Tag Archives: Trust in God

A Formula For Success

So give yourselves humbly to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from youJames 4:7 TLB

   We all strive to be successful. Whether it’s success in our profession or our personal lives we want to be our best at whatever we do. How can we insure our success in all of our endeavors? What can we do to have an edge?

Don’t you know that the runners in a stadium all race,

but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way to win the prize1 Cor. 9: 24 HCSB

   If you have run in a race you know that there is a wall that you hit that seems impassable. It can stop you in your tracks or motivate you to push threw. But, it requires calling on ever last ounce of effort. Sometimes that extra effort isn’t enough. Sometimes our best efforts and shear strength is not enough.

What do we do then? Give up? Make excuses?

Jesus gives us insight into how we can succeed in life.

 “I am the vine, you are the branches.

He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit;

for without Me you can do nothing.”  John 15:5 NKJV

for without Me you can do nothing

   Wait a minute! That’s got to be a misprint! I am an adult who is able to do anything. How can Jesus say such a thing? He can say that because He knows that we are only able to do so much while we live this life. We can get by for awhile but to be successful in this life – in a way that is important to God – we need to be connected to the source of power and strength.

Jesus is that source

and He uses the example of the vine and branches to illustrate His point.

   The Word of God is full of people who were incapable of great things in their own strength but will God did mighty works. Abraham, Moses, Gideon, Samson, Paul, Peter and many more. His grace is sufficient for them and is also for me – and You too!

  So the next time you are tempted to sin (no matter what that might look like) remember the formula for success –

  1. Humble yourself before God

  2. Resit the devil (the temptation)

  3. Rest in the assurance that you and God have sent the devil fleeing

also consider this

No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it. 1 Cor 10:13 NKJV

and this

 For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Heb 4:15 NKJV

and finally always remember

He who has begun a good work in you will complete it  Phil 1:6b NKJV

Thank you for stopping by and God Bless, AL

….and the Lord God planted a garden….

The Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden, and there He put the man whom He had formed. Gen 2:8a NKJV

I think it’s safe to say that almost everyone knows of the Garden of Eden. It’s the garden that God made to be the home for Adam and Eve. It’s the place where they ate the apple. It’s where they realized that they were naked.

But how many remember that this is where they also had fellowship with God. Gen 3:8 tells us that they heard the voice of God calling to them in cool of the day. I believe that this was a regular occurrence but that this time they hid because of their sin.

This garden was the perfect example of Who God is and how gracious and merciful He is towards us all. Within the garden were all of the trees and plants and animals. Nothing was held back. God instructed Adam that everything was his for the taking except the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil. This was, I believe more a cautionary warning regarding something harmful rather than willful withholding of a delicacy as the world would imply. This is where we see the Just and Fair character of God Almighty. He could have just as easily NOT planted that tree and kept them safe. He rather planted the tree and gave a stern warning in hopes that they would trust Him and obey. Not so dissimilar than a parent instructing a child to not touch wet paint or a hot stove.

Armed with their freewill and a relationship with God Almighty they lived in the garden together. Until the serpent showed up. The serpent raises one question to Eve that set the tone for the whole conversation and is the same trap/test that he continues to use today – “Has God said….?” By asking her a question he already knew the answer to he is looking to see just how well she knows God. Sadly, she fails this test by answering him incorrectly. And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.” Eve added “nor shall you touch it” and that told the serpent that she didn’t know God. Armed with this he was able to plant seeds of doubt regarding the trustworthiness of God. God is withholding from you. He doesn’t want you to enjoy this beautiful fruit and the power it brings. Why, you will become just like Him and He doesn’t want that. Look at how pretty it is.So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate.” Gen 3:6 NKJV

Herein are the three roots of all sin – “good for food’ – the lust of the flesh; “pleasant to the eyes” – the lust of the eyes; “desirable to make one wise” – the pride of life. But we’ll visit that another day.

Eve showed that she didn’t have a complete understanding of what God said and that may have been Adams fault for not telling her or it may have been that she didn’t have a close relationship with God fro herself. Either way this has been the devils doorway into our lives for generations. Sadly, for many years only the “Church” had the Word of God and so people were in the dark as to what God said. In modern times we have the Word printed in every language and spoken loudly on the radio, TV, worldwide web and in churches across the globe. Yet, so many are still unsure of what God did and did not say.

Today, more than ever, it is important to not only know the Word of God but to have a relationship with God and His Son Jesus and the Holy Spirit because the devil knows his time is short. We live in a world where you can read online about how God is a myth and how Jesus never existed and how we all get to live over and over again threw reincarnation. We live with thousands of abortions daily but have to rescue puppies from pounds. How we can have intimate relations with anyone we want but just don’t go to that fanatical church. The devil, like a roaring lion, looks to see whom he may devour because his only job is to kill, steal and destroy. The glorification of the sinful nature of man is ramped up all around us. Truly we are in the days when good will be called evil and evil will be called good. By not knowing God or His promises in His Holy Word so very many have believed the lies of the devil and are perishing daily.

Brothers and Sisters let us read the Word of God while we can. Listen to the voice of God always. Tell this dieing world about He Who died for them before it is too late.

 But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. And on some have compassion, making a distinction; but others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire, hating even the garment defiled by the flesh. Jude 20-23 NKJV

Warning! Unstable conditions ahead!

Scared to Death on the Bridge

How do we react to instability in our lives? Do we frightfully hang on for dear life, as I did while crossing this rope bridge in Ireland, or do we rest easy knowing we are in the Fathers arms?

I never have been much for heights. Although I have been to the top of the Empire State building without a care and if needed I can walk most roofs but  you couldn’t get me on a roller coaster until recently.  I think the reason behind my fear of certain heights was control. If I felt like I was in control of the situation I wasn’t afraid no matter how high I was.

But we aren’t always in control of our environment or the conditions of the road ahead of us. What then? Fearfully clinging? Or resting easy? What would the Word of God encourage us to do? How would Jesus hope to see us react? I am reminded of a circumstance that Peter found himself in. Matthew records the event here.

While in a storm swept boat with the disciples Peter calls out to Jesus Who is walking on the water towards them. Peter asks Jesus to let him come to Jesus on the water and Jesus calls for him to come. Peter steps out of the boat and walks on the water to Jesus – UNTIL he takes his eyes off of Jesus and looks at the storm – THEN HE SINKS LIKE A ROCK! The disciples were fighting that storm for hours. Truly an unstable environment. Yet when Peter saw Jesus and kept his eyes on Him he overcame the circumstances around him and did the impossible – he walked on water. But when he looked around at the high waves, he was terrified and began to sink (vs. 30 TLB). But, remember, the high waves and rough seas were there before he stepped out onto the sea, they just weren’t the focus of his attention.

So, clearly we all need to remember that when the waves and storms and instabilities of life arise, we can rise above them if we focus on Jesus and not the circumstance. The following is a short list of encouraging words found in Gods Word for us all to hide in our hearts for a rainy day.

So Jesus answered and said to them, “Have faith in God. Mark 11:22

Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me.

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.  John 14:1 and 27 NIV

  There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love 1 John 4:18 NKJV

 Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God,that He may exalt you in due time, 

casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. 1 Peter 5:6

 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,  May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.  Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,  Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen. Eph 3:17-21 KJV

 

My Friends please hold His words close to your hearts because the Word tells us that there will be a time of unprecedented instability in the future (maybe our future, maybe in some distant time) but we can stand the times of emotional, economic or social instability if we stand in HIM Whom first placed our feet on solid ground.

Being confident of this very thing, that He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ Philippians 1:6 KJV

Rope bridgeCarrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge is a famous rope bridge near Ballintoy in County Antrim, Northern Ireland. The bridge links the mainland to the tiny island of Carrickarede. It spans 20 meters (66 ft) and is 30 meters (98 ft) above the rocks below. The bridge is mainly a tourist attraction and is owned and maintained by the National Trust. In 2009 it had 247,000 visitors. The bridge is open all year round (subject to weather) and people may cross it for a fee.

The Lord Reigns!!!

The Lord Reigns

The Lord Reigns

The Lord Reigns!!

 

Regardless of what we think

The Lord Reigns!

Regardless of what we see

The Lord Reigns

Regardless of what we feel

The Lord Reigns

Regardless of the nations on earth

The Lord Reigns

Regardless of the troubles we face

The Lord Reigns

The Lord Reigns

and He will be magnified in all the earth

and will show His love to you

No matter whatever you may be going threw today please take refuge under His wings and know that He reigns over all the earth and He will save you because He loves you.

What in the World is going on?

Political unrest and wars in multiple parts of the world. Sickness and diseases like the Ebola outbreak and the MERS virus are killing people in large numbers and causing concerns worldwide. Earthquakes, floods, fires, tornadoes, cyclones, hurricanes and huge swings in weather patterns producing violent rains, stifling heat with droughts as well record breaking blankets of snow with freezing temps.

In just the past few years the globe has seen all of these and more. Some site Global warming for climate change and the weather related problems.

With respect to the political upheavals some say its time for a change of the old regimes to the new. The Arab Spring saw protests and changes in nearly 20 countries across the north of Africa and the middle east. In Iraq a civil war rages long after America pulled its troops out. Russia is in the Ukraine and fierce fighting going on in Israel and Palestine. Isis is growing and fears are raised in the west.

All of this can cause one to wonder – “What in the World is going on?” But who can know what is going on? Is there anywhere to turn to find answers?

Obviously, the answer is Yes. There is somewhere you can go to get answers to the question of what in the world is going on –

Gods’ Word

– The Bible tells us about all these things and those things which are still to come.

It is God who controls the countries of the earth. He causes one to rise and another to fall. History shows us how Alexander the Great rose to power and how he built institutions of learning all around the known world. He caused everyone to learn the Greek language and when the time was right his empire fell. Later the Roman empire rose to control the known world and built highways and connected the various pieces of the empire with better trade routes. Soon after that we see our Lord ( and His followers) using these roads and the common language to Preach the Gospel. So we see that God orchestrated the rise and fall of these nations to His glory by setting the stage for the Ministry of Jesus Christ as well as the spreading of the Gospel by His followers.

Likewise, Jesus told us  And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.” Matthew 24:6-8KJV

So, these things are not a series of unrelated hysterical happens but simply a part of the plan. Yet with all that is and will be coming let us be encouraged –

See that you do not refuse Him who speaks. For if they did not escape who refused Him who spoke on earth, much more shall we not escape if we turn away from Him who speaks from heaven,  whose voice then shook the earth; but now He has promised, saying, “Yet once more I shake not only the earth, but also heaven.”  Now this, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of those things that are being shaken, as of things that are made, that the things which cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear.  For our God is a consuming fire.

Heb 12:25-29 KJV

 

He makes nations great, and destroys them; He enlarges nations, and guides them. Job 12:23 KJV

 

Tribulatios Escape

Finally, let all of us be encouraging and loving towards each other and reach out to those who have not yet found the love and grace of Jesus especially as we see these things come to pass.

Be blessed today by His Love for you!

 

If You Love Something…..

If you love something set it free
and if it comes back to you its yours
and if it doesn’t it was never was.

For decades this poem, or some version of it, has been set to music, printed on posters and repeated as sage advise to the love lorn youth.

But the truth is the concept behind this montra is much older. Its as old as time itself and continues to this very moment. That’s because the concept of setting something, or someone really, free to go and live their life and hope that they come back to you frist started with God.

Before I formed you in the womb I knew you.  Jeremiah 1:5 NKJV

That’s a statement to consider.

Taken at face value it says that we all came from God before we came from mommy! The question is will we go back? Just like the poem says – if you love something set it free. God has done just that. He loves us and He set us free. Free to make our own choice as to whether or not we will return to Him or go our own way. Free to believe in Him and His love for us. Free to trust in Him or to venture off on our own.

In this culture of being “green” why not consider the ultimate act of recycling and ….

RECYCLE YOURSELF BY TURNING TO HIM WHO REDEEMED YOU ON CALVARY’S CROSS

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Counting the Cost – Part 2 of the Hard Words Hard Work Series

But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you

Matthew 5:44 KJV

Really? How? Why? The answer to these questions can be found in the next verse recorded during our Lords’ address which came to be called – The Beatitudes.

That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.  For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?

Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect. (vs 45-48)

This is also where we find the famous “turn the other cheek” quote as well as “go the extra mile” and, as we see from the verse shown above, if you do these things we will be perfect! Ok, so maybe this doesn’t answer the question of How? and Why? But it does put to rest any doubt that this is a commend from God. Jesus said it and He meant it. Elsewhere our Lord tells us that if someone steal our coat we should find him and give him our shirt also. Yes. Really. Just such an example is illustrated in Victor Hugo’s 1862 novel in which an ex con (Valjean) is taken in by a benevolent Bishop (Myriel) and returns the hospitality by stealing the silver that night.   When the police capture Valjean, Myriel pretends that he has given the silverware to Valjean and presses him to take two silver candlesticks as well, as if he had forgotten to take them. This act of Christian kindness is the catalyst for Valjean to change his life and live for God. This is a fictitious example of what our Lord admonished us to do but an example nonetheless.

So, How do we do such a thing? Well, the answer may be found in the acceptance of the truth that we are incapable of doing such things. Yup, that’s what I said. Hard as it is for us to hear, we are limited in our ability to do anything that the Lord has asked us to do – BUT that’s because we try to do it in our own strength.

I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

Without Me (Jesus) you can do nothing. Nothing. Hard to hear that isn’t it? So how have we done whatever it is we have accomplished so far? Well, perhaps, with the help of God you have done things you thought you couldn’t do even if you didn’t ask for his help. But to answer angry with love, to give to someone who stole from you and to love those who hate you takes help. Help that is available 24/7 and is only a breath away.

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But what about the question – Why? That’s an easy one – because He said so. But if it helps, try to remember that we battle not against flesh and blood. Meaning, our fight is not with the people we see. It is a spiritual fight against the invisible forces behind them. Spirits of fear, addiction, anger, poverty, perversion and such can influence and control people to do things that can hurt us. Jesus knew this and encourages us to love because Love will conquer all.

If we can love them we will be the children of your Father which is in heaven

How wonderful is that???