Archive | January 2016

This Girl Is On Fire

Girl-on-fire“As the deer pants for the water brook so my soul longs after thee.”

Psalms 42:1

 I rolled over and looked at the clock…6:45 am…another day.  But, it wasn’t just any day.  It was the first day of 2016.  Would it be just another day…more of the same? Or, would it be different from the others that had preceded it?

What is it that determines the outcome of our days?

The impetus behind great art, or great music, a great sports team, a great drama, great architecture or a great sermon is passion.

  • Passion mobilizes armies.
  • Passion drives scientists to find new cures for dreaded diseases.
  • Passion equips athletes to break records and get to the Olympics.
  • Passion is what sustains us when we feel like giving up.
  • Passion energizes our lives.

Without passion in our lives, our lives are dull, drab, boring.

God wants us to live passionate lives… lives that sense the passion that He put within us.  Hear the passion in Jesus’ voice as He says, “Love the Lord your God with all your passion, all your prayer, all your intelligence, all your energy.”  (MSG, Mark 12:30)

In Colossians 3:23 Paul says “Whatever you do, do it with all your heart (passion) as unto the Lord and not as unto men.”

 If God wired us to be passionate, why do we so often live without passion and purpose?  Maybe it is because we fall prey to the passion killers of life.

  • We have allowed something precious to become familiar. We have forgotten how it was before we knew Jesus?  We have forgotten our value…the price Jesus paid to set us free?
  • We fail to count it all joy when we are experiencing life’s trials and hardships…a joy not based on circumstances but relationship.
  • We have an unclear purpose. A clear purpose creates passion as we begin to see our part in God’s plan.
  • We live in a society that values political correctness and are afraid that our passion for God will offend others.
  • We look to others for acceptance and approval instead of Jesus.
  • We have an unbalanced schedule. When we are overworked we tend to lose our passion.  We may even develop compassion fatigue and eventually just stop caring.
  • We have unconfessed sin and the guilt that comes with it. It is impossible to have passion and guilt at the same time.
  • We have an undernourished spirit…the greatest passion killer of all because it is the root of all the others. At its root passion is a spiritual issue…the heart of the matter.  Passion is not restored with money, something physical, something material or a pill…it comes from the heart.  If we don’t nourish our spirits our hearts will grow cold and hard.

We could go on but you get the idea.

So what are some steps that we can take to become passionate Christian women?

  1. We must make up our minds that we are going to regain our passion…there is power in a made up mind!
  2. We must confess that we have lost our passion. Going though religious motions can dull our spiritual senses and blind us to our own condition.  But God can open our eyes!
  3. We must take action. God will do His part to increase our passion, but He also expects us to do our part.  So what actions can we take to ignite our passion for God?
  • We must thirst for God. Instead of living for fame, fortune, recognition or rewards…live for God. Experience the intense satisfaction of a personal relationship with a holy God. (Psalm 42:1)
  • We must hunger for truth. Refuse to accept mere human opinion or feeling-based experience. But, realize that we cannot be passionate about someone we do not know…what He has done for us and how He has revealed Himself through His Word. (Acts 17:11) We must memorize important passages of scripture and apply what we learned.
  • We must follow Jesus’ example of praying constantly and consistently. We cannot imagine a man and woman growing in love without communicating, so prayer cannot be neglected without expecting one’s love for God to grow cold. (1 Thessalonians 5:17)
  • We must eliminate the competition. The temptation is to love the world (those things that please our eyes, make us feel good about ourselves, and gratify our flesh).   Jesus said it is impossible to have two masters (Matthew 6:24)
  • We must live today with tomorrow in mind. As passionate Christian women we know our time is limited…that we will have no second chances. So, we should be compelled to live each day to its fullest…to follow hard on the heels of the very God in whom we live and move and have our being (Acts 17:28).
  • We must love others with a Godly passion. The passionate woman isn’t one who has arrived but one who knows where she is going. She demonstrates sincere concern, seeks to model unconditional love, and does all she can to point others to heaven. (2 Corinthians 1:3-4)
  • Lastly, as passionate women we must avoid sin so we can possess intimacy with God… know our boundaries and accept our playground. (1 Timothy 6:11)

Is this a description of the perfect Christian woman…no, but rather a passionate one. Passionate Christian women don’t have boundless amounts of energy, super-human strength, or superior spirituality. Rather, they are ordinary women who fail, fall and are tired at the end of the day. But, they have heard from God through His Word, seen the Holy Spirit work in their lives, and have experienced peace, answered prayer, and power and comfort through the Holy Spirit.

Truth to Claim:  God desires that we live lives that are passionate for Him.

Personal Application:  Make up your mind today to live a life passionate for God …may others say of you and I, “This girl is on fire!”.

Solo Deo Gloria

 

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Missing In Action

 

Missing In Action

The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.”

Proverbs 18:10 NIV

I’ve been missing in action while life happened…

  • We had a fender bender!
  • The coffee pot died!
  • The mixer quit working in the middle of holiday baking!
  • The keyboard breathed its last breath in the middle of writing a blog post!
  • A routine doctor visit became a life-threatening event!
  • A much anticipated trip to Branson had to be canceled!
  • Surgery was scheduled!
  • There were long days and nights in waiting rooms and hospital rooms!
  • The road to recovery was challenging!
  • There was family drama!
  • The holidays came and went in a blur!

While some of the things noted were trivial in the big scheme of things others struck fear in our hearts.  What followed was a pity party accompanied by many tears…

Then one morning as I was having my quiet time, I came across this quote, “God never wastes a hurt.”  God kept bringing the quote back to my mind that day until I was finally able to say, “Okay, Lord you have my attention.  I don’t want these experiences to be wasted.  Help me to learn from them”.

While I still have much to learn, the following reflections are some of the things God has taught me (or taught me again) through these recent experiences.

  • When I am at the end of my strength I can run to Him and He will infuse me with His strength to meet the challenge in front of me.
  • Circumstances cannot steal my joy in Jesus Christ…unless I allow it.
  • We learn what is of real value when we are faced with the possibility of losing it.
  • The encouragement, presence, and provision of a church family are a demonstration of God’s grace. He knew there would be times when we would need Him with “skin” on…a hug, a card, a visit, or a delicious meal.  So, He designed the church family to meet those needs.

As the New Year begins we are hopeful for better days ahead.  But regardless of what the year holds we know that God is faithful to walk with us through whatever He allows in our paths!

By the way my new keyboard is performing quiet well, don’t you think?

Truth to Claim:  Regardless of what the New Year holds…God is enough.

Practical Application:  Determine to be Jesus with “skin” on when you encounter others who are going through difficult times.

Solo Deo Gloria