Thursday, April 30, 2015

Bible Challenge (Nehemiah 6:9)

"For they all made us afraid, saying, Their hands shall be weakened from the work, that it be not done. Now therefore, O God, strengthen my hands." Nehemiah 6:9

As God is growing me and leading me in my walk with Him, He gives me a work to do. It can be something as "small" as staying at home and being a blessing to my family, or being a light and a testimony at college, or even something as "large" as going to a mission field. Whatever it is, as long as I am faithfully following Him, I am doing the work He has called me to. There comes a point in time when the devil realizes he can no longer take me away from the work, so he does his best to distract me. It can be with circumstances, "enemies", or even friends. Anything that will slow me down or hinder me from doing the work God has for me to do. (Read Nehemiah 6 for the full picture) But even when distractions come there is a comfort. I can call on the Lord to strengthen my hands, and though it can be difficult at times, HE can work His might through me and continue the work. Praise God for His strength through my weaknesses!

Monday, April 27, 2015

Bible Challenge (Exodus 3:3-4)

“And Moses said, I will now turn aside, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt. And when the Lord saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said Moses, Moses, And he said, Here am I.” Exodus 3:3-4

Sometimes God desires for me to turn aside from the path I am walking in life to see what He is doing and how He is working, and many times uses that “wake-up call” to call me to something greater than what I have been doing.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Bible Challenge (Mark 1:35)

"And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he(Jesus) went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed." Mark 1:35

So many times throughout God's Word I am commanded to pray. I pray for wisdom and understanding when I read His Word, for meals, and for special requests. But do I ever just get alone with the Lord and talk to Him in prayer? Even Jesus, the Son of God Himself knew the importance of spending time alone with God. So many times I use the excuse that I don't have time, but even that excuse is nullified by Christ's example of getting up "a great while before day". It is that important. Am I willing to make a time of prayer a part of my day, even if I have to get up earlier in order to have unhindered and uninterrupted time with my Lord?

Monday, April 20, 2015

Bible Challenge (Matthew 21:22)

“And all things, whatsosever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.” – Matthew 21:22

There have been things in the past that I have prayed for God to provide for me or remove from my life and I sat back and just waited for Him to answer. Sure, I knew He could do it, so I thought I was asking in prayer and believing. Recently I’ve come to realize that if I truly believed, I would act on that belief. I would not only pray for certain things, but I would go forward, acting on the faith that God WOULD provide or WOULD remove something from my life. Two farmers may pray for rain, and one sit on his porch waiting for it, while the other goes out and prepares his fields to receive it. Which one truly believed? Which one am I?

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Bible Challenge (Exodus 4:10-12)

"And Moses said unto the Lord, O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant: but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue.
And the Lord said unto him, Who hath made man's mouth? or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? have not I the Lord?
Now therefore go, and I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say." - Exodus 4:10-12

God does not care about what I can or cannot do, because when God calls me to do something, He also will equip me. I may not have all the answers or know everything before I begin to do the work He has called me to, but as long as I trust in Him and follow His will, He will give the answers and abilities as I need them. Not necessarily before.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Bible Challenge (Matthew 18:3-4)

"Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven." Matthew 18:3-4

The neat thing is that even though the greatest in the kingdom of heaven is those who are humble and have child-like faith, those who are truly humble and daily live that child-like faith have no desire to be creates in the kingdom of heaven. To be great is not the goal, but to be so low that being great doesn’t matter.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Bible Challenge (Matthew 14:29-31)

"And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore first thou doubt?" Matthew 14:29-31

It takes a great deal of faith to step out and go where I've never been before, but as long as I keep my focus on Jesus Christ, He will use that faith to hold me up. There may be times when I am whipped about by the winds of trouble and splashed by a wave or two of trials and testing, but as long as I keep my eyes fixed on Christ, I can keep walking forward in confidence. It is only when I take my eyes from the Lord and start to focus on the people or circumstances around me, or think to much about exactly WHAT I'm doing that I will start to become overwhelmed and sink. May I keep my eyes fixed on Christ and step forward confidently in the faith I have in Him!

Monday, April 6, 2015

Bible Challenge (Hebrews 11:6)

"But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him." Hebrews 11:6

Faith is the foundation of my entire walk with the Lord. I know that unless I have faith, the Holy Spirit will not have freedom to work in my life. But one thing I never really though about was the fact that unless I lived each day exercising that faith, I would never fully please my Lord. Unless I daily walk in that faith, I cannot please Him. Sobering thought!

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Happy Resurrection Sunday!

So many people have posted neat little quotes, verses, and praises over the past two days. I have really enjoyed reading them, and it has helped me think through some things.

I think many times I as a Christian wonder why I don’t grieve more over what Christ did for me on the cross. Many times I see people cry or get emotional when talking about the crucifixion of our savior, and while I do feel a somber respect, I never grieved.

Someone posted a link to an article that, when I initially read, I totally disagreed with. It focused on each and every physical, painful aspect assumed to have happened during Christ’s death on the cross, and not on the spiritual and mental agony, which I believe is the main happening in those long moments.

I got to thinking about it more, and I realized that yes, what my Lord went through physically was terrible, VERY terrible. But then I thought about the REAL reason of Jesus’ death.

There’s a song that has a phrase, “It was not of pain, but a broken heart (Jesus) died.”

Jesus died a lot sooner than “normal” and way before the two thieves that hung next to Him. Why? I thought about the things I associated Christ’s death with. He took EACH and EVERY sin on Himself. In those moments, He felt the weight, the grief, and the guilt of each and every one of those sins. I know that there were times that I sinned, and the guilt made me miserable enough to cause me to feel physically ill. Jesus felt that. Every time that I could not go to bed because of something I had said or done, He felt that. He felt ALL of the weight from EVERY sin I committed or will commit in ONE space of time. When I think of all that I’ve done, and how terrible I’ve felt for different ones of them, I could not even begin to imagine trying to hold the guilt for ALL of them in one day. That would be unbearable! HE did! But not only for my sins, but for the sins of the ENTIRE WORLD.

“The spirit of a man will sustain his infirmity; but a wounded spirit who can bear?” – Proverbs 18:14

There have been so many people through history that have endured unthinkable torture and physical agony, yet have been able to hold on because of what Christ had done for them. Their spirit, their faith and hope and love for Christ sustained their infirmity. Jesus had physical suffering, yes, such that many people died from before and after Him. But I had to stop and think of the torture of His Spirit. Who indeed could have borne that?

And that wasn’t the worst part, the worst part was that God, in His complete and perfect righteousness, had to turn His back on His Son Who had all the sins and wretchedness of the entire world on His shoulders. I tried to imagine for a minute what it would be like to know God had turned His back on me for just ten minutes. He could not look on me or hear me. I can’t even begin to imagine it! Yet Christ on the cross had to endure that. Even though He cried, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” He knew full why, and submitted willingly.

The more I think about those two aspects, the weight of the sins of the world, and His agony at having His own Father turn His back on Him, the more I agree with the phrase of that song.

As I was riding home from the store, I was praying aloud, as I often do when I’m alone in the car. I was just starting to get a glimpse of the true suffering of Christ (though I will never fully comprehend it!) and I asked the question “why?” I know it was because of love, but it was so hard to understand! And then if saving my soul wasn’t enough, He was now always “on call” for me. Ready and willing to listen to each and every trouble and request I have, and continuing to do things for me in ways I could never imagine.

I knew I could never understand that love, but I wanted to be able to kind of have an idea of why. Suddenly the thought of a grandparent popped in my mind. Grandparents always love their grandchildren. No matter what those children do that’s wrong, they still love them. And they don’t just love them, they also love to do things for them. A grandparent loves it when their grandchild needs something, and they can provide it for them, or if their grandchild asks them for something, and they can provide it. They never cease to love their grandchildren, and will love them, comfort them, and do what they can for them… even if they never get anything back.

Now this doesn’t even begin to describe God’s love for me, but seeing that, and place a grandparent’s love in perspective with God’s love (which is impossible to do, by the way!), I begin to feel overwhelmed. I started to tear up as the magnitude of what Jesus Christ did for me began to come together in my mind. Christ went through SO MUCH! And it was all because of love for ME! I am so unworthy! Praise and bless His Holy Name!

I just prayed earlier this week that God would show me more of His love, and place in me a desire to worship, honor, and serve Him because I WANT to, not just because I was supposed to, and He has begun! 

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Bible Challenge (Philippians 3:9)

 "And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:" - Philippians 3:9

What freedom it is to know that it is not my righteousness, but the righteousness of God that saves me! All that is required of me is to daily walk in faith. It is not always easy, but it is simple. How blessed I am!