Be A Light Not Hidden

Photo by Burak K on Pexels.com

Yesterday, at our Women’s Bible Study, my topic was “Called to New Life”. We discussed what our response to salvation should be. With regards to this, we also talked about operating in the body of Christ and recognizing what our spiritual gifts are and how important it is to encourage other believers to do the same. Though I am not going into depth in this post about spiritual gifts (or gifts of the Holy Spirit), I will post a link about them here https://www.trusting-in-jesus.com/Nine-Gifts.html.

 1 Peter 1: 13-16 tells us how we should respond to our salvation:

Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;

 As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance:

But as He which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;  Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.

In all things, the most important thing is to be a light and not a stumbling block to another congregate. We should move as the Spirit leads us and not how we feel. Honestly, when we are being led by the Spirit, as a body, we will do more good than harm.

What we also will be doing is leading and pointing the way to Christ. He is what every church should be about. Church is the people (saved), not the building, and this is why we can’t stay in our feelings about how we want things to be done. In our own unique gifts and as a collective body, we have to be focused on ministering to God’s sheep.

Jesus tells us how the church should operate. It is our faith and the profession of our faith that will allow us to stand and be effective for Christ https://biblia.com/bible/esv/Matthew%2016:15%E2%80%9318! As long as we profess Christ to the world, we are standing on a firm foundation:

“But my righteous one shall live by faith,
    and if he shrinks back,
my soul has no pleasure in him.” Hebrews 10:38

In all things, we also want to be a light to the world. It doesn’t have to be a grand gesture. Whatever the Spirit moves us to do, that is what action we should take. Never to be seen or heard, but to give God the glory and to move the Gospel forward https://biblehub.com/matthew/6-1.htm. Let all that we do, as believers, magnify God. When we let the Spirit lead us, this will surely take place!

“That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched-this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us. We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son, Jesus Christ.”

1 John 1:1-3
Photo by Nitin Arya on Pexels.com

Lord, Keep Us

Photo by Johannes Plenio on Pexels.com

So many times, we do things just because we want to. It feels good, feels right, or we believe it is the best decision for us to make.

Either things seem to add up, or the plan looks solid. Still, it may not be God’s best for us. There could be things we didn’t take into consideration. Like…the Word of God!

Perhaps, we didn’t heed every sign or warning from others, or most importantly, the Holy Spirit. As a result, we ended up choosing to do something that wasn’t meant for us to do. Thankfully, as His children, those who confess Christ, He is always there to protect us https://biblehub.com/romans/8-34.htm.

Praise Him, for He is always there to intervene and make a way to escape sin https://biblehub.com/1_corinthians/10-13.htm, but we have to want to escape from sin. Even in the times where we must be chastised for willing disobedience, His love and grace allows us to not suffer more than we could have https://biblehub.com/psalms/103-10.htm. Thank God, we don’t get what we truly deserve for willingly sinning against His will!

The Bible says, to know and not do is a sin https://biblehub.com/james/4-17.htm. We know we should obey God. We know we should take all our cares to him https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+Peter+5%3A7&version=KJV.

Therefore, when we know that we should consult the Spirit, in all things, we should do it (Proverbs 3:5-6). Then, we don’t have to worry about being “out of order”. Believe me, I know this is a tough one for us, myself included, but we must get better at this!

This isn’t because God wants to control us. He wants to help us. He wants to protect us from ourselves and from willful sinning https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Romans+8&version=NKJV.

Whether we took a job without praying about it, moved to a new town without asking God if we should go, or we entered into a marriage that we knew God did not approve of, His grace is sufficient for His children. Without a doubt, God, through the Holy Spirit, is able to turn any wrong decision or misstep around for the good (Romans 8:28).

With His guidance, we can start over and turn around. We are able to break crooked ties, or forge Godly relationships. God can liberate us from our willful sins.

As you know, or may not know, if our actions do not line up with the Word of God, they are a sin. When God tells us not to do something, and we do it anyway, it is a sin. Take heart though, God is greater than our faults and failures.

Yes, He can make all things new! When we submit our will and our lives to Him and repent of our wrong against Him, He will forgive us https://biblehub.com/1_john/1-9.htm. Once we confess Christ and give our hearts to Him, there is a way to receive forgiveness.

However, the prayer is that we learn not to use God’s forgiveness as an “excuse” to willfully sin. Let us not continue in our sin so that it controls us and causes us to love the sin more than God https://biblehub.com/romans/1-28.htm. As Paul warns us in Galatians 5:13, we must not indulge in our flesh https://biblehub.com/galatians/5-13.htm.

I would also submit to you that, although God gives us the right to choose, there can be grave consequences https://biblehub.com/galatians/5-13.htm. Some of us cannot handle the freedom we have been given. Because of this, some of us choose to make decisions that deeply hurt ourselves and others: drunk driving, selling drugs, adultery, and the list goes on. This is why when we make decisions, we must call on God to help us to be free of deliberate sin:

Psalm 19: 13-14 says, "Keep your servant from deliberate sins!  Don't let them control me.  Then, I will be free of guilt, and innocent of great sin.  May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer."

Finally, in the Garden of Eden, God gave Adam and Eve instructions of what to do, but they had to choose to obey and listen. Meanwhile, Eve made a choice to disobey God, listen to the devil, and encouraged Adam to follow suit https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis+3&version=NIRV. Likewise, Adam chose to eat the fruit (Genesis 3:7).

While we all know their choice, to willingly disobey God, caused humanity to become sinful, thank God for the blood of Jesus that sets us free from sin (John 3:16)! We just have to choose to be free, by inviting Jesus into our hearts (Romans 10:9). Then, we must ask Him to lead us away from willful sin in our daily lives!

If you would like to see more on the topic of choosing God’s ways over our own, see the Bible devotion called, “Heaven’s In Your Routines” by visiting https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/785-heavens-in-your-routines/day/3.

Live to Please God

Do not be deceived, God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that He will also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.

Galatians 6:7-9
Photo by Daria Shevtsova on Pexels.com

Do you think that you have what you need? Is it enough? Do you want more?

Are you tired of life? Are you feeling weary? Do you feel like giving up sometimes?

I have been through all of these emotions. Guess what? In order to grow up, to climb a little higher in the Lord, we must get out of our emotions.

In order to feel like life is worth it all, to feel truly full and satisfied, we need to be firmly planted. Planted in what? Planted in the Word of God https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm+119%3A105&version=KJV.

I know. I know. We feel there isn’t enough time. Yet, we still make it to work every day. We still go to the movies. We have time to do all of the things that appeal to our wants and needs and what makes us feel satisfied.

Then, somehow, some days, we end up feeling down or sad. It is interesting, nothing we give ourselves or indulge in makes us happy for very long. We have an awesome time, and then we become unsatisfied again. There is a reason for it! We may not be feeding our spirits as much as we think. Could be, not at all.

Though it may be a hard pill to swallow, we must face it. Time is short, friends. Life is not promised https://www.biblegateway.com/verse/en/James%204%3A14. Knowing this, you would think that we would take every advantage to spend more time with the Lord and living life pleasing to Him.

Not to say that you aren’t, but many people don’t. If this is you, please try to spend more meaningful time. Not just on what we want to be doing, but we must take time to invest in our spirits and those of others. As I have said before in other posts, being saved and getting involved in church is not enough https://biblehub.com/romans/12-1.htm.

Yes, confess Christ, and work in the service of the Lord, as you are lead, at your local church. Meanwhile, what are you doing to stay committed to attending and serving at your church? Are you studying your Word? Are you praying for guidance from the Holy Spirit?

Again, these are things I am constantly asking myself and reminding myself to be doing, so I am not laying it all on you. Yet, as a believer and teacher of God’s Word, I feel that it is important to encourage others to live to please God https://biblehub.com/1_thessalonians/5-11.htm. This should be our every prayer and desire.

I pray that it is. Know, that when it is, we reap such a harvest of blessings (Galatians 6:9). While others may focus on material harvest, I am focused on spiritual. Material blessings are wonderful, but they are not all God will grant us when we seek Him and His rule in our lives https://www.biblegateway.com/verse/en/John%2010%3A10. May we get the joy and the peace of knowing that He is all that we need (whatever it is), when we allow Him to be.

In closing, I pray that we, myself included, understand that living a life for God does not mean that we will never fail or make bad choices. In Christ, we are going to be constantly growing and learning, and part of that means some falling down. Don’t stay down, but get back up https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Philippians+3%3A14&version=KJV . Believe in your heart, that when you are daily seeking God’s good pleasure and direction for your living, He will speak to you such wisdom and peace https://biblehub.com/psalms/85-8.htm. Oh, and when He speaks, it is always so sweet and so on time! Enjoy your life with God today!

Be blessed!

Overcoming the Enemy

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

So many times, we believe that we are defenseless to what happens in this life. We often believe that we should just enter into each day hoping for the best. No! We should always set our days and be declaring what God says and stand on that https://biblehub.com/proverbs/18-21.htm.

No longer, should we believe that we must just react or respond to our day. Go into your day with a plan of action. Not your plan, but God’s plan.

How do you do this? Seek Him and His Word. Even the night before, you could go in prayer about the next day and all you are believing God to do.

In everything, submit it to God and put a praise on it. Praise Him for what He is going to do that day. No, you may not know how it will turn out or what will come your way that day, but you know one thing. God will be victorious https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John+16%3A33&version=NIV!

See, the enemy has trained a lot of believers into thinking that they have no power. However, if you know God and His Word, you have all the power you need. Open your mouth and let Hell know that God is in control of your situations.

Be encouraged when things are breaking out around you. Know that this means that greater is coming. Breakthrough is coming. Sometimes, some chaos and some trouble has to come to remind us whose side we are on, but don’t be afraid https://www.biblestudytools.com/esv/james/passage/?q=james+1:2-18!

Know that if God allowed it to come into your life, He has a plan already worked out to resolve it. Don’t keep your eyes on the problem. It is a distraction. It is being allowed into your life because God knows you are able to walk through it. Your are able because He is fighting for you!

You see, He is a good and just God that wants to develop us and mature us in our faith and trust in Him. Therefore, He keeps allowing new challenges to come to make us lean and depend more and deeper in Him https://biblehub.com/james/1-3.htm .

With all your might, praise Him through the storms. Focus on glory and all He has already done. Remember, that He has never left nor forsaken you. Even when it feels like He is not near, He is.

It is in these moments that He is allowing us to build our spiritual muscle. He is there. He sees, He knows, and He understands all that we are going through, but we must know that we are in a spiritual battle that is not ours to fight alone https://biblehub.com/2_chronicles/20-15.htm. Therefore, we MUST stand on the Word of Truth.

It will fight for us. Yes, the Word of God will give us the peace in the midst of the storm. It will remind us that we are God’s people and that He loves us. Though God did not create the troubles we go through, He is still mighty enough to defeat them! See, the enemy knows this, and so must we https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+12%3A7-12&version=NKJV .

We must have the faith to keep going and keep reminding ourselves that the enemy is powerless up against the Lord! He is no match for God. This is why we must study the Word, so we can stay strong and stay ready, in position, to fight against the lies of the enemy https://biblehub.com/ephesians/6-16.htm.

Daily, keep the Word in your heart, on your lips, and in your mind https://biblehub.com/psalms/1-2.htm. Don’t let the devil in. Shut the devil out of your circumstances. Don’t give him and inch of ground in your spirit! Fill yourself up with what you need to defeat that old devil, and that is the Word of the Lord!

Staying Inspired

“May the God of hope fill you with all the joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” (Romans 15:13).

Photo by Jill Wellington on Pexels.com

Unfortunately, the world does not move as quickly as I might want it to. For instance, when I want something to be done, others may not see the urgency. To them, there is plenty of time to get done what I want done. However, their circumstances may not be mine. Therefore, they can’t see the need or the urgency that I see. As a result, phone calls go unanswered, or requests get ignored. That is, until the appropriate person is ready to respond. It is in these times that I remind myself that I must stay inspired. While I am waiting, I have to know that God sees what I need. He isn’t worried, so I won’t be. Instead, I will go about my day doing other things. Things that excite me, get my creative juices going, etc. I will even take the focus off of me and help someone else. Perhaps, there is something important that someone else needs done or needs attending to. Tomorrow will come, and I will try to pursue the various items on my to-do list again. What I won’t do is waste today stewing over what isn’t going according to my plan. No, I will be patient and allow God to work His plan, instead!

Photo by Nextvoyage on Pexels.com

Just Pray

“If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and He will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking.”

James 1:5
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Before I begin, I just want to say that this post is not to be taken as something that you have to do. In fact, all of my posts are just me making observations and sharing my heart. Having said that, here is what helps me, and I am sharing it to use (or not). Either way, I am not offended.

Guys, prayer is so huge. It is so important. It is not just rattling off requests. It is literally talking to God. It is such a blessing to do that! Whenever you want to talk, He is listening. He will be there.

When you don’t know what to do, pray. When you have a plan, pray about it. Before you take a step, pray.

I am telling you. It will save your life! So many times, I have trusted my own knowledge, and we all do.

This is what we do. Being a Christian doesn’t exempt you from thinking you have the world by the tail. It happens, so don’t stress.

Instead, do what you know you should. Pray. Before the meeting, the rehearsal, or the interview, pray. If needed, pray before, during, and after. Not because you are worried, but you are seeking His wisdom and comfort.

At least, this is why I pray so much. I am not ashamed to say that I need God’s help 24-7. That is not a sign of weakness. It is a sign of growth. The more I grow in Christ, the more I see that I really need Him.

I can’t tell you how many times I have to seek God in prayer, and it has prevented me from doing something I would regret. Praying has also prepared me for what I didn’t even know was about to take place. On the flip side, when I have gone ahead on my own, I choked.

Every time. Even if it looked like it worked out okay, given time, it backfired. It blew up in my face.

So trust me, I know what I am talking about. Ask God to lead you and guide you. Even if you don’t know what you need help for, pray anyway. Better yet, just listen. Be still and quiet.

This has been a hard one for me. Being still and being quiet. However, if I want to feel peace, and I want to feel good about how my life is heading, I have to do it.

A little side bar. Getting it wrong enough has taught me submission. Falling flat-faced has made me wise up. Sometimes, this is what it takes. I was a hard study, but I pray that you are not!

Be forever blessed!

All About Growth and Change

Photo by Steve Johnson on Pexels.com

Sometimes, your story won’t be pretty or free of pain. However, there is a way to experience more joys than sorrows. In God’s Word, Jesus let’s you know that He wants you to grow and prosper in and through Him https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John+10%3A10&version=NIV.

Yes, Jesus wants you to experience more joy, more increase, more power, more covering, more anointing, and more breakthroughs. He even desires for you to experience everything that God has created you for and put you here to do https://biblehub.com/jeremiah/29-11.htm. However, it starts with you making the decision that you want the abundant life that Jesus is offering (John 10:10).

In order to receive it, there has to be some changing. There has to be some spiritual maturing, so you can handle your new life in Christ. Giving your life to Jesus is only part of the process (John 3:16), you must also fully commit to giving Him all authority in your life https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Galatians+2%3A20&version=NIV.

Think about it. You could stop with a relationship with Jesus, but will this get you closer to the abundant life you were made for? Is that going to allow you to experience life in abundance? Along with Christ, do you have a relationship with the Holy Spirit? https://biblehub.com/john/14-16.htm You will need to know them both https://biblehub.com/john/15-26.htm.

Well, it has been over 30 years, since I got saved. It hasn’t been an easy road, but most of the hard times are always due to my resistance and disobedience. When I think about the alternative, life with God is the ONLY option for me. God always does His part, but you and I have to do ours. This means developing a relationship with the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit https://biblehub.com/1_john/5-7.htm. Amen.