Tag Archive | examine

Permanent Resident

John 15:4,5 – “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.”

“Without me ye can do nothing.” I don’t do well with doing nothing. I’m busy from the time I get up until I go to bed. And I guess in a way that’s good, but it can be very tiring. 

But when I stop and consider my spiritual life (which should seep over into my physical life), do I try to do things without Jesus? Do I try and read my Bible without inviting Him to come along side me? Do I try to serve at church without asking Him if it is where I’m supposed to be? Yep. 

So what does this have to do with these verses and this blog title? I need to take up permanent residence in Jesus. Now, I know what you’re thinking, “Duh, Melissa. We are followers of Christ. Isn’t that where we should be?” Yep. But are you? Are you truly abiding in the Vine? Are you letting Him supply your every need? Are you producing His fruit or your own? Have you truly established yourself in Him? Could you be the person you are today without Him?

Jesus should be so much a part of who you are that to attempt to disconnect yourself from Him would bring complete and utter destruction. You need to be a permanent resident in Jesus. He has to be your source of life for all parts of you. He needs to be what gets you out of bed in the morning. He needs to be what motivates you to care for those around you. He needs to be the One that you rely upon when the job gets too heavy. He needs to be your Friend when no one else is around. You and Jesus need to be stuck together with eternal glue – no coming apart, ever. 

So let me encourage you today to dig a little deeper. Grow that bond a little stronger. Make Jesus a bigger part of your life. This is what He wants. This is what He desires – a relationship with His child – you. Happy Wednesday. 

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The Mirror on the Wall

Ephesians 4:17-24 – “This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. But ye have not so learned Christ; If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.”

It’s Monday. I am guessing that each and every one of you have already looked in the mirror this day. Did you see wild and crazy hair? Did you see bags under your eyes from not enough sleep? Did you see someone well rested and refreshed?

When we look in the mirror, we tend to see only the physical aspects of ourself. We don’t look at who we really are as we look in the mirror. But maybe we should. 

We will stand in front of the mirror and point out every flaw and every wrinkle and every misplaced hair but when it comes to seeing the flaws, wrinkles and misplaced attitudes, well, we don’t have time to look at those. That’s just part of living in this sinful, old word, right? 

We will look into the mirror and tell ourself that everything is ok, that I’m going to be fine on my own. We will ignore the warning signs and keep on going because we can handle things. 

That’s the old way. Those thoughts and plans should be a thing of the past when we accept Jesus as our Savior. We don’t have to face it alone. 

Mirrors always show truth. And the truth is – we NEED Jesus. We need to be renewed in Him each and every day. That means spending time with Him. That means reading His word. That means praying. That means listening when He speaks. That’s what the mirror is trying to get across to us – we NEED Jesus. 

So today, look closely in the mirror. Don’t just see the physical attributes you have. Look deeper. See who you really are. Look at your intentions and desires. See why you really go on each and every day. It may not be pretty, but we all need a good, hard look into the mirror on the wall. 

My Apple

I Samuel 16:7 – “But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.”

I love apples. I have one almost every day. I don’t like mushy apples. I like ones that are beautiful and crisp.

The other day, I bought some apples at the grocery store that looked beautiful. They were large, red and firm. However, when I sliced into it, the inside was slightly brown and it wasn’t as firm as I had thought. I had been deceived by the apple.

Have you ever met someone who appeared to be a “Christian” on the outside but when you got to know them, their thoughts and actions were nothing but yuck? I think we have all come across someone like this from time to time.

Hypocrites. They say and act one way around one person or group and then act in a totally opposite manner when they are around someone else. They are like chameleons – changing with their environment.

I don’t want to be someone like that. I want to be true and genuine and honest. I want to be the person that is the same no matter where I am or what circumstance I am in.

You see, we may be able to fool the people around us, but we cannot fool God. He sees our heart. He knows the motivation behind our actions. On the outside, we may look like the ideal example of a follower of Christ. But just as my apple was brown on the inside, our heart and thoughts and motivations can be tainted with sin.

So let me encourage you this week to guard your inside. Ask God to show you your brown spots and let Him cut them out and clean you up. Let God make you genuine and truthful and honest so that you accurately demonstrate Him in all that you do.

Time for a check-up

Psalm 51:10 – “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.”

Okay everyone, the countdown is on. Only three more days left in 2014. Can you believe it? You have three more days to make the best of 2014 and plan for 2015. What are you going to do? Where are you going to go? How are you going to live the days you are given next year?

Most people will be preparing their New Year’s Resolutions this week. May I suggest that you do something different this year – make plans, not resolutions. Plans mean that you have a goal and how to get there. You’re not making arbitrary wishes. You are making well thought out goals and goals will always get you farther.

So, let’s begin. Let’s look at your health. I want to look at your health in three different areas: mind, body and soul.
First, your mind. Are you making an effort each and every day to renew your mind? Romans 12:2 – “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” How do you expect to be able to do God’s will if you and He are not on the same page?
Second, your body. Are you taking care of the temple God gave you? Do you care for it and feed it properly? Or do you just live life with abandon and eat whatever sounds good at the moment? 1 Corinthians 3:16 – “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?” I know I don’t want to give God something yucky to live in. So this next year I want to care for my body in a better way. I encourage you to think and pray about how God wants you to change things to make your body more healthy to do His work.
And lastly, your spirit. How is your relationship with Him? Are you walking with Him? Are you letting Him have every day, every moment? Do you talk to Him as much as you talk to your best friend? He just wants to be the biggest part of your life. Think for a moment about Jesus’ life with His disciples. He spent three years walking with them and spending every moment with them. They didn’t just meet for classes once a week. They walked with the Savior and talked with Him and laughed with Him and cried with Him and ate with Him. It was a very intimate time. Jesus still wants that same thing with you.

Princess, the time is now. The time has come for a check-up. Take these next few days and think about your health – the health of your mind, the health of your body and the health of you soul. Do you need to change some things? Could you make any one (or all) of these areas better? Just begin with a list of these three areas and things that could (or should) be changed. Then pray. Pray about how God wants you to change them.

A good look in the mirror

1 Corinthians 6:19,20 – “know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.”

“Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity.” Ecclesiastes 1:2
Last week, we started a workout program. We saw it and thought, “Twenty five minutes. I can do 25 minutes.” Little did we know that some guy on the tv would be trying to kill us for 25 minutes. None of us have died, yet. But we have definitely done a lot of sweating!
Why? Why are we putting ourselves through this torture? Do we want to look good? For what? For whom? Why do any of us start a fitness program at some stage in our life?
Most of the time the answer is for health reasons. We want to be healthier. But let’s look deep. Deep, deep down, the answer is probably vanity. We don’t want to look like a fat slob. We are tired of shopping in the big girl section. The old lady clothes are starting to look appealing. Yuck! So we decide to get it off the couch and start moving.

There is nothing wrong with this train of thought, to a point. When you start desiring to look good for anyone other than your spouse, you have problems.

You need to examine your motives behind exercise. Me, I want to look good for my husband and feel better about myself. I would also like for my clothes to fit a little better. I’m fairly healthy, but everyone could use some improvement in this area.

But let’s look at all this from a spiritual standpoint. Now, I know what you are thinking, “What does exercise have to do with my spiritual life?” When you look in the mirror, do you know what you are looking at? That, dear princess, would be the “temple of the Holy Ghost”! Yowza! How’s that temple doing? Is it in disrepair? Does it function properly? Can it do everything that its Creator is asking it to do?

Today, I just want to encourage you to look at your body. See if there is room for improvement. Ask God to show you where and how you need to change things. Maybe you need to lay off the sugar or wheat for a while. Maybe you need to start walking around the block every night after dinner. Maybe you need to join a gym. Or maybe all things are a go. Then, dear princess, get out there and do it! It doesn’t matter if you are 9 or 99, God has a purpose and reason that you are breathing today. It is your responsibility to go out there, figure it out and do it.

Distractions

John 4:11-19

I don’t have a key verse for you, at least not yet. We will see where the Lord leads in all this.

But go there and read these verses. Really read them. Don’t skim them. Don’t casually glance at them. But truly read them.

At the beginning, this woman is confused. She doesn’t understand the truth that Jesus is presenting to her. She doesn’t get it. But then, He offers her eternal life. But she confuses eternal life with an easy life. And she definitely wants an easier life. Who doesn’t? Jesus needs to explain further but something is standing in the way – her sin. So He calls her out on it. And she admits it, somewhat. And when Jesus calls her sin out even more, she tries distraction. She doesn’t want to dive into her failures.

When I read these verses, conviction set in. What sins am I trying to distract the Savior from? We all do it, you know. We all think that we can outsmart God by doing good things to show we love Him and try to keep Him from seeing our tainted sin. Ouch! That one hurts!

Jesus was ready to do what He came to do – share eternal life with someone in need. But He needed her to allow Him to cleanse her from her sin before that blessing could be poured out. How many blessings are we missing or delaying because of our sin? When was the last time you stopped, asked Him to reveal your sin to you and then confessed it? You have to stop and listen. You can’t do it while driving or talking or doing anything, really. You have to be at the place where you can listen with your heart.

Jesus is ready and willing to pour out blessings on those who love and seek Him. But He won’t do it with sin in your life. Now, I know, you can’t be perfect. But sometimes sin keeps you from truly living for Him. It may allow you to serve Him and love Him but it keeps the sweetness away. Are you missing the sweetness?

This is a hard thing, princess. It requires you to honestly look at your life. It makes you admit that you have messed up. It makes you face the fact that you can be better. Princess, take this plunge. Accept this challenge. And let God lead you into a sweetness that far outweighs the sin.