Friday, October 28, 2016

Unbreakable Bond

A cord of three strands is not quickly torn apart. (Ecclesiastes 4:12b NAS)

Unbreakable Bond
A laid or twisted rope is one of the most common ropes used today. Laid rope of three strands is usually preferred because of its strength to carry a load or lash a structure. Such a rope is made by twisting three strands of fiber in one direction and then laying them together to twist in the opposite direction. This counter-twisting is what holds the finished rope together to make it stable and unified.

A bonding relationship is like a three-strand rope. Depending on how much we are willing to let the Lord guide us as a couple and in our family life will determine how our marriage relationship turns out. A relationship that lasts is one that has Christ at the center. Unless we have Him to hold fast our relationship like a threefold cord with strands bound together, our marriage and family can easily be broken or quickly torn apart (Ecclesiastes 4:12). 

With Christ as Lord, even in a strained relationship where a husband and wife go opposite directions in opinions or preference, they can stay strong to carry any load together and remain unified to move ahead in one direction. 

Dear Lord, thank You for holding fast our marriage relationship.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Seasons of Growth

For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. (1 Corinthians 13:12 NAS)

Seasons of Growth
Like the seasons in a year which spring forth from new life to growth, harvest, and then decay, the seasons of human life also spring forth different experiences, strengths and weaknesses during the different stages of our lives. Challenges of different sorts are faced during the different stages, and we learn to handle them differently as we grow in maturity. This is normal because while we were children, we behave, speak, think and reason like children, but when we become adults, we do away with childish things (1 Corinthians 13:11).

If we live our lives today continuing to make decisions following our old ways before we knew the Lord, we are unacquainted with God’s word and still in need of basic truths (Hebrews 5:12). If we think it is understandable or try to justify ourselves that we are doing so because we can only see God’s plan vaguely at this time, we have forgotten we are not without guidance. The word of God and the Holy Spirit in us is enough to lead us until the day when we shall know fully, just as we are fully known by God (1 Corinthians 13:12).

Like the earth which circles toward or away from the sun in the warming and cooling of a seasonal cycle, may we also surround everything we do according to God’s word and will in all circumstances.

Lay the seed and grow in us, dear Lord, the knowledge of Your word that we might grow in spiritual maturity. Guide us through Your word and by the Holy Spirit for Your will is our desire to fulfill.

Are we progressing and growing in our walk with God?

Friday, October 14, 2016

Knowing the Will of God

Knowing the Will of God
A young man facing the future and unsure of what the next year would bring, concluded, “Nobody knows what God’s will is.” Is he right? Does a lack of certainty about the future translate into not knowing God’s will?

The concept of knowing God’s will is often limited to discerning what specific situation we will be in at some future time. Although seeking God’s specific leading is part of it, another aspect that is just as vital is to follow the clearly defined elements of God’s will each and every day.

For instance, it is God’s will for us to be good citizens as a challenge to those opposed to Christ 1 Peter 2:15 “For this is the will of God, that by doing good you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men” To give God thanks no matter what 1 Thess. 5:18 “In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you”, to be sanctified sexually, avoiding immorality 1 Thess. 4:3 “For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality”, to live under the Holy Spirit’s control Eph. 5:18 “And do not be drunk with wine, which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit”, to sing to Him Eph. 5:19 “Speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord”, and to submit to other believers Eph. 5:21 “Submitting to one another in the fear of God.”

As we submit to God in these and other areas, we are more likely to live in what Romans 12:2 “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is the good, acceptable, and perfect will of God.” Living with God’s smile of approval leads to His guidance for the future.

As we seek to know God’s will for the future, we must also act on what we already know now. Clifford Tate

Friday, October 7, 2016

Keep Your Heart Fixed

He shall not be afraid of evil tidings: his heart is fixed, trusting in the LORD. (Psalm 112:7 KJV)

Keep Your Heart Fixed
Before we finished from the University I remember we prayed on a particular issue, and it was as regards our relationship with God. We asked that if Christ tarried 50 years from now we should still be found in the Faith. Put differently we were asking God that he helps our heart to stay fixed upon him for as long as he tarries.

The plight of the double minded man is that he never receives anything from God and even his fellow men find him untrustworthy.

The one whose heart is fixed never fears even when the evil ones gather against him. David said "But thou, O LORD, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head." When your heart is fixed on God you fear no evil.

The only security we have in life is our connection to the Father, every other ground is sinking sand. Your heart is God's dwelling place, he constantly knocks so that you might open and enjoy fellowship with him.

Keep your trust ALWAYS in the Lord.

Guard your heart; it's God's dwelling place. Keep your heart and mind fixed on him. Oluwatobi Adesanya

LORD, I receive grace to stay focused on you in Jesus Name. Amen.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Keep Your Eyes Fixed On Your Vision

Let your eyes look straight ahead, fix your gaze directly before you. (Proverbs 4:25 NIV)

Eyes Fixed on the Vision
Last night I let the parakeets out to play. They climbed on the top of the cage and the male bird had his eyes fixed on the shelf in front of him. I watched him and knew he wanted to fly over. Their wings have been clipped so they can't fly too high. He moved left to right in an effort to position himself before taking off. He attempted to fly over but missed the shelf. He climbed back up and did the same thing two more times. When he got ready to try once more, the female bird became a distraction to him and he stopped trying.

When we have our eyes fixed on a vision and are getting into position to move forward, there are distractions. Many of us get distracted and fail to keep moving towards our goals. You may not get it right the first time and the distractions may come but keep your eyes fixed on the things you want to accomplish in life.

Do not give up. There are so many wonderful things ahead! —Ayana Elon

Friday, September 23, 2016

Keep the Devil Under Your Feet

I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me. (Philippians 4:13 NLT)

Keep the Devil Under Your Feet
Every day of my Christian walk, I meet some type of opposition from the enemy. The closer that I want to get to Christ, the bigger the obstacles are to overcome. I long to see the Lord's face and to feel His presence. This infuriates the devil. So, the devil retaliates to "try" and beat me down in every way possible. Why? If I am distracted by his tricks, I take my eyes off of the Lord. I am concentrating on the situation, the problem, and not the One who can cancel the assignments of the enemy. We look at how big our problems are and forget momentarily how much greater our God is. Peter was walking on the water and allowed the enemy to deceive him and he took his eyes off of Christ. Immediately he began to sink. If we take our focus off of Christ, we are weakened. Our faith is weakened. When we are weak, the enemy is more apt to attack! He definitely likes to kick us when we are down.

I am tired of giving the devil any foothold. If you give an inch, he will take a mile. He can only take what we are willing to give. I am fed up and fired up! Satan is on the losing side-read Revelation. His destiny is nearing and he is unleashing every attack possible to kill, steal, and destroy.

The devil loves manipulating our thoughts. In 1 Peter 5:8, we are told to be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. One minute, he is trying to confuse my thoughts, the next minute he is trying to overwhelm me with fear or doubt of some sort. Satan is the father of all lies and deception. He does his job well. As Christians, we need to make his job tougher, not easier. Why do we listen and believe his untruths for even a moment? We must learn to recognize when our thoughts are shifting into a negative or unpleasing state. Satan wants us to be brokenhearted, angry, and bitter. Satan wants us to be discouraged, confused, and defeated. He loves to make us doubt God. He loves to take our focus off of the Lord. Well, guess what? I am sick of the devil. I hate him and every thing he stands for. It is time to take a stand against satan. I refuse to allow that despicable devil to cloud my judgment any further. I am part of the Lord's winning team.

As for me, I will call upon God, and the Lord shall save me. Evening and morning and at noon I will pray, and cry aloud, and He shall hear my voice. He has redeemed my soul in peace from the battle that was against me, for there were many against me. Psalm 55:16-18.

Christians have the power to overcome the tricks and plans of satan, through the Lord God Almighty. The Bible explains to resist the devil and he will flee from you. Christians are not wimps but warriors. Romans 8:37 reminds us that we are more than conquerors through Christ. Be bold and courageous. We must follow Christ’s example and rebuke the devil. If God be for us, who can be against us? Greater is He who that is within me than he who is in the world. We must fight the devil with all of our might and keep him under our feet! Cindie York

Friday, September 16, 2016

Keep Chewing

Keep Chewing
I grew up in the land of dairy farmers; and the view of cattle grazing or following each other in straight lines back to the barn were common sights. The dairy cow is generally pretty mild, unless riled; and then they can kick or run at a pretty fast speed.

We can gain knowledge from one of their traits, chewing their cud. This is no fast food experience; they chew, chew and chew some more! Do you remember your mother’s advice, telling you to slow down while eating? She likely reminded you over and over to chew your food well before swallowing. Sometimes I think my husband swallows it whole; because he eats so fast!

Our Bible reading may follow the same patterns. That time should not be part of a speed reading event. To get the benefits of each morsel passage we need to take our time; and chew it up well for the digestion process. Maybe you did not realize that meditation is that simple!

If we get one simple truth or promise and work through it well, we’ll be strengthened and encouraged.I am not a big meat eater; but do enjoy a good steak occasionally, medium to well done. The chewing may take a while; but the pleasure of the flavor on our taste buds makes that time a pleasurable experience.

Set aside some extra time to read Psalm 119, which is filled with the psalmists instructions on meditating on God’s commands, law, and precepts, all descriptions of God’s word.

God spoke to His servant Joshua when he took up the role as spiritual leader, following the death of Moses. Imagine trying to fill his shoes! “This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success (Joshua 1:8 NAS).”Joshua had spent over forty years in the wilderness; he had his eyes fixed on his final destination of the Promised Land.

God promised he would be successful; he’d see his dreams become reality if he would keep chewing! PamFord Davis

Friday, September 9, 2016

Justifying Ourselves

Now the Pharisees, who were lovers of money, were listening to all these things and were scoffing at Him. And He said to them, ‘You are those who justify yourselves in the sight of men, but God knows your hearts; for that which is highly esteemed among men is detestable in the sight of God. (Luke 16:14-15 NAS - Mac Arthur Study Bible)

Justifying Ourselves
How silly we are to reason in our minds that we can justify whatever we say and do by our “goodness” or our “reputation” as a good person in the place where we live. The truth is, God looks upon our hearts and our lives and our motives and He knows what is behind everything we say and so. Many people are so caught up in the “look at me game” that they are able to conceal the “real” person nobody but them sees. But God sees us as we are and we need to be honest about who we are.

Try this, turn off all the distracting things in your life, music, radio, TV, Ipod, Blackberry, computer, telephone, cell phone, anything that makes a sound and distracts you and sit in silence for 15 minutes. Alone, no family, no kids, nothing to distract you and say, “Lord, show me myself as you see me.” Now wait ...

Bet it didn’t take you long until you got distracted or changed your focus did it? We aren’t through yet … get up and go to the largest mirror you have available and look in that mirror. Again ask, “Lord, show me myself as you see me.” Stare yourself down in the mirror and look inside yourself. Look into your eyes and ask yourself if you are pleased with the person who lives inside your shell? God wants more of you and He wants you to become focused on HIS character not yours.

We find a lot of ways to tell ourselves a lot of wrong things about ourselves. We justify how we are, the decisions we make, how we live, what we do, how we think and react to life by a system we have deemed as acceptable by the world. The problem is, we shouldn’t live for the world’s view of us if we are a Christian. We live for God. We realize that what we are, what He wants us to be, where He wants us to go and what HE wants for us is for us to follow His ways. We can’t justify the accumulation of “stuff” and “things” to be our priority and goal in life. Stuff doesn’t matter, God does! What we have to do is say to the Lord, “Show me your ways O Lord and give me the courage to follow them today and everyday.” Frances Loftiss Carroll

Friday, September 2, 2016

Just Scream

I will lift up my eyes to the mountains; From where shall my help come? My help comes from the LORD, Who made heaven and earth. (Psalm 121:1-2 NAS)

Just Scream
I can still hear Kate Winslet's character 'Rose' in the Titanic movie saying, “It was everything. It was my whole world and all the people in it, and the inertia of my life. Plunging ahead and me powerless to stop it.”

Have you ever felt powerless and just wanted to scream? I did today. There are times when you feel like you are screaming your lungs out and nobody's listening. There could be no less frustrating feeling than feeling that way about God. Does he hear me? Is he listening? Does he know how I feel?

God does! Though we don't see it or recognize the signs, every word we speak, every cry we make, God hears. Then one day when we least expect it, the answer comes and we are amazed. How did God do all that? Then as we examine closer we see every decision, every turn, every failure, every success that lead us to this point in time, and it all makes sense.

Moments of clarity from the mountain top are rare and precious. They last but a moment, but in that moment we are able to see clearly and know what path to take. With renewed faith in God's control in our lives we can have the courage to once again leave the mountain top and head back to the valley where the hard work lies.

Believe! Your mountain top is coming soon! Ronwyn Hughes

Friday, August 26, 2016

Just Loving It

For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother's womb. I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well. (Psalm 139:13-14 NAS)

Just Loving It
Oh it really is becoming more and more fun! As you mix the colors together and make careful strokes on the page, you see an image appear. Different brushes provide different results and the picture is carefully laid onto the paper with each new stroke.

Then there comes that moment when the image is done, you can step back and say, I've finished!  It is new, it is unique and it is special!

That is the way God views us, unique, beautiful and spectacular, one of a kind original masterpieces and He placed every one of us on this planet for a unique purpose.

If you ever feel as though your life is pointless and that you have nothing to offer the world, stop that thought immediately! God loves every bit of you because He made you Himself! Ronwyn Hughes


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