Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
This mug sits on my window sill and it reminds me of so many things. First let me tell you the story of this mug. The story of the mug is short but the lessons I find within are powerful for me. One day last year we were preparing the soil for our garden and I was trying to decide what to spread the nutrients with; I eventually decided to use one of our coffee mugs. When we finished the garden it may have started to rain or maybe I was just tired but for whatever reason I left the mug. A couple days went by and I didn't even think to go back for the mug, honestly I had forgotten about it. Maybe because we had so many I didn't even notice one was gone. My husband had come across it and decided to use it as target practice; I guess it was just something to do, maybe he took some irritations out on it and didn't think we would really miss one mug. Several days later when he asked me to come see how the seeds had sprouted in the garden I was shocked to discover pieces of the mug in the dirt. Pieces are what remained of the mug. I didn't get a chance or just didn’t feel like picking up the pieces that day so there they lay. A few days passed and when my daughter came inside she tells me “I've got something for you” she hands me my mug. She said “see I fixed it for you, some pieces I couldn't find so I just made them. You could still use it if you needed to, right?” I said yes of course, thank you. I was so surprised, she hadn’t even known it was out there broken. I had been disappointed by leaving it out there in the first place, that it had been broken and I had not picked up the pieces. She had no idea how much this gift would minister to me.
This mug reminds me of my own life and the lives of those I have known. When I look at this mug several things come to mind.
1. We are used by God in many ways
- This was not just a “coffee” mug. The label I had given it didn’t limit the actual possible uses of the mug.
- Through our own perceptions we limit ourselves and others, God doesn’t limit us.
1 Corinthians 12:14-27 For the body is not one member, but many. If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling? But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him. And if they were all one member, where were the body? But now are they many members, yet but one body. And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you. Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary: And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness. For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked: That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another. And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it. Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.
- We have to remain aware that we are all members of the body of Christ, we have different places within that body, are used in more than one way and all are important.
- Do we value every member in the body of Christ? Are we more concerned with the place others fill or are we examining our own?
2. What we pour out from within us impacts others
- Are we helping people or hurting people? Are we nurturing or poisoning?
-I’ve read many stories of people who planned suicide but did not follow through because of a smile or kind word of a passing stranger.
Proverbs 18:21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.
-Are we speaking life into others or are we using our words to break others unaware that we are pushing them closer to physical or spiritual death?
3. People often pass by, leave or forget the broken
Luke 10:30-35 And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side. But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him, And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee.
- Are we like the priest and Levite that saw the man and walked away, are we wounding others and leaving them half dead or do we have compassion like the Samaritan and help?
4. Jesus doesn’t forget or leave the one, He sees the value
Luke 15:4-7 What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it? And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost. I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.
Isaiah 53:6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.
-Don’t be so quick to dismiss the broken. Jesus sees the broken and knows they can be used.
2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
- We should pray for people and lead them to Jesus. Is there anyone we have forgotten or left behind? Will we help pick up their pieces or leave them broken?
5. We can all become broken
-Our brokenness can be the result of our own sin or sins of others committed against us.
This is what David speaks to God after he had gone to Bathsheba
Psalm 51:8-10 Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice. Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.
Proverbs 15:13 A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance: but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken.
-Times of brokenness often leads to growth. Have we forgotten lessons we’ve learned in our own times of brokenness?
6. Our own attempts at fixing the broken will be incomplete
-Broken people can be fragile and need to see the love of God through us.
1 John 3:17-18 But whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.
- Don’t break others in hope it will strengthen them, God may allow brokenness to come along in their lives so He can strengthen us but we need to leave that job to Him.
-Broken people need compassion and to be reminded of their value. We can’t fix everything but we should help where we can.
- Is our love for others just words spoken or are they shown true through our actions?
7. The broken can still be used
-Many in the Bible were used of God while broken, their experiences are still being used to teach of God’s power.
1 Corinthians 1:27 But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;
-Are we viewing the broken as useless or used for God’s glory?
8. Jesus will always put the pieces back together
Isaiah 61:1-3 The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.
-This speaks of Jesus taking BROKEN people and making them HEALED.
• the captives
• those in darkness
• the prisoners
• those who are mourning and grieving
• the poor
• the blind
• the oppressed
Through the salvation of Jesus all broken people are made into:
-trees of righteousness (A symbol of stability and strength, this describes the new condition of God's people.)
-the planting of the Lord (Planted by Christ never to be rooted out, this gives us soundness and stability.)
-that he might be glorified (This is the means by which God may reveal himself to the world.)
-Are we trusting Jesus to mend the broken people we know?
-Are we aware of the broken pieces within our own life or are we carrying them around instead of giving them to Jesus?
The Broken Vessel
Crash! The vessel Hit the floor
Broken in pieces, Whole no more.
She knelt to pick The pieces up
“Oh No!”, she cried, “I won’t give up!”
…Then saw the pieces Weren’t all there
Yet stayed her task To mend…repair.
Her heart the vessel Now so broken,
Once more she knelt With words unspoken
And gave the pieces All to God
Her mending skills Had proven flawed.
With folded hands And eyes downcast,
She prayed one day Her pain would pass
Her heart was never Quite the same
Though patched, it seemed Some cracks remained.
She called out “Lord, What shall I do?
I’m still not whole I trusted You!”
He answered her, “I left some cracks
Once shattered You can ne’er go back.”
“My Child,” He said, “I thought you knew
The cracks are where Your light shines through.”
Galatians 5:7-10 Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth? This persuasion cometh not of him that calleth you. A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump. I have confidence in you through the Lord, that ye will be none otherwise minded: but he that troubleth you shall bear his judgment, whosoever he be.
For more than a week after reading this passage it would come to mind and became a question about my own walk. What happened? “Ye did run well” That was me, I had ran well until something caused me to stumble. It was easy to point the finger at situations or persons and say they were at fault, to allow that to be an excuse or reason to act out to give into being a person I no longer recognized. If I were to be completely honest with myself I knew I had nobody to blame but myself I went that direction. James 1:13-15 Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.
It’s easy to blame others and make excuses for evil thoughts and wrong actions. Excuses include: (1) It’s the other person’s fault; (2) I couldn’t help it; (3) everybody’s doing it; (4) it was just a mistake; (5) nobody’s perfect; (6) the devil made me do it; (7) I was pressured into it; (8) I didn’t know it was wrong. A person who makes excuses is trying to shift the blame from himself to something or someone else. A Christian, on the other hand, accepts responsibility for his wrongs, confesses them, and asks God for forgiveness.
Even with my mind filled of all the excuses for my actions my heart remained troubled because I knew the truth. The truth was I knew right and I didn’t obey God. I had allowed myself to focus on troubles and while it was good to reflect on them to learn from and release them to God, I had in fact allowed them to consume me and control me. Galatians 5:24-26 And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.
Did my actions reflect Christ or His character, would my example result in a desire for others to turn toward Him? Sadly I know the answer is no. I made excuses and didn’t crucify my fleshly desires instead I walked my own way and not in the Spirit. I had allowed pride, vengeance and excuses to creep in. To get them out I had to confess it as sin and ask God’s forgiveness. I had forgotten who I was and who I belonged to, I am Christ’s but I hadn't reflected anything more than fleshly attitudes and desires. I had thought wrong, I had done wrong, I had fallen. My focus seemed to quickly turn from God’s forgiveness and moved forward to self-condemnation, shame, depression, and almost defeat.
Then I heard a message that reminded me life is a spiritual battle and I remembered that not only am I a child of God but I’m a soldier of Jesus Christ. 2 Timothy 2:3-4 Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.
There was my answer, life would be tough and I’d likely continue to endure hardness but to be a good soldier for Jesus Christ I would have to stop entangling myself with the affairs of this life. I would have to make that choice to acknowledge the person I had been but realize in Christ I could pick up and move on. My focus would need to remain on Him and I would have to be engaged in this battle.
In battle soldiers are given orders they must hear and then do. James 1:22-25 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.
I’d have to be sure I had on armor. (Ephesians 6:11-17 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 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. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:)
I would also have a code of conduct. Colossians 3:12-17 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.
Though I may be tempted by things of this life and possibly stumble in battle I can be certain that His strength will always be available to me and I can do all things through Him. 2 Corinthians 12:9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: 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 upon me.
Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
This will be a long battle that will require me to daily choose to lay aside every weight and I will have to continue to look to Jesus for direction. Hebrews 12:1-2 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
 Note from Tyndale Life Application Study Bible, King James Version
When I stop and think about it I’m often amazed at how things can make a connection for me and tie together. I began thinking about something a friend once told me, “Don’t stare at the closed door for so long that you don’t notice the window God opened for you”. I would see the closed door and stand there for so long waiting for it to reopen that I would fail to see the window and realize that the door was only what I wanted not what was best for me. I begin to understand that life may not have went the direction I wanted it to go or been as straight a road as I would have liked but it’s what was needed and I had to take some of the turns or I wouldn’t be the person I am today. I still have a long journey ahead of me but I see that God had a window open, a window that would put my focus directly on Him. The Ark Noah built had one window at the top so they would keep focused on God instead of the storm, I too need to remain focused on Him not my storms.
Mark 4:37-40 And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full.
And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish?
And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.
And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?
Just like the disciples we can be moving forward in our journey through life serving Christ and feeling everything is going well but without warning the storm suddenly appears. Everyone experiences a storm sometime within their lifetime and for each person it’s different. Our storm may be a health problem, financial difficulty, personal loss, death of a family member or turmoil within a relationship.
We may have experienced a difficult trial or test and in the pain we didn’t look at the purpose God had for it in our life instead we attempt to avoid experiencing pain again.
We may be looking around at others for too long and we cannot see their storm so we may feel we aren’t as valued or good as them and falsely believe we can’t be of service to God.
We may temporarily feel defeated and believe lies the devil tells us or we allow our own thoughts to become exaggerated in focusing on the worst.
In these times we begin to become unsettled and begin to fear much like the disciples on the ship during the storm.
When this occurs we can respond in two ways:
1. Choose Fear: Become afraid and give in to the feeling of fear or anxiety that someone or something is dangerous and is likely to cause us pain; then we’ll begin to worry that something undesirable will occur.
2. Choose Faith: Have faith in God and put our complete trust in Him and maintain our hope with complete confidence in God’s plans for us.
How do we combat this fear and choose faith?
1. Seek God
- Psalm 34:4 I sought the LORD, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.
2. Rest assured God is listening
- Jeremiah 29:11-13 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.
Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you.
And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.
3. Stop and listen for God
- Proverbs 1:33 But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil.
4. Believe in God’s word (God is faithful)
a. When He is calling you
- 1Thessalonians 5:24 Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.
b. When you face difficulties
- 2Thessalonians 3:3 But the Lord is faithful, who shall stablish you, and keep you from evil.
5. Ask for God’s help and practice self-control with your thoughts
- 2Corinthians10:5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
- Philippians 4:8 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.
6. Evaluate where it’s coming from and reject untruths
- 2Timothy 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
7. God sees our value, look at yourself through His eyes
- Matthew 10:31 Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.
8. Remember you are God’s child
- Romans 8:15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
9. Know God is with you and He is helping you
- Hebrews 13:5-6 Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.
So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.
10. God will protect you from destruction
- 2Samuel 22:31 As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the LORD is tried: he is a buckler to all them that trust in him.
11. Through God you can overcome
- 1John 4:4 Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.
12. Be still and trust God
- Psalm 46:10 Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.
- Isaiah 26:3-4 Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.
Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength:
13. Rely on God’s strength
- Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
14. Let it go and follow God commands
- Joshua 1:9 Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.
15. In all times praise God
- Psalm 56:3-4 What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee.
In God I will praise his word, in God I have put my trust; I will not fear what flesh can do unto me.
“God is always good. God is always present. God is always faithful. God is always greater than whatever we face. Therefore, we can always rejoice in Him.” –Paul Chappell
It’s our decision we accept fear or faith.
Which do you choose?
FEAR: False Evidence/Emotions Appearing Real
FAITH: Full Assurance In Trusting Him
From our beginnings we have not wanted to be wrong or to admit fault for our part in things or our decisions. Whether it be our not wanting to fall out of favor or our pride we will often find something or someone else to point the finger in attempt to displace blame in one way or another. When God confronted Adam He knew what had been done but He gave Adam the chance to confess, instead Adam defensively pointed the finger at Eve saying she gave him the fruit to eat. (And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat. Genesis 3:12) Now I'd imagine Adam knew the garden well and he knew exactly where the fruit came from but he choose to eat it anyway and instead of owning up to his decision he was almost blaming God for giving him the woman Eve because she gave him the fruit. Eve did the same thing by blaming the serpent. (And the Lord God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat. Genesis 3:13) While it's true she was deceived to think it really wouldn't be so bad she ultimately was disobedient to God and made the choice to eat the fruit instead of calling upon God and standing strong. Thus the beginning of the "blame game" and the entrance of sin into humanity. God knew what they had done and as a result of their choices consequences were to be faced. If you read Genesis 3 you will see the punishment still came as a result of their choices both for Adam & Eve and the beguiling serpent. We like to say well if he/she hadn't done this I wouldn't have done that or if he/she had done this I would have been better and done this. What it really boils down to is choices and the decisions we make. Clearly the Bible tells us, "Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. Romans 12:17", so we deceive ourselves when we try to convince ourselves it's alright to hurt someone that hurt us. Whatever it is we think we are getting away with or justifying in our own mind will be answered for one day. (For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God. Romans 14:11-12) God will know what our decisions were and what we refused to confess, there will be no excuses to be made or shifting of blame when we are standing in judgment before Him. We have the chance now to honestly look at our lives and see the results of our choices and where we were wrong and fell short of God's glory. Don't think you have done no wrong, you are human and I am human we are imperfect and only when Christ is living through us are we closer to being perfect but we still fall and fail. All have sinned, "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Romans 3:23", last I checked all means every single one of us. We can try to find excuses for what we did or did not do and in our minds denial can be pretty powerful but it still doesn't change the error of our ways and the decisions we have made. Regardless of where we've been along our life's journey, the decisions we have made and what we have or haven't done if we will take a good personal inventory and confess to God, that's what He is asking of us. "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9"
Sometimes it almost surprises me when I see someone I would closely consider an enemy hurting and I feel bad for them. The human flesh in me at times wants them to hurt as bad as they have hurt me but then compassion and a little empathy will peak through because they too have had their share of hurts. We all have painful situations we face and often those are results of choices we have made but I don't enjoy seeing anyone struggle. Maybe this is an area of growth and I'm learning as the Bible says to love my enemies, I'm not perfect at it by any means and sometimes it's a daily battle. Still trying to get to where I can pray for them but I know it's something I should do, I believe ultimately it will bring me some peace through being obedient to God
But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; (Matthew 5:44 KJV)
One phrase we should refuse to allow when endeavoring in our Christian walk is, “I Quit”. With all the pressures and times of discouragement we can easily feel defeated. The devil will tempt us with discouraging thoughts and ask us why we don’t just give up. We were never promised it would be easy we were promised He would never leave us or forsake us. “Hebrews 13:5 Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” We have to remain focused on Christ and realize we couldn’t make it on our own but He will give us the strength to make it through, “Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” People will say or do things that hurt us, we may scrutinize our own faults or agonize over our past or present failures, and we can even be feeling unworthy of carrying out the purpose and will God has for our life believing someone else is better for the task. This is all part of the devil’s plan to give you “proof” that you should just give up. Don’t listen to the devil, remember how valuable you are, “Matthew 10:31 Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.” If God takes care of sparrows and is concerned for their lives, we need to realize how much more care He will take of us, His children. Realize that Christ would have never died for you if you weren’t important to God. Ignore the devil and the people or situations he uses to form his lies and discouragement, “James 4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” Take it all to God and realize He has already decided to use you. Don’t let the devil defeat you! Focus on God and don’t allow yourself to be discouraged to the point of saying “I Quit”, instead resolve to forbid the statement or thought.
We say we love God but how are we showing Him that we love Him? Love isn't just a feeling it is an action, the Bible shows us this in 1 John 3:18 “My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.” God loved us so much He sent His only begotten son to die in atonement for our sins. (John 3:16) God created us to fellowship with Him but our sin separates us from Him. How amazing it is when you realize He gave His son so we could be saved and continue in fellowship with Him. God showed us He loved us “Romans 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Yes, we are saved when we accept Jesus as Saviour but it must be heartbreaking to God when that becomes the only true fellowship we have with Him. We agonize when we do not hear from our relatives, sometimes we wonder if we have done something wrong or if perhaps they love their busy life more than us. God KNOWS we love Him just as we know our family still loves us but when we are too busy to pray or read our Bible we aren't as close to God as we should be and we aren't putting our love into action. While it is true that God knows our needs He still wants us to talk to Him through prayer and He talks to us through His word the Bible. Being close to God is how we gain our strength (Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.). This means that we need to go to Him in prayer at all times not just when we need something. “1Thessalonians 5:17 Pray without ceasing.” Most of us have experienced a time when we know that someone contacts us only when they want something or we hear I love you and just know a request is soon to be made. We don't need to get to that point when we say I love you God and He asks what is it you want. Talk (pray) to God about everything you won't bore Him, He wants to hear from us. He doesn't expect us to use our own strength so pray even if you are ashamed of whatever it is because you cannot surprise God. Through His word (the Bible) God speaks to us; He has the best guidance, counseling, comfort and provision but we have to read it and listen to Him. We often get frustrated when people don't listen to what we say, won't hear us or they treat our say as worthless. When we don't read God's word and aren’t praying isn't that exactly what we are doing to God? When we get too busy aren’t we really showing that everything else in our life is more important to us than God. Show God you love Him by making sure that you pray and read His word. You gain your strength from God and if you don't do these two things your works for Him aren’t as effective and are being carried out in your own strength. So in all the busyness we need to remember to pause and show God we love Him. Are you showing Him that you love Him?
Where I have been has brought me to where I am today, good and bad. Though I’ve made some bad choices along the way and surely life would have been easier if I hadn’t made those choices, I’m not who I once was. I can’t even begin to count how many times I have gotten upset when someone brings up something I’ve done wrong in the past. The irritation of knowing that there are times I’m not given a chance because of something I’ve done before. The anger and hurt that sets in because I feel not good enough, condemned and rejected. If I’m not careful the flesh takes over and I start to go over all their imperfections and mistakes in my mind and think “who do they think they are fooling themselves thinking they are without fault”. It’s then that I have to remind myself that I’m doing the exact same thing the other person was doing. I also have to wonder how many times I’ve not given someone a chance because I’ve held their past wrongs against them and I have to remind myself that maybe they aren’t the person they once were either. I have to remember that people can change as I myself changed. How do people change? Don’t we often hear the saying “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks”? In reality people can change. The Bible teaches us that once you become saved you are a new man because you are born again of the spirit, “2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” As long as we are in Christ we are a new man and old things are passed away. Sometimes when we can slip away and become distant from God we can find ourselves going back to the way we were before because we are no longer in Christ. The remedy of that problem is easy, go back to God and be renewed. “Romans 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” We can decide daily to resist going back to the way we were and determine to not make the same mistakes. What we do today and this day forward is what rebuilds our past. We are not without flaws and neither were the people in the Bible. Many of those named in the Bible committed some devastating sins yet they went on to be used in great ways by God. We shouldn’t get discouraged by our past, instead we need to determine to keep moving forward through the power God provides us. “2 Corinthians 4:16 For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.” Are you a new man and is your inward man renewed day by day or are you stuck in your past? I’m not who I once was.
I've been told before that I'm too sensitive. Really what is being too sensitive? By definition sensitive is being quick to detect or respond to slight changes, signals, or influences. Being a sensitive person isn't a bad thing as long as it moves you to react with compassion. To have compassion is to have deep awareness of the suffering of another coupled with the wish to relieve it. Often when you are more sensitive than the person pointing out your sensitivity "fault" they will consider you too sensitive. Sometimes you can be perceived as too sensitive because you voice getting your feelings hurt or because things get to you more quickly than it does others. Often the lack of compassion people have can be tied directly into their lack of sensitivity. People may not be sensitive because they haven’t allowed themselves to learn how or they may have hardened their heart due to past hurts. I believe we should be sensitive and that allowing your sensitivity to direct you into the right actions is admirable and directed by God. Jesus spoke of having compassion to a servant who's debt was forgiven but had demanded payment of a debt owed him, "Matthew 18:33 Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee?" The Bible tells us God has compassion, "Psalms 145:8 The Lord is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy." We are also taught how Jesus was moved with compassion and healed the sick, He was moved with compassion and taught the multitude of over 5,000 and fed them with 5 loaves and 2 fishes having compassion on them, He had compassion for the widow of Nain whose son had died and He raised the son from the dead. If Jesus is our example and He showed compassion then shouldn’t we do the same? Consider "Romans 12:15 Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep." How can you rejoice or weep with others when you are not sensitive to them and have compassion for them? “1 John 3:17 But whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?” How then can we justify shutting up our bowels of compassion? While we do need to exercise the spiritual discernment that comes when we are close to God and using His spirit to see the circumstances in the right light we also need to realize it's not up to us to pick and choose who is deserving of our compassion. "Romans 12:16 Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits." If we want others to have compassion for us then we should likewise have compassion for them. Jesus tells us, “Luke 6:31 And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.” We should exercise caution how we allow our sensitivity to affect us and not react the wrong way; “Ephesians 4:31 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:”, these were are all examples of ways we can improperly respond to our sensitivity. Allowing our sensitivity to result in compassion helps us properly respond and allows the following actions to be easier to follow, “Ephesians 4:32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.” So how do we allow ourselves to be sensitive? “1 Peter 3:8-9 Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous: Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing.”
1 Peter 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
We must be vigilant because Satan is trying to destroy us. In order for us to be able to recognize his plans we must remain alert.
In Satan’s Plan he will use at least one or all of the 5 D’s of Deceit
1 Corinthians 15:57 But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
1 Corinthians 15:58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.
Don’t let the devil fool you, we can obtain victory through Christ!
How do we obtain victory over our setbacks?
Romans 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
2 Corinthians 4:16 For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.
James 4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
Philippians 3:13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,
I'm a wife of 20 years to a husband that consistently chooses to love me despite my flaws and a mother of 3 wonderful, loving and giving children. I have 6 babies waiting for me up in Heaven. I'm imperfect, often broken and learning; you will see many aspects of what makes me the person I am throughout this blog. You will find no condemnation from me. I have my fair share of problems and battles, I win some and lose some but by God's grace I'm continuing in the good fight. I'm attempting to live life authentically and I enjoy the many blessings God has given both in happiness and pain. I don't have any formal education in Biblical Studies and I don't claim to be an expert. I'm just sharing experiences and lessons I am learning or trying to learn as I go through life.