The Gift

John 3

John 3:28-31 (NIV)

You yourselves can testify that I said, ‘I am not the Messiah but am sent ahead of him.’ The bride belongs to the bridegroom. The friend who attends the bridegroom waits and listens for him, and is full of joy when he hears the bridegroom’s voice. That joy is mine, and it is now complete. He must become greater; I must become less.”The one who comes from above is above all; the one who is from the earth belongs to the earth, and speaks as one from the earth. The one who comes from heaven is above all.

The gift that we were given……..Jesus.  He is our gift from God.  He shows us our path that we need to walk.  He shows us how we should love.  He shows us how to give grace and show mercy.  He shows us that we can come to Him in times of crisis and in times of joy. He shows us that He will carry us through the trials  and He will walk next to us in every day cares. When times are dark, He will bring light to them.  Never our minds should worry when we trust in Him.  When we are lonely, He will fill our space and be our companion.

“That JOY is mine, and it is now complete.  He must become greater; I must become less.”

Lord, I praise You for showing me the way to live.  I praise You for given me more than I deserve. I praise You for loving me even when I feel unlovable.  I’m grateful that the only thing you require from me is to love you and love others. Your expectations are great but the expectations of this world can be burdensome and greater.  I pray Lord that You will continue to remind me that meeting Your expectations are all that I need to do. I thank You for being my perfect example. Lord, please help me be quiet when I need to be and be brave and bold, speaking with love, when needed. I am joyful at all times because I have you beside me.

Rhonda

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Live Life:Closed Off #12

Live life but don’t believe in church!!

Isaiah 53:6

We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.

 

1 Peter 4:10

Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.

Colossians 3:16

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.

Ephesians 4:16

From whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.

Colossians 3:2

Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.

When you believe in God but not in His church.

From the most primitive to the most elaborate, there is one thing that they all have in common………… people! Full of sinners seeking God!  He called us to gather together not perfect because a church is a body of people not a building.   There has always been a church. The people may have met on a hill side, in a one room shelter, in a home or in the buildings that we now call “church”, but regardless, it was a building full of sinners.  This world is hard to maneuver through and a body of imperfect believers will help us.  God gives us each other to walk His path with. To hold us up, when we’re weak.  To use us to hold them up in their sorrows.  To holds each other accountable to live a life that He has designed for us.   When we refuse to be joined together, then we’re robbing ourselves of a gift from Him.

I don't know how many times I've driven by this beautiful old church.:

Ulm Cathedral, Ulm, Germany.  Tallest church tower in the world - 768 spiral stone steps to the top!:

Lord, I thank You with every fiber of my being for giving me a church family to call “HOME”.  A place where I can be loved and love.  A place that I can join others in the journey of becoming one with You and joining You one day in heaven.  A place where I can freely be me, release my ugliness and feel Your presence next to me.  A place that even in the imperfections will always be a place of being enough for You.  Please be with my family and friends.  I pray that they will seek out a place to call “HOME” with You.   Amen!

Live Life: Hide It #11

Live life but won’t share your faith!!!!

Colossians 1:9

For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives,

Romans 1:12

That is, that we may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith, both yours and mine.

Mark 16:15

And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.

When you believe in God but don’t share your faith.

Outside of loving others, this is the one thing that Christ wants us to do, yet we don’t!  Why is that?  Don’t we want others to join us by the side of Jesus in heaven?  Or are we afraid of being rejected by people in this world?  Don’t fear!  God is and will continue to prepare us to talk openly with those we are around and bring them closer to Him.  If we’re not sharing then we’re not responding to an important call from God in our lives.  And this is coming from a true introvert.   One that, naturally wants to hide in the corner and not be seen, but spiritually, has forced myself to get out of my comfort zone for Him.  So If I can do it, you can too!

This 1-minute devotion is actually called "Thank God for the Taco" and it addresses the way the world uses the name of God for things that don't matter, but how often we avoid honestly sharing small things about God in our conversations.:

Do you share your faith with others, or do you hold back from talking about God and what He is doing in your life? Earnestly pray for opportunities to introduce your friends to Christ. There’s no greater gift you can give to them!  -A Woman’s Daily Walk with God:

Lord, I know that You will give me the words that need to be said, if only I will follow Your prompting.  Help me have faith and willingness to reach beyond myself.  I love that You have others to me so they could walk with me, so now it’s my turn.  Lord please be with my family and friends.  I pray that they will not fear sharing who You have been in their lives. And for the ones that are still on the edge of knowing, please make Yourself present in their lives.  Amen!

Live Life:Chase the $$ #10

Life Life but chase the money!!

Matthew 6:33

But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

Philippians 4:19

God will meet all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus.”

Matthew 6:19

Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal,

When you believe in God but trust more in money.

Do we walk our days, thinking that it’s up to us to provide?  That we have to give up the joys of life just so that we can eat?  That we must have that new “whatever”?  That our homes must live up to a certain standard before we’d feel comfortable to open it up to others?  That “they” won’t be my friend if I can’t give them things or if I don’t look a certain way?  That our children will be shunned in school if they can’t wear that $100 pair of shoes? And the list could go on and on.  These are the lies that society has made us believe.  These are the lies that is keeping us so preoccupied that we aren’t able to live the life of joy and peace with our Lord.   Believe me when I say, “it takes one to know one”, so I have fully lived those lies.  And there are a few that I still live in.  But I am learning!  I am learning that my time is more valuable than whats in my wallet.  My time that I spend with my family and friends, fully present in the moment because I’m not listening to the lies. Join me in living a life that is BELIEVING THAT GOD WILL PROVIDE and all I have to do is my part and He will do the rest!

Stay centered by sitting calmly in the middle of change; accepting both success and failure, pleasure and pain, trust and betrayal, knowing that all things come and go in good time. Flow with whatever may happen and let your mind be free. Stay centered by accepting whatever you are doing. This is the ultimate  --Chuang Tzu:

Where is My Miracle?  Lord, I need your help!  I don’t know what to do.  My husband (ex now) had suffered another devastating bought of depression.:

Lord, I love the Grace that You show to me daily.  I love the fact that regardless of how hard I keep working and the messier my life gets, the tighter in You draw to me.  I love that when I am finished that You will pick up the rope and keep pulling me forward.  I thank You for that!  Lord please be with my family and friends.  I pray that they will draw to You and stop thinking that need the best or “more” because the ultimate goal is to be with You and “more” will not get them there.  I pray they will decide that joy and peace and living in Your grace is more important to them than anything that this earth could give. Amen!

Live Life: Temporary #9

Live life but only for the temporary!

Hebrews 13:5

Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

Luke 16:11

If then you have not been faithful in the unrighteous wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches?

2 Timothy 3:1-5

But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.

When you believe in God but pursue happiness at any cost.

There is only one thing/one person that will satisfy all our needs and desires.  If we’re looking for that next big thing or that next perfect person, we’re going to be disappointed. We wonder why God won’t give such n such to us because we would be soooooooo happy if he did.  But God is not necessarily interested in what makes us happy, he is a selfish God and wants us to want Him the most.  Chasing after things that will make us happy will not always make us happy!  Only the Lord can do that………..

 

Are Those YOUR Priorities or God's? :: Ralene gives us a beautiful reminder to prayerfully set priorities according to the Word of God. :: Managing Your Blessings:

Don't forget to: "Listen for God's voice in everything you do and everywhere you go, He's the one that will keep you on track." (Proverbs 3:6 - In all your ways acknowledge Him, amd He shall direct your paths.):

Lord, I only need You! I pray that my family and friends will not put anything else in front of their happiness that You give so freely. Amen!

 

Live Life: Worry #8

Live Life yet worry!

Job 22:21

Submit to God and be at peace with him; in this way prosperity will come to you.

Philippians 4:6-7

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Luke 12:22-26

Then Jesus said to his disciples: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?

When you believe in God but still worry all the time.

Whenever we worry, we’re actually telling God that we don’t believe that He can take care of the current circumstances or that He hasn’t given us what we need to do it.  Do we have faith, if we worry?  Wouldn’t it be better to actually do something about the situation and let God do His part, then to emotionally tell Him he can’t.  Worry is a huge waste of time that could be used to bring glory to Him.  How do we spend our emotional time with Him? Do we praise Him for all that He has already shown us, already gotten us through and already provided or do we worry about what has not yet to come?  His Will will have victory in the end, so live life in the middle without worry.

This is a hard one to pray for, but it's got to be done. Thank You Father for always knowing what's right for us.:

When all is said and done, there is usually more said (and worried about) than done! Like if you agree!:

Lord I know that Your way is always perfect.  I have not always accepted that.  I have not always lived my life as if I believe.  I pray Lord that You will continue to show me through my circumstances that You are abundantly generous with Your love for me.  Please be with my family and friends.  I pray that Your light will over power any worry that Satan puts in their minds.  Amen!

Live Life:Won’t Change #7

Live Life but won’t change!!!

Proverbs 3:6

in all your ways submit to himand he will make your paths straight.

Romans 12:1-2

I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

1 Corinthians 15:51

Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,

Revelation 21:5

And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”

When you believe in God but don’t think you can change.

Change is a choice!  Regardless of what we have to over come, God will help us.  There are several steps to change.

  1. Replace the negative thoughts with biblical truths.
  2. Replace people around that are holding you back with people that will walk with you
  3. Replace your untrust with Trust in God

Change is a wonderful thing when the change is for HIM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Some people just absolutely hate change.  Getting out of their comfort zone is difficult and scary.  And to change………………… you HAVE to get out of your comfort zone.  I have pushed myself over the last 10 years but intently over the last 5, to break out of the box that I had myself in.  It hit me one day that I couldn’t be who God created me to be if I kept myself from being uncomfortable.   Some times I have fallen flat on my face and some times I have soared. But all the time God was right there cheering me on!

Francis Chan quotes “But God doesn’t call us to be comfortable. He calls us to trust Him so completely that we are unafraid to put ourselves in situations where we will be in trouble if He doesn’t come through.”

CHANGE1

Lord I come to You ready!  Ready to be all that You have created me to be.  Ready to say “YES” to Your call in my life.  Ready!  I am so humbled to be a child of Yours.  Lord please be with my family and friends.  I pray that they are READY! Amen!

 

Live Life:Unforgiveness #6

Life life but can’t forgive!!!

Mark 11:25

And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.

1 John 1:9

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Ecclesiastes 7:20

Surely there is not a righteous man on earth who does good and never sins.

When you believe in God but won’t forgive.

It’s not up to us to forgive, it’s a matter of life or death.  Christ has forgiven us already for so much, so who are we to say that someone else is not worthy of forgiveness.  If we make the decision to forgive, then He will give us the power to do it.  I have been in a place of unforgiveness and it’s painful.  Not to the other person but to me.  I’ve been on both sides and neither is pretty.  So I encourage you, “if you are holding on to pain so deep that it won’t let you forgive, please seek God so He can help you and find a friend that will walk with you through the journey of forgiveness“.   The only one being hurt by us holding on is us.

 

Ephesians 4:32. It really is such a relief to forgive.<3 Unforgiveness is too heavy a burden to carry.:

“Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” Colossians 3:13:

Lord, be with me during the times that I am hurt and to find forgiveness in my heart.  And I ask You to be with the one’s holding on to anger in their hearts towards me.  Help me to give as You have given to me.  Help me to love when everything inside of me is saying hate.  I am so grateful that You have shown me so much forgiveness and I know that You expect the same from me.   Lord, I pray that my family and friends will not carry around unforgiveness in their hearts because that will only damage their souls.  I pray that they will look to You for strength.  Amen!!

Live Life: Suffering #5

Live Life but think He’s unfair!!

Philippians  3:10

That I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death,

1 Peter 5:10

And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.

Psalm 34:19

Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all.

When you believe in God but don’t think He’s fair.

Have you ever thought to yourself that “God is just not fair!”, “Why do bad things happen to good people?” and “When is enough, enough God?”

I have!  Until I realized that He is allowing me to suffer a little while so that He can reveal His glory to me later.  Until I realized that He is allowing me to suffer a little while so that I am ready to do His work when He calls.  Until I realized that He is allowing me to suffer a little while so that I will stop depending on me and only depend on Him.  Now, I’ve realized that life isn’t fair but God is generous, faithful, merciful and good.  So I have decided to live like it!

Overcoming suffering is a beautiful thing  || #helenkeller #quote original art print by Jessica Swift http://www.jessicaswift.com/shop/prints:

 

 

Lord, I come to you knowing you hear me, knowing that you care about me and knowing that you only want the best for me.  Please help me to stand firm and not waiver when life hurts.  Lord, please be with my family and friends.  I pray that they will turn to you when life get hard.   Amen!

 

 

 

Live Life: Don’t Pray #4

Live life, but don’t pray!!!!!!

Thessalonians 5:17

Pray without ceasing,

Romans 8:26

Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.

Jeremiah 33:3

Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.

Psalms 34:17

When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles.

 

When you believe in God but not in prayer.

The power of prayer is not in the one who is praying but in the one who hears and answers our prayers.:

I love the Lord, who listened to my voice in supplication, who turned an ear to me on the day I called. Psalm 116:1-2:

I can’t say that my prayer life is what it should be.  I’m much better at the written word than I am the spoken word, even with God.  I guess that’s why I like writing out my prayers.  It helps me stay on task and keep things straight in my head.  It seems that I ramble when I’m talking, without direction.  I know the Lord knows what is in my head before it ever comes out of my mouth or is written on a piece of paper (or typed) but it makes it more real for me to type it.  It helps me to visualize what I’m feeling in my heart. Don’t worry about if it’s articulate or has fancy wording.  The Lord is going to take it and do great things.  He is hearing us and is pleased that we are coming to Him.  So take every opportunity you have to talk with Him, whether in voice or in print.  Even if you are driving your car……

Just don’t close your eyes!!!!!!!!

He is listening intently!

Lord I come to you with prayers in private and I come to you for others to share.  I know Lord that You are smiling down on me pleased.  I know Lord that You hear me and I’m grateful!  Lord I pray for my family and friends.  I pray that they will come to You and feel the release that happens as they talk.  I pray that they will see how keeping a steady flow of conversation with You will free their minds.  Amen!