At our church this week, we are approaching the 'summit'. Actually we are going to be having the annual summit meetings, in which a guest speaker comes and we have church services each evening of the week, Sunday through Thursday. It is a time for revival and being refreshed in the Holy Spirit, and I really enjoyed it last year and look forward to it next week. There are usually very dramatic messages that are truly convicting to me, which is just what I need right now. I have been feeling very unsettled, there has been a lot going on in our household, too much to truly explain. So as I pray this week for the meetings, and look to the Lord's Word for peace, here are some of the treasures He has given me to truly apply to my own life recently:
1. "...[Love] does not take into account a wrong suffered..." ~1 Corinthians 12:5b, I shared about this particular topic not long ago. I am still working on it though. My scope has widened though, and I am reminded of it as I sit in traffic, fuming over the car who cut me off, or as yet again my husband has gotten called into work on his day off. I don't get to pick who I practice love towards, and God makes it easy to remember- EVERYONE, even those who may make it difficult for me.
2. "..for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." ~Matthew 6:21, this has always been one of those verses for me that gets me every time I read it. What am I holding as treasure- money, my home, my hobbies, or most importantly, God? Is He my treasure above all else, or am I more focused on the things that will eventually pass away? I know where I want my heart to be, on the things of Heaven that please God.
3. "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo. I am with you always, even to the end of the age." ~Jesus, Matthew 28:19-20, A few weeks ago, while praying for the summit meetings with some other ladies, the first question they asked as we prepared to bow our hearts and heads, was "Who are you going to invite?" and I was caught completely off guard. In my defense, it was still weeks away, and had only been announced the week before, but I hadn't really thought about it. And God used that moment, to make me realize I need to always be thinking about it, I should be constantly inviting others to church. We are commanded to go out and share the Gospel, the very least I could be doing is actively and regularly inviting others to join me at church on Sunday, and it wouldn't even take much effort on my part!
4. "Her children rise up and bless her; Her husband also, and he praises her..." ~ Proverbs 31:28, I am constantly striving to be a better wife and mother. Although my husband has been acknowledging my efforts much more recently, I still know there is more I could be doing, I should be doing for both him and my children. I don't think I will ever rest from striving to be the Proverbs 31 woman, just as I will always strive to further and better serve the Lord- there is just no end to those tasks while we are on this earth!
5. "Do not fret because of evildoers, Be not envious toward wrongdoers. For they will wither quickly like the grass and fade like the green herb..." Psalm 37:1-2, Just as in 1 Corinthians 12 (see #1), I am called to not only forgive and love someone who has wronged me, but not be envious of them either! How hard is that?! If I feel wronged, the last things I want to do are love that person or to let it go. I want to hold onto it and find a way to repay them which I believe is rooted in being envious, jealous, of their power, position, or something they have that I do not. And yet God tells me I am to let it go, and love them. Definitely something the Lord continues to show me as He works in my heart.
6. "A fool does not delight in understanding, But only in revealing his own mind." ~Proverbs 18:2, We shouldn't only be interested in sharing our own opinion, but also willing to listen to others to find understanding and wisdom. As a very opinionated person, this is something I always need to remember, it isn't just about me sharing my thoughts, but also about understanding those of others, so that I can see from all sides and perspectives (which is why I will always encourage comments and ask for your opinions as well). I sure don't want to be that fool!!
7. "Rejoice always..." 1 Thessalonians 5:16, Did you hear that? ALWAYS, we are to always rejoice as Christian believers. Not complain, grumble, or whine, but rejoice!! I think many of us have a habit of seeing the negative things as we struggle or stumble through them in life, but God commands us to be always rejoicing. I believe it was last year's speaker at the summit meetings who put it something like this- what truly is the worst thing that could happen to you? You lose your job, lose your family (on this earth at least), and have to live under a bridge where maybe you get very sick and you die- but then you get to go to your Heavenly home, and what is not to rejoice about there?!! In the end, the worst thing that can come for us as believers is the physical death, but what a wondrous occasion it will be to go be with God in heaven, so truly we have nothing to whine about, do we?!
8. "...Pray without ceasing..." ~1 Thessalonians 5:17, This is another part of the above verse, another command from God. I thought both deserved their own number on my list because they truly are so important, but also very overlooked in our day to day lives. At our church's ladies night this past week, one of the things the pastor's wife touched on, was that if we are all being completely honest with ourselves and God (because lets face it, He already knows), we could all do better in terms of our prayer life. Note this passage- we are to pray without ceasing, it should be continual, and just a part of who we are to be in constant communication with God. I know I can always improve in this area- one way that has helped me recently is carrying a prayer journal with me in my purse and pull it out whenever I hear something I need to remember to pray for- also just stopping to pray for it right away before the opportunity to forget arises at all!
9. "A friend loves at all times..." ~Proverbs 17:17a, I have often taken advantage of this verse, I have many friends who have seen me at my worse and still loved me through it all. But do I remember to love all my friends with that same attitude? I hope I do! I like to think I will, not much has come to test me in this, but it is often something I try to keep in my heart. So that I may remember, if any circumstance comes up that is less then easy to deal with, I may be a friend in times or difficulty as much as in times of joy.
10. "For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother's womb. I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made....Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; And in Your book were all written the days that were ordained for me, when as yet there was not one of them." ~Psalm 139:13-14a,16, I watched a moving testimony of a woman who was an abortion survivor. She survived a horrible abortion procedure in which saline is injected into the womb for the purpose of burning the baby and killing it, before inducing labor (late term abortion), and she was born alive still!! Now she knows the Lord and His purposes for her and she shares her story. I have always loved these verses, and I try to apply them to my own life, to remember God has a purpose and a plan for each one of us. He is in control, He will sustain us, just as He sustained that little baby girl who was unwanted by her own mother, she survived only through God's powerful hand intervening in man's cruel plans. (Her name was Gianna Jessen if you want to goggle her, to hear her story!)
I hope somewhere among those verses, God has touched your heart.
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