“Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.” Romans 5:3
What is righteousness? Morally right. Well God is always morally right. It is taking God at his word.and believing him. Believe what he says he will do. His promises are true and we can count on them every time. When he tells you to do something, even when it might not make sense to our finite minds, God is faithful and always right. He has never steered me wrong. He loves you and will always do what is best for you. Following his commands and doing the right and loving things even when it’s not easy. God will always help you to do the right thing. When you step out to do the right thing you will always have free will to do as you please. Our world is full of wickedness because people choose to do their will, not God’s will. Satan wants to destroy everyone because God made us and loves us. You may have troubles but God will lead you through them as you trust and listen to him. We have the troubles usually because we listened to Satan and he convinced us to do what we want. If we pray unceasingly God will show just what to do to get out of troubles. The more time you spend with him the more his presence leads you to the right path. We can want to do the right things all we want but we need his help to do the right things. None of us are righteous, no not one. Only God can make us righteous. Nobody say’s, “I think today I will have fun sinning.” It just happens because it is our natural nature. Sometimes bad things happen but they can really be used for good by God. Look how Joseph was able to save thousands of people from perishing because he knew the drought was coming. His family had tried to get rid of him but it put him in the right place at the right time. My stroke saved my life, even if my body is broken and far from perfect my mind and spirit are more alive now than ever. I am more alive and at peace but I was living a destructive life before the stroke. God will use evil every day to cause good. To see him turn evil into good just makes me praise him more from day to day. I love to see God’s Glory. He will also give us peace right in the middle of our storms. It makes no sense but I can remain calm during turbulent times. The situation doesn’t even have to change. It’s just amazing. Yep, God is just amazing!
Freedom! What is that exactly? We all want to be free to do what we want. But many do not understand that our desires and wants are what really enslave us. Always needing something more or something better. It’s overindulgence that enslaves us.
‘It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened by a yoke of slavery.” Galatians 5:1
“Then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.” John 8:32
I have come to realize that fighting on the right team is so important. What army are you aligned with? I personally know the supreme commander of my army and he is the ultimate fighter for freedom and peace. He equips all of his soldiers with the best armor and the very best weapons available. I’ve never known true freedom until getting to know my commander personally. He has told me to let him know all of my needs and wants because he wants to make sure I have everything I really need. He has also taught me how to fight. There is a real enemy out there that wants to take over the world and he is extremely vicious and devious. But he doesn’t really have the power he thinks he has and is most successful with the weaker ones that don’t know the true commander. He has pulled the wool over their eyes and they are loosing and they don’t really realize they need to fight. I don’t want to sit back and watch soldiers that are so blinded by their surroundings that they have turned on their own team and are busy trying to destroy everything and everyone around them. So make sure you are fighting the right fight and with the supreme commander of your army.
“In all their distress he too was distressed, and the angel of his presence saved them.” Isaiah 63:9 NIV
When we suffer he cares. In this life we will have trials. That is a given. But when we suffer he blesses us with his presence. Knowing he is with us can bring comfort. Knowing that we are not alone and that he will help us is important for strength. When we are weak he can be strong. When I am dealing with hard things such as my health and pain it always helps to know he cares and in his time he will bring about what is best for me. His best is always more than I expect. He loves me and as I focus on being the best I can be for him, he wants to bless me. He is always doing special things for me. Whenever I think I am going to need something, a special gift I never expected will show up. Like this week the bag of chocolates I got from Christmas was almost gone. I had enjoyed having a little treat in the afternoons and even though I could do without. A package came from my daughter of a large bag of chocolates. Just God’s way of sending blessings my way. Extra special blessings. I always say thank you. And I feel that he always cares. I had pneumonia a few months back and it came on quickly and strong. One minute I was enjoying time at church with friends and feeling fine. Then at dinner I felt dizzy and nauseous. This has never happened before and I thought I was having a heart attack. I had to trust that God knew what was going on and that he was in charge. But that didn’t happen at first. I gave myself a panic attack first. I felt my heart race and I knew I needed to relax. God helped me fall asleep when I thought I couldn’t. He helped me rest the next few days when my roommate was loud. It took about three weeks before I started feeling myself again. God was with me though. Recently as I prepared to go to a conference at my church I woke in the middle of the night worrying about all the things that could go wrong. My ride being late. Not being able to open doors and get around on my own. I laid awake for a while worrying. I finally said a prayer that he would provide for all my needs. I reminded myself that he had it under control and that I had nothing to worry about. As the conference came and went it went off without a hitch. Better than I expected. I had a great time. Let him have your cares for he does care for you.
What care do you have that you can give to him?
“You were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.” 1 Corinthians 6:20 NIV
We are so loved. How much? Well let me try to tell you. At one time the world was formless and void. All was dark and there was nothing. God wanted something very special and we were on his mind. Someone who could love him, respect him and enjoy all he is. He began by creating things we would need and want. Every detail was thought out in advance. it had to be perfect and to be able to sustain us for thousands of years. It would fulfill so many needs. He made man as much like him as he could. Able to communicate, think, reason and understand. Not just to exist, but to really live. To leave a legacy for future generations. Everything he made was special just for us. Unique and different plants and animals. Things that we could enjoy but that we could learn about and discover gradually. He walked with the man at first enjoying his companionship, and all was as it should be. No death, no evil, and no wickedness. But we were given the will and freedom to make our own choices. Something an imperfect people will screw up in time. God told man to do only one important thing , but Satan used that one simple thing to put a wedge between us and God. The tree of life. There were tons of different trees all around, yet that wasn’t enough. We always seem to want what we shouldn’t have. Might be missing something. Well from the day that sin came into the perfect garden God had to banish man from the garden. But God did not give up on us. There would be a way for us to be together again and many years later this plan was perfected. Jesus was born on earth to a poor, young couple and began to show us what love really was. He was born for one reason and that was to redeem us. Where we could be perfect once more and he could spend eternity with us. This is how much we meant to him. Though even though we were all messed up sinners his son would come to earth and live a perfect life showing us just how to be perfect and love all. But being human he would understand all we go through, yet still not sin. Then he would willingly be arrested, ridiculed, beaten and murdered for us. Dying in our place he would sacrifice himself for all mankind. What a price. But he did it gladly just imagining that day years away when so many who had accepted this priceless gift would be together with him forever. In a place that was perfect. No pain, no tears, just joy continually.
Do you understand how much he wants you?
“You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you might go and bear fruit – fruit that will last- and so that whatever you ask in my name the father will give you. This is my command: Love each other.” John 15:16 NIV
God made this world to have people who would love him. People he could have a relationship with. He chooses us. If he does not choose you, you will never believe in him. He does not choose everyone. Some people will reject him no matter what he does. They are spiritually blind and God has not opened their eyes. We are a messed up people. Without him we can do no good thing. We are cursed with an awful sin nature from birth. We will all sin and think more of ourselves than anyone else. But some of us he believes in. I was born into a wonderful Christian family and my grandfather was a Baptist minister. It was a church going family. From the time I was born I was in church. It was part of my life. I accepted Christ into my heart when my kindergarten teacher approached me one day. It was during recess that I said the sinners prayer. I will never forget that day. Some people don’t hear about the Lord till later on in life. He calls us to himself to be his children. He wants us to bear fruit. The fruit that he speaks of is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, meekness, temperance and faith. These are characteristics that he shows and he wants us to grow and share these characteristics with others and help them to learn of his love for everyone. He wants us to have faith. He tells us to come to him in the name of his son, Jesus, and ask anything and it will be done for us. He wants to do so much for us. He wants to give us the best life we could ever have. But he wants us to love him and follow his commandments. To love others. Not just anyone can do that. He knows that. Even though he will help, not everyone will do that. Many will follow the world and its ways. To be just like everyone else. I don’t want to be like everyone else. I want to be different. I want to be promised forever with him when I die. I will not feel guilty that I was chosen. I will never take that for granted either. I will, however, continue to pray for others that their eyes will be opened too. He has said that everyone may come to him.
You are welcome but will you come?
The Holy Spirit is the most understood part of the trinity but by the spirit we as followers of Christ receive the most power. Not just in our spirit but in every area of our lives. Everything that God wants for us is possible and the Holy Spirit helps. Let me explain. When Jesus was here on earth he was perfect. His life was to be admired and emulated. He explained to everyone that he had come to do the will of his father first and foremost. Whatever the Lord had for him he would do it. He spent many hours in prayer with his father for strength and wisdom. He was God made human and gave us a awesome example to follow. If he was perfect and we are just lost sinners don’t we need to do the same? After he was resurrected from the grave and before he ascended into heaven to his rightful place on the throne to reign forever, he told his selected few, the disciples, to wait for the power to come, which was the Holy Spirit. Waiting on the Lord is an important part of our power. After they had been locked into a room, out of fear, and had been praising, singing and praying the spirit came in power. The spirit came upon then in power and the began speaking in tongues as the spirit gave them utterance. When were born again into this family of God his spirit came to live with each of us forever. We have been adopted by God. Chosen. We are no longer alone in this hard, lonely, and corrupt world. We have an advocate that is with us to help us in every area of our lives. This power has been in me so much lately. I am overwhelmed by all he is doing in my life. The first area is prayer, this is so important for my relationship with God and strength. The more you pray the more effective you become. The more you pray for others , the more you get blessed when you see those prayers being answered. I may pray for something for months, but the greater that answer is when it does come. Time spent in prayer talking to God is never wasted time. When you are quiet and listening he can and will share so many great things with you. He gives me great things to write about, what to do in certain situations, and what to say to people. Just that morning he told me to listen to praise music and it helps so much. Lately it is so necessary with all our problems. Now I am filled with his power and am unstoppable. I don’t know how people who reject him and his power get through life in this difficult world. But it can’t be good. I’m so thankful for the power he has given me.
Do you want to know this same power?
“Not by might nor by power, but by my spirit, says the Lord. Zechariah 4:6 NIV
It’s the big day. Thousands of years went into the details of this big moment. As families we spare no expense to have that one perfect moment. A wedding, a graduation, a birth, so many special moments. But this day was planned for longer and harder than others. Think of this family, for a moment, the father, the son, and the Holy Spirit. They were together for so long before the world ever began. They spent time talking of all the details. What would it be like to have a huge family to love. Their expertise was love and they had to share it. It had to be free to be, not required. A love given and accepted and given in return. What would this world need. I can image the hours of chats and the special times as a family together planning. Then what would we do when they rejected us and did their own thing. What about sin? Sin had to be dealt with. Someone or something had to pay. God is just and he is perfect, so he needed a perfect plan. I imagine them putting there heads together to come up with a plan. Dad why don’t I go to earth as an example of your love. I can live with man and teach them so much about you and your ways. I can do so much good. Sin means death so I will pay for everyone’s sin with my life and go to hell for them. This was a good plan. But it would take time. So when Adam and Eve sinned God took an innocent lamb and slaughtered it to cover their shame. He taught the people how to cover their own sins by taking an innocent lamb, perfect and precious and slaughter it in their place. God was so proud of his son. He would do this willingly so that we could be together forever. One day everyone would be together where death was no more and everything would be perfect just as it was meant to be. This plan would have so many details but it would be worth it. They also knew that Satan would just give anything to destroy the son of God. That would work to their desired end. Satan would never envision that he was working right into their hands. Then that special day came for Jesus to leave. They had been together for so long. The big three had shared so much it had to be hard. Saying by for now. Jesus was giving up so much. His power, his glory, the closeness they all shared. He was starting out as an innocent, helpless baby. His new family was young, poor, scared and alone. They were to be a part of this great plan. How exciting! It was hard but God was with them. As Jesus grew he always spent time with his family in prayer. He needed that strength now more than ever. As a man he had trials and needs that could easily distract him. He had to stick to the plan perfectly. It was easy to have compassion as he did have that perfect love living in him but the physical challenges of being about all his fathers business could wear him out at times. These people really were messed up. They really needed help. Couldn’t they see. Our ways are so much better. If they just tried it they would know. It was frustrating at times. But Friday came and the overwhelming responsibility came and was hard it was real and scary. If there could be any other way. No, he grew strong in God his father. He would do this and God would be with him. He looked out into the future. Lives flashed before his eyes, not one, not two, but billions. His joy was real. He did this for us. It made him stronger. With each lash and each second he had eternity on his mind. Then came the moment when sin was so great upon him that his own father could look no longer. He turned away. All of heaven was hushed as they watched him take his last breath. The earth rumbled and the veil was torn once and for all. It was finished. Sin would no longer have control. He was placed in the tomb. Jesus the sinless lamb carried all the sin of the world. Every last one into death for each of us. Something too impossible for us to imagine. Death, hell, torment forever was taken away for us never to experience. Jesus did not deserve this but he would do it again if he had to. We were worth it. With the belief in Jesus work and when we are sorry for the sin that has control over our lives he has offered us his gift. We can be born again. We have the opportunity to be new. To be brothers and sisters, to have access to the three 24/7 everything they are is ours. Joy is the greatest. We are no longer a nobody, but are somebody to the king. We receive power and authority as children of the king. Our lives will never, and should never be the same. And we can live in the house of the Lord forever.
Do you wish to accept this awesome gift? To die to the old you and be made brand new?
“Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me.” 2 Corinthians 12:8 NIV
When we go through trials and difficult situations we need to run to the Lord. We need his strength and wisdom. Jesus was living a life that was hard, and he went through so much. He can understand our struggles. He can relate. He, more than anyone, had faith and trust in his father. This last week I have had challenges. With them God has shown me so much. Trials are tests are hard and God may not remove them but he will help us through them. I have an electric wheelchair and have had for 12+ years. My chair is comfortable and allows me independence. My chair will tilt back so I can relax. A while back it just shut off and wouldn’t turn back on. I was put in a manual chair but it was very uncomfortable. I could only handle it so long. I can not move it myself so I was very dependent on others. I had also been praying fervently for a few people at deaths door. People who were young and had so much to live for. I found myself crying out to the Lord. We have been promised that if we have faith we can move mountains. When you really want those mountains to move you will cry out. Jesus had great faith. He commanded the storm to calm, the blind to see, the lame to walk, and the dead to rise. When he spoke things happened. As his death drew near I know he did not fear death. The chance to be back home with his father had to be a welcome thought. But like all of us, the suffering coming was scary and unwanted. He cried out to God to take this pain away. Not once, not twice, but three times. When God uses something three times it is significant. Jesus was doing something we do naturally. Help, enough. I can’t do this. God does not expect us to do more than we can but he knows more than we do. I was praying for a young man in an automobile accident that had killed his grandma instantly and by all intents he should have died instantly also. But he held on and everyone was praying for a miracle. After a couple weeks God took him home. Why didn’t God answer our prayers? Why didn’t God answer the fervent prayers of Jesus. Why did Jesus even pray them if that wasn’t God’s will? We have to trust that God sees the big picture. Everything and everyone involved has needs and everything works together for the good of everyone. That one little trial may have a big cause. Just think what would have happened if Jesus had not died for our sins. We were lost and needed a savior. It had to be somebody perfect like God’s son. He is the only one who could do it. Might God have found a different way? Maybe, but the impact of that sacrifice has saved so many lives. It was not easy but it was Gods will to save the world. Jesus did it gladly and looked forward to seeing each one of us in heaven with him. God helped him endure the suffering and he will be our strength too. Trials do help us grow also. The more we go through the stronger we become. Physical, mental, and spiritual strength.
Can you trust that God does know what is best?
“Cast your anxiety on him for he cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7 NIV
This weekend I read a comment on Facebook that bothered me but I just did not know how to respond. I did think about it a lot though. Someone said, “I know God doesn’t exist, if he does I know he doesn’t care.” Well personally for me I know that is not true. But how sad for those who don’t know him. But for someone journeying through this life, making mistakes, and not having someone to help or encourage them, it must feel hopeless. As Christians we can read his word and feel so encouraged. But I believe God is always pursuing the lost. His was just a cry for help. He probably really did want someone to prove him wrong. Otherwise there is no hope to pull you up when you are down. Bad things happen to everyone and Satan doesn’t have favorites. When he’s seeking to destroy he doesn’t want anyone to have hope. That is why he tries so hard to get us isolated from other believers. Why we miss church can be for many reasons, busy times, work, sickness, and even fear can keep us away. What’s important is that when we are on our own we have a bullseye on our backs. Even Christians can be overcome by tough circumstances. To feel that all is against you and that nothing is going right is common. I heard someone say yesterday that they just can’t get over something someone did to them and its eating them up inside. Bad thoughts and doubts come back to haunt you when you don’t forgive. We know what we should be doing by reading our bibles. If we seek his will for us and keep his commandments he will take care of us. God loves to help us and he truly cares. But we need to do our part first. I was born into a Christian family and my grandfather was a Baptist minister so I was in church from the get go. I have never not known that Jesus loved me. As a child we read a children’s bible story book each night after dinner. Good principles and training on how to apply them in my life were common. What if I didn’t know God? I guess it would be scary. There are blessings for those who serve God and curses for those who enemies of God. There are generational curses that can be passed down by relatives. Sowing good brings good back and sowing evil brings evil back. But how do you explain that to someone who doesn’t know God? I guess the Bible is a good place to start. What if you were separated at birth from God by sin and death, and not knowing the father that really loves you. If he was not in your life then how would you know he loves you? If you were taken from your family at birth how would you ever know that they really loved you, how would you feel. Lost! We as Christians need to see non-Christians as a missing family member. We need to do all that we can to let them know that God loves them. If I could find him, I would, but I can’t. I pray that someone does. You really need to read how much God really does love us and how much he is always doing for us. We just need to turn to him. His story is so amazing and you can’t help but see his love for man in all he does and says. He is mighty and powerful and I wouldn’t want to be his enemy. I have seen what he has done to evil doers. He has done so much for me and those in my life. And I’m so glad for my heritage and the generations of loving, God-fearing people in my family. If you don’t know him you really should get to know him and find out all he will do for you. We are all messed up people but he called us. He is in the process of making us all what he wants us to be. So he helps us become after he calls us. There is hope for us all no matter how messed up we are.
Can you give up your concerns to someone who cares?
“My mouth will tell of your righteous deeds, of your saving acts all day long – though I know not how to relate them all.” Psalm 71:15 NIV
Oh, I know my God lives. What proof do I have? It is hard to explain. God has become so real to me in the last few years and I just want to scream of his excellent greatness. I see the stars at night and I think of the many galaxies and each star, comet and asteroid. How the Earth continues to orbit at just the correct axis so we nether freeze nor burn up. How the wind blows around the Earth bringing with it continued seasons and moisture. The beautiful greens and colors of plants and flowers to enjoy, not just for food but plants for pleasure. Like a red rose from a spouse. Plants for medicines and healing. Animals of all shapes and sizes, many different colors and many different characteristics. Look at a sloth so lazy and slow or a hedgehog all curled up in a tiny little ball. We got to have a petting zoo come out to our care home last month and they brought so many different exotic animals and had them in a great big playpen together. It was fun to see how they all got along together so well. I got to hold so many strange and different animals. You know God did not just make necessary and important animals, but I think he really had fun coming up with funny looking, strange, beautiful, and amazingly unique animals. I love to watch animal shows. I learn so much from them. My favorite was funny friends where a horse and a chicken were best friends. The chicken loved to ride around on his back everywhere he went. Just like people they had very strong bonds but didn’t care that they were different. Animals can do so many amazing things. Then there are humans. Our bodies are unbelievably technical but so adaptable. This week I watched a video about a woman who was born with no arms who got her pilots license. She flew small planes with her feet. I used to be a pilot so I know how so much happens at once. It must have been so difficult for her at first. She used her legs and feet for everything. Look at great minds and all they have done for our world. Doctors and inventors, mathematicians and astronauts. We have come so far but I give all the credit to my awesome God. I have found so much joy in praying for others and seeing some extraordinary answers to those prayers. We all go through so many hard times but when answers finally come after some time it can bring such joy. Like the movie ‘Breakthrough ‘, which I highly recommend. Where a young boy falls through ice and drowns. But comes back to life as if nothing had happened. A true story. God is the only answer for such miracles. If you don’t know him you are really missing out.
Would you like to know more?