INTERNET CAFE, a wonderful Christian Women Devotional site is once again showcasing some of our favorite blogs. I have had the opportunity to join hearts with so many dear blogging sisters over the past year and I think that we should all join in on the fun and nominate our favorite writers as a way to encourage and inspire those that encourage and inspire us on a regular basis with their blogs!
Can I take a moment right here to say thank you for stopping by my blog day in and day out. Your comments and encouragement have inspired me and encouraged me so much. God has used many of you to speak into my life with your kind words, always on days that I most needed to be encouraged. God has placed each of you in my path for a reason and I am thankful that our hearts have been connected!
Each of you are a sweet aroma to me ... have you voted yet? I just did!
This week my friend had to go to the hospital for some heart tests. She went in to have a heart cath done to be sure there was no blockage. Before they came to take her for the test, I told her that the only thing that they would find is that she had a beautiful heart. My friend is the most giving, caring and self-LESS person I know, and I just knew that nothing could be wrong with HER heart. (and she got a good report ... no blockage! PTL!)
After hearing her good report, I was thinking about that test that she had done. And I contemplated the condition of MY heart. If my heart was checked out by the Physician,The Great Physician ... that is, what would the report come back as? Would my heart pass all of the tests or would there be some areas of unforgiveness, or sin, or pride found? Would there be some "trust" blockage keeping me from trusting in God?
PROVERBS 3:5 "Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not
lean on your own understanding."
I am thankful for doctors who are trained to correct heart conditions, but I am eternally thankful for the Great Physician who heals every part of my heart. I can trust Him completely, with every breath I take and every beat that my heart beats!
What is the condition of your heart today?
LYNN is hosting THANKFUL THURSDAY this week. Please share your grateful heart with us today by linking up over at her site. May your heart be healthy and beautiful as you rejoice in His goodness today!
The United States was founded on this principle..."All men are created equal." But looking back thru our history, I wonder if this initial vision of equality was broad enough? If it was...then what about the Native Americans and the black slaves brought over from Africa ~ was the vision broad enough to include them? What about women? Have we not been fighting for women's rights all thru history?
Equality...do we, as Americans even understand what this term means? Do we, as Christians understand what this term means? In our day to day interactions do we really show by our actions that we believe people are equal in the eyes of God?
If we believed this, then how much respect do we offer the handicap?
If all people are equal ... then do we give up our pew seat to the homeless man who just came into the church?
GALATIANS 3:28 "There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus."
Before Christ, the Gentiles (male or female) were not to eat with Jews, but then Christ invited them to a great banquet where they all shared equally. (Matthew 22:1-4) The story of Onesimus is a great example of the transformation in the status of slaves. Before Christ, he (Onesimus) was property , but after Christ, he gained the status of a brother to the one who legally owned him. You see Onesimus was the slave of a Christian named Philemon. After running away from Philemon, somehow Onesimus came into contact with Paul. Paul led Onesimus to Christ and his life was transformed, as well as his relationship with his master. Onesimus was now brothers in Christ with Philemon.
When we become one in Christ with our brothers, the love of Christ unites our hearts.
Why do you suppose it was better for Onesimus to be brothers with Philemon rather than a slave?
Wouldn't it have been better for Philemon to have someone to do things for him?
As a slave, certainly one can take care of the physical needs ~ but when you are feeling down and worrying about your future, who do you suppose could lift you up...a slave or a Christian brother?
In last weeks YOUR OPINION MATTERS POLL, I asked the following question: "What caused you to separate from someone who was like a brother or sister?" The top 3 answers were...
1. 40% of those voting, said that they were separated by going in different directions.
2. 20% of those polled said that getting married separated their relationship with each other.
3. Another 20% voted and said that job relocations caused a separation.
Alot of things can separate us from the ones that we love. One of the saddest things to happen in a relationship is when two people become separated from each other because they grow apart. Maybe one treats the other like they are better or more successful than the other. When this happens, we must remember that NOTHING can separate us from the love of God and God does not see your opportunites, or your successes as much as He sees YOU as His child ... He sees you the same way He sees everyone else that calls Him FATHER!
EQUALITY is seeing others the way Christ sees them!
When my kids were younger, it was a treat to leave the house early before school and stop at the donut shop. I can remember whenever we would get those filled donuts, once we bit into them, the creme would ooze out and run down those little faces.
It created a mess.
There is another kind of "oozing" that happens that is far from making a mess. In fact, it is quite the opposite. What kind of an impact in our world could we make if the Holy Spirit "oozed" out of us whenever we spoke or walked by someone?
EPHESIANS 5:18 "Let the Holy Spirit fill and control you."
What is oozing out of you today?
I pray the Holy Spirit will lead and guide our words and actions today.
I remember playing the "red light, green light" game when I was a child. Red meaning we had to stop and stand still, Green meaning we could go, and the first person to reach the line was the winner.
Many times, in this GROWN-UP world that I live in, the stop lights stare me square in the face, but many times I ignore the colors. Have you ever pulled up to a stop sign, and instead of completely stopping, you see there are no other cars around so you slow down and glide right thru the intersection? I see that happening every day.
I also see it happening everyday spiritually! So many times the signs are so clear before my eyes...but yet I ignore them.
GALATIANS 5:25 "Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit."
The Holy Spirit is leading and guiding us, and when we live by the Spirit, we will recognize the red and green lights in our life. God will not put more on us than we can bear, but sometimes when I ignore the signals He puts in front of me, I tend to put more on myself than I can bear.
I NEED THE HOLY SPIRIT!! and I need to be more aware of the warnings He is placing in front of me. I'm looking for the RED light, GREEN light today...how about you?
A few months ago I went to the eye doctor. My husband thought that it was time for me to get my eyes checked. I, on the other hand knew that my vision was just fine, it was the print on the menu's and the newspaper that just kept getting smaller and smaller. (smile)
Have you ever had one of those vision tests? You know, the one where they cover up one eye and then you have to read the letters on the chart waaayyyy across the room. I wish they would make that poster alittle bit closer, I might be able to make out a few more letters!
This was one vision test that I failed. There is another kind of vision test that I often fail as well, and that is when I take my eyes off of Jesus. I don't mean to...but yet I find myself taking back the exact thing that I laid at the altar. If only I could learn to fix my eyes on Jesus ...my vision would become so much clearer!
What do you have your focus on today?
Are your eyes fixed upon your problem or on Jesus?
This week in conversation with a friend, I told my friend who is facing some hard situations to not be afraid. Isn't that funny that I would say that to her? Later on, I was reflecting on our conversation and went back to the statement I made of "Do not be afraid". Usually the first thing people think of when they hear that is that someone or something is scary.
Have you ever noticed that in the Bible, when we read about the angel Gabriel and other angels appearing to people, they always had a message that said, "Don't be afraid!" It makes me wonder...were the angels scary looking? or would we just be startled to see an angel before us?
Once the shock of seeing an angel passed, the news of the message that they brought forth was always good news. Gabriel brought forth good news to Daniel, and to Zechariah and certainly to Mary. The message is always the same .... "Don't be afraid .... Jesus is coming!"
LUKE 1:28"Gabriel appeared to her...'Don't be afraid, Mary', the angel told her, 'for you have found favor with God!' "
Whatever we may face in this life, especially those things that are scary to us, we can find comfort in knowing that Jesus is coming and we do not have to live in fear. Now that is something to be thankful for today!
LYNN is our THANKFUL THURSDAY host this month. Stop by her site and share your grateful heart with us. If you are facing a tough situation today, remember the words of the angel and "Do not be afraid!"
In today's society, we are told that the thing to do is "get ahead" and "do whatever it takes". I would imagine that business greats such as Bill Gates could tell you it takes alot more than that to be successful. For the past 6 years, I have been self employed...now I am NO Bill Gates, but I have learned a thing or two along the way. Wealthy I am not, but successful in my own right I am. (keep reading...)
Success is not always measured by your bank account. Success, many times can be measured by the lessons learned along lifes highway. I have learned alot of lessons on this adventure I call "life". I would not be who I am today without the people that have impacted me along the way. My mentors.
My mentors have not only taught me the ins and outs of the business, but spiritually speaking, I have had some mentors in my life that have shown me what faith, REAL faith is like. They have modeled Jesus Christ in every aspect of their living in front of me, therefore teaching me, molding me and giving me a desire to have an impact on someone else, just like they did for me.
In last weeks YOUR OPINION MATTERS POLL, I polled the readers the following question, "What do you think is critical in a mentoring relationship?" 83% of those voting said that a mentor should be able to be loyal, should love and be able to listen and a mentor should be able to look beyond faults.
Wow. That is a very tall order, now isn't it? Not just anybody can be a spiritual mentor. In the Bible, I think of Elisha and Elijah when I think of a mentoring relationship. In the book of 2 Kings, we can see that committment was the central focus of their relationship.
2 KINGS 2:2"Elijah said to Elisha, 'Stay here; the Lord has sent me to Bethel.' But Elisha said, 'As surely as the Lord lives and as you live, I will not leave you.' "
Elisha is so committed to Elijah, that he would not leave him. But it almost appears that Elijah did not have the same committment as Elisha had. (writers note: I think that Elijah was just testing Elisha's committment) If you read further down, you will see that in the scriptures that two different times, Elijah told Elisha to "Stay" for the Lord was sending Elijah somewhere. But both times, Elisha insisted to stay by his mentors side.
2 Kings 2:11 tells us that with Elisha at Elijah's side, that a chariot of fire and horses of fire appear and the two men become separated, taking Elijah up to heaven in a whirlwind. Elisha has lost his mentor.
Reading this passage today reminded me of two things:
1. To be a mentor, we must be committed.
2. Secondly, that mentors come into our lives in different seasons. Mentors are not meant to be "forever". You can recognize a good mentor, if they teach you to teach others and then they pass the "mentoring" mantle on to you.
The illustration of Elijah and Elisha represent a good mentoring relationship. I wonder if being a spiritual mentor could be like the business motto of todays society....are we "doing whatever it takes?" ...that is ~ to be a good, spiritual mentor to someone. Like Elijah was to Elisha?
I hope you have enjoyed this week's WEDNESDAY WEEKLY WORD. Why not study 2 Kings for yourself and see what God may reveal to you about mentoring someone in your life.
I noticed that the older I get, the harder it is to remember names. I used to have this awesome memory where once I saw an address or dialed a phone number, I could remember it for a very long time. But somehow remembering names comes so difficult for me now.
This is not a good thing to happen to you when you are standing at the church entrance greeting people on sunday morning. It is imperative to be able to remember names. Not only remember names, but remember the correct names. How embarrassing to call someone by the wrong name. Have you ever done that?
Wouldn't it be great if people just had multiple names, that way no matter what we called them, we would not mess it up? God has many names for Himself that He wants us to remember. What I love about the names of God, is that each name tells us something about Who He is! The more names that we can remember, the more His name becomes sweeter and sweeter to us.
YAHWEH-YIREH: The Lord provides
YAHWEH-ROPHI: The Lord Who heals
YAHWEH-NISSI: The Lord our banner
YAHWEH-SHALOM: The Lord is peace
YAHWEH-ROHI: The Lord my shephard
That is just a few of the great names of God. Each one has so much meaning. You can't go wrong by calling Him by name ~ no matter what name you call out, it brings hope, peace, love and forgiveness.
PROVERBS 18:10 "The name of the Lord is a strong fortress; the godly run to Him and are safe."
ROMANS 10:13 "Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved."
Now, I can't think of any better name than the name of Jesus ... can you?
It is a new year, which means that many of us have made some new goals and new committments. It always amazes me how many people at the first of the year make new goals of getting in better shape. But usually within a week or two, the goal is nothing more than a good thought.
So what happens between January 1st and January 15th? Usually something happens that discourages us, or takes our attention away from the very thing that we said we would do.
I was thinking about going to the gym to workout. But all of those machines just scare me. I don't even know how to use half of them! And how stupid am I going to feel when I am running on a treadmill, smack dab in the middle of two strong, toned and young beauties who have been coming to the gym for months now. I'll tell you how I would feel...I would feel old, out of shape and absolutely discouraged. So discouraged, that I probably will not want to go back tomorrow.
Doesn't that describe exactly how we feel sometimes when we feel alittle weak in our spiritual walk? Many times I feel strong, until the enemy throws a dart at me and knocks me right down on my backside. It is then that I feel so out of shape and no matter what I do, I could never ever regain my strength enough to overcome his attack. I feel so discouraged that I just don't know how or if things will ever turn around for me.
To overcome this weak feeling, we must be like that athlete going to the gym every morning. We must be focused, we must perservere, we must set our eyes on the prize and we must keep on keeping on. Nobody can increase their muscle and become strong by going to the gym only one time, but when they go back and go back for more, their persistance and repitition will eventually pay off. Their strength will be increased.
Spiritually speaking, we must allow God to be our personal trainer. We must go back and back again, praying and asking for His strength to cover our weaknesses. With His help, we can become strong, stronger than we were yesterday. Sure from time to time, we are still going to feel weak - but when we persevere and stay focused on God's strength, we can see and feel the difference that our training (our spiritual growth) is making.
"My grace is sufficient for you, My strength is made perfect in weakness." - Jesus Christ(1 Corinthians 12:9)
Have you had your workout today? (Spiritually speaking ... that is).
Today I have shared a devo over at LACED WITH GRACE. I would like to share it with you here as well today. I am honored to be on a panel of writers for LWG, and encourage you to check out the great devotions shared monday thru friday. http://lacedwithgrace.com/
Today, I started the 40 day LOVE DARE challenge with my husband. Many of you are familiar with the ever popular movie "FIREPROOF" which was based on the reunion of hearts when a husband went on a 40 day DARE adventure to love his wife unconditionally.
After 28 years of marriage, you would think that WE would not need to fire proof our marriage. I mean really? After all ... I AM married to a pastor, so certainly we must have it all together. Right?
WRONG! Every relationship needs nurturing and protecting. Even though I can say that I am married to an "almost" perfect man, and we have had an "almost" perfect marriage and we parent 4 wonderful, "almost" perfect children ... it still needs improvement!
We are at a place of an "almost" empty nest and we want to be sure that our marriage is as strong today as it was yesterday and we strive to make it even stronger tomorrow than what it is today. Like anything else, to make something strong, we must put reinforcements in place ...so this explains our quest to go on this 40-day love dare challenge with each other.
As I began to read the introduction of our daily journal, something jumped off of the page to me..."This book is about love. It's about learning and daring to live a life filled with loving relationships. And this journey begins with the person who is closest to you..."
After reading that, something in my spirit turned and turned. I tried to fight it all day, but finally I surrendered to God. Not only was He asking me to strengthen my marriage with my husband but God was challenging me to strengthen my relationship with Him (God)! If this book that I held in my hand suggests that the journey begins with the one closest to me, wouldn't that (shouldn't that!) be my heavenly Father?
So today was the first day for me to grow closer to love. God has DOUBLE DARED me ... Not only to grow in love with my husband all over again, but secondly to understand what God's love really, truly means to me.
1 CORINTHIANS 13:13 "Now these three remain: FAITH, HOPE, AND LOVE. But the greatest of these is love."
He is calling me to a higher level of relationship with Him ... want to join me? I double dog DARE you!!
Have you ever noticed that celebrities that endorse products only associate their name with products that are considered pretty awesome! How insane would it be for someone like Charles Barkley to sign a million-dollar contract with "ugly-shoes-don't-fit-R-us" instead of "Reebok"?
Like celebrities, we want our name associated with the best. God is also concerned about how His name is used...(Leviticus 19:12) "Do not use my name to swear a falsehood and so profane the name of your God. I am Lord."
God is a holy God. He is perfectly pure, good and righteous! Because He is holy, He does not want His name to be associated with anything evil or false or careless. Too many times I think people are careless with how they use the name of the Lord. His name is to be honored and praised!
Today on THANKFUL THURSDAY, I am giving gratitude to my Lord for being a Holy God, One Who deserves and expects my respect.
What are you grateful for today? Link up with us over at LYNN'S today for TT!
Is it really wise for us to expect people to change?
Albert Einstein said it best ... "It is easier to change the nature of plutonium than man's evil nature." Even God recognized man's inability to change:
JEREMIAH 13:23"Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leapard its spots? Neither can you do good who are accustomed to doing evil."
What I love about God is that even in spite of man's weakness and evil nature, He still chooses to invest in us and love us. I have been thinking about how love-less our world seems to have gotten these days. Everyone is running around trying to get ahead, and do what feels good. Seems to me there is less love and grace for people who are blinded by the enemies lies.
If we could just get away from the "failure cycle" that so many of us are living in. You know what I mean, we fail a few times and then we develop a failure identity. We say to ourselves "this keeps happening because I am a loser" or "what can you expect, I'm a loser!" I have the tendency to see the good in people, even when they are slumped deep down in this failure mode.
Feeling like a failure can sometimes come because we do not like the responsibility that has been given us. In last weeks YOUR OPINION MATTERS POLL, I polled the readers the following question: "What do yo dislike having to be responsible for?" The top 3 answers were:
1. 35% of those polled said that they dislike having the responsibility of other people's happiness.
2. 28% voted and said that they dislike the responsibility of making important decisions.
3. 14% voted that picking up after others is a responsibility that they dislike.
We don't have to live a life of regrets. Even when we have responsibilities that stress us out or that cause us to feel like a failure...God doesn't want us to stay the way we are. He doesn't want us to walk thru life in this "failure mode". He wants to help us change.
ROMANS 5:7,8 "Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us,"
God values us EVEN in our failures. No longer are we "losers", but rather treasured children of God! You may not be able to change the spots on a leopard, but with God's help you can change your world...starting with YOU!
I remember (wayyyy back), when I was in grade school - one of the things that was really cool to be able to do is either go outside and lower the flag OR take the chalkboard erasers outside and hit them together until the chalk came loose from them.
I loved smacking those chalkboard erasers. I was thinking about those big chalkboards at school, and how much "power" is in those erasers. Think about it...the board at school can be covered with math problems or vocabulary words and then with one swipe of that eraser - [POOF] - suddenly it is clean for something new to be written.
Isn't our consicence alot like a chalkboard? All of our feelings, our thoughts and even our actions leave marks on our conscience, much like the marks left by the chalk on the chalkboard. Our conscience can feel "dirty" when we choose wrong thoughts or actions, or it can feel clean when we choose correctly (much like a chalkboard that has been erased and washed).
I don't know about you, but sometimes my conscience stays cluttered. Just like that chalkboard, what I need to do is call upon the great eraser ...GOD and He will hear my cry and He will wipe my slate clean. And when I pour my thoughts and actions into Him and doing the things of Him, I will begin to have a clear conscience and promises that I make to Him and to others will be much easier to keep.
ACTS 24:16 "I always try to maintain a clear conscience before God and everyone else."
One of the hardest things to restore is when you have dropped a valuable, cherished piece of glassware and it shatters all over the floor. No matter how hard you try to pick up each piece and put it back together, it is just never the same. It is never good as it was.
Recently, I stood by and watched one of my kids go thru a broken heart. Granted, this is by far not the same thing as a broken glass, but at the same time, the difficulty of putting the pieces back together is the same. Oh how my heart ached to see one of my own in such pain and agony and distress. Words escaped me as to how I could make the pain ease for my loved one. And then I remembered this verse found in Psalms 34:18:
There is no glue, tape, or fix-it remedy to fix a shattered heart like the love and embrace of the One who loves us the most. As a parent, my heart ached so for my child who had a shattered heart, but how much more does our Heavenly Father hurt when we hurt? How much more does He care for us when we feel lost, broken and shattered?
Do you have a shattered heart today? Reach out for the One who is the only One Who can put the pieces back together again.
It never surprises me that whatever it is that I am thinking on...it will surely affect my attitude. If I have not spent time in the Word and meditated upon His goodness, my attitude is usually sour and short. But even when things around me are going kookoo, when I reflect on Gods love, His Word and His goodness .... my spirit is always lifted and my perspective of my circumstances always changes!
Time doesn't seem to be my friend these days. I know that each day we are given 24 hours, seems like it should be enough to accomplish everything that needs to get done. But truth be told, it just isn't.
I keep thinking that eventually time will slow down, and the calendar will not be as full and I will have more time to do the things that I want to do. But weeks go by, months go by and now even years have gone by and still I have not accomplished some of the things that I had hoped to.
TIME...it is such a precious thing. It seems like when I was younger, time couldn't come quick enough and now that I'm older, I can't slow it down enough. It is said that "good things are worth waiting for" and I have found this to be true.
To marinate the finest ribs ... it takes time. To mix and bake the most mouth watering chocolate cake ... takes time. To design and build a magnificient shopping center ... it takes lots of time.
Have you ever given any thought to the time it must take an ant to move a grain of sand? Well, first of all it takes more than time, it takes perseverence. It starts with the ant picking up the grain of sand and moving it, then it picks up another one, and another one - continuing with great anticipation and total determination until the city of sand is built. Sometimes taking a very, very long time.
Sometimes in our spiritual life, we want to hit the "forward" button and skip right to the good stuff. We tend to forget that just like that mouth watering chocolate cake...that in order to get to the good stuff, important steps must be taken and much like the ant building the sand city, we must wait patiently and in time our hard work will pay off.
Today, as I share my heart for THANKFUL THURSDAY, I would like to say how much I am thankful for the time that God has given me to work out the kinks, go thru the ups and downs, and persevere thru this journey I call life. I don't want to rush thru it, I may just miss out on the joys, the learning lessons and the blessings that God has in store for me.
ISAIAH 40:31 "But those who wait upon 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."
So slow down...and wait upon the Lord, for good things are truly worth waiting for!
LYNN is hosting this month and TT can be found HERE today!
Todays scripture that I studied took me to a very familiar story...Mary and Martha.
LUKE 10:8-40"As Jesus and His disciples were on their way, He came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to Him. (39) She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet listening to what He said. (40) But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to Him and asked, 'Lord don't you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!' "
When I read this passage this morning, one thing became so obvious to me...even when Jesus Himself is in the house, there is conflict between people! Conflict is natural between people in their relationships. Look at the most recent IN YOUR OPINION POLL. I asked the readers "What are you most likely to get into a conflict about with your friends or family?" The top 3 answers were:
1. 57% of the readers voted that they would get into a conflict about cleanliness and order, aka Housework!
2. 28% voted and said that they would get into conflict over whose responsibility it was to get things done.
3. Another 28% responded that they would get into conflict over their beliefs.
Wow! 57% admitted that they were also like Martha and Mary!! (I am so relieved that I am not alone.) As I looked at this story this morning and saw that even in the midst of Jesus, there was conflict - I was reminded that just because we are Christians, we cannot assume that we will live conflict-free lives.
Even in a church full of well intentioned Christians, conflicts will come up. Someone will disagree with the leaders. Someone will not see eye to eye. Someone will disagree of the kind of music. Someone will hate the color of the new carpet. Churches are full of people and people are not perfect, therefore to think there is no conflict among people in church is ... well ... just kind of naive thinking.
When people get mad, angry, hurt and maybe even leave the church because of these things, most likely it is because they were looking at things thru their perspective and not really seeing the complete picture. Martha was seeing things from her limited perspective. Her perspective was that when someone important is over - the best way to honor them is with a clean house and a great meal. Basically what she was saying is that work always comes before pleasure.
The fact that Mary did not act according to these values that Martha had upset Martha, and therefore caused conflict. This did not make Martha love Jesus any less, nor did Mary's lack of assistance make her love Jesus any less. It just meant that each of them had a different perspective of how to show love to Jesus.
I can relate so much to this kind of conflict. I am a very OCD person and I stress to the max to have someone over. Everything has to be just so, while on the other hand, my husband has the ability to not let it bother him at all. (If we don't have any groceries in the house to serve, we can just offer them a glass of water ~ that is usually my husbands response to my overstressing.) But you know ...instead of bringing more stress upon myself and worrying about things, maybe I need to have more of a perspective as he does ~ and possibly he (my husband) could try to have more of a perspective as I do. And together we can work thru our conflict and enjoy the very thing that God wants us to enjoy.
So what kind of perspective do you have in your Mary/Martha world?
I'm not sure why, but the other day I found myself humming a very old (and secular) song in my head. I am showing my age now but when I was a teen, one of the bands that I liked was THE GUESS WHO. I remember playing their albums over and over in my bedroom. I knew all of the songs. One of my favorite songs was a song called "Who Are You?"
"Whoooo are you? Who Who Who Who."
"Whoooo are you ? Who Who Who Who." "Who are you? Who are you? Who are you-ooh?"
I got thinking about the words of that song, even though it was not singing of God, I wondered to myself if God ever asked that question of us. Who are you?
Do we know God? I mean really know him to the point that He can say He knows us as well. Or are we a "going-thru-the-motions" Christian? ... one who claims to be a Christian on Sunday but lives like the devil on Monday morning. Is what comes out of our mouth truly what is in our hearts? Do we act one way in front of our family and another when we are around our friends?
Sometimes the influence of those that we spend time with can alter who we really are. People are always trying to tell others how to act, what to say and if what they are doing is wrong or right. The demands are great that our peers put on us...but who are we going to listen to? People or God?
God wants us to be all we can be in Him. He is urging us to put behind the old and put on the new. He wants us to be Christ-like...that means resemble Him in what we say and think and not anybody else. God wants to know us intimately ~ He wants to be closer than a brother.
ROMANS 8:31"If God is for us, who can be against us?"
Basically God said He wants to know us and He wants us to get to know Him. So what would you say if God asked you the question ..."Who are you?"
I love being around young couples who have fallen in love. They busily plan their wedding day and dream of the life that is to come. It seems no matter what ...they are always talking about the other person, lovingly and passionately. Everything in their life seems to point to the other person and they look forward to talking or seeing one another again. And when something comes up between them, they do whatever is necessary to make things right again.
This describes the kind of love that the Bible talks about - THE GREATEST COMMANDMENT - Love the Lord your God with all of your heart, soul, mind and strength. In other words, love our God even with more passion, more emotion and more depth than that someone special that I described in the first paragraph of this post.
Is God the love of your life?
1 JOHN 2:5"Those who obey God's word truly show how completely they love Him. That is how we know we are living in Him."
I want my love to not only be in my heart, but spoken from my lips. How can I not give God praise, adoration and the love that is due Him? May everything I speak of or think of point to Jesus Christ. The lover of my soul!
How can you express your love to your Heavenly Father today?
Just in case you missed my devo earlier this week over at the AT THE WELL homepage, I wanted to share it with you here as well. I cannot think of a better topic to share on this NEW YEARS DAY than a challenge to make this new year a year of making "quiet time" with God a priority.
I can remember when my children were very small, we had a designated "quiet time." This was a time of the day that the younger children would take their badly needed nap and the rest of us would just get still and quiet for an hour. Whether it was coloring or reading a book or laying on our back staring at the ceiling ... ALL of us would get quiet.
As our children grew and our schedules became more hectic, that time of "quietness" and "being still" faded from our lives. How unfortunate that this also describes our quiet time with the Lord.
LAMENTATIONS 3:23 "Great is His faithfulness; His mercies begin afresh each day." (NLT)
Each day is a new day with Him, and why we do not take time to be still in His presence each day just baffles me. In today's hustle and bustle of life, it is so easy to justify not having time for daily devotions or family devotions. But really, with a little bit of creativity and discipline, I believe that every family can take time to become quiet before God.
If having family devotions is difficult for you because of your schedules or because your children will not sit still long enough...I suggest you shake it up a bit! That's right ... who says family devotion time has to be done around the kitchen table?
When driving around town...pop in a bible story tape and ask your younger children questions about the story. Make family devotional time a LEARNING EXPERIENCE!
Gather the family around the den and play a game ... after reading a bible story, toss a ball of yarn to a person and ask a question, when they answer it correctly, they toss the ball of yarn to another person. continue until someone cannot answer a question. Make family devotional time FUN!
Got teens? Bring your family devotional to where they are at...text a devotion and ask a thought provoking question that everyone has to text the answer back. Or post your family devotional on facebook. Make family devotional time UNIQUE!
There are ton of ideas (and a lot of great family devotional books) available to help initiate your family quiet time. Really HOW you do it is not as important as JUST doing it!
Sharing God's love and truth thru devotional writing here and across the web. My heart is to bring hope,love and forgiveness to those that feel broken and lost. I was once broken and lost but I am so glad that God didn't let me stay that way. Come along with me on this adventure of faith and may you also find the hope and love that you are longing for! :)