Amplified Bible (AMP)
2 Consider it wholly joyful, my brethren, whenever you are enveloped in or encounter trials of any sort or fall into various temptations.
3 Be assured and understand that the trial and proving of your faith bring out endurance and steadfastness and patience.
4 But let endurance and steadfastness and patience have full play and do a thorough work, so that you may be [people] perfectly and fully developed [with no defects], lacking in nothing.
Have you ever felt as though someone is enjoying YOUR blessing as you look on “empty-handed”? Oh, we don’t dare admit that even for a second we wonder if God has been unfair to us!! We don’t admit it, because even though it does look like someone else is basking in what we have fasted, prayed, and believed for, that which seems so elusive to us came so easily to them instead. Deep down we know God is fair! So what has happened here?
I have seen beautiful young ladies, full of the Holy Spirit who lead godly lives and are true to God through and through pray for a mate and wait for years for that mate to come. Then I see Christian men who seem to be attracted to girls that will never bring anything but misery. They marry them (careful guys, everything that glistens is NOT gold!), and sure enough, the godly girls sit on the sidelines at the reception, happy for their friend but wondering why their time never seems to arrive.
I have wondered what is going on in my life with my home. I have never been one who really dreams of a particular type of house. I would see others telling me of what they wanted, how they would arrange it, all the new architectural designs, the best kitchens, huge walk in closets that are the size of my family room and I am and will always be happy for them, but that was never my priority.
One day as I looked at my starter home I had been in for over 25 years, I began to dream. Oh, it had hit me, too! I wanted a closet my husband and I could fit into at the same time. I wanted a kitchen he didn’t have to shut the refrigerator door for me to put something in the dishwasher and vice versa! I began to pray, thanking God for the home I have, but letting Him know my desires, too.
We put the house on the market and in a month it “sold” and in a 2 week period, the “sale” fell through. That wasn’t too bad…I cried the night I found out and the morning after for about 10 minutes, but I have been dry-eyed since. What got me was the fact ladies I taught when they were in the fourth grade are living in MY dream home!! Don’t get me wrong! I am so happy for them and they deserve it, but my question to God was, why don’t I have mine, yet? God is always so patient with me. He gently spoke to me and said, “Juliana, that is not the only beautiful home I have to give. My reserves are full and there is plenty for you!”
We can so easily listen to satan when he whispers, “God likes them better! You aren’t ever going to have certain things, you might as well forget it…you have never been anyone’s “favorite”, even now!” Oh, and he doesn’t fail to bring up things that have happened to you in life to “prove his point”! But the fact of the matter is this…we are ALL God’s favorite! Nobody is more special or loved more than another. Just because your blessing didn’t come and someone else’s did doesn’t mean yours isn’t coming!! Satan is seeing if you will continue to stand, or throw it all out the window. God isn’t “seeing” what you will do. He knows! He wants you to know what you will choose!
Tests are not about what God needs to know about you. God already knows what you are going to do because He knows you better than you know yourself. Tests are to show YOU what YOU are made of, or what you need to develop in. In my case, I needed to develop perseverance and let patience have its perfect work. Was I going to get upset with God and tell Him how I have stood in faith, I am not getting any younger, and just why can others have things in their 20s I have waited 30 years for? Or, was I going to rejoice, not covet, and continue to believe my blessing was on its way and will be better than what I could ask for because I HAD sought God, loved Him, know Him personally, and because of that I know His character and I know He isn’t cruel, nor will he short change me.
Most of the time where problems come in is when we seek the gifts instead of the giver. If you don’t know God as your Father, you will liken him to an earthly authority figure that was in your life. Maybe your father wasn’t a kind man. Maybe your father abandoned you and your mom was so busy trying to provide for the family you were inadvertently pushed to the side. There could be a thousand scenarios and I cannot possibly list them all. But, whatever the case God is not a man that He should lie, as the Word tells us. He has spoken it and He WILL do it! God doesn’t have human frailties like people do. His character is unmarred and you can fully and blindly trust Him!
No matter how much we have heard this before, sometimes we need to rehearse it over and over in our minds until it isn’t just head knowledge, but true revelation…something we know that we know that we know, as my Paw-Paw used to always say. Gloria Copeland always says, “In consistency lays power”. It has to eventually come if you are believing according to God’s word. If you are believing according to His word then you are believing according to His will and if you are believing according to His will you will have what you have asked for IF YOU DOUBT NOT IN YOUR HEART! (1 John 5:14-15)
Dare to believe, dear reader!! Be assured your answer will come even though you don’t you see it now. This is true faith and that is the catalyst to answered prayer!
Blessings to you!! I will see you soon!
Amplified Bible (AMP)
22 Jesus answered him, I tell you, not up to seven times, but seventy times seven!
23 Therefore the kingdom of heaven is like a human king who wished to settle accounts with his attendants.
24 When he began the accounting, one was brought to him who owed him 10,000 talents [probably about $10,000,000],
25 And because he could not pay, his master ordered him to be sold, with his wife and his children and everything that he possessed, and payment to be made.
26 So the attendant fell on his knees, begging him, Have patience with me and I will pay you everything.
27 And his master’s heart was moved with compassion, and he released him and forgave him [cancelling] the debt.
28 But that same attendant, as he went out, found one of his fellow attendants who owed him a hundred denarii [about twenty dollars]; and he caught him by the throat and said, Pay what you owe!
29 So his fellow attendant fell down and begged him earnestly, Give me time, and I will pay you all!
30 But he was unwilling, and he went out and had him put in prison till he should pay the debt.
31 When his fellow attendants saw what had happened, they were greatly distressed, and they went and told everything that had taken place to their master.
32 Then his master called him and said to him, You contemptible and wicked attendant! I forgave and cancelled all that [great] debt of yours because you begged me to.
33 And should you not have had pity and mercy on your fellow attendant, as I had pity and mercy on you?
34 And in wrath his master turned him over to the torturers (the jailers), till he should pay all that he owed.
35 So also My heavenly Father will deal with every one of you if you do not freely forgive your brother from your heart his offenses.
There are things the Lord has shown during my time of prayer that I, again, am going to use my blog to keep a personal journal to note. I am learning so much about myself, and that I am not alone in some things I thought. I have heard others who have had some the same misconceptions I have had.
One of the main things I hear from people who refuse to go to church, much less become part of the body of the church, is there is such hypocrisy in the church they want no part of it.
I find it funny there are hypocrites and gossips and backstabbing in the workplace, yet these same people never think twice about going to work! They show up everyday, give their job 110 per cent, and hold their hand out for the paycheck and start over the next week. Where is the hypocrisy now? How sad, and what a tremendous misconception. Just because someone goes to church and/or is in church leadership does not put that person in a glorified body that cannot make a mistake! People are still people until we die and go to heaven.
A true Christian and true Christian leaders are still in a natural body, just you and I are, and just as you and I are capable of messing up, they can also make mistakes, misjudge situations, and not always walk in full wisdom. They are going to sometimes say and do things that aren’t the wisest things to say and do, BUT that is the way with ALL people!
I use to be of the attitude, as naïve as it is, that if you were a “leader” you were above mistakes. I put unrealistic expectations on people and got hurt and disappointed many times because I have yet to find the perfect person, especially in myself! If I can give grace and mercy to myself for MY shortcomings, failures, and missteps then I must give the same mercy and grace when others aren’t perfect. Where the hypocrisy comes in is when I don’t give the SAME mercy and grace to others that I heaped richly upon myself.
There are things people have done that could have easily been an offense with me. I may have been misunderstood, but in their shoes, would I have misunderstood the same matter? Would I have felt and reacted the way they did? Nine times out of ten the answer has been yes, I would have. Should they have chosen that reaction? Nine out of ten times, no but I was no better! Things look much different from other perspectives. Don’t let offense in, not in the least bit!! It will deplete your prayer life of God‘s power and eventually change you to someone you would never want to be!! Satan doesn’t come to make you better! He always comes to destroy you, your future, and all good things in your life and the good things that were to come! That is why the Bible calls him the thief!
When sin is purposeful, known, and enjoyed that is one thing, but when someone errs in judgement of what is the best thing to do or not do, say or not say, that is a very different situation entirely! Be a person known for great grace and great mercy! That is what I pray to be, too!
Blessings and grace to you, dear reader! I will see you next time!
Amplified Bible (AMP)
23 Truly I tell you, whoever says to this mountain, Be lifted up and thrown into the sea! and does not doubt at all in his heart but believes that what he says will take place, it will be done for him.
24 For this reason I am telling you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe (trust and be confident) that it is granted to you, and you will [get it].
25 And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him and [g]let it drop (leave it, let it go), in order that your Father Who is in heaven may also forgive you your [own] failings and shortcomings and let them drop.
26 [h]But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your failings and shortcomings.
I have heard this scripture all of my life…well, most of it. I have not always heard verse 26. The problem with that is if you don’t do the last scripture then verses 22-25 will NOT work in your life. Faith is what is casting the mountain into the sea! The Bible tells us faith works by LOVE.
Love forgives and dismisses the need to see someone punished for what they have done! Love does not keep account of any wrong done to it, but there are “Christians” sitting in churches all over the world who carry grudges, hate people, can’t wait to see them tarred and feathered, BUT YET you let a job opportunity or something they want come up, they will quote the first of these scriptures, call people to “agree” with them in prayer, yet they have animosity for others in their hearts!
Will that prayer be answered for those people? It is highly unlikely! Then they want to blame God and others for their lack!! You cannot take part of the word and throw the rest of it away! With God supernatural laws are built into the word of God. You MUST have ALL elements in place for the Word to work mightily for you!
If you do not tithe and give, you won’t be supernaturally blessed in your bank account! If you ignore God’s laws and harm your body, you WILL one day see sickness pertaining to your disobedience. But let us turn this around! If I do tithe and give, and FORGIVE those who wrong me, I will see abundance. If I do release all bitterness and wrath and take care of my body, which is the temple of the Holy Spirit, I will live a long and healthy life!
The Bible says if I don’t put away negative emotions and act on faith in LOVE, my faith will not act for me! It would be like me getting into my car and telling my car to go without putting in the key that starts all the mechanics that makes my car run. I am going nowhere!
If you are broke, tired, sick, disgusted ask yourself if you are carrying a grudge or if you are holding onto something that should have been let go of. It is worth it to turn it loose!
Blessings, precious reader! I will see you soon!!
Lately, the Lord has really been speaking to me about what I am seeking and if it is what HE would have me to seek. It is so easy to take confession of houses, lands, raises and bonuses, jobs and better jobs and make that our focus. I am not against confessing these things. God wants us to have all these things. If He had not wanted us to have it, He would not have been so specific about what He would do if we tithe and give. He tells us He will open the windows of heaven and pour out a blessing on us we cannot contain. He said pressed down, shaken together and running over men would give to us.
I love that scripture, but never does He tell us to seek these things. He tells us to “seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you.” How many times have I made these very confessions and never thought anything about the kingdom of God or His righteousness, only the things that would be added. How many times have I asked for a dream home, when I should have been asking for wisdom! How many times have I asked for material things, when I should have asked God to show me what I could do with what I already had to bless others.
Proverbsway.com had a Mother Teresa quote recently. This particular one hit me right between the eyes and has come up before me in my prayer time and in my thought life over and over. She said the following,
I am not sure exactly what heaven will be like, but I know that when we die and it comes time for God to judge us, he will not ask, ‘How many good things have you done in your life?’ rather He will ask, ‘How much love did you put into what you did?
― Mother Teresa
God is not going to ask me did I get my dream home, did I ever drive a BMW, did I earn recognition for my creativity, did I make a six figure salary. He isn’t even going to ask DID I SERVE!!!! He is going to ask HOW MUCH LOVE DID I SERVE WITH! He is going to ask did I serve those who were considered inconsequential by people with as much vigor and “love” as I did those I wanted to impress, who were considered “somebody” by the world’s standards, whether Christian or secular.
At that point I began to look. Who had I served? I served my family with love…but don’t most wives and mothers? I served my pastors with love, but they are always so loving and generous toward me…it is easy to serve those who love you and treat you with great kindness! I had served my parents, but again, I love them because they are my mom and dad. WHO had I truly served out of a heart of the love of God?
It hit me, the whole time I was confessing houses and lands, raises and bonuses, jobs and better jobs, cars, and wearing the “best”, I should have cried out, “God, take away a stoney heart and give me a heart of flesh! Give me eyes that see the needs of others, and the good in people. Give me godly wisdom and sense! Give me Your desires for my life, which is to love my neighbor as myself, and to be more interested in loving and serving You and bringing that love in physical form to the lost, than in serving my wants and desires and using YOU as an excuse to fulfill vanities!!
I had a pastor’s wife once who was big on material confession. I am not against confessing these things, I AM against them being our focus!! My brother had been to New York on a business trip. While he was there, he bought my daughter and me Coach purses. These purses, if they are original, come with some type of certificate to verify their authenticity. They are wrapped in a special cloth that says, “Coach” on it. As we were leaving prayer meeting one day, she asked me about my purse. I told her my brother had bought if for me and she immediately asked me for the “verification paper”. It was a major thing to her that I produce it, otherwise it wasn’t really what it said it was. I was in complete shock! How rude for one thing to insult the gift my brother had given me, but how sad her interest in me that day was whether my purse was a fraud or not instead of who and what I was in God . What had happened to this lady? She had confessed material things so much, she had become consumed with materialism. Oh, that we are that concerned over the lost and hurting as we are over ”high-end” purses!
After meditating on this quote, I envisioned the day I will stand before God and hear this question. What would I say? How much of that very love had I really served with? I didn’t like what I saw. I was shocked at the little reward I was really going to receive. My prayers changed that day. I began to literally cry out to God to fill me with compassion above all else. I cried out for eyes that see as He sees and ears that hear the voice of my good Shepherd and that I am an obedient daughter. I repented, that I too had fallen into the vanities of life, and not fallen more in love with the cause of Christ!
Ask yourself, precious reader this question. Envision what your answer will be. If you have gotten off focus, you still have the chance to change it! Praise God for His mercy and new days! How wonderful He “brings us to ourselves”!
Blessings to you! May we grow in wisdom and revelation of His word and, more than anything, in our love to all mankind!
And Samuel said, “Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to listen than the fat of rams. 1 Samuel 15:22
This past week I received a phone call from an acquaintance. I have known this lady and her husband for a few years now and they are always in some type of mess. Usually their messes consist of money problems, marital problems, or both. These messes, 99.9% of the time, are made by themselves and by them alone!
I was having much-needed relaxation time with hubby, and I have noticed when just the two of us get away that is when satan wants to raise his ugly head through some type of ‘crisis’! The first thing that happened was I wrote an article on a somewhat controversial subject and someone who is supposed to be a Christian (I can’t make that call, it is between God and them) lit a shuck into me, as we say in Texas, and called me everything from a liar to an idiot (in so many words), telling me I “skew facts to make them what supports MY platform”. Then this woman calling bawling and basically calls God a liar and not true to His word! I had ENOUGH!! It is one thing to accuse me (and I would be very careful doing that if I was one that was tempted to do so because God tells me what to write and He won’t put up with His handmaiden being falsely accused and attacked!) but it is a whole different thing when you accuse God in my presence! I will not stand for it!!!
This woman began to try to quote the Bible with, “God said He wouldn’t put more on me than I can bear! If that is true, why did God let this happen?”. The first thing I thought of was the prophecy that was spoken over me during the revival we just completed a couple of weeks ago at my church. God said people had tried to intimidate me to shut me up from speaking the truth, but He was putting a boldness on my mouth and I would speak the truth in love and not hold back. That was all I needed! I said to this lady, and I said it sweetly, “God didn’t put this on you. You put it on yourself by acting foolishly. You cannot blame God for any of this! God gave you common sense and you didn’t use it!” I have never heard tears come to an end so quickly. Instantly, the crying stopped! She was trying to get money out of me and that stopped, too! I knew this because God showed me through discernment.
I have heard people do this many times over the years! Why does God let one thing after another happen if He is a loving God and can stop it? Because He has given us free rule over our lives. God did not make us robots where He could push a “Do Not” button or a “Do This” button, but people with free wills. He isn’t going to force anyone to serve Him! Many times other people’s wills will effect our lives. That is why it is so important to know the word and protection scriptures. That is why it is so important to know the power of the name of Jesus to cast out devils and to stop evil in its tracks with the use of Jesus’ name where it concerns us! We have the authority to stop evil from happening to us, but if we don’t use it we tie God’s hands!
God has given us wisdom, common sense, and the Word of God to know what to do and not do. If we violate it, we have left the covering of grace and put ourselves in an unfortunate place. God is good and cannot do evil. When evil does come over things we knew better than to do why blame God when you never allowed Him to be part of your life to begin with?
Know God’s word and apply it and you will know great peace and blessings. Go your way and when life turns upside down, don’t shake your finger at God and scream “Why??” Take a good look in the mirror and choices you made that were in direct opposition to the Word and then repent and ask God to help you! He will, but the next time it comes time to make a decision, you will consider God first if you are smart!
I know this is a tough one today, but it had to be said. I pray you are blessed, dear reader, and that you remain in God’s ways! See you soon.