Are You Listening?


tumblr_lo8bohOlXZ1qz6f9yo1_500As you read today’s inspirational story, I ask that you stop and think of how many ways the Lord has spoken to you in the passed few days.

I was overwhelmed with what lay ahead for John with the surgery and temporary ileostomy. During mid-week services, the hymns that were sung spoke right to my heart. The words exhorted the believer to continue on even when the days are dark and it feels as though we are all alone! God reached down and hugged His child last night :-)


The man whispered,

God, speak to me!

And a meadowlark sang. But the man did not hear.

So the man yelled,

God, speak to me!

And the thunder & lightning rolled across the sky. But the man did not listen.

The man looked around and said,

God, let me see you!

And a star shined brightly. But the man did not see.

And, the man shouted,

God, show me a miracle!

And a life was born. But the man did not notice.

So, the man cried out in despair,

Touch me, God, and let me know you are here!

Whereupon, God reached down and touched the man. But the man brushed the butterfly away and walked on.

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The Value of Time


bigstockphoto_turn_back_time_10456-1

Ecclesiastes 3:1 To every [thing there is] a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

To realize the value of one year:

Ask a student who has failed a final exam.

To realize the value of one month: Ask a mother who has given birth to a premature baby.

To realize the value of one week: Ask an editor of a weekly newspaper.

To realize the value of one hour: Ask the lovers who are waiting to meet.

To realize the value of one minute: Ask the person who has missed the train, bus or plane.

To realize the value of one second: Ask a person who has survived an accident.

To realize the value of one millisecond: Ask the person who has won a silver medal in the Olympics.

Time waits for no one.

There’s not one teenager I have spoken to that doesn’t wish time would go by faster. Treasure every moment you have.

Let the Poor Say, “I am rich!”


appreciation (1)One day, the father of a very wealthy family took his son on a trip to the country with the firm purpose of showing his son how poor people can be.

They spent a couple of days and nights on the farm of what would be considered a very poor family.

On their return from the trip, the father asked his son, “How was the trip?” “It was great, Dad.”

“Did you see how poor people can be?” the father asked. “Oh yeah,” said the son. “So what did you learn from the trip?” asked the father. The son answered, “I saw that we have one dog and they have four.

We have a pool that reaches to the middle of our garden and they have a creek that has no end.

We have imported lanterns in our garden and they have the stars at night. Our patio reaches to the front yard and they have the whole horizon.

We have a small piece of land to live on and they have fields that go beyond our sight.

We have servants who serve us, but they serve others. We buy our food, but they grow theirs.

We have walls around our property to protect us and they have friends to protect them.” With this, the boy’s father was speechless. Then his son added, “Thanks, Dad, for showing me how poor we are.”

Too many times we forget what we have and concentrate on what we don’t have. So many teenagers plead with their parents to get them the latest “this or that.” They don’t see all those things that they actually have nor are they appreciative. That is one person’s worthless object is another’s prized possession.

Where are you, teen girl?

It is all based on one’s perspective. Makes you wonder what would happen if we all gave thanks to God for the bounty we have been provided by Him instead of worrying about wanting more.

True Salvation


Teen girl, if salvation could be received by merely repeating a few words, it would be quite easy to do, wouldn’t it? But when there is no intention of changing one’s life style of sin, one is hardly saved. I can repeat the Presidential oath but that does not make me the President of the U.S.! Neither does blabbing a prayer make me a born-again Christian. What did you do the day you got saved?

There is something required and that is a change of mind toward sin. Were you truly sorry for your sin? If you were, you would have been willing to change directions. Were you willing to change directions, teen girl? Did that happen or did you just continue on with your life and doing the same old sins over and over?

It is only when you repent and change your attitude toward sin that you can be born again! Only then can you acknowledge that Christ came, died, was buried and rose again and become saved according to the Scriptures.

Let’s take a look at what the Scriptures say about salvation.

~Isaiah 53:4-7 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. (6) He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.

Salvation is of the LORD. ~Jonah 2:9b

For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost. ~Matthew 18:11

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. ~John 3:16

But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they. ~Acts 15:11

~Romans 3:24-25 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;

For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; ~1 Corinthians 15:3

For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. ~2 Corinthians 5:21

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: ~Ephesians 2:8

Philippians 2:7-8 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

~Hebrews 2:14-17 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;  And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.  For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham. Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.

Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. ~1 Peter 2:24

Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. ~1 John 4:10

So you see that salvation is of God, brought to man through the work of Jesus Christ and only His work on the cross. Now what did Christ and the Apostles (the early church fathers) teach about repentance?

~Luke 13:1-5 There were present at that season some that told him of the Galilaeans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they suffered such things?  I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.

Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. ~Acts 2:38

Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; ~Acts 3:19

And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: ~Acts 17:30

Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ. ~Acts 20:21

It is clear that Christ and the Apostles taught repentance and it is a necessary part of salvation. Just as I can’t be the President of the U.S. by reciting the Presidential oath, nor can a person be saved by merely reciting a few words. It is clear that there has to be more than that – there’s needs to be a change of heart, otherwise you will continue to live your life the way it was before you recited the words.

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. ~2 Corinthians 5:17

If you claim to be a born-again Christian, teen girl, has your life changed? Do you love reading your Bible? Do you love the things of God? Are you grieved when you sin? If not, something is wrong. You may be no different than the Pharisees – educated but eternally lost. It’s time to look within you and let the Holy Spirit open your eyes. If you have questions about what I shared with you here, please email me and we can discuss this most important topic. My email address is k8plord @ gmail.com (There are no spaces – I inserted spaces here so that spammers can’t just pick up the email address.)

Friendship


(A)ccepts you as you are
(B)elieves in “you”
(C)alls you just to say “HI”
(D)oesn’t give up on you
(E)nvisions the whole of you (even the unfinished parts)
(F)orgives your mistakes
(G)ives unconditionally
(H)elps you
(I)nvites you over
(J)ust “be” with you
(K)eeps you close at heart
(L)oves you for who you are
(M)akes a difference in your life
(N)ever Judges
(O)ffers support
(P)icks you up
(Q)uiets your fears
(R)aises your spirits
(S)ays nice things about you
(T)ells you the truth when you need to hear it
(U)nderstands you
(V)alues you
(W)alks beside you
(X)-plains things you don’t understand
(Y)ells when you won’t listen, and
(Z)aps you back to reality

~Author Unknown

When I Said


When I said to the Lord, “I am so short of where you want me to be.”
He gently answered “That’s okay. That’s all the farther you and I can walk together.”

When I said to the Lord, “I don’t know who I am.”
He gently answered “That’s okay. I know who you are.”

When I said to the Lord, “I am so tired of fighting.”
He gently answered “That’s okay. Satan is down for the count.”

When I said to the Lord, “My actions aren’t reflecting my heart.”
He gently answered “That’s okay. Mine did.”

When I said to the Lord, “My mind is corrupted.”
He gently answered “That’s okay. Use mine for awhile.”

When I said to the Lord, “I don’t know how to love.”
He gently answered “That’s okay. I will give you free lessons.”

Author Unknown

Pride


~Proverbs 16:18 Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.

Injured pride is a tough lesson for the believer. The earlier this lesson is learned, the better it is. This is a hard lesson but when it is learned as a child, it makes it all the more easy later on as a teen.

What is the best way to deal with pride? Doing a study on how God views pride should be the first place we start. Noah Webster’s definition helps us to see more clearly:

Inordinate self-esteem; an unreasonable conceit of one’s own superiority in talents, beauty, wealth, accomplishments, rank or elevation in office, which manifests itself in lofty airs, distance, reserve, and often in contempt of others.

Today’s graphic is a good representation, don’t you think? When we see ourselves as better than we truly are, we set ourselves up for a huge disappointment. Pride revolves around self – it’s all about ME! It’s all about MY feelings being hurt.

If you struggle with pride, remember that one day you will be brought down to the level you truly belong, and maybe even lower – and that’s no fun place to be.

~1 Samuel 2:3 Talk no more so exceeding proudly; let not arrogancy come out of your mouth: for the LORD is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed.

Continuing to be arrogant and prideful will only set you up for defeat, teen girl. God sees who you truly are and how you think of yourself – He will weigh your actions. When the time comes where you are brought down, your pride will force you to think that you are suffering as a Christian. But God’s Word says:

~1 Peter 2:20 For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God.

You’re suffering because of your sinful pride, not because you did something right for the Lord. You must recognize the difference and see God’s punishment as His way of teaching you to be humble.

It is better to learn to be humble and meek before God has to deal with you and you are brought to shame.

~Proverbs 11:2 When pride cometh, then cometh shame: but with the lowly is wisdom.

Get in the Bible where the teaching is pure – there are so many verses dealing with pride and humbleness. Recognize that your pride is sin in the eyes of God.

~Proverbs 21:4 An high look, and a proud heart, and the plowing of the wicked, is sin.

Confess this sin and ask the Holy Spirit of God to pierce your heart and teach you humbleness and meekness.

As if pride isn’t bad enough, it will most certainly drive you to greater sin. The Lord says you will stir up trouble and that you are a fool.

~Proverbs 28:25-26  He that is of a proud heart stirreth up strife: but he that putteth his trust in the LORD shall be made fat. He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool: but whoso walketh wisely, he shall be delivered.

Is this what you want for your life, teen girl? The Christian who is striving to grow in Christ produces the fruit of the Spirit. Pride is not listed as a fruit of the Holy Spirit; however meekness is in Galatians 5:22.

It’s always best to learn any lesson early on because the longer you remain in any sin, the harder it will be to get rid of that sin and the harder you will fall. If you have little brothers or sisters, you will see what I mean. If they disobey your parents once, the punishment is minimal. But the more they continue to disobey, the harsher the punishment, right? Can you expect any less from your Heavenly Father? So you ask, “I thought today’s devo was going to be on injured pride? I thought I would learn how to deal with it.” If you look deep within yourself, you will see that your pride was injured because you thought more of yourself than you should have. Dealing with injured pride is learning to be humble.That’s the lesson! 🙂