Sunday, December 13, 2009

What do you deserve?

I am sure that you have heard many times from people, "you deserve that." One day I will blog about my testimony and maybe some of you would say I deserve ___________. But the truth is we don't deserve anything but death. Oh did I type say that out loud. Yes I did! The only thing that we all deserve in this life is death but guess what as Beth Moore says "the creator promised death and delivered life!
" Hallelujah! Praise the Lord!

In Romans 8:31-32, it says, "What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all – how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?" God loved us so much that he did not spare his ONLY Son! Could you imagine taking the life of your ONLY child for the world? For this world that we live in today! Just think what Abraham must have been thinking when God asked him to take his son, Isaac, and sacrifice him. God was testing Abraham at this moment and boy how I wish I could have the discipline, obedience, faith and unconditional love that Abraham showed that day. (Genesis 22:1-19) Don't you know if it was you or I being asked to do this, at least I can speak for myself, that I would be thinking okay Lord I am trusting that I really am not going to have to go through with this request you have asked of me. Thank the Lord he is not asking us to do that today but we are asked to make sacrifices each and every day.

Think about the title of this blog, "What do you deserve?" What would your response be if I met you today and asked you this question? Would you be honest with me and yourself about what you truly deserve? Would you tell me you deserve a new car; the latest gadget; a shopping spree; to be debt free; what would it be? I don't deserve anything that I have but you can bet that I am truly grateful for everything that has come in and out of my life. I really don't even deserve God's forgiveness but He sent His ONLY Son to die on the cross; to die a horrible death for MY SINS and He still loves me. That just blows my mind that we serve such an awesome, loving, forgiving, gracious, merciful, wonderful, unconditional Father.

If we go back a few more verses from what we just looked at it states in Romans 8:28 "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." In my bible it says in the sidelines: "Let's be crystal clear here. God works everything in believers' lives for their "good." This doesn't mean that everything works for pleasant lifestyles, enjoyable futures and happiness. The "good" here, though it isn't defined or specified, is to be understood as a spiritual and eternal "good." God uses everything in believers' lives – and often the difficult things in their lives – to remake them, to transform them into the likeness of his Son. Everything that happens to us – the easy, the difficult, the grief, the pain, the joy – has one purpose to make us more like Jesus."

So again I ask the question today: What do you deserve? I would love to hear from each of you and what you are struggling with in your personal walk.

What will you do today to be more like Jesus?

Saturday, December 12, 2009

{For Such A Time As This}

I am reminded daily that I am not in control and that God does have a perfect plan for my life. As I have been keeping up with my FB friends, it is hard for us to remember this when we are waiting on the Army to bring our spouses home; waiting on doctors to find out what is wrong with us; waiting for our homes to sell; waiting on a job to open up; waiting on time for little babies to be born to this world; waiting, waiting and more waiting….

I know I continue to reference this bible study by Beth Moore: Esther It's Tough Being A Woman but this is good stuff and she is a gifted writer…anyway. In Esther 4: 14 Mordecai is telling Esther some important words that will forever change her life! He says "For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father's family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?" I can't say it better than Beth and I am not good at paraphrasing so this is what Beth continues to say on the matter. "Not only are you royalty but you have been placed in your sphere of influence, regardless of the size you perceive it to be. "for such a time as this." Ecclesiastes 3:2 tells us there is "a time to be born and a time to die." God cut out those exact perimeters for you and me on the kingdom calendar so that we would be positioned on earth right now. Likewise, Acts 17:26 tells us unflinchingly that God "determined the times set for [us] and the exact places that [we] should live." You see, even your current location is part of the set-up for your kingdom destiny." (pg. 97 Esther, It's Tough Being a Woman) Wow, if this does not hit your square in the face I don't know what will!

I am so reminded convicted each and every second that I am not in charge! God has a plan for my life and I need to "be still and know that I [He] am God." I must die to self everyday and remember that He will guide my steps. As Psalms 62: 7 clearly instructs me "My salvation and my honor depend on God, he is my mighty rock, my refuge." Sometimes we have no idea why we are going through certain problems but God knows. I received an email yesterday that depicted this perfectly. You see a man and many others carrying a cross and he is pleading with God to take the cross from him. So each time he is crying out to God, God cuts part of the bottom off the cross so it gets lighter and lighter. Once he gets to a canyon to cross, the others use their cross (since it is long enough) as a bridge to cross over but he cannot cross over because he continued to ask God to make his burden lighter. Sometimes we must bear the burden of our cross so that we may cross over the bridge to the other side. By going through the valley we are able to rise up and be stronger. Our witness becomes stronger each time we go through the valley and rise up victorious through Christ.

"We complain about the cross we bear but don't realize it is preparing us for the dip in the road that God can see and we can't. God promises you a safe landing not a calm passage."

"Who knows but that you have come to ________________ for such a time as this?"

Fill in the blank and just remember that God knows why you have come to this time. He will see you through to the other side.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Faithful Even When We are Faithless

It has been almost a month since my last post. Life just seemed to stop when my husband returned home from Afghanistan. It is hard to stay in your routine that you have had for almost a year when your other half comes home. It is such an adjustment when you have another adult living in your "our" home. So I am going to try really, really hard to start writing ever day after my quiet time.

I am in week 6 of my Beth Moore Study Esther, It's Tough Being a Woman and this is the most intense study that I have taken thus far. I have taken other Beth Moore studies and this one has challenged me spiritually and mentally as a wife, mother and a woman. Today Beth brought up 2 Timothy 2: 13, but I feel we must see the whole context of this scripture so let's back up to verse 11 "Here is a trustworthy saying: If we died with him, we will also live with him;'" if we endure, we will also reign with him." If we disown him, he will also disown us; if we are faithless, he will remain faithful, for he cannot disown himself", isn't this wonderful to hear because if you are anything like me my faith is not evident in my life every day. I have days where I think I give it over to the Lord but then I dwell on the matter that I just gave to Him.

My husband, Josh, and I just talked about this on Monday in relation to our upcoming move to Hattiesburg, MS. I tend to bring a lot of undue stress on myself because I am a procrastinator, CAN YOU RELATE? I like to think it is because of my free spirit but it is because I am distracted by so many things going on around me and I want to do it when I want to do it, just selfish if the truth be known. I know none of you out there are like that, ahem. No matter what I do or don't do God is still Faithful. What a comforting thought to know that He is still Faithful, in the midst of my faithlessness. God gives us encouragement to be Faithful in His word. We I need to be reminded of this daily and to spend that quiet time with my Lord on a daily basis. When I do this I am being filled up with the Holy Spirit and it becomes easier for me to be faithful in this faithless world.