2 Corinthians 5:17, Believing Lies, Bible Study, But God, hope, Lies, Relying on God, Uncategorized

I am…

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” 2 Corinthians 5:17

Don’t you love when people go out of their way to remind you and others around you of who you used to be? Or making sure to point out that you continue to have struggles in one area or another, even after giving our lives to Christ? It happens to me and frankly it’s frustrating as heck.

I’m not sure if the persons that do it are consciously making the decision to make those comments or if it’s just part of their personality. But seriously…I’m a woman in the 21st century, I already have enough things through television, movies and social media to remind me of where I fall short. Every. Single. Day.

Then comes along the ‘unaccomplished’ goals in life. The ones that you hoped you would have done or completed by the ripe old age of _____.  The job that you wanted to have, the kids that didn’t happen for one reason or another. The relationships that failed and the bank accounts that aren’t as overflowing as you’d like them to be.

Society expects so much from people, it is no wonder that the suicide rate has drastically increased over the past few decades. If you don’t have that successful job, great marriage, healthy body and overflowing bank account…you failed.

Or have you?

The enemy is a LIAR!

Friends, the enemy is a liar. As John 10:10 tells us “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy…” He comes to steal the joy out of your life, to kill your dreams and destroy your relationships.  He lies to us about how we should feel about ourselves , our situations and those around us.  Lies he loves to use others to convince us of. Joy does not come from the things that we have, the money in our bank accounts or even our relationships. The only thing, or rather person, that can fill that hole that is constantly within us is Jesus. Yeah, I know. It sounds corny. Maybe it is. But it’s still true.

I’ve been there. Wanting all those things above and then some. Right now we are going through some trials that make me concerned about finances. And all I can do tonight is thank Jesus for being right here beside me. I truly do not know how people go through life trials without leaning into Him. That is the reason that when I had difficulty falling back to sleep the other morning, He placed that scripture from Joshua into my thoughts. So, I went and I read it and was reminded that God loves me and is always with me.

Listen…I love my kids. I adore my husband, I am grateful for my friends. I love my small house and am grateful to be able to have food in my tummy, clothes on my back and this laptop to write to all of you. But all this means nothing without Jesus. In the latter half of John 10:10 Jesus tells us; I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”  Abundantly isn’t necessarily speaking of finances, though He is not against that, rather He wants us to live a life that is fulfilling. I love the definitions that the concordance shows for abundance; in the sense of beyond; superabundant (in quantity) or superior (in quality); very highly beyond…does that sound like God wants us to have a boring, unfulfilled life?? NO!

Tonight, let us, you and I, begin to remind ourselves who Jesus says we are. Starting with the verse above.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” 2 Corinthians 5:17 – This scripture is awesome. It is telling us that when we are ‘in Christ’ that we can be at a place of rest. And we can be at rest-because HE will handle it for us. It also reminds us that when we give our lives to Christ that we become new. We are no longer the people that we were. We are found to be found righteous in God’s eyes-through His son Jesus. Although people will try to remind us of our past and even areas that we may continue to struggle in…we are still New Creations and found to be righteous. Nothing takes that away.

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Romans 8:1 Although this a brief line of scripture it is so strong and so important. Why? Because it tells us that we are NOT condemned by God. Once we give our lives to Jesus and ask His forgiveness, it is ALL FORGIVEN. Not some. Not most. ALL. The enemy will do all he can to convince us that God can forgive everyone but someone like you, who did the things that you did in your past. Friends, do not believe that lie! Remind him that you are a child of God, and take that nice hike back to hell in Jesus’ name.

But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ” Philippians 3:20 This is one of my favorites when life gets tough and people are not being nice. It is a reminder that, as a believer, this is not my home. My true home is in Heaven in the presence of God and Jesus. Although I am in no rush to get there, I am looking forward to it. We may suffer physically and emotionally here but when we go home, all will be well. FOREVER!

Friends, there are so many scripture verses that reminds us of who we are and that God will never leave our side. Even when it feels like He did. He didn’t and He won’t. Lean into Him. Search the scriptures for the promises He gives us.

Lifting each of you in prayer for strength, comfort and guidance.

In Jesus’ precious name.

Tara

 

 

1 Corinthians, All In, Bible Study, Uncategorized

Be Strong

This is my command, be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9

I’m sitting awake at 3a.m. because I am currently not feeling strong and courageous. Which is why I opened my Bible to this passage. God doesn’t just tell us to ‘be strong and courageous‘ but instead lets us know that He is with us ‘wherever’ we go. He’s not just with us just in good times. He’s not sitting idly by while we struggle. No! He is there beside us to encourage us to not give into the feelings of anxiousness and fear. Feelings often encouraged by the enemy so we become distracted in other parts of our lives. So it effects our jobs and our relationships…and causes lack of sleep.

Notice too that the scripture states that it is a command! A command to ‘be strong and courageous.’ When you look at the meaning of the word command it tells us it is; ‘to send with a command.’ Not for us to just sit and mope in the situation that has us troubled. No, we are to continue to go forth in our lives. Don’t let the enemy win!

Don’t let the enemy win!

So, what’s my dilemma? My hubby, who has worked for his township for almost 40 years is being forced out of his job. If he was a lazy man or a difficult man I might understand this. But no. It’s all about the usual political ‘cronyism’ that effects so many public sectors. Wanting to give the position to someone that knows nothing of the work that my husband does or has learned in his hard working years there. It’s hurtful and it’s sad.

It is so easy to want to be angry and even feel hate toward the people involved. Part of me really wants to feel that way. To plan ways to get back at them for causing so much pain and angst in his life. Thankfully God has changed me over the past several years. Instead, I pray for them. First, to be fully honest here, I pray that they get caught up in the snares that they are laying out for him (as David prayed to God in the Psalms). But I ask God that, through this situation, he changes their heart and brings them to Him. It is ONLY through a relationship with God that people can change.

Friends, I would deeply appreciate if you would keep my honey and I in prayer for God’s wisdom and discernment on what steps to take in his situation. For protection as well, please!

It is life situations like this that make me glad that God has encouraged me through my friends to get back into scripture. It is such a source of strength.

So, how about we begin to dig into 1 Corinthians?!

1 Corinthians 1

As I read the scripture last night I tried to start out by what my pastors say they do, though on a bit of a smaller scale. I read the scripture over several times. First I read chapter 1 through, then read it again a few times more slowly. Meditating a bit on the words that I was reading.  And I look up some of the words used in the verses in a concordance-which gives a clearer understanding of the original words that were used. And so much became clearer to me!

Before actually reading the scripture though, it is good to read the information about the book of the Bible that you are reading.

Who wrote it? Who was he writing to? And why was he writing them?

The apostle Paul wrote the people or Corinth because they were arguing among themselves and their church was becoming divided. There was arguing going on and they were allowing the sinful behavior some of the people of Corinth to affect the church. Paul wrote them to encourage them and guide them to bring the church back to the way of Jesus Christ.

The following verses are the ones that stood out for me, but please…pray, read and meditate on the chapter yourself and let God speak to YOU!

In verse 5 Paul states that he thanks God for them ‘because of the Grace that was given you in Christ Jesus‘… ‘that in every way you were enriched in him in all speech and all knowledge.’ In every way is telling me that it is made complete/whole-God doesn’t do things for us in part but to completion. We are enriched – meaning that we are made wealthy, we are blessed! in all speech and knowledge (thought).

Following in verse 7 it states; ‘so that you are not lacking in any gift, as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ.’ Not lacking in any gift is telling me that the spiritual gifts we have from God are not lacking in any way, it is not inferior to others. I know for myself, it can be all too easy to feel that way. That is a struggle I tend to have when I wonder when God will begin to use me in a public platform. I can wonder how or why he uses others and not me. Then I think back to a line in a book that reminds me that I was not made to deal with the blessings or the difficulties these ladies face. God’s timing is perfect, even if I feel it is delayed.

Verse 8 follows with; ‘who will sustain you to the end, guiltless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.’ Well, you have to know that seeing the word ‘sustain’ was a needed blessing. A well needed reminder that He takes care of us. God establishes us and makes us irreproachable (guiltless). The word establish encourages me so much. It reminds me that God goes forward before me, HE makes a path for me. I do not live life on my own but through and with HIM. And I am irreproachable-so when the enemy begins to tell me lies…I can tell him to take a hike back to where he came from!

In the next several verses Paul describes part of the issues that are going on and who let him know about the divisions. Part of the division is that their focus was on who baptized them rather than on Jesus. My favorite verse in this section is 17 which states; ‘for Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel, and not with words of eloquent wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of it’s power.’ First this reminds me that our main goal is to share the ‘good news’ or gospel of Jesus. And that it is not to be done with our own words but words given to us by God through the Holy Spirit. When we do things of our own power, it is all too easy to take the credit for ourselves rather than giving it to God. And worst of all, it can turn people away from Jesus rather than toward Him.

Verses 18 and 19 describe how people who are not saved, have not given their lives to Christ, do not understand what the Bible is saying. While for believers ‘it is the power of God.‘ At first this is difficult to understand. When you read the Bible as a believer you get so much knowledge and encouragement from it. Yet, it is very difficult for non-believers to “get it.” The word that is used in verse 18 is that describes how they see the Bible is ‘folly’ or ‘silliness, absurd’ to non-believers. It makes me think of when Jesus died on Calvary and the veil tore in the temple. Believing removes the veil from our spiritual eyes so that God can speak to us through His Word.

Verses 26 through 31 are such a blessing to me with my doubts of what His will for my life is. They describe that God doesn’t use perfect, well speaking people. No, He uses ordinary, sinful people like you and me. ‘God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong.’ verse 27. ‘God chose what is low and despised in the world…’ verse 28.

That is YOU and ME my friend! We can sit and think that God cannot use us because we still struggle in many aspects of our lives or the things we have done in our past. And yet that is exactly what He uses to help bring others to Him. That is why we need to share our testimony, our story with others. Show others how, even through all the things we’ve done and failed to do, God uses us and loves us unconditionally. He holds nothing back from us. He loves us and wants to bless us.

God is just so crazy awesome! I am really looking forward to going through 1 Corinthians with you. Please share your thoughts, ideas, questions etc.

Have an amazing, blessed, God filled day!

In HIS precious name, Jesus!

Tara

 

 

1 Corinthians, All In, Bible Study, But God, Christianity, Fellowship, hope, I am yours, Relying on God, Uncategorized

A New Venture

But know that the Lord has set apart the godly for Himself; the Lord hears when I call to Him.” Psalm 4: 3

There has been a lot going on lately and if you follow me on social media, you know it all has to do with people seeking to do harm (not physical) to my husband. Between that and some side affects of medications I was on…I’ve been a mess. Well, no more meds for now and I’m feeling myself again. YAY! And I feel much more peace about my husband’s situation, knowing that God has it all handled.

With that, my friend and I are beginning a study on 1 Corinthians. I’d like you to join me on this. I will be doing my best to log on each day to share thoughts with the parts of scripture that we cover that day. I’d LOVE for you to share your thoughts about them as well. Share here or on social media (Facebook, Instagram and Twitter).

We will be covering 1Corinthians chapter 1 tomorrow…pray, read, meditate and meet me here tomorrow!

With lots of love,

Tara