Happy With Jesus Alone

prov 15 16Recently a friend of mine and I have both been in the midst of circumstances that have made us face personal limitations. It has been a joy to walk the road with another sister in Christ because we have helped one another reach and remain at a place of contentment. We have encouraged one another to stay close to God and dwell in His presence at all times. As we share every week or so; we have both been so happy to find that His presence is completely fulfilling. We have not found ourselves feeling lacking, rather we are in joy!
However, that is not the case for everyone all of the time. This world we live in compels us to seek more; to be more; to have more; to do more; to desire more. Time and time again I hear people saying don’t settle for this or that. I agree that we should all live out our God given purpose – that is to be sure! But what if God hasn’t created you to be 1st; to be at the top; to lead everybody …. What if His purpose for you includes suffering for the sake of His Kingdom?!?! What if He is teaching you to be grateful where you are? What if your difficulties are meant to teach someone what faith looks like?
I had a friend once who would not let her husband enter ministry because it would mean she’d have to give up her lifestyle. Her life was wrapped up in her life! Very sad, because all things pass away …
Contentment – it is a God reflecting character trait. Contentment – it is an attitude that says His presence is enough. Contentment – it means that my status and circumstances don’t cause me fear. Contentment – it means that personal gain will not make me the center of my own world. Contentment – it means that I won’t do what is evil to gain what the world says is good. Contentment – it means that all that He gives to me I will be grateful for, but none of it will mean more to me than Him!
Better a little with the fear of the Lord than great wealth with turmoil. Proverbs 15:16
I’m Happy with Jesus Alone
by: Charles Prince Jones
There’s nothing so precious as Jesus to me;
Let earth with its treasures be gone.
I’m rich as can be when my Savior I see;
I’m happy in Jesus alone.
 
Refrain:
I’m happy with Jesus alone,
I’m happy with Jesus alone;
Though poor and deserted, thank God, I can say,
I’m happy with Jesus alone.
 

Lead Me, O Lord!

jeremiah 17 9 10Lately, many who have the life spotlight have been doing some wicked things.  It can make you embarrassed to be American, or even human!  When you look at the actions of some, it can really make you look down on them; and raise your own self up a bit. Yes, you have to be raising you up if they are suddenly beneath you.

It points out a truth about who we each are.  I’ll talk about me.  You see, I haven’t killed anyone; spoken with ill regard of anyone publicly; stolen anything; wished anyone dead; abused any child; mistreated anyone because of their ethnicity; etc. etc. etc.  So,  unlike those people I read about or see on the TV screen, I am righteous! Right?!?!  WRONG!

Truth is, only God knows why I refrain from what I refrain from and only God knows the things I do that none of you see.  My mind knows the blessing of trusting God completely and submitting to Him in all things; but my heart without the leading of the Lord is just self serving even when my desire is to be good!  My hope lies in the actions and love of my King.  He searches my heart and knows my true desires; He is faithful to see if there is any evil in my heart and His mercy and grace are powerful and can be counted upon to always lead me in the everlasting way.

I’m ever grateful that I have learned not to depend upon man – not even myself – to do the right thing.  I depend upon the Holy Spirit in me to bring about in my life what The Lord wills to be so.  Even when it seems that I’ve done a good thing, the truth is that it is only the work of the Holy Spirit in me.  Search me, O God! Lead me, O God! Omnipresent God – my soul hides in You!

“I the LORD search the heart and examine the mind, to reward each person according to their conduct, according to what their deeds deserve.” Jeremiah‬ ‭17:10‬ 

He’s Under Your Feet!

Romans 16 20I was just talking to my spiritual mama and she said to me, “If the devil is in your ear you need to tell him he’s up a little bit too high because the Lord has placed him under your feet!” That might make you chuckle – but it reminded me that sometimes as Christians we are just a little to timid with our enemy, Satan. Put that joker in his place!!

Have the presence of mind at all times to encourage yourself with the truth that God will act on your behalf. Yes – Satan might seem to prevail, but don’t let that make you lose heart – have faith and be patient because God’s promise is that Satan cannot prevail against you!!

Romans 16:20 – “And the God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet.”

 

Tainted Water – The Solution Is Discipleship

Tainted WaterOnce while driving in Ghana – we passed by a water well that had been drilled for a local community and saw some children fetching water. They were pulling together on their rope to get their bucket out – and then came shock – horror! They were fetching the water in a turpentine can! Because we lived here among this particular people group, we KNOW that no one washed the container out with soap and water or bleach or boiling water – they just rinsed it in the local pond until they couldn’t smell the turpentine and then declared it fit for use. We love these people and our hearts went out to them.  We immediately planned a healthy drinking water training for them.  A training that would help them to understand what things would contaminate the water and what was necessary for them to avoid introducing contaminates into their drinking water. They needed to know that if contaminates were introduced – this water would bring death and not life.

Not only is clean water important — but understanding what can contaminate water is important.   

There is a tendency in the Western world to believe that once we have shared the truth of the gospel with people and they have confessed that they believe – we have done our part. But I am a witness that what you leave behind is a person that believes the truth, but has no idea what the truth is, or what to do with that truth. They twist it to fit their circumstance, they ignore the parts that they cannot easily understand, some rise to a position of leadership and then exploit the little that they know to their own benefit – – some minister an adulterated gospel and taint the water for an entire congregation. What is the solution to this issue?

The solution is to teach the complete gospel.

That means that we go beyond salvation. We have to teach people to study the word of God so that they can come to know the person of God. But what if they can’t read?  We’ve encountered this many times where we work.  Then the solution is discipleship.  We have to be willing to give the time and resources necessary to teach them to read or to provide an audio bible. After teaching them to read the word or to listen to the word, we must teach them to interact in the word in such a way that it becomes something that they can apply to their life! When we equip them with these tools – they will know what the truth looks like and are less likely to fall prey to any contaminated word. When we equip them with these tools then we are preparing them to protect the word that is taking root in their hearts. When we equip them with these tools – we ensure that the word will bring them to the abundant life that God has planned for them.

But this takes TIME!! And, be honest, how many of us are willing to give our precious time to another?? I can tell you as one who lives a life of discipleship, that it is a 24 hour a day commitment. The women that I disciple call whenever they need to, they visit whenever they need to, they invite me to delve into places in their lives that I don’t want to go! And I am also a witness – that you might have an 8 week program – but I have yet to disciple any believer in only 8 weeks!

Discipleship is life on life – LIFE on LIFE!! It means loving someone as much as you love yourself. Would you drink tainted water willingly?! I think not!!

Interestingly – our Savior’s last words to us were that we should go, preach, teach and make disciples. He really did not say go, preach, teach, and get them saved! We’ve got to be willing to give our whole lives to the purposes and passions of our Savior and King – He wants them to know Him, He wants them to know the Father, He wants them to be filled with the Holy Spirit. In the words of my husband, “time has come to stop dunkin’ ‘em and droppin’ ‘em” – we’ve got to start counting them as so dear to us that we not only give them the gospel but our very lives.  In fact – we ought to be modeling the life of Christ in view of people even before they know who He is!!  What a change in the world we could make!

so we cared for you. Because we loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well. 1 Thessalonians 2:8

Trust Him with ALL

proverbs-3-5-and-6On January 17, 2017 –  I was involved in a serious car accident with my sweetheart.  I was driving and went unconscious while behind the wheel for several minutes.  The car was going down the highway at about 70MPH.  Lloyd had to maintain his composure while: 1)  hoping that his unconscious wife was alive ; 2) having thoughts of what his life (and his children’s lives) might be like if she was not alive; 3) realizing that he would have to save our lives; and 4) realizing that no matter what he did, only God could save us.

The King of Kings was with us that night for sure because Lloyd says the muscle in my right leg relaxed which let the car start to slow down while he grabbed the wheel.  We crashed into a traffic sign instead of into oncoming traffic.  Eric, an off duty Colorado police officer, was behind us and stopped to help Lloyd to navigate the madness – which was also wonderful because the calls to 911 kept saying “call failed”.  God kept Lloyd and I here and I just cannot thank Him enough!

The reactions of our friends/family were varied:”God has something planned for you!”; “It wasn’t time for you to go!”; “God extended His grace to you!”; “God granted His grace to us!”; “God looked out for us!”; “Thank God!”; “Get to the doctor!”; “REST!”; “Don’t ever travel again!”; Or in some cases – just tears or looks that needed no words.

My heart and Lloyd’s heart have been running through a gamut of emotions.  We are grateful!  We’ve been concerned! We have had some fear that has passed.  But the most amazing thing is that we have felt great passion for our callings toward the gospel being spread across the earth.  We have felt a burning urgency to carry out some of the things that God has placed in our hearts in recent days.  We have found ourselves worshipping everywhere we go because that has been one of the most effective tools against the fear and concern.  Gratefulness. Concern. Fear. Passion. Urgency. Worship! Yes – worship has been one of the most effective tools against the negative thoughts or feelings – I can see what Paul and Silas felt at midnight!  We lived to see another new mercy. This mercy – we truly can say we’ve never witnessed before!  Nothing in us has us wanting to stop doing what God has called us to do.  This latest experience has only made us both want to dive deeper into it and get it done with more passion; more excellence; and as soon as we can do it.

What about you?  As you live your life for the King of Kings are you acting as if your eternal life will be lived right where you are?!  I want to encourage you to live it like every moment just might be your last where you are.  None of us know when our last moment is –  I’m not saying that you might die; but I am saying that you might be moved!!  You just don’t know!  If the Lord tells you to share the gospel with someone – Open Your Mouth Today!  If the Lord tells you to write a book – Put The Pen To The Page Today!  If the Lord tells you to get under someone’s discipleship – Make The Move Today! If the Lord tells you to get a doctorate degree – Start The Program Today!  If God makes a way for you to show some hospitality – do it Today!  Don’t Procrastinate!  Don’t Hesitate!  Don’t try to fit God’s plan into your schedule.

If you’ve made the decision to call Him the Lord of your life – just go ahead and trust in Him completely and move your own understanding of things out of the way.  Relinquish your own idea about what might be right about how to carry things out over to Him and believe that He really will work it out in the way that is best for you!

As for Lloyd and I,  YES – God has asked us to do some pretty radical things in the last couple of years and we’ve done most with very little hesitation; but we’ve piddled around on some that aren’t so comfortable or easy.  This latest experience has just told us to go on and Do It!  He’s Ordering our Steps.  He’s Making the Path Plain.  He’s Got Us!  In Fact — He Has Got It All!!  Nothing that He’s asking of us is too hard for us because all of our strength is in Him and all of our purpose rests in Him and our life is hidden in His Son!

In fact, the only reason we even ARE is Him!

Proverbs 3:5,6  Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.