Your 4 Goals as a Christian for the New Year

With all of the other usual goals floating around this time of year, it’s important to remember to set goals for our walk with Christ as well.  A relationship with Christ, just as with any other relationship, functions most successfully if we nurture and grow that relationship.  Here are 4 goals that can help you grow in your walk with Christ this next year. Continue reading

Why Do I Still Sin if I’m a Christian: Part 2

We talked yesterday about the popular question, Why Do I Still Sin if I’m a Christian, and about how sin reigns in the life of people, in a nutshell, because we allow ourselves to be led by the flesh as opposed to being led by the Holy Spirit, letting it guide us in what we should do. Today we’re going to continue our study in Romans to find out, as Paul tells us in Romans 8, how to be free from indwelling sin.  Continue reading

Do You Really Know How Much God Loves You?

Do you really know how much God loves you?  Do you truly understand how special you are to Him?  How important your happiness, safety and joy is to Him?  Do you understand that His love for you doesn’t depend on what you do, the color of your skin, or on whether or not you’re struggling with sin right now?

But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows. (Luke 12:7)

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you.” (Jeremiah 1:5)

A God who knows the very number of hairs on your head, and who knew you before He formed you in your mother’s womb, has to be, by all logic, a God who loves you very, very much.

After all, how many people in your life can say that love you enough to know or keep track of the number of hairs on your head, or who loved you and knew you before you were even formed in your mother’s womb?

Well, God loves you that much.  And God does not want you suffering from the things you’re suffering from right now – that’s the Devil’s work:

The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. (John 10:10)

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour. (1 Peter 5:8)

When the devil first tempted Adam and Eve, his plan was to take over God’s position as the Most High.  And ever since he lost that battle, his backup plan has been to keep as many people as possible from accepting eternal life with the Creator, by convincing them that God doesn’t exist, or that if He does exist, He’s a jerk.

Don’t fall prey to those lies, my friends.  Don’t reject the most wonderful, perfect, all-encompassing, all-fulfilling love you’ll ever experience just because the people of this world have, through the working of the devil, tainted you and hurt you and destroyed your trust.

God is trustworthy, even if man isn’t.  Man will betray you, God won’t.  I heard a saying once which gave me the perfect antidote for dealing with untrustworthy humans:

Where man is concerned, expect nothing and be grateful for everything (everything good, that is.)

Where God is concerned, expect everything and be grateful for everything (good).

The human race cannot be trusted, because it is, by nature, fallible and selfish.  God, however, is perfect.  His love for you will never fail, no matter what you do.

For God so loved the world (read: YOU) that He sent His only Begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall 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. (John 3:16-17)

I’ll be you’ve heard John 3:16 before, but have you ever heard John 3:17?  Let’s read it again:

For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.

Jesus was sent to be the propitiation for our sins (1 John 2:2), but God will never force you to accept that gift, because that’s not the kind of God He is.  Salvation is a gift which you can accept or reject.  God wants you to accept it, because He wants you have eternal life with Him when you die.  He wants to be with you forever and ever.  But He’s left the choice between eternal life after death and eternal hell after death up to you.

Whatever you decide, just know that God loves you, just as you are, with all of His great big kind, loving and merciful heart.


The American Patriot’s Bible: the Perfect Christmas Gift

Christmas is just around the corner, and it’s time for people everywhere to start thinking about what they might give those on their lists that might impact them for good and bring joy to their faces.  Enter, The American Patriot’s Bible: The Word of God and the Shaping of America

This beloved Bible was given to me years ago by my husband and has been my cherished treasure and go-to Bible ever since. The New King James Version is super easy to read and understand. The print is large enough and dark enough that even those with nearsightedness will find it readable, and throughout the pages of this blessed book are stories from America’s history that will bring joy to your heart and hope for America’s future.

The Bible comes both in a hardcover version, and in a leather-bound version as linked to above.

The American Patriot’s Bible: Best Gift I Ever Gave to My Kids

As my kids reached the age where they could all read really well, they were growing out of their kids NIV bible shown here:

The kids NIV Bible is great for ages 7-10 or so. Being avid Bible readers, though, my kids were quickly growing out of the kids NIV and wanted something more mature. Since they were constantly swiping my copy of The American Patriot’s Bible: The Word of God and the Shaping of America to read for themselves, I thought I’d get them each their own copy a short while ago. The goal was to give it for Christmas, but since they were all coming separately to me, eager and asking to have a more mature copy of the Holy Bible, I gave them their copies early. Man, what a gift! Those kids have been soaking up the Word like a dehydrated sponge!!! The beautifully gold-edged pages and attached navy blue ribbon bookmark, along with the many, many stories of our founding fathers and other historical figures that have given God a high priority in their lives are entertaining and educational.  My kids eagerly and independently read the Bible every single day now, enamored by the engaging appearance and the wonderful stories of history in The American Patriot’s Bible: The Word of God and the Shaping of America.

As you seek the perfect gift for those on your Christmas list who love the Lord and love America, I eagerly suggest you consider getting them The American Patriot’s Bible: The Word of God and the Shaping of America. For our family, this particular version of the Bible has helped our spiritual growth catapult to all-time highs.

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Are the Words of Your Mouth Pleasing to God?

DSCN0386Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer. (Psalm 19:14)

This is the Word I received from the Lord for today.  Are the words of your mouth acceptable to God?  Do you speak words of life and love to yourself and to those around you, or do you speak words of death and destruction? Continue reading

Just Because it’s Good, Doesn’t Mean it’s God: Finding God’s Will for You

DSCN0386As I work to learn how to be in the very center of God’s will for my life, and teach my children to do the same, I’m learning just how much that myself and so many Bible believing Christians with good hearts lead their own way without even knowing it.

Romans 12:1 tells us:

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.

This is what, at the minimum, we are called to be and do for God.  What is meant by the word “sacrifice”?  Webster’s Dictionary defines the word this way:

the act of sacrificing or offering to a deity, to give up for a higher good, to disregard or neglect the interest of.

When Paul beseeches us to be a living sacrifice to God, what he is suggesting is that we give up our own interests in order to advance the interests of God for the greater good. God, as we are told in 1 John 4:8, is LOVE.  There is no one that loves greater than God, because God cannot be tempted by evil (James 1:13).  Therefore, God knows what paths will bring you peace and life and what paths will bring you trouble and suffering.

So when we choose to present ourselves as living sacrifices to Him, it means that we are saying “God, I don’t want to run my own show anymore.  Tell me what You want for my life.  I want to be in the center of Your will.”

But often times we miss the boat as we search for ways to impact the kingdom.  We think about what types of occupations or ministries we would like to do, or we take opportunities that come our way simply because they are “good” opportunities that would allow us to do good and share the love of Christ, or make good money so we could give more away, or whatever.  But just because an opportunity is good in your sight, or in the sight of your pastor or anyone else, doesn’t mean it’s an opportunity God wants you to take.  Just because it’s good, doesn’t mean it’s from God.

This is where it’s so vitally important for Christians to learn to discern the voice of the Holy Spirit.  In my practice at this – and it does take lots and lots of practice – I’ve gotten so much better at hearing God speak to me that in many instances, I can tell pretty quickly when an opportunity arises whether or not God wants me to be involved.  Many times He doesn’t, and it doesn’t make sense to me.  And many times He does, and it doesn’t make sense.

Years ago our oldest daughter wanted a horse.  I wanted to give it to her, but financially it didn’t make any sense at all for our family, so I purposed in my heart to tell her that we weren’t going to get the horse for her.  In prayer, however, God told me to get the horse.  I thought He was crazy, and proceeded to explain to Him how that financially, it just wasn’t logical.

God got quiet, as He often does when He’s waiting for me to get over myself.  When I realized that I was leading my own way instead of letting Him lead, I repented, turned around and followed His lead.

We’ve had that horse for 3 years now, and that horse has been such a blessing to my daughter and to dozens of other people that we’ve shared him with.  It has allowed for hard hearts to become soft, opening the door for us to share the love of Christ with others.

I wasn’t thinking that this horse would bring so much love and opportunity for us to share love.  I was only thinking about us and how the horse would affect us.  But God sees things on a broader scale than we do, being the Creator of the Universe.  He knows better than we do how a decision will affect us and our lives, therefore we can’t assume that just because something is good for us, or good for the kingdom (in our eyes) or good for whatever, that it is from God or that it is God’s will for our lives.

It’s only when we become a living sacrifice to Him, committing all life decisions over to Him and waiting to hear His instruction on them that we can learn to truly walk in the very center of His will for our lives. And hearing God starts with humbling yourself to seek Him first above all other things in your life.

The more I learn about how to walk in God’s perfect will for our lives, the more peace, contentment, joy and success I have in life.  God’s plans for us are good and not evil to give us a future and a hope (Jeremiah 29:11), so choose today to submit yourself completely to Him and to finding out what His perfect will is for your life.  I guarantee it’s much better than anything you’ve got planned for yourself.

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