“Be Anxious for Nothing!”

My Project 43-001

How many times have “anxious” thoughts robbed us of the enjoyment of today?  How many worried days have we spent trying to control the uncontrollable?  How many times do we expend all our energies and might to solve all the world issues only feel like a wrung out wash rag at the end of the day?

Worried thoughts have a way of trying to compel us to look to ourselves for the answers that we can’t find.  Believing that in and of ourselves we are the all end authority to all of life’s issues, at least this is what the human intellect would have us to believe.  Rather, God exhorts us over and over to rely on Him.  To come to Him in prayer and relinquish all of our cares, worries and frustrations on Him because He cares for us.

The Lord knows what a heavy load humanity can carry.  He has felt it in His own being.  As a matter of fact, He carried it all to the cross so that we wouldn’t have to carry these burdens alone.  Yet, when push comes to shove and trials and tribulations knock on our personal doors we feel a need to answer the call and find a remedy to our problems on our own.  As a result, we struggle to find the answer to the question of why we can’t find peace in the midst of it all.

In actuality, the reason peace seems so evasive to many of us is because of our personal insistence on trying to do it on our own.  We pick up the problems that we are going through with every intention on carrying them to the altar and leaving them with Jesus.  Walking away from the altar of prayer, we pick those same problems back up feeling a need to control the outcome on our own.  As if God can’t handle our specific needs. Our humanness gets in the way of His divineness.  The limits we see on humanity are then applied to God and it gets in the way of His wonder-working power in our lives.

The way to obtain peace during these anxious moments is to give whatever is bothering us; whatever is burdening us over to the Lord and trust Him to give us His best in the situation.  After all, when it came to the matter of saving us He already gave us His best, didn’t He?  How much more difficult would it be then for Him to work out our everyday worries for us?  I believe you would agree that the two can’t compare.  So, if He was willing to do that for you and I, should we not then trust Him to do right by our anxious thoughts?

Would you rather place all of your problems in your own hands or in the hands of God?  Let me ask you this, how have you been handling things on your own?  How has your own efforts been working out for you so far?  Maybe it’s time to try something new.  Maybe it’s time for you to give God a shot at wrangling in the worrisome so that you can experience true peace.  Let’s get rid of the anxious for something better.

Be blessed 🙂

VIDEO Repair Your Soul

Did you have a rough go at it today? No matter the ups. No matter the downs. God is still in control. You can do all things through Christ!

StopAndPrayTV

Aug 2, 2016

No matter what your circumstances, God has a plan. If you’re beat up and feel like you have nothing left to offer, let the Master take control. He knows your purpose, and He will see you through.

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“Help Carry the Load!”

Have you helped someone carry the load lately or have we been so wrapped up in self that we don’t see the needs and cares of others? Just a thought, what if we went throughout the day looking for opportunities to help someone else? Whether it be a kind word to encourage, a pat on the back for a job well done, or an unexpected smile that will lift someone else’s day. Little actions make for big impact. Be a load sharer today! You don’t know what someone is going through.

“Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ,” Galatians 6:2, NKJV.

Word For Life Says...

My Project 206-001

Have you helped someone carry the load lately or have we been so wrapped up in self that we don’t see the needs and cares of others?   Just a thought, what if we went throughout the day looking for opportunities to help someone else?  Whether it be a kind word to encourage, a pat on the back for a job well done, or an unexpected smile that will lift someone else’s day.  Little actions make for big impact.  Be a load sharer today!  You don’t know what someone is going through.

“Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ,” Galatians 6:2, NKJV.

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Familiarity Breeds Contempt

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Image Credit: Pixabay

Daily routines and associations with those closest to us can cause us to downplay their strengths and pick apart little things about them that tend to irk us or get under our skin.  It seems to be the easier thing to do.   A surface of criticizing is easier than delving into what’s below the surface to focus on the greater good dwelling in an individual.

One prime example of this sort of relationship is within marriage.  Spouses who have been married for any considerable amount of time with the ins and outs of daily life can start to hone in on what bothers them the most about the other as opposed to purposefully looking to view them in all the positives they have to bring to the table.

Why is it so easy to see the worst in people?  Why is it harder to focus on their good attributes?  What is it about human nature that loses or dumbs down respect and honor for the one’s closest to them?

Jesus knew exactly how it felt to be dishonored in such a way.  Once He is quoted as saying, “A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house,” Mark 6:4.

Common sense would tell us to support and uphold those closest to us; to have their back and cheer them on when seeing them trying to get ahead or excel at life.  We have no problem when it comes to doing this on a national level, say for the Olympics.  One of our country gains our support and we stand in front of the screens rooting them on to win so that nationally we gain a medal at the end.

But, for those closest to us, when we see them talk of their dreams and make plans to forage ahead into the future unknown; when we see them start ministries, set goals, and go after where they feel God is leading them why do we tear them down?  Our opinion of them, because we knew them way back when, seeks to diminish the character of their current work demoralizing their future goals.

In Luke 4, Jesus, quoting the same verse as above, also gave two examples from their history of people who received blessings although they were not of the Jewish people.  One was the widow of Zarephath in the region of Sidon and the other was Naaman the Syrian (vss. 26-27).  Both were Gentiles and not of the familiar countrymen of which Jesus spoke.

The widow received provision during the time of famine and Naaman received healing from a normally incurable disease.  They weren’t blinded by the familiar, rather they opened their hearts to the link that God had placed right in front of their faces to receive the blessing He had in store for them.

Don’t let the familiar cause you to miss out on the blessings found in the people that God has already placed in your life.  To you they may seem like, “Oh, that just so and so.  No need to worry about them.”  But, they may be your connection to that blessing that God wants to pour into your life.  Don’t count your blessings out (like those whom Jesus was talking to) just because you know the source from which it flows.

And, what if you are the one being rejected like Jesus was; because people know you and don’t want to receive or accept the gift of God in you?  You press on anyhow.  You don’t dwell on people but you dwell on the God who gave you the gift and has entrusted you to work His works in your life.

Even if man doesn’t support you – God does.  He does not neglect the gifts that He has placed in you, and don’t you do it either (see 1 Timothy 4:14).  Don’t cower at their rejection, rather you stir up that gift and let the flames be fanned (see 2 Timothy 1:6).

Jesus was rejected and He also warned in another verse, “If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you,” (John 15:18).  In other words, no matter who you are, and no matter what gift you have in you not everybody is going to be on board with you or supportive of the work of God in you.

What do you do?  How do you deal with that contemptuous familiarity?  You do what Jesus did: “He passing through the midst of them went his way,” (Luke 4:30).  You keep on keeping on.  Jesus didn’t stand around and try to convince them to receive Him.  Life is too short for that; His time on earth would declare as some of us say today, “Ain’t nobody got time for that.”  We have limited time here on earth and God needs our gifts and ministries up and running and being effective for His kingdom.

What do you do?  You follow the path of God for your life.  You continue to go forth working the works of God He placed in you, sowing seeds of ministry wherever He leads you.

Familiarity breeds contempt can work two ways: it causes us to miss out on the best of people that God has already placed in our lives, and it causes rejection of what you personally can bring to the table.  For either end that one may find themselves on, we have Jesus as our prime example on how to deal with it.  Follow Him and you will never be led wrong.

 

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Poem – “Before”

Before anything you face, God knew you and anointed you for the task ahead. You have a perfect design for your life in His hands.

Word For Life Says...

My Project 487-001
Before . . .
Before any pain . . .
Before any disappointments . . .
Before any tragedies and hurts . . .
Before any suffering . . .
Before any upsets . . .
Before any misunderstandings and curse . . .
 
God knew you and formed you and created you to be,
a child victorious; sanctified to lead.
 
What you see right now is not all there is,
God designed you with potential for such a time as this.
 
He created and filled you with anointing for the task.
don’t let what you see make you question and ask,
“Is this me? Do I make a difference? What’s the point of it all?”
You have it in you to succeed; to climb mountains so tall.
 
Believe more in His design of your life
over any proposed animosity and strife.
Believe His perfect plan…

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“Be a Promise Accepter!”

My Project 433-001

“For all the promises of God in Him are yea, and in Him amen, unto the glory of God by us,” 2 Corinthians 1:20

 

We are in our countdown to back to school time around here. Each school year starts out brand new. New backpacks, new supplies, new clothes; along with new hopes and dreams with the anticipation of promise lingering in the air. This is going to be a wonderful year!

By the end of the first month of school, children and sometimes parents too, start looking forward to days off, delayed openings due to weather and such. The reality of the daily grinding and horse race schedules overshadow the promise that was once felt. Instead of realigning oneself to keep hold of the promise that was once felt in the atmosphere, we begin to gripe and complain. Looking forward to the end of the school year, or at least Christmas break for some relief, becomes the new goal.

Often times, we treat the promises of God in the same manner also.

He gives us this wonderful volume (the Bible), filled with sixty-six books. And in each of those sixty-six books therein is packed with “more.” God has “more” for you than this. Line upon line, and precept upon precept, tells us how much He cares for us, loves us, and wants more for us. The Bible starts way back in the book of Genesis with promise. And, it goes all the way through to the end of Revelation. How does it end? With promise! “He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen,” (Rev. 22:20-21). That’s promise!

Unfortunately, as it is with the school year so it is in life. In the beginning, when the promise is fresh we are ecstatic. Then, as the everyday issues begin to settle in it starts to wear on the assurance that once was, leaving one to do nothing but constantly focusing on the end. Jesus said, “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly,” (John 10:10, NKJV). He doesn’t desire for “life” to be something tolerated. Rather, He wants it filled. And with that, there is the anticipation of something better.

Promise!

Promise only works when one accepts it. You can quote it all that you like, but unless it is internalized as a hopeful thing in the life of each of us, it does absolutely no good. Many people can read of the promises but they can’t believe in them for themselves. Only seeing with the eyes but never touching. They never experience the greatness that God wants to do. That’s not God’s intention for you. “For all the promises of God in Him are yes,” (NKJV). Now, it may be just me but when I see the words “all,” and “promises,” and “God,” and “yes,” I get excited! If you are in Christ, God says yes to every promise that comes with that salvation. Yes!

Won’t you accept it today? Yes!

I don’t have enough space or time here to even begin to list what He has in store for us. And, the half has not been told. “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him,” (1 Cor. 2:9). The promises are there in His Word. All you have to do is believe it and receive it!

Be a promise accepter today. Go through the Bible, find verses that speak to you right now, highlight them, and write them down or whatever you do to remember a verse, then, lay hold of it as your personal treasure. Let them be your source of strength when life doesn’t feel as “abundant.” Accept what He said anyhow. Step out in faith, holding on to those precious promises for dear life.

DEVOTION – A Woman Ready!

People grapple with decisions every day. Choices that make us question is this or is this not the right time or thing for me to do at this very moment. After all, these daily decisions and choices we make don’t stay within the premise of the day. Rather, they are far more reaching and can become a foreteller of what our future will be tomorrow.

Nevertheless, Queen Esther refused to fight with the what-ifs of life. She didn’t hesitate about the next step she had to take.

Are you ready?

Word For Life Says...

My Project 501-001

Deep breath in.  With what seems to be the weight of the world on her shoulders, she marched forward not sure of the outcome. . .

People grapple with decisions every day.  Choices that make us question is this or is this not the right time or thing for me to do at this very moment.  After all, these daily decisions and choices we make don’t stay within the premise of the day.  Rather, they are far more reaching and can become a foreteller of what our future will be tomorrow.

Nevertheless, Queen Esther refused to fight with the what-ifs of life.  She didn’t hesitate about the next step she had to take.  She prayed.  She fasted.  With great resolve and determination, her heart was ready to go see the king (see the story of Esther in the Bible).

Imagine a race, if you will.  There you are at the starters block and the…

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“Grateful to be Undeserving!”

 

My Project 267-001

When Jesus heard it, he saith unto them, They that are whole have no need of the physician but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance,” Mark 2:17

Have you ever been looked down on? Felt as if you didn’t measure up to the standards of another? Do you have your own short-comings staring you in the face? Have you ever struggled with the idea that you are beyond repair? That you don’t deserve anything better than this?

If you answered yes to any of the above questions, then you are not alone. Our society has a way of stoking the fires of perfectionism; of making one feel that if they are not in the status quo then they are defected. Predominance is the attitude here in the west where the drive for success will cause one to feel as if they have been ran over because they are not moving as fast as everyone else.

At the same time, our society has produced a group of over-inflated egos that really believe they have it all together. This group is dependent on no one because their fascination with themselves has misled them to believe they are complete; they are at the peak of perfection and everyone else should strive to be like them. These groups define their success by some outward measuring post, but on the inside are lacking more than they will ever know.

In Mark 2, Jesus found Himself wedged between these two groups of people. On the one hand, He was in the house of Levi, the tax collector (whom we know as Matthew), there He was eating dinner with “publicans and sinners,” (vs. 15). On the other side of the spectrum comes the self-righteous “scribes and Pharisees,” (vs. 16) to challenge His choice of company.

The sinners knew who they were. They were the rejected. They were the ones people laughed at and talked about. They knew what a mess they were and yet, they were grateful. How could this man Jesus want to be seen talking with them, let alone eating with them? He was holy, and still He saw beyond all their imperfections to care enough to spend time with them; to draw them nearer to Him through His love, care and genuine concern.

The scribes and the Pharisees saw no such need for a man like Him. As far as they were concerned everybody should be striving to be like them; the holy elite, the cream of the crop. Others should gaze upon their own “righteousness” and desire to mimic it. No wonder the Lord often called them hypocrites and some other stuff, (Mt. 23:13-15). Their own self-righteous attitude about the realness of their lost state kept them from receiving what this Physician had to offer – Salvation!

But, to him who recognizes that “without Me you can do nothing,” (John 15:5), Jesus says I can do something with him. To him who knows the reality of his undeserving state, Jesus looks on that humility of heart with compassion and seeks to bring healing to that soul. There is something most precious in the moment when one can look up from all their failures and disappointments to see a Savior standing there, arms opened wide, ready to take it all away. That undeserving soul becomes eternally grateful because they know who they are, and they know who He is, and they also know that He didn’t have to do it; He didn’t have to save them.

Just as with the “publicans and sinners” we know that we don’t deserve to be in the company of Jesus. But, He chose to be there with you and me. He took Himself away from the elite to spend time with those who needed Him the most. It was His choice to love us, to draw near to us, and to eventually die for us so that He could free us. He left His home in heaven to become “God with us,” (Mt. 1:23); with the undeserving. Unlike the “scribes and Pharisees,” I recognize my need for Him and I am ever so grateful.  I can truly sing:

“I need Thee, oh, I need Thee;
Every hour I need Thee;
Oh, bless me now, my Savior!
I come to Thee.”

(I Need Thee Every Hour/Annie Sherwood Hawks – Hymnal.net)