Keep It Simple

This past week a few of us women gathered for a time of fellowship and study around the theme of home skills. In sharing with the ladies the simple task of sewing on a button, I was reminded of the simplicity of Christ. It is said the Bible and the message of the gospel is simple enough so that even a child can understand it. In sewing on a button, all it takes is focus, a few stitches and it’s done. We were sharing how when the buttons are put on by machine, they tend to get loose quickly and fall off. Similarly, at times our attempts at trying to improve on Christ through religion and rituals, we start to move away from the simplicity of His message of salvation.

A relationship with Jesus Christ should be our focus and remember His presence in all we do. In our desire to “improve on Jesus”, we end up complicating matters and loose the focus. We may tell ourselves that we are doing it for the church, but we end up doing busy work. Our intentions start out good, we want to strengthen our relationship with Jesus, but then we get side tracked. Like that button, it does not require much, fancy tools might get the job done, but nothing can replace the simple and direct approach. Jesus wants us to keep some of this simplicity.

I am reminded of the worship song, “I’m sorry Lord for the things I’ve made it, for its all about you….” .
2 Cor 11:3-15 “But I fear, least by any means as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.”

A button sewed on by a machine is not wrong, it gets the job done. But nothing can replace the strength and stability that comes from an individual stitching it into place. Similarly, there is nothing wrong with reading commentaries, sharing the word with others, joining in a time of fellowship (in fact all of this is encouraged as part of our Christian walk and growth), nothing can replace that 1:1 relationship with Jesus and keeping Him as the center of our lives; keeping it simple.

Alex B

Give Thanks

If you’ve been reading along with us through the Bible in 3 years, then you’ll know what a blessing it has been reading through the Psalms.  Today’s reading was from Psalm 107, a beautiful Psalm about giving thanks to the Lord.  It repeats the phase “give thanks to the Lord” five times as it recounts the wonderful things the Lord has done. 

As I read through Psalm 107 I thought, “Wow! The children of Israel truly had so much to be thankful for, they had seen miracles, deliverance and they received provision from the Lord.”  Then I began to consider my life, I am blessed because I can say “God had done wonderful works in me.” It stirred up my spirit to give thanks to the Lord.

So here are a few things that I’m thankful for: (Using verses from Psalm 107)

  • My God has “redeemed me” v2
  • My God has “delivered me” v6
  • My God has “satisfied my soul” v9
  • My God has “calmed the storms” in my heart v29

Life is not all gumdrops and roses, but if you’ve given your life to the Lord then you have something to be thankful for.  Take some time today to consider what the Lord has done for you and give thanks to Him. 

So how do you give thanks to the Lord?

  • Tell others how good the Lord has been to you.
  • Sing praises (one of my favorites Smile)
  • Talk to Him. Offer up prayers of thanksgiving and praise.
  • Get to know Him. Spend time in His Word.

There are many ways that we can give thanks to the Lord. How you choose to show your gratitude is up to you.  The important thing is that you remember that whether things are great, or things are not so great, we can still have a thankful heart.  Our God is amazing and He is worthy of all our praise. He loves us so much! He sent His son to die on the cross to forgive our sins. Thank you Lord, You are so good!!

Kim S.

Royalty

This morning my son called me informing me he was among the top five students chosen for his senior Prom court. I congratulated him, shared my excitement for his nomination and reminded him to be a light for Jesus at his school. I was blessed that he actually called me, his mom, to share his good news. He had to hang up to go to class so I texted him: “So, how did you get nominated? Was it your good looks, Your outgoing personality, Your athletic ability, Your connections, Or all the above? Wink happy face”. Of course, He texted back jokingly, “All the above”. Next, I texted him 1 Peter 2:9.

“But you are a chosen generation, a ROYAL priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;”

I reminded, my son, that he is Royalty, the son of the King of Kings, and not to forget that! I encouraged him to praise God and proclaim what He has done for him.

Realistically, many of us were not on the prom court, were not athletic, not the best looking, didn’t have the most friends and most likely felt awkward in some way or another at times growing up. Or if you did have most of these things going for you, you still had a sense of uncertainty among your peers at one time or another. In Christ, we don’t have to feel that insecurity anymore. We are ROYALTY. Our heavenly father is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Aren’t you so glad we don’t have to worry about being nominated into heaven or chosen by our peers for eternal rewards? God has chosen us. He picked you to obtain salvation through Christ Jesus. No one had to vote us in, it’s nothing of ourselves, its God loving us his creation and offering us heaven. Prayerfully, you have already chosen to receive, believe and trust in Him.

So when you start to look at the world’s standard for election, promotion or nomination and feel insecure or unimportant, please recall who you are in Christ. You are chosen by the creator, adopted into Royalty, holy and blameless through Faith in what Christ has done on the cross, His own special daughter. Being special to God is more valuable than any personal achievement, educational degree, nomination or any reward ever.

May you dwell on Gods goodness and praise Him for what he has done for you and for whom you are in Him.

Jeanine B.

Be Holy

So think clearly and exercise self-control. Look forward to the special blessings that will come to you at the return of Jesus Christ. Obey God because you are his children. Don’t slip back into your old ways of doing evil; you didn’t know better then. But now you must be holy in everything you do, just as God-who chose you to be his children-is holy. For he himself has said, “You must be holy because I am holy,” 1Peter 1:13-16 NLT

Peter is telling us to think clearly, are our minds fixed upon The Lord? Are we spending time with Him so that the decisions we make are what God wants of us? or are our minds cluttered with the things of this world so that we are unable to make good decisions?

Peter also tells us to have self-control, is The Lord in control of our life? Or are we allowing the world to control us? Are we looking forward to the day of the lords coming? Are we anticipating Jesus return living each day as this could be the last? Peter also is telling us to not go back into our old patterns or sin, are we set part for the Lord living in holiness? Because are God is a holy God, and we are his children we are to live holy before the Lord.

I like what the devotion Jesus calling had to say on holiness. “Take time to be Holy. The word holy does not mean goody-goody; it means set apart for sacred use. That is what these quiet moments in My Presence are accomplishing within you. As you focus your mind and heart on Me, you are being transformed: re-created into the one I designed you to be. This process requires blocks of time set aside for communion with me.”

Let’s make a point to spend time with the Lord daily so that He can transform our minds and hearts to His, to become holy like the Lord. The Lord desires to have communion with us. He looks forward to spending time with us. Make that time and see what will happen, see how the Lord will bless your life.

Cherrie C.