Be Transformed

Have you ever woke up in the morning with an all-consuming sense of praise in your heart and complete assurance that God was in charge of the day? What a wonderful blessing those days are. So why isn’t every day filled with such joy and confidence? God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow, so it’s not Him that changed. I suspect it often has something to do with our God-given, yet very fickle emotions.

Whether we wake up with feelings of praise and adoration for our Maker or fear and dread for what the day will bring, it’s what we do with those feelings that matters. Romans 12:2 tells us not to be conformed to this world, but to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. The word transformed is translated metamorphosis which means to change from one thing into another thing. So how do we transform or change our current thoughts and feelings from one thing to another? How do we keep the circumstances of life and our own fickle feelings from taking over our thoughts and behaviors? We focus on Jesus and His unfailing promises. The first chapter of 2 Peter speaks of these exceedingly great and precious promises. Peter points out that not only are grace and peace multiplied to us in the knowledge of Jesus, but through the knowledge of Him, God’s divine power gives us all things that pertain to life and godliness. This experiential knowledge comes from a relationship with Him and through His Word. “In the volume of the Book it is written of Me” Jesus says in Psalm 40 and Hebrews 10. As we focus on Jesus, dwell in relationship with Him and increase our knowledge of Him through His Word, He supernaturally transforms our minds and our feelings.

Consider what Romans 11:36 says, “For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen.” My Study Bible puts it like this: “God is the source, means and end of all things. He is the Creator, Sustainer and goal of everything; therefore He should be praised and glorified forever.” The same God that spoke the universe into existence chose us before time began and has a plan for our lives. “We are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10. The fact that we woke up this morning and breath continues to flow through our lungs throughout the day is a gift from Him. Let’s be prepared for whatever He has planned for us today by renewing our minds through His Word and submitting our bodies to Him as a living sacrifice. Whether we are experiencing a time of great blessing or extreme difficulties, we can rest assured that all things are of Him, through Him and to Him. He is the Author and Finisher of our faith. Don’t let negative thoughts and feelings rule you. Be transformed!

-Jacque B.

True Friendship

A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity. Proverbs 17:17

Recently, I attended a retreat where women from around the world came to study the Word of God and prepare themselves for ministry. What became quickly evident was God would accomplish that and so much more. His plan included encouraging the broken hearted, praying for the weak and encouraging those that felt alone. He wanted His daughters to establish meaningful relationships with each other that would continue after the retreat ended.

But as you know, ministering to women isn’t always easy because we don’t like to be vulnerable. We’d rather put on a smile than share how we’re feeling. It’s safer to say, I’m fine instead of saying I’m broken.

What we sometimes miss is that women desire meaningful relationships and meaningful
relationships require time. A surface relationships will not satisfy our desire for friendship. Friendship comes with a price tag; the question is are you willing to pay the price.

The apostle Paul’s companion, Luke understood firsthand the cost of friendship. He saw Paul’s sufferings and stood by him during his darkest hours. He didn’t desert him when things looked dim. Instead Luke the physician, tended to his needs, was a source of encouragement and assisted Paul in writing letters to the church.

In Paul’s letter to Timothy, we catch a glimpse of how difficult things were. Paul wrote:

“Be diligent to come to me quickly; for Demas has forsaken me, having loved this present world, and has departed for Thessalonica. Creacens for Galatia, Titus for Dalmatia. Only Luke is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, for he is useful to me for ministry.
2 Timothy 4:9-11

It’s evident that this was a very
difficult time in Paul’s life. He was shackled in prison, in physical pain, he longed to see his son in the faith, Timothy. Demas had forsaken Paul and I can only imagine the loneliness Paul experienced.

When was the last time you felt deserted and alone? When was the last time you were in physical pain? Have you ever been hungry? Have you ever been overwhelmed and exhausted? I pray that during those moments you were comforted by someone just like Luke. Someone bound to you by heart strings instead of shackles.

I can only pray that each of you grasp where I’m headed. Dear sisters in Christ your needed to minister to the broken hearted, and carry the burdens of your sisters in Christ. God wants to use you to reach the lost and lonely. The question is are you willing? Are you willing to be vulnerable are you willing to be authentic? Are you willing to be a true friend in the faith?

-Micah E

Trust In The Lord And Do Good

I remember being younger and getting into trouble. Often times I would be the one that got caught because I would see someone do something wrong and I would decide if they could do it, it must be okay for me to do it also. When I got caught I would say, “so and so did it first” hoping to save my self from punishment. Well, of course that never worked because my parents knew that I was willfully being disobedient. I can remember being frustrated that I seemed to get punished more often than those who started the trouble. It didn’t seem fair that other people were doing wrong things and not getting punished for it. What I didn’t understand back then, and what my parents were trying to teach me, was that I needed to be responsible for my own actions. I was spending too much time worrying about what others were doing and not enough time considering my own actions.

This is a valuable lesson that the Lord wants to teach us as well. In Psalm 37:1 it says “Do not fret because of evildoers, Nor be envious of the workers of iniquity.” It tells us to not fret, worry or be bothered by what others are doing. Verse 8 says “do not fret it only causes harm.” Our God is faithful and it’s not our responsibility to worry about those that are doing wrong. It may seem like they are getting away with evil but God will deal with them in His timing.

We know from verse 1 that God doesn’t want us to fret over what others are doing, so what does He want us do instead? Well, Psalms 37:3 tells us “Trust in the Lord, and do good; Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness.” The first thing we are to do is trust. The Believers Bible Commentary says, “This trust does not mean an unfounded, breezy optimism that everything will turn out right. Instead, it means a deep, abiding reliance on the God who has promised to punish the ungodly and to reward the righteous. His Word can never fail.” Not only are we to trust Him but also we are to do good. It’s not always easy doing what is good, but God rewards those that obey His commands found in His Word. Verse 3 ends with “Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness” always remember that our God is faithful! Such a wonderful promise we we given here. Don’t worry about what you have no control over, instead focus on pleasing the Lord in all that you do and His promise is that He will provide, protect and be faithful to you.

-Kim

Clinging To Christ

As children of the Lord, we need to be on constant guard. Being saved, you learn that a commitment to the Lord is every day, and in everything. It’s a constant choice to belong to Christ. We can be encouraged when the enemy attacks and trials happen. The thing that seems easy to do is to distant yourself from the One who loves you.

Proverbs 30:5 brings constant encouragement to me. “Every word of God is pure; He is a shield to those who put their trust in Him.” When we don’t take up the pure word of the Lord, everything opposite of truth can come in. Satan knows when, and how to attack us. Trials can be circumstances, situations, and sometimes a mistaken joy in our lives. I have learned, Satan has no new tactics. We all know the story of Adam and Eve, and the changing of Gods Word to deceive man. This is the same tactic that he uses now. We need to be on guard. I recently heard a message on Spiritual warfare which said it can look like; “fear, depression, obsession, lustfulness, unfounded angry, and strife.” It also can just be plan doubting of who Christ is in your own life.

We can’t rest on our own knowledge, morals, or even be crippled by our own fears and failures. We need to cling to Christ! Clinging to Christ means dwelling in His tabernacles. Are we doing this? Are we putting all our energy into Christ daily? Our walks with the Lord, are they the most important thing in our lives. I pray that I can fully start to grasp this, and it will take the rest of my life to continually learn this daily task of allowing the Lord to scoop us up like a little child to teach us, grow us, mold us, encourage us, and protect us. Without the Lords protection we have nothing to fight against the enemy.

In our minds, lies can be so loud that it’s the faintest whisper of Christ, and the purest of words to bring me back to truth. What is truth when we hear, see and feel the Spiritual warfare? It is His word. Proverbs 1:33 says, “Whoever listens to me will dwell safely, and will be secure.” Also Psalms 18:2 “The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust..”

My encouragement today, is to be consumed, and strengthened by the Lord. I want to challenge us women to grab hold of the Lord daily. Dig into His Word, feed on His faithfulness, and reach out to Him. Be honest with Him in every single aspect of Your Life. Cherish Him as He cherishes you. Be prepared that when Spiritual warfare comes we can rejoice and be glad in Him. Let’s be challenged to cling to Christ. Grab hold of Him like you do for your morning coffee and your pillow at night. I leave you with Micah 6:8-“He has Shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” Let’s walk so closely to the Lord that we cling to Him and know His voice.

-Kim Sorian