Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Contemplation...All I have is Christ.

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. 
Romans 6:23
Today I have a heavy heart. So many sad things in the world, in life, everywhere. My sister's loss of her husband, my aging parents so feeble, friends battling cancer, unsaved loved ones, my own sinful ways and aging process. Losing hair, hearing, eye sight, aching muscles, joint pain, critical nature. The list is long. I weep with tears that could fill buckets if I let them. But, the Lord interrupts and reminds me that I have Him, who knows all things, is in control of all things, and sees the Big picture of all things because He is the maker of all things. I am a comforted in this knowledge even as my sorrow lingers. The lyrics of a favorite song come to mind and I contemplate them....
All I have is Christ- Jordan Kauflin
 I once was lost in darkest night
Yet thought I knew the way
The sin that promised joy and life
Had led me to the grave
I had no hope that You would own
A rebel to Your will
And if You had not loved me first
I would refuse You still

But as I ran my hell-bound race
Indifferent to the cost
You looked upon my helpless state
And led me to the cross
And I beheld God’s love displayed
You suffered in my place
You bore the wrath reserved for me
Now all I know is grace
Hallelujah! All I have is Christ
Hallelujah! Jesus is my life

Now, Lord, I would be Yours alone
And live so all might see
The strength to follow Your commands
Could never come from me
O Father, use my ransomed life
In any way You choose
And let my song forever be
My only boast is You

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Separate lives?

Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him. Colossians 3:17

Many Christians attempt to compartmentalize their lives into sacred and secular parts.  We are aware of God for an hour on Sunday mornings and perhaps for a few minutes each day when we read the Bible and pray, but we hardly think of Him the rest of the time. Pitiful. One of the most life-transforming concepts is the realization and acknowledgement that we are in God’s presence all day, every day, every MOMENT.  We can relate to Him, serve Him, and depend on Him—at work, at play, at home, in the car, at the store, in the bedroom and in the boardroom. Even if we fail to notice Him, He knows all about us. Nothing is hidden from His sight. All of our sin, wrong thinking, selfish ways, worldly habits, critical thoughts, our idols... We can get away with nothing. Before a word is on our tongue He knows it completely.
  Question to myself. Why don't I live in this reality?

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Overcoming the world....

Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? I John 5:3-5
  In the New Testament, the word world is used in two different ways.  Sometimes it describes the earth and all its people (“Behold!  The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” John 1:29), and sometimes it refers to sinful, self-absorbed patterns of life.  When John says that believers “overcome the world, he has the second meaning in mind.
   We live in a culture that promises far more than it can deliver.  Each and every day, we are barraged by promises of beauty, riches, success, fame, and pleasure.  They claim to be able to fill our hearts and give us ultimate happiness, and quite often, we believe their lies.  If these promises came to us dressed up as demons in little red suits, we’d recognize them at once and refuse to trust them, but because their lies appear, like Satan himself, as sources of light, we are easily duped.
  Why do we need to overcome the world?  Because it can overwhelm us and distract us from our relationship with God.  These lies steal our attention, erode our faith in God, corrupt our motives, and strain our relationships.  Every part of our lives is affected, if not ruined, if we believe the false promises.
  Overcoming the world doesn’t happen by magic because we say a certain thing or by osmosis because we attend church.  Wars are won by carefully planning, marshalling resources, being courageous in action, and especially by following the directions of the commander.  In our fight with the world, we overcome when we stay close to Jesus, recognize and reject the lies we hear, and walk in obedience to Him.  The things we must overcome aren't always bad things. Hobbies, family, serving, studying. The Lord gives us a life on this earth to enjoy and a brain to pursue things, but when these things take control of our life, our time..they have become IDOLS. We place them before God and therefore are "worldly". Such an easy trap to fall into. Thinking I am safe when really I have been blindsided by Satan. 

Friday, January 25, 2019


Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.  Hebrews 12:1-2
  Somedays, too often, I struggle with frustration which often leads to anger which in turn is sin. I go to Bible study and read passages about the servanthood of Christ, yet walk away wondering how to apply this to my life. Right now. My bible class is filled with sweet Christian women. We all are good on the outside according to the world's perspective. Me included. We pray, we attend church, we aren't vulgar and wretched, we are friendly and helpful in a general way to each other. But, is that really servanthood? Just being nice?  I bring up this question for discussion during the class and am met with blank stares. Then, someone states...."Well Kathie you serve with the beautiful handmade cards you send to others"..... That is not what I am looking for. Making my beautiful cards is my hobby that I enjoy and yes,  I do share with others. But is that what Jesus requires of us...just offering up something that we already love to do? I don't know. I want another answer. I want us as a group of women to discuss the real needs of others in our church family and as sisters in Christ have a plan of action for serving them. 
   I am frustrated and need direction, peace, wisdom. In the end, I realize this must come from the Lord. I can't change anyone, I can't force others to look at the questions I have in the same way I am looking at them. I am a sinner thru and thru. I am so very thankful that the Lord saved me, continues to transform me, brings questions about my sin into my mind, convicts me of my sins, and gives me direction. How would Jesus guide me to serve others? That is my question, my focus for this time. 

Friday, January 18, 2019


 I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content:  I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound.  Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. Philippians 4:11-12
   Many of us have some mixed-up ideas about contentment.  We think that if we can just have this good thing, travel to this place, have this job, be married to this person, have a good size saving account that our life will be better.  If we can avoid certain undesirable things, then  we’ll be really happy.  If we thought about it more than a nanosecond, though, we’d realize that we know plenty of people who have this or who have successfully avoided that but still aren’t any happier than we are.  Just look at the examples of many rich and famous movie stars, sports players, political leaders.  There must be something more to contentment.....
   Somewhere along the way, Paul learned the secret of contentment.  He realized that possessions, fame, beauty, and other earthly things can be pleasant for a while, but they can never produce genuine contentment.  That comes from the inside.  We experience true contentment when external things lose their grip on our hearts and don’t matter much anymore.  Some of us get bent out of shape when we realize our favorite shirt is still at the cleaners or when we can’t find the perfect pair of shoes or when things just don't go the way we expect or want them to.  Paul’s well of contentment was so deep that he could enjoy life with or without the most basic needs.  He was content being full or going hungry, having many possessions or little to speak of, living a life 
life of ease or suffering at the hands of evil men.  He did suffer, alot.
  A poster in a college professor’s office reads, “Happiness isn’t having what you want; it’s wanting what you have.”  Jealousy, envy, and greed suck the life—and any sense of contentment—out of us.  Focus on the Lord, find joy in Him who is the author of life, joy, holiness, and love. True satisfaction can only be found in Him.

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Mistaken Identity

 “Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as serpents and innocent as doves.  “But beware of men, for they will hand you over to the courts and scourge you in their synagogues;  and you will even be brought before governors and kings for My sake, as a testimony to them and to the Gentiles. Matt 10:16-18

   Anyone with the slightest familiarity with history knows how frequently and chillingly these prophecies have been fulfilled. The fact that many of us in the West have for so long been largely exempt from the worst features of such persecution has let us lower our guard—even Christians may think that a hassle-free life is something that society owes us. But as the Judeo-Christian heritage of the West weakens, we may one day be caught up in realities that missions specialists know but that the rest of us sometimes ignore: the last century and a half have seen more converts, and more martyrs, than the first eighteen centuries combined.

Monday, January 7, 2019

Courageous Conversations...

They said to me, “The survivors who are left from the captivity in the province are there in great distress and reproach.  The wall of Jerusalem is also broken down, and its gates are burned with fire.”  So it was, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned for many days; I was fasting and praying before the God of heaven. Nehemiah 1:3-4

  Most of us spend our lives trying to project an image of beauty and competence.  Certainly, we want others to think highly of us, but one of the things I respect most are people who exhibit ruthless honesty about themselves and their situations. They are rare. I don't know if I am one of them. Nehemiah was however. 
  Nehemiah had a great job.  He was working closely with the king and he lived a life of luxury.  His heart, though, beat in unison with God’s heart.  He cared about the things God cares about and when he heard that the people in Jerusalem were suffering his heart broke.  He didn’t minimize the problem and he didn’t fly into a panic of mindless activity.  Instead, he let the brutal truth sink in, and he responded appropriately:  He sat down and wept.
  Nehemiah had a courageous conversation with the messenger and then he had a courageous conversation with God.  Only courageous people are known for their honesty.  It’s a lot easier to look the other way when we see needs in our lives or in the lives of people around us.  We can give the excuse that we’ve tried as hard as we can or that we don’t have time to help a person in need.  But excuses don’t cut it.  Like Nehemiah, we need to let the God's truth sink into our hearts so we can respond with genuine compassion. The Lord sacrificed His perfect Son that we might live and bring Him glory. How shall I live my life in light of this?

Sunday, January 6, 2019

Who is God?

 “To whom would you liken Me And make Me equal and compare Me, That we would be alike?" Isaiah 46:5
If our thinking about God is not correct then every other doctrine we apply our minds to will also be incorrect. This is the most important doctrine yet people seem to think they are free to make up their minds as to what God is like. So some who call themselves Christians say, ‘My god would never send anyone to hell.’ Such a statement is only possible if you ignore all that the Bible has to say and just impose your own thoughts on the subject. This attitude is responsible for what is possibly the greatest sin a person can commit—to reduce God to terms that are acceptable to us (Psalm 50:21). This is why in the Old Testament one of the sins that grieved God the most was idolatry. This is to substitute man-made objects and ideas in the place of the one true God (Jeremiah 10:3–5). It is a slander on the character of God and all worship that flows from it is worthless

Friday, January 4, 2019

Sincerity is not sufficient.

 There is a way which seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death. Proverbs 14:12

  “God doesn’t care what you believe, as long as you’re sincere,” say many of our culture today.  “All religions lead ultimately to the same reality. It doesn’t matter which road you take to get there, as long as you follow your chosen road faithfully. Don’t be critical of the alternative roads other people choose.”
   To those who accept the Bible as God’s Word, this is crazy. What does the Bible say about following your chosen road faithfully? “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death” (Prov 14:12). Jesus said, “The gate is wide, and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and many are those who enter by it” (Matt. 7:13). 
   It is Satan who doesn’t care what we believe—or how sincerely we believe it—as long as what we believe is error. To portray God as tolerant of all forms of worship is to deny the God of Scripture. After all, this was His first commandment: “I am the Lord your God.… You shall have no other gods before Me” (Ex. 20:2–3).
  If we believe the Bible, we cannot concede that other religions might be true as well. If we believe that Christ is Lord of all, and if we truly love Him, we cannot go along agreeing with the doctrines of those who deny Him (1 Cor. 16:22). We must stand firm against the schemes of the devil by being firmly immersed and knowledgeable in God's Word, His Doctrines, and His Truth. 
  The content of our faith is crucial. Sincerity is not sufficient. We can be sincerely wrong.

Thursday, January 3, 2019

God's word....for War or Peace?

  Like many people, I use Scripture to defend my views. But so does Satan. In Matthew 4, the devil says: “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written, ‘He will command his angels concerning you’ ”. In turn, Jesus responds with Scripture, “Again, it is written, ‘You are not to put the Lord your God to the test’ ”
   While the devil used Scripture for his own purposes, Jesus used them for God’s. This teaches us that Scripture alone isn’t enough: it must be contextualized and balanced with other Scripture.
This story raises the question, “Will we use Scripture to defend our own positions, or use it to defend God’s?” It’s easy to quote Scripture only to defend our personal theological position. Sometimes we are too focused on being “right” and not necessarily on helping other believers. However, while we might believe that being “right” will ultimately help them, it’s possible that we’re inhibiting the gospel message instead. We might even be the one driving them away.
  When we use Scripture for our own gains or battles, we are acting like Christ’s tempter—not Christ. We might think that we are defending the gospel, but if it’s not about Christ’s virgin birth, suffering, death, resurrection, or continued presence in our lives, it’s really not about the fundamental truths. It’s about our battle—about what we want. Instead, let’s act more like Christ. Let’s use Scripture in the proper context, balancing it with other Scripture.

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

No whining.....

“Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done. Revelation 22:12
We are to be rewarded, not only for work done, but for burdens borne; and I am not sure but that the brightest rewards will be for those who have borne burdens without murmuring. On that day He will take the lily, that has been growing so long among thorns, and lift it up to be the glory and wonder of all the universe; and the fragrance of that lily will draw forth ineffable praises from all the hosts of Heaven. (-Andrew Bonar)  

Tuesday, January 1, 2019


Therefore will we also serve the Lord; for He is our God. – Joshua 24:18

   To every person there comes that time when we must use our greatest power—freedom of choice.  There are set before us the good and the bad, the high and the low, the great and the small, the false and the true, the big and the little.  Out of all this we must choose.
   It is a pity that so much of our human power is consumed in making choices between those things that are material and temporal. Fading away.  So often we are content to choose only between the bad and the low, the small and the false.  It would be so much better to confine our choices to that which is good and high and the great and true and big.  It would be so much better for man to choose God.
But....we have to know Him. His word, His truth, His ways. That takes time, commitment, perseverance, ordering priorities.
   There is something final, satisfying and eternal in choosing God.  When we choose him it affects all minor decisions.  I pray I will sets my eyes more and more on Him and that the things of this earth, this life, will grow dim as I see His surpassing glory!