Saturday, August 27, 2011

The Ultimate Way to Love...

What does the word “humble” mean to you? When you see that word what is the first thing that comes to your mind?  Less than… low in spirit… giving up selfish ways… submission??? The actual definition for “humble” is… unassuming in attitude and behavior; feeling or showing respect towards other people; relatively low in rank and without pretensions.  And the opposite of humble… brazen, boastful, prideful.

I admit I have struggled with pride over my lifetime and still do… it is one of my ongoing battles.  Reading in Philippians 2:1-11, it talks about Christ’s humility… living with humility and unity. It touches my heart to think of how Christ humbled Himself because of His love for me… for you! He gave up His glorious life in heaven to become a man to serve the sinful people of this world… that is the ultimate way to love!!!

“And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.” Philippians 2:8

Is there someone God has laid on your heart to show love and Christ-like humility to?  Your spouse… your child… a sibling… a parent… or even a stranger in line at the grocery store???  That kind of humbling kindness is great for the person who receives it, but you cannot imagine how much good it will do for you! The first time you do it… it may be hard, but every time after… it will get easier, especially when you are doing it for your love of the Father and by staying focused on Him.

As I walk out my day today, I will be watching for those moments when I can humbly give of myself and show the love I have so freely been given through Jesus Christ by the Father. You have IT in you too if you are a follower of Jesus Christ… you have the power that can change someone’s day, even someone’s life. I pray you will take that step with me!

Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up. James 4:10

Rejoicing in Truth!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Promises in the Dark...

As we are getting closer to the end of summer, it makes me a little sad.  You can see the days are getting shorter… it gets darker earlier.  To be perfectly honest, I am not a fan of the dark!  I don’t know if it is because I really cannot see what might be lurking in the dark or what… all I know is the dark makes me uncomfortable.  I have always slept with a small light of some sort on at night as long as I can remember.

In the Old Testament of God’s Word you can read that God dwelt in the darkness (Exodus 19:9 and 20:21).  In II Chronicles 6:1 it says, “Then said Solomon, The LORD hath said that he would dwell in the thick darkness.”  I know in these verses it is referring to God always being with them in the dark cloud that followed the Children of Israel, but when I read that verse in the King James Version… I found a comfort in knowing that God is with me even in the dark. 

There are so many times in each one of our lives when we feel like we are in the dark. Maybe not a physical darkness, but an emotional darkness… financial problems, illness, a death of a loved one, loss of a job… those can all put us in a feeling of being in the dark, which in turn may settle us in a spiritually dark place.  When those things happen do you ever question where God is… do you feel abandoned?  In our logical way of thinking we know He is always there with us, but when life’s disasters seem to be piling up one after another, do you question if God is keeping His promise to you? 

“For He Himself has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’” Hebrews 13:5b

That is a great verse… a great promise, but it is one of those verses that rolls off the tongue but maybe not always sinks into the heart.  God never promised us that we would not have troubles in our life… in fact He told us we would have troubles, “I have told you all this so that you may have peace in Me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” John 16:33   Okay, great, He has promised us trials (yikes), but He also promised us that He will give us the strength to get through anything… the words of victory, “I HAVE OVERCOME THE WORLD.”  If you are a follower of Christ then you have Him living inside you so that makes you an overcomer too!  You are not alone! God is always with you, even in the darkest places of your life… His light will shine forth… you will make it through… and on the other-side of this trial you will have a testimony that will have His glory shining all over it!  Believe it when Christ promised us, “…lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen. Matthew 28:20b  He promises!

Dear Lord, I thank You for Your promises.  I thank You that You are always near.  I pray, Father for each person that reads this to feel Your holy presence embracing them.  I ask You to poor out a greater portion of Your strength on them… that they know and believe that it is only through You that they can conqueror whatever trial stands before them.  I praise You for what You are doing and for what You are going to do. Giving You all the glory in Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Rejoicing in Truth!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

The Rose...

It is only a tiny rosebud ~
A flower of God's design;
But I cannot unfold the petals
With these clumsy hands of mine.

The secret of unfolding flowers
Is not known to such as I ~
The flower God opens so sweetly
In my hands would fade and die.

If I cannot unfold a rosebud
This flower of God's design,
Then how can I think I have wisdom
To unfold this life of mine?

So I'll trust in Him for His leading,
Each moment of every day,
And I'll look to Him for His guidance
Each step of the pilgrim way.

For the pathway that lies before me
My Heavenly Father knows ~
I'll trust Him to unfold the moments
Just as He unfolds the rose.

                                    - Charlie Gilchrist

Withhold not Your tender mercy from me, O Lord; let Your loving-kindness and Your truth continually preserve me! Psalms 40:11

Rejoicing in Truth!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Living Life on Purpose...

Is there a major struggle going on in your life? Do you feel like you just cannot take another step?  Are you exhausted from dealing with life?  I know for me there are hurting people all around me… friends that are going through tough times with their health, family, job situation, you name it… people are struggling.
In Joshua 1, there were some tough times going on too… Moses had died and it was Joshua’s time to lead God’s people.  I don’t know about you but that would be a scary predicament to me.  This is what God told Joshua, “Every place upon which the sole of your foot shall tread, that have I given to you, as I promised Moses.” (1:3)  Can you see how God allows every step you take?  He promises to be with you every step of the way… just like He promised Joshua and the children of Israel.  We may not always make the best choices of where we are stepping, but God’s promise still remains.  He says in verse 9, “Have not I commanded you? Be strong, vigorous, and very courageous. Be not afraid, neither be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”  Are you really aware of that fact at all times?  When hard times come do you take that promise for granted or maybe even forget it?
Did you ever play Hopscotch?  You tossed the stone on the Hopscotch area to see what spot it would land on… that would determine where you could hop and where you couldn’t hop.  I wonder, do I “play” my life out like a game of Hopscotch at times? Do I carelessly pitch a “stone” out there in my life and wait to see where it will land to determine where I will or will not go?  Is that living my life with strength and courage?  Is that living my life with purpose?
When you make a mistake or you forget to do something important… do you ever say, “I didn’t do it on purpose”?  Of course you didn’t do it on purpose, but did you do it with purpose?  God has given us a gift of life and an even greater Gift of eternal life through Christ… I have to ask myself, “Am I doing my best with what He has given me?”  Am I living my life with purpose on purpose?  
Father God, I thank You for the gift of life and for the Gift of eternal life through Your Son.  I thank You for each person that reads this and for Your life changing Word.  I pray each one will feel Your love and embrace as You walk with them each step of the way.  Lord, I pray for guidance and for Holy Spirit to help each of us to live with courage and boldness, no matter the circumstance of life. God I pray for healing of the mind, body and spirit. Thank You for what You are doing and for what You are going to do. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Be happy with what you have because God has said, “I will never abandon you or leave you.” Hebrews 13:5b 
A good life can just happen, but a GREAT life must be lived on purpose!
Rejoicing in Truth!