Inspiration, Christianity and My Life, Children

God is Patient


 

John 3:16 (NASB)

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.

I have known this verse for a long time but have never equated it with patience before. That’s right patience. Think about it, God gave man and especially the Israelite nation many chances to get their act together, and they continued to reject Him and His commandments. So after sending many prophets, showing many signs and wonders and giving many chances He sent His Son to show them the way to eternal salvation. He was patient for many years and continued to show patience by sacrificing His beloved Son to share Good News of the Gospel with them and the rest of the world.

God must have patience and faith in man’s ability to change in order for Him to do what He has done for us. Are we up to the challenge to prove Him right in His faith toward us? Can we show Him that we appreciate His effort and patience? Have we ever experienced the patience that God must have waiting for us to get our act together from anyone else?

For me God showed more patience than I have ever known by believing in me. God believes in all of His children. We are His. We Are His. WE ARE HIS. Knowing this maybe we should act more like Him and show more patience to those around us and help them in their struggles.

I started writing today’s blog to complain, but quickly realized that I was wrong and I need more patience with the imperfect people around me. After all God has so much patience with me, and I am very imperfect. Acting more like Him is the way I give Him glory.

2 Corinthians 5:21 (NASB)

21 He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

The righteousness of God in Christ Jesus is what I want to be. What about you? Next time you get impatient with the imperfect people around you, remember God’s patience with your imperfection. Enjoy your week and I will be back next week with more.

 

Advertisements

Faith


jack faithFaith is a big word. It does not have many letters but it does have a great impact on life. We can have faith in many things. There is faith in your own abilities and faith in the inevitable expected result of a given action. i.e. if you jump off a building you will land on the ground. Now how you land and if you survive is a whole different topic.

This weekend as I sat at the table eating lunch with two of my grandsons we had a rather interesting conversation. The youngest Rex said that he prays 3 times each day at daycare. He was speaking about praying over his food at this point. Jack however disputed this statement. As the conversation continued Jack told me something that he believes will happen. I asked how he knew it would happen, and his reply was that he prayed and asked God for it. I sat in awe.

This 5 year old child showed me the faith like a child. I love children because they are not so complex and they can believe because they hear and trust those who teach them. Why can’t we all be like them?

Matthew 18:1-5

At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”

He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.

Jesus wants us to be like little children. Simple in our faith, willing to learn and loving. If we can step back a bit and become more like a child our lives would be easier and have less stress. It is a mindset of understanding what is important and keeping the simple, simple.

Would you join me this week in taking the complexity out of our beliefs and just being like a simple child. God said it must be true so I will follow it. Enjoy your week and I will be back next week with more.


Don’t Give Up on Your Dreams and DesiresDreams and desires are what keep us going. If you don’t have dreams to fulfill what motivates you to keep going? We all have responsibilities in life and they can motivate us to earn money and take care of people. But shouldn’t there be something bigger than getting by, driving us forward in life.

That is why God gave us dreams and desires. They give us ideas and motivate us to look at the world a different way. It is up to us to keep our lives moving so God can direct us to what He has put in our hearts. Today I say dare to dream.

DREAM

Dare to believe in the desire God gave you

Remember God can make a way

Enjoy the journey

Acknowledge God’s presence with you

Motivate yourself to prepare for the future

I want to dream, what about you?

Psalm 37:4

Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.

Keep on dreaming and following the desires God has put in your heart. Enjoy your week and I will be back next week with more.

Desires


The alarm went off at the usual time but today would be anything but usual. I woke up slowly and managed to get out of bed and dressed in time to eat breakfast and hit the road. We had a long drive ahead of us but we hoped the results would be good. Following directions given to us by the realtor we found the first property. It was mostly open but had a small wooded area and stocked pond. The price was ok but there was large power line running over the pond and across the property.  It was just too open for what we wanted so we left for the next property.

We had seen this next property once before on our own. As we got closer I recognized the area and knew that the curve where the driveway is located was coming soon. Cautious excitement filled my mind and heart. We pulled into the driveway up to the entry gate. Exiting the car, we opened the gate and walked back the long driveway. As I looked at the trees I felt a peace come over me and felt like I was home. I remembered the time I had this feeling before. We were at an estate sale and I walked into the house just like I owned it. I knew it was mine. Shortly after that we bought that home.

As we stood in the yard and discussed details with the realtor the wind began to quietly sing through the trees. It was an amazing sound. It was unlike anything we had ever heard. The realtor left us there and we walked around discussing the possible purchase of the property. We prayed for direction and to make the right decision. I cried thinking that we might have found what we desired.  We left energized and thinking about all the possibilities and understanding all the cleanup that would be needed to bring this property up to the standard we desire.

I believe that God will give us the desires of our heart, because he puts the desires in there and makes a way for them to come true.

Enjoy your week and I will be back next week with more.

Connected


IMG_1590Blessed is how I feel right now. Yesterday I experienced a time of blessing when I got to spend time with Connie McKenzie. She taught me when I was at CFNI and became a good friend.  We enjoyed a meal and time catching up with what is going on with our lives and our families. It was a great time of sharing our ideas, concerns, opinions and lives. It reminded me that we need to make time for friends whom we don’t get to see on a regular basis. I came away feeling blessed and refreshed. It reminded me of staying connected.

John 15 give us Jesus’ narrative about the vine and branches. If we are connected to the vine–which is Jesus then we will bear fruit and be pruned to bear more fruit. However if we do not remain with Jesus and His word then we will break off and be burned.

What does it mean to remain in Jesus?

John 15:5-8

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.

“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10 If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. 11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. 12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command. 15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. 17 This is my command: Love each other.

Clearly Jesus tells us here that to remain in Him we must love each other. We are to follow His example of selfless love and we will remain in the vine and bear fruit. Sounds simple, right? But really difficult in the execution because negative emotions start to rise when we see certain people and that makes the love one another part very difficult. The problem is not with the command it is with our perception of the people we don’t exactly like. It is a matter of changing our minds-repenting from opinions that get in our way of loving each other.

I leave you with this. Love one another and if you have a hard time figuring out how remember to look at those you struggle with through the eyes of Jesus, He understood

  • that God created them, just like He created you
  • God loves them just like He loves you.
  • They are imperfect just like you
  • They can be forgiven just like you

Enjoy your week and I will be back next week with more.

2018 Completely Different


keep faithToward the end of December 2017, I had a conversation that ended with “Before you know it, it will be Christmas 2018.”  As this conversation was going on I heard distinctly in my mind that 2018 is going to be completely different. Immediately I was filled with apprehension. Would the difference be good or bad? Would it make life easier or harder? What was the difference going to be?

I don’t know the answer to these questions and may not until the year is over but I feel the need to prepare. How does one prepare for something different? That is a good question.

  • Always remember who you are in Christ.
    • 2 Corinthians 5:21 (NIV) God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
  • No matter what happens keep your faith in God by remembering His word.
    • John 14:26 (NIV) But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.
  • Situations and circumstances will change but true faith will remain.
    • Acts 14:22 (NIV) strengthening the disciples and encouraging them to remain true to the faith. “We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God,” they said.

The disciples learned that situations could change after Jesus died on the cross. They had to continue in their faith despite devastating circumstances that looked like the end of their faith. But after He rose from the dead their faith was strengthened and they knew beyond the shadow of a doubt what they had to do.

Being mentally prepared for something different to happen we must continue on with our mission as Christians which are summed up in the following scriptures.

2 Timothy 4:2 (NIV)

Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction

1 Peter 3:15 (NIV)

But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,

I don’t know how different this year will be but I plan to prepare myself and not forget my purpose in life. Will you join me? Enjoy your week and I will be back next week with more.

Show Me How


As I began reading the book of Luke, I saw two very different reactions to angelic messages. First you have Zechariah who was a priest in the holiest of places.

Luke 1:8-10 (NIV)

Once when Zechariah’s division was on duty and he was serving as priest before God, he was chosen by lot, according to the custom of the priesthood, to go into the temple of the Lord and burn incense. 10 And when the time for the burning of incense came, all the assembled worshipers were praying outside.

11 Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing at the right side of the altar of incense. 12 When Zechariah saw him, he was startled and was gripped with fear. 13 But the angel said to him: “Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to call him John. 14 He will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth, 15 for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He is never to take wine or other fermented drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even before he is born. 16 He will bring back many of the people of Israel to the Lord their God. 17 And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the parents to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous—to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”

18 Zechariah asked the angel, “How can I be sure of this? I am an old man and my wife is well along in years.”

My observations of Zechariah’s reaction to this news is that he did not believe in what he was doing. He was “gripped with fear” that tells me he was doing his job but not expecting that God would show up or answer his prayer. He was in a place where God should have been expected but instead of understanding his visitation he expressed his doubt in the messenger and made excuses for how it could not happen.

Six months or so after this there was a girl who was at home minding her own business when she received a message from an angel. She was not in a place where you would expect God to show up and she had a very different reaction.

Luke 1:26-38 (NIV)

26 In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”

29 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30 But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”

34 “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”

35 The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called[b] the Son of God. 36 Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. 37 For no word from God will ever fail.”

38 “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.

Mary’s reaction was being a bit troubled about what the angel said to her but she believed it. She basically asked the angel to show her how this would happen, never doubting the word of the angel. She had a heart of faith and believed that even though she was not in a “Holy” place God could speak to her and she would listen. Her reaction was humble and believing. I really love the story of Mary and her innocent faith that accepted immediately what the angel told her, even though it frightened her. If you read on you will see that God made a way for all that needed to happen to keep Jesus safe until His time had come. I take comfort in this story and pray that my reaction to God’s prompting will always be one of faith and “show me how”.

The real question is, how will we react to His messenger in our lives? I would like to react like Mary did, “Show me how this will happen”, rather than like Zechariah by asking  “How can you prove this will happen?” By the way if you read further on about Zechariah you will see he was mute until John’s birth, he was given those months to understand that his sign was silence until the fulfillment of his promise. Sometimes God has to teach us a lesson the hard way, but in the end, we understand what He was saying and believe.

I see humility in Mary’s reaction and I believe that is the key. So will you join me this week in strengthening our faith by keeping a humble heart before God. Enjoy you week and I will be back next week with more.

 

%d bloggers like this: