It's All Grace

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

Our Old Nature

Our old nature is like the pig and the raven, always looking for something unclean on which to feed.

Our new nature is like the sheep and the dove, yearning for that which is clean and holy.  No wonder there are so many struggles in the life of the believer!

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The Shade of Gray

Something to ponder:

When we speak of God’s Word, it is very BLACK and WHITE.

I’ve heard those speak of gray areas in the Word.  I believe they are referring to areas where God speaks more to “principle” verses being specific.

I’ve learned through the years of walking with Christ and studying His Word, that the more time we spend getting to know Him, the more we understand His desires for us as Christians.

I have also learned on this journey that when it comes to God’s Word, He does not contradict Himself, nor are there any “gray” areas – because gray is nothing more than a shade of black.

White is white . . . or it is not.

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Your Limitations

When you decide you can’t do something specific because you have “limitations”, then you are not living your life to its fullest potential.

We say we can’t sing because we don’t like our voice.

We say we can’t act, yet we are great manipulators.

We say we can’t teach, yet we seem to know it all.

We say we are not athletic yet we don’t have any problems putting our sibling into a “Full Nelson” headlock.

We say we can’t love our spouse, yet we CAN love our neighbor.

When we put our limitations in God’s Hands, moving forward and trusting in Him and how HE has created us, then when anything great comes from THAT, we KNOW that God used our limitations to shine brightly in our lives.

Will you stop limiting God, by limiting yourself?  Decide to live the abundant life.

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Sinking Ship

Are you out in the boat today?  Not sure of stepping out of the boat or whether the storm will take you under?  Do you feel like you’re on a sinking ship?

Remember that NO ship can go down with the Master on board!  Lay your doubt aside and step into the Father’s Will.

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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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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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Are You Having An Affair?

The kind that is unbreakable, indescribable, one that brings you great joy in your daily life that you have to talk about it all day long, one that makes you complete, one that you would DIE to maintain, one that captivates ALL YOU ARE, and one that would cause you to daydream instead of doing your daily tasks?
If you are having a love affair with God’s Word, what kind of evidence would there be for you to be convicted?  You would have to be seen IN THE WORD on more than random occasions, you would have to be found talking about it excessively, you would demonstrate a joy that radiates within, you would respond to trials and difficulties with rejoicing and giving thanks.  You would be eager to love the unlovable, tend to the needy, give of yourself always and living daily as a servant!  WOW.
As a child of God, we should be IN LOVE with THE WORD OF GOD.  Why do we neglect “that” which is so easily attained?  How are we to KNOW what we are called to, if we are not IN The Word?  The Word enables me to avoid sin by the power and the grace of God.  It allows me to have guidance into what HE has for me.  It is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.  We wonder “why” we struggle with “where we are called”.  Because of the Word of God, I can know HOW to stand against the enemy, where to walk, how to live, how to trust in THE GOD I SERVE AND LOVE.
Lord, may I be found “GUILTY” when charged of “having a love affair” with Your Word, and there would be enough evidence to convict me!
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Will You Quit?

Once you have homeschooled for a few months, have you found it difficult to stay motivated? Is homeschooling not quite what you expected — too much work? Giving up is not the answer — giving in to the Lord is.

“Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing” James 1:3-4

Homeschool parents don’t always realize they are attending classes each day just like their children. God’s assignments may not be on a computer or in a workbook, but they are just as real and challenging. The basic courses of Patience for Parents, Forgiveness Forever, Endurance 101, and Sacrificial Servanthood cause us to grow more Christlike in our actions. We study the Scriptures and look for answers to new questions we face each day. We pray at test time, hoping to pass. We pray for God to grade on a curve, or at least to allow a retake.

God knows what He is doing. Both you and your children are being schooled at home. Together you will learn all the lessons of life He has prepared for you. Hang in there — it’s always too soon to quit!

“But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing” (vs. 4).

Father, I don’t know if I have what it takes to keep homeschooling. Stretch me Lord! Help me to see those areas in my life that are slowing me down and causing me to stumble. Thank You for all You’ve done for me on the cross. Give me the strength and wisdom to keep going. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

AOP Homeschooling Devotions

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Just One More Day

Pharaoh wanted one more day with the frogs . . . The prodigal son wanted just a few more meals with the hogs . . . and Israel desired the fog rather than to trust in the Lord completely.

What are you hanging onto that’s keeping you from “walking daily with the Lord”?  Pastor Tim Turner

 

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God Is Bigger

God’s bigger than what you DON’T have.

You have no control over what you don’t have, but God can do more with what you don’t have than you can do with what you DO have.

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