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At the close of another Annual Fellowship Meeting, I think back on the services and reflect on the gold nuggets that I am taking away from it. I always look forward to this time of year, a time of reflection, a time for a deeper consecration, a renewing in my soul, a fresh touch of desire. But all of this is of no use, unless it is put into practice. It becomes an emotional experience of the past, just a good time, if the challenges aren’t accepted and pursued. This is my desire, that it not be just another great meeting, but that it be a stepping stone that draws me closer to God.

  1. No relationship can survive with out forgiveness.
  2. If you are not willing to constantly forgive, you will become bitter.
  3. Do we want God to forgive us as we forgive others? There is a reason why he says to forgive others as he has forgiven us.
  4. Unforgiveness incarcerates the victim with no effect on the offender.
  5. Who art thou Lord? Daily ask who God is. The answer, I am Jesus, will meet every need, answer every question.
  6. We need to have a for sure knowledge of who he is.
  7. We need the Spirit – to kill the flesh, to pray when we can’t, to be a witness, to quicken the body. We NEED the Spirit.
  8. He rescued me from what could have been my end. Being saved young and not having experienced the vast world of sin, my end could have been a mess, full of heartache and sorrow. He saved me from what could have been.10514-Great-Is-Thy-Faithfulness
  9. He is a faithful Father, and GREAT is his faithfulness to me.
  10. Why should I feel discouraged? When I know that he watches me, just as he watches the sparrow.
  11. We need to be willing to let the spotlight of God shine on us and not always shift the focus to someone else, he that is without sin cast the first stone.
  12. Face your need.
  13. Allow Christ to see your failure. Allow him into the intimate part of your heart, where your hurts are. He will take them and make something great.
  14. Be willing to God with God to places you have never gone before. Go out into the deep.
  15. Be concerned about stagnation. If you aren’t growing, moving up, experiencing more in salvation, if it is no longer a benefit to you, Be very concerned. Seek God.
  16. Don’t bring up the past. Focusing on the past hurts, problems, divisions, will cause you to miss your blessing.
  17. Don’t be afraid when your “child” is dead. Don’t listen to what others say, believe and ask Jesus into the intimate parts of your house, so he can bring healing to your need.
  18. Jesus says, no matter what you have heard, I can do something with this impossible situation.
  19. I’m still HOLDING ON.558309
  20. When God draws the line, it is up to us to measure to it.
  21. God wants to do good, are we willing to let him use us?
  22. We need to be more intimate with God. You need intimacy with him in order to bring forth new converts.

A long list. A lot to remember. But changes don’t have to happen over night. We do what we have known to do. Take additional time in prayer and devotion. Be quick and willing to forgive the little slights each day. Open our mouth and let God fill it.

God help us, help me, to be your child. To hear AND obey.

I am eating fruit this morning, orange, cherries and grapes. I started thinking of the fruits of the Spirit and my mind went directly to those attributes listed in Galatians 5:22-23 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.” But when I was reading through the passage in Galatians, I realized that there are other fruits of the spirit, it just depends on what spirit you are living after as to the type of fruit you will show.

 

We are instructed to walk in the Spirit, the Spirit of God and we won’t have to show those fruits pertaining to the lust of the flesh. Galatians 5:16-21 “This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,  Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.” Each of these fruits are fruits of a spirit, not a Godly spirit, but a fleshly one.

God desires that we walk after him, in the Spirit of Holiness. If we do so we can have those yummy fruits of the Spirit. Galatians 5:22-25 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.”

Let us walk after the Spirit of God, in a way of Holiness and bring forth fruit that is not only pleasing to the eye but to God

It is a new year with a new look, but the message is still the same.

God is a big God and he has a plan for each and every one of us. His desire is that we live Holy or with out sin. We in ourselves cannot do this, but he made the way possible when he gave his son, Jesus, as a sacrifice for our sins. When we accept Christ as our Savior and turn from our sins, God is faithful to forgive us and provide us with strength and grace to live sin free. It definitely is the best life.

I haven’t been as faithful to this blog in the past few months as I would like. I am sorry for that, but I have a plan for the future.

First – On Thursday night at church we were challenged to make a list of those things in our life that need to change this year for us to draw closer to God.

My list:
–          increase time in studying God’s word
–          increase prayer time
–          don’t be as quick to judge people
–          be more willing to help those in need
–          search for and take opportunities to share the Gospel
–          be careful to not get comfortable in Salvation but keep the challenge and excitement fresh
–          increase of patience
–          don’t procrastinate with God’s work

This list may grow as the year continues, but I plan to use this blog in a why that it holds me accountable for gaining the victory in these areas. As I have victory or challenges I will share my studies on and in these areas.

I challenge you to make a list. How can God better use you this day? What things might you need to change for God to use you? Seek God and ask him to search you. He has the power to help you draw closer to him.
Second – I don’t think I have read the Bible cover to cover. I know I have tried and often would get bogged down in the “begats”. This year I am challenging myself to read the Bible completely. It will be apart of my daily study, but it won’t take its place. A friend of mine had a list of the scriptures to read so that the Bible can be read chronologically. This appealed to me. I found that list and will post each day what those scriptures are so that you can follow along. We can discuss the different points that we read. I invite you to read along and join in on the discussion.
Third – At the end of last year, we moved some of our Bible study teachers around at Church. There was a need for a teacher in one of the elementary classes. I was asked to take this position. As we go through this year I will share the lessons that are brought to the kids as well as the lessons they bring to me. I believe we can learn from all ages. Christ told us that we needed to be as the little children. In the Children’s Bible class, we are making a chain of things we are thankful for and we learn verses. I will share those also. I believe thankfulness and God’s word are good things to learn at a young age. Feel free to add your “thankfuls” and learn the memory verses with us.
Join us this year as we draw closer to God and share how he helps us in our daily walk with him.

This world is full of religion. You can find a religion that will fit your needs and make you feel good. But what exactly are they offering you? Do they teach the Word of God? Is a change of heart a requirement for the promise of salvation? Is every level of hierarchy with in those religions built on honesty and truth?

From what I have seen of religion today offers nothing but a false hope, a half truth and hypocrisy. This practice in man made religion has been going on for years. In fact, Jesus preached about it. At that time it was the Scribes and Pharisees that were doing a disservice to those that wanted to seek God. In Matthew 23 Christ brings judgment to those that require acts from the people and not themselves. To those that are more concerned with the “law” than a heart change. To those that are busy about works that make them appear to be righteous but are not sincere in their hearts. He concludes this message with verse 23; “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.” The scribes and Pharisees in Bible times were more concerned with acting like a follower of Christ than being one from the heart, as many religious leaders are today. God requires us to pay more attention to the “weightier matters of the law” those that are most important, judgment, mercy and faith.

In my observation of religion I have seen that many have two of the three. Some have mercy and faith. They preach that God is love and will forgive anything as long as you believe. That you can’t live with out sin, but God is merciful just say “I Believe”. Others are full of judgment, have strict creeds that, and are stingy with mercy. There is any combination that can be made. But if you don’t have all three, you don’t have the complete truth that God has for you. The three principles, judgment, mercy and faith all work together and the result is beautiful.

In order to receive mercy through faith, one has to experience judgment. How can you ask for forgiveness if you have done nothing wrong? Romans 3:23 reads “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” Each and every one of us has committed sin. What is sin? Sin is a transgression against God’s law, something that we know is wrong but do it anyways (1 John 3:4) or something that we know we need to do, but we don’t do it. (James 4:17) The Bible tells us that we are all sinners and that God is not pleased with this. Romans 6:1 asks “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?” the answer in verse 2 is “God forbid.” His plan for us is that we live in communion with him. We cannot do this if sin remains in our life. So judgment comes through the acknowledgement of sin and the need to seek forgiveness or mercy for them. If we fail to do this and continue living in sin, we have a reward, and that is hell. (Psalms 9:16-17) But let’s not forget God’s perfect plan. He does offer mercy to those that seek his forgiveness for their sins. God sent his son, the ultimate sacrifice so that we could live with out sin. In Matthew 1:21 the Bible states that Jesus came to save his people FROM their sins, not to save them while they continue IN their sins. All we have to do to receive this mercy is to confess our sins. (1 John 1:9) It is hard to say that we are wrong and to say sorry, but God loves a humble heart and will draw them close. Once we have been forgiven it is up to us to choose to live sin free every day. Sin is a choice as we discussed earlier and it is with God’s mercy and grace that we are able to choose to follow him in righteousness. We have a responsibility to keep a tight hold on our salvation, 1 John 5:18 “We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not.” We are born into God’s family when we have sought forgiveness and received it; we then need to keep ourselves so that the enemy of our souls will have no power over us. Now where is faith in all of this? Ephesians 2:8-9 reads “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” We do need to have faith to believe that God can and will save us. That he will keep his promises. Through the power of salvation in us and his presence through the Holy Spirit, we can live each day in a manner pleasing to him. We will not make it to heaven just by doing good things, we cannot save ourselves. We need to accept the blood of Jesus as a payment for our sins and though God’s mercy continue our life with out sin. Our salvation is a work that only God can perform in our lives. It is only when we have acknowledged the judgment of sin and sought mercy through faith that we are able to live as God would have us to, holy, sin free, and in communion with him.

Through all of this we can see that we must have all three, judgment, mercy and faith to live according to God’s plan for his people. Be honest with your self and with God. Don’t be content with just a religious belief, search for a true relationship with God. Seek the truth where ever you go and God will be faithful to bring you to it. It is his desire that you find the truth.

What word would you use to describe God?

Holy

No word but holy,
That’s what I would say
If I were asked today to convey who you are

No word but holy,
If I had to choose one word describing you
I would use no word but holy

There’s no other way that I could find,
No song, no poem there’s no rhyme
To help me perfectly describe you like this word

Oh there’s no word above the rest
Your right on time, it’s stood the test,
Though simple it remains the best to describe you

No word but holy,
That’s what I would say
If I were asked today to convey who you are

No word but holy,
If I had to choose one word describing you
I would use no word but holy

No word but holy, holy
Lord God almighty
Holy, holy,
No word but holy
No word but holy
No word but holy

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