This is my Bible

This is my Bible. There are many like it, but this one is mine.

My Bible is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it as I must master my life.

Without my Bible, I am useless. I must read my Bible true. I must gain more wisdom than my enemy who is trying to kill me.

My Bible is the word of God. Thus, I will learn it as a brother. I will learn my weaknesses, its strength, its parts, its truths, its stories and its peace. I will keep my Bible ready, so that I am ready. We will become part of each other. We will …

Before God, I swear this creed. My Bible and I are the defenders of the truth. God is the master of our enemy. Jesus is the savior of my life.

So be it, until there is no enemy, but peace!

(Inspired by the rifleman’s creed)
Monica Joslin

As for me and my house….

A friend shared a testimony with me last night that reminded me of the joy of the Lord. It was an odd place to find joy, as it usually is on our journey with the Lord. She found it in the midst of her sins. She found it as the Spirit revealed to her that God was not cursing her but sin was. She found it when the Spirit showed her what all God has brought her through even though her own actions had put her there. How true is that for all of us! What a wonderful place to find joy! Right in the midst of God’s grace and mercy.

I turned to Joshua 24 for my bible study this morning. Of course, again as God often does in our journey, this chapter fits perfect with the heartfelt testimony I heard last night. Joshua is speaking to Isreal and prophecing what God has instructed him to say. God reminded Israel, not of the sins of their fathers in this chapter, but of what all God has brought them through. It is quite the list and I encourage you to read it for yourselves.

Even with this hefty list of grace and mercy by our glorious Father, some still seemed hesistant to fully live for the Lord. They had a whole lifetime (and generations before them) of serving other gods, after all. Some habits are hard to break. You find comfort in them although they hurt you in the end. That instant comfort becomes your standard operating procedure and even though it isnt a comfort that lasts it is hard to give up. Today, there are people who serve actual gods, but we can also recognize other gods as those vices we hold on to so tightly. The ones God instructs us to avoid or do away with but we say no. Or we say maybe, in time I will let it go. Or we try and just fail at it. It is those things that convince us that we cant come to God until we give them up. That is how we stay serving them because we believe that lie. Let me tell you some truth here and now….you come as you are and God will do the rest.

In Joshua 24:15 he states that maybe it doesnt feel right to serve the Lord, but then who are you serving instead? What has your other “gods” done for you that is as everlasting as what God has and will do for you? What did those “gods” do for the generations that came before you? He urges Israel to choose, once and for all, who they will serve. You see, he presented all the goodness and grace of God even though they didnt see it for themselves and even though they most certainly did not earn it. Thank God grace is a gift and not something we have to work for! Thank God His faithfullness outweighs and outlasts ours!

Joshua then stated a very well known line that many of us know and one of my favorites. “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” What a powerful statement! He stated the truth, told them to make a choice, and then proclaimed where he stood on the matter. No waivering. What I love and adore even more is that he didnt make this statement just for himself. It was for his whole family as well. See, our proclamation of faith and living it out has a ripple effect. It ends generations of god followers and turns them into God followers.

The choice is yours today. I pray that the Spirit reveals to you all He has done for you just as He did for my dear, sweet friend. Just as He did for me. Who do you choose?

I can tell you my choice. As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.

Isaiah 1:18
“Come now, let us settle the matter,” says the LORD. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.”

Joshua 24:15
But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.”

How great is Your faithfulness

Can I just tell you how faithful God is? I was sitting here reading Genesis 48 when Jacob is passing down God’s blessing of Abraham to Joseph and his two sons. In verse 15 Jacob states “God which fed me all my life long unto this day.” The commentary I read on this says this could be translated as “The God who shepherded me my whole life.”

Now, to understand how this shows God’s great faithfulness to Jacob instead of Jacob’s great faithfulness to God then you must read Jacob’s journey. He messed up just like we all do and more than a time or two. Some of his disobedience or even his partial obedience led to some pretty big consequences. Still, God was faithful in His promise.

Jacob had a heart for God and boy did God have a heart for Jacob. That same God has that same heart for you. How do I know? He sent His Son to die for you. So that you only must believe in Him and His crucifixion and resurrection to be saved. Not just saved from an eternal life in hell but to be saved from yourself. To be saved from conforming to this world if you will just invite Him in to transform your heart.

A changing heart is proof of your salvation in Christ. A heart turned towards Him is a great treasure and God will be faithful to it! He will not leave you. Not even in your consequences. He will walk you through it and keep showing you the way you should go.

Being saved doesnt mean being made to act perfectly. Being saved means you are not condemned when you fall short of righteousness. It means being washed clean again and again with new grace and mercies every day. It means so much more than just saying “I believe.” Being saved is falling in love with Him. I mean head over hills, cant stop talking about Him, thinking about Him, figuring out what pleases Him kind of love.

Why love Him like that? Oh friend! Because He first loved us! Even in our sin. Even when our hearts were not turned to Him. It is HIS faithfulness that gets us through this life. Our faithfulness to Him could never compare to His over us, even on our best day. Oh, what a love we have!! Cant you feel it? Dont you want to? God is calling. You know He is. Yes….you. He is calling you. Wont you answer?

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

Lamentations 3:22-23
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning, great is Your faithfulness.

Psalm 86:15
But you, my Lord, are a God of compassion and mercy; you are very patient and full of faithful love.

Deuteronomy 7:9
Know now then that the Lord your God is the only true God! He is the faithful God, who keeps the covenant and proves loyal to everyone who loves him and keeps his commands — even to the thousandth generation!

1 John 4:19
We love because he first loved us.

The Great Physician

When I came to Jesus, like truly surrendered to Him, I was still not in a good place. I didn’t become obedient or get in step with the Spirit immediately. God took me through baby steps. He didn’t overwhelm me with needing to be perfect all at once. He told me to come just as I am.

My first act of obedience was to attend church. Do you understand that means I was attending church while I was still very deep in sin? Honestly, I was in and out with my attention while the preacher spoke. I would pick up on a few things here and there that would convict me pretty hard. Sometimes I wanted to walk out and not come back but God kept me there. I was also listening to a few preachers online. I kept hearing over and over “read your bible”.

That was my next step in obedience. I didn’t understand a word of it. I would hear this small voice say “Don’t give up. Dig deeper.” So, I googled my questions and found The Enduring Word commentaries. I also learned how to pray for wisdom because God always offers wisdom when we ask. Slowly, I started to understand. It was like a blinder was coming off my eyes or like I was learning a new language. I was amazed at what was being revealed to me. Amazed and convicted. So convicted! I was still deep in sin, remember? Reading Gods word for myself made it so much more personal. It was God himself showing me all I had done. It was Him sending life changing conviction. It was Him teaching me His grace, love, mercy, and forgivenss along the way. He changed me. He loved me right where I was and He started, sin by sin, tearing them down. He is still at work on me today and will be for the rest of my time on earth.

I am so thankful for that first step. I am so thankful for a church that didnt push me away due to my sin. A true Godly church will never turn you away when you need them the most. Church is for the “sick” and God shows up as our Great Physician. We are all sick. Maybe different levels with different devils…but we are all in need of our Great Physician. If you are in the middle of feeling scorned by a church, lost in the bible, or just scared to even try at all….Don’t give up. Dig deeper. Friend, it is so worth those first wobbly steps into your walk with Him. So many of us have been right where you are. Reach out. I am here to take your hand along the way. God is even more present than any earthly hand you could have. Let Him steady your steps and put you on a path everlasting.

Mark 2:17
On hearing this, Jesus said to them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

To those who are weary:

Obedience and submission. Two words from the bible in which people have problems. They sound harsh to some ears, but I have to let you in on something; No matter how harsh it sounds you are already being obedient and submitting to something. Think about it. What moral code drives you? Is it what feels good to you? Well, that could change on a whim. Is it what pleases others? That is going to change quite often as well. Is it just simply doing good things or “living your truth?” How do you know what is good or what is true? The world? Your inner thoughts or vibrations? Guess what…yep…all those are fluid and change as the wind blows. BUT you are obedient and submit your life to that ever changing belief. How tired you must be. How burdened and wore out you must be from trying to figure out the right path that may change tomorrow, next month, or next year. That seems pretty harsh to me. Just look at the world around you. Is there peace amongst the choas or are you being thrown around the ship with no anchor?

Now, go back and read what obedience and submission looks like in the bible. Read how it frees you. Read how it strengthens you. Read how submitting your life to Jesus as your Savior, repenting your sins, and obeying His way leads you to peace in the choas and anchored securely to a never changing guide for your life and a glorious eternity ahead of you.

Do you want to submit to the ever changing laws of the world that is ready to cancel you when you fall short of it? Or do you want to submit to the never changing law of God and receive grace, mercy, and forgiveness when you fall short of it?

The choice is yours. Free will is a God given right when it comes to your salvation. His arms are open to you now.

“Come home, come home;
you who are weary come home;
earnestly, tenderly, Jesus is calling,
calling, O sinner, come home!”-Will L. Thompson

Romans 12:2
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Proverbs 14:12
There a way that seems right to a man,
but its end is the way to death.

1 John 2:17
The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.

The sexual intention

God never intended for our focus, lives, or decisions to be governed by our sexual desires. Our identity was never meant to be based on our sexual desires. Sex is not a sin when it is between husband and wife alone. That makes it pretty simple to discern whether or not to have sex with someone or who to have sex with. It’s not complicated or confusing. Are you in a marriage with the opposite sex as stated in the bible (old and new testament, by the way)? If yes, then it is not sin. No? Then it is sin. No confusion. Plain and simple. May not always like it but that’s the truth.

But you know what else is the truth? The bible also states you can be washed clean of that sin just like all the others! We come to Jesus, choose Him as our Savior, repent our sins, and He gets to work on changing the desires of our heart to match His. Nothing confusing about that either! Praise Jesus for His grace and mercy and transforming power!

1 Corinthians 6:9-11
Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. ❤

Following Him

Being saved by Jesus is more than just believing He exists. Being saved means following Jesus. You make Him Lord of your life which means you allow Him to change you. Which makes you not want to stay in your sin and live for Him and His ways instead. This first verse I will post brought me back to Jesus and changed the course of my life and eternity. I dont miss who I was and I look forward to always transforming into the woman God means for me to be. That is how I “live my best life.” By not having my eyes on things of this world but on things of heaven. I am not perfect at it but it is my target in life. That is where I aim. By looking to whats ahead and forgetting what is behind. As Robert Frost once said about taking the road less traveled “it has made all the difference.”

Where are you? Are you only a believer of Jesus or a follower? Your answer makes all the difference.

If it is the first one, and that scares you….it is not too late to change your path. You can take the first step today. You can say your true salvation prayer and ask Jesus to be the true Lord of your life. Then get in your bible and church to learn what all that means. God has sent people in your life to help point you to Him. If that person is me, please dont hesitate to message me. I would love to talk to you about our Jesus. Don’t let this conviction pass away from you. One day it will stop.

Matthew 7:21
Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.

Philippians 3:13
Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and reaching forward to what is ahead,

Colossians 3:2
Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.

John 10:27
My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.

Matthew 16:24
Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.

Matthew 4:19
And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.”

Matthew 9:9
As Jesus passed on from there, he saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax booth, and he said to him, “Follow me.” And he rose and followed him.

It may not feel ok…

Sometimes we go through some things that are stressful and not sure what the outcome will be. We tell ourselves that it will all be okay, and in the end it will be. But that doesnt help how totally un-okay it feels right now. It doesnt guarantee that the outcome will feel okay. It may be the case that we will land in “So-Not-Okayville” for a while. But this I know is true…God will be there. He will walk us through it. In all of our worst case scenarios, God is there. Yes, we can pray and hope for the best case scenario, but if it goes the other way then the disappointment could be so great that we may try to be angry at God if we think He is supposed to only allow easier paths to happen. Even if the worst happens, pray to remember God is bigger than our worst and He has a plan that we cannot see. Rejoice in the strength God will provide. Lean on that strength. Remember whose Spirit we are made of when our reactions want to go south. Recall that the testing of our faith is not meant to beat us down but to build us up. Trust God’s plan even if we have no clue what it is or where it will take us or why it is going the way it is. Allow yourself to feel what you feel but take those feelings to the One who made them for Him to control. It may not feel okay, but we will be okay. We can still learn to be content in all circumstances.

Joshua 1:9
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.

Ephesians 6:10
Finally my brethern, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might.

Romans 8:18 and 28
For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to His purpose.

Philippians 4:4-8

4 Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.

5 Let your gentleness be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.

6 Be anxious for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

But God…

Are you looking for someone to love you? To fully love you even when you fail? Even when you hurt them? Someone willing to love you on your worst day? To not abandon you but stay by your side wanting to guide you to a better way? Someone willing to listen to every word you have to say and give you what you need in return?

Are you looking for that in the people of this earth? I once did as well, and there are times I still expect it. But those expectations are far too high for anyone here on earth. Your mom/dad can’t do it. Your husband/wife can’t do it. Your boyfriend/girlfriend can’t do it. Your friends can’t do it. Not your preacher or church family either. We are all too flawed to be that constant source.

But God can. He pours out His love so freely. He instructs a heart that is turned to Him. He looks down on you pouring out His love. And when you fall He says “Yeah, I saw that. Hurt didn’t it? That’s ok. We are going to work on that. I love you. I love you. I love you.” And it just keeps going. The more you immerse yourself in His love and learn about Him in His word (bible) then the less you expect out of others and the more you start to BE someone who listens, loves, and doesnt judge someone’s fall but picks them up and leads them back to God instead.

Oh, what a world this would be if we all would accept the love of God as enough, rejoice in it, and stop being so hurt by what people of this earth can’t fulfill. People were never meant to be our everything.

But God….

Joshua 1:9
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

Ephesians 3:20
Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us,

1 Chronicles 16:11
Seek the Lord and his strength; seek his presence continually!