“The Spirit gives life; The flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you – they are full of the Spirit and life.” John 6:63
I can remember when I was living in sin and my eyes were blinded. I wanted to do what I thought was fun. To live my life. But now my eyes are opened to the precious presence of Jesus in my life. I have never known a more abundant life. You know what? It’s only going to get so much better. I see miracles all around me and it is so amazing. I look at people and see what they say is exciting and I just have to laugh. If they only knew what real freedom looked like. The worst day of pain and trials with Jesus is so much better than the best day without Jesus. I live in a care home because my stroke took so much from me. My body seems to be slipping farther and farther away each day as I age. Lately I have been dealing with nerve pain in my legs but at night when I can’t sleep because of the pain I find myself just singing praises. Or just thinking about his exciting blessings in my life. Last night I watched my oldest granddaughter graduate from high school. I can remember that right after my stroke she was born. I have lived in this nursing home for almost 18 years. I can still remember her crawling around on my floors and playing with playdoh. I almost didn’t have a chance at grandchildren if I had died from my stroke. But God has blessed me so much. I have a huge family here at my home and although it is hard watching people loose their memory or dying I love the people here. But having someone who loves me so much and accepts me just as I am is great. I will still screw up and make mistakes but I have already been forgiven for them. What love! This makes every breath worth taking and doing everything I can to have more of him. Every day I am trying to think of what will make him smile and what more I can do for him. I love to read. I guess that came from my mom the librarian. But I really love reading about God and learning more about him. I am going through the Bible so slowly now that I want to know what he’s telling me about every chapter I read. Some are of prophecies and can be a little confusing but I will keep reading the same chapter till I hear something from God. Even when they are just names or details I see something and am amazed at what I learn. Nothing is boring or repetitious when you are seeking diligently. God’s word is truly alive and you will always see something new.
“He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” Revelation 21:4
For those of us who persevered we will win. This life is a battle and it is a race and we need to do our part and never give up or give in. That is harder than it sounds but with Christ doing most of the work, it’s doable. God created us in his image on purpose and for a purpose. We are meant to be his image living and breathing on this earth. The greatest thing we can do is to love like he taught us to. Loving him first and then loving others more than ourselves. When you love someone you want what is best for them. I know how much I look forward to one day going to heaven and seeing Jesus face to face. But what about all those that don’t know him? It should be my desire to see them going to heaven with me. My job is to love them into heaven. Not everyone will accept that they are sinners going to die in their sins. But I do know that they desire unconditional and pure love. And this is the kind of love that Christ offers. To come as they are and just accept his free gift of life. So many people are facing hurts and abuse and depression and a negative mindset. They don’t believe a Holy God could want anything to do with them. Telling people about God, the one who loves them, is scary. We feel we will be rejected and ridiculed for being naive. But they really need to know the truth and there is a 50/50 chance that they will accept it. Maybe not right then but eventually. If you don’t say anything they are dying and you didn’t even try. If you are loving others and trying to meet their needs that will help but they could be hurting inside. The suicide rate is increasing with sin. There is a hopelessness that is rampant in this world and there is only one way to cure it. Jesus was given the keys to death, hell, and the grave. He has all the power. When he cleans you, you are whiter than snow. I know that when the sun shines on freshly fallen snow it can be blindingly bright. People need to know that he died for them also. That it is free if they will only believe. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16 There is a glorious place waiting for us over yonder. A place that we can never fully imagine. No more evil, period. For eternity, and that’s a long time. So make sure you invite as many as you can to go with you.
“When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.” Psalm 56:3
Fear is not having trust. God is so worthy of all our trust. After living this life for sixty plus years I’ve seen God take care of me time and time again. If you have doubts you just need to spend more time with God in prayer and reading his words. FEAR is just False Evidence Appearing Real. We can not know the future. Only God knows the future and he is in complete control of it. And I know he is very good. Jesus paid the ultimate price for us to have a full and abundant life. How many times :in the Bible does it say, “Fear not.” But to pray without ceasing and to be thankful. Especially for freedom from fear. God has our hands in his hands and he will always see us through. When I am loving him with my whole being and seeking to do the work he has for me. He has promised to do everything for my best interests. Not what I think is best. But what he knows is best for me. There are so many reasons why trials might be good for me. But the bottom line is that he will not let me suffer any longer than necessary and it has to have a purpose. I know Satan just wants to see me suffer, period. But God! He has the final say. How will he twist this to have his perfect outcome? There are so many variables. Because he is not only worried about me, but in everyone whose lives come in contact with mine. He is also concerned about them. His primary and ultimate goal is to bring everyone into heaven with him. Where he will allow someone to come to the end of themselves where they cry out to God in desperation. Such as I did when I had my stroke. People will come to a place where they need something bigger than themselves. Someone who will deliver them from their problems and mistakes. When we realize that we just don’t have all the answers. That is where he has been leading us all along. Our finite minds like to think that we are in control of our lives. And that we have all the answers but we are deceived. Satan will play that up every chance he gets because when we take control we make mistakes that make matters worse for us. When we want what satisfies for the moment like drugs, sex, and over indulging. They give false satisfaction. And afterwards we are worse off. So let the one who truly does have control do what he does the very best.
“My heart, O God, is steadfast: my heart is steadfast, I will see and make music.” Psalm 57:7
God has been working on an amazing symphony ever since the world was created. It is a masterpiece that would make Mozart and Bach jealous. He has a score all set up for everyone he created. We don’t always play the notes he set up but that just makes the music a little more dramatic and unique. Like when someone murders or abuses someone else. Or even when we do something bad that we are not proud of and we wonder how God could still love us and accept us. He does and he uses that to make the music even richer. There are so many instruments that man has created over the years. We have a Musical Instrument Museum here in Phoenix and I have visited a few times. It is so large that I still haven’t seen it all. And they probably still don’t have all the instruments ever created. Think about the aborigines around the world in remote locations. And even home made instruments that different people have come up with. God doesn’t do anything halfway. He is only perfection. Everyone is designed and created on purpose and for a special purpose. He is loving us in to who we will be. I mean look at the life I was raised in, a loving Christian home where we believed that if the church was open we were there. I still rebelled and decided that I wanted my way when I was older. I had to have a stroke to actually wake me up and start seeing God. It wasn’t til I was hurting and crying out to God that the lights went on. I know someone that God was drawing to himself that ran the other way and joined the army. But God kept them safe and eventually drew them back. Like I said our notes aren’t always pretty but God can make something beautiful out of our mess and still use it in his masterpiece. It may seem like a real mess to us but maybe God is working on someone else right in the middle of what we see as a mess. His ways are not always our ways but he does know just what will work on each of his creations. He will use anything to make it happen. This little instrument is just so glad to be used by God. I may be bent and dented but he is still using me.
“One thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple.” Psalms 27:4
What is the greatest desire of your heart? This will tell you a lot about yourself. What is really important to you? We should occasionally ask ourselves this question. To know what God sees when he looks at our hearts. Are we still trying to have our wants fulfilled first. Where is our focus? Are we seeking things to make us happy? Like possessions, family and friends? This world is always trying to shift our focus. The enemy try’s to get us to focus on our problems because as we do we are often defeated by them and we can be consumed by them. If you are a thankful and optimistic person you are happier because you keep your eyes on the good around you. God has told us to put him and his ways first and then he will give us the desires of our hearts. When you do that, do you notice how your desires change. His desires become our desires. When we really focus on him first our eyes are opened to him more and more. We see his glory all around us. Miracles really are all around us. Just the perfection of the human body is a miracle. It can heal itself. When you cut yourself, do you bleed to death? No, God created us that way. When we break a bone it will heal itself but Doctors have learned how to set a bone to heal properly and probably more quickly. Creation itself is amazing. So elaborate like the galaxies. Intricate like beautiful flowers that are only alive for a short time. God has taken care of our every need. Like food, shelter, and clothing which he has promised to take care of. But he has given us an ability to make a living. Maybe you are an accountant, or a doctor or a chef. Whatever he has made you good at benefits all those around you. Even if you are a mortician or a janitor your job is important. He has given us things we can do to help the poor and less fortunate. When we are truly loving others we will seek to meet their needs. Bottom line is for us to love God with all of our heart, soul, and strength and to love others and that is what makes the world go around and his plans are fulfilled.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. “. Phillipians 4:6
Trusting is hard for anyone but God said do not be anxious. So being anxious is a sin. I never saw it that way until I read it somewhere this month. I know to love, and not to lie, steal or hate. Anxiety did not seem like a sin. But for every sin, God Will provide a way out. I used to be a pilot and it takes a lot of trust to fly. Is that plane going to stay in the air? In the sky you can see for miles but you can’t always see other planes or even birds. I had my instrument rating so I could actually fly blind basically. That takes wisdom and trust in more than just knowledge. You put your trust in instruments to tell you just what to do and traffic controllers to tell you just where to be. Away from traffic and other dangers. But you have to trust that God will get you safely from point A to point B. Life is similar. You do not know if you will have an accident, or get cancer, or have a heart attack. But you assume you will live a good long life. We do not know what tomorrow holds, only God does. He has given his words of wisdom to teach us the way we should go, what to do and what not to do. He is our controller. He will lead us and guide us if we listen to him and talk to him. His words are not rules but guidelines to health, safety and happiness. The more you trust the happier and more at peace you will be. I loved flying just after it had snowed. When it was bright and sunny and the view was spectacular. It brought a lot of peace because I was enjoying Gods creation. But there are no guarantees that you won’t have turbulence in this life. Actually we are told that it wont always be sunny. But God is in charge and he will always lead you the right way. He can see the beginning from the end and the whole picture. The enemy can bring things that we don’t see coming, but God will use them for his purposes and our good. I know I have spent many nights lying awake and anxious over something I said, or something I did, or how to explain something to someone. I can even get anxious when someone in a book I’m reading has problems. I’m thinking how it might be made better. Sleep is important for health and strength. God promises good sleep to his children that are trying to seek his will and following his commands. Which includes not being anxious. So let God be God for he is in control.
“Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breached into his nostrils the breath of life, the man became a living being.” Genesis 1:7
Because of the sinfulness and selfishness of man their eyes have been blinded. Because as I see it dust can not breathe or have blood pumping through it’s veins to support that life. The human body itself is a very miraculous thing. Everything to keep us alive, healthy and happily ever after is inside of us. We also have the ability to think and reason. To understand good and evil. Now I am no rocket scientist but could all that just happen? Bang! No I know that it couldn’t. But people have believed that for thousands of years. They don’t want to be responsible for anyone but themselves. They believe they helped it happen. Now is that ludicrous? I can look around me at any hour of the day and see miracles everywhere. Granted I have lived on this earth for 63 years and I have been a Christian for 58 of those years. I have seen Gods faithfulness and seen his hand at work in my life. I have also gotten involved in sins that have blinded me to what is going on around me. Most of my life I spent my life enjoying my family, my job and my things and living my life. But when you nearly die, as I did you begin to think more clearly. What if I had died? Would I cease to exist? Would I go to heaven? Would I suffer in hell? What did I want? Well I wanted to be happy and to go to heaven. But how could I make sure that happened. I began to read everything I could about God, heaven, and about disciplining your life. I bought second hand books by the armfuls. My room looked like a library. I committed to doing whatever it took. Ten years later I am not the same person and some very special people helped me to move forward. The only one I can thank for that is God and his faithfulness. The Holy Spirit has been so good to teach, council, and give me great wisdom. He held my hand through everything. Now everywhere I look I see the hands of God at work giving me peace and contentment. Right in the midst of troubles I’ve never been happier. Thank you God!
“When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” He bowed his head and gave up his spirit.”
This says it is done, check mate, game-set-match, the end. Could he have been any clearer. There are so many defeated and worried people in this world and so many of them are Christians. Do they not believe God? Those words tell me that death is no more. The devil lost. No, he will still try to defeat humanity and destroy lives but the game is still over and he has lost. God says no-one that has been chosen will be lost for they are his. You can do things in this life to give Satan control but he has no control unless you allow it. God has given us authority over Satan because only he has control of our lives. Sickness, addiction, depression, fear, lack, anger and so much more. Jesus paid the ultimate price on that cross and God allowed it because we mean so very much to them. Not just our souls for salvation but so that we have an abundant and full life. God is very much the God of details. Everything is taken care of. He has every circumstance in his hands and he is in control of everything. Not once has he ever been taken by surprise. He can keep track of billions of people every minute and even know their very thoughts and intentions. God is awesome! There is nothing that comes near to that. It takes courage to live a life of conviction. You sometimes have to give up things that you might want, but God knows what is best for you. Following his commands is not always easy and you may lose a job or a friend because of your convictions because doing what God asks of you is not always popular. People may say you are weak, crazy, or strange. But do you know what? I have it so much more with peace and strength and an army on my side. An army that will win every time. The freedoms and peace are so worth any temporary inconveniences in this life. I am going to make sure I take advantage of everything that God has for me. Because I am worth it, God said so.
“I came naked from my mother’s womb, and I will be naked when I leave. The Lord gave me what I had, and the Lord has taken it away. Praise the name of the Lord.” Job 1:21
This morning I just had to write. I’ve been thinking of writing about unanswered prayers for a while now, but I just wasn’t sure, then this morning I woke up with a Garth Brooks song running through my head and God showing me everything I needed to write. God is good. I usually wake up singing praise songs or even other songs. He is always the first thing on my mind. I have really been growing the last few years. But growing takes strength and we need to exercise are muscles. Prayer muscles, faith muscles, and perseverance muscles.We don’t grow much in times of abundance and plenty but during trials. It will bring us to our knees in prayer and that’s a good place to be. I have pain sometimes at night in my legs, and sometimes it can be bad and if adjusting my bed doesn’t help I’ve learned to sing praises or pray if I can’t go to sleep. It will either go away or I will fall asleep. God is definitely listening to our prayers and he knows what’s best. After Covid let up we had a time where different new people we’re getting me up every day. This can be hard because I need things done certain ways so that I feel safe or I can panic. Especially when they don’t understand me. That isn’t good. I prayed about it a lot but God just kept telling me to trust him. I finally decided trust was all I could do because my freaking out didn’t help. I would pray for strength the whole time they were in my room. I kept saying God you’ve got this. Eventually I was at ease with new people and it didn’t bother me anymore. Job trusted God even more after everything he went through. I know that people will get sick and die. But God can heal anything when it’s his will. But sometimes he is ready for someone to come home to be with him. It may not be our choice but he knows best. Crying out to God is right where some people need to be so they stop relying on themselves and let God be God. Trials and pain will draw you to God. You don’t realize all God can and will do for those he loves until he’s your only hope. So trust God today, he does have it in control.
I was reading the other day about how God sees things so clearly because he can see the whole picture. The beginning from the end. It is like a beautiful tapestry. On the bottom we see all of the knots and problems. We can’t see ahead to the finished piece that he sees. You have to remember that he has been working on it for thousands of years. He’s not in a hurry though. Figuring just how and when to send Jesus to earth took a few thousand years. He is always working behind the scenes in so many different lives. God is the creator of so many beautiful things. Landscape scenery is so full of vibrant colors. People have been posting some awesome sunsets and sunrises. With pink, purple, blue, and white with yellow and orange mixed in. There are so many shades of color just like there are so many different people God created. All different and unique. Let’s say one man might be dark and brooding so let’s say he’s a grey thread. Mary might be bubbly and cheerful, a yellow thread. But when woven together they are quite a striking pattern. Same as God using evil for good. Remember how Joseph was sold into slavery in Egypt by his brothers. But God placed him right where he would be able to save many people from starvation. I have done some really beautiful puzzles and you really have to focus on patterns and shading to put them together.God knows just the right person to put into your life at just the right time. People can come together and change each other for good or bad. But we learn and grow by these experiences. Challenges and trials may come through others but it can strengthen us. God is using everything and one day we will see clearly and it will be awesome. Right now it’s a jumbled up mess but I know the one in control and one day it will be a masterpiece.