Day 260

“But go your way, tell his disciples and Peter that he goeth before you into Galilee: there shall ye see him, as he said unto you.”  (Mark 16:7)

I have been copying Scripture as an exercise in reading diligently those passages that have become familiar to me.  Included in those passages are the first four books of the New Testament.  When I came upon Mark 16, I took note of verse 7 and paused.  First I noticed that Peter was specifically mentioned by name and then the little phrase, “there ye shall see him” popped out at me as I copied it down.

My life has taken on such a busy-ness this past year as we have traveled for furlough.  My husband and I often talk about how we live in a constant state of confusion about where we are.  We have to purposefully think about what state we are in at the moment. It may sound silly to you, but it is a very real struggle.  Our brains tire from answering questions about the work in Brazil and at times our flesh wants to take over and we envision ourselves screaming at the next person that asks us how we are enjoying our “vacation” from the field.  We wonder if Christians here at home even have a burden for souls anymore as they sit in pews with glazed looks on their eyes and check their watches to see if we are going over our allotted speaking time.  The altars usually remain empty, even after Mark preaches about the reality of hell.

City to city, state to state, and Church to Church.  We go, set up, present, fellowship, break down the table, head back to our tent, and wonder if anyone even listened.  All the while continuing to minister to our people in Brazil, parent our 4 adult children, try and find time for each other and our marriage and reach out to whatever community we are in at the moment.

But in the midst of all this coming and going, God reminded me of something.  One of these days I am going to see Jesus.  Just like the angel pointed to where He would be after the ressurrection to give the ladies and the disciples and Peter some hope, I too am able to look forward to the day when my eyes shall behold Him.

“Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.”  (Revelation 1:7)

That is why we went to Brazil in the first place!  It’s because He is coming again one day.  That’s my reset button.  So what if people in the pews are cold and hardened towards the need, I DON’T HAVE TO BE!  I can keep remembering that hell is real, Jesus is coming and one of these days we are all going to see Him.

Maybe you need reminding about this today as well.  It isn’t a fairytale that someone wrote down to create a new religion.  The Word of God is indisputable in It’s accuracy and had Jesus not resurrected those disciples wouldn’t have gone on to turn the world upside down. (Acts 17:6).

Love with all you have today and with grace try and influence the life of someone around you.  Jesus is coming and we are all going to see Him.  Let’s try and reach the world for Him.  Let’s continue in our separate callings together for the same Cause and never ever forget that what we are doing has eternal consequences.

Until Next Time, Lord willing,

Sheri

Day 259

STUDY TIME!

(On Saturdays and Sundays my blog posts will give you a verse to study. I won’t give you the reference….you have to find it for yourself. I will then ask you some questions)

VERSE:

“”And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.”

STUDY:

  • Are you obeying these two commandments?
  • If we are loving Him with all that we have, will there be any room for hate?

*** HELPFUL TIP ***

If you do not own a concordance or commentary, try downloading the e-sword app to your phone or tablet. This app can be VERY useful when you want to do a word study or find a verse when you are on the go.

Until Next Time, Lord willing,

Sheri

Day 258

STUDY TIME!

(On Saturdays and Sundays my blog posts will give you a verse to study. I won’t give you the reference….you have to find it for yourself. I will then ask you some questions)

VERSE:

“And Jesus stood still, and commanded him to be called. And they call the blind man, saying unto him, Be of good comfort, rise; he calleth thee.”

STUDY:

  • What happened that caused Jesus to stand still?
  • Why do you think Jesus had the man come to Him instead of the other way around?
  • Have you ever wondered where Bartimaeus was on the day of Crucifixion or the resurrection?
  • Are we using our faith only when we need it or is it a life practice?

*** HELPFUL TIP ***

If you do not own a concordance or commentary, try downloading the e-sword app to your phone or tablet. This app can be VERY useful when you want to do a word study or find a verse when you are on the go.

Until Next Time, Lord willing,

Sheri

Day 257

“Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth. And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.”  (Mark 9:23-24)

There is a lot to discuss about this chapter, but I wanted to focus on a point for us to dwell on today and that is, belief.

We all have been at impossible points in our lives.  Right?  I mean, is there one reader that could tell me that they have had a problem free life?  If so, please, write a book, you would become a millionaire.

But for the rest of us who are constantly standing on a cliff’s edge as we wonder “What now?” I sure am glad we have an example in the Word to show us that we aren’t alone.

Here this daddy is with a very young child who is being tormented by an evil spirit.  He has watched the pain wreak havoc on his son and he is helpless.  He is so helpless in fact, that he went to the disciples for help already, but he found none.  When people finally bring him to Christ, he doesn’t know what to do anymore BUT believe in order that his son might be freed and whole again.

It is not our ability to believe that makes the difference in our life situations, but the ability of the One in whom we choose to believe.

Jesus had shown Peter and James and John WHO He really was as He was transfigured while they looked on.  But their belief was not what could help this boy, it was only THROUGH Christ.

You may have been born and raised in church and saved and baptized at a young age, but none of that can be what you rely on for your life’s turmoils.  I think there is a great disservice being done to our youth in church today because we have so many programs and events at “church” that we make it out to be what is most important.  While I agree we shouldn’t forsake the assembly of ourselves as believers, I do NOT hold to the thought that the church is what saves and helps me.  It is Christ and Christ alone that must have my faith.  If I just point people to the church, I have failed them.

Jesus was the only One Who could help this father and this boy.  And when the father didn’t know what else to do, he asked Jesus to help him believe.  That is profound.

I have heard my parents pray many, many, many times.  I have listened to their voices beg God for miracles and I have heard them plead with Him for immediate help.  But I have never heard them demand that God do something.  They have always asked according to the Word and always, completely left the entire request up to Him to have His Will.  And I have watched God do unexplainable things in our family through the years.

Was it the voices of my mother and father or was it God?

Was it the power of praying or the power of the One to Whom they prayed?

It’s not easy to put this type of thought into English words, and I am not doing a great job at explaining what my mind wants to say, but I will let you ponder these verses and thoughts with me today as we dwell in God and ask Him to help us where we need it and place our lives and problems in HIS capable hands to do with as He will.

Do you need help today?

Go to the One Who can help.

Until Next Time, Lord willing,

Sheri

Day 256

“And he said, That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.”  (Mark 7:20-23)

Wow.

Did you just read the Scripture I posted up at the top?

Shew, looks like our hearts can lead us into some pretty awful ways of living!  Wonder why we want to follow our hearts if they are leading us into such destruction?

We started this year in the blog with the idea of dwelling in God in order to learn of Him and live through Him during 2018 (and beyond).  Today’s passage is actually a vivid contrast as to what can become of us if we don’t let Christ have and rule our hearts.

If I could ask for a show of hands, I wonder how many of us would raise our hand affirming that we want to commit adultery and ruin our marriages today?  Or, how many of us would say we want to murder someone today and go to prison or be executed for our crime?  Or maybe how many of us would want to slap that woman sitting next to us in church? Hopefully ALL of our hands would remain steadfastly clasped in our laps!  Surely NONE of us would want to do any of those things….(well, maybe some of us would want to slap someone)

None of us want to ruin our lives, right?

Then why do we intentionally listen to our hearts instead of Christ?  Our hearts are leading us to destruction on ALL fronts.

“But Sheri, I am not in a relationship with anyone other than my husband!”  you say.  Then I ask you why are you flirting with that man when you go pick up your kids from school or children’s Church?  Why did you let your eyes linger in a gaze across the room to that good looking dude at Starbucks?  I’ll tell you why.  Your heart wants to take the reigns and lead you to misery and you weren’t paying attention.

I’m picking the sexual sin out here because I have heard about a LOT of lives being destroyed by this very thing recently and as much as I shouldn’t be surprised, I always am when I see another marriage and ministry crumble because of it.  Hundreds of lives have been destroyed and the testimony of another ministry sullied because one man decided to let his heart lead his passions instead of Christ.

The issue of the heart and what is guiding it is of paramount importance to each and every one of us.  We MUST run to the altar in our private time with the Lord and offer Him our heart before it tightens the grasp and throws a bridle in our mouth to take us in a direction that is contrary.

I don’t think we have to really question ourselves whether or not we are obeying God, because we KNOW when we are stepping out in our own thinking.  I do, so you must.  And the same Holy Spirit that convicts me is the One that convicts you.  But, if we can’t decide about something and are unsure, God tells us how to remedy that.

“For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”  (Hebrews 4:12)

No surprise there that God points us to HIS Word in order to find the Truth.

He doesn’t want us to stumble and He doesn’t want us to fall so God gave us a sure footing with the Scripture.  If we will place our heart on the altar, submitted and pliable to His teachings, then we are in a good spot.

Who has your life today?  Your heart or God?  It’s one or the other and the destination will be determined by your answer.

Until Next Time, Lord willing,

Sheri

 

Day 255

“And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.”  (Matthew 10:38-39)

We live in a day and age of a line of thought that is expressed by this generation as, “You do you”.  Meaning, just be yourself, do what makes you happy and don’t conform to anything that constricts your desire whether those desires be financial, sexual or even mental.  We are being assaulted on all fronts with this push for freedom of restraint.

Now, there are some areas that I would agree that freedom needs to be expressed and attained and that is concerning anything that would bind us to something contrary to God.  For example, legalism in the church.  I am not going to run that rabbit trail because everyone’s definitions vary, but I will say that if you are “compelled” to act in such a way to please man before you please God in accordance to His Word, then you are wrong.  It should be God first…and ONLY.

Just follow the Bible.  Study It.  Dwell in It.  SUBMIT to It.

Jesus tells us in today’s passage in Matthew that if we aren’t willing to be compelled to carry our cross, deny ourselves and follow Him, then we are not going to find peace in this lifetime.  With Christ lies true peace and happiness.  With Christ we find meaning for our lives.  With Christ we find strength to endure, serve and yield.  Without Him we lose it all.

Don’t you wonder why so many people are sad these days?  I mean, have you ever seen so many people seeking help for depression, anxiety and stress?  No one seems to have peace about their current situation. (I’d love to throw a good democrat joke in here, but I don’t talk politics here)

I am writing on this today because I am seeking God’s help in this area of my life.  I figure if I struggle with it, then so does someone else.  And, when I struggle with something, I look to see what the Bible has to say about it first.  Usually after studying something out, I feel the Holy Spirit pressing His heavy finger on what my problem is.  And guess what?  I have a choice.  I can follow Jesus, being compelled to carry whatever HE deems fit for my life where I will find joy in Him, or I can deny Him and please myself and live without true peace that I am doing what is right.

If I could put a gif or meme in here I would insert one of someone banging their head against a brick wall because that is what I feel like I spend half my life doing.  I don’t know why I can’t follow simple Biblical instruction sometimes!  I mean, I know that doing what the Scripture says will help me, but so often I refuse to obey it.

Jesus lays out a pretty clear plan for us doesn’t He?  Let’s just decide to obey It.

Until Next Time, Lord willing,

Sheri

 

 

Day 254

“And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.”  (Matthew 5:41)

Today’s verse comes from one of my favorite passages in the entire Bible.  I’m sure there are many over the course of time that would agree with me that the “Sermon on the Mount” is something they could read over and over and over again without ever getting tired of the Author’s message.

And, while I love reading Matthew 5-7, I also find I finish it with a great deal of introspection and end up wondering how Jesus ever came to love me because I fail at most of what He teaches us to do and be as Christians.

Namely in the verse that I am going to write about today.

Oh, you thought that because I am a missionary that I innately perform the “go with him twain”?  Nope.

This Scripture is referring to a time in history when a person and their beast of burden could be seized in order to complete a task by the government.  For example, if you were traveling from one city to another with your mule or camel, a carrier of messages or goods for the government could stop you and tell you that your animal was being seized (compelled) in order to carry something of theirs.  And Jesus was teaching to not only do what they asked, but go an extra distance in order to help them.  And I believe He meant it across the board.  We should have a humble spirit guiding our actions.  And, I believe we should help, even when it is at our own inconvenience.

This goes against every grain of my flesh.  I am not kidding.  I hate it when I have to stop doing something in order to even answer a question.  I am AWFUL to my family when I am writing and they knock on my door or ask me when lunch will be ready.  And don’t even get me started on how I feel when neighbors come by the farm unannounced.

On the way to town where our church is, we have to pass a Police check point going and coming.  They have the authority to pull you over, check your documents, search your car and impound it if they deem necessary.  It is such a pain when we are on the way to a Bible study or meeting and we get stopped.  Lord Help me Jesus I get in the flesh in less time than it takes to blink.  I don’t like be interrupted.

And that hatred for interruption boils down to one word:  PRIDE.

Pride is the very opposite of what Jesus is teaching.  He is teaching humility.  It should be the basis of my actions.  Even as I type this, I know that there is something I have to repent of and deal with concerning this topic.  (I told you I am awful, I wasn’t lying)

The extra mile teaching doesn’t start at the moment someone asks or compels us to do something.  The extra mile teaching starts with making sure Jesus has our heart from the moment we rise in the morning.  If we go to Him and submit to Him, then as our day unfolds, His Spirit will guide us through and during the interruptions.  And His principle is to do more than what is asked at the time of the interruptions or compellings.

I sure haven’t mastered this and I imagine that Jesus gets saddened at my resistance to His Message.  Nevertheless, with His help, I will continue to meet Him in the morning and let His Heart compel mine for how many ever miles He needs me to go.  After all, Jesus was compelled to carry His cross and He not only went, He gave all.  And He humbled Himself (Philippians 2:8).  Do I think myself better than He?

I hope you will succeed in this area and let His hand guide you in the way you need to go as well.

Until Next Time, Lord willing,

Sheri