Dirty!

soldiers-army-basic-training-mud

Ever been covered in dirt? How did being dirty make you feel?  Personally, I always enjoyed getting a little dirty but after a while I was ready to wash up.  The dirt gets in every crack and crevice and has to be scrubbed.  Being clean makes you feel so good, so refreshed.  

The sin in our lives is like the dirt.  We are all born into sin.  We are sinners from the get go.   Did you ever tell your child how dirty they were and they looked at you in disbelief and then looked at themselves to see if it was so?  We are like that spiritually sometimes.  We are so blinded that we can not see the truth.  The truth about our sin, the truth about GOD and the truth about life in general.  

Did you know that there is only one thing that can cleanse us from our sins?  There is only one thing that can wipe away our past!  That one thing is the BLOOD OF JESUS CHRIST!  I John 1:9 says that if we confess our sin, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sin and to CLEANSE us from ALL righteousness.  Ephesians 1:7 says that in HIM we have redemption through HIS BLOOD, the forgiveness of our trespasses (sin), according to the riches of HIS grace.  Psalm 103:12 says that as far as the east is from the west, so far has HE removed our trespasses.  Far away to infinity, GONE.  Nothing else, no one else, can do this.  It only comes through HIM.  

So, how do we get cleansed from our sin?  It is simple….BELIEVE in who He is, the one and ONLY SON of the MOST HIGH GOD, who came to live, to die, shedding HIS BLOOD to redeem you from your sin and put you back into a right relationship with God.  Acknowledge that you are a sinner in need of forgiveness.  REPENT (confess) your sin and RECEIVE the forgiveness and grace.  His gift to you is grace, forgiveness, mercy, peace, freedom, to name a few by HIS BLOOD.  Your gift to Him is giving your life back to Him.  He loves you! He. He is calling out your name.  Won’t you answer that call?

 

Life's a Journey

 

journeyFrom the day we are born, we set out on the journey of life, our life.  Let’s take a look at some life journeys from the bible and see what journeys may look like.  

  • Abraham, in Genesis 11:27-12:5 was sent out by God, away from his family, to a place not specified.  Wow!  God only told him to go to the place He would show him and promised that he, in turn, would be blessed and that God would make a great nation from him and make his name great.  What faith Abraham showed in stepping out in obedience without a known end.  And because of his obedience, He was truly blessed in every way that God had promised.  Has God called you to step out to the unknown?  If He is, know this, His promises will be fulfilled through your obedience to Him.
  • Joseph….Genesis 37.  What a character Joseph was.  He was a spoiled brat.  He appears to be braggadocious.  He was hated by his brothers because he was the fave of their father.  He had dreams given by God of the future.  He shared these dreams with his brothers which made them more angry because these dreams were about Joseph’s brothers and father bowing down before him.  Long story short:  Joseph was sold into slavey to the Ishmaelites.  Hmmm.  Doesn’t seem like Joseph is choosing his own path here.  It seems that his fate is being chosen by his haters.  His trouble doesn’t end there either.  God gave him favor wherever he went but trouble also came along.  He was wrongly accused of attempted rape and thrown in prison.  Another path Joseph didn’t choose for himself.  But God used all these bad things that happened for Joseph’s good.  God gave him favor even in prison and before it was all said and done, he was second in command in Egypt.  Ever feel like your life was guided by someone who hurt you?  By something that happened that you didn’t choose?  Read Joseph’s story.  God brought him through his adversity and made his life shine.  What a minister he was to thousands of people by the wisdom God gave him.  
  • Joshua and the Israelites…Joshua 1.  What a story that unfolds here.  Let’s look at the beginning of Joshua’s journey here after Moses had passed away.  First off, God gives Joshua encouragement.  Moses had been their leader for so long and now he was dead.  Joshua, I am sure, felt lost and unsure of the future.  God gave specific instructions to Joshua and the children of Israel.  They were to make provisions ready and get ready to move out.  They were to begin their journey in taking the land that God had promised them.  They knew what they were supposed to do and they stepped out in obedience.  God brought victory for them.  Maybe you have been given specific instructions by God to accomplish a task for Him.  This too takes faith to step out and follow Him.  BUT if you push through, follow through with His plan you will be victorious in your mission!
  • Isaiah….Isaiah 6.   We see here that Isaiah had been distracted some what from God by people and his surroundings.  He was given a vision in this chapter of God high and lifted up on his throne.  What a humbling experience!  We find Isaiah repenting and the angel coming and ministering to him.  Then we hear God calling out for someone to go to His people and deliver a message to them.  Isaiah answers the call.  God gave him specific words to say and then tells him that even in his obedience he would face opposition and the end would not be favorable.  Oh my.  That must have been hard.  Isaiah went forward in obedience anyway.  Is God calling you to go out, to deliver a message, or something similar but you know that it will not be an easy task or received well?  The thing is, we have to be obedient no matter what the end to have our heart pure before the Father.  This is no easy task but, according to His Word, His grace is sufficient for us and His strength is made perfect in our weakness.  We are all commissioned to share the gospel of Jesus Christ to the world around us.  Sometimes, it isn’t received well and is rejected but at least they have hear the truth, at least they now know.  

 

Is your journey looking like any of these?  It more than likely is.  Know this, He who has promised is faithful and He will guide you and lead you, strengthen you and encourage you.   You are not alone.  
What is in your suitcase for this journey?  Don’t pack your bags full of fear, doubt, past mistakes, worry, sin that you can’t let go of, or grief (to name a few).  All we need in our bags is FAITH AND TRUST.  Proverbs 3:5 says to Trust in the Lord with all of your heart and lean not to your own understanding.  Acknowledge him in all your ways and He will direct your path!  It is a promise!  Now, let’s get moving.

Life’s a Journey

 

journeyFrom the day we are born, we set out on the journey of life, our life.  Let’s take a look at some life journeys from the bible and see what journeys may look like.  

  • Abraham, in Genesis 11:27-12:5 was sent out by God, away from his family, to a place not specified.  Wow!  God only told him to go to the place He would show him and promised that he, in turn, would be blessed and that God would make a great nation from him and make his name great.  What faith Abraham showed in stepping out in obedience without a known end.  And because of his obedience, He was truly blessed in every way that God had promised.  Has God called you to step out to the unknown?  If He is, know this, His promises will be fulfilled through your obedience to Him.
  • Joseph….Genesis 37.  What a character Joseph was.  He was a spoiled brat.  He appears to be braggadocious.  He was hated by his brothers because he was the fave of their father.  He had dreams given by God of the future.  He shared these dreams with his brothers which made them more angry because these dreams were about Joseph’s brothers and father bowing down before him.  Long story short:  Joseph was sold into slavey to the Ishmaelites.  Hmmm.  Doesn’t seem like Joseph is choosing his own path here.  It seems that his fate is being chosen by his haters.  His trouble doesn’t end there either.  God gave him favor wherever he went but trouble also came along.  He was wrongly accused of attempted rape and thrown in prison.  Another path Joseph didn’t choose for himself.  But God used all these bad things that happened for Joseph’s good.  God gave him favor even in prison and before it was all said and done, he was second in command in Egypt.  Ever feel like your life was guided by someone who hurt you?  By something that happened that you didn’t choose?  Read Joseph’s story.  God brought him through his adversity and made his life shine.  What a minister he was to thousands of people by the wisdom God gave him.  
  • Joshua and the Israelites…Joshua 1.  What a story that unfolds here.  Let’s look at the beginning of Joshua’s journey here after Moses had passed away.  First off, God gives Joshua encouragement.  Moses had been their leader for so long and now he was dead.  Joshua, I am sure, felt lost and unsure of the future.  God gave specific instructions to Joshua and the children of Israel.  They were to make provisions ready and get ready to move out.  They were to begin their journey in taking the land that God had promised them.  They knew what they were supposed to do and they stepped out in obedience.  God brought victory for them.  Maybe you have been given specific instructions by God to accomplish a task for Him.  This too takes faith to step out and follow Him.  BUT if you push through, follow through with His plan you will be victorious in your mission!
  • Isaiah….Isaiah 6.   We see here that Isaiah had been distracted some what from God by people and his surroundings.  He was given a vision in this chapter of God high and lifted up on his throne.  What a humbling experience!  We find Isaiah repenting and the angel coming and ministering to him.  Then we hear God calling out for someone to go to His people and deliver a message to them.  Isaiah answers the call.  God gave him specific words to say and then tells him that even in his obedience he would face opposition and the end would not be favorable.  Oh my.  That must have been hard.  Isaiah went forward in obedience anyway.  Is God calling you to go out, to deliver a message, or something similar but you know that it will not be an easy task or received well?  The thing is, we have to be obedient no matter what the end to have our heart pure before the Father.  This is no easy task but, according to His Word, His grace is sufficient for us and His strength is made perfect in our weakness.  We are all commissioned to share the gospel of Jesus Christ to the world around us.  Sometimes, it isn’t received well and is rejected but at least they have hear the truth, at least they now know.  

 

Is your journey looking like any of these?  It more than likely is.  Know this, He who has promised is faithful and He will guide you and lead you, strengthen you and encourage you.   You are not alone.  
What is in your suitcase for this journey?  Don’t pack your bags full of fear, doubt, past mistakes, worry, sin that you can’t let go of, or grief (to name a few).  All we need in our bags is FAITH AND TRUST.  Proverbs 3:5 says to Trust in the Lord with all of your heart and lean not to your own understanding.  Acknowledge him in all your ways and He will direct your path!  It is a promise!  Now, let’s get moving.

HE came with Purpose

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MERRY CHRISTMAS y’all!  God’s blessings to you and your families!  Thought I would take a moment and share a portion of what God has laid upon my heart for Christmas devotion this morning.  Hopefully you are sharing Christ with your loved ones today.  Mary was told by the angel of this Christ child that would be born from her loins would be the savior of the world, that He would one day be King.  When Christ was born, He was born with a purpose.  A purpose that came from God the Father.  This purpose was to be our SAVIOR, our REDEEMER, our HEALER, to name a few.  As He lived life, He was not without adversity.  Actually, He did not have it easy at all.  He was mocked, constantly ridiculed, and hated by many. When it came time to die for the sin of all mankind, the weight of the world on His shoulders was so great that His sweat became blood in His agonizing prayer for God to remove the “cup” from Him.  When He was on the cross, He felt as if God had forsaken Him.  YET HE chose to do the will of His Father and fulfill His purpose.  

Did you know that we are all born with a God given purpose?  God knew you before you were born according to Psalm 139.  He knit you together in your mother’s womb.  In Jeremiah 29, God says that He knows the thoughts and the plans that He has for us.  Some of us never have lived according to God’s purpose and have actually never thought about it.  Some of us have, at one time, lived according to His plan and purpose but when things got though, we gave up or turned our backs on God or blamed Him for things gone wrong in our lives.  Some of us walk in the fullness of His plan and purpose everyday.  Where do you fall into those categories?  See, we need to live by Jesus’ example.  We need to follow through on God’s plan and purpose no matter what comes our way.  He had a rock solid relationship with His Father and was unwavering in His obedience to Him.  NO MATTER WHAT CAME HIS WAY.  I just want to encourage you to not give up on God’s plan and purpose for your life.  Only you can do what God is calling you to do.  You are unique, you are special, you are HIS.  

If you have never lived your life for Christ, I encourage you to take that step toward Him.  It is easy.  He came, He lived and He died and rose again for you.  He was fully God and fully man.  He died to pay the price for your sin.  All you have to do is receive it.  Believe in who He is and what He has done, confess and turn away from your sin and let His blood cleanse you and free you from the bondage of sin.   Holy Spirit then starts working in your life and brings change from the inside out as you spend time in His Word and in prayer.  It is that easy.  He loves you today.

Stary Night

stary-night

This comes a week early but I want to share while things aren’t quite so hectic.  Merry Christmas y’all! My mind is going back to that blessed day…Mary so young and no doubt scared. She must have been a young lady so full of faith. She had been carrying this God child so long and now the time had finally come to give birth. She and Joseph had traveled away from home so she was not near the comforts that one would desire. No room available at the inns of that time, instead they had to settle on a lowly stable. Not ideal at all nor sanitary, none the less it’s all they had. She gave birth that day and, as a mother, I know that her heart filled with joy at once when she looked upon that precious baby boy. I think her mind went back to the promise that Gabriel spoke to her….His name will be called Jesus. Yehoshua. God who is salvation. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. I can not imagine that she or Joseph even knew what these things meant but surely pondered them in their hearts. The shepherds came as instructed by the angels and spread the good news. Later, when Jesus was two or so, the wise men came worshipping and baring gifts…Gold a gift fit for a KING, frankincense a gift fit for a PRIEST, and myrrh a gift signifying that he would one day die. Oh the passion of God the Father….For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son so that whosoever believes in Him would not perish but will have life everlasting. Our sacrifice, our reconciliation to God. For all have sinned therefore we all are in need of a Savior. No more to be bound by sin….freedom. Jesus is everything we need. He is the only one that can fill that hole in our hearts. What will you do with Jesus today, this Christmas? What will you offer Him?

 

Are you the hamster on the wheel?

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Do you ever feel that you are running but going nowhere fast?  OR have you been running for years but haven’t gotten “away” from anything?  Sometimes we are running from problems. Sometimes we are running on the wheel of life and get caught in the spin and can’t seem to get off.  Sometimes we are running from people.  Sometimes we are running from God.  Whenever we are running “away” though, we are really causing more harm than good to ourselves.

Elijah, in I Kings 19, ran.  This guy was a great prophet of God.  God worked through him mightily.  God had just moved through him to show the people of Israel that is the the one true God (read the incredible story).  He also had prayed to God for rain in the midst of famine and it rained when it had not rained in three years.  After these great things, a WOMAN, Jezebel, put him on her hit list.  She was angry because Elijah had killed her god’s prophets (450 of them).  Elijah ran.  He ran for his life.   He found himself not trusting that God could protect him from Jezebel even after all the great works that God had just performed.  Hmmm.  Sound familiar?  Then, Elijah starts having a pity party that only he attended.  God was not impressed.  God asked him what he was doing.  Like He didn’t already know.  Elijah ran far away but God met him where he was and ministered to him.  

Can you just stop running.  Take a break.  Like God asked Elijah, ask yourself what are you doing here.  You see, know matter what your problem is, God is bigger.  Bring it to Him.  He is there with open arms.  Deal with your mess and let God heal you from the inside out.  When we take it it Him, Holy Spirit starts to work in us and can bring total healing, total restoration, total freedom.  Running away is not productive but running toward brings great victory. Paul spoke of running toward the prize.  God has set a course before us and will give great reward to those who stay on course keeping their eyes on Jesus.  Sometimes it isn’t easy in this world full of distractions but we have to stay on our face before Him and stay in His Word, set our hand to the plow and march forward.  

Help us LORD, JESUS to not be afraid and to stop running away and start running toward You.  We put our faith and trust in YOU for You are help and our shield.  We ask You to help us face our Giants and bring healing into our lives.  In JESUS’ name!

 

I am ADDICTED!

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Addiction…it is a powerful thing. We always think of drugs and alcohol when we think of addiction but can I say that addiction can be just about anything and it can and will control your life. It is anything we are dependent upon. In I Corinthians 6:12 Paul says, “Everything is permissible for me,” but not everything is helpful. “Everything is permissible for me,” but I will not be brought under the control of anything. ” So, might I ask, what is controlling you? Is it drugs, alcohol, tobacco, your phone, eating too much, TV or TV shows, sex, or money (to name a few)? Addiction is a stronghold and it is like a vice grip on your life. It is not God’s will that you be under the control of anything and thankfully, by the power of the Blood of Jesus and Holy Spirit those chains/addictions can be broken. We have to be ready for change. We have to want it to go. We have to be desperate.

II Corinthians 10:4 says, “since the weapons of our warfare are not worldly, but are powerful through God for the demolition of strongholds.” No stronghold can stand against the power of Almighty God. If you are ready for change, God is waiting for you.

Father, in the Power of Jesus’ name I pray for those who find themselves caught up in addiction and want to be free and are helpless in doing so without you. I pray right now that those who are bound, be set free by the blood of Jesus Christ. According to YOUR WORD, the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but they are mighty through YOU for the pulling down of these strongholds! It is done, by faith we believe and receive freedom in the name of Jesus Christ. Where satan has meant to steal, kill and destroy, You have brought life to through Jesus Christ. Amen!

Wake UP!!

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Romans 13:11 says, “And do this, understanding the present time: The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed.”
 
I am not really a political person but this verse is so fitting for us as individuals and as a country. It is time to wake up. Followers of Jesus, it is time to rise up and stand for biblical values instituted by God and our founding Fathers. Honestly, we are to blame for much of the way our country has downwardly spiraled in the past 46 years. We have laid down and let satan have his way. I am guilty of this myself. Let us stand up, get prayed up, have some zeal and tenacity to do what is right by GOD!
 
If you aren’t a follower of Jesus, know this….NOW is the accepted time for salvation. Prophecy is being fulfilled just as foretold thousands of years ago by God. It is not a good idea to wait for whatever you are waiting for. NO ONE is promised tomorrow and the coming of the Lord is closer now than ever. I beg you, do not reject HIM. The WAY is simple. Believe in who Jesus is, the only begotten SON of GOD who came to pay the price for your sin by becoming your sacrifice, Acknowledge who you are, a sinner in need of a Savior. Repent, which means turn away from, of your sin. Receive forgiveness by faith! You are then saved, a new creature, old things passed away, a clean slate. Holy Spirit begins His work in you revealing TRUTH to you and leading you and guiding you every day. Changing your, healing you from the inside out.
 
Followers of Jesus, PRAY, PRAY AND PRAY SOME MORE. Let us stand for GOD, HIS KINGDOM, HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS.

The World Needs a Superhero!

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What is your definition of a superhero?  Someone who swoops in to fight crime, to make the world a peaceful place??  It is said in the Bible, “Greater love hath no man than this than a man lay down His life for His friends (John 1 5:13).”  Is there a better superhero than that?  A man who was fully God and fully man who came to earth to live, to die and to raise back to life for YOU.  He came to be our sacrifice for sin, our reconciliation back to God.   You see we have all sinned (Romans 3:23) and we all fall short of the glory of God.  Our righteousness is as filthy rags before our Holy God  (Isaiah 64:6).  We can’t earn our way into the kingdom of God.  No one comes to the Father, in Heaven, except through Jesus Christ (John 14:6).  All we have to do is believe in who He is and what He done for us and receive the salvation that comes through His blood that was shed on the cross, repent or confess and turn away from our sin.   It is that simple.  A superhero like no other, the man Jesus Christ.  Taking away our sin, bringing peace as only He can give, and restoring a right relationship to God!  To read more about salvation, click HERE

What are you looking at???

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In Luke chapter 9, Jesus encountered some folks who said they wanted to follow Him. But before they could go with Him they needed to go back and do this or that. Jesus then said, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.” In other words, when we set out to work for Him, we need to have our eyes set straight ahead on Him and have both hands on that plow.

It is easy though, isn’t it? To keep looking back. Some things we find hard to let go of, to leave. Some things in our past are hard to get past. But this is not God’s will for us. Once we come to Jesus, acknowledge who He is, recognize who we are (sinners), repent (turn completely away from our sin), and choose to follow Him, He makes all things new. Old things are passed away. We become a new creation. ( 2 Corinthians 5:17). His blood cleanses us, Holy Spirit then empowers us to change, to let go, to move on. Paul said in Philippans 3:13 this one thing I do, forgetting what is behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead. See God has a plan and purpose for each of our lives. This is what lies ahead (not to mention our ultimate goal that lies ahead, eternity with Him). We have to fix our eyes on Jesus and not look to the right or the left for He is the source and perfecter of our faith (Hebrews 12:2). Keep your hands to the plow and look straight ahead.

Satan would have us to constantly be looking back, wants us to turn back, to let the chains of our past bind us and keep us from moving forward. BUT it was for freedom that Christ came to set us free (Galatians 5). He came that we might have life and life more abundant (John 10).

Press forward in Jesus name. Let us keep our eyes on Him, set our hands to the plow and fulfill our calling. This world is in need of Jesus so let’s get busy for Him.