Thursday, April 29, 2010

Thoughts To Ponder

Jesus wants you to enjoy a '… rich… satisfying life' (John 10:10 NLT), without getting bogged down by things that don't add value or meaning. Life coach Robyn Coffman says, 'Clutter isn't only what you can see; it's what you can't see. It perpetuates your overloaded schedule, endless commitments and overwhelming fears. A cluttered mind means over-thinking, over-reacting, over-analyzing, over-worrying and over-committing.' So, de-clutter your mind by giving yourself permission to have a not-to-do list: Not to feel guilty for saying no to something that may be good, but not right for you. Not to worry about how well-adjusted your kids will be as adults. Not to hang something new in your wardrobe without giving something away. Not to feel over-responsible for everybody else's well-being. Not to answer the phone after a certain time each night. Not to say yes just because you've been invited. Not to schedule busy activities on Sundays and family days. Not to buy something just because it's on sale. Not to think you have to make a meal requiring more than three ingredients, do laundry, clean the house, and spend quality time with your family all on the same day. Not to ruminate over your own, or other people's mistakes. Not to compare yourself. The more you give yourself permission not to do, the more you free yourself to live a centered, abundant life. And God will help you to live this way. Listen: 'He gives power to the weak… those who trust in the Lord will find new strength… ' (Isaiah 40:29-31 NLT). Make spending time with God each day a priority, and everything else will fall into place.

You Ain't Married!

Singles Week Revisited Pt. 4: 'You Ain't Married!!'1Cor. 6:16-17 - 'And don't you know that if a man joins himself to a prostitute, he becomes one body with her? For the Scriptures say, 'The two are united into one. But the person who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him.' NLTAs

I travel the country, I see and hear so much that is going on with singles in the body of Christ. One major distress is the fact that many singles desire prayer for their boyfriends or girlfriends and ask people to pray for them that they will straighten up and marry them. This is something that I will never agree with or understand.I can understand how people may have accept Christ after living in sin with a person they are not married to, and then desire for this person to accept Christ, but your concern at this point must be you and not them! Even though you may feel you love them, you must love God more. Even though you may have built a family with them outside of marriage vows, you did it, not God. So, you cannot expect God to bring you together with this person if you are the one that decided to live illicitly and pursue a family outside of God's will. You must keep in mind that you chose to live in sin and produce a family without a commitment. So, instead of asking God to put you all together, ask God for his will for you.

We should never pursue relationships, child bearing, or any kind of family without the blessing of God. I know women that will reach out and grab a man just to have someone. And I know men that will go to great lengths to have women on call for sex and will even pretend to be interested in marriage! And they are so called Christians!People, the only thing you can trust and the first thing you should pursue in this life is a relationship with God. The closer you get to him, the less you will desire to live like that. And you will be able to see through the fake and the phony. You will know when a person is sent by God or whether you are fulfilling a fleshly desire to have someone for a brief period in time. You will not birth children in strange relationships that will cause them to not have all that they deserve in being raised. You will not fall victim to divorce and have to break vows and covenants that you made before God. Single's remember! You are not married!

That means, you can walk away from any relationship that is not the right relationship. If you are not married, stop praying like it, living like it, or seeking God about it. Let that unsaved boyfriend or girlfriend go and trust God. If it is meant to be, they will accept Christ, and then come calling on you again. And if it's not meant to be, then God just saved you from more pain and agony down the road. Trust God either way.

Suggested Reading: Matt. 19:29, 1Cor. 6:13

It's A Test Of Faith

When Jesus explained the cost of following Him, some of His disciples walked away. Yet the impact of those who didn't is still felt in the world today.By the time they wrote their epistles, His apostles had learned to see every test in life as a chance to strengthen their faith and multiply their effectiveness.

Tests of faith are opportunities to surrender something of value to God, even when we have the right not to. In a test of faith you'll feel assaulted and stretched by circumstances, yet not distant from God; tried by them, but not judged or guilty. The Psalmist writes, 'For you, O God, tested us; you refined us like silver... you brought us to a place of abundance.' (Psalm66:10-12 NIV)

A test of faith doesn't really test anything unless it pushes you beyond your last test-past what you've already proven! If you try to run or pull back each time you reach what seems like your limit, you'll never know how much you can trust God-or how much He can trust you. The fire that refines us like silver can come as a job lost, a relationship lost, good health lost, or a reputation lost. But with God, the end result is never in doubt.If you're wondering today, 'How much more can I take?' listen to the words of Bishop JC Ryle: 'This only we may be assured of, that if tomorrow brings a cross, He who sends it can and will send the grace to bear it.' In God's kingdom it works like this: 'Faith tested, character refined, abundance given.'