Following My King
Living as God Wants
As we mature in Christ, we come face to face with issues where we have to choose the path we take. When we awake and have some aches or pains we need to remember, “This is the day the Lord has made; I will rejoice in it.
Recently, I chose to look at each day as a gift from God. Because of this decision, I have enjoyed taking CPR/AED training at work. I actually enjoyed working two late days in a row. About six weeks ago, my husband had an accident. The result of this accident is he has a broken ankle in two places. My plans for that afternoon got changed. I was able to notify those with whom I had made these plans. The activity went on as planned.
At the time of the accident, I didn’t know where this will lead. He had to have surgery. He has feared surgery due to another condition he has. We had to leave all this in God’s hands. Almost four weeks into his recovery, I had to resign my job. I have felt the prayers of my church family throughout these several weeks.
God has told us,”I will NEVER leave you NOR forsake you.” I am trusting Him to do as He said. He has never let me down yet.
We all have heard about grace. It is one of the dearest terms of Christendom. But what is it, actually? As I see it, grace is likened to a precious stone having many facets. Back in the early 1970’s I asked my then-pastor’s wife what was meant by grace. Her answer was interesting. She used an acrostic to explain it: God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense. I have since reasoned that all we have from God has been granted to us only because Jesus Christ went to the cross in our place. One facet of grace is the idea of love of which we are unworthy. The fact that God loves us in spite of who we are or what we have done amazes me. The idea He loves the hardened criminal as much as He loves the sanctified soul sitting in the pew each Sunday and Wednesday night blows my mind. But God does love us equally.
Can we see grace in today’s society? Yes, we can but we have to use discernment in order to recognize it. We extend grace to another person when we forgive them for hurting us. We also practice grace-giving when we do a good deed for a friend.
How can we describe grace? Hymn writers have used words like amazing, and wonderful, and marvelous. Where would we be without God’s grace? We all would be lost and headed for the lake of fire.
Walking Worthy of Our Calling
Each year I chose a devotional book to use. I don’t always stay on track with my choice but I have done better than usual this year. The book I have chosen for 2008 is called “Strength for Today” by John F. Mac Arthur. Each month has a theme around which all the scriptures and reading and suggestions for for prayer focus.
January’s theme is Walking Worthy. In the first piece,the author says we join groups because we seek acceptance. Each group has certain prescribed guidelines members are expected to follow. He goes on to say that God has certain expectations of His children as well.
What does God want me to do? How does He want me to behave? What does He want me to do when I am in the marketplace? What does He want me to say when I am around my co-workers? What does he want me to say or do when I am around my friends? How does he want me to conduct myself with my neighbors? How am I supposed to act inside my home?
The above questions are on my mind and heart this day. I will be pounding Heaven’s door to find the answers to these questions of my heart. I know I am to represent Him before others but I realize I don’t do as good a job as I could.
I look forward to 2008 and what it brings.
When Hearts are Heavy
My heart is heavy- as are several here in our community. A friend has gone on to be with the Lord. I knew her first through my waiting on her at my job. Then she started attending the same church we do.
She made lots of friends at church. She always sat behind me and over to the right. She had her daughter with her when it was possible. But she always seemed to have her now-older grandson with her.
She had horses. At her calling hours, the family had a video-motage of her life. It showed her with her favorite horse and even showed her astride a horse on her honeymoon.
I only knew this lady about three and a half years- not long in the scheme of things. But she impressed me with her smile and her attitude.
A long-standing friend called me while I was at work today. I called her back. I hadn’t gotten to church this morning and she was concerned about that. She also did not know about this lady’s passing until this morning. My friend and I talked. I told her about the montage and what I knew about things related to the lady’s passing. I told her we needed to pray for the older grandson.
There were several of us from church sitting together at the funeral yesterday. We all had known the lady in different ways. She shared a pew with two of the women. She had worked on advertizing for a project with another woman. She had cleared brush on some property adjacent to our church’s property when we were permitted use of the land. One gentleman and his mother were there because they felt the need to support the lady’s daughter.
Our hearts are heavy but we know where this fine,beautiful lady is. We know we will see her again.
Blessings Around Us
As we go through our days, we should be more mindful of the blessings God has bestowed upon us. One of the patrons at the library where I work has been a steady patron, along with her two young children, for a couple of years now. Yesterday she took the time to tell two of us how thankful she is for us.
I decided to pass the blessing on to two of my friends. One has been a good friend for several years. She always listens when I have a concern about my life. She brought me some tapioca pudding she made last week when I felt at my lowest physically. I called her this morning to see what her day would be like and told her I was thankful for her. She reminded me that I am one of the few upon whom she can rely in a time of emergency.
The other lady, a fairly new friend, has established a faith-based ministry to a very specific group in our area. I told her how I appreciated her efforts to reach out to them. She called me an encourager. This was a special time for me. It tells me she recognizes one of my spiritual gifts.
God blesses us each day in ways He chooses. Sometimes the blessings come in the form of more work to do to help someone achieve a goal. Sometimes they come when we receive a surprise gift from someone close to us. A word spoken to us when we need encouragement. A song on the radio or a special music song sung at church. The kindness of someone we barely know. The list goes on forever, if we take the time to think about it.
God's Over Frustration and Discouragement
Having been frustrated about some health issues this summer and into the fall, I have only done minimal writing. Also having received answers from the medical tests I underwent late this summer. Discovering my husband’s medical problems had worsened during the summer and watching him undergo two medical procedures has discouraged me more than I realized.
But the amazing thing about all of this is GOD IS STILL IN CONTROL. He is still watching out for us. Our son started a new job last month. He is earning a bit more per hour and it’s one fourth the distance from home. I call that a win-win situation. But this is all from God.
A circumstance at work has caused me to be more mindful of who God is and who follows Him. I hope to share this revelation with a co-worker who has been on vacation this past week.
I have been discouraged and frustrated because I am human. God taught me today as I sat in church and heard a beautiful Christian lady sing a song I have appreciated when I hear it on the radio.
In the past two weeks, we have had church members go to be with God. Last week, it was a woman who was in a nursing home. Yesterday, it was a gentleman who had a massive stroke. He and his wife were at the early service last Sunday. I remember him pitching in and painting backdrops for the Christmas play I wrote and presented four years ago. I was touched by his eagerness to help us. But, I must say, I don’t remember thanking him properly.
I choose a devotional to use each year. For 2007, I chose “My Utmost For HIS Highest.” I am a few days behind in my reading. But I intend to catch up very soon. I will decide what devotional author to read for 2008 in the next few weeks.
In the past, I have tried to choose a focus scripture for the new year. I need to choose one for 2008.
I am ashamed to say this, my prayer life has suffered lately. But, with God’s help, I can remedy that also.
How Many Times?
How many times have children of God felt that their backs were against the wall?Circumstances seem to bring us down. Everything becomes an effort; we sometimes don’t know ‘why’. How many times have children of God wanted to give in to the circumstances? How many times have children of God come close to giving in to bad things? How many times has a fellow believer come up alongside, just listening to the hurting brother or sister? This is a sign of Christian love How many times has a fellow believer interceded before God on behalf of a brother or sister with a need? This is standing in the gap for one another. How many times has the Bible spoken God’s truth to a hurting heart? This is God speaking through His Word. How many times has God acted in our behalf and brought us through? We serve a God of love and miracles. How many times? How many times? We will know only at the time that we are ushered into heaven’s gates and into our Lord’s presence.
Prayer: Dear Father, Thank You for being with me during those times of doubt and despair. Thank You for rescuing me and bringing me through those times. Thank You for your Word. In Jesus’ name I pray. AMEN
CONSIDER JESUS’ YOKE
Matthew 11:25-30 Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened,And I will give you rest. Take my yolk upon you and learn from me,For I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.For my yolk is easy and my burden is light (Matt. 28-30 NIV) Jesus invited those with their backs against the wall to come to him. He promised rest; he also promised to go alongside them, lifting the weight of their burdens. In present day society we hear a lot of stress and burn out and wonder why. The answer seems to be that we carry the full weight of our problems and concerns. Jesus tells his followers, then and now, that he will give our souls rest. He will shoulder our burdens as he walks with us. We have to surrender to His care in order to experience the effect of His presence and the lightness of His yoke. When we accept His invitation, we are freed from our burdens and we also learn from Him. Prayer: Dear God, I give You my burden and ask you to carry it for me. I ask you to walk along side me and guide me through this circumstance of my life. In Jesus’ name. Amen
A sermon I heard today has set me thinking. Where is our power coming from? As Americans who enjoy fairly high incomes when compared to the rest of the world does our power come from the money we possess? As people living in the cyber-space age, is our power measured in giga-bytes? Does our power come from who talks the loudest or the fastest? Should we gravitate to the smoothest public speaker just because he tells us what we want to hear?
In response to the questions, our power comes from God alone. He rules with grace and justice. God doesn’t care if you are rich or poor. He doesn’t dwell on how connected we are-either socially or technologically. He listens to the ones who honor and obey Him. We should not allow control to go to those who tell us what we want to hear .
We should be listening for God to speak to us . We should lean on Him to give us the power He wants us to have.
2 Corinthians 5:17
Never before have I
Entertained this idea,
When I belong to God,
I am quite different,
No longer the same.
Christ guiding me per
His Will, every day.
Reaching and forming me
Into His dear image.
Sweetly holding my hand‘
Til I can be with Him.