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Crossroads

God has placed each of us at a crossroads.

Isaiah 30:21

Whether you turn to the right of to the left, I will be with you. A voice behind you saying, this is the way walk ye in it.

Our cross roads are different. They come at different times in our lives. They come under different circumstances. They come involving different people.

But all the same, we each come to a God crossroads.

God longs for us to turn to Him and say “Lord, where do you want me to go? What choice will not be a hindrance to your will? Which way will bring you glory?”

Sometimes these are MAJOR choices…and other times it is…how will I react in this situation?

We had our ladies meeting last night, and the point of the message came to – my choices might affect someone else’s decision about God.

Meaning if I chose to act like a jerk and give free reign to my complaint, will that bring someone to Jesus or stop them? Or if I chose to bite my tongue, have anger and do not sin, give my complaint to the Lord – will that bring someone closer to Jesus or stop them?

There are times when a true social injustice towards others is committed and it is then our duty to respond in a Godly manner and then there are times when it is you under attack and the Lord must come to your defense. You have to see the situation for what it is.

But you also have to ask God’s option and do that! You don’t have to follow God’s will – He gave us free will. But we all have had the times of us doing our own thing and falling flat on our face with  our hands in our pockets. When we do as God wishes us, then we succeed, He gets glory, and His kingdom and unconditional love progresses forward.

I don’t know about you but I defintely want God’s will to come to pass in my life at every opportunity. I’m making it a daily habit and throughout the day to always ask ‘ Lord, what am I to do? How do I act? How do I react? How do I speak in this situation? Which way do you want me to go?”

I hope I”m not alone in this, for the benefits of doing God’s will are second to none.

Enjoy

These past few weeks have been a mix of joy and sorrow.

More joy than sorrow.

Brain surgeries, people leaving the church, painful misunderstandings.

New members at church, new friendships, new vehicles, new ministries, new revelations from God, new fervor for the Lord.

I just want to encourage each one of us, to enjoy the goodness of the Lord whenever you can. If you do not take the time to enjoy the good times, then the bad times are not balanced out.

We all have those sorrowful moments – deep sorrow, fear, doubt – and those are going to happen. However, the outpouring of God’s goodness is what makes those moments enjoyable!

You can say the pain comes in the night but joy comes with the morning. Hold on to the last good thing that increased your joy in the Lord and enjoy the new one that is to come!

There is always a new outpouring of Gods goodness to come – we must enjoy it.

There is a story in the old testament about King Saul’s army. King Saul and his army have the attacking army on the run after fighting all day. King Saul makes a decree that anyone who eats or drinks anything before the army is overtaken. Well King Saul’s son did not know about the decree and ate some honey he found in the forest.

It is discovered and the men who are exhausted bring him forward for having broken the King’s decree. Johnathan makes his case “did my eyes not brighten when I ate the honey?”

ENJOYING THE LORD’S GOODNESS IS BRIGHTENING TO OUR LIVES! It is time to enjoy the Lord’s goodness and not walk around like a bunch of sour bills who call ourselves Christians.

Bad days happen – God is always good.

Acts 17:26-28

You belong here. Simple as that. 

God plants us according to the time and seasons that will be for glorifying to Him. 

It is all about Jesus. We can never forget that. We have access to the Father because of Jesus. We will not die if we go through Jesus. Our temporary problems become smaller in comparison with Jesus! It is always all about Jesus. 

He has placed you exactly where you are for His purposes! If you are in a dangerous or harmful situation – He does no thing to cause harm but always uses what the devil intends as bad for good. He has placed you and HE IS WITH YOU! 

We are here for a reason. To love Jesus. When that is our first priority, then everything else falls into place.

Finances – love Jesus with your tithe. The 90% will go further than the 100%.

Relationships (friendships or otherwise) – love Jesus with your responses. A gentle word turns away wrath. Love your neighbor as yourself. You don’t want someone yelling at you, don’t do it to them. Speak kindly or not at all. 

Time – love Jesus first. Jesus got up early to spend time with God. I get up early to spend time with God because HE is my priority. Purposefully set aside some time to pray and read the Word.

Body – love Jesus by honoring His definition of purity and marriage. Purity – no sex before marriage. This means none physically OR watching it (yes regular movies are included in that) OR replaying it in your mind. This sin God’s against you directly. Marriage – God intended for one man and one woman. Anything other than this is an unholy attempt to fill a holy void.  Loving Jesus with your body also takes the form in taking care of your body. Not doing harmful things to it (overeating, drugs, alcohol) God has made your body to be magnificent – try not to taint it. If younhave , ask for forgiveness and STOP! Don’t keep doing the bad. 

These things don’t disqualify you from being a Christian but what I’m saying is, if people can’t tell you apart from the rest of the world because you aren’t loving Jesus in every area, then what has Jesus done and why do they need him? 

These areas of honoring and loving Jesus make your life soooooo much better. It frees you from the worry everyone has when they don’t honor God in these areas. 

Something to think about – honoring God in every area. 

You are here for a reasonm. You aren’t an accident. 

You are created for a purpose.

Deuteronomy 6:4-9

Love the Lord your God with all your heart. 

This isn’t an option to give God only one part of our hearts, of our lives – it is God’s intention for us to give everything we are to Him. Is he greedy? No God has need for nothing. Is he jealous? Yes. He loves you so much, he wants all your attention. 

We think it’s cute when our dogs/pets or kids are jealous for our attention, yet when God, the one who created us and our attentions, is jealous for our time – that in unacceptable or impossible to do with our busy lives. Bologna. 

But we give our everything to God because He gave everything for each one of us. Us as a collective  of humans (not the borg – where are my trekkies) and each of us individually. He gave us His son – part of himself and all of himself at the same time, for us. And we can’t give Him his attention and time. 

We are charges with loving God with everything because without Him, we have nothing. 

People should see the difference between those who merely acknowledge God and those who have given everything to Him. Giving everything doesn’t always look the same. 

Sometimes it is seen in a missionary. They have given up moving where they want, in the culture they want, etc. Giving everything to God. Sometimes it is seen in a pastor. His/her full time job – hearing from God and listening to our issues. (There is more I know #PKLife but that is a lot of what happens). And yet sometimes it is seen in your co-worker who abstains from crude jokes, from gossip, from swearing (yes it’s in the biblie, let no un-wholesome talk come out of your mouths), abstain from alcohol or drugs or any kind, who honors even when humiliated, respects everyone. None of that is easy, but the profit of it by giving it to God is worth so much more than the ease of giving in. Your mind and mouth are clean – no one can accuse you. You havent been gossiping so no kids or rumors. You aren’t in anything that would flag a tox screen that would be cause for immediate unemployment or jail time. Your boss knows to trust you for always being honorable and respectful.

Is it easy? Hardly ever. Is is worth it? OF COURSE!

When we love Jesus with our whole hearts and minds and spirits and strength then He can fill us with His heart, His mind and thoughts, His spirit, and His strength. He can fill us because we have emptied ourselves to Him. 

Lord we empty ourselves out at your feet. We love you with everything – we need only you Father. We are emptied for you to do with as you please. Fill us, use us, whatever your will is Lord – we submit. We submit to you on God. You are Holy and Worthy!

Luke 18:9-14

A quote by C.S. Lewis – true humility is not thinking less of yourself, but rather thinking of yourself less. 

Lord keep us humble. Let not pride overtake us when others praise or overtake us in the absence of praise in effort to fill that ‘need’. But instead Lord we ask that your love and grace be a constant reminder to us and within us that we have nothing without you. That we remember where we were (sinners with no way out) that stirred compassion within Him to save us. And that without Jesus, nothing matters! 

Humility is not self demeaning – it is knowing who you are as a sinner with a savior named Jesus. And that this saviour wants to save everyone else who is a sinner too. 

The first man demeans those around him, pointing the accusing finger at everyone else and saying he is better than them. 

I’ve had this mindset and it is sooooooo easy to fall into that and stay there. But it’s miserable and eventually friends turn into enemies and then you are alone. No one likes to hear how bad they are from someone else and how much better they’re than you – that’s why Jesus doesn’t honor that. 

Your deeds may be different and appearances too but it has never mattered what the outside is – Jesus has always and will always read a man’s heart. 

Your heart must be that of a humble person – one who sees his weakness and looks to God to fill it. You don’t have to beat yourself up, merely recognize and repent. 

A quote by C.S. Lewis – true humility is not thinking less of yourself, but rather thinking of yourself less. 

I love that quote. 

I have no issue with being wrong. I’m human, we make mistakes. I don’t like to make them so I try very hard not to but when I do, it is a reminder that I must not rely on my own strength but on God’s. It is up to each of us to keep our pride at bay, never to enter the sea of words flowing from our mouths.

Think of yourself less this week – put someone first. Tattle on yourself if need be. Ask for forgiveness. Forgive. Keep Jesus first and he will lead you into places and situations that you won’t be able to go or get to any other way than His way.

Titus 3:1-8

Do you ever read something and it just is so clear that it is God’s direction for the situation you’re in in that moment?

This passage is God’s direction for me in this upcoming season. 

I am about to restart the youth ministry of my church. I am so excited for the opportunity to be with my kids again. My kids are rough and rowdy but they are precious. They are worth every spare moment of my time. I love my kids. Being with them fulfills the Holy calling I feel on my life – to work the teenagers no one wants. God wants them and I want them.

In my excitement, my vision go the them has either been lost or tainted but outside circumstances. 

I met with an amazing mentor today and I’m so grateful for him. My heart overflows at this opportunity to mentor my kids and be mentored by someone who gets the situation my church is in. God cares about his people and it is evident in the little things no one sees or recognizes. 

Then I read the passage. It is full of instruction and the reasons why to give those instructions and why to receive them! 

 “Remind them to be submissive, to be obedient, ready for every good work, etc. The goodness and lovingkindness of God out savior appeared, he saved us…by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit whom He poured out on us richly…be careful forgive themselves to good works”

This is for me. The outline of how I am to approach this ministry. The way to be effective in communicating to my kids. It will change with someone else and these kids. It will change when I am with some other church’s kids. 

But, this, today, this was for me. I’m broken that God has shone the light on His path with His word for my sake. For my kids’ sake. For His sake! Praise you Lord for your Word and for your spirit which opens our eyes to see the glories of your goodness and your plan.

Philippians 4:8-9

True. Noble. Right. Pure. Lovely. Admirable. Excellent. Praise worthy.

There is only one who is all of these all the time – Jesus. 

There are His characteristics in things on this earth that bear His mark of creativity (such as lovely sunset) which requires a response from us of “Thank you God for a lovely sunset”

When we encounter these things, we give glory to only Jesus. 

These things are wonderful and they should be what is running through our hearts, minds, and spirits! Yet what do we often fill our hearts, minds, and spirits with? 

Complaining. Grumbling. Gossip. Personal demeaning of yourself (I’m too fat, I’m too obnoxious, etc.). And a whole slew of other crap that distracts us from Jesus. 

This week has been a really challenging week and I stumbled. I found myself centering my thinking and my heart around complaining and meditating on the negatives going around and within me. This is not the life God intended for me to have. I am not referring to my job (injured for a reason and a season. He determined when the reason is fulfilled and when the season is over. I do not.) I am referring to the mental state and spiritual state I have out myself into with my complaining and gossip and spiteful words. 

He is good, he is true, he is oure, he is right, he is lovely, he is admirable, he is excellent, he is praiseworthy – He intended for us to think and to meditate on Him! Meditate meaning to put our whole effort into focusing in on God. We can do this while at work – it does not matter who you are surrounded by, speak your prayers out in a soft voice, barely a whisper. Speak your prayers in the bathroom, at the coffee pot, water cooler, in the hallway, if you work in an office by yourself. I mean there is no reason you can’t be praising and thinking about God while you are working.

He gave you the job and He is going to help you do it when you honor Him throughout the day. 

We are to think on these things. When we keep our minds full of the better thing (things listed above: true, poure, etc.) Then there is NO room for the other distractions, the fake imitations meant to keep you from God’s best. 

I don’t know about you, but I’m holding out for God’s best. Not a mediocre version that I force, but the one He picked. The one He chose. The one He has paved the way for. The one He is my rear guard on. 

Help us Jesus to focus on you. To think on the things of you. To meditate on your goodness above all else. Thank you Jesus for another day, for another opportunity to praise your glorious name!

James 2:14-24

God is the promise give and the promise fulfiller!

Todays passage was about faith with works.

It isn’t one or the other – it is a mixture of both. 

I will tell you a very personal illustration what this means to me, this mixture lifestyle of faith and acting out your faith.

In my life, there is a promise. A promise that when fulfilled involved a celebration. This celebration will be sudden and most likely expensive. I live in faith of this fulfilled promise every day. I act out this faith by saving and purchasing decorations for this celebration that will not change. 

Abraham did the same – his promise was to be fulfilled in Isaac. God asked him to sacrifice Isaac. He in faith believed that the promise would still be fulfilled in Isaac. He acted this out by taking sacrifice materials for the fire. And Isaac but no other alternative sacrifice. He lived and after out faith in the promise from God. 

I look to Abraham for the same living by and acting out my faith in my promise. I do not look to alternative as He did in Hagar but I do hold steadfast to my promise and keep preparing in faith.

God is the promise give and the promise fulfiller!

James 1:22-27

Speak praise not complaining

Im a huge fan and advocate of everyone being an active part in some sort of ministry. You should definitely not be spiritually fat with all this knowledge but no walking out to work it off.


The above is funny and true. You need to eat and exercise spiritually (and physically but I’m not telling anyone about their health when I have health issues) 
But with this particular passage got me on bridle my tongue. Today my tongue lit fires because I was upset

What ever gave me the right to give free reign to my tongue? Nothing! Just because I’m upset or offended gives me no right to spread nasty (albeit true) things.

I shouldn’t be offended or upset in the first place. 

It convicted me about my testimony and how in my recent and long extended state of indebtedness – I have tainted it. 

Lord Jesus forgive me for personally tainting the image and glorious truth of who you are and what you have done. I’m undone as in my justifications mean nothing in the light of you. Father help me to speak praise and not complaining!

Matthew 7:21-23

There are lots of people who do things in God’s name and they are not His will.

Murdering in any way – not God’s will. (Leave the war subject alone – it’s touchy for me, please. I’m talking about shooting someone in the face, etc. That kind of murder. And abortion- say what you want, it is not your body, there is a physical barrier between your body and the baby’s body so there is my view on that) 

Sleeping around – not God’s will.

Drunkenness – not God’s will.

Gossiping and spreading discord and dissension – not GOd’s will. 

But how would we know unless someone told us? Well lucky for us, He did. We have to be in God’s presence and Word to know what His will is. It may not be clear cut – take this job, marry this person, but this car, etc. – but it is clear cut as to what is pleasing in God’s sight for those subjects mentioned above. 

You can have the scriptures memorized “we cast demons out in your name” but not spend any time with Jesus and still not be able to get into heaven. Not my words, Jesus’. 

It is two food – know the Word and spend time with the Author. 

You may be able to fool some people about your spirituality or relationship with God, but the moment you encounter someone who is in constant communication with God the Holy Spirit will reveal the false perception. 

There is a thing in our house – Dad knows things. Things he shouldn’t know because we didn’t tell anyone. He knows because the Holy Spirit reveals them to him. No my dad is not a psychic – please. But when it comes to revealing a falsehood or mal intentions, there is Godly revelation that is meant to bring restoration, reconciliation, and repentance. A psychic is after deception and your money. Don’t be broke and snowed by a showman. 

I know we are busy people – time is limited. That is why it is so precious as to what we spend it on. If you have to, get up earlier to spend time in the word. Go to your room earlier to worship. Worship in the shower or while you’re doing the dishes. You’re reading this so you have access to the internet – open an audio bible (Bible Gateway or YouVersion are free) and listen while you’re cleaning or working. Get the time in with Jesus. The more you know His word the easier is to tell when He is speaking of when the devil (or yourself) are trying to deceive you. 

The bible encourages us to test every spirit against the Word. If the spirit doesn’t like with the Word, he doesn’t like up to get into your life. If it lines up with the Word and what you’ve been praying, next in line to board the ME train thank you. 

It is important that we know God, we spend time with God, to act out our love for God genuinely. It isn’t a show of performance, it is a lifestyle that doesn’t change whether you are at home alone, surrounded by your family, at work, in your car, at the grocery store, at church. We must know God, we were designed for it but He must also know us. Meaning we keep the relationship fresh through prayer and worship. He has done everything necessary to pursue us first (the cross), how we just pursue in return (prayer and worship).

This relationship should not be stagnant – it is to be refreshing and peaceful to you and others around you. When people encounter you and you’re filled with Jesus, they encounter the Prince of Peace – an experience they may never have known if not for your constant relationship with Jesus and the divine appointment he had set before the foundations of the earth.