“Carry God’s Presence Today”

 

“Now it was so, when Moses came down from Mount Sinai . . . Moses did not know that the skin of his face shone while he talked with Him,” Exodus 34:29

No matter what you do today:

WORK ………………………………………………….

SCHOOL ………………………………………………

PLAY ……………………………………………………

SNOW ………………………………………………….

RAIN …………………………………………………….

SUN ……………………………………………………..

HARDNESS ………………………………………….

PEACE …………………………………………………

ADVERSITY ………………………………………….

SPOUSE ………………………………………………

CHILDREN ……………………………………………

FRIENDS ………………………………………………

MOM …………………………………………………….

POP ……………………………………………………..

VACATION ……………………………………………

DAY OFF ………………………………………………

PRAYER ……………………………………………….

BIBLE …………………………………………………..

CHURCH ………………………………………………

OUTREACH ………………………………………….

VISITATIONS ………………………………………..

WITNESSING ………………………………………..

TEACHING ……………………………………………

EXERCISING …………………………………………

GYM ……………………………………………………..

HOME …………………………………………………..

LAUNDRY …………………………………………….

DINNER ………………………………………………..

BEDTIME ………………………………………………

carry God’s presence with you!!!!  Let people know that you have been with Him!!!  Let your life reflect it!!!

When Moses met with God his face shone, carrying evidence of being in God’s presence. What kind of evidence do people see in us that lets them know that we have met with God. As we start this new day, are we carrying God’s presence with us no matter what we are doing? May we shine for Him and let His presence be magnified in us!

Photo: Pixabay

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Familiarity Doesn’t Have to Breed Contempt

 

Image Credit: Pixabay/rawpixel

Daily routines and associations with those closest to us can sometimes cause us to downplay their strengths and pick apart little things about them. A surface of critiquing and criticizing seems easier to some 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 sometimes start to hone in on what bothers them the most about the other as opposed to purposefully looking to view them in light of all the positives they have to bring to the table.

Why is it so easy to see what doesn’t please us about people and harder to focus on their good attributes?  Why does it seem easier to dismiss the familiar just because they are, well, familiar?

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.  We give that one competing for our country 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 forge ahead into the future unknown; when we see them start ministries, set goals, and go after where they feel God is leading them, is it easier to downplay that  than offer the support we so willingly give to others whom nationally we don’t even know?  Does our opinion of them, because we knew them way back when alter our perspective of their current work, hopes, and dreams?

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 about) 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 a person 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 then?  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, seeking to hinder you, but it doesn’t have to.

With the love of God operating in us, we can look at those around us and be thankful for the familiar and the special things that each one brings to our lives.  And, with our faith in God we can march forth in the destiny He has in store for us regardless of who has our backs because, “If God be for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31).  We can stay positive in what He has called us to and not succumb to the negative because of the familiar.

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.  Familiarity doesn’t have to breed contempt.  God may be doing something new in the midst of the ordinary and you don’t want to miss it.

“FLY!”

REST!  Is it really a lost commodity among our culture?  In our hurried, never-sitting-still-society-for-fear-of-being-run-over-by-society, you would think it is.  That speaks of physical rest, but what of the rest of one’s soul?  A time where one can enjoy some peace and quiet on the inside instead of always feeling like their world is in turmoil.

I think many of us can really relate to that need of rest.  Sometimes, we wish we could do like Jesus and stand before the storm and say, “Peace, be still,” and literally make every wave of adversity shut its mouth!  I know you want to.  I do, too!  It just becomes too much to deal with at times and the need for space, to breathe, to come out from under all this mess becomes an overwhelming factor.

God bless you if you can’t relate to what I am saying here.  For most of us the challenge of dealing with daily schedules, mess and problems leave us feeling totally surrounded.  As if, no matter what direction we turn there is something there to prevent one from really enjoying that rest.

“And I said, Oh that I had wings like a dove! for then would I fly away, and be at rest,” Psalm 55:6

Oh, but if I had two wings!  I would fly!  The idea of rising above every problem and adverse circumstance is very tantalizing.  Right there I begin to form a mental picture in my mind of me soaring.  Below me is everything that tries to come against me.  All those problems and schedules are trying to reach up and grab hold of me, but it can’t!  I have risen too high for them.  I have learned how to fly above it all!

The problem with that is it is fantasy.  Oh, that it were real.  While we are living on this side of glory we are always going to have something to deal with, but that still doesn’t mean we can’t fly.  Isaiah 40:31 emphatically declares, “They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles . . .”   God never promised to remove every problem from our lives but, what He did say, is that He will renew the strength of those who turn to Him in the midst of it all.

God is strong in power and there is none like Him, Isaiah 40:25-26.  We recognize today, that though I may not have suddenly sprouted two wings coming out of my back when I rely on His power, it is as if I am already soaring!  And, that my friends, is real rest!  It is confidence that fills the heart and lets me know that I don’t have to feel beaten down and worn out.  God’s got this!  He sees what I am going through.  Psalms 5:11-12 says, “Let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them: let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee.  For thou, Lord, wilt bless the righteous; with favour wilt thou compass him as with a shield.”  I may not have two physical wings on the outside, but on the inside, I’m flying higher than it all.  Why?  Because though it may seem at times that I am totally surrounded, I serve the Lord God Almighty who is able to “compass” me “as with a shield.”  Therefore, today, I can fly!

Photo: Pixabay/efes

“It’s Saturday!”

The day before Sunday is like no other. It’s the day that comes at the end of the work week and comes before the day of worship. There are so many possibilities with this day. Sleep in or go out? Veg out in front the TV or seek adventure? Clean or do you say forget it, “I clean every day and today I’m taking a break!” How will you spend your time?

Time. That’s a four little word with great impact. Time is something we can never get back. Time is something that will keep moving forward whether you are ready to go with it or not. Time is precious. Time is valuable. How one spends their time can either add to their life or take away from it.

Time. Extra time is not promised. We can’t buy more time. Rather, we must lay hold of with an iron grip the time that has been allotted to us and make the best use of it for our lives, our families, and our ministries.

Time. What will you do with it? We deserve rest because we worked hard. Take the time. We deserve adventure, something that will heighten our senses because we have stayed the course of the mundane all week. Take the time. Clean? . . . well, we’ll just leave that one alone for now.

Time. As crazy as it seems to us, it goes by in a flash when you don’t want it to and it drags when you wish it would speed up. That’s why every moment counts. Every opportunity should be seized. Every second savored.

Time. We don’t have as much of it as we would like, and yet God blessed us with the amount we need. How we choose to use it is up to us.

What will you do with your time today? There is no right or wrong answer. If you worked hard and want to sit in front of the tv because your brain needs a few hours vacation, then do so. If your body has been stuck in the office all week and you feel a need to stretch and exercise to get it moving, then do so. If you chose to let the house go one day so that you can have time for yourself, then do so. It’s Saturday! It’s your time! Make the most of it for you!

Keep in mind, once this Saturday goes by, it will not come again. Oh, yes, there will be other Saturdays, but not this Saturday. There will be other chances and opportunities, but not like today. Today is for you – it’s your Saturday, what will you do?

Ephesians 5:16 encourages us to redeem the time. Grab hold of today and make the most of it! It’s only here today. So, what will you do with today?

Whatever you do, make today count! It’s Saturday, enjoy “you” on this day!

God bless you and enjoy your Saturday 🙂

Photo credit: Pixabay

Nix the “LIKE” Button of Life

 

As I sit back and think sometimes I must admit that it simply amazes me how acclimated we have become as a people to the social media culture. In no way am I one who has come along to bash anyone’s use of social media.  I have accounts and you do, too.  That’s not what this article is about.

This is about how accustomed have we become to the pull of the “LIKE” button that these social media outlets offer. Let’s face it, how often when you post something do you check to see if it has been “liked” by anybody?  How often do you compare the number of likes to that of someone else or something you have posted before?  We have become a society obsessed with approval from people.

We are constantly becoming more and more concerned about what people think about us; about their opinions on our lives, clothes, and activities. It’s as if we can’t make a move without people giving us the green light letting us know that we are okay or we’re driving down a path or in a direction they support.

We must stop and ask ourselves what we are training ourselves to believe about ourselves since we need so much confirmation from people to get on with life? What about our children?  Those coming up exposed to these internet pulls, at such a young age are their lives being conditioned to find value of self in the “LIKE” buttons of life?

More importantly, are we more concerned about impressing the masses than we are living a life that is pleasing to God? If our lives had a “LIKE” button for Him to push would He be able to push it from the things He sees “posted” (from the things He sees lived out before Him)?

We need to learn to nix the “LIKE” button of life and live for an audience of One. We need to be more concerned if our life is pleasing to God or not.  In the end, this is all that really matters.

Below are verses that will encourage and remind you that God’s opinion is the only opinion that counts. May we be more concerned today about pleasing Him instead of seeking the approval of others.

  • “For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ.” – Galatians 1:10, NASB
  • “For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.” – John 12:43
  • “And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men.” – Colossians 3:23
  • “Put no more trust in man, who has only the breath in his nostrils. What is he really worth?” – Isaiah 2:22, HCSB
  • “When a man’s ways please the LORD, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him.” – Proverbs 16:7
  • “The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the LORD shall be safe.” – Proverbs 29:25
  • “How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that cometh from God only?” – John 5:44.

Photo: Pixabay/DariuszSankowski

The High Horse

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“For everyone that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted,” Luke 18:14b

We’ve all heard someone express at one time or another, “You need to come down off that high horse!”  Whether it was said to us or another, the challenge is still implied for one to not think highly of him or herself, Romans 12:3.  People that are boastful and proud have a way of thinning out the crowds.  Their attitude is not attractive; therefore others will find an excuse to disassociate themselves from that person.

Us, who are saved by grace, also have to fight the urge to take on this superiority complex.  Too often we are just as prone to mount that high horse and ride off into the sunset, singing in a school girl tone, “We’re saved and you’re not . . . . . la la la la la la!”  Okay, so maybe we don’t sing in childish tones but that doesn’t mean we don’t act in childish ways; looking down our nose at a lost world as if we obtained this great salvation on our own.  Rather, we should be humbled by what God has so graciously done for us and wills in His heart to do for others also (2 Peter 3:9).

The Bible is full of references that explain God’s feelings toward this particular subject: He hates it!  1 Peter 5:5 states, “God resisteth the proud!”  Those that display this ugly characteristic are not amusing God, rather they are pushing Him away.  He does not tolerate it at all.

In light of all that He has done for humanity God’s view is this: NO ONE has the right to think he is something or somebody more special than all others.  Jesus hits the nail on the head in this story found in Luke 18:9-14.  Here He denounces the prideful Pharisees’ attitude of self-righteousness and He proclaims the greatness of the one who had a humble heart.  Did it seem that He was being too hard on the Pharisees; the ones who were the religious leaders of the day?

Not in the least.  Verse 9 tells us how their position changed their view of their relationship with God and with man.   First, He stated, they “trusted in themselves that they were righteous.”  Their rituals, rules, and regulations were how they measured and viewed their righteousness.  Their so-called ability to dot every “I” and cross every “T” ranked them above all others, securing their own righteousness.  No humbleness of heart was present.  No attributing their standing to the grace and mercy of God.  They “trusted in themselves.”

Secondly, their view caused them to “despise others.” Since nobody was as presumably holy as they were, they thought themselves to be on a higher level than everyone else.  They rode that high horse and they rode it a lot.

These two very wrong suppositions of themselves caused them to break the two greatest commandments that were ever written:

“Master, which is the great commandment in the law?  Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.  This is the first and great commandment.  And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.  On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” Matthew 22:36-40

We all have to take careful heed to view our position in Christ in the proper way:

“To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men.  For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another.  But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.” Titus 3:2-7

Not one of us has the right to ride the high horse!

None are more unjust in their judgments of others than those who have a high opinion of themselves.” – Charles Spurgeon

“Once more, Never think that you can live to God by your own power or strength; but always look to and rely on him for assistance, yea, for all strength and grace.” – David Brainerd

 

Photo Credit: Pixabay

“A Woman Ready!”

 

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 gun raises to sound the time to go.  If there be just a moment of hesitation the race would already be lost and one cannot claim the victory at the end.

The question is are we ready?  Do we have hearts that are fixed and minds made up with the same determination and resolve to go at the sounding of our time?

Queen Esther did.  She was a woman ready.  She would do what she had to do to save her people, even if it cost her life.  But, she didn’t let fear have its way.  Through the court gates she went, approaching the king, where her readiness of heart and mind gained her the victory.

Male or female.  Be determined in where God is calling you for such a time as this.  Be ready to step out in faith and believe that you will see the victory in the end.  Now, go.

Photo: Pixabay/729714

“Trying Times Produce Amazing Results!”

God will turn your adversity into your advantage!

“He knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me,

I SHALL COME FORTH AS GOLD,”

Job 23:10

“Father God, It is You I lift my soul up to…”

God is the only constant in our lives. He never changes. He is the stable force behind all that we are and believe. He is the only one able to bear every burden we bring to Him and carry us through the turmoil of it all. I lift my soul up to God, and in Him do we put our trust

“Love Without Hypocrisy!”

Jesus loved us with a sincere love.  Everything He did, right down to dying on the cross as a substitute for our wrongs, was motivated by love, real love.

Paul commanded, “Let love be without hypocrisy,” (Rom. 12:9; NKJV).  The church was to model Christ in the way that they loved people.  They are to have the purest and most sincere love that would compel people to want to know more about Christ.  They are to be pillars of love that the lost, broken and hurt can lean on and find strength.

One thing people can readily pick up on is fakeness.  Those that come to us and come to our buildings are looking for something real.  They have had enough of the phony stuff.  They have dealt with the pretenders of the world and they are not looking for that in us.  They are looking for something real.  They are looking for something pure.  They are looking for somebody to look at them as Christ would and feel nothing but love and compassion for them.

How many times has the Bible described Jesus as being “moved with compassion?”  That’s what sincere love does; it moves the heart.  It allows one to look beyond what they see to have genuine concern for others.  This is what people are looking for.  This is what the church should be displaying.  The love of Christ is our greatest asset in drawing people to salvation.  After all, wasn’t it God who told Jeremiah, “With lovingkindness have I drawn thee,” (Jer. 31:3; KJV)?

Real love draws people.  Fake love pushes them away.  If we truly want to be like Christ then love on people sincerely.  Don’t give them what the world is already giving them; fake love.  Give them something genuine.  Give them something real.  Give them something that will bring them closer to God.  Give them real love!

Photo: Pixabay/pixel2013