July 8, 2012

A Passion To Serve

Passion to serve God, passion to serve others...passion! God told us that to be a leader and a teacher, we first have to be a servant and a student. The way we receive blessings is through the gift of giving. That is not to say we should serve with the sole purpose to receive blessings of our own...for that would be an intended motive that is impure. We serve because it is in our hearts, because it pleases God, and because we want to have a heart that can break for others. We want to be driven to compassion and strive to let the Lord shine through us and our cracks. God does not choose whole and perfect people to serve Him. Only through those people who are cracked and broken can He let His light and image shine through. I am not afraid or ashamed to say that I am a very, very broken person with many cracks. I am proud, because that means the Lord can use me so profoundly and greatly!

"Do not take advantage of the widow or the fatherless. If you do and they cry out to me, I will certainly hear their cry."  (Exodus 22:22-23)

"If you lend money to one of my people among you who is needy, do not treat it like a business deal; charge no interest." (Exodus 22:25)

"Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow." (Isaiah 1:17)

"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world." (James 1:27)

When we put God's priorities first, the blessings will come. Awareness leads to prayer: prayer leads to action: and that action leads to changing our priorities. Let's share our time, treasures and talents with as many of God's children as we can...only through serving and giving can we continue to grow and be used for the greater good to proclaim our Father's Glorious Name!

July 1, 2012

Holding Grudges...Hurting Hearts

Too often in life, we run into people who just cannot seem to forgive, forget, let go, or let live. Sometimes it is us who hold onto something far longer than we even realize. When we want to be a part of someone's life so desperately, yet they are holding some type or hardened heart towards us for something that could have been long ago in the past...it hurts. We want them to know God like we do, we want them to learn how God feels about forgiveness and loving each other, we want them to know that judgment and consequences are not their to dish out. But no matter how we wish, pray, and hope some people just do not seem to have any desire to know God, be a part of our lives, or be witness to learning about the way our Lord commands us to live. It is at that point that we may continue to try, wish, pray, and hope for that person or persons to see the light, to open their minds and hearts...but at the same time, we realize that it is only in their own time and by their own doing that they will seek out the Lord, His Word, and the mercy to let poison out of their hearts so that they may be set free. Only then can they see Christ's love as it is supposed to be, and right any wrongs with casting us out of their lives or harboring resentment towards us. So we continue to pray blessings upon them that they purify their hearts, trust in the Lord, and ask for their ways to be made right. But in the meantime, we must take a close look at ourselves and rid our hearts of any hurt, resentment, or judgment based on their grudge towards us. To free ourselves of this is to be free in Christ. Only He can right wrongs, and only He can bring people together in God's prepared time. Keep your hearts light....

"Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you." (Ephesians 4:31-32 ESV)

"You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against the sons of your own people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord."  (Leviticus 19:18 ESV)

"Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye."  (Matthew 7:1-5 ESV)

"Therefore you have no excuse, O man, every one of you who judges. For in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things. We know that the judgment of God rightly falls on those who practice such things. Do you suppose, O man—you who judge those who practice such things and yet do them yourself—that you will escape the judgment of God? Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God's kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?"  (Romans 2:1-4 ESV)