I am thoroughly convinced that God allows things to happen to me so that I can write about it and put a spiritual spin on it! Last night, after sweeping some trash onto the dustpan, I quickly stood up and hit my head on the corner of a cabinet that was left open my the kids. I hit it so hard that my teeth jarred together and it felt like I had lost consciousness for a minute or two. It was so painful! I had to stop everything, take a pill, lay down and rest. Today, the pain isn’t so bad but I have a knot in that place that is very tender to the touch. Situations in life can hit just like the corner of the cabinet hit my head. We lose composure because the pain tears us down. In these times, we have stop, swallow God’s Word, have faith and rest assured knowing that God is in control. God creates beautiful blessings from pain. Maybe my blessing from hitting my head last night was to go to bed and get some sleep…so I did! “But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me” (2 Corinthians 12:9).
I don’t think any of us like to sit around in dirty clothes, at least I hope none of us do! Dirty clothes can taint our image and is displeasing to the sight of others. Dirty clothes can often mean we smell bad. If this is the case, we normally hurry to bathe and put on some clean clothes! Living in sin is like having on dirty clothes day after day. Yesterday, I taught from Ephesians 4:17-32, which focused on putting off the old self and putting on the new self. If we know and love God, we should have the desire to follow biblical principles. This means we throw off the filthy thinking and the filthy heart. We throw off stealing, lying and ungodly speech. We throw off uncontrolled behavior. And we clothe ourselves with the new self that involves living a life according to God’s Word. What you do and how you do it, what you say and how you say it – all says a lot about YOU. Are you wearing the dirty clothes of the old self living in corruption? Or have you put on the clean clothes of the new self who abides in the Lord? Just because the world is wearing the latest fashion of corruption doesn’t mean you have to wear it, too! THROW OFF THE OLD SELF AND PUT ON THE NEW SELF.
Sometimes, while at my desk, I just break out in the song. It isn’t so pleasant to my coworkers but I know God smiles. My noise is joyful to Him! One of my coworkers asked me one day, “Why do you that?” I told her that when I feel anything that is not of God come up on me, I break out in a song of praise to the Lord….and the devil flees! I do the same at home. I don’t know what lies the devil is trying to whisper in your ear on today, but shout some praise to God back at him! You may sound like a wounded whale but praise Him anyway. If you have to hum then go ahead and be a sweet little hummingbird. If you have to do a praise dance, then go ahead and put Kirk Franklin to shame. Just give God some praise and watch the devil flee! The devil is a liar and God is Truth. God says you are chosen, you are loved and you can do all things through Christ. “Worship the Lord with gladness; come before Him with joyful songs. Know that the Lord is God. It is He who made us, and we are His; we are His people, the sheep of His pasture” (Psalm 100:2-3).
I wonder who all have been missing their daily bread! I had to take a small sabbatical but I never quit! WORRYING. All of us do it. Did you know that worrying is a form of atheism? It’s acting as if God doesn’t exist at all. Circumstances may be drab. The light at the end of the tunnel may be unseen.. The silver lining may be unseen. But let’s focus on the basis of our hope – The Lord. When worry creeps up on you, just focus on these words – The Lord Is Alive. Psalm 18:46 reminds us that, “The Lord lives! Praise be to my Rock! Exalted be God my Savior!”
If you are parent, do you give your children everything they ask for? What if what they want is dangerous – do you give it to them? Hopefully not! And you don’t because you love them and want to keep them free from harm. So as a parent, you protect them by telling them, “NO.” How disappointing and painful it is when we pray for something and God says, “NO.” But God loves and wants the best for each one of us. God knows what He is doing and even when He tells us, “NO”, we must have faith in that God has a reason for His decision. His “NO” can be protection. Maybe He has a higher goal for each one of us. Maybe our motives are wrong. Or maybe He has something better for us. We won’t always understand the good the Lord is doing but WE MUST TRUST HIM. Romans 8:28 NIV reminds us, “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.”
Day after day, a wise old lady was confronted with complaints and grumbles from a group of people. Each day, they complained and grumble about the same things. One day, the wise old lady told a humorous joke that made everyone laugh. After a while, she told the same joke again. Few laughed this time.. She told the same joke a third time. No one laughed. One person asked the wise old lady, “Why do you keep telling the same joke over and over again?” The wise old lady looked at the group, smiled and said, “You can’t laugh at the same joke over and over again. So why do all of you keep complaining and grumbling about the same problems?” Complaining and grumbling is saying your problems are greater than God’s Power. Today, I want to remind you that God is bigger than any problems we face. He can bring GOOD out of ANY problem that we have. Lets tell our problems how big God is and watch them crumble before our very eyes. Let’s watch solutions show up and our problems disappear! “Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh. Is anything too hard for me?” (Jeremiah 32:27)
Have rocks ever interfered with your driving view by pecking your windshield? It starts as a small peck and can lead to a cracked line running across. That one peck can prevent you from getting an updated inspection sticker and cause you to have to get a new windshield! I was always advised by my Dad to immediately take my vehicle to a glass company and have liquid resin applied to the peck before it got any worse. Our spiritual sight can be interfered by pecks of doubt, fear, anger and worry. These pecks can cause us to fail God’s inspection. God inspects us by the trials and tribulations that come our way. He checks to see if we will respond and act according to His Word. If we don’t, those pecks end up getting worse and out of control. Allow God’s Word to be your Liquid Resin as soon as any peck of doubt, fear, anger or worry starts pecking on the windshield of your spiritual sight. Spiritual sight is walking by faith. “For we walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7).
This morning, while I approached a red light, I noticed a car in my rear view mirror almost hitting me from behind when I braked. The driver swerved over to the other lane, only to jam on their brakes to keep from hitting another car that was at the red light. I peered over and a cellphone was in the driver’s right hand. It appeared the driver was taking selfies! Can you imagine having a wreck, hurting yourself and someone else over a selfie? You can focus on yourself but don’t over indulge in it because the Lord will put you in check! See beyond the blind spots of self-love and self-focus. During His time on earth, Jesus set Himself aside and was a servant to all. He fed. He healed. He forgave. He loved. He humbled Himself and served the Lord and others. Let’s throw off the ego, step off of the pedestal and place God where He belongs. All of the energy we give ourselves must be channeled into loving the Lord and loving others. “Then he said to them all: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it” (Luke 9:23-24).
Some of us think that forgiveness is a one-time deal. I hate to be bearer of bad news but I tell you this – IT IS NOT! And it is not easy! But we must forgive. It can be habitual to forgive someone but in your heart, you still harbor unforgiveness the next day. When this happens, your behavior will reflect unforgiveness. Forgiveness is something that has to take place over and over again. It’s a process. God forgives us and we mess up all of the time! We are not even worthy His forgiveness. Holding on to pain and bitterness is a recipe for a miserable life. Forgiving others is a part of your faith if you believe in God’s love and forgiveness for you. FORGIVEN PEOPLE FORGIVE. “If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins” (Matthew 6:14-15).