Posts Tagged ‘christianity’

copied from Simple Reminders

copied from Simple Reminders

The older I get the more I realize that I am just not comfortable in groups of people. It is just much simpler for me to stay home than to go to a social gathering. There are times I want to catch up with old friends and enjoy a cup of coffee and a dessert but I find it a daunting tasks to do so.  Most of the time I force myself to put it on my calendar because socializing is out of my comfort zone. Long after the event is over it isn’t important what I wore or how awkward I felt but that I made room for someone or something I enjoy.

I need to learn how to make time for people who need me by making time in my heart and in my home. Time is something we all have and yet everyone has a need for our time. For me to sit selfishly in my home because that is where I am comfortable, is not allowing the Holy Spirit to use me where I am needed.

I am reminded of this verse and He promises me that His presence is with me whether I am comfortable or not. John 14: 16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; 17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

Being sociable is almost always an inconvenience. Being with those who need us is not about my own comfort but it’s about making others feel safe and happy with where they are. Jesus made time for everyone, for all types of people—friends; whether rich or poor, people who betrayed Him, strangers and foreigners, the little ones, and so many more. Making time for others was a character of His ministry.

Jesus didn’t die on the cross for me to be comfortable but for me to be conformed to His image. Me being conformed to His image is me taking time to give to others…comfortable or not.

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love

Christ calls us to become His image- to reach out to a hurting world and bring His Spirit to that world.  We’ve had too many years of talking – it’s time to get  busy. Let’s pray for His leadership and direction so we can go out and live His love. The world needs you. The world needs HIM!

Mark 12:29-31 29 And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: 30 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. 31 And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.
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We as Christians are to reflect the heart of Christ, to love the way He loves.  If we do not love with the love of Christ then all we do is a hypocritical devotion, flowery language and our church attendance and such are just empty gestures. God did not want us to attend church on Sunday and turn our back to the pain in this world the rest of the time. He wants us to seek justice for the mentally ill, to protect the defenseless, to set captives free, to live a life of compassion and unselfishness.

Too often we stress on saying and believing the right things, that we turn a blind eye to our piousness and conceit. We have a lack of compassion for the hurting. We have become legalistic and satisfied with our devotion and our good works that we develop an attitude of superiority towards those we deem to be less righteous than ourselves.

Matt. 15:8 This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.

Is it any wonder too many of the world run from us?

We take pride in doing and saying all the right things, but we are absolutely lacking any joy, peace, gentleness, or any love. In the first century, people would exclaim, We tend to forget our real spiritual goal should be to live closer to God and have him form in us the character of the heart Christ. We, as Christians should die daily to our self and learn to love the way Christ loved. If we are truly filled with His Spirit it should be evident in our lives.

Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

Jesus told his disciples a very clear plan that others would recognize them. He didn’t say it was all this legalistic stuff, it is not your church attendance, how you tote your Bible BUT it is how you love!

John 13:34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. 35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

We are so full of dramatization even in our church services and our lives. We want God to be awe stricken with our fancy worship and slick tongued sermons. Why do we spend so much time talking about what we allegedly believe yet so little time living it. Why are we satisfied with following rituals yet neglecting our heart.

Why are we so content with our empty gestures?

I have been noticing more and more some disheartening actions among people who claim to follow Christ. We recite our Bible verses about turning the other cheek and not retaliating evil for evil and think we have it. When it comes to things that personally affect us or our family, we do away with the “turn the other cheek” and suddenly an “eye for an eye” becomes our theme.

There is a tendency in all of us to think having the “right” beliefs (religious, political, outlook, theory) or following a certain set of rules, gives us a free pass to act like a nitwit. Some will learn how to refrain and some will always force their jerk-face attitude on others.

Voting for certain candidates is not a justification for being offensive and saying derogatory things about political opponents. Obeying all the rules that we have set for our life does not give us a free pass to treat people harshly who do not agree with us. How we respond to people is how we respond to Jesus. “For I was an hungered and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.” Matt. 25:35-36

Our reality of, “I am right” is not an excuse to treat another person like garbage.

Regardless of what others may do to us, whether a minor offense like cutting us off in traffic or something major like, stabbing us in the back when we gave all we could to help them ―we do not treat them with love because their actions merit that we do ―We treat them with love because Christ told us to. And HE will reward us. Be assured God will not bless when purposeful actions are taken against His Children.

When we take into our hands to “get them back” then the scripture “Vengeance Is Mine….I will repay” may never come to fruition. God may say, ―You took care of it―  How much better do you think God could handle it than we ourselves? When God judges or chastises it is much more effective.

If accepting Christ does not transform our heart, our behavior, and our actions then it is time for self-examination. This life-changing effect should be evident most in how we react to those who disagree with us, are not of the same social or political status, or those who just blatantly wronged us. I cannot emphasize this enough.

Our flesh tells us to treat them the way they deserve by their actions but we are to treat people the way Christ treated us.

Jesus, who was innocent and perfect in every way, gave His life in place of all humanity that was guilty. When confronted with his executioners, He cried out “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” After all of horrendous actions that had been done to Him, He had every right to choose retaliation…

Our salvation is not based on our behavior or our obedience of all the rules. But our salvation should change our heart thus changing our behavior. We are saved because we trusted Christ and nothing we can do on our own will get us to Heaven. Simply trusting Him.

We can follow all the rules, attend church every time the doors are open, write books about salvation, or have all the colleges give us Honoree Doctorate degrees but if we treat others like jerks

Jesus said, “But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;” Matt. 5:4

In New York stands the Statue_of_liberty where inscribed on the base is this poem, ”The_New_Colossus”, written by the Jewish-American poet Emma_Lazarus in 1883.

…With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

—Emma Lazarus, 1883

“Give me your tired, your poor” reminds me of  Matt. 11:28. “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Or in Luke 6:20 & 24 “And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said, Blessed be ye poor: for yours is the kingdom of God.” and 6:24 “But woe unto you that are rich! for ye have received your consolation.”

forgiven

One of the songs I have always loved has been, The Cross is My Statue of Liberty! I choose to trust Jesus in these times. He has proven over and over that He alone is trustworthy. I will NOT be afraid because I know the end of the story.

~Jen

“Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and He shall bring it to pass.  And He shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday.  Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass.”    Psalm 37:5-7

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The older I get, the more the book of Job is a comfort to me.  Having lost so much within a short period of time, the righteous man could have easily taken his eyes off the Lord and focused on his loss.  Instead, he laid hold of his confidence in the Great Provider and exclaimed, “Though He slay me, yet will I hope in Him” (Job 13:15).

It’s so very important that our eyes are fixed on the Lord at all times.  If they aren’t, our circumstances will dictate our emotions.  When things go smoothly, we are happy.  When times are rough, we are frustrated.

It’s vital that we remember God’s promises.  Claiming them when disaster strikes keeps us steady.  Knowing God’s nature (from studying His Word) reassures us of His faithfulness, His love, His justice, His righteousness.

Let’s commit together to trust Him in all circumstances, to follow Him closely.  He will NEVER leave us, nor forsake us.  (Hebrews 13:5)

Many blessings!

~Kelly

 

Fanny J. Crosby, in telling the story of the writing of this song said that a few days before this incident, W.H. Doane had sent her a theme for a song entitled “Rescue the Perishing.” (more…)

1 John 4:4-6

In Scripture we see two times when satan tested the believer’s faith.  The first occasion is recorded in Job 1:6-12 and the second in Luke 22:31-34.  Job and Peter were satan’s targets.  While both men were triumphant, by God’s grace, in their testings, the most vulnerable areas of their lives were targeted.

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As refugees from the surrounding countries are coming here to begin a new life, my heart sinks as I see the hopelessness in their eyes. Women are laying their babies on the sidewalks to sleep while they wait for their turn to enter the building. The sun is hot, their clothes are tattered, they look hungry. The hopelessness in their brown eyes is heart-piercing.

My heart aches. I think to myself…”If I were rich, I wouldn’t buy myself anything. I don’t need anything. But oh, how I would love to have enough money to house and feed some of these families.” From the depths of my heart I pray the Lord will work in each one of their hearts to bring them to Himself if they don’t already know Him. That He would meet each one of their needs and show them that only He is God.

I think about their future life in America, Canada, or Germany. Will the people there accept them? Will there be enough government funding for them to have a chance? They will have to learn a new language. How can they concentrate? They have been displaced from their homeland. Many of their loved ones are still in that country. Their hearts are torn.

“Lord, as we meet with some of these dear people today, let us be Your hands and Your feet. Let them see You vividly, living in us. Help us to serve them beautifully, in Jesus’ Name. It’s only in You that true refuge can be found.”

~Kelly
1 Chron. 7:14

“Whoever touches you touches the apple of His eye.”  ~Zech. 2:8


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
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“God’s plans for your life far exceed the circumstances of your day.” ~Lou Giglio

Blessings on your new day!  ~Kelly