Archive for May, 2009

Sin and Selfishness

Friday, May 29th, 2009

Many deceive themselves. They protest that they want to be rid of sin, and it isn’t really true. Others do want to be rid of their sin, but selfishly, for their own ease, their own self-respect, or because they are afraid of being found out. Those find it difficult. But when a man hungers and thirsts to be rid of sin so that he may help others, it really is extraordinary how soon the step is taken from darkness to light, from sleep to waking.

It seems natural and right, when one considers that the message of Jesus was unselfishness. There can’t be any vital experience of religion where selfishness has got a hold, whatever form it takes. What surprises one is not the miracle of conversion, but the ease with which even very good men will go on deceiving themselves all their life long; men who are moral and philanthropic, but with some root of selfishness in their hearts, which prevents them from ever experiencing a new birth or saving a man who is lost. Why do these people deceive themselves? It seems such a mad idea, attempting to hoodwink God. I suppose they are not properly awake, that they don’t understand what they are doing.

From the book:
Life Changers

Used by permission from: Healing-Habits.com

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Give Them a Smile

Thursday, May 28th, 2009

Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk. Acts 3:6 King James Version

There are some people who are already planning what they are going to buy their families and loved ones to give as Christmas gifts. Someone said “I don’t have the money to buy anybody a Christmas gift”. You don’t have to buy gifts to make people happy. Give them a smile that comes from your heart.

A smile doesn’t cost anything and they will have the gift and memory of your smile for the rest of their lives. Be sure that your smile is genuine and that it comes from your heart. It would make Jesus very happy if we would give unconditional love and smiles to our families and our loved ones every day of our lives.

Heavenly Father, we give You thanks. Thank You for Your heart of love and compassion. Help us to be kind and loving to our families, our friends and everyone we see. When others look at us, may they always see the joy of Jesus in our smiles. Thank You for loving us unconditionally. I pray that we will bring happiness and joy to You instead of bringing sadness and sorrow to You. Amen.

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JoanneCopyright 2009 by Joanne Lowe, all rights reserved.
Used by permission. www.hesetmefreeforever.blogspot.com
http://christians-in-recovery.org

When You Need Guidance in Small Things

Wednesday, May 27th, 2009

Some of you may find yourselves hung up on that problem of guidance in small things. We all grant that God must guide in the great matters — life-work, marriage, a change in business, a crucial decision. But can you tell me where the little ends, and the large begins? I suppose, quantitatively considered, our greatest concerns are infinitesimal in this gigantic universe: but as a matter of fact, God judges qualitatively, with reference to their place in His Great Plan. And here I do not see how one is to say that this is big and that is small…

Let me say this also: there is a certain pride in thinking that “we” can tell if a thing is large or small beforehand. Personally, I am now content to obey my guidance, and let God decide what is big and what is little.

–Samuel M. Shoemaker, From the book:
The Genius of Fellowship
Used by Permission from Healing-Habits.com

Who is in Control?

Tuesday, May 26th, 2009

We may throw the dice–but the Lord determines how they fall. Proverbs 16:33

If the fall of the dice is under the Lord’s control–then whose is the arrangement of our whole life? If the simple casting of the dice is guided by Him–how much more the events of our entire life–especially when we are told by our blessed Savior, “The very hairs of your head are all numbered! Not a sparrow falls to the ground without your Father!” It would bring a holy calm over your mind, dear friend, if you were always to remember this. It would so relieve your mind from worry–that you would be the better able to walk in patience, calmness, and cheerfulness, as a Christian should.

When a man is anxious–he cannot pray with faith, or serve his Master. When you worry and fret about your lot and circumstances, you are meddling with Christ’s business, and neglecting your own! You have been attempting “providing” work–and forgetting that it is yours to “obey”. Be wise and attend to the obeying–and let Christ manage the providing.

Come and survey your Father’s storehouse, and ask whether He will let you starve–while He has laid up so great an abundance in His garner! Look at His heart of mercy–and ask if that heart can ever prove unkind! Look at His inscrutable wisdom–and ask if that wisdom can ever be at fault. Above all, look to Jesus Christ your Intercessor, and ask yourself, while He pleads, can your Father deal ungraciously with you? If He remembers even sparrows, will He forget one of His poor children?

Cast your burden upon the Lord–and He will take care of you. He will not permit the godly to slip and fall. Psalm 55:22

~ Charles Spurgeon

Are You Leaning on Him?

Monday, May 25th, 2009

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Proverbs 3:5-6 King James Version

There is a song “Learning to Lean” by John Stallings. We sing the words “learning to lean on Jesus” but I wonder if we are really learning to lean on Jesus. Are we leaning on Him or do we continue to do things our own way? Many times we cause our own problems and heartaches by trying to do things our way. It hasn’t worked and it never will work. We need Jesus. We need Him to direct our paths.

During the last few years of her life, my mother was on oxygen all the time and she had to lean on something because it was very hard for her to breathe. There are times in all of our lives because of the vicious and poisonous darts from satan that we have to lean on Jesus for support. One of the definitions in Webster’s Dictionary for oxygen is “something that sustains or fuels”. Jesus not only fuels our hearts, He also sustains our hearts.

Heavenly Father, please help us to trust Jesus more and to learn to lean on Him. Thank You for being a loving, merciful, forgiving and compassionate Heavenly Father. Thank You that You care about us and our happiness is important to You. Thank You for Your tender heart of compassion, forgiveness and unconditional love. May we be bring happiness and joy to You. May we always do and say things that bring honor to You instead of bringing shame to You. Amen.

JoanneCopyright 2009 by Joanne Lowe, all rights reserved.
Used by permission. www.hesetmefreeforever.blogspot.com
http://christians-in-recovery.org

Though My Body Cries Out for Rest…My Soul is at Peace

Friday, May 22nd, 2009

***Update on Mom: Though weak, Mom came home from the hospital yesterday and is resting comfortably. Thank you all for your prayers!

“Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom
for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14).

I would like to tell you that throughout this past week I have been a spiritual rock, standing strong for my family as they gathered together in what appeared to be my mother’s last days. I would like to say that—but I can’t. Not only has God spared Mom to live out the full number of days He has allotted to her, but I have (once again!) been reminded of my own weaknesses and fallibility.

Weary is the word that comes to mind, and with it a desire to escape to some quiet place where rest is an achievable goal. And yet…

Though my body cries out for rest…my soul is at peace.

Though details and responsibilities seem to multiply at a ridiculous pace…my soul is at peace.

Though others encourage me to take care of myself in the midst of caring for others…my soul is at peace.

Though all these things are true—my body needs rest, my to-do list is far too long, and I must take care of myself if I am to care for others—my soul is still at peace.

For God, you see, is the Source of my peace. He is my strength and my rest and my joy—and my great Reward at the end of the day. When all else changes, He remains the same. Even when the earth shakes (which it did here in Southern California this past Sunday evening!), God remains unshaken.

And that is where my focus must remain, particularly when well-meaning loved ones and friends tell me that God would not want me to wear myself out, that He wants me to be happy and fulfilled, to even have fun once in awhile….

Really? Hmm… True, moments of happiness and fun sometimes invade our lives, and I am grateful each time that happens. But is it our purpose? Or is that purpose so much higher than a self-serving life?

Again, I don’t discount the need to care for ourselves as best we can, for health and well-being enables us to effectively serve God and others. But when Mordecai confronted Queen Esther about interceding with the king to save the Jewish people from extinction, the queen’s personal happiness and fun were not even figured into the equation. Knowing that she would be putting her own life on the line to approach the king uninvited, Mordecai challenged Esther to lay down her dreams, her comfort, her security—everything—in order to fulfill God’s calling and purpose for her life: “Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” Did Queen Esther realize the seriousness of this challenge? Absolutely! She accepted the challenge and said, “If I perish, I perish” (Esther 4:16).

As it turned out, Esther did not perish and, in fact, was instrumental in saving the Jewish people. But if she had perished in the attempt, would she have failed? Would she have wasted her life?

Not if that was God’s purpose for her being here in the first place! Though we don’t all have such a world-changing calling or purpose as Queen Esther, we each have a specific, God-given purpose for walking this earth—a purpose that far outweighs our need to be happy or “have fun” along the way. If fulfilling that God-ordained purpose means that we perish in the process, so be it. How better to be assured that when we step from here into eternity we will hear those wonderful words, “Well done, good and faithful servant. Enter into the joy of the Lord.”

At the end of the day—or of our earthly lives—does anything else really matter?

Macias
Copyright 2009 Kathi Macias, all rights reserved. Used by permission.
Kathi Macias is a multi-award winning writer who has authored 26 books. Her newest book “Beyond Me. Living a You-first Life in a Me-first World” and Mothers of the Bible Speak to Mothers of Today (New Hope Publishers) The author can be reached at: http://www.kathimacias.com

A Surrendered Will

Thursday, May 21st, 2009

There are, of course, conditions of guidance. We must have first a surrendered will, as we have said, which wants God’s will more than its own, and is ready to do what one is told, no matter whether it be to one’s taste or not.

We must be relaxed from all tension, of haste or unbelief or too impatient seeking. We need to be freed from self-consciousness, which rationalizes about the processes of guidance while trying to get guidance. This is like digging up flowers by the roots to see how they grow.

The positive attitude here seems to me to be, instead of thinking about whether we or humanity in general are capable of receiving guidance, to remember the omnipotence of God, and His power to send us light if He wills to.

We need every aid to forgetting ourselves, such as a physical posture to insure the greatest freedom and restfulness: many find that lying down is the most advantageous position; sometimes kneeling; sometimes sitting. We want faith, a leaning out towards God, trusting that He who rolls the spheres can guide a human mind.

We need a regular time for waiting on God, as we shall see later; but guidance may come at any time, and the set times are only more protracted periods in which our minds are sensitized to the Holy Spirit. Guidance comes rather to active than to passive people: it comes when the guidedly active person stops for a fresh lesson from God; the more obedience, the more guidance-not as a quantitative quid pro quo, but as a spiritual law.

–Samuel M. Shoemaker, From the book:
The Genius of Fellowship
Used by Permission from Healing-Habits.com

No Matter What You are Facing, God’s Love is Still Deeper

Wednesday, May 20th, 2009

“But God raised Him from the dead” (Acts 13:30).

We all know that nothing is impossible with God, but do we really believe it? How many of us are up against situations that overwhelm and dismay us, as we realize how impotent we are to overcome them? But do we also realize that’s exactly where God wants us to be—at the end of ourselves and totally dependent on the God of the impossible to get us through?

Acts 13:30 sums it up so well: But God raised Him from the dead. After Jesus was arrested and falsely accused, tortured and tormented, nailed to a Cross where He hung between heaven and earth—for us—and then sealed in a tomb, GOD RAISED HIM FROM THE DEAD. Think about it: It doesn’t get much more hopeless than being murdered and sealed in a tomb. But even then, God can bring life from death.

At the same time, it’s important to remember that the Father didn’t spare the Son when it came to the agony of the Cross. He didn’t take Him over or under or around it—He took Him through it. And that’s what He offers to do for us. As difficult as our trials may seem at the time, we don’t have to walk through them alone. Not only will He walk beside us if we take His outstretched hand, but He will carry us if necessary.

I recently re-watched one of my favorite movies, “The Hiding Place,” where I was reminded of this great quote: “There is no pit so deep that God’s love is not deeper still.” Whatever you’re facing today and however deep your pit may seem, God’s love is deeper still, and there is nothing impossible for Him. Rest in that powerful truth, beloved—and watch Him bring forth life from the dead.

Macias
Copyright 2009 Kathi Macias, all rights reserved. Used by permission.
Kathi Macias is a multi-award winning writer who has authored 26 books. Her newest book “Beyond Me. Living a You-first Life in a Me-first World” and Mothers of the Bible Speak to Mothers of Today (New Hope Publishers) The author can be reached at: http://www.kathimacias.com

God Can Do Nothing Until We are Willing

Tuesday, May 19th, 2009

“There is no fact so great in the experience of men…as the fact that a soul on the extreme edge of destruction can be redeemed to life merely by turning round-sincerely turning right round.”

The most beautiful of all the parables certainly teaches that the Father can do nothing until the son
has turned his face homewards.

From the book:
Life Changers

Used by permission from: Healing-Habits.com

Have You Called?

Monday, May 18th, 2009

For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. Romans 10:13 King James Version

There are times when we make a lot of telephone calls during the day but do we call Jesus? A lady called twenty five people in one day to invite them to a party. I wonder if she took the time to call Jesus and say hello to Him. He is waiting to hear from us. It hurts Him and makes Him sad when we ignore Him. There are times when we are guilty of putting Him on the shelf and only call Him when we need something. May God have mercy on us and forgive us for the way we treat His beloved Son.

The first person that we call and talk to every day should be Jesus. Spending time with Him and talking to Him should be the top priority of our day. If you have not invited Jesus into your heart to be your personal Saviour, it is urgent that you call Him now before it is too late! Your family and your friends love you and as much as they want to make that call for you, they can’t do it. Salvation is a personal issue between Jesus and you.

Have you called Him and invited Him into your heart to be your personal Saviour or are you still in bondage to satan? Please open the door to your heart and let Jesus come in to be your personal Saviour. The door to your house can be opened from the inside and from the outside but the door to your heart can only be opened from the inside and you are the only one who can open it.

For some people, Jesus has been standing and knocking at the door of their hearts for many years. “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me” (Revelation 3: 20). What will you do with Jesus today? Will you ignore Him and keep Him standing at the door of your heart or will you open the door and let Him come in? Please don’t keep rejecting Jesus. It breaks His heart and it hurts Him when you reject Him over and over. He deserves to be happy. Again, what is your decision? What will you do with Jesus, the Saviour of the world?

JoanneCopyright 2009 by Joanne Lowe, all rights reserved.
Used by permission. www.hesetmefreeforever.blogspot.com
http://christians-in-recovery.org