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.

Are you the hamster on the wheel?

hamster-wheel

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!

 

You are the apple of HIS eye!

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In Isaiah 139: 13-16 it says:  For it was You who created my inward parts;
You knit me together in my mother’s womb. I will praise You because I have been remarkably and wonderfully made.  Your works are wonderful, and I know this very well. My bones were not hidden from You when I was made in secret, when I was formed in the depths of the earth.  Your eyes saw me when I was formless; all my days were written in Your book and planned before a single one of them began.  

We are remarkably made.  Science proves it in so many ways.  God fashioned each of us each uniquely.  He loves us with an everlasting love.  His love for us goes beyond our wildest imagination.  Yet, in all of this so many of us are unhappy with who we are, the person God created.  We are also disappointed in features that were given to us and wish we were like someone else.  Many have spent thousands of dollars trying to change themselves.  But, would you consider that God, in His supremacy, created you exactly as you need to be.  If we could get around our insecurities about ourselves, our life would be so much better, our relationships would be better and we would be at peace.  We would be able to see past ourselves and help someone else who is hurting.  In Zechariah 2:8 we are called the apple of God’s eye.  Wow, the creator of the universe thinks we are the greatest thing!  Let’s start believing it about ourselves.  

You are loved, you are chosen, you are uniquely fashioned, you are the best!