Monthly Archives: September 2017
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven:
A time to be born and a time to die
A time to plant and a time to uproot
A time to kill and a time to heal.
A time to tear down and a time to build
A time to weep and a time to laugh,
A time to mourn and a time to dance,
A time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
A time to embrace and a time to refrain
A time to search and a time to give up
A time to keep and a time to throw away.
A time to fear and a time to mend,
A time to be silent and a time to speak
A time to love and a time to hate
A time for war and a time for peace
What does the worker gain from his toil? I have seen the burden God has laid on men. He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end. I know that there is nothing better for men than to be happy and to do good while they live. That everyone may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all his toil – this is the gift of God. I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that men will revere him.
Whatever is has already been and what will be has been before and God will call the past to account.
God’s timing is perfect. Our existence was planned by God for this moment in time. Why else would we exist if He did not desire us to be part of His plan in this moment?
God placed eternity in our hearts but we don’t understand – but how could we? We see only a miniscule part of the universe and its journey but cannot comprehend how it all comes together under God’s hand.
But He has not left us without understanding. He has given us His Word, His Son and His Spirit to guide us. He has asked us to trust and obey.
God has told us that we are created in His image, in this time and in this place to be part of His plan. If we believe in Jesus Christ as the Son of God and our Savior, then we are filled with the Holy Spirit.
If we are filled with the Holy Spirit, it means God is guiding us. However, we must choose to follow. Choosing to follow involves spending time listening and talking with God – that is what prayer is – taking the time to be in quiet restfulness with God.
If we are filled with the Holy Spirit, it means we will be impacted when someone in the body of Christ is impacted. We must listen to determine our response.
If we are filled with the Holy Spirit, it means that we can do all things through Christ who gives us strength. We must listen to determine what “things” we are to do.
If we are filled with the Holy Spirit, it means Christ is alive in us. It means to live is Christ and to die is gain. “Life versus even more life!” Phil 1:21. The Message
My prayer for us this week is that we recognize that God created us specifically for this time and in this place to bring Glory to His Name – so let us GO forth remembering we are alive in Christ in this moment in time and in this place!
“ . . . Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.
Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you which can save you.”
Do not merely listen to the word and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.
Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.
But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it – he will be blessed in what he does.
If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless. Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world”
We tend to want to read someone else’s view of Scripture instead of opening our bibles and reading it ourselves. God’s Word is intended to be read, listened to and acted upon by each of us. The “Word” is planted in us. We recognize God when we read what is already planted in us.
So read, listen and do. Remember what is an acceptable “religion” to God – to care for those in need. Don’t complicate your “religious” life by adding to or misinterpreting what “religion” is.
Remember, Jesus promised, “. . . my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:30.
My prayer for us this week is that we consciously take time to listen, hold our tongue, and help those who God has placed in our paths. May we know that “peace that surpasses all understanding”.
After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go. He told them, “ The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. GO! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves.” Luke 10:1-3
Have you heeded the call of Jesus?
If we are believers in Jesus Christ as our Savior, as the One to follow in this life, as the One who provides a pathway from this earth to eternal life, then we have been sent out to share that saving knowledge with those who have been placed in our paths.
Our life circumstances are not random. Life is not a series of coincidences.
We have all been placed at certain places, in certain circumstances at certain times for a reason. However, we do have choices in our responses and in our actions. The key is whether we are consulting our Lord and Savior in the situations we are in.
If we are, then we need to trust that He is in control and even if we don’t think things are going as “we” think they should, our trust should be in the One who sent us out in the first place. What may appear to be the “right” path or “correct” conclusion in our eyes may have nothing to do with what God is accomplishing through us.
Be prepared to share God’s love and the Good News of Jesus each and every moment.
We may never know if we are the last one to share the saving knowledge of Christ’s life, death and resurrection with a person before their physical death. We may never know if our small act of love is the one act which turns someone towards Jesus. We may never know if that one phone call was the one event that prevented a catastrophe in another person’s life. We may never know if the truth we speak, is the truth which breaks a heart of stone.
We may never know the “why” of any situation, but we can trust if we are walking with Jesus, that there is a rhyme and a reason for it all.
My prayer for us this week, is that we are aware – moment by moment – that we have been sent out by Jesus and that we stick close to Him so we can act according to His Plan. Remember, eternity meets us in this moment. Amen.
“Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed. As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do for it is written be holy, because I am holy.” 1 Peter 1:13-16
What to do? What to do? That is the question. You have a problem, not just a problem with the length of your hair, but a real problem – something that is a “trial”. You want God to tell you what to do, but you don’t seem to receive an answer to prayer or you can’t even pray or you never even thought to pray. Your mind is stuck; you are in a rut.
Many of us remain in the rut because we don’t know how to move on. The problem becomes bigger than it is because we are dwelling on it. We are discussing it with our loved ones and close friends. We are sharing it with our co-workers and our acquaintances. We create a swirling dervish of judgments, advice and opinions from many people. Suddenly, the problem has tripled in size and we are deeper in the pit then we started.
We do need to remember that many times we create problems by our “unholy living”. So before stepping out to tackle a trial, we need to make sure that we are not creating it and recreating it by our unholy behavior. If that is what is causing the problem, stop it. We need to discipline ourselves to refuse to live unholy lives. If we can’t stop the unholy living then, it has become a trial.
We also need to make sure that the problem is actually ours to deal with. Many times a problem is someone else’s issue and not one we should be tackling. We need to remember to seek God’s guidance to make sure that the “problem” is something we should take action on or something we need to step back from. Remember if it is someone else’s problem, be a good friend by listening if called upon to do so, but don’t let them pull you into the pit with them. Then we are of no use at all but rather a hindrance to their journey.
A trial is defined as being subjected to suffering or encountering a grievous experience. It is also defined as a distressed or painful state. Trials tend to take place over time.
The Great Book tells us that we all will “suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith – of greater worth than gold, which perishes even through refined by fire – may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.” 1Peter 1:6-7. So trials are necessary in order to deepen our faith and prepare us for eternal living.
If we are experiencing trials, GOOD! It means we are being refined by God.
The first step in facing any trial is to seek out Jesus for comfort, wisdom, strength, perseverance and hope. Sit with Him and talk and listen.
The second step in facing any trial is to seek out Jesus day by day. If the day seems too long, seek Jesus hour by hour. If an hour is too much to handle, seek Him moment by moment. Keep your eyes on Christ.
The third step in facing any trial is to seek out Jesus when we can’t. When we have done all we can, prayed until we are without prayers, persevered until we can’t persevere anymore, hoped until it seems there is no hope, then let Jesus just hold us . . . for His yoke is easy and His burden is light. Matthew 11:30
Trials are not solvable by us – they are processes to journey through not by ourselves but with Christ’s wisdom, strength, and comfort. My prayer for us this week is that we allow Jesus to walk with us in our trials and that in those journeys, our faith is proved genuine!