Friday’s Question

Must we face our past to move Joyfully into the future?

In my experience anyway, the answer to this question is YES!  I’ve had to face, accept and move past it before I could move forward with JOY!  And I’ve had to do this many times with many different situations.  But I wouldn’t have been able to do that without my Jesus!

“Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight; so you are right in your verdict and justified when you judge” (Psalm 51:4)

“For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more” (Hebrews 8:12)

“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past” (Isaiah 43:18)

“Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me” (Psalm 51:10)

“Do not remember the sins of my youth and my rebellious ways; according to your love remember me, for you, Lord, are good” (Psalm 25:7).

As Paul is stating in Philippians 3 (click to read full chapter), putting no confidence in our own flesh but putting all our confidence in Christ. Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead.  And then follow His example and don’t forget about the other people who don’t know Him yet.

Because……..

Ephesians 2:8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—

 

Job 17:9 The righteous keep moving forward, and those with clean hands become stronger and stronger.

Proverbs 4:18 The way of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, which shines ever brighter until the full light of day.

Romans 8:28 We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God: those who are called according to His purpose.

Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

Psalm 33:18 But the LORD watches over those who fear him, those who rely on his unfailing love.

Psalm 32:8 I will instruct you and show you the way to go; with My eye on you, I will give counsel.

Proverbs 24:14 In the same way, wisdom is sweet to your soul. If you find it, you will have a bright future, and your hopes will not be cut short.

Isaiah 58:11 The LORD will guide you continually, giving you water when you are dry and restoring your strength. You will be like a well-watered garden, like an ever-flowing spring.

Psalm 23:4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

1 John 5:14 And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us.

Proverbs 17:22 A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.

And we will have……….

Philippians 4:8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is worthy of respect, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if something is excellent or praiseworthy, think about these things.

2 Timothy 4:6-9 My life is coming to an end, and it is now time for me to be poured out as a sacrifice to God. I have fought the good fight. I have completed the race. I have kept the faith. The prize that shows I have God’s approval is now waiting for me. The Lord, who is a fair judge, will give me that prize on that day. He will give it not only to me but also to everyone who is eagerly waiting for him to come again.

So I pray for me and I pray for you, that we will face the past, accept it but NOT be buried in it.  That we will move forward JOYFULLY!  Amen!

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Click on the link to find out about even more reasons to be JOYFUL………BibleGateway.com-Logo

 

Friday’ s Question

If you were to draw a picture or write out words that describe God, what would it be?God1

A.W. Tozer once stated that, “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us”.  He explains that in order to begin thinking about who we are called to be as a Christ follower, it is first important to think about who God is. ref: Identity:Book 1 of the 4 Chair Discipling study.

So Try it, see what it says about who you are.  How you relate. And how you love. 

 

Look em up!    BibleGateway.com-Logo Click here

Numbers 23:19

1 John 4:8-10

Exodus 34:6-7

Isaiah 6:3

Psalms 23

Meditate on who God is to find out who you are!

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Friday’s Question

Do you think your worthy of being forgiven, redeemed and in eternity with God?

I’ve was faced with 2 different situations yesterday where this possibility was forgotten or either never learned.  And I wonder, why?  Why are their people out there spending their life in shame about decisions they made years before?  Afraid of opening up and reaching out.  Afraid of being honest or real with others.  Putting on airs on the surface and withering on the inside.   One case ended the life of a person who found themselves in a situation and so burdened by it that they took their own life, at the expense of a whole lot of people that would have loved them through it.  Another case of one that is continuing to live a life in the shadows of dishonesty, feeling burdened and shameful but pride is overcoming them, at the expense of relationships with others that would love them regardless.  Why is this?  When there is Christ who died on the cross and is simply wanting us to ask Him to join us in our lives.  He will always forgive and redeem us if we walk our life with Him.  But we have to be open, honest and willing to be vulnerable in in our walk, ridding ourselves of ourselves and allowing Him to take over.

9e6a9115e9647c0f93dac24855e2dd6bIt reminds me of the Woman at the Well.  Where Jesus meet a Samaritan there who in the worlds view wasn’t worthy of pretty much anything.  She had led a wild life and made lots of bad decisions, yet Jesus saw her.

John 4:1-26 – Full Story click here

It pains me that people live lives full of shame, guilt and feel there is no where to go.  If they only knew.  Am I expected to tell them?

Lord, please help me be brave and will to share your love with others.  Letting them know that they are never hopeless and without someone that loves them.  You are the most precious gift that we have ever received.  Amen!

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Friday’s Question

How do you rid yourself of a heavy heart?

In my experience it’s by depending on God not others, forgiving those who have harmed you and asking for forgiveness from those you have harmed.

Matthew 5:7 Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.

Matthew 5:9 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
Luke 6:31 Do to others as you would have them do to you.
Luke 6:37“Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.
Hebrews 10:24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds,
Luke 6:35 But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.
Philippians 2:4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.
Romans 12:18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.

To do this we must admit “all” to ourselves, leaving nothing out.  Start looking to others and encourage them and this will take our eyes off ourselves.  Forgiving others is not for them it’s for us.  

You will be amazed at how God’s promises will start flowing in.

Lord you know my heart right now!  You know what heaviness is hanging on for dear life.  You know, and only you know, what it’s going to take to rid myself of the heaviness.  I pray Lord that my every thought will be focused on  you and that you will guide my every step.  My one and only Savior! Amen!

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Friday’s Question

How should I react?

I know that we’re all faced with situations that immediately make us want to react in a negative way but how successful are we at holding that “negative reaction” back?

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Read the below scriptures:

 

James 3:13

Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom.

Galatians 5:16-18 

So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want.  But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.

James 1:5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.

Matthew 18:15 “If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over.

Matthew 7:3-5 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?  How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?  You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

Things I’ve learned, sometimes the hard way!

Philippians 4:8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

Lord, I pray that I will continue to learn how to be more like Your image. Amen!

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Friday’s Question

What’s your perspective?

Colossians 1:28 He is the one we proclaim, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ.

(click for Psalm 40) BibleGateway.com-Logo

Some insights from Rick Warren:

The Bible says that unbelievers have no spiritual perspective (1 Corinthians 2:14). Likewise a lack of perspective is a mark of spiritual immaturity (1 Corinthians 3:1-2, 13:1114:20). In contrast, having perspective is evidence of spiritual maturity. Hebrews 5:14 (NASB) says, “But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil.”

There are many benefits of learning to see everything from God’s perspective:

Perspective causes us to love God more. The better we understand the nature and ways of God, the more we love him. Paul prayed “May you be able to feel and understand, as all God’s children should, how long, how wide, how deep, and how high his love really is” (Ephesians 3:18 LB).

Perspective helps us resist temptation. When we look at a situation from God’s viewpoint, we realize the long-term consequences of sin are greater than any short-term pleasure sin might provide. Without perspective we follow our own natural inclinations. “There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death” (Proverbs 14:12 NIV).

Perspective helps us handle trials. When we have God’s perspective on life we realize that “in all things God works for the good of those who love him” (Romans 8:28) and that “the testing of your faith develops perseverance” (James 1:3). Perspective was one of the reasons Jesus was able to endure the cross (Hebrews 12:2). He looked past the pain to the joy that was set before him.

Perspective protects us from error. If there was ever a time that Christians need to be grounded in the truth, it is today. Pluralism has created a very confused culture. The problem is not that our culture believes nothing but that it believes everything. Perspective is the antidote.

When believers, new and mature, are given both knowledge and perspective, the result is rock solid: “Then we will no longer be like children, forever changing our minds about what we believe because someone has told us something different or has cleverly lied to us and made the lie sound like the truth” (Ephesians 4:14 LB).

I pray that I will grow to have a clear God perspective on things that I’m faced with in life. Amen!

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Friday’s Question

Do you believe this statement?

God cares more about our presence than our performance!

ref: You are Free by Rebekah Lyons

Revelation 3:20

Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.

Give Him your presence and you will be filled with Him.

Lord I pray that my actions will only be motivated by the desire to be close to You. Amen!

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Friday’s Question

How important is family?

Psalm 115:12-15

The Lord has remembered us; he will bless us; he will bless the house of Israel; he will bless the house of Aaron; he will bless those who fear the Lord, both the small and the great. May the Lord give you increase, you and your children! May you be blessed by the Lord, who made heaven and earth!

Psalm 127:3-5

Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.

Psalm 83:18

That they may know that you alone, whose name is the Lord, are the Most High over all the earth.BibleGateway.com-Logo

 

 

Family is important! There are times that family are the only ones that will fill in for God to be that human touch, that listening ear and that loving voice and will say “it will be okay”. Family can come in many shapes, sizes, colors and nationalities.  Family can be blood or not.  Their only  specification is that they love you unconditionally! No strings attached, just unconditional love!

Thank you Lord for putting those people in my life that I would gladly call “FAMILY”! Love and blessings to them all! Amen!

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Friday’s Question

Am I doing too much or too little?

Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke,thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming “WOW”! What a ride!  – Anonymous

Ecclesiastes 5:18 

Behold, what I have seen to be good and fitting is to eat and drink and find enjoyment in all the toil with which one toils under the sun the few days of his life that God has given him, for this is his lot.

Matthew 25:35-40 

For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’

Matthew 25:45

 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’

Help me Lord have the wisdom to serve when I need to serve and to rest when I need to rest.  Help me feel your nudges and hear your voice. Amen!

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TRUST

How do you trust, when it feels like your life is out of control?

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Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6

 

 

 

I love swinging high!  The freedom of floating through the air and the smells of my surroundings rushing past me.  But if I go too high or too fast and the swing takes a turn of twisting and swaying then it can feel a bit out of control.  But with swing, I always have the option of putting my feet firm on the ground and the out of control feelings vanish.  Life is not like that.  My feet have been as firm as they could be on the ground beneath me and my life was still OUT OF MY CONTROL!

I’ve learned how to TRUST, when my life is out of my control!  STOP!  TAKE A DEEP BREATH IN! CLOSE MY EYES AND SEE “HIM” STANDING NEXT TO ME! SCREAM! BE SILENT! REST! What ever my emotions are telling me through this out of control-ness, I do it!  But I do it with HIM!

Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6

Lord, thank your for being my firm ground. Amen!

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