The Journey

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord'”Lord’, will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven .” Matthew 7:21 NIV

We are all on a journey. Each and everyone of us who are alive are on this journey to discover first ourselves, then God, and the true meaning to this life we have been given. This life is but a snapshot of the long journey we are on. Our life here is approximately 80 years. Some more, some less. But it is very brief compared to forever. We all go somewhere after this life is over. That is determined by the small life we live here. To describe eternity is difficult. Throughout this life God is always calling us. Whether you were born into a Christian Family that went to church every Sunday, or were born to a Muslim family or a non-religious family who did not go to church. You are given life by God and he loves you. Everything around you tells of his glory the fact that there is a great creator is around us daily in all we do. You will know someone who knows Jesus. And will hear about him. But whether you accept or reject these feelings is up to you. You will make a decision to believe or not. If you don’t want to think about it you have already made your decision to reject Jesus. Back to eternity. Heaven will be a wonderful place. There will be no pain or trials anymore . Everyone will have perfect bodies and perfect minds able to know everyone by sight even people you have never met. Like Moses, King David, or the Apostle Paul. It will be a perfect joyous place. Where your happiest memory on earth is just multiplied and goes on and on forever. Or darkness and isolation , surrounded by flames of fire closing in on you all around. Fire that touches and smells overwhelming you but never consuming and never ending. There will be no parties in heaven and your friends may be there but you will never know because you are isolated. No one to hear your cries. How we live our lives and where our heart lies is so important. The only way to heaven is to let go of your past, your pride, your hurts, hate, anger and reach out to Jesus he is the only way. He is already reaching out to you. He knows you are lost and since all man has sinned we are separated from God. We need a savior to forgive us. He will with just a word. Then you can know what it is to really live. Blessed and loved. Forever.

Fire Down In My Soul

“…and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:20 NIV

This is a very comforting verse. But it is sometimes quoted as just the last sentence alone. But by doing that we are missing so much. It starts mid sentence with and. It tells us to be sure to put both sentences together. It’s important to know that when we obey everything he commands us, or strive to, that then he will be with us ALWAYS. Through the good, the bad, and everything in between. It’s easy to think we are alone in the hard times. But he tells us that he will NEVER leave us ever. He is right beside you, or maybe he’s carrying you through it. When I am faced with trials I have learned to make a fist. It reminds me that he is holding my hand. Together we are unstoppable and WILL prevail. I have been doing everything I can lately to feel his presence. It has become so important that I cry out for more of it. Going to church on Sunday’s and hanging out with good Christian friends, listening to excellent praise and worship music, and great words spoken by our church leadership is great. But when I come home to my little room all alone I want to feel that joy still. I hunger and thirst for righteousness and a song we sang comes back to me, Set a fire down in my soul, that I can’t contain and I can’t control. These are great words and I have cried out for this in my own life for a while. But any time you ask for more you have to be willing to take a step forward to seeing it happen. I love to listen to praise music. The words are so powerful. It’s exciting to sing words that you feel so strongly. I am not a songwriter but it seems like I could have said them. I wish I had. I love to watch good Christian movies, read good Christian books, devotionals and my Bible. All of these things can bring me into his presence when I am alone. I can pop my earbuds in and turn the music up while I’m playing games or doing a puzzle but I hear the words and I can’t help but sing along with passion. Like right now I am listening and ‘How I Need You ‘ is on. My heart just can’t help but join in. Some of the greatest times in his presence are right here in my room all alone. But never alone. I have a missionary from my church who is in prison in India and we have been praying for his release. This morning it hit me. The reason why the Apostle Paul could have so much peace while he was in chains, was because he knew what I have found. You can be lifted up where ever you are when you are in his presence. Even if you have no radio you can sing ‘Jesus Loves Me’ and praise till you are filled with his love. It doesn’t take money or things to attain. Just a fire down in your soul that just won’t quit.

Do you want that fire?

If My People

“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven, I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14 NIV

I have quoted this verse many times. But I never really understood the verse till I heard someone teach on it. It meant so much more to me when I saw what each word was saying to me and I just had to share it. I hope it can bring some light to you too.

‘If my people ,’ this at one time meant the Jewish people. They were known as God’s people. He had special things for them his special people. The promised land was a good and rich land where they would be free to worship God the way he wanted. Because they were his people they should want to spend time with him. Especially after all they saw him do for them. And in such mighty and awesome ways.

‘ who were called by my name,’ these were not just any people. These people had a calling on their lives. God doesn’t just call everyone. There are some that will never accept God. No matter what he does or who he is there is evil in this world that will always be there. He is not going to spend much time on those who will never change. He has too many who he Can reach that he wants to reach. They are a priority. He doesn’t expect the last group to pray. They are too proud they don’t need nor do they want any help.

‘ will humble themselves and pray,’ get our minds off ourselves and back on the God of the universe. The one who made us and knows us. He knows what we need and what’s best for us. If we will just turn back to him.

‘ and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways,’ we are an imperfect people. On our own we can do no good thing. But we are called by him. He wants to help us. He wants us to seek him and his ways. To help others and to see that their needs are met.

‘then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin,’ to make an effort to sin no more. To obey his laws. If we make that effort then he will forgive all of our sins. See us as righteous before him. The people he died for and greatly loves.

‘and I will heal their land.’ This nation was at one time founded on the principles of God. We were a very blessed country. He did so much for us but the sin of his people has brought us down. We are no longer that great and Godly country. Pride has taken over and we have rejected our first love. Younger generations have rejected the God of their parents. Serving themselves above all. They no longer need God. But our land is in trouble. So much violence and sin. We need to wake up.

Do you want to see our land be great again?

Master Creator

“Since the creation of the world Gods invisible qualities – his eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen, being understood from what is made, so that people are without excuse.” Romans 1:20 NIV

When the world began things were simple. God made Adam and Eve and they were with God from the beginning and so they knew God. They walked with God and all was perfect. The world was good and they enjoyed each other’s company. God had made all the animals on earth just for Adam and he had total charge over them. Giving each a name as seemed best to him. Everything was for his pleasure. All they would ever need was there. Their surroundings were perfect and they had no need for anything. Then one day Satan changed everything. He convinced the woman that what they had was not enough. He got them looking at themselves and thinking that things could be better. It was just a little doubt. They could have gone to God and he probably would have gladly shown them that what they had was all they needed, but a little doubt can and will separate us from all God has for us. They ate the apple and we all know what happened next. It was never the same. Slowly as the people on earth grew in numbers they thought more and more about themselves and their needs. The God who had been so important in the beginning became less and less important to people. Living their lives and pleasing themselves became more important. That did not stop them from knowing deep down there was a master designer that had created everything. No, it was all around them every day in everything they did. He had provided everything for them. Food in abundance to eat. Animals for food and everything they might need. But they thought of themselves and their wants first. After time they grew farther and farther from God. Enjoying themselves and living for every moment was very important to them. Finally God had had enough and told Noah to build an arc. He would destroy the earth he had made and everything living on it. Just Noah and his family would remain. Him and all the animals he had with him inside the arc. And God promised him that he would never destroy the earth again. A rainbow stood in the sky as a covenant between God and Noah that whenever they saw the rainbow in the sky that it would remind them of Gods promises. We still have that same promise today as we look up into the sky on a rainy day. We can see his rainbow and know he cares for us. Science has shown us so much about all God has done for us even though some scientists refuse to believe what is right in front of them. One day we all will stand in front of a righteous God in judgement . Nobody will be able to say they didn’t know. It was all around them. All along.

Do you know the master creator?

I Have a Maker

“But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the potter shaped it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him. Jeremiah 18:4 NIV

God is the ultimate designer. Before we were ever born he knew us. He knows who we will be and all we will do and become. He designed our personalities and all the life experiences that end up making us who we were meant to be. We don’t ever need to think of ourselves as mistakes or worthless because great thought and planning went into all of us.

He knows the number of hairs on our heads. Who our parents will be. Where we will be born and when. We are all well thought out. God does not make junk. His is only perfection. Just what he wanted all along. He knows what you will do and everyone you will meet. You were made for a reason. The number one reason is to get to know Jesus and to learn to love and worship him with all you are.

He wants to be in every area of your life. But to do this he will have to purge out some of the junk. Sin, hurts and trials that have consumed us. He wants to take them for us. Give them to him and he will carry them. Don’t try to take them back just because you weren’t done fretting over them he needs room for his presence to dwell.

Helping you discover all you can be. That is the Holy Spirits job in you. He has a career all planned out for you and gives you the wisdom you will need to do it well. Maybe he wanted you to be a scientist and you discover cures for disease that will change many lives for the better. Maybe you were meant to be a chef. Creating awesome new meals that others will love and rave about.

Will you have children? Helping them discover all that God has for them throughout their lives is a rewarding job. I know from having three beautiful daughters that are wonderful inside and out how blessed I am to have them. Then they have grandchildren for you and the blessings in this cycle of life just continue on.

Each and every person makes a big difference in each life they touch. It can be in positive ways or in negative ones and the choice is up to you. Every area of our lives was well thought out and how it will work to make the best of our lives come from it. We are not here just for ourselves but to be a blessing to other lives as well. We need to make an effort to make a difference in every life we come in contact with. Saying a kind word or a simple act of kindness. The more I learn how much I am loved, the more I want to show others how much they are loved.

What can you do today to make a difference in your world?

Being a Disciple

“Then Jesus said to his disciples, “whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves take up their cross and follow me.” Matthew 16:24 NIV

What does it take to be a disciple? First you need to know what a disciple means. This is someone who is a pupil or a student learning the principles and disciplines of another. Not just an interested bystander or a follower. You have to become a student. Learning to be just like your teacher. Following all their ways.

Jesus was the only perfect man who ever lived on this earth. Can you think of anyone else worthy to try to be just like? He told us while he was here on earth that he was here for one reason. That was to do all God told him to do and say. Can there be anything more important.

None of us will ever be perfect. We have all sinned. No matter how hard we try we will still make mistakes. God knows that but he still loves us. He just wants us to try. We do not have to do it alone. He has promised to be with us always. Never will he leave us or forsake us. He has promised to send his Holy Spirit to live in us and to help us.

We need to read his words regularly because these are his ways. How can we keep his commandments and what he thinks is important if we do not read what he has said in his written word. What would Jesus do? This is what we need to ask ourselves every day of our lives.

If you want to know in every circumstance this question can direct you back to his words and his ways if you ponder that question. While he was here on earth, Jesus was a living example of what God is like. He showed great love for everyone he ever met. They were very important and so were their problems.

We should act the same way. Loving others more than ourselves and seeking to help others in any way we can. He saw those with sickness and infirmities with great compassion. He never worried that he might get sick or that their problems might rub of on to him. He just wanted to help.

When Lazarus died he knew the outcome of what he was about to do. He was planning to bring him back to life. He still wept when he saw the grief and pain on the faces of his sisters. He had more compassion. The more you follow his words and his ways the easier it becomes and the more you have that same compassion.

I know myself I get emotional over the simplest things when God is involved or someone else is hurting. Being a disciple is not attending church or reading your Bible just so you can check them off your to do list. An obligation done. We do it because we truly love him.

You Can’t Out-give God

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” Psalm 3:5 NIV

” And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.” Phillipians 4:19 NIV

God spoke to me this morning as I was talking to him. He has been opening my eyes to his ways a lot in the last fourteen years. I can understand how blind we can be at times. Going through life day by day it’s easy to get focused on ourselves and our daily struggles. It took him bringing me to a place where my every breath was up to him.

He has taught me so much about how he works. As I was growing up my father and grandfather taught me so much about giving to God first. Tithing was something they had learned was very important and they always saw his blessings through it. So as I began working I tried to continue that tradition.

When I got married and it was no longer just my money I felt it was more important to submit to my husband and let him be the head of the house. He always felt there were so many bills and never enough left over for God. That’s where he was wrong. But it wasn’t up to me to correct him. That’s God’s job.

What we need to understand is that God has commanded us to give and he has very good reasons. We also need to understand that God knows everything. He is not ever going to ask us to do anything that is not good for our best. He has promised to work everything for our best. That’s all the good and bad.

I had to get to a place where I had nothing so I could see that the little I gave was blessed.

I remember the story of the widows mites from when I was a child. This poor widow gave two copper coins as her offering, they were only worth less than a penny but it was all she had. Jesus saw how much it was to her when others gave large amounts and didn’t even miss it.

Many people have been blessed with a lot of money. Some aren’t Christians and know nothing about tithing but they give large amounts away to hospitals, research, even feeding children in other countries. They have learned the blessings of giving. God can use them just as easily as Christians.

First we need to understand it is not our money anyway. When we were born we had nothing and when we die we take nothing. Who was the first person? Adam but everything he ever had was given to him by God. God promised to always give us all we need. He knows all so he knows how to do it. We don’t need to know how.

If you try to make a budget first it will never make sense. His economy does not work the way we can understand. He is looking out for billions of people’s needs all at once. This last week I got to go to a convention for leadership training. They spoke of a need in one of our churches for a food pantry. This remote city had limited resources and great needs.

I felt God speak to me to give an amount. My mind told me how will you do that? My heart told me, ‘God can use me as well as anyone else and I want the blessings he has for my life. He obviously knows more than me. So I gave.

He can bring blessings into my life through unexpected sources. Gifts, inheritance, unexpected money from many places. I am supported by social security. They pay for all of my needs since I became disabled. Leaving me with $100 a month for clothes and miscellaneous needs.

That is not much but after Christmas last year I felt so blessed. I got so much I did not expect from others that I have no needs. The food has been great lately and I haven’t even needed the snacks I used to buy and keep around. My shampoo and other supplies seem to go a lot farther than normal.

I give my tithe every month and wish I could do more. Some months he does ask me to do more. I give and he supplies the need. It is so much more blessed to give than to receive. You can even test God in this one area and see just how impossible it is to outlive God.