God’s Will or My Will?


Scripture for the day: Psalm 32:8 “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye.”

I strive to do God’s will, but I sometimes struggle with His call on my life. Is it His will or my own? Am I listening to the voice of God or the crowd? Am I being obedient or self-serving?

I have learned through experience that I am happier when I am in God’s will than when I am not. I tried life without Him after my father died, and I was miserable. I was happy at times, but the deep abiding joy that only comes from a relationship with the Father was missing. I returned to Him on my knees and will never leave again.

Through my cancer diagnosis, treatment and recovery God has given me a special purpose. I am able to understand, at least partially, what cancer patients are dealing with. Some patients have it much worse than I did, but I have a better idea than someone who has never been diagnosed with cancer. I thank Him daily for my restored health and the ministry He has given me.

Sometimes, though, His will for my life is vague. I don’t have a clear sense of direction or purpose. It is at those times that I remember this scripture and go to His Word. On a daily basis, I am to love the Lord my God. I am also supposed to love my neighbor. Not just the neighbors I like, but all of them. He also threw enemies in the mix, although I’m not aware of many of those in my life. I’m to be generous with my time and my talents, my money. I’m to let the Holy Spirit work in me, control me.

Goodness. Maybe I don’t need a specific task! I think I have enough to do just from His Word. Maybe I just need to study my Bible more and be obedient to what I find on those pages.  It seems like a good place to start.

Song for the day:  “Savior Like a Shepherd Lead Us”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SooFL-X7vnk

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My Ark


Scripture for the day:  Genesis 6:5-8 “Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.  And the Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart.  So the Lord said, ‘I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them.’  But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.”

Fast forward from Noah’s time to now.  Nothing has changed.  Wickedness and evil are prevalent in our hearts today just as in Noah’s day, and I’m sure the Lord is grieved.

God had instructed Noah to build an ark, and he did so.  He was obedient to God’s call on his life.  2 Peter 2:5 says, “and did not spare the ancient world, but saved Noah, one of eight people, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood on the world of the ungodly.”  

God had Noah build an ark, a place of safety, and when the time was right God invited Noah inside and shut him in.  God closed the door.  Noah had done all that God commanded him to do, and He kept him safe.  Genesis 7:1 “Then the Lord said to Noah, ‘Come into the ark, you and all your household, because I have seen that you are righteous before Me in this generation.”  God kept His promise to Noah and protected him because he was righteous in God’s eyes.

With all the evil in our world, it isn’t hard to believe that God is fed up with man, grieved in His heart.  The day of judgment is at hand.  Our ark is in the atoning blood of Jesus.  Just as pitch kept the ark sealed and safe, Jesus is our safe place.  Jesus will protect us when the flood of God’s judgment comes upon the earth.  His shed blood covers those who have accepted Him and have been granted His grace.

When will God’s patience with man end?  Will it be today, tomorrow, next year?  Matthew 24:36 says “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only.”  It’s time to get ready.  The day of judgment is nigh.

Song for the day:  One Day

“Living, He loved me; dying, He saved me; buried, He carried my sins far away; rising, He justified freely forever:  One day He’s coming–O glorious day!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What am I Worth?


I haven’t written anything for two months.  I was questioning whether or not I should continue to write this blog.  Several things influenced my decision to continue.  First and foremost, I feel God has called me to do this.  I am called to tell others about Jesus, and this is my venue.  So I continue to write for Him.  Another factor in my decision was community.  This blog has become my outlet for expression.  This is my “front porch”, my “backyard fence” where ideas are exchanged and discussed.  I like being a part of this community, and so I would miss the exchanges if I didn’t participate.  And last, but not least, several have wondered where I had gone.  They were kind enough to say they missed my words, and so I am back.  May God get the glory.

Scripture for the day:  Isaiah 43:4a “Since you were precious in My sight, you have been honored, and I have loved you;”

I’m thinking today about worth.  What is it?  The dictionary defines it as the quality that renders something desirable or valuable or useful.  So how does that apply to me?  Am I valuable?  useful?  desirable?  This scripture says I am precious to God, honored and loved.

But how does the world see me?  Am I old?  used up?  worthless?  Some days it may feel that way if I listen to the youth-oriented commercials.  But I choose to listen to what God has to say through His Word.  From His perspective, my worth has nothing to do with my activities, feelings or accomplishments.  Nothing I do of my own goodness or in my own strength is of any value to God.  Isaiah 64:6a says “But we are all like an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags;”

Because of Christ – not because of anything else – I am of highest worth.  I am a “Grace Girl” – not perfect but changed by God’s unconditional love.  I am restored to beauty by the shed blood of Christ on the cross.  I am His daughter, precious, worthy, loved.

Because of what Christ did on the cross, I can be clothed in the “robe of righteousness.”  2 Corinthians 5:21 says “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”

So the next time Satan comes shooting his darts of worthlessness, remember it is a big lie.  Don’t live a life in defeat!  You are a child of the King!  Live the life He meant you to live:  worthy, precious, forgiven.  Here’s a good verse of Scripture to have in your arsenal for that day.  Isaiah 49:15-16 “Yet I will not forget you.  See, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands;”

Am I worthy?  You bet I am!  I am a King’s Kid, a Grace Girl and I will hold my head high and proudly wear my robe of righteousness.  Christ paid with His life so that I might wear that robe.  He meant it just for me!  I wear it proudly and proclaim the name of the One who gave it to me.

Song for the day:  “I Stand Amazed” by Chris Tomlin

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GFpLS7ucUQE

 

Morning Glories


Scripture for the day:  2 Timothy 1:5 “when I call to remembrance the genuine faith that is in you, which dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am persuaded is in you also.”

I have a morning-glory vine climbing the bird feeder pole (and everything else) outside my kitchen window.  Every morning I am greeted by a mass of pink, purple, blue and white flowers.  They are spectacular, definitely worth getting up to see.  I am dazzled by their beauty.

I also have patches of wild sunflowers growing wild in the fringes of my yard.  They, too, are spectacular, masses of bright yellow flowers.  They are very eye-catching, and they are especially attractive to the goldfinch in my yard.  Again, dazzling.

My yard is also full of oak trees.  They are tall and majestic.  They provide shelter for the birds, a playground for the squirrels, much-needed shade and beauty.  They were here when we cleared ground for our house 37 years ago, and they will be here long after we are gone.  They have withstood wind, hail, ice storms, insects and drought.  And yet they stand, steadfast and strong.

I am thinking today of Christians.  Some are like the morning-glory vine and wild sunflowers in my yard.  They pop up, dazzle everyone for a short while, and then they are gone.  Poof.  Then there are those Christians who are steadfast in their faith.  They never waver, never falter, always stand firm in their belief.  They may not dazzle, but they shine.  The light of Jesus illuminates their life and everything around them.

I want to be a mighty oak.  I want to be grounded in the Word, steadfast in my belief and ready to share with the world.  Maybe I can even convince a few morning glories and sunflowers to join me.

Song for the day:  “Faith of Our Fathers”

I am reminded of my parents, grandparents, many aunts and uncles who were mighty oaks for the cause of Christ.  May I be like they were.  May others see that same faith in me.  I want to be like Timothy, faithful, resolute, steadfast.

Jesus, Jesus, Jesus


Scripture for the day:  Deuteronomy 30:15-16 “See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil, in that I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in His ways, and to keep His commandments, His statutes, and His judgments, that you may live and multiply, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land which you go to possess.”  Deuteronomy 30:19 “I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live;”

I go to the oncologist tomorrow.  It is something I have done every three months for almost five years now.  It should be very routine by now, but I am still anxious every time.

I visited with a friend yesterday who had ovarian cancer and was in remission.  She found out a few months ago that she has two spots on her lungs and two spots on her kidneys, all metastatic ovarian cancer.  She is back in treatment.  As I listened to her story yesterday, it was hard not to jump into the black hole of tomorrow and see myself sitting in a recliner with poison dripping into my body . . . again.

BUT WHY?  Why would I want to go there?  As this scripture says, I have a choice between life and death, blessing and cursing.  I belong to Jesus.  He paid with His life to give me access to the throne of grace.  Why would I want to dissolve in worry and grief over something that may never happen?  Satan would love that.  I would be weak, ineffective, afraid.  My witness would be nil.  I would be silenced.

I choose LIFE.  I choose BLESSING.  I choose JESUS.  So today when nagging thoughts about tomorrow’s tests come into my mind I will simply say “I choose Jesus”.  I will walk triumphantly into the cancer clinic confident in the One holding my hand.  I pray my tumor marker will be down, but I will be OK either way.

I choose Jesus.

Song for the day:  “He Keeps Me Singing”

“Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, sweetest name I know, fills my every longing, keeps me singing as I go.”

This will be my song tomorrow, and I will not be afraid.

 

My Boat


Scripture for the day:  Mark 4:37-41 “And a great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that it was already filling.  But He was in the stern, asleep on a pillow.  And they awoke Him and said to Him, ‘Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?’ Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, ‘Peace, be still!’ And the wind ceased and there was a great calm.  But He said to them, ‘Why are you so fearful?  How is it that you have no faith?’ And they feared exceedingly, and said to one another, ‘Who can this be, that even the wind and the sea obey Him!’”

I heard a sermon about this scripture Sunday, and I started thinking about the seas and boats in my life.  Sometimes external forces buffet my boat, and I am tossed about.  Sometimes I stand up in my boat, flail around and cause my boat to take on water.  Cancer was a hidden danger lurking below the murky waters of my life.  I didn’t see it, and I couldn’t avoid it.  It simply caused the waters of my life to be very turbulent and scary.  There are other times that I rock my own boat.  Because of poor decisions or bad judgement, I put my boat in a perilous situation.

Fortunately, though, I know the One Who can calm the seas.  I know the One the wind obeys.  And so I call on Him.  One word from Him, one touch can reset everything in my life.  The wind that is buffeting my boat calms, but sometimes it is harder to settle me.

I am praying for the faith to not worry, not be fearful.  All is right in my boat because I know the One who calms the seas.  I rest in Him today.

Song for the day:  “Sometimes He Calms the Storm” by Scott Krippayne

www.youtube.com/watch?v=3BMIJHZSavo

Body of Christ


Scripture for the day:  Hebrews 10:24-25 “And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.”

I am so thankful for my church family!  It is such a joy to worship together, share our joys, our sorrows and learn more about God.  This Sunday was just such a time of praise, fellowship and worship.  Love filled our church, and it was a balm for my soul.

I am thanking my God for every believer, every brother and sister in Christ.  Together we are the body of Christ; alone we are much weaker and more vulnerable.  May we remember to pray for each other daily, sharing in our lives through intercession and concern.  May we put our differences aside and focus on our strength in You and our mission for You.  Equip us, Father, to do Your work, share Your message, embrace Your peace and joy.

Song for the day:  “To the Work”

“Toiling on; let us hope, let us watch, and labor till the Master comes.”

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