1 Corinthians 1:7-9
Just think—you don’t need a thing, you’ve got it all! All God’s gifts are right in front of you as you wait expectantly for our Master Jesus to arrive on the scene for the Finale. And not only that, but God himself is right alongside to keep you steady and on track until things are all wrapped up by Jesus. God, who got you started in this spiritual adventure, shares with us the life of his Son and our Master Jesus. He will never give up on you. Never forget that.
Sometimes we feel as if we have no purpose in life. We can’t decide when we leave high school what we want to be for the rest of our lives. There are times when we are just content to work our 9 to 5 jobs and just live day by day without anything changing. Do you know that each of us has a gift? We have all been given a special way in which to reach others and change lives?
Once we begin our lives as Christians we take up the cross of Jesus and begin to bear witness of the Gospel and its’ message. We have been commissioned to share the Good News with everyone we meet and to love one another. How come we find this so hard to do? Because some of us have not opened our very own gift. God loves us to such a degree that He gives us good gifts in which we can use to show others the light of Christ. Remember we are the light in the darkness of this world.
This week we will dig into the gift and how we use and abuse it. For me my gift is writing. I have loved to write since I was in kindergarten and wrote my first poem. I love stringing words together and now that I am older I am challenged with helping others see Christ through my writing. I have two books written with a third on the way. I blog as often as possible, yet I feel that sometimes it does not matter. Am I doing enough?
The answer from God is yes. My gift is writing, not starting churches or traveling at this point. The gift God has given to me is writing and He knows I love it. I am not saying that someday my writing won’t lead me to start a church with my husband or travel the world but for now I need to open my gift and begin to use it.
So, what is your gift? Have you even opened the box yet? We are never to young or to old to receive from God. I guarantee that God will move on His own timing but we have to be willing to at least open the gift. We have to be willing to take the steps to develop our gift. We need to come to the understanding that lives can be saved and we have been given a gift in which to do so. So I challenge you to open your gift and begin to explore the possibilities God has set right before you!
1 Corinthians 3:21-23
I don’t want to hear any of you bragging about yourself or anyone else. Everything is already yours as a gift—Paul, Apollos, Peter, the world, life, death, the present, the future—all of it is yours, and you are privileged to be in union with Christ, who is in union with God.
When John and I decide to follow after God and get married, God provided all of it! He found rings for us and a photographer. We did the flowers and the cake on our own. Within a few months we got married and began our journey as husband and wife. We once were two and now we are one in Christ. Neither of us can boast about our ministries. We know that we cannot do anything apart from Christ and that is one constant in our life.
John has a unique ministry and so do I, yet as a married couple we minister together. John ministers differently than I do but our ministries fit together like a hand and a glove. Even though we have different calls on our lives, we mesh as one. We have learned our strengths and weaknesses as a married couple and have sought God for the answers to any confusion.
It seems as if God sends people into our lives at just the right times to keep us moving forward as one unit. God knows the plans He has for both of us. He knew this before we were born. John and I were talking the other day and we wondered if perhaps we knew each other in heaven when we were just spirits. We have been best friends since the beginning, almost as if we already knew each other.
Love can never really be measured, but we know this for sure. Love is deep when it is true. You will need a deep vessel in which it carry it because you do not want to lose any of it. If your love is shallow, it will not grow. Roots need room to grow. Roots need some place deep to reside in so as not to be easily uprooted by day to day things. Choose to grow your love deep into the love of God. Choose to let God be in charge of your marriage or relationship. Begin to see your lives as seeds desiring to be massive fruit bearing plants for Jesus.
New Living Translation (NLT)
14 Then we will no longer be immature like children. We won’t be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching. We will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth.
The world is going to end! The bombs will invade America any day now! The hurricane will wipe out many cities! Many wounded in a school shooting, several found dead! Theft runs rapid in inner cities! So many ugly, ugly things on television and on the radio stations. Everyday we get the opportunity to read about such sad events in the local newspapers. By the time we get to work in the morning we could be flooded with so many fears about our futures that we would have rather just stayed home and prepared for the worst.
I remember when 911 happened. I was at work in a local McDonald’s and one of our employees was a volunteer fireman and his radio went off. This was before we had televisions in our lobbies, so we went into our crew room to watch what was happening on this tiny little tv. The horror of what was happening was just sickening to our stomachs, as we watched so many people in a terrible situation. Shortly after this happened, churches all over America were filled to overflowing with people. They were looking for answers, searching for some peace for the situation at hand.
What happened to all those people? How many of them are still seeking God? How many of them really fed into the Word of God? I pray that God touched the lives of many during this tragic event. I pray that those who came to seek refuge will once again return to what God has to offer them. We as Christians need to come to the understand that we need to stay in the Word so as not to be blown in any different direction by the things of this world.
Yes the Bible says the end is coming. It will come when Jesus returns to this earth to bring us up to heaven. Yes disasters will occur after we are caught up. Yes things will be very terrible here on the earth for those who have chosen not to accept Jesus as their personal Savior. So what are we as Christians going to do about it while we are here? Stock up for the next big disaster? Shut ourselves in our homes and just wait for Jesus to arrive? Or are we going to do our part and share the love of Jesus wherever we go on this earth?
My husband and I try to set aside date nights and for some reason or another, God always opens doors for us on those particular days to minister to His people. He will set people in our paths over and over again just so we can open the door to their salvation by simply sharing Jesus. We are honored to be given such encounters and opportunities and God always rewards us in the end. Sure we could choose to just ignore what God sets before us but we both know there are so many people God wants to bring into His Kingdom and when we take Jesus in, we need to share Him with everyone we meet.
And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns. Philippians 1:6 NLT
There was a time in my life when I was asking God to save me over and over and over again. I would start down the path to healing and begin to overcome situations then find myself struggling again. I would stop being an enabler and then pick it right back up a week later, only having to start all over with the “why me’s?” to God when in reality it was myself all along walking in the wrong direction. I felt that somehow I was the only one who was going to save my marriage. I was the only one who was going to set things right in my household. I was the one who would save my husband from the hell he was headed towards. I was going to make sure my children were saved from certain disaster. Doesn’t that sound like a broken record to anyone out there?
So, here I am having overcome a destructive part of my life and I can clearly see now how I myself had the “Save me syndrome” for a long time. I always wanted to do well and to prove to God that I had this whole life figured out. It wasn’t as though I did not need Him, however it was like I only wanted Him during the bad times. When things we going well, then I did not need any saving so I just knew in my heart that God was going to be there if and when I needed Him. Little did I realize that I need God all the time, in the good and bad times of my life.
How many times have you run to Jesus asking to be saved from certain disaster? How many of those times were when you yourself got in a predicament without the help of anyone else? God calls us into a reliance on Him, He is not just a “when you need me, I will be here” kind of God. He wants to be there with us through the happy and the difficult times. He longs to teach us how to rely on Him for all of the aspects of our lives. When we begin to wrap our minds around the fact that God WANTS to be in our lives, we can clearly see that He is more than enough to supply all of our needs.
So, if you are in a place where you want something to change in your life. If you are tired of being stuck on the “Save me syndrome” then today is a perfect day to turn yourself towards heaven, raise your hands and ask God to change your life. Give Him permission to rule and reign in every aspect of your life. Trust me, after following revival for the past few years, I know that God desires to be first in our lives. He desires to make you whole and to see you happy. He has great plans for each of us but if we do not let Him have control we may never come to discover them. Go ahead…lift your hands, He is waiting to hear your voice asking to be saved from the current circumstance you are in. If He did it for me, He surely will do it for you.
And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love.
Do you know what it feels like when the one you love simply holds your hand? Remember that feeling when a parent just showered you with attention? How about witnessing a breath taking sunset? Or the feeling you get when you know the person you are with is the one you want to marry? The person you want to spend the rest of your life with. The butterflies you get when they whisper “I love you” for the first time. Did you know it is just the same with God? He loves you. Yup right where you are and no matter what you have done.
Tonight over dinner my husband stopped eating, looked at me and said, “He loves you. God wanted me to tell you that He loves you.” My heart fluttered and everything else in that moment no longer mattered. The God of the universe paused a moment just to tell me He loved me. Even as I write these words He spoke my eyes well up with tears. Sometimes even if we have been walking with Jesus for a long time, we still love to hear His voice telling us we are loved.
While I was separated from my ex-husband, I was in a sense married to Jesus. I allowed Him to take the place of my husband on earth and He was always taking care of things for me and moving on my behalf. Then out of the blue, I would get love messages. My favorite was seeing deer randomly in different places. Sometimes He would use a friend to tell me He loved me while other times I could feel His presence and know that He was near.
Now that I am married again to this wonderful man of God, I don’t always feel as connected to God sometimes. Perhaps it’s because I have been given an earthly husband who loves me and treats me just like Jesus would. Maybe I just don’t quiet myself as often as I used to. I just know that hearing that He loved me tonight over dinner was enough to set my heart into a flutter and I once again felt connected to God.
I encourage us all to take time to listen for God. He sometimes sends other people to relay messages or blesses us with a sign that we know is from Him. God is always near and His love for each of us is greater than any love here on earth. Wouldn’t it be amazing if we could all just relax and know our Father in heaven is thinking about how much He loves us right now in this moment. Perhaps if you are reading this, you need to hear that He loves you. Maybe you yourself have fallen distant or feel unloved at the moment. All I know is that He still loves you.
No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead,
They say honesty is the best policy and that’s how real I will be tonight. I have seen some good things in my life and I have also seen some bad. They also say you have to take the good with the bad, but why? It’s like swallowing a pill without a liquid to wash it down, it gets stuck. Another saying is bad things happen to good people, which is true but good things also happen to bad people, we just don’t publicize that one as much. The point of my blog today is simple….we cannot hide what hurts us, it will sneak up in the most inopportune times in our lives.
When I was around the age of five, I was molested. I was placed in a shed, doors where closed and inappropriate touching and kissing took place. I spent some time in counseling when I was 18 and I thought I had walked out the whole process of forgiving and leaving this in the past until just recently. I have had several shady relationships and have been taken advantage of in several ways but I did not add these all up together. Never knew why I could not stand small spaces. Never could quite understand why kissing was hard for me. Really confused sometimes why it was hard for me to receive love.
As most of you know I recently got remarried to a wonderful man of God who loves me so deeply it’s hard to accept at times. Just recently I was pushing him away and I had no comprehension as to why I would do this to someone who treated me like a princess twenty four seven. Well last night at about midnight I was flooded with all of the ugly stuff from the past. Yes I had dealt with the molestation but I never dealt with all the other “little” things which happened after that. I had let these things just simmer somewhere in my past, not giving them a second thought….until last night.
Last night Satan decided to show me a whole picture show of my past violations and it hit hard as ever. It took until two in the morning to walk through the forgiveness process. I cried, I tried to hide and I even tried to run but Jesus would not allow it. He used my current husband to pull me out of my funk and show me the right way to feel. I let go all of what was hindering me and the freedom which flooded my soul was explainable. I have not forgotten what happened but the pain and hold it had on me is completely vanished. I now can fully love my husband for who He is and not for what Satan was trying to show me he was.
Are you dealing with wanting to hide? Has the past pains caught up with you? Go now to the Father and deal with the issues. God does not want you to be bound by the past. God wants you to be free not to hide. I encourage you today to just let ONE past hurt go. I don’t care which one it is, just let it go. Do not let the past have a hold so great on you that you cannot enjoy the here and now God has provided for you.