Warnings to Christians about unbelievers

We should definitely be wary of the wolf in sheep's clothing. The great pretender is Satan who tries to disguise himself as an angel of light, but is actually the darkness and depths of the pit.

There are many who do profess Jesus, but who do not posses Him and the Holy Spirit does not indwell them. They are those who pretend to be in the body of Christ, but who are people that Christ does not recognize. (This is not to say that these people will never know Christ, just that the wickedness they commit and stir up only produces rotten fruit.)

1 Corinthians 13 is the Christian plumb line. It is a description of agape kind of love which only comes from the Father and is gifted to us to pour out on others as we become more and more full of the Holy Spirit. Agape is active and is quite literally, love in action. Which is why Peter had such a hard time understanding what Jesus was asking in His question, "Peter, do you love Me?" Jesus was talking about full-blown love displayed by the action of feeding His sheep. Peter was insisting that He loved Jesus Himself, and Jesus wanted Peter's proof of love with actions.

Hebrew 3:12 Watch out, brothers, so that there won't be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart that departs from the living God.

This is a warning to Christians to keep their congregations pure from the world. Because of several other verses... Hebrews 10:22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, our hearts sprinkled [clean] from an evil conscience and our bodies washed in pure water.

Where does the true heart come from? Only from God. Man cannot achieve it alone.

Psalm 17:3 You have tested my heart; You have visited by night; You have tried me and found nothing [evil]; I have determined that my mouth will not sin. [Or [evil]; my mouth will not sin] David claims God found nothing evil in his heart after searching it... yet, David did commit adultery. The lust in his heart for Bathsheba was not always there. David should have been with his army fighting that battle instead of reclining by the fire and eating bonbons. But there is one thing to cling to 1 Samuel 15:13 So Samuel took the horn of oil, anointed him in the presence of his brothers, and the Spirit of the LORD took control of David from that day forward. The black sins of murder and adultery were events in David's choices, but they do not define him. David was the apple of God's eye.

But David still sinned with Bathsheba. David still prayed for God to keep him safe from evil. Psalm 141:4 Do not let my heart turn to any evil thing or wickedly perform reckless acts with men who commit sin. Do not let me feast on their delicacies. It is only the foolish that live godlessly and the wicked that God hates. Prov 3:32 for the devious are detestable to the LORD, but He is a friend to the upright. Isaiah 32:6 6 For a fool speaks foolishness and his mind plots iniquity. He lives in a godless way and speaks falsely about the LORD. He leaves the hungry empty and deprives the thirsty of drink.

Another example of a warning to believers against unbelievers in their midst is the letter to Pergamum 14 But I have a few things against you. You have some there who hold to the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to place a stumbling block in front of the sons of Israel: to eat meat sacrificed to idols and to commit sexual immorality. 15 In the same way, you also have those who hold to the teaching of the Nicolaitans. 16 Therefore repent! Otherwise, I will come to you quickly and fight against them with the sword of My mouth. Them, not you. Interesting.

An example of warning to unbelievers is the letter to Laodicea. 16 So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I am going to vomit you out of My mouth. I believe this is to unbelievers because according to Jesus and the writers of the New Testament, the Holy Spirit lives within us and He becomes one with us (John 17) and in doing so, God creates a completely new creature. 2 Cor 5:17 Therefore if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation; old things have passed away, and look, new things [Other mss read look, all new things] have come. Galatians 6:15 For [ Other mss add in Christ Jesus] both circumcision and uncircumcision mean nothing; [what matters] instead is a new creation. To spew out of the mouth means that it never went to the stomach. It was intimate, but the relationship never developed into full agape love.

This letter also says that these people are naked, blind and poor even though they do not know it. Believers are not naked. Matt 22:11 And the king having come in to view those reclining, saw there a man not clothed with clothing of the marriage-feast, 2 Cor 5:3 if so be that, having clothed ourselves, we shall not be found naked. There are lots of verses that describe Believers as rich and as having Spiritual 20/20 vision and discernment.

Jesus says He will spew them out of His mouth. What we have here is a warning to the pretend Christians. Those who go to church and go through the motions of being Christian, who live a public life beyond reproach but their hearts are black with sin, never being circumcised and therefore insensitive to the Holy Spirit, even perhaps insensitive to their own conscience. They are absolutely miserable, and don't know why they are miserable. They think because they are wealthy according to the world's standards and go to church, they are saved.

Not so.

It is these black hearts that we must be wary against because they live a make-believe righteousness that is sickening to God. These are the misguided ones and can cause quite a bit of strife amongst God's children.

5 Ways to Give Mercy

How often have you thought today: "Jesus really, truly, and deeply loves me! Little ole, human me!"

Have you recently thought about the depth and breadth of mercy that Jesus poured over us dirty, filthy sinners by loving us so much He went to the cross? He loved us first, even the stubborn ones who hang on to the mistaken belief that trusting God is like facing a raging grizzly -- a life full of unpredictable danger and strife.

That is exactly what life is like without God's mercy and grace.

Matthew 12:6-8 But I say to you, One greater than the temple is here. 7 But if you had known what this is, "I desire mercy and not sacrifice," you would not have condemned the guiltless.

We like to watch a show called Forensic Files. The other day I was very surprised that a fellow who had killed a woman's daughter was spared the death sentence because the mother had pleaded for his life. She said that as long as there was life there was hope for him to repent. That kind of mercy is rare between and among humans.

Often times the victim's family cry out for vengeance not mercy.

What about that sacrifice part?

What good does that do? Not one slender whit, which happens to be much smaller than a splinter, by the way.

Mercy and forgiveness is valued by God much greater than sacrifice is. If the Hebrews had learned this, if the Jews had learned this, then they would never have turned away from Jesus. They never understood that Jesus, a completely sinless person, had to take all the sin of the world upon Himself so that we humans could be free of sin. Well, at least those humans that believe Him. Jesus said from the cross, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do!”

Mercy is that thing that God gave us while we were still sinners. Forgiveness is what He gave us as He watched His Son go to the cross. According to the worldly thinking, that is impossible. I look around and see so much hate and so much unforgiveness and bitterness. What is so sad is that most people cannot see unforgiveness for the cancer it is. How much energy is wasted by harboring hatred and unforgiveness? It does not mean that we have to fraternize with those who have hurt us, nor do we have to allow them the opportunity to do it to us again. Jesus said to be wise as serpents but harmless as doves (Matthew 10:16).

How do we do that?

1. Be willing to let go of the hurt. If we keep rolling that hurt around in our minds, nurturing the anger, nursing the hurt, reveling in the injustice of it all, we are merely playing into Satan's hands and opening our armor for the fiery dart of bitterness. Make no mistake, we can hide our feelings from friends and loved ones, but we cannot hide them from Satan. He knows our weakness and exploits it to the hilt of that dart. There is the sting. It is not the hurt from the betrayal or the hurtful words or the lack of support which deeply hurts. Of course it does. But time does heal wounds from the outside. Those self-inflicted wounds of anger kept alive, and bitterness which we keep open and bleeding by continuous poking and prodding turn to stinging cancer.

Examine that and see if it is really as bad as it feels. Sometimes, we blow things out of proportion and add importance to nit-picky things. Oh, come on, you can think of at least one time when you did that. I can think of a dozen. I am not belittling that really huge thing like infidelity. Been there, too. That kind of anger takes several years to work through. But, oh how great freedom felt when I finally let that last bit of anger go.

2. Decide to give mercy and to forgive. It absolutely is a decision. Just like deciding to lose weight or quit smoking or deciding on a worship lifestyle instead of a worldly lifestyle.

3. Understand it will take lots of time. We have the Holy Spirit inside us and we have the mind of Christ, but we are not God. It takes a lot longer for us because we've got so much more to influence us. The world, our friends and acquaintances who, sad to say, "egg" us on.

4. Set the thoughts of anger aside. Paul said to get angry but do not sin. That kind of anger is over some injustice. God does not hurt us. Nothing hurts a child of God that is a just hurt. He may discipline us and chastise us for our unruly behavior, but He will never harm us or hurt us. It is our pride that gets hurt so often, and when it is bruised, it is painful. So setting aside the thoughts also includes setting aside pride. It only gets in the way of forgiveness and gives fuel to the flame to anger. God does not like it when someone messes with His kid. His vengeance is so much wiser and so much better than ours ever could be. The question here is how can we expect mercy and forgiveness from God when we harbor unforgiveness toward a brother or sister in Christ?

5. Obey God’s command. It is commanded that we forgive our brothers and sisters in Christ anything. That hard verse comes to mind. Forgive or your Father in Heaven will not forgive you. However, giving mercy truly expresses God's heart. Doing that we begin to truly look like Him.

Luke 6:37 Judge not, and in no way be judged. Do not condemn, and in no way you will be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. 38 Give, and good measure will be given to you, pressed down and shaken together, and running over, they will give into your bosom. For the same measure which you measure, it will be measured back to you.

If that isn't "What goes around comes around," I don't know what is. Not that karma stuff, but truly as we pour out blessings on others, God pours more and more blessings on us. We cannot out give God.

“But what about unbelievers?” Good, no, excellent question. Have you ever noticed how Jesus so often answered a question with a question?

Can a believer nurture anger and bitterness toward someone not a believer and still have room in his heart for God? How does that draw more lost to God?

Loving pleasure or loving to please?

There are certain things that just naturally give pleasure. I can look about my grandbabies' smiles and my heart just overflows. Joy abounds. I am so thankful! I prayed for so many years for a grandbaby and God answered that prayer with not one, but two grandbabies this year. One from each daughter.

We derive pleasure from what others do for us, and from what we do for others there is a certain pleasure that comes from altruism. But God says:

The one who loves pleasure will become a poor man; whoever loves wine and oil will not get rich. Proverbs 21:17

In these days of soft-soap Christianity and the feel-good-do-it society, I've noticed that people reach for that pleasure factor in worshiping our Lord God Almighty. Have you noticed that?

I think there is nothing wrong with going to God for the pure pleasure of it. In fact it gives great pleasure to believers to go into the Throne Room to worship and bring praises to God our creator and our deliverer. But just as Solomon found out there is a limit to how pleasure pleases the mind and the body (Ecclesiastes 2) It becomes empty.

It is exactly like marrying a woman for her body... eventually a person gets exhausted of nothing but pleasure and it then comes to a point where there is no more satisfaction in the pleasure act and cravings begin to develop for something more than just pleasure. We are created that way--different aspects and facets to the same jewel.

I think pursuit of pleasure as a motivation to serve does seem a bit selfish. It is the same as the end justifying the means which is wrong thinking. Our motivation should be a deep desire to please and not so much focused on our own pleasure, although that is a great benefit.

After all to obey is better than sacrifice and to pay attention is better than the fat of rams. 1 Samuel 14:22

Who can I speak to and give such a warning [and bear witness] that they will listen? Look, their ear is uncircumcised, [ = unresponsive to God] so they cannot pay attention. See, the word of the LORD has become contemptible to them— they find no pleasure in it. Jeremiah 6:10


God searches the hearts of men all over the world, but the hearts of those that serve Him are of the most special interest to Him. If God finds a self-serving motive--such as pleasure seeking-- how true is that Believer's heart? Where is the sacrifice? Where is the fat of rams?

And here is where I have the problem with the pleasure-motivated service to God. Where does the personal agenda cease and the neck bend, the will submit to God's will and His agenda?

Jesus for the sake of the joy ahead... that was to come, endured the cross. How hard that struggle was for Jesus knew the torture and pain yet He willingly set His face toward it. He looked past the shame to the joy, (notice it the word in that Scripture is not happiness) beyond the cross.

So... with that in mind, how enduring is a pleasure-based motive to serve God? When the trials and troubles come, does the pleasure motive have roots deep enough to withstand the storm?

Since God is love and His gift to His children is His enduring love, it holds true that the love-based motive is stronger and more enduring, and longer-lasting than the pleasure-based motive. Here is the thing, if a person does good deeds simply because it makes them feel good, does that diminish the good deed's worth? Perhaps in the sight of God it does, perhaps not to the person receiving the good deed.

Seeking to enjoy God for the pure pleasure of His company and the pure pleasure it brings is very okay! That is the fun time, that is the dancing time and it is enjoying Him that gives strength for the other times that are not so enjoyable when He calls us to sacrifice for Him.

Sacrifice is all about Him and none of self. It is all about obedience and none of selfish desire. Since God searches the hearts of man, Jeremiah 17:10 I, Jehovah, search the heart, I try the reins, even to give to each man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings. Therefore, pleasure is a poor motivator for the things of the heart that would please God. He promises that if we delight in Him, then He will give us our heart's desires.


Does that mean that our desires are given to us, or does it mean that He puts desires in our hearts? I would that He put His own desires in my heart, then I know I would delight in Him and delight Him. How great that is... putting a smile on God's face! To please Him brings great pleasure, but that kind of pleasure is much more pleasant. It doesn't depend upon another person, or even upon one's self. It just bubbles up and pours all over us like a the spring in a well-watered garden. Isaiah 58.

Grace does not run in the blood





Grace pours out from Heaven in such a flood that it cannot even be compared to Niagra Falls. But grace does not run in bloodlines.

A study of Jesus' lineage shows a curious mixture of good and bad royalty. Even in those written in the Hall of Faith in Hebrews were counted righteous, but certainly were not sinless. Humans have this wonderful tendency to be oh so very good, but when bad are particularly horrid.

Something I had not thought about before is those wicked kings that show up in Jesus’ lineage. Matthew Henry points out that grace does not run in the blood. Here’s what he says:

Some observe what a mixture there was of good and bad in the succession of these kings; as for instance (Matt. 1:7-8), wicked Roboam begat wicked Abia; wicked Abia begat good Asa; good Asa begat good Josaphat; good Josaphat begat wicked Joram. Grace does not run in the blood, neither does reigning sin. God's grace is his own, and he gives or withholds it as he pleases.

Often times we think because of who our father is or who our mother is  that gives us a hall pass to do as we please. Some of that is ego, but most of it comes from a false belief of entitlement. That respect paid to the “great” person in our life has a tendency to bleed down (or over) to us, but it truly is because of nothing we have done.

By the same token, that respect and love given to us as believer in Christ from other believers in Christ first comes because Jesus commanded it, then as relationships blossom, that trust and respect comes to us because of who we are in Christ, how we relate to others, and even our return of respect and love.

Then, because we are humans and fallible, something goes wrong, tension rises, anger flares, feelings are hurt and we suddenly withdraw our trust of the other believer. We steer clear of him or her. We hold grudges. We might hold back gossiping about it, and feel very pious about it. When all the time Jesus is saying, “Forgive, love, because that is the only way the world knows Who I AM!”
Grace.

Just as God delivers grace to those whom He will so, too, should we. Who are we to withhold grace from our brothers and sisters in Christ when the ultimate forgiveness and love was poured out from Heaven to the cross and swept the world?

Grace does not run in the bloodlines, but is a definite choice. There are we happy. That is a two-way heart throb that God pours out from Heaven directly into our hearts if we open them up to it. We sing the song, Open the Eyes of My Heart, Lord. My question is, how can He if we lock the doors of our heart and keep them embedded in stone?

Sgt. Tahmooressi ordered RELEASED!



Marine Sgt. Tahmooressi Just Ordered to Be Immediately Released From Mexican Jail by Judge

Marine Sgt. Tahmooressi Just Ordered to Be Immediately Released From Mexican Jail by Judge

Marine veteran Sergeant Andrew Tahmooressi has been ordered to be immediately released from a Tijuana jail, following a Mexican federal judge's ruling late Friday. Tahmooressi, who moved to San Diego to receive treatment for Post Traumatic St... Read more…

Millennials and Their Bibles


Recent study from George Barna reports some not so surprising news...




"However, these practices aren't always appreciated by others in their generation. While many Christians might hope that Bible-based films or sharing Scripture online would reach non-Christians, our research suggests the opposite. Non-Christians tend to be more skeptical of biblical films and often feel turned off or alienated by seeing Scripture shared via social media. On the other hand, in the rare cases when non-Christians have increased their Bible reading in the past year, they often did so as a result of seeing how Scripture changed someone they knew. Such responses emphasize the importance of meaningful relationships and evidence of life transformation.

"Finally, for non-Christian Millennials, the ‘brand' of the Bible is a negative one," Kinnaman continues. "The depth and range of these perceptions signal difficult challenges for younger adults who still believe in the Bible. As Bible skepticism increases in their generation, Christian Millennials will have to face those criticisms head on and wrestle with the implications for their own beliefs. Yet when it comes to the Bible—more than many other areas of their faith—Millennial Christians are starting off on comparatively solid ground."


Unbelieving Millennials don't get saved by reading Christian fiction books or by watching Christian movies. Is that a big surprise to anyone?

How does anyone get saved these days? Only through the conviction of the Holy Spirit. However, I am still saddened that Millennials have dropped away from the church. They say they want to use their gifts and their skills right away and not wait year upon year to grow into a position when someone dies.

This is why we really need to make sure we use the whole body and not just pieces parts of it. Otherwise those parts not used will atrophy. Does that surprise anyone?


Genesis...

Can you name what was created on which day... the first chapter of Genesis?
I could not. I thought I could, but I didn't remember them in the right order and I completely forgot about the little creepy crawlies. Living in South Mississippi, which is full of them, I just as soon forget them and prefer they never invade my living space.

In a Sunday school class one Sunday morning, we shut our Bibles and tried to name each thing that God created and which day He created it. Can you name them all?

Even with 12 minds and hearts put together we discovered that we didn't know them so well. [Insert shocked look] I did not cheat, either. When I studied the lesson the morning before I tried to name everything in order and couldn't so I figured that would be a good way to study the first chapter of Genesis. The ladies in my class were intrigued by looking between the lines of each 24-hour period.

Here we see a remarkable thing. God created something from nothing, because it was void, empty, nothing. Anyone who believes in the Big Bang, has to have a huge amount of faith because they believe something was there to begin with. But where did that something come from? Where did gravity originate? How could the law of gravity suddenly happen?

So we opened our Bibles, and looked really closely at each verse... looked at the different things between the lines... Like the fact God created things old and ready to seed and bearing fruit. He had to do that because it was what Adam and Eve would be eating, not to mention every beast of the field, all the cattle and other creepy crawlies. I firmly believe that when God said it was morning and it was evening of the first day, that meant He had created time, 24 hours meant a day, a yom. He didn't mean it was an era of time. That would be ridiculous to have an era of light and dark, and then an era of waters and firmament, then an era of grass and seeds and trees that fruit, and then an era of separation of lights of the day and lights of the dark on the fourth day. How could grass and trees survive without the sun's light? It had to be 24 hours lest they wither and die in the era of darkness.

There is something to make you go hmmmmm

God created the things of the earth old. He created it all for humans lest they starve waiting for a tree to grow big enough to bear fruit.

Then we see that God created all things vegetarian. The food chain was herbs and seeds and fruits, not large animals eating small animals, or humans eating small animals. The first recorded death in the Bible is the animals God slew to cover Adam and Eve after their disobedience. Sin brought violence into the world and it brought carnivores.

But, God let down a sheet for Peter to study, and He told Peter to rise up, kill and eat. That sheet had everything on it that was not "clean" according to Jewish law. Otherwise Peter would not have told the LORD, "No, I haven't ever eaten anything unclean, Lord. I won't start now."

God said, "What I have called clean, is clean and let no man call unclean."

Only God can create something from nothing.

Only God can cleanse.

Only God can make us holy.

From one man came sin and violence into the world and through one Man we are clean and holy. Amen.

I will bring the Victory


Digging around in my desk, looking for some paper or something, I found a copy of something else that has the number 46 at the bottom of it. Someone told me it is from Frances J. Roberts. Her devotion book Come Away My Beloved has been updated many times from 1960 to 2002 . I truly needed to read this again today. It is an amazing piece of prose.

Oh my child, have I ever failed thee? Have I ever turned my back on thee? 

Is the way it starts out. God has never, ever failed me, or forsaken me and has never turned His back on me. That is something that I cannot say about any one human being. At some point in time every friend or person that I have trusted has let me down in some way. And that is the best blessing I could ever have because in recognizing human frailties, I have always leaned most heavily on God. I am a needy person and I can never be too needy for God to deal with. He is always there, always. He's healed me, He's tucked me in His arms and carried me. He's corrected my gaffs and worked on my flaws without complaining. I know, when He is around, His Spirit takes over. Beth Moore has often said, "He hasn't come to take sides, He's come to take over!" I agree.

He says, ask and ye shall receive, knock and it shall be opened to you. What a wonderful gift that is to His children. How can we not be so bowed down with awe and worship and leaping with estatic joy? I look out my window this morning at a fantasy world. Fog in the air and close to the ground, sun rays gleaming above house and tree tops. Mourning doves softly cooing to each other.
Arresting! How can anyone experience such beauty and not bow to the majesty of God?

The precious piece ends with:
Ask for the victory. I will come and bring it. Don't look for the victory--look for Me, and ye shall see the victory that I shall bring with me. After I have come, ye shall behold the miracles that I will do.

I just love that! Look for Me and then you will see the victory. In all things lean upon Him and not our own understanding. Look for Him and He will let us find Him. Look for Him because He brings victory!

I leap with ecstatic joy when I am settled into His will and His great provision.

Don't wrestle with pigs...or pitbulls

Sage advice. Who would want to wrestle with pigs?

Isn't that just what we do when we fire back at someone who has hurt our feelings which is what Michael Hyatt is saying. It isn't worth the fight, is it, for Believers to jab and stab at every opportunity. I have heard some folks wax on proudly that they have some great debating skills like being macho with words is something to be proud of. Well, in my book it isn't. How does that edify the body?

I have also seen some people back out of a discussion simply because they hate conflict even though a person's soul was at stake! That isn't edifying the body either.

There has to be a "happy medium" somewhere and I'm not talking psychic-ally. It comes in the form of words that build up rather than tear down. A calm voice has the ability to silence the loudest shout [tweet this]. simply because of its softness My kids would be screaming in the bathtub and I would go in talking softly in a mild voice or even a whisper and they would instantly hush because they wanted to hear what I was saying.

Of course, content was important, too. If I was just saying, "Hush, now. It's all right." They'd instantly begin their screaming all over again. But, if I started talking about a snack waiting for them at the table or a storybook I wanted to read them or some other child-interesting tidbit, they would hurriedly finish their purpose in the bath, all fusses with the other forgotten.

Sad, isn't it, that adults can't be distracted so easily. I find that adults have a tenacity of purpose when they are breathing anger and murder on their way down that road to Damascus. They neither veer to the right or to the left and the puffs of fire-tinged smoke rise about them, so cloudy sometimes that I cannot fathom what they are saying.

Therefore, I'm changing the sage advice to "Don't wrestle with pigs, or with bull dogs. You'll get muddy and rabid. Neither of these is a comfortable state of being."

What's my job in the Kingdom?


We get so caught up in our everyday lives that we forget how important it is to ask that question: Do you know Jesus?


I try to live my life so that anyone I meet knows they have met Jesus through me.

Several years ago, someone paid me the highest compliment I have every gotten in my entire life. She came into my office and said, "Gina, I notice that woman up front keep talking about knowing Jesus, but she has never acted like Jesus. You, on the other hand don't talk about Him constantly, but you act like Him every day. I want what you have."


That makes tears come to my eyes. I would that I could have [i]more[/i] compliments like that, but sadly, I only have one.

We do have different gifts.
Some of us are put here specifically to encourage and edify the Body of Christ...
Some of us to reach out and draw in the lost...
Some to disciple...
Some to serve the needs and assuage the hurts and visit the sick...
Some just share the love of God with everyone they meet...

While we all have different gifts in abundance, we all have each gift in portions so that we can do God's work in any situation. Rescue the perishing, care for the dying, edify and disciple the saved, pray for the weary and the energized alike. It is God's work and we are happiest when we are busy at the very task God prepared for us from the foundation of the world.


3 Steps to Peace--Alligators at the door



…in hectic daily living.

What does your average week day morning sound like? Is it filled with soft, shuffling breezes carrying the scent of frying bacon and brewed coffee? Does the gentle sound of children’s giggles waft to you as the dulcet warmth of a hot shower cascade down your back?

Or do you hear the alligators scratching at the door?

Twenty years ago. My kids were scrambling for homework,breakfast frenzies, dogs needed feeding, dragging clean clothes from the dryer (at least they were clean), all the while trying to get mascara even and hose untwisted, the right color shoes and so on. You are up to your neck in alligators five minutes after you awaken. It was nothing like the days when the babies slept until seven o’clock and I just needed to warm a bottle, change a diaper and smiles appeared. How did the frenzies begin and then take over?

I was frazzled and wearing away at the edges. I was also horrible to live with because everything was so out of control that I felt I was buried under piles of tasks with no time to finish even the most menial of them. Or so I felt. I had forgotten Who had created time.

When we stop and think about it, Jesus did not hurry through His ministry, checking His watch or always looking over the shoulders of His disciples toward the next project.  He walked…He sat… He ate… He drank… He taught… He did not freak out.

We never see Him in a rush nor does He get in a panic.  He is the picture of peace and tranquility throughout His ministry.  As we read about Him, there are no “background” noises that are so loud we can’t “hear” what’s being said.  Everything is focused upon Him.  Why should we live our lives any differently?  In fact this is exactly what Jesus teaches us in

 Matthew 6:31-34
31What I'm trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God's giving. 32People who don't know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. 33Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don't worry about missing out. You'll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.34”Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don't get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes. The Message

I love how The Message states that favorite passage better known as Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all else will be added unto you. Steep yourself in God-reality, God-initiative, and God-provisions. A more encompassing way to say it is, Steep Yourself In God.
How do we do that when everything is calling our name and distractions are overwhelming?
Of course there is a time and place for work and duty. Boaz spoke a blessing over Ruth, in chapter 2…
                    12   ”May the LORD reward your work, and your wages be full from the LORD, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to seek refuge.”  That would be steeping in God-reality. Settling within his refuge, taking Him at His word. There is where you find a peace and quite that cannot be duplicated, packaged, or found any other place.

Steep yourself in God-reality. There is a place on Kaui Island called the Little Grand Canyon of the Pacific. When you stop the car at one of the look-outs, the quiet engulfs you. The wind may ruffle your hair or collar, but you don’t hear it because of the vastness of space before you. It is so quiet, you feel it obscene to speak in a normal voice, so you whisper and those standing ten feet away can hear you plain as if you shouted. That is how quiet it was when Jesus spoke to the storm saying only three words, “Peace. Be still.” A few minutes of utter silence does something to the soul which no doctor or psychiatrist can do in a month of Sundays. God created that place. He created the healing that quiet gives, and he understands all that we need in order to braid together the frayed ends of frazzled nerves. We get wound up so tight in daily living that we forget how creative and majestic our Almighty God truly is. He knows when the sparrow falls, and He knows when I’ve locked my keys in the car with a huge pot of seafood gumbo on the floorboard…in the heat of summer… in full sunshine. He knows and He cares. He finds a way to fix the problem if I relax and ask Him to fix it. That is a very real, living, wonderful God.

Steep yourself in God-initiative. Remember Who created time eons ago. It was He who created all of creation in six days and then rested. He created the morning and evening, and He created our bodies to recoup our energy, to dust and clean itself during its resting state. Rest is essential to being able to manage time because it gives our bodies a perfectly wound clock-sense. When we ask God to manage our time, more things get done in one hour than we can do ourselves in two hours without His help. He fashioned us and we are to serve Him. What better way to serve the Master than the Master managing our time? What better way to stay focused on a task without being sidetracked by distractions? His enterprises are why we were fashioned. He tells us this in Isaiah 44, "I have fashioned you, and you are to serve Me."

Steep yourself in God-provisions. It is a two-way street. God expects something back. In Malachi 3:10 God says, “Bring all the tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house. And test Me now with this, says Jehovah of Hosts, to see if I will not open the windows of Heaven for you, and pour out a blessing for you, until there is not enough room.” That is an If-you-do-this, then-I-will-do-this kind of statement. He promised to provide enough for today. We are to labor and be ready. I can think of no better example than the widow giving her mite as tithe and Jesus said it was greater than all the gold heaped upon the altar. He knew she would be provided for that God would take care of her even though she gave all she had. He did not send John running after her to give her back her two mites so that she might have some supper than night. He knew her heart. There is so much to learn from that small story. You can read more about that by clicking here.

Consider Matthew 10:39 “Whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” Do you feel like you have lost yourself in Him or are have you lost yourself in the world, in daily frustrations, in a hectic lifestyle?  Do you feel like you are working and pouring yourself out for others and your family but have no time for yourself…much less for God?

If God were to really take care of all your daily, monthly and yearly concerns, how would this change your attitude toward your current responsibilities?

He did say to come to Him if you labor and are heavy laden, that He would give you rest. Are you willing to let Him do that?