"Since God chose you to be the holy people He loves, you MUST clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience." Colossians 3:12 NLT
Yesterday in our staff meeting, Pastor Butch asked us how we should dress for church.
We of course, thinking material wise, said with modesty, covered up, etc.
Then he read these verses in Colossians.
My Scripture writing for today happened to be these same verses, so I wanted to share.
You see verse 12 at the top, now let's see verses 13 and 14.
13 Make allowance for each other's faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the LORD forgave you, so you must forgive others.
14 Above all, clothe yourselves with LOVE, which binds together in perfect harmony.
I like the word "Tenderhearted" in verse 12. I have no idea what the Greek or Hebrew would have been for it, but it shows me that we shouldn't just give mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience in an angry type of way.
We are to give it tenderheartedly.
And we are to be DRESSED in those things.
You know that whole saying that you might be the only Bible some people read?
If they see Christians mistreating each other, not forgiving, being mean, and so on and so forth... they will want NO part of it.
We can't tell people about Jesus and all He did for us if we are acting like the world.
I know I need to work on these things myself. Especially at home with 3 teenagers. LOL
Which areas do you need to work on? I'd be glad to pray for you if you need it.
29 Jesus replied, “The most important commandment is this: ‘Listen, O Israel! The Lord our God is the one and only Lord.30 And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’[a]31 The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b] No other commandment is greater than these.” Mark 12: 29-31 NLT
I just finished reading this book, "The Relationship Principles of Jesus" by Tom Holladay. This was a 40 day journey that I took with some close friends.
I am so glad I did.
I HIGHLY recommend you pick up this book and read it. Read each chapter a day for 40 days and let it sink deep into your heart.
I believe that this book has changed all 5 of us that did this study together. I see differences.
I feel different.
Here are the main points of the book.
Place the highest value on relationships.
Love as Jesus loves you.
Communicate from the heart.
As you judge, you will be judged.
The greatest are the servants.
Treat others the way you want them to treat you.
What would happen if we all lived this way? Not only would our lives change, but others would change as well.
It's my sincere prayer that you will see these truths and let them set you free.
If we just all did and lived by these 6 things, our lives would be dramatically different.
But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!" Galatians 5:22-23
I have not be here to write in some time. Which is very unlike me. At one point, I was writing daily.
I was spending time with God, and something would inspire me, and I'd want to share it.
That is something I still do, I just don't share daily anymore.
I'm not lost. Just so you know.
Life has just gotten crazy.
On September 4th last week, one of my co-workers, the Associate Pastor at my work church passed away.
The next day, one of my best friends ended up in the ER all day and then hospital for 2 days with chest pains, blood pressure issues, and some calcium build up in one of his arteries.
Life has just gotten crazy. LOL
BUT GOD... Hurricane Irma came through on Monday, September 11th, and thankfully, it was not as bad as we thought it was going to be.
I think prayer for it to weaken worked. I read something this week that said if we prayed for the hurricane to move and harm others, that was not a good prayer. I've never thought about it that way.
That means you are asking God to spare you, and harm someone else. Yeah, that's not really a good prayer at all.
Praying for it to weaken was the way to go.
There is so much damage from the Texas hurricane Harvey, and now this Florida one. We need to be in prayer for all of these people.
Also, we need to pray for the millions of line men who are here from other states helping restore power. Much of Georgia is still without power from Irma.
I am currently digging into Bible studies, reading books, and praying. I'm just loving God. He keeps providing for our needs and watching over us. We are blessed.
We might not have everything we want, but we have everything we need.
If you need prayer, please get in touch with me. I'd love to pray for you.
The floods have risen up, O Lord. The floods have roared like thunder; the floods have lifted their pounding waves. 4 But mightier than the violent raging of the seas, mightier than the breakers on the shore— the Lord above is mightier than these! Psalm 93:3-4NLT
In my Scripture writing for today, I wrote Psalm 93: 1-5. I already had a whole other blog post ready to write, but God showed me this.
People are copying and pasting this thing on Facebook that basically says ALL of our bad weather events are caused by God because we've taken Him out of the United States. They are saying, in a nutshell, that God is CAUSING these horrible things to teach the USA a lesson. That is so wrong!
When I wrote this Scripture, I realized why people think that.
In the Old Testament, God did use weather events to change lives, and honestly, kill some people. The flood is the largest thing that comes to mind.
So, modern Christians in the year 2017, are thinking that God is causing these weather events to kill people because they are wicked and not living like He wants them to.
Now, before you quote me the Scripture that God is the same, yesterday, today and forever, I know it and agree.
However, what I want to point out to you is this simple truth: Answer honestly:
Did Jesus EVER cause a storm in the New Testament?
I'll wait for you to look...
The answer is NO.
Jesus CALMED storms in the New Testament. Jesus was God in the flesh.
God sent Jesus so we could see Him. So we could see His character. So He could change the world.
In Matthew chapter 24, Jesus talks about the future. He lets us know that it's going to be bad.
Never once does He say that GOD is causing the bad to happen.
2 Peter 3:9 says, "The Lord is not slow in keeping His promise, as some understand slowness. Instead He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance."
God does not cause weather issues to kill people. He does not want ANYONE to die without having a relationship with Him.
I just do not think God causes every single weather event on the earth.
Before you stab me with your words and thoughts, hear me out.
Job chapter 1 has to be the worst to read. Can you imagine losing all of your family, but your spouse, and all of your livelihood in just a few minutes? Here is the part about Job's children.
18 While he was still speaking, another messenger arrived with this news: “Your sons and daughters were feasting in their oldest brother’s home.19 Suddenly, a powerful wind swept in from the wilderness and hit the house on all sides. The house collapsed, and all your children are dead. I am the only one who escaped to tell you.” JOB 1: 18-19
Did God send that wind?
NO. Go back and read the beginning of Job Chapter 1. Satan did it.
Also, you'll see that fire fell from heaven to kill Job's sheep and shepherds.
That was not God either.
I realize this is an Old Testament reference here, but I'm trying to show you that God is not always the author of weather.
There are many times in the Bible when rain was needed, and He provided it. Because He can.
My point is that He doesn't use weather events to kill people. What loving Father would do that?
That's an abusive parent, "Ok, America, you want to take me out of everything, let me burn you up, flood your cities, and send hurricanes to teach you a lesson."
Did you know there are actual science tools that can modify weather?
This was just heavy on my heart. It bothers me that people think God is some bully in heaven waiting to hurt us. He's not. He's not that at all.
What we need to do is pray for the people being affected by these events, and to help when and where you can. Lift up your fellow Americans. Don't tell them that God is killing them because they are bad.
"For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things He planned for us long ago." Ephesians 2:10 NLT
I have this book, I'm not even sure where I got it from. It is copyrighted from 1975. (Ha, I'm older than this book, that's crazy!)
Anyway, I know there is an Oral Roberts University, but I have never looked into it. I don't really know anything about him, but this book was written by him. It's called "A Daily Guide to Miracles"
Something had me pick up this morning. It's broken down into daily readings, but I actually read about 3 days worth.
I HAD to share a little bit of this one called, "Something good is going to happen to me."
God created us and He has a plan for our lives. It is not a plan to harm us. We know this from the verse Jeremiah 29:11.
Some people actually think that God causes bad things to happen to them, their reasons are:
A. He is punishing them for being bad.
B. He is punishing them for not being good enough, therefore teaching them a lesson.
C. He's just a mean bully who wants to ruin their lives.
NONE of these are true! God wants GOOD for you. Jesus even said that He came to give life, and life to the full. In John 10:10, Jesus says, "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full."
Here are the points I want to share from Roberts' book.
"Anybody can dwell on his problems until he gets so low that the devil can climb on his shoulders and keep him down. But faith in God changes your perspective. An attitude of expecting something GOOD to happen to you will not only "make your day" but also revolutionize your life."
"Looking to God as your Source beings... the mountain moving, problem-solving, need-supplying, power of God into your life!"
"Our miracle can only begin when we cease being negative and start being positive, when we recognize that part of the problem is inside us. That regardless of how much power God has, miracle power will never fully be effective in our lives until we cooperate... until we fully expect something good to happen."
As I've said before. God is all everything! God can do ANYTHING! However, we can bind up His hands, because He can NOT and will NOT go against His own Word.
You believing that God did something bad to you in order to get you back, that's tying His hands.
I know, I know, you are thinking, " But Jill, in the Old Testament, God did stuff like that all the time." That's true.
BUT....... did you see Jesus do that in the New Testament?
Did Jesus push Zacchaeus out of the tree to teach him a lesson on not over taxing people?
Did Jesus give Lazarus a disease to "teach him a lesson"?
Did Jesus allow the Roman solider's daughter to die and just tell him, "Oh well, you've been a bad person and not lived for me, so I let your daughter die." ?
NO!! Jesus did not do any of that. Because He walked this earth in love. He healed people. He provided for people. He showed them how God wanted them to live.
God wants GOOD for your life! Say it with me... "Something GOOD is going to happen to me!"
"9 Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: 10 If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. 11 Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? 12 Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken." Ecclesiastes 4:9-12
Jon Acuff is a New York Times Best Selling Author. He's written some awesome books. His latest book, "Finish", will be out soon. I found out about him a few years ago. I think he's funny. His book "Start" gave him the idea of starting a Facebook group of people he titled "30 Days of Hustle". This group was for people to help each other. It's a very encouraging and helpful group. I've had the pleasure of meeting many in the group, as well as Jon Acuff himself.
Do you know what reporters talk to him about when he's being interviewed? It's not what inspired his writing, it's not how does he come up with his jokes. It's about his Facebook community he's created. People are floored that something like that exists. Especially in a cut throat dog eat dog world.
Jon knew the importance of community. My Pastor does too. He's message series this month is called "Stronger". Part 4 was about community.
We are stronger in community. We need each other, because there are those people who will chew you up and spit you out. There are mean, manipulative, hateful people in the world.
My Pastor, Josh's, 5 Benefits of Community are this:
Success: "Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed."
Encouragement: "If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble."
Keep the fire burning: "Likewise, two people lying close together can keep each other warm. But how can one be warm alone?"
Victory against the enemy: 1 Peter 5:8 "A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer."
Strength: "Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken."
I am reminded of the Scripture in James Chapter 5:16 that says, "Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective."
We NEED each other. God created us to live in community. Together, we can stand strong against life's storms.
I"m in GA, and don't have a lot of money, but I can pray for my fellow American's in Texas and Louisiana who are dealing with this storm. Even that is community.
Do you have a community? If not, I highly recommend you find a local church and plug in.
"And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him.2 Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect." Romans 12: 1-2 NLT
I have probably read this Scripture over a hundred times, but this morning, as one of my Scriptures to write, it jumped out at me.
For most of our lives, I think we struggle with wanting to know God's will for our lives. We have been conditioned by the world to think that God is a performance based God and that we MUST be as close to perfect as possible for Him to love us.
God isn't asking us for perfection. He's asking us to sacrifice the world so we can gain the things of Him.
This Scripture in Romans is a one of the ones where God says, "You do this, I will do that."
I love it when God says stuff like this to us!
You see, all God wants is your heart, mind, soul, and strength. He wants us to treat our bodies well.
I have struggled with treating my body well for all of my life.
This year in particular, I have barely exercised at all. BUT GOD!
When I was sick last week, I went to the doctor. My heart dropped when I saw the numbers on the scale. I am way too short to weigh as much as I do right now.
I have a good friend who is a personal trainer. He's been sitting with me at church for a year or so. He's never pushed. He's made comments here and there, tried to take soft drinks out of my hand at church, etc. But he's been patient and kind.
Last Wednesday night, I asked if he would pray for me to be disciplined and determined to at least walk in my neighborhood.
He said, "I will do even better. If I pay for your gym membership, will you come work out?"
I said yes.
It's time that I practice what I preach. It's time that I give my body as a living sacrifice to God so that I will be in His perfect, pleasing, and good will.
That's my only goal in life... to please God!
What is in your life that maybe you need to change? Is there something you need to start doing or stop doing?