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.

 

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God’s Forgiveness Tuesday, Nov 28 2017 

Psalm 32New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Blessedness of Forgiveness and of Trust in God.

A Psalm of David. A [a]Maskil.

32 How blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven,
Whose sin is covered!
How blessed is the man to whom the Lord does not impute iniquity,
And in whose spirit there is no deceit!

When I kept silent about my sin, my [b]body wasted away
Through my [c]groaning all day long.
For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me;
My [d]vitality was drained away as with the fever heat of summer. [e]Selah.
I acknowledged my sin to You,
And my iniquity I did not hide;
I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord”;
And You forgave the [f]guilt of my sin. Selah.
Therefore, let everyone who is godly pray to You [g]in a time when You may be found;
Surely in a flood of great waters they will not reach him.
You are my hiding place; You preserve me from trouble;
You surround me with [h]songs of deliverance. Selah.

I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go;
I will counsel you with My eye upon you.
Do not be as the horse or as the mule which have no understanding,
Whose trappings include bit and bridle to hold them in check,
Otherwise they will not come near to you.
10 Many are the sorrows of the wicked,
But he who trusts in the Lord, lovingkindness shall surround him.
11 Be glad in the Lord and rejoice, you righteous ones;
And shout for joy, all you who are upright in heart.

God’s Knowledge Wednesday, Jan 18 2017 

One of the lessons I remember from history is when our teacher told us that the people long ago thought the world was flat. They thought that if you took off in a ship it would just fall off the ends of the earth.  They thought these things because they did not know.

It is our lack of knowledge that gets us into trouble over and over.

But when God gives us knowledge, we know it thoroughly, deeply, surely.

You see God knows “all things.”

John 21:17

17 The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”

Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.”

Jesus said, “Feed my sheep.

John 16:30 30″ Now we can see that you know all things and that you do not even need to have anyone ask you questions. This makes us believe that you came from God.”

He will, by his Spirit, tell us what to say.

Matthew 10:19-20 19 But when they arrest you, do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say, 20 for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.

Luke 12:12 12 “for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what you should say.”

Even on the cross, Jesus said, “they do not know”.

Luke 23:34 34 Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”[a] And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.

Without knowledge we lose our way.

Proverbs 19:2 Desire without knowledge is not good—
    how much more will hasty feet miss the way!

It is my most urgent prayer that you will know God.

Ephesians 1:16-23I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. 17 I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit[a] of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. 18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people,19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength 20 he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, 21 far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. 22 And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.

 

God’s Universe Saturday, Jan 14 2017 

When I was younger, I made dolls for three of my nieces from a pattern. I carefully cut out the arms, legs, heads, and bodices; sewed all the sides of each part but one side, stuffed them with cotton, sewed the pieces together and embroidered eyes, nose, and mouth. As I recall, I used yarn for the hair of the doll.  I tried to match the hair and eye color to each girl so they could always tell which doll was theirs. I made black felt shoes and little dresses for each of them. It was a labor of love.

When God created us, He put eternity into our hearts.

Ecclesiastes 3:11 11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet[a] no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.

God sees us in the womb.

Psalm 139:13-15 13 For you created my inmost being;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
    when I was made in the secret place,
    when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.

We are hidden in Christ.

Colossians 3:3  For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.

In Christ, we are reconciled.

Colossians 1:22 22 But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation—

God’s thoughts and ways are higher than ours.

Isaiah 55:8-9 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
    neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.
“As the heavens are higher than the earth,
    so are my ways higher than your ways
    and my thoughts than your thoughts.

God’s word is alive.

Hebrews 4:12 12 For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

God’s law is written in our hearts.

Romans 2:15 15 They show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts sometimes accusing them and at other times even defending them.

God predestined us.

Romans 8:29-30 29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. 30 And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.

God distributes gifts.

Hebrews 2:4 God also testified to it by signs, wonders and various miracles, and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will.

God puts the seasons into the birds.

Jeremiah 8:7 Even the stork in the sky
    knows her appointed seasons,
and the dove, the swift and the thrush
    observe the time of their migration.
But my people do not know
    the requirements of the Lord.

God makes all tremble.

Ezekiel 38:20 20 The fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, the beasts of the field, every creature that moves along the ground, and all the people on the face of the earth will tremble at my presence. The mountains will be overturned, the cliffs will crumble and every wall will fall to the ground.

God gives kings dominion.

Daniel 2:37-38 Daniel 2:37-38

37 Your Majesty, you are the king of kings. The God of heaven has given you dominion and power and might and glory; 38 in your hands he has placed all mankind and the beasts of the field and the birds in the sky. Wherever they live, he has made you ruler over them all.

God puts the weather forecast in the sky.

Matthew 16:2-3 He replied, “When evening comes, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red,’ and in the morning, ‘Today it will be stormy, for the sky is red and overcast.’ You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times.[

We are God’s handiwork.

Ephesians 2:10 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

God makes a donkey speak.

Numbers 22:28 28 Then the Lord opened the donkey’s mouth, and it said to Balaam, “What have I done to you to make you beat me these three times?”

We must remember our position before the eternal, holy, incomprehensible God. The Lord Speaks. Job 38:1-41:34

What do you think? I hope you’ll forgive me for the long posts. His universe is big.

 

 

God’s Mercies Monday, Jan 9 2017 

When I was in high school, I had a bible verse written on the book covers of every text book I used. We use to make covers to protect our textbooks out of inverted paper grocery bags.

The verse I wrote was:  1 John 1:9King James Version (KJV)

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

I was what they called a “Jesus Freak”.

Back then, there were three groups in our school; the kids involved in sports, the kids involved in drugs, and the Jesus Freaks.

I have to admit, I was more focused on my own part of that verse than I was on God’s part. Oh, I wanted the purity offered in that verse, don’t get me wrong, but how my confession would bring it about, I had no clue.

I didn’t know that His mercy endured forever. Psalm 136King James Version (KJV)

136 O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.

O give thanks unto the God of gods: for his mercy endureth for ever.

O give thanks to the Lord of lords: for his mercy endureth for ever.

To him who alone doeth great wonders: for his mercy endureth for ever.

To him that by wisdom made the heavens: for his mercy endureth for ever.

To him that stretched out the earth above the waters: for his mercy endureth for ever.

To him that made great lights: for his mercy endureth for ever:

The sun to rule by day: for his mercy endureth for ever:

The moon and stars to rule by night: for his mercy endureth for ever.

10 To him that smote Egypt in their firstborn: for his mercy endureth for ever:

11 And brought out Israel from among them: for his mercy endureth for ever:

12 With a strong hand, and with a stretched out arm: for his mercy endureth for ever.

13 To him which divided the Red sea into parts: for his mercy endureth for ever:

14 And made Israel to pass through the midst of it: for his mercy endureth for ever:

15 But overthrew Pharaoh and his host in the Red sea: for his mercy endureth for ever.

16 To him which led his people through the wilderness: for his mercy endureth for ever.

17 To him which smote great kings: for his mercy endureth for ever:

18 And slew famous kings: for his mercy endureth for ever:

19 Sihon king of the Amorites: for his mercy endureth for ever:

20 And Og the king of Bashan: for his mercy endureth for ever:

21 And gave their land for an heritage: for his mercy endureth for ever:

22 Even an heritage unto Israel his servant: for his mercy endureth for ever.

23 Who remembered us in our low estate: for his mercy endureth for ever:

24 And hath redeemed us from our enemies: for his mercy endureth for ever.

25 Who giveth food to all flesh: for his mercy endureth for ever.

26 O give thanks unto the God of heaven: for his mercy endureth for ever.

I didn’t know He was merciful and forgiving even though we rebelled against him.

Daniel 9:9King James Version (KJV)

To the Lord our God belong mercies and forgivenesses, though we have rebelled against him.

I didn’t know I could share his mercy with others. 1 Corinthians 1:3-11    Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort;

Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.

For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ.

And whether we be afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effectual in the enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer: or whether we be comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation.

And our hope of you is stedfast, knowing, that as ye are partakers of the sufferings, so shall ye be also of the consolation.

For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life:

But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead:

10 Who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver: in whom we trust that he will yet deliver us;

11 Ye also helping together by prayer for us, that for the gift bestowed upon us by the means of many persons thanks may be given by many on our behalf.

 

Alive in Christ Sunday, Oct 30 2016 

Christ is all, and in all [so believers are equal in Christ, without distinction].

12 So, as God’s own chosen people, who are holy [set apart, sanctified for His purpose] and well-beloved [by God Himself], put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience [which has the power to endure whatever injustice or unpleasantness comes, with good temper]; 13 bearing graciously with one another, and willingly forgiving each other if one has a cause for complaint against another; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so should you forgive. 14 Beyond all these things put on and wrap yourselves in [unselfish] love, which is the perfect bond of unity [for everything is bound together in agreement when each one seeks the best for others]. 15 Let the peace of Christ [the inner calm of one who walks daily with Him] be the controlling factor in your hearts [deciding and settling questions that arise]. To this peace indeed you were called as members in one body [of believers]. And be thankful [to God always]. 16 Let the [spoken] word of Christ have its home within you [dwelling in your heart and mind—permeating every aspect of your being] as you teach [spiritual things] and admonish and train one another with all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs with thankfulness in your hearts to God. 17 Whatever you do [no matter what it is] in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus [and in dependence on Him], giving thanks to God the Father through Him.

7
“Blessed [with spiritual security] is the man who believes and trusts in and relies on the Lord
And whose hope and confident expectation is the Lord.

“For he will be [nourished] like a tree planted by the waters,
That spreads out its roots by the river;
And will not fear the heat when it comes;
But its leaves will be green and moist.
And it will not be anxious and concerned in a year of drought
Nor stop bearing fruit.

 

Ability of God Sunday, Aug 21 2016 

Ephesians 3:20-21Amplified Bible (AMP)

20 Now to Him who is able to [carry out His purpose and] do superabundantly more than all that we dare ask or think [infinitely beyond our greatest prayers, hopes, or dreams], according to His power that is at work within us, 21 to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations forever and ever. Amen.

Jude 24-25Amplified Bible (AMP)

24 Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling or falling into sin, and to present you unblemished [blameless and faultless] in the presence of His glory with triumphant joy and unspeakable delight, 25 to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and power, before all time and now and forever. Amen.

If you can’t think of a reason to glorify God, these few verses ought to give you a pretty good idea that we should glorify Him for His ABILITIES.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18Amplified Bible (AMP)

16 Rejoice always and delight in your faith; 17 be unceasing and persistent in prayer; 18 in every situation [no matter what the circumstances] be thankful and continually give thanks to God; for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.

Colossians 3:16-18Amplified Bible (AMP)

16 Let the [spoken] word of Christ have its home within you [dwelling in your heart and mind—permeating every aspect of your being] as you teach [spiritual things] and admonish and train one another with all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs with thankfulness in your hearts to God. 17 Whatever you do [no matter what it is] in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus [and in dependence on Him], giving thanks to God the Father through Him.

Forgiveness of God Wednesday, Feb 17 2016 

Forgiveness is not just something we have, it is something we do.

The Parable of the Unmerciful Servant

21 Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?”

22 Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.[g]

23 “Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. 24 As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand bags of gold[h] was brought to him. 25 Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt.

26 “At this the servant fell on his knees before him. ‘Be patient with me,’ he begged, ‘and I will pay back everything.’ 27 The servant’s master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go.

28 “But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred silver coins.[i] He grabbed him and began to choke him. ‘Pay back what you owe me!’ he demanded.

29 “His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay it back.’

30 “But he refused. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt. 31 When the other servants saw what had happened, they were outraged and went and told their master everything that had happened.

32 “Then the master called the servant in. ‘You wicked servant,’ he said, ‘I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. 33 Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’ 34 In anger his master handed him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed.

35 “This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother or sister from your heart.”

Dear Friend, it is my sincere hope that you will forgive me for all of the things I have done or said that hurt you in the past. As in the LORD’S Prayer, “Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors.” May we, as Christian brothers and sisters forgive one another in Jesus’ name.

Romans 13:7-9King James Version (KJV)

Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour.

Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.

For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

Forgiveness is a free gift that God gives each of us. But it isn’t something we have and keep and hoard, it is to be re-gifted. It is to be used. Make your forgiveness a verb instead of a noun. Not something you have but something you do.  God Bless you.

How to Do Difficult Things Sunday, Jun 1 2014 

Isaiah 41:13 For I am the Lord your God
    who takes hold of your right hand
and says to you, Do not fear;
    I will help you.

Sometimes it is hard to do what we should do. We see a task before us that seems overwhelming. As we step out in trepidation, fear blinds us to the possibilities. We tend to freeze in our tracks. We turn our head away and cry, “NO!”

It is at these times that the only strength we can muster comes from the Holy Spirit within.

“Let me show you what forgiveness looks like. What it can do. How it feels. Why it is so important for you to learn how to forgive. Forgiveness is like gravity. It always, always , works. It can turn your enemies into your friends. It is a healing upon your own heart too. It is important for you to learn to forgive others so I can forgive you.”

Maybe it is learning to swim, or driving at night, or a fear of heights that has its’ hold on you. Maybe you fear change. Whatever it is, God is there to walk you through it.

Psalms 18:30 As for God, his way is perfect:
    The Lord’s word is flawless;
    he shields all who take refuge in him.

God’s way is perfect. As things come at you today, challenges, trials, temptations and the like, just remember who is with you. The creator of the universe is your shield. I pray that you become aware of his presence today. I pray that He will lift you up. I pray that you can find within yourself the courage to forgive. In Christ Jesus our LORD. Amen.

 

 

 

 

How to Pray to God Friday, Jan 10 2014 

 

 

Jesus teaches us how to pray to God in Matthew 6:

And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.

But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.

But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.

Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.

After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.

10 Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.

11 Give us this day our daily bread.

12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.

13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.

14 For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:

15 But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

In addition to praying the LORD’s prayer in the closet, many times Jesus went to the mountain top to pray. Once again in Matthew it says: 23 And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone.

The mountain took him away from the bustling crowds and helped him to be alone with the Father. Even the creator of the universe needed time alone with the Father. This is a sort of battery charging time when God hears the deep concerns of our hearts. During these mountain top experiences the distractions of this world are left below. No cell phones or traffic jams to contend with, just God and you.

It is important before you go to the top of the mountain to first forgive those who have wronged you.

Forgiveness means being aware of what someone has done and still forgiving them. Choosing to keep no record of wrongs. Refusing to punish. Not telling what they did. Being merciful and gracious. It is an inner condition. It is the absence of bitterness. It includes forgiving God and forgiving ourselves.

When someone wrongs you do not let anyone know what someone said about you or did to you. Do not allow anyone to be afraid of you or intimidated by you. We will want them to forgive themselves and not feel guilty. We will let them save face. We will protect them from their greatest fear. It is a lifelong commitment to never tell. And finally, we will pray for them to be blessed.

Make the deliberate and irrevocable choice not to tell anyone what they did. Be pleasant to them should you be around them. If conversation ensues say that which would free them from guilt. Let them feel good about themselves. Protect them from their greatest fear. Keep it up, today, tomorrow, this year and next. Pray for them.

37 Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven.

Praying is a two way conversation with God.

Go boldly to the throne of grace. Pour out your heart to God. Adore Him. Admit your wrongs. Request for your needs and for the needs of those you love. Spend time thanking Him for all the answered prayers. You see God does answer prayers in His time.

Aligning your prayers with the will of God comes from nudges from the Holy Spirit.

26 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.

27 And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.

28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

Praying in the Spirit is when you set aside your own agenda and pray the will of the Father.

I would encourage you to keep a record of your prayers, a sort of prayer journal if you will, so that in the future you can look back and see what God has done.

If you use the fingers of your hand to remind you of who to pray for:

The thumb: those closest to your heart.

The pointer: Those under your direction.

The next finger: Those in authority over you.

The next: Your community, friends, church.

The pinky: Yourself

Pray all your prayers in the name of Jesus.

I will leave you with this exhortation from Paul to Timothy:

2 I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;

For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.

For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;