Saturday, March 28, 2015

   Believing in God

God is beautiful! Everything about Him is spectacular. The Lord created our dwelling place on earth with scenery that is breathtaking. When I stop and take notice of my surroundings, I'm blown away by His creativity.

Sometimes God speaks without saying a word and lets His other creations do the talking. No matter what natural setting gets your attention, He has created it for you. God is magnificent! 

There was a time when I couldn't see the Lord's creations. Raley did I feel connected with nature. I spent a lot of times outdoors, but never understood His hands were at work. 

Living an unsaved life prevented me from discovering God. On occasions, I would wonder where did the earth and the stars originate? Those thoughts were short lived and I returned to the darkness. 

I was an agnostic and placed all my faith in the scientific explanation of how the universe came to be. I thrived on arguing with believers about the nonexistence of God. I made it known to others how ridiculous it was to believe in something that wasn't tangible to the naked eye. 

Skepticism and coincidences were my outlooks on life. I doubted everything and when something unexplainable happened, I passed it off as a logical assumption. I was a stickler for facts, but never took the time to investigate the realities of my thinking. I thought my intelligence was superior and there wasn't anything I didn't know.

My mistreatment to others finally caught up with me. No one liked being around me because my attitudes and behaviors were unpredictable. I couldn't look at myself in the mirror because the guilt was overwhelming. I could no longer stand myself. I was ashamed, desperate and afraid. Loneliness consumed me and depression enslaved my spirit. 

Then, one day God reached down and grabbed me. I found myself on my knees praying for help. Shortly after humbling myself before Him things began to change.

That was three and half years ago and through following Christ daily my life is entirely different. God has restored my soul and cleansed my conscience. I'm grateful for His grace.

Believing in Christ as the savior of the world replaced my agnosticism. Trusting God has overtaken any doubt of the reality of His existence and faith explains His mysterious ways.

God's gift of salvation has paved the way to my rebirth. No matter how painful

my trials and tribulations are the comforts Christ provides is always soothing.

The spiritual awakening Christ has revealed to me is full of the Holy Spirit. I now know the difference between salvation and the penalties of living an unsaved lifestyle. Coming to believe in God has been a powerful and profound transformation.

There is no way I can repay Christ for the sacrifice He has made. All I can do is follow in His footsteps and when I fail  is to pick myself up and keep following. 

The biggest room in the world is the room for improvement. There is always room for me to continue believing in God because being left behind is tragic.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Embrace God With all Your Heart

Embracing God is all about building a personal relationship with Christ. Day in and day out. Under all circumstances. In times of joy and sorrow. No matter how close you are with God, there is always room to improve your conscious contact.
Our Messiah made no excuses in placing His Father above everything. Jesus performed many miracles. He shared God’s word with large gatherings and revealed His plan to the Apostles. He made embracing the Lord, His number one priority.

If, Christ found the time to spend with God, then we can too! 

It’s easy to use God as a bail bondsman.

How often have you heard “get me out of this one God”?

 When my personal plans take me away from devotion, my connection with God has limitations. As the result of my inactive faith, I have cut myself off from His light. 

One of the ways I know when I’m off the spiritual beam is I become irritated over small matters. I begin taking out my frustrations on others, and my gratitude for God’s gift of life is absent.

My decision of using God a little here or there is a set up for unnecessary suffering. Without Christ's aid, I lack the wisdom in responding to life the spiritual way. Under my resources, I’m in conflict with those around me, and there is no peace of mind.

   Living my life in the fast lane chokes out God’s grace. Even though I know He is there, sometimes it seems impossible to slow down and enjoy His blessings.

Am I too busy for God?

What if God took that same approach and was too busy to help me?

Where would I stand?

 It is a great relief to know that God loves us enough not to shut His door. All we have to do is continue knocking.

 We leave God out, but He's always there. 

 When I remain active in obeying Christ’s commands, then I experience a strength beyond my own. A daily courage to surrender my will to His has developed, and I’m no longer afraid to pick up my cross and walk in the salvation. I look forward to being of service to Him and others.

The Lord only wants our attention. Let’s give God our undivided attention right here and right now. The only urgent thing is to keep doing it because our eternal lives are at stake.

 Remember, God is the one who has given us a new way of living.

 Our Father allows us the freedom to choose. Making the right choice brings undeniable results.

  Choosing to embrace God, listening to His voice and putting it into action brings us in line with His divine plan. , Christ provides us the freedom from the bondage of sin and we find ourselves living a life filled with the Holy Spirit. The inner peace, we feel is no accident, but a direct result of God’s presence.

   The impact of embracing Christ with our hearts, souls and minds will be powerful. Our character will become Christ-like, and those around us will notice the essence of God. We now have in our possession a set of uncompromising Christian principles.

It’s only by your persistent efforts in following God that leads to an unshakable trust in Him. Everything you will need for eternal life is available through Christ. All you have to do is take action and carry God’s message.

    Believing there is no need to build a daily reprieve with the Lord is a false sense of security. Salvation is more than knowing Christ came to save the world. It’s a daily commitment and sometimes an hour by hour reliance on Christ to save us from unrighteous behaviors. Forgetting God is making the wrong choice. 

   Complacency is hazardous to spiritual development. It convinces you that there is no need to reach for God in all your situations. Hidden behind its web of deception are harmful and dangerous encounters.

  I have come up close and personal with the juggernaut of a complacent faith.  There was an eleven-year part of my life where my trust in God was nil, and the results were detrimental.

The relentless pain and suffering was unbearable. My life spiraled out of control. Left in the wake of my unmanageable life was the damage I caused to those who loved me.

   Then one day God got my attention. I found myself on my knees praying for help. Shortly after humbling myself before Him things began to change.
That was four years ago and through following Christ daily my life is entirely different. God has restored my soul and cleanse my conscience. I am grateful for His glory.

  Finding serenity in the trials and tribulations of life comes from centering yourself in Christ. There is nothing in this world that can match God's love for you.

Faith without action is useless. Preparing for eternal life isn't an overnight matter. Yesterday has passed and tomorrow hasn't arrived. We only have today and neglecting our commitment to the Messiah is unwise.

What's it like for you to embrace God with all your heart?

Saturday, March 14, 2015

A Burning Desire

My life changed when God introduced me to Christ and accepted me through the Holy Spirit. I felt relieved from my troubles. A burning desire began dwelling inside my heart leading me to a Christian way of living. That precious gift of salvation has become the most important event of my life and its impact continues to be astounding.  
   My life before salvation was full of deception. Pride was at the center of my existence, and everything I did was for personal gain. Most of my motives were selfish. And when I came across as helpful  the real  truth was I wanted something in return for my time and efforts. I have been a self-seeker always looking to obtain something from you. Rarely was I genuine.

   Fear consumed me and anger engulfed my heart. I was in constant conflict with anyone that entered into my personal space. Resentments filled my spirit and were kept active by replaying the injurious incidents (fancied or real) over and again in my mind. The revenge syndrome fueled my rage.

   I couldn’t live in my skin because there was something missing.

  The way I use to deal with all those woes was through alcohol. I became a drunkard because my ears and eyes were deaf and blinded to God’s calling.

   The more I abused alcohol to ease the pains of life the deeper I fell into the bottomless pit of despair. 

   The Lord knew it would take a drastic set of consequences in removing my blinders. 

    And the way He intervened was allowing me to feel the pains of hopelessness.

 I had to reach that point where alcohol had its way with me before He would reach out and take my hand. My powerlessness over its paralyzing grip was devastating. Everything I tried to stop drinking failed and it only got worse.

   The alcohol made me physically sick, and it was noticeable to those around me. I was one hundred and ten pounds, and my skin was pale. My will to live was nonexistent, and I was emotionally, mentally and spiritually bankrupt. I had hit bottom and waiting in the shadow was God’s mercy.

 All I had to do was become willing to let go and let Christ take care of my will and life. The key was activating my faith and begin building a personal relationship with the Father. That has meant humbling myself before God and following the commands He reveals.  

   The suffering I endured paved the way for God to do for me what I couldn’t do for myself. He delivered me from evil and saved me through His merciful grace.

    Knowing His truth leaves no doubt about what my daily responsibilities are in remaining in His kingdom. I must pick up my cross and walk in the footsteps of Christ because failure to do so signs my misery back into the darkness of an unsaved life.

   As my desire to serve Christ continues to burn stronger the aimless direction of my life has changed to the road to eternal life.  By abandoning myself to God, I have become usefully whole. That elusive piece of life’s puzzle (God’s Truth) is now a part of my heart.

   The light of Christ is everlasting and will never stop burning. No matter what your struggles are your desire to seek and do the will of God will be well worth it!

   Missing out on Christ’ remarkable way of life would be tragic. 

 Is your life burning with a desire for Christ?


Thursday, March 5, 2015

Embracing God in Times of Grief

   One of the most profound experience any Christian can encounter with God's healing is when grief strikes. Here is  where the Lord allows us to know the difference He makes in  healing a broken heart. And the only way to find God's release from a devastating loss is to embrace Him wholeheartedly. Anything less won't do.

 Leaning heavily on Christ during a grievance, will soothe the soul and relieve the suffering.

None of us are immune from losing someone we love. There is no easy way of dealing with the pains of grief. Being alone during grief is dangerous to the heart, soul and mind because we are vulnerable, leaving an opening for the evil one to take us away from God. Without the Lord's defense in this life-changing crisis our spiritual wellbeing is at its greatest risk.

God is the only One powerful enough to overtake its paralyzing grip.

Grief is one of the toughest situations to face. The loss of a loved one brings to the surface a full range of emotional instability, and we can become overwhelmed with an incomprehensible sadness. Our lives have changed and our self-will won't be able to match the calamity with serenity. 

Only God can bring an inner peace in times of sorrow.

Some of the circumstances causing grief is difficult to swallow because evilness has done its worse. Murder, drunk driving fatalities and accidental death caused by the irresponsible actions of others are some of the most difficult situations to accept. Experiencing any one of them opens a gaping hole in our soul that seem impossible to heal. They take a toll on our minds, bodies and heart.

Grief can cause problems with our faith because death is difficult to accept, and we may question why God allows others to pass away. We may blame God or become angry with Him or even distrust Him.

Nothing good can come from taking an angry or blaming approach with God.

Moving beyond grief isn't an overnight matter. The process to get over it takes time to develop and take root. None of us knows when God will heal the wounds from such a traumatic loss. However, we are assured from witnessing others rely on Christ during their grievance and  the healing they received; then the same will hold true if we too embrace God wholeheartedly. That doesn't mean we won't miss the loved. What it does mean is that we will be healed from the emptiness we may feel from the loss.

Anger, depression, guilt, remorse and sorrow are some of the feelings associated with mourning. When we allow those feelings run riot in our hearts, our lives become unmanageable, and we suffer immensely. Holding onto those emotions prevents God from healing our brokenness and can lead to bitterness that sickens the soul. 

The good news is with Christ you don't have to handle this alone. Embracing God early in the mourning process will give you the best advantage in accepting your loss. The quicker you turn to Christ the better it becomes in finding the courage to move on with your life. Even when it's tough and you don't feel the hand of God doesn't mean He isn't there. Giving up on God allows the suffering to intensify. It's by continuing to place your faith in Christ and trusting God that will be your saving grace. 

  Christ's impact will make the difference!

Another way the Lord provides comfort to those who embrace Him is using others to help ease the pain. Dealing with grief always includes others because God designed us to have compassion with each other. The Lord works through others and one of the ways He shows His love is by providing us with the experience, strength and hope of someone who has dealt with a loss of a loved one. God fashioned us to have personal contact with each other and there isn't a more crucial time for human to human contact than in the midst of grief.

Ten years ago I came up close and personal with sorrow. My dad passed away in April of 2005. I faced the reality that I will never be able to physically see him. I didn't handle the loss well since I stayed drunk to rid myself from the discomfort. Yet when I became willing to let go and embrace God, He allowed me freedom to move beyond the hurt. I'm forever grateful for the way Christ continues to reveal God's truth in my life. 

There is no magic wand or crystal ball that can relieve the pains of the losing some we cherished. Life isn't a fairy tale. Sometimes we experience unfair circumstances and suffer from the injustices of others wrongful acts. Those situations brings us to a turning point. Either we go through them alone or seek out God. The choice is ours. 

                                         God is all powerful may you embrace Him now!