TRADITION by Barbara

When we talk about traditions the holidays naturally come to mind. I think back on many traditions fondly. One of my happiest memories as a child was Christmas Eve in South Philly.  My sister Karen and I set off to John’s Bargains store and brought a game.  We played the game most of the day to help make the time pass as we were eager for Christmas day. Karen and I, both in our 60’s now, still talk about that tradition and the happy memories it gave us.

As we grow older our traditions change.  Being the oldest of 8, I am quite a bit older than some of my siblings.  Christmas Eve develop into a time when the young ones would go to bed and the older children helped my parents play Santa.  My dad loved to decorate and I don’t think there was a spot in the house that did not have decorations.  He even had a platform with trains, houses, stores, churches and so much more. The tree was decorated Christmas Eve and we helped with toys that needed to be put together.

Life brings changes and our traditions are no exception.   When we marry our traditions change as we decide what family we’re going to spend each holiday with and unfortunately that can at times turn into a tug of war for the grown children. Love ones passing and divorce change traditions and it can be a difficult adjustment.

 

What did Jesus have to say about traditions? Jesus observed traditions as he celebrated the Jewish holidays but he also blasted others.  In Luke 11, we find Jesus ready to dine with a Pharisee.  When the other Pharisees saw that He did not follow the ceremonial washing they rebuked Him.  Jesus ripped them a new one!  I’m paraphrasing what He said but he basically told them, you hypocrites concern yourselves with being clean on the outside but inside you are dirty.  Among other things He told them that they burden the people with their man made rules, their rules are hard to bear but they themselves would not lift a finger to lighten the load.

On another occasion in Luke 14 we see Jesus healing a man on the Sabbath. Once more we find Him at a Pharisees house for a meal. The good ole boys were there as they were hoping to entrap him.  There was a man with dropsy.  Jesus asked them, is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?  Though they did not answer Him, we know what they were thinking.  Jesus healed the man and sent him on his way.  Jesus asked them if they had a son or ox fall into a well on the Sabbath would they not pull him out immediately. Yet again, silence. Jesus tells them in Mark 7 that they set aside the word of God in order to keep their man made tradition and regulations.

There are times when the expression “rules were meant to be broken” speaks to me.  I believe this was the mind-set of the woman with the issue of blood.  We can find her story in Luke 8. She had a hemorrhage infirmity for 12 years. Her doctors took all her money even though they could not cure her. She settled it in her heart if she could just touch the hem of Jesus’ garment, she would be healed.  In those days a woman in her condition would have to shout unclean, as she walked through the streets.  If she touched anyone she could be stoned.  What a horrible and lonely life she must have lived.  She got to the point where she did not care what the tradition or law was, she was going to reach Jesus no matter what.  I can almost see her, so weak from losing so much blood but she dragged and crawled on the ground to get to Him, knowing when she did, her suffering would be over.  We know with all those people about it would be impossible for her not to touch someone but she pressed on and made it.  As soon as she touched Jesus, He felt it and asked “who touched me?” The disciples answered, (paraphrasing once more.) Seriously????? Are you joking Jesus? All these people around you and you’re asking who touched you, really? The woman admitted it was her. Did Jesus reprimand her, and tell her she broke tradition or law? No, He told her, your faith has healed you. She took the risk, broke the tradition, touched the hem of His garment and was healed.

So is tradition a bad thing?  No, not at all. Paul tells the people in 2 Thessalonians 2 to hold fast to the traditions they were taught.

Now that the Christmas season is upon us, let’s reflect on our traditions.   Christmas is not even mentioned in the Bible.  It is a man made event. I am not saying it is wrong to celebrate it but we need to remember the reason for the season. Jesus is God, who left his throne to be born as a baby, to die for us, be raised from the dead, restore us back to the Father plus take back all the enemy stole from us.  It is ok to enjoy the gifts, food, tree, and family/friends getting together but keep Jesus in it. Let us not make our man made traditions a burden on anyone.  It is wonderful for family to get together but for the most part it can be impossible to get everyone collectively. I understand there are some family members that hog the holidays. Try to come up with a fair solution but take into account you can’t make everyone happy and that is ok.   When my daughter was young, I started my own tradition. I made the decision to stay home but anyone was welcome to come to our house for dinner or just visit.  It worked quite well and I did my visiting during or after the holidays.

Praying you have a blessed Christmas. For those who have lost love ones and have gone through divorce, I pray that the peace of God would comfort you. Psalm 34:18 tell us, The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.

Enjoy your traditions but don’t be fearful of creating new ones.  Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Reflect by Barbara

Reflecting is not necessarily an unhealthy thing but if we’re living there, we can find ourselves at a standstill.  Bruce Springsteen’s song, “Glory Days” relates it well.  He sings about a baseball player who was great in his day.  When Bruce meets up with him one night all this man can talk about is his wonderful past.  In the next verse he meets another friend who was a beautiful woman in her day.  Now her marriage is over and all she wants to talk about is the days of old.  Next Springsteen sings that he does not want to live like that but he fears that he probably will. He realizes it is not a good place to be as all it brings is misery and boring stories.  If your past is anything like mine it was anything but glory days.  As a teenager, I was a pimpled faced girl that was so skinny you could hardly tell my back from my front.  I had no self-esteem whatsoever.  This made me a target for bullying.  I now can look at these trying times and laugh about it but I know people when talking about their past will relive it like it was yesterday though 40 or more years have passed.   It doesn’t have to be this way.  What does the Bible say about it.  Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:22-23 (NKJV) So every day we get a new day, to let go and move on.  The word also states, In Isaiah 43:19 (NKJV) Behold, I will do a new thing, Now it shall spring forth; Shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness And rivers in the desert. The Lord has something new for us every day. Ask Him to open your eyes so you can see it.  If you find yourself reflecting on past mistakes, do not listen to your natural mind as it can be your enemy.  Reflect on who you are in Christ, His beloved child who He has a hope and a future. Let us put the past behind us and reflect on the glory days the Lord has for us and take Paul’s advice in Philippians 4:8 (NKJV)Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.  9 The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.”

I touched on one of the definitions of reflect such as: to ponder, meditate, think upon.  Now let’s look at another meaning of the word reflect which means a mirror image. I like the translation in The Living Bible. “But we Christians have no veil over our faces; we can be mirrors that brightly reflect the glory of the Lord. And as the Spirit of the Lord works within us, we become more and more like him.” 2 Corinthians 3:18 (TLB)  Truth is, we can’t be like Him if we don’t know Him. How do we get there? We read His Word. Just don’t read the Bible for head knowledge. Read it so you know what God is like and how He wants us to live.  You will find that He is a God of love, compassionate and forgiving. If you are new to the Bible start with the new testament especially the 4 gospels. John is my favorite since it is about God’s love. Go on YouTube and search for visual Bibles. They really make the Bible come to life.  I said many times before how important it is to spend time with Him. In our busy world it can be difficult to find quiet time.  The best times I have with the Lord are in my car.  For whatever reason that is when He speaks to me the most.  Turn off the radio and talk to Him and listen.  He will give you answers, guidance and direction. It is God’s desire for us to know Him.

God bless you as you reflect and get to know Him more!

Restoration by Barbara

Most of us know the story of Adam and Eve and the fall. Before the fall, God gave them dominion (authority) over ALL the earth. When they were deceived by satan, they lost their authority and gave it to him. When Jesus was crucified on the cross, He reinstated our authority over the earth. He didn’t just die so we could get to heaven, (though that in itself would be enough), He died so we would be restored to our rightful place, He died that we would bring heaven here on earth, He died to redeem our value.

The Word tells us who Jesus is:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. John 1:1-4 (KJV)

This proves that Jesus was God.

I would like to reflect on what Jesus went through to redeem us. The humility of it all blows me away. Jesus, the maker of heaven and earth, leaves heaven and His glorious spirit body to be born in a human body with all its frailties. The man that was God, pooped, peed, sweat, became tired and got hungry like us. The way He ate and drank, I can’t help but wonder if He also had gas. This I’m not too sure about as I question if gas is part of the curse before Jesus redeemed us.

Jesus was also tempted as we are. In Matthew 4, you can read the account of Jesus being tempted three times by satan. The first and second temptation, satan sought to get Jesus to question His identity by saying, “IF you are the son of God…” The third was wealth and glory. satan had the right to offer it to Jesus as Adam handed it to him when he (Adam) sinned. Hebrews 4:15 tells us that Jesus was tempted in every way, therefore when we are tempted, Jesus gets it, however, He never sinned.

He was beaten beyond recognition. Anyone else would have died but Jesus not only lived, He walked to Calvary, carried His cross and was crucified. So why didn’t he die from the gruesome beatings? Remember what He said in John 10:18 (TLB), ” No one can kill me without my consent—I lay down my life voluntarily. For I have the right and power to lay it down when I want to and

also the right and power to take it again. For the Father has given me this right.” He died when our debt of sin was paid and declared “It is finished.” In three days he rose from the dead and restored to us what satan had stolen.

The most awesome thing that Jesus restored to us is the relationship with the Father. No longer do we need someone to go to the Father on our behalf or offer animal sacrifices. Because of what Jesus did, we can come boldly before the throne, plus we can have intimacy with the Father.

We are made in the image of Christ, So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. Genesis 1:27 (KJV). We are created to represent Him. The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord. Luke 4:18-19 (KJV) If we are made in the image of Christ then He has given us the authority to accomplish everything that Luke 4:18-19 says.

Of all that Jesus restored, I believe health is the most controversial. There are many of the belief that the Lord uses infirmity to teach us a lesson or suffer for His sake. If this is the case, why do the same people go to the doctor or take medication? Why not just suck it up and suffer? Please understand, I am not being condescending. Just trying to make a point and keep it real. Isn’t it written? But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. Isaiah 53:5 (KJV) The key word here is “are.” We are healed, Christ paid for it, receive it!

I could go on and on about this topic but before I close, I just want to mention a few other things Jesus has restored and achieved for us. He restored us from death and given us everlasting life, He restores the years the locust have eaten, He restores our joy, He is the restorer of life and nourisher of old age, He makes our crooked paths straight, He gives us a hope and a future, He gives us abundant life, and so much more.

When reading the gospels keep in mind when Jesus is talking to the disciples, He is talking to us too. We can walk in the same authority they did. I pray in the year 2016, we all come into a deeper relationship with the Lord and walk in the

authority He died so violently to give us. Let us bring heaven to earth!

Happy New Year! Be Blessed!

Erasing God by Barbara

If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails.

1 Corinthians 13 (NIV)

Thanksgiving is a day to spend with family and friends giving thanks to God for all He has done for us. The following day, many are shopping to seize the best deal. Though the day is crazy, at least it was the day after Thanksgiving. Stores are now opening on Thanksgiving day. Retail employees must work instead of spending the day with family. Some are out shopping on Thanksgiving to get that hard to find gift or save a bundle. I suppose we can say the stores that open are greedy but it is the enemy who is behind it. He wants nothing more than to tear down the family unit. Some stores are closing on Thanksgiving day, stating, “this is a day to spend with family and the shopping can wait till Friday.” I applaud them. I understand there are folks who must work, such as medical personnel, police officers, firemen, pilots etc. Thanks to all of them!

It is generally during the Christmas season when we encounter particular individuals who want to erase all aspects of God from our country. More and more of our religious freedoms are being taken away. Nativity scenes displayed at public places have become a thing of the past. There are battles as Christmas banners displayed mention Jesus. If our kids and grandkids go to public schools, you are not going to hear any songs about the real reason for Christmas such as Silent Night, Oh Little Town of Bethlehem, Oh Holy Night, etc. at their Christmas program. Prayer has been out of school for years. In schools and other establishments, one could lose their job for praying. Everywhere, we see groups or individuals doing their best to erase God.

It made me question, what happened that they detest God so much they want to erase all aspects of Him? Could it be these people are acting out of a place of pain, hurt, disappointment and are blaming God? In some cases might they feel that no loving God could cause the pain that transpired in their life so He must not exist? If so, they are deceived. They brought into a lie that the enemy has fed them. What they don’t comprehend is that we live in a fallen world because of the sin of Adam BUT Jesus set us free. He can heal all that hurt and pain. He came that they would have life and have it more abundantly.

This does not imply when facing the battles, we become passive and do nothing. There are issues in life that need confrontation and discipline BUT we need to see people the way that God sees them. God is not just about love He is love. I believe when He looks at a person, He sees what He intended that person to be. He does not see the faults but he sees the destiny He planned for them. Think about the most evil person you know and realize Jesus died for them too.

So as Christian what can we do? Our biggest weapon against these issues is prayer. We can’t expect the Lord to move if we are not bringing it to Him. Pray not for victory but pray from the victory. Pray the solution not the problem. Proverbs 18:21 tells us, “the tongue has the power of life and death.” Talking about Jesus and quoting scriptures will not change anyone’s mind. They need to see Jesus in us, Jesus working through us. In previous blogs I stated that some people get on my last nerve. In the last couple of months this is changing and I focus on seeing them through the eyes of Jesus, though that doesn’t mean I haven’t fallen short at times. I am praying for the boldness to approach anyone and ask if I can pray for them no matter what their demeanor. Imagine praying for someone that is doing their best to erase God and see them get healed. If nothing else it would surely give them a new perspective. If we as Christians walk in God’s love and power, who knows, the Christmas songs and prayer may be back in schools, nativity scenes and banners will be displayed again with no protests. Possibly, stores would close again Thanksgiving Day and families would be together, giving thanks to God.

Read the Bible verse at the top. Where it says “Love is patient” etc. Replace love with the Name of Jesus and read it again, and replace Jesus’ name with your name. This says who we were meant to be.

Here is a video of a man that truly walks in the love and power of God.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A7s9bRIB-wE His name is Todd White. He tells the story of having been invited to a school with a number of other guests to talk about their religion so the teens could make a choice. Todd didn’t talk religion or Jesus. He showed them Jesus and it transformed them. This is the way the Christian life should be lived and it is exciting.

Everyone have a wonderful Thanksgiving and a Merry Christmas! God Bless!

 

Identity by Barbara

Identity

I’m aware I repeat myself in this blog but various statics show that we only retain around 10% of what we read therefore, I feel it is worth repeating.

Many people make the mistake of thinking identity is in what we do. Though it may create interesting conversation when we meet someone, our identity is not in what we do for a living but who we are. Our Identity is our individuality, uniqueness, character, personality, etc.

The key question is: Who does Christ say I am? To get a grasp on this read the book of Romans but there are many verses in the Bible that enlighten us regarding who we are in Christ, once we accept Him as Savior.

Let us look at what the Word has to say on the subject.
All Bible verses are taken from the Living Bible unless otherwise noted. Italics are mine.

For He hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
2 Corinthians 5:21 King James
(Jesus became sin for us so we could be right with God)

Long ago, even before he made the world, God chose us to be his very own through what Christ would do for us; he decided then to make us holy in his eyes, without a single fault—we who stand before him covered with his love. Ephesians 1:4   (We are loved and blameless in His eyes.)

When someone becomes a Christian, he becomes a brand new person inside. He is not the same anymore. A new life has begun!
2 Corinthians 5:17
(We become a new creature once we accept Him.)

Even in his own land and among his own people, the Jews, he was not accepted. Only a few would welcome and receive him. But to all who received him, he gave the right to become children of God. All they needed to do was to trust him to save them.
John 1:12
(We are His children)

I no longer call you slaves, for a master doesn’t confide in his slaves; now you are my friends, proved by the fact that I have told you everything the Father told me.
John 15:15
(We are His Friends)

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
2 Timothy 1:7 King James
(We no longer have to live in fear but live in power, love and free from anxiety)

I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
Philippians 4:13 King James
(God gives us the strength to do ALL things, He wants us to achieve)

Jesus sent them out with these instructions: “Don’t go to the Gentiles or the Samaritans, 6 but only to the people of Israel—God’s lost sheep. Go and announce to them that the Kingdom of Heaven is near. Heal the sick, raise the dead, cure the lepers, and cast out demons. Give as freely as you have received!
Matthew 10: 5-8
(When this verse states, “Jesus sent them out” “them” also means us”)

WOW! The Lord sure has given us a astounding identity. Actually it is quite humbling. It amazes me even with all our imperfections the Lord loves us and sees us the way He does. I find it heartbreaking that there are so many people who don’t even have a clue who they are in Christ and what we can achieve through Him. Although we may never fully understand it, if we believe the Word of God, then we comprehend what He says is true. It is crucial to get into the Word so we don’t become prey to the identity thieves.

Identity thieves come in many shapes and forms. The main culprit is the enemy. The enemy has a way of tempting us and then justifying the action. As soon as we give into the temptation he beats us over the head with condemnation. He will make statements such as: “Oh, I can’t believe you just did that! You’re such a jerk! What an idiot you are! God is so disappointed in you, He will never answer your prayer now! God doesn’t love you anymore!” Etc., Etc. These are lies straight from the pit of hell. Yes, there may be consequences to our actions but it NEVER changes the way God feels about us. He loves us! NOTHING will and can change that. We still are who He says we are! Get into the Word and read who the Lord says you are.

Unfortunately, sometimes the thieves can come from the church. If you are in a church and all you hear preached is what a filthy rag you are and how you will never measure up, it is time to find another church. There are times when the Pastor will need to bring correction to his church, but if you leave that place mainly feeling bruised and beaten, your identity is being stolen from you. Ask the question, “who does Christ say I am?” Find another church that understands the new covenant and recognizes we are no longer under the law.

What if I hear someone is sick? I then feel led to go pray with them for healing. The thought comes to mind, “Right numbskull, after the argument you had with your husband this morning, the Lord is really going to use you. Ha! Come on, get real!” If I listen to that thought, I just became a target of identity theft. I need to rebuke that thought, remind myself who I am in Christ and know that the Lord wants me to pray for the sick and then just do it!

Sadly, many have grown up in dysfunctional homes. You may have been put down throughout your life and told you would never amount to anything. Even if you were blessed to grow up in the greatest of homes, sooner or later you’ll be attacked by these thieves. You can find them in the work place, neighborhood, school and anywhere there’s people. Try to remember that hurting people hurt people. Whatever terrible things were said about you, it is not who Christ says you are. Unless the Lord tells us otherwise, I see nothing wrong with parting ways with the identity thieves in our lives. Yes, we need to forgive and pray for them but that doesn’t mean we have to subject ourselves to their abuse.

I hope this gives a better understand on your identity and by no means let anyone steal it from you. I mentioned Andy Wommack before but I want to repeat, he is a wonderful teacher. If you listen to him on a daily basis and you don’t know who you are in Christ yet, you will after listening to him. You can even get his teachings for free. His program is called “The Gospel Truth.” This is not to take the place of your Bible reading or church. I do realize some cannot get to church or just haven’t found the right one yet. Bibles can be expensive BUT almost everyone has a computer or a digital reader such as an iPad, Kindle Fire, plus there are many more. Many Bible apps are free and you can read almost any version. You can also read two versions side by side which I especially like. My favorites are Bible Gateway and You Version so if you don’t have a Bible get on line or get one of the free apps and read all about your identity. You won’t be sorry.

#Searching by Barbara

On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. 2 They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3 but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4 While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. 5 In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? 6 He is not here; he has risen!
Luke 24:1-6

Most of us are aware when reading this passage of scripture it is the story of Jesus’ resurrection. It is the first part of verse 6 that stands out to me the most; He is not here.

When reading the account in John 20, we find Mary Magdeline telling Simon Peter and John, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!” Peter and John then search the tomb and come to the same conclusion, Jesus is not here. The story discloses that they did not understand the scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead.

When pondering this it brings back memories of my own search for God. From the time I was a little girl, I knew that God existed. Even though I went to religious schools for 12 years it did not help me in my search. Like I said, I knew He existed and I would pray to Him but He just seemed so far away and out of reach. Moreover, instead of being taught of a loving God, I always felt that God was disappointed in me and I would never measure up. For years, I felt that something was missing in my life and felt so empty all the time. I searched for God in all the wrong places and got deeply involved in the occult. I tried transcendental meditation and at first it was great. I felt very relaxed and peaceful but it wasn’t long before I started to experience things from the dark side and I will leave it at that. Just like the tomb, Jesus was not there. I experimented with astral projection and all that did was make my bedroom haunted. God was not there either. I read tarot cards for friends and family and I even dabbled in white witchcraft.  After all, it had to be noble as I was just trying to help people BUT God was not there and I continued to feel empty. The fear I felt all the time was debilitating. It is not too much of a stretch to say I was afraid of my own shadow. Sleeping with a light on every night was the norm. If the electric went out at night I turned into a total whack job. I could sense evil all around me in the darkness and I panicked. I even screamed at times.

One day, I was talking with a girl I worked with. A friend told her, she was walking home at night alone when a man approached her with wicked intent. She said something similar to, “I rebuke you in the name of Jesus.” The man’s face became fearful and he just ran away. This got my attention real quick. I wanted to know, who is this man Jesus? Sure, I heard about Him in school but not like this. The pictures they showed us in school portrayed a pathetic weakling that couldn’t fight his way out of a paper bag. But this Jesus, had power and I wanted to know more. I can’t remember the details but somehow I heard about the Charismatic Renewal and discovered that my own local church was a part of it. I got saved and guess what? HE WAS THERE. I FOUND HIM and He found me! That was almost 40 years ago and I never looked back. That empty feeling? Gone! The fear? Gone! All those things I was involved in during my search were dead and empty but now I found the resurrected God. He is alive!!!!!!

Here’s a few additional Bible verses about searching for God.

But if from there you seek the Lord your God, you will find him if you seek him with all your heart and with all your soul. Deuteronomy 4:29 (NIV)

You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:13 (NIV)

For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
Matthew 7:8 (NIV)

“This is what the Lord says, he who made the earth, the Lord who formed it and established it—the Lord is his name: 3 ‘Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.’
Jeremiah 33:2-3 (NIV)

Most of us are searching for something as we know there is more to life than what we experience. If you are searching, I hope I can help you avoid taking the wrong paths that I did. Jesus is the answer to your search. He paid such a heavy price to have a relationship with us. He was beaten beyond recognition, spat upon, humiliated and crucified and died for us. It doesn’t end there. He rose again. The tomb is empty but our life in Him is not.

You may be searching for God and not even know it. If you have not asked the Lord to be part of your life, and you find yourself thinking, “there has got to be more than this!” That is God speaking to you. He is calling you and it is up to you to seek Him. If you seek Him you will find Him.

If you are a Christian and you are feeling the same thing, “There’s got to me more than this!” That is the Lord drawing you into a deeper walk with Him. This is where I am now. I know the Lord but I’m not satisfied. It is like my thirst can’t be quenched. It may sound like a bad thing but it is not. We should always want more of Him. We never arrive but like Andrew Wommack says, “but at least I already left.” In other words, take the first step and begin seeking the Lord for the deeper things.

Just to be clear. There is a difference between feeling there has got to be more and feeling empty. Empty is when we feel our life has no meaning or we just exist. The feeling we get that cries “There’s got to be more,” is because there is more.  We continually grow every day. As we spend time with Him, He reveals more to us but we should always be hungry for more. I read or heard about great men and women of God talking about their relationship with Him. They share some amazing stories regarding their encounters with the Lord. I yearn to be where they are YET they feel like they barely scratched the surface and still hunger for more. It is a never ending, exciting and wonderful journey so just enjoy the ride.  He lives and He loves us. Happy Resurrection day everyone!

Remember by Barbara

When Peg first told us about our November-December topic, “Remember,” I truly laughed out loud! My long term memory is uncanny. The earliest memories I have are sitting in a wooden rocking horse that had a bench and protective sides. Moreover, I recall being fed watermelon by my grandmother, sitting in a highchair. My short term memory on the other hand is pathetic and downright frustrating.   For instance, please don’t interrupt me when I am talking as I will forget what I was attempting to tell you. It drives me crazy to walk into a room because I need something and that quick forget what it was. As I was pondering this subject, I heard the Lord say, “it is not just what I want you to remember but what I want you to forget (or let go of) as well.”

Remembering can be such a wonderful experience. It is joyful to take a trip down memory lane and reflect about the good times with family and friends. Jesus tells us to remember when He said, “do this in remembrance of me.” I love The Message Bible translation.

“Let me go over with you again exactly what goes on in the Lord’s Supper and why it is so centrally important. I received my instructions from the Master himself and passed them on to you. The Master, Jesus, on the night of his betrayal, took bread. Having given thanks, he broke it and said,

This is my body, broken for you.

Do this to remember me.

After supper, he did the same thing with the cup:

This cup is my blood, my new covenant with you.

Each time you drink this cup, remember me.

What you must solemnly realize is that every time you eat this bread and every time you drink this cup, you reenact in your words and actions the death of the Master. You will be drawn back to this meal again and again until the Master returns. You must never let familiarity breed contempt.”

1 Corinthians 11:23-26

This speaks volumes to me. When I think about the Lord’s broken body and shedding of blood, I remember that not only has He made a way for us to be with Him for all eternity but He set us free. Because of what He’s done for us, we no longer live under the curse and are no longer under the law. I firmly believe we are free from all sickness and addictions but better than that we now can have a relationship with God. This is the new covenant! Is life going to be a breeze? Heck no!   But when we remember what He has done for us, we come into the realization that we are never alone, He is good, faithful and can be trusted.

Now let us look at the polar opposite of remembering.

 

 

The Lord says in Isaiah 43: 18-19

Forget the former things;
do not dwell on the past.
See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
and streams in the wasteland.

There is nothing wrong with cherishing our memories but there are times we need to let go. Say we find ourselves reminiscing about the times our children were young and now that they flew the coop, we wish we could go back to those days. Sure it is ok to miss them, but now let the Lord do the new thing in your life. Your life isn’t over. The Lord promises to “make a way in the wilderness and steams in the wasteland.” Ask Him what that looks like.

How about when the memories are not so good? We need to let go and if need be forgive and seek the Lord in the matter. I’m not saying it is easy but with God all things are possible. Take one day at a time.

It is those little foxes that can especially trip us up.   Offense is a big culprit. As I more of less said in the Conformity blog, I am able to shake offense off rather quickly but there are those times, I have a sarcastic comeback. I am not one to start an argument but my weakness is, if you want one you got one. For the most part, 5 minutes later I can put it all behind me. My prayer is, that I let go of the offense immediately, never to give it a second thought. Furthermore to be baptized in a spirit love is something I been asking of the Lord. I heard of people who received it and I want it too. As for now, there are still those that get on my last nerve. Thankfully, His mercies are new every morning. That means everyday is a fresh start, no matter what yesterday looked like.

There are even moves of God that we may need to put behind us. Maybe you were part of a wonderful move of God such as the Toronto Blessing, or were witness to Glory clouds, gold dust, fire on the rooftop. etc.  Oh yes, these things were all so glorious but I don’t want to reflect on them in a way that keeps me from moving forward in the things of God. I want to be part of the new thing that God is doing. My question is; Lord even though those things I heard about or experienced were astonishing, I want to know, what are You doing now?

In conclusion, let us remember the good memories, deal with and give God the bad ones. I pray that no memory good or bad would hold us back from the things that God has for us. Here is another promise from the Lord:

However, as it is written:
“What no eye has seen,
what no ear has heard,
and what no human mind has conceived”
the things God has prepared for those who love Him.
1 Corinthians 2:9 (NIV)

Whoo Hoo!!!! That is exciting. May we all move forward in the things of the Lord!