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Posts Tagged ‘spirituality’

This week I listened to a podcast interview from The Master’s Program for Women. Nadya Dickson, Director, interviewed Dr. Barbara Peacock, minister, speaker, and author, and asked her to share her testimony. When Dr. Peacock was asked the question, “How did you come to Christ?” She responded, “Someone told me that God loves me… and I believed them.” Her testimony stayed with me and I’m writing to you today to ask you this question: Has someone ever told you that God loves you? If not, I’m telling you today. God LOVES YOU so so much that He gave His only Son Jesus to die for you on the cross so you can have eternal life.

There are two key action verbs here: “Told” and “Believed.” Someone must tell you about the message of salvation. Someone has to share with you that Jesus died on the cross because He loves you so much. You must be “told” about this beautiful story of love. The second action verb is that you must believe the story. You have to make a decision to believe the message of love. You must choose to believe that God loves you and accept the gift of salvation.

Why is it so hard for people to tell the story and for others to believe this amazing story? Fear and faith. Those who have been told and believed are afraid to share the story from fear of rejection. But the Bible reminds us that when people reject the message, they’re not rejecting you. They’re rejecting Jesus. “For it is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob—the God of all our ancestors—who has brought glory to his servant Jesus by doing this. This is the same Jesus whom you handed over and rejected before Pilate, despite Pilate’s decision to release him.” (Acts 3:13)

Here is the simple message from Romans 10:9-11 that we must tell others:

For if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, ad it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved. As the Scriptures tell us, “Anyone who believes in him will not be disappointed.”

Those who have been told and choose not to believe is because they lack the faith to believe. Faith is also a gift we must obtain first in order to accept the gift of salvation. In the same Chapter, Paul tells us “But faith’s way of getting right with God says, “Don’t say in your heart, ‘Who will go up to heaven?’ (to bring Christ down to earth). And don’t say, ‘Who will go down to the place of the dead?’ (to bring Christ back to life again). “In fact, it says, “The message is very close at hand; it is on your lips and in your heart.” And that message is the very message about faith that we preach—is already within easy rich.” (vs. 6-8).

If someone has told you the message of salvation, believe!

If you believed that God loves you so much and accepted Jesus in your heart, I encourage you to tell someone so they can believe too!

Do you want to see ALL your loved ones again in heaven and live with them together with God for eternity? This is the only way. Tell them God loves them and believe God loves you!

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Forgiveness

In recent days with all the violence and unjust acts that have happened around us, it is easy (and normal) to react with anger and a sense of outrage. But it’s not healthy—physically nor spiritually—to fill our hearts with anger, bitterness, and unforgiveness. God tells us clearly time and again that we must forgive those who hurt us. We must love and forgive our enemies! Wow, that’s very hard to do. But it is possible when we have the love of God in our hearts… In fact, I think that’s the only way we’re able to make that huge step to forgive those who purposely inflict pain in our lives.

Here are several scriptures that instruct us to forgive others and how to do it. Let me start with Matthew 5:43-48 (NLT):

Teaching about Love for Enemies

“You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy. But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike. If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that. But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.”

This is a direct and clear message to love our enemies—not with human love but with Godly love. In addition, we are instructed to pray for those who persecute us! For as hard as this is to understand and do, let’s reflect on this action. When we pray for those who persecute and hate us, we allow God to work in their hearts, sometimes to the point that they change and they no longer persecute us. When pray, God listens—even if we don’t see the results right away. God always hears our sincere prayers.

Remember what Ephesians 6:12 says, “For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.” We may never understand this truth fully as long as we are living our earthly lives. This is a spiritual revelation we must accept in our hearts.

Next, let’s examine what the Bible tells us about anger and bitterness in Ephesians 4:29-32:

Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.

And do not bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live. Remember, he has identified you as his own, guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption.

Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.

Once again, the act of forgiveness is a huge part of our daily lives as believers. Simply put, if we don’t forgive those who offend us, God won’t forgive our own sins!

God commands us to not only listen to the things of God but to also act on what we learn. In James 1:19-22 we are told:

Listening and Doing

“Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. Human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires. So get rid of all the filth and evil in your lives, and humbly accept the word God has planted in your hearts, for it has the power to save your souls.

But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves. For if you listen to the word and don’t obey, it is like glancing at your face in a mirror. You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like.”

In 1 Peter 3:8-12, we have a final reminder:

All Christians

Finally, all of you should be of one mind. Sympathize with each other. Love each other as brothers and sisters. Be tenderhearted, and keep a humble attitude. Don’t repay evil for evil. Don’t retaliate with insults when people insult you. Instead, pay them back with a blessing. That is what God has called you to do, and he will grant you his blessing. For the Scriptures say,

“If you want to enjoy life
and see many happy days,
keep your tongue from speaking evil
and your lips from telling lies.
Turn away from evil and do good.

Search for peace, and work to maintain it.
The eyes of the Lord watch over those who do right,
and his ears are open to their prayers.
But the Lord turns his face
against those who do evil.”

You may say, this is all great but it’s all easier said than done. You are correct. But as I shared at the beginning of the blog, we can only do this with the love of God in our hearts which we obtain by accepting Jesus into our hearts as our Lord and Savior. That’s how simple it is in the end…

Until next time.

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Do you need to grow in wisdom? Today I was reading the Psalms and stopped to ponder on Psalm 90:12 “Teach us to make the most of our time, so that we may grow in wisdom.”

During this quarantine time due to the global pandemic, most people have been given the gift of extra time. Personally, even though I have been busy with consulting work, all the in-person speaking engagements from April and May were rescheduled to the fall and that gave me some free time. I have saved a lot of days that I would have been traveling to go speak at conferences. Instead, I have been home.

My husband and I have spent a lot of quality time together and have enjoyed our grand baby Henry James. Because his daycare was closed in April, we have taken this opportunity to watch him several days and we have created amazing memories with him. Daycare is still closed in May so we look forward to spending more time with him again.

With the extra time, we have also watched a lot of movies lately and today when I read this verse, I stopped to think… What if we spent all that time “growing in wisdom” instead of watching movies? While watching movies is fun, I think we need to make more time to grow in wisdom. Even though I have spent quality time with God too in my daily prayer as well as the weekends, I can do better. I can read the Bible more. I can pray more for so many people in need in the world. I can reconnect with some old friends. I can spend more time reading books that will help me grow my relationship with the Lord and help me grow in wisdom.

So, do you need to grow in wisdom? Today I encourage you to join me in first seeking God to show you how to make the most of your time and then do activities where you can grow in wisdom. The Bible is always a source of wisdom and you can purpose to read it more often. The Proverbs and Psalms are full of wisdom nuggets to help you navigate each day of your life and every season throughout your entire life.

I also encourage you to read the entire Psalm 91 where God promises us to protect “those who love Him” from evil—and that includes this pandemic. Psalm 91:1 promises us that “Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.” When we spend our time in His presence and reading His Word, we are “living in the shelter of the Most High” and we may also “grow in wisdom.”

 

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Dear Friends,
Last week I shared with you that I was missing spending time with the Lord and how important it is for me so I can get refreshed and renewed in Him. Today, I want to encourage you to make the time, make the commitment to be with your Creator. He will multiply your time back and will help you get everything you need to do get done. I want to share this devotional with you from my book Devotions for Working Women that encourages us to get to know God at a deeper level. Enjoy!

Deeper Knowledge Comes with Time Alone with the Lord
#341
Mark 4:33-34 (NLT)

He used many such stories and illustrations to teach the people as much as they were able to understand. In fact, in his public teaching he taught only with parables, but afterward when he was alone with his disciples, he explained the meaning to them.

The Bible tells us Jesus taught the things of God through parables. Why? Because He could only teach as much as the people were able to receive and therefore understand. God is too deep for us to fully comprehend His things or Himself with our human minds. We first must have an open mind and heart to receive His teachings and understand them in our hearts through our spirit. The Lord takes us one step at a time in His knowledge, one layer of revelation at a time. As we grow, He reveals Himself to us a little more. It is a life-long process until we join Him in heaven.

We should notice, however, that when Jesus was alone with his disciples, He explained the deeper meaning of His teachings. As the disciples walked with Jesus, they drew closer to Him and were able to understand deeper things of God’s Kingdom. The same applies to us today. The only way God can teach, reveal, and entrust us with more knowledge is by us spending time with Him—alone, with no worldly distractions, and with our attention fixed only on Him.

Set aside time from your busy schedule to meet with the Lord, just you and Him, alone. He is faithful and will not only be there waiting for you every time but will also make sure you don’t get behind in any of your other responsibilities. He will multiply your time.

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