Are we being consistent in re-evaluating and re-examining our daily lives to see if we have anything hindering our devotion to God? Some things may require disposal and prompt removal, while others may only require adjustments. Is there anything blocking what we need today?
Have we truly buried our old selves when we answered Jesus’ call to receive His free gift given to us by Grace for eternal life, so that we may become a new creation in Jesus Christ…or is the grave for our old self still open and the soil yet to be placed upon it? How can we be a new creation in Christ if our old selves have not fully died? Are we hanging on to parts of what we once were before we believed in and truly knew Jesus?
When a voice speaks to you, are you hearing your own voice or are you hearing God’s voice?
Do we serve God out of our own free will and desire? Are we devoted to serve or to Jesus?
Are we requesting from God more than we are giving to God of ourselves and our service? Is there anything in our lives that is in competition with our loyalty to God?
Are we waiting and listening for God or starting without Him?
Many are called, but few are chosen…few prove themselves the chosen ones…
Is God real to you with all else put into the shadows? Does God have center stage in your life?
Are we depending on God alone or are we receiving dependence from other areas as well?
Are we still in love with God as we first were when we answered His call to us? Are we still hungering and thirsting after Him or are we focused on how our hunger and thirst can be satisfied by Him? Are we looking for what He can do for us or are we seeing how we can be used by Him? Are we still so in love with God that all we see and want is Him?
Are we waiting for God to me to us or are we going to Him?
Are we looking up to God…or looking down upon our worldly circumstances?
Who are you living for…your family…your work…your children…your friends…your career…your own desires….?
Are we leaving room in every area of our lives for God to come in at any moment…at His moment?
Are we giving thought for our lives or are we giving it all to God?
The things we cast out of our lives, we often return to or are tempted to return to them. They invade our once purified world, as weeds pollute a well-grown and kept garden. How often do we give into it and then must cast it out again. How often do the weeds of our past sin and repentance grow again in our gardens.
Saul in the book of 1 Samuel, cast out all the mediums and the spiritist from the land. When it came a time in which he was not hearing from God, he searched out for what he previously had already cast out of the land. Saul requested his servants to find him a medium. The medium they found was En Dor. When Saul went to her, he disguised himself.
To me this shows that he did not want to be known as going to something which was cast out sin. He knew it was wrong, but he was doing it anyway under a disguise. He went to executing desperate sinful actions, because he was not receiving the answers from God at that time.
Since Saul did not hear from God, he acquired of the dead through a medium in attempting to contact Samuel (who was already in the grave).
What sins do we return to when we are not receiving answers when we want them or things are not going as we think they should at our appointed time? What weeds keep growing in our garden and are constantly being cast out again and again?
Cast out the sin, do not return to what you have repented of, but go forward focuses on our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
I never really knew my father all that well. There are bits and pieces of my father that I remember from my growing up years.
I remember my father sleeping in the bed…seeing the top of his bald head at dinner time nearly placing his face into his plate…hearing him take my side over me spending my pennies that I had saved for kindergarten…being held by him as he cooked his blood sausage over the stove…crying as he was leaving for his grange meetings and I was held in my mum’s arms…riding in a car with him and my aunt while he told me great stories (which I would prod him to continue over and over again)…locking my brother out of the house by nailing the back door shut (my brother did not have it so good from my dad)…dad bringing home a cat in a large box (I could only see part of the face sticking out a hole…I thought it was a lamb that he had brought home).
…I remember the day my mum told me my dad moved away and was living in a big building somewhere else (my little mind pictured a skyscraper of a building…reaching up into the clouds and somewhere within that building was my father…of which I missed and wanted back home where he belonged).
I was told later in life that my mum and dad fought a lot, that my brother and dad did not get along, that my dad was not a good father.
I remember cleaning my dad’s apartment on visits to his home…cooking my dad frozen dinners…making my dad coffee with a shot of whiskey on the side for breakfast-lunch-dinner…my dad’s girlfriend that painted my nails each visit…not understanding why I could not sleep over when my brother could…walks to the liquor store…a walk in a cemetery.
I remember my dad coming to my birthday party and giving me a book that had stories of the Bible in it…others looked down upon this gift, but to me it is was like gold…because it came from my dad…riding my bicycle 7 miles one way to visit my dad a couple of towns away…getting freezer burn from a hamburger and being in extreme pain walking 7 miles with my bicycle back home after visiting my dad (regretting eating the hamburger, but not regretting seeing my dad)…the news that my dad had died one November morning (I was 16 and told not to cry because he was never really a father to me).
My father was not the best, as fathers seem to go, but he was my father. I forgive him for not being there for me, for not taking me places or even to the park, for being an alcoholic, for saying things to me that fathers do not say to their daughters, for being not nice to my brother or mother. I apologize for making fun of him sometimes when he was drunk…not honoring him.
I forgive you dad…I miss you…I wish you could have seen me grow up…I wish I could give you a hug and tell you I love you no matter what others say. You are my dad and you always will be and that is why I love you…not because of things you did or did not do…but because you are my dad. I wish you could see these words. I don’t know if I will see you in Heaven, because I am not sure if you gave your life to Jesus and accepted his gift of eternal life. I love you daddy!!!
Everyone knows of the term Spring Cleaning, where a person goes through all of their possessions and casts out what they no longer use or need. In the process they also clean their home thoroughly (every corner and inch thereof). Spiritual House Cleaning is a little different from Spring Cleaning, but it can follow similar guidelines.
When a person performs Spiritual House Cleaning, they go through their home examining each item to see if it holds any unrighteous ties. A person is basically cleaning their home from all unrighteousness and anything that may be against the ways of God. Making sure to not allow for anyway that the enemy may find its way into their home or lives.
For example; items which may reference worldly or demonic nature such as…superstitious items,good luck items, movies which contain unsuitable content, music that may contain profanity, books which hold inappropriate content by the standards of God. We as followers of Jesus should be filling our eyes, ears, mind, and other senses with all that is righteous and which links us closely to our future eternal home and our Father in Heaven. What we take in through our senses, we also open a door unto. Would you rather open a door to God or to the sinful nature of this world?
Once we discover undesirable items in the home, we are not to give them away or sell them. For what does giving them away or selling them do, but put what is not right for us into the hands of someone else. What is not right for us, is also not right for another. Whether or not a person receiving such items believes in God, we are not to give them items which would further their disobedience, rather give them things of truth and righteousness that will bring the light of Jesus into their lives. So let us not pass on our unrighteous items to another, but rather destroy them.
You shall burn the carved images of their gods with fire; you shall not covet the silver or gold that is on them, nor take it for yourselves, lest you be snared by it; for it is an abomination to the LORD your God. Nor shall you bring an abomination into your house, lest you be doomed to destruction like it. You shall utterly detest it and utterly abhor it, for it is an accursed thing (Deuteronomy 7:25-26).
Many of them also which used curious arts brought their books together, and burned them before all men: and they counted the price of them, and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver (Acts 19:19).
You shall have no other gods before Me. You shall not make for yourself a carved image–any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments-Exodus 20:3-6.
Have you loved God above all else? Is there a priority which you set before spending time with God, have you always made God first in your life? Where do you spend the majority of your time? Then you have committed idolatry and you are an idolater.
You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain-Exodus 20:7.
Have you ever used the name of God or Jesus as an exclamation or in place of a swear word? Have you used either the name of God or Jesus in any way other than to speak about them, pray to them, or praise them? Have you ever used the name of God or Jesus to curse or been greedy? Then you have committed blasphemy and you are a blasphemer.
Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it-Exodus 20:8-11.
Have you kept the Sabbath holy?
Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you-Exodus 20:12.
Have you always implicitly honored your parents? Have you obeyed their words without question or complaint? Have you held back wise or sarcastic comments and only given them respect. Have you always talked well of your parents? Have you HONORED them?
You shall not murder-Exodus 20:13.
But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, ‘Raca!’ shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, ‘You fool!’ shall be in danger of hell fire-Matthew 5:22.
Have you ever hated anyone, even with just your mind? Have you ever felt unrighteous anger towards someone (even without a cause)? Then you have committed murder in your heart and you are a murderer.
You shall not commit adultery-Exodus 20:14.
But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart-Matthew 5:28.
Have you ever looked at someone lustfully with your eyes or mind? Then you have committed adultery in your heart and you are an adulterer.
You shall not steal-Exodus 20:15.
Have you ever stolen anything? Have you stolen an item, time, or taken anything that was not yours? Then you have committed thievery and you are a thief.
You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor-Exodus 20:16.
But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you and persecute you,-Matthew 5:44.
Have you ever said an untruth about someone? Have you spread rumors that were not true?
You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s-Exodus 20:17.
Have you ever wanted something that belonged to someone else and wished it for yourself? Have you ever longed to possess your neighbor’s car, their latest technical gadget, their shoes, their handbag, their furniture, their computer, their hair, their figure?
Have you ever told a lie…white lies, half-truths, exaggerations, or anything that is not the truth (even remaining silent and not declaring something to be untrue, but allowing someone to believe what is no true or accurate)? Then you have committed a lie and you are liar.
…’Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’-Matthew 5:31.
But I say to you that whoever divorces his wife for any reason except sexual immorality causes her to commit adultery; and whoever marries a woman who is divorced commits adultery-Matthew 5:32.
Have you divorced a man or woman for any reason other than sexual immorality? Have you married a man or woman who has been divorced? Then you have committed adultery or caused someone else to commit adultery and either you or the other person is an adulterer.
Have you broken any of the Ten Commandments?
…’You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform your oaths to the Lord.’-Matthew 5:33
But I say to you, do not swear at all: neither by heaven, for it is God’s throne; nor by the earth, for it is His footstool; nor by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. Nor shall you swear by your head, because you cannot make one hair white or black. But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’ For whatever is more than these is from the evil one-Matthew 5:34-37.
…’An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’-Matthew 5:38
But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. If anyone wants to sue you and take away your tunic, let him have your cloak also. And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two. Give to him who asks you, and from him who wants to borrow from you do not turn away-Matthew 5:39-42
Breaking the law is considered sin, the price for sin is death.
…”There is none righteous, no, not one;-Romans 3:10
for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, who God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus-Romans 3:23-26.
Jesus was spotless without blemish, He knew no sin. He allowed Himself to be put upon a cross and become sin (take all of our past, present, and future sins upon himself). Thereby paying our debt to sin of death, He died. Overcoming death after paying our debt, He rose on the third day after his death. Whosoever may have faith and believe in Jesus, by grace he may have eternal life in heaven. Jesus ascended into heaven and left us with a comforter, the Holy Spirit which dwells within us after we have received the gift of grace.
But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us-Romans 4:8.
that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God-John 3:15-18.
Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life-John 5:24.
…”I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me-John 14:5.
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them-Ephesians 2:8-10.
I have a question, well actually more like several questions. Have you ever been in a church and at the end of the service they have an altar call? First they announce an invitation to all who do not know Jesus and would like Him to come into their lives. Then they ask everyone to bow their heads and to close their eyes while the music plays, giving an opportunity for those to come forward and proclaim their belief in Jesus and confess themselves as being sinners. Then after someone does come forward and they pray with them, they have that person stand up in front of the church announcing what they have just done.
Now my first question is, “Why do people bow their heads and close their eyes”? Is the act of believing in Jesus, confessing you are a sinner, and accepting His gift of eternal life an embarrassment? Is it fear of being noticed that grips at the heart of these people, so in order to bring them out of the crowd, the crowd must not initially know who they are? In the end all know, but in the beginning no one is to know. Are we not suppose to approach the throne of God boldly?
Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need (Hebrews 4:16)
The gift of eternal life is given to us by grace, it is not something we can earn.
For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace (Romans 6:14)
For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord (Romans 6:23)
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: (Ephesians 2:8)
Is the act of bowing the head and closing the eyes so that the church becomes blind to those who are sinners and are coming forward to receive Jesus’ gift to them? We all are sinners.
What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin; As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: (Romans 3:9-10)
Doesn’t this encourage people to be ashamed if they have not yet accepted the gift of Jesus, as a result of all heads being bowed and eyes closed? What does this tell the person about followers of Jesus, that they cannot look upon a sinner, that being one who does not know Jesus is disgraceful. Are we not to show love to the rejected, to those who do not know Jesus, to those who society casts aside. Is bowing our heads and closing our eyes showing love. Should not the church show that is it alright to boldly come forth, that no one will judge you, and that we are all sinners.
Is bowing the heads and closing the eyes a tradition taught by Jesus or is this a tradition taught by man? Did not the Pharisees hold to the traditions of man?
Not only is the church something to be respected, but we ourselves are temples of the living God.
And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people (2 Corinthians 6:16)
How are we treating our bodies? How do we treat the church? Since our bodies are God’s temple are we treating our bodies as we treat the church.
Let’s take it a step further. God dwells within His temple, His temple is our bodies, He dwells within our bodies. That means we are carrying God around with us wherever we go. Where do you bring God every day? Do you bring God to places that He would approve of or do you bring Him to places which you would be ashamed for Him to see.
Our bodies are not our own, they belong to the most high God, our Father in Heaven.
And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty (2 Corinthians 6:18)
How are you treating and caring for your body today? What things have you exposed your body to today?
How we treat and care for our body is how we treat and care for God’s temple, where God dwells.
This morning I was reading through Exodus 7-9, concerning the plagues of Egypt. Moses was sent to the Pharaoh to show him God’s power and ask that he let Israel go. Each plague was directed at an Egyptian God, which was a display of their God’s lack of power against the one and only true God.
However, there was something else that I noticed in these chapters, how Pharaoh handled the plagues. Whenever Pharaoh was afflicted with a plague, he pleaded with Moses to get rid of it. He also agreed to do what Moses wanted, anything just to get rid of and stop the plague. After the plague was gone, Pharaoh changed his mind and was no longer in a pleading position. Pharaoh’s heart became hardened and he would not let Israel go.
So when Pharaoh was faced with a problem he could not solve on his own, he pleaded for it to be resolved and agreed to anything in order to quicken the process. Whenever things were normal and fine, he took back all of his agreements, as there was nothing troubling that he could not handle.
Do we ever become like that? When things are looking bad and we are in the midst of the storm, we plead to God for him to help us and take away the storm. When the sun is out, all is good, and there is nothing too great for us to handle, do we forget our promises. Do we not go to God then, but only when things look out of control.
God keeps all of his problems to us, no matter what the weather looks like. God wants a relationship with us where we come to Him in the good and bad times. We are not only to follow Christ when things aren’t looking all that great, but we are to continue to follow Christ in all moments of our life. Let us not be like Pharaoh, who rejected God. Let us be true followers of Christ in the storm and when the sun is shining its golden beams down upon us.
Now is the time for healing; for ourselves, our land, and our families. It is a time to let go of our selfishness and pride, a time to let go of the past and rejoice in the present. There are many things in my life of which need healing. There are many wounds which I have obtained throughout my years on this earth. I would like to share with you my healing experiences as I go through them, that some with similar experiences may be able to heal along with me. Initially, I was a bit skeptical of sharing such things consisting of a personal nature within my life, but why keep things hidden from the world which must know they are not alone in their hurts. As much as some may need to read the words I write, it is as much as I need to write the words which will be read.
I will start out with my mother, for it was through the passage of my mother of which I entered this world (and also since it is approaching Mother’s Day). I was not one who was expected to be entering into this world seven years after my mother gave birth to my brother. All baby items had been cast out and given away by the time the notice of my surprise arrival was declared. Now they had to re-obtain all of the previous baby items all over again. God was watching over me from the very beginning of my life, He had a plan for me.
My mother was a non-educated woman. However, she was a hard worker and not afraid to serve others. She would do whatever labor she had to without complaint. She married a man 22 years her senior (my dad). Things were not exactly smooth going there either. My mother handled life in the best way which she knew how. She had a submissive/passive character to her. She did not have a lot of confidence in herself and high-esteem, therefore she endured things which otherwise she may not have if her voice was made known. The only things which my mother could give to me and my brother, were things which were already given to her in her lifetime….everything else was unknown and foreign to her. There were decisions I made for myself at a very young age, fears I held within, privacy was non-existent, a voice which was not heard, and various other accounts of which I will not go into.
I was no angel either. I disrespected and took advantage of my mother from the age of 13 and on. I disregarded all of her warnings and instructions. I thought I knew the better answers more than she did. (There was no innocence in my life, it was all taken away from me at an extremely early age.) It was like my life was polluted and from that pollution, instead of staying on the path to cleanse it from me, I chose to pollute it even more. My mother tried as she could to keep me on the right path in life. Unfortunately I did not step into my mother’s shoes until much later in life. God showed me so many things about my mother, which led to my heart pouring out for her. I am blessed with a mother that loves Jesus and puts Him first above all things. Regardless of what happened in my past and what I went through, involving my mother, I forgive her. I forgive you mom! I am blessed to have you as my mother and I am so sorry for the countless times which I have not showed you honor and respect. I apologize for the times which I have not shown you the love of Jesus. I am sorry that you had to wait all these years to feel my forgiveness.
It is not about what my mother did or did not do, it is about how I did not show her the due respect and honor which is instructed of children to give to their parents.
I ask that on this Mother’s Day everyone show the honor and respect that is due your mother regardless of the past…follow the instructions of God and honor your mother…God will take care of the rest…making it a new beginning and a more loving future. Show your mom Jesus today and everyday! I love you Mom!!!