Monday, August 26, 2013

The Test is For Your Good

Exodus 20:20 (NASB)  Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid; for God has come in order to test you, and in order that the fear of Him may remain with you, so that you may not sin.”

You don’t need to fear the test. You need to fear God (or revere Him).  Whatever situation you’re facing, God knew about before the day of your birth.  Even before the foundation of the world, He knew you; He knows everything there is to know about you.  God knows things that even you don’t know.

It’s hard to just relax and trust in God, but that’s exactly what the tests and trials are teaching you to do.  He is working out those character traits that you need to live abundantly: patience, hope, trust, and faith.  Without faith it is impossible to please God.  Your faith increases with every act of deliverance. ‘If God did that, I know He can do this’ becomes your mantra.

Be comforted in the fact that God has inscribed you on the palms of His hands.  He knows your name, and He is in control of your situation.  If you are walking upright before Him, everything you are going through will have a Romans 8:28 ending: it’s all working for your good!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

A Touchable Savior

Mark 5:30 (NASB) Immediately Jesus, perceiving in Himself that the power proceeding from Him had gone forth, turned around in the crowd and said, “Who touched My garments?”

You know this story. There was a woman who had been bleeding for 12 years, had exhausted all her money and options, and pressed her way into a crowd thronging Jesus to receive her healing by touching His clothing in faith. Now that I’ve brought you up to speed on what was happening at this point in the Scripture, let’s look at our Savior.
The first word of this verse is ‘immediately’. Jesus knew instantaneously that someone needed Him.  Someone’s faith had released His power into her situation. In a crowd full of hundreds, maybe thousands of people all trying to get next to Him, Jesus KNEW about the woman and her faith. Her touch got His attention; her need drew His healing power.
The fact that Jesus could be touched fascinates me. He was not off limits to the common people, even those who were unwelcome in the Temple because of their infirmities. Likewise Jesus knows that you have a need, and He is just as available to you. Reach out and touch Him with your faith. His power cannot be exhausted; it doesn’t need to be recharged after each use. Jesus is always able to make you whole through your faith.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013


Galatians 5:1 (NASB)  It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.

In the book of Galatians Paul is speaking to a group of churches who were falling prey to religious leaders adding rules and regulations to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The same thing happens even today. If you study the Bible for yourself, and ask the Holy Spirit to open up your understanding, you won’t be a victim of religion – or not a victim for long anyway.

If you have accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you are free. Don’t allow anyone to negate that freedom with a bunch of religious busyness. As your relationship with God through Christ grows, HE will lead and guide you into what He would have for you to do. And everything He has for you to do won’t be easy, but you will have peace in knowing God is directing your steps rather than man.

Some people search for acceptance by pleasing people. You don’t have to please anyone but God. He has already accepted you, and He loves you. He sent His son, Jesus Christ, to atone for your sins and SET YOU FREE. Don’t give up your freedom for religious bondage at the hands of man. The more you mature in Christ, the less you will care about what people think of you. Stand firm on what you know God is requiring of you, and let the yoke of slavery fall from you.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Still I Rise - Maya Angelou

Still I Rise

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I'll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
'Cause I walk like I've got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I'll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
Weakened by my soulful cries.

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don't you take it awful hard
'Cause I laugh like I've got gold mines
Diggin' in my own back yard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I'll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I've got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history's shame
I rise
Up from a past that's rooted in pain
I rise
I'm a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that's wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Life is Too Short

When I think about all the time I have wasted being frustrated or unhappy or just plain mad, I can only shake my head in disgust.  How much of my life have I thrown away not being content?  People always say life is too short, and I have really taken that for granted.  How many people that were alive yesterday aren’t breathing today?  It’s time out for doing things because we feel obligated or because of misplaced loyalty.
We must do all to the glory of God, and God isn’t glorified when we feel ‘forced’ to do anything.  So, you have to work.  Does that mean you have to stay on that particular job causing you so much stress?  This is just one example.  When you recognize that there is difference between being loyal and being used, you will make different choices with regard to your time, energy, and resources.  Commitment and faithfulness are very noble qualities and should be appreciated, not taken for granted.
Take the time to pray for discernment.  There are situations and circumstances that call for your perseverance, but there are some that call for your abandonment.  Know when to hold ‘em and know when to fold ‘em.  The Spirit of the Lord brings liberty and peace, not frustration and confusion.  If you can’t find peace in the midst of your storm, maybe you shouldn’t be in that storm.  Stop wasting time; stop wasting your life on things that have no eternal value.  Learn to let stuff go and move on.  Go to bed every night confident that if you don’t awaken, it is well with your soul.