Apples and Jesus

The Featured Blog for this week will be from The Living Message of Christ called: Apples and Jesus

Are you being Jesus today to the world who is blinded by God’s love?

The Living Message of Christ

A few years ago a group of salesmen went to a regional sales convention in Chicago .. They had assured their wives that they would be home in plenty of time for Friday night’s dinner. In their rush, with tickets and briefcases, one of these salesmen inadvertently kicked over a table which held a display of apples. Apples flew everywhere. Without stopping or looking back, they all managed to reach the plane in time for their nearly missed boarding…

ALL BUT ONE!!! He paused, took a deep breath, got in touch with his feelings and experienced a twinge of compassion for the girl whose apple stand had been overturned.

He told his buddies to go on without him, waved good-bye, told one of them to call his wife when they arrived at their home destination and explain his taking a later flight. Then he returned to the terminal where the…

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Emotions

We all have emotions.  Some are good and some are bad.  According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary the word emotion means “a strong feeling such as love, anger, joy, hate, or fear.  It also means “a state of feeling, and a conscious mental reaction subjectively experienced as a strong feeling usually directed toward a specific object and typically accompanied by physiological and behavioral changes in the body.”

Emotions occur when something changes in our lives, and we are either excited or disgruntled.  Emotions are only positive when we have self-control.  Self-control helps us keep our emotions in check, and allows us to walk in the spirit rather than our flesh.  Self-control is defined as “the ability to control oneself, in particular one’s emotions and desires or the expression of them in one’s behavior, especially in difficult situations.”  Some of the words that describe self-control are self-discipline, restraint, willpower, composure, coolness, and temperance.  Self-control is one of the hardest fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) to live by, because it takes us getting out of our flesh and living for God.  It is a lifestyle that we must all live by as Christians.

In the verses before Galatians 5:22-23, the Bible states that our emotions can lead to sin.  In verses 16 – 21, it warns us about living in the flesh and not by the Spirit.

“So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves.  The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants.  And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires.  These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions.  But when you are directed by the Spirit, you are not under obligation to the law of Moses.

When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures,  idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.

Unhealthy emotions lead us to anger, jealousy, envy, and so forth.  These kind of emotions cause us to hold grudges, to be selfish, and to act in sinful ways.  Proverbs 25:28 describes “a person without self-control is like a city with broken-down walls.”  If we do not have self-control over our emotions, we are like a broken city with destruction all around us.

This week evaluate your emotional state and see if it lines up with God’s Word.  Are your emotions in check or are they out of control?  Our emotions can be described as a volcano about to erupt.  When our emotions are running rampant, we do not think logically.  We live by our emotions and not realize the destruction we may cause if they erupt all at one time.  Recently, I was reminded to think before you react.  The next time you feel emotional, step back and wait until you can think logically. Do not act on your emotions.  I encourage you to pray before you speak or act and allow God to guide your steps.

You Are A God Who Sees Me

In the Book of Genesis, there’s a woman named Hagar.  She was Sarah and Abraham’s servant.  Sarah was unable to have children at this time, and she gave Abraham permission to impregnate Hagar.  Sarah became jealous and envious of Hagar and treated her unfairly.  Hagar ran away while pregnant desperate for God’s help in her situation.  An angel came down and spoke to her and commanded her to return to Abraham and Sarah’s home.  The Lord gave her a promise if she obeyed his commands.  In chapter 16, verse 13, Hagar says, “You are the God who sees me…Have I truly seen the One who see me?”  She was in awe of who God was, and how He cared for her during a time of confusion and despair.

I love this story about how God intervenes in Hagar’s life and shows up in a powerful way.  Hagar’s story reminds us that God sees us and takes care of our needs in every situation.

God sees your tears. He knows what or who has hurt you.  He wipes every tear from your face and comforts you in His arms.

God sees your heart. He knows how you feel. He knows all your emotions.  God sees how stressful situations cause you to have anxiety and worry.  He sees how the things or people of this world broke your heart.  He mends your heart and makes it whole again.

God sees who you are and what you will become.  He not only knows your past and present, but He knows your future.  He sees potential in you to grow spiritually and in individual goals.  Psalm 139 tells you that God knows everything about you – inside and out.  Jeremiah 29:11 declares God knows your future and that you will prosper.  Deuteronomy 31:8 says God goes before you to direct your paths.  The verse promises you that He will never abandon you.

This week remind yourself that God sees you and loves you.  He cares about you.  Whatever is happening in your life, believe that God will see you through it.  He has not forsaken you.  He is clearing the path needed to walk out this journey with Him.  God sees and knows everything about you!

 

 

Transition

We all go through change.  Some are big decisions, and others are small, but they all matter.  Every decision we make impact our lives as well as others.  Transition is not always easy or fun, but it is necessary if we want to grow mentally and spiritually.  During transition, we learn how to move with God from one season to another.  We learn how to trust Him in trying times.  At times, we even feel lost and alone.

Where Am I

Have you ever asked God in desperation, “Why God?  Why do I need to change?  What is Your purpose for my life?”  You feel like you are wandering in a desert with no guidance.  The view is the same in every direction — sun beaming down on you, over 100 degrees, and no water in sight.  Just sand and an open terrain.  It is so easy to feel lost and alone in a desert place when you are transitioning.  You are stuck in the middle of what you have known and the unknown — your past and your future.

During the transition period, we must put our trust and hope in God and wait for what’s to come.  We may feel weak in the spirit and see God in the distance.  Isaiah 41:10 encourages us to not be afraid or discouraged, because God is with us (NLT).  God will “strengthen you and help you.  [He] will hold you up with [His] victorious right hand” (Isaiah 41:10 NLT).  We are never defeated or alone when God is guiding our steps through life.  We may feel like we are in the desert, but God is right there with us.

Arrows

We may think God is not pointing the way to our future, but there is an arrow that we follow that guides us right where He is taking us.  We must seek God through His Word and prayer to hear His voice.  We must closely follow behind Him to receive His instructions for our lives.  Change is not always a struggle if God is pointing us in the right direction, and we are obeying His commands.

I am currently in a transition with church.  I am looking for a new church home.  I have to say this is not an easy journey to walk through, but I am excited to see the end result.  I am allowing God to lead, and I am staying close to hear His voice.  I may not know what this journey will look like but, as long as I am following God, there is no need to worry.  God knows what is best for my life, and His timing is perfect.

I also just recently have a boyfriend after four years of being single.  This is a big transition.  I am so used to having the single mindedness that I am always watching how I approach a decision.  Whatever decisions I make affects the people in my life, especially Koby.  I’m loving this part of my life and this change is exciting.

Some changes we yearn for and ask for in prayer.  Others times we have unexpected change, and the process is painful.  We lose the people or things we love, and we ask God questions in a state of confusion and chaos.

Questions Mark 2

There is nothing wrong with asking God questions to find understanding as long as we trust Him to guide us through this journey.  He may never reveal His purpose, but He will lead us in His ways.

If you are currently going through a transition period, be patient and seek God during this time.  Remember God is always with you and will never leave you (Deuteronomy 31:8; Hebrews 13:5; 1 Chronicles 28:20).

 

Are You a Princess/Prince in God’s Kingdom?

Earlier this week, I wrote about our identity in Christ and how God made us a princess or a prince in His Kingdom.  We must have certain qualities to look like a princess/prince.  Our actions and words must reflect who Jesus is in our lives.  Today, I will be writing about the qualities needed to become a princess or prince for God.  God expects us to act a certain way for others to see Christ in us.  The list below are just a few things that we can do to look like a princess or prince for God’s Kingdom:
(The information below comes from http://www.urbandictionary.com)

  • Be noble
    • Dignity
    • Chooses words wisely
    • Makes good decisions
  • Selfless
    • Thinks of others before him or herself
  • Trusting
  • Kindness
    • Gentle
    • Generous
    • Compassionate
    • Good-natured
    • Forgiving
  • Humble
    • Humility
    • Does not expect special treatment from others
    • Does not boast or brag
  • Respectable and Admirable
    • Respect others
    • Does not compete with others
  • Galatians 5:22-23
    • Love
    • Joy
    • Peace
    • Patient
    • Kindness
    • Goodness
    • Faithfulness
    • Gentleness
    • Self-Control

“A princess [/prince] is a princess [/prince] regardless of her [/his] attire or her [/his] circumstances” (www.urbandictionary.com).  Being in God’s royalty is more than the fancy clothes, ballroom dances, and the crown.  Our attitude must represent what a princess or prince is, and always stay humble in our position.  We must always have compassion for those around us and forgive easily.  We are respected by all and not feared.  God expects us to be kind to everyone we meet and treat others as we want to be treated.  Instead of being served, serve others!  Be the princess or prince God called you to be!

Are you acting like a princess or prince should? If not, re-evaluate your life to see what needs to change.  Ask yourself these questions: How can you treat others better?,  How can you change your perspective on a situation or person?, and so forth.  A princess or prince looks different from the world.  Let Jesus shine through you for the world to see!

Our Identity in Christ

The definition of identity is “the fact of being who or what a person or thing is.”  Our identity determines our character.  It answers our questions about who we are and what we do on a day-to-day basis.  It is vital that we know our identity so we can live our lives with purpose and with confidence.

This past weekend I was able to spend two days with God at a women’s conference.  The guest speaker, Cindy Williams, spoke on identity and authority over our lives.  She spoke life into us through prophesy and revelation.  It was an incredible weekend that will be unforgettable.  We are valuable to Christ, and so many times we do not understand where God has placed us in His Kingdom.  The conference reminded me of who I am in Christ in a powerful way.

Throughout the Bible, the Scripture declares God as our Lord.  He is majestic and holy.  Psalm 104:1 states that God is “robed with honor and majesty.”  In “everything [God] does reveals His glory and majesty” (Psalm 111:3).  Psalm 8:1 declares God’s “majestic name fills the earth!  [His] glory is higher than the heavens.”

In the Bible, Scripture tells us we are sons and daughters of Christ.  Second Corinthians 6:18 tells us God “will be a Father to [us], and [we] wil be [His] sons and daughters.”  Galatians 4:6 declares we are “God’s child” and His “heir.”  If we are His heir’s, then we are in royalty in His Kingdom.  We are princesses and princes in His Kingdom!!!

Isaiah 62:3 says, “the Lord will hold you in His hand for all to see — a splendid crown in the hand of God.”  He has crowned us and made us known for all to see.  I get this imagery of The Lion King movie when Mufasa raises Simba to the sky on a high rock and proudly shows off His son to the entire animal kingdom.  God is doing the same thing with us!  He is lifting us towards the sky and showing us off to the world.  He is shouting, “Look, this is My child!  I love him/her!  He/she is mine!”

The next time you feel like you have no value or identity, remember God made you a princess/prince, and you are a part of a royal family with Christ!  You are God’s child, and He celebrates you!  He is proud to call you His son or daughter!  He is on the highest mountain shouting, “You are My child!”