Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Riots & racial divisions

Racial divisions & riots... Who knew this is just one more prophecy being fulfilled!?! 

Jesus said, "For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places." Matthew 24:7

Did you know in the original Greek language the word for "nation" is ἔθνος and is Pronunciation
eth'-nos!?! It means a race (as of the same habit)! Safe to say, this racial & cultural divide is NOT from Christ but rather stems from the world. 

"For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world." 1 John 2:16

With that said, these things cannot be joyful nor pleasing to the Father in Heaven but rather grievous! 

Galatians 6:8 tells us, "For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting."

Safe to say Jesus is once again 💯 accurate! Not only is His return closer than most care to admit BUT we are left with a choice here and now... Add to this worldly & unproductive activity or sow peace that only Christ can bring? We all bleed blood red... 

Hate and discord as well as envy and strife are all rotten fruits of satan and his destructive antics to steal our focus from Christ. 

May we be mindful of whose fruit we are producing and who will receive glory from it; and remember, "For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work." James 3:16

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Heaviness in the Heart

"Heaviness in the heart of man maketh it stoop: but a good word maketh it glad." Proverbs 12:25

To my surprise, I thought stoop meant to be brought low. In actuality it means so much more! It is to depress, that is, prostrate especially reflexively in homage to royalty or God:-- to bow self down, crouch, fall down flat, humbly beseech, do reverence, worship. (Strong's Concordance) Wow! 

So what is this "heaviness" that has such a profound impact? It is anxiety; fear, sorrow and carefulness. This could be any number of things we face in life, often a collection of situations or circumstances. 

We could all use a "good word" from time to time. What better encouragement can we share with another than Christ? There's none so uplifting which causes us to be full of joy, hope and peace than Him. 

Why? He knows exactly how we feel, every emotion in what we face, as well as the heaviness this life gives. Can we see that these things are to bring us to a heart of worship? A happy heart in adoration? They aren't to cause us long lasting toil and strain, but rather that we bring it to the Father's feet, praise Him and indulge in His presence where we find Him, His peace, rest, renewal and all we need to continue on. 

Such a simple phrase, yet it's meaning is so deep and rich! We need not be anxious or fearful, but rather: "Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6-7

Sunday, April 12, 2015

In the world but not of it- oil & water Jr. Church lesson

Today was so much fun in Jr.  Church! I love hands on lessons, it really helps open understanding (of course along with prayer 1st!) and  shows the reality of it! 

We used: a small container of oil, a mason jar of water and red dye. 

We had 3 passages today: 

1 John 2:15 - Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

Romans 12:2 - And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Matthew 5:14 - Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.

The water represents the world and the oil was representative of us, saved, redeemed & in Christ. The red dye was added to the water and represented the things in the world. 

It showed so many things! 
1- We know oil & water don't mix. Given we have Jesus, we are IN the world but not of it. We need to talk with our Heavenly Father daily and throughout the day as well as LISTEN to Him by reading His Word. This is how we are transformed into His likeness and are able to learn from the Holy Spirit!

2- When we do the things others without Jesus do, such as watch or listen to things (on TV, music, video games, etc.) that God doesn't approve of, do what we want instead of what we are told: being rebellious, throw fits (yes, even "grown ups" do this too), if we are unkind or selfish, we LOOK NO DIFFERENT from those without Jesus. 

3- when the oil and water are mixed, we held it up to the sunshine through the window (I was missing a flashlight). The sunlight didn't shine through as bright, barely visible at all! When we act this way and blend in with the world, others around us cannot see our Jesus in or through us. 

After several seconds went by, it began to separate again. After we fall and sin against God, as well as those we've wronged, IF we turn to Him with a repentant heart and ask for His forgiveness, He will wash away our sin and His Light shines through us again. 

After all, Jesus said "Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid." Matthew 5:14

If we look and act no different from the world, others will reject our Jesus. Oh but when He is seen, heard and felt through us, others are drawn to Him! It's His love through us that He uses to draw hearts, minds and lives unto Himself! Shine Jesus shine! 

The kids did a great job participating, asking & answering questions. Please pray for these today that the Lord will remind them of these things as they need it and can see it in their everyday lives. 

Friday, April 10, 2015

The rod and reproof

"The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame. Correct thy son, and he shall give thee rest; yea, he shall give delight unto thy soul." Proverbs 29:15,17

A common misunderstanding when the term "rod" is used is that it's a beating stick. Though it is figuratively a stick, it is not necessary or recommend to be used to whoop on or beat anyone. 

When shepherds used their rod or walking stick; its primary use was in guiding the sheep. Correcting them, as in keeping them together, guiding them with the fold. 

Just think if Father God beat us with His rod, there would be no evidence of His love. So, just as He corrects, guides and deals with us, His children; we are to guide and correct our children in a similar way. In action, with words, by example with persistence, diligence and always with love, care and concern consistently. 

We are not born knowing the right way to go or live in a manner that's pleasing to the Father. These things are learned by trial and error as well as heeding and gaining wisdom from our elders. 

Do we realize how much love it takes to raise a child, especially in teaching them the honoring ways of the Lord? Do we see the importance of our own example they see on a regular basis?