Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Truth and Freedom

Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.

~John 8:32

Why is something that sounds so simple so difficult? The truth sets us free. We know the truth. Anyone who reads God’s word knows the truth. Then, why the struggle? Like I know if I move more and I eat less and healthier I will be fit and probably lose a few pounds but yet this seems to elude me. I know who I am in Christ but yet I continually seek others approval. Here’s my favorite one: I know that if I die to flesh and yield to the spirit I will have abundant life yet daily I end up living constantly in the flesh. It is so frustrating. I know the truth yet I barely live free. What is up with that? All I know is that if there weren’t a struggle there would be no need for God or the Holy Spirit in my life. Who would need a savior????? We certainly wouldn’t need grace or forgiveness. I am in no way justifying poor behavior. The idea is to be free. All I am saying is that He knows how hard this is. He sees our struggle. If we want to be free we need to be honest about where we are at and what we are feeling. We need to ask for His power to help us overcome certain things. We need to be free. He paid the price for it. It is in our weakness that He will be strong. So I urge you to press on. Even on days that you barely feel free. I know how you feel. He knows how you feel. We can do this. Today speak truth, know truth and be set free and tomorrow get up and do it all over again.

Prayer~

Lord I want to know your truth and I desire to live and walk in the freedom that your death on the cross paid for. Please strengthen me when I am weak. Please constantly remind me of the truth and help me to take all my thoughts captive. I thank you ahead of time for the amazing work you will do in my life and for the freedom that I will walk in.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

His Sufficient Grace

But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”

2 Corinthians 13:11

Is His grace sufficient for you today? I have been thinking a lot about this passage and what it means. Is His grace really enough????? It is because His word says so, but then why do I always feel like I am lacking. I think it comes down to the fact that I don’t want to be weak. We see this as something negative so we determine to be “strong” and do things our way only to fail. His power can be made perfect in our weakness. I don’t know about you but I want His power. Why is it so hard to lay aside our ideas of how we should act and the way things should be and the need to “protect” ourselves and cover our own butts(excuse the language)? Maybe it comes down to how much we actually trust Him and in His word to be true. I know I struggle tremendously in this area. I struggle to have the faith of a child. I want to protect myself. It is so much easier when we are a child, but as we grow life happens and we become hardened and we have hurts and disappointments and we start to doubt He will really be sufficient for us. I spent too many years in this doubt and quite honestly it is not working out to good for me. How about you? Can we commit together to pray this week that our faith would be deepened. Praying that we would have the faith like a little child and trust Him to be enough in any and all situations even if the outcome isn’t what we expected. In our weakness this week we can know His power will be perfected if we allow Him in and we trust Him enough. We need to stop asking what we can do but ask what can He do in us and through us.

Prayer:

Lord thank you that your grace is sufficient. Lord we desire to have the faith of a child and trust completely in you. Gently remind us this week to depend on you especially at our weakest moments.

Amen

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Learning to be Selfless in a Selfish World

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.
Philippians 2:3-4

Me! Me! Me! Isn’t that our hearts cry from the very beginning. I want this and I want that and if I don’t get it I will surely pout and fuss. Sort of like a 2 year old in a candy store. We want and we want and in this selfish world it never ends. We desire to be first and to be noticed. We want to be loved and to be romanced. We want our cake and we want to eat it too (and gain no weight while we’re eating it!). For pity sakes you can even by shirts that say me, me, me. There is even a country song that says I want to talk about me. The thing is we are longing for something more. That innate desire was given to us. The problem is our sin nature distorts it. We think that we can fulfill this through selfish things. By achieving those things we think we want. Well girls it doesn’t work that way. It is one of those things that is hard to grasp. Sort of like the die to live thing. When we do things out of selfish ambition we may be filled with satisfaction for a moment but it doesn’t last and so we try for something bigger and better. But when we do things in humility not with a selfish ambition we are truly satisfied. You see we were meant to have romance and love. There is cake that we can have and eat too (without gaining any weight might I add). It is our King who wants to fill us and love us and romance us. That happens when we humble ourselves. When we become His hands and feet and do things for others. It doesn’t seem like it will work at the time, but when we do it we will find out the more we give the more we receive. The peace that passes all understanding floods our life. We find we are satisfied because that desire we had to be filled is filled by Him. The other way of thinking has destroyed lives and marriages and friendships, but His way brings life. It brings life to our marriages and to our relationships. I think we have all heard this before but we keep getting stuck because it is hard. He asks us to hard things and we just don’t trust Him enough to come through in the end. We want to protect ourselves and cover our own back. This is exhausting and very unfulfilling. We don’t need to do this. Let’s commit this week to try it His way. Let’s get rid of the selfish desires. That won’t be easy. You will need to ask Him to help you. That is what He is there for. He has you covered. No more me, me, me! Let it be about Him, Him, Him. He will honor that. He will fill that empty place that we think we need to fill with things of the world. He will wow us beyond anything we can imagine. How do I know? Because the Bible tells me so. Let’s expect great things. No more dissatisfaction with life. Let’s just do the thing even if it is hard. We only get one chance around. We need to “Just Do It”!

Prayer:
Lord thank you so much for loving us. Thank you for wanting to fulfill us. Help us to do it your way. God I praise you for wanting to romance us. You gave us that desire to be filled and we mess up by trying to fill it with everything except what you intended. We are so thankful that you are gracious and merciful. That even when we mess up you forgive us. We love you Lord.
Amen

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

A Wishin' and A Wantin'

Do not love the world or the things that belong to the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in him. For everything that belongs to the world – the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride in one’s lifestyle – is not from the Father, but is from the world. And the world with its lust is passing away, but the one who does God’s will remains forever.

1 John 2:15-17

I don’t know about you ladies but the older I get (and yes I am getting older – the gray hair and wrinkles on the forehead are a dead giveaway) I am realizing how much of my life was wasted doing a lot of “a wishin’and a wantin”. I am not just talking about material things here. I am also talking about wanting kids to behave differently or wishing my childhood was different. Wondering what if my husband reacted differently or did everything that I am just sure he should be doing. Just sure that if these circumstances were different then things would be good. I would be different. I read something very interesting recently. It said that circumstances do not make us who we are. We are who we are and the circumstance just happens to bring that out in us - good or bad. That really hit home. All those days wasted. Days I could have just been turning things back to praise. We don’t know why things sometimes are the way they are. Mysteries - we may not know until we reach the other side. I will tell you what we do know. We do know how we can be different. Godly in spite of circumstances. It is all well laid out in His Word. It clearly tells us there will be trials and that we will have to die to flesh. That we will have to pick up our crosses daily and follow Him. I would have liked to have spent more time concentrating on that then on wanting things in my life to be different. In the words of my oh so wise husband, “it is what it is”. Sometimes life just is what it is. I just need to figure out how to glorify God the most in what I am going through. I am not talking about enduring abuse or any such thing. That is not what I am saying. I am just saying when the grass seems greener on the other side we can waist a lot of valuable time living in the “what ifs”. No more being a time waster. No more “wishin and wantin”. No more loving what the world has to offer or at least loving the idea of what we think it has to offer. Let’s just try to figure this thing out. We were placed here at this time for a specific purpose and if we spend our time wondering what if I guarantee you we will miss it. I don’t want to miss it. I missed too much already. How about you?????


Prayer:

Lord please forgive me for the time I wasted living in the what ifs. Today I commit to being different. I give you all thanks, all honor, and all praise due your name for how you will work all the circumstances together in my life for good and for your purpose. I love you Lord.

Amen