Growing In The Word

New Growth

James 1: 22.
“Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.”

I wonder if we’re familiar with those who go on about their faith, yet leave us confused by their actions? Somehow, what they say and what they do contradict each other. I wonder too, about ourselves? What about it?  Does our life cause confusion for another member of the family or within the body of Christ? Could we be a stumbling block for some, or have some caused us to stumble along the way?

To be doers of the word is to actively make changes in our lives according to the truth we hear. If we hear the truth that God is our gracious, heavenly Father who alone gives us our worth and if we truly believe it, then we must live like it, not just say it. The Psalmist in Psalm 119: 7 says,….”As I learn Your righteous regulations, I will “thank” You by living as I should.”

Alright then…How do we live it? Of course, it’s an ongoing process of growing into maturity with Christ. Daily, we have to allow our habits, thoughts, words, and actions to be changed, renewed, or transformed. We must do an about-face, turning from greed, envy, grumbling, criticism, revenge, and “lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness” as James 1:21 reveals. The way we think about ourselves, the way we treat others, what we do with our time, our money, our lifestyle and our overall outlook and attitude towards life need to be measured against God’s goodness and grace. If we hang on to sinful ways and refuse to let them fall away from us we are not believing that God is who He says He is, and that He will do what He says He will do. We live in compromise with a divided mind. We say we trust but we do not. We merely lie to ourselves and deceive others as well.

If we have asked Jesus to forgive us and if we truly repent, for sure we are Christians and covered by His blood. That’s His promise of salvation to us. He doesn’t go back on His Word, and He doesn’t fail us. But if a baby is just born into this world and isn’t fed or talked to, growth won’t happen and death will occur. It’s the same for a Christian. Just to be born into God’s family is only the first step! Growth is an ongoing process and yes, it’s a lifetime of leaning on God and actively hearing and doing as we learn from Him. We will never reach perfection because we are just so human but In God’s infinite wisdom He knows that and that’s why He covers us with His vast and lavish grace, ready to forgive and set us back on track when we fall.

#Safeinahardplace

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The Kind Thing

It’s kind of like giving grace out isn’t it? Sometimes, in the hard places it’s hard to give it but giving out kindness and being kind is kind of like giving out grace and being gracious! It’s not always easy in our humanness to give of it freely! It may fall on deaf ears and cynical hearts but it’s still a sincere kindness and a beautiful grace coming from a sincere heart, your sincere heart and so do it anyways. Yeah, go on and do the “reaching out” thing to someone in need. To someone who hurts or possibly hurts others because they themselves hurt. Hurt returns hurt, much like kindness returns kindness. But then, deep in hurt, a gentle spirit of kindness comes in, in a gentle way, to soften and heal. You can be that kindness that comes in to soothe and smooth out the jagged edge.

Sometimes the very hardest thing to do but the very kindest thing is to just pray kindness over the one in most need. It will move God’s hand of blessing over them and return to you multiplied! So yeah, you there, right there in the center of hurt, tears, and anger, do a kind thing! Share a prayer of love and find it returning in twofold in a blessing of grace and healing upon your own beautiful soul.

Colossians 3:12
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.”

“If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat, and if he is thirsty, give him water to drink. For in so doing, you will heap burning coals on his head, and the LORD will reward you.”
Proverbs 25:22
#Safeinhardplaces #Dothekindthing #ShareAPrayer

Sleepy Faith

I wonder if we, as believers, just sit in the church pews Sunday morning half asleep? Oh yeah, we sit and hear messages of social gospel and nice things and good people and how we can be good people, and how it’s good enough just to be good people. We hear how to “Go Green”, and save our environment, how to fundraise for the church and the community and how we can better help our world and our government by making good choices!  We hear how to shake the world but not free it from it’s plague of sin.

Or perhaps we do hear powerful, Biblical sermons but yet not really hear the words nor be impacted enough to let them change our lives. We come, we smile, we chat, we go and we walk to our cars feeling like we’ve done our duty to attend and yeah we’ve given God His Sunday time, possibly our tithe, maybe even our talent but deep inside our hearts are empty, cold ~ and far from the Father, the Sovereign One, The Absolute Truth One, who longs to have real fellowship with us. What is it we don’t get? What is it we don’t understand? Time on this earth is so short yet we find all manner of fault, and judge from critical hearts calling the shots for others to put them in their place, while all the while our own problem/s goes undetected and unnoticed by our own heart. If we’re all in the same boat and for the same cause of Christ and His salvation, then why are we not all on the same page? It doesn’t make sense! Our own selfish, spiritual blindness is our downfall and our spiral downward. We are so easily deceived by our selfish ambition and don’t even recognize it.

It’s time to wake up our pulpits and shake up our sleepy souls for such a time as this, when our world reels out of order, under every manner of evil, under the power of our enemy, the father of lies.

God IS in control but His holiness can’t look upon the wicked sin that has infiltrated even into our churches because of hidden agendas, hearts, hardened in selfish ambition and compromising lifestyles. Truth is, as believers, God’s call on our heart is to be salt and light to a world in desperate need! God has given clear warning of judgment and we hear it but do we really hear? Are we getting it? Are we understanding the reality of it? The people of Noah’s day, didn’t get it and faced God’s judgment! They woke up when the rains began but it was too late for their salvation. The people of Sodom and Gomorrah didn’t get it and stayed grounded in their sin, while their wicked city was destroyed!

People of God ~ it is time to stand on holy ground without compromise and march the victory march with the Sovereign God whose deepest desire is to bring sinners into His Kingdom. To save them, forgive them, change them and renew their lives, through the power of His cleansing blood. Oh, let it be our desire to reach out of our comfort zones, and into the lives of needy souls, desperate for hope! Now is the time, people of God, to influence our world and share the Gospel message of salvation before the fire falls from heaven.

~k

“No one lights a lamp and then covers it with a bowl or hides it under a bed. A lamp is placed on a stand, where its light can be seen by all who enter the house. For all that is secret will eventually be brought into the open, and everything that is concealed will be brought to light and made known by all. So pay attention to how you hear. To those who listen to my teaching, more understanding will be given. But for those who are not listening, even what they think they understand will be taken away.”
Luke 8: 16, 17, 18

Luke 8: 22
“One day Jesus said to His disciples, “Let’s cross to the other side of the lake.” So they got into a boat and started out……

As disciples, let’s embark on a holy journey, out of our comfort zones and cross to the other side of the lake.

#SoulFire #Safeinahardplace

Shades of Gray

Sometimes we just wonder how much rain can spill from the skies and yet more drops still fall. More rain still comes and the earth is green, so green, and when raindrops glisten in the sunshine between drops, the skies are blue, so blue. Yet, even the green, green earth and the bluest of blue skies somehow don’t cover the gray in the soul of you, because the muted gray hanging over your beautiful self is a heavy cloud from doing life. Yeah, just so happens, life happens and grays come, and rains fall, and storms threaten, and even the green, green grass of home doesn’t seem to make a difference, because the gray in the heart is a heavy gray; cumbersome, surrounding and overwhelming and it seems there’s nothing to comfort it this side of heaven. And you’re tired and restless and even though your mind wants to rest, it doesn’t shut down because it’s in relentless pursuit of quiet answers to hush the anxieties of the soul and heart of you.

The Psalmist in Psalm 84, expresses his deep, spiritual longing for God’s presence in his life, as he reflects on the temple and the pilgrims making their way to Jerusalem. He prays for himself and for them because he knows that only God’s goodness is greater than life itself. Verses 5 -7 he imagines the pangs and pains of their travel turning to joy upon arrival.

Yeah, the Psalmist knew anguished and lonely travelers needed strength to meet the challenges of pilgrimage along unmarked and unpaved paths, in all kinds of weather with threats of attack along the way. Verse 5, 6, he pens, “What joy for those whose strength comes from the Lord, who have set their minds on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. When they walk through the Valley of Weeping it will become a place of refreshing springs. The autumn rains will clothe it with blessing. They will continue to grow stronger and each of them will appear before God in Jerusalem.”

So hey, you and I and we and us, even when we feel totally exhausted from the rains and the heavy grays of life ever overhanging our beautiful souls, the prospect of drawing near to the Lord renews our spirit and refreshes our soul. Let’s do that today then! Let’s drag our tired, weary selves before the sovereign One who made us and knows our day ahead even when we don’t. He knows the gray of our sky on a blue day. He knows the lonely, the anguish, the challenge and the unmarked road we face. Let’s continue on then through this pilgrimage heavenward, undaunted by the gray, the rain and the adverse weather along the way. He’s got the day. He’s got the season! Let Him refresh and renew!

“For the Lord God is our Sun and our shield. He gives us grace and glory. The LORD will withhold no good thing for those who do what is right. O Lord of Heaven’s armies, what joy for those who trust in you.”

Psalm 84: 11, 12

#loveonthebrokenroad