Friday, January 27, 2017

Learning to Lean

Learning to Lean
Are you left alone to face the music? Have others deserted you, forcing you to stand on your own? It hurts deeply to feel like you have been abandoned, thoughtlessly cast aside. It cuts deep, possibly leaving lifetime scars. If not dealt with hurt often turns to bitterness and anger.

Even the apostle Paul dealt with the hardship of desertion. He did not rely on others, their faithfulness or approval. “At my first defense no one stood with me, but all forsook me. May it not be charged against them. But the Lord stood with me and strengthened me, so that the message might be preached fully through me, and that all Gentiles might hear. Also I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion,” (2 Timothy 4:16-17 NKJ)

Paul’s security and support came directly from the Lord. Jesus fully understood Paul’s feelings, when finding those trusted turning away, when most needed. “Then all the disciples forsook Him and fled” (Matthew 26: 56b NKJ). Lean on Jesus. It is a sign of true strength to admit our weakness and lean on the Rock! PamFord Davis

Friday, January 20, 2017

Learn to Know His Voice

... and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name ... and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. (John 10:3-4 NIV)

Learn to Know His Voice
How do we learn to 'know his voice'?

First we expect God has something to say to us. As parents we always have something to say to our children and the same is true of God. Often it may simply be the assurance of his love and care.

Not only is expectation necessary, but also a desire to hear from God. Jesus often said, 'whoever has ears, let them hear'. This phrase speaks of deliberately tuning in to what God is saying.

Sometimes I find myself reading the Bible, yet my mind is elsewhere. Even in church I can be singing and yet my mind is far away. Lately I have been challenged to pay attention and focus on God. It's not always easy. I may not want to listen to God for fear of what he might say. Yet I know, and remind myself, there is no need to fear him who loves me perfectly.

God speaks in many ways. Through reading the Bible, praying and other spiritual disciplines we prepare ourselves to listen. Sometimes words will grab our attention in a way they haven't done before, or an impression or a desire comes to us after prayer, or maybe an idea drops into our mind that we know is not our own, but is it from God?

It takes preparation and practice to 'know his voice' but it will happen as we make the effort to listen. Susan Barnes

Friday, January 13, 2017

Lean Not to Your Own Understanding

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 KJV)

Lean Not to Your Own Understanding
We are born with an amazing ability to be deceived. Most of us adults remember our times of adolescence when we thought we knew everything. We didn't want to listen to our parents who had "been there and done that." They warned us about the consequences that would follow our actions, but we dismissed them as being old-fashioned and not understanding. Oftentimes, however, their words turned out to be prophetic.

As we have gotten older things have not changed much. I continue to be amazed at the con games grownups fall for. However far-fetched a scheme someone comes up with, it seems as though there are always many takers to be taken. Sometimes, the victim will appear on a news program such as 60 Minutes and tell his or her unbelievable story, and what really surprises me is that the person appears to be rather intelligent. You wonder, how could this have happened? One thing for sure, the victim didn't go looking to be deceived. What seemed so right turned out to be so wrong.

Christians are no exception. For example, some are taken by pyramid schemes, others are taken to the cleaners by insincere televangelists, and the statistics regarding our divorce rate suggest that many Christians make bad choices in selecting a mate for marriage.

Making the right choices in life is hard because people are seldom what they appear to be, neither are things in life as they often appear. These truths coupled with our innate ability to be deceived make for bad decision-making in life.

That's why we need God's help in making the right choices. We can only see people's outward appearance, but He sees their heart. And as for life, only He perfectly understands its complexities. The Bible is filled with the wisdom of His counsel. Our diligent study of the Scriptures enables us to tap into this wisdom for guidance. Also, as we pray in faith, He will direct our paths. Frank King

Dear Lord, thank You for the wisdom in Your word. You inspired holy men to write the Bible that we might have direction for life. Help me to acknowledge You in all my ways. Amen.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Lay Your Burdens Down

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. (Matthew 11:28-30, NIV)

Lay Your Burdens Down
The burdens of life can drag us down. They can snuff out the excitement and energy we once had for living. When we try to carry our own burdens, we can feel suffocated, hopeless and alone. So, what is the remedy for our burdened souls?

Jesus tells us to take upon his yoke and learn from him. His yoke is a life of submission and obedience of love. As we submit ourselves unto him, and stand in the presence of his great love, our cares become small and our concerns insignificant. Bob Valleau

Jesus, help us to realize we don’t have to carry our burdens by ourselves. May your gentleness and humble heart lead us into a supernatural rest for each burden we lay at your feet.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Blessed New Year 2017

Have a Blessed Year!

Happy New Year

Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature;
the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.
(2 Corinthians 5:17 NAS)