Earlier this year I was feeling like I needed to give money to my church above my tithes and offerings. So many people were in need because of the coronavirus. People were out of work, things were shutting down and so many needs. I know that when God tells me to give he knows what he is doing. I felt led to give the money I set aside for camp. Something told me I wouldn’t need it. I was a little concerned because camp is the highlight of my year. I have gone six times and this would be my seventh year. A week with my friends in the pines 24/7 and learning Gods ways. I did not know the plans God had for us but he did. They we’re canceling camps before ours but ours was in September it should be ok. There are several camps throughout the US. Well Florida decided to hold theirs online, virtually. Oh boy I had to watch. It was awesome. It just so happened that I had to be in another unit in isolation for two weeks and I was not real happy about it. God told me to think of it as a fun vacation and do the virtual camp. Attitude is everything! I actually enjoyed my two weeks and every morning I was up by 5:00am to be ready for morning chapel. I was excited and just couldn’t sleep. They did eventually cancel my camp but I was enjoying so much online stuff I didn’t really care. I went to three camps instead of one, each in a different state but online. I met some great new people and really got a lot out of them. The theme was Jeremiah 29:11 God’s got your next. Well he really did. God really does plan our futures perfectly. I don’t know what tomorrow is going to look like but I know he’s already there working it all out for my best. Divine appointments with people, getting my needs met and keeping me safe. I have nothing to fear cause he loves me and will never leave me. I am special to him. We all are. I started fretting after a few weeks locked in my room. God just said relax I got this. I have and do you know some great things have been happening while I trust him. I am so happy. Now after six months of being locked down in my room I’m enjoying myself. I kinda like just me and God. Thanks God!
Just trust, you’ll never know how freeing it can be.
“Am I now trying to win approval of human beings, or of God? If am I trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.” Galatians 1:10 NIV
Motives. Motive is very important to God. He does not look at outward appearances but only to our hearts. So is that not the most important. In this busy world we live in we are trying so hard to be happy, but we also want to make others happy with us. No one wants others not to like us. We do things to please different people. But what is truly important? What are we called to do? Let’s look at Jesus because he is our perfect example, and who we should strive to be like every day. When he was alive here on earth he helped us see physically what God was like. He told us the most important thing was to love God with our whole being. Also we should love others, All others better than ourselves. Two of the greatest commandments. Now Jesus spent a lot of time in prayer and telling us God’s ways. So we know prayer and reading the Bible are important for a good relationship with God. He did everything out of love and compassion for others, but not everyone accepted him and loved him back. The religious leaders did not like him. If Jesus, a perfect man, could not please everyone all the time then how can we? All we can try to do is to please God, first and foremost. And love everyone. Some people like friends and family are easy to love but not everyone. Maybe they are poor, homeless, or handicapped, of different nationalities or rich and famous. They are still part of the all people group and God will help us to love and respect them, because he loves them. They are important to him. We should not be people pleaser’s but God pleaser’s. If we please he then we will also be pleasing to others. We can’t please everyone so don’t try. I am performing for an audience of one, God. Doing that helps others and myself. Doing things for myself helps with my attitude. Getting plenty of rest, eating right and doing nice things for myself helps me to be all that I can be for God.
Who are you trying to please?
“How precious to me are your thoughts, God! How vast is the sum of them.” Psalms 139:17 NIV
We are never alone and we never have to do life alone. People who don’t know God don’t understand that. God just makes us do stuff. Be the boss. People assume. We may get very busy trying to do it all and get it just right. I just started to think of all the things I need to get done, and it can get overwhelming. Last night I laid awake thinking of things that I needed to do. At the time they all seemed important and pressing. I tossed and turned for about an hour. I finally dozed off. Today everything got done smoothly with no trouble and I still got to visit with friends. God had it all planned out and his plans prevail anyway so why should we worry. It is so good to just think about that. You know I don’t have to fret when trying to get things done and do my best. Because my best friend, Jesus, has it all planned out ahead of time for my best. In Psalms 139 David is talking about how God is always there and always has been. Before we were ever formed in the womb. God knew us. He designed us just as we would be. He saw just who we would be and just how we would fit into the masterpiece he is creating. How our lives would intertwine with others to have the greatest effect on those around us. Nobody is perfect and we all struggle. But even Moses, David, Noah, and Elijah were just average men. They all were imperfect men who had doubts and fears like us. They felt inadequate at times and unworthy to do what God had called them to do. They knew someone else could do it better. But they did do what God asked most of the time. They had bad days. There were times when they just couldn’t do it. They made mistakes. But do we remember them that way? No! We look at them and see great servants of God. He doesn’t want us doing things just because we have to. Keeping rules grudgingly. He tells us what to do because it works. It is easier his way and you do enjoy more his way. The more I depend on him and try to do things his way, the happier I am and the easier it is. Not one minute do I feel alone. Because I know he is just a word away. This morning I was thinking about the internet. I have a message program and anytime I need someone like my daughters , for example. I just send a little note. No matter how far away they are. (Miles) They respond right away. You can also find out anything you want to know right away on google. Well as children of God we also have 24 hr access. We don’t need a priest to come to him for us. We don’t even need to say it out loud. Just talk to God. He is right next to your heart. He hears the simplest cry of our hearts and he is always listening. He also has all the right answers.
Can you give Gods ways a try?
“Do you not know that in a race that all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way to get the prize.” 1 Corinthians 9:24 NIV
“Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to each person according to what they have done.” Revelations 22:12 NIV
Have you ever done something you were not proud of? I wish I could go back and change things. We all make mistakes. Maybe we said something that hurt someone. Done something that hurt others. When it’s done we feel bad. But God loves us even when we don’t love ourselves. If we come to him and ask forgiveness, he will forgive. That bad feeling will go and be replaced by peace. We don’t need to carry it anymore. His love can bring so much healing. What if you were gone tomorrow? You know tomorrow is not promised to any of us. We could have a massive heart attack, or a car accident. With the world spiraling out of our control, I see us as a big cage of rats going nuts. Is what we are doing really helping? What if Jesus came tonight to take his children home? We are in the end times and it could be any day. We never know what tomorrow will bring. Today may be our last day. If you knew it was your last day on earth, what would you do differently? When we stand before Jesus and he shows us everything we have ever done. Good and bad you should be ready. What will we say? That is when I don’t want regrets. At that point it’s to late to change our fate. I want to stand before him with a clean slate. He makes that possible. We can make sure he sees us in the light of his perfect son, in all his righteousness. Either we can be perfect, or we can live every day the best we can. Seeking God’s will in our lives first. Ask Gods help to good things of encouragement. Lord show me ways to help others. He has made me a good listener. I am very aware of the needs of others around me, and he lets me know what to do and say. If I can’t help I can find someone who can. He has given me the gift of writing. He gives me words to help others. He will show me just what they need to hear. It’s not me, it’s him helping me. The more I try to serve, the more he shows me to do. He will do the same for you. Every time we do something that we know is wrong, we need to come to him and ask for forgiveness. At the end of the day we need to look back over the day. What good did i do? What bad did I do? Keep the lines of communication open. Thank you Lord for this day. I am sorry for ….. You will sleep so much better with a clear heart. I have also seen a cage full of rats that were all snuggled up close to each other sound asleep. We all need to take care of each other. To love each other.
Will you be rewarded for your actions?
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” Jeremiah 1:5 NIV
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you.” Jeremiah 29:11 NIV
Everyone is very special to God. We were all made in his image. That is why we can all live our lives to the fullest. He knew us before we were ever born. He sees the big picture. He is looking through a wide lens. Everything that can make us the best we can be is all mapped out. We have a very important purpose. God knows before anything happens just what will work best. It would work perfectly if we did everything right. Problem is that we are not perfect. We are all given free will to do what we want. Life is a learning process that lasts till our very last breath. The people we are around as we grow. The time we were born. Where we were born and grew up. Our choices that we make. All these things make us who we are. For every action God has a consequence for us. Good behaviors bring blessings. Bad behaviors bring more challenges and trials. God is not surprised by any of our choices. Good or bad he sees them coming and adjusts our life with love and care. Making our lives work out for our best. He is not just concerned about us, but everyone. Our choices do impact everyone around us. Take a family for example. I have one sister and two brothers. I was the first born to my parents. They were good Christians and my grandfather was a Baptist minister. All these things made me who I was and our relationships made a difference to all our lives. Slowly I was becoming who he made me to be. Trials come to teach us. Just as we go through school from kindergarten thru high school. These trials are meant to help us grow. They come with tests we need to pass to get us to the next level. Some move quickly and some take more time. Don’t think you are ever too far gone or your troubles are too much. God will always let us have a do-over. We just need to come to him and say I’m sorry. I really have screwed up. Help! He molds us and makes us just right. We can trust that God knows just what he’s doing. He’s been doing it for years and years. He can keep our life on track just like he keeps billions of lives going at once. We continue to be special because of each life we touch. It’s so easy to say “if this just happened,” or, “if I hadn’t done that.” We might see our lives as bad or good. God sees the whole picture though. He’s doing everything to make our life really count.
Are you a good example of Christ?
“fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning the shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:2 NIV
When things are difficult and seem to consume us we can only fix our eyes on him. Jesus is working in each of us and is perfecting us even if we can not see it. Just as a little baby grows bigger and learns so much you often don’t see the changes until one day you all of a sudden say wow! What happened? I remember her sitting there playing with play doh on the floor and now she’s grown. His plans for us are good. But through the hard times we grow. More than you know. Because everyone are not all knowing like God we can not see the growth from day to day, but it is there. One day we will be able to see the change. That it really was doing in us to make us better. When Jesus came to this earth he had to live a life just like ours. He had to stay focused on his father. He was here for a very important mission. He was all knowing though. He knew he would be loved by some but he also knew that he would be rejected and scorned by many. It was not important though to convince everyone that he was who he said he was. Getting his point across was not his agenda. Many would not understand. His life would be difficult. He knew that not everyone would accept him. But he did it with such love and concern for all. It brought him joy to look toward the future. All of us who would accept him as our savior would come to live with him forever in a perfect world. He kept his eyes on his father and eternity. Just like us that would give him enough strength to persevere through it all. It brought him so much joy to see what would be done when this life was over. It really is such a short time of striving compared to eternity. With him in that perfect place. We also have rewards (our crowns) waiting for us. He wants us to look forward to that day with anticipation. The day of our graduation with honor. We can’t take anything from this life with us, but all we do for the cross of Christ will be deposited in our heavenly bank account. I look forward to blessings in this life, but even more are those blessings waiting for me in heaven.
What do you look forward to?
“A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, an evil man brings evil out of the evil things stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.” Ephesians 3:20 NIV
When I was young my mother told me if I didn’t have anything good to say I shouldn’t say anything at all. This was very wise. In the Bible it says that the fool loves to talk, but the wise has few words. I know that as I began a relationship in earnest with my God I desired to do what he wanted all the time. I always wanted to help and at times I spoke without thinking. Was it really any of my business? I felt the spirit in side prompting me to hold my words. I liked stating my opinions and what I thought should be done. I didn’t really seek out the Lords opinions and ways though. I may have wanted things more my way. Or done the way I would do it. I felt myself quieted quite often. At the same time I was seeking to know the Lord more. Reading the Bible and different studies of others on the Bible . I read Christian books, devotionals, watched on-line sermons, Christian movies and documentaries. The more time I spent with the Lord throughout the day, the more confident I felt. I believe what goes in comes out. If I spent all day playing games and watching tv, or spent time hanging around angry, complaining, selfish and self-serving people , then that’s how I would become. That is not how I wanted to be. I spent time evaluating each thing I spent time doing. The first thing I did is give away my TV. Too much value-less time spent there. I have PureFlix now so I can spend time watching television and movies. Everything I have ever watched on it I enjoy. It’s kind of like eating. Just because it tastes good does not mean it’s good for you. I’ve found that eating less sugars and starches helps me feel better and less bloated. Watching too much tv just makes me anxious and nervous. Depending on what I watch. I prefer things that bring peace and inspiration. I like feeling positive. Music can really change the way you feel. I know that listening to others talking around me can make me anxious and frustrated, but by turning on praise music or instrumentals I can relax. If my heart is anxious and frustrated I will not be at my best. So as I choose to do things to occupy my time, I choose things that edify me and others. Then I am certain to respond positively towards others.
What are you spending time putting into your heart?
“If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” James 1:5 NIV
Every day we are bombarded with decisions to make. But the first one we need to make is to have a good day. It is a choice we make every day. Whether we make it or let circumstances make it for us. You do have a choice to rejoice or not. If you decide that ahead of time it will be easier to keep. Let’s say you have to wait for breakfast or it’s cold. Or the weather is lousy and your hair won’t behave. Hey at least God woke me up and I have food to eat. All things I can thank God for. And should thank him for. Like that great cup of coffee. We can dwell on negative things, but they can harm us and others so think positive always. There are things all day long that God has done for you and given you. Do we thank him for them? There are people throughout the day that do things for us. Do we show them our appreciation? Every person we meet is someone God loves. Whom he has died for. They need to be treated with love and respect. Do special things for everyone you meet. Give compliments, and show you care. Set out every day to do positive things. We can always try to show love and help just like Jesus did. We need to get momentum going in our lives by being consistent in the ideals God is giving us. His wisdom can get us going. Start by saying positive words over your life and the lives of others around you. Lifting others up with our words. Avoiding useless words that don’t edify. Negative or destructive words should have no place in our vocabulary. If you need to say something harsh start with, “With all due respect,”. This gives you time to choose the best words you can. Encourage positive actions, positive change. Eat healthier, exercise more, and read your Bible and pray. Encourage others to join in your endeavors. Make this new year about being the best you can be. Don’t be tempted to quit. With God’s help you can do all things. Every day try new things to make your life better. New good habits started. Keep on keeping on. You can do it. Your life is what you make of it. Go for it and make positive changes. Be sure to run to God for wisdom and he will guide you.
Do you let God help you make wise decisions?
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16 NIV
“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:23 NIV
These passages speak of the love God has for everyone. Not just when we are good or do what he wants. But everyone and all the time. He does not want anyone ever to perish. He gave his one and only son to be born so that he could die a humiliating, horrible death so that nobody would have to die. We all deserve death because we’ve all sinned. But he died for us. That is real love. He is a perfect and holy God who cannot dwell among sin. They made a way for us to be together with them for eternity in heaven. But they also gave us free will, to be able to choose just what we want. They have made it very clear what they want. They have given us their own words written just for us to help us know them. They have given us a gift. Just like every gift you have ever been given, it is free. You have to do nothing but accept it. It takes faith to accept it because it is not something you can see or feel. We have to believe we have it. With that gift comes the promises that they will help us. Once we believe, we need to practice what we believe. We will turn away from sin. We are no longer a slave to sin but are made new. Many people choose to believe the parts of the Bible they like. It is historically accurate and has been proven to be true. If it is true, it is to be believed. All of it. If we believe all the good things like how much God knows us and loves us, knowing our every thought and always wanting what is best for us. Then we ought to believe when he tells us not to do something. Sin is not just wrong, it is not good for us if it brings eternal death. He has warned us time and time again. But this is one thing he doesn’t have control over. We do though. So nobody can say that a righteous God would not send someone to hell. He doesn’t. But we do by not believing and obeying. We have the final say over our actions. We can use any excuse we want, but not doing his will puts it on us. He is a very loving and just God. He tells us in his word how to be blessed. He tells us he to have a full and abundant life. How to have fullness of joy bubbling over in our lives. He wants what every good father wants for his children. The best. Every parent will do everything they can to see their children happy, healthy, and safe and sometimes say ‘no’. If what they want is not best for them. Shouldn’t we be glad to do things that will bring joy, happiness, and blessings.
What can we do to have a good and abundant life?
“But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, purifies us from all sin. If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.” 1John 7-8 NIV
It is very important to have fellowship with others. Some of the best relationships I have are with other Christians. I believe we can be real with each other and gain so much from each other. But the best thing we can do for any relationship is spend time with our Heavenly Father. I know that my relationship with God has grown so much in the last six years. I love to spend time with him. I can spend time lounging in bed in the mornings and just talking about everyone and everything that is important to me. I know I can spend over an hour because my mind wanders. That isn’t always bad. Sometimes I will think of things I need to do that particular morning, but sometimes God will give me something to write about or something I need to do. (A divine assignment ) I can have a physical problem that I’m worrying about and he will give me a great idea of something to try. Or something I can do for someone. I love these times. Everyone must think I’m lazy but curled up in bed with my best friend is the best part of my day. Then when I do get up I’m sharp and ready to go. I can hit the floor running, or rolling for me. Like this morning I saw several things I needed to do right off. Spending that quality time with God makes me a better person. The love God has for me is bubbling up inside of me and I know he has that same love for everyone else. That makes me want to have that same kind of love. Just because I read my Bible and the knowledge of Gods love is inside me, I didn’t really know it until my relationship grew. Now I see and feel his love because we are so close. Just like any relationship it takes time of talking about important issues. It is so easy to do the polite chit chat and not really know someone. But to me, everyone has the potential to be a new great friend. Even though I know I may never see them again I want them to know I care about them and wish them well. Even a couple well chosen words can say so much. It is hard for me to talk to some people because I don’t speak very loud or distinctly. But I try real hard to use gestures and emotions to help my words. My smile is a big thing I always want to give away. The more time I spend with God, the more I will be like him. I know myself, I still make judgments of others. Someone can do or say something and I assume. That is sin and I confess that one a lot. I do not know the shoes they’ve walked in and I want to be understanding but I need God’s help. We all do.
What can you do or who can you talk to today?