Search This Blog

Loading...

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Pleasing God?

One of the biggest problems of my generation is the misconception that just because "good" things happen in our lives, God is pleased with our lives.  There are two problems with this belief.

1.  What is good
Most of us don't really understand what a "good" thing is.  We usually think of money, possessions, and societal status as the blessings of God.  And while these things can be used for God's glory, they are more often used for selfish gain and therefore become tools of Satan rather than blessings in our life.  The bible says

The love of money is the root of all kinds of evil (1 Timothy 6:10 also see 2 Timothy 3:2)

Those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be My (Jesus) disciples. (Luke 14:33)

Friendship with the world is enmity with God (James 4:4)

It is by God's grace that He warns us of these things because Satan loves to use these distractions to keep us far from God and lead us to destruction.

Humans are three part beings.  We are body, soul, and spirit.  We have to start seeking blessings that satisfy our entire triune nature and not just the superficial physical layer.  The bible lists these things as the true gifts of God: love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance, wisdom, and discernment.  These things are eternal, priceless, and will lead you into a closer relationship with God, the giver of every good and perfect gift (James 1:17).

Conclusion:  Good gifts will bring us closer to God and help build and glorify His kingdom on earth, everything else is of the world and leads to destruction.


2.  Grace and mercy
If  you are living for the world and are still receiving blessings such as health and wholeness, please don't think you're getting over on God or that He suddenly stopped caring about sin.  God blesses us when we don't deserve it out of His amazing grace and He protects us when we don't deserve it out of His overwhelming mercy.  However, we must not ignore what the bible says about our responsibility for our actions and the abuse of His grace.

Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.  For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.  (Galatians 6:7-8)

For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries.  Anyone who has rejected Moses' law dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses.  Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace?  For we know Him who said, "Vengeance is Mine, I will repay," says the Lord.  And again, "The Lord will judge His people."  It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.  (Hebrews 10:26-31)

Conclusion:  God isn't dumb, blind, or sleeping.  He is not pleased with our sin and unless we have a sincere change of heart, we will be held responsible.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Challenge: Decide, Believe, Commit

Ok, so here's the challenge this week.

We need to make some decisions.  Many of us can't boast on our God because we don't know what He stands for and why we believe what we believe.  This is a dangerous situation to be in because it invites easy deception and leaves us with no foundation on which to build our faith.

For example, I have the luxury of being completely secure in my marriage, not because my husband and I are such great people, but because we know what the bible says about marriage and that's where we place our faith.

Husbands, love your wives as Christ loved the church and gave His life for it,  Ephesians 5:25

Knowing this verse alone brings comfort, but to really build our faith we have to understand how Christ loved the church (church = ekklesia in the Greek : called out ones; assembly).

In 1 Corinthians 13, Paul tells us what Christ's love looks like.
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.  
1 Corinthians 13:4-7

In Romans 8, Paul convinces us of the strength of Christ's love.
For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.  Romans 8:38-39

Imagine every husband loving his wife like this!  Because I know these verses and my husband's commitment to them, I cannot be deceived by temptations of divorce, abuse, or unfaithfulness.  So I am confident in my relationship because I know that we are both committed to the Word of God first and each other second.

These are the kind of discussions we need to have with ourselves about many other issues in our lives.  Are we committed to the Word of God first or do we make idols of our friends, families, and emotions?

I invite you to start with the list below and identify what the bible has to say about these issues.  Many times we try to ignore such topics and end up finding ourselves in compromising positions.  Trust me, it is much easier to stay committed to your beliefs when you make up your mind about the issue before you're pressured.  My husband and I didn't wait until our first argument to decide that love should be patient.  Most likely, by then it would have been too late.

1. Heaven and Hell
2. Alcohol
3. Abortion
4. Homosexuality
5. Premarital sex
6. Money (Gambling, greed, tithes, etc)
7. Marriage (Divorce, unsaved partners, submission, respect)

It is great to be able to discuss these issues with other believers, but the bible should always be the final authority.  If anyone has trouble finding biblical references for any of the topics, feel free to email me at kalonda@att.blackberry.net

Monday, August 15, 2011

How to Deal with Spiritual Letdown

If we are all honest with ourselves, we have all encountered times in our lives during which we felt let down or disappointed by God.  So how do we deal with these instances without giving in to the temptations to blaspheme, doubt, and give up on God?

1.  Go to your father (1 Peter 5:6-7)-God cares for us.  He is not just our Lord, He is our Father.  He has promised never to leave us or forsake us.  He has promised that all things shall work together for our good, and He has promised to deliver us from all afflictions (Note:  He didn't say we wouldn't be afflicted, but that we would be delivered from the trouble).  God asks us to be anxious for nothing, but make all our requests known to Him.  Through Jesus' sacrifice we are allowed to go boldly before the throne of grace and seek mercy to help us in our time of need.  All we have to do is humble ourselves, be still, and know that He is God and He is a rewarder of those that diligently seek Him.

2.  Pick up the Sword of the Spirit (Ephesians 6:17)-The Sword of the Spirit, or the Word of God, is the only offensive weapon described in the armor of God.  This is important because doubt is a spiritual attack and we must know how to defend ourselves.  We see in Genesis that doubt is how Satan deceived Eve into eating the forbidden fruit and we know how that ended.  We also note a distressed John the Baptist doubting Jesus when facing his imminent death in prison.  Jesus responded by telling John's messengers to report that He gave sight to the blind, healed the lame, cleansed the leper and preached the gospel to the poor.  Jesus wasn't bragging by sending His resume, He was referring John back to the Word of God that described what the anointing of the Christ would be.  By identifying God's character we are comforted in our situations and our hope and confidence are restored through Christ.

3.  Keep good company (Hebrews 10:25)-Satan loves when we convince ourselves that we can do this Christian thing all by ourselves.  If that were the case, God would have never said that it was not good for man to be alone or do not forsake the assembling of yourselves together.  It is absolutely vital for us to connect with likeminded believers, especially in times of distress.  Friends in the faith understand spiritual warfare, they know the power of the tongue, and they shine light on dark situations.  Kingdom friends will remind you that greater is He that is in you than He that is in the world.  They will remind you that you are more than a conqueror through Christ Jesus.  The bible says that where there is unity, God will command a blessing.

I encourage you all to hang on in the midst of trouble.  We are all seeds of God planted in dark places.  As we grow we face storms and challenges of many kinds, but each weathered storm strengthens our resolve. Those that withstand the winds and endure to the end produce a multitude of fruit and are granted a sure reward.

As I was writing I realized I was including a lot of bible references, so I was inspired to add a little friendly competition to this post :-)  The person who can email me a list of the most bible verses referenced in this post by the end of the week will win a special prize!  There will be a tiebreaker in the case of a tie.

kalonda@att.blackberry.net

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Patience is a virtue

According to Galatians 5, patience, or longsuffering, is a fruit of the spirit.  So what does this mean?  Well when we accepted Jesus Christ as our personal Lord and Savior, His Spirit came to dwell in us.  It is the quiet leading of the Holy Spirit that urges us to pursue holiness and steer clear of sin.  So Galatians is telling us that if we submit to the leading of the Spirit, patience should show in our lives.  We do not have to pray for patience.  The seed for patience has already been deposited into every child of God.  Situations and circumstances force that seed to develop into the virtue that God has promised, but only when we submit to the watering and nurturing from the Spirit within us.

Just a little truth to meditate on today.  I know this is a hard principle to put into practice, but it wouldn't be in the Bible if it weren't for our own good.

Lord help us to acknowledge and accept the truth of your Word and live our lives in ways that are pleasing to you.
Amen

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

RenovateLife Campaign BOAST

Ok so during my blog break the Lord also gave me a couple other ministry ideas I would love to share with you all.  The overall ministry vision is called RenovateLife Ministries.  This ministry was inspired by Romans 12:1-2,

I beseech you therefore brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.  And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. (NKJV)


RenovateLife will use different avenues to encourage all who call themselves Christians to fully submit to God's sanctification and to live boldly and completely for Christ.

The first branch of RenovateLife that God is manifesting is Campaign BOAST.  This campaign is an effort to unify the body of Christ in a bold declaration of power and holiness.  I have noticed that all too often we are afraid to take a stand on issues because of other's feelings or opinions.  Campaign BOAST does not advocate hatred or ill will for anybody, however we refuse to compromise or be ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ (Romans 1:16).  It is ok to disagree with homosexuality and abortion.  It is ok to abstain from alcohol and premarital sex.  It is ok to believe in miracles and the love and mercy of an almighty God.      Satan has done a great job of isolating believers from each other, and this has caused many of us to walk around living apathetic, lukewarm, ineffective Christian lives.  But I propose that it is time for us to be Bold, Obedient, Active, Steadfast, and Thankful about our relationship with the King of kings.

"Let not the wise boast of their wisdom or the strong boast of their strength or the rich boast of their riches, but let the one who boasts boast about this:  that they have the understanding to know me, that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness, justice, and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight," declares the Lord
Jeremiah 9:23-24 (NIV)

You can choose any of the following methods to join this campaign and stay abreast of new initiatives:

1.  Subscribe as a follower to this blog
2.  Become a friend on facebook by searching for RenovateLife Campaign Boast
3.  Send me an email at kalonda@att.blackberry.net

Welcome Back to Me!

Hi family!  I hope things are going well for you.  I know it has been a long time since I wrote last, but things got really hectic for a while.  My husband and I were blessed to purchase our first home together and before we could really get settled we found out we were pregnant!  Little Naomi Ruth is due to arrive November 22, 2011 so please keep her in your prayers.  In other news we had the opportunity to go on our first mission trip to Montego Bay, Jamaica and I participated in my first women's retreat with Mt. Hebron Church Ministries.  We have had a great time with everything and we have really been able to see God move in our lives and the lives of those around us.  Feel free to share your stories with us in the comments section.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

New song, devotion, and prayer request!

The song this week is Encore by James Fortune and F.I.Y.A.  It is a great reminder to us all to never forget where God has brought us from and to use those memories as inspiration to get us through the next storm.
Song of the Week:  Encore

The devotion this week is a last entury prayer from Tozer.  It is a beautiful prayer of commitment to God.  I suggest that we all read and meditate on this prayer everyday for a week.  I realize that this is a serious commitment and all of us may not feel ready to speak this prayer from the heart.  But I ask that we are honest with ourselves and realize that total submission as shown in this prayer is the ultimate goal.
Devotion:  Commitment Prayer

The prayer request this week is for continued support of the Christians in Egypt.  This article was encouraging because justice was served, but it also shows the dire need for continued prayer.
Pray for the Saints:  Egypt