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Busyness without abiding = wheel spinning

There are times when we feel like our lives are stagnating. Though we may be incredibly busy, we just don’t see ourselves moving forward in any particular direction. This is often a time of personal spiritual reflection. A time for us to seek the face of God for direction. My prayer is that during this time we will not jump into more “spiritual” activity. Instead, use the time to get deeper into the Word of God and spend more time talking to the lover of our soul.  Though busyness can make us appear very spiritual, if we are not doing what God has called us to do in the right spirit, we are just spinning our wheels.  He longs for us to abide in Him, leaning on Him for His strength and guidance as we do His will.

If  you find yourself feeling rather useless right now, begin to seek His face. Talk to Him, read His Word and ask for direction at the beginning of each day. He doesn’t want us doing “His deeds” without Him. He wants relationship. He wants our attention. He wants our love and devotion. It is through abiding in Him and His Word that we are to live out our lives. We are not to do what we deem our spiritual duty, checking in with Him once in a while for approval. We are to seek Him daily and allow Him to use us for His service as He leads, all the while obeying what we know to be His will.

Jesus himself, told us of the importance of remaining close to Him. It is out of that abiding that we will bear spiritual fruit for His Kingdom.

John 15:4-5 NIV 4 Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.

If you find yourself just trying to stay busy (even doing “His deeds”)  in order to cover the emptiness inside, perhaps it’s time to get plugged back into the source. Spend time with Jesus today. Let Him know how you are feeling. Ask for direction. Ask for a renewed love and increase in faith. He longs to give us good gifts!  Spend time in His Word. It is a love letter to each of us from God Himself. When we come to Him with a sincere heart He will not ignore us! He is faithful to answer! He has been waiting to hear from you.

“Our greatest fear should not be of failure but of succeeding at things in life that don’t really matter.” ~Francis Chan

Is there a flame you need to fan?

2 Timothy 1:6 For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands.

2 Timothy 1:6 For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands.

I woke up this morning to my radio alarm. It was tuned to our local Christian radio program and the commentator was relaying a story of a close friend of his from the past, that was currently going through some very dark times.  Through an email this friend from the past, reminded him how he had once belonged to a good church and had had a fire down in his belly for God. He didn’t say what had happened in his life to cause him to fall away, only that his friend was now down, depressed and desperate. As the commentator read the letter he had received from this friend his voice kept breaking and it was obvious his heart was breaking too.  What I loved about this story was that this friend’s mother had once been the commentators Sunday School teacher and had taught him a verse that he would now be able to share with her son.

As soon as the commentator  finished reading the letter the Lord brought to remembrance this verse that had many years before been taught to him by this precious Sunday school teacher…. 2 Timothy 1:6,7 NIVFor this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.

For those of us who know people that had once walked with Christ and yet for various reasons allowed the cares of this world to draw them away, may we allow God to use us to help fan their flame!  Let’s be a demonstration of the love of Christ to them and remind them how much He longs to have their fellowship. Rather than gossip about them, let’s allow the Spirit of God to move through us as we reach out to them in love and welcome them back into our lives and churches. Allow God to use you to fan the flame of faith in someone else today!

Are you walking out the gospel?

mark10-44 When a person loses a loved one we often see family and friends reach out to them and love on them. With our family and friends we kind of expect that that would be the case because we know them and love them.  Last week during our visit to the U.S. for my brother in laws funeral, I was quite simply blown away by the love demonstrated by the Pastors and members of Greenbriar Church in Albany,Georgia. (http://www.greenbriarchurch.net/)

I haven’t stopped thinking about the way they loved on my sister, her husbands brother and all of our family. It was New Testament church being demonstrated even though my sister and brother in law were no longer attending there due to a job relocation!

It made such an impact on my husband and I  that I have shared the experience with my own church and friends since returning. The Pastors actually drove drove by car from Georgia to Florida and back to be there for the actual funeral and also held a beautiful memorial service for my brother in law at their home church in Georgia, which we all attended.  From the moment they arrived in Florida till the end of our time in Georgia the members and friends went out of their way to take care of my sister and all of us.  Their church logo is   “For God. For this City” and it really should include and “For Beyond!”

Their love, compassion and efforts by all, so beautifully demonstrated the love God has for each of us. The love that Christ has for us really was shown through our brothers and sisters in Georgia.  I am so inspired to do more for my own community after seeing this. Each of us followers of Christ have the ability to do something for others. Jesus calls us to be people of action and I have been inspired to demonstrate the love of Christ more.

So THANK YOU to all the Pastors and members of Greenbriar Church. THANK YOU to all of my sisters wonderful friends who loved on her and did so much to turn a time of sorrow in to a time of love! You have all inspired me so much.  Not only did you share the gospel but you lived the gospel!

My prayer is that each one of us followers of Christ will ask God to show us ways we can demonstrate the love Jesus has for others. To quote Francis Chan,  “I believe God wants us to love others so much that we go to extremes to help them.”  

News worth sharing!

I know I am not alone in noticing the exciting changes in the Church. By church, I don’t mean my church only but the body of Christ in general. It appears so many more believers are getting serious about their relationship with Christ. The atmosphere is changing. There is a deeper hunger for more of God and less religion, pomp and pretense!

In our church, sometimes the presence of God is so precious that people don’t want to leave. But leave we must! We are very blessed to be able to corporately meet in prayer, fellowship and worship but God does not want us to hoard Jesus. He wants us to share the gospel so that all men and women everywhere have an opportunity to come to know the lover of their souls! The Bible confirms this in 1Timothy 2: 1-7 NIV 2 I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— 2 for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. 3 This is good, and pleases God our Savior, 4 who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave himself as a ransom for all people. This has now been witnessed to at the proper time. 7 And for this purpose I was appointed a herald and an apostle—I am telling the truth, I am not lying—and a true and faithful teacher of the Gentiles.

It’s important that we meet regularly and be taught by our Pastors and pray with and be encouraged by our brothers and sisters in Christ but let’s not forget the gospel is the “good news” and news is to be shared! Ask the Lord today how you can be used to share the good news. There are so many hurting, broken people that need Christ and if we don’t share the gospel with them, who will?

Are you hiding from the Light?

Jeremiah 23:24 NIV "Who can hide in secret places so that  I cannot see ?" declares the Lord. "Do not I fill heaven and earth?" declares the Lord.

Jeremiah 23:24 NIV “Who can hide in secret places so that I cannot see them?” declares the Lord. “Do not I fill heaven and earth?” declares the Lord.

I am thankful to God for His patience with me.  I am so grateful that He is slow to anger and kind. That He longs for fellowship with each and every one of us.  I can remember at one time believing that whenever I screwed up in my walk with Christ, God would be angry with me, so I would find myself avoiding Him for a while. I would steer clear of  the intimacy of prayer as it would require my having to come clean and fess up.

Before too long however,  I would miss our fellowship. I would toss up the odd prayer but with no real expectancy due to the fact I knew there were things between us putting up a barrier from intimacy. Eventually I would cave and come before Him with a heart of repentance and fess up. The peace and freedom that would follow was amazing. I’m not sure why I ever thought things would get better on their own!

I am thankful that I no longer try and hide anything from Him. He sees all, knows all and it is a complete and utter waste of time allowing any sin to remain between us.  When I screw up now, I don’t waste the time  I used to fessing up. It keeps the lines of communication open with the lover of my soul. It allows for instant access and freedom in making my requests known when I come to Him with a need for others or for myself.  If you have drifted from intimacy in your prayer life, perhaps it’s time you tear down the  barriers.

If  you have sin in your life you have been holding onto, hoping neither God nor anyone else will see it,  it’s time to get rid of it!  Don’t waste another day without intimacy with the King of  Kings.

The Word of God says in 1John 1:9 NIV If we confess our sins He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and will cleanse us of ALL unrighteousness.

Let His light shine  into all the dark areas of your life. Don’t allow anything to keep you from coming boldly to the throne!

John 3:19-21 NIV 19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. 21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light,  so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.

No longer a slave!

Galatians 5:1 5 It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.

Galatians 5:1 5 It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.

When we accepted Christ into our lives we not only received salvation and eternal life but we also received the Holy Spirit. The Word of God tells us that where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom! 2 Corinthians 3:17 NIV 17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.

God has provided us freedom from the bondage of sin. We no longer have to be controlled by habitual sin and striving. As we turn to Christ, He will guide us and lead us away from and apart from those things that used to easily ensnare us! Hebrews 12:1-2 NKJV 12 Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Now that we have been made free, it is so important that we don’t become spiritually lazy. We need to be reading the Word of God, be in prayer and fellowship on a regular basis. Without doing these things we will begin to compromise our walk with Christ. Life as a believer is exciting. We get to see the hand of God move first hand in our lives and the lives of those around us. Let’s not take for granted all that Christ has done. Let’s run the race He has set before us. If we are busy spending time in the presence of God we will not want to do those things that end up causing us pain and separation from the lover of our soul.

God has bought you freedom from spiritual bondage at a great price! The price of His precious Son. Don’t take it for granted. Instead enjoy intimacy with Him while you read your Bible and learn who He is and how much He loves you. Talk to Him. He is never more than a breath away. And lastly stand firm. Don’t look back or side to side. Move on forward in love and obedience. God has great things in store for each of us and if you allow the things that once held you in bondage to gain a foothold back in your life you will not only lose your intimacy with God but you will lose sight of the purpose for which He has called you.

Galatians 5:1 NIV 5 It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.