August 19, 2009

Difficulty mastering sin

Posted in DEVOTIONS, THOUGHTS at 6:45 pm by graceabounds

Father, why? Why is it so difficult for me to do the things that should come so easy? Why after I purpose in my heart and choose to SAY YES to you at any cost, the same struggles and sins grab me before I am even aware? I know that your word says that you give me a way to escape temptation but I am too stupid to see that I am even being tempted to sin. Please help me to see my sinful heart and stop the sin before it flows out my mouth, eyes, body, and mind.

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August 14, 2009

Day 2

Posted in DEVOTIONS at 6:11 pm by graceabounds

Yesterday we asked the Lord to help us to have the fruit of the Spirit. Today is a continuation we are going to take off in our meditation.

SCRIPTURE:

Galatians 5:16-21

13 For ye, brethren, were called for freedom; only [use] not your freedom for an occasion to the flesh, but through love be servants one to another. 14 For the whole law is fulfilled in one word, [even] in this: Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. 15 But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another. 16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. 17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are contrary the one to the other; that ye may not do the things that ye would. 18 But if ye are led by the Spirit, ye are not under the law. 19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are [these]: fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousies, wraths, factions, divisions, parties, 21 envyings, drunkenness, revellings, and such like; of which I forewarn you, even as I did forewarn you, that they who practice such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

Philippians 1:6

Being confident of this very thing, that he who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Jesus Christ:

 

Question to ask:

Have I taken off my fleshly desires and truly surrendered them to the Lord, so that He can change me?

MEDITATION FOR THE DAY:

Concentrate of letting go of the sins that hold you captive and focus on the God who is changing you RIGHT NOW day by day, hour by hour, and minute by minute!

August 13, 2009

A Thought for DAY 1

Posted in DEVOTIONS at 5:33 pm by graceabounds

One thing that I don’t do very well is meditate on the Word. So I have decided I would write out some of my meditations that I felt would aid in my walk with the Lord. I pray that the Lord will keep us focused on Him and that through this He will be glorified and we will be brought closer to being conformed into His image! May the Great God we serve be GLORIFIED!

DAY 1-

Today, as we start ask the Lord for a clean heart (Psalm 51:10).

Also pray that He will give you the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22-25) and that you will have the attitude of Christ (Phil 2:5)!

SCRIPTURE:

2 Corinthians 2:15 “For we are a fragrance of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing.” As we pray and ask God to make us who He desires us to be. Our goal is to be something beautiful to bring God the glory and thus people to Him!

God is FAITHFUL-“But the Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen and protect you from the evil one.” 2 Thessalonians 3:3

Question to ask:

Have I prayed and ask God to help me be all that He can make me?

MEDITATION FOR THE DAY:

God is faithful and will protect me! I am a fragrance of Christ to those around me (whether it is good or foul is up to me)!

June 5, 2008

A New Day & New Outlook!

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , , at 2:48 am by graceabounds

It amazes me how easily one day it is to feel defeated and the next to feel so much differnt. The world seems to make a little more sense and the problems of yesterday are seen as so tragic. In the light of how God is working His plan comes a little more in focus. ‘

Days that seem rough followed by good days makes me think of those who check out of this world into eternity b/c they feel that tomorrow won’t be any different. Sometimes tomorrow isn’t different it is simply God changes us instead of changes our situation.

Satan would love for us to believe that we are a lost cause and that tomorrow won’t be any better than today and yesterday were. My heart breaks at those who are contemplating those thoughts. I was one who thought those thoughts and even followed through and listened to the lies of Satan. That life is better without me. That I am always going to feel this pain and this misery that I can’t shake. So I listened to myself and attempted to take my own life.

I don’t know why God spared my life b/c it surely isn’t any more valuable than anyone elses. I am thankful for the days that I can look back and see how God has changed me and used these dark days to show me His love that is unconditional.

I am thankful that I am able to relate to and pray for those who are hurting and feel their world is spinning out of control. God loves you and cares for you. He wants you to hear Him calling you to Himself. Ask God to show Himself to you and to help you through these dark days. And then look for Him.

June 4, 2008

Pottery

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , at 2:49 am by graceabounds

Today has been a tough day for me. In general while being here, I have felt okay with our roomates and the other families living around us. This week has been quite different. I have felt singled out as the one who gets a little drug through the mud or made an example of. I feel as if they listen and wait for me to say something and then twinge at my words. I feel that they are taken in a way that isn’t what I was trying to say. We are suppose to be drawing closer in our groups but I feel that I am closing up.

I loved how at home people loved and understood us. My words were understood and their meaning was comprehended. I can’t imagine when we move out of the country how much I will miss being understood and loved for who I am in the Lord, not for what I am not yet.

I thank God for these hard days because He is gracious enough to work on me bit by bit. Piece by piece. Molding all the while continously reshaping me into the creation He desires me to be. My part is to sit on the potter’s wheel and to not jump off while He fashions me. It is so easy for me to jump of into my feelings and partake in sinful acts instead of bringing Him glory. Oh Lord keep me back from sin.

June 3, 2008

All tongues shall confess…

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , at 5:14 am by graceabounds

Romans 14: 11 “…every knee shall bow to Me, and every tongue shall confess to God.”

How beautiful it has been to hear the tongues confessing that Christ is Lord! Being around other believers from different places all around the world has been an extreme blessing to me. Hearing them pray to God in their heart language has touched me and opened me to see things I hadn’t seen before.

We were going around the room praying and a woman from Spain began praying. She started off by saying in Spanish- I love you Lord… she paused… and preceded to speak in words I couldn’t understand but I was moved to tears. Her slowness and the sincerity were teaching me how to pray.

Today, as I sat in a meeting with three different  other nationalities besides American again I was moved. Listening to prayers being lifted up in Korean. Last night we had an African Worship and the custom was to pray all at the same time. How awesome that the God of the universe understands us all uniquely and knows us intimately. I am amazed at how beautiful we are made and the simple prayers of other believers point me closer to Him and increase my desire to know Him more intimately.

What a great God we (all nations, tribes, and tongues) serve!

December 7, 2007

Fibromyalgia Flair up brings Thankfulness

Posted in fibromyalgia, THOUGHTS tagged , , , , , , at 6:30 pm by graceabounds

It seems that my fibromyalgia is flairing up again. It has been going on about two weeks and everyday feels a little worse. Laying in bed last night I was trying to fall asleep and in my heart was determined to not be frustrated by the pain. I thought I am thankful for the pain in my legs because I still have them and the ability to go where I need to go, I am thankful for the pain in my back because I am able to feel and have control over my body, I am thankful for the pain in my feet because I have feeling and mobility I am still able to serve God and others and tell of His great love for them. I am thankful that although there is pain in my hands I am able to show love through service. I am thankful that despite my headaches I am clearheaded enough to remember the GREAT PRICE CHRIST PAID FOR ME and the priceless gift of salvation. I am thankful that He enables me to be thankful.

In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God. 1 Thessalonians 5:18

December 6, 2007

Christian Disciplines- The “What to Do’s”

Posted in DEVOTIONS, THOUGHTS tagged , , , , , , at 10:39 pm by graceabounds

Christian disciplines are the “what to do’s”.  If you are like me, then you like to know what is expected and how to go about doing that.  I like list and checking them off.  Let’s learn what these disciplines are and begin to check them off; beginning a new lifestyle.   Christian disciplines are area’s that will guide us to grow closer to the Lord.  Disciple and discipline are words that are very similar.  As we are Disciples of Christ, we become disciplined and obedient to His calling.  These areas of Christian disciplines will enhance your walk with the Lord. They are better than any self help book or self-remedy.  In fact, putting these disciplines in our lives is showing that we are no longer living for self, but for Christ. Since we are set free, we should want to do things that will draw us to Him. 

BIBLE STUDY 

My prayer is that after you read this you will have a hunger for God’s Word. Often, new believers are terrified of reading the Bible.  They believe it is too hard; they think of it almost as a different language.  In addition to their fears they believe it is boring, unimportant, and outdated.  The list could go on and on.  I don’t want to fuel these beliefs but rather help you to see what you are missing. Let’s get to the good stuff.  If you only knew what you possess in your Bible, it may change your thinking and your life.  Read this passage below: 

John 1:1-14 1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4 In him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. 6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7 He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him. 8 He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light. 9 The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. 11 He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. 12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, 13 who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. 14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.

 From this section of passage we learned that Jesus was the Word, and that the Word was God.  Let’s look deeper into who Jesus was. 

John 14:6 Jesus said to him, I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

 Here he said he was the way, the TRUTH, and the life. In this next verse Jesus is praying to God before He is betrayed.  

John 17:17 Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth 

Jesus was praying to God that the Word of God would sanctify, which means to set apart and make holy.  He calls the Word truth.  Let’s gather all we have learned.  The Word is Jesus and the Word is God and the Word is truth.  Jesus is truth and He is the Word so He is then God.  We have God, Jesus, Truth, and the Word all in one!  Isn’t that exciting?  I am very excited as I write this.  In front of me, in my Bible (the Word) I have Jesus.  I can at anytime come to Him as I read.  I can turn to Him and His guidance, truth, and what He has for me at anytime.  Isn’t that enough reason to read your Bible?  If you knew that tomorrow Jesus was coming to your house, you’d go crazy with excitement.  Well, He is there right now waiting to speak to you.  Are you ready to listen? 

Psalm 118:89Forever, O Lord, your word is firmly fixed in the heavens. 

Isaiah 40:8The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever. Scripture, the word of God, tells us there is power in it and it’ll endure forever. 

Hebrews 4:12-13 12 For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. 13 And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account. 

The Bible is alive, just as God is alive!  It isn’t out dated or out of touch.  It is so powerful it can cut through to our motives and thoughts.  The word of God has the same power as when he made creation.

Psalm 33:6 KJV, “By the word of the Lord were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth.”

Wow, doesn’t that just stir your heart?  Aren’t you ready to begin reading your Bible, having time with God alone allowing that power into your life?  It just gets me all excited just telling you this! 

Psalm 119:105 Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. 

God’s Word is directional.  It will guide you and help you as you go about your day to day life. Here’s a little food for thought. Do you ever forget to eat? Do you miss a meal because you were too busy? I rarely miss a meal due to my hypoglycemia.  If I go without eating I get shaky, lightheaded, and cranky. It is the same with Bible study.

 John 4:34 Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work.” 

We now know that reading God’s Word is His will. We should be like Jesus; where we desire to do His will more than eating food or the other fleshly pleasures.  I am not saying we should never eat or have pleasure.  My point is we hardly deprive ourselves of nourishment nor should we deprive ourselves of our spiritual food.

Matthew 5:6 says, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.”

Proverbs 8:7,” I love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently find me.” 

I have a friend whose view on Bible study drastically changed her life.  Reading her Bible use to be a chore, she did it because she knew that is was what God had commanded.  While doing a Beth Moore Bible study, she saw how Beth Moore was excited about the Word of God. Beth said that if you don’t have something, you ask for it.  If you want to desire God’s word, then you ask for it.  Needless to say, she asked for it. That was over two years ago.  The growth in her is almost immeasurable.  She lives to do her Bible study and walk with God.  She is happier and more content with her life than before. We, too, can experience that same intensity and blessings from God’s Word. Don’t you want to hunger and thirst for Him and His Word? Seek Him with all that you have.  I promise you won’t be disappointed.  Take a few minutes and re-think your previous list of reasons keeping you from reading your Bible. 

December 3, 2007

A PRAYER WORTH PRAYING

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , at 9:48 pm by graceabounds

LORD,

I give up all my own desires and hopes, and accept Thy will for my life. I give myself, my time, my all utterly to Thee to be Thine forever. Fill me and seal me with Thy Holy Spirit. Use me as Thou wilt, send me where Thou wilt, work out Thy whole will in my life at any cost, now and forever.

A prayer by Betty Scott Stan who lost her life along with her husband in China by decaptation in December 1934.

PLANNED OBEDIENCE

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:29 pm by graceabounds

One of the toughest parts of being a Christian and walking with God isn’t learning what we are to do; rather it is doing what we have learned. Obedience is the next crucial step.  As we begin to follow and learn we must put it into practice.  We are told in James 1:22 “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.”  One of my favorite Bible stories growing up was the story of Joshua and the Battle at Jericho. Here we will see his obedience despite how things seemed illogical.   God had led the Israelites, His chosen people, out of slavery in Egypt.  He was leading them to the Promised Land, where there would be plenty for them. Yet, they sinned and their punishment was to wonder in the desert for forty years.  After Moses died, God appointed a new leader, Joshua.  Joshua was told by God to lead the Israelites across the Jordan River.  He immediately was obedient and followed the commands.  He had crossed over the Red Sea with Moses as they left Egypt, so he knew that God could dry up the water and land so the people could cross.  That is where we will begin our reading at. 

Joshua 6                                                                                                                                              

1 Now Jericho was shut up inside and outside because of the people of Israel. None went out, and none came in. 2 And the Lord said to Joshua, See, I have given Jericho into your hand, with its king and mighty men of valor. 3 You shall march around the city, all the men of war going around the city once. Thus shall you do for six days. 4 Seven priests shall bear seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark. On the seventh day you shall march around the city seven times, and the priests shall blow the trumpets. 5 And when they make a long blast with the ram’s horn, when you hear the sound of the trumpet, then all the people shall shout with a great shout, and the wall of the city will fall down flat, and the people shall go up, everyone straight before him.

 The city of Jericho was a fortified city with walls surrounding the city.  It is reported that the walls may have been up to 25 feet high and 20 feet thick.[1] God told them that despite how things appeared He was going to deliver Jericho to them through unusual means.  All that they had to  do was walk once around the perimeter for six days walk and on the seventh day blow the trumpets and shout, then the walls (remember how thick those walls were) would fall down and they’d go in and conquer the city.   

6 So Joshua the son of Nun called the priests and said to them, Take up the ark of the covenant and let seven priests bear seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark of the Lord. 7 And he said to the people, Go forward. March around the city and let the armed men pass on before the ark of the Lord. 8 And just as Joshua had commanded the people, the seven priests bearing the seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the Lord went forward, blowing the trumpets, with the ark of the covenant of the Lord following them. 9 The armed men were walking before the priests who were blowing the trumpets, and the rear guard was walking after the ark, while the trumpets blew continually. 10 But Joshua commanded the people, You shall not shout or make your voice heard, neither shall any word go out of your mouth, until the day I tell you to shout. Then you shall shout. 11 So he caused the ark of the Lord to circle the city, going about it once. And they came into the camp and spent the night in the camp. 12 Then Joshua rose early in the morning, and the priests took up the ark of the Lord. 13 And the seven priests bearing the seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark of the Lord walked on, and they blew the trumpets continually. And the armed men were walking before them, and the rear guard was walking after the ark of the Lord, while the trumpets blew continually. 14 And the second day they marched around the city once, and returned into the camp. So they did for six days. 15 On the seventh day they rose early, at the dawn of day, and marched around the city in the same manner seven times. It was only on that day that they marched around the city seven times. 16 And at the seventh time, when the priests had blown the trumpets, Joshua said to the people, Shout, for the Lord has given you the city. 

Joshua was obedient to God commands. He didn’t reason, nor did he pick and choose which part he would do. He was fully obedient to God. Are you being obedient in the area’s God has commanded you? We all have areas we need to work in.   

17 And the city and all that is within it shall be devoted to the Lord for destruction. Only Rahab the prostitute and all who are with her in her house shall live, because she hid the messengers whom we sent. 18 But you, keep yourselves from the things devoted to destruction, lest when you have devoted them you take any of the devoted things and make the camp of Israel a thing for destruction and bring trouble upon it. 19 But all silver and gold, and every vessel of bronze and iron, are holy to the Lord; they shall go into the treasury of the Lord. 20 So the people shouted, and the trumpets were blown. As soon as the people heard the sound of the trumpet, the people shouted a great shout, and the wall fell down flat, so that the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they captured the city. 21 Then they devoted all in the city to destruction, both men and women, young and old, oxen, sheep, and donkeys, with the edge of the sword. 22 But to the two men who had spied out the land, Joshua said, Go into the prostitute’s house and bring out from there the woman and all who belong to her, as you swore to her. 23 So the young men who had been spies went in and brought out Rahab and her father and mother and brothers and all who belonged to her. And they brought all her relatives and put them outside the camp of Israel. 24 And they burned the city with fire, and everything in it. Only the silver and gold, and the vessels of bronze and of iron, they put into the treasury of the house of the Lord. 25 But Rahab the prostitute and her father’s household and all who belonged to her, Joshua saved alive. And she has lived in Israel to this day, because she hid the messengers whom Joshua sent to spy out Jericho. 26 Joshua laid an oath on them at that time, saying, Cursed before the Lord be the man who rises up and rebuilds this city, Jericho. At the cost of his firstborn shall he lay its foundation, and at the cost of his youngest son shall he set up its gates. 27 So the Lord was with Joshua, and his fame was in all the land. 

So they did as the Lord commanded.  They overtook the city; God’s fame went through out the land.   Remember if God has told you to be obedient then you are able to do it. God doesn’t command us to do things we aren’t able to do. He doesn’t give us things so we can fail. As Joshua was obedient by faith he was able to see God’s power. We need that same faith to do the big and small things. The closer we walk with Him the more we will see His power in our lives.


[1] Life Application Study Bible, New King James Version, Tyndale House Publishers 1993, p.344

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