church, inspiration, Jesus, spiritual

The Presence

The only life worth living is a life in Jesus’ presence. But for the disciples in John 14, that was about to change. Jesus was telling them he was going to leave them. What?? They had left everything to follow him. He is leaving? Yes, but his presence would come and be with them always.

We Christians are told that this presence will always be with us. God is with us. Surrounding us. Living in us. But sometimes we feel spiritual isolation. We feel God is far off. Abandoned. Alone.

Jesus taught his disciples in John 14:18, “I will not leave you as orphans. I will come to you.”

Jesus could return to them because he is one with the Father and one with the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit, or Advocate, Counselor, Comforter, or Helper, as scripture calls him, is available to those who will receive him.

How do we receive this presence?

Jesus says in John 14:15, “If you love Me, obey the commandments I have given you. I will ask the Father to send you another helper, the Spirit of truth, who will remain constantly with you.”

What are the commands he has given? What is obedience?

  1. Believe – “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.” (John 6:29)
  2. Love – Love God and Love Others as Yourself. (Mark 12:30-31)
If we live in the way of Jesus, we will live in the power and presence of Jesus.
What a great and power Word for each of us. Believe and Love and live in the Power of Jesus. 
Have a blessed Monday!
These words are from John Ketchersid’s sermon July 6, 2014 at the Plymouth Park Church of Christ.

God, inspiration, Jesus, love, personal, radical, Sherrinda, spiritual

Living A Radical Love

Photo by ramoo76 at flikr

Our pastor set before us a three-fold challenge yesterday.

SIMPLE: Love people.
CHALLENGING: Love people that nobody expects us to love.
RADICAL: Love people that do not deserve to be loved.

We are called to live simple, challenging, and radical lives. We are to live out a radical faith.

What does that even mean? Well, to define radical, here’s what dictionary.com says:

rad·i·cal

  [rad-i-kuhl]  

adjective

1.

of or going to the root or origin; fundamental: a radicaldifference.
2.

thoroughgoing or extreme, especially as regards change from accepted or traditional forms: a radical change in the policy ofa company.
3.

favoring drastic political, economic, or social reforms: radicalideas; radical and anarchistic ideologues.
4.

forming a basis or foundation.
5.

existing inherently in a thing or person: radical defects of character.

Interesting, isn’t it? Fundamental, extreme, drastic. I don’t usually put fundamental and extreme in the same category, but I think when Jesus calls us to live radically, he is calling us to live in a way that mirrors Him…and that is basic. It is fundamental. When we do that, we live in love. We love the unlovable. We love the undeserving. We love like Jesus.

Let’s go out of our way to be RADICAL this week. Who is in your sphere of influence that needs radical love? Who can God bless through you this week?

Matthew 5:43-48 (The Message)

43-47“You’re familiar with the old written law, ‘Love your friend,’ and its unwritten companion, ‘Hate your enemy.’ I’m challenging that. I’m telling you to love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer, for then you are working out of your true selves, your God-created selves. This is what God does. He gives his best—the sun to warm and the rain to nourish—to everyone, regardless: the good and bad, the nice and nasty. If all you do is love the lovable, do you expect a bonus? Anybody can do that. If you simply say hello to those who greet you, do you expect a medal? Any run-of-the-mill sinner does that.
 48In a word, what I’m saying is, Grow up. You’re kingdom subjects. Now live like it. Live out your God-created identity. Live generously and graciously toward others, the way God lives toward you.”

God, inspiration, Jesus, personal, spiritual

Power in the Name

Freedigitalphotos.net/Stuart Miles

Have you thought about the power in the name of Jesus? The name Jesus spoken out loud can cause demons to flee and peace to enter. It has the power to summon angels and demolish strongholds. Jesus truly is the answer for life’s hurts, trials, and temptations.

I just got back from a Youth Revival at a small little town in west Texas. The preaching was powerful, Spirit-filled and challenging. And while at a campsite in the middle of a state park, a spiritual battle was waged. I don’t know how you feel about spiritual warfare, but I have always relegated it to Biblical times or really pagan areas where witch doctors and witchcraft abound. But after what happened at that park, I’m convinced there is a battle being waged right here under our noses.

A young adult presented symptoms of being overcome by a demon and friends brought him out to the campsite to be prayed over. This person was strong, lashed out, bit, scratched, spit, and raged. Then it would subside and a fearful voice would emerge begging for help…to get rid of “it”, to make “it” leave.

The youth present went farther down the trail and sang praises to God and prayed while the adults prayed and proclaimed over the overcome person for 3 hours. It wasn’t until this person was able to speak the name of Jesus himself that there was relief. The person didn’t want to speak the name of Jesus. He fought against it, but when he did, there was a change. There was a settling. There was a peace.

All because of the name of Jesus.

There is such power behind the name of Jesus. Jesus is one with the Father and the Holy Spirit. There is power in just speaking His holy name. When you proclaim Jesus as your lord, demons flee and peace comes.

When we truly believe in Jesus and emulate his life and teaching, we become little Jesuses in this word. We live in the power He brings. We are His hands, His feet, His heart. We bring peace to the world around us…and this world needs the peace of Jesus. Boy, does it need peace!

Are you speaking the name of Jesus on a daily basis? Are you living in the power of Him and His calling on your life? Are you fighting the war against the evil one, proclaiming the lordship of Jesus?

Try it. Speak the name of Jesus. Trust in Him to empower you to wage the war against the evil one. As it is written in Ephesians6:11-13:

 11 Put on the full armor of God, <sup class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(A)”>so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, <sup class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(B)”>but against the rulers, against the authorities, <sup class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(C)”>against the powers <sup class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(D)”>of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. <sup class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(E)”>13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, <sup class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(F)”>so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.

After we have stood our ground…after we have done everything…we will stand in the power of the Name of Jesus. Speak it. Live it!

Christian, church, God, inspiration, prayer, Sherrinda, spiritual

Asking God the Wrong Thing

Do you ever wonder if you are asking God the wrong thing? Or for the wrong things? To do the wrong things? I have to tell you that yesterday’s sermon hit home with me. The service was so moving, with the Holy Spirit whispering through the words of the songs, touching my heart like only He can. And then the sermon came.

Don’t you love it when your pastor is passionate about something? Has experienced God’s presence and is excited about it? Yeah, that’s what I love in a sermon!

Our church is facing some serious changes with our building being for sale and the thought of having to relocate is a tough one. My husband, the pastor, has been praying about these changes and asking for direction in order to help our church.

In his teaching,my husband has been focusing in John 14-17, which talks about the the Holy Spirit and staying connected to God. In that section, Jesus talks about “ask in my name” four times. My husband’s word from God was this: He’d been asking God for wisdom to deal with the changes coming to our church. He’d been wanting God to send him knowledge to help our church. Sure, that’s noble. But here’s the thing, he had been asking God to help him do something for the church, not asking God to do something.

Ask God to do something!

God is a BIG God and He wants to work in our lives. He wants to DO something in us and for us. Sure, He can empower His people, and He does that, but He wants to do something big in our lives.

And here is the really AWESOME thing that God did. We have had two young couples place membership in the past week!!!

Our small church is such a wonderful mixture of generations that support each other and love each other. But in the change that is coming, we are going to have to realize that in a way, this change is going to be like a death. It will be the death of our church as we have known it the past decade. As with any huge change in church, there will be people who leave. It’s a fact. A sad one for sure, but a fact, nonetheless. It will be a death of our church as we know it. BUT…The cool thing is that we will get to experience a new birth.

New beginnings! It’s exciting to think about, really. What is God going to do? Well, He’s already brought 2 new young couples into our church this past week and I believe that is just a foretaste of what’s to come. We will need that energy and fresh perspective to face the coming days.

God is doing something! And I’m thrilled to see what else He will do!

What is God doing in your life?

balance, Christian, faith, hope, inspiration, life, motivation, personal, spiritual, time management

Striving for Who, What, When, Where, Why?

Some days I feel like I am taffy, pulled in so many different directions. So many goals. So many needs around me. So many things I want to do. So what do I focus on first? What do I strive for the most?

I had one of those “step on my own toes” moments this morning in my daily quiet time. I am using Jesus Calling, Devotion for Every Day of the Year, by Sarah Young, and what I read spoke to my heart and I wanted to share a part of the text with you today:

Save your best striving for seeking my face. I am constantly communicating with you. To find Me and hear My voice, you must seek Me above all else. Anything that you desire more than Me becomes an idol. When you are determined to get your own way, you blot Me out of your consciousness. Instead of single-mindedly pursuing some goal, talk with Me about it. Let the Light of My Presence shine on this pursuit, so that you can see it from My perspective. If the goal fits into My plans for you, I will help you reach it. If it is contrary to My will for you, I will gradually change the desire of your heart. Seek Me first and foremost; then the rest of you life will fall into place, piece by piece.  I Chronicles 16:11; Matthew 6:33

Yep, a toe stepper for sure. I tend to go forth doing what I want to do, asking God to bless my efforts instead of listening for His leading and praying about which direction to take.

The answer to the “Who, What, When, Where, Why” of striving is easy. It’s our Lord God. It’s always all about Him. He is the One and Only. He is the answer…the best answer. Always and forever.

May you be blessed by the Lord, the Maker of Heaven and Earth.