Thursday, January 30, 2014

Ten Little Lights or The Burning Bush?

Last Sunday morning, our children's pastor, Bro Alan, was preparing to lead the children in the song "This Little Light of Mine". He held up his 'little light' and asked the children how many had a 'little light.' One precious little boy blurted out, "I have ten of them!" and he held up all ten fingers! This got a big chuckle from the congregation! 
Then, with our pastor out of town, Bro Alan preached our sermon. He did a wonderful job and even started out the service with a partial showing of the "Ten Commandments" with Charlton Heston! This is when I really started to be touched, when the burning bush was telling 'Moses' (God knew his name!) to take off his shoes, he was standing on Holy ground. Let us notice several things here: the burning bush was not consumed; God knew his name; Moses asked God what His name was; God answered, "I Am'. 
In putting the morning's service into perspective, I thought a lot about the burning bush and the 'Holy' ground. If we as Christians had the Spirit of God inside us, we would be liken to a burning bush! Not that we would be God or even like Him, but as the bush itself. We should be burning with the flame of the Spirit and not be consumed, but to shine before the world itself. We should be walking with Him on Holy ground, so others could see the great 'I Am' in our lives. 
I thought back to the precious little boy in church. He basically preached the sermon in that innocent outburst, that we all thought was so cute. We should not be just partially on fire Christians, with just one little light! We should be Christians on fire with all ten!! He spoke so boldly, it made me wonder if God Himself, the great I AM, had put those words in that little fellas mouth...just to get our attention!
Moses doubted his ability to do what God asked him. Don't we all doubt? Sure, we do! But 'I AM' will be with us, just like He promised Moses! 
Exodus 4:10-12   "But Moses replied to the Lord, "Please, Lord, I have never been eloquent—either in the past or recently or since You have been speaking to Your servant because I am slow and hesitant in speech." Yahweh said to him, “Who made the human mouth? Who makes him mute or deaf, seeing or blind? Is it not I, Yahweh?  Now go! I will help you speak and I will teach you what to say.”

Let us all go out, trusting in Him Who will help us speak and what to say. Let us all stand boldly, as a child, and let all ten of our lights shine! 


Friday, January 24, 2014

Nope, You're not Perfect Either!

While thinking back on life itself, I must admit I have made a few mistakes along the way. I won't bother to list them all, but you that know me can think of a few I am sure! Why would I ever look back you ask? You are right, I do not need to look back at my past mistakes, nor do you. Look ahead to the future, to see what is ahead.
We don't have a periscope or a set of binoculars to peer through to see the life ahead of us. But we do have the promises of our Lord. "The fear of human opinion disables; trusting in God protects you from that" Proverbs 29:35
Thank goodness for mercy and grace! God loves us unconditionally! He is so inconceivably good. He is not looking for perfection. He already saw it in Christ. What He is looking for is affection and a close relationship with Him. 
Some people share their testimonies of how bad of a person they were before they met Christ. They say they were on drugs, alcohol, and on and on. I never did that, but I will say that their sin was no greater or bigger than my sins in the eyes of God! I was raised in a Christian home, but I was not (and still not) perfect! When we have a little sin in our life, it separates us just as far from God as a great big sin! To God there is no weight and balance to measure sin, that is man's idea. We tend to judge each other to show ourselves better, when we are not...because we are judging! 
What am I saying? We, yes you too, are not perfect! Nor will we be, until we come face to face with Jesus, the One who makes us white as snow, stand in His Presence and be made whole. 
Not being the perfect Christian should not make us hesitate to serve Him. We know others look to us with expectations. As a Christian living in today's world, demands can be high. The media delivers endless stream of messages to tell us how to look, how to behave, how to eat and my goodness, we see how they dress! Thank goodness God does not expect us to be perfect by their expectations...and neither should you!
God's expectations are the only ones that really matter. Do your best to please God and don't worry so much about others. It is impossible to please the world and why would we want to? God is the one that should be the priority in our lives. Walk daily with Him, like reading the daily news, spend time with Him.
"Those who wait for perfect weather will never plant seeds; those who look at every cloud will never harvest crops. Plant early in the morning, and work until evening, because you don't know if this or that will succeed. They might both do well." Ecclesiastes 11:4,6 

"Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing." Psalm 100:2

Friday, January 10, 2014

The Alarms Were Sounding!

Last night, we were sitting in our home, when 'beep' and then another 'beep' sounded, followed by another. My sweet husband jumped up and said a battery is going dead in an alarm. He proceeded to stand guard in the hallway to 'listen' for the culprit. 'Beep' to the dining room. 'Beep' ..there it is! It is the carbon monoxide alarm. He calmly tells me it is the battery, no need to be alarmed. (I hear, don't believe) He changed the battery, then 'beep'!!! What? He jumps up! Unbelievable, but it is an alarm in the hallway! Strange things happen in our home! He changes that battery. Later, I hesitantly go to bed. When awakening at 1:30 AM, my first thoughts..I am ALIVE! No more beeping, peaceful and quiet in the house and I am ALIVE!
Is this the way it is in heaven? When our relationship with Jesus is not what it should be and 'our battery' is going dead, does an 'alarm' go off in heaven? Probably not, but He knows! When does 'our' alarm go off? You know, I think when Jesus left us to return to heaven, He sent our alarm! He sent the Holy Spirit to live inside us, to set off the sound, to send the SOS, to let our hearts be aware there is something wrong. "And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever" John 14:16
What do we do? Do we always listen to the alarm? Sorry to say 'no', we don't always listen. Therefore, the 'beeps' tend to get quieter and quieter as we move away from Christ. It is sad how we can turn our hearts toward the things we want and not what Christ wants, not paying any attention to the alarm that He is transmitting to us. 
How do we 'renew' the alarm? First prayers of forgiveness....stand in the hallway listening to find the culprit that is sounding the alarm! Second take out the bad battery.......get rid of what is causing the separation and sin that is in our life. Third read His Word........get a good battery out and get it ready to use. guessed it....fill the the space by putting in the good battery....filling ourselves with His Presence.  
Now, I must stop here and tell you.  The first time Denny put in the new battery, he must have put it in backwards with the positive and negatives, because it once again starting beeping. This too can happen to Christians, we can go to church, read His word and seemingly do all the right things, but if we aren't in a right relationship with Jesus,  don't have God in our life and heart the way He is supposed to be, then something is still wrong. The alarm will still sound. This is where we try to fool ourselves into thinking 'we are ok, we put in the battery!'
Sometimes we need to trust and lean on each other to make sure our batteries are in correctly. It is scary, but sometimes others see or hear our alarms before we do! They can see our lives and realize an alarm is going off and we are doing nothing about it. We need to pray for each other, encourage each other to get the 'battery' in correctly!

" Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing." 1 Thess 5:11

Thank you Father for our 'alarms' and that You love us enough to keep us close to You. 

When we trust in Jesus in all things, we can know we can rest peacefully in Him and be ALIVE in Him!



Thursday, January 2, 2014

Looking Ahead to the New Year!!

Several friends have asked me what New Years resolutions I am going to make this year. Well, I must admit, I have several things that I need to change. My son posted just today, that his bible and treadmill both needed to have more use this year! I think many of us could agree with him. 
If we were to look up resolution in the dictionary, we would find it means to be determined to either be firm to do or not do something. That does not say a lot to me. According to Wikipedia:
The ancient Babylonians made promises to their gods at the start of each year that they would return borrowed objects and pay their debts.
The Romans began each year by making promises to the god Janus, for whom the month of January is named.
In the Medieval era, the knights took the "peacock vow" at the end of the Christmas season each year to re-affirm their commitment to chivalry.
At watch-night services, many Christians prepare for the year ahead by praying and making these resolutions.
There are other religious parallels to this tradition. During Judaism's New Year, Rosh Hashanah, through the High Holidays and culminating in Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement), one is to reflect upon one's wrongdoings over the year and both seek and offer forgiveness. People may act similarly during the Catholic fasting period of Lent, though the motive behind this holiday is more of sacrifice than of responsibility, in fact the practice of New Year's resolutions partially came from the Lenten sacrifices.The concept, regardless of creed, is to reflect upon self improvement annually.
Stop right here, note the word 'annually.' I am only human, I know I mess up, whether in deeds or thoughts. I must ask forgiveness and try to do better today, than I did yesterday.
We do not need to set our standards by the fashion magazines or the television shows (heaven forbid!), but we should set our sights and goals on being a better person in Christ. When we don't succeed, we don't need to berate ourselves, just look to Him, be encouraged by others and His Word. 
He loved us when were still sinners. He still loves us as we get up everyday, making it a new day in Him. 
Let us not wait until an annual, promoted time by others to be a better person. Everyday is a new beginning. (Wow, aren't we thankful for that!) 
He tells us in John 14:27 'Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.'
A prayer partner can be a wonderful encourager, friend and confidant. Whether your goal this year is to lose weight, read His Word more, exercise, etc., be assured that everyday is a day to start over. Not just the first week of the year! So many fail and give up after that first week, but there are fifty-one weeks left!
Let us join together to make this world, starting with our own countries, a better place to live. A place where we can worship Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Living according to the scriptures, praying for guidance, so we can be more obedient.

Cleanse our hearts, oh Lord, so that we may be more like You. Pure and holy, forgiven and obedient in You. 

Praying you all have a blessed New Year and are looking forward to every new day!

Please feel free to leave any comments!