Posts Tagged ‘Holy Spirit’

waterfireChristians can know we have a protection in this world and it is a truth that many do not comprehend.  It is always available to the saved.  We have heard and read these stories most our lives yet we fail to claim the promises.

Daniel tells of the 3 Hebrew children that were put into the heated furnace. To survive the fire was totally impossible, and yet they felt no heat or flame while inside. This is an astounding miracle for our feeble mind to embrace!

Isaiah 43:2 kjv When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.

Some promises we can claim!

̶ Jesus keeps a constant vigil over us.
̶ His attention on us is very deliberate and we can find a strength we did not know was even available.
̶ He covers us and puts an enclosure around us.
̶ We have His protection against the deceitful attacks that are brought against us.
̶ His Grace surrounds our very soul and gives us protection.

In this world we encounter much difficulty but His Spirit controls the effects of the tribulation we face. We travel through intense times when our faith seems to make no sense.

When our faith is weakened ̶ His Grace surrounding us becomes strengthened.

It is as though God is saying to us, “Here are waters, and you must pass through them, the waters are on the road you must pass. The rivers have no bridge over them so you must go through the river. But, I will not let you pass through the waters alone because you would drown. I will go with you and will keep them from overflowing around you. While passing through them I will protect you.” Wow, what a security for the believer!

We can rest on the faithfulness of an unchanging God. It is upon that strong foundation I find rest.

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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.

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

I have decided there will always be someone who is prettier than me. There will always be someone with a bigger house, more friends, better clothes, a better job, and more money than me. There are some that seem to value success on the wealth of a person, judge their value on their looks or the success on their accomplishments.

I was never really interested in trying to be better than another in outward appearance but I see more and more that it is important to some. What I do see is when we fix our eyes on those qualities it makes our relationships with others turn into power struggles. I have seen some that have spent so many fruitless days wanting or trying to measure up to someone else.

Coming from my background, I spent my life never being smart enough, never being beautiful enough, never being the one family or friends wanted, never having my worth defined by wealth, status, or success. But according to what I read in the Scripture it is very clear what is valuable to God. He isn’t mentioning the words like success, wealth, clothes, or jobs but clearly it says what the Spirit will produce in one’s life and heart, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance:…”Galatians 5:22-23  And these things are available to everyone. That is the part I love about God. He offers it to everyone!

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i loveWhen reading the list I am thinking, OK, this must be a joke!  Right?  …And why did they just name Republicans and not Democrats? Usually easy for most of us to say because we know that is what we are suppose to say. Moderately easy to believe but so very difficult to actually practice…Without Him! We do not even have the ability to love to this degree on our own. We can not create it on our own.

Only His undiscriminating love that causes the sun to rise on the good and the evil is the only One that can produce this kind of love. All He has asked of us is to release our hearts to Him. We are still caught up in our eye for an eye thought that totally releasing our heart to the love that Jesus wants us to have for others is a so foreign to most.

He wants us to love like HE loves. Christ loved me first – end of story!  (I have a lot of work to do on this subject!)

Matt. 5:43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.44 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;45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

lovecoversThroughout the scripture nakedness is consistently a dishonor. It comes connected to the idea of being open or exposed to the sight of everyone else. It also bears the belief of sin.

Nakedness is often referred to as a vulnerability. Our vulnerabilities or nakedness is there for all to observe. It is unethical for Christians to cover up or adopt a “code of silence” if your church leader or a person in leadership is involved with organized crime conspiracy or even some suspected invisible satanic ring?  Nor can we have toleration of immorality. That would be ridiculous.

Then we have things in our life that are not gross negligence sins but things that we may need help or guidance with.  While there are some people that want to dig their heels in and expose anything they can of others – that isn’t what Christ did. When Jesus was on earth, He spent so much time eating with sinners that the religious leaders accused Him of being a sinner. Instead of criticizing those who had problems Christ chose to help them.  He loved them, taught them, encouraged them, and built relationships with them.

How much more effective we would be if we adopted an attitude like Christ and do what we can to protect and shield when others are trying to expose. We would be considered a true Godly friend. True Godly friends cover-up others vulnerability to protect  but they are doing so in love and blessing.  Mature believers will step forward and guard the exposed areas from others. They will refuse to judge and will prohibit others from pointing out the failures. They will stand in the gap, defending, protecting and covering the nakedness.

prideBefore criticizing  others about ‘their’ sin we must make sure that our spirit isn’t haughty.  Repeatedly, the scripture warns of pride precipitating a fall.

 

bare

We always need to be very aware of our own nakedness (weaknesses) before approaching the throne of God!  Exodus 20:26 “Neither shalt thou go up by steps unto mine altar, that thy nakedness be not discovered thereon.”

fightingOne of the sad spiritual conditions to the Christian believer is “fault finding.” For some reason it seems to me that many have a strong tendency to pass judgement on people. Perhaps we feel this is our duty as a “Christian” or maybe even God has “burdened our heart” to help someone grow in their spiritual life.

There is a sense of their own righteousness or holiness and it should be considered. Too many times they believe they have fallen into a sense of entitlement because they have been in church all their life.  They believe they are the one that is right and it is their job to point out the error of your way. They are the one that has analyzed your actions correctly based on the their view and at this time you have been put under the label of a ‘evil sinner.’

Have we as Christians lost the feeling of joy when we realized that we were unconditionally loved and accepted by a loving Savior?  Have some in our spiritual family lost their sense of brokenness and emptiness?  Do we no longer feel the deep need for God because we have now reached a plateau of holiness?. We are not going to reach each other or the world by placing guilt or shame on others when “WE” think they messed up!

We can only reach the world by loving and serving in joy and peace! That is what Christ did.

love

Now to quote what I have heard my husband say so often, “We often hear it said, It was love and not nails that held Jesus on cross, and it was! How about we use love and not nails to bring others to the Cross of Calvary.”

16 And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read. 17 And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written, 18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, 19 To preach the acceptable year of the Lord. 20 And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him. 21 And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears. Luke 4:16-21

What a passage for Jesus to read as He began His public ministry! Reading from Isaiah 61:1-11, His gracious words were so different from what the people heard from the religious rulers of their day. Most people  I know, with very few exceptions, have a past they would rather not re-live. Haunting memories cloud our minds. We feel broken, imprisoned by our previous experiences. It doesn’t matter if these wounds were self -inflicted by our own sin or by someone else’s. The result is still the same.  Noone is excluded from the blessings of knowing Christ as Savior.

Jesus, in His sweet, compassionate voice calls to each one of us, offering us:

Wholeness for brokenness (Isaiah 53:4-5)

Liberty for bondage (Romans 8:1-2; John 8:31-36)

Light for darkness (John 1:4-5; John 8:12)

Joy for mourning (Psalm 30:11-12; 1 Peter 1:3-9)

A spirit of praise for despair (Ps. 40:1-3; 2 Corinthians 4:16-18)

Belonging for rejection (1 John 3:1; Galatians 4:6-7)

Righteousness for injustice (Isa. 26:1-8; Isa. 30:18-19)

In Him the disgraced find newness of life. The abandoned are taken under the shelter of His wings. Hope is restored. What a Savior!

Blessings! ~Kelly (more…)

“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

 

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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