Friday, May 17, 2019

May 17

Living in a small community of only thirty-six homes, there are times when our neighbors make it hard to love them. Someone in my community once said to me, “it is very hard to keep up my faith with neighbors like them.” I think we can all agree with that statement! Some people are hard to love. Imagine the insults hurled at Jesus while He was being beaten and tortured, and then being hung on the cross, and tormented some more. Not once did He return the insults or sin while this was happening to Him. I am so grateful that He endured, and sacrificed Himself for us, because I’m not so sure I could have taken that kind of punishment without sinning, much less the minor insults hurled by my neighbor! We must remember, as we are being insulted by the ungodly, our Father is a just God, and you can expect the day will come when they will pay for their sins against His beloveds. If you are finding it hard to maintain your testimony while facing an adversary, try what C. S. Lewis suggests: 

“Do not waste time bothering whether you ‘love’ your neighbor; act as if you did. As soon as we do this we find one of the great secrets. When you are behaving as if you loved someone, you will presently come to love them.”

When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly. 1 Peter 2:23

Thursday, May 16, 2019

May 16

Have you ever noticed that you are more comfortable with some people than others? Some are naturally “salty,” and there are others who are openly friendly and never meet a stranger. Then there are those whose spirit matches your own, and when your spirits are combined, you feel like you’ve known them forever, even if you’ve just met. I know that just because we are believers, doesn’t mean we will get along, however, our common bond of Jesus is going to give us a boost. I have a friend that I met on Facebook several years ago, and upon meeting her for the first time, we had an instant bond, she captured my heart and I love her as if she were my own.

As an experiment, upon meeting someone new and without asking, see if you can tell if they are saved. Their mouth may give them away if they aren’t saved, but if they truly have the Holy Spirit, most of the time you will know without them saying a word. We are to love one another, and have a special place in our hearts for other believers.

“By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”  John 13:35

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

May 15

A few years ago, my husband and I started going to a new church. As we continued to attend, we decided to get involved. The people of this church were very young, but if you are older, you don’t really feel older, so I didn’t concern myself with age, in fact I didn’t even notice. Then, a well meaning woman made a comment that she was so happy to have an older woman there. If that wasn’t enough, I had another woman say the same thing. You might say, ‘well they meant more spiritually mature,’ but they didn’t know me well enough to make that assessment. I was crushed. I began looking at myself differently. I allowed those comments to take root, and started noticing how different I was in comparison to those around me. Though it may have been subtle, the devil had found a way in, knowing that I would allow those words to become a form of rejection. This is why we must continue to renew our minds daily, and believe only what God says about us, and never let stabbing words take root in our hearts. It’s better to be God-aware than self-aware. Now that I’ve become aware of my own behavior because of those words, I can heal.

For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. Romans 12:3

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

May 14

Last week a postal worker placed a bag in each of our mailboxes so we could give non-perishable items to charity. I was preparing to fill my bag, but when I went to pick out some items, I realized that everything I was picking up was expired! Well, I’m not going to give away expired food, that wouldn’t be right. I finally found a few things that I had recently bought to give. When I came back from the mailbox, I decided that I needed to clean out the pantry. The pantry is nearly empty and my outside trash receptacle ended up completely full. What a waste of food! How much stale and outdated food is in the pantry of your head? Take a survey of the things you believe. Are they God-centered? Do they hold to biblical principles? I hate to be a conspiracy theorist, but a lot of information we are fed is not true, and our minds are full of garbage. We must hold on to the things of God, and biblical truths; it is the only thing that has stood the test of time. Measure everything by the standards of God, and throw everything out that doesn’t measure up, just like you would for stale food.

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:2

Monday, May 13, 2019

May 13

After church, we decided to go out to eat. With it being Mother’s Day, everyone was trying to give their mom the gift of “not cooking,” which I agree with completely! However, when the whole of the community decides to do that, the establishments fill up quickly. I went to put our name in to get on the waiting list and found out that it could take as long as an hour and a half! Breakfast could be cooked five times in that amount of time. It was determined that we should just go home and cook for ourselves, which is exactly what we did. Going to church to be fed can be the same way. We may be wanting to hear from God, and go to church to seek that answer, but it could take a while, even weeks to hear the answer we seek through the message of the preacher, or the words of a song; but when we seek Him daily through prayer, and meditation on His word, we are likely to receive our answer sooner because we are diligently seeking Him. Don’t neglect to read your Bible, and feed yourself, God wants to speak to you daily, not just once a week during our weekly gathering of the saints.

For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. Hebrews 4:2