Friday, July 29, 2016

Who is Reading?

I reckon its time to write whats been bouncing around my head the past few days. Funny thing I hear my thoughts with a southern accent now, lol. 
While we were in Arkansas I had a relative tell me that something I wrote had helped them with something they were going through, and while they were not religious, they believe in God, just are not all into church and stuff. I dont really want to focus this on the religious, church stuff at the moment. 
I want to focus on the fact that we never know what an impact what we say and do will have on others. We have been given the keys to eternal life, its not just to give us a warm/cozy feeling about where we will spend eternity, but to share that warm/cozy with those around us. 
Jesus said in Matthew 5:14-16 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.
I write to share what He gives me, and I pray that its not my words but His, although it may have a Paul flavor to it, I want it to bring Glory and point to Him, not me.
I write not to single anybody out or point fingers at anybody. Only to share what He shows me.
So God never ceases to amaze me where He is going to show up. I dont care who you are, we all go through times where we reflect and wonder if our life is making a difference in others we have contact with. God has a way of revealing things, and when we have our eyes and hearts on Him, we get to see it for what it is. God is with us. I dont recall this person clicking "Like" and didnt even know they had read anything I had put in writing, and to find out that God used me again in another manner is truly cause for me to tell Him, Thank-You Father.
Its funny how you can say the something to your own household only to have people get angry or put up a wall, getting defensive. When the same words put in writing can impact somebody you almost never speak to. 
Jesus certainly knew this Matthew 13:54-57 "Coming to his hometown, he began teaching the people in their synagogue, and they were amazed. “Where did this man get this wisdom and these miraculous powers?” they asked. “Isn’t this the carpenter’s son? Isn’t his mother’s name Mary, and aren’t his brothers James, Joseph, Simon and Judas? Aren’t all his sisters with us? Where then did this man get all these things?” And they took offense at him. But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own town and in his own home.”
We cant give up just because those around us dont receive what we share, in fact if it happened to Him it will happen to us, He said that the student is not greater than the Master. Sooner or later those around us will know that we love them and only have their best interest at heart. I used to think a prophet was a person who spoke the future, while that is part of it. The definition of prophet "is a person regarded as an inspired teacher or proclaimer of the will of God."
So by definition is not everybody who receives Christ as their saviour called to proclaim the "Good News" thereby are not we all prophets?
We all have a testimony which we all need to share, we dont have to be good speakers, (Lord knows I aint), but we all have our own story. We also all have people who God has placed in our path that need to hear what God has done for us, or how he is working in our life. It was once said, ""All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing", and how true. We have been given His word, His instruction, and for the most part we remain content to keep it for ourselves a without sharing.
God has made it clear to me that these words He places in my head must be sought out in His word and shared for whoever would read, and not to worry at all how many "likes" it gets, but simply with His assurance of Isaiah 55:11 "so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what desire
and achieve the purpose for which I sent it." Paul tells us that we will reap a harvest if we dont give up. We dont change people, God does, we just need to make Him seen by what we say and do!
Seek Him and you will find Him when you seek Him with all your heart. Search His word, speak His word and life will come from it.
I can assure you that when you step out with His purpose in mind and not your own, you will find God in it. Thats how He rolls, after all the bible tells us that Jesus is the Word and the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us! Even now He dwells in those that have asked Him in! Stay Blessed, PJ

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Turn Away?

I wanted to share this, not to toot my own horn or anything like that, but to glorify God. 
While getting gas last night a man approaches asking for gas, as he is walking up my wife tells me this same guy was there the other night saying he doesnt normally do this. So i kinda dont look in hopes that he would walk away, but he didnt so i just say I cant. As I am pumping gas i see him walking around and as he passes me again I start talking to him. I started with a confrontation about being truthful, but as I get into it God was pressing on my heart. The man is talking about all of his hardships in his life, (with some of the "normal" cursing that is soo prevalent these days). The thought comes like yea yea, ive heard this before. God still pressing me to talk about Him. So as he is telling his troubles, I ask him, "Have you tried giving this to God?" 
He responds with, I go to church, but with all that is happened i've kinda given up on Him. He tells me, "I know that He doesnt give us more than we can handle, but I certainly feel it is too much". I tell him, firstly God didnt do this, secondly there is no promises of "more than we can handle". The verse often quoted talks about temptations more than we can bear. I explained that Paul went through stuff which he plainly says was more than he could bear, to the point of death!. I talked to him about Jesus's words about being lukewarm, and how he respects a person who denies him more than one who says he is a follower but still goes about his life not following. This misleads people and what are you showing them about Christ in your life.
I suggest to him about giving God a wholehearted chance, and not giving up, but trusting in Him, with all your heart. That life does shake us up, throw curve balls at us, but its what we do with it that will make a difference. Dont give up on Him, its usually when we are at the end of our rope, that God shows up kinda asking "What are you doing here?" Through it all proving that faith in Him will get us through. I tell him about a recent time where before i could even ask "why God", God answered with, "My ways are not your ways Paul, and my thoughts are not your. How can you even possibly with your limited view of things even question Me when you know that I am in control, and I have this"
I went on for a bit, (as you know I never seem to be short on words, lol), He thanks me for the talk and is very grateful hat it happened as it was just what he needed. I prayed with him, then offered gas, and he turned it down as somebody else had just paid for some. I got his name, (Jeff), so that I could lift him and his daughter, (who wasnt there, but he had mentioned her), up in my prayers. Ended with a hug. I got back in the car overwhelmed by God, thanking Him for this opportunity. 
I am reminded of Peter saying, "silver and gold have i none, but what I have I give you." Its hardly ever about the money, its about the word that God has planted in your heart. God checked my heart to see if there was a willingness to give some money, (in the form of gas), but knowing I wouldnt need to. He just wanted me to share Him! This encounter affected me probably as much or more than Jeff. Dont be afraid of sharing your faith, God has placed His Word in your heart to tell the people the "Good News". Who knows, you may even up hugging that guy asking for gas!
Food for thought, God has called us to be something different. Ask yourself,Are you different, does your life display Christ? It was a check up for me, but you never know where God is going to show up, Its How He Rolls, Stay Blessed, PJ

Sunday, July 17, 2016

We Can do Better

Food for thought, a good and convicting article.  Hearing believers recently exclaim the name of Jesus Christ as a reaction to something, just wrenches my heart. Even when I think deeper, I have a habit of redirecting someones words with "cheese and rice" which really isnt right either. It come in under euphemisms which is just another way of saying the same thing, in essence I am still saying the name of Jesus. Guess I / we should take a closer look at what we are saying in our exclamations, OMG, Jeeze, etc...
We are fortunate that we are saved by His grace, and not of our own actions, because we all fall short, but it doesnt mean we cant do better. There is a better example to be set, and its by following His example. For God so loved the world He sent His only begotten son, that whosoever believes in Him would not perish, but have everlasting life. His sent His son to be an example of how we sould be. He could have just came and made the sacrifice, but He did more. He lived and walked among us, putting Himself beneath us to be an example of how we should be to others
He holds us to a higher standard, but doesnt hold it against us. We can and should do better, and the Holy Spirit in us convicts us so that we do do better. Anyhow just putting it out there because it convicted my heart. Conviction isnt to tear us down, but to help us do better. Thats how He rolls, Stay Blessed, PJ

Saturday, July 16, 2016

No Excuse

I dont believe there is a person out there that this doesnt relate to. Even those that havent had a relationship with Him, no matter how much denial is there, the Bible says that all know.
Romans 1:18-20 "The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse."
No excuses! The same way if we get pulled over, can we tell the officer "Sorry I didnt know I was breaking the law" We all know ignorance of the law is no excuse.
This verse tells us something much deeper, its that we all know. Jesus is tugging at every heart, but we get so caught up in the junk this world throws at us, that we dont seem to even have the time to give Him a thought before it gets swiftly stolen away. We must purpose in our heads and hearts to spend time with Him while we still have time.
Jesus conquered everything the enemy threw at Him, even his biggest weapon, death.
Romans 8:35-39 "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written:
“For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord."
We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us, we can get through all this junk.
Do you experience His freedom? 2Corinthians 3:17 "Now the Lord is Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom. We can be free from all of it, we just gotta keep our eyes on Him. Dont let the enemy lure you away with all the care and worries of this life. Let us store up the eternal things, since the biggest part of our existence is hgoing to be on the other side. Where everything we have built up here will be subject to moths, rust, decay and thieves. We cant take it with us, so why would we let it consume us. There is freedom in Christ, when te Lord sets you free, you are free indeed. Give your heart to Him, or rededicate it to Him. Its all He wants from us, (and frankly its all we have to give that He doesnt already have).The rewards are outta this world, it how He rolls! Stay Blessed, PJ

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Feet Like A Deer

Habakkuk 3:19 The Sovereign Lord is my strength;
he makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
he enables me to tread on the heights.
Habakkuk starts out with a plea (V 2-3)
How long, Lord, must I call for help, but you do not listen?
Or cry out to you, “Violence!” but you do not save?
Why do you make me look at injustice?
Why do you tolerate wrongdoing?
Destruction and violence are before me;
there is strife, and conflict abounds.
The Lords answer wasnt what he wanted to hear, the Lord was raising up the Babylonians to punish the Israelites for disobedience, (this lead to the destruction of their land and 70 years of captivity). By the end of the book (chapter 3)Habakkuk was praising God even though the situation hadnt changed at all. Knowing / realizing that God is in control was really all he needed despite all the troubles around him.
Isnt that true for us today? Despite all of the things going on in our lives and all around us, things hitting from all sides, we need to remind ourselves, (or be reminded), that God is in CONTROL. He has a plan, even when things seem to be in such chaos, even when the wicked / evil of this day and age seems to triumph. When good people struggle, and bad people live high on the hog. We gotta remember that this whole world around us and everything in it will perish. It is in His Word to us, this world has nothing eternal to offer. Our life is in Him, and the more we seek Him the more the cares and worries of this life just seem to fall off of us. "He makes my feet like feet of a deer, He enables me to tread the heights". This is a picture of Him lifting us outta the junk around us, our step being lighter. To have a skip, a joy in your step as we walk through or over our problems. Thats giving it to Him, letting Jesus, Our Lord, carry our burdens.
Isaiah 40:31 "but those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint".
Like Peter walking on the water when his eyes were on the Lord, we too can walk through this life unburdened / joyfully, with our eyes on Him. We dont have to wait until we die to experience heaven. He has given us a deposit of heaven already. We can live in it now if we choose. Spend time with Him. Make Him the Lord you called upon when you asked for salvation.
If you havent asked Jesus into your heart, what are you waiting for? Repent of your sins, ask for forgiveness, make Him your Lord and Saviour. Romans 10:9 "If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved." Its that simple. Its Gods will that none would perish, but all would come to repentance. So He made it easy, simply ask, ask with your whole heart, holding nothing back. You will be saved! Walk in His joy, joy eternal, with feet like a deer, skipping over all the burdens, letting Jesus carry them. Its not a promise of an easy / trouble free life. Its a promise of not letting those troubles drag you down. Praising Him even when the situation hasnt changed. God is Good, Stay Blessed, PJ