I’m trying very hard to stay focused
on the ministry God has set me at task to do. And it’s not hard work when you
love it, it’s just hard staying focused when you don’t always feel valued.
Please don’t feel sorry for me. I just thought perhaps this might help someone else
today too. God even gave me a song to go with the feelings on my heart today,
so I’m feeling blessed, in the midst of being stressed. You know what I mean? It’s
those days when the world tells you title + money = value. And the lack thereof
And then I read verses like Romans
Nay but, O man, who
art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that
formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make
one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?
Did that hit you as hard as it hit me?
Who am I to tell God Almighty that the one he created (me) isn’t of value and
suggest that my purpose isn’t valued. It is God who honors or dishonors and I can
tell you flat footed and bold faced that God honors those who serve. And by
service, I’m not necessarily speaking of preachers, deacons and such, although they
are included. But by service I mean anyone who:
Draws a breath and thanks Him for it.
Gives a glass of water in His name, cup
of coffee, or a jar of scrumptious pears – Mr. and Mrs. Eisley.
Shares the most precious of gift with
someone in need, time.
Tells a child that they’re amazing and
Prays for someone because, or just
Tells someone “I understand.” Or “I
don’t understand, but I’ll try.”
I realize the world doesn’t always understand why Christians do what they do, and some days there are Christians who don’t understand why we do what we do or see little value in it. But it’s God who gives the honor and it is He who has the power to mold us into something amazing. Sometimes He does that by making a little mud with the tears in our lives. It makes the clay more pliable. I hope this word encouraged you today. God sees. And He will honor you in His time.
We do not cross paths in life by happenstance, of that I’m certain.
While we may be there by circumstance, it’s not by happenstance (coincidence). I
look back on my 57 years, with a primary focus on the past twenty-three, those
are the years since salvation; my formative years of serving Christ in the capacity
of me which lead into The Jesus Chick which came to be in about 2005ish. I’m
not very good at dates, but I’m very good at events that made a difference. There are things that happen and people who
cross our paths that leave us saying “I’ll never be the same.”
When my brother was killed when I was ten years old, it
forever changed my outlook of life on earth as to whether or not it was
forever. It was not. At the time however I didn’t understand it all, I only understood
that life was very, very sad and I couldn’t fix it. And I tried in my 10 year
old state of mind to fix it by living in altered realities called my
imagination. It’s what makes me weird and okay in a world that I still can’t
fix. It’s not always healthy. It sometimes leads to not facing reality as one
should. True story. Don’t judge me. 😊
I had another one of those bell ringing moments this morning
as I read a social media post of a friend who just lost her father. One of the
things that made a deep impression on her was the number of people who came up
to her at her father’s service and said “I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for
the fact that your dad never gave up on me.”
We need some more Gene Duerksen’s in the world.
But even in a world where there’s a shortage of Gene
Duerksen’s, and we often miss out on taking advantage of those that we do meet
who encourage us in the battle of life, I was reminded through the word of God this
morning that there is one will forever spur us on! Gene Duerksen now see’s Him
face to face…
Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors
through Him that loved us.
How many times have I attempted to fly and sometimes crash
landed and other times succeeded but with no witnesses for review? Many. But
how many times have saints of God had faith in me even when I had none and
cheered me on or gave me words of advice and encouragement. Too many to count. I’m still privileged to that.
Lynn Stoneking’s testimony of her dad’s character of encouragement
reminds me that I too have the opportunity to never give up. Not on my kids,
grandkids, friends, family and me. Because God will never give up, so how can
I? Did you need that word today? He doesn’t give up on you either! Share this
post. Tell a friend or family member you believe in them. Shoot me a message
and let me know I’ve encouraged you. We need to share and care for each other.
O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin. ~ Romans 24-25
I’m pretty sure I have the best teen group in the nation. If you’re a teen leader, you probably think so too… or you should. They stretch me with my idealistic notions of what faith looks like, by granting me the new generations perspective. Just when I think I have it all figured out, we get into a deep (or sometimes shallow) theological discussion and I have one of those “You are not as smart as you thought you were, Shari,” moments. They are really quite frequent if I’m honest.
But last night’s ill prepared teen lesson was on “restoration” of the body of Christ. We skimmed the tops of scriptures about Peter, David, Saul and others whose failures sometimes lead to renpentance and sometimes not. But God’s love of broken people is evident from Genesis to Revelation.
The one glaring fact that comes from muddy pink boots, is that no matter how the world dresses up sin, dirt is still dirt. It aint pretty. The lesson that I learned from my diverse group of thinkers in the teen group last night was, children, (like God) are so quick to forgive the people they care about. And so quick to move on from mistakes understanding that they’re learning! I’m not so quick to move on. I sometimes put my pretty muddy pink boots in the corner as a reminder about that time I didn’t go around the mud, but walked right through it. I walk by my failed attempt at life and kick myself. I try buying a new pair of boots, but they’re not fun to wear, because i really want to wear the pink ones.
I know that’s a very odd parable. But what I hope you learn is what I did: Restoration also has to be done within. Especially if we’re not apt to share the fact that our boots are muddy to start with. Christians seldom want anyone else to know what they struggle with for fear of being seen as “less godly.” Well let me tell, I am for certain less godly. And I struggle with lots of “stuff.” I have a tender heart willing to forgive everyone but me. God is showing me through the youth who love me faults and all, that He does too.
I need to clean off those pink books and get back to walking.
How about you? Do you struggle with self degradation and unforgiveness. Maybe your boots are another color, but they’ll clean up just as nicely if you’ll spray them down with the water of the Word.
Today is Friday, August 30th,
2019. Winding down and the summer and heading into fall. Much like I feel about
life right now! How did I get here, you know… 57 years after the picture of me graffitiing
my Mother’s belly? Time is swift and not for the faint of heart. Beauty is
fleeting, it’s a good thing I never felt that I had it. (Not asking for
compliments or pity, just being real). It wasn’t something that I put a lot of
stock in as a young person.
Now I attempt to beautimitize myself
(totally a made up word) as I travel about and I am concerned a little more
about the flavor of style when I’m up in front of people. But none of the frilliness
of life ever interested me or caused me to want to do make up tutorials and
style videos. Those things were not things I was purposed to do.
My immediate family consists of a
dozen, myself and husband, two grown daughters with husbands, and six growing
grandchildren. Five boys and one girl. The little girl I get… I raised two of
them, the five boys! Oh my stars they are so different from girls for obvious
and not so obvious reasons. But mostly because God designed their hearts
differently from the womb. So when I read a verse like Romans 9:11 it causes me
to ponder what God will do with them, and me!
(For the children being not
yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God
according to election might stand, not of works, but of Him that calleth;)
It draws me back to one of my
favorite verses, Jeremiah 1:5
Before I formed thee in the
belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified
thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.
For me, that verse answers the
abortion debate. Before we were even in the belly, God had a plan for us. So,
nobody will ever tell me that a little fella or gal in the beginning stages of
formation in the momma’s womb isn’t somebody. They were somebody, before they
were a body! Glory!
But back to my point of God’s
While I would love it if my plan
for each of my children and grandchildren were God’s plan, I have to look at
the very real potential that it’s not. But understanding that their potential
is God’s to do with what He will.
Paul was teaching the Romans, and
the Jewish people in these passages, that no one can claim to be chosen by God
because of his or her heritage or good works. God chooses who He desires to
choose to use, and He uses those who have accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as
Savior. Jew or Gentile. God uses them all. He can use anyone lost or saved to
accomplish a task, but no one will live up to their potential unless their in
Three Prayers for my dozen
So that is my first prayer for those
that I love and myself. A right relationship with the Lord. It’s the beginning
of every good plan.
My second prayer is the will of
God for our lives. As I said, “I have many ideas about direction for theses
kids.” But if I project my plan onto their life, I may have them headed down a
road to destruction. So, I have to leave well enough alone, and boy is that
hard! But what I always fail to remember is that it’s hard enough to keep myself
in check with God. I’d do well to leave everyone else to Him before I rurally
mess things up.
And my final prayer is that our
potential is made known so that God can be glorified through us. It’s where I
feel parents (myself included) can discourage their children and their selves. Trying
to put anyone into a position that God did not ordain for them, really is like
putting a square peg in a round hole. It will not work.
Social media is the bomb. Until
it explodes in our face. Looking at the seemingly perfect lives of people and
their staged photographs will put unrealistic goals into the minds of anyone.
Yes, me too! I follow artists, speakers, singers and I love it! But then I hate
it. Because I begin comparing myself to their look, style, design and I feel
like an unworthy dirt dog.
I need to stop. If you’re doing
that, you need to stop.
That crazy baby in the womb, who
loves graffiti. That’s me for realsy. I need to love her. And so that’s my
prayer for all my peeps. Let God be true, and social media a liar. He
determines our destiny. Not the numbers or the masses.
you had to describe your state of mind, pre-salvation what one word would you
would use the word “tumultuous.” Meaning unbridled and unrestrained. I wasn’t
connected to anything solid and so I was flailing around like a windsock going
what ever direction the wind blew me in. I didn’t have direction and things
good or bad seemed to jolt me into a new direction without any thought to where
I was going.
think about your world pre-salvation for just a second. What did it look like?
to the knowledge of who we are in Christ is a game changer for the child of God
who happens to be in a place where they can grow in grace and under discipleship
and solid doctrine. But prior to that life seems to be …
birth we have a disconnect from the Creator. The reason I could be jolted in
any direction was because my wires were not connected.
thought the definition of “short circuit” was fitting for a person of a lost
[in a device, an
electrical circuit of lower resistance than that of a normal circuit, typically
resulting from the unintended contact of components and consequent accidental
diversion of the current.]
It was never God’s intention for
mankind to have contact with the low side of life. And once we were, we were diverted from God’s
control. We were severely disconnected. We fell short… as in “for all have
sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” – Romans 3:23
What happens if you grab ahold of a
short circuited wire? Nothing good, right? We’re shocked. That too is a
reaction to sin. As a child we know when we’ve done wrong. We generally feel bad
about the transgression, even thought we seldom confess. The more we do it, is
like getting shocked by low does of electricity. We get used to it. Maybe our
nerves get seared and no longer feel the guilt that we once did for committing
sin. So in order to get a jolt that makes a difference, usually something drastic
has to take place.
What took place in Paul’s life that
made such a drastic difference?
as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about
him a light from heaven: And he fell to the
earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?
he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou
persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. And
he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the
Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what
thou must do. And the men which
journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man.
And Saul arose from the earth; and when his eyes were opened, he saw no man:
but they led him by the hand, and brought him into Damascus.And
he was three days without sight, and neither did eat nor drink.
I love reading the story of Saul becoming Paul. That’s what
happens when we reconnect with God. We become an entirely new person!
speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye
have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto
iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto
Paul is helping the Romans to understand that he understands. He totally gets
where they came from. Prior to salvation they were following their sinful
fleshly ways, but now, there should be something new that they have a connection
to – righteousness. They should be drawn to it.
says “And, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.”
for that drawing.
illustration of drawing electricity is the power between water and static electricity.
It’s in a like manner that we are drawn to Christ. The Water of life! But also prior to salvation, you were not only short circuited there was a
when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness.
sin that was in our lives is what kept us from coming to Christ. We felt the
draw, but there was a break in the connection. Sometimes ever after the jolt of
reality that we’re lost, it’s years and years before people come to Christ.
do you think that is?
are probably as many excuses as there are stars in the sky, but the truth of
the matter is rebellion. It’s the same reason that Satan and the angels fell.
Everybody wants to be in charge. The ol’ “You are not the boss of me attitude.”
a funny comment when a parent says “I brought you into this world and I can
take you out.” But that’s illegal. Else it might happen more often. But with God
it’s very much the truth! He kicked Satan and his crew out of Heaven, and He
will now allow those who have rejected His authority to be in Heaven.
fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of
those things is death.But
now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit
unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.
conduct electrical current very easily because of their free electrons. Insulators
oppose electrical current and make poor conductors. Common conductors and
would be a conductor of the Christian faith?
teachers, social media posts, evangelists, ministers of the gospel, songs…
many! You and I, if we’re doing what we should are conductors of the power of
God. People see it in our lives, we touch people with our actions and words,
just like the wires that carry electricity. We too can jolt people into the
reality that they need Christ. They may break the circuit by rejecting it, but
they can’t stop us from sharing it. Because we are
For the wages of sin
is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
decision to accept what Christ did on the cross creates within us a hardwire to
the Lord. We can’t disconnect from it.
Verses of reminder:
John 10:27-29 – My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: and I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.
John 6:37 – All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.
John 10:28 – And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any [man] pluck them out of my hand.
John 5:24 – Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.
John 3:16 – For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Romans 11:29 – For the gifts and calling of God [are] without repentance.
Jude 1:24 – Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present [you] faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,
1 John 5:13 – These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.
2 Corinthians 1:22 – Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.
Romans 8:38-39 – For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Ephesians 2:8 – For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: [it is] the gift of God:
Philippians 1:6 – Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform [it] until the day of Jesus Christ:
It’s important for us to remind
ourselves that God is in charge of the connection. Not us. We might walk away
from God, but He will never walk away from us.
He will continue to call His
children home when they stray. Because that’s how He loves us.
I read down through the upcoming text, my heart was filled with joy! Thinking
on the beautiful salvation of the Lord Jesus Christ and what that means to me
how we must look at it in order to understand what it was that God did for us.
For me. For you. For the one and the many that you love. Oh, glory to God does that
not make you ever so grateful today?
look back in frustration at Adam and Eve’s very simple sin; the sin of
disobedience; and we try in our best pious way to imagine we would not, in
truth knowing we would. We’re all that weak. That’s why scripture says “for all
have sinned,” in Romans 3:23. That’s every “one” of us. We are all disobedient
read about the beautiful “One….”
Romans 5: 17-21
if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive
abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one,
as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by
the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of
as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one
shall many be made righteous.
the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace
did much more abound:
as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness
unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.
Christ our Lord, that beautiful One. As I’m continuing my study in Romans, slowly
making my way through these pages, trying to get a closer, deeper relationship
with the Lord, and wishing I didn’t fail so miserably at it, verses like this that
stop me in my track and cause me to say, “Thank You. I wish I was better at life-ing.”
Lord deserves better. His time on the cross not only took the sin of this one
Shari, it took the sin of a world of people, generation after generation, and
it’s that thought that causes me to hear His cry, “My God, My God, why hast
thou forsaken me? (Matthew 27:46b)
I hear within my own heart, why have you forsaken Him? Why do you fail? But
then I recall His word that says I’ll reign in this life because of the Lord
Jesus Christ. I’ll have victory in this life. Satan may think he has won the
battle with this girl, but he has not won the war. The word reign is to have
supremacy, power, control over! That’s what we have in Jesus Christ. It’s not
that we won’t mess up, but it’s those messes that are covered by the blood. He
did that so we wouldn’t continually live in defeat. He didn’t die for the
righteous (Romans 5:6-8), He died for sinners. Every “one” of them.”
the one. You’re the one. But Hallelujah! He’s the ONE.
is hard to understand. We want it, we attempt to give it, sometimes tongue and
cheek (meaning we forgive but never forget). We, I speak collectively, though I
really mean me, when I say I often think I’ve messed up past the point of being
offered grace, because life sometimes just flat out stinks.
life gets hard, this Jesus Chick is not so spiritual as to immediately ask the
question, “What is God teaching me in this moment?” That would sound really
good and churchy wouldn’t it? No, I’m
more apt to ask the question, “How long will I be here, Lord?”
Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through
our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we
have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of
the glory of God.
So much is missed in the midst of a struggle. And life is full of
struggles. But the Apostle Paul reminds us that as people of faith (those who
believe on the Lord Jesus Christ) we have access to some things the world is
Access to Peace
There’s a difference between access and acceptance. It’s the same
as salvation, we’re all offered it; but if we don’t accept it, we’ll never experience
it. There is a difference in the end result. Those with salvation will go
Heaven whether they experience the benefits of salvation here on earth or not.
The journey is just a lot more difficult. But those who never accept salvation
are headed to Hell.
I’m not surprised when children of God don’t have peace in the
middle of a storm. Because I’ve been there too. It’s usually a matter of feeling
worthy or letting myself get too far down before looking up. If there’s sin or other
failures in our lives, we don’t feel worthy. Even though neither will keep you
from peace if you talk to God about it. As children of God, it’s ours for the
That’s just the kind of Lord He is.
Access to Grace
I love the acronym for G.r.a.c.e. = God’s Riches at Christ’s Expense.
Isn’t that amazing? There’s nothing we can do to earn it. It is however what
makes me be the person I am. I was born with a servants attitude and when God
saved me from the Devil’s Hell, my gratitude went toward servitude.
Grace will do that if you strive to understand it. Many Christians
miss the mark because they’re not in God’s word, they’re not in church and so they
cannot fully comprehend what the Lord did for them. I sometimes avoid the truth
of it myself, because I can’t imagine the degree of pain and humiliation my
Lord took upon Himself for someone like me who adds more too it when I fail Him.
The shame wasn’t only on the day of the crucifixion. It’s on us
when we blatantly fail God, knowing what He did for us. But the grace is still
there. That’s why it’s amazing.
Access to Joy
It’s what we can experience even in times of sorrow. The loss of a
loved one is gut wrenching, but the knowledge that they were saved and now in
the presence of Jesus brings great joy!
The struggles we face are never pleasurable, but the victory is
always a joyous moment and made that much sweeter because of the struggle. We realize
the strength that we have from knowing Christ as Savior. The unsaved may
experience moments of victory, but not as the child of God. Knowing that there
was Someone standing beside us all the way and there was never a reason to feel
alone. That is joy! He has our back here and He’s waiting for us there!
Access to Hope
Not just hope, but we need always reminded that the peace, grace,
joy and hope are always for the glory of God. It’s a privilege only afforded a
child of the King. I wrote on hope yesterday. It’s a subject I could write on
everyday and never grow weary because I need it. I need to know that my aches
and pains, those of the physical, mental and spiritual nature will someday be
lifted whether here or Heaven.
Maybe you needed to know that too. If I’ve encouraged you, let me
know! If I can pray for you, let me know that too. We’re here to be the hands,
feet and sometimes words of Jesus. Use us Lord!
feel like it could be the title of a new Dr. Suess book.
Genesis to Revelation it is the same faith. But it certainly varies in the way
Testament saints had faith the Messiah would come, and they were charged with
setting forth the principles of New Testament Christianity. Speaking went from
a direct line of communication, when Adam and Eve walked with God in the garden…
can you imagine what that must have been like! And then following the fall and
rebellion of men, a priest would have the responsibility and accountability for
God’s children. Not a role to be taken lightly. Handled inappropriately would
mean certain death!
Spirit would come upon men like Moses, Jacob and others and it was no doubt an awe-inspiring
time. Most likely a little frightening too! It’s from their testimonies that we
can experience Old Testament faith.
What characters of the Old Testament
would you like to question? And what questions would you ask?
would have been your reaction if God had showed up in the burning bush to you? Or
wrestled with you as He did Jacob? Have you ever felt like you did wrestle with
forward to the New Testament and a whole new line of communication came when
Jesus, the Son of God walked the earth once again. But only for a short time.
Following His crucifixion and resurrection, that act of unconditional love would
humbly allow us, the nobody’s and the somebody’s to speak to God through the
I thought on this today, the images of the two different phones came into play.
The old faith and the new faith are still one faith. It’s still the same God on
the line. It’s just the way of communication differs.
What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to
the flesh, hath found? For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath
whereof to glory; but not before God. For what saith the scripture?
Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. Now
to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But
to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his
faith is counted for righteousness. Even
as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth
righteousness without works, Saying, Blessed are they
whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. Blessed
is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.
Testament faith was still faith even though they were keepers of the law. Or
attempted keepers of the law. 613 of
them. I can’t keep ten! Nor could they, so a sacrifice was put into place that
would be used year after year. Lamb after lamb. Slain as a picture of the Lord
Jesus Christ on the cross. Did they know that’s what it was? I don’t guess. But
they knew it was God’s design and their only hope at the time; and that it all
pointed, somehow, some way to the coming Messiah that they hoped for.
generation from the days of Adam hoped for.
think of that old phone as the Old Testament way of communication with God. There
was a line you had to go through. The Priest would go into the Holy of Holies
and God and he would converse about what the people needed to know. Then he
would deliver the message. We too experience that some through the preaching of
the Word of God. But the difference is we too can receive a word. That should
make you shout! That’s a privilege Old Testament, average Joe’s or Jolene’s
God showed up on the mountain, the children of Israel told Moses to go and talk
to Him on the mountain. They feared God way too much to want to hear from Him
all the people saw the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the noise of the
trumpet, and the mountain smoking: and when the people saw it, they removed,
and stood afar off. And they said unto Moses,
Speak thou with us, and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, lest we
you ever felt that fearful of God? Why or why not?
must wonder if some Christians still fear God’s voice. Many don’t even make the
attempt at communication, or at least not very often.
words of David used in Romans 4 are from the book of Psalms 32:2
Blessed is he whose transgression
is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man unto whom the Lord imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile. When I kept silence, my bones waxed old
through my roaring all the day long. For day and night thy hand was heavy
upon me: my moisture is turned into the drought of summer. Selah. I
acknowledge my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will
confess my transgressions unto the Lord; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah. For this shall every one that is godly pray unto thee in a time
when thou mayest be found: surely in the floods of great waters they shall not
come nigh unto him. Thou art
my hiding place; thou shalt preserve me from trouble; thou shalt compass me
about with songs of deliverance. Selah. I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt
go: I will guide thee with mine eye. Be ye not as the horse, or as the
mule, which have no understanding: whose mouth must be held in with bit and
bridle, lest they come near unto thee.Many sorrows shall be to the wicked: but he that trusteth in the Lord, mercy shall compass him about. Be glad in the Lord, and rejoice, ye righteous: and shout for joy, all ye that are
upright in heart.
David experienced God in a way few
people did then, or do now.
Why do you think that was so?
It certainly wasn’t because he was
perfect. He acknowledges that he’s a sinner.
Romans 3:23 says
have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
sin free, he was bold in his confession because he wanted a right relationship
with the Lord. He knew his relationship wasn’t right because he felt the heaviness
of God upon him.
felt that? What was going on at the time? Likely something that shouldn’t have
been going on at the time. It’s not a feeling we like but we should love it,
because it tells us that we’re saved.
comes from repentance.
his forgiveness and a renewed relationship with God when he repented,
acknowledged what he did and turned away from it.
should be so bold!
relationship with God caused him to take some actions. He trusted God’s
guidance for war, or not having war. He composed writings and songs, he played
music and was a mighty leader when his relationship was right with God. He was
bold in the faith? If not why?
Few in the Faith
As time goes on, our churches seem to be dwindling in size and number. I pass empty church houses with grown up lawns everywhere I go. It makes my heart heavy and very sad. Because I know at one point there may have been a thriving congregation in that place. But they lost their zeal and their desire to serve God. They also lost the best thing that ever happened to them.
I love missionaries and consider myself a missionary to the United States. When I see folks with burdens for other countries I wonder… when will some get a burden for our own.
a little over a month I’m traveling to New Mexico to minister in two different
churches, if not more. I’m praying the Lord opens doors for me there to
encourage the believers to be bold in their faith!
trip I ask that you’ll pray too. Pray that God will give me words and songs and
that a great Spirit of revival will come upon that place. Pray for our safe travels
and pray that our expenses are met.
There is nothing routine about God! We like things neat,
tidy and wrapped with a bow… but God’s not on a schedule, and there’s no such
thing as time in Heaven.
Text: Ephesians 3:16-19
16 That he would
grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might
by his Spirit in the inner man; 17 That Christ may
dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,
18 May be able to comprehend with all saints what
is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; 19 And to know the
love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the
fulness of God.
Four verses, one sentence and a lot of goodness that we need
to understand. And by the way, nothing common, ordinary or routine. Because
just when we think we have God figured out, He goes and does beyond anything we
could ever imagine.
When we think we can’t take anymore, He allows more. Just to
prove to us that we’re stronger than we think, and that we need Him more than
Exercise routines are good… I’m lousy at them, but they’re very
good. They strengthen the body the same way trials strengthen our spirit when
our faith is exercised. It builds faith muscles when we’re pushed outside our
comfort zone. Praise God it’s not routine. They don’t happen every day, if they
did, we’d likely give up. God never puts things on us to cause us to quit, He
wants us to understand how far His love extends and how far He’ll go down this road
with us. All the way to the end of this road, when eternity begins.
Paul said that the love of Christ “passeth” our knowledge. We
can’t imagine the depth of it. It’s like the bible school song many of us sang,
“Deep and wide, deep and wide, there’s a fountain flowing deep and wide.” And remember
the second verse, when we’d add the Mmmm… in place of the words. I thought a
lot about that today, and how the writer of that song may have been inspired by
the fact that the depth and width of God’s fountain of overflowing love is indescribable.
After this weekend, where 30 people were killed by the wicked
devices of this world, we need to remember that love. Those people were just
living life, not waging war, and yet they were killed. That is a level of evil
most of us, praise God, cannot understand either. We can’t imagine the frame of
mind of those murderous individuals. But it’s not hard to understand the
feeling of hopelessness that many people in this world face because they’ve
never experienced the “fullness of God.”
Our church just came out of revival. Our annual tent
meeting. A yearly scheduled event we call revival. But that’s not the revival
God wants. Paul lived in a state of revival, not because life was roses, but
because he was constantly under persecution and threat of death. That will
cause you to get your priorities in check, quickly! A look around us should remind
us of our need for bold exercised faith.
I kind of figure there was a time the very disciplined Paul
lived a routine. But when Jesus blinded him along the road, Paul’s routine life
went right out the window. And he became a man who lived in the moment.
In the last two verses of Chapter 3 of Ephesus Paul writes
20 Now unto
him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think,
according to the power that worketh in us, 21 Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout
all ages, world without end. Amen.
He reminds us all
that God can and will do far more than we ask or think, but He just won’t do it
and hand it too us on a silver platter; He does it through us and through our
church body. And He does it for His glory!
What are you
going to do this week for the cause? Are you in revival, or are you a walking corpse
waiting for the upper taker. Be alive in Christ Jesus and working for His
cause. He is worthy!!
For the greater portion of my ministry, which I feel
officially began in 2010 when I really felt the Lord’s calling on me to be full
time ministry, I really didn’t know what that ministry looked like. Couple that
with my Pastor’s (at the time) response, who said to me when I announced that
thought, “You can’t preach, Shari,” I was perplexed. I had truly never given
preaching a thought. I hadn’t given anything a thought; I just knew that’s what
God said. But I was ever so
College had trained me to outline, write and speak. Wonderful mentors had
taught me how to share the saving grace of Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit
revealed to me my calling and I was set to go forward, but unfortunately in an
utter state of confusion.
these years God has sent opportunities in abundance to serve. One such
opportunity is the FGGAM.org ministry. A news, views and avenues of faith and
life topics to keep your mind focused on God. It’s Co-founder, Dewey Moede, has
become one of my greatest friends and ministry partner’s over the past seven of
my nine years. He has been a large portion of the cup which the Lord has given
me to drink from. Dewey and I share 3 ministry drives that I want to share with
you today in hopes of encouraging you to find your place in the ministry.
The Lord is the portion of mine inheritance and of my cup: thou
maintainest my lot.
Everything for God’s Glory
That’s Dewey’s life goal and ministry mission. He and his
wife Sharon (co-founder number 2) named their ministry For God’s Glory
Alone, when Dewey walked away from the security of a very nice income,
to live on Sharon’s nursing salary and faith. Those life decisions and that
sold out faith is what brings glory to God’s name. It’s a given opportunity to
share with the world that our Lord provides. He maintains our lot.
It’s the same purpose and drive that causes me to continue
on the Jesus Chick Mission, believing that God’s provisions will take me through
till Jesus’ return, or He calls me home.
You can find more information on giving a worthy contribution to their 501c3 ministry on the www.FGGAM.org website. And by the way… any contribution to the Jesus Chick will be of the utmost appreciation. For information on what my expense are, and if you’d like to contribute for the direct expenses, click here.
Anything for God’s People
I’m a born encourager. So is brother Dewey. It’s why we work
so well together. If he has a down day, my words encourage him, if I have a
down day, the same holds true with his words. We speak most every day in one
form or another, via phone or text. His ministry has needs that I can provide
through the gifts of artistic expression and graphic work that God has enabled
me to do. It’s a privilege. He promotes and supports my ministry, and together
we’ve become quite the duo for Jesus. FGGAM provides me the opportunity to help
a brother out and in the process minister to the world through the banners and
graphics I provide.
In this “all about me world,” even Christians have lost
sight of the fact that we’re here to help each other out through this life. Anything
God has given us the ability to do, we need to share it with God’s people.
Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on
the things of others.
Another great ministry attribute of FGGAM.org and one I hold
to with TheJesusChick.com.
But I say unto you, That every idle word that
men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.
That’s the Word of God, and it’s a very scary word (or it should be) for those who don’t take it seriously. What we understand as ministry partners is that our convictions are more than just “notions,” they’re founded on the word of God. When we speak it, we want those who read our material to know that we’ve backed it up by the Word of God, and the resources that we’ve used for information gathering are trustworthy and honest.
When I stand at the throne of Christ, I want to hear Him
say, “Well done thou good and faithful servant!” I don’t want to hear Him say, “Seriously
Shari, what were you thinking?”
I hope these three attributes are a part of your life, and I
pray that our ministries edify you as we’re instructed to do!