Destructive Path of Deceit

Sir Walter Scott wrote “Oh the wicked web we weave when first we practice to deceive” and that is true! Most of us have witnessed this in some form first hand. Whether its in relationships, our job, our families, our lifestyles and sometimes unfortunately we deal with it in our churches today. Hey, some of the biggest snakes I’ve met have sat next to me or behind me in the pew, Amen? Deceitfulness lurks everywhere and we’ve got to be on guard for it.

Let me see if I can break this down a little further. Deceit isn’t just someone lying to us, deceit can be us lying to ourselves. How can I deceive myself you ask? I’ll use myself as an example here. For years I’ve struggled with sinful eating habits. I would tell myself one of something wouldn’t hurt me, just a little more of that, a couple more spoonfuls of that, one more glass of this, etc. 20, 30, 40 lbs later, I regretted all those extra spoonfuls, bowls, cups, plates of food that in my heart I knew were too much but I deceived myself and ate it anyway. By the way, deception has a horrible aftertaste!!

What about you? Are you deceiving yourself? Maybe “deceiving” yourself to believe you can handle just one more store credit card? When you know the budget can’t possibly handle it. Are you “deceiving” yourself to believe that if you had a different husband/wife you’d be happy? When really you just need to work harder on the marriage your in now! What Scott said about deceit was true, when we begin to deceive whether it be someone else or ourselves we start weaving a web of lies and lies lead to destruction!

Let me give you something much better than literary quotes. Let me tell you what the Word of God says…”If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us. I John Ch.1 Vs 8-10

In the verse above it’s very clear why it is so important that we confess our sins to God. Furthermore why God calls us to be honest with Him, ourselves and others. If we go through life day to day, saying and/or thinking we aren’t sinners, we’ve called Him a liar. God is not to be mocked, he is not a liar.

Final Thought: Are you deceiving yourself today? Are you deceiving others? If so what about? Confess it to God and remember HE is faithful to forgive us and cleanse us from ALL unrighteousness. Be HONEST with God, with yourself and with others.

Heavenly Father, thank you for Jesus! Our only way to the throne. Forgive us of our deceitfulness with others and with ourselves, cleanse us from all of our unrighteousness. We ask this in the name of Jesus, Amen.


Advertisements
Published in: on September 25, 2009 at 12:01 am  Leave a Comment  

Shalom!

Shalom!  This has become one of my very favorite greetings!  I’ve become very fond of a radio broadcast that I listen to on our local christian radio station.  The message is from the Pastor of a Messianic Jewish congregation out of Durham, NC.  The two minute segment is full of inspiring biblical truth and Hebrew traditions, which I’ve come to admire.  He begins and ends every message with, Shalom.

I became curious about what Shalom meant so, I’ve done some study and found that this word means peace, completeness, wholeness, health, welfare, safety, soundness, tranquility, prosperity, perfectness, fullness, rest, harmony, the absence of agitation or discord. What a beautiful word!  I want my family and friends to be blessed with all that is listed above.  Don’t you?

Doesn’t Christ offer us Shalom?  He is peace.  If we abide in Him, we are complete, whole and healthy.  Physical health may fail us, yes, but our souls are lasting and to be One with with Him spiritually, then we shall always be in good health.  There is no safer place than to rest in the arms of the Savior.  Nothing is more secure and sound.  He promised us Rest.  Matthew 11:28-29 Jesus says “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest your souls.” To rest and be seen as perfect in the eyes of the Almighty, to be full of Him and in complete harmony with His will.  Christ is our Shalom!  Isaiah 9:6 says “For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon his shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

When we are greeted with this beautiful blessing “Shalom” it’s not a simple “HI!” – That person is speaking God’s peace to you!  Return the blessing!

Final Thought: If we see that Christ is our Shalom and we want the blessings/meanings of Shalom listed above for everyone we know, then shouldn’t we work to introduce all those we come in contact with to Christ?

Numbers 6:24-26 says “The LORD bless you and keep you; The LORD make his face shine upon you, and be gracious to you; The LORD lift up HIS countenance upon you, and give you peace.

The verse from Numbers is my prayer for all my readers today.  God bless you all!


Published in: on September 18, 2009 at 12:34 pm  Leave a Comment  

Open mouth, Insert Spoon

There’s nothing like a nice, heaping spoonful of your own advice; I had to take several spoonfuls of my own just yesterday. I found that my advice rolled off my tongue a little sweeter when giving it to someone else who needed it but was a little more difficult to swallow in my situation. While it was equally truthful and most certainly effective, I wanted to do just as I had seen my friends do…sit and sulk and throw a pity party, instead I threw a praise party this morning!

God never promised us that this life would be easy nor did he say that when we followed HIM that we wouldn’t go through trials. Trials test our faith. 1 Peter 1:6-9 says “In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.”

I don’t know about you but I want to be proven genuine in my faith. Genuine means “real”, “pure”, “free from hypocrisy”. We’ve got to go through the refinement process meaning the fire aka the trials in order to develop more spiritually and grow closer to HIM. Yes, it’s tough, it’s difficult…but instead of throwing a pity party and asking God “Why me LORD?” Let’s throw a praise party and make HIM the honored guest! Praise HIM for what HE is going to do with this storm in your life! Praise HIM for the spiritual growth that will take place because of it!

Frankly, it’s all about choices. I’ve spent the last twenty four hours evaluating my circumstances and here is what I’ve found. One, I’ve got so many blessings that I can’t begin to count them all. Two, takes me back to number one. Need I say more? Just like the verse from 1 Peter says the result of the trials proves us genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor.

Final thought: Will you chose to praise, give glory and honor HIM regardless of your circumstances? There’s a plaque hanging on my kitchen wall that states this ‘There is always, always, always something to be thankful for – My THANKS and PRAISE goes to the LORD. HOW GREAT IS OUR GOD? Take a few moments today and talk to HIM, thank HIM for his blessings and his goodness; praise HIM regardless of your circumstances.

Heavenly Father, thank you for the greatest gift you gave us, your Son Jesus. We could never begin to count all the blessings you have showered upon us. Forgive us for the times that we have ran away from you in the midst of the storms in our lives instead of running to you. May we always have a heart that seeks hard after you. In Jesus Name, Amen.

Published in: on September 15, 2009 at 7:27 am  Leave a Comment  

The One True Love

Some of my earliest childhood memories involved Barbie and Ken dolls, playing make believe with my childhood friends. We would have pretend Barbie and Ken weddings and in only a few short hours Barbie and Ken’s whole life would have played out on my bedroom floor. They would have a lavish wedding ceremony complete with dancing and a beautiful wedding cake. Then they would make their way to a pretty home in the suburbs and Barbie would soon find out she was pregnant and they would have a child. Day in and day out we played make believe like this with Barbie and Ken. Later on I found myself wishing these same make belief plans for myself.

In my early adult years I became fixated on the idea of marriage and family, while there is nothing wrong with wanting to have a husband and family, I was missing THE ONE whose very existence brings life to family. While I was searching for true love, I was missing out on that ONE TRUE LOVE, THE TRUE LOVE. See I had been raised in church all my life but never really knew Jesus. Yes, I had religion but I had no relationship. The two are very different. With religion, its a practice, something you do out of obligation. Just another thing on your to-do list, per se. With relationship, you choose to seek God because of who HE is, not what HE does, it’s not something you do out of obligation but out of joy and love for HIM. In my earliest memories as a child, I was raised to believe that God was this mean, hateful being in the sky that would reach down and strike me if I did wrong, so as I grew older, I went to church out of fear; I didn’t go because I loved HIM and wanted to worship HIM.

It wasn’t until February 29, 2004 that I saw God’s love for the very first time. I was sitting in a movie theatre in Greensboro, NC viewing The Passion Of The Christ. For the first time in my entire life, I saw God’s love for me. It was as if God took me by the hand and said “See Renae, this is what I’ve been trying to show you, I love you, I sent my son to die for YOU.” I was gripped emotionally! I’ll never forget the feeling of guilt, the overwhelming pit in my stomach and tears that fell off my cheeks that day. I’ll never forget that day because it’s the day I accepted Jesus into my heart as the LORD of my life. I accepted his forgiveness and his never ending mercy. I took all of my guilt, my shame, my SIN and nailed it to the Cross that day and he forgave me and accepted me as his child. I finally found that One True Love. My husband and children soon followed, thank you Jesus. All the glory and thanks for them goes to HIM.

Dearest Reader, HE is the missing link and if you don’t know HIM, YOU ARE MISSING OUT! I desired so many years to seek fulfillment in other relationships when what I needed all those years was HIM. HE will fill every void, every heartache. HE will right your wrongs. HE won’t let you down, HE won’t mislead you. (Proverbs 18:24 tells us “there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.) I promise you, HE is that friend.

Do you know HIM? If not, would you like to know HIM? Believe it or not, HE already knows you. He’s just waiting for you to ask HIM into your heart. Would you call on HIM today?

John 3:16 says “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

Romans 10:9 tells us “That if you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”

Here is how you can receive Christ:
1.Admit your need (I am a sinner).
2.Be willing to turn from your sins (repent).
3.Believe that Jesus Christ died for you on the Cross and rose from the grave.
4.Through prayer, invite Jesus Christ to come in and control your life through the Holy Spirit. (Receive Him as Lord and Savior.)

How to Pray:
Dear Lord Jesus,I know that I am a sinner and need Your forgiveness. I believe that You died for my sins. I want to turn from my sins. I now invite You to come into my heart and life. I want to trust and follow You as Lord and Savior. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

If you prayed this prayer, The Bible says… Romans 10:13 “Whoever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

Father, I pray for those that may have stumbled upon this blog and accepted you as the LORD of their life because of it. I pray that they have the courage to walk in their new faith, I pray that you will lead them to a church where they can grow and learn more about YOU. I praise you Father because it is all about YOU! For those that may have read this blog and already know YOU, Lord I thank you for them as well, I pray that this message will touch their lives and strengthen them, renew their spirits Lord and remind them of that very special day that you changed them forever! In Jesus Name, Amen!

Published in: on September 12, 2009 at 9:10 am  Leave a Comment  

What Happens When Women Say “Yes” To God

Well today is a big day for me, a special day in my journey as I walk with Christ. A couple of months ago I attended a women’s conference at our church and the speaker was Lysa Terkeurst. After the conference I picked up two of her books, “What Happens When Women Say Yes To God” and “The Bathtubs Overflowing But I Feel Drained”. I finished the first in less than a week. It was wonderful and life changing. It talks about spiritual obedience and discerning the voice of God. I can truthfully say that since reading the book, I’ve lived every day tuned into God’s call on my life, to serve him with purpose.

A few weeks after finishing the book, I got an email from our Women’s Ministry leader saying that they needed volunteers to head up women’s discipleship groups this fall and immediately I felt the Lord knocking on the door of my heart to step up and volunteer to lead a group. I emailed her back and told her about Lysa’s book, “What Happens When Women Say “Yes” To God”. She told me she’d take a look at it and let me know.

So, for the next ten weeks I’ll be standing before a group of women who have chosen to say “Yes” to studying God’s word and digging a little deeper spiritually as I have chosen to say “Yes” and teach my first ever bible study using the book called “What Happens When Women Say “Yes” To God…I don’t believe in coincidence. I do believe God is at work here and I can’t wait to see what happens…

Published in: on September 6, 2009 at 6:00 pm  Comments (1)  

The Blessedness of Answered Prayer

Psalm 28:1-2 “To you I will cry, O Lord my Rock: Do not be silent to me, Lest, if You are silent to me, I become like those who go down to the pit. Hear the voice of my supplications When I cry to You, When I lift up my hands toward Your holy sanctuary. Psalm 30:1 I will extol You, O Lord, for You have lifted me up, And have not let my foes rejoice over me. O Lord my God, I cried out to You, and You healed me. O Lord, You brought my soul up from the grave; You have kept me alive, that I should not go down to the pit.

How many times have you prayed and gotten exactly what you asked Abba (our Heavenly father) for? If you are like me, I know I couldn’t possibly begin to sit down and count the blessings he has given to me, they are endless! Now, recall how many times you prayed for something and he didn’t answer. I’m reminded of the Garth Brooks classic song “Unanswered Prayers”…goes a little something like this…In the first verse he sings about how he and his wife go to a football game and they run into his high school sweetheart and he thinks back to how much he had longed to marry this girl many years before meeting his wife and that this was his prayer and then the chorus comes along and he sings “Sometimes I thank God for unanswered prayers! Remember when your talking to the man upstairs and just because he doesn’t answer doesn’t mean he don’t care. Some of God’s greatest gifts are unanswered prayers.” While Garth has a beautiful song here, he fails to mention one obvious thing, he got an answer…God said No.

How many times, have we gotten so upset with our heavenly father because he hasn’t answered our prayer, just exactly how we’ve asked? Or in the timing in which we’ve requested? Our human nature is to want “it” (that person, place or thing) right now! I’m reminded of the passage in Isaiah 55:8-9 that says “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts”. Abba knows whats best for us today, tomorrow, next month, next year, always. He sees into the future, we cannot. Our human eyes only see what we want to see.

We so long for that person, place or thing and sometimes he says Yes. We pray and say “Lord, bless me with a child!” and he gives you 19!!!!! (Shout out to the Duggar family!! God bless you!) We pray and say “Heavenly Father, I want to meet my soulmate, the one you made just for me and the next thing you know you’ve drank six pots of coffee with that person at Denny’s and five months later your married and the rest is history! (I love you Jon!) Other times, you pray and say “Lord I’d like to buy this house, the payments work into our budget and it’s perfect for our family!!! Please bless us with it!!” What you don’t know, but HE does, is that the company you work for is getting ready go bankrupt and shut its doors and you are going to lose your job and be unemployed and he sees this and doesn’t want you to struggle making those payments. He knows that right NOW just isn’t good timing and his answer is No. Yes is a blessing! Praise him!!! The answer of No is still a blessing. Don’t mistake that and forget to thank HIM or praise him in that too! Thank HIM for looking out for you!

A couple of years ago, my husband and I longed to relocate to another place, everything seemed perfect. We prayed and prayed and finally got our answer from God and it was No and we were devastated. Torn down, falling apart, on our faces crying out why, devastated! At the time we couldn’t see what God had planned but sitting here in Rocky Mount today, full of God’s spirit, maturing in faith, we see now why his answer then was No.

Final thought: Do you serve God with a thankful/praiseful heart? Regardless of whether he has answered Yes or No?

Abba Father, thank you for your many blessings, the yes’ and the no’s. Help us to always remember that your plan for us is perfect and you have our very best interests at heart. Bless us with the opportunities to wait patiently upon you. In Jesus name! Amen.

Published in: on September 2, 2009 at 2:31 pm  Comments (3)  
  • TwitterChatter

    Error: Please make sure the Twitter account is public.