeth & claws!
Repent - don't let unconfessed sin leave an opening for the enemy to sin his teeth      in.
Eat according to God's bountiful plan. Feast on His word & allow Him to make you        spiritually strong & resilient.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Going Backwards to Go Forwards

We know that God gives us direction. He pushes us forward & provides a future for us. But have you ever felt like He has taken you backwards instead? Ever wonder why?

"I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt; I will make you live in tents again, as in the days of appointed feasts."
Hosea 12:9 (NIV)

In this verse, from Hosea, God is telling the Israelites that they were going to take a few steps backwards. They had gotten out of Egypt & moved on with their lives. They had stepped towards a future, but had forgotten God in the process. God decided that the best thing that He could to, was to take them back to the days they lived in tents. It was during that time that they were filled with incredible joy; they celebrated feasts & remembered God's goodness - in spite of their surroundings.

With so many irons in the fire, i must admit that God has had to take me back many times. There are times when i feel like i'm living in fast forward. I can get so focused on the busyness of life, that i forget to hit rewind & remember all God has done for me & rejoice. There are times when He takes me back to a particular hard time. He doesn't do this because He's punishing me, but because He knows how forgetful i can be. He reminds me of my "tents" so that i can remember where i started.

Sometimes going backwards is what God knows is best for you. We need to trust the direction that He is taking us. We need to settle in our "tents" & look for Him to dwell with us as He did with the Israelites. Whining & complaining about where you are doesn't accomplish anything. Instead choose to feel God's nearness & soak in His love. Maybe there is something He once taught you that you need to relearn. I know that's usually my experience.

I don't like going backwards & i'm sure that you don't like it either. But we must trust God's direction & embrace whatever it is that He is trying to teach us. Doing this will will make sure that you're always going the best direction possible, you'll feel your relationship with Him growing stronger every day.

"They will know that I am the Lord their God, who brought them out of Egypt so that I might dwell among them. I am the Lord their God."
Exodus 29:46 (NIV)

Monday, April 9, 2012

Because He Lives....

First, i hope that you all had a very blessed Easter! I've had a song in my head....and my heart....since we sang it in church yesterday. 

"Because I live, You also will live."
John 14:19 

Because He Lives

God sent His Son, the called Him Jesus,
He came to love, heal, & forgive;
He lived & dies to buy my pardon,
An empty grave is there to prove my Savior lives.

Because He lives I can face tomorrow,
Because He lives all fear is gone;
Because I know He holds the future. 
And live is worth the living just because He lives.

How sweet to hold a new born baby,
And feel the pride, & joy he gives;
But greater still the calm assurance,
This child can face uncertain days because He lives.

Because He lives I can face tomorrow,
Because He lives all fear is gone;
Because I know He holds the future. 
And live is worth the living just because He lives.

And then one day I'll cross the river,
I'll fight life's final war with pain;
And then as death gives way to victory,
I'll see the lights of glory & I'll know He lives.
Because He lives I can face tomorrow,

Because He lives all fear is gone;
Because I know He holds the future. 
And live is worth the living just because He lives.

The first time i remember hearing this song was at my dad's funeral. He was killed in a farm accident & being an only child, i was a daddy's girl. Now i think of my mom, my grandparents, aunts & uncles, friends & loved ones who have gone before me. As we have celebrated Easter, we have celebrated that...YES! Jesus had risen & He lives!!! And because of that we can face tomorrow, the day after that, the day after that & all the days after that. No matter what those days have in store for us, because He lives, we can face anything!

Hallelujah! He Lives!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Promises, Promises

Did you realize that when we make promises that we can't keep, the enemy uses our own words to defeat us? This is something that i've become more & more aware of the older i get. And especially in the new role as a Pastor's wife, i am already realizing that i need to be careful what i say that i will do. Because it's very easy to become over loaded with so many task, that some may not get done.

This is true in all of our lives. But there are some steps we can take when this happens.
     1) Present the task to God. Ask Him for His guidance. Maybe He has someone else in mind that He wants to do a particular task. Ask Him if He want you to delegate the task, or if He wants you to do it.
     2) Ask God to help you only make those promises that He wants you to keep. He will provide the time & the resources to complete those promises.

"It is better not to vow than to make a vow & not fulfill it."
Ecclesiastes 5:5 (NIV)

Use this verse to minister to yourself. Making a vow to the Lord helps us to stay focused on what's important -- fellowship with Him. It reminds us that He's vowed to give us, comfort, courage & strength. It keeps us thinking about His love & grace everyday. A vow to the Lord helps us stay faithful to our commitments. Through this verse, the Holy Spirit gently & lovingly reminds us of our vows & provides the inner power to achieve completion. I know that when i have kept promises, my spirit is at peace. When i haven't, i've been stressed that i need to get this done.

One thing that stands out in my mind is praying for someone. Don't say you will pray for someone if you're not going to do it. The Bible teaches us that prayer is not to be like a grocery list. But, it's definitely ok to make a prayer list. Sometimes we have to write things down so that we don't forget them. On Facebook, i am in contact with hundreds of people; friends, vendor friend, game friends, etc. And when i see someone ask for prayers or feel they need prayers, i will stop right then & there & pray for them. I don't want to run the risk of forgetting & breaking that vow. The same way, if i'm face to face with someone in the same situation. God may lay it on your heart to pray for them. Ask that person right then & there if you can pray for them & do it.

It's very easy for us to say we'll do something & then forget it. But as Christians, it's important for us to be and example & remember, God keeps all of His promises. Use Ecclesiastes 5:5 to minister not only to yourself, but to others through your example.