Easter

 

Image result for family friendly pictures of people eating togetherphoto from https://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.eatingtogether.com%2FImages%2FABOUT.jpg&imgrefurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.eatingtogether.com%2FAbout.aspx&docid=1k9lLoAiFwYlRM&tbnid=fdCCcxVQdqKdUM%3A&vet=10ahUKEwjdxNKZ267aAhUq1oMKHXkGCAcQMwh-KDowOg..i&w=540&h=360&bih=637&biw=1366&q=family%20friendly%20pictures%20of%20people%20eating%20together&ved=0ahUKEwjdxNKZ267aAhUq1oMKHXkGCAcQMwh-KDowOg&iact=mrc&uact=8

 

A month ago, after dinner, a devotional on the cross and Resurrection taught by a lady brought tears to her eyes. “I never get tired of hearing of Jesus’ sacrifice and all He went through-the awful beatings, His beard plucked from His face and ultimately, one of the cruelest forms of execution. He took the punishment for my sins and multitudes of others, some of whom end up rejecting Him.”

 

Tonight, we attended the dinner in a different locale and it was my turn to present the devotional. I left my statements and Scripture references early with an open-ended question because the ages of the Christians vary and their years in the faith vary. To say they are mature Christians would be an accurate statement. Completely perfect, impossible. Only Jesus is perfect, back when He walked the earth and now, alive in heaven. They are a group of believers that try to keep their eyes on Jesus and they repent when they mess up, but they sincerely try to follow God’s commands.

 

My text was James 1:5 and then James 1:6-8. God promises us wisdom from Him if we ask with faith. Then I went to James 3:13-18 which tells us in the ASV, (which I downloaded from e-Sword.net):

Wisdom from Above 

Jas 3:13  Who is wise and understanding among you? let him show by his good life his works in meekness of wisdom.

Jas 3:14  But if ye have bitter jealousy and faction in your heart, glory not and lie not against the truth.

Jas 3:15  This wisdom is not a wisdom that cometh down from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish.

Jas 3:16  For where jealousy and faction are, there is confusion and every vile deed.

Jas 3:17  But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without variance, without hypocrisy.

Jas 3:18  And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace for them that make peace.

 

Even when God tells me I’ve done something wrong, the idea may be firm but it’s not condemning, nasty, and/or contradictory to Scripture.

 

So, when I ask God questions like, “Father, what should I do in this situation? Is anything hindering Your will?”

 

I can expect Him to give me the wisdom I’m seeking. In the past, when I needed answers, I’ve asked God what something meant and then I’d hear teachings from pastors or teachers on Christian radio. Sometimes, I’d sense a Scripture pop into my brain and there would be the answer.

Other times, I’d ask my husband or if we were at a different church sitting under a pastor, I’d ask the pastor. God always showed me what I needed to know.

 

What about you?

 

One of the ladies said that she hears from God when she spends quiet time reading the Word and praying and listening for Him and often times it’s such a silent little nudge in her thinking that is outside of her normal way but well within the precepts of Scripture. Once she felt she should share of her bounty with a fellow-believer, but she wanted to be sure and so she prayed for six weeks. She kept sensing the same direction, give to your friend. When she gave her the money she offered an apology for waiting so long. The friend said the income came at just the right time. Our associate said, “Isn’t that just like God? He knew it would take me six weeks to get to the place of obedience, so He started trying to get through six weeks before the need arose. He knew when she would need it. He knew how long it would take me to act. He is incredible and He is gracious.”

 

Many participated, although some did not. One person said he mostly gets what God wants Him to do by reading the Word and as he sees a need before him, he’ll help if he has the means and he’ll pray that he errs on the side of grace. There are times when he doesn’t give because he can tell the person is totally scamming him and is capable of working but chooses not to. Then he spoke about people losing the fear of the Lord, how God is a just Judge, but not completely forgiving and kind and willing to slip-slide around when it comes to His commands. That brought up more discussion. God does forgive when someone truly is sorry and truly starts to turn from their sin. He knows our hearts, our thoughts, every intent, every word we’re about to speak.

 

That’s why He tells us in Proverbs 21:23, (NKJV), “Whoever guards his mouth and tongue Keeps his soul from troubles.”

 

That’s a good word for me.

 

May God bless you.

Grandma, Are You Awake?

 

Sometimes my grandchildren stay overnight when they’re here to visit. I make pancakes for them in the morning with New Hope Mills buttermilk pancake mix. We like it. Sometimes the oldest will start chattering away. I’ll tell him, “Not right now, I’m not awake.” 🙂

He peers closely at me. I’m mixing water and pancake powder into a bowl. Afterwards, I’m walking around the kitchen. Tentatively, he says, “Grandma.”

I sigh. “What sweetheart?”

“You look awake.”

I wish I could say I smile at him, but alas, there is no smile that early in the day when I stayed up late the night before, even when I know they’re up and about at six or seven a.m. I remain civil but mostly mute for probably half an hour.

I try to read my Bible first thing in the morning, but that suffers also, if it’s too early because my brain is sluggish some days. Although today I began my Life Plan from Michael Hyatt’s and Daniel Harkavy’s book, which I’ve blogged about before. So, I rose around 7:30 surprisingly alert. With appointments shortly after arising, I didn’t get to read the Word until this afternoon.

I read 2 Chronicles 11:22, 23 and couldn’t help but laugh. The king wanted to avoid strife between his sons, so he sent some of them to different cities, gave them an abundance of food and many wives. God said the king showed wisdom in this.

The content men, busy with their lives didn’t look outside their borders to war for the kingdom.

On a serious note, reading in 2 Chronicles about the kings of Israel, when they sought God to know Him better and to worship Him, He blessed them in many ways. When they decided to marry outside of their faith and worshipped the Baal’s and set up an abominable Asherah, He removed his favor from them.

When they put their children through the fire to appease these false gods, He got seriously ticked.

America has murdered over 60 million babies through abortion. Jonathan Cahn, a Messianic Jewish rabbi I listened to said, “America sacrificed these children to the god of self.”

“Oh, Lord help us.”

Jonathan Cahn feels we’re at a crossroads.

I’m paraphrasing what he said based on the fact that the Old Testament is an example for us to learn from according to 2Peter 2:6, (ISV):  and if he condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah and destroyed them by burning them to ashes, making them an example to ungodly people of what is going to happen to them;

2Pe 2:7  and if he rescued Lot, a righteous man who was greatly distressed by the immoral conduct of lawless people—

2Pe 2:8  for as long as that righteous man lived among them, day after day he was being tortured in his righteous soul by what he saw and heard in their lawless actions—

2Pe 2:9  then the Lord knows how to rescue godly people from their trials and to hold unrighteous people for punishment on the day of judgment,

Here’s my paraphrase of Jonathan Cahn’s remarks: If we continue with pagan philosophies, we will continue to experience the wrath of God in a greater measure.

Or, Christians can repent, turn form their wicked ways, pray for our land, obey God and hopefully we’ll see revival. Otherwise, our country will face what Israel faced so many times: hardships, severe weather, famines, and wars. Sometimes they lost their country to foreign powers and their brightest and best became slaves to the conquering nation.

The book of Daniel tells of Babylon’s victory over Israel and of the young men made to serve King Nebuchadnezzar as eunuchs many miles from home and family.

As a grandma, I don’t want to see my country taken over by a foreign land more for the sake of my children and their children than for myself. I take comfort in the fact that God is in control. Daniel faced trials in Babylon, but God watched over him and allowed him to rise in the political ranks so he helped the Babylonians. In return, King Cyrus helped the Israelites to return to their promised land, many years later.

God has a plan for Israel; God has a plan for America. This is what God spoke in Jeremiah 29:10, (ISV):  “For this is what the LORD says: ‘When Babylon’s seventy years are completed, I’ll take note of you and will fulfill my good promises to you by bringing you back to this place.

Jer 29:11  For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans for well-being, and not for calamity, in order to give you a future and a hope.

Jer 29:12  When you call out to me and come and pray to me, I’ll hear you.

Jer 29:13  You will seek me and find me when you search for me with all your heart.

Jer 29:14  I’ll be found by you,’ declares the LORD, ‘and I’ll restore your security and gather you from all the nations and all the places to which I’ve driven you,’ declares the LORD. ‘I’ll bring you back to the place from which I sent you into exile.’

A lady from our church felt God was asking that we put this Scripture on our sign, so we did for a time: 2Chronicles_7:14, (KJV):  If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

I believe God is awakening people to His reality. I’ve been lulled to sleep by good food, a good husband and entertainment. I need my grandchildren to say, “Grandma, are you awake?”

May God bless you.