Archive | August 2013

“But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” (Hebrews 11:6)

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Hello. How is everyone? It has been a rough couple of weeks and I believe, it’s going to continue that way for a little longer. I was going talk about one thing, however, I jut received a phone call that slightly changed what I wanted to say.

First, let me encourage all of you to have faith in God. That is where all hope lies-through Jesus Christ. He is God the Father, God, the Son and God the Holy Spirit. During this time in life, God is not what one would call “tangible”. We can’t see Him or touch Him so we need to have faith to believe He is alive and that He is here for us. What I mean by that is-by faith we have entered into a relationship with God. To have faith literally means (according to Webster’s Dictionary): ” firm belief in something for which there is no proof : complete trust” and ” belief and trust in and loyalty to God.” To put such trust in to God makes Him happy (pleased). But, there are many people who don’t take that step of faith.  Ever hear of “doubting Thomas?  “Jesus said to him, “Thomas,because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” (John 20:29) Now is the time to develop your relationship with God. Now is the time to pour your heart, your soul and your tears. You reward will be Jesus’ physical return to this earth and our living with Him face to face for all of eternity.

Secondly, I want to re-inforce  to you that all the words said in the Bible are true. The Bible is God’s instruction manual on how we should live. We must cling to His truth which is in His Word, the Bible. There is certainly nothing new under the sun that God hasn’t already spoken about. We are not alone even though we cannot tangibly see God.  He knows we are frail without Him. That’s why He said: “If ye love me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you for ever;” ( John 14:15-16) “But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me: And ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning.” (John 15: 24-27) It is when we are going through the trials we feel as if we are the furthest from God and His love. However, that is when He is walking with us and sometimes carrying us to the other side. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil; for Thou art with me; Thy rod and Thy staff, they comfort me.” (Psalm 23:4) We need to choose NOT to fear the trial we are currently facing. Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10) Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart; and you shall find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My load is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30) He gives strength to the weary, And to him who lacks might He increases power.” (Isaiah 40:29)  We need to strive to keep our hearts and minds on heave and heavenly things.”Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.” (Colossians 3:2-4 ). I am not saying that these are easy choices. In fact they are not. It is hard work, but, we have to choose to change our thinking so we can embrace the faith that was already given to those who believe in Jesus.

When trials or tragedy or just life happens, we need to encourage ourselves and each other in God’s Word which gives us the faith to continue on in life because of His words of truth and promises.  Here are some scriptures to dwell on:

Unless the Lord had given me help, I would soon have dwelt in the silence of death.When I said, “My foot is slipping, your unfailing love, Lord, supported me. When anxiety was great within me your consolation brought me joy.”  (Psalm 94:17-19

“The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; He delivers them from all their troubles. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.: (Psalm 34:17-19)

“For we walk by faith, not by sight.” (2 Corinthians 5:7)

“For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.” (Romans 1:17)

As you Walk Every Day With Grace, pray on these scriptures and ask God to increase your faith and in doing so, we please Him.

In His Love,

Melody

 

 

 

 

“I love You, O Lord, my strength.The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised, And I am saved from my enemies. (Psalm 18:1-3)

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Hello! How is everyone? I hope you have been enjoying your summer with family and friends and making the most out of it. As I mentioned last week, I am in the midst of a trial and remembering when I have been in a situation like this one before.  I think God allows us to “re-visit” some areas of difficulty so we can finally “get it” and learn the lesson that can only be taught by God and God alone.

It has been said “you will know who your friends are when trials come.” The point is this-see who is around when you are going through tough times. People (friends and sometimes family) tend to scatter because they have their own stuff going on. Believe it or not-sometimes they will even blame you for your current troubles-just like Job’s friends. Job was hand picked by God to go through trials just to prove to satan that he was a righteous man.  However, it was during the trials that Job got to see what was still in his heart and it was God’s actual mercy to reveal it to Job so he could repent (turn from) the sin in his heart. Even his wife wasn’t supportive and blamed him. “Then his wife said to him, “Do you still hold fast to your integrity? Curse God and die! But he said to her, “You speak as one of the foolish women speaks. Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversityIn all this Job did not sin with his lips.” (Job 2:9-10) Can you imagine? Talk about misery wanting some company! Have you ever met people like this? I know I have. I had to end relationships/friendships like this. So what does one do in this situation? You call upon the Lord, Jesus. “ I called on the Lord in distress; The Lord answered me and set me in a broad place. The Lord is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me? “ (Psalm 118:5-6)

The only one we can ever truly run to for safety, security, and direction is God “No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life; as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you nor forsake you.” (Joshua 1:5)  Where does one go when one is alone, feels alone, and may want to be alone, because of  lack of trust?  One must go to God. You can run to Him, cry out to Him, bow your head before Him, and pray to Him; but, YOU must go to Him. He is already waiting for you. Everything we want or need is in God.  The peace and refuge we seek is in God.“God is our refuge and strength,  A very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, even though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; Though its waters roar and be troubled, Though the mountains shake with its swelling.” (Psalm 46:1-3) The picture above is from a fortress I went to in Israel. Talk about feeling safe. It’s high enough to see who is coming from miles away. These rocks were thick-sturdy-full of protection.  That’s how it is with Jesus. He’s our rock and our deliverer. Nothing and no one can penetrate my God. That why I can love Him and go to Him and know without a shadow of doubt that I am secure in Him. Right now, I may be in the midst of a trial, but God is my strength, my fortress and my deliverer in whom I take refuge.  If I can’t believe that God is true, then what hope do I have? What hope does anybody have? “What if  some were unfaithful? Will their unfaithfulness nullify God’s faithfulness? Not at all! Let God be true, and every human being a liar. As it is written: “So that you may be proved right when you speak and prevail when you judge. (Romans 3:3-4

I hope to encourage you to know you are not alone. I understand the feeling of uncertainty-believe me.  Just because one is a believer in Jesus Christ (God), that does not mean we are exempt from the trials and tribulations of this world. Not everything is happy, peppy and bursting with love!.  It is through the trials we are being conformed to Jesus’ image. It is meant to purify our souls.“In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” ( 1 Peter 1 6-7As you go through this crazy place called life, please know you are not alone. Remember to “Cast your burden on the Lord, and He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved. (Psalm 55:22)

Take comfort in knowing you have a fortress and deliverer to go to in times of trouble. Or, if you just need a peaceful refuge, know it is only a heart’s cry away. Take hold of the refuge that was freely given to you as you Walk Every Day with Grace.

In His love,

Melody

“He must increase, but I must decrease.” (John 3:30)

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Hello. How is everyone? Hope your week was a pleasant one. I am probably safe in saying that I am not the only one going through trials at this time. I will say that during this particular trial, God is really showing me about me-meaning things that I have in my heart. For instance, one of things God has brought to my attention during my trial is how careless I have been with my spending His money. You see, everything we have is because of the Lord. Everything belongs to God. “The earth is the LORD’S, and all it contains, the world, and those who dwell in it.” (Psalm 24:1) You may be thinking, “What does this have to do with anything”. Well, let me try to put it another way….During this trial, I got the chance to see how much of my “wants” I got through purchasing and how I have not utilized many of things that I wanted. Some things are still in boxes with the alleged intention of using them in the near future.

My point is I am looking and seeing how much of me there is and how little of God I found in the stuff I got. It is not bad to want things or to have things. I believe God will give us things because He loves us and wants to bless us. But we need to be careful and guard our heart with “stuff” that does not have eternal value.-and not just tangible things either. Sometimes we can fill our souls with stuff too. Ever hear of emotional baggage?  “Jesus told his disciples: “There was a rich man whose manager was accused of wasting his possessions. So he called him in and asked him, ‘What is this I hear about you? Give an account of your management, because you cannot be manager any longer.”  (Luke 16:1-2)  Believe me, it’s not about the quantity. It’s about “where is God in all of what we have?” Do we get so caught up in ourselves that we cannot make room for God and thank Him for what He has given us? Maybe there is a legitimate reason why I wasn’t supposed to have so much stuff? A lot of stuff for me may not be a lot of stuff for you, but if the stuff gets in the way of my relationship with God, then He allows me to have a “spiritual garage/tag” sale if you get my drift.  There is a difference between wanting and having and having and hoarding.  Again, I am seeing things about MYSELF that I was not aware of. Since I am already in the midst of my trial, God is doing some spiritual and emotional “spring cleaning”. He is letting me see that for a season I tried to be satisfied with anything other than Him. I don’t even know if God can truly give me the desires of my heart while it is (obviously) filled with other things and not of Him.“Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches? And if you have not been trustworthy with someone else’s property, who will give you property of your own?” (Luke 16: 10-12) “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” (Luke 16:13)

All the blessings we receive come from God. Sometimes, even NOT HAVING is a blessing from God because He loves us and will withhold things from us for our own good.  Can you imagine a parent giving in to whims of their child? What would that parent be teaching the child? To be selfish? Ungrateful? Impatient? Would YOU want a child like that? Children are a reflection of their parents. As God’s children, we are to be a reflection of HIM. “With affectionate empathy John replied, “A person cannot receive even one thing unless it is given him from heaven.” He waved them to sit down beside him. “You yourselves bear me witness that I said, ‘I am not the Christ,’ but have been sent before him. The one who has the bride is the bridegroom. The friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly at the bridegroom’s voice. Therefore this joy of mine is now complete. He must increase, but I must decrease. ”We must try to implement this principle  “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Matthew 6:19-21)

God wants us be content with what we have (and what we don’t have). There is peace and joy in contentment. I believe contentment is God’s gift to us because we then know that He is providing all of our needs because we trust.Him. “But godliness actually is a means of great gain when accompanied by contentment. For we have brought nothing into the world, so we cannot take anything out of it either. If we have food and covering, with these we shall be content. But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs” (1 Timothy 6:6-11) I hope you understand what I am trying to say here…it’s not just about material things; or even emotional things for that matter.  As a born again believe in Jesus, I want to be more like Him. I know what I’m like and I have a long way to go; but, I am not where I used to be either.  I have a strong personality-and guess what? Not only does God know that, but, He gave me this personality. It has been through my personality that my character has been refined to be more like His.  It’s not over until it’s over and I know that God is not done with me yet and I know He is not done with you either. Thank God!  “Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:4-7)

As you walk Every Day With Grace, try to realize that Jesus is our ultimate treasure because He gave us the gift of salvation by dying on a cross in our place for our sins. He is are true reward. “He must increase, but I must decrease.”

In His Love,

Melody

“For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for Himself a people that are His very own, eager to do what is good.” (Titus 2:11-14)

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Hello! How is everyone? Fine, I hope.  I am sure that there are plenty of people who have come across trials that are affecting them and tempting you to take your eyes off God and to put your focus on self.  I know how you feel, as I, myself have recently have a entered a crossroad-which can easily be viewed as tough trial. By recently, I mean a few days ago, and like most people, I have a lot of things going on. Actually, some of the issues I am dealing with is from an answer to prayer. Be careful what you ask for-you may get…but, not always the way you think.

I have been praying for change for months. But, the way God is answering me is not the way I would have handled things. Actually, I would have thought about the process until it’s death and then resurrect it again.  Have you ever done that?  The reason I even bring this up is because NOW I have to make decisions-or should I say Godly decisions.  And what does that entail? It entails my responses as to my current situations. I am tempted to sin in my behavior and attitude.  Yet, what does the above scripture say?  The grace of God teaches me to say “NO” to ungodliness and wordly passions and to be self-controlled, upright and godly. Passions aren’t always sexual, but, they are usually fleshly (physical/emotional) in response.  For example, one of my fleshly passions is to “correct” someone strongly when provoked. Doesn’t that sound nicer then screaming at someone and telling them they are wrong? It does not matter who is right or, who is wrong (especially since I am always right. Did somebody just express ego? :))  What matters is how am I showing God’s grace in this matter? Can you imagine what it would be like or feel like if Jesus returned during my retaliation? I am sure I would hang my head in shame.

When Jesus offered salvation to me, I said yes to His offer and He accepted me…warts and all. I didn’t have to wait to become  a better person. God does not really want us to be better in ourselves; rather He wants us to conform to the image of His Son. “For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.”(Romans 8:29) The moment I said “yes” to Jesus, is the very moment He redeemed my soul. To redeem is to “buy back”. He bought and brought my spirit, soul, and body from hell, as well as a living an eternity without  Him. He filled the gap between us and God. I am now one of God’s children through and because of Jesus Christ. As I continue to live for Him, it is a process of “un-doing” some former things that I thought were normal or right. But, as God purifies me from the world (and myself), my renewed mind wants to do good towards all people. “But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.” (Luke 6:26-28) I know you are saying “What?!? “Are you kidding me” “Fat chance” “Do you even know what so and so said (or did)?” I never implied this would be easy.Actually,in our own strength it’s impossible. But, God is not a man-therfore. He does not act like a man.(To be clear I mean mankind-not specifically male) He is holy and wants all people to come to Him. That’s where God’s grace comes into play. You see, grace is God’s unmerited (undeserved) favor towards His own. I have God’s favor (through His forgiveness of my sins) even though I did absolutely nothing to earn it.  No one can. Grace is the by-product of salvation-which is a gift from God. Have you ever earned a gift?  No. That’s why it’s a gift. It is because of God’s gift of grace that we can endure the trials that come our way. It spurs us on to do better in life; thus, spreading God’s love to all in spite of one’s difficulties. “But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.  That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:9-10) “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” (Ephesians 4:29)

I encourage you to accept the grace (favor) of God that is offered through salvation. “So you, my son, be strong (strengthened inwardly) in the grace (spiritual blessing) that is [to be found only] in Christ Jesus.” (2 Timothy 2:1-amplified)

As you Walk Every Day With Grace, I wish you well in your coming week. I also want to leave you with this word from the Bible which is God’s Word to those who are walking with God; or for those who have recently accepted His gift of salvation; “Let us then fearlessly and confidently and boldly draw near to the throne of grace (the throne of God’s unmerited favor to us sinners), that we may receive mercy [for our failures] and find grace to help in good time for every need [appropriate help and well-timed help, coming just when we need it.”) (Hebrews 4: 16-amplified)

In His Love,

Melody