Saturday, July 30, 2016

Turn Back to God

Read 1 Kings Chapter 12.

After Solomon died, his son, Rehoboam, went to Shechem, because all of Israel had gathered in Shechem to make him king. Jeroboam of Nedat, who had went to Egypt to get away from Solomon’s . attempts to kill him when the prophet foretold that Jeroboam would get to rule ten of the tribes of Israel and leave Solomon’s son only one, heard of the coronation. So he and his household came to Shechem and told Rehoboam, “Solomon gave us a hard time. If you will not give us a hard time, we will serve you.”

Rehoboam told him to leave for three days so he could think about what was said, and then come back, so Jeroboam and his house left.
First, Rehoboam went to the old men and asked them how they thought he should proceed. They told him, “Do as they asked you to and you won’t have any problems from them.”

But Rehoboam then went to his peers, his childhood friends and asked them, and they said, “Jeroboam is being a smarty-pants to you. Be a smarty-pants back and make him rue the day he ever came to you.”

Rehoboam listened to the young men instead of the old men, and all of Israel rebelled, so that the only place he was safe was in Jerusalem. Even the tax collector Rehoboam sent to collect the taxes was stoned to death.

When all of Israel heard that Jeroboam was there, they made him King instead of Rehoboam. Only the tribe of Judah stayed with Rehoboam. So Rehoboam gathered together his warriors to go to war to get Israel back from Jeroboam; but, Shamaiah the prophet told him not to go fight, that all this was part of God’s plan. Rehoboam listened, and did not go.

Because the House of God was in Jerusalem, Jeroboam was afraid that the people would go and make sacrifices there and worship God and turn back to Rehoboam instead of him. So he built two golden calves and put one in Bethel and one in Dan and told the people that that was the god that brought them out of Egypt, and they began to worship the calves. He coincided all of Israel’s feasts and holidays to honor the calves.


Now if you go to the book of Proverbs, you will see the book that Solomon wrote to advise his son in the way he should go. Proverbs teaches that it is wise to seek the advice of the older generation. Rehoboam started out doing this, but rejected it’s counsel and took the younger generation’s counsel instead. As in all generations, the young are impatient, angry and rebellious.

When things started falling apart, he then decided to go ahead and follow his father’s advice, who also taught in the book of Proverbs that God is the beginning of all wisdom. When the prophet relayed to Rehoboam a message from God, he took it. Had Rehoboam followed the advice of the elders of Israel, he may have delayed the chaos that came because of God’s judgment.

So what I have learned here is that, even though we have to pay for the sins that are committed, the payment will be a lot easier to bear if we turn back to God. He may even shorten the punishment.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

God Girl

Genesis 3:16
“Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.”

This sounds horrible if you are a feminist. But, even in living with the consequences you can find blessing if you are willing to accept the consequences. Most sinners don't want to accept the consequences, so they keep sinning out of spite.

Some people can't get past this curse in the Bible far enough to find out that Jesus came to die so that the curse could be broken.

In the old days, if a young woman reached a certain age and did not have a husband, she was looked down upon. The term "Old Maid" came along centuries later.

In Biblical times, the father chose the husband of his daughter. She had no choice but to honor him. Love was something you did, not something you felt.

Love is still an action, not a verb, or an emotion. Lust is an emotion that, when acted on, becomes sinful. Lust is selfish, whereas Love is selfless.

As a single woman myself, I have learned that Jesus is all I need for a husband. The only person I want to dominate, or rule over, me is God. And, through Jesus I can have that. The curse no longer applies to me. And, I am blessed!

Get thee behind me, Satan!

Genesis 3:15
“And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.”

And, from that day forward, man suffered the consequences of doing what God told him not to do.

There is irony in this punishment, though: If your heel is bruised, you can still walk. You can still fight. You can still stand. You can still turn around.

But God gave us the ability to bruise it's head. Kind of hard to function when your head is beat up.

This was God's way of letting us know that we, as humans, still have the option of beating the one who tempts us. We can fight it, we can walk away. We can stand up to it.

James 4:7
“Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”

Matthew 16:23
“But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.”

Friday, July 22, 2016

Why did God ask Adam if he ate the apple?

Why did God ask? He already knew the answer. He knows everything. So why did He ask?

Perhaps it was because He, being a merciful God wanted to forgive Adam and Eve. But, He could not do so UNTIL Adam and Eve saw the NEED for being forgiven. In order to see the need, they would have to take responsibility for their sin.

"Yes, Father. I ate the apple. I am so sorry. I shouldn't have eaten it, even though Eve ate it, too. It's not Eve's fault that I ate the apple. I could have said no, and I know You would have given me another Eve. But, I was just as curious, and I am at fault. Now I am ashamed. Please forgive me!

Instead, Adam said, "Yes, I ate the apple. It's all Eve's fault! She's the one who gave it to me!"

That was not the excuse God was looking for. The perfect excuse would have been, "I messed up. I was wrong. I promise I'll never do it again." (I don't think Adam even thought about not doing it again...)

And God did the only thing He could do. He made them live with their decision before finalizing His judgment.

This, of course, is speculation.

Proverbs 28:13
“He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.”

If this has inspired you, please share it!

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

"I just want to know that God loves me".

"I just want to know that God loves me and that He cares about what I am going through..."

I can't count how many times, in some form or another, I have heard people say this. Yet, the Bible is full of God telling us that He loves us. His actions, His Word, His intentions; they all speak love for us. The biggest thing He ever did to prove His love to us was sending Jesus to this earth, watching Him suffer and die for our sins.

You see, know matter how much it hurts Him, He cannot lie. So, if He says something has to happen for something else to happen, then it will be so, no matter what. God said, in the Old Testament, that we had to sacrifice a lamb without blemish, sprinkle its blood on ourselves and the altar, and burn it for each and every sin that we committed. After a while, that would get expensive, don't you think? And, if you were poor, it would be impossible! I don't know about you, but I don't think any amount of money in the world could purchase enough lambs to pay for my sins.

So, God did us a favor. He sent Jesus:

2 Corinthians 5:21
“For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”

Jesus was the Lamb that God sent to be the final payment for each and every sin we have ever, or will ever commit. All we have to do is realize that we have sinned, and pray that God forgives us IN JESUS' NAME. If we don't use the name of Jesus in that prayer, it means nothing.

Acts 4:12
“Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”

God did this because He loves us.

John 3:
16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

"But, how do I know God loves ME?"

Simple. Do you have the capacity to love? Do you practice love?

John 4
7 Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.
8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.
9 In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.
10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.

So, when someone tells me they wish that God would do something to show them that He loves them, I say, "He already did! Two thousand years ago, He sent you Jesus. And, Jesus is with you today!"

Matthew 1:23
“Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.”

If you do not feel love in your heart at any time, then God is not with you. But, if you love, then God is in it! That is how you know that He is there.

John 4:
15 Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.
16 And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.

Those who ask the question, "Does God love me?" are fearful. They wonder if the suffering of this world is all that they have to look forward to. And, if God cares, why doesn't He do something?

John 4:
18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.

This type of torment leads to depression and hopelessness. It can lead to anger against God and man. It causes more problems in your life than it solves. Love, on the other hand, dissolves any problem you can have. It makes those problems that won't go away bearable. It provides fulfillment. When you act in love, you are letting God live through you.

1 Corinthians 12:
27 Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.

(Because I like to teach others what I know, I jokingly refer to myself as God's appendix. The appendix helps the immune system to stay strong in the human body).

So, in serving God, all He is asking us to really do is to love one another. If we can do that, then all other things fall into place, and His will can be made perfect in your life. Your life will have no choice but to glorify Him. And, every door that opens to you will be an act of God on your behalf.

Therefore, as an imperfect human being who is learning to love like Jesus loved, it starts not to matter whether others love me back, or treat me with kindness, respect, honor, or any other way that is good. Love is something you are supposed to practice with even your enemies, those who mistreat you, misjudge you, hate you, and persecute you. When you can say:

2 Corinthians 12:15
“And I will very gladly spend and be spent for you; though the more abundantly I love you, the less I be loved.”

That is when you KNOW that God is with you, and that He DOES love YOU!

If this has inspired you, please share it!

Trust and Obey

There was another tree in the midst of the Garden, also. The Tree of Life, which Adam and Eve had not tasted of its fruit. If they had, they would live forever.

The thing is, they had a choice. They chose knowledge over life. Had they not chose the Tree of Knowledge, and heeded God's warning, they would have lived a pure and innocent life. There would have been no wrong in the world, because they would trust in God wholly, not knowing any different, and blindly obeying.

Today, the world is in chaos as it pursues more knowledge. Knowledge has become a necessity. No one can survive without it. (Hosea 4:6 says, "My people perish for a lack of knowledge").

Yet, a chosen few seem to be living a life of bliss, as they willingly choose to Trust and Obey!

Are you one of those people?

If this has inspired you, please share it!

Saturday, July 16, 2016

I will trust in You!

Thank you, Lord, for teaching me to trust. It has not been easy for me. There are so many reasons not to trust in this world. But, Lord, you have shown me that trusting in You is not only beneficial, but necessary in order for Your plan in my life to work.

I have had to learn to trust in those who hold my future in their hands on this earth. In so doing, I have had to learn to build solid relationships. And, I am comforted, knowing that as fragile as those relationships are, there is only one relationship that is strong enough to withstand all of my imperfection.

Trust has never been easy for me, Lord. From the moment that I realized that my parents were not perfect, it has become hard for me to trust in anyone on this earth. I put my trust in people who did not deserve it, and some who I never thought should have it. I learned to give the benefit of the doubt and became disappointed, time and again. But, the few who surprised me surprised me even more by being those who I didn't think should have it in the beginning, and that has encouraged me to keep trying.

And, now, I am learning that, at times, being willing to submit to higher authority as well as higher power is what is required in order to show trust.

I thank you for putting me in this place, at this time, in each situation, and that you open my eyes to lessons you want me to learn.

Help me to trust You more, Lord, even when I think my trust is full!

In Jesus' Name, I pray, Amen!

If this has inspired you, please share it!

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

I Serve the God of Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

Matthew 6
25 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?
26 Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?
27 Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?
28 And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:
29 And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
30 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?
31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?
32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.
33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

I don't know which way this country is headed. I don't know what God has in store for tomorrow. I don't know if it is going to be a busy day at the hospital today or not. I don't know if I'll even be here tomorrow, or if you will.

I don't know if I'll lose my sister or brother to the violence that seems to permeate our world at times, or if my niece's and nephews will survive to have children or see their grandchildren in this world that is slowly growing more chaotic every day.

I don't know if I'll lose my mom or dad to some sort of foreign outbreak that makes its way to this part of the world, or if disease and plague will be the talk of the day.

I don't know if my own children will make choices to stand for peace, light and hope in this world of darkness and suffering.

But, I do know one thing. Jesus is coming soon. Right now, I pray that God walks with us through these valleys and over these mountains and through the raging rivers and on the tidal waves of our lives. I pray that His Will is to protect us, and love us, and provide for our every need. His word has already said it was so. And, I believe He will do what He says.

I believe that God never changes. The same God that spared Noah, knocked down the walls of Jericho, made the sun stand still, divided the Red Sea, fed the Israelites with manna from heaven for forty years, comforted Elijah with bread and oil from a poor widow who had poured her last drop into a cup, healed the sick, caused the blind to see, cast out demons and so much more, is the same God I serve today.

He is the same God that breathed life into my oldest son who was born lifeless. He gave me shelter and food when I was homeless. He helped me and a friend walk away from a car that ran up a tree and flipped over 3 times with minor concussion and scratches. He gave me a job that allows me to give more to others, by what I do as well as what I have. He has given me everything I own at minimal cost, if any at all, to me. He helped me pay off debts in less than half the time allowed, when I had little money. Every single day He performs miracles in my life, and in the lives of those around me that I can see and experience and Praise Him for.

And, no matter what happens in this world, I know that He loves me, He is with me. And, He is watching over me and my family, and my friends daily.

Come quickly, Lord Jesus. I wait for your final deliverance from all of this evil.

My day is always blessed, no matter how I feel.

I hope yours is, too.

If this has inspired you, please share it!

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Bigger War

As I sat outside today on my break at work, a young man who worked in the building that employs over 500 people sat on a bench near me. He looked at his phone and then exclaimed, "THIS is getting out of hand!"

I smiled and said, "What? The shootings?"

He nodded.

I said, "And it's happening here, in the south. I wonder when the rednecks are gonna get involved?"

He said, "It's pretty close."

I said, "My whole family is nothing but a bunch of rednecks. Me? I gave up getting involved reading up on or even worrying about that stuff two years ago. I decided there is a bigger war, and I want to be involved in THAT one."

He just looked at me.

I said, "It's been written. We already know who is going to win THAT one."

I realized I was still smiling. How could I smile? People are getting shot and killed and families are being torn apart. Someone's daddy was murdered. Someone's son died trying to keep the peace. What in the world was happening? And, me? I just smiled.

I guess I just felt as if nothing could touch me. Even if it did, I know where I'll end up. I felt at peace in the midst of the turmoil this young man was feeling. I am a soldier in the Army of God. I am an ambassador to the King of Kings, Lord of Lords. And, all I have to do is sit back, prepare for the worst, hope for the best and watch how it plays out...because God is God, and God WILL be God in the end.

I wish that all had that peace, and the joy that goes with knowing who wins in the end, and that I am on the side that does.

If this has inspired you, please share it!

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

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Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Scandalous Grace

Genesis 3:1
“Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?”

You see it on Facebook all the time: someone will post about how wonderful Jesus is and then someone else will make a comment such as, "Is he REALLY the son of God?" or, "Do you really believe someone could just get up out of a grave and walk out?"

They make you question your own train of thought. They cause you to rationalize, to defend yourself with the same logic that they are trying to use on you...and it never works.

Satan tempted Eve with her intellect. He made her question...not only what God had told her, but who she was. Soon, he would attempt even to make her question the very existence of the God that created her if he had to go that far.

Sometimes our doubts lead to big mistakes. Those mistakes make us kick ourselves, asking things like, "Why did I do that?" and "I shouldn't have listened". Nearly always, those mistakes find us on our knees asking for forgiveness from the one who "told us so" to begin with.

Believe. The best course of action when encountered by these negative people who work on Satan's behalf is to not engage. Walk away. Don't argue with them. Just continue to believe and trust that God is, was, and always will be, and that one day, even THEY will bow down to Him.

If this has inspired you, please share it!