Day 274

If there is one thing that makes my skin feel cold and my heart do a jump in my chest, it is when I think about the Judgement Seat.  Oh, I know, you are already wanting to click out of this blog.  No one likes thinking about it, much less reading what someone else has to say about it.  I’m tempted to write something else today, trust me.

There are varying opinions on this subject and I don’t write about it seeking an argument.  Study the Word of God and come to your own conclusion.

What I want us to think about today is the fact that we are not temporary.  We are eternal beings.  If you have repented and placed your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ for your salvation, according to the Bible, your eternity is in Heaven.  If not, according to the Bible, your eternity is going to be in Hell.  Either way, you aren’t going to disappear at death.

That is a sobering thought.

We all live as if we are going to be done with it all one day.

What propels us to live the way we do in terms of good and bad?

It our conscious.  The word conscious means to be awake, aware of our surroundings and having knowledge of something and being sensitive to it.

We are led to what our mood is, our actions are and our decisions are based upon what we are aware of and sensitive to.  Therefore, our conscious must be a pretty powerful thing and as a Christian, I need to dedicate my efforts towards that which would give me a spiritually healthy conscious.

“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”  (Philippians 4:8)

The first thing I need to do is to realize that God is paying attention:

“In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.”  (Romans 2:16)

“For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.”  (Ecclesiastes 12:14)

“The eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.”  (Proverbs 15:3)

If I will but take the time each day to meditate on the fact that God is present with me, paying attention to my every thought, my conscious will be led by the knowledge that I am not alone.  We cannot be careless and forget to acknowledge the fact that God sees, hears and records our works.  This should help motivate us to seek Him and His voice in ALL that we think.

“I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye.”  (Psalms 32:8)

Secondly, after realizing God is present, I should actively seek to know what He has to say about whatever it is that I am going through, thinking on or deciding about.  His principles in the Word of God are the best tools I can utilize in maintaining a right conscious.

“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.

Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.”  (Hebrews 4:12-13)

Thirdly, I should reach across that invisible space and seize the opportunity of my present eternity and TALK to God.  

Praise Him for creating me as an eternal being that He reconciled to Himself.  Thank Him for loving me enough to care that I obtain a GOOD conscious and offering me the chance to dwell in Him.  Confess to Him where I have failed Him.  Ask Him to be my strength and to empty me of myself and fill me with His Spirit.

Take time to think on God each day.

Take time to listen to God each day.

Take time to talk to God each day.

“This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success. Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.”  (Joshua 1:8-9)

Until Next Time, Lord willing,

Sheri

 

 

 

Day 273

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:

“But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;”

STUDY:

  • Who is speaking?
  • To whom is he speaking?
  • What has Timothy learned?
  • Why is it important?
  • We live in a time of deceiving and being deceived as well, this advice and principle for living is just as pertinent to you and me as it was Timothy!  Get back to the Word!

*** 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 272

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:

“Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.”

STUDY:

  • Who is speaking here?
  • To whom is he speaking?
  • What does the word hardness mean?
  • Who are we to endure hardness for?
  • If we are soldiers, would that imply that we are in a battle?
  • Ephesians 6 takes on a different light doesn’t it?

*** 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 271

Why me?

Have you ever asked yourself that question?

Why do I have to go through this?

Why can’t I be normal?

Why am I not pretty?

Why did my friend lie to me?

Why did my husband leave me?

Why did my child die?

Why did my ministry fail?

Why did my brother molest me?

Why did my mom leave me?

Why did my husband die?

Why did I get cancer?

Why?

Why me?

There a million other scenarios I could reference, but you get the idea.  We all have “stuff” that we wish wasn’t ours to deal with.  And we all have moments where we sit with the proverbial tweety birds flying around our heads and a whistling sound blowing through our ears as we digest some new disaster in our lives that causes us to ask, “Why me?”

There was a man briefly mentioned in the book of Acts who I am sure asked this same question many times over the course of the eight years he was bedridden.

“And it came to pass, as Peter passed throughout all quarters, he came down also to the saints which dwelt at Lydda. And there he found a certain man named Aeneas, which had kept his bed eight years, and was sick of the palsy.”  (Acts 9:32-33)

Eight years in a bed!  I get tired of my bed after a couple days with the flu!  Can you imagine eight, long years in bed?  I imagine he had bedsores and had lost a lot of weight. I think he probably even smelled a little seeing as how the Maytag washer hadn’t been invented yet to clean his clothes.  There was no cure for the palsy, so this man had no hope of ever being anything but what he was, a bedridden nuisance to everyone.  Eight years.  Almost a full decade, lying around wishing he was anyone but himself.

But then along came Peter.

“And Peter said unto him, Aeneas, Jesus Christ maketh thee whole: arise, and make thy bed. And he arose immediately.”  (Acts 9:34)

The power of Christ healed this man who had lain there for eight deplorable years.  Imagine as the man moved his eyes to look on Peter’s face as Peter knelt by him.  As Peter began the sentence by calling his name, he must have been a little startled.  Then as he heard the name above all names, Jesus Christ, I wonder if tingling shot through his limbs as the healing began?

This man had been struck with palsy about the time Jesus began his earthly ministry.  He had undoubtedly heard about the healing miracles that Christ had performed over the years.  He had probably desired to BE one of those miracles.  I wonder what he had thought when the news traveled to his ears that Jesus had been crucified?  Five years had passed since that time and yet, here he lay, still sick, still hopeless and still bedridden.

Yes, I think he must have asked himself, “Why me?” more times than I can count and I imagine his joy at feeling his legs strengthen once again must have been off the charts.  He was WHOLE again!

The healing wasn’t just for his wholeness though.  It was for a purpose.

Read the next verse with me:

“And all that dwelt at Lydda and Saron saw him, and turned to the Lord.”  (Acts 9:35)

WOW!

Everyone in TWO cities that saw him walking around turned to the Lord!  Talk about a Tale of Two Cities!

What was thought to be years of suffering was just building credibility to his future testimony of the power of God!

Your “Why me” is probably pretty awful.  Just as awful as this man perhaps.  And if you decide to act out in despair and commit suicide or derail your life in the sadness of the pain of it all, you could very well miss out on the “Everyone” that will see your testimony and turn to God.

Endure hardship as a good soldier.  Rejoice in the Lord.  Continue in what you have learned.  There is no answer right now to your question, but there is an answer.  Let God reveal it WHEN He wants to.

Until Next Time, Lord willing,

Sheri

Day 270

When my husband and I were in our 20’s we were traveling around the southeastern part of the states trying to raise support for missions.  We didn’t own a home and lived in our van.  We only had three small children at the time and our fourth wasn’t even a blip on the radar.  Sometimes we would schedule meetings near a family member and stay with them while in that particular area.  It was hard, I won’t lie.  Here I am almost 50 doing the same thing and I still don’t like living like a gypsy when we are stateside.

During those early years my Aunt offered us the use of her RV if we wanted to place it in my parent’s back yard while we were in the area.  We were so happy for a little privacy.  I was always worried about the baby crying and waking my parents up, so the thought of having a “spot” for my little family was exciting.  I cleaned the little trailer and set a little table and chairs out front under the rollout awning where I would feed the children and watch them play.  At night Mark and I would plug in a little portable black and white tv and eat popcorn while waiting for the swing to put the baby asleep.  We made that little place our home for a few months and I have sweet memories to think back on.

One night while we were at church, a storm blew through our part of the state of Florida.  The winds were pretty strong and they tore off the awning of our little RV.  I remember feeling so horrible when we had to tell my Aunt and Uncle what had happened.  Here they had helped us out and now the wind had wreaked havoc on their trailer and it was NOT a cheap fix.  We moved out and went back on the road and I never set down roots again until we were in Brazil.

The word havoc means destruction.  That is what that wind did to that awning.  It mangled it up and ripped it apart as if it was nothing.  And that is exactly what I thought of when I read the following verse about the Apostle Paul before he was converted.

“As for Saul, he made havock of the church, entering into every house, and haling men and women committed them to prison.”  (Acts 8:3)

Saul wreaked havoc in the early church.   He was trying to be destructive, but in fact, he was used by God even before he was saved.  Read the next verse:

“Therefore they that were scattered abroad went every where preaching the word.”  (Acts 8:4)

Because of Saul’s “havoc” the church scattered and went EVERY where preaching the word.  Paul was a missionary before he knew he was a missionary! LOL

I love it.

Sometimes we get comfortable in our lives don’t we?  We settle into a routine and manner of living that almost rocks us to sleep spiritually like the baby swing does to an infant.

Every now and then it is good for havoc to come along and shake us to our core.  Because then we open our eyes to what is really going on around us.

Has the “wind” blown through your life and tangled and ripped everything apart?  Well, I suppose you could sit down and boo-hoo for a bit while the storm rages, or you could get up and get busy about the work.

Get up and get something done.  Look around and use the havoc!

No, no one likes destruction.  We ALL hate it when it comes into our lives, but once the numbness and shock pass, we need to decide to use it for good.  Ask God how you can turn your pain into something useful for Him.  He has a plan.  He always has a plan!  He may have been the origin of the storm to begin with, so that is something to ponder!

Havoc is ugly and scary, but we don’t need to let it silence us.

Until Next Time, Lord willing,

Sheri

 

Day 269

My mom and dad named me Sheri on June 12, 1970.  All hopes were for a healthy baby BOY, but I rebelled from the womb apparently and bounced into this world a girl with blonde hair, big blue eyes and a wide screaming mouth.  So, I got the name Sheri instead of Terry Jr. or whatever name they would have given me had I been of the male persuasion.

I have always liked my name and grew up thinking it meant cherished warrior princess. You remember buying those little name cards at the bookstore don’t you?  I had a little yellow and pink one that I kept forever that told me what my name meant.  I liked the idea that warrior was in there, but not princess.  I have never been and never will be that type of girl.  And “cherished”?  I liked that because after all, I am the baby of the family and that is synonymous with “spoiled”, right?

But, to be honest, the origins of my first name are not exactly clear.  This is what I found out about my name on http://www.behindthename.com:

“Before the 20th century this was probably from the Irish surname Ó Searraigh meaning “descendant of Searrach” (a name meaning “foal” in Gaelic). Later it may have been reinforced by the French word chérie meaning “darling”, or the English word sherry, a type of fortified wine named from the Spanish town of Jerez. This name came into popular use during the 1920s, inspired by other similar-sounding names and by Collette’s novels ‘Chéri’ (1920, English translation 1929) and ‘The Last of Chéri’ (1926, English translation 1932), in which it is a masculine name.”

So basically I am either a darling young horse, a fine wine, a character from a novel or a man.

Great.

Good thing my name doesn’t really have to define me!

But there is Someone Whose name definitely defines them, and that is Jesus.  His name means Savior and that is EXACTLY Who He is.

In my Bible I have a line and arrow drawn, linking the following three passages of Acts:

“Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.”  (Acts 3:6)

And his name through faith in his name hath made this man strong, whom ye see and know: yea, the faith which is by him hath given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all.”  (Acts 3:16)

“Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”  (Acts 4:10-12)

Obviously we all know or have met a person from Latin America or of Latin American roots name Jesus and we call them (HeyZeus).  I have met dozens of children and men with this name in Chicago.  I’m sure that there are those who also pronounce it just like we read it in the Bible in English as well.  But they are not our Saviour and they are not our Lord.  They have been bequeathed that name but it doesn’t define them.

To believe on the name of Jesus Christ means to believe that He is Who God said He is.  He was God incarnate.  That means He was God come in the flesh to dwell among us and to redeem us from our sins.  He was born of a virgin, lived a sinless life, died without seeing corruption and rose again.

To believe that He is those things is salvation.

Do you believe in the name of Jesus Christ?

There is no other way to Heaven.  All roads of religion don’t lead there.  I know it feels good to think that peace is what will eventually bring you to the golden streets and pearly gates, but the only One to provide peace is Jesus Christ.

There is no church that can save you from hell.

There is no religion that can offer a bridge from death to life.

There is no prophet that can be believed on for an eternal life with God.

There is no other way to God but Jesus.

What a name.  What a Saviour.  Do you know Him today?  Does your neighbor?

I share the sentiment of Paul:

“That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:”  (Ephesians 1:17-21)

Until Next Time, Lord willing,

Sheri

 

Day 268

This is, without a doubt, my most favorite passage of Scripture in the entire Bible:

“But Mary stood without at the sepulchre weeping: and as she wept, she stooped down, and looked into the sepulchre, And seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain. And they say unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? She saith unto them, Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him. And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away. Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master. Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God. Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and that he had spoken these things unto her.”  (John 20:11-18)

Every time I read this passage I get chill bumps.

I can see Mary Magdalene standing there by the tomb crying.  She must have felt so alone, so at a loss and searching for answers.

I know what that feels like.

The Bible says she stooped down while she cried.  The others had come and gone from the tomb.  She has already been there once earlier that morning and now she is trying to piece together what has happened.  Her grief is over taking her so much that as she peeks into the area where the body of Jesus should have been, she doesn’t even seem surprised by the presence of the two men.  And after they question her, she doesn’t even care about them but turns away.

I can just imagine her eyes blinded by tears.  Her heart was broken and the questions must have been buzzing through her mind at a mile a second.  Love brought her to that tomb and it would seem it was mocking her.  She was no stranger to mocking and jeering, but the One who had saved and transformed her from that was now absent and she was weeping for the pain of it.

Then as she stumbles forward she sees a man standing there and she pleads with him.  And I believe that in this moment the love that Jesus showed her is a representation of how He views each and every one of His children when they are crushed in spirit and looking for Him.

Jesus says, “Mary”.  That was it.  He simply let her know Who He was and that He knew her.  That was all it took.

How many times I have bowed myself low to the ground in absolute brokenness and He has come to me in love and said, “Sheri”.  Oh, my friend, there is nothing like His presence in that moment of the crushing weight of your burden.  When love draws you to Him, He will reciprocate each and every time with a personal response.

Did you notice that as Jesus continues to speak to Mary He refers to God as her God?  He wanted to keep the relationship personal and that is the most outstanding thing to me about this whole encounter.

God is there for YOU on a personal level.  He is YOUR Father.  YOU can fellowship with HIM.  Don’t wait for the circumstances to be perfect before you reach out to Him.  Don’t delay in calling on Him.  He wants a relationship with you.

Are you seeking Him today?  Do you think He has abandoned you and left you on your own?

He hasn’t.

Listen.

Can you hear Him calling your name?

Until Next Time, Lord willing,

Sheri