Digging Deeper

Have you ever dug deeper within yourself? I have been on a Spiritual journey lately where I have been digging deeper, getting rid of the things that have caused me pain over the years. It is not an easy process to go through, but one I felt was necessary to do, because there were some things that I needed to be healed from and to let go of. It’s a continuing process where I am now more aware of what is around me.  One where I do a self check each and everyday to make sure that I am not carrying any baggage around. It’s a freeing process where I chose to allow what and who effects me (if any). Jesus is my Savior, Brother, Provider, Comforter, and Friend. I know who I am in Christ and where I stand. I don’t worry about what others may think or say, I only pray for them and showing them how to do the same thing by becoming free from their past.  The hurts, hang up and habits that have become a stronghold in their life.  It’s a great feeling to know that a person can dig deep into themselves and clean house so per say and become totally free of their past for good.  No more worrying about pleasing other people or having to watch what you say around them.  By letting and allowing the Spirit of God to lead me, I discern more of what others are feeling and can work to try and be more understanding in helping them.

 

Have you or would you like to be on such a journey?  Let me know and we can talk about.  Have a blessed and great day!

Rediscovery and healing

Since June 13, 2015; I have been on a spiritual healing journey.  Renewing my mind and digging deep into my spirit listening to CD’s and reading material having to do with my past hurts, hang-ups and habits.  Digging deep into my soul, spirit, and dealing with my past hurts from people who have used, hurt, and abused me.  This journey has not been an easy one.  I have been having nightmares, crying, pain that has resurfaced, as well as hurts that I thought I had dealt with long ago, have not come back for me to deal with them and heal at the same time as I release them.

If you are like me it’s renewing our mind.  I attended a seminar to where I was given the tools to dig deep into my self and search out the most painful hurts that I have ever had to deal with.  Its a process that is not only needed, but will also be freeing when I get finished.  Things that have triggered the past hurts, that are being revealed and dealing with them to finally be rid of them for good.

It’s a very painful process, but a necessary one as well.  I have had nightmares return, pain of being hurt, and I have been crying as a way of releasing and dealing with this pain.  For the first time in a long time, I am becoming at peace with myself and healing those generational hurts and curses.  Yes, I said generational.  See what you may not realize is that we have inherited traits from our parents that has extended from our family bloodline.  These come in the form of curses that were said over us, toward us, and how we were treated as a child growing up.  If you were like me, you held in those hurts and buried the so that we didn’t have to feel the pain of them.  Unfortunately that can only last so long and then they will come back when, either some one says something that triggers those feelings and emotions in our minds.  When that happens then we relive those emotions and must deal with those hurts to be rid of them for good.

Granted it’s not an easy process, but unless we want to continue to relive them every day of our lives, we need to deal with them once and for all and get rid of them.  They will hurt for the moment, but we don’t have allow them to last long.  Once we deal with them we can then move forward and live a much freer and happier life.  That is my current goal.  Dealing with my past hurts, and letting them go for good.  Never to think about them and never to feel those hurts ever again.

To live a freer lifestyle means that I work to surrender everything to God.  Laying it at His feet and not taking it back to deal with myself.  Allowing Him to free me and allowing me to be more like Jesus and walk with Him instead of behind Him.  This process has triggered feelings that I thought I had put to rest, but when I asked God to show me what I needed to deal with He has brought them to the forefront for me to deal with them once and for all.

What a loving and caring God we serve.  Changing my thoughts and ways to honor Him is the best way that I can think of to show God that I love, honor, and obey Him.

What about you?  Are you on a Spiritual journey as well?  I would love to hear more about it.

Looking Back/Reflection

When I started this blog 2 years ago, I had only thought to put my thoughts down as a way of possibly helping others gain insight into the struggles and trials that we all face. Now I see this as a way of helping me not only heal from the hurts, hang-ups and habits, but also for changing the way that I see things. As a way of moving forward and becoming the person that God wants me to become. I am not perfect by any means and I have never claimed to be.

I know that I am a child of God and that I can do anything in His strength. I’m looking for others who will side with me and walk with me in finding out more about our Lord and Savior.

How we can become more like Him and looking at this world that He has created differently as Christians than just going about our days as if we are a mindless people?

I mean shouldn’t we be working towards that glory that is waiting for us in heaven?

I would surely hope so, but we get so caught up in this world that we don’t stop and think about what our life has become. I know that I am at fault for this as I have not taken the time to stop and ponder what God has not only done for me, but what He has shown me.

I wanted this blog to be a reflection of my thoughts and how I was growing in the Word. Some how I seem to have gotten off track. I think that it is time to get back on track, refocus on what I need to be doing, and working on glorifying God. Stop the unnecessary things that I don’t really need to be concerning myself with. They really and truly don’t mean much.

What are you thoughts? Do you have any? I would be interested in knowing them.

Are you ready for Christ’s return?

Are you ready for Christ to return and take you home?  A good and powerful question.  As I was reading in my daily devotions this morning.  This question is something to ponder and to ponder very seriously.  This is not to be taken lightly at all, because when Christ does return it’s going to be a devastating thing that will happen.  Destruction  will be happening all over.  One person will be taken the other will be left behind.  I don’t know about you, but I surely don’t want to be left behind.  To me that is a scary thought.

Read what Phil Ware’s devotion says about ‘Are You Ready?’

Note from Jesus

Dear Beloved,

Are you ready?

That’s a question that could be asked about so many things that are a part of normal life — things like marriage, children, illness, moving, job change or death.

But what about even bigger things? Are you ready for those things?

Most folks can’t think of anything bigger than the first list. However, there are bigger and more important things than these — like following Me, recognizing the presence of the kingdom of God, and preparing for My return as the victorious Son of Man. I want you to be ready for the things in both lists. However, the verses we focus on today center on the second list.

As I approached Jerusalem for My last visit before the cross, there was speculation about the kingdom of God coming. People were wondering if I was going to seize control politically and militarily. Some were hoping that I would use My power to restore the greatness of Israel. Notice how Luke describes it:

The crowd was listening to everything Jesus said. And because he was nearing Jerusalem, he told them a story to correct the impression that the kingdom of God would begin right away.
(Luke 19:11 NLT)

The power and character of the kingdom of God were already present and visible in the lives of My disciples. They had yielded their hearts to My Lordship and had submitted to My reign as Lord over their lives. This reign was displayed in the spiritual family they formed after Pentecost and the character and compassion with which they lived (Acts 2:42-47).

Read the verses below carefully. The coming of the kingdom of God is more than just My return as the glorious Son of Man from heaven (Daniel 7:13-14). Notice what I taught My disciples to pray:

Your prayers, rather, should be simple, like this:
Our Father in heaven,
let Your name remain holy.
Bring about Your kingdom. Manifest Your will here on earth,
as it is manifest in heaven.
(Matthew 6:9-10)

It is important for you to realize that the manner of writing and speaking at that time meant that “Manifest Your will…” was a restatement of “Bring about Your kingdom.” That kingdom has already arrived among you as you live for Me and as you live My lifestyle in the world. Yet there is still My coming with power and glory in the kingdom at the end of time. As long as you are on earth, there will always be glimpses of the Father’s kingdom breaking through, and yet the full dawning of that kingdom will be still ahead.

Here are some basic things about My coming in power at the end of time:

  • There will be no doubt when I come as the victorious Son of Man and no doubt that I have come: it will be visible and recognizable to everyone!
  • Before My great coming as the victorious Son of Man, I had to suffer and be crucified on the cross.
  • People will be carrying on life normally as they always have done — marrying, eating and drinking, doing business, farming, building, etc.
  • The day I come as the victorious Son of Man will come suddenly, and so you must be ready for it.
  • When I come as the glorious Son of Man, you will find Me bringing life to those who have died but belong to Me and raising them up to share in My glory.

My plea to you, today, contains two challenges:

  1. Yearn, pray and live to see the reign of My kingdom take hold in your life.
  2. Be ready for My ultimate return — live as if it could occur at any moment because! it could!

Verses to Live

Notice how carefully and firmly I move from the Pharisees’ question about the coming of My kingdom to talking about My coming again in glory as the Son of Man. Both are important, but the two shouldn’t be confused. The coming of My kingdom has arrived and should be present among you as you live with My character and compassion. My return to earth as the glorious and powerful Son of Man lies in the future, but you must always be ready for it to happen.

Some Pharisees asked Jesus when the kingdom of God would come.

Jesus:

The kingdom of God comes — but not with signs that you can observe. People are not going to say, “Look! Here it is!” They’re not going to say, “Look! It’s over there!” You want to see the kingdom of God? The kingdom of God is already here among you.

Jesus (to His disciples):

Days are coming when you will wish you could see just one of the days of the Son of Man, but you won’t see it. People will say, “Look, it’s there!” or “Look! It’s here!” Don’t even bother looking. Don’t follow their lead. You know how lightning flashes across the sky, bringing light from one horizon to the other. That’s how the Son of Man will be when His time comes.

But first, He must face many sufferings. He must be rejected by this generation. The days of the Son of Man will be like the days of Noah. People were eating, drinking, marrying, and being given in marriage. Everything seemed completely normal until the day Noah entered the ark. Then it started raining, and soon they were all destroyed by the flood.

It was just the same in the days of Lot. People were eating, drinking, buying, selling, planting, building, and carrying on business as usual. But then came the day when Lot left Sodom — a different kind of rain began to fall, and they were all destroyed by fire and sulfur falling from the sky. That’s how it will be on the day when the Son of Man is revealed.

When that day comes, if you’re on the housetop, don’t run inside to try to save any of your belongings. If you’re in the field, don’t bother running back to the house. Remember Lot’s wife. Turning back is fatal for those who do so. If you try to hold on to your life, it will slip through your fingers; if you let go of your life, you’ll keep it. Listen, on the day of the Son of Man, two people will be asleep in bed; destruction will take one and the other will be left to survive. Two women will be grinding grain together; destruction will take one and the other will survive. Two men will be working out in the field; destruction will overtake one and the other will survive.

(Luke 17:20-36)

Response in Prayer

Glorious God, thank You for Your promised victory when all of us who love Jesus and long for His return as the victorious Son of Man will be brought to You. Until that day, I pray that I can — and that we can — display the values of Your kingdom in the way we live with each other and before a world caught in darkness. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

To me I think that we that are true Christians need and should be making ourselves ready everyday for when Christ does return.  I know that I am guilty of not doing this and just going about my days.  From now on, all of that is going to change.  I will be living as if Christ is going to return today, tomorrow, or the day after.  How about you?  Are you ready?  Are you making preparations for Christ’s return?  I know that I’m going to be doing just that from now on.  Something to seriously think about and DO!

What are your thoughts?  I would be interesting in reading them.

A Tale of Two Powers

Do you know that you have two powers that want your attention?  One is good that wants you to follow Jesus and the other is Satan trying to destroy you no matter what you do.  Satan is always lurking around looking for ways to get into our lives.  Wanting to turn us away from God and bring us down to destruction and down to his level.  I for one don’t want to go in that direction.  Living in total darkness and destruction is a scary thought to me.  In my devotional reading today Jesus tells how he healed a man from demonic forces and restores the man to his right mind.  We need to be ever mindful of Satan’s attacks on us.  Standing strong in the Lord and putting on the full armor of God to protect us from Satan’s attacks.

Read the following devotion from today’s reading by Phil Ware:  What do you think?

Note from Jesus

Dear Precious Child of God,

Two powers are at war over your eternal destiny — God and Satan. The story below illustrates the different goals of these two powers. No matter how alluring temptation may seem to you, the ultimate goal of the tempter — Satan the evil deceiver, the devil, the evil one — and all the forces of hell can be seen from the condition of the man called Battalion.

When you meet the man identified as Battalion, the forces of evil are literally hell-bent on his destruction. This is Satan’s intent for you. However, the ultimate goal of your Father in heaven is for you to be in your right mind, for you to be learning from Me how to have purpose for your life, and for you to live out that purpose in your daily life.

Notice the way Battalion is described at the beginning of this event:

  • He is isolated — literally driven into isolation by the demonic powers that control him.
  • He is filled with destructive power.
  • He is naked.
  • He lives and sleeps in a cemetery — the place of the dead.
  • He is uncontrollable.
  • He has lost his sense of self-identity — he doesn’t even know his real name.
  • He is aware of all of these problems in himself.

Yet as much as this man is in bondage to demonic powers, notice this one truth: he can still come to Me and fall at My feet despite the power of the demons in him wanting to be rid of Me! I AM more powerful than all of these demons. So notice what I do to bless this man despite the demons trying to use My identity to gain power over Me and send Me away.

  • I deliver him from the demonic powers oppressing him.
  • I return this man to a normal life and a right mind.
  • I welcome the man into My fellowship and friendship.
  • I send the man out on a mission to share his good news and My story of grace.

Satan’s goal for you is clear: he wants to do with you what he did with Battalion. He wants to introduce hell on earth into your life. His temptations may look enticing. There may be no apparent signs of Satan’s destructive and evil intent in these temptations — at least not at first. Yet behind each temptation there are traps designed to enslave you. I can help you break your bondage to these traps, but you are much better off if you avoid the traps all together!

I have a goal for you. I want you to be My disciple. I want you to sit by Me and learn the way of true life from Me. I want to defeat the powers that hold you in bondage and enslave you to self-destruction. I want you in your right mind — back in control of your life and your decisions. I want you to find your purpose in Me. I want to bring you back into a positive and influential relationship with your family and friends. But you have to choose Me… you must call out to Me for help… and you must ask Me to take control of your life and be willing for Me to do so!

Not everyone will be happy if you choose Me. Some prefer to live out-of-control lives rather than to yield their lives to Me. In addition, the lure for you to go back to that old life — to have that uncontrollable power at work in you again — is just as destructive as it is strong.

You must recognize that you cannot defeat the power of evil on your own. Yet, I can defeat it. In fact, I have defeated it through My death and resurrection. Do not despair in the face of great evil. Cry out to Me. Trust Me. Follow Me. Learn from Me. Share your story about Me with others. And when you do, you can know this: I will never leave you or forsake you.

Verses to Live

Notice how the “friends” of Battalion react when he is set free of the demonic spirits. They order Me to leave after I have liberated him and put him in his right mind. They cannot deal with Me. They don’t know what to do with a power they cannot control or understand. So rather than inviting Me into their small little world, they ask Me to leave. What about you? Will you ask Me into your world or order Me to leave?

When they [Jesus and His disciples] get to the other side of the lake, in the Gerasene country opposite Galilee, a man from the city is waiting for Jesus when He steps out of the boat. The man is full of demonic spirits. He’s been running around for a long time stark naked, and he’s homeless, sleeping among the dead in a cemetery. This man has on many occasions been tied up and chained and kept under guard, but each time he has broken free and the demonic power has driven him back into remote places away from human contact. Jesus commands the demonic force to leave him. The man looks at Jesus and starts screaming. He falls down in front of Jesus.

Possessed Man (shouting):

Don’t torment me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God! Why are You here?

Jesus (calmly and simply):

What’s your name?

Possessed Man:

Battalion.

He says this because an army of demons is inside of him. The demons start begging Jesus not to send them into the bottomless pit. They plead instead to enter into a herd of pigs feeding on a steep hillside near the shore. Jesus gives them permission to do so. Suddenly the man is liberated from the demons, but the pigs—they stampede, squealing down the hill and into the lake where they drown themselves.

The pig owners see all this. They run back to their town and tell everyone in the region about it. Soon a crowd rushes from the town to see what’s going on out by the lake. There they find Jesus seated to teach with the newly liberated man sitting at His feet learning in the posture of a disciple. This former madman is now properly dressed and completely sane. This frightens the people. The pig owners tell them the whole story — the healing, the pigs’ mass suicide, everything.

The people are scared to death, and they don’t want this scary abnormality happening in their territory. They ask Jesus to leave immediately. Jesus doesn’t argue. He prepares to leave, but before they embark, the newly liberated man begs to come along and join the band of disciples.

Jesus:

No. Go home. Tell your people this amazing story about how much God has done for you.

The man does so. In fact, he tells everyone in the whole city how much Jesus did for him that day on the shore.
(Luke 8:26-39)

Response in Prayer

Lord Jesus, I know that You stand at the door of my heart and knock. I know You won’t break down the door and barge into my life. I know that I must invite You in and welcome You to my table. So Jesus, I ask You to claim me, cleanse me, come to me, care for me and commission me to serve You in a way that brings You glory and brings others to know You and Your saving grace. Amen.

I surely don’t want to allow Satan in my life.  I don’t want to be controlled by him nor do I want to listen to what he has to say.  I have opened the door for Jesus to come in and I want Him on myside rather than face the destruction that Satan can do to me.

What about you?  Care to join me in this journey?  What are your thoughts!

What is in your boat?

What is in your boat?  No, I’m not talking about a physical boat.  I’m talking about the boat of your life.  The one that you use for security, safety and comfort.  What are you clinging to?  I read in my devotions today about how we can make things our boat instead of making Christ our boat.  Allowing the things in our life to control us instead of putting Christ first in our lives and making Him our boat.  I don’t know about you, but to me that is a scary thought.  I wouldn’t want to go through life with out my Lord and Savior.  Have we become so placenta or comfortable that we just don’t see what we are doing to our lives?

Read what Jesus says about us making our own boats.  Phil Ware says it well in this one.

Note from Jesus

Dear Friend,

How’s your boat? No, I’m not talking about a literal boat you may or may not own. I’m talking about the things in your life that furnish you security, a sense of safety, identity, order, or purpose.

So let Me ask you again. How’s your boat? Are your investments up or down? Do you own your stuff or does your stuff own you? Has the job or person you trusted for security let you down? Are you working madly to keep your body and your appearance looking young and vibrant while fearing that aging is stealing away your identity and usefulness? Is your family all that you hoped it would be? Have your achievements brought you joy and a sense of fulfillment or do you feel as if you have to accomplish more to be significant?

Your boat is whatever you have used as your sense of safety, security, identity, order, or purpose. So how’s your boat?

Here’s the truth. Sooner or later, something much bigger than you, something you can’t control, is going to rock your boat! So what are you going to do then? How are you going to face the raging storms of life if you are depending on a fragile and temporal boat?

Today’s verses speak directly to one of life’s harshest truths: no mortal can protect or even navigate his or her boat in the face of life’s raging realities. Many who claim to follow Me have had Me along as a sleeping passenger, a mere mascot, someone to talk to through some of the minor squalls of life when they needed something fixed. They never really have given Me control of their boat. They’ve never handed Me control of the sails. Then when life’s storms hit, they want to know why I’ve let the troubles of life threaten them.

So when the next storm hits and rocks your boat and scares you down to the depths of your soul, what are you going to do? I hope it will be this. I hope you will wake Me from being your sleeping mascot. I hope you will ask Me for help. And most of all, I hope when it is all done, you will ask the questions My disciples did when the storm rocked their boat:

Who is this man? How can He command wind and water so they do what He says?

Then, I hope you will make Me your boat and not just your mascot! Better yet, why not make Me your boat, your Master, your Lord, today… before the next storm hits and the waves pound and the wind blows?

Verses to Live

As you read today’s verses, ask yourself, “What is my boat?” Answer as honestly as you can. Then invite Me to be more than your passenger or your mascot; ask Me to be your Boat — to provide you security, direction, and your future.

Picture this:

One day Jesus and His disciples get into a boat.

Jesus:

Let’s cross the lake.

So they push off from shore and begin sailing to the far side. As they progress across the lake, Jesus falls sound asleep. Soon a raging storm blows in. The waves wash over the sides of the boat, and the boat starts filling up with water. Every second the situation becomes more dangerous.

The disciples shake Jesus and wake Him.

Disciples (shouting):

Master! Master! We’re all going to die!

Jesus wakes up and tells the wind to stop whipping them around, and He tells the furious waves to calm down. They do just that. Then Jesus turns to the disciples.

Jesus:

What happened to your faith?

The disciples had been terrified during the storm, but now they’re afraid in another way. They turn to each other and start whispering, chattering, and wondering.

Disciples:

Who is this man? How can He command wind and water so they do what He says?

(Luke 8:22-25)

Response in Prayer

Lord Jesus, forgive me for making other things in my life my basis of security. I want You to be Lord of my life and the basis of my security. Please help me as I make You my Boat! Amen.

This has me thinking about my life.  What about you?  Are you doing the same thing or are you totally committed to Christ and letting Him lead and take control over your life?  I’m going to work on allowing Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior lead and take control over my life more.  Instead of waiting for a storm to it.

How about you?  Care to join me?  What are your thoughts?  It would be interesting to know.

Do you have doubts?

Do you have doubts?  I know that I have and I have sometimes allowed them to go to far. Well in my devotion this morning Jesus was talking about doubting. That we all will doubt, but by trusting and having faith in Jesus that He will get through it and will get closer to Him. That we will also feel Him in our lives. You see Jesus is never going to leave nor forsake us. No matter what happens in our lives.

Here read what he has to say:

“The One?” — A Year with Jesus for 02/04/2015
Note from Jesus
Dear Disciple,

Doubt! Even the best people have periods of doubt. My cousin John the Baptist was in prison awaiting certain death at the hands of Herod. His prophecies about Me were bold. His proclamation of repentance and practice of baptism were powerful. His willingness to give up his popularity and point people to Me was incredibly courageous and humble. Yet John had his lingering doubts.

Why? Why would someone so bold, powerful, courageous, and humble have doubts?

Think about it. Courage is boldness in the face of danger and doubt. Faith is trust that risks everything in the face of uncertainty and danger. You will have doubts — sometimes deep doubts just like John faced. John was wanting to know with certainty that he had not wasted his life as he approached his death. So he asked, “Are You the Promised One, or shall we keep looking for someone else?”

As I said while on earth, “Listen, there is no human being greater than this man, John the Baptist.” Yet John had doubts as he faced his own martyrdom because My work didn’t seem to match his understanding of My role.

You have been born of God into My kingdom. In this way you are greater than John. Yet you will have doubts and they will find their gravity in the same two places John’s doubts found theirs.

First, life is hard and can rattle you to your soul. The world may not appreciate the truth of the life you live to honor the Father. John’s passionate and faithful proclamation of truth landed him in Herod’s jail and ultimately led to his martyrdom. The world’s brutal treatment of God’s people can lead to times of doubt in their hearts.

Second, you have certain expectations of Me that sometimes don’t seem to line up with your reality. Even in those times when I appear to be distant and unconcerned, please remember that I will never leave you or forsake you (Hebrews 13:5-6; Romans 8:32-39).

In your doubt, remember what I helped John the Baptist do: get a fuller picture of Who I AM. In your life I will help you in a similar way through a deeper look at Scripture, My promises, the Holy Spirit dwelling in you, and the people of faith who have come before you and those who support you now.

My hope is for you to have a deep understanding of My grace and a faith — a faith that can hang onto hope through life’s storms when things don’t seem to line up with your expectations of the Father’s promises. Remember, doubt is part of living life in a tough world. The greatest heroes in Scripture had their moments of doubt. Yet hanging onto faith, looking at great examples of faith in Scripture, and using Scripture to get a fuller view of Me will help you be faithful… even to the point of death. Courageous faith is choosing to believe in the face of uncertainty and difficulties.

Verses to Live

The following passage from Luke’s Gospel recounts the events when John’s disciples came with his question about Me. Notice that My answer wasn’t just a bunch of words; my answer to John’s disciples included actions. These actions were specific types of miracles: miracles that Isaiah had prophesied the Messiah would perform — prophecies John knew. So My explanation about fulfilling Isaiah’s prophecies about the Messiah made clear to John that I was indeed the Messiah!

News of Jesus spread across the whole province of Judea and beyond to the surrounding regions. When these reports reached John’s disciples, they brought news to John himself, who was known for his preaching and ritual cleansing. John sent two of his disciples to ask the Lord, “Are You the Promised One, or shall we keep looking for someone else?”

They came to Jesus and asked their question exactly as directed by John the Baptist.

Before He answered John’s messengers, Jesus cured many from various diseases, health conditions, and evil spirits. He even caused many blind people to regain their sight.

Jesus (to John’s disciples):
Go and tell John what you’ve witnessed with your own eyes and ears: the blind are seeing again, the lame are walking again, the lepers are clean again, the deaf hear again, the dead live again, and good news is preached to the poor. Whoever is not offended by Me is blessed indeed.
When John’s messengers left, Jesus talked to the crowds about John.

Jesus:
When you went out into the wilderness to see John, what were you expecting? A reed shaking in the wind? What were you looking for? A man in expensive clothing? Look, if you were looking for fancy clothes and luxurious living, you went to the wrong place — you should have gone to the kings’ courts, not to the wilderness! What were you seeking? A prophet? Ah yes, that’s what John is, and even more than a prophet. The prophet Malachi was talking about John when he wrote,

I will send My messenger before You, to clear Your path in front of You.

Listen, there is no human being greater than this man, John the Baptist. Yet even the least significant person in the coming kingdom of God is greater than John.

The common people and tax collectors heard God’s own wisdom in Jesus’ assessment of John because they had been ritually cleansed through baptism by John. But the Pharisees and religious scholars hardened their hearts and turned their backs on God’s purposes for them because they had refused John’s baptism.

Jesus:
The people of this generation — what are they like? To what can they be compared? I’ll tell you: they’re like spoiled kids sitting in the marketplace playing games, calling out:

We played the pipes for you,
but you didn’t dance to our tune!
We cried like mourners,
but you didn’t cry with us!

You can’t win with this generation. John the Baptist comes along, fasting and abstaining from wine, and you say, “This guy is demon-possessed!” The Son of Man comes along, feasting and drinking wine, and you say, “This guy is a glutton and a drunk, a friend of scoundrels and tax collectors.” Well, wisdom’s true children know wisdom when they hear it.

(Luke 7:17-35)

Response in Prayer:

Almighty God, thank You! Thank You for giving me a Bible that is full of people like me — people who love You but struggle with real-life faith and doubt. I trust You , Holy Spirit, to lead me through these times and conform me to be like Jesus, in whose name I pray. Amen.

I don’t know about you, but I am going to work and pray about getting closer to God and relying more on Him. With trusting Him and turning things over to Him immediately we can gain peace and even though we may not understand them at the time, we can rest assured that God is in our corner and wanting us to know Him. He is drawing us closer to Him and wanting us to seek Him for everything that happens in our lives.

What about you? Care to join me in this journey?
What are you thoughts on this? I would love to hear them.

My Reflection Over the Last Year (2014)

This is going to be unusual for me, because most of my posts are reflections of my Bible studies.  Well now, I’m going to go out on a limb here.  When I first started this blog I was looking in terms to see if anyone else was having the same daily struggles as I was.  In hopes of helping them as my studies have helped me grow in my Christian walk.

Last year – 2014 was a year of persecution, torment, hurt and it was full of a lot of pain, both physically, emotionally and mentally.  It’s not a year that I can be proud of my accomplishments because they were very few in nature.

In May my life became a living disaster.  No matter what I said or try to do nothing was going right.  People were accusing me of things that I didn’t see happening and no matter how many times I apologized nothing was getting corrected.  At the end of May, beginning of June, I started attending a Christian Recovery program online.  One that a friend recommended to me and I have since then been following the steps to recovery.

It has not been an easy road, but then walking with Christ isn’t suppose to be.  We are to walk and live like He did when He was here on earth.  Which at times is not an easy thing to do.  I found myself not only crying on a daily basis, but looking within myself to find the real problems.  Yes, I said problems.  There were more than one and I had to deal with each and every one of them.  So yes, it can be more than one.  It’s a very painful process, but as followers of Jesus Christ it has to be done for us to walk in His ways.  Purging our systems of the things that are not pleasing to God.  Getting rid of the things that not only plague us, but are holding us back from walking like and with Christ.

To be honest, I am not fond of this process, but it was a needed element for my beginning recovery.  As I continue to walk in this recovery I do what is called a daily inventory.  Checking to see if there was anyone that I hurt, anyone that has hurt me, if I need to forgive anyone for wrongs done to me and for wrongs that I may have done to them, as well as checking to make sure that I have not said anything that has discouraged anyone.  You see by doing this daily inventory check I find that I am being accountable to not only myself, but to God as well.  Working to get myself closer to His will for my life.  By purging/getting rid of the hurt, habits and hangups that have held me back for so long.  Making amends to those people that I know that I may have hurt.  Owning up to the things that I have said and done.  When I cannot make amends to any person that is no longer around then I do it to God and know that I have been forgiven and that I don’t need to hang on to that hurt any longer.  I can rest assure that I am healing and that God will be pleased with me as I am going through the process.

It has not been an easy road, but I have found that I have healed more this past 6 months than I  can remember.  No more hiding behind my walls, no more burying things in the sand.  No more running away from the truth.  God has shown me that He is with me not matter what happens and how I handle it depends on me.  I have learned a lot and I will continue to grow and learn as much as I can.

My laptop decided to go nuts on me last month (December 2014), so I had to revert back to reading the physical Bible instead of my online devotions and my e sword Bible.  It may have been frustrating, but I did whatever I had to do to continue to do my recovery.  I didn’t want to lose what I had already  done.  So I did the next best thing and created my own Bible studies and did some reading.  It can be difficult when you don’t have your technology, but the physical book is still available to use and we should use it more often.

Yes, this is me getting real and telling it like it is.  I have not done this much over the years of my growing up, but I have come to realize that it’s time for me to stop hiding and be what God wants me to be.  One of His children.

Do you know Christ as your personal Lord and Savior?  If not, then think about this; when Christ returns for His chosen, where would you like to go?  Heaven or burning in the lake of fire of all eternity?  To me the choice is simple, I have already chosen.  What about you?  Paradise sounds way better than living in torment, burning for eternity in Hell.  Don’t you think?

What are your thoughts?  Care to share?

Have we really answered the door for Jesus?

I was reading my devotions this morning and this struck me pretty hard.  The devotion is written by Phil Ware and it’s “A Year With Jesus” devotion for today.

Note from Jesus

Dear Disciple,

Have you really made room in your heart for Me?

I’m not talking about thinking about Me during Christmas season. I’m asking if you have given your heart to Me so that I can speak truth into your uncertainty, peace into your worry, hope into your discouragement, and joy into your sadness. To be My disciple means that you follow Me — you do what I’ve commanded, you follow My example, and you place Me above all other claims on your heart. So, have you made room in your heart for Me?

You see, I’m sure if folks had known Who I was before I was born that there would have been many people in Bethlehem who would have made room for Me and My little family. However, most were busy with guests in town for the census or working to make a little coin off the out-of-town folks who were crowding their streets. I came to town in the womb of a simple young Jewish woman and no one noticed — at least not till the angels alerted the shepherds and they began to tell their story. So there was no room for these two simple God-fearing people expecting their first child. There was no room for Me!

Today, however, I am asking if there is room in your heart for Me? I’m not wanting a quick visit to fill your December with a touch of Christmas. I’m wanting to take up permanent residency so My character and compassion can permeate your heart. I want your heart to be My home until I can bring you home to the Father and you can be at home with Us.

I’m here. I’m near. So, will you make room for Me?

Verses to Live

Notice how simply Luke tells the story of My birth. Notice the sad state of affairs at the end!

Around the time of Elizabeth’s amazing pregnancy and John’s birth, the emperor in Rome, Caesar Augustus, required everyone in the Roman Empire to participate in a massive census— the first census since Quirinius had become governor of Syria. Each person had to go to his or her ancestral city to be counted.

Mary’s fiancée Joseph, from Nazareth in Galilee, had to participate in the census in the same way everyone else did. Because he was a descendant of King David, his ancestral city was Bethlehem, David’s birthplace. Mary, who was now late in her pregnancy that the messenger Gabriel had predicted, accompanied Joseph. While in Bethlehem, she went into labor and gave birth to her firstborn son. She wrapped the baby in a blanket and laid Him in a feeding trough because the inn had no room for them.
(Luke 2:1-7)

More than there not being room in the inn for Me, most folks did not have room in their hearts for Me. But for those who did… ah, focus on the following promise John makes, for it’s a promise for you, too!

He [Jesus] entered our world, a world He made; yet the world did not recognize Him. Even though He came to His own people, they refused to listen and receive Him. But for all who did receive and trust in Him, He gave them the right to be reborn as children of God; He bestowed this birthright not by human power or initiative but by God’s will.
(John 1:10-13)

I’m knocking at the door of your heart. Will you make room for Me — not just at Christmas, but for always?

Now pay attention; I am standing at the door and knocking. If any of you hear My voice and open the door, then I will come in to visit with you and to share a meal at your table, and you will be with Me.
(Revelation 3:20)

Response in Prayer

O Father, I regret the many times I have let the busy-ness of my life and the burdens of my heart and the distractions of my selfishness crowd Jesus out of my heart. I intentionally open my heart and I invite You into every part of my heart, Lord Jesus. I don’t want You to be a temporary Christmas decoration in my life, but I want You to have Your way with my will and Your life to be seen through what I do and say. I pray this to the Father, through the intercession of the Spirit, and in the mighty name of Jesus, the Son and my Savior. Amen.

After I read this it got me to thinking and re-evaluating my life and this year.  I am going to make a more conscious effort to opening the door and always looking to Christ for everything.  I hope that this will make an impact on you as it has done for me.

Care to join me?  Let me know what you think.

Do we really know the truth about sin?

It is an interesting question.  As Christians we need to know the truth about sin and where it actually comes from and from whom.  If we continue to live a life of sin then how can we be a child of God?  It does not make any sense nor does it make it right.  God sees all things not matter what they are.  He knows what we will say and do before we even do it and He knows our thoughts.  We cannot hide anything from Him.  So why should we try?  By immediately confessing our sins God will immediately forgive us.  In today’s devotion Phil Ware ‘A Year With Jesus’ talks about ‘The Truth About Sin,’ when you stop and think about it that is what this world is all about.  Living in sin or life as they wish not realizing the consequences that they will face later when Christ returns.  To me that is a scary thought, one that I don’t want to be in.

Read today’s devotion and see if it does not touch your heart as it has done mine.

Note from Jesus

Dear Beloved,

As God’s child, you need to know that some truth is very basic, very simple, and that the evil one — the“diabolical one” as John calls him — wants to confuse you by making things complicated or by lying to you about what’s important. You can tell those who are My disciples, God’s adopted children, My younger siblings by faith, because they live good moral lives full of good deeds. Those who don’t live this kind of life are not My disciples and are not God’s children.

You will not live life perfectly. None of the Father’s children, except for Me, ever have or ever will. You will slip into an occasional sin. However, My disciples do not, as John describes it, live “a life of habitual sin.” My disciples, the Father’s children, don’t “persist in sin”: sin is not their way of life and certainly not their desired way to live.

My disciples long to live as I did, dedicated to the Father and reflecting the Father’s character and compassion. When they do stumble and sin, they confess it instead of trying to hide it. My sacrifice on the cross cleanses them of their sin (1 John 1:5-10). While I don’t want you to sin even one sin because of its traps, damage, and consequences, I will forgive and cleanse you of these occasional sins. It’s the “habitual” nature of sin and the willingness to “persist” in that sin that ultimately reveals the disloyalty to the Father in a person’s heart.

If you are struggling alone with your sin, please remember John’s call for you to confess your sins (1 John 1:7-9). That doesn’t just mean that you confess them to Me or the Father, but you also get the help of another couple of brothers or sisters in the Father’s family to walk along side you and help strengthen you (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12). Confess your sins to these spiritual partners, these confidants in the faith, who can walk beside you, encourage you, challenge you to live the life you want to live in Me, and help you overcome the power of sin’s allure that seeks to destroy you (James 1:13-15).

No one should want the “moral anarchy” of sin and the damage it brings. As James said:

So own up to your sins to one another and pray for one another. In the end, you may be healed. Your prayers are powerful when they are rooted in a righteous life.
(James 5:16).

Sin will not be your lifestyle, because you are God’s child — the Father’s spiritual DNA is alive in you through the Holy Spirit. You have been adopted into My family of grace. So let the true Spirit-transformed you shine through in your daily life!

Verses to Live

John’s words are simple and clear. Don’t let anyone switch the price tags on you when it comes to morality. While none of you is perfect, the fruit of a good person’s life ultimately shows through in good deeds and obedient and godly living. John makes that very clear in the following verses from his short letter of 1 John.

You are my little children, so I am writing these things to help you avoid sin. If, however, any believer does sin, we have a high-powered defense lawyer — Jesus the Anointed, the righteous — arguing on our behalf before the Father. It was through His sacrificial death that our sins were atoned. But He did not stop there — He died for the sins of the whole world.

We know we have joined Him in an intimate relationship because we live out His commands. If someone claims, “I am in an intimate relationship with Him,” but this big talker doesn’t live out His commands, then this individual is a liar and a stranger to the truth. But if someone responds to and obeys His word, then God’s love has truly taken root and filled him. This is how we know we are in an intimate relationship with Him: anyone who says, “I live in intimacy with Him,” should walk the path Jesus walked.
(1 John 2:1-6).

So now, my little children, live in Him, so that whenever He is revealed, we will have confidence and not have to hang our heads in shame before Him when He comes. If you know that He is just and faithful, then you also know that everyone who lives faithfully and acts justly has been born into a new life through Him.

Consider the kind of extravagant love the Father has lavished on us — He calls us children of God! It’s true; we are His beloved children. And in the same way the world didn’t recognize Him, the world does not recognize us either.

My loved ones, we have been adopted into God’s family; and we are officially His children now. The full picture of our destiny is not yet clear, but we know this much: when Jesus appears, we will be like Him because we will see Him just as He is. All those who focus their hopes on Him and His coming seek to purify themselves just as He is pure.

Everyone who lives a life of habitual sin is living in moral anarchy. That’s what sin is. You realize that He came to eradicate sins, that there is not the slightest bit of sin in Him. The ones who live in an intimate relationship with Him do not persist in sin, but anyone who persists in sin has not seen and does not know the real Jesus.

Children, don’t let anyone pull one over on you. The one doing the right thing is just imitating Jesus, the Righteous One.

The one persisting in sin belongs to the diabolical one, who has been all about sin from the beginning. That is why the Son of God came into our world: to destroy the plague of destruction inflicted on the world by the diabolical one.

Everyone who has been born into God’s family avoids sin as a lifestyle because the genes of God’s children come from God Himself. Therefore, a child of God can’t live a life of persistent sin. So it is not hard to figure out who are the children of God and who are the children of the diabolical one: those who lack right standing and those who don’t show love for one another do not belong to God.
(1 John 2:28-29; 1 John 3:1-10)

Response in Prayer

Father in heaven, I want my life to display the character and compassion of Jesus. As Your child, I want My life to be full of the goodness, obedience, kindness, and moral character that my older brother Jesus displayed when He walked this earth. To be adopted into Your family, to be called Your child, to have Jesus as my brother as well as my Lord and Savior is such an incredible blessing. So may my life display my thanks for Your grace so richly poured out on me. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

Either we are going to walk, talk, and act like children of God or we are going to live in the world.  For me that is a no brainier.  I prefer to live like Christ no matter what comes my way and in all areas of my life.  How about you?