“But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.” Luke 5:16 NIV
Praying is very important. Jesus knew this and spent so much time building himself up in prayer. If Jesus who was perfect needed that, how much more do we need it. It says he withdrew to lonely places. It was important that praying to God was in a quiet place. With nobody around for distractions. When we are alone with God in prayer we are far from lonely. But God deserves our complete and full attention. Praying is not something difficult or exact, but just coming to God and talking. Tell God you’re every need, desire, and what’s important to you, and don’t forget thanksgiving for all he has already done for you. It is easy to focus on needs and what you don’t have. It’s more important to be thankful for all you do have. God takes such good care of me and supplies all that I need. He wants to bless me abundantly and he does as soon as I get my mind off of me and back on what I can be doing for his kingdom and others. He wants us to bear much fruit. If we are praying and desiring to bear fruit he can bless us. He will give us more fruit. It is simple sowing and reaping. If you want to be loved and cared for, then be loving and caring. If you want respect, then be respectful of others. This is not complicated, but very simple. Spending time talking to God and doing things to become closer to him will make you a better, happier person. The more you let him solve your problems and shoulder your burdens, the more you will seek to do the same for others. This will only make your life better, and also for those around you. God’s principles are good. He desires to give us a good and abundant life. But it is not just about what he’s doing. We have to believe in what he asks us to do. To do it all because God knows best. He only tells us because he knows it works. We may not understand everything he does know, but I know him and I know he loves me. He would never steer me wrong. I have sixty years experience following him and I have done things my way and I have done things his way. And guess what? His ways are so much better.
Do you have a relationship with him?
“I lift up my eyes to the mountains – where does my help come from ? My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth.” Psalms 121:1-2 NIV
The Lord is so faithful. On our own we can do nothing, we are just useless sinners. All good comes from the Lord and all bad comes from our enemy the devil. Everyone is created by God in the womb. Our looks, our personalities, our abilities, and our desires. He knows us so very well. He also loves each and every one of us. He promises to help us through our journey on this earth. To make it joyful, happy, fulfilling and useful. He gives us just what we need to know to do everything that he has called us to do. We were separated from this good and loving father at birth by death and sin but he is always drawing us back to himself. There is a whole in each and everyone of us that we will try to fill, it’s a God sized whole that only God can fill. When we find him he brings so much help to satisfy our lives. We are each called to be somebody special. Those that reject him will never know that wonderful peace, contentment, strength and joy that he can bring. The only way to get it is to know the godhead, all three. They each bring so much to our lives. I spend so much time studying scripture and how it relates to our lives. Do you know how much you can learn from just one scripture? Every scripture is important and says so much. I have read the same scriptures over so many times but I always seem to see something new. I was just reading in Exodus about the tabernacle and it was a very beautiful place. But the Lord in his great wisdom wanted it just so for good reasons. He gave special knowledge to certain people to build it perfectly. In just how it would come together. It was also very functional in how it easily came apart to be carried on their journeys in the wilderness. God thinks of every detail. He even chose certain individuals to carry certain parts so nothing was left behind. And no one was left out. It commanded awe and respect when you were inside. Did you know that now our bodies our that temple ? We no longer need to go to the temple to have access to God. We have continual access. We have a direct line. God has a perfect job all planned for us . He also gives us the knowledge we will need to do that job well. He has a perfect place for us in society and in ministry as well. He gives me inspired words of great help to others.
Do you know why you have been called and to what?
“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?
“I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12 NIV
This morning in my quiet time this verse just jumped off the page. Life can be hard and scary at times. I’ve had times when I just felt confused. Was I going the right way? Couldn’t I just have a clue? Before I had my stroke I stopped trying so hard I just wanted to satisfy myself. I stopped caring about doing the right thing. It was my time. I had gotten away from the Lord and Satan had me convinced that I wasn’t wrong. I deserved it. It was a very selfish time in my life and I am not proud of it, but I was so deceived. I now know how easily that can happen. Not spending time with the Lord and in questionable pursuits had hardened my heart and I was not seeing clearly. I really feel my stroke was what saved me. God grabbed my attention and said, “What are you doing?” Well after a massive stroke I was flat on my back, unable to speak, move, or even open my mouth. I had plenty of time to think. That was such a dark time, but now I can see again. It is so important to stay plugged into God so the power does not go out. I never want to go there again. I have been seeking the Lord so earnestly for the past few years and my life is so much better. People all around me chat about this problem and that problem like it’s normal and I feel so blessed and lucky. This morning it began to make more sense. Jesus really is light, and if you really are walking in the light you can see clearly. When you are doing everything you can to grow with Christ by praying, reading the Bible, going to a good church, listening to praise music, and really focusing on doing things that lift you up. For me that was no tv except Pureflix, Christian books, Bible studies and podcasts, even religious games and staying away from non edifying things. I had to immerse myself in God for a time. Now I enjoy it so much I can’t stop. Now I am flooded with light and my life has never been more awesome. I still have problems and concerns but when they pop up I can hear that still small voice telling me which way to turn and that’s so special. Try this, do that, and they work. The light of life is great.
Do you know how much easier it is to walk in the light?
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son, that whosoever believes in him shall not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send his son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” John 3:16-17 NIV
Oh, how God loves us! He could not let one little mistake condemn the world to a dead life and then death. He loved us so much that he wanted to share everything with us and enjoy life together forever. He can not condone sin but he planned a way to do away with that sin so we could be together. He paid a very large price to see that accomplished. He had to watch his own son suffer and die taking on all the sins of the world in our place. He had to turn away from his precious son because of all that sin. Even though he had lived a perfect life. He was so proud of his son, but he carried all that sin so we wouldn’t have to. After three days of torment he was raised to his rightful place in glory at the right hand of his father. Now God sees us just like his son. We are joint heirs to everything that he has and part of his family, brothers and sisters of Jesus, of God. He never wants to be a taskmaster or will he look on us with contempt. He just wants us to take him up on his offer to always love and care for us by just believing that he is who he says he is. He has proved it by fulfilling so many prophecies over thousands of years. He has also shown such great love by helping and meeting the needs of his children over and over again. Miracle after miracle, again and again. I’m just one daughter in billions but after sixty years he has done so much for me and anointed me to make a difference in my world. I feel so small and insignificant at most times. I am in a wheelchair and can’t walk, I do not talk very clearly and have trouble being understood. I have plenty of negatives in my life but he doesn’t care. He wants me to be great. He has enabled me to touch so many lives. I am important in his eyes and he keeps confirming that to me. I have such a hard time accepting that at times but he has shown the (FOG) favor of God in my life. I do not know how people who don’t know him get by. This is a very difficult life we live but I have hope. I accept all the help I get and will do whatever my creator says will help. He knows best and he’s proved it over and over again.
Do you want the FOG over your life?
“There is a time to be born and a time to die…”. Ecclesiastes 3:2 NIV
There is a time to be born and a time to die. There is really no mystery over death and it is predetermined. Before we were ever born God had a plan for every minute of our lives. Whether we live for two minutes or 30,000 days it is in God’s hands. We don’t die one minutes early or one minute late. The only one who has control over our lives is God. I know the devil would like us to think differently. I’m sure he probably thinks differently about the subject. One day over two thousand years ago he had a plan to destroy a good man. This was a very good man that healed the sick and raised the dead. This was God’s one and only son. Do you think he would have let him die if he had known the final outcome? That one death would change the world and make it possible for no men to die again. God’s perfect plan of salvation. The devil would love to see you tormented by a fear of death and dying. Will I have a heart attack, be murdered, get hit by a car, or die suffering from cancer. It really doesn’t matter to me. I know that God knows the minute that I will close my eyes for the very last time. Nothing can happen that my God doesn’t know in advance. There never has been a time that he was surprised. He never said, oh no, I didn’t see that coming. What are you doing in heaven? If he knows when a single sparrow falls then he can see us every minute. You may die because of an accident, car accident or a drowning, but it wasn’t by accident. God doesn’t make accidents. He is perfect. He may let the enemy think they have gotten away with something, but ultimately they have no control only control God has given them. But he also makes things work out for our best. So God has the last laugh so to speak. I have a friend whose roommate died suddenly and it was a medical mistake that caused her death. My friend was so upset that she had died so young and felt someone should pay. I explained that it was God’s will for her to die when she did and that God just used an accident to fulfill his will. Humans can set out to take a life but only God’s will is final. I know an incident when someone set out to have an abortion on their unborn child only to have that child live. It may have physical problems but God’s plans are good. I loved the movie ‘Breakthrough,’ about some teenage boys that fell through ice into a lake and one boy drowned. The boy could not be revived when he got to the hospital and the doctor finally told the frantic mom. The mom prays frantically and the boys heart begins beating. Doctors tell her there is no hope for a good outcome. They keep him in an induced coma for some time. The nurses even complain about taking care of someone who will die eventually. But when the mom says wake him up and pull the plug he awakens and gives his momma a big hug knowing full well who she is. He is perfect. This well known doctor is floor-boarded. He had never scene such a miracle. This was a true story that rocked an entire town. This is the God I serve, and he’s awesome.
Do you fear death?
“For the spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love, and self-discipline.” 2 Timothy 1:7 NIV
God does not want us to live in fear. We can not change anything when we fear. What will be, will be. God’s will prevails. When we fear we rob ourselves of current peace over a future we have NO control over. God wants us to trust him. God will turn everything for our good for those that love him and are called to his purposes. That is so true but fear still exists. I did some looking into fears and phobias. Recently I have had to have several rotten teeth pulled. I know it is for the best but I have a real fear of dentists. They make me anxious. I can get through cleanings all right. I have always had bad teeth. I had my first filling when I was quite young. People fear many things. Fifteen of the most common fears are- claustrophobia, dentists, public speaking, spiders, large areas and crowds, bridges, blood, birds, bodies of water, heights, fire, not having your cell phone, technology, dogs, and the dark. I have had nine of these but three don’t bother me anymore. FEAR – False evidence appearing real. More confidence as I grow older and am stronger in what I believe has helped me in speaking. But as I waited for my dentists appointment God showed me what can ease fear. His presence will overcome fears. How do we come into his presence? He inhabits the praises of his people. So praise him. Be still and know that he is God. He deserves praise because he is sovereign, holy, righteous, and very loving. He even told me to turn on praise music, put my earbuds in and then go to my appointment. It really helped because I was singing along to the music (to myself) and not really paying much attention. In five minutes he was all done. In his presence is fullness of joy. These fears really are irrational but they are real. I used to love going to Coronado Island in the summertime but I had to cross that bridge to get to the island. I’ve had so many shots, iv’s, and blood drawn since my stroke that it doesn’t phase me anymore. Since the stroke I have a real fear of heights. Even sitting on the edge of my bed scares me because I’m unsteady and have experienced many falls and I can do nothing to help myself. So that one is justified. Even though I used to fly airplanes I have a fear of heights. In a plane you are strapped in and in control. I can’t even look down from a high room without getting nauseous. It’s funny how many strong people have these phobias. All you can do is pray to get through them and his presence does help.
What are some fears you have?