#JOY

Luke 1:39-45:  Mary, cousin to Elizabeth, went to visit Elizabeth.  Elizabeth is the expectant mother of John the Baptist.  When Mary arrives at Elizabeth’s house, the baby inside her jumps for Joy.

True Joy comes from Jesus. The world brings us down;  We look to Jesus and ask for peace and #JOY.

There have been times when the situation overwhelms me and I want to run out.  When this happens, I stop and pray.  A sensation of peace and #JOY replaces the anxiety.

It has not always been that way.  For a period, I neglected my relationship with God. When we pull back from God he gives us space.  God sits there and waits for us to come back to Him.  Once you have enjoyed the peace and serenity that only Jesus can give, it is awful when you are unable to feel His presence.

Through this I have learned that my relationship with God has to be nurtured. I read my Bible and pray.  Don’t have time to dive into the big Bible gathering dust on your coffee table?  Try starting with a Bible app.  Apps will give you a verse of the day many are free.  Some apps will give you notifications others will let you decide when to open them.   Developing a habit of reading the Bible develops your relationship with God.   The app won’t bring you #JOY God will.

39 At that time Mary got ready and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judea, 40 where she entered Zechariah’s home and greeted Elizabeth.41 When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. 42 In a loud voice she exclaimed: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! 43 But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44 As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. 45 Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!”

Advertisements

Start at the Beginning: Faith

Where else but the beginning? Starting with the story of John the Baptist seems normal.  John came and told the people The Messiah is coming.  About John we know very little. According to Luke, they were both from the line of Aaron. Aaron’s descendants were High Priests. Imagine if today we still assigned jobs by family. If who you married was determined by your family?   Until the past few hundred years it was. *just a little food for thought.

Back to the point. John had the right by birth to be a priest. Bestowed the job of heralding the Messiah.  Even before his birth, his life was driven by faith.  It was by faith that Elizabeth and Zechariah conceived. The Old Testament has a similar story, Abram and Sarai (Genesis 12). It was by faith that John paved the way for Jesus saying He has come.

Living by faith is hard.  It requires us to believe that someone we have never seen is there for us orchestrating our lives. This unseen, but not unfelt person will provide for us.

Living by faith means marvelous things will happen. Prayer is powerful.  I hear these songs about God not moving mountains for us.  We expect it to be like the verse Jesus tells us that if we have the faith of a mustard seed (Matthew 17:20) mountains can be moved.  I think the problem is we are praying for the wrong mountains. If I am praying for my husband’s mountain to be moved, it depends on his faith not mine.

But moving my husband’s mountains might make my life easier. Sure if your husband went from being an unsympathetic ogre to  a gentle giant; life would be easier.  We can pray for change within our spouse, our children, our boss. However, It is not our mountain. Our mountain deals with us and God. Through our prayers, God will change children, spouse, friends, and parents. But our faith will not move the mountains that others are facing. My new prayer for my family is that they gain the faith to ask God to move the obstacles in their path.

Luke 1: 5-7:

In the  time of Herod king of Judea there was  a priest named Zechariah, who belonged to the priestly division of Abijah; his wife Elizabeth was also a descendant of Aaron. : of them were righteous in the sight of God, observing all the Lord’s commands and decrees blamelessly. But they were childless because Elizabeth was not able to conceive, and they were both very old.

 

Celebration one of God’s Gifts

Celebrating is good.  There are some that say celebration is from the Evil one it is a sign of gluttony. What a bunch of Hogwash. God told Moses to assign festivals  Exodus 23: 14-19, Leviticus 23.  Paul reminds us to celebrate Colossians 2:16  Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. (NIV)

The key is to acknowledge God as the provider.  

When the deceivers come and say celebration is sin, Show them God’s word.  Be bold and Courageous (Joshua 1:9) . Let them know how foolish they are.

Sin is when we get drunk with our celebration.  It does not say you can’t have a drink, but is does warn against getting drunk (Proverbs 20:1).   1 Timothy 5:23 Paul says drink a little win for  illness.

When we pull God into our festivals, we are giving Him praise for the provision.  What do I mean “pull God into the celebration”? Sadly, even for many Christians, conscience effort is required.  A focus on saying  “God thank you for…” is not automatic

In this next month of celebration remember it is Jesus’ birthday.  And to those that say well it is not the exact date so it is wrong.  The date does not matter. Historic records are lost. The pagan things place into our celebration of the Lord’s birth are only bad if those things cause you to forget the real focus of the celebration.  

Have your Christmas tree, you wreaths, gifts, eggnog, and what not Keep Pulling the Lord into those Parties. 

 

 

But I am not qualified to share the Gospel.

But I am not qualified to share the Gospel.

1 Timothy 4:12: Yet just as Timothy was not too young, or inexperienced neither are you.  The Bible does not tell us Timothy’s age, but he must have been young.  Mark, writer of one of the four Gospels, was believed to be young. David killed Goliath at very young age 1 Samuel 17. 1 Colossians 10 tells us that the Holy Spirit qualifies us.  The Holy Spirit is our guide.  I am saved and Salvation is supposed to be free not about my Good works.

Salvation is free, and you don’t have to do anything but ask Jesus to live in you.  Then what is the point of doing good works?

We do good works to grow, to become a seed sower. When we sow seeds, the Kingdom of God grows.

While Salvation is not about our good works, our spiritual growth requires exercise.  Just like our body requires exercise to stay nimble and strong, our spiritual growth requires good works to stay nimble and strong.

When we are strong, it is harder for the Evil one to come and snatch our Joy and Peace from us.  Whenever there is a black mood upon you (I am not speaking about a loved one dying, pain, and etc. I mean that mood were you feel yucky without being able to pin point an actual reason), that is from the evil one. We do good works, study, and pray, to grow. By Growing, we are able to resist the Devil.

1 Colossians 10:10-14: 

10 so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, 11 being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience,12 and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you  to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light. 13 For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

Treat others and you want to be treated

John 13:34-35, Jesus commands us to love one another.  What does it look like to truly love one another? 34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

Encouraging one another. If you see someone feeling down, give them a hug. If they want to tell you what is wrong, listen.  If you can help do. I give out hugs all the time, work on remembering people’s stories so I can check back with them. My husband has been known to spend hours after his 10 hour work day fixing someone’s car.

Don’t judge.  We don’t know why someone has gone out of the house looking a mess, it might not be that they don’t care about how they look most of the time; it is just something is going on that day or week and they are doing their best. On my wedding day, I ran out of the house to pick up the cake in my bathrobe and slippers.

Don’t assume that because someone once did something wrong that they continue to do it.  Thoughts that once a convict always a convict, or a drug addict, or an alcoholic are not always true.  People do change.  even someone with anger issues can change. These changes take Jesus and work, but change can happen. My son is a convict who wants to run a homeless shelter.  He renewed his relationship with the Lord in prison.

People can find Jesus in prison or on the streets. I have a friend that was living a life as a drug addicted prostitute, she meet what she thought was a “John” who happened to be a preacher. Preachers work the streets all the time.  She is now a volunteer at her church and takes in other homeless people and has adopted children.

The saying once a backslider always a backslider is not always true.  Jesus is waiting for people to return all the time. People come back home all the time. I was away from God for almost 15 years.

Help one another, if your friend needs a coat, and you have one, give it to them.  If your friend needs a room and you have one, let them use it. If you have food and know someone that is hungry, feed them.  A friend needs a ride, and you are able give them a ride. Help others someday you will need help.  This is very important.  recently someone helped us fix the leaks in our roof so we will be dry this winter.

Don’t look down on someone just because they are homeless. Homelessness is a huge problem. Some homeless people actually have jobs. It is hard to save money while you are living on the streets. It is hard to find a home when food and  shelter are a main concern.  Read an article about homelessness in Southern California, or Houston, Texas; both are filled with tent cities. People living in tents because they can’t afford the housing.

Don’t think that just because someone has autism or another mental disorder that they are not smart. Some of the smartest people in the world have autism. It is believed that Einstein had Aspergers.  Aspergers is a form of Autism that makes social environments uncomfortable and most people with Aspergers don’t engage well in social situations, but they tend to be geniuses.

Finally don’t be that person that says I would do something if… Someday, you might need help.  There is always something you can do.  If we all did something, then think of where we would be.

Remember all life is precious.  No life is worth more than another life except for Jesus’ life and he gave His life so we could have Life in eternity.

30 Days of Thankfulness

During the month of November, My feed is full of things for which people are thankful. It is really nice seeing all the posts giving Thanks to the Lord for all the things they have.

I thank God I am no longer hungry physically or spiritually. I have been both.  

Being physically hungry makes you food dependant. Everything is about finding food. Being a child and being physically hungry is demoralizing.  You will worry about having enough food for a long time into adulthood. What about spiritual hunger, How does that work?

Being a Christian who walked a way for a time; I know that spiritual hunger gnaws at you as bad if not more so than physical hunger. We try to fill that spiritual hunger with anything from cigarettes to multiple sexual partners. You know the saying Drugs, Sex and Rock and Roll?  Well that person was very Spiritually hungry. 

People were made by God and need His presence in their lives.  We do crazy stupid things because we don’t know Jesus. We don’t listen to His instructions and if we knew Jesus well at one point and time in our lives and…

walked away from attending church from spending time with God; then our spiritual hunger can drive us crazy.

  I can remember the moment that I realized I could not feel God’s presence.  He had been easy access in the past. In this one moment when I realized I was removed from God and could not feel Him, my life was in the toilet. That was also the moment that I started looking for a way back.  Started focusing on reading His word and praying.

So today and everyday, I work hard to remember that I am not physically or spiritually hungry. 

Who cares about your physical color, What color is your soul?

1 Peter 2:9 NIV:  On those days when you feel as if no one is listening, no one cares remember:  But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.

I can hear some of the objections, an unseen entity thinks I am Holy, why?  Because he created you and chose you to be His child.  He does not care about your emotional scars or your physical scars.  He does not care if you are in jail or have been in jail. He does not care about any of your groups. He does not care about the color of your skin. He doesn’t even care if you are in a wheelchair.  God sees you as His creation Beautiful. Once you accept Jesus as your personal savior; you become His and Holy

 

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: