The Lord Will Rescue Us

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The Lord knows how to rescue the godly from their trials. 2 Peter 2:9
We all face trials of many kinds. No one is spared from the storms of life. Some of these trials seem unending, it’s as if there is a huge mountain in your way and you are trapped on all sides, unable to move even an inch. But remember we serve a God whose hand made the heaven and the earth and nothing is too hard for Him.
– He is mighty to save
– No mountain is bigger than Him
– God knows when and how to deliver you.
We always want to know HOW God will do it. Let us leave the questions to Him and let’s trust Him.

Dear Heavenly Father, help us through the trials and tribulations we are experiencing in our lives. Sometimes we feel alienated and alone, and we faithfully ask for your help. Guide us Lord through these storms of life, and help us to always remember that you alone are the way, the truth and the light. Stay with us, Strengthen us Lord, You have promised to keep us in perfect peace when our mind and heart are fixed upon You.  Help us to wholeheartedly seek You and rely on Your Holy Word so that we will experience perfect peace.  It is in this spiritual attitude that we will fully trust You to work out the problems that greatly concern us. You have overcome the world and You will also help us to overcome our troubles.  Amen.

A Year Of Favor – Happy New Year

happy-new-year

The New Year is a time to learn to rely more heavily on the grace of God. Now I’ve met a few self-made men and women and so have you, but so often these people seem proud, self-centered and driven. There is another way: beginning to trust in God’s help. One secret from the Apostle Paul: “I can do everything through Him who gives me strength,” he said. (Phil 4:13, NIV) And God’s strength saw him through pain, joy, and accomplishment.

By the gentle touch
of His grace you will find
happiness on your path
His love gives us confidence
to embrace a great new year

 

God Uses The Weak

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I had the pleasure of speaking to a group of women who have suffered childhood sexual abuse yesterday. I almost canceled, because I had a huge setback in my recovery as a survivor this week. It was a setback that almost made me stop and retreat, it was something that on the surface should have been no big deal, but left me deeply wounded and hurt.  It left me doubting my gifts and my ability for God to use me. No one ever talks about the little things, the not so obvious things that we as survivors of childhood sexual abuse have to manage privately. …The imprint of childhood trauma shows up in our lives in the smallest ways. In what we see, in what we hear or what we smell. … It’s all those things that trigger us day in and day out when we least expect it.   Sometimes, it’s what people say that tear us down, like telling us we are acting like a victim or get over it and move on. These little things can make us retreat and shut down. Every story deserves to be told and every voice deserves to be heard. We need to encourage survivors and victims to speak out and talk about it. Don’t be the cause as to why they remain silent.

The Lord in His goodness showed me that He uses the weary, feeble, powerless… Sometimes when we feel physically or spiritually weak, we’re tempted to take a “time-out,” thinking that God will use us again when we are stronger. In Judges 6, we’re introduced to Gideon who was taking a “time-out.” It was wartime, and Gideon was hiding when an angel of the Lord appeared to tell him that he would be the one to save Israel. Imagine Gideon’s astonishment: “How can I save Israel? Lord, I come from a nobody family, and I’m the lowest nobody in my family. And You’re going to use me?”

After God enlisted the nobody Gideon, He got a nobody army. Then God took those nobodies and won the battle! God takes us in our weak state and uses us so He alone can be glorified. Thank you, Lord.

Why does God delight in choosing the weak:  The first reason is found in 1 Corinthians 1, verse 29: “that no flesh should glory in His presence.” When we get to heaven, not one of us will be able to say we got there on our own merit. We’re saved simply by the grace of God. The second reason is found in verse 31, “He who glories, let him glory in the Lord.” If we operate in our own strength and not God’s, we risk taking the glory and credit for ourselves. Scripture tells us that we must be weak and low enough in order for God to use us.

God wants to take us down to the very depths of ourselves to teach us that if there is any power, it is the power that is in God, and not in us. God doesn’t need to make us into performers or superstars in order to use us. Instead, He’s looking for men and women who have hearts that say, “Lord, I’m a nobody. I’m nothing without You. Will You use me?” When God finds such a heart, something extraordinary happens — that nobody is promoted to the ranks of God’s nobility.

Don’t allow the enemy to convince you that God cannot use you because you are “flawed”, weak, or seemingly inconsequential. Like I almost did! No, instead, remember that He uses the ordinary, often broken, people…to do extraordinary things. Our God is not looking at your wealth, your social status or your education — He’s looking at your heart! If your heart is willing and your life is available, then He is more than able to perform miraculous work through you for His Kingdom’s sake. With so much work to be done, don’t allow the enemy to stifle or steal the Lord’s vision for your life –- He has a plan to use you to confound the wise of this world, and to bring to naught the things th

Die To Self

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When we are crucified with Christ by faith in Him, we are to completely surrender every selfish desire and ambition to the perfect will of God. Self-promotion and self-pleasing desires are the greatest obstacle between man and salvation because it is the nature of man to want to please himself, and this self-recognition is a building block for sin. All sin erupts from the desire to please self, and this is what must be crucified with Christ in surrender to the will of God before salvation can bear fruit. This, as Paul attests, is an ongoing process because the spirit, which has been crucified with Christ, still resides within in the flesh, which is still very much alive Romans 7: 18-25.

Many Christians want to be obedient but continue to stumble in sin because they try to hang on to parts of the old self they think they are able to control. This is a self-defeating rationale that relies on the idea that man saves himself by his own works. The Bible teaches us that nothing a man does can save his soul, and salvation is only by the grace of God Eph 2:8-9. Through this gift of grace, man can be born again and be given a new nature to replace the old, sinful self. He must be born again if he is ever to see the kingdom of God John 3:3, and if he is to be born again, his sinful nature must be crucified with Christ, and he must be filled with the Holy Spirit of God.

Make Us Like You Lord

May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.  1 Thessalonians 5:23

We know all to well that true righteousness and holiness are qualities possessed perfectly by only God. Amazingly, God uses his Spirit to make those qualities a reality in our lives, but we must be willing to yield to his leadership. We need to commit to letting the Spirit work on maturing us in our weakest areas. Why not, take an extra five or ten minutes today, open God’s Word, and read several passages of Scripture that apply to your specific vulnerabilities. Then, ask God’s Spirit to transform you in these areas to be more like Christ!  Amen!

Dear Father, may Jesus come soon with grace and glory! May I be found blameless on that day, dear Father, not by my power and effort, but because of your transforming power at work within me. In Jesus’ name I ask this. Amen.

Grow In His Grace And Knowledge

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A minister once stated: “The one thing we all need to do more of is to grow in the love of God and in His grace and knowledge. That means learning how to let these rivers of living water flow out of our innermost being.” Truer words could not have been spoken. Yet, how many individuals believe this today?

but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen. 2 Peter 3:8

I love this verse, As a Christian, I have concluded that the only true wisdom, understanding and knowledge I will ever need is contained in this one verse. I know for a fact it is all about Jesus. What do we need to to glean from this? Is all I have to do for my salvation is to believe with all my heart that Jesus Christ came as my Savior and died on The Cross for my sins and rose again on the third day. My salvation is mine through Grace alone. I cannot earn it, It is a gift. Anything I need to know will be revealed as God and the Holy Spirit sees fit. I will continue to read, study and pray but all my thoughts are going to be solely on Jesus Christ and Him crucified. Praise and glory to God the Father!

Peter also tells us, that we need to grow in our knowledge of Jesus and to have an intimate relationship with Him. The more we know Him, we will become more like Him. Paul said in Col 3:1-4: “Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.”

The Scriptures contain all the knowledge we will ever need to learn of God, His Son, and His Spirit, at least in this life. God’s desire for those that are saved is their sanctification and transformation. He wants us to become more holy like Him. He wants to transform us into the image of His Son. The way to do this is by meditating on the Scriptures and applying their principles to our lives every day, as we yield to the conviction and power of the Holy Spirit who dwells within us. Then we will prove 2 Cor 3:18: “We, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord.”

Unshakable Love Of A Godly Husband

Imagine how precarious your relationship with Christ would be if He only loved you when it was convenient for Him, or only when you were most attractive to Him. Everyone knows what it’s like to be loved imperfectly—and, if we’re honest, what it’s like to love someone else imperfectly.

Believers ought to be perpetually grateful that God’s love for us isn’t conditional, and that He loved us even while we rejected Him (Romans 5:8). In Ephesians 2, Paul wrote about God’s transcendent love for us in the midst of our rebellion.

And you were dead in your trespasses and sins. . . . Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest. But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus. (Ephesians 2:1-6)

So moments later, when Paul penned the instruction for husbands to love their wives “just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her” (Ephesians 5:25), he was not speaking about God’s love in vague terms. His original audience understood that he was not telling husbands to love their wives if the wives deserved it, or if the husbands felt like it.

He gave an absolute command. Biblical love is a willful commitment to self-sacrifice, and it is not at all based on how we might “feel” at any point about the object of our love.

Sacrificial Love

A husband who is unwilling to sacrifice for his wife does not even know what true love is. Those who regard their wives as servants under their sovereign headship haven’t begun to appreciate the true biblical pattern for marriage and family. Selfish husbands therefore will never know what it is to have a fulfilled marriage and family. True happiness in marriage is possible only to those who follow the divine pattern.

Properly understood, Ephesians 5:25 demands that the husband die to self. In effect, he is called to crucify himself for the sake of his wife. It’s not talking about some petty sacrifice, such as helping with the dishes now and then. It means the husband must devote his entire life—and quite literally even be willing to die—for the good of his wife.

Remember, genuine love “does not seek its own” (1 Corinthians 13:5). The man who is concerned only with getting what he can from marriage is sowing the seeds of destruction in his family. To love your wife as Christ loved the church is to be preoccupied with what you can do for her, not vice versa. After all, Christ loves us not for selfish gain, but because He is a gracious Lord who delights to bestow His favor on us.

Protective Love

The love of a godly man for his wife is not only sacrificial, it also safeguards her purity. Paul said Christ’s sacrifice for the church had this ultimate object in mind: to sanctify and cleanse her “that she would be holy and blameless” (Ephesians 5:26–27). Her purity was His primary concern.

Likewise, in marriage, it is every husband’s solemn duty to guard his wife’s purity. No one would ever deliberately defile someone he really loves. How could a loving husband ever delight in something that compromises the purity of the one he loves?

On the contrary, the husband who loves his wife as Christ loves the church will naturally hate anything that defiles her. He will guard her from anything and everything that might dishonor her, degrade her, demean her, or tempt her to sin. He will never knowingly lead her into any kind of sin, but protect her against any threat to her virtue. He won’t deliberately provoke or exasperate her so that she succumbs to anger or any other temptation. And he himself will be an example of purity, knowing that whatever defiles him will ultimately defile her too.

Notice the primary way Christ maintains the purity of the church: “by the washing of water with the word” (Ephesians 5:26). Husbands have a duty to ensure that their wives are regularly exposed to the cleansing and purifying effect of the Word of God. The husband is to be the spiritual leader and priestly guardian of the home. It is his duty to make sure the Word of God is at the center of the home and family. He ought to lead his family in participation in a church where the Word of God is revered and obeyed. And above all, he himself needs to be devoted to the Word of God and proficient enough in handling the Scriptures that he can be the true spiritual head in the marriage (cf. 1 Corinthians 14:34–35).

Caring Love

Genuine love also involves tender care, and Paul expressed that idea this way: “Husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies” (Ephesians 5:28). We take care of our bodies constantly—giving them whatever food, clothing, comfort, recreation, relaxation, or rest they need. We’re attentive to our own bodies, concerned with their needs, sensitive and responsive to whatever they desire.

That is the kind of love Paul commanded husbands to show their wives. Notice, once again, Scripture is not describing love only as an emotion. This sort of love is active, voluntary, dynamic—something we do, not something we passively “feel.”

It’s only reasonable that a man would love his wife the way he loves his own body, because in marriage, “the two . . . become one flesh” (Ephesians 5:31). That is the way God designed marriage. Paul was actually quoting from Genesis 2:24, which describes how God first ordained marriage itself. It applies universally and it has been true from the beginning. Husbands ought to love their wives with the same care they give to their own bodies because, after all, the two are one flesh.

Enduring Love

Since the husband’s love for his wife pictures Christ’s love for the church, it must also be the kind of love that outlasts every trial and overcomes every obstacle. When Christ was questioned about divorce, He quoted the same verse Paul referenced from Genesis, then underscored the permanence of the union: “What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate” (Matthew 19:6).

Every marriage is consummated in an earthly sense by a physical union: “The two shall become one flesh.” Children conceived by that union will literally bear the genetic pattern of two people who have become one flesh. But marriage also involves a spiritual union. God is the one who joins husband and wife together. Marriage is the union of two souls knitted together in every aspect of life. Their emotions, intellects, personalities, desires, and life goals are inextricably bound together.

Naturally, then, God also designed marriage to be a permanent union, unbroken and uncorrupted. The biblical terminology of Ephesians 5:31 stresses the permanence of the marriage union: “A man shall leave his father and mother and shall be joined to his wife.” The word translated “be joined to” is a Greek term (proskolla) that literally speaks of gluing something together. It describes a permanent, unbreakable bond. That is an apt description of God’s ideal for marriage. It’s a union held together by lasting love that absolutely refuses to let go.

Christlike Love

Scripture is clear: God’s plan for the family begins with life-long monogamous marriage, which is grounded in sacrificial love. Why is this of such supreme importance? Paul gave the answer inEphesians 5:32: “This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church.” In other words, the husband’s love for his wife is a sacred duty because of what it illustrates.

Christ is the heavenly Bridegroom and the church is His bride (Revelation 19:7–8; 21:9). Because marriage pictures that union, the husband must be Christlike in his love for the wife, and she must be submissive to his headship. Otherwise, the divine object lesson is destroyed.

What higher motive could there be for a husband to love his wife? By loving her as Christ loved the church, he honors Christ in the most direct and graphic way. He becomes the embodiment of Christ’s love to his own wife, a living example to the rest of his family, a channel of blessing to his entire household, and a powerful testimony to a watching world.

 

Painful Wound Of Divorce

My eyes filled with tears as I scrolled through the Facebook news feed. Yet another couple was celebrating their anniversary. “Can’t believe it’s been 20 years since I said ‘I do’” the post read. “More in love than ever!”I felt the painful wound of divorce tear open once again. Why didn’t I get my happily-ever-after? What is so wrong with me that I can’t be loved? I did all the “right” things and everything still went wrong! This isn’t how I planned my life!

There are times when you’ve done all you can do to save your marriage, but it still ends in divorce. I know the feelings of guilt, shame, loneliness, and disillusionment because I have been there. Love never gives up, right? Doesn’t the Bible say that? How did this happen? What happens when “happily-ever-after” shatters?

The truth is, the only thing we have to offer is love. That’s it. And the only thing a potential spouse can offer is love. And what greater love is there than the love of Christ?  The love of God liberates us from shallow mockeries of intimacy. Sometimes this means that breakups are even more difficult (something deeper is at stake).

It’s not that you don’t feel loved right now — it goes further than that. You feel unloveable. How do you receive the love of God when someone has thrown a rejection bomb into your heart, closed the hatch, and broken off the key?

Look, every human wants the same things; to be valued, respected, honored, loved, appreciated,needed…all emotional needs.
Before we begin to seek someone else to fill a void that we desperately want, why do we not realize that in relationships you Are going to be hurt, you will get your heart broken, and there will be times you ask yourself how in the world did I get in this mess?
Sometimes, we get into abusive relationships that so break our spirit,that we buy into the lies that we deserve exactly what we get,so we stay and become beaten, abused, and demeaned (by the person who once said I love you).  It doesn’t matter what others think, it matters whether you want to live or just continue a life of existence. To learn that before you can give love you must be able to love yourself enough to admit sometimes when we want something so badly, we will accept any behavior including abusive behavior in relationships. Being betrayed,Yes,it hurts but you never can go forward in life driving a parked car.
How can you or anyone give away what they don’t possess?
Life hurts. Roses are beautiful flowers, however,they also have thorns and depending whether you acknowledge the thorns, knowing they can inflict pain if not properly respected; we can realize much about life and love if we stop, think before we jump.
The reality is marriage is not always a clear path with a guaranteed outcome.

So, What do you do when you’ve done everything Jesus told you to do, but your spouse is hard-hearted like Jesus describes in Matthew 19:8? The Bible assures us He is close to the brokenhearted and those whose spirits are crushed (Psalm 147:3, Psalm 34:18)  Divorce is one of the most painful events you can go through. We are not meant to carry the pain alone.

Sometimes, people need permission to be broken. And it is from that broken place that they are finally able to become whole again.

Time and time again, when faced with some of life’s hardest moments, I have shared my secret: “It’s okay to be not okay.”  Sometimes we just need to surrender and fall into the arms of our Heavenly Father.

Teaching Our Children To Love God

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One of the biggest blessing in my life has been to homeschool my children.  The Word of God was a major part of our day, starting with quiet devotions in the morning and spilling over into every subject – handwriting, history, and language arts.  We used Deuteronomy 6 as our mission statement and model.

“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.  You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

As parents this is our first responsibility, the Bible tells us that children are a gift from the Lord, specially created for His pleasure and divine purpose (Psalm 127:3-5; 139:13-16). God has entrusted us with our children for a very short time, during which parents have the responsibility of training, instructing, nurturing, and disciplining them, as well as overseeing their education (Ephesians 6:4). At the same time, I realize home schooling is not for everyone and that’s o.k.  But, it is imperative that Christian parents teach their children the Word of God from a young age, showing them how to incorporate it into their daily lives, trusting continually in God. We are to keep His words on our heart, to think on them, to meditate on them, to reflect on them. Knowing we cannot give our children what we do not possess. We cannot pass along what we do not own. No one else can do it for us. We are to love the Lord with all our heart and to share and model that love with our children.  Our children are watching us and modeling our attitudes and behaviors. They are parroting back our attitudes about Christ and His church.

Every part of the day as a family is an opportunity to spend time in the Word together, whether the Bible is in front of us or not!

Hopefully, Long after you and I are gone our children will have raised their children and have seen their children’s children will come to know you, nothing else will matter but that we here today taught our children to know Jesus Christ as their Savior from sin. Nothing else will matter—certainly not the money we saved, the businesses we ran, the houses we lived in, or even the friends and memories we shared—none of that will matter. The only thing that will matter will be the Gospel—the saving Truth of Jesus Christ, which has brought life to us and to our children. That is the greatest gift you can give your child—the gift of life, real life, in Jesus Christ.

I pray Lord that we know in our heart the One in whom we  believe. That You are Lord, our God and that Your word of promise will not fail. Thank you Lord that Your grace has redeemed us to be your own. May our love for you overflow in our hearts as we teach our children your ways, that they may grow to Love you and your Word.  Help them Father to grow in the grace and knowledge of You.

May the peace of God that surpasses all understanding keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Amen.

Wounds That Do Not Show

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I grew up in a world where I was afraid all the time. Sexual abuse starting at age 5, stalker and rape at age 15, alcohol and drug abuse permeating my childhood. All of these traumas I kept quiet. For years. I lived under that unwritten, unspoken mandate that to tell was to betray.

It wasn’t until I met Jesus at eighteen that the secrets started to spill.  Although, it would be many years before I had the courage to tell the whole truth. I have been met with very different reactions, from encouragement to well, maybe don’t tell everyone. What I have learned is, that hiding the truth will cause it to fester, which is what I have been doing for many years. Proof being many failed relationships. If we want Jesus to set us free, we need to tell the truth…the whole truth. I would be lying if I said it no longer hurts, but the Lord has allowed me to use my hurts for His glory, which feels amazing.

Unfortunately, the imprint of childhood trauma still shows up in our lives in the smallest ways. In what we see, in what we hear or what we smell… when we least expect it. It can cost us everything if we do not seek help.

Healing is worth it. Sometimes our very existence can be exhausting. Yet, people will want us to heal on their time. They will ask us to hurry up, forgive and move on…and my favorite “get over it.”  However, people don’t understand that it takes a lot of focus, prayer and courage for us to just show up.  I am living testimony that you can heal with Jesus, that you can transform in such a way that people would be shocked that you ever walked that path of pain.

You may be thinking, well that is great for you but you don’t know what I lived through…you’re right. I don’t. But consider this…Instead of seeing your past as a burden, start seeing it as a chance for God to use it for his glory! We actually have an advantage really, because we know our need for Jesus..sometimes, it is all we have. We know we can’t heal on our own. Our weakness is the starting place for the Lord to set us free.

That’s why, I can now thank the Lord for the pain, shame and fear in my childhood.. Because of it I am a better mother to my children. It helps me see my desperate need for Jesus and my unshakeable faith.  It is like a verse in Job where after all the terrible things that happened to him he say’s “I knew of you (God), but know I see you.”  We have seen the worst and we survived, there is freedom in that.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30

Give your burdens to the Lord, and he will take care of you. He will not permit the godly to slip and fall.”  Psalm 55:22

If you have found yourself burdened down, anxious, or worried about any area of your life, I believe this message is for you, you are not reading this by accident. God wants you to know that you were never meant to handle everything on your own, which is why you feel weighed down with the cares of this life. If you haven’t already, pray about that thing that you are worrying about, and release it to God, knowing that He has promised to take care of you. Ask Him to show you if there is anything you can do, and leave the rest to Him.

Dear Lord, Please help those struggling with hurts in their life, to be able to accept these issues and heal Lord. To understand that some things take time to process. I pray for encouragement so that we may not tire of waiting or doing good. While these things may take time, slow progress is being made. May the Holy Spirit assist us in doing these things, guiding us and filling us with wisdom. May we feel your love today. Please equip us with the patience we need to endure in Jesus’ name AMEN!