Monday, January 30, 2017

Blessed are the Persecuted

Matthew 5:10-12 KJV
10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. 12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

These verses speak more to me today than they used to because persecution against Christians has increased so much over the last few years. In America, while it is rare to be killed for our faith, we do endure ridicule, harassment, emotional attacks and sometimes physical attacks for following Christ. However, we can take comfort in this verse. When we experience persecution due to following Christ and His ways, we will be rewarded with the kingdom of heaven! How great to experience eternal reward over the temporal rewards we may receive if we gave into the pressures of the world.


Friday, January 27, 2017

Peacemakers

Matthew 5:9
Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.

Peacemakers.

What exactly is a peacemaker? It is a someone who seeks peace and does what is needed to obtain and/or keep peace. In many places in the Bible, God calls us to seek peace or live in peace.

1 Corinthians 7:15b says,

but God hath called us to peace.

When we follow God's commands, we show we are His children; therefore, we need to seek peace.


Thursday, January 26, 2017

Throw Back Thursday

Being over due for a baby had me wanting to take things into my own hands and "control" when the baby would actually come. However, that is not the case.



Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Blessed are the Merciful

Matthew 5:7 
Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.

If we desire mercy to be shown to us, then we must be willing to show mercy to others. There are many times in the Bible that this principle is shown. Christ tells the parable of the king who took account of his servants. When he saw one servant owed him lots, he was prepared to throw him in jail until the servant begged mercy. The king showed mercy, but then the servant wet out and denied mercy to someone else who owed him money. When the king found out, he had the first servant thrown in jail because of his lack of mercy to others (Matthew 18:23-34).

Christ even tells us this principle is the law in Matthew 7:12 and even the world considers it a good principle-"Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."

Show mercy if you desire mercy shown to you!


Monday, January 23, 2017

They Shall be Filled

Matthew 5:6 KJV
Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.

What does it mean to hunger and thirst after righteousness? Well, what do you do when you are hungry and thirsty? You search for something to fill you. It is the same. You search the scriptures and you seek God's wisdom. When we seek God, we will find Him and be satisfied. Christ tells us He is the bread of life

John 6:48 KJV 
I am that bread of life.

and the living water.

John 4:10 KJV 
Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.


Friday, January 20, 2017

Blessed are the Meek

Matthew 5:5 KJV 
Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.

While meek means being gentle and kind, it also means humble and unassuming. We must humble ourselves before God to receive His blessings. When we are humble, He can use us. Those who are meek in this world are often taken advantage of by those of the world, but here we are told that in the end, when we persevere, we will be rewarded with the inheritance of the world.

May we strive for meekness instead of the rewards of this world. May gentleness and kindness be our goals. May we remain humble and unassuming so God can use us.


Thursday, January 19, 2017

Throw Back Thursday

Back in 2009, I didn't really have a close friend. I'm thankful to say that I do have a close friend now, but the sentiments of friendship discussed in this old post haven't changed.



Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Pure in Heart

Matthew 5:8
Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.

Do you ever wonder why some people see God's hand at work in this world and others don't? I think it all has to do with the heart. If the heart is full of pride, anger, and/or bitterness, it is going to miss seeing God because they will be blinded by what is in the heart. It is only when we have open hearts that God can speak to us and show us His power and might.

Is your heart open to see God? Is it full of sin so that it blocks all God has done for you or is doing? Open your heart today. Repent and allow God to clean it and make it pure.

Psalm 51:10
Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

They Shall be Comforted

Matthew 5:4 KJV
Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.

To truly know the need for comfort, one must know what true mourning is. When we mourn over the state of our sin and realize how terrible we are, only then can we receive God's comfort/forgiveness.

I mourn over my sin. I mourn over the lost time to truly serve God. I mourn over the lost opportunities to do His will. However, I know that God forgives me and gives me hope to do better. I know He can and will use my mistakes for His honor and glory. I take comfort in knowing I am forgive and can still be useful in God's hands.

What are you Under?

1-15-17 Sermon

video


Monday, January 16, 2017

Blessed are the Poor in Spirit

Matthew 5:3 KJV  
Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

When I think of being poor in spirit, I think of someone who doesn't think too highly of themselves. They are not prideful; therefore, they are open to receive the Holy Spirit. They are not filled with themselves, so the Holy Spirit can fill them and they become a child of God-a part of the kingdom of heaven.

I pray that I never get so prideful that there isn't room for the Holly Spirit. As a human and a child of sin, pride is something with which we all struggle. May we strive to be poor in spirit so we can be rich with the Holy Spirit.


Friday, January 13, 2017

The Best Yes

Last month I had a midwife appointment and my midwife let me know that she was running late due to helping at a birth. I decided that since I had time, I would stop at the local thrift store and look around. I was blessed to find a practically new copy of The Best Yes by Lysa Terkeurst. I had wanted to read it when it first came out, but didn't have the extra money for the book. Now, I was able to get it for only $ .25!

I still had time so I stopped at the coffee shop, got a drink and sat down to start the book. I wasn't disappointed.
We must not confuse the command to love with the disease to please.
This quickly caught my attention. I have been a people-pleaser for as long as I remember. It has been something I have been working on for a couple of years because we can't please everyone-especially if we are trying to live for God.
But a Best Yes will require having the courage to say no to other things. No to wrong things. NO to some seemingly good things. That is the only way to ensure there's space to run and take a leap of faith toward the best things.
While I underlined this when I read it as something that completely made sense, it still was something that I was finding difficult to do. I'm glad that my children seem to be learning faster than I am! My oldest was approached with an opportunity this summer that is a good opportunity; however, after praying about it, she said she felt God calling her to keep herself available which meant saying "no" to this opportunity. Now, she doesn't know what God is truly calling her to do, but she is taking a step of faith by keeping herself available for His Best Yes for her.

Another profound thought from Lysa,
The decisions we make, make the lives we live. If we want to live better, we've got to decide better.
I have to start paying attention and making better choices in the small things so that my life is a better example of living for Christ. I need to stop trying to please others and leave myself available to serving Him and saying, "yes" to Him. It is true what Louie Giglio says,
Whenever you say yes to something, there is less of you for something else. Make sure your yes is worth the less.
I truly enjoyed this entire book. My almost like new copy of the book is now filled with underlines, circles, stars, etc. I think this is a book that I will most likely read again the year ahead.

Have you read The Best Yes? Maybe you haven't, but you have thought about it like I did. Would you care to share your thoughts?


Thursday, January 12, 2017

Throw Back Thursday

I am trying to stick more to the Trim Healthy Mama plan that I have this pregnancy in preparation of needing to lose the extra weight soon as well as to get healthier in 2017. I liked seeing this post for Sugar Free Chocolate Ice Cream in my previous blog posts. While I most likely will use stevia or swerve or something instead of xylitol, it should still taste yummy!


Wednesday, January 11, 2017

My Word for 2017

Last year was the first year I felt compelled to find a word and scripture to focus on for the year. You can read about my word for 2016, transform, here.

This year, I sat down and prayed about a word. Immediately, God brought the word "serve" to mind.


Of course, I wanted a scripture to go along with my word. Finding a scripture that I felt God also laying on my hear in regards to serving, servanthood, etc. proved a little more challenging. It took me a few days of reading scripture and praying about it before coming to a final conclusion. After having my scripture, I wanted to do an adult coloring page with that scripture that I could hang on my bedroom wall as I did last year. I couldn't find a free printable or one in any of my adult coloring books, so I decided to create my own using a program I have on my computer.

To download a black and white copy of this page, click here.

My coloring page now hangs on my wall next to my bed as a daily reminder. God calls us to serve which means that we often need to deny ourselves even though we live in freedom under Christ's shed blood. Serving is also best done and received when it is done in love.

I pray that this year I grow in understanding of what it truly means to serve and to serve in love.

Do you have a word for 2017? I would love for you to share what God has placed on your heart!


Monday, January 9, 2017

Sun Stand Still

A few months ago I read, Sun Stand Still by Steven Furtick. I received this book 8 years ago just
before my twins were born so I didn't have a chance to read it then. I saw it up on my shelf and decided now was the time.

I truly enjoyed this book. It has challenged me to examine my faith life. It is based on the part of scripture where God made the sun stand still during a battle to help the Israelites win (Joshua 10:1-14).

He speaks of "audacious" faith.
Audacity isn't the absence of uncertainty and ambiguity. Audacity is believing that God's promise is bigger than my perhaps.
So many times we base our "faith" on what we think is possible or acceptable. We need to stop living in fear of what others think is possible or acceptable and embrace that audacious faith.
Audacious faith does not guarantee a crisis-free life. But audacious faith does enable you to seize the opportunity to see God's glory in the midst of every crisis in your life.
Most of the time, we pray for God to keep us from, or remove, hard times in our lives; however, as Steven Furtick points out, it is exactly those hard times that grows our faith and allows us to see God's hand at work.
Don't you typically think of adversity as the opposite of opportunity? I usually pray for God to remove all the obstacles and opposition in my life. To my way of thinking, adversity gets in the way of opportunity.
But God doesn't think like I think. I guess that's why he rarely asks me what I think. So instead of taking away our adversity, he develops our faith and demonstrates his strength by working through our adversity.
He also speaks of how audacious faith isn't just the hope of God answering our prayers, but it may require us to take action and do something. If you look back to the story in Joshua, you see that the Israelites marched all night to get to the battle ground and even though they were tired, he asked for God to make the sun stand still so they could fight.
If you are going to pray for God to make the sun stand still, you'd better be ready to march all night.
 We can't just sit back and expect God to do all the work. We have to be obedient to what God calls us to do. He will use our life experiences to mold and shape us into the people He can use for His honor and His glory. He will give us a vision, but we need to put feet to that vision and step out in faith.

I highly recommend this book. I wish I would have made the time to read it sooner. Of course, maybe it has been sitting on my shelf for such a time as this.

Due to reading this book, I decided to do a study on the book of Joshua in my personal study time. I took my study notes and created a study to share with all of you. While the scriptures I have written out are in KJV (because that is what I use), please feel free to read the scripture references in whatever translation you personally use. I am sure you will still find benefit even though the wording may be different.

A Journey Through Joshua

Since this is my first time inserting a downloadable file, please let me know if this works for you or not. I may attempt to write and share more studies so I would appreciate as much feedback as possible on the process of downloading the study as well as the study itself. You can leave comments below, on my facebook page, or message me directly.