Are you living prolonged days or a shortened life?

Proverbs 10:27 states “The fear of the LORD prolongs days; but the years of the wicked shall be shortened.” I read that thinking to myself, so what about the Christian people that died young? What about the elderly that never gave their life to God and lived evil as ever? As I pondered these questions my thoughts went to my life before I started living for God. I was living but I wasn’t living with the true fear (awe, respect, admiration) of the Lord and His love for me. That was SO many years that I missed out on seeing the blessings that living with respect for the Lord provides. The earlier in our lives that we reach that respect for the Lord is prolonged years that we have on earth to live for Him and see the blessings from doing so. On the other hand, the longer we remain in our wicked ways then that is a shortened time we have on earth of living with respect for our Lord and seeing the blessings from doing so. A man decides to receive the Lord on his death bed has done a wise thing for sure, but didn’t get to see any life with the blessings of his time on earth living for God. His time on earth living for God is short. It isn’t about the duration of your time on earth, but the duration of your time on earth seeing the blessings of a God feared life. And for those that have tasted that life, you know exactly what the man on his death bed missed out on. Those that haven’t tasted that life…what are you waiting on? Time is short! Start living your life for Him today and I promise you will not regret a day of it!

Letting anger go

With all that is going on lately I find myself getting angry a lot. I even find myself disliking people over it. I have been praying for the peace we are offered as followers of Christ. I have been reciting “God turns all bad to good for those that love Him” to try to make myself feel better. But you never feel better if you don’t truly believe it. And you can’t truly believe it if you don’t understand why you can believe it. This morning was my “aha” moment. That moment God impresses His word on your heart one more time and you finally understand. God doesn’t allow evil to exist without reason. All of this is to fulfill a purpose. His purpose. Why should I be angry at something that He is allowing to fulfill His purpose. Just because I don’t understand it doesn’t mean I should get angry at it. I don’t understand why He stops the ocean where He does. I don’t understand why He makes a sunrise and sunset so amazingly beautiful. He certainly doesn’t need my understanding to do His work and I don’t need to understand His reasoning to trust Him. I know God is good. He is love. God will not allow the storm to rage one second longer than required to fulfill His purpose. This is why we can live without fear. This is why we can live with peace. This is why we don’t have to be the loudest in the room. We simply live as the word directs and trust in Him. Simple. It is the enemy that complicates things. So, when we feel the anger build, and we feel the complications of life start to weigh us down…remember the simplicity that is our Saviour. Remember His offer in Matthew 11:28-30: Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. Receive His offer and live in restful peace. Oh, how He loves us! Put your trust in Him today and everyday!

Blessings of obedience

An obedient life is a blessed life. Those are words that, once upon a time, I never would have said. I was a rebel without a cause. Truly. No cause. If you told me to do something, even if I was just about to do it anyway, then I would not do it just because you told me to. In fact, I would then try all the other ways of doing it just to prove you wrong even though your way was the way I was going to go to in the beginning. The enemy sure knew how to train me to be disobedient to God. As I studied bible verses this morning in Psalm 119:45-47, it made me thankful for the obedience God has taught me over the past few years. These verses spell out our blessings of obedience.

“And I will walk at liberty: for I seek thy precepts. I will speak of thy testimonies also before kings, and will not be ashamed. And I will delight myself in thy commandments, which I have loved.”

When we study and follow God’s word then we begin to feel the freedom from being a slave to sin, or we “walk at liberty”. We have all heard the phrase “oh, what a tangled web we weave when we first begin to lie and deceive.” We can weave ourselves into a tangled mess when sin becomes our choice in handling things. One sin requires another and another until we are so buried we see no way out. But that first step of obedience to God immediately starts to dissolve the web and brings in the light to show us our way to freedom. When we choose God’s way instead of sin’s way then we walk with liberty, free from the bondage sin puts us under.

We will be able to speak our testimonies unashamed. This can seem very daunting at first. “I don’t want to offend anyone.” Or “People will think I am a Jesus freak or super religious and not want me around.” But when you speak the truth in God’s way it won’t always hit like a hammer over the head but as a bandage for the heart. Truth is truth. Some may feel conviction and be offended. Some may decide they don’t want you around. I know this because I was once one of them. There were many people that would say things that would offend me. I believed in Jesus and that was good enough so leave me alone. But I certainly was not living for Jesus and many Christians could see that. While I was offended at the time, little did I know the seeds were being planted. Seeds that help lead me to where I am today. The more obedient we become in sharing the truth then we will no longer be ashamed in doing so. We begin to see the importance of speaking truth no matter who we are around, no matter what questions asked, and no matter the situation we are in. This does not mean we must enter every argument we are invited to, or to even argue at all. Simply speak the truth. The other person can either take it or leave it but I can guarantee you will leave a seed behind.

We will delight in His commandments. Obedience may seem dreadful. It may seem impossible. Being perfect is very much impossible. That is why we, as Christians, are so thankful for God’s grace and mercies that are new everyday. But when you fall in love with the Lord…when you have that special one on one moment with Our Savior and you truly fall in love with the Lord then you delight in pleasing Him. Think about when you first fall in love with someone. How much does it delight you to do something that makes them happy? And the best part about pleasing our Father is His way makes our way straighter. His way puts us in position for a light yoke. His way leads all bad to turn to good. The things that please Him actually benefit our lives! You are free to completley fall in love with Him. To completely surrender to that love because His love will never leave you.

Life isn’t easy. Even the Christian way isn’t always a bed of roses. But when you handle those thorns with the weapon of obedience secure in your heart then the blessings will abound compared to the alternative. Don’t you want to be free today? Take that first step. May God’s love and mercy be felt by you today. In Christ name, Amen

Be humble. Be kind.

Humility. Be humble. Be kind. God does not call us to be prideful. He does not call one to be more than the other. He calls us to be humble and serve one another. Oh, the problems we could avoid if we would all just be humble and serve. God sent His son not as a king riding in on a stallion. Although, that’s what He deserved. He sent His son to this world as a baby that grew to a man riding a donkey. This Man saved our souls in the worst way possible and He rode in on a donkey. He served His people. He washed the feet of His disciples although it was close to the hour of His tortured death. He lived. He died. He lived again. All the while humble. Kind. And not a pride filled bone in His body. Jesus was here not just to save our souls but to give us a living, breathing example of how we are to carry out the words of His Father. So, before we make our next social media post ask yourself….am I humble? Am I kind? Does this show love for my neighbor? Or is this feeding my pride? Is this trying to make a point that I am right and you are wrong? You want to be a part of the change? Make the decision today to walk with Jesus. Live like Jesus. Let Him change YOU. Jesus is right. His way is right. Amen.

People react

People react from fear.

Tell everyone who is discouraged, Be strong and don’t be afraid! God is coming to your rescue Isaiah 35:4

People react from hurt.

See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled. Hebrews 12:15

People react from impatience.

I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD.
Psalm 27:13-14

People react from wanting revenge.

Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord. Romans 12:19

People react from confusion.

If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. James 1:5

People react to foolish people.

If a wise man has an argument with a fool, the fool only rages and laughs, and there is no quiet. Proverbs 29:9

People react from wordly reactions.

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. Romans 12:2

People react from anger.

Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger;
James 1:19

Is this where you want to be?

If Jesus came right now. Right this second. Where would He find you? Would you be right in the middle of that sin you like to justify? Be strong and run your race well my friends. We don’t know when the hour will be, but we do know that hour will come. Pray over the sins you justify and let them go. Perfection is impossible to achieve, but you have to set your aim on progress. The sin you justify is the hardest to surrender. The first step is the simple acknowledgement of it. Get in agreement with God about it. Yes, Lord, I know this is a sin. I know it needs to end. I know I need You to end it. Pray over it constantly and watch God work.
Lord, I pray over these sins that attach and we try to justify it as ok. Your word clearly lays out where sin lies and we come in agreement with You today. Search our hearts, oh Lord, and remove what is not from You. Thank You for Your love, grace, and forgiveness while we work with You for change. We pray in Jesus name, Amen

Trust in Him

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13

Trust in Him. How do you find joy and peace even when all things around you are spinning out of control? Trust in Him. Is this always easy, no. It gets faster though. The peace comes quicker each time you remember to Trust in Him. A new habit is formed and instead of drowning in the sea, you reach out and grab Jesus’ hand. Trials in life are not a test. It is endurance training. It creates muscle memory for your heart. The storm rages…how quick will you go back to your training and Trust in Him. You’ll train until it is an automatic response and then you’ll train some more to keep the endurance you have gained. Through this training you find peace and joy. So much so that it makes hope overflow from you to others. So, let things spin out of control. You were never in control to begin with. Stand up, throw your arms out and spin around in joy! You have the Holy Spirit as your personal trainer. The cost? Just believe…and…Trust in Him.

Put on love

“Set your hearts on things above.” Life can feel so heavy, right? All the worries and stresses, but God’s word says…set your hearts on things above where Christ is because when He returns we will also return with Him in glory. We already know that we win. Evil will someday end.
“Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature”…”Rid yourselves of all such things” Remove them from YOU, from YOUR lips. His word does not say to remove them from the world. It does not say to remove them from someone else. That is HIS job. You go to work with God on removing those things from YOUR life. Don’t judge and condemn others. Let your life be an example of what Jesus can do. They will want what you have and you will have your chance to tell them the goodness of Jesus.
“Bear with each other”…”Forgive as the Lord forgave you”…”And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity” Love!!! We must love each other above all other commandments. When you love then everything else falls into place. Love God first and foremost, learn who He is by having a true relationship with Him, and pray for healing from all of your hurt and pain so you can learn to love as He does. He loves immediatley, unconditionally, and graciously. Show your fellow man a little mercy. We are all in this life together. Maybe in different seasons, different backgrounds, and different circumstances. But loved and created by the same loving God, saved by the same Jesus, and ministered to by the same Holy Spirit.