Tuesday, February 26, 2013

God Control.

1. The Holy Spirit controls your mind (Romans 8:5-9).

For Paul, there are only 2 different mind-sets, only 2 different thought patterns=they are opposites. Your mind is either controlled by the Spirit or the sinful nature. Remember Paul is talking to Christians, who have the Holy Spirit. He makes it very clear in Romans 8:9 that if you don’t have the Spirit, you’re not yet a Christian.

"You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ."
Romans 8:9

"For when we were controlled by the sinful nature, the sinful passions aroused by the law were at work in our bodies, so that we bore fruit for death." Romans 7:5


I remember learning in university about the philosophy of determinism which says we have no control over what we do. There is no free choice. We are led by our genetics, upbringing and circumstances. I could see the logic in that when it was explained and realized that the only free choice we have is whether we will follow God or not. If not, then Satan and evil control us. If we follow God, then He will control us. 

This is an awesome truth. Those without God believe they control themselves, but they are wrong. It is frightening to think how many follow Satan all the way to the grave. It is so sad. If they only knew what a life with God is like they would run to Him.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

A Mother's Love.

I have a friend whose son is a cocaine addict. He went to rehab and was clean for 9 months, then he slipped and started again. We always pray for him, and recently he went to a Christian group home trying to get clean again. I talked with him on the phone once and he sounded very sick and depressed.

My friend told me last week that someone had taken him to a Campus Crusade for Christ event. Afterwards, a Christian family took him in. He sounded well on the phone with his mom and we were praising God.

I like these kinds of churches who help the helpless and take people in. It is a wonderful act of kindness and love.

I've been feeling pretty weak and sick lately myself and I thought it was my fibromyalgia and my friend anointed me with oil and prayed for me. A few days later I found out I had a lack of vitamin C. I'm allergic to citrus fruits so I never eat them now. I started taking vitamin C every day and have noticed a big change. I have a lot of energy now and I just want to thank and praise God for helping me.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Selling the House.

My husband and I live in the bottom level of our daughter's house. Now that my grandchildren are grown they don't need me to babysit so we are selling the house. People have been coming to see it almost every day so I am constantly cleaning and leaving the house etc. I don't have much time to write on my blogs.

I'll write when I can and let you know when the house sells. I pray it will sell soon. God bless!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Take This.

If someone says to you, "Take this," you are given the choice of taking it or not. Jesus said, "Take up your cross" and "Take this yoke and put it on." Not alluring offers - until you see the truth that they are the best offers you will ever have. Taking up a cross and a yoke from God means the God of the universe lives within you. It means you will know you can talk with him any time and He is right there. It means your soul will be saved forever and death means nothing. 

"Then he said to them all: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me." Luke 9:23

 When persons were condemned to be crucified, a part of the sentence was that they should carry the cross on which they were to die to the place of execution. Thus, Christ carried his, until he fainted from fatigue and exhaustion. See notes at Matthew 27:31. The cross was usually composed of two rough beams of wood, united in the form of this figure of a cross It was an instrument of death. See the notes at Matthew 27:31-32. To carry it was burdensome, was disgraceful, was trying to the feelings, was an addition to the punishment. So "to carry the cross" is a figurative expression, denoting that we must endure whatever is burdensome, or is trying, or is considered disgraceful, in following Christ. It consists simply in doing our duty, let the people of the world think of it or speak of it as they may. It does not consist in making trouble for ourselves, or doing things merely "to be opposed;" it is doing just what is required of us in the Scriptures, let it produce whatever shame, disgrace, or pain it may. This every follower of Jesus is required to do.

"Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls." Matthew 11:29

It refers here to the religion of the Redeemer; and the idea is, that they should embrace his system of religion and obey him. All virtue and all religion imply "restraint" - the restraint of our bad passions and inclinations - and subjection to laws; and the Saviour here means to say that the restraints and laws of his religion are mild, and gentle, and easy.

Taking something offered is a voluntary act. God never forces Himself on anyone. I pray all of us will say yes to God today.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

What Would You Do If Someone Stole From You?

In his book, "Today is All You Have," Overton Stevens writes about a friend of his who belonged to his prayer group. Two of this man's employees had embezzled a lot of money from his company. He didn't know what to do about it so they all prayed.

"At the next meeting Jim said that the Lord had told him what to do. He had called the men and said he wanted to talk to them. When they came, they brought a list of the money they had stolen all totaled up. They agreed to take their just punishment.

Jim said, "You know, the Lord has told me that there must be something wrong with me that you would steal from me. We are friends. I feel that with all the children you have, I haven't been paying you enough or you wouldn't have to steal. I've decided to keep you in your jobs and raise your salaries. You can pay back the company over a period of time. I want you fellows to forgive me for being so thoughtless of your needs.

Jim now has in his organization two of the most loyal people you could ever hope to have. He says he couldn't have acted in this way before he was a Christian."

I love this true story because it shows how God would treat us and deal with us.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

David in the Wilderness.

Photo by: Jastrow

My previous post was about being in the wilderness as we learn about God or are tested by him. This morning, I was reading about David and remembered he also had a wilderness period. He was chased by King Saul who wanted to kill David because God had chosen David to be the next king instead of Saul's son. Also, Saul was jealous of David's popularity with the people.

David had to run away from his city, his family and friends. He had to live in caves and outdoors with others like him who were running from trouble. He did this for 20 years. Imagine 20 years of running for your life, living off the land and going from place to place to find someplace to hide.

David wrote about this period in many of the Psalms. Here are only a few verses.

"Deliver me from  my enemies, O my God; set me on high, away from those who rise up against me... For behold they have set an ambush for my life... Psalm 59:1-3

He ends this Psalm as he usually does, with thanksgiving and praise. "But as for me, I shall sing of your strength. Yes, I shall joyfully sing of your loving kindness in the morning. For you have been my stronghold and a refuge in the day of my distress." Psalm 59:16

Through all these years David did not leave God. He didn't say, "If God can let this happen to me then I want nothing to do with him!" No. He clung to God, even though he may not have understood why he had to suffer and why it had to last such a long time. David did make many mistakes - but he persevered and stayed faithful to the only true God.

David had his greatest fall when he was finally King of Israel. He had money, many wives and power. That is when he fell and committed adultery and murder. He could handle adversity, but not prosperity. His wilderness years drove him to God and deepened his relationship with Him.

Friday, February 8, 2013

God Uses Satan.

In his book, Devotions for the Man in the Mirror, Patrick Morley writes, "God uses Satan for good. Can you believe that? Paul received a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan, to keep him from becoming conceited (see 2 Cor. 12:7)." That was for his good.

"In the name of Christ, Paul instructed the Church to hand a sinner over to Satan (1 Cor. 5:5). Why? So that his sinful nature would be destroyed - for good."

"The Holy Spirit led Jesus into the wilderness to be tempted ." For his good and our good.

He also leads us into the wilderness.

But God is with us in the wilderness as he was with Jesus. He sent his angels to help him and he does that for us.

The people of Israel were in the wilderness for 40 years. Why? Because they wouldn't stop complaining, wanting and blaming. Still, God did not leave them. He stayed with them the whole time.

The wilderness seems to be a place of testing. A testing of one's faith in God. I've been in the wilderness and it is no fun, but I learned a lot. Patrick Morley said his wilderness was a place of, "deepest, darkest agony." That sounds a lot like how my wilderness was.

In my mind I believe the way out of the wilderness is by giving up on yourself and your expectations of what life should be like. It's when you stop fighting for anything and everything and give it all to God. It's when you say to him, "Life isn't what I thought it would be, even my life as a Christian. I give up. I am yours to do with as you want. I give up trying to make things happen, even good things, and lay them at your feet. I want to be open for whatever comes and know you are there with me and that is enough.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Jesus Loves Me.

Lately, I've been concerned I didn't know God well enough because of my tendency to to think He lets us have too many troubles. I thought if I really knew Him I wouldn't think like that.

This morning I was praying about this and these words from a children's song came forcefully into my mind:

"Jesus loves me this I know,
for the Bible tells me so."

I felt my shoulders relax and realized this is what I need to know. I need to know it deep in my soul. I need to know that, "God is Love." It is the most important thing to know about Him.

Most people know this song but here is the first verse:

Jesus loves me this I know.
For the Bible tells me so.
Little ones to Him belong.
They are weak but He is strong.

Yes, Jesus loves me.
Yes, Jesus loves me.
Yes, Jesus loves me.
The Bible tells me so.

In 1962, Karl Barth (a noted theologian) visited the USA, lecturing at Princeton Theological Seminary and the University of Chicago. According to church lore, during his trip he was asked to summarize the theological meaning of the millions of words in the Church Dogmatics. Barth thought for a moment and said: “Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so.” 

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Don't Be Bitter!

In the book, Get Over It and On With It, by Michelle McKinney Hammond, she writes about the attitude of Joseph. She notes that when he was sold as a slave he was so good at his job he was put in charge of the whole house. Then

She writes, "Imagine what would have happened had Joseph remained disgruntled and performed his duties with an attitude of forced obligation. We would never have heard how his story ended. He would have been written off as a mal-contented slave, never entrusted with more than menial tasks."

"Our position in life does not define our character. How we handle our position does." Joseph made the best of a terrible situation. He must have been cheerful, willing to work hard, and honest. When he was thrown in prison for a crime he didn't commit, he acted in the same way and was given the job of looking after the prison.

She also pointed out that it was because he was in prison that he met the King - the Pharaoh of Egypt. Had he not been there no one in court would have known he could interpret dreams by God's power.

Daniel, Shadrach, Meshack and Abednego also rose to power in a foreign country because they had the right attitude. They were taken away from their homes and families. They could have been bitter and angry at the King of Babylon. Instead, they made the best of a bad situation and were given important jobs.

"Excellence begets respect..."  Ms. Hammond writes, and it is true.

"In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven." Matt. 5:16

Monday, February 4, 2013


Photo by Ferdinand Reus

Then they said to him, “What must we do, to be doing the works of God?”

Jesus answered, "The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent." John 6:28,29

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,not a result of works, so that no one may boast. Ephesians 2:9

 The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas. He then brought them out and asked, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?" They replied, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved--you and your household." Acts 16:29-31

As they traveled along the road, they came to some water and the eunuch said, "Look, here is water. Why shouldn't I be baptized?"  And Philip said, "If you believe with all your heart, you may." And he answered and said, "I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God."  And he gave orders to stop the chariot. Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized him. Acts 8:36-38

Friday, February 1, 2013

God Our Help.

"For You have been my help, And in the shadow of Your wings I sing for joy."  Psalm 63:7


"My soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning, more than watchmen wait for the morning."  Psalm 130:6

"The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms."
Deut. 33:37