My Struggles Thursday, Jun 7 2018 

 

The Scripture for today can be found in the book of Paul’s letter to the Ephesians chapter 6 verse 10:

The Armor of God

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might.

As Christians, we are called to fight in a battle against the devil and his minions. Actually; to be honest, it is a war made up of many battles. It isn’t just a matter of a one-time battle that when it is over you get to go home. No, it is full on warfare that lasts our entire lives. It isn’t some namby-pamby skirmish. Every single day, we are to “put on” the armor of God. We are to “put on” Christ.

Joshua 1:7 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Only be strong and very courageous; [a]be careful to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, so that you may [b]have success wherever you go.

2 Chronicles 32:7 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

“Be strong and courageous, do not fear or be dismayed because of the king of Assyria nor because of all the horde that is with him; for the one with us is greater than the one with him.

Isaiah 35:4 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Say to those with anxious heart,
“Take courage, fear not.
Behold, your God will come with vengeance;
The recompense of God will come,
But He will save you.”

It isn’t going to do us any good to complain or get discouraged. God does not fight our battles for us, but He does fight our battles with us. We are still called to our duty as Christians. He does not leave us alone on the field of battle. It takes courage to be a Christian.

Perhaps, I should have titled today’s study: “Our Struggles”.

 

 

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My Garden Tuesday, Jun 5 2018 

My raised bed garden includes marigolds, tomatoes, strawberries, chives and garlic chives, basil, parsley. My flowers include yellow bells and pink and red hibiscus.

My Dance Tuesday, May 15 2018 

The Scripture for today can be found in the book of Ecclesiastes chapter 3 verse 4:

A time to weep and a time to laugh;
A time to mourn and a time to dance.

I think that everybody gets down sometimes and the slightest thing makes them cry.

They say that crying is good for you. If nothing else it cleans your sinuses.

When David was seized by the Philistines in Gath he prayed to God:

“You have taken account of my wanderings;
Put my tears in Your bottle.
Are they not in Your book?

Yesterday, I received an email from my oldest sister that changed my life. She has no idea about this. She had written a few days earlier asking me to find out the information about where our mother had been buried. I am guessing she wanted to visit her grave on Mother’s Day or perhaps for the upcoming Memorial Day. Yesterday, she sent me an email showing that she had researched it herself and forwarded the information to me. I decided to print it out and keep it for future reference. Since I live over a thousand miles from there, I wouldn’t be able to go this year but maybe in the future. When it printed there were two pages. When the second page came out of it, the only words on the page were, “Trust in God.”

Why those three words affected me so profoundly, I may never know. But they did. And as I stood there, I felt the peace of the Spirit of God flow over me. I began to hear music. And it was so sweet and gentle. I just began dancing. I wasn’t worried about where my feet were going or what steps I was taking.

It was then and there that I realized, I’ve lived my whole life never hearing the music. As I was dancing verse after verse came to me: Ephesians 5:18-20

18 And do not get drunk with wine, [a]for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to [b]one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord; 20 always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to [c]God, even the Father;

Romans 8:38-39

38 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

John 19:20 30 Therefore when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And He bowed His head and gave up His spirit.

He gave up His Spirit to us! It is in us. We have it now! There is no waiting. There is nothing left we can do to add to our salvation. It was done at the cross.

He wants us to dance in the Spirit and praise Him with music.

 

 

 

My Priorities Friday, May 4 2018 

Have you ever wondered how many millions of times The Lord’s Prayer has been prayed? It came upon me just this morning as I was finishing up today’s bible study and prayer time.

Has God ever answered that prayer? I was specifically thinking of that request: “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, on Earth as it is in Heaven.” Oh how I wished in my quiet hour that prayer could be answered.

Then, I had to ask myself, “am I praying with expectation of an answer?” Perhaps, I should be living it out myself. I had to evaluate my priorities. What should be my number one priority in this earthly life? Thinking it through the verse Ephesians 5:5 came to mind: “For this you know with certainty, that no [e]immoral or impure person or covetous man, who is an idolater, has an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.”

And also the greatest commandment in Matthew 22:36-40:

36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 37 And He said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the great and [a]foremost commandment. 39 The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.”

And also 1 Peter 1:16 16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.

Christians are called to be saints. Saints are holy.

Some will argue and say, “How can any man be holy?” or “Aren’t you just trying to return everybody to works instead of grace?”

Be careful that you are not being deceived by partial truth. Christianity is a process. It is made up of steps. We are first washed, justified, regenerated, separated, sanctified, made holy, and made perfect.

How do you respond to these scriptures? Are you uncomfortable? Or are you in agreement? How can you test yourself? Look to 1 John 3:3 : And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.

 

 

My Rescue Monday, Apr 30 2018 

From my morning bible study today. I had done my P.A.R.T (Praise,
Admit, Request, Thanksgiving) and was beginning my L.M.N.O.P. (Listen, Messages, New Testament, Old Testament, Proverbs when….

Early in the wee hours of the morning, while I was listening for the voice of the LORD, the scales were removed from my spiritual eyes and the wax was removed from my spiritual ears. I saw before me as it were a light hovering over my head in a reflection. I saw movement of a corner that radiated from the aura of the light and out of it slipped slowly a black dark orb that slowly rose to the top of the reflection and out of sight. From my mouth I heard praises of God, Almighty repeating, “Blessed is the LORD, my God and my Redeemer.”

 

And again slowly rising from the right lower corner was now a dark grey orb that floated up and then left, out of the reflection.

 

And again I heard from my mouth, “Jesus, name above all names. Only thou art holy. Only thou art good. My King Jesus.”

 

And again slowly rising from the right lower corner was now a royal purple orb that slowly rose up and then right, out of the reflection.

 

And again I heard from my mouth, “Jesus, King of Kings and LORD of lords, Blessed be the name of the LORD, Jesus.”

 

Then the entire reflection turned the color of royal purple and  pulsated  like a steady heart-beat. And then my own reflection turned a neon purple and I heard from my mouth, “Jesus, thank-you, LORD. Thank-you, Jesus.”

 

The verse came to mind, “I am the light of the world.” and another, “I take away the sins of the world.” So, I sensed within that the orbs leaving were confessed sins. And another verse came to mind, “As far as the east is from the west have I removed your transgressions from you.” And another verse, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

 

The light was still shining over my head in the reflection. I saw myself just sitting there. I looked down at my bible and read again the Psalm for the day, Psalms 34:7 The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear Him, and rescues them.

Finding God Everywhere Saturday, Apr 28 2018 

Going back now to the basics let’s begin again in the book of Ephesians chapter 2 verse 10:

10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.

This verse was given to me in answer to a prayer, namely, “Oh, God, why? Why must I go back to the basics?”

It has to do with our conversation. Take for instance Ephesians 4:29 29 Let no [u]unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification [v]according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.

Basically, God is saying, it isn’t just what you say but it is when you say it, why you say it, and how you say it. When is “according to the need of the moment”. Why is “so that it will give grace to those who hear”. And finally how is “but only such a word as is good for edification”.

First he begins with what not to do: speaking the old way, the unsaved talk, “Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth”. As Christians, we think before we speak. We don’t just blurt out anything to hear ourselves talk. We don’t say hurtful and unkind words to have one over on somebody. We don’t gossip. We don’t use foul language. Our speech should be different, very unlike the world.

It has to do with the truth. Take for instance Ephesians 4:25 25 Therefore, laying aside falsehood, speak truth each one of you with his neighbor, for we are members of one another.

Second he begins with what not to do: speaking the old way, “lying”, “laying aside falsehood”. Then the new way, “speak truth each one you with his neighbor”, then why, “for we are members of one another”.

It is very difficult to have fellowship with a person who doesn’t know the truth from a lie.

Refer to Romans 9:10 for what form of fellowship: 10 Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; [a]give preference to one another in honor;

This is not something that God does for us. Take for instance Ephesians 4:22-24 22 that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old [p]self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, 23 and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and put on the new [q]self, which [r]in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.

We are to “put on the new man”. The new man has order and control. He is aware of what is proceeding out of his mouth. He controls it. He stops hurtful and shameful words before they ever pass through his lips.

I am speaking to myself here more than any of you.

My Correction Friday, Apr 27 2018 

Today, we depart from the usual form in order to analyze how God corrects us. Turn with me first to the book of Proverbs Chapter 3 verses 11-13:

Proverbs 3:11-13 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

11 My son, do not reject the [a]discipline of the Lord
Or loathe His reproof,
12 For whom the Lord loves He reproves,
Even as a father corrects the son in whom he delights.

13 How blessed is the man who finds wisdom
And the man who gains understanding.

I have now and in times past found myself in this embarrassing situation of being “instructed” by God. Oh dear me. It reminds me of Paul when he told Timothy in 1 Timothy 1:3 -7

To Timothy, my true child in the faith: Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.

As I urged you [a]upon my departure for Macedonia, [b]remain on at Ephesus so that you may instruct certain men not to teach strange doctrines, nor to [c]pay attention to myths and endless genealogies, which give rise to mere speculation rather than furthering [d]the administration of God which is by faith. But the goal of our [e]instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. For some men, straying from these things, have turned aside to fruitless discussion, wanting to be teachers of the Law, even though they do not understand either what they are saying or the matters about which they make confident assertions.

How loving and gentle Paul is to Timothy, his son in the faith. That is how God was with me these past few mornings. You see, I was eager to move on to “Macedonia” which is meaning “Land of the Tall men”. I wanted to teach the important stuff to make myself look good. But God wanted me to “linger” in Ephesus where we find “the basics”. Basically, (pun intended) God was telling me I wasn’t ready for Macedonia just yet.

Rather than wallow in self-pity, I thought it best to explain just how God corrects us.

2 Timothy 3:15-17

15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.

God uses Scripture to correct us.

James 1:20-22

20 for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God. 21 Therefore, putting aside all filthiness and all [a]that remains of wickedness, in [b]humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your souls. 22 But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves.

We must not think of ourselves more highly than we ought.

1 John 2:5-6

but whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected. By this we know that we are in Him: the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked.

I stand corrected.

My Why Monday, Apr 23 2018 

The Scripture to which I would like to draw your attention to this morning may be found in the book of Romans chapter 9 verses 16-18.

Romans 9:16-18 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

16 So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy. 17 For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I raised you up, to demonstrate My power in you, and that My name might be proclaimed [a]throughout the whole earth.” 18 So then He has mercy on whom He desires, and He hardens whom He desires.

Today we are addressing the question of “why”? Why am I a Christian? What is the reason for the hope that is in me?

1 Peter 3:15 15 but [c]sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a [d]defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and [e]reverence;

I will tell you at the onset that it has nothing to do with me; it was wrought by Christ who lives in me and through me. I was led by the Spirit to seek Him. I cannot boast and say that I am some moral or good person because I am a Christian for only God is good.

My why lies in the fact that my old why is gone and I have a new why; a new purpose; a new reason for living and for acting the way I do.

Ephesians 4:24 24 and put on the new [a]self, which [b]in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.

Colossians 1:26-28

26 that is, the mystery which has been hidden from the past ages and generations, but has now been manifested to His [a]saints, 27 to whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. 28 We proclaim Him, admonishing every man and teaching every man [b]with all wisdom, so that we may present every man [c]complete in Christ.

It was an internal change.

1 Samuel 16:7 But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for [a]God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

In the pagan world, there are moral men who outwardly appear to be moral and ethical; but inwardly they are ravening wolves. They take pride in what they do and say it is because they are great men by the world’s standards. They are all in the condition I was in before I accepted Christ.

Ephesians 2:12 12 remember that you were at that time separate from Christ, [a]excluded from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.

 

My Weakness Saturday, Apr 21 2018 

The Scripture to which I would like to draw your attention this morning can be found in the book of Romans chapter 8 verses 25-27:

25 But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it.

Our Victory in Christ

26 In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; 27 and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the [j]saints according to the will of God.

I admit, I do not always know how to pray. I struggle with forgiving my enemies, those who have not yet been renewed in the spirit of their minds, and the unregenerate. Not that I am holier than thou, but that I have to resign from the pedestal reserved for the judgments of God.

I admit, I do not always know what to confess. I have to pray:

Psalm 19:13 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

13 Also keep back Your servant from presumptuous sins;
Let them not rule over me;
Then I will be [a]blameless,
And I shall be acquitted of great transgression.

I admit rushing into things. I don’t always think things through before I open my big mouth and stick my little foot in there. I forget that sanctification is a process where we are all on a different journey.

I admit questioning God. I think we can all confess that on occasion.

I often think others should forgive me, but I am oblivious to my own inability to forgive them. Oh wretched woman that I am.

 

Fear Not Friday, Apr 20 2018 

A ghostly shadow hovered across the way,

Barely visible without the light of day.

It seemed to have a will all its’ own,

As it stopped among the bushes overgrown.

I kept my eye a fixed upon its’ state;

And awaited, bated breath, for it to fade.

My stare became a glare upon the bog.

I could barely sense it’s shape among the fog.

It must have sensed me staring through the night,

As it dared not move a muscle in my sight.

So solemn, still, foreboding…

I thought I saw it growing!

The ghastly thing gave me such a fright!

I prayed aloud to God in utter fear.

And Jesus reassured me He was near.

 

By

Jessica May Moore

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