Prayer Challenge

I want to ask you to say this prayer out loud, if possible.

“I belong to God. I am a holy vessel because I have the Holy Spirit of the Living God. The Lord of Heaven and earth has said to me; “I declare you holy!”. I commit to start believing what He says. I AM HOLY! Remind me daily, Spirit of the Living God, to treat myself as holy, open my eyes to every scheme of The Enemy to treat me as if I'm not. You, God, are Holy. Your word is the truth. This day Father, I chose to believe you! I ask this in the mighty name of your son Jesus Christ, who died on a cross for me so that I could be a coheir to the kingdom of God. Amen”

Monday, July 27, 2015

Psalm of the Week - 100:3 - July 27, 2015

I grew up on a small farm. I come from several generations of farmers. This means that I know a little bit about livestock. One bit of information that I was given is this:
"Sheep are the dumbest creatures on earth." I never forgot that sheep NEED a shepherd 24-7 in order to survive. In fact, they are incapable of surviving on their own. 

Blogger Tim Challies wrote this except :
"...This is a real news story that aptly tells us the first reason sheep need a shepherd: because sheep are dumb.
Hundreds of sheep followed their leader off a cliff in eastern Turkey, plunging to their deaths this week while shepherds looked on in dismay. Four hundred sheep fell 15 metres to their deaths in a ravine in Van province near Iran but broke the fall of another 1,100 animals who survived. Shepherds from a nearby village neglected the flock while eating breakfast, leaving the sheep to roam free. The loss to local farmers was estimated at $74,000...
 Sheep are dumb and directionless. They are also defenseless...Put a sheep in the wild and you’ve just given nature a snack...Sheep can’t fight, they can’t run away, and they can’t scare away. So what does a sheep do when danger comes? It flocks...sheep are dumb and directionless and defenseless. So I guess when God says that we are sheep who need a shepherd, he doesn’t mean it as a compliment to us. 
I disagree with Tim. I do not believe that God thinks we are dumb, directionless, or defenseless. I believe this verse is emphasizing the relationship that he desires to have with us. He is always there for us, 24/7. When we need him, he is there to pick us up, show us the way, or to protect us. He wants us to know that we belong to him. This ownership meant he is going to give us as much attention as a shepherd gives to a flock of sheep. Why? He loves us. 

Verse of the Week - Isaiah 64:8 - July 27, 2015

Clay is shapeable, malleable, and flexible. I am the work of His hand. He has a plan for my life and I am willing to remain as clay beneath his hand. Today, my goal is to allow God to work on me, in me, and through me.

I was not always willing to be shapeable, malleable, and flexible. The Lord was allowed to be a part of my life, but he did not overshadow my life. I was working at VBS, attending church regularly, reading my Bible, and praying daily. I felt like I was doing enough. I didn't know how much deeper my relationship could be by making one change.

The one change I made was submitting myself to be a servant. Yes, I started telling the Lord that I wanted to be his servant. Every morning I tell the Lord I want to be his servant. Every evening I thank him for allowing me to do his work. 

As a servant, I am listening for his directions, I am listening for his plan for me.Guess what? The Lord began to shape me, mold me, and use me for his purposes. He called me into motorcycle ministry. He told me to start writing for Him. 

Today, I am the work of God's hand. I try to be shapeable, malleable, and flexible. My path is the one God has always intended for me to walk.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

The Holy Spirit Lives in ME!

In March, I shared a God Moment with you about the Holy Spirit.     Click Here to read 

The Lord continues to impress upon me how important it is that I know the Holy Spirit  has been given to me and lives in me. Consequently, living a life that does not quench the Holy Spirit is vital to my daily walk with Jesus. 

Activities that quench the Holy Spirit are:

  • Gossiping, or talking about other people in a negative manner. My mom deflects gossip by saying something positive about the person a remark is made about. This is a truly useful technique that works! 
  • Cussing - This includes camouflaged cussing, or using words such as fricking, in place of the "F word". LMAO is in the camouflaged cussing category.
  • Telling White Lies - God doesn't have degrees of lies. A lie is a lie. My husband told me early in our marriage,"Do not ask me a question unless you really want to hear the truth." He is not going to tell me a white lie to keep from hurting my feelings. 
My list isn't comprehensive. These three activities are things that are fairly common based upon my own experiences. I have striven to eliminate them from my life and become a "cleaner temple" for the Holy Spirit. 

Accepting, as a fact, that my body is a temple of the Holy Spirit helps me to make wiser choices. What Would Jesus Do?, or WWJD, is a slogan that crosses my mind often because I do not want to be "in the realm of the flesh", but "in the realm of the spirit." I treasure the Holy Spirit and strive to be a better person today, than I was yesterday. 

1 Corinthians 6:19 NIVOr do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? 

James 4:5 NIVOr do you think Scripture says without reason that he jealously longs for the spirit he has caused to dwell in us?

2 Timothy 1:14 NIVGuard, through the Holy Spirit who dwells in us, the treasure which has been entrusted to you.

Romans 8:9 NIV - You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ.

Verse of the Week - Isaiah 45:9 - July 20, 2015

As a small child, I loved Jesus and did not question my relationship with Him. My faith was childlike because I was a child. This childlike faith was apparent until I was in my late teens. As a teenager, I became a questioner. However, this adult personality characteristic separated me from my childlike relationship with God and Jesus for many years. 

I want to know "Why?" about everything that crosses my path. As a life long learner, this is not a bad quality to have, BUT as a lover of Christ it kept me separated from HIM.  

Faith means to trust without proof. Faith in God and Jesus requires trust without proof. For a questioner like myself, this was a hard concept to accept after I left my childhood behind. 

Today, I have quit questioning God and Jesus. How did I do this you ask? I made three decisions:
1. God is good and Satan is bad. God is in heaven - Satan is on earth. 
2. I am a servant of God - I am a wrench in the Lord's toolbox - I want to do his will, not mine. 
3. No matter what happens, I trust God for a positive outcome. 
These three decisions have simplified my life, have kept me on God's path, and have deepened my relationship with Him.

Psalm of the Week - 136:23 - July 20, 2015

God remembers his promises. He delivered the Israelites from slavery. He provided manna in the wilderness. He provided quail in the wilderness. His mercy endures for ever. 

He remembered me in the depths of every crisis in my life and delivered me the moment that I called on him. Free will means that God waits on us to call on him. Are you going to call on God today, or are you going to continue to live life on your own? 

Asking God for help does not mean that you have failed, it means you need help. I do not believe in failure. I believe in having a learning experience. Let God help you learn from your experience. Let God help you have strength, peace, and serenity as you walk down the path he has chosen for you. 

Monday, July 13, 2015

Psalm of the Week - 103:14 - July 13, 2015

God created human beings from dust. (Genesis 2:7) He knows our lives are temporary and has compassion for us. We know he is compassionate because he provides hope and meaning for our limited time on earth. 

Verse of the Week - 2 Corinthians 4:7 - July 13, 2015

In Strong's Concordance and the HELPS Word-studies,
the Greek word ostrĂ¡kinos [os-tra-kin-os] means "earthen, made of clay". 
The word is used metaphorically in 2 Corinthians 4:7 of the frail human body of believers – which serves as the temple of the Holy Spirit.

Matthew Henry also used this metaphor for "earthen vessels".  
I especially like how he connects it with the first creation, light, in the book of Genesis.
"As light was the beginning of the first creation; so, in the new creation, the light of the Spirit is his first work upon the soul. The treasure of gospel light and grace is put into earthen vessels. 
The ministers of the gospel are subject to the same passions and weaknesses as other men. God could have sent angels to make known the glorious doctrine of the gospel, or could have sent the most admired sons of men to teach the nations, but he chose humbler, weaker vessels, that his power might be more glorified in upholding them, and in the blessed change wrought by their ministry."                                                                               Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Will Jesus Know You?

Bill and I are lifestyle evangelists. God is the focus of our lives. He is first in every way. God is first over my husband. God is first in Bill's life. Both of us know that fulfilling God's plan for our lives is the point of our lives. 

Individual bible study and discussion is a daily activity in our home. Sunday morning worship is fulfilling and feeds me. When we are out of town, working at a motorcycle rally, we miss being in church. Our lives are God-centric, or God centered.  

Recently, a scripture  was brought to my attention. The bold print is my emphasis. 
"Not every one that said to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that does the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in your name? and in your name have cast out devils? and in your name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess to them, I never knew you: depart from me, you that work iniquity."                                                                        Matthew 7:21-23 AKJV
The world is a trap, a snare for Christians. Every follower of Christ needs to make sure Jesus is going to know you when he returns. The lyrics to "Stranger" by Anthem Lights expresses how the faithful have to live in a fallen world.

Anthem Lights

Somewhere between where I started and right now
You caught my eye
Now all I can see is the distance that remains
Between You and I

In a land of settling
I can't seem to settle in

I am a stranger in this world, just passing through
Waiting on the Son to come down
Waiting on the Son to come down

I know that I will be on my way real soon
Waiting on the Son to come down
I won't be home till I'm with You
I won't be home till I'm with You, with You, with You

I don't belong
I speak the language but still I can't understand
What's going on?
So I'm running to You just as fast as I can

Don't want to settle in
This place is not my home

I am a stranger in this world, just passing through
Waiting on the Son to come down
Waiting on the Son to come down

I know that I will be on my way real soon
Waiting on the Son to come down
I won't be home till I'm with You

Gonna keep my eyes looking to the sky for You
The Son is on His way and I wanna be ready
And I won't forget I'm not home till I'm with You
The Son is on His way

I am a stranger in this world, just passing through
Waiting on the Son to come down
Waiting on the Son to come down...

I am a stranger in this world because I am a lifestyle evangelist. My eyes are focused on Jesus and I want to be ready for him. My home is in Heaven and I cannot wait to get there! Jesus will know me. 

Will Jesus know you? I pray that he will. Get to know Him better.
  • Read and reread your Bible daily and ask Jesus to let you understand what you are reading. This is your "Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth
  • Worship at Sunday School and church regularly. It is important to fellowship with other believers. It keeps your spiritual gas tank fueled.
  • Pray, Pray, Pray.  Prayer is talking to the Lord. Praise Him, Thank Him, Ask Him, and Cry to Him. He is always listening to you. 

Friday, July 3, 2015

Psalm of the Week - 40:2 - July 6, 2015

Jesus is my rock and I am glad that he is firmly in charge of my goings today and every day. My experience with being in a horrible pit, feet slippery with miry clay, is a distant memory. However, I know that the minute I stop letting Jesus be in charge, I am in danger of slipping back into the pit he took me out of. 

Alcoholism, bulimia, self-centeredness, and anger kept me company in that horrible pit for almost sixteen years before I decided to appeal to the Lord and he heard me. He helped me out of the mud and mire of a life that was dedicated to doing everything on my own, without any help from anyone, or anything. 

Jesus did indeed put a new song in my mouth and I continue to praise Him daily. For the last twenty-two years, my worst day is still better than the best day of my pit dwelling life, preJesus in charge. 

Who is in charge of your life? You or Jesus? 
Why Scripture Prayer 
 "Praying Scripture acknowledges the preeminence of the Bible as God’s revealed Word, and expresses faith that it has power to judge the thoughts and intentions of our hearts. Praying through Scripture with a teachable, humble heart can remove roadblocks to answered prayer such as unforgiveness, lack of faith in God, wrong motives, or sin in our lives. As we read God’s Word and talk to Him about it, His Spirit will guide us in prayer."                                                                                                     StonecroftMinistries:
Psalm 40:2 Scripture Prayer
Fill in the blank with whatever issue you see as a pit in your life - worry, fear, addiction, unfaithfulness, anger, etc. -  and pray this prayer to Jesus.

Lord, I need your help. I know you can hear my cry. Lift me up out of the slimy pit of________________that I find myself in. I know you will lift me out of the mud and mire because you are faithful. You will set my feet on a rock so I will have a firm place to stand. Lord Jesus, put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to you. I will praise you Jesus so that all will see how you helped me and be in awe.  Amen.

Verse of the Week - Romans 9:21 - July 6, 2015

A potter has a plan for each lump of clay that he uses before it is put on the potters wheel.  The potter already knows what type of vessel it will be in the end. The illustration in Romans 9:21 is to show us that God has a plan for each "lump of clay" that belongs to him. 

Charles Haddock Spurgeon preached a sermon on this verse called "Vessels of Mercy." In his sermon, Spurgeon made the following points:
  1. A vessel of wrath (dishonor) and a vessel of mercy are both made from the same lump of clay. 
  2. A vessel is a container.
  3.  At one time they (the redeemed) are full of themselves, but grace empties them, and then as empty vessels they are set in the way of God's goodness, God fills them to the brim with His loving-kindness, and so are they proved to be the vessels of His mercy. 
  4. all that God asks of you in order to have salvation is, not to do anything, but to holdout your empty hand and take all you want.(from Him)The elect of God are vessels only. 
  5. The redeemed may afterwards give out to others, but they can only give out what God has put in them. They may run over with gratitude, but it is only because God has filled them with grace; they may stream forth with holiness, but it is only because the Lord keeps the supply overflowing.