Monthly Archives: April 2015

April 23, 2015

The Mirror

Written By: Remaliah Evans

There are few things that we can always count on in life. One of them is rejection. Cheer up, this gets better. Throughout life your ideas and opinions will be rejected and people may even reject you. Perhaps that is why Jesus warned us that offense would come. Rejection is experienced repeatedly byLooking out the window every person who achieved success. For the sake of this blog, I’ll define success as accomplishing what you have been working toward. I love to read success stories because they inspire me. Did you know the authors of Chicken Soup For The Soul were rejected 140 times before the book was finally published and sold over 125 million copies? Oprah was fired from a news reporter job and a producer job before hosting her own show. Thomas Edison tried to invent the light bulb 1,000 times before he succeeded. Every success story includes failures and rejection. So how is it that these people achieved what they had been working for? Simply put: they got back up.

Proverbs 24:16 says that a righteous [woman] falls seven times and rises again. Righteous means to have a right relationship with Christ, so if you are saved this verse refers to you. When you are rejected, or when your ideas or work are rejected, your morale falls. Enthusiasm falls, confidence falls, momentum falls, or your countenance falls. The solution is to get up. Every time. How do you get up? Good question. You look in the mirror. Not your compact or your bathroom mirror. The mirror of Jesus, the mirror of the word. 2 Corinthians 3:18 “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.” In this verse you see that you are to look to the Lord and behold His glory, with nothing in between you and Him. When you look at Him it is like looking in a mirror. As you behold the Lord you begin to look more like Him, and you go from glory to glory.

Here in this verse, God is confirming your identity and your relationship with Him. He is saying look at Me and you will see all of the beautiful and wonderful attributes that I have placed inside of you. Look at Me and you will see all of the ways that you resemble Me. You are looking more and more like your Father, every day. You are My daughter, I created you, I love you, and you are glorious.

The word glory has several meanings; after researching the Greek, here is what I gather: your glory (not to be confused with God’s glory) is the clear display of who you really are, in Christ. The best of who you are. It is when you reflect Christ. James 1:17 says that “every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” All of the good in you- your character, your talents, the way you love people, your creativity- these are all gifts from your Father.

When you are rejected, it is easy to look away from your Father, and accept a counterfeit identity. A counterfeit identity is any identity other than your God-given identity as a daughter of Christ. Rejection tries to steal your identity. Rejection says you’re not good enough, you’re never gonna make it, you’ve made too many mistakes, you don’t have what it take, just give up. When you keep your eyes on the Lord He confirms your true identity: you are loved, you are the apple of His eye, you are light, you are the righteousness of God in Christ, you are more than a conqueror through Christ Jesus, you are worth dying for, you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you, you are accepted by your loving Father.

Not only does He say this but He shows you! Looking to the Father speaks of relationship and revelation. When you look to Him, you begin to understand His glory and His goodness, and He shows you the glory that He has given you according to John 17:22-23. The next time rejection comes, continue looking in the mirror, look at Your Father and let Him continually show you who He is, and who you are.

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April 16, 2015

The Power of Doing Good

Written By Judy Smith

When I was a child, children were strictly disciplined. My grandparents told me constantly to be good. When I misbehaved or disobeyed, I was punished, which taught me not to do that again. It was constantly drilled into my head: don’t lie, steal, curse, treat others badly, or disobey my elders. This was all good.woman meditation on the beach

Did that make me good? Not really. Even though I didn’t do those things for fear of punishment, under my breath I cursed and I was often tempted to sin. I was only “being good” because I was afraid that nobody would want me if I misbehaved. Being good was a way to protect myself from rejection.

 My heart was deceitfully wicked.

Jeremiah 17:9 The heart is deceitfully wicked above all things.

Psalms 139:23 …search me and know my heart.

Matthew 5:8 …blessed are the pure in heart.

 So I spent my life desiring to be good in my heart. I tried to fight the sin nature in my flesh, but it never worked. I was not born again and I didn’t know God’s Word. In 1971 I received Jesus as my Lord and Savior and began to devour the Word of God. I knew He said that I was forgiven, but it took time for me to learn to forgive myself. After I received Jesus, I desired His goodness in my life, and I was doing good from my heart. I found myself loving people, I even loved my enemies. Acts 10:38 NIV …how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with Him. After I was baptized with the Holy Spirit, I later had another experience, where in prayer and worship, I was baptized in the love of God. Since then love people so much, even my enemies. I want from the depths of my heart to do good. I hate sin and I hate evil. I don’t want to wrong anyone.

 I firmly believe that when we have problems, we should not worry. We should continue doing the things we know to do. If we have commitments, we must be sure to keep them. Do not get so caught up with your problems that you don’t keep your commitments or do good. Psalms 37:3 says that we should trust in the Lord and do good, and we will feed on His faithfulness. I am so thankful for God’s faithfulness. I have discovered that if I continue to study of God’s Word, continue praying, keep my commitments, and continue helping others, I experience breakthrough much faster. Helping while I am hurting is actually very powerful. We need to give back what we have been given. Love is the greatest gift of God. It is essential according to 1 Corinthians 13:1-3. Jesus was compelled by love to choose to bear our sins on His body, on the cross. What greater love is there? Hebrews 6:10 God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them. 1 John 3:16-18 By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.  But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him? My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed [works] and in truth.

Galatians 6:9 And let us not grow weary while doing good for in due season we shall reap, if we do not lose heart. The desire you have to serve God comes from Him. Philippians 2:13 NLT God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases Him. Whether it is because of thankfulness for your salvation, the desire for others to know Him, or through His call for you to live for Him – all of these are evidence of God working in you! Do not question whether you are strong enough, good looking enough, smart enough, or talented enough to do good for Him. And do not fret over your faults or weaknesses. He will provide you with everything you need, and He will do amazing good things through you. 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17 Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal comfort and a wonderful hope, comfort you and strengthen you in every good thing you do and say. There is nothing more fulfilling or empowering than doing good. Dear Father God, thank you for my desire to do good and serve you. I praise You for giving me the power to do whatever You call me do. Make me sensitive to the needs of others. Praise You Jesus!

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April 2, 2015

Are You Thriving?

Written By Victoria Aguila

I wanted to talk a little about what it means to THRIVE.

According to Webster Dictionary, the word THRIVE means, to grow or develop successfully;  to grow vigorously;   to gain in wealth or possessions (prosper);  to progress toward or realize a goal despite or because of circumstances. My favorite definition was, “to grow vigorously”.  In this season, that is my goal, to grow vigorously, to grow radically. Any growth, however, is good growth. Even if I am growing in small increments, growth is growth BUT let’s ponder on THRIVING.

In Proverbs 11:28, (NIV) the scripture tells us that “those who trust in their riches will fall, but Succeedthe righteous will THRIVE like a green leaf.”  We must always trust in the Lord and His riches and glory, not our own. We must remain righteous in the eyes of God (not man) so that we can THRIVE like a green leaf.  When I think of a green leaf, I think of watered, refreshed, liveliness, growth. What about you?

Jeremiah 17:7-8 gives us a great description of a growing tree with green leaves and compares this to a man who trusts in the Lord. “Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD And whose trust is the LORD. For he will be like a tree planted by the water, that extends its roots by a stream and will not fear when the heat comes; but its leaves will be green, And it will not be anxious in a year of drought nor cease to yield fruit.” This portion of scripture is so rich. As we trust in the Lord, we will be blessed and we will be like that tree that is firmly planted by the water and our roots go deep into the fresh wet soil and our leaves remain green and fresh and alive and growing and we will not stop growing fruit.

Psalm 1 is a great chapter. I would recommend reading through it. I enjoy reading the VOICE version but of course you read it in any translation that speaks to you. Psalm 1:3 Voice says this: You are like a tree, planted by flowing, cool streams of water that never run dry. Your fruit ripens in its time;  your leaves never fade or curl in the summer sun. No matter what you do, you prosper. I would say these scriptures depict THRIVING.  “The righteous will THRIVE like a green leaf.” (Proverbs 11:28).  So that means to me, like a leaf that is watered, like a leaf that is alive, like a leaf that is growing.  Let us plant our roots by the streams of Living Water. Water our leaves with the Word of God that refreshes our spirit and progress towards our goal of continued growth. We cannot wither away or dry up but THRIVE both despite and because of our circumstances.

Don’t strive trying to reach perfection; thrive in the preparation.  If we are striving (simply making the effort) then we probably won’t achieve the result BUT if we are thriving, we ARE progressing and prospering, and reaching success.

 Maybe today you find yourself withering away or as if you have dried up. Maybe you are feeling the thirst for the Living Water to refresh your leaves once again. I have been there!  It’s a good thing if we are able to discern that we are withering away or drying up and in need of drawing closer to the stream of Living Water to get refreshed and renewed.  We must continue to Thrive. Ask yourself if you are you THRIVING or withering away and then let’s make the necessary changes to be back in alignment and THRIVE.

Let’s pray:  God we praise your mighty name and we thank you for who You are. I ask you to increase our thirst for Your Living Water. I pray that you will refresh each and every one of us. As we draw near to you, we thank you that our roots are going deeper and our leaves are getting greener and we are growing in this season.  Thank you for the grace and the mercy that you have for us and thank you for your love that draws us to the Sweet Sweet Stream.  Be magnified Oh Lord. In Jesus name I pray Amen.

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