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May 16, 2010

HOPE Floats... SETTLING Sinks!

(Editor's Note: This is a devotional message that I spoke at our local 'soup kitchen', and I know the message was for them, for other members of our own team, and it is for YOU! So allow the Holy Spirit to speak to YOU and allow Him to move in your life, and continue to build up your HOPE!)


Today we often settle with what we have and we stop striving, whether out of discouragement or just plain laziness. There is a story that is told of a father and his son...

"A father was late getting to his son's baseball game. As he sat down behind the players' bench he asked one of the boys known as a real leader on the team what the score was. 'We're behind 14 to nothing,' he answered with a smile. 'Really!' the Dad replied. 'I am surprised that you don't look very discouraged.' 'Discouraged?' the boy replied with a puzzled look on his face. "Why should we be discouraged? We haven't been up to bat yet.'"

God doesn't want us to settle with even the 'good', when He desires to give us the 'best'!

Don't give up... press in all the more harder. (Like the baseball team above, [we don't know how the story ends], but if the team went out and didn't try, basically settling with their loss, in the end they probably continued to lose. However if they pressed in hard, and tried to win, then may have just won.) We need to STRIVE for the 'win', and the goal that God desires for us. Don't settle for 2nd best!

For example, say you have a desire for TIMMY's (TIM HORTON'S) Coffee (if you are Canadian), and your thirst calls out for it. If I offer you a simple 'instant coffee', you may 'settle' for it, but you still desire the Timmy's... If however I offer you a McDonald's Coffee (which in some cases people like more than Tim's) you would also 'settle' for it, because you are thirsty and that is what is available... NOW, if you wait until the right time to go for your "TIMs" coffee, and I offer you that, obviously you would choose that decision because Tim's Coffee is what you were desiring to have in your heart all along. But... again you say, well the 'instant' is so quick, so it can fill my thirst momentarily (or temporarily). The McDonald's coffee is still good, and I can afford that right now... but there is such a COST to receive the Timmy's... There is also going to be a COST to striving for the 'best', but the cost is certainly worth it all in the end. Your 'thirst' is satisfied by what your heart/spirit/soul desired in the first place (which should be what God desires for you).

God has BIG plans for your life -- He has created you and designed you to be special -- you are worthy! He desires to see YOU become the M.E. that He created you to be.
M.E. = Maximum Effectiveness (your ultimate potential) -- the 'Best You' = 'Youier You!'

ROMANS 8:19 -- "For all creation is waiting eagerly for that future day when God will reveal who His children really are."

WHO are YOU really?

Are YOU a HOPER or a SETTLER?

Definition of 'SETTLE' -- (according to Webster's Dictionary)
- to become fixed or permanent
- to sink to the bottom of a liquid (as sediment settles)

If we 'SETTLE' we become fixed or permanent (or even hard-hearted), and God cannot change or move us as freely as He wants to. We are not 'willing' to move either. Also we can 'sink' to the bottom, and not do what He desires of us. God wants us to rise above and live the life He has for us.


GENESIS 11:27-32
"This is the account of Terah. Terah became the father of Abram, Nahor and Haran. And Haran became the father of Lot. While his father Terah was still alive, Haran died in Ur of the Chaldeans, in the land of his birth. Abram and Nahor both married. The name of Abram's wife was Sarai, and the name of Nahor's wife was Milcah; she was the daughter of Haran, the father of both Milcah and Iscah. Now Sarai was barren; she had no children. Terah took his son Abram, his grandson Lot son of Haran, and his daughter-in-law Sarai, the wife of his son Abram, and together they set out from Ur of the Chaldeans to go to Canaan. But when they came to Haran, they settled there. Terah lived 205 years, and he died in Haran."


Terah, Abraham's father 'settled', he did still live a good life, as he died at 205, yet he died in Haran, he never received the full promise from God (the promised land of Canaan). Abraham however did not follow the steps of his father totally... and in Genesis 13 he separated from his nephew Lot, so basically he 'didn't settle for his Lot in life'...
In Genesis 18:1-15, God promises a son and blessings to Abraham and Sarah. Sarah hears that she is to bear a child and she laughs in disbelief. However, in Genesis 21:1-7 Isaac (the promised son) was born to them when Abraham was 100 years old. Sarah now laughed in delight, for God kept and fulfilled His promise to them. They received the 'best' that God was offering them due to their obedience. But... it didn't all happen so easily, Sarah was beginning to 'settle', and she was tired of waiting, she was getting older, she tried to hurry along the process. (She allowed her hand-maiden to bear a child with her husband whom they named Ishmael) This caused even more pain in the end... but instead of settling for the 'good', they strived to receive the 'best'.


God WANTS to fulfill His promises in YOUR lives! Don't 'settle' with what you have - God still wants YOU to be soooo much more!


God IS faithful to keep His promises... IF we are obedient in doing our part, and waiting for His timing, and His desires to be lived out. The Bible says, "Delight yourself in the LORD and He will give you the desires of your heart." (Psalm 37:4) Our desires will actually become those that He desires, if we are truly living with Him as our guide and source.


Keep the faith! Increase your faith to believe God for sooooo much more!


What is the definition of HOPE... 'desire and expectation of fulfillment' The Bible tells us in Romans 8:24-25, "We were given this hope when we were saved. (If we already have something, we don’t need to hope for it. But if we look forward to something we don’t yet have, we must wait patiently and confidently.)"


I pray that YOU will become a HOPER... that you will live each day with the desire and expectation of fulfillment of what GOD wants to do in and through you. Don't 'settle' for the good, strive through, press in and receive the 'best'! May your HOPE FLOAT...
In the words of MOTHER TERESA...







May 1, 2010

The 3 "R's" of Life...

Hey! HAPPY MAY 1st!! The month to celebrate MOM's, or women everywhere. To celebrate this month of MAY, I have decided to go on a 30 (technically 31 days are in May) Day Makeover with "True Woman.com" -- I just found this wonderful site for Christian women, and have already done previous studies on Proverbs 31, and the Women of the Bible, yet I am very excited to see God reveal something *NEW* to me in our relationship through this 'make-over'. I will be doing my blog devotionals here still, as that is a desire of my heart, and a way to help you renew your own relationship with God, yet I will be following along with Nancy Leigh DeMoss and the other "TRUE WOMEN" who are taking, and have already taken this challenge... I hope that YOU will join me! (click the 'Start the Make-Over' link below)
True Woman Start the Make-Over


My "MAKE-OVER STORY" will be found at my other blog, CRE8TED 2 SHARE.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
The 3 "R's" of Life

So, I have finished my 'blog' for DAY 1 of the challenge, and while I was reading the message from Nancy, I got the insight into this devotional. During my own thoughts on my 'make-over', I also was inspired, and more info was revealed to me through God and His Holy Spirit.

Keeping it short, sweet and to the point, the 3 "R's" of Life are usually seen as "Readin', (w)Ritin' and (A)Rithmetic", yet I have come to realize that there are 3 more important ones, and if you have those as a high priority in your life, then those 'other 3' will fall into place for you as well.

1. RELATE (RELATIONSHIP)
2. REPENT (REPENTANCE)
3. RENEW (RENEWAL) & REVIVE (REVIVAL)

and two more important ones that fit into those 3 are 'REAL & REVEAL'.

1. FIRST & FOREMOST, we need to have a RELATIONSHIP with God. Some call Him God; Father; Heavenly Father; Abba; Daddy; The guy upstairs, etc... Whatever you call Him (as long as its in reverance), He wants a personal intimate relationship with YOU. (not just your Grandma, or Great Uncle Al) He desires to know and meet intimately with EACH of His creation. This is NOT religion-based. Christianity by name is seen as a world religion, yet a TRUE Christian or Christ-follower is indeed that... someone who follows Christ. Someone who follows the teachings and has a RELATIONSHIP with God, His Son and His Holy Spirit (They are 3-in-1, yet they are also 3 separate and important entities).

2. We must REPENT to have this RELATIONSHIP.
According to dictionary.com (Random House), repent is a verb which means;
1.to feel sorry, self-reproachful, or contrite for past conduct; regret or be conscience-stricken about a past action, attitude, etc. (often fol. by of): He repented after his thoughtless act.
2.to feel such sorrow for sin or fault as to be disposed to change one's life for the better; be penitent.
 
We ALL have sinned, (and will continue to sin unfortunately, as our mind is filled with carnal thoughts), and therefore fall short of the glory of God. (see Romans 3:23) Because of our sin, the penalty that we should receive is death. However, through God's GRACE (getting something we don't deserve) & MERCY (not getting something that we do deserve) we can receive and live fully in our salvation and eternal life with God. (see Romans 6:23)
 
3. We must RENEW this RELATIONSHIP daily. We need to spend time with Him and enjoy being in His presence. Just sitting in church for an hour isn't the time needed to RENEW your relationship. Church is a time where the body is to be edified and encouraged by a Shepherd and each other. Now don't get me wrong, you are able to RENEW your relationship at the altar, yet to keep the relationship going strong, time needs to be spent alone with God. Our intimate times alone with God is where we RENEW our love and purpose in relationship with Him.

"Then we will not turn away from you; revive us, and we will call on your name. Restore us, O LORD God Almighty; make your face shine upon us,
that we may be saved." Psalm 80:18-19


...and We need to REVIVE our hearts and our spirits, as we RENEW our RELATIONSHIP. Revival is not a noun as the dictionary states, it is not always something that happens once or maybe twice in our lifetime in a big ol' tent, 'Revival' is an ACTION. Revive is a verb. To be revived, means that you were once dead, and now made alive again.
 
"Will you not revive us again, that your people may rejoice in you? " - Psalm 85:6


"After two days he will revive us; on the third day he will restore us, that we may live in his presence." Hosea 6:2
 
According to Random House Dictionary (dictionary.com), revival is a noun which means:
1.restoration to life, consciousness, vigor, strength, etc.
2.restoration to use, acceptance, or currency: the revival of old customs.
3.a new production of an old play.
4.a showing of an old motion picture.
5.an awakening, in a church or community, of interest in and care for matters relating to personal religion.
6.an evangelistic service or a series of services for the purpose of effecting a religious awakening: to hold a revival.
7.the act of reviving.
8.the state of being revived.
9.Law. the reestablishment of legal force and effect.

A 'restoration to life'; a 'restoration to use'; 'an awakening' -- WOW! I like the picture that 'restoration' brings to mind. When you restore old furniture or cars, etc... you help to bring it back to life once again, so that it is useful. You don't change the purpose of the item, but you change the way it can be used. God created us to be something unique and through sin, we are not living up to His expectations. However, through revival & His holy restoration, we can be made once again into what He wants. (I have been reading "The ME I Want To Be" by John Ortberg, and in his book he talks about this as well.) God wants to restore us, and make us 'new'... but we are still the person that God created us to be. In John Ortberg's book, he states, we become a "youier you".

According to Random House Dictionary (dictionary.com), restore is a verb which means:
1.to bring back into existence, use, or the like; reestablish: to restore order.
2.to bring back to a former, original, or normal condition, as a building, statue, or painting.
3.to bring back to a state of health, soundness, or vigor.
4.to put back to a former place, or to a former position, rank, etc.: to restore the king to his throne.
5.to give back; make return or restitution of (anything taken away or lost).
6.to reproduce or reconstruct (an ancient building, extinct animal, etc.) in the original state.

Going back to the definition of 'revival' -- #3 states "a new production of an old play." Holy Spirit revealed to me that when we are in a state of revival, we can and will do more than ever before. The 'old play' or the Biblical & Historical Events (not stories) that are found in God's Word need to be revealed, revived and restored in our lives today. Jesus, Himself stated that we as believers can see greater things. These promises can be found throughout Scripture,

John 1:50 -- "Jesus said, 'You believe[a] because I told you I saw you under the fig tree. You shall see greater things than that.'"

John 5:20 -- "For the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does. Yes, to your amazement he will show him even greater things than these."

John 14:12 -- "I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father."

To live our life with these 3 "R's", we must also be REAL and allow His Spirit and His Word to REVEAL Himself/Itself in our lives. We cannot wear a mask of falseness, or be phony with those in the world, or with God Himself. Sometimes we think we can fool others, and maybe we actually do, but we can never fool God (although for some reason we think we can). If we live our lives being REAL and authentic people and Christ-followers, then others will have the desire to follow as well. When we allow His Spirit to break us, mold us, and use us to His purposes and His glory, then He will be able to REVEAL new and exciting truths to us. But again, we have to have that REVIVED, RENEWED RELATIONSHIP with the Father.

"For this is what the high and lofty One says— he who lives forever, whose name is holy: 'I live in a high and holy place, but also with him who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite.'" Isaiah 57:15
 
Live a life pleasing to the Lord - one from 2 Chronicles 7:14, "if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land."
 
BE BLESSED & BE A BLESSING (in someone else's life)!

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