Live for OTHERS!

2 Corinthians 5:14-15 – “The love of Christ controls us, because we know that one person died for everyone. So all have died. He died for all so that those who live would not continue to live for themselves. He died for them and was raised from death so that they would live for Him.”

This verse is so beautiful to me! Jesus does not want us to live for ourselves. We have to stop being so selfish, only thinking about ourselves, what we want, when we want it, etc. Instead of “allowing” the things of this world to control us, we must “allow” the love of our Father to take over us. He wants us to not only live for Him, but to live and serve others.

Matthew 25:36-40 – “I was hungry and you fed Me. I was thirsty and you gave Me a drink. I was homeless and you gave Me a room. I was shivering and you gave Me clothes. I was sick and you stopped to VISIT. I was in prison and you came to Me.’ “Then those ‘sheep’ are going to say, ‘Master, what are you talking about? When did we ever see You hungry and feed You, thirsty and give You a drink? And when did we ever see You sick or in prison and come to You?’ Then the King will say, ‘I’m telling the solemn truth: Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was Me—you did it to Me.’”

Just a simple thing to go to someone’s house or hospital room and visit them, is huge, not only to them, but to the Lord!

I encourage you today, and every day, to not look at what YOU want, what the LORD wants. He wants you to put others first, not yourself.

~ ŦɌⱭƇƳ

Calm Down People!

Twice in the short Psalm of 62 does God tell people to “calm down”:

Psalm 62:1,5 –

  • “I must calm down and turn to God; ONLY He can rescue me.”
  • “I must calm down and turn to God; He is my ONLY hope.”

Do you constantly wonder how long people will attack you?? Do you feel like a “leaning wall, a fence that is about to fall” (v. 3)?

So many times it seems like the only thing people care about is to tear you down, doesn’t it? They talk nice to you in public, although not always, and then they speak badly of you behind your back! It’s extremely hurtful. You feel like everyone is against you.

Our attitude should be, “I’ll wait however long He says.” That’s a tough one, isn’t it? But it shouldn’t be. Everything I need comes from Him. Everything I hope for comes from Him. So why not wait? He is breathing room for my soul! He makes the ground underneath me solid!

I like verse 9 in The Message:

“Man as such is smoke, woman as such, a mirage. Put them together, they’re nothing; two times nothing is nothing.”

That was putting it mildly, wasn’t it? But it’s true. We can’t put our trust in any human being. They will disappoint us every single time. All they are is a puff of air.

How many times have we read in the Word of God that the LORD is our strength, to put our hope in HIM? There is only ONE thing we can depend on, and that is that our strength only comes from God.

Let’s do our best today to not worry and become hurt by what people say or do to us. The Lord’s love is REAL!

“Jesus Wept”

“Jesus wept.” (John 11:35)

Everyone pretty much knows this verse. Here, Jesus, the God-in-the-flesh, wept in front of Lazarus’ tomb.

The first lesson we can learn is Jesus was NOT weeping because of despair of the death of His friend, Lazarus. He KNEW that He would raise Lazarus from the dead.

The second lesson is that Jesus was weeping because He SAW the grief of those around Him. He was deeply moved by compassion for them. Even though He knew that He was about to bring Lazarus back from the dead, Jesus was still affected by the sorrow that others were experiencing.

Do you lose hope, or do you place your hope in the strength and wisdom of God?

Are you moved when others experience deep grief? Does it move you at all? Do you show compassion toward people even if it does not directly affect your life? Are you compassionate toward those whose lives are shattered by sorrow?

Let’s show compassion toward others…

“Give God the Pieces To Your Heart”

Have you ever been hurt so deeply that your heart felt like it had been ripped, and literally shredded, into tiny little pieces? You cry and think, “If I can just cry this out, then the pain will disappear.” Unfortunately, it just doesn’t work that way.

There is only ONE person who can heal you, and that’s the Lord Jesus Himself!

Psalm 147:3 – “He heals their broken hearts and bandages their wounds.”

This passage goes on to say that God is the one who rebuilds Jerusalem. If that’s the case, which it is, don’t you think that He is able to rebuild your heart, and put all the crushed pieces back together again?

Psalm 34:17 – “Is anyone crying for help? God is listening, ready to rescue you. If your heart is broken, you’ll find God right there; if you’re kicked in the gut, He’ll help you catch your breath.”

When someone has knocked you down so hard that it is almost impossible to breathe, the Lord will be there to help you “catch your breath”.

Do you feel like you are about to fall to the floor because of everything that has been thrown on top of you? There is only one thing to do…run to Jesus! Run to Him as fast as you can! Let HIM release you from all those heavy burdens.

Matthew 11:28 – Then Jesus said, “Come to Me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.”

Never Stop!

I Thessalonians 5:17 – “Never stop praying!”

P.R.A.Y. (Matthew 6:9-13)

Praise:Hallowed be the Name of our Father in Heaven; for Thine is the Kingdom, and the power and the glory forever.

Repent:

Forgive us our sins, AS we forgive those who sinned against us.

Ask:

Give us this day our daily bread: Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.

Yield:

Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done (on earth as it is in Heaven).

We should be praying: 1) first thing when we wake up; 2) the last thing before we go to sleep; and 3) it should OCCUPY our thoughts and attention throughout each day.

I love that “occupy” means to ‘take up residence in’. Prayer should ‘reside in’ and ‘live in’ our thoughts. Isn’t that awesome? By making prayer the focus of your day, your attitude, and overall outlook on life, completely changes! And guess what? Jesus, Himself, is praying for us!! Romans 8:34 says that Jesus is at the right hand of God, interceding for us! He is praying right along with us, that God’s will be done in our life.

So remember, “never stop praying”! You can bank on it that Jesus never stops!

RUN – Are You In?

Psalm 59:16-17 – “But I will sing about Your strength. I will rejoice in Your love every morning. You have been my place of safety, the place I can RUN to when troubles come. I will sing praises to You, my source of strength. You, God, are my place of safety. You are the God who LOVES me!

Why do we NOT go straight to the Lord when trouble hits us? Why is it we always want to run to others when we are in dire need of: help, comfort, relief from pain, love??

Why do we think the Lord can’t love us as well as a human being? Do we think simply because a human being can physically touch and hold us that that is better than the love we can feel from God Almighty?

God is a SAFE place to run to. We should RUN as fast as we can to Him! Don’t let fear paralyze you.

There is NO ONE, and I mean NO ONE, who can, or ever will, love you as much as God: not your momma, daddy, husband, wife or children. There is only ONE person who can love that much, and that’s God Himself.

We need to FEAR “Forget Everything And Run” to Him. He is the only One who can help us!!

Healing In His Presence

Not “feeling” God tonight…or any other night? Being a praise and worship leader, and having been in the music ministry for 37 years, entering into deep worship, be it at church, or simply at home, is for me, the number one way to usher in the presence of the Holy Spirit! Do you have to be a worship leader in order to do this? Absolutely not! What we do have to be is willing to sacrifice our time and effort in spending time with Him, It’s not even OUR time! Everything we have, time or whatever, belongs to Him, and Him alone! It’s like saying that giving Him 10% of our income is OUR income, when in reality, it’s HIS income that He has blessed us with. Our time is HIS time.

Tonight I spent some good quality time in singing worship songs, entering into His presence. Key words, “I entered”. The Lord is not going to fill me with His presence just because. I have to take the first step.

God LONGS to fellowship with us! Why on earth would He have His one and only Son to DIE for us if He didn’t long and desire to BE with us?! Don’t you think that very act means He WANTS to be with us? Wants to talk with us? Wants to love on us?? “Then WHY doesn’t He do so?”, you may ask? Because we don’t take the time to spend with Him, and not just a few minutes either.

Let’s make it a point to spend time with Him today! Let’s talk to Him. Worship Him…in Spirit and in truth.

James 4:8 – “Come near (close) to God and He will come near (close) to you.”

Come to Him and let His presence heal your heart, body, and soul.

He’s waiting…what are YOU waiting for?

Your Miracle Is On Its Way

A little boy is trying to kick the back screen-door open so he can go outside to play. He kicks, once, twice, three times, four times, and nothing! He gets so mad that he kicks really hard one more time, and then walks away mad. Little did he know, that last kick made the door pop open, but he had already given up and walked off, and lost his miracle.

How many of us are like that? Whew, I would venture a lot! How many pray and ask God to help them, and then when they don’t have their miracle by the next morning, they throw a tantrum? Or maybe they pray for a whole month, and still nothing.

Abraham was 100 years old when his son, Isaac, was born! Sarah was 90! Their little “miracle”, Isaac, didn’t come over night, that’s for sure. Abraham had to trust and have faith in the Lord, no matter how long it would take.

NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE FOR GOD! NOTHING! The Lord loves doing miracles. But guess what? He will NOT move on your behalf simply because you are crying and are having a hard time. God is NOT moved by our needs. What? You say. That’s right. He is NOT moved by our needs! He is moved by our FAITH!

Hebrews 11:6 – “WITHOUT FAITH, NO ONE can please God! Whoever comes to God MUST believe that He is REAL and that He rewards those who SINCERELY try to find Him.”

I would say that scripture pretty much sums it up, wouldn’t you? If you want God to move on your behalf, to answer your prayers, no matter how small or big, then you are going to have to use faith…period! He’s not moved by our crying. He’s moved when we stand in faith, and when we trust and believe in Him.

“But I just don’t have the same faith as you do.” Romans 12:3 says that the Lord gave to everyone THE measure of faith. Do you think that the Lord gave you a smaller amount of His faith than He gave to anyone else? Romans 2:11 says God does NOT show favoritism. He is NOT a respecter of persons. When you received Jesus as your Lord and Savior, the measure of faith you received was enough to cause you to be born again. And it is enough to bring VICTORY over any THING that the world can throw at you!

Doesn’t that just make you want to jump up and down, and shout from the rooftops? If that doesn’t light your fire, then your wood’s wet!! We are not victims…we are VICTORS! AMEN, AMEN & AMEN!

~ ŦɌⱭƇƳ

 

A Hurting Heart

Taking care of a very ill parent is super hard. Living in Odessa, TX, and traveling 6.5 hours to be with my mom every 2-3 weeks is hard when you have a bad back, hip, etc. However, I will do it! I love my mother so very much. The bible also says:

Exodus 6:2 – “The COMMAND says, “You must respect your father and mother.” This is the FIRST command that has a PROMISE with it. And this is the promise: “THEN all will go well with you, and you will have a long life on the earth.”

Other scriptures are: Exodus 20:12 and Deuteronomy 5:16. Exodus 20:12 is one of the 10 Commandments. Obviously this is VERY important commandment.

I drove down early this week, and immediately within an hour, I was caught up in severe traffic from the fire in Dallas. The 6.5 hours turned into a 9-hour drive. A very tough drive for me.

Blood results came back today, showing my mom is very low on protein and is malnourished. Of course, I already knew this. It is so hard to watch your parent refusing to eat. It is hard to see them deteriorate before your eyes. It literally hurts your heart in all sorts of unimaginable ways. I know, however, that Jesus is my source of strength, peace, and yes, even happiness and joy throughout this ordeal.

Romans 15:13 – “I pray that the God who gives hope will fill you with much JOY and PEACE ‘as you TRUST in HIM’. THEN you will have more and more hope, it WILL flow out of you by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

It is MY choice how my day goes. It is MY decision on whether I trust and focus on Jesus or not.

Isaiah 12:6 – “SHOUT aloud and SING for joy…for GREAT is the Holy One!” 

As you see, it is up to us to verbally shout and sing. Step out in faith, and like Nike says, “Just do it!”

~ ŦɌⱭƇƳ

Do You Feel Worthless?

Have you ever felt so worthless, like you never seem to be able to do anything right? That no matter what you do, it’s never good enough? You try to be what others want you to be, but it’s just impossible. You try not to say anything that will upset anyone, but inevitably, you always seem to say “something” wrong. You feel like you have to walk on egg shells so that no one gets upset with what you say or do. Have you been there??

I have gone through times in my life where I felt that I could never do anything right, not in the sight of man, nor in the sight of God. I took the bait, and believed that lie!

The below verse says that I am “special” to God. So special, in fact, that He has done everything possible to save my life.

Isaiah 43:4 – “You are special to me, and I have given you a special place of honor. That’s why I am willing to trade others, to give up whole nations, to save your life.”

Why on earth would He do that…for ME?! Does the Lord REALLY care that much about me??

We seem to have “paralysis of analysis”. We need to STOP questioning, and over analyzing, every detail all the time as to WHY God loves us. The fact is that He DOES, and we need to simply trust and believe Him when He says He loves us. Why would the Father EVER allow His one and only Son to die for ME, if He didn’t love me? That just doesn’t make any sense, does it? There are just some topics that we have to STOP questioning over and over, and simply come to terms that He’s God, and we aren’t. If He says He loves us, then He does!

John 3:16-17 – “This is how much God loved the world: He gave His Son, His one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need to be destroyed; by believing in Him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending His Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again.” (The Message)

Wow! God is not pointing His finger at me! He’s not up there with a stick in His hand, ready to hit me any time I do something wrong. Others may point their fingers at me, and tell me I’m no good, but not God! He’s here to help me, not hurt me. That takes off so much weight, doesn’t it? It completely changes the whole scenario. Knowing this brings me so much peace!

A song that we all know and grew up with, rings truer now more than ever:

Jesus loves ME, this I know.
For the Bible tells me so.
Little ones to Him belong.
They are weak, but He is strong.

Yes, Jesus loves me.
Yes, Jesus loves me.
Yes, Jesus loves me.
The Bible
(which is His Word) tells me so!

ŦɌⱭƇƳ