Sunday, July 28, 2013

Trust God...even when it's hard!

Trust God… even when it’s hard!
We talk about trusting God all the time… but do we really mean it? 
Recently, our family had watched a movie for our family night. During this movie, a daughter of the family dies. They go over the “what ifs” in life, and try to figure out if they, “Would have” done this or that, then she would have lived. But one of the points the brother makes in the movie was great. He said that no matter where his sister would have been… whether in China, Africa, or the United States, it was her time to go home to be with our Lord. 
     I started thinking about what Christian Comedian- Ken Davis said… Imagine Jesus walks into your house and says, “Come with me”… you’re making excuses, “But Father, I just paid off my house and my car. I have a great life! My wife just had another child… but… but… but.” 
The truth is… this is what Christ is already doing to us, but we’re not willing to trust him. Yes, we trust Him when things are great… but what about when things get bad?
     When the 9/11 happened, people asked the question of “why?” Why wasn't God here? The truth is, He was! He was in so many ways! Did you know that there were more trains that stopped working, lights that went haywire, people that overslept, and alarms that didn't go off more that morning that any other morning? God was working! But will we choose to trust Him, even if the answer that we want to be yes is a no? 
     Will we trust God, not just in the good, but also in the bad? Will we trust Him if a family/friend of ours dies? Will we trust Him when the test results come back positive for Cancer? Will we trust Him when we get in a car accident, only to find out that they had to amputate both legs? Will you trust God when your life is falling apart, and you don't feel like you belong?These are so many questions to ask yourself! No, it's not going to be easy, but that's what God is there for! He'll hold us, but will we choose to trust Him?! 
Here are a couple verses that I thought would be helpful in the times when we have doubts or don't understand. Please take a moment to read them! :)

"...Do not fear, for I am with you;
Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you, surely I will help you,
Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’"
~Isaiah 41:10~

Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth does not become weary or tired. His understanding is inscrutable. And to him who lacks might He increases power. And vigorous young men stumble badly, yet those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary."
~Isaiah 40:28-31~

But now, thus says the Lord, your Creator, O Jacob, and He who formed you, O Israel,
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine!
“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, Nor will the flame burn you. "For I am the Lord your God, The Holy One of Israel, your Savior;..."
~Isaiah 43:1-3~

Monday, July 22, 2013

Surrendering and Sacrificial Love

All of us have had to surrender and/or sacrifice something in our lives. This past week I've been really trying to study on what love is, and what surrendering is. What does it mean to sacrifice? 

     Recently, I told my mom, “I need to go out for a couple hours. Get away from all the distractions of this world. Put myself away from all electronics, noises, and confusions. I need to go pray, read the Bible, and think.” I realized that by getting everything done on my to-do list, I forgot the most important thing… putting God first! Jesus showed us what sacrificial love is when He died on the cross. 

     So, with my Bible Study, Journal, and pens in hand, I went out for a few. I parked in an empty parking lot, walked down to a pond, set my blanket down for me to sit on, and I prayed, read my Bible, wept, thought, and wrote things down. I can get distracted so easily, that I forget the most important thing… to go to the Cross of Christ; to lay down my burdens at His feet, and surrender. Surrender my day/life/future/worries/fears_____; and focus on Christ; to sacrifice my time on my computer, in my book, or whatever else; and listen. Listen to Christ! 
     “By this we know love, that he laid down His life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives
 for the brothers.” ~1
st John 3:16~
     “Greater Love has no one than this, that someone lays down his life for his friends.”
~ John 15:13~
  “If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all thing… so now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”
~1st Corinthians 13:1-7; 13~


Thursday, July 18, 2013

Being Submissive Part 2 of 2

Last week I talked about being Submissive as Wives/Daughters/Sisters.
This week I wanted to focus more on the practical applications that we can put into practice in our daily lives/routines.

How to Submit... practical applications:
  • *When your dad/husband/grandpa/Uncle tells you to do something, do it with humbleness, quietness, joyfulness, meekness, and a submit spirit.
  • *Do it without complaining, Grumbling (Philippians 2:12-14, "So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure. Do all things without grumbling or disputing; so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach...")
  • *Address them with wisdom and kindness. (Proverbs 31:26, "She opens her mouth in wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.") 
  • *Show them love & Respect when talking to/about them.

    I hope this helps you put into aspect some of the things that we don't put into context that we should. Whatever your case may be, I know the men will be blessed in our lives when we submit to them and show them love, honor, and respect.
    1st Peter 2:13-20, "
    Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether to a king as the one in authority, or to governors as sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do right. For such is the will of God that by doing right you may silence the ignorance of foolish men. Act as free men, and do not use your freedom as a covering for evil, but use it as bondslaves of God. Honor all people, love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the king.Servants, be submissive to your masters with all respect, not only to those who are good and gentle, but also to those who are unreasonable. For this finds favor, if for the sake of conscience toward God a person bears up under sorrows when suffering unjustly. For what credit is there if, when you sin and are harshly treated, you endure it with patience? But if when you do what is right and suffer for it you patiently endure it, this finds favor with God."

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Being Submissive Part 1

On Sunday, our Pastor preached a message about Mother's and Daughters and what 1st Peter 3 says, which I believe that I should post about.

Before I began, please read 1st Peter 3:1-6, "In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives, as they observe your chaste and respectful behavior. Your adornment must not be merely external-braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God. For in this way in former times the holy women also, who hoped in God, used to adorn themselves, being submissive to their own husbands; just as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, and you have become her children if you do what is right without being frightened by any fear."

What I'm about to say is for Daughters as well as Wives. This passage of scripture doesn't just apply to the wives; It apply's to Daughters too.
We can learn so much about this passage, but I just want to talk about being submissive. Too many young women today aren't obedient or submissive to their husbands/fathers. Do you not have a husband?... submit to your Father. Do you not have a father?... submit to you Elder/Uncle/Grandpa.

Be obedient without fear! Be submissive without questions. So many times, I've questioned by dads motives about things, when really what I should have done, was just listen and submit myself to my dads authority.
We see a great example of Jesus submitting Himself to the will of His Father in Matthew 26:39, "And going a little farther He fell on His face and prayed, saying, "My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will." and again in verse 42: "Again, for the second time, He went away and prayed, "My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, your will be done."
Christ is our perfect example of being submissive. So, with reverent behavior, let's put it into practice.  

Monday, July 1, 2013

If I Perish

"Go, gather together all the Jews that are present in Shushan, and fast ye for me, and neither eat nor drink three days, night or day: I also and my maidens will fast likewise; and so will I go in unto the king, which is not according to the law: and if I perish, I perish." (Esther 4:16)
This is the courageous testimony of Queen Esther as she prepared to risk her own life in order to save the lives of her people. It was a capital crime for anyone to intrude into the king's throne room unbidden, but she was willing to do so in order to do the will of God, knowing that "we ought to obey God rather than men" (Acts 5:29).
In the same spirit, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were willing to enter the fiery furnace rather than to worship the humanistic gods of Babylon, testifying to Nebuchadnezzar that "Our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the furnace of blazing fire; and He will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But even if He does not, let it be known to you, O king, that we are not going to serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.”(Daniel 3:17-18).
God did deliver Esther and the three Jewish youths, but there have been many through the ages who have died for their faith rather than deny their faith. All the apostles (save John) died as martyrs, for example, and so have countless others throughout the centuries. "They loved not their lives unto the death" (Revelation 12:11), if it meant denying their Savior.
Believers in many nations are suffering such persecutions even today, and the time is coming when the last great God-rejecting king of the earth (called the "beast" in Scripture) will "cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed" (Revelation 13:15). If a similar choice should ever confront us, may God give us the grace to say with Paul that "Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death" (Philippians 1:20), and with Esther: "If I perish, I perish."