Resolutions for 2019 based in Memories from 2018

These lessons from 2018 are some that I learned; was reminded of; consulted others to do; or, keep on my living list. I pray that the list is a blessing to you!   

  1. Read the entire Bible through the year. There are many plans to guide you, but just walk through the Word so that you can know Our God deeply. (2 Tim. 3:16-17; … and so many more!**A great reading plan  is https://my.bible.com/reading-plans/2053-as-it-happened
  2. Know God deeply so that you can share who He is with everybody! (1 Peter 3:15 … and so many more!)
  3. Trust His Faithfulness. This is the only way to testify about it! (Proverbs 3: 5-6 … and so many more!)
  4. Live in Joy! Happiness is based upon an event; chemicals; muscles; nerves in our lives … but not joy! Joy has nothing to do with happiness, joy is a feeling produced by the Holy Spirit! In other words joy is from seeing the beauty of our Savior, Jesus Christ as we pay attention to His Word and His Work. (James 1:2 … and so many more!)
  5. Family: Appreciate and Love them. Yes, I know that you can get disappointed but always know that you cannot have positive effect on people you separate from or hate. (Proverbs 22:6; Genesis 2:24; Psalm 128: 3; Joshua 24: 15; 1 Timothy 3: 14; Ephesians 3: 14-15; … and so many more!)
  6. Do What He’s Called You To Do! It’ll be greatly above your personal skills and knowledge, but He will use you to do it if you submit to His power. (Colossians 4:17 … and so many more!)
  7. Enjoy your opportunities. Sometimes weird events or unknown folk will make you want to run! Don’t run! Step in and be amazed by what God will do in and for you! (Romans 8: 28 … and so many more!)
  8. Be healed. Healing from illness and also healing from being hurt. Hurt happens – don’t wallow in it. Give the hurts to God and allow Him to work in you. A healed you will bless others – a hurting you will hurt others. (Psalm 147: 3; Psalm 6: 2; 1 Peter 2: 24; Isaiah 53: 5; … and so many more! … study the Word of God, you’ll be encouraged!)
  9. Be life. Speak in a way that a gives life to people. Act in ways that bring life to people’s situations. (John 15: 12, 13; Matthew 5: 16; Romans 12: 13; … and so many more!
  10. Be love. In situations where you might be tempted to lash out; to get vengeance; etc – choose to be love. Care – really care – for other people. (1 John 4: 7-8 … and so many more!)
  11. Feed your soul. Study the Word of God, talk to the Lord, Listen to the Lord, Fellowship with other believers. (1 Peter 2: 1, 2… and so many more!)
  12. Don’t think more of yourself than you ought. At the end of the day it is His mercy; His grace; and His gifting – humility is necessary and healthy. (Philippians 2: 3-4; 1 Peter 5: 5-6; Micah 6: 8 … and so many more!)
  13. Discover why God created you and walk in it. No other human can do what God has created you to do – so do it! (Psalm 8: 4-6; Ephesians 1: 11-12; 1 Peter 2: 9 … and so many more!
  14. Celebrate other people’s Christ lives. When the faith of your friends increase; when a person accepts Christ as Savior; when a person experiences God’s faithfulness in difficulty; and many more examples! (Colossians 3: 12-14; John 15: 12-15; … and so many more!)
  15. Understand what a big payoff is. A few examples: His favor; His grace; His mercy; etc. Money and promotion are good … buy they don’t even lightly compare to His hand on your life! (Joshua 1: 9; Lamentations 3: 22 – 23; Matthew 11: 28; … and so many more!)
  16. Ask for more grace. Extend more grace. Grow in His grace. (2 Corinthians 12:8-9; Ephesians 6:7; Ephesians 2:8-9; 1 Peter 4:10; … and so many more!)
  17. Live in His image. When others see you, they should know you live for Him. (Genesis 1: 26-27; 1 Corinthians 11:7; … and so many more!)
  18. Speak in His image. Speak truth. When others hear you speak, they should know you live for Him. Be honest. Speak the Truth – the Word of God.  (1 John 3:18, 4:6; John 4:24; … and so many more!)
  19. Study The Word Of God. Spend Time With The Almighty God. Live A Life That Brings Worship To Our Savior, Jesus Christ. Rely Upon The Strength And Power Of The Holy Spirit.   

**The Scriptures listed above are quite minimal … but a good start for you! 

Happy New Year!!!!

Our God, Our King — Our Concubine?

If we don’t respect our God (His word, His way, His heart) – the results will be devastating!

I’ve said before that America was not founded as a Christian nation, but rather founded on religious freedom. At our core has always been, however, a special respect for Christianity and the things of God. I believe that our forefathers, though some were agnostic and some atheists, knew that there was one God that was not to be trifled with.

I was reading Judges 19, and I was so annoyed with the master who pushed the concubine out for the men to abuse; and God spoke to my spirit, “why are you annoyed, you all do this to me all of the time!”  My heart wept, how could we possibly be treating our King like our concubine.  We couldn’t! We wouldn’t!  But we do …When I was a youngster when someone was in a bit of trouble at their own doing we would tell them, “You brought that *mess* on yourself!” My dear Christian brothers and sisters – it’s high time we take responsibility for our own actions.We are bringing this down on our own heads! We, His own redeemed ones, are pushing our Holy King out there for the world to abuse His word; ignore His statues; poke fun at His truths; waylay His way of life; destroy His people; divide His children in an effort to destroy our faith.

What does it look like practically?  Just look around at the landscape of America, our amazing homeland.  Believers in Christ have wholeheartedly taken up the worship of other gods in addition to our stated devotion to Christ. I think that the god of self-love/self-satisfaction has the highest throne; after that the god of self-righteousness; then a close third is the god of gluttony or the god of more or the god of not enough.

As the bridegroom of the church – Christ has unlimited access and rights to our lives — but we have treated our own God as if He is one who neither has the rights of a full spouse; nor one who earns the respect of a kinsmen redeemer. Without regard for His authority over us and His sovereignty – we ask Him to come into our hearts and take a seat instead of inviting Him to take the throne of our lives and reign!

By our own behavior we are compromising our faith and are communicating to the world around us that our King is not really a king after all!   It is our actions that tell the world who we are!  They will know He is our King when we act like subjects in His kingdom!

We must treat our bridegroom with respect and honor! We have to resist the temptation to love Him while holding fast to other ways of life; refrain from compromising our principles; repent from participating in the spewing of hate when we have been redeemed to LOVE! Lest we wake up one day and find our God has been reduced to a mere ideal – and that ideal is found at the door in a heap where He was once knocking and waiting to be invited in!

My prayer is that we will stop looking at the world to treat Christ as King and that we will do that ourselves!  I plead with the Lord to give us all a mind to yield the throne of our hearts to the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords.  May His love grow and dwell in us so that a lost and dying world will be able to see the difference in the life of a Christ Follower.  May we nurture and embrace a true fidelity to our King and fight against the temptation to abuse the relationship.  May we never forget that we don’t serve a passive God; but one who has all authority and one for whom, one day, every knee has got to bow!  May we all lift Him up and lay ourselves low.

Judges 19: 25

But the men would not listen to him. So the man seized his concubine and brought her out to them, and they raped her and abused her all night until morning, then let her go at the approach of dawn.