Archive | August 2014

“And do this, understanding the present time: The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.” (Romans 13:11-12)

images-1Hello! How are you? It’ s Labor Day weekend! How crazy is that? Time is flying by. Even though time seems to be moving quickly, it also appears as other things in our lives are standing still-making it appear that we are sleeping or wasting our time on frivolous matters when we know better.

As one grows with the LORD, one should always continue in the application of His principles and apply it to their life. That is where commitment and discipline come into play. Unfortunately, people confuse “good intentions” with commitment. I wrote myself a Proverb years ago that says “Good intentions do not always bring about good results.” What do I mean? I mean, “what good are intentions without actions?” Now, there are some who are “well-intentioned” meaning they wanted to do something nice or good for another but never quite got around to it. I think that’s why the saying “well, it the thought that counts” is used with this type of implication.

In any event, with each passing day we are getting closer and closer to Jesus’ return. For those who do believe, our salvation is here and it draws closer and closer to eternity with God. For those who do not believe yet, but are inquiring and thinking they still “have time” really need to re-think what they are searching and hoping for. Some peopled have the attitude that they can always repent and call on the name of Jesus “tomorrow”; or keep doing everything they want to do because they believe they can repent once they are old or had their fun. But, scripture says “Today is the day of salvation.  “For God says,“At just the right time, I heard you. On the day of salvation, I helped you.” Indeed, the “right time” is now. Today is the day of salvation.” (2 Corinthians 6:2)

We are not promised tomorrow and we do not know when we will be meeting our Savior. For those who are His, He will welcome you with open arms and enter into your rest. God the Father will see His Son, Jesus when He sees you. For those who are NOT His-first you will bow before Him and acknowledge Him as King of Kings and LORD of LORDS; and then He will say “depart from Me, I never knew you! “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day,‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’ (Matthew 7:21-23)  “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me. “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you?  When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me. Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire(M) prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’ He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me. Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.” (Matthew 25:34-46)

Can you imagine that? Eternal separation from God. There is no second chance on the other side of the grave-no matter what religion may say. That is a lie. Redemption is only on this side of the grave. Only on this side will one get chance after chance to repent from sin up until your last breath.; after that, you will be face to face with God …who will either be your Advocate or your Judge. “Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him. 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.” (2 Corinthians 5: 9-10)

As you walk Every Day with Grace, my encouragement to you is for you to realize that salvation is here and now and that we are to walk in the precious gift of our Salvation . This means we are to come out of our slumber of complacency and daily live according to God’s word and embrace our new life in Jesus.

In His Love,

Melody

 

“Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that openly profess his name.” (Hebrews 13:15)

imagesHello! How are you? How has your week been?  It’s been a long, crazy, tiring week for me. Can anyone else relate to that? The “funny” thing about life is “when it rains, it pour”. (pardon the cliche) So, what is my point? This is my point…even though life gets tough and exhausting, one should not forget to bring praise to God. “Now therefore, our God, we thank you, and praise your glorious name.”               (1 Chronicles 29:13)

What do I mean by that? How can I praise God when I seem to be so consumed with what’s going on in my trial? When one is going    through a trial, their eyes and thoughts are about themselves as well as how their current situation is effecting them. They just look for ways to carry their burden without bringing God into their situation. Many of people are strong in themselves…but, that strength in self  eventually wears thin which is why people become so worn out. It is only through our relationship with God that gives us strength to continue on.“The LORD is my strength and song, and he is become my salvation: He is my God, and I will prepare Him a habitation; my father’s God, and I will exalt him.” (Exodus 15:2)

I think we offer God a sacrifice of praise because naturally, we like to praise ourselves (and sometimes someone else). A sacrifice is an offering that we bring to God. In the Old Testament God required specific sacrifices for various reasons and occasions. God, in His own right is a King. That’s why Jesus is called the KING of KINGS, it is due to His Majestic being and because of that we praise Him. “And my tongue shall speak of your righteousness and of your praise all the day long.” (Psalms 35:28) “IT IS A GOOD THING TO GIVE THANKS UNTO THE LORD, AND TO SING PRAISES UNTO THY NAME, O MOST HIGH” (Psalm 92:1)

God desires our praise in music as well. That’s why we sing to Him in church. We worship Him in praise and song and He loves it. “Hear, O you kings; give ear, O you princes; I, even I, will sing to the LORD; I will sing praise to the LORD God of Israel.” (Judges 5:3) “I will praise you with my whole heart: before the gods will I sing praise to you.” (Psalms 138:1 ) “Then will I go to the altar of God, to God my exceeding joy: yes, on the harp will I praise you, O God my God.” (Psalms 43:4) Our praises to God should be an expression of our love for Him and filled with thankfulness for all that He has done for us. We should thank Him just because of His sovereignty and for who He is as our God, our Father, and as our Husband. “Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful to him, and bless his name.” (Psalms 100:4) “He is your praise, and he is your God, that has done for you these great and terrible things, which your eyes have seen.” (Deuteronomy 10:21)

It is obviously easier to praise God when you have a relationship with Him. “Therefore I will give thanks to you, O LORD, among the heathen, and I will sing praises to your name.”  (2 Samuel 22:50)  “I will give you thanks in the great congregation: I will praise you among much people.” (Psalms 35:18) “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that you should show forth the praises of him who has called you out of darkness into his marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:9)

We should always remember to praise God in all of our trials because nothing is by happenstance. It is because of God’s loving, merciful nature that we should praise Him. He is everything to us. He is our Salvation. He is our Healer. He is Wisdom. He is Redeemer. “Heal me, O LORD, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved: for you are my praise.” (Jeremiah 17:14) “I thank you, and praise you, O you God of my fathers, who have given me wisdom and might, and have made known to me now what we desired of you: for you have now made known to us the king’s matter.” (Daniel 2:23) “And at the end of the days I Nebuchadnezzar lifted up my eyes to heaven, and my understanding returned to me, and I blessed the most High, and I praised and honored him that lives for ever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom is from generation to generation” (Daniel 4:34) He is our all and all and though we may not “feel” like praising Him, it is our responsibility to offer  Him our sacrifice of praise. I’m not saying it is always easy for us to do, but it our duty as believers to give to God what is rightfully due Him for all that He does for us because He loves us. “I will sing of mercy and judgment: to you, O LORD, will I sing.” (Psalm 101:1) “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ” (Ephesians 1:3)

As you walk Every Day With Grace, I encourage you to bring your sacrifice of praise to God. Praise Him because you love him, praise Him for His love for you, or just praise Him because you know your life would actually be empty without Him and because of Him, your life can be filled with joy.

In His Love,

Melody

“Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honor, and glory, and blessing.” (Revelation 5:12)
“Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honor, and power, and might, be to our God for ever and ever. Amen.” (Revelation 7:12)

We Bring The Sacrifice Of Praise: Writer/Composer : Kirk Dearman

We bring the sacrifice of praise
Unto the house of the Lord.
We bring the sacrifice of praise
Unto the house of the Lord.

And we offer up to You
The sacrifices of thanksgiving;
And we offer up to You
The sacrifices of joy.

 

“Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25-26)


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Hello! How are you? How are things?  I, myself have gone through a recent trial these last two weeks and I am so grateful that I had and felt  the grace of God.  Frankly, I do not know how people go through the tough times without having the assurance of their relationship in Jesus. I would assume by now everyone has heard of the news of the death of Robin Williams.  He was a comedic genius with improv and timing. The news of his death was sad. If he didn’t know Jesus when he died, then his death is even more tragic because now he will be eternally separated from God.

This may be a morbid topic, but we will all die eventually. A family member  of mine almost died last week, but it was not his time and God spared him. The Bible says “Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment.” (Hebrews 9:27) When one knows Jesus, they will die a physical death (absent from the body is to be present with the Lord”) but, they will have eternal life because the spirit will live 0n-which means the person does not truly die. You see, we are made up of spirit, soul and body. The body is our “physical shell”; our mind, will and emotions are our soul; and then our spirit. In the beginning God breathed His Spirit into His creation-which was Adam; thus giving him life. We all come from Adam and Eve. They are our “original parents” who are brought sin into the world-which is why there is a physical death.  (In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for dust you are, and to dust you shall return” (Genesis 3:19)  People walk around thinking that they should just take care of their bodies only and that will prolong their life. Obviously, we should do everything we can to maintain our health and live a healthy lifestyle; and I have heard so many people say “my body is a temple like the Bible says it is”. But, they are mis-quoting the scripture and say that as a way to idolize their body.  The Bible says that our body is the temple of the HOLY SPIRIT. “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)

The real issue about life/death (or, eternal life/eternal death) is whether one believes in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior and will therefore never die.  Do you believe this to be true? Can you accept that there is eternal life, but only through Jesus “Jesus answered, I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6) Many people think their philosophy will save them Or, their religion will save them; or, their morality will save them-you know the “golden rule”…”do unto others as you would want done to you…” But, the fact is this…none of this will save you and guarantee you a spot in heaven. One’s morality will not get you salvation. However, morality is a by-product of  one’s salvation.  You may not accept this information, but, do you believe it is true? Understand that God see everything and “we have all sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) God is a Holy God and He will not have anything sinful in His presence. That is why only Jesus offers us forgiveness of our sins and makes us “white as snow” as He mediates on our behalf. The only way to achieve this is to believe this. I’m not talking about visualization, or perception or anything that is self-serving. Belief is an act of faith because there really is nothing for us to do except believe what God says is true.

This trials I went through made me think (again) that time is short and life as we know it is precious. My concern with my family member is that they refuse to submit themselves to Jesus.  Salvation is a gift; so therefore, it is something we cannot bargain with or obtain on our own. Jesus said “I am the Way, the truth and light. No one comes to the Father except through me.” Do you believe this? The decision is an easy one and yours to make. We are not promised tomorrow which is why “Today is the day of salvation.”  For he says, In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you. I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.” (2 Corinthians 6:2) Salvations starts with a choice to believe and then the action to accept-which awakes your spiritual nature (remember we are spirit, soul and body).  

As you walk Every Day With Grace,  I ask that you choose life-eternal life and believe. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever would believe on Him would not perish, but have ever-lasting life.” (John 3:16)  

In His Love 

Melody

 

I Surrender All | Judson W. Van DeVenter

 All to Jesus I surrender;
All to Him I freely give;
I will ever love and trust Him,
In His presence daily live.

Refrain:
I surrender all,
I surrender all;
All to Thee, my blessed Savior,
I surrender all.

All to Jesus I surrender;
Humbly at His feet I bow,
Worldly pleasures all forsaken;
Take me, Jesus, take me now.

All to Jesus I surrender;
Make me, Savior, wholly Thine;
Let me feel the Holy Spirit,
Truly know that Thou art mine.

All to Jesus I surrender;
Lord, I give myself to Thee;
Fill me with Thy love and power;
Let Thy blessing fall on me.

All to Jesus I surrender;
Now I feel the sacred flame.
Oh, the joy of full salvation!
Glory, glory, to His Name!

 

 

 

“For a man’s ways are in full view of the LORD, and he examines all his paths.” (Proverbs 5:21)

IMG_0493Hello! How are you? How is your week? Mine has been a very long week-life happens and circumstances occur that affect one’s family. So of course, when things happen people may think “where is God in all of this?” “I didn’t see anything like this coming…so how can God allow this to happen?” “Didn’t He know?” “Doesn’t He care?” Well, the truth of the matter is this…Yes! God does see specifically what is occurring in one’s life. He doesn’t get distracted and He is able to listen-regardless of how many people are on the planet. God’s part is not new and it has not changed. He is still sitting on the throne  because NOTHING and NO ONE  can remove Him from it.“I lift up my eyes to the mountains— where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slip— he who watches over you will not slumber; indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord watches over you— the Lord is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord will keep you from all harm— he will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore. (Psalm 121)

Believe it or not, God has a plan and a purpose for your life. It could be something big like an Astronaut; maybe a scientist who discovers a cure; maybe the purpose is to be a Pastor or a leader of a congregation who truly has a Godly influence. It could be a “celebrity,” but, I’m a little hesitant to use that term because people tend to idolize people who have somewhat of a public face-even within some religious organizations. Anyway, one’s purpose could also be a mother  or grandmother who teaches and raises children to love and obey God; or to care for a sick child. It could be a faithful father, who works three jobs to support his family and to put food on the table and goes to church and worship together as a family. I know many today, do not have a family situation like this, but the family (father, mother, children) was God’s perfect design-for a purpose and with a purpose. The family relationship is something tangible that God uses for us to identify with Him. The purpose: “to be fruitful and multiply.” Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. 28 Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” (Genesis 1:26-28) Please do not confuse having a family or a large family for that matter as breeding. I know there are people who cannot comprehend having more than “2.5” children in the United States, but God distinctly says that children are a gift and a heritage from the LORD.  “Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, The fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, So are the children of one’s youth. Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them” (Psalm 127:3-5) So what else am I saying?  We have choices in our decisions; no matter what they are-the good, the bad, and the ugly.  Some choices may be clear cut; some may be difficult; and still-some may be confusing; and God sees how we choose-especially since He gave us free will. ‘For [God’s] eyes are upon the ways of a man, and He sees all his steps.” (Job 34:21 Amplified) “Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.” (Genesis 28:15)

God is there for us no matter what-even we go through bad or sad times. You know those times when it feels like the world is closing in on you and you feel all alone and you don’t think you can go on. “And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:9-10) We should take comfort that God is there for us whether we need to make a decision or if we enter into trials; either way, He is there. “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.  (James 1: 2-8)

As you walk Every Day With Grace, know that everything comes from God. “Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren.  Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.  Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures. (James 1:16-18) As we get to know God and His Word, we need to apply what He is teaching us and learn to be more Christ minded instead of earthly (or fleshly minded). “My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. Therefore, get rid of( all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you. Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do. Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless. Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” (James 1:19-27)

In His Love,

Melody

“From everyone who has been given much, much will be required, and from the one who has been entrusted with much, even more will be asked.” (Luke 12:48)

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Hello. How are you? Can you believe that it is August?  All I can say is “WOW!” You know what that means, don’t you? Christmas is only four months away! (Please don’t yell at me!)  Anyway, life is moving on and it’s moving fast. I personally view this year as a year of change. Interestingly, I notice a lot of “endings”  this year. Hopefully. 2015 will be filled with new beginnings in the best sense for all of us.

I kept “hearing” the above scripture this week, so, that’s why I chose it. It also provokes my thinking as to what God expects from us I believe it comes down to accountability and responsibility for whatever God has given to us. In other words, we need to be good stewards of our possessions and even look after the people who are in our lives.  That may very well include, mothers, fathers, children, siblings, coworkers, bosses, church members, etc… What’s my point? My point is this-have you ever noticed how some people only seem to care when others are watching? Or, “When the cat’s away, the mice will play”?  Do you notice how much more lax we become and “bend” the rules because we think no one is watching? You know…one may get to work a little later, come back from lunch later, or leave 5 minutes earlier than you’re supposed to, talk on the phone at work, etc…Sound familiar? Have you ever been guilty of any of that? Sadly, I know I have and that grieves God’s heart. It’s not what we do we we are seen that matters, it matters how we conduct ourselves when NO ONE sees. Either way, God sees all the time. He will not let your foot slip—he who watches over you will not slumber; indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.” (Psalm 121: 3-40) He is not “too busy” not to notice how His children conduct themselves. I think it is horrible when a non-believers doesn’t see any difference in someone who calls themselves a Christian. As believers, we are to be “set apart” because we belong to Christ…“We have been set apart as holy because Jesus Christ did what God wanted him to do by sacrificing his body once and for all.” (Hebrews 10:10) We should not conduct ourselves in ungodly ways because we think Jesus hasn’t returned yet so there’s still time to continue to act like every one else. I don’t want to be caught with my “hair down” and not be ready for Jesus’ return. I want to be ready and unashamed when He comes back. I would want Him to find me in prayer, or reading His Word, or doing something genuine in His name.

For those of us who are Born-Again believers, God has entrusted us with His name and to spread the “Good News” which is salvation through Grace through Jesus Christ. He is our mediator between God and mankind.  We have a tremendous responsibility before God since we bear His name.  It is true that our name goes before us-which means there is an association attached to our name-which in essence will reveal our character. For example, when you hear of someone’s name you may think, “he/she is compassionate, or generous, or funny.” Or you might think ,”Oh, no! Here comes trouble!” Or, “He/she is so insensitive and mean and cheap.” I know when some people hear my name, they think I’m funny; but, I am also known as someone who is “black and white with no grey” in my viewpoint. As believers, we need to be ready for Jesus’s return every moment of every day.  For God “a day is like a thousand years and a thousand years is like a day.”  But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:8-9) That kind of time is a luxury we do not have.

As you Walk Every Day With Grace, I would like to encourage you to be ready for Jesus since we do not know His arrival “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only.” (Matthew  24: 36-37)know that we will stand before God and we will give an account for what God has entrusted us with.  So, I would ask that you would be the best parent, child, sibling, employee, boss, teacher, student, minister, pastor, doctor, nurse, lawyer, construction worker, police officer, butcher, baker, whatever it is that God has entrusted to you in your life at this time. Redeem your time and keep watch because the Son of Man (Jesus) is coming back for His own.

In His Love,

Melody’

“Be ready for action, and have your lamps burning. 36 Be like servants waiting to open the door at their master’s knock when he returns from a wedding. Blessed are those servants whom the master finds awake when he comes. I can guarantee this truth: He will change his clothes, make them sit down at the table, and serve them. They will be blessed if he comes in the middle of the night or toward morning and finds them awake. “Of course, you realize that if the homeowner had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have let him break into his house. Be ready, because the Son of Man will return when you least expect him.” Peter asked, “Lord, did you use this illustration just for us or for everyone?” The Lord asked, “Who, then, is the faithful, skilled manager that the master will put in charge of giving the other servants their share of food at the right time?  That servant will be blessed if his master finds him doing this job when he comes. I can guarantee this truth: He will put that servant in charge of all his property.  On the other hand, that servant may think that his master is taking a long time to come home. The servant may begin to beat the other servants and to eat, drink, and get drunk. His master will return at an unexpected time. Then his master will punish him severely and assign him a place with unfaithful people. “The servant who knew what his master wanted but didn’t get ready to do it will receive a hard beating.  But the servant who didn’t know what his master wanted and did things for which he deserved punishment will receive a light beating. A lot will be expected from everyone who has been given a lot. More will be demanded from everyone who has been entrusted with a lot.” (Luke 12:35-48)