Should I Stay, or Should I Go?

Let me start by saying how much I LOVE MY CHURCH! They are an amazing group of people. The love that permeates from each one is nothing short of astounding. I was a greeter with my friend Winter today, and I watched our pastor walk into the snow to offer his arm and support to anyone who may need it as they made their way from their cars to the building. I looked at Winter, and I said, “He is such a good shepherd.” She wholeheartedly agreed. He and his wife are the very extension of the heart of the Father, and I am truly blessed and immeasurably honored to know them.

Because we are Christians, the devil LOVES it when we miss even a single service. Why? Because he knows it will be that much easier to convince us we don’t want to go the next week, and the next and the next, until months or even years have gone by. I know this from personal experience. If I miss even one service, it’s harder for me to go the next week and so on. Recently, I missed a service, and before I knew it, three weeks had gone by. I had given in to my flesh, but NO MORE! Galatians 5:16 says, “But I say, walk and live [habitually] in the [Holy] Spirit [responsive to and controlled and guided by the Spirit]; then you will certainly not gratify the cravings and desires of the flesh (of human nature without God).” (AMP)

The good news? Lamentations 3:22-23: “The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. 23Great is His faithfulness; His mercies begin afresh each morning.” (NLT) And, Romans 8:38-39: “And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. 39 No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (NLT) What an INCREDIBLE God we serve!!

So, why is going to church so important? Hebrews 10:25 says, “And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.” (NLT) We need each other, and we need our shepherds. They are a treasure from the very heart of God. Love, encourage, strengthen and daily lift your pastors and their families to the throne. Doing what they do IS. NOT. EASY

Father, thank You, for my pastor and his family. I pray You would bless them according to Ephesians 3:20: superabundantly, far over and above all that they dare ask or think, infinitely beyond their highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes, or dreams. Show each of us, as individuals and as a congregation, how we can be as much and more of a blessing to them as they are to us. In Jesus’ Name, Amen and Amen!

 If you haven’t found a church home, I encourage you to seek the Lord as to where He would have you go. Take His strong hand, hold on tight and enjoy the ride!

Merry Christmas! Jesus is the ONLY reason for the season! Never forget, He is passionately in Love with you!

 

 

Thy Word

I’m sure most Christian homes in America have more than one Bible. I personally have several. That being said, all my Christian life, I have heard stories of believers from around the world. Stories of  struggle, adversity, torment and even death. I remember as a teenager, I was astounded to discover there are places in this world where the Word of God is so precious, they will risk everything for a SINGLE PAGE. I was recently reminded of this fact, and I still have trouble wrapping my head and my heart around that. Bibles are readily available at hundreds of thousands of stores across this great nation. We can read them openly, without fear of wrongdoing; we can worship the Lord in the same way. In too many countries, even professing faith in Jesus can have catastrophic consequences.

The Bible has the answers to every question you will ever have. There is comfort, peace, joy and love in the Word. God speaks to us through His Word. Psalm 138:2b says, “For You have magnified Your Word above all Your name.” (NKJV) If the Father esteems His Word in such a way, there is no question we should, as well.

John 1:1-5 tells us why the Word is not just another book. It tells us why it is so precious: JESUS IS THE WORD! That’s why it is living and active, as it says in Hebrews 4:12, “For the word of God is living and active and full of power [making it operative, energizing, and effective]. It is sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating as far as the division of the soul and spirit [the completeness of a person], and of both joints and marrow [the deepest parts of our nature], exposing and judging the very thoughts and intentions of the heart.” (Amplified)

Recently, the Lord reminded me of something someone once said, “How you treat your Bible is how you treat the Lord.” Unfortunately, like many Christians, I sometimes take the Word and my freedom to read it for granted. Life happens, and you find you missed a day, then another. Before you realize it, it’s been a week or longer. I’ve made a fresh commitment to the Lord to make it a priority to not just read it, but study it everyday.

Great things are coming in 2018. Some good, some bad. We need to be full of the Word of God; we need to be ready. The Word is as much life to our spirit as air is life to our bodies. If our physical bodies can’t live without air, even more so, our spirits can’t live without the Word of God.

 

No Complaints

Recently, I was getting ready for bed, and I made the comment, “It is so cold in this house!” As I got into bed and covered myself with my VERY warm blanket, a “chilling” thought occurred to me: how many people are without warm blankets tonight? From there, I thought, how many people are without a warm HOME tonight?

Immediately, I asked God to forgive my complaining about the house being cold. I have SO much to be thankful for: I have a roof over my head, food, clothes, a good job, family, friends and a husband who loves me immensely. I have no cause for complaints.

I Thessalonians 5:18 says, “in every situation [no matter what the circumstances] be thankful and continually give thanks to God; for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.” (Amplified)

God has given us His most precious Gift: Jesus. Regardless of what I do or don’t have, I have Jesus. And that is everything.