Posted in Bible Journaling, Evangelism, Uncategorized, Word of God

The Danger of Taking Scripture Out of Context

I know I’ve been guilty. Believe me, I’ve been guilty! It’s not hard to make the word of God fit into a circumstance of your own choosing. But the question is… Is it biblical? 

I’ve been pondering this thought a lot lately. And last night as I watched “Unashamed” on Blaze tv, Jace Robertson (who I love), referenced a scripture from the book of Hebrews 5:7

“Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard that he feared.”

Jace, his dad Phil Robertson (duck dynasty) and brother Al were discussing the difference in churches and how some were loud, some were not, but all should be! And I agree. There should be evidence of life and joy inside the church.  They also discussed that everything should be done in decency and order which is for certain biblical. Paul warned against acting otherwise in 1st Corinthians 14:40. But Jace referenced the scripture in Hebrews, as evidence of Jesus’ loud worship. 

I don’t doubt that Jesus was a lively worshipper when He was on earth. But to my knowledge… and I’ve been wrong so many times before, I don’t remember reading anywhere that Jesus was shouting the house down in a service. Might He have? Oh yes!  I think that when they were singing psalms and praises He may have just got carried away and choo choo’d down the isle! But it doesn’t say that. Now, as for the scripture Jace referenced, it’s clearly speaking of the time before Christ’s crucifixion. Not a church service. And while I love the way Jace studies the word of God, and can reference scripture off the top of his head so much better than I, this is why I think it’s dangerous to take something out of context.

I am a shouter in church. I’m a hand raising, Amen saying, I’ll talk to the preacher during service kinda gal. (Not to the point of disruption) but I ain’t quiet. I’m excited about the message. But there are those in our church who are not.  There are those who seldom if ever say anything! But they are worshippers no less. And I don’t think Jace was saying they weren’t. But by using the scripture that says Jesus had “strong crying and tears” as worship, could lead someone to believe that if they didn’t, they’re not worshipping as Jesus would have them to. 

God wants us to “feel worship.” Feel “His presence.” That emotion can be expressed in a sigh. Or eyes closed just for a second as you quietly praise Him for His goodness.  Perhaps the scripture never references Jesus’ worship style because God doesn’t want us putting worship in a box. This is how it has to be. Or cause someone to doubt their own love of the Savior because they’re not loud mouthed like me. 

Now… that being said. I don’t want someone to twist the word of God to say that we should be “reverent and holy” to the point of a stagnant service. Which I believe is the state of most churches in America and an insult to all that God has done for us. 

I said all that to say this… I’m so thankful for our Pastor who speaks often of the “context of the word” and making sure we understand it. It’s important. It may not seem like much in the scope of somethings in life but it’s why Paul told Timothy to Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”

2 Timtothy 2:15

Don’t make the word fit your circumstance. Make your circumstance fit the word. Wooo Glory! That’ll Preach!

Posted in Bible Journaling, Christian Service, Evangelism, Fear, Leadership, Uncategorized

Three two-fold Blessings

And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots: And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD; And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears: But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked. 

ISAIAH 11:1-4

I love the word of God! I love that it speaks more than is written on the page. It’s a blessing that we receive as a child of God. 

Prior to salvation, I knew the Bible had power. And in days of struggle I would turn to the word of God, having seen my Dad go there daily as a child. But it might as well have been written in Greek, because that’s how much I understood of it. But then came that wonderful day of salvation in 1996, that it all changed. It was then, when I opened up the word of God, that it no longer was Greek, but it was a spiritual English that spoke to my soul with words between the words. I would hear the whisper of the Holy Spirit within those pages and a few words became a whole message! It still happens that way, and I am still in awe!

I love the image of the branch growing out of the root. Isn’t that just the way they seen the Lord Jesus that day as He was being taken down from the cross, and laid in that borrowed tomb? Praise God they didn’t pay money for it, because He wasn’t going to be there long. Just three days! And out of death, came life. Just like that branch that grew up from what was assumed to be a dead tree. But if You are the Creator of the tree, You can recreate it. So Jesus rose from the dead, and He Who was once walking among them, was walking again. And as He parted back to Heaven He left the most marvelous gift. The one that I discovered in 1996, the Holy Spirit. And it is for certain the gift that keeps on giving, just like the words in Isaiah attest to.

The Spirit of Wisdom and Understanding

“Wisdom is my 2020 word for the year. And there it is on the pages today, but not just wisdom, understanding. Each of these are a two fold gift. With wisdom comes understanding. It’s not enough for us to just know God, He wants us to understand Him as well. Why He came as He did, Why He made promises in the Old Testament that were concealed, but then revealed in the New Testament. That Davidic Covenant, where God promised the coming Messiah and the Savior of the World. The One the world doesn’t understand, because they don’t have His Spirit. How blessed we are as children of God to have the understanding of God. But do we do with it as much as we could? I know I don’t.

This morning as I read social media, a friend of mine announced that she had been diagnosed with cancer and that it was “incurable” but treatable and what her plan of action was. My heart broke for her, her husband and her children. And so I posted that I would pray and be available if she needed to talk. But in the back of my mind I’m thinking… “What can I say? How can I help her? This is not a battle I have fought. But then I read this word, and God was quick… yes, just like His word said, that I have nothing to say… but He has everything to say. In Him is hope! Hope comes from the wisdom and understanding of the Creator… He who brought back to life His Son! And it is that hope that I have for everyone who has gone on before me, that I will see again if they knew Christ!

The Spirit of Counsel and Might

Within each child of God is the strength to be what a friend needs. Isn’t that a wonderful thought? 

Luke 12:11-12

And when they bring you unto the synagogues, and unto magistrates and powers, take ye no thought how or what thing ye shall answer, or what ye shall say: for the Holy Ghost shall teach in in the same hour what ye ought to say.

While that scripture refers to the persecuted saint, I have no doubt that the same holds true when we stand in need of the words to comfort a friend, or help them to find direction for their life. 

I would not dare say that I have the answer to all the questions that must be running through my friend’s mind. How many “why’s” must she be asking. But I know Who does have those answers. And while I cannot offer her healing, I can offer her the Healer! 

The Spirit of Knowledge and of the Fear of the Lord

With my pea brain I think of wisdom and knowledge as the same. But obviously God does not, else He would not have written them separately.

Perhaps wisdom is of the mind and knowledge is of the heart. Both will bring you to awe of the power of the Lord. That fear isn’t a fear that causes you concern, but rather a knowledgeable respect. Woah… that’s truth. When you realize Who God is, and what power is within His breath, it will create in you a healthy fear of our Lord.

Another of my favorite scriptures is when Jesus was in the garden about to be arrested and taken to the cross:

John 18:4-6 KJV

[4] Jesus therefore, knowing all things that should come upon him, went forth, and said unto them, Whom seek ye? [5] They answered him, Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus saith unto them, I am he. And Judas also, which betrayed him, stood with them. [6] As soon then as he had said unto them, I am he, they went backward, and fell to the ground.

I imagine when they thought on that later, there was a healthy fear of a Man Who could speak with not only the authority of God, but the power of God! That’s Who God wants us to know. He wants us to understand the power in even speaking the Word of God. It may be my voice, my fingers on the keyboard, but if I am using His words, in the context that He spoke them, there is power! That’s good stuff! 

I pray this word encourages you to share HIS WORD! BLESSINGS!!!! Shari

Posted in Bible Journaling, Eternity, Faith, Heaven, joy, Uncategorized

The Unimpeachable Jesus

Last night’s teen lesson at Victory Baptist Church was a “little lesson” about end times and the signs we see all around us. I call it little because that’s all I know about the end times. Just a fraction of what’s in the scripture. Every page from Genesis to Revelation leads to the return of Christ, on that glorious day when we will be like Him, we will see Him and worship Him in living color. Glory! Won’t that be a marvelous day! But for now we battle.

We battle the naysayers and the the demonic forces that would love to rid the world of the notion of Jesus. But He is, unimpeachable! They cannot undo the cross. They cannot refill the tomb. He is not there. He’s unimpeachable and untouchable. Not until Heaven will we be able to see and touch the hands of Jesus. 

There were those who did. The Bible is full of eye witness reports. The world can’t undo that either. There are versions of the Bible that are slowly but surely writing God out of it. It’s why I’m a KJV girl! But the word of God. The true word of God will stand until those skies split open and He returns for His church. The word of God will stand after that for it is forever settled in Heaven!

I just needed to remind myself of that today in this world of uncertainty. There is one thing for certain. The unimpeachable Jesus! 

Posted in Bible Journaling, Evangelism, Faith, Uncategorized

Just Like John

1 John 1:1-4 KJVS

[1] That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; [2] (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;) [3] That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. [4] And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.

It’s still the same story. And it’s still the same truth. From the beginning of Time, and where God is, time has always been; and I need you to know what I know. That’s what John is saying, and that’s what I’m saying this gloomy Tuesday morning as I get ready to embark on a day with my bestie Glo. It’s a joy to experience friendship with her, but more so with the Lord Jesus Christ. 

On my heart of late has been the state of the world around me. I see so much heartache. I have friends that are right in the middle of some of the worst struggles of their lives. Many of them know Christ, and for that I’m grateful. Because I know where I let them down, Christ never will. But there are those who don’t know Christ and it scares me, because I know in Him is my hope to go forward through the hard times. 

Like John: I have heard

I have heard the Spirit of God coercing me to fight, to take one more step, to try one more time. I have felt the flutter in my soul when I know He’s about to show me something amazing. I have not audibly heard the voice of Jesus as John did. But the voice I hear is still every bit as real and evident. But it can only be heard if you “know” Him. 

Like John: I have seen

I have seen the evidence of the Spirit of God moving in my own and others lives. I’ve watched as He has taken control of a situation, a service, or a person and done great and mighty things. I’ve seen times when the answers didn’t come as we wanted, but God brought the strength and the promise of hope that only He can provide. 

Like John: I have touched

Picking up the word of God is literally touching God. His breath is in the book. From the day of salvation, and from the first word I read in scripture I felt His presence. No book on this earth has the power to do what the Bible does. It literally floods my soul with happiness to think about how the Lord speaks to this world through those pages. When I read the stories, the Spirit transports my mind to the time, so much so that I know when I get to Heaven, I’ll be able to walk up to David and say, “Brother! Your life inspired me! Thank you for allowing me to see God through your eyes!” 

Like John: Christ manifested (made Himself known) to me and and because of that I can make Him known to you so that you too can have the fellowship of God Himself. Glorrraaaay!!! Does that not make you happy!This is a short post, but I needed to stop by for a visit and remind you that you are loved, by me, yes! But most of all by the Lord Jesus. If you’re struggling today, open the word of God and let Him speak peace to your soul. So you too can be “Like John” who through his obedience and sharing of the Gospel teaches us what he was taught first handed. Be like Jesus! Life is about Him, by Him, through Him, In Him! Do you know Him?

Posted in Bible Journaling, Christian Service, Life Inspiration, Uncategorized

What the World Needs Now

Love. It’s what’s missing in society. I believe that it’s just that simple. I grow so weary in my soul when I hear people spewing hatred against people they don’t even know. Now, I realize there are some who heap that anger upon themselves. Believe me… when I tell you I struggle in the politics of the day not to hate people. I have to continually remind myself that they too were created by God with purpose. But somewhere down the road, they got off the intended path. Or perhaps never found the path and they are lost and headed to Hell. Even sadder. But the reality of it is, I will not answer for them. I will only answer for what I do as a child of God. 

We need Fervent Love 

Peter would understand me. After all it was Peter who cut the soldiers ear off when they came to arrest Jesus. I might have wanted to do that more than once. But it was Peter who wrote in 1 Peter 4

[8] And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins. 

Peter was zealous when it came to what he believed in. Far too many people are apathetic about their relationships, especially their relationship with God. I’ve kind of been in that state of mind. I’ve struggled lately to do what God called me to do. The weariness of the world was stuck to me like goo. Not glue… but rather an ick. I just couldn’t seem to get out of the funk I was in. I pray this is the first step out of that hole… It’s not that I lost my zeal, but I lost my drive. I lost the fervency for the Gospel. 

Fervency is a passionate, glowing and growing desire to accomplish a matter of the heart. That should be my driving force, and no goo of this world should be able to cover it!

We need Forgiving Love

[9] Use hospitality one to another without grudging. 

Never in my 57 years have I seen such an unforgiving society. If we’re not on the same page, we can’t even be on the same bookshelf. We can’t even be in the same library. I love the book analogy. Thinking about Malachi 3:16

Malachi 3:16

[16] Then they that feared the Lord spake often one to another: and the Lord hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon his name.

It should cause great concern that God is ever aware of our conscience. For the good and bad. It should cause us to be that much more forgiving of others who are struggling in the same manner we are to figure this world out. But what it should do most of all, is cause us to have a desire to live for God, not man. The depravity of man is evidenced in Washington. Hospitality is barely in our vocabulary any more. 

My mother is the most hospitable person on the earth. At 84, Her door is open 24/7 and has always been. I remember a time when my “hippy cousins of the 70’s” were hitchhiking across the country and stopped in at our house with their friends in the wee hours of the morning. My mother never grimaced. She let them in, fed them, and bedded them down. Strangers, without regard for what they believed. She’s just kind. That is how the heart of a Christian should be. Open to love. But never wavering in what it was designed to do. Share the gospel and forgiveness of Christ Jesus.

We Need an Un-failing Love

[10] As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. [11] If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

What ever your gift is, and you certainly have one, and likely many! That gift is made to minister. I can’t stop thinking about it. It’s why these past few weeks of a lack of fervency have been so hard on my spirit. I know that God created me to minister, and when I’m not… I’m failing. Miserably.

God helps us to be the men and women of God that You formed us to be. You knew me before I was in my hospitable momma’s belly. Help us to regain the fervency to share the gospel with a world that’s going to bust Hell wide open unless someone shows them the forgiveness and freedom of knowing Christ as Savior. Help us to have an unfailing love for the created. You love them. So must we.

Posted in Christian Service, Evangelism, Life Inspiration, Uncategorized

What’s Love Got to Do with It

LIFE: WHAT’S LOVE GOT TO DO WITH IT

Tell me something that you’ve created with your hands. 

What would happen if someone came in and destroyed your creation? 

How would you feel?

Imagine how God felt, when Satan did that very thing. He attempted to destroy what God created beings. And although he can’t, because ultimately God holds the power of life and death, He does wreak havoc with it and it all started in the garden. 

But thinking about someone destroying something that you created helps us grasp what it is about God’s love for us. We are created beings. designed exclusively for His purpose but with free will. 

So let’s look at God’s love for us through 1 John Chapter 3

(1)

Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.

When we see the word “Behold” it means there’s something noteworthy here. 

John is about to tell us, what manner, what kind of love God has for us. It’s the same love that He has for His only begotten Son. because He calls us the sons (or daughters as the case may be of God. And that God not only sees us as He sees His son, but the world sees us as they see His son.

And how does the world (those who don’t know Christ as Savior) see Him?

Unimportant. Of no significance to their lives. And that’s the same way the world sees Christian people. We’re not important to them. Even though they’re important to us. It doesn’t hardly seem fair,  and that’s likely how God feels too. 

What if that thing you created could talk. and it tells you that it likes your friends better than you, and wants emancipation (no longer to be yours.) How would that make you feel. Life and love is all about perspective. we need to be able to identify with God. And the only way to do that is to learn more about Who He is. He already knows us, He created us, but we don’t know Him unless we read His word. Because there in lies the image and character of God.

He loves us like sons and daughters. How should we love Him? (Like our Father)

How can that image get messed up? What if you don’t have a good relationship with your earthly father, do you think that will affect how you feel about your Heavenly Father. 

(my relationship with my dad)

I was loved, but my dad was very Passive. Non confrontational. laid back.

Too often I look at God in the same light. Which is so far from Who He is. 

(2) Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.

John continues on to tell us that we not only are the children of God, there will come a day when we will be like God

What’s going to be one of your favorite parts of being like Jesus? 

For me I think it’s got to be living without sin. To never have an ugly or evil thought. To never fear.

(3-5)

And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure. [4] Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. [5] And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin.

I think that may have been John’s favorite thing too. And this is what we have faith for… that one day we’re not going to be messed, and we’re not going to live in a messed up world. It’s why we study the word, and work on having a relationship with Christ, because through the word we are purified.  

My friend John said that the Bible is like a spiritual washcloth. It’ll clean you up? How does it do that? What happens if we don’t read it? 

We feel dirty, and often times unlovable. 

Dick Jarvis found this little dog one day at Bakers mart. It was skiddish and wouldn’t come to anyone. Scraggly mutt. But Dick started feeding it, and it became his friend. He took it home and cleaned it up, and it was the cutest little critter. It made a home with his purebreds dogs. That’s a good example of what it’s like to be a child fo God. The Jews were the purebreds. We were the mutts, but God adopted us into His family, and now we are loved every bit as much as the children of Israel. But no body lost their position . 

That purity (cleanses) that we experience is something the unsaved will never experience. They do not know what it’s like to live guilt free. 

Jesus manifested (made Himself known) to the world so that we could be forgiven. He has never sinned. There fore He was the perfect blood sacrifice for our forgiveness of sins. By having a relationship with Jesus, we get to experience what it’s like to be without sin. We’re not. We do sin. But when God looks at us. He sees nothing.

The world can’t understand that, because they’ve never experienced it. And they won’t unless they get a relationship with God. Without having a relationship with God, you’ll never understand the depth of His love. How could we ever believe that our family loves us, and we love them if we never spoke.  

(6)Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him.

Abide means to continue in a place. To wait patiently. 

As a little child, or with my own children, I remember what it was like to wait until one of my parents got home. I can remember how excited my children were when I got home from work. That’s the very same attitude we should have when waiting for the return of Jesus Christ. But too many Christians or church goers know just enough bible to be dangerous. They fear the coming of the Lord, because they’re not ready for His return. If we’re ready, and in a good relationship with Him, we can’t wait until He comes back. Because it’s then that we know we’re going to experience that purity and perfection in our own bodies that Christ has in Him.

Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. [8] He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. [9] Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. 

John sends us a warning not to be deceived. 

How do we become deceived in this world? Where do we see deception?

Television

Hollywood certainly gives us a jaded view of what our lives “should” look like. What we should have to make us happy.

Social Media

Everyone’s family is perfect except yours, right? Wrong.

Our brains are inundated with lies so many times a day that we begin to buy it. And then we buy what ever it is they’re selling, because that will make us happy. We believe that nobody can disagree with us, or they’re not fully committed to us. If we get our feelings hurt, its because those people didn’t love us enough. 

But the truth is, this world is broken, nobody or nothing will make you happy. Only Christ can do that in a way that leaves you satisfied. If it’s in the world, there will be a new version before the day is over that you bought whatever it was that you thought would make you happy.

But there is no new and improved version of God. He has never changed. And Christians shouldn’t waver either. There is an emotion of love, but there should also be an action of that love. 

[10] In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother. [11] For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. [12] Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother’s righteous

Just as Christ made himself known to the world. We have to make ourselves known to the world too. It’s not to puff ourselves up, but rather to point people to Christ. 

Just as Gods hasn’t changed, neither has His message. It’s one of great love. And that’s exactly what the world needs to see now. They don’t need to see hatred, and animosity towards each other and the unsaved. they need to experience the love of Christ through us, so that they’ll desire to know that love themselves. 

13] Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you. [14] We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death. [15] Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him. [16] Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. [17] But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? [18] My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.

There should always be evidence of God’s love in our life. And it has to be with action. But when the world sees Christians hating on each other and the lost, that’s how they view God. And Christians are going to stand accountable for that. 

THE CONCLUSION

(19] And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him. [20] For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things. [21] Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God. [22] And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight. [23] And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment. [24] And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.

If we want people to understand the love of Christ, we have to share what Christ’s love looks like. 

Christ’s love

LISTENS TO OTHERS

OBEYS THE SPIRIT

VALUES THE CREATOR AND THE CREATED

EMPOWERS AND ENCOURAGES PEOPLE

Posted in Bible Journaling, Christian Service, Life Inspiration, salvation, Uncategorized

The Haters and the Doubters

It as been decades since I came to the knowledge of Jesus Christ; only two, but none the less decades. As a child, a decade seemed like an eternity, now a decade seems like a month. Time passes ever so quickly by, but one thing never changes. Haters and doubters. They were in Jesus’ day, and before that. They are in our day, and now they are louder than they were then. Their voices can be heard through multiple medias. There are agnostics, atheists, idol worshipers and worshipers of other gods. They’re bold and brazen and often heartless. They love throwing stones. Just like the haters and doubters of Jesus’ day, only they proclaimed to be serving the God of Abraham. The same that Jesus spoke of. But the difference was, Jesus knew Abraham; He’d actually met him. Although to the crowd for which He spoke, they knew Jesus was physically too young for that. And so what they didn’t understand, they doubted and hated. Hated to the point that they would have picked up a stone and done bodily harm to God Himself. But Jesus pulled a disappearing act and walked out right in front of them and they missed His grand exit. 

If you don’t know Jesus… don’t wait for the exit. 

John 8:52-59 KJVS

[52] Then said the Jews unto him, Now we know that thou hast a devil. Abraham is dead, and the prophets; and thou sayest, If a man keep my saying, he shall never taste of death.[53] Art thou greater than our father Abraham, which is dead? and the prophets are dead: whom makest thou thyself? [54] Jesus answered, If I honour myself, my honour is nothing: it is my Father that honoureth me; of whom ye say, that he is your God: [55] Yet ye have not known him; but I know him: and if I should say, I know him not, I shall be a liar like unto you: but I know him, and keep his saying. [56] Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad. [57] Then said the Jews unto him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham? [58] Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am. [59] Then took they up stones to cast at him: but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.

Going right through the middle of them! I at first thought that He disappeared and was elsewhere. But no. He was still there, He was just in some way or another invisible! Just as He is today. And yet He is here, right in our midst, and the haters and the doubters are still looking for someone to cast stones at. They can no more hit Him now, than they could then. So often times the target becomes the only one they can lash out at and that is us, the believers. 

So what do we do with the doubters and the haters. 

Have First Hand Knowledge

Jesus had first hand knowledge of Abraham and Abraham first hand knowledge of Him.

Genesis 18:2 KJV

[2] And he lift up his eyes and looked, and, lo, three men stood by him: and when he saw them, he ran to meet them from the tent door, and bowed himself toward the ground, [3] And said, My Lord, if now I have found favour in thy sight, pass not away, I pray thee, from thy servant:

Two were angels, but Abraham addressed One as Lord.  Abraham didn’t want Him to pass by. He wanted Him to stay. A lesson even Christians can learn. Don’t rush out of the Lord’s presence, or rush Him out of yours. What an honor to find the favor of God to the point where He chooses to be in your presence. 

That’s kind of how I feel this morning as I write these words, Jesus passed by and sat a while with me in my little junked up office. He didn’t mind that it wasn’t a church, or a mansion. He just wanted time with me. And together He and I conversed and this is the product of that. This message. A message that I needed, and I’m pretty sure you do to.

Until the end of time there will be haters and doubters. Pray for them. But don’t let them distract you from God Himself. He’s still teaching us through the Holy Spirit, stay in His word! He’s still walking around unseen in the midst of those who do not know Him. It’s up to us to allow them to see Christ. It’s up to Him to help them feel His presence. Let them throw their spiritual stones of words; if they throw real stones, Move! But when it comes to the words of doubters and haters they have no power over the word of God. Their words will be forgotten tomorrow. His words have lasted how long? 

If you’re reading this and you don’t know Christ as your Savior. Don’t let Him disappear in your midst. You’ve no doubt felt His Spirit moving in your presence, ask Him to reveal Himself to You, I believe He will. If you have questions, I’d love to answer them. If you stand in need of prayer, I’d be honored to do that too. 

Have a Blessed day! As I write this it’s Wednesday. I hope you have a place to attend Bible Study tonight! Blessings ~ Shari

Posted in Bible Journaling, Christian Service, Church attendance, Uncategorized

I have Questions

I do not have questions of God… well, I do, but I more have questions of those who will likely not read this, but perhaps they will. “Those” are they that I used to attend church with – – those who used to stand and testify about the goodness of God; but now their seat is empty. They’re memory fades from the mind of the congregation and many wouldn’t know who they were if I called their name in prayer because they’ve not darkened the door of God’s house in forever. 

Am I angry?

Only that Satan won a battle. I’m not angry at the individual. I just don’t understand it. I will mention a few “generic” situations and perhaps it will prompt you to call someone out in prayer today, or perhaps it’s your story.

There was a couple in our church who served God faithfully for many, many years. He retired, she was a homemaker and a beloved mom. Little by little they stopped serving, slowed their attendance, and then stopped altogether. He got a job that had weekend hours, she got cancer. And God cured her! And through it all they never returned to God’s house. I don’t understand and my question is why? Why did you not return to praise Him? 

Another couple with the same story of attending many years. They struggled to keep their marriage together, God healed their home and they left church. Their home was no longer strong enough to to fight the world and it separated due to infidelity. But they managed to get back together. He got cancer. He was cured.  No return. Why?

Throughout the years I have watched countless people battle, win, and walk out on God. And they will say almost assuredly “I still worship God, I just do it at home.” 

That may be true. But I doubt it. Because I know how hard it is for me to stay faithful to worship while I’m in the house of God at every opportunity. My focus can get so worldly in a heartbeat…

And speaking of heartbeats. The reason I wonder about those who struggle and do not return to God’s house is because I remember laying in the hospital facing open heart surgery and needing and receiving the presence of God in that place. I remember feeling the prayers of the saints of God that I knew were lifting my name to the Lord. That’s what friends of faith do. But if you’re not there, they’ll likely not remember you. But this morning I remember them. And I’ll bet there’s someone on your heart too.

In my teen group this week we watched a video of Francis Chan. I love this guy! He wrote “Crazy Love” and other books, but his back story is just so doggone amazing! His mother died in childbirth and then his father remarried a few years later. His second wife died when Francis was 8 in a car accident, then his father died at when Francis was 12,  leaving him orphaned. He goes to a youth rally and gets saved and finds God’s purpose for his life and he, his wife and seven children continue to serve the Lord. And he stood on the stage and thanked God for the life he was given because it caused him to seek God. Glorrrrraaaaayyyyyy! Can you say that about your struggles? I cannot always. But I can say that about the heart attack because it got my attention on what’s important, and who’s important. 

My family is important. My friends are important. But God is the most important of all. Without Him I would not know healing, peace, love to the depths of the ocean and beyond. I would not know sacrifice. His sacrifice. 

Luke 17:17

And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine?

I asked the same question today. “Where are the nine?

Tomorrow’s Sunday. Make the plan to go to the house of the Lord! Don’t let Satan convince you that it’s not necessary. It is necessary and He is worthy. Go and praise Him! 

Posted in Bible Journaling, Christian Service, Leadership, Life Inspiration, Uncategorized

How to live a blessed life

It ain’t easy! But it’s totally doable for a child of God. I must also say that it’s also not perfect. There will likely be some heartache and struggle. But even that too can be a blessing from the other side. Seldom ever in the middle!

That’s where my thoughts are going this morning as I prepare a lesson for my teens that always  hits this grown up right between the eyes. As I study and prepare, as I instruct, i always learn more than they likely do. And often times I learn a greater lesson directly from them. One of which is when they call each other out. I’m not one who’s ever made a practice of calling anyone out. I won’t say I haven’t done it, but it’s a rarity. But this current group of teens I have are notorious for calling each other out. They cut nobody any slack! I sometimes cringe wondering how their comments will be taken; but funny thing about being called out in the house of God, if you’re a willing vessel to hear, the word is accepted and we move on. Could not the old folks learn from that?

God will call you out for certain!  From the book of Isaiah God not only calls us out, He tells us to write it down:

Isaiah 30:8

Now go, write it before them in a table, and note it in a book, that it may be for the time to come for ever and ever:

Leading into that word, He’s speaking to the children of Israel. 

Isaiah 30:1-2 KJVS

[1] Woe to the rebellious children, saith the Lord, that take counsel, but not of me; and that cover with a covering, but not of my spirit, that they may add sin to sin: [2] That walk to go down into Egypt, and have not asked at my mouth; to strengthen themselves in the strength of Pharaoh, and to trust in the shadow of Egypt!

Stay out of Egypt

Egypt adds to the sin that we already have. I have enough without going down into a place that has my mind in a place it shouldn’t be. Egypt can be anywhere. A television program or movie, a group of friends, a business establishment, a shopping center! Any place that has your mind on less than godly things. It adds sin to sin for the weaknesses that we are apt to fall victim too. 

For me it could just as well be the bread isle at our local market. Jeepers! I love bread. I love donuts and cake and pie! those are weakness that I’d be better off staying clear of. I have others. Many others. For some people their weakness may be alcohol, drugs, friends that drag them into a world they came out of.  Egypt is anywhere that takes you away from the will of God.

God’s original design for His children was that they never got exposed to Egypt. But Satan messed that up!

Stay out of Rebellion

Isaiah 30:9-11 KJVS

[9] That this is a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of the Lord : [10] Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits: [11] Get you out of the way, turn aside out of the path, cause the Holy One of Israel to cease from before us.

It’s hard to imagine those words about ourselves. But I only have to think of the times that I have turned a conversation with God off because it was taking me to a place of chastisement or a place I was less than comfortable in. I am no different than the people who stood at the base of the mountain with Moses and said, “You go Moses! We’ll wait for you to get back and let us know what God says!” Fear is a not so funny thing. We are taught to fear (reverence) God, but that perfect love casts out fear. And yet, without studying the word and staying in it we will allow Satan to cause confusion and shame to come into our life. These are the times when we do not want to hear the holy words of God.  We need to

Stay Put!

Even in the hard times. Even on the days when the Lord’s words cut us through. The end result will be Victorious living. I know this because I’ve experienced all of it! The victory and the defeat. I needed a teen around me to call me out! 

This was a quick thought for myself today, to get my mind into the zone i want it to be in. How about you? Are you there? I pray you’re blessed!

Posted in Christian Service, Life Inspiration, Uncategorized

What Will be Your Act Today?

1 Kings 10:6-12 KJVS

[6] And she said to the king, It was a true report that I heard in mine own land of thy acts and of thy wisdom. [7] Howbeit I believed not the words, until I came, and mine eyes had seen it : and, behold, the half was not told me: thy wisdom and prosperity exceedeth the fame which I heard. [8] Happy are thy men, happy are these thy servants, which stand continually before thee, and that hear thy wisdom. [9] Blessed be the Lord thy God, which delighted in thee, to set thee on the throne of Israel: because the Lord loved Israel for ever, therefore made he thee king, to do judgment and justice. [10] And she gave the king an hundred and twenty talents of gold, and of spices very great store, and precious stones: there came no more such abundance of spices as these which the queen of Sheba gave to king Solomon. [11] And the navy also of Hiram, that brought gold from Ophir, brought in from Ophir great plenty of almug trees, and precious stones. [12] And the king made of the almug trees pillars for the house of the Lord, and for the king’s house, harps also and psalteries for singers: there came no such almug trees, nor were seen unto this day.

My 2020 word of the year has captured my thoughts. But I want to be careful not to get wrapped up in the search for wisdom and lose out on the acts of wisdom. Something obviously Solomon lived out; else why would the Queen of Sheba said what she did in verse 6  of 1 Kings 10? She was in absolute awe of what she witnessed of the “acts” of his wisdom. For me its the danger of Bible scholars. Not that I’ll ever consider myself one. But I’ve seen enough well educated Christians to last me a life time, who know the word, but don’t act on it. Or are far more interested in the depth of theology causing a shallowness and inability to care for the day to day needs of God’s people.

When studying the word I want to see the relevance to my everyday life. How can I apply, or act, upon what I’ve just read? That was my question after I read the aforementioned text. And so I kept reading to see what the act of the Queen was once she had discovered the awesomeness of Solomon. And what I discovered was, to the man who had everything, she gave more! Gold, spices, precious stones… things that would bring joy to his senses. Perhaps it was a spice that when he caught a whiff of he would think…. “ahhhh…. that’s from my friend the Queen.” I hope that I encourage folks in such a manner, many have encouraged me that way.  That when they see or hear something down the road it will remind them of me (not for my glory) but for remembrance of my acts for Christ.   

Another of the gifts of the Queen for Solomon was a boat load of almug trees for which the King used to construct the house of the Lord, and instruments for singers. Glory! Another reason of love King Solomon. He loved music. And so again he would likely hear the instruments play and as the music encouraged his spirit, or helped set the tone for the Worship of God, he might take the time to thank the Lord for the Queen and ask the Lord to bless her. 

Solomon acted… he just didn’t sit on his wisdom. What am I going to do with this wisdom today?

A man from Canada stopped by my table in the Hotel lobby this morning. As always a conversation ensued. He and his wife encouraged me at first just by their presence in the breakfast room. They enjoyed each other’s company. She went off to prepare for their journey on to Florida and he was interested in what got me up so early… “Yes! Thank you Lord for an opportunity to tell him why was I was up at the crack of dawn. We talked about our perspective churches and and pastors and then he went on his way.  Just a few minutes with Mr. Reesor. He left me with the gift of conversation. A small act, but one worthy of pondering today.

I hope someone encourages you today! Blessings! Shari