Monthly Archives: January 2016
Monthly Archives: January 2016
One of the greatest steps in discovering who we are is discovering who God is. God is a God of justice and righteousness without guilt or sin. He is pure and He is Holy. Hebrews 10:19 Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.
After Moses had been with God, his face glowed. When Isaiah saw the Lord high and lifted up, he was very much aware of his own sinfulness. But in the heart of God a way had been prepared for Jesus from the beginning. God gave His perfect gift, His Son, and through Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, blood has spilled on the doorframe of the hearts of every man and woman who trusts in Him. We must draw near to God with a sincere heart of faith. Who we are in ourselves is not enough, but who we are in Christ is everything.
Ephesians 3:20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us. Acts 17:28 For in Him we live and move and have our being.
God’s power is at work within in us everyday, therefore we can learn to live beyond our feelings. Paul learned to live beyond his flesh and feelings. 2 Corinthians 12:10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong. I am strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.
In 2 Corinthians 12:9 we learn that His grace is sufficient. Grace signifies unmerited favor, undeserved blessing, a free gift. God’s grace is His power exceeding what we could achieve or hope for if we were on our own. His grace gives us the ability to sustain, endure, and maintain all that He is enabling us to and become in Christ.
His grace enables us to manage our feelings. Although feelings can be very strong and demanding, we do not have to allow them to rule our lives. We must manage our emotions rather than allowing them to manage us. We have free will and can make decisions that are not based on feelings. I am so grateful that I don’t have to wait and see how I feel everyday before I know how to act. With Jesus’ help I am going to live beyond my feelings. I’m going to live the joy-filled life that Jesus came to give me.
1 Thessalonians 5:15-19 See that no one renders evil for evil to anyone, but always pursue what is good both for yourselves and for all. Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit.
What is your heart’s cry? God hears your heart! Our words for the most part cannot express everything that is inside of us. Our words fall hopelessly short of expressing our sorrows, frustrations, hopes, and dreams.
God wants to hear our hearts so the Holy Spirit examines our conscience and subconscious innermost thoughts and feelings. I thank God for His Holy Spirit and my heavenly language that prays my heart. Jesus cares more about our heart’s cry than our words.
Romans 8:27 And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will. When we mess up, the first thing we say is “God knows my heart.” Yes He does! Do you?
“My life has been filled with terrible misfortune; most of which never happened.” This is a quote from a Huffington Post article, and this same article states that 85% of what we worry about never happens. 85%! Which tells me that my real problem is what I spend my time thinking about. I would like to think I’m an optimist or even a “realist,” however I’m pretty sure that I’m more of a pessimist. I thank God because He knows how to get my attention, and He encourages me to walk in faith, not pessimism or over analyzing.
I was listening to a message on YouTube and the speaker said, “if we really believed what we say we believe, we’d pray a lot more.” This is not an uncommon saying in the church world, nor should it be, because it is the truth. As I was meditating on that, I was reminded that if I really believed and focused on the promises and the declarations in the bible, my entire perspective and attitude would instantly shift because I would have heaven’s perspective.
Lately my attitude has been funky because I just can’t seem make progress in certain areas despite my best efforts. Fact #1 my best efforts don’t matter when I am trying to do everything out of my own strength instead of putting God first and allowing Him to direct my path as we are instructed to do in Proverbs 3:5-6. Fact #2 The word is powerful! Joshua 1:8 This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.
Here we have some very clear and profound instructions: speak the word, meditate on the word, and do the word… and then your way will be prosperous, and then you will have success. The word prosperous here means to advance, to make progress, to succeed, and to be profitable
When we think of prosperity and success we tend to immediately think of money, influence, and major life achievements. All of those things are great, and I definitely want them, but what about prospering in our soul? What about prospering in peace, prospering in clear thinking, or prospering in joy? Well when we meditate on the word, declare the word, and do the word, we can have both.
That said, I would like to share a praise report. I have never struggled more with worry, fear, and a bad attitude than I have in the past year. This week the Lord brought me to the same verse twice in one day. The verse is Romans 16:20 And the God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen. Ok now, not every problem is from the devil. I’ve done a great job creating my own problems and drama. But when I heard this verse, I knew the Lord was speaking to me and telling me not to fear opposition or failure because He is in control and He will crush the enemy. I smiled broader than I’ve smiled in a long time because I remembered that I’m not alone and that God has already promised victory. Romans 16:20 is one of the verses that I have began to meditate on and decree. I have to choose many times each day to meditate on the word instead of meditating on worry. Every time I choose to meditate on the word, the God of peace is faithful to prosper me in peace, clarity of mind, and understanding. I hope that this has encouraged you and I pray that as you meditate on the word you will prosper in every way.
Now that the new year is past, I was reflecting on the the last part of 2015. Before Thanksgiving I was meditating on being thankful and realized that we throw thank you’s out there like we throw the word love around. I am thankful every day of my life, but there is more to being thankful than just saying thank you.
Someone gives us something or does something for us and we say thank you, but was it a real genuine heartfelt thank you? Webster’s Dictionary says to thank is to express one’s gratitude. Thankful is a feeling or showing of gratitude. As we know, Thanksgiving Day in the United States is set apart as a legal holiday for public thanksgiving.
Years ago, I began to pray a prayer of thanks over our Thanksgiving meal and as each one of my family members accepted the Lord, different ones said that prayer! I know everyone of them were thankful, but sometimes the prayer was said with their eyes on the food with a “let’s say this quickly, I’m hungry,” attitude. This year I asked my 14 year old great-grandson to bless the food, and though it was short you could hear and feel true thankfulness pouring out of his heart, and see the tears in his eyes. This spurred me on to search my heart and to continue to meditate on true thankfulness.
Jesus thanked God at the passover feast before His crucifixion in Matthew 26:27. He also thanked God for the two fish and five loaves, and then fed the five thousand in John 6:11. Why did Jesus, God incarnate, have to thank God? Because Jesus was truly thankful, and also to be an example to us. There is something supernatural in true thanksgiving. There is power in being truly thankful.
A heart of thanksgiving is vital to our walk with Jesus. It was easy for me to be thankful for all the good things, yet, now the Lord has given me a thankful heart even through trials, challenges, tribulation, and sorrow. In them I have been developing a truly thankful heart. Let’s see where Jesus is in all of our situations. In Psalms 27:13-14 David said “I would have lost heart unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait on the Lord. Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart.”
I learned to leave the outcome to Jesus while staying thankful. We follow Him wherever He leads in thankfulness, without worrying about how it will all turn out. Think of your life as an adventure, with Jesus as your guide and companion. Live in the now, concentrating on staying in step with Him. When our path leads to a cliff, be willing to climb it with thanksgiving; with His help. When we come to a resting pace with thankfulness, take time to be refreshed in His Presence. Enjoy the rhythm of life lived close to Jesus.
You already know the ultimate destination of your journey is heaven. So with thanksgiving keep your focus on the path just before you, leaving the outcome to Him.
He is pleased with you. Allow yourself to be aware of His pleasure shining on you. Shift your focus from His performance to His radiant Presence. Thankfulness and trust are your primary receptors. Thank Him for all things, trust Him at all times.
Psalms 62:8 Trust in Him at all times you people; pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us. Habakkuk had a true thankful heart. Habakkuk 3:17-18 “Though the fig tree may not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines; though the labor of the olive may fail, and the fields yield no food; though the flock may be cut off from the fold, and there be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord,I will joy in the God of my salvation.” This is true thankfulness!
A thankful attitude opens the windows of heaven. Spiritual blessings fall freely onto you through those openings into eternity. As you look up with a grateful heart, you get glimpse of glory and a taste of heaven.
Thankfulness is not a magic formula; it is the language of love. A thankful mindset is not a denial of reality. Instead, it rejoices in Jesus our savior, in the midst of trials and tribulations. Jesus is our refuge and strength, an ever-present and well-proved help in times of trouble.
Let’s practice true thanksgiving at all times whether there are gifts or not, whether everything is going our way or not.
Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. So let’s learn life lessons with thankfulness and watch and see what the Lord is doing in all things.
Happy New Year, and with much love, Judy Smith
VERSES ON THANKFULNESS
Psalms 26:7 That I may proclaim with the voice of thanksgiving, and tell of all Your wondrous works.
Psalms 50:14 Offer to God thanksgiving…
Psalms 95:2 Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving; let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms.
Psalms 107:22 Let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving, and declare His works with rejoicing.
Philippians 4:6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.
Colossians 4:2 Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving.