Words and Judgments

Christians, be VERY careful about the words you speak about other Christians and what they are doing. If a brother or sister in the Lord is in error or sin, we need to correct them in a spirit of love and humility but I am not talking about situations like that. I am talking about visions, callings and ministries. Not everyone is called to do the same things in the same ways. Be very careful not to criticize someone because they don’t have the same vision or calling as you! Each of us will be held accountable to God for what God has told US to do. We must be faithful and obedient to God in that calling..even if it means that we are criticized and misunderstood! If God has placed something in our hearts to do for Him, we MUST be faithful and obedient to God, keep our hearts and motives pure before Him and do it! However, while we are doing what He has given us to do, we must guard against being critical and judgmental of others who are doing other things in different ways than we do them. Please read Luke 9:49-50 and be VERY careful not to judge and criticize others!
I posted the following comment on a post that a dear Brother in the Lord posted on his page: Every Christian has a calling and vision from the Lord. Some will not have the SAME vision and will not understand what God has put in YOUR heart. Just be faithful and obedient to what God has put in YOUR heart and do what God is asking of you. God will bring others with the same vision to join you. If we ALL do the things that God has put in OUR hearts to do, have the right motivations and are faithful to our callings, think of how the world will change! The main thing for every Christian to do is love and pray for each other and to stay humble and obedient to the Lord at all times! God bless you!

Patricia Styers

Advertisements

Get Over It! 

Back in June of 2016, I posted something on a Facebook page and it is just as relevant today as then.  I just found this again and it is funny because I was just talking with a brother in the Lord last night about some of the things I had written in here back then.  When I found it this morning,  I decided to post it on my blog so here it is:

I am not perfect and neither are others who are Christians! People who are not Christians are sometimes quick to judge Christianity based our our imperfections. Please don’t judge a perfect God by His imperfect people! If you are a Christian and judge other Christians because they sin in other ways than you do, stop that! ALL have sinned and come short of the glory of God! We should be praying for each other. 

I will be quick to admit that I am far from perfect and have made some bad choices in my life which took me wandering  down a wrong path for awhile. The great news is that once we realize we are on the wrong path, if we genuinely repent, God not only forgives us but He FORGETS our sins! God is AMAZING! HE is perfect so He is the ONLY one who would have a right to judge us but He forgives and forgets!

In my case, I have always been my harshest judge! Even after I repent for bad decisions that resulted in sin (anything that pulls our attention from God and what He wants for us) , I have continued to lament those decisions and condemn myself. Satan wants to keep us down by reminding us of our imperfections even after we repent. Satan is the accuser of the brethren and he wants to keep us from what God has for us. The Christian singer Carmen says that whenever the devil reminds him of his past, he reminds the devil of his (the devils’) future! In my case though, I have been a harsher judge of myself than satan has. The funny thing about this is one of my main spiritual giftings from God is mercy! I have no problem extending mercy to others but it is different when I need to show myself some! Our judgment of ourselves can hold us down and back from what God has for us. 

This morning I was thinking about times I have missed God and He spoke to me to “Get over it!”  With God’s help, I will extend the same mercy to myself that I extend to others and learn from it! 

What I have learned is that ALL failure is a prayer and relationship failure! When we become distracted and our one on one time with the Lord diminishes, we are opening ourselves up to deception and sin. Satan does not come to us and tell us to commit a sin because we would recognize that was wrong and not do it. What he does is try to distract us with things that will steal our time with the Lord and hinder our relationship with God slowly. This can even be done by seemingly good things like ministry. We can get so busy with ministering to others that we lack in our time ministering to the Lord and letting God minister to us! We need to watch out for anything that starts taking our focus off of the Lord and make sure that God truly comes FIRST in our lives! 

For Christians Only…

This message is ONLY for people who profess to be Christians. Did you accept Jesus and become a Christian when you were 4 years old, 12 years old or at some other point in your life? I went to a church as a teenager and most of the congregation were probably between 40-70 years old. When it came time to give testimonies, it was not unusual to hear something like this ” I thank God that He saved me ____ years ago.” That is wonderful but I always wondered if that was the last thing God had done for them since that is all they testified about. Our Christian walk is NOT supposed to be a one-time experience but a way of life that we live out on a daily basis! Where are we now compared to where we were when we first got saved? We are NOT supposed to stay babies but we are supposed to grow and mature in Him. If we are just relying on what happened to us at one given time in our lives so that we can make it into Heaven, we have a very wrong mindset! God wants us to grow up and mature in Him. To do that, we have to have an ongoing, personal, intimate relationship with Him. We have to get close to Him, seek Him, pray, learn His Word, and let Him do the work in us that needs to be done so we are mature and Godly representatives of the Lord on this earth. It really has NOTHING to do with how many years we have been saved but it has EVERYTHING to do with what we have done in those years to grow and mature in our relationship with Him! Have we gotten closer to Him and become more like Him or are we still the same as we were the day we met Him? We become like those we spend the most time with so if we are spending time in God’s presence daily, then we will become more like HIM! We will find ourselves being transformed into His image. Our earthly, carnal way of thinking will begin to change and we will start thinking, talking and acting like mature Christians. We need to examine our hearts and take an honest look at our lives. Are we thinking, acting and speaking like mature Christians or would non-Christians look at us and be unable to see any difference between us and them? What fruit are we producing? Are we ABIDING in the Vine (Jesus)? Do we have a daily relationship with Him?

Patricia Styers

Get Your Hands Off

I have been thinking about posting something about this for a few days.  Are you someone who always has to have control of everything in your life?  If you are, then I am sure that you have grown weary, gotten burned out and found yourself in bad situations at various points in your life!  We are taught to have control and even terms like “self-control” influence us to the point where we may feel that is we “lose control”, it is always a very bad thing.  If you have lived as long as I have and experienced as many different situations, you have most likely found that even though you might like to think that you are always “in control”, in reality, that is certainly NOT the case.  There are things in our lives that are beyond our control.  We can learn to roll with the punches or those things can destroy us.  I would like to think that I have learned to roll with the punches and not lose my peace when things don’t go as I anticipated.

I am always looking for life lessons to be learned in various situations in my life.  I will be honest, it is hard to give up control in some instances and let others have control, especially when we may not see things the same way as they do.  However, there are times when we would be wise to take our hands off and let others lead because, let’s face it, we don’t know everything and there may be others that can handle a situation much better than we can.  I have a friend who knows how to do many practical things like building and fixing things that are far beyond my realm of expertise.  If I tried to do some of the things that my friend does, it would be disastrous!  In situations like those, I will gladly yield control.  Sometimes we need to just get out of the way and yield control!

Let’s look at the subject of control from a spiritual perspective now.  Sometimes we hold on very tightly to the wheel and try to maintain all of the control in our lives.  When we come to the Lord and give ourselves to Him,  sometimes we want to keep holding on to the wheel and let Him ride with us.  I have seen the stickers that say, “God is my Co-pilot” and although it may sound good, it is not the right way to live as Christians.  We must learn to reverse the way that we have thought previously and let Him be in control.  After all, if there is a true EXPERT at everything, it is the Lord!  If we truly let God have control, we will never make a wrong turn.  I was speaking with a friend this morning and he mentioned the story that we call “the prodigal son” which is really a story about a Father’s love for a rebellious son, the Father’s expectancy to see the return of the son and the joy of the Father when the son came home. My friend mentioned that the son did not just end up in the place he did before he returned home but he chose to go there.  That fits into this blog about control because the son wanted to control his own life and destiny.  He thought he knew better than his father.  How many times do we do this?  Our flesh and OUR way of thinking goes contrary to the Lord and we take the wheel and steer off in a totally wrong direction.  When we realize that we are not where we thought we would be, then we decide to return to our Father because it is much better to trust that He knows best for our lives. As Christians, God wants priority and preeminence in our lives.  If we want control, He will let us leave and go do our own thing.  However, we have the keen ability to make a great mess out of our lives!

There is a scripture that tells us to “pray without ceasing” (I Thessalonians 5:17).  I think many people do not understand this verse because they think it would be impossible to pray without ceasing.  I believe that verse means that we always need to be in an attitude of prayer  where we have the kind of relationship with the Lord that we are always aware of His presence and can call upon Him at any time for direction in our lives.  If we are hard-headed and want our own way, we can certainly take the wheel and go off on our own. In a scriptural and spiritual sense,  we need to learn to crucify our fleshly desires and carnal thoughts, take our hands OFF of the wheel and let God have control!

Patricia Styers

Food for Thought

Have you ever heard the expression “here is some food for thought” before someone gave you something to think about?  I have heard that expression many times.  For some reason that phrase just popped into my mind so I am thinking about it and I am going to write about it in this blog.  LOL!  What IS “food for thought” anyway?  Is there a special food that we should “feed” our thoughts?  As I think about that thought, I think it is correct to answer that question with a resounding “YES!”

What we think about is VERY important because the Bible says that “as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he” (Proverbs 23:7 KJV).  WOW! I have heard the statement “you are what you eat” but in addition to that, we are what we think!  So, let’s get back to the statement “food for thought” and explore what food and thoughts have to do with each other.  Just as the phrase popped into my mind, thoughts pop into our heads on a daily basis.  We can feed certain things into our brains that cause thoughts to linger and sometimes even overtake us.  If the thoughts come from a steady diet of good things, they can be very helpful to us and give us creative ideas, bring peace and solutions to problems.  If we feed our minds with bad food, thoughts can lead to worry, confusion, depression, etc.  Have you ever heard the statement “garbage in, garbage out”?  We feed our thoughts by what we allow to go into our minds.  If we listen to and watch things that are not good and healthy for our minds, they will be open to an onslaught of negative and unhealthy thoughts.  Then our thoughts can produce actions that are also negative and destructive.  If we feed our minds with positive, fruitful and healthy things, our thoughts will line up with those things.  King David in the Bible said that he hid God’s Word in his heart so that he would not sin against God.  He talked a great deal in the Psalms about meditating on the Word of God.  What does it mean to meditate?  It means to dwell on or contemplate in thought.  Psalm 1:1-3 says:

1Blessed is the man that walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful.

2But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law does he meditate day and night.

3And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper.

I have some questions for ALL of us to consider.  WHAT are we meditating about on a daily basis?  Do we dwell on positive things or negative things?  Do we continue to entertain thoughts that will not produce good and positive fruit in our lives?  What are we listening to or watching?

Just some food for thought!

Patricia Styers

Lukewarm

via Daily Prompt: Lukewarm

I did not post on my blog yesterday but I just saw this prompt from yesterday with the word “lukewarm” so I decided to write a short blog.  When I see the word lukewarm, I instantly think of the scripture that warns us not to be lukewarm in our faith (Revelation 3:15-16).  God would rather that we be hot or cold than to be lukewarm.  Being lukewarm is like strattling the fence between the Lord and the world.  It is being a Christian in name but not in actions.  We need to decide whether we will be totally passionate and on fire for God or just go the way of the world.  Joshua 24:15 says “choose you this day whom ye will serve” and we need to make a choice of which way we will go because God said that if we are lukewarm, He will spew us out of His mouth.  I pray that you make a choice to live for and serve the Lord in word AND deed! Be on fire for the Lord!

Wells

A friend of mine was having an issue with his well and was not getting any water.  I am a city girl so I don’t really know anything about wells but my friend did so he was able to fix it and get his water restored.  Apparently there are different things that can go wrong with a well and happily, his was just an issue with the control box and not a more serious issue. This situation made me think about what can cause the wells in our lives to stop working.  My friend’s issue had to do with something in the control box.  As Christians, we can stop the flow of living waters in our lives when we do not let God have total control.  If we are finding a lack of joy in our lives, it may be because we are not in right relationship with the Lord.  We should check the control box and see if we are letting God have control.

Another thing that can stop the water from coming forth is a blockage. Apparently, from what I hear, that is a serious problem and harder to fix.  Let’s consider some of the things that can stop the flow of the Lord in our lives.  They might be little things or they could be bigger issues.  Some of the main things that will block our relationship with the Lord are things like unforgiveness, bitterness, resentment, anger and hatred.  God showed me many years ago that these are five very common spirit-killers in peoples’ lives.

Let’s look at one of the biggies that block the flow, unforgiveness!  If you read the passage where Jesus taught the Disciples what we call the Lord’s Prayer in Matthew 6:5-13,  forgiveness is part of that prayer.  Immediately following the prayer, in verses 14 and 15, Jesus continues to discuss the importance of forgiveness by saying:

14 For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:

15 But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

I have known so many people who have let unforgiveness rule over them.  They might try to justify it by saying that the other person hurt them deeply and they do not deserve to be forgiven.  The point is that Romans 3:23 says “for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”  None of us deserve to be forgiven but even when we were sinners, Christ died for us so that we might be forgiven.  “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).  There was only one person who lived a sinless life and that was Jesus!  Jesus said it very clearly that if we don’t forgive, we will not be forgiven by God.  The choice is ours but we are on very dangerous ground if we allow unforgiveness to linger in our lives.

One of the other spirit-killers is bitterness.  Hebrews 12:15 warns “Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled.” We see in that verse that bitterness is a root.  If a root is nurtured, it will keep growing and growing.  I have seen elderly people who allowed a root of bitterness into their lives when they were young and it just kept growing until it consumed their lives.  Many are crippled up in their bodies as well as their spirits and souls.  It is very sad!

Resentment is also a spirit-killer.  Like bitterness, if allowed to stay, it will grow and make us very unhappy and cynical people.  We need to let go of resentment as soon as we recognize its’ presence in our lives.

Anger is also a big thing and if not dealt with quickly, it can destroy us as well as others.  I have seen people whose lives are consumed with anger because they never developed self-control in their lives.  If we have an anger problem, we need to ask the Lord to help us by replacing that with the fruit of the Spirit, temperance or self-control (Galatians 5:22-23).

Hatred against a person or people is something that will also kill us spiritually. God compares hatred to murder. 1 John 3:15 says “Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.” Wow, what a statement!

Let me just pose a question to all of us that we all need to carefully consider.  Are any of the things I have mentioned worth holding unto in light of the consequences of doing so?

Patricia Styers