A whole new world

College Students Spending Time Outside

College Students Spending Time Outside (Photo credit: York College of PA)

Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. – 1 Corinthians 16:13

As I think about those going off to college, for many it’s a totally different environment than what they have experienced. More world views are expressed and many of those views most likely will not have a Christian worldview. I pray that the students can stand firm in their faith as the world tries to knock them off balance. It takes courage to stand strong.

It’s the same for all of us as we go out into the world. We are told what is acceptable in our culture and expected to align with it. However, many times the culture contradicts our faith and we may begin to feel wobbly in our steadfast stance. That’s when we clutch to the sword of truth and go into battle. We must remember though that it is a spiritual battle that we fight. We do not fight the people. We love them and pray for them for they are victims of the lies they have believed.

Prayer: Lord, thank you for the opportunities when I care share your truth with someone who doesn’t know it. I pray that I can stand strong and not be pushed over by the world. Amen

Faith Tip: Make the choice now of how you will react when faced with something that comes against truth.

Gifts galore

Pile of gorgeous gifts

Pile of gorgeous gifts (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Follow the way of love and eagerly desire gifts of the Spirit, especially prophecy.  For anyone who speaks in a tongue does not speak to people but to God. Indeed, no one understands them; they utter mysteries by the Spirit.  But the one who prophesies speaks to people for their strengthening, encouraging and comfort. – 1 Corinthians 14:1-3

In spiritual assessment tests, I have many times had the gift of prophecy be included in my top three gifts. Does this mean I can tell the future? No. I think a clearer understanding may be found in the dictionary. Merriam-Webster defines prophecy as: 1) an inspired utterance of a prophet; 2) the function or vocation of a prophet; specifically: the inspired declaration of divine will and purpose; and 3) a prediction of something to come. I connect more with “an inspired utterance” or “the inspired declaration” and this can be seen and heard in my writing and speaking.

The important part though is finding our gifts and using them. God gave them to us with a purpose for his kingdom. Following God means to use our gifts … I think it is sin not to use them … a sin of omission. Of course, it all rests on the condition of our hearts. Do we go grudgingly to find out and use the gift God has given us or do we run free towards the gift like on Christmas morning?

Prayer: Dear Lord, I thank you for the gifts you have given me and the opportunities to use them. I pray that I do not take them for granted. Amen

Faith Tip: If you do not know what your special gift from God is yet, seek it out today. God gave it to you with a purpose. You are blessed to be a blessing.

 

Run!

Picnic food

Picnic food (Photo credit: mhaithaca)

But he left his cloak in her hand and ran out of the house. – Genesis 39:12

I gathered with some wonderful writing friends last night at a picnic to share the great things God is doing in our writing, plus getting to know each other better, and of course eat picnic foods. There was a wonderful selection of delectable delights. Taking a little here and there, I found myself with a full plate. My eyes instantly sent the yum information to my brain which responded with spoon in hand.

Temptation is often experienced through what we see. We may think we can restrain ourselves, but why take the risk? Sometimes we need to run away from it to be protected. If we play with the temptation, often we will fall right into it and be over our heads in sin before we know it. God always provides a way out for us (1 Corinthians 10:13), but we have to choose to take it.

How do you handle temptation? Is there Scripture that speaks to you in this circumstance?

Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for your provision in escaping the draw of sin. I pray that I run away from any temptation that draws me away from you. Amen

Faith Tip: Make a choice to run from temptation before it happens.

Acting foolish

The Court Jester Oil on panel, signed with mon...

The Court Jester Oil on panel, signed with monogram, bears inscribed label for the Dundee Fine Art Exhibition, 1877, attached opt the reverse, 23.7x15.5cm. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. – 1 Corinthians 1:18

As I watch a squirrel bringing food and other treasures to a secret hiding place (by our garden) and bury it, I wonder how foolish this storage place is that he has chosen. Everyone can see it. All the animals can watch where he is storing his meals. Why would he choose such a place? It seems foolish to me. I then remember that the squirrels are always back each year surviving the cold winter weather. They must have survived on the food they stored away, and perhaps have carried it to their nest high in the tree when I wasn’t watching.

In preparing for heaven, Christians are often thought of being foolish in obeying Christ. They are known for helping people who many think don’t deserve it, giving away food, money and other necessities, and going out of their way to share the gospel truth … sometimes to other countries.

Like the squirrel knew what he was doing, we also know that the goal we work towards is a heavenly one that we already have. Why do we need to do these things if we already have salvation? It seems foolish, but it is our response to the love God has shown us. We know we are growing and maturing in our faith through the power of God as it is manifested in us. God knows what he is doing.

Prayer: Thank you, Jesus, for the power of the cross. I pray that your power will be displayed through me today to those who think it foolish. Amen

Faith Tip: Be “foolish” for Jesus today. Follow and obey.

Crowns – temporary or eternal?

A Dentist and her Dental assistant

A Dentist and her Dental assistant (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. – 1 Corinthians 9:24-25

Yesterday, I received a crown … okay, just a temporary one until my porcelain one comes in. The temporary is not meant to last forever. I need to be more careful if I chew on that side of my mouth. However, when the permanent one comes in about three weeks, it will be a lot stronger. It will be much sturdier than the crack I had in my tooth. Teeth are tough, but I don’t think they were made to last forever.

We as humans look for things that will last. We want to live in a good house that will last, have a car that lasts and even try to find ways to make food last. But ultimately, all of these things decay. The only thing that lasts for eternity is God. Our relationship with the Lord lasts forever, so it is the one thing that we can invest in for a huge return. We have already received the benefits of God, but there is an eternity to live it out more where nothing gets dusty or rusts.

Prayer: Lord, thank you for the many blessings you have given me. I pray that I will focus on the things of eternity rather than things of this world that are temporary. Amen

Faith Tip: Brainstorm on what in your life is temporary and eternal. Now see how much time and energy you give to those things.

Never Giving Up

Sunrise

Sunrise (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Just think—you don’t need a thing, you’ve got it all! All God‘s gifts are right in front of you as you wait expectantly for our Master Jesus to arrive on the scene for the Finale. And not only that, but God himself is right alongside to keep you steady and on track until things are all wrapped up by Jesus. God, who got you started in this spiritual adventure, shares with us the life of his Son and our Master Jesus. He will never give up on you. Never forget that. – 1 Corinthians 1:7-9 The Message

Have you ever had one of those days where you think, “Lord, this would be a good day for your return.” Some days are more frustrating than others and you feel like you’ve had enough. Then you wake up the next morning and things may not seem so bad. In fact, you may find yourself thankful that you have another day on earth.

God hasn’t left the scene of your life. He is there every step of the way. God’s purpose for your life is being played out with the purpose of glory to God. God wants you to succeed and will do whatever it takes to bring you to the goal … that’s how much he loves you.

Prayer: God, thank you for never giving up on me. I praise you for your wonderful works. I pray today that I am obedient in the adventure we are on together. Amen

Faith Tip: Praise God for the work he will do in your life today.


Miracle Moments

Praise God

Praise God where you are! Image by GlacierTim via Flickr

The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit. – 1 Corinthians 2:14

I saw an awesome video this morning telling of a miracle God performed in a hospital. There are many miracles that God performs each day that we don’t notice because we can explain it through scientific terms. However, when we can’t explain it when someone is brought back to life, many seem to have a hard time answering the question, “What happened?” God happened. The answer is so evident.

As humans, we don’t want to be considered fools by others, so we are very careful about believing uncertain things. Are we uncertain that God could bring someone back to life? He’s done it a few times in the Bible. It’s not a new concept to him. Perhaps we should be concerned about looking foolish to God rather than people.

Prayer: Lord, I thank you for the miracles you perform every day. I pray that I may have eyes to see your work. Amen

Faith Tip: Be intentional in noticing the miracles around you today and give thanks to God.

Here’s the link to the video: http://www.godvine.com/Man-Dies-and-Returns-to-Life-on-the-Operating-Table-420.html