GOT A REMINDER Rock?

big rock reminder

Joshua 24:24

I love the Word of God; it’s about people, real people. The children of Israel were just like us! They were people with every day issues and faults that are familiar to us.

Every time the people were confronted with their sin, they repented and promised to serve the one true God with all of their heart. Then, just like us, they went right back to “life as usual.”

God knew this and kept reminding them of the rewards and victories that accompany acknowledgement of who He is. At the same time, He told them there would be hard consequences if they turned away. (the whole books of Deuteronomy and I & II Kings)

God knew the hardness of the people’s hearts (Deuteronomy 31:16-18) and repeatedly cautioned the Israelites of the outcome if they chose to turn away from Him. God even had Moses write a song and sing it for the people as a lasting reminder to them that He knew what they would do and that their actions would have consequences. (Deuteronomy 31:15-20 and the song is written in its entirety in Deuteronomy 32)

As a reminder to the people of God’s mercy, Joshua set a stone before the people. The stone would be a reminder, a “witness” of their own decision to NOT serve God. A reminder of how patient their God was.

It was not a declaration of punishment but a reminder of what would happen when they turned away—again. It was a symbol of covenant and a reminder of God’s mercy to forgive them. (Joshua 24:25-27)

Jesus, God’s son, died to set us free from the bondage of repeated sin. It is important that we realize that the Word says when we turn away; we nail the Son of God to the cross, again. (Hebrews 6:4-6) The only difference between us and the Israelites is that it isn’t a rock that is witness to our rebellion today; it’s a cross.

Joshua 24:24 And the people said to Joshua, “We will serve the LORD our God and obey him.”

Prayer: Please, forgive me for the times that I have rebelled against your will for my life, Father. Help me to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit so that I know the path you want me to take and the attitudes that will glorify you in my words, plans and actions. Thank you for the price you paid at Calvary so my rebellions are forgiven. Amen.

Scripture references:

Deuteronomy 31:15-20 Then the Lord appeared at the tent in a pillar of cloud, and the cloud stood over the entrance to the tent. And the Lord said to Moses: “You are going to rest with your ancestors, and these people will soon prostitute themselves to the foreign gods of the land they are entering. They will forsake me and break the covenant I made with them. And in that day I will become angry with them and forsake them; I will hide my face from them, and they will be destroyed. Many disasters and calamities will come on them, and in that day they will ask, ‘Have not these disasters come on us because our God is not with us?’ And I will certainly hide my face in that day because of all their wickedness in turning to other gods.

“Now write down this song and teach it to the Israelites and have them sing it, so that it may be a witness for me against them. When I have brought them into the land flowing with milk and honey, the land I promised on oath to their ancestors, and when they eat their fill and thrive, they will turn to other gods and worship them, rejecting me and breaking my covenant.

Joshua 24:25-27 On that day Joshua made a covenant for the people, and there at Shechem he reaffirmed for them decrees and laws. And Joshua recorded these things in the Book of the Law of God. Then he took a large stone and set it up there under the oak near the holy place of the Lord.

“See!” he said to all the people. “This stone will be a witness against us. It has heard all the words the Lord has said to us. It will be a witness against you if you are untrue to your God.”

Hebrews 6:4-6 It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit) who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age and who have fallen away, to be brought back to repentance. To their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace.

Note: The entire book of Deuteronomy and the Books of I&II Kings show God’s repeated efforts to bring His people close to Him. Again and again, they turned aside. God’s patience and his anger at their disobedience are told of in these books. A good read for those who love the Lord and want to serve Him.

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Got To Be Less of Me

weight

 

Galatians 5: 16-18

Since I struggle with my weight, I’m constantly searching for ways to make dieting easier. Experience has taught me that no matter how much I pay for diets and gym memberships, there is only one absolute method for success: the self discipline to eat less, exercise more.  It works every time.

One of the diet “clubs” that I’ve joined through the years was called, “Less of Me.” The group provided the encouragement of fellowship with others who struggled just like I did. There is great strength in fellowship with people who know exactly what I’m going through.

John the Baptist spoke of Jesus saying, “He must increase and I must decrease” (John 3:30). The difference between the spiritual “less of me” concept and the weight loss version is; with Jesus, there’s something to fill the void.

Jesus loved us so much that He gave His life that we could know HIM intimately. More than just the surface relationship of supportive friends at a weight loss group; an intimate emotional relationship like a husband loves his wife.

Like eating less and staying physically fit, spiritual fitness requires self discipline. We should challenge ourselves; make a conscious effort to make “more of Jesus” one of our daily goals. Just like a plan for physical fitness, it will require both discipline and action.

As difficult as it is to set a time for daily exercise; setting a time for daily Bible study and prayer can be even more of a challenge. The first step is to make a plan; but the most important step is to DO it.

Nothing I do that benefits my physical self or my spiritual self is easy to accomplish.  The old adage, “no pain no gain” holds true in many areas of life, including doing the things that make me both physically AND spiritually healthy.

However, the “less of me more of Jesus” concept has not only a benefit for today but for eternity as well. The inner self wants to be physically and spiritually healthy, but without hands on discipline, both will fail.  More of Jesus, less of —me; like a successful diet and exercise plan, requires not only motivation but also planning and participation.

Galatians 5: 16-18 So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, help me to do the things that will make your presence in my life grow. Help me to set up a time of Bible study and prayer daily and to discipline myself to fellowship with believers at church. I really do want my life to have more of you and less of me. Amen.

Scriptural Reference:

 John 3:30 He must become greater; I must become less.

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The Forgotten Shrimp

shrimp

Matthew 5:23-24

One afternoon, I went to get shrimp from the freezer to prepare for dinner that night.  No shrimp. Thinking perhaps I’d not bought the shrimp after all; I fixed something else for our meal.   

Days later, I was horrified to find the bag of thawed; now bubbling with bacteria—shrimp beside the washer in the laundry room!  EWWW!  Now, I know what happened to the shrimp.  

The day I’d bought the seafood, I’d taken advantage of a great sale on fluffy bath towels. Once home, I put the sack of towels beside the laundry basket to wash before use. It never crossed my mind that the sales clerk would put a bag of frozen shrimp in with a pile of bath towels.

I wonder how long it would have been before the ‘gases’ from the shrimp built up in that sealed bag and it exploded. Can you IMAGINE what that would be like? BANG!  Smelly rotting shrimp spewing everywhere; nasty

Sometimes, we stuff hurtful things that people have said or done to us down inside our heart, out of sight. Instead of taking our pain to Jesus for resolution, we hide it. We make a point to not think about the pain and anger or the broken relationship; keeping ourselves busy so we don’t remember. 

Scripture shows that our relationships with each other do affect our relationship with God; whether the rift exists because of our own apathy or the carelessness of somebody else. Mark 12:28-31 says the two most important life laws are, love God and love each other.  The Bible also reveals that anger with your spouse can hinder your prayers. (I Peter 3:7) 

If left unattended to, stuffed in the bottom of our heart, unresolved anger will eventually explode; spewing ugly bitter words and hurt feelings everywhere. Stuffing anger and hurt feelings inside our heart and ignoring them never ends well.  

The only cure for wounded relationships is to turn them over to the Holy Spirit for handling. The Spirit knows God’s perfect will and can direct our heart on how to heal and rebuild broken relationships.  

Satan loves it when we have bitterness and anger hiding in the bottom of our heart. Deal with the hurt feelings now, before they explode and make a big mess; take them to Jesus.  

Matthew 5:23-24 If therefore you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your offering there before the altar, and go your way; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering.

Prayer: Father God, help me to realize that anytime I have a “people” problem, I compromise my relationship with you. Show me how to keep my friendships clear of conflict and help me to forgive others when they have done me wrong. Remind me that there is no issue too big OR too small to lay at the foot of the cross. Amen.

Scripture References

Mark 12:28-31 One of the teachers of religious law was standing there listening to the debate. He realized that Jesus had answered well, so he asked, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”

Jesus replied, “The most important commandment is this: ‘Listen, O Israel! The Lord our God is the one and only Lord. And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’ The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.”

 I Peter 3:7 Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.

 

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Got to TELL Somebody!

Friends working togetherMark 7:24

While grocery shopping the other day, I discovered that rib eye steaks were on sale. Buy one get one free! What an incredible bargain! I was SO excited about the good news that I called my friend, Celia, to share it with her so she could get some steaks too.

I didn’t talk to her for very long because I wanted to call some other friends and let them know about the fabulous sale as well. An incredible good deal like THAT is simply too good to keep to myself.

This is how we should think about sharing the Gospel; so good we can’t keep it to ourselves!  It is human nature to share our triumphs. The fact is, satan doesn’t care if we tell our friends about a good sale, he does care when we share our testimony. That’s why we feel so timid about sharing the Good News.  That’s why it’s so hard to witness to our family and friends.

Satan works hard to make us feel stupid about sharing our faith. But, as Christians, we have the best news ever! Forgiveness of sin, direction for life, hope for healing and a personal relationship with the Lord God Almighty; all free, paid for at Calvary. Literally the greatest news on earth.   

Tell somebody about it! Witnessing is simply sharing good news with somebody who hasn’t heard yet. Just like we’d be excited to share news of a great sale on steaks, we should have the same enthusiasm in telling our friends about Jesus. Something this great, we can’t possibly keep it to ourselves! 

Mark 7:24

Jesus left that place and went to the vicinity of Tyre. He entered a house and did not want anyone to know it; yet he could not keep his presence secret.

Prayer:

Lord God, help me to be excited about my salvation and your great love. Send me your Holy Spirit so the good news of the Gospel is always near to my lips so I can tell it boldly, as I should. Direct me to friends who need to hear about your great love. Amen.

 

 

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I Can Do It!

do itworkout-1931107

 

I Corinthians 9:27

Today, I made a decision. Not only am I going to watch what I eat, I’m also going to join an aerobic exercise group. Stopping by the gym to pick up the program syllabus, I was invited to observe an on-going class.  As I stood, watching the tiny little instructor, I made two observations.

#1. Assuming that if I could even find that stretchy little aerobics outfit in my size, I’d look like 100 pounds of Jell-O struggling to get out of a 25 pound sack.  #2. It would take a crane to get me off the floor when I fell, and prancing around like that, falling is a certainty.

Thoroughly frustrated yet painfully aware of the need to change my lifestyle; I remembered a conversation I’d had with an inmate at the county jail while I was doing the jail ministry. She’d recently accepted Christ and was struggling with many life style changes. She was overwhelmed with the things that would need to be different.

With the insight of the Holy Spirit, I told her that she should stop looking at ALL the stuff that she thought she had to change and begin to focus on ONE thing. Start. A good place to start is with the Word of God.

The Word of God changes your heart. Once the heart is changed, attitudes change. No matter how strong worldly habits or how deep the scars, faithful daily exposure to God’s Word will, in time, heal, deliver and direct. The important part is to plan a quiet time each day, pick up the Bible and—start. As scripture comes alive in the heart, attitudes begin to reflect the heart of God and change is natural.

Exercise and diet are the same way; at my age and weight, I can’t suddenly start running marathons and eating only water and carrot sticks. I’ve set a time each day to walk; PLANNING is essential to success. IF I remain faithful to my commitment, my whole lifestyle WILL change. I just need to— start.

I Corinthians 9:27 I don’t know about you, but I’m running hard for the finish line. I’m giving it everything I’ve got. No sloppy living for me! I’m staying alert and in top condition. I’m not going to get caught napping, telling everyone else all about it and then missing out myself. (The Message)

Prayer: My Lord, you are a holy God that cannot look upon sin. Help me me to know that you don’t expect me to change myself; you send me the Holy Spirit to tell me not only what to change, but how to make the changes. Give me ears to hear and a heart to listen so that I will yield myself to your directions. Thank you. I love you for loving me too much to leave me the way I am now. Amen

 

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The Talking Bread

a loaf of bread

Isaiah 45:11

The soft rolls done and on the rise, I started working on making French bread. As I kneaded the dough, I was praying for friends and loved ones to be saved, healed, and delivered.   

Not just praying but giving directions, “God, get my brother THAT job and make the loan on THAT house come through for my friend.” I was deep in prayer while I was vigorously kneading that French bread. 

Mid-prayer, God spoke to me, “What would you think if the dough spoke to you and said, “I think you should use a lighter hand to knead me so the bread will be more tender.”

Startled, I told God, “French bread has to be kneaded with a heavy hand in order for the crust to develop properly; obviously the dough has no idea what I’m doing.”  God replied, “Even so.”  I stopped kneading, “What?????” 

Then, I realized it wasn’t up to me to tell God HOW to do things; it was my place to simply give the “life dough” of those I love to Him and let him “knead” as He wills.  My job ended at bringing their name before Him daily and praying that they be yielded to the Master’s hand.

HE would decide what should be done to lead them, bend them or even break them. The circumstances and trials of their life were between Him and THEM.  A plan for their individual lives as well as the lives of others through them had been made in full knowledge of the “dough” He was working with.   

Like Joseph in prison; in the end, Joseph was exactly where God wanted him to be, to do exactly what God had planned for him to do. The “kneading” had been rough, but the finished loaf was perfect. God worked not only in Joseph’s own life but through his life to the nation of Israel.  

Somehow, I’d been thinking that praying meant helping God out with decisions about the lives of others. I’d forgotten that God often uses diversity as a tool and as a witness. Now, I daily bring those I love to the Lord and—just leave them there– with no direction or opinion given.  

Isaiah 45:11 This is what the LORD says— the Holy One of Israel, and its Maker: “Concerning things to come, do you question me about my children, or give me orders about the work of my hands?”

Prayer: Father, please forgive me for trying to tell you what to do in the lives of others. Help me to remember that you are a sovereign God who does not need to be instructed. Do as you will in the lives of those that I love so that your perfect plan will be realized. In Jesus name. Amen.

 

 

 

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I Love Old Bibles

old_bible

I love old Bibles! One of my most treasured possessions is an old, very old, small Bible that was given to me by my husband. 

He paid only a few cents for it at a country sale held alongside the road in the Great Smoky Mountains of North Carolina. According to the dates etched in calligraphy on the presentation page, the Bible was presented in 1886.  

Inside of the old Bible are carefully penned hand written notes and meticulously underlined favorite scriptures. It took planning, a fountain pen and an ink pot to write notes on those pages. Faded by the ravages of time, some of the markings are almost illegible. 

In my mind, I can imagine the owner of this small Bible sitting at her kitchen table each morning, reading inspiration (by candlelight?) for the new day in the pages of God’s Word. It is very moving to gently flip through the pages of this treasure and read the verses that encouraged a dear saint who had gone on to be with Jesus before my own great grandmother was even born. 

Odd as it would seem, the young woman struggled with the same problems, temptations and failings that I struggle with today. Our modern technologies haven’t changed the fragile human condition with all its weaknesses and trials. I can tell by the worn, dog eared pages that some of her favorite chapters to read are also my favorites. Someday, when I’ve gone to be with my Lord, I hope to meet this gentle soul who lived so strong for Christ. 

My heart can only hope that one day somebody who loves the Lord, hopefully my own grandchildren, will find my old Bible and be encouraged by the markings I’ve made in its pages as I’ve read. What an incredible testimony of God’s faithfulness; to leave a Bible, well read, marked up, worn out and earmarked with tear stained pages.  

One of the underlined verses this dear saint, whose name was “Anna,” treasured, speaks even more clearly, now, to me, as I read God’s Word, than it did when she read it in 1886:

Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

Prayer:  Father, help me to always treasure your Word.  Give me the Holy Spirit to instruct me hot to apply your principles to my every day life. Thank you. I love you.  Amen

 

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WHO DID THAT?

 

My friend bought pizza for supper. Arriving home, she put the pizza on the kitchen table. Her husband wasn’t home from work yet so she left the pie unopened. When she came back into the kitchen she noticed her husband still wasn’t home and decided she’d best eat while the pizza was still hot.

Opening the box, she found a large slice missing. She was FURIOUS! Obviously, a pizza store clerk had taken a piece of her pizza before it even left the store!  She called the pizza store and told them what had happened.  They denied it and politely said that was impossible. No employee would EVER remove a piece of pizza from a customer’s order!

Furious, she informed them that she had picked up the pizza, come straight home, alone, nobody was in the house but her and she was absolutely positive nobody had opened the box before she did. The ONLY explanation was that a hungry employee had taken the slice. The store manager continued to say that was impossible—but—since they believed in customer service, bring the pie back and they’d replace it, which they did.

Arriving back at the house with a new pizza, she went into the house and once more put the unopened box on the kitchen table. Her husband pulled into the driveway and walked in the house right behind her. Going straight to the table, he lifted the lid of the pizza box and in puzzled astonishment said, “Praise GOD, the pizza healed itself!”

He had come home earlier and realized as he walked in the house that he’d forgotten something at the office. Noticing the pizza box on the table, he grabbed a slice, closed the lid and left. She’d never known he was in the house.  Needless to say, my friend returned to the pizza store, explained, apologized and paid for the “new” pizza.

So often, as Christians, we blame “somebody” for a misdeed, a hurt feeling or a perceived wrong. Sometimes, we stop going to a class, cease to serve in a ministry, leave a church, or even stop going to church all together.  We are hurt, angry, frustrated, disappointed and fed up.  These hurts and disappointments are real, not imagined.

The truth is, we attack the wrong enemy. Ephesians 6:12 says that we don’t fight against flesh and blood. One of satan’s goals is to ruin our relationship with other Christians, removing us from the support of the body of Christ. In time, our inner pain becomes a form of idolatry and we feel we are justified in our separation from God’s people. We worship our disappointment, anger and emotional pain instead of God.

Without the encouragement of fellowship with the body of Christ, we eventually lose our intimacy with Christ himself. Don’t be fooled; your pain does not come from people, or church or God.  It comes from satan himself.  Don’t let satan rob you of the very thing Christ died on the cross to give you; relationship with God and with each other.

Ephesians 6:12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, help me to see past the moment and understand that satan wants to rob me of the strength of fellowship that can be found in church. Remind me that your blood shed on Calvary set me free from the bondage of broken relationships and hurt feelings. In Jesus name, amen.

 

 

 

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Saints Are Like Good Chocolates

Image result for jpeg image of good chocolates

Mathew 25:28-30

They say that there are two kinds of people; those who love chocolate and those who just haven’t tasted really good chocolate– yet. When hovering over a box of fine chocolates, the only thought is the delight of the moment. However, a box of gourmet chocolates does not just magically appear all yummy and ready to be enjoyed.

The cocoa bean is huge and lumpy and almost impossible to crack open. Once the shell is open, there’s no chocolate, as we know it, inside.  The beans inside are hard, bitter and difficult to dig out. The delicious chocolates that look so perfect are a result of an intricate process.

Christian’s are like cacao beans. We all start out “lumpy and raw.” Like the box of wonderful chocolates, the Christians that we see as being so perfect have been through quite a bit of processing.

The learned saint who speaks with such passion and knowledge of God’s Word was once fumbling through their Bible trying to find the book of Amos. Not even the Rev. Billy Graham sprang into ministry learned, experienced and accomplished.

Satan loves to hold a magnifying glass up to these saints. He also loves to whisper in my ear about how inept, useless and failing my efforts are compared to “them.”  But, I must remember; even the most eloquent scholar was once a mumbling student.

To start with, God gives each of us talents according to the work He has called us to do (Matthew 25:15). Neither you nor I will ever be held up to another saint and compared to them. The most accomplished saint will be judged on the work they were given to do just as you and I will be judged on the work WE were given to do.

God will never compare my works to the works of others. What I accomplish will only be measured by the talent and directions I was, myself, given. In the parable of the talents, the master did not measure the servant with the least return by the servant with the most return. The master held each servant responsible for what they did with the talents they were, themselves, given (Matthew 25:19-23).

The only servant that was severely reprimanded was the one who did nothing at all with their own talents (Matthew 25:24-27). When satan convinces me to not do anything because I think that I can’t do it right—-or I can’t do it as well as somebody else; the work that I was intended to do doesn’t get done at all. And for THAT, I will be held accountable.

 Mathew 25:28-30 Take the talent from him and give it to the one who has the ten talents. For everyone who has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him. And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

 Prayer: Father, thank you that I won’t be judged according to what others have accomplished. Help me to see the talents that you have given me. Show me how to use my talents to glorify you and serve you. I love you. Amen.

Scriptural References:

 Matthew 25:15 To one he gave five bags of gold, to another two bags, and to another one bag, each according to his ability.

Matthew 25:19-23 After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. The man who had received five bags of gold brought the other five. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with five bags of gold. See, I have gained five more.’

“His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’

“The man with two bags of gold also came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with two bags of gold; see, I have gained two more.’

 “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’

Matthew 25: 24-27 “Then the man who had received one bag of gold came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed.  So I was afraid and went out and hid your gold in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.’

 “His master replied, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed?  Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Shiny New Independence Day

dan grilling framed

 

Shiny New Independence Day

My husband bought a brand new truck.  It was the fulfillment of every man’s fantasy, a ‘man’ vehicle; leather interior, shiny chrome trim, loaded inside and out!  After every outing, he’d shut the doors tenderly, carefully brushing off leaves, bug butts and road dust. However, as time went on, the ‘shiny new’ wore off and it became nothing more than ‘the truck.’

The same can be said for the Declaration of Independence. It was a big deal when first signed and later legislation passed to give honor to the day it was introduced. It was a BIG event for the new colonies to finally be free from the oversight of Britain.  After this declaration was finalized, our newborn country was on its own, a sovereign nation. Britain no longer had any say over our government or our laws nor could they force us to pay taxes.

Now, as hundreds of years have gone by, little attention is made to the original event. People celebrate with fireworks and picnics but oddly, few when asked, really know anything about WHY there is a celebration.  When inquired of, most respond, “Because it’s July 4th!” But when questioned further, many know it was the date the Declaration of Independence was signed (not exactly right, but close enough) but are clueless about what the holiday actually does celebrate; our independence from the  government control and taxes of England.

Human nature is like that in the remembrance of important dates. When we first get saved, we are SO excited! We keep our Bibles by the bedside and read every night, pouring over the scriptures, soaking it up like a sponge. We can’t get enough, say enough or do enough for the Lord.  As time goes on, the ‘shiny new’ wears off and going to church and reading our Bible are done with less enthusiasm until it’s all simply “church stuff.”  We’re still “Christians,” but our first love has quieted.

God created us for relationship with Him. He gave His son, Jesus, to die on the cross so we could have a personal relationship with Him.  Then, God sent His Holy Spirit so we could know Him intimately, know His thoughts. There are many false Gods that people worship, but our God is the only God who wants us to have a relationship. Satan will do ANYthing to discourage us from having that personal intimacy.

The tools satan seems to have the most success with are simply; busyness and mundane acceptance. Like the celebration of Independence Day, most know the event of Christ’s atoning death but the significance of the event has lost its shiny new excitement. As we go on picnics and enjoy pretty fireworks, let us be thankful for our freedom and independence not just as a sovereign nation, but as a born again believer who has been set free from sin and bondage.

After God has gone to such incredible lengths and paid such a huge price to have intimacy with me, shouldn’t I at least be as faithful to plan time with Him as I would be to keep a holiday?  Today, I determine that I will be thankful for America’s independence as a nation AND my independence from satan’s hold on my life.  I’m going to keep my relationship with my Lord, ‘shiny new.’

Scripture:

Revelation 2:3-5 (NIV) 3You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary. 4Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love. 5Remember the height from which you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lamp stand from its place.

Prayer:

Lord Jesus, thank you for saving me and setting me free from the destructive power of sin. Thank you that I live in a free country where I can choose to worship and go to the house of worship that I want. Help me to remember how precious both my freedom of choice and my freedom from sin is. I love you. Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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