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Faith – Part 1

Faith requires action. Otherwise it’s useless. The Bible tells us, “For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.” James 2:26 (KJV)

As Christians, we claim faith in God but some of us continue to live a life full of worry, stress, anger, fear, or depression. Of course, there are situations that sometimes cause these legitimate emotions to appear. But we should not continuously live in such an emotional state.

Psalm 23:4 reads, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.” (KJV)

We must put some work behind our faith, and believe in God’s promise to protect and comfort us during our period of trial and tribulation.

For God is not a liar.

Love

Some people don’t know what love is. I’m not talking about love with limits… “I’ll love you so long as you…” No. I’m talking about unconditional love. But many don’t possess this attribute, therefore, they are unable to give it.

God gives us a pretty clear description of what unconditional love is in 1Corinthians 13 – specifically verses 4 through7 – and by finding out what love is, we ultimately find out what love IS NOT.

Verse 4:Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.”

Verse 5: “It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.”

Verse 6: “Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.”

Verse 7: “It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”

This is how God intended for us to love.

But we tend to make our own rules in this world, don’t we?

We should get back to God’s rules. We should use 1 Corinthians 13 as a standard by which we measure how we love. Many will fall short; all the while thinking their love is unconditional. But the Bible tells us “…the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight…” (1 Corinthians 3:19 NIV)

And in Isaiah 55:8-9, the Lord tells us, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,… As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

What we think we’re doing doesn’t compare with what God KNOWS we’re doing.

If the way you love doesn’t measure up to God’s standards, surrender your heart to Jesus. Let Him transform you, fix you, and lead you down the pathway of unconditional love and life everlasting.

To discover what it means to be unconditionally loved, study the Gospel of John and see what our Savior, Jesus, did for us.

Giving God the Glory…

Rotten Fruit

Proverbs 4:23

“Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.”

 

Someone said, “What goes into the mind comes out in a life.” What kind of life are you living? Is it a life that puts Jesus Christ first?

How we live is a direct reflection of what we think and how we feel. A tree is known by the fruit it produces. And a bitter tree never produces anything sweet. Our private thoughts and feelings don’t lie.

But we do.

Some folks try to put on a warm and loving façade, but if their heart is cold, it’s just a matter of time before an icy chill begins to infiltrate the space around them.

Sometimes, it only takes seconds. Because a cold heart can not emit anything warm.

Today. It’s time for a change. It’s time for YOUR change.

You are still here, and God is still waiting. You don’t know what tomorrow is bringing, so don’t let your life be in vain.

Today. Understand that what you need is deliverance, deliverance from a cold heart, deliverance from dark and unkind thoughts, deliverance from unforgiveness, deliverance from bitterness – all rotten fruit.

Take the first step to freeing yourself. Surrender to the Saviour, and He will set you free.

Jesus tells us He is “the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” John 14:6 (KJV)

Come out of the rotten ruins of darkness. Step into the light. Be healed. And be free.

Unnecessary Pain

Across the bordered line of emotion, beneath the settled pain, in his heart lies an evil easily swayed towards destruction, and ready to be seduced by pain.

This evil, better known as the master’s dragon, is supposedly under lock and key; quietly serving a life sentence of memories while waiting for the moment of rejuvenation.

Yet the dragon would be nil were it not for the master who constantly fuels the fire of which it breathes.

Who constantly remembers the pain of a past that’s been allowed a space, though dark is this place, in his heart.

Then enters a light – just a flicker at first, and the dragon’s pace quickens as its master recalls the hurt.

But The Light grows brighter, and It does not burn. And to feel It warms his soul – for this light is Jesus Christ.

And He has not come empty-handed.

Nay, He is heavily equipped with love.

So, with one painless thrust, He pierces into his heart. And the dragon standing guard cries out.

But the master does not hear, and his heart is elated for alas, unto him comes the Dragon Slayer.

© 2013 Catherine Flowers

Satisfaction of the Soul

To satisfy the soul we must seek the eternal – not the temporal.

There are too many choices in the world today; most of them having to do with satisfying our fleshly desires. From clothing to furniture and everything in between, we are bombarded with options.

Take a simple thing like vanilla ice cream. When I go to the grocery store to buy a ½ gallon of vanilla ice cream, that’s all I want. But I must first sift through the different types of vanilla. I am offered French vanilla, vanilla bean, New York flavor, Home style, or soft churned (I’m sure I’m forgetting some).

We need to be careful not to get caught up in the materialistic whirlwind that will never provide satisfaction for the soul. Some of you are still dealing with that void. It’s still there, and you wonder why. That’s because it’s a spiritual void and you keep trying to fill it up with worldly things. It doesn’t work.

Our souls require spiritual food that can only come from the Word of God. And when we begin to receive His word on a regular basis and allow Jesus Christ to dwell within us, then and only then does that void begin to close.

Take inventory. Look at all your things. Then take a look inside.

Matthew 6:19-21 tells us, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”  (NIV)

Now vanilla ice cream is a small example. And it’s not a sin to acquire things. The message is, let us be careful not to place heartfelt allegiance to the material things of this world – things that have no eternal significance. For in doing so we give our Father in Heaven a clear message that our heart is not with Him. And there can never be any satisfaction of the soul under those conditions.

To Be Continued

We all have a story to tell. Never mind the beginning chapters; how will your story end?

Will it end with you being the same way – broke down, lost and confused – that you were at the beginning of the book? Or will you end on a triumphant note, standing tall, knowing at last who you are, why you were created, and where you’re headed.

The first few chapters of your novel may be painful, filled with all sorts of emotional issues and baggage weighing you down. Page 119 might take us with you on your treacherous journey through quicksand, but page 207 might find us standing along side you on solid, not sinking, ground.

That’s your story.

Someone else’s story might take them a little longer to reach victory. We may have to suffer with them through 300 pages of stumbling across rocky ground. And page 305 might find them still stumbling.

To those I say, put on the whole armour of God. The enemy is not playing with you. You need to get geared up.

Ephesians 6:13-17 tells us, “Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:” (KJV)

Can you see the metaphor? The whole armour of God – that’s the protection of God in the form of His truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and Word (Bible). Clinging to all of these becomes our armour, our protection. It’s no wonder that we are told in Isaiah 54:17, “No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper;…”

How will your story end? How do you want it to end? Surrender yourself to Jesus Christ. Trust and obey Him. He will grant you everlasting life – and that’s what I call a happy ending!

A Truthful Life

We are always a work in progress. But through Christ’ strength, we can live a blameless life.

The Word tells us that if we will humble ourselves in the sight of the Lord, He will lift us up.  (James 4:10 KJV)

It calls for a surrendering of our own will and an obedience to Christ. 

By His lifting us up, Christ proves Philippians 4:13 -“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” – to be true. 

Yes, we are constantly a work in progress. But if we say we love the Lord, let us not make excuses for unjustifiable behavior. Let us continue striving to stay on the pathway of righteousness, settling for nothing less than a truthful life.

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