A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

If a farmer were to hoard grain in a time of famine or when others are in dire straits, people would naturally not only think badly of, but would probably talk about in less than glowing terms.  If that same farmer chose to sell the grain for a fair and reasonable price, those same people would think better and bless he and his family.  We can translate the grain into the gospel of Christ.  Our Lord did not come to earth to save just you or just me.  Of course, if you or I were the only one on the planet, He certainly would have – but what Christ did for the world was…  well – for the world!  We are not to have the attitude that we’ve found the way to salvation, so there’s no need to share the good news.  We should be willing to share at every opportunity God gives us!

Why is it important for God’s children to share the joyful news of salvation with others?  Because it’s part of God’s plan for us to take as many others with us to Heaven as we can.  Friendship evangelism is the most effective way to help others hear the good news of Christ.  His life, His death, and His resurrection.  The Roman Road is a road we should travel several times in our lifetime.  It not only teaches a new child of God, but it reminds His older children of where they are and where they came from.  It’s a humbling exercise to be sure.  We have so much to thank God for, don’t we?

So what’s in it for God’s children?  It’s all a part of not only our growth, but a command we’ve been given from the Lord Himself:

I’m not a soul saver – that’s God’s job through Christ’s sacrifice.  No, I can’t save anyone, but I can share my testimony and show others how they too can be saved.  We sow seeds – sort of like Johnny Appleseed, I guess.

These men enriched themselves by the starvation of their neighbors.  That was back in Solomon’s day.  Today, of course, we have laws to protect from such things, but this can still apply on a spiritual level.  None of us should be just scooping up all the blessings of God and not giving anything back.  That doesn’t please God, does it?  We most certainly should go and teach, preach, baptize, and make disciples.  God’s Word in action is a bread we can break with the spiritually starved lost.  Let’s review the points of Spurgeon’s sermon:

Let’s make God’s Word available to all people everywhere, in a language that they understand.

Let’s keep the Gideon Bibles in hotels and motels, and in all places we possibly can.  I’ve heard countless stories of how people read the Bible just in time before going through with suicide.  It’s important that the Christian Bible be available to all.

Preaching should be understood clearly.  Talking over people’s heads is a waste of everyone’s time.  May we speak and write for the average person.

Let’s give importance to answering God’s call on our lives.  In our day, there are so many distractions.  Never in history have there been so many distractions in our lives – most of them to amuse ourselves in the form of entertainment.

Christ crucified must be the sum total of any sermon or lesson in Sunday School.  His blood sacrifice is the fundamental truth we need to teach and preach (and write blog posts).

May there not be a lack of love in our ministry and in our witness.  Love is the greatest of all.  Preachers, teachers and blog writers will be held accountable if any of their listeners or readers should perish.  Cover all you do with much prayer, and pray for those you want to reach.

Labor passionately for the spread of the gospel to all men.  Support missions at home and abroad.

Watch for an opportunity to express kindness and love to someone else every day.  Don’t be thoughtless or too wrapped up in yourself to pray for others.

Help those who speak up for Christ.  Consecrate your money for those who minister at home and abroad.  As we give to missions, God gives to us.

God rewards those who do His work with an easy conscience.  He gives them peace of mind and heart.  When we place jewels in His crown and palm branches in His path, that is the ultimate reward for doing His bidding.

He who dares to run the risk is not only unwise, but goes against God’s way.  Will you share the gospel with your neighbors, or hoard it?

Jesus went about doing good.  Do we have the right to think we can do less?  Don’t withhold grain from your neighbor.  Let’s all live in peace till God takes us home.  🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

Has God given everyone at least one gift?  You know, I think we sometimes look at what God has given us and make the paralyzing mistake of comparing our gifts or talents with those of others.  That is exactly what the enemy of your soul wants you to do – he would like nothing better than to see you paralyzed, believing that somehow your gift is not good enough for God’s use – so you just sit back and let someone else serve instead.  I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve seen that.  I think it’s satan’s favorite pastime. 

Another sad scenario is when some people in the church begin to compare and pit two similarly gifted people against each other.  I’ve been in that situation and I can’t think of anything that is more hurtful and damaging to a soul – it’s what the Bible calls A STUMBLING BLOCK.  When I hear people tell me that they think I’m better at (fill in the blank) than someone else – I try to stop it in its tracks!  We’re not in the church to be playing AMERICAN IDOL – which, by the way, is a terrible name for a program (have the producers not read the Old Testament)?

Churches are filled with lost souls who have been saved and redeemed by a loving and kind Savior.  None of us deserve salvation, do we?  We’re all just trying to serve Him the best way we know how – and it’s because we love HIM – not because we’re in some church competition with anyone.  Always encourage people to use their gifts to serve.  If there are 15 pianists in your church and you think some are better than others (which, I mean – duh – there will be some better than others)… encourage each and every one of them – period.  No comparisons…  no mention of how good one is or how not so good another is – no!  God gave all 15 pianists TALENT and wants them to use that gift to further HIS kingdom.  The church needs to buy a clue and quit copying the world – stop it! 

My eyes were opened when I was part of a Southern Gospel group years ago.  We traveled as a caravan around Kansas and Oklahoma, playing concerts along the way.  I was never more unhappy and unfulfilled than I was then – it was honestly a reminder of the old BATTLE OF THE BANDS.  I just wanted to go home and play piano in my home church, where I thought the people who knew and understood me would forgive a sour note here and there.  I wasn’t cut out to perform – that’s not who God made me to be.

We serve the Lord with the best we have to give – no matter what gift He has given us.  There’s a place to serve the Lord – for all of us.  There should be room for every gift without being compared to anyone else.

I’ve said this time and again…  but I will say it again – it’s not about us anyway.  It’s about God, His grace, mercy, love and promises to us.  What we give back is our response to all that He’s done for us.  We go and tell and share because He commands that we do that.  We use the gifts from His hand to that end.  That’s what it’s about.  We teach, pray, study, and serve others with the light we’ve been given from God through Christ Jesus!

Even if you think one person is better at (fill in the blank) than another…  please don’t voice that opinion.  It’s the most hurtful thing that a person can do and is a stumbling block.  It may seem that you’re encouraging the one – which is okay – but don’t do it by discouraging the other.  I’ve been on both sides of that fence and it’s so hurtful when you’re the one who doesn’t quite have what it takes like the other person does.  People have stopped using their gifts because of that very thing.  It’s just not a good idea to compare people’s gifts.  Let’s just be thankful that people are willing to volunteer their time and share their talents.

Serve to spread the gospel in any way you can.  We don’t keep the gospel of Christ tucked safely away and say…  “Yay – I’m saved – that’s all that matters.”  The word gospel means GOOD NEWS – and it is to be shared.  If there is a way for you to share with a gift that God gave you…  then it’s what you should do!  🙂

 

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

Not all preachers stand behind a pulpit on Sunday morning at 10:45 am and again at 6 pm.  Anyone who claims the name of Christ is to be sharing the good news of His gospel with others in any way possible.  Sometimes it means writing a blog post every day, feeling humbled in your heart and a bit jumbled in your brain because of dyslexia.  God can use what I write though – not because it’s so riveting and exciting…  but because it’s what God wants me to write.  A wise writer once told me that I need to share what I write whether I think it’s good or not because God knows somebody who needs to read it.  He’ll make sure what I write gets seen by the right people.

Have you ever seen someone get reproved or rebuked by someone with patience?  It’s rare that a person can actually do that because there’s usually some degree of emotion involved and sadly, it’s generally anger.  But I got to witness a pastor reprove and rebuke someone on his staff once and by the time he was finished, I felt as if I’d been in the most wonderful class ever on diplomacy and tact.  I knew that God’s Holy Spirit was guiding every gesture he made and every word he said.  He got the point across and there were absolutely no hurt feelings and he didn’t have a bit of damage control to worry about.  Thank God! 

To exhort means to urge, advise, or caution earnestly; admonish urgently.  It can be dicey to do this, but there are times when it’s necessary.  Again, if we will take time before rushing in to seek God’s Holy Spirit and let Him guide our words and actions, it’s amazing how much better things will go.  Nobody wants to hurt feelings, but when there are differences of opinion, rather than knock heads together as you’d do in your own wisdom – ask God to help you as you negotiate a compromise in the situation.  Blessed are the peacemakers.  There’s a blessing waiting for you if you’ll do things God’s way.  Have you read the story of Jonah?  I rest my case. 

I keep thinking about that last phrase…  with COMPLETE patience and teaching.  That’s impossible to do in our own strength!  The natural man has nearly zero patience.  If you don’t believe me, drive around downtown Wichita at 5 pm on any weeknight.  Horns honk and fingers flip…  um, exercise.  Yep – road rage…  the struggle is real, folks.

God gave His all for me – He just keeps on loving me.  He hasn’t given up on me, so I need to hang in there with others.  Only through God’s Holy Spirit can we develop COMPLETE patience and teaching.  It’s a preacher’s job to lead by example and while yes they’re human (we do get that) – but like every Christian who has been a Christian for a number of years, there should be that desire to be patient with the congregation.  Is it easy?  Nope.  Is it possible with God’s help?  Yep.

Today is the first day of CONSIDER CHRISTIANITY WEEK!!!  I hope you will accept Jesus into your heart and life today.   If you are a Christian, don’t forget to share your faith with someone this week.   

Well, 2 Timothy 4:2 is my birthday verse.  I’m 56 years old today – woo-hoo!  I wrote a silly little poem from my silly little heart.

I really do love the rain.  I loved it more before I wore glasses because the rain messes my lenses up – but I still love the rain.  I can remember having snow a couple of times on my birthday, which I’m not a big fan of – one time I had to cancel a birthday party because we had so much snow.  That was a major bummer all the way around.

You know I love donkeys, right?  Well – if you didn’t know before, now you do.  Look what I found…

Keep sharing your faith wherever you go, and ask God’s Holy Spirit to help you have COMPLETE patience and teaching with everyone.  Just plant the gospel seeds.  The world won’t be forced with an iron fist and we can’t yell anyone to the altar.  We just have to love folks and pray for them.  🙂

 

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

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But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit,whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.  – Titus 3:4-7

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The hope that every Christian has hinges on what Christ did – it has nothing to do with us, except for the fact that we’ve come to believe in Christ and His sacrifice on Calvary – just as we are.  Our righteousness is not even almost good enough, but God’s grace and mercy are what we place our faith and trust in.  That is why we have the hope of eternal life, but we hold on to the Lord because we love Him above all else.

I want to show you something I found on my facebook newsfeed.  I was taken aback a bit when I first saw it – and then I read the article and decided that this guy has a pure heart and pure intentions – he really wants people to see Easter in the right way – so look what he did at this FRED’S store in Tennessee…

http://www.gracecentered.com/freds-store-displays-easter-crosses-mr-pibbs.htm

Every day in this world we watch people backstab and hate each other, but it’s the duty and joyous privilege of God’s children to love one another.  Why?  Because once we realize that Christ has delivered us from our miserable condition by HIS mercy and free grace, and has given us HIS precious Holy Spirit – we understand that love is the cornerstone of our faith.  Without love, it’s a lie.  God is love and He wants us to not only love Him, but love one another as He loved us and sent His precious Son to this earth to live and die for our sins.

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How will you share your faith today?  Maybe you can do it through your job – in creative ways when you stock the Mr. Pibb…  or maybe as a retired secretary, you want to start writing a little blog that shares faith, hope, and love with others.  There are so many ways to share your faith – but one thing is for sure – if you feel God’s Spirit prompting you to share your faith in some way, you will be miserable if you don’t do it.

Christ is the fountain from which the precious Holy Spirit flows.  It’s only through Him we are able to teach and mentor others with patience and prayer.  What a blessing to have the Holy Spirit in our lives each day.  Because we have Him, we can practice true love and kindness in our daily walk.  Think about it…  His love and His grace have such great power to change a human heart.  Commit the lost to Him and be patient as you share and teach.  Remember His timing is not our timing.  Never give up on anyone because the Lord did not give up on you.  🙂

 

 

 

MARK 1:27 ON 1/27

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The people were all so amazed that they asked each other, “What is this? A new teaching—and with authority! He even gives orders to impure spirits and they obey him.”- Mark 1:27

Every Bible verse brings a gospel song to my mind.  What can I say…  I’m a Southern Gospel  musician – so is it really a big surprise?  This portion of Scripture reminds me of a song from 1977 by The Rambos called, “He was the Talk of the Town”.

There’s a line in that song…  skeptics called Him a devil…  interesting to call one Who gives orders to impure spirits a devil.  Hmm…  it’s been a tactic of the enemy since the dawn of time to put a spin on the truth.  Sadder still is the fact that so many folks bought the spin!  Some folks are still buying the spin.  Sigh.  We need to be so careful to have ears to hear the real truth – God’s truth.

Jesus taught with authority!  He knew Who He was and where He came from – He knew He was sent on a mission to seek and to save the lost.  Not everyone believed His teaching, but some did.

So it is when we teach today.  Not everyone will listen to the teaching of Christ.  Is that a reason to stop sharing His good news?  No, it isn’t – and we are commanded to go and preach – go and teach – go and share – go and love.  We’re given what we need to minister – and there are many ways to minister to others.  Not everyone writes a daily blog, but it seems to be the way God has opened for me.  There are creative ways to tell others about the Lord and what He has done.  Ask Him and He will open a door for you.

If you’re a prayer warrior…  send up a few for this humble blogger, okay?  I appreciate every one of them!  ❤

I’m so thankful that Christ came to earth and lived among us.  He was completely God while becoming completely human.  Don’t ask me to explain that – but that’s the truth.  He preached with authority from His Father, God.  He loved as no one before Him or after Him ever did.  Every battle he fought was spiritual in nature – and praise God – He won them all and He will win every one in the future.

There’s nothing of a spiritual nature in your life that God through Christ can and will not overcome for you.  That’s the truth – the real truth – no spin.  🙂

 

 

 

 

ROMANS 8:7-8 ON 8/7

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The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.  – Romans 8:7-8

Did you read this?  Okay…  now read it again slowly.  If you don’t believe there is a spiritual battleground, think again.  Each of us have a mind, and it is governed either by flesh or by the Spirit.  You may think if you’re a really GOOD PERSON that there’s no need for God’s power in your life.

You cannot govern your own mind for the long haul.  If you are not giving God control, then your mind is governed by the flesh, and you are hostile to God, His laws, His way of thinking and His wonderful plan for your life.  What may have you missed out on by not letting God guide you?  Hmm…  there’s a thought.ASK GOD TO BE YOUR POTTER

Have you ever spent time watching REELZ?  It’s about celebrities and their real lives.  Their drama extends beyond the silver screen.  I think that’s putting it kindly…  these people are so good at acting because they get plenty of practice being dramatic in real life!  I’m sure their acting jobs could seem boring compared to their real lives in some cases.

I don’t embrace drama.  I don’t want drama in my life.  I can enjoy a dramatic film once in a while, but when it comes to my real life, I want simplicity and I don’t want my mind governed by the flesh.  I want God’s guidance, His law and His wisdom.

When I was a girl growing up, they called it “walking the fence.”  It’s when people think they can keep one foot in the world and one foot in the spiritual realm.  And yes, I’ve heard the saying, “So heaven minded they’re of no earthly good.”  That happened to be a favorite saying of one of my least favorite aunts.  She has since passed, and I wonder if she’s changed her way of thinking?  I can’t say for sure, but there’s no evidence that she died in the Lord.  She accomplished a great deal here on this earth, but what good is it doing her now?

I believe I’d rather stay in God’s good graces and have the world think I’m worthless than to have the world think I’m amazing and have God think I’m worthless.  We all walk a different path and will make the decision for ourselves…  I can’t decide for you and you can’t decide for me.  That’s the beauty of having a personal relationship with Christ Jesus – it’s personal.  That doesn’t mean you just hug it and keep it to yourself and say “I’m saved and that’s all that matters.”  There is a command given to us –  God wants us to GO and TELL…  Reach out and Teach wherever we are planted.  Share with others and care about their circumstances.  Pray for others and stay tuned for updates.  I won’t walk in the flesh because God’s way is higher and better – free of stress or drama.

This is the verse I wanted to share with you today.  I pray that you will consider a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

I’m not being nosey…  I’m being exactly what I’m supposed to be.  🙂

 

 

 

LUKE 6:22 ON 6/22

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Blessed are you when people hate you, when they exclude you and insult you and reject your name as evil, because of the Son of Man.  – Luke 6:22

Does it bother you to be excluded from the “popular” group?  Do you think co-workers or others in your class hate you, or at the very least misunderstand you?  Well – me too, but I want to encourage you and let you know that God is blessing you while the world turns its back on you.

When we trust Christ and accept His gospel, it means there is an automatic target painted on our backs.  We have to  keep the eternal perspective in mind and remember that God’s blessings on our lives is forever and the acceptance or rejection of other people – well, it’s temporary and means little or nothing in the grand scheme of things.

Really – sometimes when we are excluded from some activities – it’s nothing that we need to be engaged in to begin with.  God really does protect His children from harm and keeps us safe.  We have to lean more on Christ when we are feeling especially left out.  By the same token, we need to pray that God will provide a safe haven with like-minded friends where we can feel accepted and loved.

Why is church so important?  It’s almost like a support group of sorts, where we are not seen as the world often sees us.  Finding a group of believers where you can feel comfortable and at ease to speak your thoughts and beliefs means so much to Christians.

While we are not to spend all of our time hidden inside the church building with like-minded brothers and sisters, it’s good to have a soft place to land after we’ve done our best to share the good news of Christ with a world that does not even almost understand what we’re talking about.

At times, we will be hated and rejected in this world simply for what we believe.  We profess, preach, teach and believe the full gospel of Christ from beginning to end.  Our Messiah came in the flesh and was the Son of God according to His divine nature, yet the son of man according to His human nature.

He walked the earth doing miracles – doing good.  He suffered, bled and died on a cruel cross as the Lamb of God – the only worthy sacrifice for the sins of every man on earth.  By the power of God He arose from the grave and sits at the right hand of the Heavenly Father.

When Jesus ascended into heaven, He left us a helper known as the Holy Spirit.  God’s Holy Spirit helps us navigate this life and do what God would have us do.

One day God the Father will instruct Jesus to come back to earth to take those who love and trust Him to heaven to live forevermore.

MEET GOD AT THE DOOR

God blesses His children – even when others make fun of us, reject us, and intentionally hurt us because of our faith.  It’s my prayer that you will notice less of the temporary hurt and look beyond to the eternal blessing from your Heavenly Father.  🙂