Sunday, September 29, 2013

Fizzy Faith!

Fizzy Faith... Does your faith have that Jesus fizz?

Today in Jr church I gave the kids a hands on visual comparison of our lives before Christ & the changes He makes when we allow Him in. 

Using our 5 senses we compared a small bottle of water (represents without Christ) and a small bottle of Sprite (life with Christ)... The kids were great and could see the differences right away! One of the first things they noticed was the bubbles in the sprite! When the sunlight hit it, it sparkled! Something the water lacked!

Then I shook both bottles & asked the kids what would happen next... They all shouted the pop will EXPLODE! Haha! I explained to them see, when we are filled with God's Holy Spirit, He makes the biggest difference in our lives from the INSIDE and He allows these changes to be seen & felt by those around us! Just like the effects of shaking pop, His goodness & love overflows from our hearts to others too! 

Then, I took the cap off and asked them if they knew what it represented? They looked puzzled! Haha! I asked them, what happens if pop is left open overnight? They described how nasty & flat it is... RIGHT, I tell them, it looses it's fizz & taste!!! See, the cap represents us staying under God's covering! That is His protection. If we choose to go outside Him, we loose our joy, peace & love that comes from Him living inside our hearts!

"Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." 2 Corinthians 5:17

Moral of the story:

By accepting Jesus in our hearts & allowing His Holy Spirit to live within us, He makes the difference in our lives and the lives of those around us! 

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Battles so Fierce

Have you ever fought a battle so fierce;
That it felt like every fiber was pierced?
All you wanna do is just run and hide;
But instead you turn to God and confide!
It's there you find peace;
Humbled, remorseful, laid down on your knees. 
You don't have to fight the demons alone;
Christ declared victory & now sits on the Throne!
These battles will come and these battles will go;
Just know whatever you face, in Him, you're not alone. 
He restores strength and grants healing too.
Every fiber deep pained, every thought that rushes through 
Lay 'em down and let His hand comfort you. 
May you find peace at His feet and see His beauty so sweet! 
Remember all the things Jesus went through and know;
He did it for you!
He knows, He sees and He fought these same battles too. 
Trust Him to see you through. 

Monday, September 23, 2013

Deodorize the Day

This morning while getting dressed & ready for the day I applied deodorant! Whoooo hoooo, right! I always converse with my Heavenly Father, even in the little routine things. I asked Him, "Lord, there must be more to this as simple as it is. Without deodorant our bodies put off a stench most would rather not smell, but this covering grants a sweet aroma." 

Here's His reply to me... It's so cool! He said, "Most people think of my Word as food or spiritual substance, but many lack understanding to My protection through it; it is also My covering." Then as I get in His Word, He spoke this: "And I have put my words in thy mouth, and I have covered thee in the shadow of mine hand, that I may plant the heavens, and lay the foundations of the earth, and say...Thou art my people." Isaiah 51:16

Those of us IN Him are covered by His Word! Remember John 1:1 says, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." We are under His covering! The blood of Jesus covers our sins, no longer harboring the world's stench. We have His sweet smelling aroma of LIFE! It's His LOVE! 

With that said, have you put on your deodorant, that beautiful sweet spiritual covering of Christ? Have you applied His Word to your day? 

Just think, there are many who go days, weeks or months without praying or reading their Bibles... They're choosing not to stay under His covering! Now, imagine going these lengths of time without bathing & without deodorant! Sin has its stench all it's own. Over time, we may become immune to its foul smell but those who dare venture near us... Well, it's hands down detectable! Eeeewwww! 

So I ask again, have you applied God's Word to your day? Raise your hands if you're sure! \o/ 

Friday, September 20, 2013

Not Finished Yet

Have you ever started a project with much enthusiasm & excitement only to get midway and get distracted with something else? I sure have! Sometimes these projects are put in the back burner and never completed. Such as life, right? Sometimes we wonder if God is making any progress with us. Remember He's the Potter, we are the clay... Well, one thing we can count on is this: "For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained..." Ephesians 2:10 That which He's started, will be completed! "For he will finish the work..." Romans 9:28 

Next time you feel as though there's little if any change happening within; just remember who it is you belong to... He is faithful! 

"Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them. How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them!" Psalm 139:16-17

So, where we are imperfect, He sees perfection through His Son Jesus and where we fail to finish certain things, He never will give up on us! 

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Gone Astray?

This evening my kids and I stop at the grocery store to grab a couple things. Feeling quite adventurous, I allow my 3 year old son to walk rather than sit in the cart. Knowing what the outcome would be, I kept a close eye on him. Rowdy & excited he decides to run around. As most 3 year olds with freedom do. I call for him, but he continues his own direction. So do I. He doesn't know I can see him, but he can't see me and becomes hysterical! I call his name and he quiets a little. Yet he still didn't see me so continued. There were a few shoppers who looked at me like I was mean and if I would get him. Little did they care there was a deeper lesson for both of us. The more Jayden heard my voice the more he calmed down and could hear the direction to go. Once he saw me he ran as fast as he could with tears of relief. He didn't leave my side after that. 

Lets apply this spiritually... How often do we go our own ways, deliberately disobeying our Heavenly Father? Have you ever panicked thinking He wasn't near or had abandoned you? I have, even knowing He's always present! 

Jesus gave us this parable in Matthew 18:12-13 "How think ye? if a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and goeth into the mountains, and seeketh that which is gone astray? And if so be that he find it, verily I say unto you, he rejoiceth more of that sheep, than of the ninety and nine which went not astray." 

The shepherd is excited to see the lost sheep welcomed back into the fold, just as the father of the prodigal son. He rejoiced!!! 

Unfortunately, majority have to learn some things the hard way. Which makes me that much more grateful for my Abba Father's grace, love, mercy & forgiveness. At times we have to face chastening, but like any good parent, it's dealt in a measure of love! 

I didn't put my son back in the cart, but I tell you though he strayed a little, it wasn't nearly as far. Love truly does cover a multitude of sin!  

Monday, September 16, 2013

My friend Grace

Many years ago while doing nurse aide work I met a lady at the end of her days named Grace. She was quiet, sweet and different from the other residents. Day in and day out I would stop in her room to find her reading her tattered but cherished Bible. Everyday I would think to myself, how can anyone read the same thing over and over? After a few months of working with her and many others I took a 2nd shift instead of 1st, only to walk in her room and find she had passed. The nurse approached me and told me it was mine and a friend's job to prepare her body for the morgue that was coming. I was heartbroken. Plus I never had to deal with the "after death" aspect of my job. I've never seen such sweet peace on a face gone on as hers. We cared for her gingerly as her body was frail, even though she was no longer there. I think about this precious lady often in my own walk with Christ. She may never know the impact of her diligence, patience or peaceful presence. Now I know why she read as often as she did. Old, tired and worn she wanted to *know* the One she would spend eternity with. Let us not wait until the end of our days to know the Master. Today is a gift, tomorrow is not promised and I firmly believe there are no strangers in Heaven! People take note of how we live our lives, just as I did with my friend Grace. The trails we will leave on their hearts is often unknown but may the impressions build long standing inquiries as to "why" we do what we do with the peace & presence of Christ. Both Grace and the *grace* of God have forever changed my life!  

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Search the Scriptures

By Michelle James 

Do you know what you believe? Is it fully in tune with the Bible? If it does NOT line up with the Word of God... RUN RUN RUN RUN!!! How do you know it's 100% biblically sound? Is it because somebody told you so OR because you've searched the Scriptures?

The Gospel of Christ is simple, even understandable to children. "For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace..." 1 Corinthians 14:33

There is a flood of teachings based upon man, to satisfy man & made by man for man's glory and man's gain.. There is something out there to believe to fit whatever one desires, but IF it be not based on Christ & His infallible Word, it's a heap of "feel good" fables; which in the end leads to eternal destruction! "For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables." 2 Timothy 4:3-4

A perverted gospel is NO Gospel of Christ. "I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed." Galatians 1:6-9 Are we living to please men and self OR God!?

“Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.” 2 John 1:9

If you so choose to accept & follow these things you are without God, which in essence means, without hope unless you come to accept the full Biblical Gospel of Christ Jesus!

"Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world." 1 John 4:1 How do we "try" or test the spirits? "Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me." John 5:39 Be like the Berean! Paul said, "These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so." Acts 17:11 They didn't take man's word for it until they SEARCHED the Scriptures daily! Prayerful study is the ONLY way to know truth from error. My friends, this IS the difference between everlasting Life in Christ & eternal death; forever separated from the Love of God! 

Hosea 9:17 says, "My God will cast them away, because they did not hearken unto him..." How can we claim a God we do not seek, heed nor listen to? His Word IS Life... Whatever is it you believe, whoever it is you listen to, however they may try to lead, may you diligently & prayerfully search the Scriptures! 

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Sin Stinks

Sin stinks! 
It carries a stench of rot and decay... Yet, in God's infinite Love still reaches for the lost! 

He said, "I have spread out my hands all the day unto a rebellious people, which walketh in a way that was not good, after their own thoughts; A people that provoketh me to anger continually to my face... Which say, Stand by thyself, come not near to me; for I am holier than thou. These are a smoke in my nose, a fire that burneth all the day." Isaiah 65:2-3,5 Has your nose ever been burnt by smoke? It stings! Just think what we, in our humanness, must put our Heavenly Father through. Look what He has to say about rebellion & stubbornness: "For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry..." 1 Samuel 15:23 

Next time we dare think to choose our own way over the Lord's Will, remember this: "There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death." Proverbs 14:12

Though we are ALL born bearing a sin stench, The Lord's grace is the fragrance of life; a sweet savor in His nostrils! "Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord." Romans 5:20-21 "For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish: To the one we are the savour of death unto death; and to the other the savour of life unto life. And who is sufficient for these things? 2 Corinthians 5:20-21

To what is the fragrance you carry? That of Life, Love, Mercy, Grace & Forgiveness in Christ OR the stench of self loath, rebellious & stubborn against the Living God?