Saturday, August 12, 2017

NO! NO! NO!

No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him. 1 Corinthians 2:9 (NIV)

"Pick him up and put him in a seat," I told the distraught father who was trying to persuade his kindergarten son to get on my school bus. The frightened boy cried and screamed "No! No! No!" As soon as the father set his son in a seat, like a streak of lightning, he was out the door before his dad could catch him.

Once again the father picked up his crying son, trying to console him. As soon as he was carried to the bus door, the boy planted his feet on each side of the door and locked his knees so his dad couldn't get him into the bus. It was plain to see the boy had never ridden a bus before and was traumatized by its size.

I had waited longer than my schedule allowed, so I told the dad to get on and ride to school with his son to calm him down. I would drop him off here on my way back to the bus lot.

Isn't this the way many balk at giving in to the gentle nudging of the Holy Spirit? The little boy didn't know all the exciting things he was going to learn. We don't know all the wonderful things God has prepared for those who love Him either. We do know that it will be better and more abundant than anything we know or will ever experience in this life.

Father, calm our fears. May Your gracious love draw us to You, running.

© 2017  Evelyn B. Ryan

Friday, August 4, 2017

GOD'S PEOPLE IN THE MIDST OF THE BATTLE

The great dragon was hurled down-that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him. Revelation 12: 9 (NIV)

I recently met a young lady who stated very casually, “I do not believe in God anymore. I have not been to church for 12 years.” Her life experiences of drug addiction and the loss of her brother in the past year to a drug overdose have surely influenced her conclusion.  

How can we, as Christ followers, respond to such a statement? I know it stopped me cold, but my desire is to reach those who are lost. God’s Word reveals that Satan is the ruler of the earth. We know firsthand that he is the enemy. His strong presence in this world is manifested everywhere.

God challenges us to prepare a response based on His Word. We acknowledge this fallen world, filled with injustice, hate, poverty, disease, and wars. When this has been a part of one’s life, despair grips the very soul and stomps on hope.  

Meditate, prepare, and be ready to give your response. We grieve the lost, who are filled with despair. Share your stories, pointing to your favorite scriptures which have brought light into your darkness. This world is ruled by Satan, and God’s Word illuminates this truth. Our hope comes from above, not in this world where Satan reigns. Become a friend and initiate further conversation about the God of Hope, Our Reigning King, Jesus Christ.

Father, equip us to meet people where they are, and point to You, our source of Light in the darkness.


© 2017 Marianne Lucot

Sunday, July 30, 2017

SKYLIGHTS TO HEAVEN


This is the day the Lord hath made I will rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24 (KJV)

The sunshine feels so wonderful today! There is nothing like days of rain to renew our appreciation of the sun.
Taking a break, I’m sitting on the porch looking up into the azure blue sky through sparkling, clean skylights.

Moments ago I was on the porch roof cleaning them. Completing my task and straightening my back to enjoy the view I gazed up into the sky overwhelmed with thankful praise for my Father in Heaven.
My senses were invigorated by the warm sun on my skin and the sound of leaves clapping in the breeze. Thankfulness for being able to accomplish this task wells up in my heart. My body allows me to. I am especially appreciative after my tumble down a flight of stairs a year-and-a-half ago. God chose to save me early that morning and heal my body and brain with only slight memory deficits remaining. From time to time I am reminded by something forgotten.

It keeps me humble.
Looking up I wonder, "Why God? Why do You choose to bless me so much when there are those who suffer? Why are some healed and not others? Why do some die and others live?" He does not answer at this time, but His love reassures me that His way is perfect.

Again, I am humbled. These are His mysteries. Some day maybe we will know or possibly it will no longer be important. Until then, I will accept each day and remember to rejoice and be glad for one more.
Father, You are the giver and keeper of all our days. I rejoice, thanking You for each one. Amen.

 © 2017 Bonnie Mae Evans

Friday, July 21, 2017

SONS AND DAUGHTERS OF THE KING

Do you know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 1st Corinthians 6:16 (NIV)

When I petitioned Jesus through the sinners’ prayer, to be my Lord and Savior, I knew He was with me. As I have continued on my faith journey, I have come to fully embrace that God’s Spirit is in me. Indeed, His Spirit can transform me every day.

All who are Christ followers can be in constant communion with His indwelling Spirit. As we spend time studying and reflecting on God’s Word, we begin to understand the nature of God. This allows us to recognize His voice and then we will begin to surrender to His Spirit within us.

We must also honor God’s Spirit dwelling within us, by caring for our physical bodies. Cultivating good habits for our nutritional intake, exercise routine, and sleep will improve and sustain our health even into our later years. We will be able to run the race He has set before us as His sons and daughters.  We will be His witnesses to the ends of the earth, offering our bodies as living sacrifices.

God will direct our steps throughout each day. He will calm our fears and anger, which come from the enemy. God’s Spirit will fill us with hope, joy and compassion. Each day will be filled with the Holy Spirit, pouring forth onto all whom we encounter. Our bodies will have become His temple, a conduit through which His Will can be done.

Father, may we train our bodies and our minds, to be open to and ready for Your Spirit to move in amazing ways


© 2017 Marianne Lucot

Friday, July 14, 2017

PROMISES


Who then, is the man that fears the Lord? He will instruct him in the way chosen for him.
Psalm 25:12 (NIV)

Weekly I go to our local jail to lead a group in discussing a program titled “Overcomers”. Most of the men who come to the group say they are already Christians. Yesterday, as I began our session, one asked how I was doing. I responded with the story of how I had been surprised by all four of my children, some coming hundreds of miles, for a celebration of my 80th birthday. The subject of our session was “Victory,” pointing out that we who have given our lives to Jesus are victors in life. This soon led to a discussion of what it means to be a child of God.

They pointed out that, in some respects at least, my life has been blessed more than theirs. For at least one of them, there came a new awareness that, as a child of God, he is a victor and not a victim in life.

Psalm 25 tells the story of why. For those who lift up their soul to God, there is a promise of instruction on how to live in a way that leads to “prosperity and descendants who will inherit the land.”in other words, a life of blessings and victories. The process is simple in concept: 1) we turn to God for instruction, 2) through the Bible and other means and circumstances, God instructs us in the way that leads to true life, and 3) God pours out His blessings in many ways.

Our God makes promises and keeps them.


© 2017, Parker Wayland