There’s life in there yet!

“Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die, for I have not found your works perfect before God.”  Rev. 3:2

Is there a spiritual discipline in your life that’s ready to die?  Has your worship begun to wither, or your prayer life been declining?  What is it that’s dying?  When that happens, we know it.

We must take inventory today of the things which remain.  It is time to strengthen them.  It’s not time to simply “give up the ghost” on those things and let what will be just be.  No!  It is time to strengthen what remains!

The hour of Jesus’ return is upon us, but is not yet here.  We who overcome will be clothed in white, our names confessed before the Father, and will inherit all things the Father has in store for his children.

Let us take the time to strengthen what remains and allow the Holy Spirit to breathe new life into our relationship with Him.  We are not done for or so far gone that we cannot be renewed!  Now is the time!  Today is the day!

“Behold, the tabernacle of God is with Him, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people.  God Himself will be with them and be their God.  And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying.  There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”  Rev. 21:3-4

Looking forward,

jamie

Those enticing deceptions

Pr. 7:27:  “Her house is the way to hell, descending to the chambers of death.”

This chapter in Proverbs is speaking about the immoral woman and the young youth who yielded to her enticements.

Certainly he was not the first one to whom this has happened.  We have all been seduced by sin.  We must learn by our mistakes; however, and the mistakes of those around us.  We can see clearly that the end result of sin is death and hell.

We don’t want to believe that.  We really want to justify and rationalize.  We are so good at trying to figure out the loopholes.  Sin is attractive.  Just like this harlot, sin is alluring.  It fascinates us with its sensations.  The rationalizations that accompany it tempt us to believe that it can all work out.

However, just as this simple youth was led to the slaughter by this enchantment, we are also led to death when we succumb.

Hebrews 3:13 reminds us to “exhort one another daily, while it is called “Today,” lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.”

Sin is deceitful.  The rationalizations and justifications that accompany sin are deceitful.  The bewitching package of sin is deceitful.  It is all a ploy.  Satan wants us to give in to sin.  He wants us to allow our flesh to win the war against the Spirit.

When faced with this seducing bait, we must remember that the desires of the flesh and the desires of the Spirit are contrary to one another.  We cannot live in intentional sin and still be walking in the Spirit.  That is a lie.  If we find ourselves believing this, we have been hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.

We must be vigilant to guard ourselves from giving into temptation.  We must continue to feed on the Word of God and allow His Spirit to be our guide.  Temptations will still be presented, but when we are walking in the Spirit, His wisdom will keep us from stepping where we should not.

Jesus is still on the throne where He is able to aid those who are tempted.  (Heb. 2:18)  We have the ultimate ally, who will literally supply us with every single provision we need to stay true to His desires.  Let’s take advantage of all we’ve been given through Him.

With Jesus, there is life, and the victory of death has already been won!  Instead of allowing sin to lead us to the slaughter, we can allow Jesus to lead us to eternal life.  Praise God for this amazing blessing!!

It’s still Today!

jamie

Turn it off

Pr. 14:7:  “Go from the presence of a foolish man, when you do not perceive in him the lips of knowledge.”

This verse could be talking about a lot of things.

Turn off that song when you realize the lyrics are giving you knowledge that is against what the Word says is beautiful, true, and for eternal life.

Turn off that movie or that tv show when you realize that you’re learning to become desensitized to sin and neglectful of your real purpose on this earth.

Turn off that podcast when it is teaching you something other than reliance on the Lord as your Source and your Strength.

Turn off the computer or your phone when you find yourself reading or looking at things that are draining your devotion to, or your knowledge and understanding of the Holy One.

Turn off that relationship when you know it’s not of God.

Turn off your ears when hear someone preaching a different God or Jesus than the One of the Bible.

How can we know when it’s time to ‘turn it off’?  We must know the Word.  When we know the Word, we understand more easily what things are true, noble, just, pure, lovely, of good report, virtuous, and praiseworthy.  (Ph. 4:8)

It’s ok!  Just turn it off.

Satan tries to distract us in the flesh, but God’s knowledge gives us life.

Jesus is the One who said, “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing.  The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are LIFE!”  (John 6:63…exclamation mark and capitalization added by me)

Wanting more Life,

jamie

The beauty of church

I went to church yesterday feeling tired, heavy, and regretful.

I taught my 5th graders in Sunday school about 3 superheros named Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego.  Even in the face of great pain and death, they stood up for what was right, and because of their conviction, others could literally see God, and came to believe that He was the Most High God.

What is the worst thing we can do about this story?  Forget.  Without reminding ourselves of what God can do and has done, we forget that we can be delivered from the fiery furnaces in our own lives.  We forget that if we stand up for and believe in God, even in our painful situation, others may be able to see God and come to believe that He is the Most High God, as well.

During the church service I was reminded that anything I can’t stop thinking about is an idol.  I could list several things that my mind couldn’t shake at that moment.  Do I want to be a servant of regrets, money, sickness, fashion, or cultural acceptance; or do I want to be a servant of the Most High God?  If it’s the later, then I need to be thinking about Him.  Trusting in Him means thinking about His goodness, His faithfulness, and His constant provision and abilities.

I then heard a testimony that reminded me that I am still alive because I still have work to do for Christ.  I don’t need to become so distracted that I forget why I’m here.

Last night I was heard that the Lord made dry bones live (Ez. 37), and that if He can bring dry bones back together into a perfect person, breathe life back into them, and join their ranks into an exceedingly great army; then He can breathe life back into the places that feel dry in my life, and that rivers of Living Water can still pour forth from me to reach those in need.

I was still tired when I left church last night; however, I was tired from being taught and ministered to all day long.  This morning, I feel the rivers stirring around in me.  My hope is not cut off.  I am not dry and desolate.  I am full of the Lord and His goodness, and because I am choosing to stand on His promises, I believe that others will be able to see Him in my life.

What’s the big deal about going to church?  Had I sat home with my heaviness and regrets yesterday, this morning would have looked a lot more dismal.  When you go to church and focus on God, allowing yourself to be open to His wisdom and encouragement brought in unexpected ways, He will minister to you, dust you off, and breathe life into you for the rest of the journey ahead.

I’m so thankful for a place to refuel, and for those who encourage and pray for me.

Gushing,

jamie

 

Which way?

Pr. 16:25:  “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.”

This verse is so fitting in our world.  Although, it has been since time began.  Didn’t satan twist words just so to coerce Eve into believing the way she was taking was right?  Certainly its end was the way of death.

Today, he is still doing the same.  He twist words to make them sound right.  Sure, there may be some truth in the words he whispers, but is it THE truth?  The Word of God reveals the truth of Jesus who is THE WAY, the truth, and the Life.

It is an imperative that we verify our path by the Word of God.  The way we’re headed may seem right, but is it truly?  In order to end up with eternal life, we must go by way of Jesus Christ.  All other ways, even as right as they may seem, lead to death.  Find the true Way.

Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it.  Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.  Mt. 7:13-14

Walking slowly,

jamie

Is the Word your treasure?

Pr. 2:1:  “My son, if you receive my words, and treasure my commands within you…”

We just got home from a 6-day visit with our family in WV.  Last Wednesday, about 30 minutes up the interstate, I realized I had forgotten my Bible.  No!!!!!!!!  As the realization set in, I felt like I was missing an appendage.  I knew my in-laws had many Bibles at their house, and my husband assured me I could use his, as well, but that didn’t ease the disappointment in my heart.  My Bible is a part of me.

While the other Bibles still contain the Word of God, they can not replace the relationship I have with my personal Bible.  I have wept over, agonized over, and sought the will of God through my personal Bible.  I have diligently studied and voraciously turned the pages, trying to find more of God in my personal Bible.  The Lord has spoken to me, counseled me, rebuked me, and guided me through my own Bible.  I know exactly where to find scriptures in my own Bible, even without the exact scripture reference, because I’ve been in it so much that I know on what part of the page the scripture is typed.

I have poured myself into my Bible, and the Lord has poured into me.  I treasure the words in my Bible like nothing else.  Knowing I would be without it for 6 days truly felt like an eternity.

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Is this how you feel about the Word of God?  Maybe you’re not like me, needing 1 specific Bible to hear the Word of God. (like a baby with their pacifier.  haha)  But is the Word of God your treasure?  Do you need the Word so much that allowing a day to go by leaves you disappointed?  Does the thought of missing 2 days in God’s word leave you knowing that you’d be missing out on the most important thing in your life?

The Word of God is a critical component of our relationship with God.  We speak to God through prayer, and He can speak to us and to our hearts through His Holy Spirit.  We also need to hear His voice through the Word which He has provided.  The Word is vital, which is why it referred to as the sword in the set of armor we are encouraged to put on each day.  The Lord breathed life into His Word, and when we burrow in, consider, and explore it, He breathes life into us.

Pulling my Bible off the shelf this morning brought a rush of exhilaration to me this morning.  My Bible!  I was so joyful as I unzipped the cover and opened the pages.  I hope the same joy finds you today as you read and consider the Word.

Complete,

jamie