Word for Today

Crown of thorns

Numbers 33:55-56 (NIV)

55 “‘But if you do not drive out the inhabitants of the land, those you allow to remain will become barbs in your eyes and thorns in your sides. They will give you trouble in the land where you will live. 56 And then I will do to you what I plan to do to them.’”

I can’t believe we’re seven week away from a New Year! I’m already thinking about the things I want or need to change, fix, tweak or get rid of in 2016. I’m assessing what I said I wanted to do in 2015 verses what I actually did. I’m also assessing my relationships with friends and family members and I have to acknowledge some of them aren’t working.

Over the course of my life I have learned how to let go of some folks. I may have held onto them out of habit, comfort, my desire to change them or my desire not to change what’s not working. But, I have also had to learn that there’s a difference in helping someone and carrying someone.

Sometimes I have to be honest and say that they are dragging me down more than I’m lifting them up. They are burdening me down and I seem to be more worried about their stuff than they are. Ever been there?

Sometimes you gotta drink a big glass of realism, straight with no chaser, and admit you have to release some people. Releasing them doesn’t mean you’re better than them or that you’ve given up on them, it just means that God’s better suited to change them than you are.

People aren’t going to be happy with your decision but you’ve got to decide if you want to reap from God what they’ve sown. In verse 56 above God says, “’And then I will do to you what I plan to do to them.”’ That’s a no go for me! I want to reap the harvest from the seeds I’ve planted, no one else’s.

As we approach 2016 we need to remember there is only one relationship that we have that’s intended to last through out eternity and that’s our relationship with God through Christ. Ask God for discernment regarding relationships whose seasons are over and act accordingly.

Much love to you!

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Prayer For Today

Bible reading challenge:

Read all the scriptures referenced at the bottom of each pray.

If you already read the reference scriptures at the bottom of the prayers, then read the scriptures again AND, go to the references scriptures in your bible and read those as well. Don’t have references scriptures in your Bible? YOU NEED A NEW BIBLE…one with reference scriptures by each verse or one with footnotes.

September 10, 2015

Prayer for Today

Father, I pray for a spirit of diligence. Too often I start out doing something and then I allow it to fall to the wayside. No matter what it is that I start; a new eating program, an exercise program, spending more time with You, I always starts well but I don’t continue in my pursuit.

I get discouraged, frustrated and sometime even bored so I stop doing what I need to do and go back to doing the very things I want to stop doing. Father, forgive me and help me!

Father I know Your word says that the diligent become rich, not just rich in money but rich in our knowledge of You, our character and our ability to withstand obstacles when they come against me while I doing Your will.

I know Your word says that I will get what I want if I don’t stop doing what is right and I continue to press forward. I also know that a sluggard, someone who is too lazy to continue to do what they’re supposed to do, will want things but won’t get anything. I am not a sluggard and will not live as a sluggard. I will get what I want because I will trust and believe Your word Lord and I will be diligent.

I thank You Lord because the Holy Spirit in me will press me towards diligence! In Jesus name I pray. Amen!

Scripture references:

Proverb 10:4

Proverb 13:4

Philippians 3:14

Galatians 6:9

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Go With What You Know

Slingshot

 

I Samuel 17:38 – 39

Then Saul dressed David in his own tunic. He put a coat of armor on him and a bronze helmet on his head. David fastened on his sword over the tunic and tried walking around, because he was not used to them. “I cannot go in these,” he said to Saul, “because I am not used to them.” So he took them off.”

In the scripture above David was going out to kill Goliath. That was his plan from the beginning; to kill the person who was bringing reproach against the God of Israel. Yes, there were other people who heard Goliath’s threats and they planned to do nothing. Yes, there were people who were better prepared, with more experience and better equipped than David to battle Goliath but they didn’t have the heart, the passion or the resolve of David to protect the name of the Lord.

Everyone is always talking about how David went out to kill Goliath with a slingshot and five smooth stones but I think David went out with much more than human eyes can see. First, David went out to kill Goliath with history. He knew what God would do in order to protect him. God had given David the strength to fight and kill a bear and a lion, two foes that were mightier and fiercer than any man.

Second, David went out against Goliath with courage. To fight a bear and a lion in order to save some sheep means David had a level of courage locked in his DNA that not everyone has at their disposal. It’s like the Marines, policemen, firemen or another first responder; while everyone else is running away from terror or a disaster, they are running towards it. Not everyone has what it takes to do these types of jobs. David had what it took to lay his life on the line for some sheep; certainly, he had what it took to lay his life on the line to protect the name and character of his God.

Third, David went out to kill Goliath with equipment he was accustomed to using when he was in battle. Saul tried to give David his equipment but David declined because Saul’s equipment didn’t fit David; it was not designed for the type of fighting David was used to doing.

There are things that God has told, or will tell, you do to that looks like someone else is better qualified to do, but they don’t have what it takes. They don’t have the heart, the passion or the resolve to do what God needs to have done. That’s why He’s asked, or will ask, you to do it!

You have everything you need to do what God has asked, or will ask, you to do. You have the history, the internal resolve and the equipment you need to get it done!

Oh yes, there is one more thing about David that should be admired and imitated; he didn’t procrastinate! He went out to kill Goliath right away. He didn’t give himself or anyone else time to talk him out of it.

When God asked us to do something we need to move out quickly and go with what we know!

“So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.” James 4:17

 

 

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You Weren’t Meant For This

Handcuffs 

Galatians 6:4

But let each one test his own work, and then his reason to boast will be in himself alone and not in his neighbor.”

I love crime shows! Watching how someone almost gets away with a crime, particularly murder fascinates me.

I am also amazed at the people in the shows who have long histories of crime and punishment. These people have committed crime time after time and been caught time after time. You would think they would figure out that their not good at being a criminal and find another line of work, but I guess that would take too long.

The person who should give up a life of crime would have to find out what their good at, what they are passionate about and what it takes to get into that field. It would take self-examination and time to find out what they should be doing because it’s obvious, to me, that a life of crime is not their call or their vocation.  But, they would rather try to follow in someone else’s footsteps and try to be something they are not, rather than figure out who they really are and what they are really good at doing. Consequently, they end up incarcerated over and over again.

It’s just like many Christians who try to be something they are not or try to do something they were not created to do for God’s kingdom. No matter how hard we try, we still get caught by God and the masses who know we are not doing what we were created to do. In fact, in our heart of hearts, we know that we’re not good at what we are trying to do, but it’s easier to imitate someone else than it is to develop the person God has created us to become for His glory.

Like the criminal who gets caught over and over again, the Christian who would rather mimic someone else rather than grow into their authentic selves, is looking for an easy way out; a shortcut. In Christ there are no shortcuts to fulfilling our calls.

If there was a shortcut available for Jesus, don’t you think He would have taken it rather than being brutalized and then hung on a cross to die for the sins of the world? There is no shortcut to becoming who God created us to be for His use in His kingdom.

If you are trying to be something or do something you are not, or you’re not sure of what you’ve been called to do, then it’s time for you to ask, seek and knock.

  • Ask God the Father what He wants you to do now, today, to help you move into being your authentic self in Him;
  • Seek out scriptures in the bible to help sustain you until God answers;
  • Knock on God’s door in prayer until He gives you the answer you need.

Never settle to be an imitation of someone else. God didn’t make you a copy He made you an original. Never give up seeking who God created you to be and what He created you to do for His kingdom. There’s only one you, and you’re it!

“The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor.” I Corinthians 3:8

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Living Above Mediocrity,

 

Anita Wamble

E-spirational – Divine Inspirations

Sharing God’s Word: Motivating God’s People

http://www.espirational1.com

Marigold or Rose?

 

     Vanilla Marigolds  cropped-good-as-gold.jpg  

  

Psalm 73:1 – 3

“Surely God is good to Israel, to those who are pure in heart. But as for me, my feet had almost slipped; I had nearly lost my foothold.  For I envied the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.

 

I planted a new flower bed in my backyard this spring. I worked on the flower bed for days because I wanted to plant 6 new roses, which I did, but along with the roses I planted some marigolds. Five of the roses I planted died and the one that is still alive is struggling but the marigolds are thriving and blooming like nobody’s business.

I’m sure if my one struggling rose could talk it would be angry, envious and jealous of the marigolds. If that one rose had eyes, it would be sick of seeing vanilla colored marigolds blooming and taking over the space that was meant for the rose.

Here’s the deal; marigolds are perennials, they die after their blooming season. They do not have longevity of live. They are here, blooming and looking beautiful one season and in the trash the before the next season is over. On the other hand, roses are annuals; they live and bloom for years. I have some roses that are almost 20 years old. As long as I can keep my one surviving rose alive during the winter season, it will live and bloom next season and for years to come plus, the rose will get stronger as it lives through the winter seasons.

My marigolds are like the rich wicked people in this life; oh, they are living well now, they are wealthy, rich, attractive and carefree…today, but how about long-term? Those of us who are in Christ are like the rose; we may be struggling, but we have been promised abundant life in this age and eternal life in the one to come. The wicked don’t have those promises to lean and depend on.

It is easy to see the arrogant wicked people and feel the pang of jealousy or envy but we can’t allow what we see in them to cause us to lose our hope in God. We can’t allow their seemingly carefree life to cause us to think our goal of keeping our hearts pure before the Lord is in vain (Ps. 73:12 – 14).

We must remember that there is more to live than just money, fame and fortune. There is love, peace, joy, contentment, integrity, honesty, hope and truth, all found in our relationship with God through Christ Jesus.

You and I may cry out, “Lord, why can’t I have just a little of their money?” But, they may be crying out, “Why can’t I have peace of mind?” See, we only see the outside of the situation; we only see what the camera shows us, we can’t see their hearts but it’s not about what we see, it’s about a relationship with God and believing, even when we’re struggling, that long-term God will always be true to His promises to us.

“For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God.” II Corinthians 1:20

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Out of the Box

Created Chosen Called

August 12, 2015

Genesis 1:26

“Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”

When I purchase a rose for my garden, I have a plan. I know where I’m going to put the rose, the nutrient levels I need the soil to possess and how to feed, water and protect the rose until its root system stabilizes in its new environment. I have a plan that the rose doesn’t know anything about.

The rose is shipped to me in a plain brown cardboard box. There is nothing in the box with the rose except other bare root roses that I may have purchased at the same time. If I purchased a single rose, it is in the box by itself.

I can only image how the rose must feel when I plant it in its new place. It goes from being in a dark empty box without soil or water into an open air space with at least six hours of sunlight, soil, vitamins and food. What a shock to its fragile system!

I’m sure if my roses could complain they would. They have probably become use to living in the dark bareness of the box but, in order to live, the rose must have the sun, soil, water and food, things that the roses can’t get while in the box. So, they may have become accustom to living in the box, if they stay there, they will die.

Yes, God does the same thing to and for us. You and I ask God for growth; financial, spiritual or personal growth so we can do more, have more or become more for the Kingdom of God. He answers our prayers and responses to our request. He begins to move us from our dark and confining boxes to new places where we can grow. And what do we do? We complain!

We wanted to grow where we were, in the confines of the boxes we have put ourselves in! We don’t want to change, we don’t want other things to change, we don’t want to do anything different, and we just want to grow where we are. Sorry! It doesn’t work that way!

God did not create us to be confined to dark, lifeless boxes. He created us to live in His Son and in the sun. What does that mean? It means God created us to live our spiritual lives in the light, soil and be feed by the life of His son AND to live our natural lives in the abundance here on earth. God never designed us to live in lack or less than. Neither in this life nor the one to come.

In order for us to grow, God has to move us to a place where the totality of who we are can be used and displaced as we experience new things. God is taking out of our boxes because He wants us to live and not die in the dark empty lives so many of us are now living.

Yes, it’s time to come out of your box!

“He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness.” II Corinthians 9:10

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You Were Chosen

Picked out

 

Matthew 22:14

For many are invited, but few are chosen.”

When I chose a rose for my garden, I don’t pick it based on one characteristics of the rose; I pick it based on the totality of the rose. So not only do I pick a rose based on its color, I chose it on how the blooms are going to look. Will the blooms have lots and lots of petals or just a few?  I chose it based on the fragrance; is it lightly fragranced or is it heavily fragranced?  Does it smell like honey or does it smell like a traditional rose?

I also look at the type of leaves the rose is going to have. Will the leaves be bright green and shiny or will they be a matted green? I also look at the stem of the roses; will they be long-stemmed so I can use the rose in a single rose vase or will they be short stemmed so I can use them in an arrangement?

So you see, everything that the rose is goes into my decision-making process of whether or not I’m going to plant the rose in my garden. Yes, each facet of the rose is important, but one piece without the others doesn’t make the rose what it really is. It is the totality of the rose plant that makes the rose what I want in my garden.

God does the same thing with us. When God chooses us to do a particular assignment He chooses us based on the totality of who we are; our temperament, the things that we’ve gone through in order to bring us to the place where we are now, our looks, our background and upbringing. All these things make us who we are and are the reasons God chooses us for our assignments.

Unfortunately, all too often we look at ourselves through the eyes of the world system and only see what we think the world sees when it looks at us. The world system says over and over again, we have to be super model thin in order to be considered worthy of being called attractive. The world system says we have to be rich or famous in order to be counted amount those whom others should listen to. The world system says we have to be educated with the right type of degrees and from the right schools or we’ll be outsiders and not allowed to join them at the popular table. But, no matter what the world tells us, it does not stop God from doing what He’s going to do and it shouldn’t stop us from doing what God has assigned us to do.

If God has given you an assignment, and He has given us all an assignment, what the world system says about you doesn’t amount to a hill of beans. When God gave each of us our assignments, He has already measured the totality of who we are and He knows we can successfully complete the assignment.

The world system only knows the labels it has placed on us. God knows who He created us to be.

 

“But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.” I Corinthians 1:27

 

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The Same but Different

cropped-julians-pix-6691.jpg

James 1:13 – 15

When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed.  Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.”

I have a dozen roses in my front yard. I basically care for each of them the same way; I feed and water them at the same time, clip them when they need it and make sure the soil nutrient levels are correct. I care for them equally.

My Double Delight rose, which is pictured above, is right at my front door because it’s beautiful and has a strong honey sweet aroma. When you walk up to my door and Double Delight is in bloom, the last thing you smell before you come into my house is the sweet fragrance of the rose. YUMMY!

The problem with the Double Delight is it is susceptible to black spots and yellow leaves. It is so susceptible to the disease that I have to pay special attention to the rose all summer because if I allow the disease a little room it will destroy every leaf on the Double Delight and defoliate the rose completely.

Right next to the Double Delight I have the John F. Kennedy rose; which is beautiful too but in a very different way than the Double Delight. The John F. Kennedy rose is not susceptible to black spots or yellow leaves but, Japanese Beatles LOVE the John F. Kennedy but they don’t really care for the Double Delight. So, even though the two roses are sitting right next to each other in the garden, they have too different challenges that I have to content with in order to keep them alive and healthy.

It is the same way for us in the Body of Christ. We have been engrafted into the Body of Christ by His redemptive blood and His finished work on the cross. We have been made spiritual siblings and yet, we are all tempted and drawn away from God by our own temptations.

What tempts you to turn away from your relationship with Christ may not bother me at all and what tempts me may not cause you to think about it twice. You see, just like my roses, we are individuals with different challenges, needs and desires. Coming to Christ doesn’t make us clones, it makes us saved. We are still the people we were before our salvation.

Our struggles are the same, our issues are the same, our aptitudes are the same, and the things we are susceptible to are the same. The difference is how we handle the struggles and the issues. The difference is how we handle the temptations. We are all the same; we all have struggles, issues and temptations but we are all different in how we handle them. None of us have any room to throw stones at someone else.

This is why we can’t judge someone else’s walk in Christ. We can’t judge how God is using them, or not, when or how. We don’t know all the particulars in that person life. Only God knows that and He is the one that directs the steps of us all.

One reason I love gardening is because flowers don’t have the ability to look over at another flower and try to compare themselves, whether for better or for worse. They don’t have the ability to see what I’m doing to one plant that I may not be doing to or for them. There is no envy or jealousy between plants like there often is between people.

While we are all the same in Christ because God is not a respecter of person, we are all very different and He treats us different according to His call on our lives.

 

“But let each one test his own work, and then his reason to boast will be in himself alone and not in his neighbor.” Galatians 6:4

 

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It’s A Virus and It Spreads – Part II (Revised)

Computer virus spider

It’s A Virus and It Spreads – Part II

From the book: It’s Still Relative (The Word of God for Today’s World)

I John 3:4 – 6

Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness.  But you know that he appeared so that he might take away our sins. And in him is no sin. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him.”

The virus on my computer started turning my computer off when it wanted to and making decisions about which programs would function, when and for how long. It was as if my computer had a mind of its own even though it belonged to me. My computer was doing what it wanted to do without my permission. Even though the computer belonged to me; I bought the computer with my families funds, it was operating independent of me.

It is the same with Christians and sin. God bought us with the life of his Son. God did not purchase us with the blood of His son so we could still operate independent of Him. We are no longer our own. We have been bought with a price. Operating with sin in our lives is just like my computer trying to operate with a virus; we are trying to operate independent of the person who has purchased us.

How do we know if an activity/behavior we want to engage in is a sin? We should ask the following questions BEFORE we start the activity/behavior:

  1. Did I pray about this activity/behavior and then WAIT until I received an answer from God?
  2. Does the activity/behavior convey God’s character?
  3. Does the activity/behavior glorify God?
  4. Does the activity/behavior show the love of Christ?

If we answer “No” to any of these questions, we are operating in sin.

When we operate independent of God, we are operating by the pride of life, the lust of the eye or being able to boast about what we have or what we’ve done. We are bringing glory to ourselves and not to God.

This type of behavior doesn’t come from God. It comes from our flesh wanting to get what it wants, just like my computer was running amuck because of the virus, our flesh will run amuck if we don’t rein it in with God’s Word.

We should strive to reflect the character of God in everything we do. Showing the love of God through our lives is what brings God glory and it is what draws the spiritually lost to us so we can tell them about Christ.

Just like I had to get the virus off my computer before it would run correctly, Christians have to get sin out of our lives so we can run for God correctly.

“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;…” I Corinthians 6:19

 

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It’s A Virus and It Grows – Part I (Revised)

 

 

Computer virus

From the book: It’s Still Relative (The Word of God for Today’s World)

I John 3:4 – 6

Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness.  But you know that he appeared so that he might take away our sins. And in him is no sin. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him.”

I have several electronic devises at my disposal on a daily basis. I have my home computers, my iPad, my Zoom tablet and my iPhone. Not to mention the electronic devises I have for work. All of my systems have different types of software installed but all systems, except my iPhone and iPad, are Window based systems. So all the electronic devises I use operate pretty much the same way.

One day I was working on my system at home when I received an email from an old friend. When I opened the email I realized it was a chain letter, so I deleted the email and continued my work. Over the next few days my computer just wasn’t acting right.

At first, it was small things that I chalked up to computer glitches. The keyboard and computer stopped communicating correctly because the computer stopped responding to my keystrokes and function keys.  Then my sound system started fading and my computer started freezing. After that, some of my programs stopped working all together. I checked my configurations and made sure all my apparatuses were hooked up correctly but no matter what I did, my computer was acting as if it had a mind of its own. My computer was running amuck! The email I opened from my old friend had a virus and it was destroying my operating system.

Sin in the life of a Christian is just like the virus that infected my computer. It will destroy the renewal of our minds, corrupt our morals and ethics and, ruin our relationship with God the Father.

One “small” sin left unchecked will cause our walk with Christ to fall into a position of not being fully functional, which means our spiritual well-being will be jeopardized. Sin left to grow and flourish will cause us to lose connection with the Holy Spirit because sin runs interference and doesn’t want us to remedy the problem. Our sinful person, our flesh, likes the sin but our spirit person is grieved when we sin.

Let’s examine our spiritual operating system. Do we have any sin that is causing disconnection between us and God? If so, let’s deal with it for the truth that it is and get rid of it!

“Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord…” Acts 3:19

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