Monday, November 25, 2013

Seek God In Your Decisions

Matthew 6:33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

So here we are getting closer to Thanksgiving and God has put on my heart to ask are we seeking Him in our decisions?  Do we pray about things or do we just react based on our own emotions, reasoning, thoughts or plans?  We are just His creation...shouldn't we be seeking what He wants us to do in a given situation?

Psalm 25:9
He leads the humble in justice, And He teaches the humble His way.

Proverbs 3:5-6
Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight.

 Proverbs 2:6-9
For the LORD gives wisdom; From His mouth come knowledge and understanding. He stores up sound wisdom for the upright; He is a shield to those who walk in integrity, Guarding the paths of justice, And He preserves the way of His godly ones. Then you will discern righteousness and justice And equity and every good course.

Psalm 25:12-
Who is the man who fears the LORD? He will instruct him in the way he should choose.

  John 16:13
"But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.

Philippians 2:13
for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure

James 1:5
But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all men generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.

Jeremiah 29:11 -
'For I know the plans that I have for you,' declares the LORD, 'plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.

Proverbs 16:9-
The mind of man plans his way, But the LORD directs his steps.

So based on the Bible verses above He is looking to lead us but we must also be humble, trust God, acknowledge Him, seek wisdom, let Him guide us, direct us and He will put us on the path He has for us.  It is so easy to reason something in your head and not seek God.  Often we don't think we need His help unless we get into a real jam.  Then we humble ourselves and cry out to Him with all we have.  Wouldn't it be less painful and more wise to seek Him from the beginning?  James 1:5 says above that God will give wisdom if we ask for it.

Now let's seek God in our decisions, trials and all that we are going through.  We don't want to learn the hard way so let's do it God's way.  Have a blessed Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

I can't go there but.....

The tragedy in the Philippines has really grabbed my attention.  The people there have lost homes, family members, basics like food, and clean water.  The emotional toll(lack of hope) has to be heart breaking.  Stepping over bodies, struggling to get the help and supplies they need are things that aren't going away.  So what can we do?

1.  Even if we can't go over there we can always pray.  God hears our prayers and He knows their needs. 
2.  We can send money.  There are plenty of organizations at work over there.  We can help.
3.  Help someone else go who has the opportunity.

Keep in mind just because you can't physically go there doesn't mean you can't help.  I can't go over to Africa and dig wells but I can send money to help those who do.  We can expect to be blessed for doing so.  That shouldn't be our motivation but it can help when we doubt we are making an impact.  It will also help us take our focus off ourselves.  We can't live our entire life just worrying about us.  There are plenty of people out there looking for help that you could provide.  Sometimes it's just a conversation with someone who is feeling down.  It might be that you can make a meal for someone who is having physical issues or just out of the hospital.  Maybe you could help take care of the yard of someone who is elderly.  God can move in mighty ways in our lives to bless others if we just make time.

Lets look at some examples from the bible about helping others.

Hebrews 13:16 ESV / 

Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.

Philippians 2:4 ESV / 

Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.

Luke 6:38 ESV / 

Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.”

1 John 3:17 ESV / 

But if anyone has the world's goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God's love abide in him?

Matthew 25:35-40 ESV / 

For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ ...

James 2:14-17 ESV / 

What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

Galatians 6:2 ESV / 

Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.

John 15:12 ESV / 

“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.

Matthew 5:16 ESV /

In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

Proverbs 19:17 ESV / 

Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed.

Proverbs 22:9 ESV / 

Whoever has a bountiful eye will be blessed, for he shares his bread with the poor.

So now it's not just me saying this but God.  Please take the time today to take your eyes off you and your problems and focus on what you can do to help someone else.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Face To Face With God

In my life when I've gone through some of the most painful things...I've often wondered why I didn't see His hands at work right in the moment or why I didn't hear Him.  I would read His word and pray and then call everyone I know rehashing the issue over and over and over....

I the current battle I am going through I am being shaped, molded and taught everyday.  In order to get to this place I had to come to the time when I only looked at Him.  I had to quit making calls, listening to people's advice, wondering, worrying and whining.  I had to get face to face with God keeping my eyes on Him.  How did I do that?  I will let you know.

1.  I let Him break me.
I had been fighting Him in some areas of my life for so long that it took everything I had to try to control things.  I had to let go of my fear, cry plenty of tears and tell Him ok I give up.  I can't do this.  Let's do it Your way.

2.  I surrendered everything to His will.
This was really hard because often when we pray we truly want things our way.  We don't think about what God wants or His purpose for what is going on we just want it over and our way.  I had to learn that and say whatever You want to do.  If I am in Your way move me.

3.  I learned to listen to Him.
In order to do this I had to get quiet.  That meant turning off the tv, radio, going somewhere alone where I wouldn't be interrupted.  I had to make the effort.  It was really tough at first because I just wanted to keep praying and not stop long enough for Him to get a word in.  Then after a while I did start hearing from Him, when reading the Bible, sometimes I would be in the middle of something and He would tell me to go pray specifically for a situation or person.  He would give me every word.

4.  I had to learn to trust and obey Him
Once God started talking to me in a way I could understand...I did pray for that so I wouldn't miss anything.  He started telling me to do things I didn't want to do or was comfortable doing.  I will give a few examples..He asked me to go and pray for a guest speaker at my church in front of everyone and the guy didn't even ask for it.  That was so scary but I knew God was telling me to do it.  Another time He asked me to do laundry for someone who didn't want me to do their laundry.  I argued with Him about that one but I eventually gave in.  That was so tough because I really didn't want to do it and I got angry but He had me do it.  I started learning that He was going to keep testing me with different things He told me to do just to make sure I did trust Him and obey Him.  It didn't happen overnight but once it started I had such great peace.

5.  I had to put my cares aside.
Talk about tough.  I had to give over all my worries to Him.  Every time I felt like I was under a spiritual attack or I let my fear get the best of me...He spoke to me about it.  I can clearly remember one time where He said to me what is going to take for You to trust me?  I immediately repented.  A good way to put it is if you were in a desert with no food, or help of any kind from anyone but Him.  A storm comes, then a legion of demons come mocking you and insulting you and threatening you.  Instead of looking around and fearing it you look at God right in His face sitting in front of you and listen to Him.  Talk about life changing.

Many times I felt like Peter when he stepped out of the boat and wanted to walk on the water to Jesus.  It's a strange and scary feeling not knowing what He is going to ask you to do next but knowing He is there.  I felt like a totally different person and that was really weird.  But once you can start doing these things.  You will experience a peace unlike any you have ever felt before.  He will take you by the hand and guide you every step of every day.  Just let Him.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

He Hears Us

There are days where we call out to God and just wonder...does He hear me?  We pray and He doesn't answer right away.  That can cause us to doubt and worry at time.  So lets look at scripture about God listening.

1Chr 5:20 For they cried to the God in the battle, and He was entreated of them; because they put their trust in Him.

Ps 3:4 I cried to the Lord with my voice, and He heard me out of His holy hill.

Ps 34:4 I sought the Lord, and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.

Ps 55:16,17 As for me, I will call upon God; and the Lord shall save me. Evening and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and He shall hear my voice.

Ps 86:7 In the day of my trouble I will call upon You: for You will answer me.

Ps 91:15 He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him and honour him.

These are just a few but so often we need these reminders.  Life is filled with challenges, bad days, times when our hearts are broken and we just want to give up.  He is with us all the time.  You are not alone.  It doesn't mean that God is like a genie in a magic lamp.  He isn't shocked or surprised with what you are going through.  Often He uses that time to shape and mold us into the person He wants us to be.  There will be times when He asks us to just trust be still and know He is God.  He doesn't need our help.  He knows what He is doing.

So in the midst of your challenges, heart breaking and tough God.  He is listening to you.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Who you gonna call?

In the midst of trials most of us pick up the phone, send an email or ask for help.  We often seek out people first and then as a last resort go to God.  If God created the world and all the people in it and knew them before they arrived here shouldn't we go to Him.

One reason people don't go to God first is because they don't hear Him.  We want someone we can hear and have a conversation with.  Can we do that with God?  Yes but not like we do with people.  If we want to know how He feels about something we can read the Bible.  It's not as hard to find an answer in the Bible as it once was.  There are search engines and apps that allow us to find certain topics.  You can find it in most new Bibles as well.  His Word wasn't just for the people who lived when it was written.  It's still valid, alive and from God just as much today.

We can also hear from God at times when we pray.  It's not everyday that we hear an audible voice.  I personally have only heard it once.  But there are times when God might impress a thought or Bible verse in your mind and you stop and say where did that come from.  It came from God.

A great verse that reminds us to call out to God is Psalm 50:15 and call on me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me.  Another one is James 5:16 The Prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.

So as we go through whatever challenge there is know that He should be first to turn to.  I am just as guilty as any other person for making the mistake of going to people so don't be embarrassed if that's you.  Make the change today!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Why we need difficulty

You may not like what I'm about to say but it's true.  We need trials, adversity, difficulty in order to be useful to God.  Let me explain myself.  When things are going your way how often do you think, "Wow, I've got this under control God.  You sit this one out.  I will let you know when I need you again."  We don't go to Him unless we have struggles.  It keeps us close to God.

2 Corinthians 12:7
even though I have received such wonderful revelations from God. So to keep me from becoming proud, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from Satan to torment me and keep me from becoming proud.

The apostle Paul a man who God miraculously converted and writer of 2/3 of the New Testament even needed it.  The verse above tells it all.  He needed a thorn(trial, affliction, ailment, etc) in order to remain humble and therefore used by God.  God doesn't need you to have gifts, talents and abilities but He will use them.  What God wants is for us to realize that He's the one doing the work, giving the gifts, the talents, and the blessings.

Let's keep reading about this thorn and Paul.

8For this thing I sought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. 9And he said to me, My grace is sufficient for you: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest on me

We may be going through a really tough battle but know that God's grace is enough.  He is our strength.  Our lives are not meant to be lived like we did it all and God just happened to show up to take credit for it.  God created the world in which we live as stated in Genesis and the Bible teaches that He formed us in our mother's womb.  So if He's done all that and it's obvious we can't do the things He does...shouldn't we listen to Him and except what He wants to do.

So often we just go to God and say I want, Lord I need, give me this, help me with that...but we don't realize that if we don't go through difficulty and His perfect divine timing we won't learn anything.  What if you got a million dollars today?  But because you have always been bad with money you just blow right through it.  You are left angry, bitter and broke.  On the other hand what if God gave you poverty for years upon years of your life.  A financial situation so bad that you have to scrape, pray and trust God for every penny.  Then later in life God provides a million dollars do you think you would appreciate it and have a better knowledge of how to use that money?

We need to go through things in order to be more useful to God.  He needs to teach us that we need Him!  What good is a life if we don't know how to use it?  If we use it for our glory we have missed the point.  It's for God's glory that we go through things!

God knows what He is doing and He hears your prayers.  You have to put your faith in Him and know He is your strength. 

Monday, July 8, 2013

Giving thanks for the Trials!!!

We have all been through trials.  We have had difficult days and plenty of things that we just don't want to go through(an illness, relationship issues, family issues, work issues and on and on).  What does God do through  those issues and what does He want us to do as well go through them?  Let's find out!

1 Thessalonians 5:18

New American Standard Bible (NASB)
18 in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

Wait a minute!  So God wants us to thank Him no matter what is going on?  Yes, He does.  In many situations He wants to know will we do what He wants and with what attitude?  

Colossians 3:17

New International Version (NIV)

17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

So whatever we do we need to be giving thanks!  Not just when that job promotion comes, or when that healing happens in your body, but IN ALL THINGS!

2 Thessalonians 1:4

New International Version (NIV)

Therefore, among God’s churches we boast about your perseverance and faith in all the persecutions and trials you are enduring.

It's during these trials that God works in us!  Through these tough times God is growing us in our faith and teaching or perseverance!  Just because you became a believer in Jesus Christ and accepted His forgiveness doesn't many that everyday will be puppies and rainbows.  He expects us to grow!

 1 Peter 1:7
New American Standard Bible (©1995)
so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ;

Romans 5:3
New American Standard Bible (©1995)
And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance;

In this battle we are proving our faith and bringing glory and honor to God.  We must persevere!  You may think it's crazy but we should be praising God we are going through this!  It is refining us and bringing glory to Him!

Proverbs 17:3
New International Version (©2011)
The crucible for silver and the furnace for gold, but the LORD tests the heart.

God needs to know He can count on you to live for Him not just on those easy carefree days but also when a relationship is broken, we a doctor gives you the report it's cancer, when the car is broken or a job ends and you don't know how you are going to make it.  He's there!  He's providing!  He's healing!  You are not alone!

1 Corinthians 6:19
New American Standard Bible (©1995)
Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?

 Hebrews 13:5
New American Standard Bible (©1995)
Make sure that your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, "I WILL NEVER DESERT YOU, NOR WILL I EVER FORSAKE YOU,"

Trust God and thank Him for the situations He has put you in!  He is right there dwelling in you and He will never leave or forsake you!  God knows what He is doing, so trust Him and thank Him!  God is in control!

So each day as we get up let us not complain about or situations, trials, and pain but thank Him that we have another day to grow closer to Him and be more like Him.  Let us trust Him that no matter what He is doing what is best for us and bringing glory to Him.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Forgiveness and Healing

Forgiving is something that is very hard for most of us.  We are hurt and want to take it out on the person who did it or even the closest person to us.  Often we only look at our side of the pain...this person wronged us and who cares what they think or how they feel?  Well that's not exactly how we should be reacting.

First off we are blind to our own sins most of the time.  Some people are very aware and some people are just clueless.  Here are some scriptures to get us started on this road of forgiveness and healing.

Psalm 19:12
But who can discern their own errors? Forgive my hidden faults. (NIV)

Psalm 32:5
Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, "I will confess my transgressions to the LORD." And you forgave the guilt of my sin. (NIV)

Psalm 79:9
Help us, God our Savior, for the glory of your name; deliver us and forgive our sins for your name's sake. (NIV)

Psalm 130:4
But with you there is forgiveness, so that we can, with reverence, serve you. (NIV)

So now we have acknowledged that we sinned to.  We aren't just victims but people who need forgiveness ourselves.  God is will to give us forgiveness but our we willing to forgive?

Matthew 6:12-15
And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins. (NIV) 

Oh no!  God only forgives us as we forgive others.  So we know that if God isn't forgiving us that we aren't going to Heaven no matter what we do.  We need God's forgiveness!  In order to be forgiven we must also forgive anyone who has done us harm.  You may be thinking you have no idea what people have done to me!  I've been wronged in every way possible!  These people don't deserve to be forgiven!

Who are we to decide what is forgivable and what isn't?  If God is willing to forgive us and anyone else who cries out to Him why are we holding on to this grudge?  It can be many things...pride, anger, bitterness and just looking to blame someone.

We can't hold onto those feelings!  It's hard to forgive but we need to ask God to help us forgive!  Here is an excellent example.

Corrie Ten Boom Story on Forgiving
“It was in a church in Munich that I saw him—a balding, heavyset man in a gray overcoat, a brown felt hat clutched between his hands. People were filing out of the basement room where I had just spoken, moving along the rows of wooden chairs to the door at the rear. It was 1947 and I had come from Holland to defeated Germany with the message that God forgives.
“It was the truth they needed most to hear in that bitter, bombed-out land, and I gave them my favorite mental picture. Maybe because the sea is never far from a Hollander’s mind, I liked to think that that’s where forgiven sins were thrown. ‘When we confess our sins,’ I said, ‘God casts them into the deepest ocean, gone forever. …’
“The solemn faces stared back at me, not quite daring to believe. There were never questions after a talk in Germany in 1947. People stood up in silence, in silence collected their wraps, in silence left the room.
“And that’s when I saw him, working his way forward against the others. One moment I saw the overcoat and the brown hat; the next, a blue uniform and a visored cap with its skull and crossbones. It came back with a rush: the huge room with its harsh overhead lights; the pathetic pile of dresses and shoes in the center of the floor; the shame of walking naked past this man. I could see my sister’s frail form ahead of me, ribs sharp beneath the parchment skin. Betsie, how thin you were!
[Betsie and I had been arrested for concealing Jews in our home during the Nazi occupation of Holland; this man had been a guard at Ravensbruck concentration camp where we were sent.]
“Now he was in front of me, hand thrust out: ‘A fine message, Fräulein! How good it is to know that, as you say, all our sins are at the bottom of the sea!’
“And I, who had spoken so glibly of forgiveness, fumbled in my pocketbook rather than take that hand. He would not remember me, of course—how could he remember one prisoner among those thousands of women?
“But I remembered him and the leather crop swinging from his belt. I was face-to-face with one of my captors and my blood seemed to freeze.
“ ‘You mentioned Ravensbruck in your talk,’ he was saying, ‘I was a guard there.’ No, he did not remember me.
“ ‘But since that time,’ he went on, ‘I have become a Christian. I know that God has forgiven me for the cruel things I did there, but I would like to hear it from your lips as well. Fräulein,’ again the hand came out—’will you forgive me?’
“And I stood there—I whose sins had again and again to be forgiven—and could not forgive. Betsie had died in that place—could he erase her slow terrible death simply for the asking?
“It could not have been many seconds that he stood there—hand held out—but to me it seemed hours as I wrestled with the most difficult thing I had ever had to do.
“For I had to do it—I knew that. The message that God forgives has a prior condition: that we forgive those who have injured us. ‘If you do not forgive men their trespasses,’ Jesus says, ‘neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses.’
“I knew it not only as a commandment of God, but as a daily experience. Since the end of the war I had had a home in Holland for victims of Nazi brutality. Those who were able to forgive their former enemies were able also to return to the outside world and rebuild their lives, no matter what the physical scars. Those who nursed their bitterness remained invalids. It was as simple and as horrible as that.
“And still I stood there with the coldness clutching my heart. But forgiveness is not an emotion—I knew that too. Forgiveness is an act of the will, and the will can function regardless of the temperature of the heart. ‘… Help!’ I prayed silently. ‘I can lift my hand. I can do that much. You supply the feeling.’
“And so woodenly, mechanically, I thrust my hand into the one stretched out to me. And as I did, an incredible thing took place. The current started in my shoulder, raced down my arm, sprang into our joined hands. And then this healing warmth seemed to flood my whole being, bringing tears to my eyes.
“ ‘I forgive you, brother!’ I cried. ‘With all my heart!’
“For a long moment we grasped each other’s hands, the former guard and the former prisoner. I had never known God’s love so intensely, as I did then”

So forgive others so God can forgive you!  Be set free from the trap you've been held in of bitterness, hatred, and anger.  Let God heal your heart and forgive you!

Psalm 34:18 ESV / 

The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

What did quitting ever accomplish?

Often we want something..maybe something to happen and we pray.  Months go by and then years but we don't get the desired results from our prayer.  We pray for salvation of friends and family members, children who have turned away from God, a better job, a new house, a wife, a husband, a restored marriage.

We get discouraged and say I prayed but it didn't work.  God didn't answer my prayer!  We doubt God and before we know it we are really in a mess and need prayer more than ever.  We try to fix it on our own.  Then we turn our backs on God totally and angrily because we don't get our way in our timing.  We want our answer now!  How dare God answer anyone's prayers but ours!

God is not a genie!  He is not Burger King who says "Have it your way." 

Do we even understand what prayer is?

According to Merriam-Webster's dictionary it's this 

Definition of PRAYER

a (1) : an address (as a petition) to God or a god in word or thought prayer
for the success of the voyage> (2) : a set order of words used in praying
b : an earnest request or wish
: the act or practice of praying to God or a god prayer
: a religious service consisting chiefly of prayers —often used in plural
: something prayed for
: a slight chance prayer
When I see the word wish I cringe because it reminds me of wishing wells, genies and just fiction.
Here are some Bible verses on prayer to help you and keep you from quitting. 

2 Chronicles 7:14 (NIV)
if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
James 5:13-16 (NIV)
Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise. Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.
 1 John 5:14-15 (NIV)
This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.
Matthew 6:5-6 (NIV)
“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

Matthew 6:9-15 (NIV)
“This, then, is how you should pray:
” ‘Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one. For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.
Now these are just a few verses but lets take a look at them.  First we notice that God wants us to humble ourselves and seek Him and turn from our wicked ways(sin).  So we can't go to God all puffed up with our request like we are doing Him some huge favor by praying.  He knows our motivations when we pray. 
 Second we notice that we need to have faith and confess our sins.   Too often we pray but as a last resort.  That tells God right away where our faith is.  We have tried we might as well try God.  We must believe He is able to do that which we are praying for.  He don't do anything without our faith.  It also takes repentance.  That means we need to ask God to forgive us of our sins.

Third we need to be asking for things that are God's will.  Praying for a million dollars to spend on yourself doesn't seem to add up to His will now does it?  We need to pray for things such as salvation of others.  Pray for other people's problems, dreams and desires.  Pray is not just about getting what we want it's about praying for what God wants.  If you believe He wants you to use your talents for Him a certain way pray for it.  If you have a financial need(not a HD tv) such as rent after losing a job He can and will provide.  Not always in the way we want or how we expected but He does provide for His children.

Fourth we need to pray in private.  We don't need to spout off this super fancy prayer in front of everyone to get our prayers answered.  He hears us just as much in private as He does in public.  There are lots of prayer needs that require privacy of others as well.  We don't need to make prayer into a gossip session.  Example:Oh God, please help so and so for they are adulters who just can't find their way and my brother is a liar so please fix him, etc.

Fifth we need to prayer the prayer of Matthew 6:9-15.  It lays everything out there.  It covers everything that is at the core of our relationship with God.  It puts the emphasis on His will and our needs.

I would also like to add a few things.  Pray scripture!  Proclaim it over your life!  It is God's word.  Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. Proverbs 30:5 

Isaiah 55:10-11

New International Version (NIV)
10 As the rain and the snow
    come down from heaven,
and do not return to it
    without watering the earth
and making it bud and flourish,
    so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,
11 so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
    It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
    and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.

Last of all don't forget this 

Galatians 6:9

New International Version (NIV)
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.
The key is don't give up.  God works in His own timing!  It requires patience.  Here is a great example 

Genesis 21 - The Birth of Isaac

A. The birth of Isaac.

1. (1) God fulfills His promise to Abraham and Sarah.

And the Lord visited Sarah as He had said, and the Lord did for Sarah as He had spoken.

a. The Lord visited Sarah as He had said: It took a long time (25 years) for this promise to come to pass, but God was faithful to His promise. God’s promises never fail.

b. As He had spoken: The promise of a son was not fulfilled because Abraham was perfect in his obedience, but because God was faithful to His Word.

i. Some promises of God are conditional and depend on something we must do. Other promises of God are unconditional, and God will fulfill them not because of what we do, but because of who He is.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Great quotes about God!

“People are often unreasonable and self-centered. Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.
If you are honest, people may cheat you. Be honest anyway.
If you find happiness, people may be jealous. Be happy anyway.
The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough. Give your best anyway.
For you see, in the end, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.”
Mother Teresa

 “I know God won't give me anything I can't handle. I just wish he didn't trust me so much.”
Mother Teresa

 “The Christian does not think God will love us because we are good, but that God will make us good because He loves us.”
C.S. Lewis

“God will not look you over for medals, degrees or diplomas but for scars.”
Elbert Hubbard
“If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.”
C.S. Lewis
“I have faith that God will show you the answer. But you have to understand that sometimes it takes a while to be able to recognize what God wants you to do. That's how it often is. God's voice is usually nothing more than a whisper, and you have to listen very carefully to hear it. But other times, in those rarest of moments, the answer is obvious and rings as loud as a church bell.”
Nicholas Sparks, The Last Song 
“I sought to hear the voice of God and climbed the topmost steeple, but God declared: "Go down again - I dwell among the people.”
John Henry Newman 
“Sometimes God allows what he hates to accomplish what he loves.”
Joni Eareckson Tada, The God I Love  

Monday, May 20, 2013

Don't Give Up

We all have times when we think we can't do it anymore.  You want to quit praying or trusting God for something that has been taking quite a while.  We might not even be able to see what God is doing because we are so overwhelmed by our emotions that we are spiritually blind.  Please take some time to read these three scriptures and proclaim them over your life today and everyday until you believe it!

“And you shall remember that the LORD your God led you all the way these forty years in the wilderness, to humble you and test you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not.”  Deuteronomy  8:2 (NKJV)

 “Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh. Is there anything to hard for Me?”  Jeremiah 32:27 (NKJV)

I called on Your name O LORD, from the lowest pit. You have heard my voice: Do not hide Your ear from my sighing, from my cry for help. You drew near on the day I called on You and said “Do not fear.”  Lamentations 3:55-57 (NKJV)

Remember He is always with us!  We are never alone and He has never walked away or turned His back on us!  Trust Him and proclaim scripture over your life everyday! 

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Changing Our Mindsets

In the news everyday we see news of terrible things, murders, deaths, attacks, kidnappings and natural disasters just to name a few.  We can listen to music about broken relationships, watch television programs and movies filled with violence and dysfunction.  If this is what we put into ourselves what do you expect to come out of us?

Luke 21:34 ESV 

“But watch yourselves lest your hearts be weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and cares of this life, and that day come upon you suddenly like a trap.

If we dwell on these things God says that it's a trap.  We aren't meant to be weighed down with the world.  So what are we supposed to think about?  How are we to use and renew our minds?

Romans 12:2 ESV / 

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

2 Corinthians 10:3-6 ESV / 

For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete.

Isaiah 26:3 ESV / 

You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.

Philippians 4:4-9 ESV / 

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. ..

2 Timothy 1:7 ESV / 

For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.

Proverbs 4:23 ESV / 

Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.

Proverbs 17:22 ESV / 

A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.

Based on these scriptures we are to trust God, have a joyful heart, we will receive peace from God when we keep on mind on Him and by staying in His word(Bible) He will help us to understand what is good and what His will is. 

Many people often feel like God doesn't speak to them, but if you aren't spending time reading the Bible how can you?  He speaks to us through His word, it's not the only way He can speak to us.  Sometimes we are looking for a sign and want to hear a clear voice.  God can do that too but are we giving Him the opportunity or are we too busy to even notice when He is speaking to us.  We can get to the point where all we are doing is saying God fix this and not listen to Him.  We need to get alone so we can hear His still small voice.

1 Kings 19:11-13

King James Version (KJV)
11 And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the Lord. And, behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the Lord; but the Lord was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the Lord was not in the earthquake:
12 And after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.
13 And it was so, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood in the entering in of the cave. And, behold, there came a voice unto him, and said, What doest thou here, Elijah?

It's so easy to send a million prayers up to God but not take the time to be still and quiet to hear Him.  We need to take the time to listen.  To trust Him.  Sometimes He will give you a scripture for a certain situation such as Psalm 46:10 He says, "Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth."  Being still can be very hard in our culture where we get what we want instantly.  But God does thing in His own timing and often requires us to wait.

Isaiah 40:31 ESV / 

But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.

Psalm 27:13-14 ESV / 

I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living! Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!

James 5:7-8 ESV / 

Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains. You also, be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.

Proverbs 3:5-6 ESV / 

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

2 Peter 3:9 ESV / 

The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.

Psalm 33:20-22 ESV / 

Our soul waits for the Lord; he is our help and our shield. For our heart is glad in him, because we trust in his holy name. Let your steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us, even as we hope in you.

Isaiah 30:18 ESV / 

Therefore the Lord waits to be gracious to you, and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you. For the Lord is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him.

James 5:11 ESV / 

Behold, we consider those blessed who remained steadfast. You have heard of the steadfastness of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful.

These are just a few examples about waiting on God.  Please take the time today to renew your mind, trust God, and wait.  He will do what He was said He will do but in His timing.


Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Attacks and Protection

If you are doing work to further God's Kingdom and are living to glorify Him expect attacks. 

Ephesians 6:12 - For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high [places].

John 10:10 - The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have [it] more abundantly.

James 1:2 - My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;
John 5:19 tells us, “We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one.”

These are just a few examples of scripture concerning this.  Remember  "Submit to God; resist the devil; and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded." (Jam. 4:7-8)

Matthew 16:18 And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

John 19:11 Jesus answered him, “You would have no authority over me at all unless it had been given you from above. Therefore he who delivered me over to you has the greater sin.”

2Thessalonians 3:3 But the Lord is faithful. He will establish you and guard you against the evil one.

2Samuel 22:3-4 my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold and my refuge, my savior; you save me from violence. 4 I call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised, and I am saved from my enemies.

Matthew 28:18-20 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

Luke 12:32  “Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.

Hebrews 13:5 Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

Isaiah 41:10  fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Isaiah 54:17   no weapon that is fashioned against you shall succeed, and you shall refute every tongue that rises against you in judgment. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD and their vindication from me, declares the LORD.”

Psalm 46:1  God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.

Psalm 91:1-3   He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.  I will say to the LORD, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”  For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence.

Psalm 121:7-8   The LORD will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life. 8 The LORD will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forevermore.

2Timothy 4:18 The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed and bring me safely into his heavenly kingdom. To him be the glory forever and ever. Amen.

Romans 8:28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

Ephesians 1:11  In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will,

Daniel 12:1  “At that time shall arise Michael, the great prince who has charge of your people. And there shall be a time of trouble, such as never has been since there was a nation till that time. But at that time your people shall be delivered, everyone whose name shall be found written in the book.

1John 5:18  We know that everyone who has been born of God does not keep on sinning, but he who was born of God protects him, and the evil one does not touch him.

Psalm 138:7  Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve my life; you stretch out your hand against the wrath of my enemies, and your right hand delivers me.

You are never alone and God is with you.  He will protect you.  Trust in Him. 

Monday, March 11, 2013

His Love

Never doubt God's love.  Here are some wonderful scriptures to remind us!

Romans 8:37-39 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

John 3:16  “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

Romans 5:8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Galatians 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God. who loved me and gave himself for me.

Ephesians 2:4-5 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, evenwhen we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ— by grace you have been saved—

1 John 4:9-11 In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

Zephaniah 3:17 The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.

1 John 4:7-8  Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.  Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.

1 Peter 5:6-7  Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you,  casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.

Job 34:19 who shows no partiality to princes, nor regards the rich more than the poor,  for they are all the work of his hands?

Psalm 86:15 But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.

1 John 3:1 See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him.

Deuteronomy 7:9 Know therefore that the LORD your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations,

Proverbs 8:17 I love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently find me.

Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

John 13:34-35  A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.  By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

Psalm 136:26 Give thanks to the God of heaven, for his steadfast love endures forever.

Romans 5:2-5 Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

Colossians 2:6-7  Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude.

Hebrews 12:28-29 Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe; for our God is a consuming fire.