It’s pouring the snow down in Calhoun County, West Virginia today, and the odds of me making it to our morning service are growing slimmer. Praise God, I was in church with the teens for fellowship last night, else I’d be even sadder.
know how people make it without a church family for encouragement.
The teens and I watched a film called “Beware of Christians.” It was documentary by four college boys who wanted to know what lies beyond “religion” who went by faith on a journey to Europe to witness for Christ.
movies it started out a little slow, and I’m sweating it because I want the
kids to enjoy it and have a good time. Well let me tell you, when teens applaud
at the end of a movie, with nobody to hear their applause but each other and
God, you know the Spirit has moved and I’m not a failure as a youth leader J
title speaks of “Beware of Christians,” it’s not what you initially think. Or
at least not what I thought. It’s speaking primarily of religious Christians
which in the context of this film, I personally think most of us fit into. I’ve
witnessed very few people in my life who live their lives to the extent of the
disciples and by the instruction of Christ through the word.
These young men warn of the cause and effect of religious church goers who talk the talk but their walk doesn’t back it up. They interviewed people in the many cities they traveled, often times ending up in cities they never intended on going to. But God has His methods! They asked tough questions of young people regarding their sexual morality and spoke candidly about their own struggle. They delved into materialism and so many other topics that few Christians dare to ask themselves. Such as “Are you prepared to give up everything to serve Christ?” What does it mean to be a Christian? What things do you “need” and what things do you “need to get rid of?” Are you willing to walk away from some people because they’re unhealthy for you?
leave much of it for you to experience should you decide to watch the movie.
You can rent it on YouTube for $1.99. This is not an endorsement, but rather an
opportunity if you’re interested.
What I wanted
to accomplish by this post this morning is to ask you what I had to ask myself
last night? What good are you for the cause of Christ? How much of an impact
are you making? What will you do differently this week because I ask you these
Because I’m not going to make it to our services this morning, I’m going to spend some time pondering these questions myself. If you’d like to share your answers or your thoughts I’d love to hear from you!
Below are the notes from my “not another manic Monday” Facebook Live video feed. If you’d rather watch the video, scroll down to the bottom of the page and follow the Youtube Link.
I’m not sure what has got me in the Christmas spirit so early this year, I’m usually a November 25th kind of gal, but I’m blaming it on the heart attack. I blame a lot of things on the heart attack, but this one may be closest the truth. I think I come to realize how precious holidays and holy days are.
So somehow or another, I tend to relate all scripture to Christmas, which is true as well, because scripture all relates to Christ, and Christ is Christmas. But this Christmas verse is found in the book of Psalm Chapter 16 and although it doesn’t have anything to do with Christmas, it will help you out on your Monday manic if you happen to be in that mode. And I happen to be.
Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fullness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.
Always Looking for Direction
When it comes to life it doesn’t matter how old I am, I’m still directionally challenged. And as a directionally challenged person who takes a picture of her car before I go into a store, I need more help than most. So I appreciate how God took care of the wise men by giving them a sign that could not be missed.
That star lead the Wise men to the place where the Christ child lay and then it stopped.
Matthew 2:2 has the Kings asking: “Where is He that is born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the east, and are come to worship Him.”
Matthew 2:9 reads … the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was.
That is my kind of signage!
And the bible is filled with historical information, but it’s also filled with today’s information.
I still rely on the word of God in some form or another, preacher, teacher and reading myself to finish this journey. I’ve found the Christ child and the Savior, now I’m trying to stay on the path until we meet face to face.
Part of that journey is that I’m
Always Looking for Joy
Psalm 16 tells us exactly where it’s at and to what extent we can achieve it. In His presence is the fullness of joy! But being in His presence doesn’t guarantee that result. After all, we have Him in our heart, and yet we’re not always happy if we’re honest. Sometimes, on the bad days we have to prepare for it. If we show up to a party with an attitude of dismay and discouragement, pretty soon the rest of the party is brought down with us. But if we show up anticipating the joy of the event, it’s a great day! Well, it’s a great day if we go into this week with an attitude of anticipation for what the Lord can do. One thing I’ve been learning myself lately is that the words we speak have more power than we understand.
If we say something like “I’m dreading this week, I have so much to do and it’s never going to get finished.”
Satan and his merry men will jump that band wagon and ride it all the way into Saturday. But if we speak the word of God over it, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” – Philippians 4:13
For thou Lord, wilt bless the righteous; with favour thou wilt compass him as with a shield. – Psalm 5:12
Speaking those words causes my attitude to change and Satan to flee. The wise men knew the word of God was the way to Christ because within the word of God it was prophesied 700 years before the event. That proves the power in the word of God.
But thou, Beth-lehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from old, from everlasting.
That prophesy foretold of the birth of Christ in that little city, long before the wise men were given directions.
God knows our destinations as well. Isn’t that great news! But it wouldn’t have been great news if the Kings had had the attitudes most of us have when God gives us directions.
We doubt and fear because we don’t prove God’s words by stepping out in zones of discomfort. And we miss the joy of the adventure.
That’s what I want in November and December. I want to experience an adventure with Christ! And I can only do that by finding out what God’s word said and how it pertains to my manic Monday or terrible Tuesday, or wicked Wednesday that Satan would like me to experience.
I want victory over every day.
Always Looking for Pleasure
Who doesn’t want to please God? Pleasing God is following, worshipping and acknowledging Who His Son is and Where He is. The third part of our scripture said at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.
1 Peter 3:22 tells us that Christ is on the right hand of God. But to understand that is to understand the symbolic gestures of Old Testament.
In Genesis 48, Joseph brought his sons to Jacob to be blessed, but he got upset when he seen his father lay his right hand on the head of Ephraim because that was a blessing reserved for the oldest child and Ephraim was younger than Manasseh. So Joseph called it to his father’s attention, and his father replied, I know what I’m doing, leave me alone. Shari quoted bible.
So Jacob was basically saying that the younger son was going to be greater than the older. And as harsh as that seemed for Joseph to hear, it was prophetic. And He needed to hear it.
If we want the blessing of God, we have to trust that the Son on the right hand of God has our best interest at heart. But we’ll never understand that unless we get into a deeper relation with Him.
There was some serious relationship issues within the families of the bible. But if we want to experience the pleasures that God has for us in life, we cannot have relationship issues with Jesus Christ.
God didn’t send His Son to this world, to be taken for granted.
Before the heart attack I took a lot of things for granted. One of them was Christmas. That’s why, this year I’m starting early. I want to “experience” this season by having greater clarity and joy about my purpose in life. And I want a greater relationship with the Lord Jesus.
When I read the words in Psalm, it just leapt off the page at me like a Jack in the Box on Christmas morning. God’s verse to prepare my heart for this season.
It doesn’t matter if I’m talking about the Christmas season, or a season in your life that you’re going through. You and I both need the same thing. A deeper relationship with the Lord.
We can only have that if we’re prepared to invest some time.
We have to turn the television off, or the radio, or the computer. Whatever it is that is distracting us from this journey that God is taking us on in November and December!I’m excited about it! And I’m excited that you joined me today and I hope that you’ll let me follow you on your journey by messaging me and clueing me in on some of the things the Lord has been doing in your life.
God Bless and I hope to see you next Monday at 10 am. on Facebook live.