Humble Enough For Heaven?

  Do we even know what being humble means now-a-days? When you hear the word "humility" what do you think of? Perhaps your first mental picture is of someone being a door-mat, allowing anyone to walk all over them- never standing up for themselves- all in all, a wimp. Or maybe you see someone who is always rejecting compliments and who believes they're not worth anything- so no one should really even pay them much attention. (Could you possibly resemble one of these descriptions yourself)? True humility is neither of those things, even though that is what I think a lot of us are conditioned to believe. As a matter of fact, I see Biblical humility as a two-fold state of being. It is: 1. Realizing that you are NOTHING without the pure grace of God and salvation of Christ 2. Knowing that you are WORTH EVERYTHING because of that grace and salvation. What do these things mean- practically speaking? Without going into a full-blown Bible study, let's look at it just a bit. First of all, Jesus said in John 15:5 that apart from Him, we can do nothing! That means that no matter what good people actually can do in this world: charitable acts, educating people, serving … [Read more...]

Avoiding Pain

Have you ever thought about how much time we waste trying to avoid pain? I mean, there is a measure of common sense that must be utilized in avoiding danger and sickness... but I'm referring to the flat-out fear of physical or emotional distress. Think about all the things that you may try to avoid because it would cause discomfort: -exercise -ending a harmful relationship -having difficult conversations -admitting your own sins or shortcomings -watching a charity commercial on T.V -watching the news -saying "no" to your children (my children get it all the time so no biggie there on my end). -reading sad stories -watching chick-flicks (that's a personal one for me- tons of women love them! I will occasionally watch a "girlie" movie but most of the time I'd prefer not to get sad and weepy when I'm supposed to be entertained. I'll gladly cry for spiritual reasons but I HATE crying for anything else. I know- I'm weird) Anyway, the "uncomfortable" list goes on and on. I've discovered something recently though (at least about myself)... in completely avoiding pain I lessen the effect of joy. Let me say that again: BY COMPLETELY AVOIDING PAIN YOU LESSEN THE EFFECT OF … [Read more...]

When Faith Says “Give Up”

To say someone has faith implies that they believe in someone or something. Regardless of circumstances or feelings, faith says "I will keep going and stand firm simply because I believe".  So, when would faith ever tell you to just give up? Well, it does a lot actually, we just rarely listen. There are so many things in this world and in our Christian walk that requires us to work and serve, to break and grow, to weep and pray. Yet I would say that there are also an equal amount of things that we should just step back and let go of. Our society today (particularly women) believe that it is our responsibility to fix things and make sure everyone around us is happy. Although this has its place, there are many times when we have our hands in the pot but there's already a cook in the kitchen! (You know the old saying; "Too many hands in the pot spoil the sauce".) God is at work in everyone and everything around us. There will be times when He calls and uses us to do His will, but there are tons of times when He tells us to get the heck out of the way and let Him work! Good examples of these times may be: - A loved one's spiritual or personal growth (or lack thereof) - … [Read more...]

The Lord is My Shepherd

Trust in the Lord, He is Faithful   (I wanted to revive this and our trust in Him) Psalm 23:1-6 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me besides the still waters He restores my soul; He leads me in paths of righteousness for His name’s sake Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me;  Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; my cup runs over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life and I will dwell in the house of the LORD Forever. This psalmist knew that God was faithful.  He saw God as a daily provider that would always take care of Him. My question to you today is how do you see God? Do you trust Him? Do you trust His word?   The Lord is my shepherd… (you may listen to the audio as this is taught on In His Name Ministries Prayer and Intercession, prayer line.) Psalm 78:52, 53 But He made His own people go forth like sheep, And guided them in the wilderness like a flock; And He led them on safely, so that they did not … [Read more...]

His Unfailing Love

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Is Our Faith Valid

Have you ever thought about the validity of your faith? What about the law and our faith? It is mentioned in: Romans 3:27 Romans 2:17, 23 1 Corinthians 1:29 Ephesians 2:9 After reading scripture, I can see all God has done for me has been done in a strategic way. Allow me to explain... I am  "saved by grace through faith and not of myself.  It is a gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast." Ephesians 2:8,9 I knew that I was saved by grace, but I have never taken the time to think about what this scripture really says. Take a moment and look into this with me... My works nor my deeds saved me.  My salvation is a gift of God and the word says that it is through faith that I am saved. Is it through my faith in God that I am saved? Yes, but by His grace.  It is through my faith in what He has done.  There is nothing alone that I can do apart from God.  I cannot even save myself. For if I had faith, that would be great, but it is not until the grace of God has entered in to the equation that I am saved. So, what then is the grace of God? I believe it is the power to be saved.  It is, as one commentry puts it, "the source of … [Read more...]

Christians Who Eat Crow

How many times in your life have you eaten crow? If you've never heard this expression before- don't worry and don't call PETA. "Eating crow is an American colloquial idiom, meaning humiliation by admitting wrongness or having been proven wrong after taking a strong position." (wiki) In other words, it's having to admit you were wrong when it's OH SO HARD to do. It seems to me that, as believers, we sometimes have an incredibly difficult time admitting our errors. I think this is partially due to the fact that we have tricked ourselves into believing that Christians should know better than to make stupid mistakes. The problem with that line of thinking is that we're human... all of us... yes, you screw up too. Our human nature clings to pride more stubbornly than thighs to last night's grande burrito. We think that, somehow, if we have to admit we are wrong then we will be viewed as less of a person. I don't know about you- but I have so much more respect and esteem for someone who can step up boldly and admit they were wrong than one who fights tooth and nail for "correctness". Want to know a secret? We don't always have to be right. WHAT?! Yeah, I know- this coming from the … [Read more...]

“Who Do You Say I Am?”

Who exactly is Jesus to you? I mean REALLY. If you claim to be a believer then it's tempting to just spout off the first Sunday school answer that pops into your head without any real feeling behind it. Isn't it amazing how easy the words Savior, Redeemer, Son of God, etc. all roll off the tongue without a lot of spiritual investment? This is especially true for those of us who've been raised in church... that doesn't make it right; just the facts here people. We really do have to fight sometimes to find the real answer to the question of "Who is Jesus to me- personally?" Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, He was asking His disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” And they said, “Some say John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; but still others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” And Jesus said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will … [Read more...]

What’s Your Story?

What is your story? You have one you know. Even if you don't think it means very much or is very exciting, it is still a life consisting of events, emotions, growth, loves, losses, lessons and more... a story; everyone has one. We get so caught up in our day-to-day living that we forget that each second of every day is being used to weave a tapestry that we will one day look back on and see as our life in its entirety. Both the good and bad of our lives is used in this weaving process... we tend to think that only a life filled with good/easy things is worth mentioning or remembering but that just isn't so. Sure, a tapestry of bright-sunshiny colors is beautiful, but the ones that catch the most attention are the ones that use both dark and light colors in contrasting brilliance. The easy and hard times in our lives are what God uses to show the vivid details of the artwork He's designed- all for His glory. I have a story (maybe one day it will be in hardback); it isn't insanely enlightening or jaw-droppingly dramatic. Still, I know that each day of my life can be used by God if I allow Him to take it and weave it with His grace. Life does not have to be dramatic to be … [Read more...]

No Regrets

"Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving; praying at the same time for us as well, that God will open up to us a door for the word, so that we may speak forth the mystery of Christ, for which I have also been imprisoned; that I may make it clear in the way I ought to speak. Conduct yourselves with wisdom toward outsiders, making the most of the opportunity. Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person."  - Colossians 4: 2-6 (emphasis mine) We’re getting closer to the weekend! Along with the recognition of this particular time of the week- there is usually a barrage of cheers, sighs of relief, and often-times hopes of laziness on many people's part. Is that you? Do you see the end of the week (or any other day for that matter) as just another day to "get through" so that you can enjoy yourself or do you see it as another opportunity to grab onto something that you may have overlooked or simply ignored yesterday? I don’t always feel like “seizing the day”. With 2 kids you never know what things will come up: colds, a 2 year old's sporadic sleep schedule, … [Read more...]