Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Beware of the SNAKE!

I was reading again in Genesis and the account of our great, great, ....... grandparents, Adam and Eve. You know it is interesting to me that God had created them in His image and He came each day to walk in the garden and commune with them. What a privilege! What an honor! That the King of Kings would take the time to come and listen to them and encourage them and share together. But as it happens today, they began to listen to the SNAKE! They begin to get their eyes off of what they did have and what they didn't have. They thought they understood things better than God. They thought surely there was something better for them even though they lived in Paradise. The more they listened to the SNAKE the more deprived they seemed. And then, before you knew it, SIN had entered the garden. That place of peace and perfection, that place of unity and godliness, that place where heaven met earth. It didn't matter how many times God had come in the past to commune with them, it only took one wrong choice to change it all!

Does this sound familiar? Does it sound like the world we live in today. We as Christians have the privilege of God walking and talking with us each day. He listens to us, encourages us, and shares with us when we take the time to stop and let Him. But just as our ancestors many days we choose to listen to the SNAKE! We let him convince us that we don't have enough, or our life is not good enough, or other people are better off than us. Maybe he tells us that the grass is greener on the other side of the fence. Maybe it's that you don't have to live so close to God and be so faithful and so dedicated to the Kingdom, there is plenty of time for that and plenty of people to fill the gaps.
When we listen to the SNAKE, sin usually enters in. Sins not only of commission, but of ommission as well. Things that we know we should do we don't have time for. Things that were once important to us now are not a priority. I shiver to see what the future holds as Christians are losing their love for God and the things of God.

The Bible speaks of the fact that in the last days even the very elect will be deceived. I have often wondered how that could be. But the more I see "Christians" and their lack of dedication and faithfulness to God, their lack of compassion for the lost, their concern with their own wants and desires the easier it is to see. I believe soon Jesus will come and some church people will not even realize it because they will be still worried about who got their parking space or sit on their pew. God forbid that we have let the SNAKE into the church house.

My prayer is God please draw us back to that place of communion with you and a closeness with you that we don't have time or desire to listen to the SNAKE! If we don't listen to him we won't do as he bids! God, make us strong and more dedicated in these last days. Help all of us to know as Tommy says-Church must become more about those who aren't there then those who are!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today and forever!

Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today and forever.

In Hebrews 13:8 we find this scripture. How often have we quoted it and studied it? How often have we heard it preached about and taught on? Yet do we understand what it really means? Do we remember who Jesus was yesterday? Who was He in your life yesterday and the days before that? What did He do in your life? What did he do for you?

Maybe we should go back further than yesterday. Can you remember some of the things Jesus did in the Bible, that was somebody's yesterday. Remember how He healed the sick? He is still able to do that today. Remember how He delivered Rahab from death and destruction and also saved her family? He can still deliver you from whatever has you bound today and He will save your family. He is STILL THE SAME! Remember when He wrote in the sand and forgave the woman caught in the act of adultery? (Ever wonder what He wrote in the sand? I still think He wrote, I Heart U!)
He is STILL in the forgiving business.

We must remember the things He did yesterday for them and for us to help build our faith and help us to believe for what He wants to do for you today. Because as this scripture says, He is still the same today. WHatever you need from Him today He will provide. He is also going to be the same forever. No matter what we may find we will need tomorrow or next week, next month or ten years from now, Jesus will be there and He will still be the same-same power, same love, same salvation, deliverance, healing, compassions, forgiveness, etc.

The devil doesn't want you to remember what all Jesus has done for you and what He has in store. It is important to REMEMBER what He has done yesterday and His promise for today and tomorrow. I think once a day we should remember one thing He has done and praise Him all over again to remind ourselves of what He wants to do for us today.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Remember Me

I am so excited! We just finished our retreat for our Minister's wives. What an awesome time we had together. On Saturday, our last day together, we had communion and did the Breaking of the Bread ceremony. What a sweet visitation from God that we experienced. In doing the communion we read the scripture from I Corinthians 11 where Jesus tells them that each time they partake of the bread and wine to do it in remembrance of Him. Remember Me! What powerful words!

God brought those words to my mind several years ago. I received a call from a dear friend of our family, Bro. A. M. Russ. He called to tell me he had something for me and the next time I was in town to come by and get it. We didn't get a chance to go back to Pace for some time and I had forgotten about it. Then later that year, on my birthday, a package came for me in the mail from Bro. Russ. I had gotten so busy during that time that my personal time with God was lacking. The package contained a frame with two words written in calligraphy--REMEMBER ME! God knew I didn't need that saying earlier that year when it was ready, but I needed it at that time, when I was ready. Those words so moved me. I had a doctor's appointment and I cried and prayed all the way to Dothan to the Dr.

When I got to the doctor, the nurse met me and began to talk to me and was sharing some of her problems with me. When I started to leave that day the Holy Spirit quickened me to share with her what He had spoken to me that day. I went back and asked to see her and shared with her the REMEMBER ME words from God. Remember him when we get so busy He is waiting for us to spend time with him, Remember Him when we try to handle situations on our own, Remember Him when our burdens get too great, Remember Him when we are sick or whatever the need may be. He wants to be remembered and He wants us to remember we can go to Him with ALL of our needs.

Why does He want us to REMEMBER HIM? Because He remembers us. He loves us. He cares for us and wants to be in our thoughts each and every day. My challenge to you today is to REMEMBER GOD!! 

Monday, August 27, 2012

Isaac? Whose Isaac?

Have you heard the name Isaac lately? Just about everywhere! We are in storm mode here in Marianna. Tommy is so excited, someone gave him a radio today. They must have seen him twitching since he didn't have the ones from Holmes County. Groceries are stocked because we always have to cook a lot when it storms. Granny and Olivia are here with us so the trees won't fall on them at their house. (They forgot we have trees too) Grocery shelves are cleaned off, gas stations are full, people are evacuating, some just leaving and going north to miss the weather, all because of Isaac. Is it just me or has anyone else noticed it isn't even raining? Oh well.

Enough about that Isaac. I was thinking of another Isaac today. Abraham's son. You know the one God told Abraham to sacrifice. We always preach and teach about Abraham and his faith and how he took Isaac up the mountain after telling his servants to wait at the bottom of the mountain and that he and his son would go and worship and return to them. He knew God would take care of Isaac. He didn't understand it all, but he obeyed.

Well, look at Isaac though. He was old enough to understand that they had the wood, the fire, and everything to make the sacrifice, except the sacrifice. He asked his father about it and Abraham responded, God will provide. I don't believe Abraham had to trick him or tie him up and put him on the altar. But I do believe Isaac had to trust his father a great deal, believe His words, believe what he had been taught, believe His God, and he also had to be obedient. He puts his all upon the altar in faith believing that God would provide, God would work a miracle, God would be with them, and he was right.

When was the last time we put our all on the altar in obedience to God and said, Lord, I don't know everything about the plans you have for my life, but I trust you. I trust what I have been taught , I trust what your word says, I trust what I feel the Holy Spirit speaking to my life and I will be obedient to you. You will take care of me. You are my provider. My Everything.

So in the midst of this storm as we keep hearing the name Isaac, I challenge you to do a self examination and see if you are truly trusting God with your everything or if we are depending on our own strength or abilities. Brush the dirt off of the stones of the altar, pick up the bottom of your robe, lay yourself down, and rest in the assurance that God is in control. HE WILL PROVIDE THE RAM.
He will provide your escape. He will provide peace, He will provide whatever you need. Trust HIM!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Training for the Olympics

Wow! Have you been watching the Olympics? It is so amazing to see all of those young people who have trained, disciplined themselves, sacrificed and worked so hard for these few days.  I am so proud of the American teams they are doing so well. We have rooted for them and watched to see how many gold medals they have won. They are our team and they are making us proud.

I don't think I am disciplined enough to ever be in the olympics (don't laugh you probably aren't either). I used to jog when I was younger. I would run 2 miles in the morning, go by my sisters pool swim a few laps, shower and be a work before 7:00 am. Now I run to the bathroom, go by the kitchen to get some coffee, shower and get to work when I get there. Boy, how life changes. But when I did jog, I had to discipline myself with my breathing, pace myself, hydrate myself, wear good running shoes, and much more. I was a little disciplined then.

I may not be that disciplined in my exercise area now, but I do want to be disciplined enough to run the Christian race. In I Corinthians 9 it talks about running the race. It encourages us to run that we may obtain the prize. It is one thing to win a gold medal, but another thing to win eternity. Runners who are striving to win are temperate or self controlled in all things. They discipline themselves to win a crown or prize that will decay or pass away. But we run to obtain a crown that will not pass away, but one that we can lay at the feet of Jesus as we worship Him. Paul says he runs not as one who beats the air or in uncertainty, but one who keeps his body under subjection, disciplined lest after he has preached to others He himself should be a castaway.

We must remember everyday that we are in a race. They may only do the Olympics every 4 years, but we run everyday. We never know when the race will be over. We never know when we will cross the finish line. So we must not get weary, we must pace ourselves and keep our eyes on the prize. It would be awful after we had run for so long and encouraged others in the race, that here close to the finish line we begin to look back, slow down or even stop. We must keep the pace, we must keep the faith, we must run with everything that is in us. Run to obtain the prize. Your reward is waiting for you and what a wonderful day it will be so the Jesus face as He crowns us and then we can take that crown and lay it at his feet. It will be worth all the sweat, the tears, the struggles, the battles, and every obstacle we had to overcome to get there. So RUN MY FRIEND, RUN!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Have A Dove Chocolate!

How long has it been since you ate something like a piece of Dove chocolate? Something you can put in your mouth and savor. Enjoy the flavor of it! Relish in how it makes you feel! Oh, don't forget to read the inside of the wrapper. It is amazing how that chocolate makes us feel and how long that feeling and flavor lasts. In doing the Sister 2 Sister tour I have shared this in part of my devotion, but it keeps going over and over in my mind and so I want to share it with you. We do the same thing in the spiritual. We get something in our spirit or our mind, and we savor it. This can be good or bad. We can get a thought in us of a blessing or a miracle or something good going on and we can just bask in that and rejoice in that for such a long time. It is wonderful! I am just praising Jesus right now for all that He is doing in our family and the way He orders our steps and blesses us. But this savoring can also be a bad thing. We can get a bad thought, feeling, hurt, unforgiveness, bitterness, jealousy, gossip, rumors, worries, etc. in our minds and our spirits and we can savor that. We constantly think about it, we constantly roll it over in our minds and spirits to the place that it consumes us. These things can affect us so bad, they can begin to affect how we see other people, we judge them because of something bad in our lives. What do you think and talk about all the time? That is what you are savoring. Are you constantly thinking about what you don't have and what God hasn't done in your life, but he is doing for someone else? That is what you are savoring and that is what will consume you and begin to affect how you act and react. Or are you thankful for what God is doing in your life and rejoicing in what He is doing in other people's lives as well. Be careful, because what you savor the most is what is on your breath. I like to savor my coffee in the mornings. I like the flavor in my mouth and don't want to have to rush and go brush my teeth. (Don't worry I brush my teeth before I go out). Aaron, my son, used to say he loved when I woke him up for school because he could smell coffee on my breath. Whatever you have been savoring in your spirit is what is going to come out of your mouth and those around you will be affected by it. Lord, help us to savor the word, savor those blessings and what you are doing in and around us. Let other people get a whiff of what we are savoring and let it make them hungry for you.

Monday, July 23, 2012

And He Dipped...

Do you remember the old song we sang as kids-And his name was Naaman, and his name was Naaman, and he dipped and he dipped and he dipty, dipty, dipped, and he came up clean. We only said he dipped 5 times, but he really dipped 7.
In reading the Bible, I was reading about Naaman in I Kings 5. You remember he had leprosy. It was really bad! But there were so many people who helped him to find his miracle. There was the maid who was taken captive who told his wife. Then his wife told him, then the Kings and then Elisha and even Naaman's servant's played a part in his miracle. But what stood out to me in this scripture is when Elisha told Naaman to go to the Jordan river and dip 7 times, Naaman got mad. He got mad because the Jordan river was so dirty. He said why couldn't he tell me to dip in one of the other rivers that is clean? Then his servants said, if he had told you to do something great you would not have even questioned it, but here you are mad because he said dip in the dirty Jordan and you will come up clean. So Naaman did it and YES! He was healed.

How many times has God told us to do something and we get mad or upset because we don't want to do it. It doesn't make sense, it isn't what we want to do or how we want to do it, there has to be a better way. But if we will just simply obey God and do what He tells us, when He tells us, and how He tells us it works out so much better and we find our miracle. It is simple obedience. Hard as it may seem to us it is simply saying Okay, God, I am not sure why but I will do what you say! Then TADAH! Your miracle is there! I pray you and I can both be obedient to the things He tells us to do daily then we can rejoice together of our miracles.

So the next time you don't understand why just stop and sing this little song, and he dipped and he dipped and he dipty, dipty, dipped and he came up clean!!!!!!