Tag Archive | grace

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

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Hello. How are you? I hope all is well with your soul(s). I’m sorry that I have been MIA- (missing in action), but life happens and we all respond to it in our own way.

Anyway…the point is that as a believer, our focus should continually be on Jesus Christ especially since He is the author and finisher of our faith. fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:2).  When we take our eyes off God, we keep them on ourselves.  What does that normally mean? It means we start making plans for ourselves regardless of God’s plan or will for us. How many times have we made plans and couldn’t get out of our own way?  Isn’t that ironic? Truly our vision is extremely limited when it is focused solely on self. 

Jesus must increase in our daily lives which means HE becomes the true focus of our existence and the only way that can happen is if we die to ourselves. So, what does that mean? That means that we need to seek the LORD for His Will for our lives and surrender what thoughts, ideas, or plans we had for ourselves. “For I know the plans that I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. I will be found by you,’ declares the Lord.” (Jeremiah 29:11-13) Believers should want to decrease in order for Jesus to increase-that should exist in our inner most being and hearts. It’s when we surrender to God, we can objectively begin to see our inadequaticies before God. We are unable to serve God and walk in the holiness we are called to do when we do not allow God to increase in our lives.

This is when our faith has to be put in action. Please know this can be a struggle, but our faith is about Jesus and not us. “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? (Romans 6:1-2)  We are sinners, but Jesus Christ is sinless. We were separated from God by sin, but Jesus Christ bridged the gap between God and man. We could not atone for our sin, but Jesus Christ paid the price in full when he died on the cross.  

God’s word is true and that is what we must solely stand on. When we put our focus on Christ instead of on ourselves, our whole perspective changes. By ourselves, we are slaves of sin… but in Christ, we have victory over sin. By ourselves, we are children of wrath bound for destruction… but in Christ, we have the hope of eternal life. By ourselves, we are separated from God by sin… but in Christ, we can come boldly before the presence of God, being cleansed of all sin not by our own works but by his holiness.

I know I want Jesus to increase in my life and for me to decrease. “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.” (Galatians 2:20).  If I ask God to help me decrease, I know He will give me the grace to do so. However, I must obey Him just as much as I ask Him to help me. The time is growing short and I know I want my life to reflect more of Jesus so I can please Him and be a witness to others.  “Jesus says “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). Our faith must be centered on Jesus Christ alone. Apart from him, we can do nothing.”

As you Walk Every Day with Grace and you know Jesus, join with me and allow Jesus to increase in our lives as we daily decrease in ourselves and our own ambitions. It’s like what my friend Amy says, “There are good things and there are Godly things”. Let’s always strive to increase Jesus in our lives so, that our lives and choices reflect more of Him and less of us.

In His Love,

Melody

To Be Like Jesus

To be like Jesus
To be like Jesus
All I ask – to be like Him
All through life’s journey
From earth to glory
All I ask – to be like Him.

 

 

 

 

 

“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.” (1 Peter 6:8)

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Hello! How is everyone? How was your week? It always amazes me how time flies during a three day weekend, but, when you go back to work on Tuesday, it slows down. Hmmm…  Anyway, I have been talking to many people lately and the amount of various struggles people are going through simultaneously is crazy.  People seem to be getting hit from all sides.  I feel that God is bringing certain things to an end in peoples lives-certain seasons or areas that are in desperate need of change. Definitely a change from depending on oneself to depending on God-and only God can bring that change.  Unfortunately, change usually brings anxiety.  I believe the anxiety is caused by the lack of control one has in these personal areas.  The “funny” thing about change is that it is constant-with us or without us life brings change.  However, God and His ways do not change because He is constant. “For I am the LORD, I do  not change” (Malachi 3:6)

The Bible says “The fear of the LORD leads to life, so that one may sleep satisfied, untouched by evil.” (Proverbs 19:23″ To fear God is to honor Him. And how do we honor God? By believing He is true to His word and that He will take care of us. He does this out of love-not obligation.  God has not only shown me His, but, He continues to prove it to me.  You see, Jesus hears the prayers of His children and He brings them to His heavenly Father as He intercedes for us.  Just tonight, my friend called me and told me a tornado was heading towards her town in Mena, Arkansas and asked for prayer because she had less than 20 minutes to take cover. Talk about casting your anxieties on God!! While the clock was ticking, she heard banging on her door-which happened to be her son and grandson. They were traveling home and needed to take shelter so they only had time to get to her house.  Then we prayed. I prayed from New York and she was literally in her prayer closet waiting out the tornado.  After 30-40 minutes, she called me to let me know that the tornado “fell apart” before reaching her town. Coincidence? Maybe. But, we believe it was the answer to prayer.  God changed her immediate circumstances.  Obviously, He doesn’t always respond that way-but He did tonight (May 30, 2013).  This testimony is for the glory of God!  God hears and responds to needs of His children and to His creation.

I have another friend who is also going through a tremendous struggle because she and her husband are losing their Christian school and have to start all over. I am constantly encouraging her because God knows what’s going on but, will only intervene at the appropriate time. “The streps of a good man are ordered by the LORD, and He delights in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; for the LORD upholds him with His hand. I have been young and now am old, yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his descendants begging bread.” (Psalm 37:23-25). I remember about 12 years ago, my job was outsourced. It was an end to a season at the company where I worked.  I had my severance with medical benefits for 1 year.  God provided a job for me at the very end of my severance. My medical benefits ended on June 30th and my new job started July 1st-with health benefits. I did not have to wait to get them. He gave me continuous coverage. Of course I would have preferred my new job at the beginning of the year; but, God wanted me to depend on Him and if I had gotten my job sooner, I would not have developed the intimate relationship I have with God today.I had to depend on Him for EVERYTHING!  “Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said  ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.’ So we say with confidence, The Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?” (Hebrews 13: 5-6). It is through our humility with God we are able to know Him. Usually when things are going well, people are around and we don’t think of God because we act as if we don’t need Him. However, once something bad happens which involves some form of loss, He is the only one standing beside us waiting to lift us up and out of our predicament.

There is just not enough time to tell you how God has loved and cared for me during my life- time. I had to let go of my anxieties of the unknown and trust Him for a better “now” because we do not know what tomorrow may bring.  I did not let go of stuff so willingly. But, God is gentle and a gentleman. He does not rip things out of our hands.  He waits for us to open them instead so He can replace it with something better.

I pray that as you acknowledge some or any of your anxieties, you will humble yourself and get quiet before God and cast them on the LORD.  Let Him show you how much He loves and cares for you as you walk Every Day With Grace.

In His Love,

Melody