so absolute petty, and so very vain. And as I told someone sarcastically this
week “I’m sure it compares with the starving in Africa.” But today it is a
My knee accident and treatment continues to be a major issue in my life. Mainly because it’s so discouraging. I have so much I want and need to do in the ministry and in life and not being able to walk with grace, and sometimes at all, really throws a kink in that plan!
We had a
very cold rainy weekend and it through my arthritic body into a tizzy. It threw
a temper tantrum like a toddler. It wasn’t going anywhere! I made it to church
Sunday morning (in flats!) Oh the horror! J And didn’t make it at all Sunday night. Actually didn’t
make it off the couch. Monday morning came and my hopes of being better were
greater until midafternoon and I derailed again with knee pain. I only lasted
two innings into the tee ball game and had to come home.
beautiful beige high heels that I longed to wear to church on Sunday morning
taunt me from the corner while my “sensible flats” smirk with glee. I know it
sounds so petty. But what it is, is discouraging. How did I get here and what
am I going to do about it?
so much about the heels, which I’m truly not that vain, I just like them, but
it’s more about the fact that life is taking a toll on my ministry work. And
though I know that it didn’t catch God off guard, and perhaps He truly is
trying to slow me down before another heart attack, but I feel that it’s Satan
trying to thwart my efforts. And I must fight back!
“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” PHIL. 4:13
the verse that was on my mind this morning as I thought about those sensible
shoes. I don’t want to be sensible. I’ve never been sensible in my life, ask
anyone who knows me!
I want to jump and watch the Holy Spirit’s net catch me from afar knowing that I walked in faith. In pretty shoes! I know it doesn’t compare to the problems in the lives of other people who are facing tragedies. I know it’s silly. But faith is faith. For silly shoes, or surgery. I have to be able to trust my Lord.
may say. “Shari, it’s just shoes, wear the flats.” And if He says that I’m fine
and I’ll be grateful I can walk, there are people who cannot. But if He says, “those
shoes look marvelous darling.” I’m going to be ready.
my point for you and me today. The Word of God is truth from the first word in
Genesis to the last word in Revelation. And “all” means “all.”
But “through” also means “through.” I have to do it all through Christ. It’s from Him that I’m going to receive the strength, and that strength may or may not be in my knee, it may be in my Spirit.
people quote Philippians 4:13 they’re often doing it through the flesh and not
through the Spirit. Because they want something so bad, they believe it’s what
Christ wants too, and that may or may not be the case.
So what I
understand from my silly little drawing this morning is I can do ALL things
that Christ wants me to do. Including wear shiny shoes if that be His desire.
Christ think about shiny shoes? Well He adorned the angels in shiny attire, I
truly think it matters. But what matters most is that I keep priorities in
shoes mean nothing, if Christ isn’t in the story.
Today is a gloomy Gus kind of day outside my window. Spring rains are in the day and I noted in my mind that there is a difference between a spring rain and a winter rain. While obviously the temperature difference is much easier on my arthritic bones, but the spring rain hydrates the land and suddenly overnight the trees are out and the flowers are blooming. I need my spirit to fall in line, it’s still in the winter mode.
I have projects that need done and a house that
needs cleaning and repairs and all I want to do is set and space out which is
not healthy for my mind set in so many ways! And it’s surely not healthy for
the things that need done. So this morning I pushed past it and turned to
another book in my reading through the Bible, the book of Zechariah.
One of the minor prophets who always have a
6 Then he
answered and spake unto me, saying, This is the word of the Lord unto Zerubbabel,
saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts.
do things in my own always leads to trouble, but I do it none the less. While I
need to focus on my personal ministry work I have the collective work of the
church on my heart as well. Which Zechariah spoke directly to this morning.
begins speaking of a candlestick which represents the church. We are supposed
to be a light to the world, but we seem more to be a flashlight under the bed
looking for our lost socks. Wow… where did that analogy come from?
it is and its how I feel. There’s always something we’re looking to do and
finish, like the other sock that never gets found. And rather than making
progress, we’re looking for the lost sock while the laundry is stacking up and
there’s plenty of other stuff to do, but the sock is important.
Mountain, Not Mine
7 Who art thou, O great
mountain? before Zerubbabel thou shalt become a plain: and he shall bring forth
the headstone thereof with shoutings, crying, Grace, grace unto it.
Truthfully right now I don’t
have a mountain of laundry, I have only a couple of loads, but what I have is a
mountain of mayhem going through my brain. Bills that need paid, things that
need done, people that need visited,
blogs that need written, lessons that need prepared, songs that need
sung… each one of them seems to be a missing sock. I just can’t get it
together. I need God to flatten this mess out.
Grace, grace unto it!!!
His Mercy, My Message
Have you ever been told, or
told your children (probably both) “I’m going to straighten you out!”
Well, that’s what I feel
like God needs to do to me. I’m out of line.
8 Moreover the word of the Lord came unto me, saying,
9 The hands of Zerubbabel have
laid the foundation of this house; his hands shall also finish it; and thou
shalt know that the Lord of hosts hath sent me
10 For who hath despised the
day of small things? for they shall rejoice, and shall see the plummet in the
hand of Zerubbabel with those seven; they are the eyes of the Lord, which run to and fro
through the whole earth.
plummet was used to make sure everything was in line in the building of the
house of God. Now, how that plays into the missing sock, I’m not sure. Other
than God is in the details of house work. Be it, the House of God, or the house
of Shari. God’s aware of everything that happens to and fro through the whole
earth. Even the times that I sit in frustration and feel that the mountains are
just too big to move, And God sends a guy like Zechariah to say that no matter
the mountain, God’s work will be done in me. And you!
just need to stay faithful
knows where’s that sock is. And He knows every missing piece of our work in His
name. Keep looking… we’ll find it.
12:3 ~ And they that be wise shall shine
as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as
the stars for ever and ever.
I am a
dreamer! I have goals and ambitions that likely far exceed possibility, but
still I dream. Daniel was no ordinary dreamer and his dreams were not ordinary
dreams, they were visions far into the distant future; likely a vision into our
“now.” Much like the book of Revelation, the book of Daniel reads like a newspaper.
I must confess, without the assistance of theological commentaries I wouldn’t
know beans about the majority of it, a verse like Daniel 12:3 stirred my soul
this morning and so did the notes on the side of my bible page. It may have
been a sermon outline, or it may have been my thoughts, I’m not sure of where
it came from, but there it was… an outline in the waiting for me this morning
as I finished out the last chapter of the book.
Know the Word of God!
men did then, and so do the wise men and women of the day. “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”
it says in 2 Timothy 2:15.
always stressing the importance of bible reading to my students. Sometimes I
feel like I’m beating a dead horse. Sometimes I’m the dead horse. It’s so easy
to get caught up in the world and not read the word of God. Believe me when I
say, I get it.
also easy to read it and not divide it. Trusting that what a preacher or
commentary said is correct, which may or may not be the case. Also, when
reading the word of God it is a living, breathing document designed to speak to
you personally. The message never changes, but how you’re to apply it does and
you need to be able to read and divide (understand) what God wants you to know.
Look for Evidence
Daniel interpreted dreams, the interpretation was truth. If there had never
been any evidence of what his interpretation was, nobody would have ever
winning souls to Christ, and witnessing to our family and friends, they need to
know that you know what you’re talking about. Not that you’re a bible scholar,
but that you have a relationship with the Lord that means you can hear from Him
and understand what He wants you to know. Just as I know people need proof in the pudding of my relationship
with Christ, I want proof in the lives of the people I touch. I want to know
that I’ve encouraged them and made a difference. It’s the things my dreams are
Act on It!
wise men of Jesus’ day heard that the Messiah had come, they didn’t stand
around waiting for a news brief. They went to discover the truth themselves.
it comes to Messiah’s return for His church we don’t need to be standing around
for a news brief either, that news hit the stands 2000 years ago. We need to be
The Apostle Paul shared that news in 1 Thessalonians
But I would not have you to
be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not,
even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose
again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.For this we say unto you by the word of
the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall
not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven
with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and
the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we
which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds,
to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
Wherefore comfort one another with these words.
The archangel… the
same one that spoke with Daniel will blow the trumpet for the Lord Jesus
Christ! His word does not change. The end result is still the same. Jesus is
coming back and we need to ready and sharing that word with our family and friends.
It is the dream of
this soul winner that no one I love is missing in Heaven. Please… be faithful
child of God! Tell the world of Jesus.
days of Fibromyalgia kicking my tail and I am so appreciative of the sun shining
outside my windows today. It’s humbling how the feeling of hopelessness can
kick in so quickly and that defeat can consume the mind. Oh did I feel the
drama queen coming out of me during that time! It’s not something I let the world
see, or anyone other than the hubs usually. But it’s a very real side of my
personality. Or should I say “personalities.”
God! for the steadfastness of Jesus Christ. From the Old Testament to the New
Testament God is still God! Somehow or another as I read in Daniel this morning
it lead me to the book of Hebrews.
with me, I promise in my “drama mama” way, this road will lead to discovery, at
least it did for me.
6:26 ~ I make a decree, That in every dominion of my kingdom men
tremble and fear before the God of Daniel: for he is the living God, and
stedfast for ever, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed, and his
dominion shall be even unto the end.
King Darius made that decree after Daniel was
delivered out of the Lion’s den. And Daniel wrote in the following chapter
(7:14)“And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a
kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his
dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom
that which shall not be destroyed.
same steadfast God of Daniel is the same steadfast God of the writer of Hebrews
who wrote in Hebrews 6:17-19 ~ Wherein God, willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of
promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath: That by two
immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a
strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set
before us: Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast,
and which entereth into that within the veil;
Glory to God that stirs this girl’s soul this morning!
I made the mistake of tuning into a Fox newscast on Facebook this
morning of the church bombing in Sri Lanka that killed 300 people on Easter
Sunday. The day after I lay whining on the couch on Saturday.
It put my days into perspective.
What a wicked world we live in. Another thing that has not changed
from the garden is the evil of Satan and his intention of destroying this world
and taking as many souls with him as he can. He is the original drama king of
this world. His focus is on destruction. But Halelujah! He cannot touch our
world… you know… the one we’re headed to, not the one we live in. He’ll have
his day down here, but not there.
knew and shared with Darius what I know and share with my readers. We serve a
living God! That is reason to get dramatic on the side of good news!
Heirs of the Promise
Wherein God, willing more
abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel,
confirmed it by an oath:
Pain won’t last forever! My fibro-weekend wasn’t fun, but today is Tuesday, and
I’m feeling so much better. Can you imagine how much better I’ll feel in that Promised
Land! Glory to God let’s get dramatic!
Lay hold of His Hope
That by two immutable
things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong
consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us:
For a split second, okay, maybe several hours I lost hold of that
hope on Saturday. The pain over took my mind and I was not in the mindset that
I should have been in. I have no doubt that it’s for a reason, and one such
reason is, it gives me a greater understanding of those who suffer. If I didn’t
suffer too, I could never say “I understand, and really understand.” But praise
God, I can share the hope He provides and the promise of a better day.
That hope is what brought Daniel through the lion’s den, because he knew that one way or the other there was a day Darius didn’t control. And so it was with the faith of the writer of Hebrews.
That Hope was Anchored at the Cross
Which hope we have as an
anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within
just celebrated the splitting of that veil that day of the cross when our
Savior died. We now have that anchor to the soul ready and waiting for us to come
to Him, not through a priest but personally, and it’s not going anywhere! From
here to eternity our Lord is Alive and so will we be with Him one glorious day.
may have many “fibro days” ahead of me. Or not… I still pray and believe my
Lord can heal. But if He chooses that I go through instead of out, I’ll live
for Him because He died for me.
I hope these words encouraged you today, because they sure did me… Let the Son Shine!
In this day and age where promises
are so easily broken, I can certainly understand the hesitancy of the unsaved
to believe anything Christians say. Many Christians don’t have any more of a
testimony of honesty and purity than the unsaved.
That truth was an “ouch” moment
for me. I certainly haven’t lived a life above reproach. There are no stones in
my pocket. If anything I’m forever in a state of waiting for someone to hurl
one at me.
So on this Holy weekend I’m ever
conscious of what my Lord has done, as well as conscious of my ingratitude and
lack of understanding of the depth of His love.
Last night was our Good Friday Communion
Service at Victory Baptist church. Lifting that bread and cup to my lips is
difficult. I’m never sure that I even should. That’s the depth of failure I
feel. But Praise His Holy and wonderful name He does not intend for me to stay
in that state.
Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ
by the will of God, according to the promise of life which is in Christ Jesus.
2 Timothy 1:1
Not your typical Easter
scripture. But for me it reminded me of what the cross meant…
The Promise of Life
That promises is only found in
Christ Jesus and His finished work on the cross. Not Shari’s work, not the
preacher’s or the deacon’s or anyone else in this world, but Christ alone.
It’s the life that the unsaved
long for but they don’t even know it. It’s a life that can only be experienced
by accepting what the blood of Jesus did that day on the cross.
Red Makes White
As an artist I’ve on more than
one occasion mixed a strong pigmented color in with a lighter color and ended
up with a gallon of paint trying to fix it. Yes that’s an exaggeration. Red
into white would certain cause that effect. But not with Christ.
In reading this scripture this
morning that’s what happened with me. All my failures and sin were covered with
that promise Christ made at the cross. And it’s what gives me the strength to
go on. I understand Paul when he said that “by the will of God, according to
It is God’s will that we continue
on serving even on the days that we don’t feel worthy. It is His will that His
children continue His work. The work that He died for on the cross.
Stir it Up!
That was Paul’s advice to Timothy
in verse 6 of Chapter 1:
Wherefore I put thee in remembrance
that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my
Paul had laid hands on Timothy
and ordained his service for the Lord. And while that is a wonderful testimony
and service of the church, it doesn’t mean that we who have not had the hands
of man laid upon us are not ordained for a work in Christ Jesus. Start searching
your heart for the truth of what it is God has called you to do and you will
stir something inside of you that you may or may not have felt before. But it’s
the work, and it’s a specific work that God has called you alone to perform. I
I don’t believe there is anyone
else who can or should do what I’ve been called to do. But I also am painfully
aware that I have taken on other people’s callings because I was too impatient
to wait for them to step out in faith and do it.
Don’t let me or anyone else rob
you of the blessing that comes from serving Christ. Let God stir that gift up
in you as He did Paul and Timothy!
Paint the Town!
For God hath not given us the
spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
My tendency to fall into a vat of
guilt keeps me from doing the work I’ve been called to do. It stops my
productivity and creativity in the Lord. What a sad statement. But that’s Satan’s
goal when he reminds us that we are unworthy. Which if it were only of
ourselves would be a true statement; but not according to the promise of life which in
in Christ Jesus!
In that promise we can paint the
town red. By sharing what the blood of Christ has done in our life. But only if
we ourselves believe it to be true, and live it like it is.
every day since the heart attack has been filled with a plethora of emotions.
There are days I feel awesome! And I appreciate those days because they’ve been
less than more. I ask not for pity. It’s just the process of aging and the
result of having poured more junk into the vessel the Lord gave me rather than
healthy fuels. The truth hurts… sometimes literally. The same is true spiritually.
spent a lot of time in the book of Psalms lately. It’s my go to place when I’m
in need of encouragement. Most likely because I can relate to many of them which
were penned by David, who certainly experienced more than one lifetime of
emotions through tribulations and celebrations. Take Psalm 103… Just in the first 5 verses it
describes my day to day:
That is my prayer this
morning as I approach the Easter weekend and attempt to dry nigh to the Lord
Jesus. It’s difficult when you’re in the flesh and throwing a pity party for
your aching arthritic bones. I find myself saying “Oh my stars!” more than “Oh
is exactly why I needed to fuel my body with His words instead of mine!
The Benefit Package
1Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within
me, bless his holy name.2 Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his
While insurance companies are paying less and
less on the average health care bill, the benefits of serving the Lord have
been multiplied. A fact I need to remember. As a matter of fact it’s a
prescription dose we all need this week.
Because of the cross our benefit package is out
of this world. There is nothing that our God cannot do so long as it’s His
will. And His will is for certain that His children walk in truth and joy.
The Prescription Plan
3 Who forgiveth all thine iniquities;
who healeth all thy diseases;
In 2017 I took no medication. At the beginning
of 2018 I took 2, by mid 2018 to now I’ve been on 9-13 daily meds to make this
body of mine function. How ridiculous is that!
Well, I may not like it, but it’s what keeps me
going. Missing anyone of those pills can make life difficult. The same holds
true with my spirituality. Failure to take the prescribed daily dosage of God’s
word and time in His presence takes its toll on me. I feel terrible. And not
only that, I miss the blessing of
feeling clean and whole through His forgiveness. And for certain I lose sight
of the fact that He has the power to heal this body and strengthen me for His
The Forgiveness Clause
4 Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with
lovingkindness and tender mercies;
This was an
“oh my stars!” moment for me today. Only God has the power to take back the
damage that I have inflicted to this soul and body. He created me, through sin
and poor decisions I destroyed me, through doctors and medicine He restored me,
but He can just as well heal me. He has that ability and His mercy may go there…
or it may not. But either way He has given me so many opportunities I did not
deserve. Yes Glory to God it is an Oh My Stars! Kind of day.
5 Who satisfieth thy mouth with good
things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
Unlike the insurance world enrollment isn’t
limited to a certain time. It’s any time. God’s ready and willing for us to use
our benefits and renew our relationship with Him. This is a good week to think
who are saved know there is power in the Word of God. But we sometimes forget
that the power is literal, not figuratively speaking. Just by speaking it out
loud, things can happen.
not magic. It’s understanding that the Holy Ghost is within us and when we
speak what He tells us to speak, there is power in those words. The key word
there is what “He” tells us to speak. When people put the power in incantation
(chanting or reciting something over and over in religious discipline) then
they’re actually saying that they have the power. Examples are: Reciting the
Lord’s prayer without thought of what those words mean, reciting the prayer of
Jabez for the purpose of greed. Those scriptures are not evil, they’re the word
of God. Us reading and studying and even reciting those prayers aren’t evil. They
can stir the soul and cause you to draw nearer to God through the testimony of
those writers. What’s wrong is putting the power in the word (little w) and not
the Word. (big W!)
of my favorite mental images is that of Christ blowing people down with His
words. Wouldn’t that be a great ability for the child of God? J
What biblical super power would
you like to have? (Elijah’s fire) (Moses’ staff)
can’t blow people down, but sometimes the Word of God blows me away; especially
when it reveals things to me and causes me to think about the Word like I hadn’t
before; like Doug Rowe did in Sunday School class last week. It causes me to
search deeper into the word of God to discover what God wants me to know during
this Easter season that will help me appreciate Him more.
1When Jesus had spoken these
words, he went forth with his disciples over the brook Cedron, where was a
garden, into the which he entered, and his disciples. 2 And Judas also, which betrayed him, knew
the place: for Jesus ofttimes resorted thither with his disciples. 3 Judas then, having received a band of
men and officers from the chief priests and Pharisees, cometh thither with
lanterns and torches and weapons. 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.7 Then asked he them again, Whom seek ye?
And they said, Jesus of Nazareth.
There’s not always safety in numbers, as
Judas thought because God doesn’t control things from a human perspective. Judas
knew somethings about Jesus, but he didn’t know Jesus.
What are some things we know about Jesus
that the unsaved wouldn’t know or understand?
Where do you see people of the world thinking they’re in control?
When searching your life during this
special week before Easter, where do you see places in your life that you
“think” you have control or you’re taking control when you shouldn’t?
The Power of His
who had seen the Power of God at work and believed that He was the Messiah,
missed the mark as a child of God on several occasions. This was one of them.
He attempted to “fix” the problem.
Peter missed God’s directive.
8 Jesus answered, I have told
you that I am he: if therefore ye seek me, let these go their way:9 That the saying might be
fulfilled, which he spake, Of them which thou gavest me have I lost none.10 Then Simon Peter having a
sword drew it, and smote the high priest’s servant, and cut off his right ear.
The servant’s name was Malchus.
How many of
us are guilty of that?
Some of us
have that personality. I’m a fixer. I want to fix everyone’s problems. But
sometimes that makes me the problem. There are some things that from the
surface look bad, but the end result is a great victory. That was this
circumstance. Peter was trying to remove the cup from the Lord, and which one
of us wouldn’t want to do that from a human perspective, but from God’s
perspective, all of these circumstances lead to the end result of eternal
security for us.
just said, let
these go their way:9 That the saying might be fulfilled,
which he spake, Of them which thou gavest me have I lost none.
He wasn’t going to lose any in the garden by the battle, and He’s
not going to lose any out of Heaven because of the cross.
What was Peter focusing on?
Heaven in view, while Peter had this earth in view.
For my thoughts are not
your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.
always have his focus on the wrong thing. When Jesus asked in Matthew 16:15 15 He saith unto them, But whom
say ye that I am?
Verse 16 says And Simon
Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.
He knew God
like Judas did not. Simon proves again and again that he’s not perfect. Why do
you think God may have put someone like Simon in so many places of prominence
in the Bible? What is there about his character that God wants us to
relate to Peter on many levels. His jump and the net will appear attitude is
who I’ve been all my life. When looking at the Apostles, do you see yourself in
any one of the characters and why? (back page list)
The Power of His
Peter didn’t understand at that time.
11 Then said Jesus unto Peter, Put up thy
sword into the sheath: the cup which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink
it?12 Then the band and the captain and
officers of the Jews took Jesus, and bound him,13 And led him away to Annas
first; for he was father in law to Caiaphas, which was the high priest that
same year.14 Now Caiaphas was he, which
gave counsel to the Jews, that it was expedient that one man should die for the
didn’t understand the truth of those words the way that we understand them
Only one Man could die for the
people. All the people. And that Man was
Jesus had to drink from that cup, because He was the only One that could have.
Without the sacrifice that He made there would have been no hope for mankind.
That part Peter didn’t understand, but there would come a time that he would.
What About My Cup Lord
came a time that Peter would understand the cup of Christ, and the fact that he
too would have a cup. He would also learn, not to worry about what someone
else’s cup is filled with.
15 So when they had dined, Jesus saith to
Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto
him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my
lambs. 16 He saith to him again the
second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord;
thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep.17 He saith unto him the third
time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said
unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou
knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed
my sheep.18 Verily, verily, I say unto thee, When
thou wast young, thou girdest thyself, and walkedst whither thou wouldest: but
when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall
gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not.19 This spake he, signifying by
what death he should glorify God. And when he had spoken this, he saith unto
him, Follow me.20 Then Peter, turning about, seeth the
disciple whom Jesus loved following; which also leaned on his breast at supper,
and said, Lord, which is he that betrayeth thee?21 Peter seeing him saith to
Jesus, Lord, and what shall this man do?22 Jesus saith unto him, If I
will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou me.23 Then went this saying abroad
among the brethren, that that disciple should not die: yet Jesus said not unto
him, He shall not die; but, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that
to thee?24 This is the disciple which testifieth of
these things, and wrote these things: and we know that his testimony is true.25 And there are also many
other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I
suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be
Peter would be crucified like the Lord, although it is said that
he was crucified upside down by his own choice. John wasn’t crucified, but his
life wasn’t a piece of cake either; he was boiled in oil and banished to the
isle of Patmos where he wrote the final book in the Bible.
Peter’s conversation with Christ helps us to understand that we’re
to look at no other persons walk with Christ and judge it, or compare it to
ours. We each have our cup to bear if we’re doing anything for the cause of
Examine your life this week. Draw and Write inside your cup the things (both good and bad) that God has allowed you to go through because it made you a better child of God.
– quick to speak and act, crucified upside down
– Soul winner (Peter) Often in the background.
– Inner circle, one of the Sons of Thunder, First martyred. Brother to John
– Loyal, fiery temperament, leader, last of the apostles to die. Brother to
James, the other of the Sons of Thunder
– quick soul winner (Nathanael) died a martyr.
– skeptic but loyal
–Left everything and devoted himself to Christ.
– doubter, risk taker and prone to extremes.
Boy does it! I’ve been
thinking a lot about my fleshly ways. You know… trying to justify it. One such
occasion is my frequent trips to our little town of Grantsville, West Virginia
for which I always seem to be in a hurry. And somebody else doesn’t. On multiple
occasions over the past few weeks I’ve been behind a Sunday driver in the
middle of the week. Our speed limit is 55 mph. Although people unfamiliar with
West Virginia roads would say that is likely too fast! And obviously some of
our locals who are content at driving 40 mph. And I truthfully have a freeway
brain. I would like to go 70 mph. I have places to be!
Let’s get real.
Nowhere that couldn’t wait a few minutes. But the problem with my freeway brain
is; our West Virginia roads have very few passing zones. So if you’re behind a
Sunday Driver on a Friday. It really does feel like it may be Sunday before you
get to town, which sometimes causes my flesh to kick into a higher gear. One
such occasion happened last week.
I had followed
this guy until my head was about to explode. At least a couple of miles. But
the passing zone was coming up and I was praying, (I’m godly you know?) Lord
please let the zone be clear. As I come around the turn I think it’s okay, until
I see a mail lady stopped half in the passing lane and half out, delivering
mail. She’s in the middle of the zone! so now I have to wait again.
I wait and as soon
as I’m past her I dart out into the passing lane and low and behold another
truck is coming around the turn in my lane. So I gun it! And my little Kia Soul
almost sounds like it’s rubber band is going to break but it’s got the power
when I need it. Praise God! And then I think about the lettering on the back of
And I’m not quite
so impressed with my car or myself anymore. I wonder if the guy I just gunned it
passed seen my decals and thought… such a godly woman. Umm. Probably not.
So yesterday I had
another rising of the flesh but I managed to keep this one internal. I was
invited to a new place to sing and I met some people who didn’t know me from Adam.
Certainly they didn’t know I was the Jesus Chick. Two minutes into meeting
them, they’re trash talking everyone around them and I’m nauseous. “Why did I
come here?” I thought. And then I remembered, because my idea of saying no is “no,
I wouldn’t mind.” And then I remembered why I do what I do. So people can see
Jesus. And so I did just that… I changed the conversation. Woohoo! This was a
win. Well partly… they still had the occasion to trash talk.
three, I was home alone scrolling social media. Which can so easily get me in
trouble. After about the fiftieth social media jab by liberals about everything
from abortion to the President my head was about to explode again. It’s very
well my biggest pet peeve. I’m so tired of this liberal agenda and the
inability to defend our rights as a nation and more importantly the agenda of
Almighty God without being attacked. So I say nothing. I just don’t want the
negativity on my social media pages.
I delete who I
must (anyone who speaks filth) and I scroll past who I can (those who I hope
will see my post and want Jesus.)
So this morning
when I read 2 Peter 2:9-10. I praised God that He delivers people like me. And
that He forgives people like me.
Peter spoke of Lot
a few verses before when he said, “And
delivered Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked. (For that righteous man dwelling among them,
in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful
deeds;” ~verses 7-8
Oh be careful
little eyes what you see… you probably know the song.
The word of God
was a reminder for me that I need to sing that song to myself. I need to watch
what I do for certain. I need to shut some people out… yes indeed! And I need
to be grateful that God will deliver my soul some day from this wicked, wicked
world. And then the judgement.
How sweet are Thy words unto my
taste! Yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth.
verse keeps popping up in various places. In my mind, social media posts, again
and again. I don’t believe that things like that just happen. I think that God
needed me to focus on the sweetness of His words for a reason.
to mind somethings that have left a “bad taste in my mouth” as the old adage says.
Words that were spoken in anger, pride, or without regard for the feelings of
others. Some by me, some by others; but that is not the case with the word of
God. There is not one word that was written without the intent of doing good.
Isn’t that an awesome thought? It’s why the Bible is such an encouragement to
the child of God and such a missing link to their successful walk if we’re not
the writer was describing how the word of God brings enjoyment to the senses. In
every form, be it written or spoken, sung or quoted, it brings joy the person
who has the Spirit of God within their heart. It can also cause alarm like a
spicy dish or like the savoryness of a good plate of food it can satisfy the bones.
I do not know how that works. But like the writer of Psalm, I know it’s true.
knew it too when he wrote Jeremiah 15:16
Thy words were found, and I did eat
them; and Thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am
called by Thy name, O Lord God of
does the word have the ability to nourish and it can bring refreshing like a
cool drink of water on a hot summer day.
As cold waters
to a thirsty soul, so is good news
from a far country.
Oh my stars how awesome and true! Just as the
spring rains replenish the earth and cause our spring flowers to bud forth, so
does the word of God. We soak it up, we bloom where we’re planted and all who
pass can see the beauty of God in our lives. It’s a miracle that no other book
can boast. Another book may entertain, but the word of God nourishes and
satisfies. It builds physical strength for the day ahead.
I hope you’ve enjoyed my blog post today. But
it was just the appetizer. The meal comes when you read what God has
specifically for you!
many years if you’d have ask me if I was saved I’d have said yes.
Largely because of shame and because I couldn’t admit that I didn’t even
understand that concept. Most people who knew me assumed I was saved for no
other reason than because I went to church. That was it. That was all it took. Not because there was any evidence of it in my
personal walk with Christ. Which I didn’t have.
So yesterday, as I was blessed to sit
in church and hear a convicting message of the gospel; and by convicting I
don’t mean I felt like a dirt dog, because I’ve been in those sermons too. But
by convicted I knew there were areas in my life that needed more
commitment. And one of those areas was
my Monday morning video “Not Another Manic Monday.” I had lost sight of what I
wanted to accomplish. I wanted to draw people closer in their walk with Christ.
So today’s topic is one that I believe
every child of God has an occasional if not consistent struggle with. The
assurance that you’re saved, and three possible reasons that I think will help
in winning that battle.
People Don’t Read Beyond the
So what’s the norm? Unfortunately, I
think people rarely, if ever read the word. I think that because that’s who I
was in my previous church life.
Hebrews 10:22 ~ Let us draw near with a
true heart in full assurance of
faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies
washed with pure water.
A preacher friend of mine (and I’ve
used this illustration so many times) said that the Word of God was like a
spiritual “warsh” cloth. I know it’s wash cloth, but that’s how he said, and I
love that memory.
It’s a phrase that has stuck in my
head because I know it to be true. And it’s one of the primary reasons people
lose their assurance of salvation. Because they don’t understand the importance
of reading the word of God.
Prior to salvation, my idea of reading
the word of God was, #1~ it was the preacher’s job. # 2 ~ it was there if I
felt troubled. But the problem with the second notion, is at that time I wasn’t
saved. So it was like reading the owner’s manual of a product I didn’t have. It
made no sense what so ever.
But once I became saved, and the
Spirit of God came into my heart that changed and I was blessed with an
immediate desire to soak in the word of God in every form. Spoken, written and
recorded. I know I’m not the norm and many people may not have the time that I spend
in His word. But the writer of Hebrew spoke a great truth when he said
… having our hearts sprinkled from an evil
conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.
That evil conscience (that
causes us to doubt our salvation) is covered by the blood. But without the
reading of the word to remind us of that, we lose the feeling of being clean.
There is one thing I can tell you with
bold assurance because I’ve lived it and I’ve failed at it; without the reading
of the word of God, you will forever battle the assurance of salvation.
When the writer of Hebrews wrote
10:22, and when my preacher friend was inspired to say “warsh cloth” it was
because both of those men had a relationship with the Lord beyond the norm.
People Don’t Live Beyond the
~ For our gospel came not
unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in
much assurance; as ye know
what manner of men we were among you for your sake.
God has blessed me with some amazing
Spirit filled saints in my life. People who live out the faith. They’re not
perfect, but they’re living in the perfection of Christ.
By Spirit filled I don’t mean that
they have more of God in them than the average saved person. When we get saved
we all get all of God.
Ephesians 3:19 says And to know the love of
Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.
When I think of the fullness of God I
think of it like shaking a soda pop. When you do the carbonated bubbles explode
to the surface. Well that’s what it’s like when you’re filled with the Spirit.
It’s not that you have any more of God that anyone else. But rather the Spirit
in you begins to bubble up with excitement because of the work God is doing in
your life. And when it bubbles up and out, it’s evident to not only you, but
the people around you.
At those times, nobody can tell you
you’re not saved. Because you’re living it. And while we can’t live on the
mountain all the time, if we’re serving God enough, those experiences will
leave very little room for doubt in your eternal state. Not for you. Or for the
people around you.
I was successful in my early walk with
Christ because the people around me bubbled with excitement. And I wanted it
People Don’t Attend Church
Beyond the Norm
~ That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love,
and unto all riches of the full assurance of
understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father,
and of Christ;
Growing up I thought that faith was a
Sunday morning thing. Sunday night and Wednesday Night Bible Study was for the
blue hairs and old men. And most churches are still like that today, if they
even have a Sunday night or Wednesday night service.
Right after I got saved our church
began a Wednesday Night Study called “Journey to the Heavenlies.” It was a
study on the book of Revelation. A pretty heavy topic for a new believer. And
while I certainly didn’t understand all of it, I understood enough, because of an
excellent teacher. I was fascinated about the prospect of Heaven and no longer
feared the end times.
That understanding helped inspire me
to read and live beyond the norm. And it gave me the desire to come back again
and again to learn more. I was so thankful for the truth of God’s word being
taught to me that I wanted to live and do more for my Lord.
When Paul wrote to the Colossians he hadn’t
been with them for a while. But they were holding on to each other and it
multiplied their assurance.
That’s what attending a church does
and why it’s crucial to your assurance.
When I got saved I was attending every
revival around me. I couldn’t get enough church, be it mine or someone else’s.
I just wanted to be with God’s people. I still do.
I know that in being with God’s
people, I’ll not only be encouraged, I’ll be accountable. We need people in our
lives that will keep us from slipping in our faith which causes doubt.
Last night the preacher told the story
of some old time saints in a remote village. They didn’t have a closet to get
into for prayer, but realizing the importance of spending time alone with God
they would carve out a path in the woods. Each would have their own.
But if someone’s path started having
grass grow on it, it would be evidence that they weren’t spending time alone
with God. And one of their friends, in a nice tone would say, “Friend, your
path has grass on it.”
They were letting them know that they
were concerned that their friend wasn’t spending enough time with God.
So that’s my question for you. Friend, does your path have grass on it? I
hope not. And I don’t stand in judgement. Because my path any day could start
growing grass because I’m just flesh and blood.
That’s why I go to church, read the
word and live beyond the norm. Because I’m not normal.