Saturday, January 4, 2020

January 4

I’m helping my friends with the landscaping of their yard. Since my husband is a contractor, we are able to buy plants wholesale. There are a couple of nurseries I like to use, but my son-in-law told me about one that’s a little further out than than the others. He encouraged me to go because they would have everything that we would need. As soon as we pulled into the office, we could see their beauty, and their abundance. I was overwhelmed with joy, and felt lavished in plant heaven; it was like the Disney World of nurseries! I had to contain myself, and step back to think about my friends needs for their yard rather than my own desires. I get excited all over again just thinking about it! 

God knows what makes us joyful, but who would have thought that helping someone choose plants for their yard could bring on such an overwhelming since of pleasure. Sometimes we have do monotonous things just to survive our days, but instead of going through our days with a ho-hum attitude, begin looking for God’s hand guiding your steps. When you start to see it, you will begin love your moments.

And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19

Friday, January 3, 2020

January 3

Over the past couple of years I began collecting orchids. I had no idea how to care for them, but no worries, I found plenty of information online. During the summer, the only ones in bloom were the ones that were given to me as gifts that were already blooming. I thought I was doing everything right, but sadly, no blooms. Now that it’s winter, and what seemed like out of nowhere, I began seeing spikes, and shoots popping up! Now I wait in anticipation to see the colorful display that each one has in store for me. 

Isn’t that a picture of our lives? We go along from day to day, working and living with nothing extraordinary happening, then out of nowhere, things begin to change and you see a light at the end of the tunnel, or in the case of my orchids, bloom shoots. 

Today’s message is to encourage you to keep pushing forward even though things may seem bleak, or out of control, stay the course. Your life will not always be flowering, but the process is in the roots, and soon you will begin to see shoots forming, that will one day produce beautiful blossoms.

Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains. James 5:7

Thursday, January 2, 2020

January 2

My friends, don’t be arrogant about your salvation in Jesus; it wasn’t given to you because of anything you did, but because of what he did. You obtained mercy purely because of God’s grace. We should thank him every day that we are not receiving the payment that we deserve for our sins. Even if you’ve been good in your life, you aren’t good enough without Jesus. There is nothing we can do to cleanse ourselves of our sins, and no amount of good we do can cover the stains of our past. It’s only because of Jesus that we will not suffer the consequences of our former way of life. 

When I think back to my life as a young adult, the disgraceful things I did, and the crowd that I ran with, I’m lucky to be alive, and forgiven. Sin will bind you. I received a blanket of forgiveness, but because of the damage it caused, I felt it necessary to flush each sin individually. By doing that, I broke the chains that had me bound. I know what you’re thinking; how could I possibly remember all my sins? You probably can’t, but the Holy Spirit will bring to your mind what you need to turn loose of to be set free. 

Your new year resolution should include doing everything you can to be set free from the ties that bind you. Start today.

I thank him who has given me strength, Christ Jesus our Lord, because he judged me faithful, appointing me to his service, though formerly I was a blasphemer, persecutor, and insolent opponent. But I received mercy because I had acted ignorantly in unbelief, and the grace of our Lord overflowed for me with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. 1 Timothy 1:12-14

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

January 1

My family has a tradition of eating black-eyed peas, hog jowl, and greens on New Year Day. I prepare it, and my children make sure to stop by to partake in the tradition. There’s an old wives tale that claims that eating this meal brings money and good luck for the year. It was believed to have come to the south by way of the Sephardic Jews who arrived in Georgia in the 1730’s. It was a custom of the Jews to eat black-eyed peas, as part of the Rosh Hashanah celebration, and can be found in the Talmud that was written around 500 A.D.

During the Civil War General Sherman tried to starve the Confederate army by taking their food supply. He didn’t consider the peas or the pork as consumable by humans, so he left it, and the army was fed for the winter. 

Most of our current traditions can be dated back to ancient times. I think it’s a good idea to research them to make sure we are not following something that was sinister, or from evil. We can never be sure, but at least identify why we hold it dear.

This year I hope that you will begin to identify the reasons you do what you do, and think the way you think. Don’t do things just because it’s the way you’ve always done them, dig deep and find out why!

"See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ." Colossians 2:8

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

December 31

Some of the pictures we see on social media, look nothing like the person we see in the flesh. Technology has given us filters to make us look better than we do, and into something we are not. 

God does not love sin. What does that mean? Our pure and holy creator is separated from sin, cannot look at it or love it. That seems so harsh, but he will not change who he is; if he did, we wouldn’t have a perfect God, because he is unchanging. If he didn’t spare the angels who rose up against him, what makes you think he will spare you? You should have a good answer for this; if you don’t, see me after class. When they sinned, they changed from being holy, and loved by God, to evil; and God doesn’t love evil.

I know this is heavy for the end of the year, but we need to know how detestable we are in front of God, so we can understand how merciful he was when he sent Jesus to save us. God cannot look at us without the Jesus filter. Without that filter, you are hideous and disgusting. Thank God we are hidden in Jesus, otherwise we would face the same fate as the fallen angels.

Now I want to remind you, although you once fully knew it, that Jesus, who saved a people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe. And the angels who did not stay within their own position of authority, but left their proper dwelling, he has kept in eternal chains under gloomy darkness until the judgment of the great day— Jude 1:5-6

Monday, December 30, 2019

December 30

At the beginning of the year, I ask God for a word that will define my year. It becomes a prophecy. I’ve already asked about mine for 2020. I usually get the answer right away, but I wait for confirmation. If you would like to hear from God, it’s time to pray about your word. Mine in 2019 was “adventure,” and then later in the year it became “sojourn.” I had an adventure standing still! Ha-ha! The way I confirm if I’m hearing him correctly, is the word will seem to appear everywhere, because he brings it to my attention; that’s how I knew it had changed part of the way through the year. Not only is this a fun thing to do, it is practice for hearing the voice of God, but what makes it even more interesting is watching it play out in your life. Don’t be shy about doing this, just ask God for a word, and then listen. God is a lot quicker than we are, with me, the word popped up before I got the question asked. 

My unconfirmed word for 2020 is “lavished.” I found the word lavished in Ephesians 1:8, and it refers to grace being lavished, “which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight.” I may be just hoping for this word since 2019 was such an adventurous year.

If you pray and God gives you a word, and he will because he says he will make known the mystery of his will, please share it, even if you haven’t received confirmation. By sharing it, you will be stepping out in faith. 

In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ Ephesians 1:7-9

December 29

There is an undercurrent in society today that is so sinister, and manipulative, that even some of the most beloved evangels of the gospel have fallen for it. They are spreading the misinformation among many sects of religion. Somewhere along the way they lost sight of God, and ventured in their own direction with the guidance of the enemy. It’s important for you to stay aware, otherwise you could also be led astray. 

Did you know that just like we were predestined to follow Jesus, there are people who are predestined for evil? It doesn’t matter how hard you try to convert them to Jesus, they will not turn. They may seem loving to start, but they are nasty individuals whose only purpose is to pervert the gospel. Be mindful of who you are believing, pray for discernment, and always find biblical backup for enticing teachings that say what your itching ears want to hear. 

For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ. Jude 1:4