Spending Time With God . . .

DAY 1

Spending time with God is not just attending church on Sunday. In fact, it is far from it. I have my ups and downs when it comes to doing this, because what happens is I start to think of all the other things I could be doing instead. The enemy loves distracting me from time with God. I’ve had great times for weeks at a time, and then weeks or even months of dragging myself through the desert, so parched for lack of time spent with God that it’s ridiculous. But, you know what, God is Good, and He gently steers me back on track, because He knows I have a heart to serve Him and that I want to succeed at doing His Will.

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There are many ways of spending time with God. I believe that it’s not always quantity of time, but quality of time. Praising and worshipping God with my favourite music, reading His Word, listening to a good teaching, going for a walk and quietly praying/appreciating His wonderful creation, or just sitting quietly and listening for what God wants to say to me.

I don’t get to know God unless I spend time with Him, just as in any other relationship.

You may have a very demanding job and find it difficult to set aside time every day ~ you may do shift work ~ you may be a busy mum who has trouble finding any time to herself. Whatever your situation, it is very important that you commit to a time each week if not each day to spend time with God. You may want to do just one of the suggestions above each day, or each second day or incorporate them all into one time set aside each week, it doesn’t matter. God knows your heart and your situation and He will work with you. Really, it only takes a moment to be prayerful or thankful. It’s not quantity, but quality. Getting ready for work, putting your make-up on, driving, sitting on the train or bus, anywhere, anytime.

In “The Purpose Driven Life,” Rick Warren says, “God wants to be our best friend. Friendship with God is built by sharing all your life experiences with Him.”

To do this we need to spend time with Him, not only a weekly appointment as suggested above, but in all we do. Thinking of Him, praying to Him, handing over the cares and worries we may have for the day ahead, thanking Him for the days blessings, praising Him. Walking, shopping, driving, washing the dishes, cleaning the house, washing the car, mowing the lawn, on holiday and even at work. Being mindful of Him in every aspect of our lives.

The little things He does for us each and every day. That’s Friendship.

DAY 2
Psalm 27:4 ~
“The one thing I ask of the Lord, the thing I seek most, is to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, delighting in the Lord’s perfections and meditating in His temple.”

DAY 3
Psalm 34:1-3 ~
“I will praise the Lord at all times. I will constantly speak His praises.
I will boast only in the Lord; let all who are helpless take heart.
Come, let us tell of the Lord’s greatness; let us exalt His name together.”

DAY 4
Psalm 46:10 ~
“Be still and know that I am God!”

DAY 5
1 Corinthians 1:9 ~
“God will do this, for He is faithful to do what He says, and He has invited you into partnership with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.”

DAY 6
Philippians 3:8 ~
“Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.”

DAY 7
Colossians 3:1-4 ~
“Since you have been raised to new life in Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits at the place of honour at God’s right hand.
Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth.
For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God.
And when Christ, who is your life, is revealed to the whole world, you will share in all His glory.”

If you can, it’s always worth reading the before and after verses surrounding these scriptures, or the whole chapter. That will give you the whole picture instead of just a piece. Shalom.

Finding My Purpose in Life . . .

DAY 1

I’ve always struggled with what my purpose in life is meant to be. Not that I thought much about it while I was raising my children, but in later years I certainly have wondered what on earth I am called to do for God.

In April 2005 I committed to reading a book that changed my whole perspective on quite a few things. “The Purpose Driven Life”, by Rick Warren, showed me these five important things :

I was Planned for God’s Pleasure ~

I was Formed for God’s Family ~

I was Created to Become Like Christ ~

I was Shaped for Serving God ~

I was Made for a Mission.

Now for a person who never was developed in the social aspects of life, and who is very crowd averse, some of these have been very challenging. I’ve always found it hard to meet people and build friendships. So, I have come to a few realizations about who I am and what, I believe, God wants of me.

The very first thing He wants is my WHOLE HEART ~ That’s His Pleasure.                     Then He can begin to show me what He wants for the duration of my life.

He also wants me to WORSHIP with other believers, and get to know them. A big challenge for some of us ~ That’s His Family.

He wants me to READ HIS WORD and learn to emulate His Son. I really enjoy reading my Bible ~ That’s Becoming Like Christ.

He wants me to use the ABILITIES He has given me to help others. This is my way of doing that, by encouraging those around me to look to God ~ by publishing articles about God’s Word on this website, by regularly committing to the Inspirational Calendar I produce each year, to mention a few ~ That’s Serving God.

He wants me to pursue my DESTINY ~ That’s finding my Mission.

So my mission is to ~

Surrender my will to God’s Will ~

Continue to Worship God in Spirit and in Truth ~

Keep reading His Word daily ~

Develop my talents and abilities to use for His Glory.

Jesus Daisies

DAY 2
Psalm 63:3-4 ~ “Your unfailing love is better than life itself; how I praise You!
I will praise You as long as I live, lifting up my hands to You in prayer.”

DAY 3
Psalm 149:4 ~ “For the Lord delights in His people; He crowns the humble with victory.”

DAY 4
Romans 12:10-18 ~ “Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honouring each other.
Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically.
Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying.
When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality.
Bless those who persecute you. Don’t curse them, pray that God will bless them.
Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep.
Live in harmony with each other. Don’t be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don’t think you know it all!
Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honourable.
Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone.”

DAY 5
Ephesians 3:14-19 ~ “When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, the creator of everything in heaven and on earth.
I pray that from His glorious, unlimited resources He will empower you with inner strength through His Spirit.
Then Christ will make His home in your hearts as you trust in Him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong.
And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep His love is.
May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.”

WANT MORE? ~ Read all of chapter 1

DAY 6
Philippians 1:6 ~ “And I am certain that God, Who began the good work within you, will continue His work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.”

DAY 7
1 John 1:5 ~ “This is the message you have heard from the beginning: we should love one another.”

 

Reading God’s Word Regularly . . .

DAY 1

When I decided to tackle reading the entire Bible I was doubtful as to whether I would be able to stick with it. Instead of working from some already drawn up table of someone else’s I did my own. Yep, I counted the chapters in each book, and worked out how many I had to read per weekday to complete my task in one year. After all the work it took, I decided I was definitely going to succeed. As it turned out there was a bit of a break in the middle, but I ended up doing the first read in about 18 months. And with it has come so much more understanding of the big picture that God has for mankind.

We cannot fully understand the New Testament without reading  and understanding all that came before throughout the Old Testament.

You don’t have to do it in the same space of time, especially if you work full time, but the important thing is that you do read something. Choose a book and read whatever you feel you can handle. Be realistic. Or you will make it too big a task. I found it quite difficult at first, but then all of a sudden some days I got so engrossed I found I had gone way beyond my five chapters! I have learnt so much and now have started all over again several times since. It has become my daily routine. At the present time of posting this I am reading the New Testament in my newly acquired Amplified Bible, one chapter at a time. There are 260 chapters in the NT, and 260 weekdays in a year. So, one a day gets you through the whole NT in one year.

I have learnt that I must treasure God’s Word in my heart ~

To meditate on it and delight in it ~

To run after it and it will enlarge my heart (how cool is that!) ~

That it will revive me ~

It will teach me good discernment and knowledge ~

That it should be better to me than thousands of gold and silver pieces ~

That His Word stands firm in heaven ~

That it makes me wiser than my enemies ~

That it is sweeter than honey to my mouth ~

It gives understanding ~

His Word is a lamp to my feet, and a light to my path ~

It is the joy of my heart (the Word is Jesus, and the joy of the Lord is my strength) ~

It is my hiding place and my shield ~

It gives light ~

It is pure ~

And the sum of His Word is truth.

His Word is not just about truth, it IS truth.

John 1 1-3

All of the above is in Psalm 119. My suggestion is that you take time this week to read it. It is very long, so perhaps divide it into parts and read a portion each day. May Holy Spirit give you revelation as you read.

Suggested reading per day ~

DAY 2
Psalm 119:1-32

DAY 3
Psalm 119:33-64

DAY 4
Psalm 119:65-96

DAY 5
Psalm 119:97-128

DAY 6
Psalm 119:129-160

DAY 7
Psalm 119:161-176

Rejoice! . . .

DAY 1

Sometimes, the only way I know to get me through the day is to make this confession before I get out of bed : “Good morning, Lord. This is the day that You have made, I WILL rejoice and be glad in it. Thankyou for helping me to do what I have to do today.”

Just as deciding to walk with Jesus is a choice, and of course many things in life are a choice, so too is the decision to rejoice.

For those of us who have a melancholy disposition this choice is an absolute. Some mornings I feel so down that the only way I can get out of bed is to make the decision to, and choose to rejoice in the Lord. David obviously had serious bouts of depression, and he came up out of them every time by praising God. He cried, “But Thou, O Lord, art a shield about me, my glory, and the One who lifts my head.” I don’t know if anyone has ever praised God as David did.

I love this, “I will bless the Lord who has counselled me, indeed my mind instructs me in the night.” Every night as I go to bed I drift off to sleep with praise music going and am usually asleep long before it finishes. It ministers to me as I sleep. One night, every time I turned over I heard in my head, “I will lift up my eyes to the hills, from where comes my help.” That was long after my music had stopped. That does not happen to me often, but it blessed me so much I got up in the morning and knew that the Lord was watching over me and helping me each day.

That was a reason to rejoice!

But, as I have said, it is a decision, and if for no other reason than the fact that my name is in the Lamb’s Book of Life, because I have chosen to walk with God and His wonderful Son Jesus.

And finally, Paul tells us in Philippians 4:4-8 to “Rejoice in the Lord always”. He goes on to say to be anxious for nothing, to pray and be thankful, and that the peace of God will guard our hearts and our minds in Christ Jesus.

Psalm 118 24

DAY 2
1 Chronicles 16:10 ~ “Exult in His Holy Name; rejoice, you who worship the Lord.”

DAY 3
Psalm 3:3 ~ “But You, O Lord, are a shield around me; You are my glory, the One Who holds my head high.”

Psalm 5:11 ~ “But let all who take refuge in You rejoice; let them sing joyful praises forever. Spread Your protection over them, that all who love Your Name may be filled with joy.”

DAY 4
Psalm 16:7 ~ “I will bless the Lord who guides me; even at night my heart instructs me.”

Psalm 118:24 ~ “This is the day the Lord has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it.”

DAY 5
Psalm 121:1-2 ~ “I will lift up my eyes to the hills – from where shall my help come?
My help comes from the Lord, Who made Heaven and Earth.”

Proverbs 17:22 ~ “A happy heart is good medicine, and a joyful mind causes healing.”

DAY 6
Philippians 4:4,8 ~ “Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again-rejoice!
And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honourable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.”

DAY 7
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 ~ “Always be joyful. Never stop praying.
Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.”

Holy Spirit : My Peace, Hope, and Joy . . .

Day 1

I used to be quite a bad-tempered person, particularly in my teenage/young adult years. I’ve slammed doors into the wall so hard, kicked things, or the wall, thrown things so ferociously, that I either made a hole or broke a window. I couldn’t tell you when I realized that my temper had gone, all I know is that when I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Saviour and received His Peace, Hope and Joy on the inside through baptism in water and the Holy Spirit, I became a new creature.

Having been raised a Catholic, there came a time I really did believe and say the creed from my heart. Then a little while later I got prayed over to receive Jesus into my heart and receive the Holy Spirit. I had never heard anyone speak in tongues before so I respectfully declined that part of the process.

Then, 12-18 months later, 8 months pregnant with my third child, sitting on the end of my bed reading a book on the Holy Spirit by Kenneth Hagin, I got baptised in the Holy Spirit, and spoke in tongues!

God is so good. He knows the perfect time for each of us to take our next step with Him.

When you decide to ask Jesus to come and live in your heart, take the next step as well, and even if you were baptised as a baby, make the commitment to be baptised in water as a born-again new creation and receive the Holy Spirit along with it.

Each of us, as adults, must make our own personal decision for Christ some time in our lives.

Baptism is the outward witness of the commitment to Jesus that has been made. Going down under the water we die with Him, and then are raised to new life as we come up again.

The day I was baptised was the most exciting day of my Christian life.

What I’m saying is : Holy Spirit gives me power from on high to stick with it when things are tough, and not give up. He brings a peace, hope and joy into my life, even in really bad times, that keeps my faith strong. It’s not by my might that I live each day, but by the power of the Spirit of God.

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DAY 2
Psalm 4:8 ~ “In peace I will both lie down and sleep, for You alone, O Lord, do make me to dwell in safety.”

DAY 3
John 14:25-27 ~ But the helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.
Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives, do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.”

DAY 4
Acts 1:8 ~ “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”

Acts 2:3,4 ~ “And there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each one of them.
And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance.”

DAY 5
Romans 8:9-11 ~ “However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him.
And if Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness.
But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who indwells you.”

DAY 6
Romans 15:13 ~ “Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

DAY 7
Titus 3:4-7 ~ “But when the kindness of God our Saviour and His love for mankind appeared,
He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit,
whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Saviour,
that being justified by His grace we might be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”

WANT MORE ? ~ Try all of Romans chapter 15.

If you would like to pray the prayer of Salvation, and give your heart to Jesus Christ, there is a link at the top of this page.

Also, for an explanation of how to use this devotional, see my earlier blog : Walking with God . . .

 

Forgiveness . . .

DAY 1

As I have already said, I was brought up in mainstream church, so I have always understood that if I bring my sins to God, He is faithful to forgive them. But many people feel that they are so unworthy to come to Him, even to ask forgiveness, that they miss the amazing blessings that God wants to bestow upon them.

Psalm 118:5 says, “From my distress I called upon the Lord ; the Lord answered me, and set me in a large place.” For me, a large place is somewhere I am free, forgiven, able to move and grow in Him.

God is so good. He could have thrown mankind into the pit with Satan after we sinned. But we are made in His image, we have a spirit fashioned after His, with His breath of life in us, and He did not want mankind, His ultimate work, to be lost.

This is amazing mercy and grace.

He loves me so much that He set in place a plan to forgive me and save me from eternal death. God forgave me for my sin of pride and idolatry (the original sin) He is the God of gods and the Lord of lords. He is great and He is mighty. He is awesome and just and loving, and praised by all creation.

He is worthy to be praised!

Psalm 116 is worth a read. Verses 7,8 say, “Return to your rest, O my soul, for the Lord has dealt bountifully with you. For You have rescued my soul from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling.” David then asks in verse 12, “What shall I render to the Lord for all His benefits toward me? ”

His answer in verse 13 blows my mind.

“I shall lift up the cup of Salvation, and call upon the name of the Lord.”

It doesn’t matter what sin I have committed in my life, God will forgive that sin, if I come to Him genuinely sorry and repentant. He knows my heart and how honest or not I am to receive His mercy and grace. Jesus, as He was dying, forgave those who betrayed Him, condemned Him and nailed Him to the cross. Don’t you think He is willing to forgive you too?

Jesus, as He was dying, forgave those who betrayed Him, condemned Him and nailed Him to the cross. Don’t you think He is willing to forgive you too?

1 John 1 9

Amplified Bible: To confess is to agree with God, to admit that we are sinners in need of His mercy. If we confess our sins to God, He will cleanse us. Forgiveness and cleansing are guaranteed because God is faithful to His promises. Those promises are legitimated because God is just. He can maintain His perfect character and yet forgive us because of the perfect and righteous sacrifice of Jesus, His own Son.

DAY 2
Psalm 103:1-5 ~ “Bless the Lord, O my soul; and all that is within me, bless His holy name.
Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget none of His benefits;
who pardons all your iniquities; who heals all your diseases;
who redeems your life from the pit; who crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion;
who satisfies your years with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle.”

DAY 3
Psalm 118:5 ~ “From my distress I called upon the Lord; the Lord answered me and set me in a large place.”

DAY 4
Matthew 6:14,15 ~ “For if you forgive men for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.
But if you do not forgive men, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.”

DAY 5
Romans 4:7,8 ~ “Blessed are those whose lawless deeds have been forgiven, and whose sins have been covered.
Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will not take into account.”

DAY 6
Colossians 1:13,14 ~ “For He delivered us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son,
in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”

DAY 7
Colossians 2:13,14 ~ “And when you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions,
having cancelled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us and which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.”

Repentance . . .

Some people say that I am too hard on myself. But it is only me and God who really know who I am, what I’m thinking, what sin is in my life, and what I am or am not doing about it. I believe I need to be my greatest critic, with God’s help. Not condemnation, but coming to God daily and keeping myself pure. God cannot look upon sin.

Instead of continuing on a course that excludes God, and walking toward destruction, I need to recognize who God is and ask Him for His forgiveness for my sins.

To repent means to be reformed, actually turning around and going in a new direction.

Back in the garden of Eden original sin marred man’s relationship with God. Sin entered man’s soul and he was now too unclean to commune with God.

John 3 16 (3)

All the outrageous ceremonies that the Hebrews went through to atone for their sins in the natural, were all they could do, because they had no saviour to stand in the gap between them and God. That’s why God formulated a plan to send His only Son to stand in that gap for us. It needed to be someone who was free from sin, and because of that could outstrip the devil at his own game.

Because of what Jesus did for me, I respond with recognition of this great act of love and repent for my sins that He died for, and accept and receive the Lord Jesus, once again into my life.

In his book, The World Aflame, Rick Joyner says that “All sin must be confessed to God and we must repent. The church has to be cleansed. Have I forgiven everybody? Unforgiveness separates us from God. We must obey the Holy Spirit.”

And not just one time, but as a Christian, a way of life.

So, repentance is, to recognise that I am born with sin (inherent from Adam and Eve) and therefore a sinner. I admit to my sins and ask God’s forgiveness.

And really, it’s this daily act of contrition that carries me much more easily through my life and my walk with God.