Tag Archives: Relationship

Wise Choices

As a young person, I prayed to know God’s will, mainly wanting to know what career I should choose. I didn’t hear any answers to that prayer. I had grown up in church and committed my life to Christ at an early age; however, I didn’t learn to rely on Him and to submit my will to His until years later.

 

Most of the time, I tried to live by feelings, fear, “ought-to’s,” and my own understanding. This resulted in my making many poor choices in life. Those decisions never gave me the happiness, satisfaction, or sense of being loved which I craved. It’s no wonder they didn’t provide those things, though. What I longed for comes only from trusting and loving God with my whole being, letting go of my own ways, and living for Jesus. I wanted good things, but I didn’t trust the Giver of all good things.
Although my faith has grown since then, I still don’t always make wise choices. But I’m learning to trust God more and ask Him about things in life. I’m also trying to focus more on Jesus and less on me. How thankful I am for God’s patience and forgiveness! He never quit loving me, and He never gave up on me.
Thank You, Lord.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6 – NKJV
“But that no one is justified by the law in the sight of God is evident, for ‘the just shall live by faith.’” Galatians 3:11–NKJV

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Pastor’s Joy by Randy Huddleston

I found this devotion by my Pastor Randy Huddleston very meaningful and wanted to share it with you:

He must increase, but I must decrease.
John 3:30 (NASB)

–John the Baptist

Pastor’s Joy

There are jobs that require a person to show up, get it done, and move on, but that isn’t how it works for a pastor.

God matters.  God’s people matter.  There is more going on than this temporal world.  The Apostle Paul understood the importance of these things and gave instructions to the elders (pastors, overseers) of the church in Ephesus regarding the role.

So guard yourselves and God’s people. Feed and shepherd God’s flock—his church, purchased with his own blood—over which the Holy Spirit has appointed you as elders. Acts 20:28 (NLT)

Pastors are to be careful to guard themselves against the flesh, the world, and the devil.  All are interested in doing harm and not promoting the good God has purposed.  They fail.  I fail.  But we turn to our redeemer and are restored to the work God has given.  The pastor must draw near to God.  There must be a clarity of his own brokenness so that he can reach out to the broken.  The idea of flawlessness among God’s servants is a myth.  Having failed or been misled a pastor can learn to be a better guard and protector of God’s people if he keeps His eye on God.  He must humble himself, confess his sins, and follow the Lord.  John puts it this way.

If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. If we claim we have not sinned, we are calling God a liar and showing that his word has no place in our hearts. 1 John 1:8-10 (NLT)

The key for the pastor is to stay close to God and to bring spiritually nourishing food to God’s people.  Kids may want to live on Happy Meals and cotton candy, but there are some things more nourishing which their parents must provide.  Sometimes God’s people can lean toward spiritual Happy Meals and cotton candy, but there are more spiritually nourishing meals God would desire for the.  The pastor is to discern the real needs and under  the leadership and power of the Spirit provide the proper nutrition.

This is done for God’s flock—the church.  So, very important to the Lord.  Purchased by the blood of Christ.

Precious to the Lord are you, the people of His flock.  And, as such, you are precious to the pastor given charge of the flock.

As for me, as it was for Paul, “You are my joy and the crown I receive for my work.” Philippians 4:1 (NLT)

The eternal exists now and forever.  What God is doing brings us into that bigger picture.  The pressures of today will be different in a few years.  Rationing of food and other items existed during World War II, and then it changed.  These things too will fade away.  But what God is doing in you will last.  Being part of what God is doing in you a worthy challenge and worthwhile goal.  The joy for me and for pastors is seeing God’s people walking faithfully with Him, fulfilling their purpose, and finally being presented perfect in their relationship with Christ.

How has your relationship with the Lord been helped or hampered by pastors you have had over the years?

Have you had any misunderstandings of the responsibilities pastors have?

What do you appreciate about Christ’s design of having pastors in His church?

(e-mail address for Pastor Randy Huddleston: info@gbcpryor.org )

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Holy and Beloved

Colossians 3:12-14 “Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. 14 Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony.” [New Living Translation (NLT)]
Because I’m chosen, set apart, and loved by God, I can show mercy to others, act kindly, have a meek attitude, exercise patience, and think, behave, and speak humbly. In fact these attributes reflect Christ’s character, which I’m called to do, and which I want to do. I can and want to “cut some slack” for others and quickly forgive from my heart when others offend me, because I, myself, am forgiven because of Christ.
And most of all, I need to allow God’s unconditional love to flow through me to those with whom I interact.

sailboat-300x225-by Berton Brown        Romans 13:12-14 also talks about the way I need to live as one of God’s people: “…Remove your dark deeds like dirty clothes, and put on the shining armor of right living. Because we belong to the day, we must live decent lives for all to see. Don’t participate in darkness…. Instead, clothe yourself with the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ. And don’t let yourself think about ways to indulge your evil desires.” (NLT)
How do I do this? Maybe I could set the sail of my will to quit responding to situations in my usual way—suspicion, anger, or self-focus. Instead I would decide to respond with trust in God, remembering His goodness, love and care. Maybe it would help to practice His presence all the time by remembering that He is here and then focusing on Him rather than things of earth. [Colossians 3:2 “Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.” (New King James Version)
(Sailboat picture found by “GoodSearch.” Artist Berton Brown.)

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True Soul Food

Bible w-cornbrd-1       Isaiah 55:2-3 “Why do you spend money for what is not bread, and your wages for what does not satisfy? Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good, and let your soul delight itself in abundance. 3 Incline your ear, and come to Me. Hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you — the sure mercies of David.” (New King James)
Feeding on what I hear from God as I come humbly to Him and listen—this is true soul food. He gives wisdom abundantly. I’ll delight myself in what He says, and my soul will be refreshed and revived and will live. I’ll learn of Jesus and find rest for my soul (Matthew 11:28-30). I’ll receive the “sure mercies of David—pardon, blessings, and connection/fellowship with the almighty, totally just yet perfectly loving, only true God. (The New Living Translation says “all the unfailing love I promised to David” instead of “the sure mercies of David.”)
And what further delights my soul is that this very God has made me His child through His Son Jesus Christ! Indeed, as Isaiah 55:8-9 says, His ways and thoughts are higher than mine! They are more wonderful and marvelous than I can comprehend or imagine.
Psalm 37:3 “ Trust (lean on, rely on, and be confident) in the Lord and do good; so shall you dwell in the land and feed surely on His faithfulness, and truly you shall be fed.” Amplified Bible

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Living Water

Beautiful and inspirational Power Point by fellow blogger Anne of Freedomborn.

Freedomborn

Click To enjoy Living WaterLiving Water 

Thank you to all the photographers who made this Power point possible with their beautiful images they captured and shared of God’s awesome creation.

 If you don’t have a Power point viewer this link is for a free one that you can download then click and enjoy the Reality of our Awesome God of  Creation.

http://www.freewarefiles.com/Microsoft-PowerPoint-Viewer_program_24404.html

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WHY DID JESUS SAY THE WAY WAS NARROW?

Excellent message by Pastor Tom. Reminds us that Christianity is all about Jesus–relationship with Him, surrendering to Him. It’s “not about earning points with God or bettering yourself, or peace, or making the world a better place” although these things may result from following Him. The important thing is knowing Jesus, trusting Him, obeying Him.

Clear Bible

narrow way

Sometimes it feels hard to be a real Jesus-follower when so many others seem to get by just fine ignoring most of what he said, and even call themselves Christians while doing it. But Jesus told us right here that that is how it would be.If we claim to be followers of Jesus, it seems only right that we don’t dispute what he said.

To listen to the sermon, click the play button:

To download, right click on the link (or do whatever you do on a Mac) and save it to your computer: Download Matthew Part 23

Matthew #23 . 7:12-29

Matthew 7:12 deserves honorable mention, but it isn’t my intention to preach an entire sermon on it. Jesus said:

In everything, treat others as you would want them to treat you, for this fulfills the law and the prophets. (Matt 7:12, NET)

We call this “the golden…

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God Brings Us Back

house drawing 1     Sometimes people remark, “You can’t go home again,” meaning perhaps that we can’t get back what’s in the past. A woman speaking to King David in 2 Samuel 14:14 expressed a similar thought: “All of us must die eventually. Our lives are like water spilled out on the ground, which cannot be gathered up again. But God does not just sweep life away; instead, he devises ways to bring us back when we have been separated from him.”
This wise woman doesn’t stop with the fact that no one can go back to yesterday. She goes on to tell about how God deals with people who have been separated from Him by past events or experiences. God finds ways to bring us back to Himself.
In John 14, Jesus said that He is the Way to the Father. Romans 5:18 says, Bible Rom title“…Adam’s one sin brings condemnation for everyone, but Christ’s one act of righteousness brings a right relationship with God and new life for everyone.” Jesus came to earth as the spotless sacrificial lamb, suffered and died on the cross, and was raised to life the third day. In doing this, Christ became the Way that God provided for people to be brought back to Him. All those who come to Him through Jesus Christ can enjoy wonderful relationship with the almighty, all-loving, God, both now and forever. What joy!
However, even we who live in right relationship with God through Christ can put distance between ourselves and Him in daily life. We let busy-ness, distractions, sins, or bad habits draw us away, or we get lazy and start to drift from closeness with the Lord. Our merciful God has devised ways to bring us back then also. In James 4:8, God tells us to draw near to Him, and He will draw near to us. 1 John 1:9 tells us what to do about sin—confess it and receive forgiveness. In John 16, Jesus promises the Holy Spirit who helps us get back on track when we’ve gotten off.
We also have God’s written Word to bring us back to Him when we’ve wandered.  Timothy 3:16-17 says,Bible 2 Tim title“All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.” God’s Holy Spirit lives in us revealing the truths in the Scriptures and applying them to our lives.

     Thank You, Lord, for devising ways to bring us back to Yourself when we’re separated from You. Amen.

(Bible verses quoted are New Living Translation.)

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Link to “Why Crucifixion?” by Pastor Tom Hilpert

This is an excellent sermon by Pastor Tom. http://revth.wordpress.com/2014/04/18/why-crucifixion/
I think his closing remarks are powerful: He says that God’s grace is free to us, but it wasn’t free to God. He compared it to a diamond engagement ring being free to the girl who receives it, but it still costs a lot. And when a girl accepts an engagement ring, she’s accepting the marriage proposal. She’s entering a new relationship. Likewise, accepting God’s grace means giving your life to Jesus, committing to Him forever and entering a growing relationship with Him.

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It’s a Matter of Perception

I agree with Shelly. Let’s make 2014 a great year by asking God to show us others from His perspective.

Deeply Rooted in Him

Image

 

I took this photo of a footprint in the sand at the beach a week ago. When I went back and looked at it, instead of looking like an impression of a footprint in the sand, it looked more like a raised footprint built up in the sand. I am not a photographer and can’t explain why it looks so different in the picture than it did in person. It is all about perception.

How often is our perception of a person or a situation skewed by our personal perspective? Too often we look at a person or situation and decide why someone acted a particular way or why a situation turned out a specific way. When we do so, we are ascribing motives and variables than may not exist and our perception may be a bit off.

What if instead of looking for people’s motives, we look at…

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Link to “Getting Past the Me Thing

I found this blog post by our pastor, Randy Huddleston, to be very helpful. Hope it will be a blessing and help to you also.

GETTING PAST THE “ME THING”

A huge obstacle on my way to the relationship with God He has prepared for me is “me.”  Have you noticed that?

God wants to reveal more, but I am busy with me.  God wants to show me His love, but I am filling my heart my way.  Look at this in Galatians 5 for a tool to test when too much of “me” is running things.  Ready? Check off any which show up in your life.

More available at…

http://gbc-pryor.blogspot.com/2013/11/getting-past-me-thing.html

Randy Huddleston, Pastor, Grace Bible Church Pryor, Oklahoma

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