Friday, September 23, 2016

Trust in God

Psalm 62:1-2, "I wait quietly before God,for my victory comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress where I will never be shaken." (NLT)

I read these words at some point in my life. I am unsure of the source of the comment but this is the statement that the writer made. Each of us will face those moments in which our faith will either hold up or fold up. I dare say that many of us have seen those times in our lives. But it is during those times that we rely on the "Rock of our salvation." We realize that the truth of God is unshakeable so we are able to place our full confidence in the presence and promises of God. 

I would like for this passage of scripture to encourage you today. Our world is full of uncertainty but we can trust in the certainty of God. It is during the challenges of life that Satan chooses to interfere and interrupt our journey with Christ. But remember that the consistent and persistent development of our relationship with Christ will produce many wonderful benefits as you well know. Our faithfulness to God will provide Him opportunities to reveal His faithfulness in our lives. Blessings on your continued pursuit of the presence of God in your daily life. 

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Thoughts on Thursday

It has been a few days since I made a post on the blog. But I can tell you with all sincerity that my heart has been filled with moments of inspiration, guidance and direction from God. Normally I share on the blog early in the morning following my time of prayer. My early morning schedule this week was adjusted due to different things that took place early in the day. But I am here today  and I will take the opportunity to remind you of the goodness of God and His loving concern for each of us. 

A few days ago a friend of mine from Georgia shared this passage of scripture with me. The Word of God confirmed what I have been trying to share with people. People need to know that God loves them but they also need to know that God cares about the daily affairs of their lives. Zephaniah 3:17, "For the Lord your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.” (NLT)

This passage of scripture encouraged me to share the following words with some individual believers and today I feel led to share them with you. 

Each of us face those moments in which we need to be reminded of God's interest in our lives. God takes "delight" in us. He does that even though He knows our weaknesses, faults, failures, etc. But we must remember that He also sees the desire that we possess regarding the development of our relationship with Him. God's love calms down our fears. I believe He is referencing the fears that we recognize as a possibility in our future but also those daily moments in which we feel overwhelmed with concern, worry or fear. It appears that even God "sings songs over us." I realize that there are those moments that we sense an unique presence of God. Is it possible that God is singing over us during those moments? I don't have all of the answers but I do know that God cares for you and that God is aware of the challenges that we face on a daily basis!!

I encourage you to walk in the strength of the knowledge that God is aware of YOU and that HE ACTUALLY IS CONCERNED ABOUT YOUR WELL-BEING!

Friday, September 16, 2016

Friday's Expectations

Psalm 62:5-8, My soul, wait silently for God alone, For my expectation is from Him. He only is my rock and my salvation; He is my defense; I shall not be moved. In God is my salvation and my glory; The rock of my strength, And my refuge, is in God. Trust in Him at all times, you people; Pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us. Selah (NKJV)

You may have heard or read these words before today but I want to share them one more time; "It is Friday but Sunday is coming." The original quote was supposedly taken from a Pastor's message referencing the death of Jesus on Good Friday and His resurrection on Easter Sunday. I fully understand that this is not "Easter weekend" but I also understand that our "expectation" is not connected with a specific event or even a specific celebration. Our "expectation" is directly connected with our Risen Savior who operates in the arena of our daily lives. That truth reveals to me that I need to walk in a "spirit of expectation" moment by moment and not just on specific days of the week. I am expecting something good to happen today and I am expecting something good to happen on Sunday as we gather for corporate worship. FYI: These words are being written at 7:30 AM (Louisville time). I have already been contacted by an individual who is depending on God to meet their need. I AM EXPECTING AN ANSWER TO THE PRAYERS THAT WE ARE OFFERING ON THIS PERSON'S BEHALF!!!

Where would you measure your level of expectation today? I fully realize that we are all human beings and that we face attacks from our arch enemy. Our enemy seeks to tear down our faith but the book of Jude 1:20 refers to the "...building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit." (NKJV) Rest assured that God can rebuild and even repair anything that satan seeks to tear down and destroy. I do believe that the Spirit is calling us to walk in expectation even when the enemy is at work. We must realize that satan is a tenacious, determined and organized enemy who has developed a strategy for each individual believer. BUT GOD also has a plan that has provided the ability to overcome each and every strategy that our enemy can use against us.

Psalm 34:1, "Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good; Blessed is the man who trusts in Him! (NKJV) I can honestly say that my life and the lives of my family have been and continue to be impacted and influenced through the goodness of God. I spoke these words during my prayer time this morning. "I live in and with expectations because of what I have seen in my life; what I have seen in the lives of my family and what I have seen in the lives of countless others throughout my lifetime." I have tasted and seen that the Lord is good!!! 

I encourage you today to stop and think about the "good things" that God has provided in your life!!! Those memories and moments of reflection can and will encourage you to raise your level of expectation!!!

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Song for the Day

Yesterday morning someone sent me a note that contained this song. They shared a testimony which was a great encouragement to me. This individual was in the midst of a very difficult dream and she was awakened from the dream singing this song from her childhood. She felt the presence of the Spirit ministering to her heart and to her life. I feel that I need to share these words from the Hymn, There's Within My Heart A Melody. The words as well as the music were written by Luther B. Bridgers. I located this hymn at HymnSite.com. 

You may be walking through a difficult time in your life. Your hope may be waning. Your desire may be fainting. Your dreams may be evaporating. Your expectations may have been lowered. You may be re-calibrating your life. 

But remember there is a melody in your heart and it is still singing the praises of God. You are still able to remember those times in which God divinely intervened in your life. You are still able to remember those times in which God redirected your steps and called you into His presence. And it was in His presence that God provided the direction and guidance that you needed at that particular moment. 

In the name of Jesus, take back your hope. In the name of Jesus, take back your desire. In the name of the Jesus take back your dreams. In the name of Jesus take back your expectations. In the name of Jesus reconnect with the path of life that God has outlined for you. You are a child of God and you can walk in victory and not defeat. 

SING YOUR SONG OF PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING TODAY!!!

1.There's within my heart a melody Jesus whispers sweet and low: Fear not, I am with thee, peace, be still,  in all of life's ebb and flow.   

2. All my life was wrecked by sin and strife, discord filled my heart with pain; Jesus swept across the broken strings, stirred the slumbering chords again. 

3. Though sometimes he leads through waters deep, trials fall across the way, though sometimes the path seems rough and steep, see his footprints all the way. 
     
    4. Feasting on the riches of his grace, resting neath his sheltering wing, always looking on his smiling face, that is why I shout and sing. 

      Refrain: Jesus Jesus, Jesus, sweetest name I know, fills my ever longing, keeps me singing as I go.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Significance

I felt led to share with some individuals this morning concerning their personal SIGNIFICANCE to God. Since that time I have felt that the Spirit is leading me to share some of my thoughts via this post. These particular thoughts came to me this morning during a time of study as I was making preparations for Sunday's message. Many churches across America will be celebrating Back to Church Sunday on September 18th. There are many people who are waiting on an invitation to come back to church or they are waiting on an initial invitation from someone to attend church with them. I WOULD ENCOURAGE YOU TO BE PRO-ACTIVE IN THIS OUTREACH EFFORT. The words from a song that many of us have heard sung in our churches still makes this declaration; "People need the Lord..."

But let me move back to my initial purpose in this post. But actually our need to be interested in other people stems from the fact that EVERYONE is significant in the eyes of God! EVERYONE is important to God! The Love of God is extended to EVERYONE! The message of the Gospel is for EVERYONE! We need to remind ourselves of these basic principles in the midst of a world that is full of chaos, confusion, division, separation, racism, elitism, criticism, etc. and rejection of God. 

I believe that the people of God have to reestablish the principle of the "importance of one." I also believe that Jesus established the principle that individuals are important to God. Yes, Jesus spoke to large crowds but He also spoke to individuals who were facing their set of challenges and difficulties. He put a face on those people who had been "de-humanized" by society. Jesus brought the downtrodden back to the forefront of life. He chose to draw close to the overwhelmed and those whose lives were in disarray. He took these actions and many more YET He stayed true to the principles of Truth. He accomplished that goal because He was motivated by His love for this world. What is motivating our actions today? I want my life to be motivated by God's love and the importance of EVERYONE in the eyes and heart of God.

Isaiah 59:1, "Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, That it cannot save; Nor His ear heavy, That it cannot hear." (NKJV)

Friday, September 9, 2016

Friday's Inspiration

1 Timothy 2:1, "Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men," (NKJV) (Emphasis Added)

Today's post will be a combination of inspiration as well as some "editorial" comments. I could sense the Spirit dealing with my heart last night as well as this morning concerning the need to "give thanks." Most of us would consider ourselves to be people that are thankful and I think that is a true statement for the overwhelming majority of people who will choose to read this blog post. BUT I do believe that there is room for improvement in each of our lives and I certainly include myself in the previous statement. 

How do we go about increasing our level of thankfulness in world that seems to be more negative each and every day? In many cases it is easier to complain than it is to offer praise, thanksgiving and appreciation. I have found myself giving into that same battle/struggle at various moments in my life. There are times that it is easier to identify what we don't have rather than realize what we do have. That could be true with possessions but also it could be true when it comes to thanking God for our family and friends. Today during prayer the Holy Spirit reminded me of many people who have been a blessing to Ann and myself through our journey. This moment of reminding including family, friends, fellow Christians as well as complete strangers. I can remember that God used people that I did not even know coming to my "rescue" at various times in our lives. Is there a witness that will come into agreement with me today? 

Each of us have been BLESSED more than we can even realize and I believe that we need to resurrect the attribute of appreciation. We need to express this appreciation to God first and foremost but we also need to offer appreciation to those individuals that God has used to be a blessing to us. Don't we like to hear these kind words being shared with us?  "Thank You, I appreciate your kindness. You are a blessing to me. Thanks for your assistance/help! I love and appreciate you. I am thankful that God has placed you in my life! You did a wonderful job." Is it possible that we might hear those words more often if we used those words more consistently in our daily lives? 

I want to issue a word of THANKS to a group of men who have worked very hard over the past two days on the installation of our new church sign. I think that you ought to know that each of these were VOLUNTEERS. They chose to give up their time and some of them even took time away from their work schedule to make themselves available for this project. We often hear about lazy people who only care for themselves. We often hear about people who are very selfish and have no time or little time for others. We often hear about all of the "bad parents" but very little about the good parents who work very hard to take care of their family. But there are GOOD PEOPLE who sincerely desire to make a positive impact in our world. We need to take time to identify these individuals and let them know that we recognize their effort to make a positive contribution to this world. 

I HAVE COME TO REQUEST THAT YOU TELL AT LEAST FIVE (5) PEOPLE TODAY THAT THEY ARE APPRECIATED!!!!


Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Tuesday's Thoughts

I trust that you enjoyed your Labor Day holiday weekend. We were able to enjoy some family time as we celebrated our oldest grandson's 16th birthday. Yes, you read the number correctly, I am actually older than I look. LOL Seriously, God has been good to us and I need to add these words; GOD IS STILL GOOD TO US!! I am thankful for the many and wonderful blessings that God has sent our way as we have made our way through our journey of life. But I am more fully understanding the words of James, "life is a vapor that quickly vanishes away..." I want my life to count for the cause of Christ.

I have brothers and sisters in Christ who are facing various circumstances in their lives. I am aware of these situations but I am also aware that we serve a God who is concerned about each and everyone of them. No one is ever out of the sight of our Heavenly Father. He is not only aware of the situation but He is also very much concerned about providing the strength that each of these individuals need. You also know people who are facing their own set of challenges but be of good cheer. We can point these individuals as well as ourselves to the Lord God Almighty who still reigns in might and power.

I need to add that my Labor Day weekend also included attending church. I was given another wonderful opportunity of offer praise and worship to God. Needless to say but I was blessed and encouraged as I reflected on the presence of God and realized that I was not alone but that God was with me each and every step of the way. I was also honored to share the Word of God one more time. I never take for granted that awesome and humbling experience. Needless to say, I gave my best effort to exhort, encourage and point people to Christ. I am not ashamed to tell that you that I AM A BELIEVER IN JESUS CHRIST AND THE PROMISES OF HIS WORD!!

I want to leave you with a passage of scripture that the Spirit laid on my heart this morning, I have shared it with some of the various individuals that I mentioned earlier in this post but I feel led to share it with you this morning. Read and the Word of God and be encouraged and strengthened today!!!

Hebrews 4:14-16, "Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need." (NKJV)