Archive for July, 2008

What Are You Eating ?

Thursday, July 17th, 2008

Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread. And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst. John 6: 34-35 King James Version

I read an article by a doctor and he made this statement “Food is nature’s medicine. When we eat well, everything falls into balance – blood sugar, liver, heart. Our bodies work properly when fed properly.” This prescription may help the outer portion of our hearts but it will never heal the inner part of our hearts. Only our great Physician can heal our inner hearts through His precious blood. Our hearts will never operate properly with unconditional love for others as He wants us to do until we eat the bread of life.

We must eat the bread of life and drink from the living fountain. “And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely” (Revelation 21: 6). We can eat a healthy diet by following our doctor’s prescriptions but if the blood of Jesus has not been applied to our hearts for the forgiveness of our sins, our hearts are dead. It takes the blood of Jesus to give life to our hearts.

I think that we are in serious trouble because sometimes we focus more on our physical health than we do on our spiritual health. Eating properly may add a few more years to our lives but only eating of the bread of life, our loving Saviour, will ensure that we live for all eternity. We must humble ourselves, admit that we are sinners and ask Jesus to forgive us and come into our hearts to be our personal Saviour. Then, and only then, will our hearts be healthy.

We can drink the water from the faucet in our kitchen but we always get thirsty again. When we drink from the fountain of the water of life, Jesus quenches the thirst we have in our hearts for unconditional love and acceptance. He removes the dryness of the loneliness and pain from our hearts and replaces them with His water of life. Our hearts cannot function properly without lubrication so we need the water of life in our hearts.

Are you focusing more on your physical health than you are on your spiritual health? It is true that we need to keep our physical bodies in shape but you must have the bread of life and the fountain of living water in your heart. Has the precious blood of Jesus been applied to your heart for the forgiveness of your sins? If not, I urge you; I plead with you to give your heart and life to Jesus right this minute before it is too late. Open the door to your heart and let Him come in. Say “yes” to Jesus and His joy, His peace and His happiness will flood your heart.

JoanneCopyright 2008 by Joanne Lowe, all rights reserved.
Used by permission. http://www.heavenwardbound.com
http://christians-in-recovery.org

Roses Among the Rocks

Wednesday, July 16th, 2008

We celebrate the hope of that God will be glorified … but we also celebrate adversity, because we know that adversity produces resolve, resolve produces character, and character produces more hope. And the hope that God will be glorified in us does not disappoint … Rom. 5:2,3, 4, paraphrase.

Israel’s Sharon Plain borders the Mediterranean Sea. Some of the land there is fertile: some is a rocky salt swamp where not much grows. On the barren flats blooms a uniquely beautiful flower — the Rose of Sharon. Glorious, blood red flower with its thorny stem, it shines in stark contrast to its surroundings, thriving where nothing else can.

Love, joy, peace, faith, integrity, perseverance, and self-control are beautiful, desirable qualities. Yet, like the rare Rose of Sharon, these attributes are grown in the desert of testing and adversity. To fully possess them, the gatherer must be willing to risk pain — even grief — to own a share in their glory.

Yet, it is when these characteristics are displayed in us that others come to love and worship God. When we can love our enemies, be joyful in sorrow, hopeful in desperate times, people around us say, “I want whatever — or Whomever — makes that person bloom in the desert.

Celebrate your adversities today knowing Jesus will be glorified by your life. Remember: On this earth, the King of Kings wore only a crown of thorns. Another name for Him is the Rose of Sharon.

Montgomery
Copyright 2008 by Rebekah Montgomery

Rebekah Montgomery, author/speaker/teacher, is a gifted, dynamic communicator. She is the author of more than five books and has penned 1,100 articles. She shares tough real-life topics and biblical application in a simple easy to grasp manner. To book Rebekah for your next event visit
http://www.rebekahmontgomery.com Rebekah is also the editor of Right to the Heart of Women and a publisher at Jubilant Press .

Your’re On God’s Camera

Monday, July 14th, 2008

For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him. Herein thou hast done foolishly: therefore from henceforth thou shalt have wars. 2 Chronicles 16:9 King James Version

I think most of us have heard the saying “You’re on candid camera”. God spoke to my heart yesterday morning and said that we are always on His camera. No matter where we go or what we do, God sees us. The man who beats his spouse or the woman who beats her spouse and thinks that no one sees is sadly mistaken because God sees them. The person who waits until darkness has come to break into a business and steal is seen by God. When we are cruel to people and when we say things that devastate our families and friends, God sees us.

I received a digital camera for my birthday. After I use it for a while, I have to recharge the battery. God’s eyes never need recharging. God’s eyes are constantly watching us. When God looks at you through His eyes, what does He see? Does He see you being abusive by word or action to your family and friends? Does He see people crying because you have been critical and sarcastic to them or does He see them smiling because you have been loving to them and have encouraged them?

Remember, no matter where you go or what you do, you are always on God’s camera. You can’t go anywhere to get away from His eyes. Not only does He see what you are doing; He sees into your heart. What does He see in your heart? Does He see unconditional love, forgiveness and compassion for your family and friends or does He see bitterness, resentment, jealousy and unforgiveness in your heart?

JoanneCopyright 2008 by Joanne Lowe, all rights reserved.
Used by permission. http://www.heavenwardbound.com
http://christians-in-recovery.org

Don’t Wait Until it is Too Late

Friday, July 11th, 2008

Psalm 90:12
So teach us to number our days,
That we may gain a heart of wisdom.

Our neighbor died last week, a lady only three years older than I. Makes you think, doesn’t it? Or does it…?

Death, at any stage of earthly life, should make us pause and think about the things that really matter. All too often, however, it doesn’t happen that way.

One of the most common—and tragic—things I hear when someone dies is, “That’s just a reminder that we’d better enjoy life while we can.” How short-sighted and self-centered is that? And yet, in our increasingly narcissistic culture, it is so representative of our “all about me” mindset.

Someone’s death—regardless of age or circumstance—should do a lot more than remind us to enjoy life here on earth while we can. The only truth in that type of thinking is that this life is most definitely temporary. That we should pursue it with gusto for our own pleasure and enjoyment is faulty at best—fatal at worst.

“The fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God'” (Ps. 14:1). The Bible considers those who live for themselves, as if they are in charge of their own lives and can set their own standards and rules, to be fools. Though these “fools” may or may not give lip service to a belief in God, and though they may harbor a hope that there really is a heaven and that they will somehow end up there when they die, the truth is that unless they repent and receive God’s forgiveness and new birth through the acceptance of Jesus as their Lord and Savior, their hope for heaven is nothing more than a pipe dream.

Hebrews 10:31 warns us that “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” The Bible also tells us that “it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment” (Heb. 9:27).

Some of us may die young, while others will live to a ripe old age. Some will live healthy, prosperous, and fulfilled lives, while others will have little of this world’s goods or pleasures. But regardless of our circumstances or achievements on this planet, and despite the length of time we spend here, each of us will certainly die and face God—a loving and merciful God, yes, but a righteous Judge as well. And once we’ve taken that last breath, it will be too late to repent and appeal to His love and mercy. There will be only judgment too horrible even to imagine, if we haven’t already accepted Christ’s forgiveness and atonement for the sin that is at the very center of who we are as flawed human beings.

And so the psalmist asked God to “teach us to number our days” that we would “gain a heart of wisdom” and not behave like fools who live for themselves and ignore the coming judgment. That is my prayer for each of us today, that we recognize how little time we have left before the number of our days on earth runs out, and we stand before the great and mighty Judge of the universe, defenseless and condemned.

Don’t wait to settle accounts until it is too late! Appeal to His mercy now—and then live the days you have left in wisdom, serving the One who died in your place. If you’ve already settled your account with God, then don’t be satisfied to live in complacency and lukewarm devotion. Ask God to help you wisely number your days by giving you a courageous and obedient heart to follow Him wherever He leads…from earth into eternity with Him.

Macias
Copyright 2008 Kathi Macias, all rights reserved. Used by permission.
Kathi Macias is a multi-award winning writer who has authored seventeen books. Her newest book “Beyond Me. Living a You-first Life in a Me-first World” (New Hope Publishers) The author can be reached at: http://www.kathimacias.com

Without Jesus

Thursday, July 10th, 2008

“Behold, the eye of the Lord is upon them that fear him, upon them that hope in his mercy; To deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive in famine. Our soul waiteth for the Lord: he is our help and our shield.” Psalm 33:18-20 King James Version

I believe when Myron R. Lefevre wrote this beautiful song “Without Him” that the words came from the depths of his heart. The words to this song describe so well how I feel about my precious Saviour. “Without Him I could do nothing, Without Him I’d surely fail; Without Him I would be drifting, Like a ship without a sail.” I honestly don’t know how I made it before I accepted Jesus as my personal Saviour. I wasn’t living; I merely existed. Jesus is the captain of my soul and He steers my life on a path that keeps me safe from danger.

Not only does Jesus keep us alive in a physical famine when we have very few groceries in the house; He also keeps us alive when we have an emotional famine in our hearts. When we don’t have enough money to buy food, He always provides for us. When our hearts are lonely and hungry for love, acceptance, understanding, comfort, encouragement and companionship, our precious Saviour is there to feed us with His unconditional love, grace, mercy, tenderness, understanding and comfort.

Jesus is our shield from the fiery poisonous darts of criticism and sarcasm that satan hurls at us. Not only does Jesus protect us; He also defends us. We don’t have to defend ourselves because He will defend us. So many times in the past before I fell in love with Jesus and allowed Him to become the Master of my life, I felt that I had to explain everything that I said or did.

On a day when I was very discouraged, hurting and sad because of something that someone had said about me that was not true, God spoke to my heart and said “My child, you don’t have to explain everything that you do or say. As long as your heart is right before Me, you don’t have to fear what people think or say about you. I know what is in your heart and if you are pleasing Me and telling others about My beloved Son, that is all that matters to Me. I am not impressed with how you look or with the clothes you wear. What pleases Me and what touches My heart is the love you give to others.”

Are you drifting through life like a ship without a sail? If so, I encourage you; I plead with you to anchor your life in the Lord Jesus Christ. He will not only be your anchor of life; He will be your shield and defender. Without Jesus, you are not living; you are just existing. Your life has no purpose or meaning because without Jesus everything that you do means nothing to Him. O how He longs to come into your heart, not only to be your personal Saviour, but also to fellowship with you. Will you open the door of your heart to Jesus and let Him come in today?

JoanneCopyright 2008 by Joanne Lowe, all rights reserved.
Used by permission. http://www.heavenwardbound.com
http://christians-in-recovery.org

We Need Jesus

Wednesday, July 9th, 2008

“As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you; and ye shall be comforted in Jerusalem.” Isaiah 66:13 King James Version

Do you remember when you were little and scrapped your knee or fell down? I think when we hurt ourselves that a lot of us went to our mothers for comfort. Other people might have tried to comfort us but we wanted and needed our mothers. Our mothers had a special touch that nobody else had. They kissed away our tears and told us that it was going to be okay. We just felt better after our mothers had comforted us and told us that everything was going to be okay.

I know that a lot of mothers did not do these things, that they did not tell us that they loved us or hug us very often. We need to understand that there are some mothers who were never told that they were loved when they were little girls so they didn’t know how to show love. Just as it is very difficult for us to give someone directions if we have never been to that place so it is very difficult to give love if you have never received it.

It is the same with Jesus. Other people can encourage us and we are to be an encouragement to one another. However, Jesus has a special touch that nobody else has. When we are brokenhearted and in despair, we need Jesus because He is the only one who can see into our hearts. He is the only one who can take the fears, the loneliness and the depression from our hearts. He tenderly removes the tears from our hearts with His kisses of understanding and unconditional love.

I don’t know what is going on in your life today but I do know that you can’t make it through this life without Jesus. Have you invited Jesus into your heart to be your personal Saviour? If not, I urge you; I plead with you to say “yes” to Jesus and ask Him to forgive you and save you. He paid an agonizing price on the cruel cross of Calvary so that you may have your sins forgiven and live with Him for all eternity. Don’t miss out on spending eternity with Jesus.

Your family and friends can’t make the decision for you as much as they want to do so. Please open the door of your heart to Jesus today before it’s too late. One day it will be too late for you to say “yes” to Jesus. Are you ready to go with Jesus if He comes back for us today or will you be left behind? O how I wish I could convey to you the urgency and importance of making the decision to ask Jesus into your heart. It is the most important decision that you will ever make in your life.

Have you made your reservation for Heaven through the precious blood of Jesus that He shed for you on the cross? He shed His precious blood for you so that you can live with Him for eternity. He is waiting for you with open arms. Run as fast as you can into the loving arms of Jesus. You will experience a joy, a peace, happiness and an excitement that you have never known. He will never leave you, not even for one minute. All hail, King Jesus! Worthy is the Lamb of God!

JoanneCopyright 2008 by Joanne Lowe, all rights reserved.
Used by permission. http://www.heavenwardbound.com
http://christians-in-recovery.org

We Know Better

Tuesday, July 8th, 2008

Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth. John 9: 41 King James Version

I wonder how many times we deliberately disobey our Heavenly Father. There are times when we know that we shouldn’t do something but we do it anyway. We know better than to do those things but we act like we don’t care what He tells us to do. We act like rebellious children throwing a temper tantrum. The Bible is very clear about sin. “Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin” (James 4: 17).

God has told us that we are to love one another unconditionally as He loves us. I believe one of the things that hurts Him the most is when we fail to love one another unconditionally. We want Him to love us unconditionally and forgive us when we make mistakes yet we aren’t willing to forgive the ones who hurt us. How dare you and I ask a Holy God to forgive us when we refuse to forgive others. May God forgive us for our arrogance and disobedience.

If you want to make our loving Heavenly Father happy, stop harboring unforgiveness, resentment, bitterness, criticism, jealousy and sarcasm in your heart. Allow Jesus to give you a heart checkup and remove the things that hurt Him from your heart. Are you doing something that God has told you not to do? If so, you are hurting Him and one day you will stand before Him and give an account of why you disobeyed Him. Let’s stop acting like rebellious children and act like we are children of a Holy God.

JoanneCopyright 2008 by Joanne Lowe, all rights reserved.
Used by permission. http://www.heavenwardbound.com
http://christians-in-recovery.org

A Home Built on Love

Monday, July 7th, 2008

“Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And every that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.” Matthew 7:24-27 King James Version

We have homes that are built on things other than love. There are families who have built their homes on anger, hatred and violence. Unless we build our homes on love, we will always have confusion, strife and heartache in our homes. When we build our homes on our Rock then no matter how many crises and problems arise, He will protect us and deliver us from all harm.

We read in the Bible “The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower” (Psalm 18: 2). When disagreements and arguments with our families arise, we can trust God to work in our hearts and make our homes happy homes once again if we have built our homes on our Rock.

Have you built your home on our Rock or have you built it on sand? Has it been built on unconditional love for one another or has it been built on anger and hatred for one another? Is Jesus the head of your home? If not, you will never have real peace and happiness in your home.

I receive at least three emails a month, sometimes more, from people who tell me that there is no happiness or peace in their homes. One person told me that he was living with his girlfriend and they had no plans to get married. He said that he couldn’t understand why he wasn’t happy. Yet he told me that he knows the Bible instructs us to be married and not live together without being married. We can’t expect to be happy and ask God to bless our homes if we are doing things that we know He said not to do. We are deliberately disobeying Him and we are hurting Him and making Him sad.

If you have built your house on the sand rather than on our Rock, it is not too late for you to build your house on our Rock. It is never too late to ask Jesus to forgive you. He is waiting with open arms for you to come to Him. Get off of the wrong path and get on the path to Jesus. Allow Jesus to be the foundation and Rock of your home and life.

JoanneCopyright 2008 by Joanne Lowe, all rights reserved.
Used by permission. http://www.heavenwardbound.com
http://christians-in-recovery.org

Speaking the Truth in Love

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2008

…speaking the truth in love, [that we] may grow up in all things into Him…. (Eph. 4:15)

I was recently involved in a lively online discussion regarding agent/client relationships. A few of the responses were all over the map, but most centered on some very basic relational rules, which can be summed up this way: Be honest and aboveboard, gracious in word and deed.

Isn’t that the basis of a successful Christian life? Certainly we must first be born again, or we quite obviously can’t live the Christian life because we aren’t Christians. However, being born into God’s family is the starting point. After that we, like babies born into a natural family, must grow up.

Ephesians 4:15 gives us a clear directive on how to grow up spiritually—by “speaking the truth in love.” We human beings have a tendency to swing from one side of a pendulum to the other. If our current focus is on speaking the truth, we are likely to do some serious damage with our tongue, using the excuse that “honesty is the best policy” and we were just “telling it like it is.” And yes, honesty really is the best policy, since deception accomplishes nothing positive in anyone’s life. However, Ephesians 4:15 admonishes us to temper our speaking of truth with love; if we don’t, we only compound the problem. At the same time, if we are on the other side of the pendulum, focusing on love and omitting truth, we do no one any favors, as we are simply encouraging and condoning sinful and destructive lifestyles under the guise that we don’t want to offend anyone.

So how do we effectively speak the truth in love so that we can become the “grown up” ministers of reconciliation that God has called us to be? After all, love is certainly more than an emotion, isn’t it? It’s far more than having warm, fuzzy feelings for others or doing nice things for them. It is also more than not doing or saying things to them that might be offensive or hurtful. Sometimes speaking the truth in love involves words that offend and hurt because loving someone means doing what’s best for them. It’s the boundaries that make the difference—learning to “color inside the lines” of God’s Truth that defines whether or not our words are truly spoken in love.

God is Love, so therefore every word He speaks is spoken in love. But if you regularly read and study the Bible, you know that not every word or phrase or passage evokes warm, fuzzy, feel-good emotions. God loves us so much that He sent His only Son to die for us so that we could be reunited with Him and spend eternity in heaven. However, He also loves us so much that He speaks the truth to us and warns that if we don’t repent of our sins—meaning that we no longer continue to pursue our own way but instead, like the prodigal son, turn around and walk back toward the Father, accepting His Son as the only provision for forgiveness and restoration—we cannot have a relationship with God but will, instead, spend eternity separated from Him.

Ultimately, the words of truth that we speak must be wrapped in the kind of love that says, “I care about your relationship with God and your eternal destiny, as well as your relationships here on earth. As a result, my words are spoken to help you understand what God says is the only way to have those relationships restored—first with God and then with others.”

When that purpose becomes our focus and motivation for all we say and do, we will truly be speaking the truth in love and “growing up” as sons and daughters of our heavenly Father.

Macias
Copyright 2008 Kathi Macias, all rights reserved. Used by permission.
Kathi Macias is a multi-award winning writer who has authored seventeen books. Her newest book “Beyond Me. Living a You-first Life in a Me-first World” (New Hope Publishers) The author can be reached at: http://www.kathimacias.com