Change Your Perspective and Change Your Life

Holy Love

This song was ringing in my ears during my prayer time this morning so I thought I would share it with you all.

**Taken from a page in my daily devotional book**

The Oregon Coast is a thing of beauty. The craggy rocks that define the shoreline are quite a contrast from the smooth sandy beaches of California. But the long, rugged shoreline of the Northwest boasts romance and personality. The blue waters of the Pacific drench mile after mile of tide waters in which grow tall evergreen trees. The approaching waves fall like the pages of a book blown by an unexpected breeze.

Anyone who has spent time beach combing along Reedsport, Florence, or Lincoln City knows that what is lovely and beautiful to look at is at the same time a power to be reckoned with. Lives are lost each year off the Oregon Coast by those who failed to respect the mysterious force that churns beneath the tranquil glass-like sea.

The Lord is at once loving and holy. He is not to be taken lightly or dismissed as sentimental. That His love is beautiful to behold (not to mention life-changing when embraced) cannot be disputed. But His is a holy love that demands reverence and awe. When we come to Him aware of who He is, we can drink in the unequaled splendor of the Almighty God who has demonstrated His never-ending love that is deeper than the deepest sea.

The floods have lifted up, O LORD, the floods have lifted up their voice; the floods lift up their waves. The LORD on high is mightier than the noise of many waters, yea, than the mighty waves of the sea. Psalm 93:3-4

Prayer (modified): Dear Lord, help us to take time throughout our day and linger in reverent silence, being aware of the ocean-like power of your holy love. We pray that you will allow us to not only admire the beauty of your love, but reverence it and you. Lord give us opportunities daily to show and tell others of your love. In Jesus name we pray and give obedient thanks. Amen.

-Jenn

 

**Taken from a page in my daily devotional book**

Legend records that when she was a little girl, Queen Elizabeth got separated from her parents while on a hike in a forest. Afraid and alone, the young princess followed a path until she came to a cottage. An elderly woman welcomed the child into her home and proceeded to brew a pot of tea. Elizabeth explained her plight and asked for help. The woman, in whose home the princess sought refuge, was most impressed with Elizabeth’s etiquette and grace. Eventually she asked the child, “Are you someone special?” to which Elizabeth answered, “Oh no, mum. I’m no one particularly special. But my father is the king!”

What a wonderful picture of who we are and what we are called to be! In the grand scheme of things, we aren’t all that insignificant. We are easily lost in the jungle of life. We are in need of others to help us find direction. But our Father is the King of the universe. He has everything under control and is not overcome by the challenges that steal our peace. As we focus our eyes on Him instead of the obstacles around us, not only will we discover an ability to cope, we will reflect His grace and beauty. As we look to Him today, those around us will see in us a family resemblance.

Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen. I Timothy 1:17

Prayer: Celebrate the freedom you have being a creature and not a Creator. Thank God that you are not responsible for holding the world together. Express gratitude that He is.

-Jenn

Repentance

Today’s post is from a seminar on Repentance.

Repentance is a change of mind and intentions that aligns oneself with God’s righteous purposes that result in a change of behavior and outward manifestation. To repent means to change one’s direction. Example:If you are traveling South to Texas and found out that you are going North instead of South, you must repent. Meaning, you must get off the highway and turn around and go south. You MUST change directions.

This 6 letter word has its origin with God. The word repent is first mentioned in Genesis 6:6 and it has reference to God repenting (Even God Repents!) The scripture says “And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the eath, and it grieved him at his heart.

In this scripture there are 2 key words that we will look at 1. Repent 2. Grieve.

God repented-the people were so disobedient, and contrary to what they were taught an so disrespectful until God hated that he made man.The term repent or repented does not imply that God made a mistake in His dealings with men, but rather indicates a change in divine direction, resulting fromt he actions of man. This is called an “Anthro-Popathesim”-A human emotion applied to God; describing the pain that it caused God by the destructiveness of his creations.

The word grieve means to upset someone by intentional disobedience and non compliance to the word of God. This happens when one refuses to comply or cooperate and cause anguish purposefully or non-purposefully. To cause pain and undo-suffering because of disobedience! To aggravate instead of participate. To throw a wrench in the progress of a program or arrangement.

In Matthew 3:1 there came a man of God preaching in the Wilderness named John the Baptist and his message was “Repent ye for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand!”

In the Greek, the word repent is pronounced (Metaneo)which means a change of mind that results in a change of conduct. But that doesn’t mean anything unless you change your behavior. Repentance is not merely to be sorry. True repentance involves a change of mind regarding God and Sin and is often accompanied by a sense of sorrow and a corresponding change in conduct. This kind of repentance does not arise within man himself, but is the result of God’s mercy in leading man to it.

In order to do better we as women of God must repent as we go along. When we don’t line up with the Word of God, we must repent! We must make His paths straight, we must straighten and prepare our life in a right relationship with God in order to prepare for the coming of the Lord. In verses 8-10 of the 3rd chapter of Matthew, John the Baptist saw the Pharisees and Sadduces coming to his baptism and he challenged them to know that baptism was not another religious ceremony, but an outward show of an inward repentance, and that it was not for those who refused to repent or were self-righteous. When John saw them coming, he had but one question to ask them and it was, “where is your proof of repentance?” When one repents from lying, his proof is that he stops lying and so on.

John was saying to them that he doesn’t want to just hear words of repentance, but he desired to see the fruit of it. A tree is known by the fruit that it bears. Genuine repentance proves itself by the fruits of a changed life. John then rebuked them for their belief in Nationalistic Salvation, that is trusting in their forefathers, their pedigree, or their religious thought. They said, “we have Abraham to our father,” which meant that they trusted in their physical descent for salvation, rather in God which would have constituted a spiritual relationship to Abraham the “Father of Faith”. You are not saved by the length of time you have been in the church, but you are saved by obeying God’s word and repenting when you get off and do wrong.

It’s very important that we not take advantage of God’s goodness, just because he doesn’t strike you down when you know you are disobedient. You still have not gotten away. God has a time on the calendar for you because you’re going to reap just what you have sown. We often say, God is good all the time”, but do you not know that God is good to some of us to get us to repent. His goodness is supposed to lead us to repentance, not self-righteousness. Paul says in Romans 2:4, “Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?”

If you are out of order with God, not obedient to leadership, God’s goodness is only to get you to see how right God is and how wrong you are so you will repent. If one refuses to repent, the only thing left for him is judgment and you know that judgment must begin at the house of God, and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? (I Peter 4:17)

So the scripture reads in Roman 2:5 But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God; Verse 6 speaks to the fact that God will render to every man according to his deeds. In verse 7 he begins to talk about the 2 kinds of rewards, the reward of the repentant an the reward of the non-repentant. Verse 7 speaks of the repentant reward “To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life. Verse 8 speaks of the non-repentant reward. “But unto them that tribulation and anguish are contentious (self-seeking, inclined to argue, belligerent) and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath.” Verse 9-Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile; Verse 10-But glory, honor, and peace to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile.

In the book of Jonah, there was a city that was so wicked that God swore that he would destroy, unless they repent. God being such a loving God, who is not willing that any perish, but that all come to repentance; commissioned Jonah to go to Nineveh and tell them that judgment was upon their heads and that the calendar date of of their destruction was right upon them. “But God, who is rich in mercy sent Jonah with a message that had the remedy to save the city and that was to repent. For God said that he would destroy the city in 40 days unless they repent.

Let us all take a look at ourselves in the mirror of God’s word. Let us not willfully sin, but always have a repentant heart in case we have sinned. Self-examination is an important activity when when living a godly life. God is ready and willing to cover every fault in the blood of His son Jesus Christ. The bible says, blessed is the man who’s sins are covered.

-Jenn

The Potter’s Hand

**Taken from a page in my daily devotional book**

The story is told of a master pottery maker in Peru. Having heard of the distinct quality of his work, people from all over the world traveled to the outskirts of Lima in search of his unpretentious shop. It was an uncovered, uncluttered workspace exposed to the intense rays of the South American sun. As a result of forty years of continuous labor, the potter’s sun-baked skin resembled the dark reddish-brown clay he shaped into beautiful pots and bowls.

What distinguished this artisan’s pottery was a small indentation that every piece boasted. The notch-like feature at first glance might be considered a flaw. But it was not. It was the result of a claw-like digit on the potter’s right hand. He was born with it instead of a thumb. The shriveled stub and its permanent sharp fingernail imprinted the clay as it was fashioned in its final form. What had been a source of endless humiliation as a child had become the signature of success.

Although our Creator’s fashioning hands are not deformed, as He shapes us into His image, the evidence of His fingerprints in our lives render us valuable and priceless in His eyes. Celebrate the worth He sees as He looks at you today.

But now, O LORD, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand. Isaiah 64:8

Prayer (modified): Dear Lord, we thank you for shaping and molding us into your glorious image. We pray that you will help us increase in faith, and have a change in perspective about the molding and shaping process. Help us to always be malleable in your hands, so that your will is accomplished in our lives. In Jesus name we pray and give thanks. Amen.

-Jenn

What is affliction?

Affliction-a state of pain, distress, or grief, misery; a cause of mental or bodily pain, as sickness, loss, calamity, or persecution; mishap, trouble, tribulation, catastrophe, disaster; adversity, misfortune, trial; refer to an event or circumstance that is hard to bear

According to the definition, many would say that affliction is a bad thing. Well lets look at it from a different perspective.

Hebrews 11:23-25 talks about Moses choosing to suffer affliction with the Israelites instead of enjoying the pleasures of sin for a season. Can you choose whether or not you suffer affliction? I say no. You can choose how affliction affects you. Every one, whether they be a saint or sinner will suffer affliction. If you haven’t met affliction, I will say what my grandpa says, “Keep living.” If Moses would have stayed in Pharaoh’s house, he would have had a different type of affliction. When we choose to suffer affliction while living a godly life, we have a real source of strength to draw from, and afflictions aren’t so unbearable. One type of affliction is being tried in the fire. Maybe it’s the fire of persecution, family issues, financial hardship, temptation, etc.

Let me give you an illustration. When a potter makes a vessel, its shaped and decorated, then it is placed in the fire. It is only after firing, that the article is pottery. When it is taken out, the colors are shown and it’s polished (shiny), ready to be put to work. We are not ready to be put to work until we’ve been through some type of shaping and firing process.  No one can tell a person how to do Algebra if they haven’t studied math past adding, subtracting, dividing, and multiplying. No one can tell a widow how to deal with the loss of her husband if they haven’t lost one. Experience births advice, counsel, encouragement, teachable moments, etc. One thing that you should take note of, is that the pottery is not in the fire forever.

When you are facing fiery trials and afflictions, remember as women of God, you are not alone. Look at Daniel chapter 3 verses 21-29. If you aren’t familiar with the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, you may need to read the whole chapter. They were thrown into a fiery furnace because of the stand they took. They refused to bow down to the image King Nebuchadnezzar had set up. After they were thrown in, the king observed that there were 4 men walking around in the furnace when they threw 3 men in bound. After he observed this, he called Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego out. He didn’t say, “You four come out of there,” but he called them out by name. Therefore, we can take solace in the fact that the fourth person in the fire, the Son of God, stayed in. He knew that one day you and I would be tossed in fiery furnace situations and would need Him to walk with us.

I Peter 1:6-7 Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: that the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:

Note: Gold, when placed in the fire doesn’t lose any thing but it’s impurities.

Hopefully at this point, your perspective is changing about afflictions. Here are some more scriptures to help you with this subject:

I Peter 5:10 But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.

Romans 8:18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

II Corinthians 4:17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;

If we patiently endure in faith, blessings of comfort and hope will come into our lives, and we will be able to partake of that incomprehensible joy. Great eternal blessings come to those who endure affliction.

Prayer-God we thank you for your goodness, your grace, and your mercy. We thank you for our light afflictions, tests and trials. Your word says to give thanks in all things. We realize that the things we endure are for our making and are not meant to destroy us. We are grateful to know that Jesus is with us while we go through. Our friend that sticks closer than a brother or sister. We pray that  you will continue to open our minds and change our perspectives about you, your word, and your will. We believe that you will answer our prayers. We thank you in advance. Amen.

-Jenn

Pour Out My Heart

**Taken from a page in my daily devotional book**

If you knew for a fact that God heard you every time you prayed, you’d be inclined to keep praying, right? If you were convinced that God caringly bent His ear your direction whenever you approached Him with something that was on your heart, you’d be more apt to come clean with Him. So why do we typically struggle to maintain a regular prayer time?

Maybe it’s related to questions we have about how prayer works. If God is really interested in what we have to say and if He actually listens to the cry of our heart, does He actually answer the prayers we offer up?

Scripture is definitive about this. It assures us that God answers every prayer we pray-every single one. His answers aren’t always the ones we’re expecting or hoping for. But He always responds. Sometimes God replies with yes, sometimes with no, sometimes with wait.

So don’t look at prayer as an obligation that you need to do to please God. Accept it as a wonderful privilege to pur out your heart to Someone who cares for you more than anyone else in the world.

Psalm 62:8 “Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us. Selah.”

Prayer for the day: It’s called “emptying prayer.” Take out a blank sheet of paper and write as fast as you can all the stuff in your heart about which you are concerned. Transfer the title of these worries to the Lord.

Change your perspective and change your life.

-Jenn

A Living Sacrifice

Romans 12:1 “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.”

Presenting our bodies to God is a service that is within reason. If something is within reason, it’s not extreme or impossible to do. If a pair of  heels are a reasonable price it doesn’t take a lot of debating and questioning about whether or not you are going to buy them. As ladies of style…many of us will already have an outfit in mind that will be a perfect match. So why is it hard for some of us to present our bodies to God as a living sacrifice….holy….acceptable. Well, what is a sacrifice? What does it mean to be holy? What is acceptable?

Making a sacrifice is an act of giving up something precious. One definition says a sacrifice means to surrender something for the sake of something else. When we give our bodies to God, He has many blessings that He will bestow on us. We just have to be obedient.In presenting our bodies to God, we sacrifice actions that aren’t pleasing to God, but are precious to the world. When we begin to see our bodies as something precious, we will watch how we and everyone else treats our bodies. Our eating habits change, our exercise either begins or increases, we watch what we wear, we don’t take our bodies everywhere, and everybody cannot see or touch our bodies.

I Corinthians 6:19-20 “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” Our bodies belong to God, but He wants us to present them to Him. Our salvation has been purchased with the precious blood of Christ….a price that we cannot repay….therefore presenting our bodies to God is….guess what…reasonable.

Presenting our bodies in a holy way is pleasing to God.  A holy woman will endeavor to shun every known sin, and to keep every known commandment. She will have a decided bent of mind toward God, a hearty desire to do His will-a greater fear of displeasing Him than of displeasing the world, and a love for all His ways. A holy woman will strive to be like our Lord Jesus Christ. She will not only live the life of faith in Him, and draw from Him all her daily peace and strength, but she will also labor to have the mind that was in Him, and to be “conformed to His image.”

Acceptable….when something is acceptable, it is adequate to satisfy a need. What is this need? There are so many people in the world who need to know Jesus. God desires to use us to bring people to Christ….to be a positive example in the church….to serve the church….to fulfill our roles in the home….etc. In doing this we will be pleasing to our Lord. We are called with a holy calling…to service. We must be dedicated and devoted to serving Him. As women of God there is always something for us to do in the church. In the body of Christ everyone is not the head nor is every one the foot. There are some fingers, ears, eyes, etc. among us. I encourage each of you to seek God to find out what your role is in the Kingdom. Whatever our role is, we must be dedicated to it and do it.

We must view ourselves as precious to God and realize that we are valuable. We were all created in the image of God and are beautiful. Take another look in the mirror…what do you see? Not what do you want to change….but what do you see? When looking in the mirror you are looking at a someone beautiful, strong, special, and intelligent. Don’t see her? Look again. You are exactly who God desires as a sacrifice. Doing this may seem hard, but the bible says that it’s reasonable.

Change your perspective and change your life.

-Jenn