Thursday, September 19, 2019

September 19

I grew up believing “once saved, always saved.” I still believe that, however, I question the salvation of those who go on sinning intentionally. It’s possible that they prayed the sinner's prayer out of fear of hell, and it seemed reasonable to recite it to secure a place in heaven. Jesus healed a man on the Sabbath that was blind from birth, and the only thing that the Pharisees could think about was that Jesus broke the Sabbath! They were not in awe of this amazing miracle. They were so jealous of his ability to captivate the people with his wisdom, and his signs and wonders, that all they wanted to do was to condemn him. But because of this miracle, which no one had performed since the beginning of time, it was obvious that Jesus was sent from God, yet they continued to deny his deity. Their eyes had been opened to who he was, yet they were blind. Now that they know the truth about Jesus and reject the gospel of grace, the guilt of their sin stays with them and they are not forgiven. Watch out that you don’t continue in your sin, because you know the truth about Jesus.

Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would have no guilt; but now that you say, ‘We see,’ your guilt remains. John 9:41

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

September 18

Jesus is no weakling! He is a mighty warrior, strong, and able to take out the enemy, and has already weakened him and numbered his days. You may need to get a full view rather than the narrow view that most see. I wonder what would happen today if Jesus were to show up in the flesh and begin hurting peoples feelings like he did back when he walked among the Jews. The same thing that happened then, would happen today. Jesus was not afraid to speak his mind, and call out the sinful nature of those around him. I’m sure he would be crucified again. He didn’t hold his tongue, he ripped through the Pharisees, and called them sons of the devil. How many servants, pastors, of Jesus do you think are willing to put their life on the line and call out sin? Most are too worried about offending the people that pay the bills. Offend them! It’s the only way to set them free! Our life is not our own, we have been bought with a price, if you lose your life, remember it’s not yours to lose, you belong to God! If you read John 8:31-59 you will understand. He made the Pharisees so mad that they were ready to stone him right then and there! Jesus is not weak!

but now you seek to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. This is not what Abraham did. John 8:40

Monday, September 16, 2019

September 16

Who argues about helium? My daughters, that’s who! I saw them standing just outside the door at a family gathering. I noticed one doing the bump with her hips, and wondered what in the world she was doing; so I began filming her so she could see herself and her actions. I couldn’t see what her sister was doing, until suddenly I see her pretending to bang her head on the door. It was quite a sight, and gave me a good laugh. Thank goodness it was just family, otherwise people might think we were crazy! Christians are not dull and boring just because we are careful, and try not to sin. We are free from the wages of our sin, free from the fear of the afterlife, and are free to enjoy one another while we are in this dismal world. Stop being so serious about your life and the things of the flesh. Work on your relationships, and matters of the heart, and tighten your connection with the Almighty; these are the treasures for today and the treasures that won’t rust and be destroyed by the end of time. 

“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal

Sunday, September 15, 2019

September 15

When a season comes to an end, I tend to get busy cleaning and refreshing. When I bought my house two years ago, it was nearly perfect the way it was, so I hadn’t changed anything on the interior, except to add my furnishings. One of the bedrooms, had a dark paint on the doors and baseboards; it wasn’t terrible, but it also wasn’t my preference, so I set out to cover it up. Believe me, trying to cover the nearly black color with white paint wasn’t easy, and required multiple coats of paint. 

This story reminds me of when Jesus called the Pharisees “whitewashed tombs.” He did not let up on them, and told them exactly what He knew was in their hearts. There are many preachers and churches today, who are full of greed and excess, just like the Pharisees. Be careful that you don’t get caught in their trap, and follow a teaching that cannot be measured by God’s Word. Just like me covering the dark paint with the white paint, it disguises the darkness underneath, but with careful observation, and a heart full of The Holy Spirit, you will be able to discern the truth.

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead people's bones and all uncleanness. Matthew 23:27

Saturday, September 14, 2019

September 14

The place I grew up has a river running through it, and I romped around that swamp as a kid. There is something special about that river, maybe not to an outsider, because it’s full of tannin which makes it dark in color, even then, it brings a peacefulness to its surroundings. I’ve recognized that I was perfectly placed there for a reason, maybe just to give context to this writing, but I think it may be more than that. Is it purely coincidental that the river flows from Lake Hancock, and that Hancock is my maiden name, or a coincidence that the river’s name is Peace River? Maybe, but my family is a peaceful family.

The verses that touches my soul are about rivers of living water flowing from the heart. Jesus is talking about the Holy Spirit when He speaks of living water, it’s not flat like stagnant water, it’s refreshing. Are you refreshing to be around? Does the Holy Spirit flow through you? If you’ve accepted Jesus as Savior, the Spirit is in you. We all have a family history, and good or bad, it has made us who we are. Some may need to overcome their family’s past and start fresh, and that’s why we need to turn our past over to Jesus, and allow His refreshing water to flow through us, spilling out onto everyone around.

Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’ John 7:38

Friday, September 13, 2019

September 13

You need to seek God for who He is, not what He can do for you. Jesus, God in the flesh, walked the earth, not only to bring salvation to the sinners, but to direct our attention to God the Father. I’ve been chewing on yesterday’s verse, toiling over it continuously, and I can’t get it out of my head! Jesus said “The flesh is no help at all.” We have to provide for our flesh, feed and clothe it in order to keep living, but our ultimate goal should be to focus on the Provider of all things. It is up to us to learn about God, to know His personality, and His attributes. There are two books that I recommend to help you dig into the scriptures and gain knowledge of the Almighty: 1) The Attributes of God, by Arthur W. Pink, and 2) Knowledge of the Holy, by A. W. Tozer. These books will help you learn to focus your attention on God, and to look at life from a different perspective. 

Where will riches get you in the end? Life is not about gaining material wealth, it’s about gaining the riches of the Kingdom, and you will gain that wealth by getting to know God!

So Jesus proclaimed, as he taught in the temple, “You know me, and you know where I come from. But I have not come of my own accord. He who sent me is true, and him you do not know. I know him, for I come from him, and he sent me.” John 7:28-29

Thursday, September 12, 2019

September 12

It takes food and water to power the body, but what gives life to your soul and spirit? It is the words that come from the mouth of God. Jesus told a crowd that they must eat His flesh and drink His blood, because the flesh is nothing without nourishment for the soul. God reveals things to us in many ways; through the word of a friend, a message from a pastor, circumstances, or other ways, but there is a way to hear it more clearly, and that is through the written Word of God. What you hear through other methods will be confirmed by His Word, but if His Word doesn’t confirm it, it didn’t come from Him. How do we eat His flesh and drink His blood? Scripture! If you want to keep living the way you are, and reaching dead-ends, then ignore God’s Word, but if you want to live your best life, true life, not the life of the flesh, but the life of your soul and spirit, then begin feasting on the words that come straight from God, and quench your thirst with the blood of Jesus. 

It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life. John 6:63

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

September 11

Yes, Jesus gave us the commission to go and tell the world, but make no mistake, you are not responsible for the world accepting Jesus. He tells us over and over again that it is the Father who draws them. It is natural for us to feel like we need a purpose, and that there must be something for us to do to prove we are worthy, but this is why believing in Jesus is so different than other religions, all He requires is for us to believe in the Him. I’m going to say this and will probably be blasted by the “Pharisees,” but it’s hard work to truly believe that Jesus is God! We say we believe, but do we trust in that truth? Fretting and worrying over your problem is lack of belief. Remember Jesus saying “And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?’” We want to believe, but we continually question His plan. There is an upside to this, He knows we are weak. His disciples walked with Him daily and still suffered unbelief. The thing you need most is the strengthening of your faith. How do you do that? “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.” Get your nose into the Bible daily, and your faith will be strengthened.

Then they said to him, “What must we do, to be doing the works of God?” Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.” John 6:28-29

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

September 10

They left Jesus on the shore! I’m sure the disciples had good reason; He probably told them He would catch up with them later, but it doesn’t say that. Their source and protection was not with them in the boat. How many times do we try to do things on our own, never consulting the One who holds our lives in His hands? This is not about whether He dwells within you, if you’re saved, He does. This is about inviting Him into the midst of your problem, and allowing Him to be your solution, rather than watching Him walk by while you’re in the deep water, with waves crashing against your boat. When our lives become unstable, Jesus brings us the peace we need to get us through it. He will calm the waves and settle the sea. It’s the turmoil within that reeks the most havoc, so hand your problem over to Jesus, and invite Him into your boat so He can calm your sea.

The sea became rough because a strong wind was blowing. When they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and coming near the boat, and they were frightened. But he said to them, “It is I; do not be afraid.” Then they were glad to take him into the boat, and immediately the boat was at the land to which they were going. John 6:18-21

Monday, September 9, 2019

September 9

Grandparent’s Day comes around every year, and Richard and I are always invited to a few of them. It’s been years since we’ve had to get up early and get our children to school, so it was a bit of a chore to get ourselves out of the house and be at school by 6:45 am. Much has changed, but some things have stayed the same. The building is the same, the elementary school still looks like an elementary school. One thing that has changed is the way a family looks. There were grandparents that had an array of colors of children in tow, and it made me smile. Our families are beginning to look like the Kingdom of Heaven, multi-generational, and multi-colored. I know that our country has a long way to go before we get to the pinnacle of becoming the picture of Heaven, but we are making strides in the right direction. As Christians, we are to be loving of all colors and cultures; when God said to love others, He didn’t put a limit on it. Go now and love all the different shapes, colors, and origins; that’s what will make you like Jesus.

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. Galatians 3:28

Sunday, September 8, 2019

September 8

Oh Lord, why did you allow destruction when we prayed for you to protect? How can we flee when the tempest blows, where can we go that the waves will not overtake us, and the wind will not destroy? Our hearts are broken and overwhelmed with grief as our friends and neighbors suffer without homes, and are missing loved ones because of hurricane destruction. When will you have mercy on those who are suffering? How are they to seek relief when there is nowhere to escape? Father, please rescue those who are grieving their loss, and help them pick up the pieces of what is left, and bless them with your presence. May they see the dawn of a new day as the opportunity to offer you praise, and thanksgiving for those who have gone, and are now dwelling with you in eternity. We ask that you send comfort, and peace, and may they find shelter under your mighty wings. Amen.

For the mountains may depart and the hills be removed, but my steadfast love shall not depart from you, and my covenant of peace shall not be removed,” says the LORD, who has compassion on you. “O afflicted one, storm-tossed and not comforted, behold, I will set your stones in antimony, and lay your foundations with sapphires. Isaiah 54:10-11

Saturday, September 7, 2019

September 7

Back on August 30th, I wrote about receiving two rocking chairs from my Aunt Jean. They were white, but because I like to match my things, I decided to paint them the color of my other outdoor furniture, which is a deep coffee color. Boy was that a chore! I spent a good part of my day painting, and only finished one! It’s not easy to paint a chair made of wire, especially taking it from white to brown. It took five cans of spray paint to cover the white. It’s like character, you start with a blank slate, and it develops over time. Some things stick to you, but most of it is wasted in the wind. It’s important to keep applying good, rich character to your soul, even if a lot of what you are exposed to is blown away. Eventually Jesus’s personality will begin to show through, if you are learning from him and about him through his Word; then who he is will begin to come out in you. It’s important to keep enriching our lives with the things of God, having Jesus as our foundation, and building from there.

And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. Philippians 1:6

Friday, September 6, 2019

September 6

To the followers of Christ: One of the Ten Commandments is, “Observe the Sabbath day, to keep it holy, as the LORD your God commanded you.” Jesus who is God, obeyed all the laws that he created, but then was accused by the Pharisees of breaking that commandment because he healed someone on the Sabbath. Isn’t that insane? He was trying to do good only to be accused of disobedience to the law. Sometimes doing the right thing cost you. This particular instance was all they needed to have a reason to put Jesus on trial. He never broke the commandment. The Jews had set up fence laws to keep people from breaking a commandment. Sometimes rules created for protection end up being the rules that break the people they are trying to protect. There was nothing unholy about making someone whole, and giving new life to an individual who needed help, yet the Pharisees  found fault with it. God gave that law so people would take a break, and not overwork their people and animals. Oftentimes, laws get in the way of good common sense.

And this was why the Jews were persecuting Jesus, because he was doing these things on the Sabbath. But Jesus answered them, “My Father is working until now, and I am working.” John 5:15-17

Thursday, September 5, 2019

September 5

For as long as I can remember, I’ve had an issue with food. As a child, I suffered with allergies and asthma, and was very thin because the medication curbed my appetite. In my late teens and early twenties, I went through a phase where I barely ate; my diet consisted of mostly potatoes, and got thin again. I was twenty-four when I got pregnant with my son, and barely weighed 98 pounds! That’s when it all changed; I gained forty-seven pounds and have struggled to keep my weight down ever since. During the menopausal stage of my life, I gave up meat for fear of added hormones. Now, I’m eating a proper human diet and think I have my obsession with food under control. I have become less concerned with my appetite, and don’t freak-out over missing a meal. Jesus doesn’t want us to be obsessed with anything but Him, and to feast on Him and his Word. If worldly things are controlling your behavior, it's time to let it go. When you have no willpower, seek God and use His power to overcome. 

But he said to them, “I have food to eat that you do not know about.” So the disciples said to one another, “Has anyone brought him something to eat?” Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work. John 4:32-34

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

September 4

Have you ever asked God for wisdom? As Solomon became king, he asked God for wisdom to help him govern a people as numerous as the dust of the earth. He hadn’t asked for the normal things that most would expect, like possessions, wealth, honor, death to his enemies, or long life. Because of his heart, God gave him wisdom, but also gave him wealth and honor, more than any other king. He was a peaceable king, so maybe wisdom is the key to peace. Going to college doesn’t make you wise, but putting that knowledge to work does. Reading your Bible is good, but doing what it says is wise. Part of being wise is to set a guard on our heart, and not let anything in that can cause harm. Fill your mind with the things of God, let go of the things of man that ravage your mind. Today, ask God to give you wisdom, and maybe it will be wisdom that will bring about the other things you desire.

wisdom and knowledge are granted to you. I will also give you riches, possessions, and honor, such as none of the kings had who were before you, and none after you shall have the like.” 2 chronicles 1:12

Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life. Proverbs 4:23

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

September 3

I live in a small townhouse community of thirty-six homes. It is a beautiful area, and all of the homeowners are diligent in their efforts to keep it that way. Twice a week, we roll our trash cans out to the curb for pick-up, then we roll them back into our garage to hide them away. We have a new neighbor that probably doesn’t know that rule, and has left them out for all to see. Everybody sees their trash, but no one has said anything to them about it, so they continue in their folly. I’ve met these people, and they are very nice. We are all looking on as they continue breaking the rules, and they don’t even know! Wouldn’t it be nice if someone told them, rather than they get a notice from the homeowner’s association? I’ll bet they would appreciate that more than feeling the sting of a warning. The same holds true for your friend who continues in their sin. Do you try and turn them around, or do you let them continue, and get a harsh warning from God? Anyone who hasn’t accepted Jesus is in sin, and is under God’s wrath. Be a good neighbor and tell them, they may not know any better.

Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him. John 3:36

Monday, September 2, 2019

September 2

I’m overwhelmed with excitement! I heard back from the literary agent, and her company is going to publish my book! I’m still waiting on the details, but I’ve signed a contract! My book is being assigned to a team that will handle everything from the editing, to the book cover. This woman sent me emails, called me, and was about to give up. I then began to hear the voice of God prodding me to get busy. When you get confirmation from God that this is what you are supposed to do, and you know that you know, then the Spirit will move you forward at a pace you may not be used to. It only took me a few days to read through, and clean up more than 78,000 words, and make it presentable.  Are you mulling over something that God has put on your heart to do? Maybe it’s going back to school, a ministry that needs your help, or there’s someone who needs you to tell them about Jesus. Whatever it is, you’re not alone, the Holy Spirit, who keeps reminding you about your mission, will be with you to help you complete it. Time is short, so step out today toward the goal He wants you to accomplish.

He who observes the wind will not sow, and he who regards the clouds will not reap. Ecclesiastes 11:4

Sunday, September 1, 2019

September 1

Fear and anxiety go hand in hand. Watching a huge storm barrel toward you can cause you to project disaster; there’s a good reason, we’ve seen the devastation it can cause, and the years it takes to recover. We’ve also seen the predictions as far as five or six days out, be completely wrong. The point is that you make yourself ready, but don’t panic or get anxious over something that hasn’t happened, that’s fear! Because of fear, people were fighting over water, sitting in long lines waiting for gas, and causing havoc all over the place. What good has it done? None. You won’t get the water that’s not on the shelf, you can’t fill your tank if the gas station is out. The eastern United States knows it’s hurricane season and should already be prepared! Jesus is the solution to your fear and anxiety; He is the one who calms the storm within you. He can even give you peace as disaster strikes, but it’s up to you to listen to Him. He will calm you as you call out His name; you belong to Him, use His name to bring on your peace. JESUS! JESUS! JESUS!

For the simple are killed by their turning away, and the complacency of fools destroys them; but whoever listens to me will dwell secure and will be at ease, without dread of disaster.” Proverbs 1:32-33

Saturday, August 31, 2019

August 31

If you truly have the Holy Spirit dwelling within you, your old ways will begin to fall from you. We have enormous trees in our yard. Richard is careful to keep the branches away from the house so they are less likely to fall and damage our roof. However, he doesn’t bother the branches that don’t pose an immediate threat. One of our trees had a weakness in one of its branches, and fell missing his truck by inches! This was no small branch, nearly the size of a tree. The structure of the tree is still sturdy and strong, but now it’s weakness was eliminated. We are similar to that tree, except that most of our weaknesses needing to be eliminated are internal. Jesus said in Matthew 5:30, “And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away.” He was serious about us removing sin from our lives! He also said that every branch that doesn’t bear fruit is cut off! Today, ask God to show you where you are failing Him, then ask for help to remove that weakness from your life so you stay strong and sturdy, and are able to bear more fruit!

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. John 15:1-2

Friday, August 30, 2019

August 30

My great-aunt Jean lived in a little pink house in the small town of Ft. Meade, Florida. She was fancy! She always drove a nice vehicle, and wore the most current styles. She collected some of the finest things, making her home quite charming, and decorated with a mix of Victorian and southern charm. She was so proud of me and my writings, and even had her church coordinate a book signing for my first book. After she passed away, I was able to choose some things from her home to take for my own. On her porch sat two intricately detailed rockers, which I had admired. Her daughter was gracious, and allowed me to have them. I’m not sure where I’m going to put them, but now I have something she loved, and they are becoming something I love. 

In yesterday’s post I talked about things we don’t want to pass on, but today is about passing on things we love, like Jesus. These rockers that were passed to me are dainty, yet grand like a throne, and they will make me feel like royalty when I sit in them. We are royalty, and it’s the heritage in Jesus we must pass on to our children. Teach your children about Jesus, so they too will be sons and daughters of the King.

See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. 1 John 3:1