Remember Who You Are

Our Wednesday morning Bible study had a lady attending who belonged to another church. She used to be a member at our church many years ago and then left. Part of her heart is still with us, so she attended Wednesday mornings for years. This year near the end of the year she backed out because her sister got a life threatening disease and she’s spending more time with her. I miss her because she’s a likable person and she added to the group.

Unfortunately, as Christians we may be well aware of our sins and shortcomings and spend more time on them than God may want us to. In the psalms, we are told that God loves us and forgives us.

Psalm 103:11, (ESV):  For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;

Psa 103:12  as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us.

Psa 103:13  As a father shows compassion to his children, so the LORD shows compassion to those who fear him.

Once we truly repent, He does not expect us to continually beat ourselves up. He expects us to love ourselves in a healthy way, not a narcissistic way. These verses show God’s high regard for us loving Him and loving ourselves and loving others.

Mark 12:28, (ESV)  And one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, asked him, “Which commandment is the most important of all?”

Mar 12:29  Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.

Mar 12:30  And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’

Mar 12:31  The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”

Mar 12:32  And the scribe said to him, “You are right, Teacher. You have truly said that he is one, and there is no other besides him.

Mar 12:33  And to love him with all the heart and with all the understanding and with all the strength, and to love one’s neighbor as oneself, is much more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.”

Mar 12:34  And when Jesus saw that he answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” And after that no one dared to ask him any more questions.

So, as I was saying, this lady attended our group and if we got down on ourselves, she would nicely tell us to remember who we are in Christ. We are forgiven. God calls us righteous in His sight because of the shed blood of Jesus for our sins. He took on the payment of our sins so when we stand before God at judgment day, we can claim that Jesus covered our debt or He wiped our slate clean so there’s no mark against us.

We must continue to seek God, despite distractions, despite our flesh crying out for entertainment or more money or whatever it is that keeps us from opening the Word of God. Thursday and today I intended to read the Word early in the day. Today it was almost one thirty in the afternoon. I’d done laundry, finished a writer’s magazine, did dishes, got myself ready for the day, called people, etc. My husband and I needed to be somewhere around four and I had to prepare some things before getting there. Plus, I needed to go to the store.

I made myself sit down and focus on the Lord. I remember doing that when the children were little. Putting all else aside for a short period of time and concentrating on the Lord. I told them to behave and to be quiet while I spent time with God and they did. When I don’t give time to the Lord the cares of this world press down on me, I feel lonely inside, I may become fearful over things. All those things are alleviated by spending time in God’s Word.

Hebrews 4:12, (ESV)  For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

Heb 4:13  And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.

Heb 4:14  Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.

Heb 4:15  For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.

Heb 4:16  Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

When the lady at Bible study reminds us that we belong to God by our own choosing, and that He makes us righteous, it always brings a smile to my face and to the others. She hasn’t had to say it a lot, but more than once.

We’re praying for her sister to recover and be perfectly whole.

May God bless you and yours.

Direction

Product Details

I’ve been reading a book by T. Davis Bunn, now writing as Davis Bunn, called Promises to Keep. Bethany House Publishers published it in 1991 and T. Davis Bunn copyrighted it in 1991. I read it before, but I wanted to read it again. I’m learning about politics and lobbyists and the way laws come into being or bills are buried so they disappear. I didn’t see this the last time I read the book because there was so much to the story. It covers some uncomfortable issues. It makes me aware that I don’t know what the laws are that this fictionalized tale speaks of. The author leaves footnotes to tell of actual testimonies and persuasive arguments.

This book emphasizes the power of prayer. I received a newsletter from an evangelist who came to our church a few times. He asked that his readers would please pray; that God is in control of the elections and of our country and of our world. Both he and T. Davis Bunn remind their readers that what might seem impossible is not impossible to God.

Luke 18:27, (ESV) quotes Jesus here:  But he said, “What is impossible with man is possible with God.”

In this instance He is speaking of how hard it is for a rich person to come to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, in other words, to be saved.

Also, in Luke 1:37, (ESV) says: “For nothing will be impossible with God.”

In this particular conversation, Mary, the mother of Jesus is being told that her elderly aunt, Elizabeth is pregnant. Then the information that nothing will be impossible with God is declared.

I take great comfort in God’s Word. He is all powerful and He is in control. Nothing is impossible to Him, even though He allows things to happen that break His heart because He gives mankind free will. Yet, I recall many times over my life getting a small nudging to turn this way or don’t eat that, because God was trying to direct my paths so I’d avoid injury.

Once was early on in my walk with God. I kept having insistent thoughts to turn down a particular street or to try and sell a school fundraising item to a family on another side street. I would rationalize the ideas away. Why would I turn here, it’s out of my way?

I don’t want to bother that family; they’re putting their groceries away, I decided. So, I headed the straightest route home with my elementary-aged daughter and encountered a fierce dog. I froze while she flapped her arms around and said, “Mommy, look, a dog.”

I couldn’t even speak. The dog bit her and I developed a strong fear of dogs. I then understood why I kept having these promptings to go another way. Thankfully, it just bit once and the owners came running out of their garage to whisk it away. I learned a lesson that day. If I sense God leading me in a way that’s a little out of the ordinary, I just take it, most of the time. I’m still learning.

I’m praying about the next big project God wants me to write. “Please direct me, I pray in Jesus’ name.”

May God bless you.

Will American’s Say, “My God, Why Have You Forsaken Me?”

On an earlier day,as I listened to the news, I prayed for my countrymen. Baltimore citizens were plundering their neighbors and setting fires.

Americans may well say, “My God, my God,why hast Thou forsaken me?” as Jesus did at the crucifixion, Matthew 27:46.

God turned from Jesus on the cross, the only time the two were separated, because Jesus took all of mankind’s sin on Himself: Hebrews 9:28a. He became sin, Who knew no sin: 2 Corinthians 5: 21. He took our punishment to satisfy God’s justice. 1 Corinthians 6: 11 (NASB) says about believers that were saved from their sins, “And such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and in the Spirit of our God.”

God hates sin. He is holy and pure.

America’s policy of freedom of religion opened our gates to many religions, many gods. Our military allows Wiccans a place to worship. God says witchcraft is rebellion against Him.

Right now in the United States, the Supreme Court is debating on whether homosexual marriages will be allowed and accepted in every state -regardless of the state’s laws against it.

God said homosexuality is an abomination: Leviticus 18: 22, Leviticus 20: 13. He hates all sin, and forgives all sin except the one unpardonable sin, which is blaspheming the Holy Spirit.

Homosexuality is in direct conflict with the family unit which God designed as the basis for society. When homosexuality becomes acceptable to the government and the masses, God reacts: as happened in Sodom and Gomorrah in the Bible, and Mount Vesuvius erupting over the city of Pompeii in 79 A.D., both noted for excessively sinful lifestyles.

He pulls back His hand of protection over the country that rejects His laws – the Ten Commandments.

America not only watches television shows with homosexual and adulterous lifestyles portrayed as normal living, but has allowed grammar school children to hear teachings on accepting homosexuality.

In addition, America has killed over 53 million pre-born babies. One of the Ten Commandments is, “Do not murder.”

In the Old Testament of the Bible, God constantly wooed His people, but many times they preferred to follow other gods that allowed multiple sexual partners, the burning of babies in fire as sacrifices to appease those gods, gluttony, worship of material items, the love of money, the love of pleasure, many things contrary to the Judeo-Christian’s God’s commands.

He said to love Him first and foremost, and to love others as you love yourself in         Matt. 7: 12.

He promises heaven as a reward for relationship with Him. If we repent of our sin and obey God, Jesus said it would show our love for the One True God – One God made up of three persons – Father, Son and Holy Spirit – a great mystery.

Jesus, the Messiah will come again, but this time He will be coming as a lion from the tribe of Judah – filled with wrath for the tremendous amount of sin on this earth.

How I pray for my unsaved loved ones! Hell is said to be a place of eternal torment, never ending gnashing of teeth, made for the devil – not for people.

God continually loves on all people and sends the gospel message: Jesus took our sins on Himself to pay the fine so we could freely enter God’s presence and His rest.

God asks us to believe in Jesus, God the Son, and repent of sin. Then, after we die, we get invited to enter heaven. If we love God, we’ll want to obey Him.

This world would be radically changed if every person loved every other person and did unto them what he/she wanted done unto themselves.

Talk about paradise, if everyone wanted the love of God and quaked with fear at the thought of God forsaking them. God made us to love us, but He gave us free will….

Are You in a Rut?

I have been writing a paper for a lady for a week or so who advocates for brain-diseased individuals. This is new for her, hiring a writer so she can communicate her quest for help in a clearer way.

It’s at times like this that I have to pray not to get too caught up in her story so I can keep my equilibrium in life. For a time, I stopped watching the news on television because I was getting depressed. Now, I tune into the news on occasion to keep up with things, but I don’t live there. It does give me people and situations to pray for, that’s for sure.

I love writing for people most of the time. It’s a learning curve into someone else’s passion, into a subject area I might not have chosen on my own. Oftentimes, I know something about it and/or have experienced what they want to express to others. Have you ever learned about something you never dreamed you would absolutely love, once you tried it? Motorcycling grabbed the attention of someone I love. When they finally came to a place where they could buy one and learn to ride it, they dealt with the fear of possibly getting injured. Once they got past that, they went for their life-long dream. The reality became better than the anticipation.

That same person told me that the Bible said, 365 times, in various ways, “Do not fear.”

That’s a helpful antidote to staying in a rut. Putting the fear behind, reaching forward to a new hobby or job or relationship within God’s boundaries gives life fullness and freshness and tools to bless others, if you so choose to.

Pondering Cancer Treatments and Perfect Peace

Do you ever ponder? Sometimes I wonder if what I think about is something God wants me to be prepared for. Or because He knows what I’m thinking, does He then allow it? Even thought He’s outside of time and knows the beginning from the end.

In my naiveté and my intense longing for people to come to faith in and allegiance to Christ, I pictured myself in a situation. I, along with others, were in a waiting room. We had cancer. I witnessed to my fellow chemo-therapy patients about the joy of being a child of God. It felt right. I smiled.

Of course, there was no reality of fear of the diagnosis or the pain of the procedure. Having participated in the Hallelujah Acres or Hacres.com recommended lifestyle, I don’t even believe in chemo-therapy or radiation. I’m convinced of healthy eating habits and exercise to put anti-oxidants in my bloodstream and to reduce stress. I also believe in the Bible. One verse says, “You are not your own, you were bought with a price.”

Which means Jesus has called me to sacrifice myself for the well-being of others. This thinking is all well and good until you go to the dermatologist for a standard appointment. When  “By the way, will you check out this small irritation on my shoulder?” turns into an immediate biopsy, (which my doctor has never done), and then a diagnosis of a rapid growing skin cancer, I’m no longer philosophizing about the dreaded disease.

Did I do as I think Reverend George Malkmus of Hallelujah Acres would do and not get the offending site surgically removed? No. I went to the general surgeon a week ago and had him cut away the bad with the hopes that he reached all healthy tissue. I’ll find out the results and the prognosis tomorrow. I have 2 1/4 inches of Frankenstein-like stitches on my left shoulder, black thread to be removed tomorrow. As a Star Trek fan, I can’t help thinking it’s a barbaric way to treat the body.

So I sat on a wooden chair, bar stool height and played guitar for church services two times today, balancing the instrument on my legs.

I asked  my husband to go to the doctors’ tomorrow in case they want to remove more of my shoulder or if they suggest treatment. I want his support. I’ve prayed for healing and received others’ prayers for healing. I’m also very aware that this planet is not my home and heaven promises to be far better.

I believe God healed me. Maybe He’s testing me, “Do you intend to act on these thoughts of yours to witness to patients in the same situation as you are in?”

Frankly, I’d rather act on less painful scenarios that play their way through my mind.

I trust God. He’s answered way too many prayers and given me a deep abiding peace in the midst of struggles, to doubt His loving intervention in my life.