Stagger Not at the Promises

Romans 4:20-21

Morning Mediation: Stagger Not at the Promises of God- Fully Persuaded!

I was praying with my sister this morning and Romans 4:20 popped in my mind. I love this King James Version (KJV) in the photo which is what I memorized long ago. I am putting the entire passage (New Living Translation) for full context! What a promise we have in God.

“Even when there was no reason for hope, Abraham kept hoping—believing that he would become the father of many nations. For God had said to him, “That’s how many descendants you will have!” And Abraham’s faith did not weaken, even though, at about 100 years of age, he figured his body was as good as dead—and so was Sarah’s womb. Abraham never wavered in believing God’s promise. In fact, his faith grew stronger, and in this he brought glory to God. He was fully convinced that God is able to do whatever he promises. And because of Abraham’s faith, God counted him as righteous. And when God counted him as righteous, it wasn’t just for Abraham’s benefit. It was recorded for our benefit, too, assuring us that God will also count us as righteous if we believe in him, the one who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead.” Romans‬ ‭4:18-24‬ ‭NLT‬‬
https://bible.com/bible/116/rom.4.18-24.NLT

fullypersuaded #staggerNot

Morning Meditation: Galatians 5:22-23 Fruit of the Spirit

Galatians 5:22-23

“But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!” Gal.‬ ‭5:22-23‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Many of us have heard about the fruit of the Spirit, and when we read that listing, we all want them present in our lives. Who doesn’t want love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control operating in full measure in our lives. But like any fruit, it comes from seeds that have to cultivated, watered, sometimes fertilized in order for them to grow. Many times branches have to be pruned so that more energy can go into making fruit. There is definitely a growing season, because fruit certainly doesn’t happen overnight.

Seed ✨Time ✨Harvest!

And this fruit isn’t just some extra fluffy candy – like sugar on top. Love never fails and is a sign of maturity, the Joy of the Lord is our strength! Peace guards our hearts and minds and brings wholeness, Patience brings endurance. Kindness/Goodness reveal compassion and the very nature of God toward us. Faithfulness is one of God’s attributes and requires trust in Him to follow His example. Gentleness ( meekness) is a sign of humility and Gods character, and Self control – the discipline to rule oneself, David said was greater than someone conquering a city. The Holy Spirit, our helper, empowers us with all these to live a victorious live.

This passage concludes that if we were all operating in these fruit, there is no law against it- you don’t even need a natural law! These spiritual laws are above them.

Lord, help us yield to your Spirit and allow these fruit to be developed in our hearts to bring abundant life. Have your way Holy Spirit in our lives.

Morning Meditation: Galatians 5:16 Live by the Spirit

Galatians 5:16

“So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves.” Galatians‬ ‭5:16‬ ‭NLT‬‬

This sounds so simple and yet Paul describes in the following verses and elsewhere in Romans 7, the battle that we wage with our flesh to follow the Spirit, to walk in the right path, to do the right thing. There is a war within us and that’s why it’s so hard sometimes to walk in the Spirit.

I am reminded of the Native American tale of two wolves that battle inside each of us. One is evil and the other good. The one who wins is the one we feed. We are to feed the Spirit- live and be guided by the Spirit – then we won’t be moved by harmful destructive desires. My daughter used to be able to tell whether I prayed or not in the morning because I was calmer, lest hyped up.

Sewing to the Spirit in prayer, reading the word of God, fellowship with others, singing spiritual hymns and songs all magnify the sovereignty of God is every situation and put us in His presence. When we experience that peace it gets harder and harder to be shaken and distracted by life’s challenges that may have formerly caused us to derail.

Lord, help us to walk in Your Spirit where there is liberty, life and freedom, so much so that we are not tempted to cave in to sinful ways. Thank you for hiding us and strengthening us as we practice and walk this out in our daily lives. In Jesus name! #WalkintheSpirit #FeedtheSpirit

Morning meditation: Galatians 5:13 Freedom to Serve others

Galatians 5:13

For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love.”
‭‭Galatians‬ ‭5:13‬ ‭NLT‬‬

I really love how Paul builds on this narrative about the freedom we have in Christ. But it comes with some parameters. After exhorting us to stay free & warning us to keep from enslaving false doctrine, this passage now provides guidance to use this freedom God provides, not just for our own benefit but to humbly serve others.

This is counter culture which glorifies serving and indulgence on selfish desires ( beyond self care). Now that we are free we should use it to love and serve others.

As Toni Morrison famously quoted “ The function of freedom is to free someone else”. This is a good paraphrase of this scripture.

Now that God has made us free. We should be conduit of Grace, love, mercy, service and freedom for others. Help us O Lord, to walk in this kind of freedom with a heart to serve and liberate others.

Morning meditation: Galatians 5:7-10 Course Correction: Who’s holding you back?

Galatians 5:7-10

“You were running the race so well. Who has held you back from following the truth? It certainly isn’t God, for he is the one who called you to freedom. “This false teaching is like a little yeast that spreads through the whole batch of dough! I am trusting the Lord to keep you from believing false teachings. God will judge that person, whoever he is, who has been confusing you. Gal‬ ‭5:7-10‬ ‭NLT‬‬

There is so much in Galatians 5! This passage immediately follows the exhortation in vs 5 Christ has set you free! NOW make sure that you STAY FREE! Like a good. friend, Paul continues in verse 7 paraphrasing , You were doing so well – WHO is detracting you from the truth which guides your purpose, goals, (insert whatever else).

This is a pause to examine your relationships or whoever you have been listening too! The news? A new distraction? Paul is clear it is a WHO. In this case, he is calling out false teaching that was requiring an old practice of circumcision as a requirement of righteousness. It had an “appearance” of a good thing to show off our intention, but Paul called it out as false principle that was gaining traction!

This distraction is clearly not from God either, who is calling us into Freedom! God knows us so well and our propensity to fall into performative works based religion, rather faith-based relationship!

Likewise, it may not seem like a big thing to you ( or it may even appear like it’s in alignment) but as Paul notes, if it is not judged it is like yeast where a tiny bit permeates the whole loaf! We must nip this thing in the bud!

As we bring these things to God, He will keep us from believing whatever may cause us to detour, AND HE will judge the person who caused the confusion. So thankful that God gives us counsel and provides these course corrections to keep us on the path of Freedom #Thankful

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Morning Meditations: Galatians 5 Stay Free

Galatians 5:1

“So Christ has truly set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don’t get tied up again in slavery to the law.” Galatians‬ ‭5:1‬ ‭NLT‬‬

When I read Galatians 5 at the end of October, I was really provoked to study it during this November, my birthday month, because so many verses were encouraging, spoke to self reflection, and walking in freedom! Holy Spirit Activate!

From the first verse, it starts off with a bang, proclaiming now that Christ has set us free, we need to make sure we STAY FREE! This means we have do our part in maintaining the freedom that Christ brings! And the first thing to avoid is not getting entangled in the legalistic performance based mindset of earning our way to freedom. The law of do’s and dont’s. And it says don’t get tied up AGAIN, which means that is is something that we have struggled with before. It takes effort to cast off old mindsets, unhealthy beliefs, etc to fully embrace that Christ brings!

Now thankfully, the scriptures tell us that His burden is light and that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. If we keep our focus on Christ Jesus, we are consumed with His light, His glory, His peace, His limitless possibilities and those former things no longer have power over us. Hallelujah!

Galatians 5 verses in a nutshell in following posts:
✨Stay Free
✨Who is holding you Back?
✨Use your freedom to Serve
✨Live by the Spirit
✨Fruit of the Spirit in you
✨Follow the Spirit’s Leading

Reflections Psalms 92:4-5

You thrill me, Lord, with all you have done for me! I sing for joy because of what you have done. O Lord, what great works you do! And how deep are your thoughts.”
Psalms‬ ‭92:4-5‬ ‭NLT‬‬

When we consider all that God has done for us personally and His wonderful works- His creation, His omnipotence, His salvation and His great love, we are filled with elation and joy!

David wondered in awe in Ps 8, how the God who made the glorious stars and heavens was mindful of us mere humans, to care for, empower and lavish His love on us.

Job exclaimed after his tribulations in Job 42, of things “to wonderful for me” when he finally saw who God truly was. He was complaining about His circumstances and had a limited view of who God was, but then experienced God is a new way and found joy.

The word joy is mentioned over 100 times in the Bible and “rejoice” is mentioned over 60 times. It is an essential component in our walk with God, and it’s source is derived and fueled by God Himself. This joy that God provides strengthens us to remain steadfast, optimistic and hopeful in challenging times. (Neh. 8:10)

While these verses focus on praising God for what He has done, we can always sing praises to God whether we are on the mountain top or in the valley- because God is always worthy, always good. He inhabits our praises, and in His presence there is always fullness of Joy, there is life, light and peace. Thank you Lord! #Rejoice #Joy #Praise #godshandiwork

Wisdom Fruit: Journey in Proverbs 3 – the Conclusion

Proverbs 3:33-35

“The Lord curses the house of the wicked, but he blesses the home of the upright. The Lord mocks the mockers but is gracious to the humble. The wise inherit honor, but fools are put to shame!” Proverbs 3:33-35 NLT

As we close out the final verses of Proverbs 3, we see that unlike the previous verses there is no command,or exhortation, but a listing of stark consequences to those who honor God and His precepts and those who choose unrighteousness. These are spiritual realities that are also mentioned previously in Proverbs and most notably in Deuteronomy 30, so that we understand that there are consequences to the decisions and choices we make. As Deut.30:19 says so poignantly, “Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live!”

The Lord not only detests the wicked, but He curses the entire household of the wicked included their dealings and concerns. People who willfully harm are far from the heart of God and bring misfortune not only on themselves but their families. However, God blesses the home, the habitation, of the upright, those who follow Him. This chapter already highlights the benefits of God’s principles and He brings those temporal (physical) and spiritual blessings to the entire households of the upright.

Likewise, those who mock and pridefully scorn God’s precepts and others, bring down the Lord’s scorn on themselves. But again, we see that God extends His abundant grace and favor to those who are humble, who yield to His counsel and serve others. Humility also means that we learn to trust God and seek His help when challenges or uncertainty arise. God extends his grace and blessing to those who trust Him.

The final verse of Proverbs 3 closes with the honor ( and glory) that comes when we operate and align our lives with wisdom and God’s principles. Solomon leaves his audience with the lasting inheritance of favor that wisdom brings that has generational impact. But the foolish, or “self-confident fools” receive a legacy of shame. Because they ridicule or ignore what is right and just, they bring about dishonor and contempt.

Lord, help us to trust in You alone, and help us to embrace all wisdom to learn, act and walk in Your principles, precepts that lead to life, abundance, grace and blessing not only for ourselves, but for our families, neighbors and our communities. Our desire is to honor and please you with our lives always.

Wisdom Fruit: Journey in Proverbs 3 – No Oppression

Proverbs 3:31-32

Don’t envy violent people or copy their ways. Such wicked people are detestable to the Lord, but he offers his friendship to the godly.”
‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭3:31-32‬ ‭NLT‬‬

https://www.bible.com/116/pro.3.31-32.nlt.

This is a relevant word for today, as our culture is shaped and influenced by violence. It has even seeped into theology, because of scriptures taken out of context. But this passage makes it very clear that God does not condone (He despises) violent people, calling them wicked and detestable. The Bible also refers to violent people as oppressors and perverse. does mince words.

Why would anyone “envy” a violent person or copy their ways? Well, throughout history and. especially today, society rewards violent and oppressive regimes. They gain power by cruelty, deviance, unethical or conniving ways and use similar tactics to stay in power. That power is what many people envy, and they may be tempted to use similar tactics to gain / maintain power. This passage is a direct appeal to our hearts to not envy these people or to copy, mimic or follow any attributes or ways of oppressive violent people. When we embrace violence and violent oppressive tactics, we are not operating in wisdom or faith in God.

It is wonderful that the verse ends with God extending His friendship & deeper relationship with those who follow Him and His ways. That friendship is also called a confidently communion and sweet counsel. He invites us into closer counsel with Him as we walk in His precepts.

Wisdom Fruit: A Journey in Proverbs 3- It’s a Heart Thing

Proverbs 3:29-30

“Don’t plot harm against your neighbor, for those who live nearby trust you. Don’t pick a fight without reason, when no one has done you harm.”
‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭3:29-30‬ ‭NLT‬‬

In this passage Solomon is going deeper to say that not only do our actions matter ( previous verses) but our motives matter! Heb 4:12 says “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” Wisdom prunes and molds our character so we can be transformed in Gods image.

Sometimes we do things for others yet secretly hold resentment against them. Don’t allow thoughts of ill will or revenge get in your heart, especially those closer to you. The scripture uses the word neighbor, because it’s those people that are in our nearby community- it could be our families, friends, classmates, and colleagues at work. These people in our lives trust us, and we shouldn’t betray that trust! Jesus defined neighbor even further in the Good Samaritan parable, saying our neighbor is anyone who crosses our path in need. Our motives toward our neighbor should always be to bless, love, and support.

Additionally, even though we get frustrated sometimes, we shouldn’t take that out on others. My mother used to say, “hurt or unhappy people, hurt other people.” At no time should we instigate a fight with anyone who has not harmed us. Proverbs 16:32 says “He who is slow to anger is better than a warrior, and he who controls his temper is greater than one who captures a city.

Situations come to test us, and how we respond shows us what is in our hearts. Jer. 17:9 says that the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick. It causes us, many times through rash emotions, so do many things we later regret. That is why we must meditate on the Word of God to let it penetrate to the core of who we are and let it transform us from the inside out. David prayed in Ps 139 “Search me,God, know my heart: try me, know my thoughts: see if there be any wicked way in me, lead me in the way everlasting.”