Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Season of Charity

And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. (Matthew 25:40 KJV)

As the holidays approach, more opportunities arise to help those in need. We need to get off of our cushy pews in our cushy church buildings, and get to work. The work of the church is to be Christ's body. He did many charitable works and miracles while He was on the earth, so why wouldn't His body continue the work He began? We like being AT church, but we aren't really comfortable BEING the church.

I challenge all of you to find a cause, a project, or specific people that need your help. The living sacrifice that Romans 12:1 discusses is about doing your absolute best for the body of Christ as an act of worship. We owe it to each other to offer our resources to those in need. Resources include money, material goods, and time. Jesus Christ feels what we're going through, so we have to remember when we don't help our brothers and sisters, we are not helping Christ.

I think we will find that once we begin to participate in more charitable opportunities, then we will be more fulfilled ourselves. The body suffers if the toes are cold, if proper nutrition isn't provided, or even if the mind is battling demons. Take some time to find some volunteer opportunities in your area, or make your own. Somebody always needs something. Let's get to work!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Following Christ

Then Jesus said to His disciples, "If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. (Matthew 16:24 NASB)

If I want to follow Christ, there are a couple of steps I've got to follow: deny myself and take up my cross. Hmmmm... Deny myself is more than not focusing on me. It's getting over me, all my past hurts, all my disappointments, all my shortcomings, all my negative experiences. Nothing else matters but my journey following Christ. I am nothing, but Christ in me is everything.

Step two is take up my cross. I must be willing to share in Christ's suffering. I must be willing to immerse myself in the work of the kingdom. I do this knowing I won't be popular or well-liked, or even supported. I expect to be persecuted, as was Jesus Christ. I look past this world to my eternal home daily. This is what gets me through the betrayal of so-called friends and known enemies. I know this world will hate me, but I press on doing the will of God in Christ Jesus.

And I don't complain. I deny myself and take up my cross willingly. I don't expect an easy path, so I don't get surprised at the roadblocks, detours, and construction. I praise God through it all because I made a conscious decision to follow Christ. I was not coerced or forced into this life. I live this life because I don't want to be lost. I have decided to follow Jesus; no turning back!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

I Can Make It

For the past month or so I have been severely discouraged about my calling, my purpose in life. It just felt like I wouldn't ever accomplish the vision God gave me. It occurs to me that He never gave me a time limit. If I could get it done in a year, what would be my purpose then?

My problem is that God allowed me to see a vision, and I wanted it to happen right now. That isn't how He works. I must prepare and be prepared for the process. The process is everything I have to go through to become the person God had in mind for that vision. It's more like He's saying, "This is where I want to take you, but you're not the you that you're going to be when this happens. Get ready for the transformation."

And I have surely changed and grown in the past year.....and I'm still not what God needs me to be to fulfill my purpose. I'm on step two, but He needs me to be at step 4,763. That's how far I have to go, and on the way there will be hills and valleys, ups and downs, joys and sorrows, victories and disappointments. But that's all part of the process. He's making me, and in some respects breaking me, but I can make it! I've come too far to give up. Philippians 4:13 is my mantra: I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me!

Please be patient with me; God is not through with me yet!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

God's Word Prevails

Isaiah 55:6-11(NASB) "Seek the LORD while He may be found; Call upon Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way And the unrighteous man his thoughts; And let him return to the LORD, And He will have compassion on him, And to our God, For He will abundantly pardon. “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the LORD. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways And My thoughts than your thoughts. “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, And do not return there without watering the earth And making it bear and sprout, And furnishing seed to the sower and bread to the eater; So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; It will not return to Me empty, Without accomplishing what I desire, And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it."

Get into the Word (the Bible) today.  Find out what God's Word has to say about you and your situation.  Know that His Word will come to pass EVERY TIME.  You can be confident that God's decrees and declarations will prevail in your life.  Trust Him and believe in Him.  He cannot fail.