Are you living prolonged days or a shortened life?

Proverbs 10:27 states “The fear of the LORD prolongs days; but the years of the wicked shall be shortened.” I read that thinking to myself, so what about the Christian people that died young? What about the elderly that never gave their life to God and lived evil as ever? As I pondered these questions my thoughts went to my life before I started living for God. I was living but I wasn’t living with the true fear (awe, respect, admiration) of the Lord and His love for me. That was SO many years that I missed out on seeing the blessings that living with respect for the Lord provides. The earlier in our lives that we reach that respect for the Lord is prolonged years that we have on earth to live for Him and see the blessings from doing so. On the other hand, the longer we remain in our wicked ways then that is a shortened time we have on earth of living with respect for our Lord and seeing the blessings from doing so. A man decides to receive the Lord on his death bed has done a wise thing for sure, but didn’t get to see any life with the blessings of his time on earth living for God. His time on earth living for God is short. It isn’t about the duration of your time on earth, but the duration of your time on earth seeing the blessings of a God feared life. And for those that have tasted that life, you know exactly what the man on his death bed missed out on. Those that haven’t tasted that life…what are you waiting on? Time is short! Start living your life for Him today and I promise you will not regret a day of it!

Letting anger go

With all that is going on lately I find myself getting angry a lot. I even find myself disliking people over it. I have been praying for the peace we are offered as followers of Christ. I have been reciting “God turns all bad to good for those that love Him” to try to make myself feel better. But you never feel better if you don’t truly believe it. And you can’t truly believe it if you don’t understand why you can believe it. This morning was my “aha” moment. That moment God impresses His word on your heart one more time and you finally understand. God doesn’t allow evil to exist without reason. All of this is to fulfill a purpose. His purpose. Why should I be angry at something that He is allowing to fulfill His purpose. Just because I don’t understand it doesn’t mean I should get angry at it. I don’t understand why He stops the ocean where He does. I don’t understand why He makes a sunrise and sunset so amazingly beautiful. He certainly doesn’t need my understanding to do His work and I don’t need to understand His reasoning to trust Him. I know God is good. He is love. God will not allow the storm to rage one second longer than required to fulfill His purpose. This is why we can live without fear. This is why we can live with peace. This is why we don’t have to be the loudest in the room. We simply live as the word directs and trust in Him. Simple. It is the enemy that complicates things. So, when we feel the anger build, and we feel the complications of life start to weigh us down…remember the simplicity that is our Saviour. Remember His offer in Matthew 11:28-30: Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. Receive His offer and live in restful peace. Oh, how He loves us! Put your trust in Him today and everyday!

Blessings of obedience

An obedient life is a blessed life. Those are words that, once upon a time, I never would have said. I was a rebel without a cause. Truly. No cause. If you told me to do something, even if I was just about to do it anyway, then I would not do it just because you told me to. In fact, I would then try all the other ways of doing it just to prove you wrong even though your way was the way I was going to go to in the beginning. The enemy sure knew how to train me to be disobedient to God. As I studied bible verses this morning in Psalm 119:45-47, it made me thankful for the obedience God has taught me over the past few years. These verses spell out our blessings of obedience.

“And I will walk at liberty: for I seek thy precepts. I will speak of thy testimonies also before kings, and will not be ashamed. And I will delight myself in thy commandments, which I have loved.”

When we study and follow God’s word then we begin to feel the freedom from being a slave to sin, or we “walk at liberty”. We have all heard the phrase “oh, what a tangled web we weave when we first begin to lie and deceive.” We can weave ourselves into a tangled mess when sin becomes our choice in handling things. One sin requires another and another until we are so buried we see no way out. But that first step of obedience to God immediately starts to dissolve the web and brings in the light to show us our way to freedom. When we choose God’s way instead of sin’s way then we walk with liberty, free from the bondage sin puts us under.

We will be able to speak our testimonies unashamed. This can seem very daunting at first. “I don’t want to offend anyone.” Or “People will think I am a Jesus freak or super religious and not want me around.” But when you speak the truth in God’s way it won’t always hit like a hammer over the head but as a bandage for the heart. Truth is truth. Some may feel conviction and be offended. Some may decide they don’t want you around. I know this because I was once one of them. There were many people that would say things that would offend me. I believed in Jesus and that was good enough so leave me alone. But I certainly was not living for Jesus and many Christians could see that. While I was offended at the time, little did I know the seeds were being planted. Seeds that help lead me to where I am today. The more obedient we become in sharing the truth then we will no longer be ashamed in doing so. We begin to see the importance of speaking truth no matter who we are around, no matter what questions asked, and no matter the situation we are in. This does not mean we must enter every argument we are invited to, or to even argue at all. Simply speak the truth. The other person can either take it or leave it but I can guarantee you will leave a seed behind.

We will delight in His commandments. Obedience may seem dreadful. It may seem impossible. Being perfect is very much impossible. That is why we, as Christians, are so thankful for God’s grace and mercies that are new everyday. But when you fall in love with the Lord…when you have that special one on one moment with Our Savior and you truly fall in love with the Lord then you delight in pleasing Him. Think about when you first fall in love with someone. How much does it delight you to do something that makes them happy? And the best part about pleasing our Father is His way makes our way straighter. His way puts us in position for a light yoke. His way leads all bad to turn to good. The things that please Him actually benefit our lives! You are free to completley fall in love with Him. To completely surrender to that love because His love will never leave you.

Life isn’t easy. Even the Christian way isn’t always a bed of roses. But when you handle those thorns with the weapon of obedience secure in your heart then the blessings will abound compared to the alternative. Don’t you want to be free today? Take that first step. May God’s love and mercy be felt by you today. In Christ name, Amen

Is this where you want to be?

If Jesus came right now. Right this second. Where would He find you? Would you be right in the middle of that sin you like to justify? Be strong and run your race well my friends. We don’t know when the hour will be, but we do know that hour will come. Pray over the sins you justify and let them go. Perfection is impossible to achieve, but you have to set your aim on progress. The sin you justify is the hardest to surrender. The first step is the simple acknowledgement of it. Get in agreement with God about it. Yes, Lord, I know this is a sin. I know it needs to end. I know I need You to end it. Pray over it constantly and watch God work.
Lord, I pray over these sins that attach and we try to justify it as ok. Your word clearly lays out where sin lies and we come in agreement with You today. Search our hearts, oh Lord, and remove what is not from You. Thank You for Your love, grace, and forgiveness while we work with You for change. We pray in Jesus name, Amen

Fight with your heart for a change

I love this excerpt from To Kill a Mockingbird, but these days I would replace head with heart. Not everyone who comes at you has a problem with you. Many times the problem is within themselves and when you choose not to fight but to love like Jesus then you start to make a difference. You plant a seed in their heart and you give yourself freedom. Freedom from drama, anger, and regret of words you said. Replacing a habit of fighting back with a habit of love will allow God to move more in your life and others. Stop looking at how much they hurt “me” and look for how much they have been hurt. When you walk in strong confidence with God and allow Him to declare your value then what others say doesn’t sting so hard. And when it does sting, you know where to take it so you can release it quick and get back to your Father’s business.

Pass through it in prayer

“Im not gonna claim that!” Yet it happens anyway. “Don’t put that out in the universe!” Yet it wouldn’t have mattered whether you voiced it or not. “Pray with bold faith!” Well, you did and it didn’t come to pass like you wanted it to. Yes, God calls us to pray to Him. But why, if its God’s will be done anyway, why even bother praying? So, what’s the point? The point is attitude. The point is perspective. The point is hope. God wants us in constant conversation with Him so we always remember He is there. So we always remember that yes, it is God’s will in all things, which is great because God’s will is not to harm but to prosper us. Every tear will be wiped clean and every challenge is just a season. Some longer than others. Why do we pray? Why do we think of all things positive? So we keep a positive attitude along the way. So our perspective is on God and how much we can trust Him. That bad thing didnt happen to you because you “put it out to the universe”. It just happened. And sometimes we won’t know why on this side of heaven. That good thing didn’t pass you by, or your loved one didn’t die because you didn’t pray bold enough. It just happened that way. It just did. But praying boldly gave you hope. It kept you connected to the One that loves you and knows what is best for you. And that loved one that died anyway…they just went home, and their going to be right there when it is your turn to go home, too. Take the pressure off yourself. God already has your life planned out. Do what he commands in prayer so you protect your attitude and perspective and hope. There are times God will answer a prayer very specific to how you prayed it, but just because He doesn’t answer them all that way doesn’t mean He isn’t listening. Prayer is a powerful, life giving act. It shows obedience. But most of all, it shows where your heart truly is and creates a relationship with your Father. He wants to hear you admit to it all. He wants every question, every doubt, and every plea. He has not forsaken you. Whatever you are going through may not feel good but trust that HE is good…all the time. Even when it hurts. Even when it didn’t go the way you wanted. This too, shall pass. Pass through it in prayer.

His purpose alone

This is part of the prophesy of Jesus, written hundreds of years before He came. Two sentences stick out to me. “He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.” And “a man of suffering, familiar with pain” He was not sent here in the name of beauty. He was never meant for that. His looks and stature in life were never what was important. He was sent here with a purpose and He lived for that alone. He was always meant to take all the pain of sin and bear it so that someday we will no longer feel it. We may suffer for a little while but joy comes in the morning! (Psalm 30:5) Some sweet day we will rest in the true beauty of our Lord who understands our pain. Just look at how He was rejected and eventually “pierced for our transgressions”. These actions were prophesied long before they happened! Jesus always knew. He was never surprised by the actions that took place, yet He came here anyway. He isnt surprised by your actions either, yet He sent you here anyway. You are here for a purpose. Maybe you dont feel you have great beauty that attracts others to you. Maybe you strive for that. You dont have to. Maybe you feel that you suffer great pains and no one could possibly understand. There is a Man that does understand every bit of it, and He is a Man that promised to turn all bad to good if you will just give it to Him(Romans 8:28). “By his wounds, we are healed” Resurrect what Jesus has put inside of you. We all have purpose. My prayer is that we all see that, understand it, and live for that purpose alone. In Christ name, Amen