What’s In Your Jar??


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jar5Luke 7:36-50 – When one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, he went to the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table. 37 A woman in that town who lived a sinful life learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, so she came there with an alabaster jar of perfume. 38 As she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them.

39 When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is—that she is a sinner.” 40 Jesus answered him, “Simon, I have something to tell you.” “Tell me, teacher,” he said. 41 “Two people owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. 42 Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he forgave the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?” 43 Simon replied, “I suppose the one who had the bigger debt forgiven.” “You have judged correctly,” Jesus said.

jar344 Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet,but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. 45 You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. 46 You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. 47 Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.” 48 Then Jesus said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” 49 The other guests began to say among themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?” 50 Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”

jar1The cost of the perfume in my alabaster jar is priceless. The things I had to endure to obtain such a treasure are astronomical. Can you imagine this woman sitting in her home, waiting and preparing for her next client when she heard that Jesus was in town. RIGHT DOWN THE STREET! As she pondered that fact and completely talked herself right down to the lowness and unworthiness she already was accustomed to, she combed her hair and shut herself off mentally from what was about to take place. She weighed heavily the options before her. In that moment of decision, when the man walked in the room, the moment when obedience seems crazy, she chose the way of the Lord. She ran down the street, toward a house full of haters and mockers, some of them she had even entertained in her own bedroom, and there was no turning back. We may not be street walkers, but nearly every single one of us has prostituted ourselves to the world for something….money, fame, fortune, success, a fancy job, a nice car….what compromises were made in the process??? What things, what relationships, what love was lost in that? Just a question.

jar4Only those who understand the depth of their sin and are able to push aside whatever compelling reasons that led to bad behavior can truly appreciate complete forgiveness.

Now to Simon. He shunned Jesus from the get go. Not once did our Lord act ENTITLED to receive a washing of His feet, an anointing of oil, or a kiss of greeting from the man at whose table He was reclining. Those things were offered to everyone else and He was the Son of God. Never once did He say, “How DARE Simon not recognize who I am and do for me what he is doing for everyone else!” It was all an act of humility so huge that it takes my breath away. In verse 39, Simon said to HIMSELF…that man had not even formed words out of his mouth to cast public judgment on this woman, yet Jesus HEARD him and answered him.

Our love for Jesus, even in the midst of trials, even in the depths of our own sinful ways, even in the pure acts of humility as we are riddled with shame, is what brings Him into the light of forgiving mercy.

jar2What is the cost of your alabaster jar? Would you be willing to humble yourself before Christ to receive forgiveness? He already knows your heart and can hear your thoughts, whether you choose to speak aloud or not. Are you content to sit in your house, looking at the jar on the shelf, or take your years of sinful work and lay it at Jesus’ feet?

You can read Luke 5-8 about the message and ministry of Jesus at www.biblegateway.com. What a testimony to God’s favor and mercy upon us all! Join in- the discussion by posting comments or questions below and let’s do this together!! #ReadtheBible #bgbg2 #BibleGateway #newbeginnings #Luke

To further your reading, consider this from:

Mark 3:28 – Truly I tell you, people can be forgiven all their sins and every slander they utter.

I’ve said this before…anything worth having costs something. But we must be sure that our desires line up with what God wants for us. I would rather put everything aside to chase the things that I know are gifts from the Lord than to sit alone with my alabaster jar wondering what happened to me and how I got there.

Related Scriptures: Psalm 32:1; Acts 13:38; Ephesians 1:7

Impatiently Learning Patience


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Luke 1:5-23 –  In the time of Herod king of Judea there was a priest named Zechariah, who belonged to the priestly division of Abijah; his wife Elizabeth was also a descendant of Aaron. 6 Both of them were righteous in the sight of God, observing all the Lord’s commands and decrees blamelessly. 7 But they were childless because Elizabeth was not able to conceive, and they were both very old. 8 Once when Zechariah’s division was on duty and he was serving as priest before God, 9 he was chosen by lot, according to the custom of the priesthood, to go into the temple of the Lord and burn incense. 10 And when the time for the burning of incense came, all the assembled worshipers were praying outside. 11 Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing at the right side of the altar of incense. 12 When Zechariah saw him, he was startled and was gripped with fear. 13 But the angel said to him: “Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to call him John. 14 He will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth, 15 for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He is never to take wine or other fermented drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even before he is born. 16 He will bring back many of the people of Israel to the Lord their God. 17 And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the parents to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous—to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.” 18 Zechariah asked the angel, “How can I be sure of this? I am an old man and my wife is well along in years.” 19 The angel said to him, “I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to tell you this good news. 20 And now you will be silent and not able to speak until the day this happens, because you did not believe my words, which will come true at their appointed time.” 21 Meanwhile, the people were waiting for Zechariah and wondering why he stayed so long in the temple. 22 When he came out, he could not speak to them. They realized he had seen a vision in the temple, for he kept making signs to them but remained unable to speak. 23 When his time of service was completed, he returned home.

patienceI am so impatient. I want things RIGHT NOW. At the time of Zechariah, there were close to 20,000 Jewish priests throughout the country, far to many to minister at once. They were split up into groups of 24 divisions and would work at the Temple in two week shifts, offering sacrifices to the people, praying, and burning incense in the Holy Place. The lot fell to Zechariah and he JUST HAPPENED to be on duty to enter to Holy of Holies….alone….a once in a lifetime opportunity. The wheels of God were set in motion for the coming of the Messiah.

There are no coincidences in God’s world. Everything happens as it should in order to bring about His divine plan. Sometimes we have to wait days, even months or years, to see the purpose behind something as heartbreaking as losing a loved one or a job or a home or even missing our children, but God’s timing is PERFECT!

patience2When situations seem impossible and the road is bumpy and never ending, there IS hope, if only you would allow yourself to open your eyes to the promises of what God can do with the impossible. It will all come to pass at His appointed time.

God humbled Zechariah by not allowing him to speak, but we can be humbled by accepting with gratitude the gifts He gives u along the way, however small they may be, and use them to praise and serve the Lord.

Out time is coming for our mouths to be opened so we can boldly proclaim the Word of the Lord and that time is NOW!!! What “coincidences” are you overlooking today? Why acts of obedience are you ignoring? What humility is in your heart? Don’t minimize what God alone can do! It’s SO hard to wait, but patiently waiting is well worth it when God gets all the glory! Waiting on the impossible reflects absolute dependence on Jehovah Jireh!!!

patience3You can read Luke 1-4 about the message and ministry of Jesus at www.biblegateway.com. What a testimony to God’s favor and mercy upon us all! Join in- the discussion by posting comments or questions below and let’s do this together!! #ReadtheBible #bgbg2 #BibleGateway #newbeginnings #Luke

To further your reading, consider this from:

James 1:2-8 – Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. 6 But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7 That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. 8 Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.

Related Scriptures: Ecclesiastes 7:8; Romans 2:4; Colossians 3:12

Stand Firm Then


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What does one do when there are more questions than answers? What does one do when the path seems unclear and the way to the promise seems to have been cut off? What does one do when there is no turning back, but no way forward either? What do we do when the way is blocked to the right and to the left as well and the stillness of the quiet nights give us entirely too much time to think?

The Answer? STAND FIRM

stand1Mark 13:13 (NIV) – Everyone will hate you because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.

The enemy hates it when we stand firm. He has a plan for everyone’s life that does NOT include being still and waiting on God. Standing firm takes perseverance because it is no secret that our faith will be challenged and our very lives opposed. The sneaky enemy used these same tactics on Adam and Eve. Remember that as you are standing firm. He doesn’t have any new tricks up his sleeve. I was reading recently in my study bible about satan’s 5 point plan. It is imminent, especially in times of waiting, so get ready…

  1. DOUBT causes us to question God’s Word and His goodness.

Am I SURE that’s what God told me to do? He said to do THAT? That sounds stupid and people will laugh at me. God, am I REALLY who You say I am?”

2 Corinthians 5:17 (NIV) – Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!

  1. DISCOURAGEMENT makes us look at our problems rather than God.

I’m a coward. I can’t do this. I might as well go back to the way things were because at least THAT I could control. This is too hard.”

Psalm 16:8 (NIV) – I keep my eyes always on the Lord. With Him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.

3.  DIVERSION makes the wrong things seem attractive so you will want them more than the right things.

As Susan always says… “When you have hate in your heart, everything that is actually beautiful looks ugly and everything ugly becomes beautiful.” “Arrogance” also comes on the heels of “diversion” and we hear this, “If that wall is blocking your way, just knock it down and then expect your miracle.”

Philippians 4:8 (NIV) – Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy— think about such things.

4.  DEFEAT makes us feel like failures so we don’t even try.

Just give up already. Your ship has sailed. Lie down and DIE.”

Joshua 1:9 (NIV) – Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.

  1. 5.  DELAY is putting off something so it never gets done.

    That is not to be confused with standing firm on God’s promise. The enemy will use this and twist it bringing “impatience” to the party saying, “Get up and do SOMETHING. Nothing is going to happen without you making it happen. You can play God. Go ahead.”

stand7Mark 14:36 (NIV) – “Abba, Father,” he said, “everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.”

Not my will, Lord, but YOURS be done.

You can read Mark 13-16 about the message and ministry of Jesus at www.biblegateway.com. What a testimony to God’s favor and mercy upon us all! Join in- the discussion by posting comments or questions below and let’s do this together!! #ReadtheBible #bgbg2 #BibleGateway #newbeginnings #Mark

To further your reading, consider this from:

Exodus 14:15 (NIV) – Then the Lord said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to move on.”

Anything worth having costs something. Reaffirm your desire today to do what God wants, not always what your flesh desires. Do what He says regardless of the path (or lack thereof) before you. In the waiting, do not allow the enemy to come in and steal your joy or your peace. When in doubt? WAIT. Uncertain? WAIT. Experiencing restraint? WAIT. Wait until the way is clear, because there is not a doubt in my mind that the path will soon be free of the entanglements. So, as you ponder in the still of the night, keep your eyes on Jesus and pray for patience. Soon, very soon, you will hear what Moses heard in the waiting….MOVE ON.

Words of the Heart


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The battle I have been in this past week has been crazy. I am so worried about so many things. What in the world is really going on?? Do I trust people in my life? I do, but I REALLY trust my Father. And then I prayed…and then I was shown that I move too fast. I already knew THAT. I am still trying to run the show and it’s making me miserable. Even when I am trying to remain calm and positive, its from my own strength and not Gods. And it’s wearing me out, and that is what is about to take me out. This is silly of me. I NEED TO SIT STILL. And breathe. I need to stop speaking so negatively about people and to people and even over my own life. Words from the heart change the course of direction whether you are turning to the right or to the left.

word3I can speak life over myself and others or I can speak death. The choice is mine. Through my words I have the power to change my circumstances!

Mark 11:23 – “Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will done for them.”

God can do anything as long as I believe, I don’t hold a grudge against anyone else, as long as my motives are pure and not selfish, and if my desire will benefit the kingdom of God. Then my mountains will move!! Checking myself and my list of “NEEDS” will really put things in perspective. I need faith in God, not faith in the object of my request! THAT’S DEEP STUFF!!!

words5Susan said, “Out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks.” I know my heart, and I know my words are NOT matching up. I can’t solve my heart problem by myself. I need the Holy Spirit (The Spirit of Jesus) to fill me up with a new attitude. Susan said I need to have a desire to change, I need to stop making excuses because excuses are nails that build a house of failure. I need to take immediate action and do something I have never been willing to do before. Procrastination stops change. I must change how I see myself. When I have nothing to hide, I hide nothing. I must NEVER go back to the way things were. And most important, I need to STOP waiting for someone else to do it for me. I can change me, no one else can change me but ME and God is my source of the power to change. Change begins with my words, words I speak about myself, about others, about my situations. And words begin with a thought…

I want my mountains to MOVE!

words3You can read Mark 9-12 about the message and ministry of Jesus at www.biblegateway.com. What a testimony to God’s favor and mercy upon us all! Join in- the discussion by posting comments or questions below and let’s do this together!! #ReadtheBible #bgbg2 #BibleGateway #newbeginnings #Mark

To further your reading, consider this from:

Matthew 12:36-37 – But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.

WOW…I have a lot to be accountable for at the day of judgment, but if my WORDS can send me to hell, then I have a lot of confessing to do. The Lord was speaking to me. Let Him speak to you! It’s there for the taking! His Word is ALIVE and TRUE!!

Related Scriptures: Proverbs 18:20-21; Zephaniah 3:17; Psalm 34:12-20

Die to Self


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I lost everything. I lost family, I lost my children, I lost a marriage, I lost my home, I lost my possessions, I lost HOPE, and I lost my soul. I DIED to everything I knew. And then I gained my life in Christ! For me, it took losing everything, including almost losing my life, to gain a life I never really knew existed!! A BEAUTIFUL life. A life full of love and compassion. I life filled with hope, excitement, and JOY!!

dietoself2Mark 8:34-38 – Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 35 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it. 36 What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? 37 Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? 38 If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels.

dietoself5My life was USELESS, and still is, without Jesus. I choose to follow him instead of diving back into self-satisfaction. He wants me to have the desires of my heart and He will give them to me IF they line up with His will for my life. I had to let go of every single thing that I was holding onto, my whole world, to take up my heavy cross and follow Him. I had to nothing to exchange for my own soul. I was lost to the world and I let everything else take precedence over my life with Christ. And I lost it all, only to regain Him!!

You can read Mark 5-8 about the message and ministry of Jesus at www.biblegateway.com. What a testimony to God’s favor and mercy upon us all! Join in- the discussion by posting comments or questions below and let’s do this together!! #ReadtheBible #bgbg2 #BibleGateway #newbeginnings #Mark

dietoselfTo further your reading, consider this from:

Isaiah 6:8 – Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here I am. Send me!”

SEND ME!!! I am powerless to do anything of lasting value without God. I want to GO where He sends me! I want to daily die to myself and my own selfish desires and just GO!!! So much has been lost, but so much more has been gained just by doing this simple thing everyday. By asking Jesus to remove all of me and replace it with all of Him!

Related Scriptures: Philippians 1:21; Luke 14:27; John 12:25

Storms of Life


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storm2I have writer’s block. I have SO much going on in my life that I can’t even put pen to paper regarding the many situations that surround me. Some good, some not so good. I wish I could get the memo from heaven that stormy weather is ahead before it gets here. I wish an alarm would go off on my phone and give me a warning. As I was standing outside this morning taking in the smell of the rain and the way the dark clouds looked against a blue sky as the storm passed to my south, I was reminded that storms come and go. Sometimes they wreak havoc on the places they pass over. Sometimes they bring much needed rain to desolate land. Sometimes I can catch them on the backside and thank God that it barely missed me. Some storms move very quickly and are gone before I can even get used to the rain. Some take their time and drop so much on top of the earth where I stand on that I can’t even see in front of me. Storms are a part of life. I’m in a storm this season; the rain is relentless, the thunder is deafening. HOWEVER, the blue sky is just on the other side of the dark clouds. The sun is shining! Jesus always remains!

storm5Mark 4:35-40 – That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.” 36 Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. 37 A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. 38 Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” 39 He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be Still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. 40 He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”

storm4Problems are going to come. If I surrender to the stress then the enemy wins. I love how my study Bible says this: “When a squall approaches, lean into the wind and trust God.” God brings the rain to HEAL me. He brings the clouds to remind me that He alone can handle all my problems. It only takes a split second sometimes for blue skies to turn gray. It is times in life where just waking up causes stress knowing what the day has in store. But I am here to tell you that there is power in the name of JESUS. Sometimes that is all I can eek out of my mouth when I feel like the winds around me are too strong but that is enough! He will always be there to comfort me and guide me. He is my shelter and refuge! I can be standing in the middle of a field surrounded by dark clouds, and not a drop of rain lands on me! That is what JESUS can do!

You can read Mark 1-4 about the message and ministry of Jesus at www.biblegateway.com. What a testimony to God’s favor and mercy upon us all! Join in- the discussion by posting comments or questions below and let’s do this together!! #ReadtheBible #bgbg2 #BibleGateway #newbeginnings #Mark

To further your reading, consider this from:

Isaiah 4:6 – It will be a shelter and shade from the heat of the day, and a refuge and hiding place from the storm and rain.

I found this gem today after looking through some old journal entries. I’m not sure when it was written, but it is FOR ME TODAY! I have been in such a funk lately, until God reminded me today of my purpose and that I can, not in my own strength, but in HIS strength, do wonderful things that bring Him glory and honor and praise. Praise Him in the storm and watch your life and your perspective change in an instant! The SON will come!

Related Scriptures: Proverbs 10:25; Psalm 107:29; Luke 8:24

Faith and Belief


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Faith and Belief were sent out on a mission like no other. To the human eye they were smaller than the stars in the night sky as the floated carelessly down from heaven toward the new baby who was soon to be born into the world. Their size didn’t matter after all, God had told them, because all He needed was for them to always keep their new charge following the Light of Truth. That seemed simple enough, considering this baby was just announced in heaven to the angelic host as the Lord called out her name with love and excitement. Her name was “Victory”! She was just there in heaven with them and she herself had been sent on a very important mission. As they took over their newest responsibility and cared for her with love and compassion, teaching her from a very young age to trust and obey and always believe in the One who sent her, life at first was good. There was love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control!

faith6Then it happened, some unexpected heartache that threatened the very existence of the human girl. Her spirit had been broken and crushed and in came wave after wave of Fear, Doubt, and Uncertainty. Faith and Belief were then sent AWAY by CHOICE?!?!? “She has a CHOICE? We didn’t know this was possible!!”, they asked themselves as they watched from afar as the Light of Truth grew everso dim. “What are we to do now? She doesn’t even know we are still here!!”

faith5Faith then followed Reason into uncharted territory just to have something of the girl to hold onto. Belief was lost to the darkness and Faith was so sad without that companion. Time seemed to stand still as both from their own vantage points watched as the girl chose despair and darkness over Truth and Light, seemingly against her very own will. “But we KNOW her purpose!”, they screamed. “WE HEARD GOD AND WE KNOW HER PROMISE!”, but it was to no avail. There was nothing Faith and Belief could do without the girl choosing a new path, and the Light of Truth was almost now non-existent. They watched and they waited for the open , and not as patiently as they should have. People came and people went who tried to share the Light of Truth with the girl but nothing worked.

Then a miracle!! The brokenness of the girl was more than she could even bear, and there was no other choice but to surrender. The Lord saw fit from His Throne to rebuke the enemy and said, “Enough already! She is broken enough. Now I can use her for her purpose. Leave her be!” He then set in motion a chain of events that led the girl directly to the right people at the right place at the right time and life for her was never the same. Faith left Reason at the and flooded the girl’s new and improved heart and Belief was finally set free from captivity! The reunion was more than they could handle as they witnessed the Light of Truth grow increasingly brighter and brighter by the day! Her purpose in now being fulfilled. Persecution, heartache, and sadness still come; but, today they accomplish a new objective, to find others like her and bring them closer to the Light of Truth.

faith8Who are you helping along your journey to find that Light? Have you found it and are just holdling onto it? Or are you TRULY showing it to others, even those you don’t care to be seen with lest you be ridiculed or mocked? God is for EVERYONE and we all have the same Holy Spirit. NO ONE is better than, more spriritual than. No one has a higher calling than, or has the right to look down and frown upon anyone and their own walk. We are all sent here as guides, to love and respect those others who are just walking out their salvation with fear and trembling before the Lord. Don’t turn your back. We all experience heartache and rejection, but that is not an excuse. Are you shining the Light of Truth? Or are you pushing others back into the dark?

Matthew 25:40 – 40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

Matthew 25:45 – 45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’

You can read Matthew 25-28 about the death and ressurection of Jesus at www.biblegateway.com. What a testimony to God’s favor and mercy upon us all! Join in- the discussion by posting comments or questions below and let’s do this together!! #ReadtheBible #bgbg2 #BibleGateway #newbeginnings #Matthew

The Lawkeepers


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I have come across some interesting characters in my journey, people who claim to know the Lord but have Pharisee spirits. People who know the Bible in and out but still choose to walk in selfishness. People who abide by the law of the Word so much that they completely forget about grace…and love.  This is for you….

love11Matthew 21:22 – If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.

You are such a good student of the Word of God, but you missed a few sermons. You are a law keeper, but along the way, you began to focus only on the laws. There were over 600 laws that the Pharisees followed. They focused on controlling those laws, were incredibly prideful, self-centered, and they hated grace. Moreover, they followed those numerous laws more than the 10 commandments given to Moses. They became hypocrites in their own making and made others miserable. My dear friend, we must make sure our actions match our beliefs and Jesus came to throw our the laws…all but two. Ten commandments to 600 laws to two commands we are to live by.

Matthew 22:37-39 – Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’

love5You are an amazing teacher, but you forgot about learning yourself.

Matthew 23:25-26 – Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. 26 Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean.

You did it all for show. A hypocrite of the finest caliber. We cannot emphasize outward obedience at the cost of inner renewal. You cannot truly love if you think only of yourself. You have truly taken a few steps backward and are now sitting in disgrace while the rest of us happily go on with our lives. It is so very sad. All you had to do was listen and learn. Instead, you found people in your life who would step beside you and justify your behavior, even to the point of sabotaging your future for you. That is a good friend, for sure. I pray that you will one day be able to see that you had it all at your fingertips. You made a series of bad choices and I am so grateful that I wasn’t a part of them. Grace, love, forgiveness, dying to self, humility. Try one of those on for size.

love12You can read Matthew 21-24 about Jesus and His arrival into Jerusalem and his warning against religious leaders at www.biblegateway.com. What a testimony to God’s favor and mercy upon us all! Join in- the discussion by posting comments or questions below and let’s do this together!! #ReadtheBible #bgbg2 #BibleGateway #newbeginnings #Matthew

To further your reading, consider this from:

Galatians 5:14 – For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

When we are overconsumed with loving ourselves, we lose the motivation to love others. As a person who once thrived on other people’s acceptance, I found that I become frightened in letting people in to the brick walls of my fortress. Nothing is more scary than loving the people God places in my life. I am to love those directly in front of me. He would not have put them there if I wasn’t supposed to love them with all that I have.

Related Scriptures: Leviticus 19:18; Deuteronomy 6:5; 1 Peter 4:8

The First Will Be Last


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This is one of my favorite stories in the Bible. It is the parable about the landowner who hires all the people at different times, but pays them all the same. I used to never understand that story. Then it hit me. HARD. I used to be that person in church and at work who watched everyone else do the hard tasks. I was either late, not dressed properly, didn’t show up at all, or just flat out not willing. I would stand around and expect things to get done, miraculously. Either that or I would get so involved that I would expect the same of others and run them off in my quest for greatness and perfection (it was all about me).

first2Matthew 20:1-16 – “For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire workers for his vineyard. 2 He agreed to pay them a denarius for the day and sent them into his vineyard. 3 “About nine in the morning he went out and saw others standing in the marketplace doing nothing. 4 He told them, ‘You also go and work in my vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.’ 5 So they went. “He went out again about noon and about three in the afternoon and did the same thing. 6 About five in the afternoon he went out and found still others standing around. He asked them, ‘Why have you been standing here all day long doing nothing?’ 7 “‘Because no one has hired us,’ they answered. “He said to them, ‘You also go and work in my vineyard.’ 8 “When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, ‘Call the workers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last ones hired and going on to the first.’ 9 “The workers who were hired about five in the afternoon came and each received a denarius. 10 So when those came who were hired first, they expected to receive more. But each one of them also received a denarius. 11 When they received it, they began to grumble against the landowner. 12 ‘These who were hired last worked only one hour,’ they said, ‘and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the work and the heat of the day.’ 13 “But he answered one of them, ‘I am not being unfair to you, friend. Didn’t you agree to work for a denarius? 14 Take your pay and go. I want to give the one who was hired last the same as I gave you. 15 Don’t I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous?’ 16 “So the last will be first, and the first will be last.”

first3Entrance to the Kingdom of Heaven is by Grace ALONE. I can’t be superior and expect to get into heaven. I can’t be jealous of others blessings and expect to get into heaven. I can’t balk at God’s decisions and expect to get into heaven. I love this! If I am going to be a part of the harvest of souls for the kingdom, then I better get ready to see God move them at supersonic fast-forward speed once they come to Him and I better be ready to CELEBRATE with them!!! He wants us all on the fast track and He wants to put us all in our proper place. Where we should have been the WHOLE TIME! NOT ONE OF US deserves eternal life, but we are given it anyway! If someone is a criminal, a murderer, a thief, an adulteress, a liar, a cheat, an addict, a drunk and they decide in their life to turn to the Lord; our wonderful, forgiving, gracious Lord; then who am I to say anything? When I open my mouth it will be in wonderful PRAISE!!!

My good friends, Dustan and Darlene of the Revolutionary Life, are worldwide missionaries. They go into places and preach to some people that are Satan worshipers in third world countries. Do you think that when those people turn a listening ear and allow the seed of Christ to be planted that Dustan and Darlene judge them? Absolutely not! They look past the bloody statues of false idols in the town square and they see these lost souls the way God sees them! And the CELEBRATE when one comes to know Christ as their personal Savior!!! I may not be out there in the mission field but I am on my own mission, on a daily basis, to touch people. It can be done in prayer, it can be done in the world, it can be done at work, it can be done from my couch; it can be done for a friend, a coworker, a homeless guy on the street. It can be done by standing up for what I believe in, by writing about the things on my heart, by studying the word and sharing it with someone! I want to become a worker in the field! This is the most rewarding job I will every have in my entire life and the blessings are too many to count!!

first1The first will be last and the last will be first!

You can read Matthew 17-20 about Jesus and His parables and transiguration at www.biblegateway.com. What a testimony to God’s favor and mercy upon us all! Join in the discussion by posting comments or questions below and let’s do this together!! #ReadtheBible #bgbg2 #BibleGateway #newbeginnings #Matthew

To further your reading, consider this from:

Acts 1:8 – But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.

We are part of the great commission. We are to share the love of Christ with anyone who comes in our path. We don’t have to travel the world to share what Christ can do. It’s in the simple things.

Related Scriptures: Luke 23:40-43; Matthew 28:19; Deuteronomy 24:15

The Wind Knows


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Matthew 14:22-24 – Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. 23 After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone, 24 and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.

wind2The wind of change was against them. How often are things against us, fighting to push us out to sea when we are perfectly content in the shallow? How many times do we BLAME the wind for the waves that buffet our small boat? How many time do we dare throw ourselves overboard just to get back to the shore? How many times do we NOT see that the wind and the waves are creating in us a greater intensity and an earnestness in our life?

We get distracted by the wind. We allow its cool breeze to scare us. We look upon it as a curse even though we KNOW the wind is created by God Himself. Why is the wind of change so scary? Because it is pushing me to a new place of unfamiliarity and there is no turning back now.

Matthew 14:27-29 –  But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”

28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”

29 “Come,” he said.

wind3Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus.

He is beckoning me to COME! Am I seeing correctly? Am I hearing correctly? Am I sure that if I step out of this wooden vessel that my heart won’t break? That my fears will subside? That this is really for me? Can I REALLY do this?


As I ponder that first step, I realize that God created the wind that pushed me away from the comfortable shallow shore; therefore, it was His way of driving me to Himself through faith in change. The waves will come, the wind will howl, but they still know His name. If He brings me to it, He will bring me through it. The waves moves at His command, “Come to me!”. So I step out at the place where the Lord meets me in my fear, the place where God drove me at His command, and I walk…on water!  Do not be afraid….this IS for you!

You can read Matthew 13-16 about Jesus and His parables at www.biblegateway.com. What a testimony to God’s favor and mercy upon us all! Join in the discussion by posting comments or questions below and let’s do this together!! #ReadtheBible #bgbg2 #BibleGateway #newbeginnings #Matthew

To further your reading, consider this from:

wind1Daniel 10:12 – Then he continued, “Do not be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them.”

Not everything good that happens in our lives is meant to be understood, nor are we to sabotage the one thing that makes us happy. Why do some of us do that? We set ourselves up for heartbreak when we think we know more than God and what He is trying to do in our lives. Enjoy the blessings. Do not be afraid. God is with you! Have faith for YOURSELF and the goodness that is being bestowed on you. YOU DO deserve it!

Related Scriptures: Acts 18:9; Luke 1:13, 30; Revelation 1:17