It Is Not Worth It!

I used to think this verse, “And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the Kingdom of God with one eye, rather than having two eyes, to be cast into hell fire” sounded so harsh (Mark 9:47). However, after years of observing the devastation of sin in people’s lives: destroyed marriages, relationships, families,health and all that sin leaves in its wake, I now feel that I can see the heart of Jesus in this verse. It seems to say, “sin is NOT WORTH IT; do whatever it takes to get it out of your life, nothing is too extreme in your pursuit of freedom from sin”. In His great love for us He wants to protect us from the destruction and devastation that sin brings. “For the wages of sin is death BUT the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23). Choose His gift of life. Abundant life is available for us as we choose Him and His way each day for He is the Way, the Truth and the Life (John 14:6). Let’s say YES to walking with Jesus and determine to partner with Him in eradicating sin from our lives so that we can walk in His fullness. He gives perfect peace, joy unspeakable and full of glory, a sound mind and so much more as we learn to renew our minds to line up with His truth, His way and His life. Don’t settle for what sin is offering you because it is only temporal and in the end can only bring death and separation from God. Have faith in the One who gave His life for you, that He can also empower and enable you to live and walk in victory over sin.

Scripture references: Matthew 5:29-30; Mark 9:43-48; Philippians 4:7; John 10:10, 14:27, 15:11, 17:13; 1 Peter 1:8; Romans 12:2, 15:13

Jesus is the one constant…

Tuesday night I had an amazing evening with my son Joshua at a Blues concert he took me to. We enjoyed a nice Bart ride out to San Francisco then chowed down on southern creole while taking in such incredible talent. I enjoyed every sound, every smell, every taste and especially that I was sharing it with my son. I felt so blessed and that everything was right in the world.

Wednesday night I sat in a church surrounded by people in despair, full of questions and broken hearted as we laid to rest my friend’s son. A 15 year old boy that must have felt that nothing was right in the world because he decided to take his own life.  In this night I listened to the sounds of tears and songs sang to try and somehow bring comfort to a mourning mother. People drank mountain dew and ate pecan pie because those were his favorites. We watched a slide show of years gone by of a sweet boy who will never again share an evening out with his mother.

How can I have such a perfect evening followed by such a heart wrenching evening? Unfortunately, this is the pattern of life. We have good days and we have bad days. One moment we feel happy and full of life then a cross word is spoken and in an instant sadness can engulf us. Sometimes we feel blessed other times we feel cursed. Life at times can feel like a roller coaster ride of ups and downs. We try and cling to those moments of happiness praying they will last forever but deep down knowing they always come to an end.

So, what do we do? We cling to the One who never changes. We cling to the One- Jesus Christ that in happiness, sadness, confusion, or pain can always bring peace and sustaining joy in the knowledge that He will cause all things to somehow work together for our good if we will put our trust in him. Happiness comes and goes but the joy of the Lord becomes our strength. He promises us peace that surpasses all understanding. In the good and bad, place your life in His hand knowing that He alone can sustain us and bring hope in the midst of a world that is so unpredictable.

 

Joy: is a state of mind and an orientation of the heart.

Our joy remains because our minds our stayed on Him and our hearts are full of His love.

Happy: feeling pleasure and enjoyment because of your life, situation, etc.

Happiness comes and goes as we experience the special pleasures of life and love.

Only through Jesus can we have joy through all of life’s ups and downs….He will sustain us.

Put your trust in Jesus for He loves you with an everlasting love that can heal, restore and renew.

Jesus is the one constant.

Are You Facing a Mountain?

Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. Ephesians 6:14-16

Within these verses God has given us the recipe for overcoming the mountainous situations that we will often face within our lives.

First of all, we must be committed to walk in the truth of God’s Word no matter what. This may require us to examine ourselves and to ask God to reveal any lies or untruths we are currently believing about our situation or ourselves. In our heart we must desire to believe only the truth and therefore speak only the truth.

Secondly, we must cover our hearts against the devices of the enemy. During difficult and challenging times we need to guard against emotional upheavals that harden our hearts and/or that allow hurt, fear, or disappointment to enter in and take up residence.

Thirdly, make sure you have the right shoes on to trample the enemy under your feet. We must know the Word of God for it is quick, and powerful.  “For you shall go out with joy, and be led out with peace; the mountains and the hills shall break forth into singing before you.” … (Isaiah 55:12). As we stay and walk in peace, trusting in our Heavenly Father, rejoicing in all things, even the mountains will sing!

Above all, Believe! Trust! Stand! Do as God instructs you to do through His word or by the leading of His Holy Spirit. Then you will be enabled to quench every fiery dart of the wicked one that is trying to keep you from crossing over your mountain.

Heavenly Father help us to apply the armor of God and its full implementation that we may be equipped to conquer every mountain that sets itself before us.

That One Moment

For some of us, at times it can be difficult to step out in faith to pray for a friend, co-worker, family member or even ourselves. This is often because in the past we have prayed for someone or something in faith and felt as if God did not hear us or at least He did not answer us. When we cry out to God in a situation, we are usually expecting Him to meet us right there, in that moment, to bring about a change that is visible and apparent to all. Unfortunately it may seem, more times than not, that nothing happens. The enemy likes to use these situations to cause us to doubt that God is still in the miracle working business and even causes us to doubt God’s goodness. I wish I knew why we do not always feel Him meet us right there in that moment as we cry out to Him for a miracle, a healing, an answer. However, I do know that God is always good, always there, and He does hear us and responds, just not always in a way we can understand. There is a whole realm of the spirit where things are happening all around us all the time, we just cannot see it, and that is where faith comes in. For the just shall live by faith. God says that He works all things together for the good of those who love Him. Therefore God is working in and through our lives to bring about a life of joy, peace and purpose as we rest in Him and trust in Him. We must be content to know that He sees the complete picture when we are only seeing what is in front of us. This walk of faith takes more than just believing, it takes trust and perseverance. I am sure of one thing: the more I step out in faith declaring healing, deliverance, wholeness over those I encounter who are in need, the more of those incredible moments I will experience when God does show up in that very moment to bring about the very thing I am asking for. Nothing can replace the joy of that moment His presence materializes. If I experience it one out of ten prayers or one in fifty or only one in a hundred I am going to continue praying for that one. That’s because if I don’t pray for the one in front of me, I will never have that one moment when the grace and power of God descends down and brings immediate change and/or transformation.

 Heavenly Father, I pray for an increase of those moments until those moments become my way of life.

Joy in the Journey

 Well, we broke the rules Thursday night and let a guy speak at our all women’s group. He did a wonderful job encouraging us to stay at the feet of Jesus to receive all that He has for us. Our heavenly Father wants to walk out our life experiences with us. Unfortunately, as our special guest shared from his own personal experiences, we can get a word or direction from God and then take off running on our own, trying to make it happen. This will always put us on the longer, more difficult route to our desired goal. if we reach it at all. I think that many people get burned out, side tracked or lost in their journey due to running with, perhaps the will of God, but not with the plan of God.  I have found in my own life, when I am patient and wait on the Lord for not only what to do, but how and when to do it, I find much joy and peace in the journey. The bible says that Jesus, although He was on a very important seemingly difficult task, had more joy than them all. I believe that when we are doing God’s will, God’s way, no matter how difficult or important the task is, it is supposed to be fun and joyful.  Let’s determine to have joy on our journey with God while discovering all of the exciting things He has for us to learn, share and accomplish with Him guiding our every step. This will definitely lead to a rewarding and joyful journey.