Archive | June 2014

“Owe no one anything except to love one another….” (Romans 13:8)

image001Hello! How is everyone? How are you enjoying this warm weather? Are you able to go out and soak up all that Vitamin D from the sun? I love the fresh air and being in the sun (a little)…I just can’t lay out in it for too long when it’s very hot-it drives me crazy.  🙁  The nice thing about going outside in the sun is that it shouldn’t cost you anything. Yet somehow we wind up spending money. Why? Because we all want (or maybe love) money!  What is the verse to the Beatles song “Money”…”the best things in life are free, but, you can keep them for the birds and bees. Now give me money (that’s what I want)”

The problem is we always want what we see! It doesn’t matter what it is or if we need it…we just want it! Of course there are some logical and self-controlled people out there who would rationalize and count the cost for an item; but, unfortunately… many do not. “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it? For if you lay the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule you, saying, This person began to build and wasn’t able to finish.” (Luke 14:28-30)  I am guilty of that.  How many times have I said to myself “I gotta have it-(then don’t use it). Or, justify myself by saying “If I get this now, then I don’t have to (fill in the blanks) later. Better yet…I can’t afford it all now, so I’ll buy it on “flex pay”!  Does this sound familiar to anyone?  Can anyone relate?  The problem is we cannot pay for something outright, then we OWE that person/company, etc… What does that mean? It means that become a servant to the lender. “The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is slave to the lender.” (Proverbs 22:7)

It’s almost humorous how we willingly get ourselves indebted to another with our eyes wide open and not even try to avoid it.  This is a little something that God says about this matter:”Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor. Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law. (Romans 8:6-8) So you see, the only true allowable thing we can owe is love towards one another.

One of the keys for having this loving attitude is contentment.  As human beings we have to realize that our lives do in fact have limitations. And we have to realize the void we may feel cannot be filled with “stuff” of any kind.  To be sure we cannot take anything we accumulate with us.  No one has ever seen a U-haul at the back of a hearse.  “[And it is, indeed, a source of immense profit, for] godliness accompanied with contentment (that contentment which is a sense of [a]inward sufficiency) is great and abundant gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and obviously we cannot take anything out of the world; But if we have food and clothing, with these we shall be content (satisfied).But those who crave to be rich fall into temptation and a snare and into many foolish (useless, godless) and hurtful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction and miserable perishing. For the love of money is a root of all evils; it is through this craving that some have been led astray and have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves through with many acute [mental] pangs. But as for you, O man of God, flee from all these things; aim at and pursue righteousness (right standing with God and true goodness), godliness (which is the loving fear of God and being Christlike), faith, love, steadfastness (patience), and gentleness of heart.” (1Timothy 6:6-11)

We need to accept the grace of God in all of our circumstances because we were all bought with a price (Do you not know that your body is the temple (the very sanctuary) of the Holy Spirit Who lives within you, Whom you have received [as a Gift] from God? You are not your own, You were bought with a price [purchased with a preciousness and paid for, made His own]. So then, honor God and bring glory to Him in your body. (1 Corinthians 6:19-20 Amplified)

As you walk Every Day with Grace, I ask that you join me in our journey to “owe no man anything except to love one another.

In His Love,

Melody

” I and My Father are one.” (John 10:30)

images-3Hello! How are you? How is your week going?  Are you enjoying the nicer weather?  Are you gearing up for summer since schools are mostly out and graduations and vacations are just beginning?  Do you have plans for Father’s Day? Will you be sharing it with your father or with a positive male role model-perhaps at a barbecue? Maybe you will be fishing? That also seems to be a popular thing to do on Father’s Day.  For those who have the opportunity to share a special day with your father, you are blessed and I hope you continue to make happy memories that you can pass down to your children.

Now, what about those of us who do not have fathers, or do not have a good relationship with their father? Then what?  Well, I am here to tell y9u that God is a Father to the fatherless. My father was not the best role model and then he died when I was a young teenager. We were not very close, but the loss was still made an impact.  It wasn’t until I was 23 yrs old when I met Jesus and found out that I now had a “heavenly Father” who accepted me and called me “daughter”. It was a little confusing at first to learn about God as my Father and what the Bible says about His love as a father.  As a matter of fact, there are many, many scripture references as God as our Father and what His expectations are from His children. It’s sort of amusing how tangible God makes Himself known to us.  Most of us were raised in a family and in that family there were expectations from the parents to their children. Makes sense doesn’t it? It also makes God so much more real than a far away “Godly Being”  As a Father, God is our ultimate protector and provider.

Many people are not sure how to approach God, so they respond to Him the way they do with their earthly father. That can be good…or bad.  If you had a great or loving relationship with your earthly father, then you probably approach God thinking that He loves you more than life itself.  However, if you had a poor relationship with your father; or if he abandoned you and your family, your opinion may be very distrusting of God.  You very possibly may not believe the promises God has for in His Word.  For example, His Word says“He will never leave you never will I forsake you.”  (Hebrews 13:5 ) Or, “The Lord appeared to him from afar, saying, I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore I have drawn you with lovingkindness.” (Jeremiah 31:3) God also understands about sacrifice for His own…”For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever would believe on Him would not perish but have everlasting life. (John3:16)

Whatever type of relationship you have or had with your earthly father, know that you have a Heavenly Father that is waiting with open arms to love you. However, the only way to meet your heavenly Father is through Jesus. “Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you.  If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.  And you know the way where I am going.” Thomas *said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, how do we know the way?” Jesus *said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through me. (John 14:1-6)

As you walk Every Day With Grace, I hope that you have a wonderful Father’s Day no matter what you do and know that you are not alone and that your Heavenly Father is just a prayer a way.

In His Love,

Melody

 

 

 

“He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her.” (John 8: 7)

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Hello! How are you? How is life treating you? I missed writing last week- I experienced some technical difficulties which is why I did not write.  Anyhoo…I can’t believe it’s June already. It feels like somebody is just pulling the days off the calendar and not telling me.  Summer is practically here and the temperature is rising!

There are a few reasons as to why I chose the above scripture; but first, let me give you the passage in its entirety: But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. Early in the morning He came again into the temple, and all the people were coming to Him; and He sat down and began to teach them. The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman caught in adultery, and having set her in the center of the court, they said to Him, “Teacher, this woman has been caught in adultery, in the very act. Now in the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women; what then do You say?” They were saying this, testing Him, so that they might have grounds for accusing Him. But Jesus stooped down and with His finger wrote on the ground. But when they persisted in asking Him, He straightened up, and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” Again He stooped down and wrote on the ground. When they heard it, they began to go out one by one, beginning with the older ones, and He was left alone, and the woman, where she was, in the center of the court. Straightening up, Jesus said to her, “Woman, where are they? Did no one condemn you?” She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “I do not condemn you, either. Go. From now on sin no more.”  The point of this scripture is adultery. What does it mean when someone commits adultery?  It reveals the character of the one committing the adultery-which means the alleged party is cheating, as well as being disloyal, deceitful, dishonest, etc…

Now, it’s ironic that the religious leaders found this woman in the “act” of adultery. First off, why would they know about this woman’s business; and…(more importantly) where is the man (who was probably married)?!  She obviously was not alone if she was “caught” in the act of adultery-but she was the only one accused of breaking the Law of Moses. According to the Law of Moses, this meant death by stoning.  You know, Satan also accuses us of committing adultery. For believers in the LORD, it is “spiritual” adultery.  When we become Born-Again believers, we become Christ’s bride and Jesus is our Husband.  So when we sin, Satan is right there “accusing” us before God about our sin,. And believe me-we DO sin.  Sometimes it’s unintentional…but, sometimes it is because we don’t want anyone (including God) to tell what to do.  However, it is interesting to note how Jesus responded. He never reacted! Instead, He knelt down and starting writing in the sand.  The demand for Him to judge her was pressing with their determination, but what did He do? He stood up and posed a question to them…”He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.”  His question made them look at their own hearts, minds and behavior. They understood by His question that they also deserved death for their sins according to the Law of Moses. The knew that  “As it is written: There is none righteous, no, not one; There is none who understands; There is none who seeks after God. They have all turned aside They have together become unprofitable; There is none who does good, no, not one.” (Romans 3:10-12)  They also had to acknowledge they were subject to the same law they were using to condemn this woman. So what did Jesus do? He bent down and started writing in the sand again. I have heard some Pastors/Spiritual leaders say that they imagined Jesus writing the sins of those accusers in the sand. He was probably showing them the adultery they were committing against the same God they wanted justice from… and recognizing the consequences of their “secret sin.”That’s why they started to walk away one, by one. It ‘s funny that the older ones left first-they probably had a lot more sin (because of longevity) to repent from.

Now we see this woman is the only one left with Jesus. Can you imagine her fear? Her panic? Her open shame? Her reputation? What would now become of her? Everybody now knows what she did. Mind you-there  probably were whispers and gossip, but now it was all out in the open. Her sin was truly before her and her God. So, what does Jesus say to her as He lifts her up? “Straightening up, Jesus said to her, “Woman, where are they? Did no one condemn you?”  She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “I do not condemn you, either. Go. From now on sin no more.”   Can you imagine her confusion and relief? No one could condemn her because everyone is guilty of being a sinner. She knew what her sin was-there was no denying it.  But, the surprise was that Jesus (God, in the flesh) did not condemn her either. Remember, she wasn’t “scott free” now to go back and do whatever she wanted and go back to her old ways. No, instead Jesus forgave her “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering.And so he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.” and said go and sin no more. She had to “go” and stop choosing to sin (sin no more).  Jesus knew she was human, but, that does not give her a “get out of jail free” card. She is now accountable for the truth and forgiveness that was freely given to her. She did not have to enter a program or perform a series of tasks to be given this gift. Forgiveness is God’s gift to us if we choose to receive it.

I have been just as guilty as those religious leaders and brought accusations on others without checking out my own behavior. (Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ and behold, the log is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.”(Matthew 7:3-5) Self-righteousness is so hypercritical. It’s basically tooting our “spiritual horn” saying “look at me! I’m just so wonderful.” In the meantime, our self-righteousness is just a stench in God’s nostrils. True righteousness is true godliness-thats why one cannot really be “religious”. Religion is man’s way of being right with God and bring Him down to our level. Relationship with God is what we obtain when we repent and receive God’s forgiveness so His Spirit can them dwell within us.

As you walk Every Day With Grace, check your heart and ask God to remove anything that comes between you and His love.  Your bridegroom will “never leave you or never will I forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5) Why look for another to give you what only God can? His love is pure and unconditional. It doesn’t matter what we look like, or where we have been. When Jesus sees you, He sees His bride calls you lovely.