What Matters Most
Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her. – Luke 10: 38–42
Mary stayed and focused on Jesus. She listened to him. She actively chose to be with him. Her heart was with Jesus, and she wanted to make every moment she had in his presence count.
Martha was so bent on serving (even though it was serving Jesus) that she could not possibly fully grasp his message. How often people today in Western cultures think that by being active in their church or ministries or whatever else is a substitute for a deep, personal relationship with the Lord! And they so often try to tell others they need to be doing more or serving more because the focus is on serving Jesus. Nonsense! How do they know what Jesus is calling the other person to do? The Marthas of this world desperately need to take a step back, evaluate their hearts and motives, and learn from the Marys. The sign of a thriving faith community is one where its members are urged to seek Jesus first in their own hearts and lives. Grow with him and in him, and then trust Jesus to direct the actions of each of his own. Some will indeed be called to serve. But only as an outflow of their relationship with the Lord and by heeding his call. He is not concerned with the resumes of his followers. He is not concerned with how many activities they are doing. He is concerned with the status of their hearts.
Now…let me ask you: How do you measure up? Are you a Martha or a Mary? What are your expectations of others – do you expect them to be a Martha or a Mary?
Spend some honest time with Jesus today and discuss these items together with him.
What is eternity? In this case, we are referring to God’s omnipresence, one of the attributes of God. It is necessary for you to realize that God is continually active! The fact that God is active at all times is most important to our spiritual growth.
It is also pertinent that we seek and search to look for some of the many names of the Blessed Lord Jesus Christ to help us grow. God is looking for a very special response from us to aid Him as He actively works in our lives and in the spiritual realm.
Emmanuel means God with us.
The time of opportunity to serve God with prayer, praise, and to glorify God is now!
Eternal life is available to us because of God’s gift of His son the Blessed Lord Jesus Christ. So many Bible verses pertain to this, but we suggest reading IJohn 1: 1-4 “The Word of Life”
Remember some of the names of the Blessed Lord Jesus Christ: Savior, Messiah, Lord of Lords, King of Kings, Prophet, Teacher, Counselor, Lamb of God, The Light and the Word.
Never forget that God loves us! But God also needs our love and devotion!
Imagine what life would be like without God. We cannot, because without God, who gives us eternal life through our belief in the Blessed Lord Jesus Christ, there is only death!
Turmoil, trouble, lies, disasters, and difficulties fill our lives during these present times.
Yearn for God to take complete control and fulfill His ultimate eternal plan.
Let us complete this with the following Bible verses:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through Him all things were made; without Him nothing was made that has been made. In Him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it. – John 1: 1-5
Growing In Faith
At this point, we should take the time to reevaluate our lives, values, and most importantly our faith goals. Our faith growth should be a steady course and pursuit to be accomplishing God’s will in our lives.
We should begin by growing closer to our Lord Jesus Christ and learning more about Him. We need to pray more, listen closer for the promptings of the Blessed Holy Spirit of the Lord God Most High. Also, we need to study the Holy Bible, either on our own, or in a Bible study group. The Holy Bible is alive; each time we read every verse it has the potential to reveal something new to us if our hearts are ready to receive God’s counseling.
A wise place to begin your study of God’s word is the gospel of John. Why start with the Gospel of John? This particular gospel tells the complete life of the Lord Jesus Christ from the very beginning through to His final purpose. However, the very beginning verses of this gospel hold the most significant and most awesome spiritual awakening for our very souls. So let us ponder the following verses from the gospel of John:
The Word became flesh
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. John 1: 1-5
Growing In The Spirit
Now is the perfect time for you to seek the spiritual growth, enlightenment and renewal of your mind, body, spirit and soul.
Begin by focusing on yourself, your feelings, your needs or concerns and most of all your reactions to others and situations affecting your life. How long does it take you before you decide to pray and give your will over to the Lord Jesus Christ? How you answer the above question determines your level of trust in the Lord Jesus Christ. Growing in your faith is a continual process which develops and transforms you according to your ability to open your heart to the Lord Jesus Christ. Ask Him to enter into your heart and fully take control of your will in all aspects of your life, you will be amazed!
Open your mind and most of all your heart to really focus on what is necessary to achieve a very deep relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. Learning to have complete reliance on the Lord Jesus Christ in all areas of your life, should be your goal in life to pursue.
Reassess your life and goals so that they help you focus more on the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ.
The following Bible verses will guide you in your journey:
Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings. And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen. – 1 Peter 5:6–11
As time passes and we embark on our own path of spiritual renewal, we can look to Jesus as an example of how to overcome our weakest moments.
Our spiritual journey as a Christian will be marked with adversity, battles against darkness and periods of great weakness. Jesus, despite his divinity, was prompted by the Spirit to allow himself to become weak by fasting for 40 days and nights (Matthew 4:1-11). While Satan tempted Jesus in a moment of great weakness, Jesus remained strong in spirit.
As Christians, we must be aware that in our moments of great weakness, the evil one will try to tempt us or make us falter on our spiritual journey. Yet it is in these moments of weakness that we cry out to God for Him to renew our spirit and give us strength to grow spiritually and mature as Christians. Christ calls us to fulfill His will in our lives. How can we serve Him fully if we are not yet mature? As infants, we rely on others to care for our every need; we are not yet ready to achieve the full purpose for our lives. We have not yet matured! The early church struggled also with helping Christians grow and mature on their spiritual journey. Paul writes to the church in Corinth…
Brothers, I could not address you as spiritual but as worldly-mere infants in Christ. I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready. – 1 Corinthians 3: 1–2
How then do we move beyond the infant stages of our faith and grow spiritually in Christ?
Be imitators of God, therefore as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. – Ephesians 5: 1–2
By imitating Christ and living a life of love, we will move beyond the stages of infancy and draw closer to God’s divine will for our lives. But just as Christ’s journey was plagued with obstacles, temptations and traps set by the evil one, we too will face such hardship. The Bible does not promise that the path to spiritual maturity will be free from struggle, but we can hold firm in the knowledge that God will always be there for us.
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. – Romans 8: 38–39
Knowing that nothing can separate us from God’s love, then we must persevere on our journey of faith and stand firm in our choice. We must all make a choice.
I choose God. I choose to accept His love that surpasses all understanding. I choose to embrace the joy that comes from knowing that He will never abandon me. He loves me and strongly desires my love in return. I choose God.
What do you choose??
Friends, know the importance of your decision!
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. – Ephesians 6:12
Although the evil one will try to prevent our spiritual growth, do not be discouraged. The next verses in Ephesians tell us how to fight back against these attempts.
Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. – Ephesians 6:13
The subsequent verses continue in more detail of each piece of spiritual armor that will protect us. I encourage you to read through Ephesians 6: 14-18 and study these verses.
As we grow spiritually, we know that we will face trials and difficulties and that our lives will be full of many choices. Do we turn left or right at the next intersection of our journey? How will we know if we have made the decision that God would want us to? It is at these very crossroads in life that we truly understand that God gave us free will. He gave us free will to make our decisions. Why? Because he wants us to freely give Him our love. He wants us to choose Him and to joyfully give Him our love.
This is another step in our spiritual journey. God gave us free will, but too often we make the wrong choices that cause us more pain and limit our spiritual growth. As a mature Christian, we must realize that we don’t always know what is best, that only God in His great wisdom, truly knows the correct path to take. Why then are we so stubborn in surrendering our will? Many people have a fear of losing control--thinking that we know what is best and only we can make the right choices. This is a dangerous trap to fall into. Remember God loves you. He wants you to grow spiritually closer to Him because he wants you to be blessed. By praying each day, the following prayer we invite God to take over control of our lives, knowing that only He knows what is best.
Lord Jesus Christ, I surrender my complete and total will to you in this day and ask that you take over for me in all things. Not my will, but your will be done. Amen.
Still feeling fear in letting go of control? Remember in the previous verses in Ephesians we acknowledged that our greatest struggles were not against flesh and blood, but against evil. Although our beloved God respects our free will-remember that Satan does not. He will use every opportunity to manipulate your will and deceive you. It is either God’s will or Satan’s will.
Giving our will to the Lord, allows us the peace of mind to know that we are encompassed by the love of Christ all the while growing more spiritually mature as Christians. There is also great joy in the renewal that God provides to our spirit. Our burdens have been lifted and we are no longer held hostage.
Joyfully choose God. Choose to turn over your will to Jesus, knowing that he will never lead you astray. He will renew your spirit, guide your steps and shine His light upon you so that you will no longer walk in darkness.
Sheri & Cheryl
Prepare For The Future
This is a time to prepare yourself for a deep and meaningful journey into the depths of your very souls. Faith must be nurtured in order to survive and be productive for the Lord Jesus Christ! The following list should help guide you on your journey:
Remember – to develop a strong personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.
Regenerate – to reform your life spiritually and morally.
Renew – to replenish or to restore your spirit and soul.
Reflect – to mirror the life of Jesus Christ. The Lord set the example for us to follow in Ephesians 5:1-21.
Open your hearts and dwell upon the following message and hopefully your spirits will soar to new heights.
The Vine and the Branches”
I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.
I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.
As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit – fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. This is my command: Love each other. – John 15:1–17
Let it be so in your life!
Love & Blessings,
Let us come alive in our faith! We need to get serious and really develop a deeper spiritual relationship with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Before we can find faith we must first understand what faith is. To put it simply, faith is placing our trust in God. This sounds simple enough, but in practice many people find it difficult to do. This is because we often have unreasonable expectations of God. We are not seeking the same relationship with God that he wants to have with us. We have a tendency to forget that God wants to be a member of our family and would like to be treated as such. Let’s take a look at a few of the ways we tend to treat God and examine them in greater detail.
- Sometimes we like to think of God as the proverbial Genie in a magic lamp. We set God aside on a shelf somewhere until such times when we find ourselves in desperate need and don’t know what else to do. Then we take the lamp off the shelf and rub it, expecting the Genie to appear and grant us our 3 wishes. In some cases, we take this one step further and we offer him an ultimatum that says, “I’ll only believe and trust in you if you do what I want.”
And what happens when God doesn’t grant our wishes? Many of us turn angry and bitter and blame God for the entire situation. Others of us totally deny God and become atheists who conclude that there must not be any God since we didn’t get what we wanted.
Does a good and responsible parent give into every wish and demand that their child has? I guess we need to ask ourselves if it is really reasonable to expect God to give us everything we want when we want it. Furthermore, is our harsh reaction when he doesn’t give us what we want really justifiable?
- Other times we tend to treat God like he is a convenience store. We only shop there when we really need something and it happens to be convenient for us. We all know the store is there and we take it for granted that it always will be there when we need something.
Perhaps you may know someone like this. You might even have a friend or family member that treats people like this. You never hear from this person except when they need something from you. They never call you just to find out how things are going for you. They never really show any concern or compassion for what you are going through, but they are certainly hanging around when they need something from you. They prey on your giving and caring nature to try and get you to satisfy their needs, but they really could care less about yours.
Maybe we need to ask ourselves how we feel when people try to take advantage of our good hearted and caring nature. If we don’t like it when people do this to us, would it stand to reason then that God may not be very fond of it either?
So the question now becomes how should we treat God? The answer is really quite simple. We should treat God like he is a member of our own family. We should treat him the same way we would want our own family to treat us. We should share both the happy and the sad times with him. We should be grateful for the gifts and provisions that he has provided for us. When you learn to treat God like a member of your own family your trust and, therefore, your faith in him will grow. After all, he was the creator of all things and, therefore, the Father of us all. Is there really any greater love than the love a parent has for his children? Honestly, if we can’t trust God to have our best interests at heart, who could we trust?
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. – Proverbs 3: 5-6
Come forth all you who are faithful and true to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!
Love & Blessings,
Cheryl & Scott
What's In Your Heart
For the word of God is living 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. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account. – Hebrews 4:12-13
What’s in your heart? Do you have an idea or even an inkling of what is deep within your own heart? Now is the time to begin to examine your true feelings and the true attitude of your heart. God is fully aware of our daily actions, but he is most concerned about what is in our hearts. We can put on a facade in front of family, friends, and acquaintances, but we cannot fool God. Who we really are and what we truly feel and believe is fully exposed to God as he reads our hearts and minds.
When we become a Christian, the Holy Spirit begins to work more fully and effectively in us and through us. As we grow, a deeper relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ develops and we tend to seek to learn more Biblical truths and spiritual knowledge. However, in order to become a mature Christian it is necessary for us to transfer all our knowledge and experiences from our minds into our hearts. As we transfer all that we have gained into our hearts, the Lord provides us with greater insights, true wisdom, and enlightened understanding of His ways. If you are truly wise it will quickly become very apparent to you that with the more knowledge you gain, the more you realize how little you really know. No matter how much knowledge we possess there is always something more to learn about God and His kingdom. Each of us should be asking God daily, “Lord, is there something more?”
Read 1 Corinthians 1: 18-31 “Christ the Wisdom and Power of God”
So be wise and examine your own heart and make all the necessary adjustments before the final judgment of your heart by the Lord Jesus Christ.
My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense – Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world. We know that we have come to know him if we obey His commands. The man who says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But if anyone obeys His word, God’s love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did. – 1 John 2: 1-6
I am issuing a challenge to all individuals, organizations, and churches in the Christian community. Take this opportunity to reevaluate your personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.
Are you continually growing in your faith walk? Or are you stagnant in your faith?
Now is the perfect opportunity to expand your growth in faith and to learn more about your purpose in God’s family and how to serve God most effectively. Use this time for deep reflection. During this time you should be actively pursuing to renew your relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.
How do you begin this journey of growth and reflection?
The answer to this question is very simple; make God your first love and top priority in your life. The best way to do this is by giving your will over to God’s will and control in all aspects of your life. God’s love for you is pure and true and extremely trustworthy!
Will you welcome an exciting and intriguing adventure in your faith walk? Do you want to take a closer walk with the Lord Jesus Christ?
The Lord Jesus Christ is hoping that your answer to the above questions is a resounding yes!
Will you face the Lord Jesus Christ and answer him?
As for me personally, each day I face the Lord Jesus Christ and I ask for forgiveness for all the sins I am aware of and especially for all the sins that I am unaware of that I committed in thoughts and deeds. Also, every day I give my will over to God’s will and control in every aspect of my life.
My hope for all God’s children is that each and every one of you will truly experience God’s all encompassing love and His gift of grace.
Please come and join the Lord Jesus Christ on this exciting faith journey.
When the Lord Jesus Christ calls your name, will you be prepared to face him and answer:
Lord, I will!
Love and Blessings,
Deepening Your Relationship With God
In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy. – Acts 2:17-18
Do you desire a closer and deeper relationship with God? God is seeking a loving and meaningful relationship with you! How do you begin on this journey to finding a lasting and deeply devoted relationship with God? In prayer form express your deep love and devotion and earnest desire for a meaningful relationship with God. Now you are ready to take a giant step forward. Ask God this question, "Lord, is there something more?" Each time you ask the Lord this question he will reveal to you new and deeper revelations. Never stop seeking the Lord and pursuing the Lord for there is always something more!
Read and study the passages below. God charges us all with this command that Paul had given to Timothy. Peace be with you.
God's Charge To All Of Us
But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses. In the sight of God, who gives life to everything, and of Christ Jesus, who while testifying before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, I charge you to keep this command without spot or blame until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, which God will bring about in his own time - God, the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light, whom no one has seen or can see. To him be honor and might forever. Amen.
Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.
Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to your care. Turn away from Godless chatter and the opposing ideas of what is falsely called knowledge, which some have professed and in so doing have wandered from the faith. Grace be with you." - I Timothy 6:11-21