March 20, 2018

From Pursuit to Reward

My pursuit of a deeper understanding of God’s love, faith, and walking with Him, took place as I journeyed to find my way through a time of feeling confused and without direction. We’ve all been at a crossroad in our faith walk where we choose to go deeper in our relationship with God and wholly follow after Him, or coast, and continue our own path in our own way.
As I sought the Lord through a more intensive time alone with Him and in His Word, I discovered that finding Him was much more rewarding than finding myself.  And in drawing closer to Him, He revealed who He made me to be.
I made a stronger commitment to my regular quiet time and in that time with God, I learned the importance of developing a deeper relationship with Him, and I discovered the depth of His love and found the stronger faith He calls us to when we yield surrendered lives unto Him. He taught me that He is there for us in all our struggles and conflicts and we are never alone, He is always with us.

If I can pursue it, that means anyone can. It isn’t complicated unless we make it complicated and we often do. And then we blame God when we think the closeness isn’t there and instead there is a distant feeling. It doesn’t have to be that way or stay that way.
It does take work. It requires pursuit. But there is no other relationship more worth the effort.  
The reward far outweighs the effort.
The reward is waking up in the morning knowing God is already waiting for you to go through the day with you.
The reward is going through the day knowing He is with you and nothing can separate you from His love.
The reward is having a kind of joy and peace that the world can’t begin to understand.
The reward is His Spirit working in and through you to change you and make you more like Him.
The reward is you are His and you belong to Him forever. This is a forever relationship you can count on. I think this is the best reward. 
Jeremiah 29:13 And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.

March 18, 2018

Let's Not Neglect What We've Been Given

Lately, I have been asking myself about the messages in my writing. Will my words remind you of the importance of the relationship you can have with the Lord built on daily drawing near, walking with Him and making this a priority?

These are not words lightly written. This relationship I am writing about is with a Holy Almighty God. In all seriousness, let’s be reminded of some of what that includes.

As a believer, our life is lived unto an unseen God who works mysteriously in our lives through the work of His Holy Spirit, the Comforter given to us when Jesus ascended to heaven following His death, burial and resurrection.

His presence is known in our lives and His work is evident as we journey with Him through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit given to us at the point of salvation, when we receive Jesus as Savior and believe on Him for eternal life, having repented of our sins and asked for His forgiveness.

Do we appreciate the magnitude of a living God that dwells inside of us? 

Hebrews 2:1-4 tells us not to neglect so great a salvation.

That is my encouragement to you today:  Do not neglect what we’ve been given. 

Hebrews 2:1-4 Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away.  For if the word spoken through angels proved steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just reward, how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him, God also bearing witness both with signs and wonders, with various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit, according to His own will?  


 Photo used courtesy of Patricia Hunter at Pollywog Creek.

March 14, 2018

Heroes of My Faith

I didn’t grow up in church. I didn’t learn the stories of David and Goliath or Joseph and his coat of many colors, or his brothers who plotted to kill him. I didn’t know about Abraham and Isaac, or Daniel and the lion’s den. I didn’t know about Baby Jesus in a manger or Paul meeting Jesus on the Road to Damascus when he was still named Saul. I didn’t know about the Israelites crossing the Red Sea or about Noah and the ark or Jonah in the whale.

But I learned these stories after I was saved and reading my Bible. I also heard them in the context of messages in church and Sunday school classes and other Bible studies. They are not mere stories. They are true accounts of men and women that God has chosen to place in the Holy infallible scriptures for our benefit. We are to learn from them.

I have my favorites. I call them the Heroes of my faith. Their stories and struggles, their victories and faith have taught me the most. We all need heroes. Here are a few of mine: 

When I need courage to face a giant, I remember David. 
1 Samuel 17:37 Moreover David said, “The Lord, who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.” 

When I need to forgive when others hurt me, I think of Joseph and the injustices he endured. 
Genesis 50:19-20 Joseph said to them, “Do not be afraid, for am I in the place of God? But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive. 

When I can’t see the next step of my journey, I remember Abraham. 
Hebrews 11:8 By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. 

When I struggle with contentment and joy, I think of Paul. 
Philippians 4:11-13 Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.  I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. 

When I don’t understand anything in the face of hardship, I think of Job. 
Job 1:20-22 Then Job arose, tore his robe, and shaved his head; and he fell to the ground and worshiped. And he said: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return there. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; Blessed be the name of the Lord.” In all this Job did not sin nor charge God with wrong. 

The greatest Hero of my faith is Jesus Christ, because He is my Savior.
 John 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.