What Are You Investing Your Time In?

Jeremiah 2:32 (NIV), “Does a young woman forget her jewelry, a bride her wedding ornaments? Yet my people have forgotten me, days without number.”

How many of us go about our day and “forget” God? I know, we have a multitude of excuses, and reasons, and complicated lives. Yet, it’s all a matter of what is important to us, where our priorities are. Listen to what Jesus tells the disciples in Matthew.

Matthew 6:19-21 (KJB), “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

He is talking to them about what they are investing their time, money, and energies into. Instead of working for things that are short lived (temporal of this earth and for a limited time), they should be working for treasures of heaven (long term, eternal, heavenly things that last forever). Whatever we earn here is quickly used up, wasted, rotted, spoiled, moth eaten, and temporary! Yes, we have to work, yes our kids need shoes and clothes and a warm place to lay their heads. However, that can’t be our first or only priority.

When we put God first, spending time with Him in the word, in prayer, listening to what He has to say, fellowshipping with Him and other believers, the rest will come easier.

Jesus goes on to say in Matthew 6:25-34

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air: They do not sow or reap or gather into barns—and yet your Heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? of you by worrying can add a single hour to his lifespan? And why do you worry about clothes? Consider how the lilies of the field grow: They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his glory was adorned like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans pursue all these things, and your Heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Today has enough trouble of its own.”

Stop worrying! Don’t fret. He wants what’s best for us. He always has and always will. Investing your time in a close relationship with Him will always pay off.

“We can be tired, weary and emotionally distraught, but after spending time alone with God, we find that He injects into our bodies energy, power and strength.”  Charles Stanley

No matter what happens during our day, when we purpose to spend some quality time with Our Father, peace will come into our hearts and lives.

What are you investing your time in?

I Am Loved

We have been singing a new song in Church and it has literally been going through my head nonstop. I wake up with it in my noggin, I hear it when I am doing dishes, I am singing it at the sewing machine, and humming it while reading!

I don’t have anything memorized except the chorus, and this is it: “You’re a good, good Father. That’s who you are, that’s who You are. And I am loved by You, that’s who I am, that’s who I am.”

This is a great improvement on the toddler  songs that normally run through my head (I keep my two year old grandson Mon-Fri).

I didn’t sleep well last night. I stayed up too late to finish a good book, then Hubby was snoring, not a normal thing for him. Finally sometime after 11:30 I drifted off, only to wake up at 3:30. Sometimes God wakes me up to pray, this wasn’t one of those times, but I figured I didn’t have anything else to do, so I prayed. I prayed for some situations in my life that needed changing, but mostly I prayed for others. After a bit, God brought to mind some of my students from years ago and I lifted them in prayer. I prayed for some family members that are struggling, and I prayed for my children (and theirs). In fact I fell asleep praying.

The alarm was way too early at 5:30. I’ll give you three guesses as to what was going through my head… Yep, “You’re a good, good Father. That’s who you are, that’s who You are. And I am loved by You, that’s who I am, that’s who I am.”

My usual morning routine consists of reading my bible, while Eddie gets up and gets ready for work. Then we pray together, and he leaves. After my morning devotions, I head down for a cup of coffee and wait on my boy. This morning, Eddie got up, and I laid in the bed, not moving and half asleep. Before I could even wake up enough to think about reading my Bible, my sleepy mind contained this thought, “There is only two things I need to know. One, He’s a good, good Daddy, and two, He loves me.”

I woke up then and thought about the simple, profound truth in that. That’s the answer to everything!

“Now, Jodi, that’s overly simplifying things,” I hear you say.

However, I am sticking to it. Do you need healing? He’s a good Father and He loves you. Do need a financial breakthrough? He’s a good Father and He loves you. Do you need help in your marriage, or another relationship? He’s a good Father and He loves you. Are you broken and hurt? Grieving? Depressed? He’s a good Father and He loves you.

A loving Father wants to see His children healed and whole, lacking nothing, happy and at peace. Here is the good news, listen, HE HAS THE POWER TO GIVE YOU THOSE THINGS!

Ephesians 3:19-20 (NLT), “May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God. Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.”

Book Review for “A Warrior’s Revenge”-Christian Science Fiction

http://www.amazon.com/Warriors-Revenge-Warrior-Kind-ebook/dp/B00HX91MJE/ref=sr_1_2?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1392490125&sr=1-2&keywords=a+warrior%27s+revenge

I was given a copy of “A Warrior’s Revenge” by the author, Guy Stanton III, in exchange for an honest review. This is the last book of The Warrior Kind series. I loved them all! This one was no different than the rest in the fact that it is unapologetically Christian, has a ton of romance, fighting, science fiction, fantasy and strong morals. Did I mention I loved it? I give it five solid stars. Since reading the first book, I see some improvement in grammar and editing in this one. Mr. Stanton is one of my new favorite authors. I put him up there with Ted Dekker. I can recommend this book for Jr. High and up. There is some fighting and violence. Sad to see the series finish up, but will be moving on to his other work.

Book Review for “52 Weeks of Ordinary People-Extraordinary God”-Christian Non-fiction

This little book is a 52 week devotional. One devotion for each week. I have to admit I have some issues with daily and weekly books. I tend to read right through them. This one took me a few weeks, I made myself slow down. It is a very simple devotional. No great revelation, just one woman’s insight to the goodness of God. She does have a few pages with short stories about real “ordinary” people and their faith. I give it 3 stars. I like it.
1525137[1]

The Joy Set Before Us

Joy[1]
For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and JOY in the Holy Ghost (Rom 14:17) As Christians our joy should be “full.” We should have “joy unspeakable”. So why are so many Christians living short of that promise? Many of us look for that joy sometime in the distant future when we leave this earth by either rapture or death. We think our lot in life is to suffer and live in misery waiting on the promise. Some believers substitute the true joy of the Lord with self-righteousness or false humility, getting a fake joy out of their performances. Even this doesn’t last; they soon can’t keep the performance up and fall into shame and guilt. Others give up completely and turn to the world and fulfill lusts that bring only temporary happiness and never joy. Hebrews 12:2 says that Jesus found joy in what was “set before him”, joy that allowed him to suffer on the cross. What was that joy? I believe it was the salvation of the world- saving of lost souls, the reconciling of all back to the Father. Only one thing could have kept him from receiving that joy, and that would have been giving in to his flesh. Satan tempted Jesus to do just that, a way contrary to God’s plan, but Jesus refused. We too have to crucify our flesh. We talk about how the Jews, the Centurions, Rome and even ourselves, killed Jesus. All are true. However, Jesus performed the TRUE Crucifixion (of his flesh) in the Garden… before a soldier ever touched a spike. He cried out to the Father in his hour of flesh sweating blood in his battle! In the end, HE crucified his flesh by saying, “not my will, Father, but yours.” Jesus received his joy! He chose to receive it! We do the crucifying, with God’s strength and help, and God gives us the joy! That joy is in conquering sin in our lives and leading others to Jesus. If Jesus’ joy was in the saving of souls, shouldn’t ours be too? Time is winding down. Can’t you feel how it is flying by! Are you crucifying your flesh, ridding your life of sin? Are you feeding your spirit with The Word? Are you building yourself up with your heavenly language? When the “shaking” begins, will you be able to stand? Are you “planting, watering and harvesting” souls? True revival is a heart hot on fire, in love, with God. But it is also the burning desire to see others come to the Father. Revival won’t happen without both. Where is your heart today?
Heb 12:1-27 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfector of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. And you have forgotten that word of encouragement that addresses you as sons: “My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son.” Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father? If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline), then you are illegitimate children and not true sons. Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of our spirits and live! Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees.”

Standing in Faith

This was originaly written on June 8th, 2010 (After being diagnosed with a heart condition that needed surgery)
I had to do some housecleaning today, natural and spiritual. I commanded the spirits of infirmity, self pity and despair to leave my home. Isn’t it funny how without daily upkeep our houses get messy? Well it works the same way with our spirit. If we don’t maintain our faith, get rid of those “un-Godly” beliefs and replace them with the Word of God, things get out right nasty. As I ran the vacuum and got rid of all the cobwebs that had been accumulating in my house, I realized the areas of neglect in my spiritual walk. You can do much soul searching while setting your natural house in order. God is so patient with us, and so encouraging. He really has been so loving to me. One day I was complaining to God about my being ill, and not receiving a healing, and like a petulant toddler said, “Jesus do you even know how I feel, you are God, were you ever even sick a day in your life?” and my patient Lord chuckled at me, just like a parent when their child, makes an illogical accusation, and replied, “Only while on the cross, when I bore your infirmities, and those of everyone else.” What could I answer …besides to see Him in pain on that cross…cry and ask Him to forgive my self pity. Another day, as I lay in bed, feeling very sorry for myself and even more confused, I cried and begged, “Why do I have to go through all of this again! Why do I have to have surgery! Why, why, why!” I was in despair. I received no answer from God, no great revelation, no reason for my suffering. My mind rolled and whined until finally I was too tired to even make sense. It was then I heard, so clearly, “I LOVE YOU”. I sniffed, took a breath, sighed in surrender and said, “I love you too.” I closed my eyes and slept in peace. Friends and Family, God doesn’t condemn us-He loves. Yes, he chastens, (for me quit frequently recently), but always from the heart of a Loving Father. Jesus knows our pain, He cried out to His Father begging for another way, but in the end, He did the will of His Father. Let us do the same. We may not like the path set before us, it may look dark and scary. But He who knows best will light our way! He’ll give us the strength, and walk there beside us. He will deliver my healing! I can count on Him! He is ever loving, and ever FAITHFUL!
P.S. The surgery was not finished due to “equipment malfunction”, what the doctors couldn’t fix, God totally healed!

Letting Go of Worry

Give all your worries to him, because he cares about you. I Peter 5:7
I used to worry too much! Sometimes I would worry that I worry too much! It’ll make you sick if you let it go on. I have proved that in my own life over and over. Worrying had messed up my stomach, God healed it, I get in the nasty habit of worrying again, and then my stomach gets messed up again. We can’t put everything on God. Sure He will continue to heal, but it would be no different than placing your hand on the wood stove, asking God to heal it, then turning right around and placing your hand back on the stove. We would call that insane behavior! Worrying shows a lack of faith. It’s real simple either God can handle it or he can’t. I often think to myself, “sure He can handle it, I’m the one who can’t”, but the Holy Spirit is faithful to remind me that I never have to face anything in my own strength. I have to choose to use His strength. If I find myself saying or thinking “I just can’t handle it” that is a red flag that I have stopped looking to God! If we are worrying, that means we are trusting in ourselves, or others, our jobs, government, the economy, or even chance, instead of trusting in God. I have to choose to trust Him. Worry is not beneficial. Worry cannot change your circumstances. Worry robs you of sleep, peace and very precious time. God has been trying to get this deep in my heart, year after year; we chip away at this area in my life. I am so much better than I was, and sometimes am amazed at my lack of concern over some things that have happened. Sometimes things happen that just pull the rug out from under you. Then we get “spiritual Alzheimer’s” and forget to trust, forget our Word, forget the promises, and we worry! But if we continually rehearse God’s goodness, practice giving it all to him in prayer, it gets easier! Trust Him. Max Lucado wrote a book years ago on the subject; here is a short passage from his book “Traveling Light”.
“God has a great race for you to run. Under His care you will go where you’ve never been and serve in ways you’ve never dreamed. But you have to drop some stuff. How can you share grace if you are full of guilt? How can you offer comfort if you are disheartened? How can you lift someone else’s load if your arms are full with your own? For the sake of those you love, travel light. For the sake of the God you serve, travel light. For the sake of your own joy, travel light. There are certain weights in life you simply cannot carry. Your Lord is asking you to set them down and trust Him”