Thursday, March 20, 2014

Reflections


And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.
-Galatians 4:6-7

I read this in my devotions this morning and it stuck out to me. I have been listening to a chorus cd that has the song, "Can the World See Jesus?" that talks about the people around you being able to see Christ in the way you live and have been thinking a lot about whether those around me, Christians and non-Christians, can see Christ living in me. Then reading these verses made me think, not only can they see Christ living in me, does the way I live reflect that I am a daughter of God? Which, if I have Christ living in me also points back to the fact that I am a daughter of God.
 
I had to think of the body of water pictured above. See how the blue of the sky and the surrounding scenery is reflected in water. I have to think that is how our lives should be. We should reflect the fact that Christ is in our life as well as reflect with what kind of people we are surrounding ourselves. That is why it is so important to have a good group of friends around us, along with people we can reach out and minister to.

This next verse that I thought of that, can in a way, go along with the whole idea of reflecting Christ, gives us some areas that we are to be an examples of believers. I believe if we are able to exemplify Christ in each of these areas, those around us will be able to see Christ in us, and know we are a son or daughter of God!
 
Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity. 
-1 Timothy 4:12
 
Breaking each one of the areas we are to be an example in: 
In word. Meaning, does the way I talk and hold conversation make people think that I am a child of God or does the way I talk make them wonder. Also some commentaries would say this has to do with doctrine and teaching nothing but the truth of God. I think the two go hand in hand, teaching the truth of God and speaking.
In conversation: Conducting myself in every way of life that shows those around me for who I am living my life
In charity: In love to God and all men; show that this is my principle and motive in all my conduct
In spirit: In the way and attitude with which I do all things; How often do we do things that are holy and charitable with an unholy or uncharitable spirit? Then to us as the doer, work done in this spirit is unfruitful.
In faith: All the time, in any trial, show other believers around you, by your example, how they ought to keep an unshaken confidence in God
In purity: In chastity of body and mind, in opposition of impurity of the flesh; and it may also refer back to all the was said to before, purity in word, conversation, charity, spirit and faith
 
So my challenge to you is to look at your life and see if the way you are living is a reflection of being a child of God and having Christ living in you. My prayer is that Christ will shine through me, each and every day! May God bless you as you walk thru the rest of this week.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Surrender and Allowing God to Work

 
I have been so blessed with the way God has been showing and teaching me things. At one point in my life, I was willing to just live my life, go to church, and pretty much do my own thing without any thought of how God wanted me to live. I no longer want to live that way. I want to live my life for Christ and also that those around me can see Christ in me! I have come to the conclusion that until you really surrender everything to Him and are willing to allow Him to have total control of your life, you really aren't living.
 
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
-Romans 12:1-2

I won't tell you that surrendering to God and allowing Him have total control is easy, because it isn't. Surrendering is a daily process, but the results are so worth it! You are able to live your life in freedom and your life will be filled with such peace and joy! And having that peace and joy in your life is so amazing. It is really indescribable. You almost need to experience it for yourself and when you do, you will understand what I mean!

Sometimes hard things come along that you have to make a decision about. But I have found that by abiding in God and by already having surrendered that area of my life to Him, it is so much easier praying about the problem and then being able to rest in Him. And you know what is so awesome about praying about the problem and giving it to God? It is stepping back and allowing Him to work and seeing the way He works in your life and with the problem. Recently God has shown this to me in a mighty way. I was wrestling with something and just wasn't sure what to do. I prayed about it, sought council and then stepped back and watched God work. He gave me the wisdom and strength to face the things I needed to do. The awesome thing was how He worked everything out, gave me the words to say, and I was able to walk away encouraged and blessed. It has been so amazing watching God work in my life and I am truly excited to see how He will continue to work in my life!

We serve an amazing God and I can testify that He will help you through whatever you are facing and He will give you the strength and grace you need to face whatever is in front of you! All He asks, is that we surrender everything to Him and trust that He knows what is best!

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.
-Jeremiah 29:11

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Loving Others

 
My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.
-1 John 3:18
 
This is something I read in my devotions this morning and it stuck with me. I have been thinking a lot about loving those in your life who are hard to love. But what I keep coming back to is, when we are able to love those people, regardless of how they act and treat us, it isn't us who is loving them. It is by us living our lives for Christ and abiding in Him and Him in us, that we are able to love those people. It is God's love in us, that gives us the ability to love those that our flesh would have no desire to love!
 
Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. 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.
-John 15:4-5

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Importance of Friends

 
Something that has been a lot on my mind lately is friends, both Christian and non-Christian. All my life I have been able to be around people who believe and live different than me, due to my dad having his own business and we as a family, having the opportunity to meet all kinds of people. Being able to see that although people come from different backgrounds, it doesn't change that we all are human, has shaped how I view people.
 
Over the last few years, God has brought people into my life who are of different upbringing and backgrounds that where I came from. Each person that I have had the privilege of coming into contact with has taught me something. Not only have they taught me something about myself, they also have taught me something about how I view people and treat people.
 
One of my friends, I met through my owning horses. She is older than me by quite a bit and I met her via an online site. *Note: I didn't know any horse people in the area where I live at the time and I was on horsechannel.com (a horse site) and I met a lot of my horse friends that way. I was able to meet quite a few of them in person (with my parents permission) and I have made some lasting friends that way. Thankfully I have been able to find some horse people in my area :) We have that common interest (horses), among other things. I am thankful that God brought her into my life for a lot of reasons. One of them being, that I may be able to be a witness to her and show her what Christ's love looks like. Another reason being, that I have been far more thankful of the heritage I have and being able to see how very blessed I am, to be able to grow up in a Christian home! I have known her, coming up on 5 years and in that time, she has taught me many things. But one of the most important things she has taught me is that, though it may be hard, we need to love the sinner. I believe they should know (as well as see by our actions) that we live our lives differently. By us living our lives differently, and them seeing that, should cause them to want what we have!
 
It has been a constant challenge to me, to make sure that I am living my life according to the way God wants me to live it. If I am not living my life right, how will those who are looking on be able to desire what I have?
 

“Be careful how you live; you will be the only Bible some people ever read.”

-William J Toms
 
It can be so hard to have friends who are not Christians. I have seen my friend go through some difficult things and if she would only know God, she would have Someone to help her through those difficult times! The one thing that I am constantly challenged with, is to stay true to my convictions. That though I am friends with those who do not believe the same way I do, my desire is, to not compromise what I believe.
 
That is why it is so  important, while it is good to have friends who are non Christians, to have friends who are solid Christians. They will be able to tell you if you are not standing strong on your convictions and growing in your Christian life. That is something I am so thankful for, is true, Christian friends. They have been such an encouragement to me and have been there for me through thick and thin!
 
I feel like this post was a bit scattered but I hope you may walk away encouraged. My challenge to you is, be friends to those who don't believe the same as you, or are not Christians, and you never know, the seeds you plant, someday may sprout! But at the same time, surround yourself with Christian friends who will be an encouragement to you, as well as help keep you grounded, as you minister to those around you!
 
A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity. -Proverbs 17:17

Monday, March 3, 2014

Trusting in God


I have a few blog posts running thru my mind but I can only write one at a time :) I guess I will write this one on what I have been experiencing a lot lately, and that is trusting in God and how that has affected my relationship with Him.

February was quite a month spiritually. I had some hard decisions to make, as I said in an earlier post, and through making those decisions I had a choice to make. I could try to handle it all on my own, or I could trust it to God. I chose to trust God and allowed Him to take control of the situation and work it out in the way He saw fit. And you know, looking back, I know the decision I made was the right one. I also know that I didn't do it on my own and only by my giving it to God, was the reason that it turned out the way it has! Along the way, I asked for guidance from my parents and ladies I respect in the church, and they gave me invaluable advice!

Then this past week I had something else come up. I chose to give the matter to God, instead of handling it on my own. And you know, He came through as He always does. He answered my prayer in a way I wasn't expecting at all but I can see His hand in the whole matter. And through this entire process I have been seeing, the more I trust God and allow Him to have His way in my life, the more I want to serve Him. I also have noticed that the more I trust in Him, the more joy and peace He blesses me with! I feel so blessed to be able to serve such an awesome God, who loves and cares for His children!

So my challenge to you, is to trust in God, no matter what you are facing. Give it to God and allow Him to work through you and your situation. He will show Himself strong in you life, but only if you allow Him to!

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.
—Philippians 4:6 nasb