Bear One Another’s Burdens

Galatians 6:2English Standard Version (ESV)                                                                          Bear one another’s burdens

Today as I was preparing for a party in our home in a few days, I realized that I was fretting that everything has to be “perfect.”  It was like the Lord was saying to me, “Can you leave one thing ‘undone’ just to show others that you are not perfect?”  Wow…what a concept!

The sin of acting “perfect” when I am not is one that I have learned in the Church. Face it…most of us put on our “Sunday best” both physically and spiritually when we go to church.  Perhaps we have shared with someone who didn’t care much to “bear” our burden with us and so we have learned to “bear” our burdens alone.  Perhaps we have been hurt and that has caused us to pull back from being transparent.  Whatever the case, I believe that the Lord wants us to walk with others and to bear each other’s burdens.

At a recent retreat, I felt the Holy Spirit wanted me to share about something in my life that is very painful.  I wasn’t quite sure why He would lead me that way until someone approached me after the retreat and shared that they are going through the same trial.  Both of us admitted that the Church is not always the safest place to share our burdens.  But I can guarantee that there is someone sitting next to you in church who is just as lonely and broken as you are.

I challenge you to find a few to share your life with…both the good and the bad.  As God’s children, we were created to live in community with God and our brothers and sisters.  So let’s “bear one another’s burdens.”

PRAYER:  Lord, it is hard to be transparent because we live in a broken world.  Help us to walk by Your Spirit and to “bear one another’s burdens.”  Help us to see that one in our path today who needs Your touch and help us to be Jesus to them.

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Am I Devoted?

I had a dream recently that involved a Christian friend.  In the dream, he was in need of some help for a healing.  But instead of turning to Jesus, he turned to something else.  The dream wasn’t really clear at this point, but what I think I saw was a good luck charm or maybe even a “voodoo” doll or some such thing that he was calling upon for “healing.”  The really disturbing thing is that the healing, did indeed come, from this “false source.”  I remember in the dream telling my friend, “You shouldn’t be doing this.  You need to call upon Jesus.”

This dream reminded me that in the “last days” (which began, by the way, when Jesus left the earth), there will be those who perform “false” signs. (See 2 Thessalonians 2:9)  The Lord not only gives us this warning, but also instruction about how to walk:

2 Timothy 1:14  “Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you–guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us.”

This dream has caused me to wonder about what other “things” I have mixed in with my devotion to Jesus Christ.  Am I devoted?

Prayer:  Lord, Help me walk with the discernment of the Holy Spirit as I am bombarded by so many “voices” in this world.  Teach me how to truly guard the treasure of my relationship with You.  I want to be totally devoted to You!

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“Neither Do I Condemn You…”

Jesus stood up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” 11 She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.”]]

A few days ago I shared with a group of believers that “life and death” is in the power of our tongue.  When Jesus encountered the woman caught in adultery, He did not speak words of condemnation.  If you read John 8, you will find that it was the scribes and the Pharisees (the religious leaders) who brought the woman and made a public display of her before Jesus and the crowd.  I think they wanted Jesus to speak condemnation on her, but we find that with His Holy and Righteous tongue, He did just the opposite.  He said  “neither do I condemn you .”

As I look at the news about the USA, my heart is heavy.  I’m sure that many of you feel the same.  BUT as I continue in prayer, I feel the Lord wants me to say to the USA, “…neither do I condemn you.”  I believe He wants me to continue to pray words of life and hope and expectancy over the USA.  I don’t think He is done with her yet!

Please don’t let FOX news (or whatever news source you use) have the final say.  Listen to the Holy Spirit as you pray and ask Him how to pray.

I really appreciate the word from Lana Vawser’s blog:

http://lanavawser.com/2015/05/15/united-states-of-america-you-are-pregnant-with-a-glory-story/

Keep on praying!

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Humility…Moving the Church Forward

1 Peter 5:6-7New King James Version (NKJV)

6 Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, 7 casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.

I was looking back in my prayer journal this morning to an entry that I knew I had made some time ago. As I came to April 27th, I saw the words that I had penned that day:

“Moving forward…Humility need to come to Your Church”

This morning during prayer, I turned to “Jesus Calling” , as I often do, and found that one of today’s verses was 1 Peter 5:6 & 7. Humility…hmmm…seems to be a theme these days, Lord. And oh, will we listen?

Returning to my journal entry of April 27th, I was reading Phil. 2:2-4 (emphasis mine) on that day:

2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. 3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.

 

I like the NLT paraphrase of this verse:

Then make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one mind and purpose.

The words, “and working together with one mind and purpose…” really stand out!

And so my challenge for all of us today is this…Are we living in such a way in the Body of Christ that we are moving forward the purposes of Christ?

Prayer: Lord, You were the most excellent example of humility. Teach us what true humilitiy is all about!

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Living in the Light…HOPE IN THE LORD!

John 8:12 NIV

12 When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

Isaiah 40:28-31New International Version (NIV)

28 Do you not know?   Have you not heard?                                                                                                 The Lord is the everlasting God,   the Creator of the ends of the earth.                                               He will not grow tired or weary,                                                                                                                  and his understanding no one can fathom.                                                                                                 He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.                                                            Even youths grow tired and weary,   and young men stumble and fall;                                               but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles;   they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

How do I “hope in the Lord?” As I pray today, I know that putting my “hope in the Lord” is a daily process. Years ago, when I was trying to form some healthy, new “habits”, a motivational book that I read challenged me to “do it daily.” Those words resound in my heart today as I write this blog entry. When I get tired, and we all do, I have to choose again and again and again to put my “hope in the Lord.” I have to do this daily and sometimes even more than once every day.

I like what Jack Wellman says about hope in his article, Hope in God is Hopeless Times:

“Humans have definitions of hope that are different from God’s.   We might hope our team wins the Super Bowl, or we might hope we don’t lose our jobs or our house. But the biblical definition of hope is not a hope-so but a know-so. Our hope in God is surer than the sun rising in the morning. “

Read more: http://www.whatchristianswanttoknow.com/hope-in-god-in-hopeless-times/#ixzz3TREbtLuM

Today, I put my “hope in the Lord!” I pray that you do, too!

Thought you’d enjoy this song: Hope in Front of Me                                                                       https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9KIhYZQ_ovw

Blessings, Gina

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Living in the Light…Is Your Heart Set on Pilgrimage?

John 8:12 NIV

12 When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

Psalm 84:5 New International Version (NIV)                                                                                 “Blessed are those whose strength is in you, whose hearts are set on pilgrimage.”

I read Psalm 84:5 this week and at first I didn’t get it. But I feel like the light is dawning now! For the last few weeks, or I guess actually months, whenever I get discouraged and I turn to the Lord for guidance, I hear Him say just one thing: “Keep on going, Gina! Don’t give up!”

I love the definition that the Merriam-Webster dictionary gives for “pilgrimage”:

a journey to a holy place

When you and I realized that Jesus Christ is “the Way”, we began a pilgrimage or a journey to a holy place. Sometimes the journey has been joy-filled and we have skipped along the path. Sometimes the journey has been faith-filled because we haven’t felt much joy. At those times we may have crawled along the path. The important thing is to remember what the Lord is saying: “Keep on going…don’t give up!” No matter where you are today, set your heart on “pilgrimage”! Keep pressing on in this holy journey!

Lord, help us to keep pressing forward with You!

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Living in the Light…God of the “Steady”

John 8:12 NIV

12 When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

Genesis 49: 24,25

“But his bow remained steady…because of the Almighty…”

Psalm 57:7 “My heart is steadfast, O God…”

steady: firmly fixed, supported, or balanced; not shaking or moving.

steadfast: resolutely or dutifully firm and unwavering.

Lord, today I realize  that I can remain “steady” because You are “steady.” The disciples became un-”steady” when they looked at the waves. (their circumstances) But even then,YOU, THE STEADY ONE, brought them back to “steady” when You said, “Peace, BE STILL!” to their storm. You can do that everyday for me.

Lord, teach me to keep my eyes upon you and to “stay in the steady!” AMEN

From “Praying the Names of God” (a great book!) by Ann Spangler:

“Remember the next time you’re tempted to doubt God’s promises. Nothing can prevent…our Almighty God, from carrying out his plans and pouring out his blessings on those who belong to him. Pain there will be, confusion, struggle, and difficulty, but God can use even these to bless us as long as we trust him.”

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