Archive | January 2014

“He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone…” (John 8:7)

 image009Hello! How are you? How is your week going?  Life seems to be a little heightened with people acting a little more crazy lately. The atmosphere feels heavy with judgmental attitudes.  It seems like gravity is pulling condemnation down on everyone…which got me thinking about the women caught in the act of adultery in John, chapter 8:1-11: “But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. Now early in the morning He came again into the temple, and all the people came to Him; and He sat down and taught them. Then the scribes and Pharisees brought to Him a woman caught in adultery. And when they had set her in the midst, they said to Him, “Teacher, this woman was caught in adultery, in the very act.  Now Moses, in the law, commanded us that such should be stoned. But what do You say?” This they said, testing Him, that they might have something of which to accuse Him. But Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground with His finger, as though He did not hear. So when they continued asking Him, He raised Himself up and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first. And again He stooped down and wrote on the ground Then those who heard it, being convicted by their conscience,went out one by one, beginning with the oldest even to the last. And Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her,“Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?”  She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.” In this event, a woman was caught in adultery (my question is-where was the man? But, I digress…) The point is here is that a woman was brought and publicly shamed and humiliated-and according to Jewish law was supposed to be put to death by stoning for her sin! Again…where was the man who was also sinning with this woman since the man was most likely married? Was he without sin?  I think not. Yet, only the woman had the accusers.

This made me think of what we do probably every day or most days. We judge others and in reality, we also are judged. Believe it or not, we all have sinned; “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God...(Romans 3:23) That’s the reason we behave like that. I have had more than  my share of days where my own self righteousness had gotten the better of me- and this is what God says about it: “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother,Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” (Matthew 7:3-5) We need to remember that we are ALL sinners.  Those who believe in Jesus Christ as sinners saved by grace, but still fallible human beings who still consciously or unconsciously sin. But as sinners, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)  “Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord,” (Acts 3:19) “The Lord our God is merciful and forgiving, even though we have rebelled against him;” (Daniel 9::9)

When the woman was brought to Jesus he did not punish her or correct her-instead He asked her accusers who among them was without sin? He meant before God as well as before man. More importantly, they knew what He meant. That’s why they walked away one by one. I bet they tried to sneak away without being seen. Amazing how guilt is carried out in silence instead of a loud voice.  So what did Jesus finally say to the woman? “Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her,“Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?”  She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.” The same advice works today-sin NO MORE.  Those who are outside of Christ are our accusers who hurl allegations and accusations at us. But, for those who accept and run and hide in Jesus, their sins are forgiven and therefore, are no longer condemned.

As we walk Every Day With Grace, let us remember the words of Jesus when we want to cast a stone…”Go and sin no more!”  The choice is ours.

In His Love,

Melody

“But it is good for me to draw near to God; I have put my trust in the Lord God and made Him my refuge, that I may tell of all Your works.” (Psalm 73:28)

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Hello! How are you? I hope your New Year is progressing forward as you continue to trust God and  learn to depend soley on Him.  I don’t think it matters where you are on your walk with God, it is always good to draw near to Him-to seek God and find out His will for your daily life because things happen in life and sometimes we don’t know where we should go next.

When life’s distractions happen, we shift our focus off of God and on to our situation(s); which means our focus goes back on to ourselves. For example-Long Island just had their 2nd nor’easter a little over 2 weeks; January 3rd and yesterday, January 21st. Talk about distracting-at least it is for me! Think about all the preparation that comes with it and then the clean up that comes after it. I admit, I could not focus on much else and it stresses me out something crazy… and I know that God is in control and no matter what He will be there for me and take care of me-so why do I stress?

When distractions occur, we get “stuck” and do not move forward with God. Have you ever played scenarios over and over in your mind? The enemy of our soul (Satan) works constantly to take as many believers in Jesus away from God as possible on a continual basis. He does not relent from this task because he does not want us to work out our salvation with God and wants to keep us a part from God eternally.  The enemy wants  us to be confused and have self doubt; and he wants us to feel he condemned. However, we do not have to give in to his lies. God gave us instruction on how to handle these things when it comes our way. “[Inasmuch as we] refute arguments and theories and reasonings and every proud and lofty thing that sets itself up against the [true] knowledge of God; and we lead every thought and purpose away captive into the obedience of Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One) (2 Corinthians 10:5-Amplified)

Satan wants us to stay where we are so that we do not believe can come to God with any of concerns no matter how big or small. He even has his children that belong to him and he sends them to us to try to dissuade us away from with their subtle whispers of doubt. Why do we fall for the lies even for one moment? Satan is the father of lies! “You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” (John 8:44)  Why do we fall for it?  I’ll tell you why. It’s because we do not stay in constant fellowship with God.

 Our commune with God is like every other relationship-the closeness is there because of the intimacy we create with one another. We need to be in God’s Word and in prayer for our communication with Him.  But, when we become distracted, we  lose focus and hence we become a little desensitized from the Holy Spirit (which lives inside those who accepted Jesus as LORD and Savior) and if we are not careful, we can begin to drift away. “The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron. They forbid people to marry and order them to abstain from certain foods, which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and who know the truth. For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer. If you point these things out to the brothers and sisters, you will be a good minister of Christ Jesus, nourished on the truths of the faith and of the good teaching that you have followed. Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives’ tales; rather, train yourself to be godly. For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come. This is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance. That is why we labor and strive, because we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all people, and especially of those who believe.” (1 Timothy 4: 1-10)

People always want the blessings of God without the responsibility that comes with this relationship.   Selfish? I think so! [Inasmuch as we] refute arguments and theories and reasonings and every proud and lofty thing that sets itself up against the [true] knowledge of God; and we lead every thought and purpose away captive into the obedience of Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One)

As you Walk Every Day With Grace, I want you to know that no matter what happens in our distractions, we can come back to God. But when we return, we need to ask forgiveness because we have walked away from Him. However, He is our refuge once we put our trust in Him and then we are safe from whatever the world tries to throw at us. Remember, the devil is a liar and he loses the battle against Jesus.

“And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer. So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, “Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death. Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time.” (Revelation 12:7-12)

In His Love,

Melody

 

“Do not be quickly provoked in your spirit, for anger resides in the lap of fools” (Ecclesiastes 7:9)

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Hello! How are you? How is the New Year treating you? How are you progressing with your personal changes for your life? (I do not like saying resolutions. One can always change if one chooses)  I have to admit that since I have made some personal decisions, I have already encountered much opposition. I have not discussed my decisions with anyone, but there are some people out there who just want to provoke you to no end. I also know it’s not just physical-it’s also spiritual. “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but  against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.”  (Ephesians 6:12) The enemy of our soul does not want us to succeed in any area of our lives.

As a matter of fact, something happened to me today at work, that provoked to my core. However, I had to choose immediately how I was going to handle it. The situation made me very angry and hurt my feelings deeply, but I had to decide how I was going to process and respond.  As Kay Arthur of Precept  Ministries,(one of my all time favorite Bible teachers) taught years ago: “Do we act or react? ” I chose NOT to react. How? By recalling scripture to help ease my mind and emotions. I also shared this with a friend, (I’m only human) but, I also read my Bible at lunchtime. That’s why I choose the above scripture. ‘Believe me, I wanted to react in so many ways, I would be repenting for a very long time-that’s why I went to my Bible and looked up scriptures that had to with anger. “A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control.” (Proverbs 29:11)  Sadly, I spent many years venting out to everyone-even as a Born Again Believer. It didn’t matter to me-I wanted everyone to know what I had to say. It never even crossed my mind how I looked or what people thought. What’s worse is I never thought about what God thought when I reacted that way only to find out He thought I was acting like a fool. Talk about sobering!  Sometimes I wonder how I had any friends at all because of my behavior. Can anyone relate?

As I read, I came across some other scriptures that referred to anger: “A hot tempered man stirs up dissension, but a patient man calm a quarrel.” (Proverbs 15:18) “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” (Proverbs 15:1) “Do not make friends with a shot-tempered man, do not associate with one easily angered, or you may learn his ways and get yourself ensnared.” (Proverbs 22:24-15) I know I have been hot-tempered. I also know I have been ensnared (riled up) by someone else’s anger.  Have you ever found yourself going from calm to crazy as you join in with someone else’s emotion?

You see the real issue is not the other person. It is our personal action (or, reaction) to a matter.”Better a patient man than a warrior, a man who controls his temper than one who takes a city.” (Proverbs 16:32)  “A patient man has great understanding, but a quick tempered man displays folly.” (Proverbs 14:29) How does God want us to respond? Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret-it leads only to evil. For evil men will be cut off, but, those who hope in the LORD will inherit the land.” (Psalm 37:8-9)  “But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips.” (Colossians 3:8) “And all of us, as with unveiled face, [because we] continued to behold [in the Word of God] as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are constantly being transfigured into His very own image in ever increasing splendor and from one degree of glory to another; [for this comes] from the Lord [Who is] the Spirit.” (2 Corinthians 3:18-Amplified) The Spirit of God lives within those who has accepted Jesus as LORD and Savior; therefore, it would make sense that the provoking we experience effects us in our spirit, soul and body. But, God is faithful to His own; He leaves us with His instruction manual (the Bible) as to how we are to conduct ourselves as believers. He loves us so much that He wrote it down for us to study and to imitate. “But Jesus looked at them and said, with men this is impossible, but  all things are possible with God.” (Matthew 19:26)

As you Walk Every Day With Grace, please read the scripture below so you can know that only with God we can change and control our behavior and reflect His.

Clothe yourselves therefore, as God’s own chosen ones (His own picked representatives), [who are] purified and holy and well-beloved [by God Himself, by putting on behavior marked by] tenderhearted pity and mercy, kind feeling, a lowly opinion of yourselves, gentle ways, [and] patience [which is tireless and long-suffering, and has the power to endure whatever comes, with good temper].”

Be gentle and forbearing with one another and, if one has a difference (a grievance or complaint) against another, readily pardoning each other; even as the Lord has [freely] forgiven you, so must you also [forgive]. And above all these [put on] love and enfold yourselves with the bond of perfectness [which binds everything together completely in ideal harmony].

And let the peace (soul harmony which comes) from Christ rule (act as umpire continually) in your hearts [deciding and settling with finality all questions that arise in your minds, in that peaceful state] to which as [members of Christ’s] one body you were also called [to live]. And be thankful (appreciative), [giving praise to God always].”

Let the word [spoken by] Christ (the Messiah) have its home [in your hearts and minds] and dwell in you in [all its] richness, as you teach and admonish and train one another in all insight and intelligence and wisdom [in spiritual things, and as you sing] psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, making melody to God with [His] grace in your hearts.”

And whatever you do [no matter what it is] in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus and in [dependence upon] His Person, giving praise to God the Father through Him”  (Colossians 3:12-17 Amplified)

In His Love,

Melody

 

 

“And my God will liberally supply (fill to the full) your every need according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19 amplified)

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Hello! How are you?  Even though it’s the beginning of the New Year, I could already feel the change in the air and it seems to be very surreal. It feels like there is pressure pushing in from all sides.  For instance, the holiday bills are beginning to come in; I already found out that I will have to lay out a lot more money regarding prescriptions, co-payments to doctors; and  as we all know education, housing, food and gas is skyrocketing. There is way too much month at the end of the money.  Can anyone identify with that? Or, is it just me?

Sorry if this sounds depressing, but, this is a reality many of us are facing whether we like it or not. Many of these circumstances are a forced reality-not a chosen one. So, is there any good news to what I’m talking about? The only way one is going to manage during such stressful times is through the grace of God. God is the only one who is going of take care of you and me.  “He has given food and provision to those who reverently and worshipfully fear Him; He will remember His covenant forever and imprint it [on His mind].” (Psalm 111:5) “I will surely and abundantly bless her provision; I will satisfy her poor with bread.” (Psalm 132:15) God will be the only one to provide anything and everything in our lives-but we need to trust Him and seek Him for His will and provision for our lives. “Observe and consider the ravens; for they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn; and [yet] God feeds them. Of how much more worth are you than the birds!” (Luke 12:24) “Your flock found a dwelling place in it; You, O God, in Your goodness did provide for the poor and needy.” (Psalm 68:10)  If you don’t know already know, God is a God of relationship with His creation. He will share His provision with His own. He cares for us and will take care of us, but, He also expects our responsibility and accountability to each other and our families. “And let our own [people really] learn to apply themselves to good deeds (to honest labor and honorable employment), so that they may be able to meet necessary demands whenever the occasion may require and not be living idle and uncultivated and unfruitful lives. (Titus 3:14) “If anyone fails to provide for his relatives, and especially for those of his own family, he has disowned the faith [by failing to accompany it with fruits] and is worse than an unbeliever [who performs his obligation in these matters]. (1 Timothy 5:8)

I believe that now is the time that God wants His children to learn to become better stewards in everything they have. He also want us to realize that He owns EVERYTHING. “The earth is the Lord’s, and the fullness of it, the world and they who dwell in it.” (Psalm 24:1)  “I will noTtake a bull from your house, nor goats out of your folds. For every beast of the forest is Mine, And the cattle on a thousand hills. I know all the birds of the mountains, And the wild beasts of the field are Mine. “If I were hungry, I would not tell you; For the world is Mine, and all its fullness.” (Psalm 50:9-12). As God shares with us, He wants us to have our dependency only on Him. He wants to provide for us so we do not have to borrow or purchase anything from a stranger. “But seek (aim at and strive after) first of all His kingdom and His righteousness (His way of doing and being right), and then all these things taken together will be given you besides.” (Matthew 6:33) ‘The Lord shall open to you His good treasury, the heavens, to give the rain of your land in its season and to bless all the work of your hands; and you shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow” (Deuteronomy 28: 12)  “And [God] Who provides seed for the sower and bread for eating will also provide and multiply your [resources for] sowing and increase the fruits of your righteousness [which manifests itself in active goodness, kindness, and charity].”  (2 Corinthians 9:10)

I believe this is only the beginning of tremendous change to come for all of us.  As you Walk Every Day With Grace, I want to leave you this word to encourage you if you begin to feel overwhelmed. “Therefore humble yourselves [demote, lower yourselves in your own estimation] under the mighty hand of God, that in due time He may exalt you, Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully.”  (1 Peter 5:6-7 Amplified)  Another version is written this way “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”

In His Love,

Melody