Tuesday, August 25, 2015

He Speaks to Stubborn People

"Pay for her groceries."  That's what I heard. Not in a audible voice, but in my heart. I didn't know the lady in front of me. All I knew was that she had tried to pay for her groceries in the express line, but her card was denied. It was about to rain outside, so this poor woman was going to have to drive home in the rain and then come back to the grocery store unless I was obedient to the voice. I knew it was God speaking to me, but honestly, I argued with Him. I had a dozen reasons why I could not pay for her groceries, and yet God kept telling me to just do it. So I did it, but not with a grateful heart. I was actually a little salty about it.

Why is it that I argued with God over this? I'm a Pastor at a church, and I'm arguing with Him over helping someone out? Really? (Nice job preacher.) And, when has God ever led me down the wrong path? My experience with walking with Him as Lord should have taught me enough by now to just do as He says and NOT to rationalize things. He is trustworthy! He is faithful! His plans for me are good! I am apparently as they say...stubborn.
  • How are you with being obedient to God?
  • When is it hard to trust God?
  • What does The Holy Spirit do for us?
A week after I paid for the stranger's groceries I received a note in the mail from her with all of my money back. It turns out she had given a homeless person some money that week, and her friend told her that God would bless her 10 times what she had given to the homeless person. She disagreed with her friend and indicated that she felt like God had forgotten her. When I paid for her groceries, which was 10 times the amount she gave to the homeless person, she felt as if God was reminding her that she still matters to Him. Her faith may have been increased, but I want you to know that I'm the one that learned the lesson that day.

God is trustworthy in all things. Listening to the Holy Spirit is important.

Lord, forgive me when I have questioned you and when I have not been obedient. Thank you for loving me and gently guiding me through the Holy Spirit. I pray I will never miss an opportunity to serve you and bring glory to Your Name. - It's in that Precious Name I pray ~ Amen.

For a deeper study: 
  • Look up Holy Spirit in your Bible concordance and the verses associated with the Holy Spirit. Find what the Holy Spirit does for Believers. Make note of those verses in your Bible.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Are You a Good Person?

Are you a good person? 

Think about that questions a minute before you blurt out your answer. Are you truly a good person?

Now let me ask you another question.  Have you ever broken any of the Ten Commandments? (Please make note that Jesus said if you committed a sin in your heart and mind then you are guilty of that sin. Matthew 5:28. Ouch!)  Here's a list of the Ten Commandments just in case you need a little help remembering them:
  1. No other gods before the One True God
  2. No idols.
  3. No taking the Lord's name in vain.
  4. Keep the Sabbath day holy.
  5. Honor your father and mother.
  6. No murder.
  7. No adultery.
  8. No stealing.
  9. No lying.
  10. No coveting.
I used to think I was a good person, but based on God's standards as evidenced through the Ten commandments I'm falling a little short of being "good".  Oh wait!  Darn! Now I've broken #9 again because I just lied.  I'm actually FAR short of being good. Reading these Commandments is convicting. I actually try to be good, but then I get out of bed each morning and I end up doing something not so good. For example: This morning I thought ugly thoughts about the person that pulled out in front of me while driving. I didn't physically murder them, but I murdered them with my thoughts.

I cannot for the life of me live as a good person. Cannot! That's the reason I was so thankful when I read Galatians 2: 16 - 21 today.

Yet we know that a person is made right with God by faith in Jesus Christ, not by obeying the law. And we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we might be made right with God because of our faith in Christ, not because we have obeyed the law. For no one will ever be made right with God by obeying the law. But suppose we seek to be made right with God through faith in Christ and then we are found guilty because we have abandoned the law. Would that mean Christ has led us into sin? Absolutely not! Rather, I am a sinner if I rebuild the old system of law I already tore down. For when I tried to keep the law, it condemned me. So I died to the law—I stopped trying to meet all its requirements—so that I might live for God. My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not treat the grace of God as meaningless. For if keeping the law could make us right with God, then there was no need for Christ to die.
Do you hear that?!?!?  We are made right with God by FAITH and not by obeying the law. It's GRACE - God's amazing, unending GRACE! We are to "live for God" instead of being a slave to The Law.
So there, I admit it.  I am not a good person. But I do have faith in Jesus and the Work He did on the Cross for me.
·     Are trying to obey the rules, or are you trying to live for God?
·       What’s the difference between living for God and obeying all the rules?

Lord, thank you for loving me in spite of me.  I’m so thankful for your amazing grace and love. I am a sinner, but You see me as righteous because of the Blood of Christ. I am forever thankful. – In Jesus’ name, Amen.

For a deeper study, read the following verses and make notes of what God teaches you about living in freedom from the law:
·       Romans 3:21-28
·       Romans 4: 13 – 17
·       Romans 6

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Are You Listening?

Are you a good listener?  Do you listen - really listen - when others are talking to you? Do you listen - really listen - when God is speaking to you.  Listening is hard for me. It means I have to focus on what is being said rather than what I will say next, and I typically have a lot to say. Listening means I have to be still and honestly I would rather not be still. But, listening is important. Just look at some of these verses from the Bible on listening:

Spouting off before listening to the facts is both shameful and foolish. Proverbs 18:13

If you stop listening to instruction, my child, you will turn your back on knowledge. Proverbs 19:27

To those who listen to my teaching, more understanding will be given, and they will have an abundance of knowledge. But for those who are not listening, even what little understanding they have will be taken away from them. Matthew 13:12

Clearly listening is important to God.

  • What can you do to be a better listener to others?
  • What can you do to be a better listener to God?
  • What ways do you hear God speaking to you?

Lord, forgive me when I have not listened well.  I want to be a good listener to others, but especially to You! - In Jesus' precious name. - Amen

Want to think about listening more?  Look up LISTEN or LISTENING in your Bible concordance and read the verses that God takes you to.  You'll have to listen to His direction on which ones to read. (-:

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Are You Thankful?

My dear husband posed a question to our family at the supper table yesterday.  "If tomorrow you woke up to only the things you told God you were thankful for today, what would you wake up to find?" That question slapped me right across the face. How dare he question my thankfulness! I had told God that day that I was thankful for the lady that moved out of in front of me because she was driving so slow.  AND,  I told God thank you for the air conditioner in my car finally cooling off the car because it is now 1000 degrees in South Texas. And OF COURSE I told God I was thankful for the food He provided because I pray before every meal.  You can see that I'm thankful.  So, when I woke up today if God would have provided what I told Him thanks for I would have one lady moved out of the front of me in my commute to work, an air conditioner in my car, and food.  UUUHHHH.  I want and need more than that.  I thought about that and realized, there are so many more reasons to be thankful!  How often do I thank God for those things?

1 Thessalonians 5:18 tells us to be thankful in all circumstances.  We are told we should be thankful.  It is not a suggestion, but a command. God wants us to be thankful.  I get that.  I want my kids to be thankful for what I have provided for them. Sometimes my kids take for granted all that I do for them as their momma. Sometimes I take for granted all that my Heavenly Father does for me as well.

I thought A LOT about thankfulness this morning.  I prayed all the way to the office today telling God what I was thankful for in my life.  I'm embarrassed to say that my prayers are usually filled with requests and not thanksgiving. But NOT today!  Here are a few things that I told God I was thankful for today:

  • Salvation through Jesus Christ
  • Health
  • Healthy family and friends
  • The beautiful earth He created
  • A home where my family is safe
  • A country where I can worship Jesus as Lord
  • The green trees and animals
  • My car to get me to work
  • A job and the ability to pay my bills
  • My husband's job
  • A husband that loves God
  • Healthy food to eat
  • Doctors
  • Schools
  • The ability to have a Bible in my hand
  • My senses
  • And about 1000 other things (It's a 20 minute drive to the office! But I'm thankful for that today.)

What are you thankful for today?  Have you just spent some time with God telling him what  you are thankful for?  And here's the big questions:  If tomorrow you woke up to only the things you told God you were thankful for today, what would you wake up to find?

Lord, forgive us for our ungratefulness.  We are blessed beyond measure!  Help us to be thankful in all circumstances. You have made a path for us and have left us with an amazing inheritance as Your children.  Help us never to forget that you love us and that we have so many reasons to be thankful, even on the worst of days. - In Jesus' Name - Amen.

~ For a deeper study look up the word THANKFULNESS or THANKSGIVING in your Bible concordance or on biblegateway.com.  Record what verses you find associated with thankfulness and what God tells you through these verses.