It's All Grace

Amazing things can happen when you allow the Lord to work in your life.

Take A Stand

It is EASY to stand up and teach what is right, yet it is HARD to stand up against what is wrong.

Standing up for what is right, is not all that is required of us .  We must stand against what is wrong!

Will you be a Christian that makes a difference to a lost world, by what you teach and the stand you will take?  Or will you waiver and falter in denial as Peter did when he denied knowing Christ?

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Dead Flesh Doesn’t Sin

There is a “conflict in our flesh” after salvation.  We have the same flesh when we knelt down to pray, as we did when we got up.  Our flesh DID NOT get saved.  Therefore, we must CRUCIFY it daily!  Crucify means to kill, slaughter, destroy. Dead flesh doesn’t sin!

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Under the Bed

I’m sure I wasn’t the first mother who had to deal with her child’s deception while homeschooling. One day I found toys that were supposed to have been picked up and put away pushed under my son’s bed. I sat down on the bed and wished I could escape the correction that needed to take place in my child’s life. The mess under the bed would be much easier to ignore than dealing with my child. Thankfully, at least this deception could be fixed, even though the time needed to discipline would rob teaching time from our homeschooling day.

Many years ago, Jacob’s deception couldn’t be fixed when he fooled his father, Isaac, into blessing him instead of his brother, Esau. At his mother’s prompting, Jacob went the full length in deceiving his father by feeling, smelling, sounding, and acting like Esau as he prepared his father’s favorite meal. Jacob walked away, stealing the blessing of his father and the firstborn birthright intended for Esau (Genesis 27). Esau anguished in his heart that no blessing was left for him (Hebrews 12:16-17).

However, it was many years before that blessing was enjoyed. In fear of his brother’s wrath, Jacob fled to another country and was alienated from his family. After working seven long years for his wife, Jacob experienced Laban’s deception when he substituted his daughter Leah for Rachel at the wedding. Although Jacob was allowed to marry Rachel a week later, he was forced to suffer an additional seven years of working for his father-in-law.

Deception always works that way. What seems to be an immediate reward turns out to be an ongoing burden. Are you trying to make your life easier by hiding things “under the bed”? Do you think no one sees the deceptive patterns you’ve allowed to take over your life, such as little white lies, taking advantage of the goodness of others, or making others look bad, so you can get ahead? Unlike Isaac, God isn’t fooled, and He sees and knows what you are doing. Will you confess and repent today and let God discipline you to fix the mess you have made? He’s the only One who can.

AOP Homeschooling Devotions

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Can You Hear Me Now?

And Jesus said, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”  Mark 4:9

Numerous times Jesus includes the equivalent of saying, “Listen up!” when He speaks. His expression, He who has ears to hear,”makes us realize how often we use our ears for other purposes—to secure sun glasses, to keep our hats from falling over our eyes, and to hang jewelry. But we’ve got ears in order to hear. Jesus wants to provoke attention, even though He knows some will not listen.

When we look at the reasons why people don’t listen, we can group them into four categories. As you read them, do a spiritual hearing check-up by asking yourself, Am I like that?

Immaturity. People of all ages can have this problem. Immaturity is the inability to connect actions and consequences. The immature person doesn’t get it. They can’t make the connection between their choices and what comes because of those decisions. They need to discover the unbreakable law of cause and effect that God has established in the universe. If you choose to sin; you choose to suffer. That’s what’s coming. People frequently say, “I’m going to beat the odds. I’m going to cut the corners.” Then they hit a brick wall or disappear in a bottomless pit. Often, painful experience is the only effective teacher to improve an immature person’s hearing.

Rebellion. “My will. My thrill. You chill.” Those are the proud declarations of rebellion. “No one’s going to get between my will and my thrill! This is what I want to do. You back off! Don’t tell me anything.” Rebels won’t listen and they try to cut off any attempts by others to help. They are stuck in overdrive, headed for a wall—and they don’t care! But hardship and humiliation can make a rebel’s heart attentive.

Woundedness. Hidden hurts close hearts and ears. They can’t hear because something happened that left unseen scars. Sometimes in a family or a church things happen that few know about. The person holds it all inside and drifts away. They’re hurting, but don’t bring it out in the open. They can’t listen to reason because all they hear is their hidden wound.

Relationships. Peers could be the problem. Peers in the ears block fears. Warnings we should hear and be afraid of don’t register on our radar. Like a teen who feels the need for speed, with a friend in the passenger seat shouting, “GO!! GO!! GO!!!” There are many times we should be afraid, but we’re more concerned about impressing our friends and the people around us.

Most of us can relate to one or more of the reasons above. But He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” Jesus’ words remind us He has spoken even when we are not listening. And His Word is always ready when we’re ready to use our ears for their designed purpose—to listen. Until we’re willing to respond to the truth He has for us, we’re not really listening.

How did you do with the hearing check-up? If you realize you are being influenced not to listen to the Lord because of one or more of these causes, it’s time to let God do some hearing correction. Ask Him to tune your ears to hear His voice.

Pastor James MacDonald

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Faith Produces Faithfulness

Be faithful now.

Be faithful tomorrow.

Be faithful the next day.

That is developing a pattern in your life of faithfulness to Christ, and then you will know that  when THAT hour of trial comes, He will give you the grace to be faithful then.

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God’s Safety Valve

“By thee have I been holden up from the womb: thou art He that took me out of my mother’s bowels:  my praise shall be continually of thee.”  Psalm 71:6

Did you know . . . that more than 75% of all women in their first trimester of pregnancy suffer some form of morning sickness?  More than 1/2 become physically sick.  Although this does not help to feel better during pregnancy, it might help to know that morning sickness may serve a good purpose.

Most of the food that we ingest has a natural low concentration of poisons.  It has been concluded (by biologists from the University of California) that morning sickness may be the body’s way of protecting the developing child.  This newly developing infant is extremely susceptible to low levels of toxins in the mother’s body until about the 8th week of development. When the mother’s body detects a level of toxins dangerous to the developing child, it may use morning sickness to rid the body of them!

Other studies have shown that women who get nauseous and vomit during early pregnancy have lower rates of miscarriage than women who don’t get sick.

Wow!  We serve an Amazing God who thought of EVERYTHING, and finds details to be important!

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Commanded and Enabled

Thought for the day: Do you buck what you are commanded to do and then stand your ground as if you have a legitimate reason?

When it comes to the greatest commandment to LOVE ~ Purpose to realize that God would not have commanded you to love, if HE was not intending to enable you to love!

Obedience brings blessing and disobedience brings curse – Deuteronomy 28

Obey the command and then watch the Lord bless you!

 

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ALL Figured Out!

The world is full of people who think they’ve got it all figured out , yet, it’s those people who are UNteachable! Matt 5:3  The happiness you crave will only come from your willingness to learn!

The closer you get to an oak tree, the bigger it gets! Just like the closer you get to God the greater your perspective is!  Remember there are NO proud people at the foot of the cross!

Will you be teachable (with a spirit of humility) or will you stand your ground in pride, claiming to know it all?

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Mrs. Clean

“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” Philippians 4:13.

Inside the house, the kitchen sink was full of dishes, and the laundry baskets were piled high with dirty clothes. The floors were full of crumbs, and the windows had enough fingerprints to fill the files of the FBI. Outside, the lawn looked like a herd of horses needed to chew it down, and the children’s toys were scattered from one end of the farm to the other. Company was scheduled to arrive for supper, and the meal was not yet prepared. I laughed to myself, wondering which of these tasks I would actually accomplish in addition to our homeschooling day.

Thinking about all the work made me tired and unable to even know where to start. Looking to God, I felt Him gently urge me to begin. I did, and somehow a miracle began. The day became supernatural, and I literally felt like angels were working with me to get every job accomplished. There were no interruptions, no accidents, and no fights. Nothing was lost, and nothing broke. I flew from one chore to the next, while keeping an enthusiastic smile and teaching my children their lessons. I couldn’t believe the amount of work I accomplished that day, and I’ve never had another one quite like it.

Sometimes the numerous issues in our spiritual walk also seem daunting. We wonder how a family member will ever be saved, why we keep falling into the same old sins, and if we can ever forgive other’s thoughtless remarks. Temptations and trials attempt to render us impotent. We become discouraged and give up in despair before we ever begin to live for the Lord. You don’t need to live under the weight of sin and pain. God sent His Son, Jesus, to deliver us from a defeated life. Jesus arose and left an empty grave as proof that we have access to the same mighty power that raised Him from the dead (Ephesians 1:19). All your burdens can be lifted by the miracle of His grace.

Is life too heavy to bear right now? Jesus says, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” Matthew 11:28.

Give it ALL to HIM and watch HIM do it through you.

AOP Homeschooling Devotions

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Waiting . . .

WAITING TO HEAR FROM GOD CAN BE DIFFICULT.

Often, the process of waiting for a message from God is often just as important as the message itself.  In some cases, the intimacy that is developed while waiting IS THE MESSAGE!

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