Monday, April 14, 2014

Listen For God's Whispers

Have you ever listened to the whispers? I have a dear friend who has a very close relationship with our Father. She was told this last weekend, to tell me, to listen to His whispers. Now, i always try to keep my heart & mind open to what God has to say. And i've told you before, how i ask God for HIS words when i write my blog post. But have you ever tried to hear a whisper, when there is a lot of background noise?

"He says, 'Be still, & know that I am God;
 I will be exalted among the nations;
 I will be exalted in the earth.' "
Psalm 46:10 (NIV)

No wonder that we are instructed to BE STILL. This morning, there have been a lot of things on my heart, so this post may not "flow" well, but i pray that God's message will be clear. And with Easter coming, my mind is full things that are being whispered to me, that is just ready to spill out. 

There is a lot of rain in our area today & with that, comes a very high pain level for me. But this morning, as i'm whining to myself about my pain level, it was whispered to me, a reminder of the pain level that Jesus endured. I just can't imagine. And when i first saw "The Passion of Christ", even though i "knew" what Jesus went through, with the intensive picture on the big screen, it became so much more real for me. All i could do was sit there & cry. What an amazing love, that Jesus had, to endure so much for me! For you!! For every single person who is born on this earth!!!

He died for us!
He was buried in the tomb for us!
And up from the grave He arose for us!

Easter is about an empty tomb - not a full basket!!! Unless.....

I believed in the Easter Bunny when i was a kid. And i still think that Easter Bunnies are adorable. Most of us probably did believe in the Easter Bunny when we were young. I'm pretty confident too, saying that we all were taught & knew the real reason for Easter. There is something that is really weighing on me & if i offend anyone, i'm sorry. But i have to say this! The Easter Bunny was always at home & NOT at church.There are churches that have Easter Egg hunts following their Easter service. And i'm sorry, but in my opinion, the Easter Bunny should not be at church! How can we celebrate the most holiest of days during a worship service, during Sunday School, during Youth Church, etc., when all the young ones are excited about an Easter Egg Hunt & all the goodies they will find?! How do we teach them what's most important?!

Easter is "the rest of the story", as Paul Harvey would have said. It IS the rest of the Christmas story. I remember when stores started being open on Easter & companies stopped giving holiday pay for that day, because, they said, it was a "religious" holiday. I can remember my mom being as frustrated with that as i am with the Easter Bunny & Egg Hunts at church. She would say, "What the heck do they think Christmas is?!" Yes, Easter IS the rest of the Christmas story. Jesus was born so that He could die for us!

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
John 3:16-17 (NIV)

Now that IS the greatest story ever told AND the best ever love story. I do pray that you all will listen to God's whispers. And that this week, that God will touch your heart in ways that you never thought possible.

Monday, April 7, 2014

God's Love Can Empower You!

"For God so loved the world that He gave His one & only Son, so that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal live.
John 3:16 (NIV)

We all know this verse, but when was the last time that you really thought about the degree of love that God had for each & everyone of us, when He sacrificed His son to bear our sins. Yet, we still sin. Do you ever find yourself doing something that you know you should not do? I admit it; i do.

"His divine power has given us everything we need for life & godliness through our knowledge of Him who called us by Hi own glory & goodness."
2 Peter 1:3 (NIV)

So true! He has given us His word to study & learn what we should & shouldn't do. But we do things we shouldn't anyway. The Bible says, that when we return to our vices again & again, we are like "dogs returning to our vomit". (Proverbs 26:1) YUCK!!! The thought of that alone should make us stop in our tracks before we do what we shouldn't do. So why do we return to our vices when we now that Jesus conquered sin our our be half? Sin has power & we enjoy it. It gives us something that we are searching for --pleasure,  escape, wealth, power, attention -- the list could go on & on. But sin always has consequences that we don't want. Unfortunately, those consequences don't over power the feel good moments.

So how can we overcome the sins that we have a love-hate relationship with? A powerful love! A surpassing love!! A greater love!!! It is the love that God has shown us when He gave His Son for US! This love comes with no hate, no guilt, & no shame. And the endless benefits - aka blessings - that are promised ARE delivered. This love IS more powerful than the allure of any sin. Immerse yourself in God's powerful love. Read about it regularly in His word. Drink it in. Pray for it. And see it work in your life. We can't help but love God back with all our hear, soul & minds. Immersing ourselves in the everlasting love of God, we become willing & able to walk away from our sins. Fill your mind & heart with God's Powerful Love & ask His forgiveness to the sins that you return to. And ask Him to empower your to walk away, with Him by your side.