Pray The Psalms With Me, Psalm 3

This Psalm is addressing hopelessness. Hopelessness is a state of mind. We have to choose to have hope. Psalm 3 helps remind us what we should be doing to have hope and remain in hope when we are in trouble or are feeling fearful. We must remember our salvation. God saved us! If we meditate on how God saved us we are hopeful that He will save us from whatever trouble we are in now. How awesome it is that we have a God who saves us! Fear is the opposite of love. When we are in fear we are out of love. We aren’t remembering God’s love for us. Remember God loves you, so have faith and trust in Him. God hears our prayers and He answers in His way and in His timing. He will not leave us or forsake us. We can rest in peace knowing God is with us and protects us. People can’t scare us because we know who we belong to. We declare victory over our enemies and Satan. He has no power over us unless we give it to him. Being hopeless is a way he can get in. Close the door on hopelessness and open the door to Jesus, the one who never leaves us, He is our hope! Choose to focus on Jesus!

Prayer

Thank you for the promise that You will never leave us alone! Thank you for hearing our prayers and answering us when we call on Your name. You are a great loving Father to us, Your children. One day we will be with You in heaven and we will know You fully. I can’t wait for that day! Until then thank you for Your Holy Spirit leading us and guiding us and for the hope we have in Jesus! Amen.

Pray The Psalms With Me, Psalm 2

Psalm 2 has 12 verses. It’s all about what I should do as a follower. I made confession statements that say I WILL do these things. This isn’t going to be in exact order of the verses 1-12 but it’s an interpretation of them as a whole. I feel that they spoke to me from God and this is my response back to Him.

I belong to Jesus first of all. Anyone who is a believer belongs to Him because God gave Jesus the earth and everything in it. I know I’m His. And knowing that I’m His there are certain things that I should want to do for Him because I love Him. What I’m writing is for anyone not just me but I will write it as for myself. You know that this applies to you as well. First I will serve Jesus with all my heart and make Him King of my heart. That means He comes first. There is no thing, person or activity that gives me more pleasure than being in His presence. He fills me up with His Holy Spirit and then I can do life so much better. As I make Jesus first in my heart I will remember Him in all my circumstances so that I can make wise decisions and wise choices. He keeps me on track. I will be pleasing to God. We should want to be God pleasers and not people pleasers. When we are following what the Holy Spirit has directed us to do we are pleasing God. I have an example of what it means to follow the Holy Spirit. I was walking in the parking lot of Target one day. I passed a young mom who just buckled in her baby but still had her buggy to put away. As I passed her I heard the Holy Spirit say, go back and ask to take her buggy so she can just get in the car with her baby. Remember what it was like when you were there? So, I turned around and asked if she would like me to take her buggy and she said yes, thank you! I felt good inside for helping her and I knew I was doing what God wanted me to do. This leads into the next thing we should be doing and that is surrendering our lives to God on a daily basis.I will surrender my life to God so He can be glorified. As witnesses for Jesus we should also be declaring Jesus is the Son of God and stand up for Him! When I find myself in situations where Jesus is brought up I will speak up for Him and not be silent! But we do so in a way that keeps the peace. I will  be a peacemaker. As I continually focus on Jesus, this practice actually keeps evil away.  When our minds are absorbed with what the Bible says about us and about our lives, evil has no way of gaining a foothold in our minds. That’s where evil starts messing with us, in our minds. If evil can get in our thinking then you give him permission to set up camp there and he will destroy your life, eventually, if he is allowed to stay there. You are the only one who has control over what your meditating on. I will choose Jesus! As believers we should have reverential fear and awe of God. When we have this heart attitude we will rejoice and be high in spirits! We will be high on life, on Jesus! This enables us to want to seek and trust Him more!

Prayer

Thank you Father for this insight! Thank you that in Your Word are the answers to the questions we seek! I praise You, honor You and glorify Your name on this earth so others who don’t know You will want to know You. You are good and I’m thankful I live under Your wing. Amen.

 

Pray The Psalms With Me

I had another dream and it  has to do with prayer. I was in a room with people and there was a pastor and he was pointing at us saying prayer, prayer, prayer. I looked at my left shoulder and saw steam rising up and I knew it was the Holy Spirit. I asked him to pray for me to be willing to pray and he put his hand on my head and I woke up.

I didn’t remember the dream until I saw the word prayer the next day. So, I followed the Holy Spirit and found that reading the Psalms is praying to God. My mom said the Psalms are about our relationship with God. I began reading Psalm 1  and I use the SOAP method to get deeper meaning. As I read each chapter I’m going to document what I get from it. So, this entry is about Psalm 1 and it has 6 verses. I am writing this because I feel God speaking to me through the verses.

Psalm 1:1 emphasizes how a person who follows God’s ways will be happy, prosperous and I will add peaceful and whole. I know this because I have experienced it. This person doesn’t listen to ungodly counsel and doesn’t hang out with people who are not living according to God’s laws. They set themselves apart from worldy ways and only follow God’s way. Psalm 1:2 says this type of person delights and desires God’s Word so much so that he will meditate on it day and night. Psalm 1:3 says this person will be like the tree planted by streams of water which means they will be strong in spirit. They will produce what God planted in them in God’s timing. They will come to full maturity in whatever they do. I take this as who ever spends time with God is not doing it in vain. They will see the fruits of it in God’s timing. He will stay strong and not grow weary. By staying in the Word of God I will stay strong. Psalm 1:4 warns us that those who are disobedient to God’s Word will get blown away like the wind blowing chaff. If we aren’t rooted and grounded in the Word of God we can be swept away by worldy ways. Psalm 1:5 says people who aren’t living in God’s will are considered wicked and will not be justified on judgement. They haven’t accepted Jesus as Lord and savior. There are also people in the congregation who believe they are saved but they aren’t. We need to make sure we aren’t hypocrites! It does matter to be praying and talking to God daily. As Psalm 1:6 points out that Jesus knows the righteous because they have spent their time with Him. Those who haven’t lived in God’s will, will perish.  Matthew 7:21 Jesus says, “Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter.

Prayer

Father, forgive me for going astray. Thank you for pulling me back on track. Help me continue the right path and God’s will for my life. Help me to be a God pleaser. Holy Spirit continue to do Your work in me. Amen.

Run This One Race Marvelously

I have been going through some internal struggles lately, how about you? I think when we set out on this path and walk with Jesus we are going to have bumps in the road. These bumps are there to learn from I’m gathering. I overwhelmed myself with reading too much, wanting to know more about Jesus. I wasn’t remembering anything I was reading so I stopped altogether and took a break.

I realized the past 4 weeks from taking myself away from the things of God that made me feel connected to Him, that these things are really what I need. I expressed to my mom how when I got saved I felt driven to read the Bible, sing songs, watch movies about Jesus and anything else that would present itself to make me feel closer to God. And of course writing this blog. I never could understand why other people who say they are saved don’t feel like I do. Why they don’t pursue God the way I have. Then again no one really knows what other people do in private, right? Only God knows. Only God knows the heart.  I thought  I could stop what I do and be like everyone else. I convinced myself that it really didn’t matter. But without it I feel like I’m wasting my days. I know that doing something without the Holy Spirit doesn’t amount to much in the heavenly realm. When it’s all said and done what we did for Jesus is what counts.

I had a dream where I wanted to be known as a woman of faith. I woke up crying about it. I figured out this is a real desire of my heart, to be known as a woman of faith, or woman of God. I pursued this topic after I had the dream to see if I am a woman of God and come to find out, I already am, but other people don’t really know I am. Maybe my immediate family but that’s it. Then I realized from watching a movie called 1 Mile To You that I’m not in competition with anyone. This is my one race. This is my test, no one else’s. If I can focus on Jesus, run my race with my heart and convince my body, mind and soul of who I am I will do something marvelous. My love for Jesus has to be enough. He is enough.

In this movie, the coach said most people die with their music still in them. I believe I have an orchestra inside of me and I will let it out. I will let it out for Jesus and no one else. I do this because it’s me and it’s what I do. Just like Kevin said in the movie about running. Well, I feel this way about everything I do to be closer to God. My mom told me it isn’t for God’s benefit, it’s for my own. To keep me in line, to keep me on track, to keep me in my one race I have to run. I want to run it strong and end strong. I want my life to reflect God’s marvelous glory some how.

Kevin, in the movie, ran to be able to see his girlfriend who just died. He felt connected to her while he was running because they did this together. I realized that the things I do that have to do with God are what connects me to Him. I can see Jesus, I feel the presence of God. This should be the only reason that I do them.

1Corinthians 9:24, 24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. 25 Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.

2 Timothy 4:7, I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.

Are You Following Jesus Or Church?

When we are faced with questions as a christian and we don’t know how to answer them we need the Holy Spirit for insight, revelation, wisdom and understanding. I have been looking into the sin of judging and gossip lately and the Holy Spirit has shown me something I want to share. You know how churches are known for condemning people who are gay? And it is a hard thing, until the other day I understand how to respond to that. We are not the judge. We have been instructed by Jesus to love God with all our heart, mind, soul and to love others. He didn’t say to judge or condemn anyone. It isn’t our place to figure out anyone’s life. It’s between them and God. Only God knows everything about that person and knows their heart. God is the only one who knows sin and how it came to be. He only knows why each person has the problems they have. We can never begin to know everything. We are only called to love people. We aren’t suppose to sit around and try to figure it all out. We are only suppose to speak well of others, love them and lead them to Jesus. The Holy Spirit does the rest. We can’t save anyone. We just lead and the Holy Spirit does the work. I have learned that trying to be God was what Satan did and when we try to be God we are doing the same thing. It’s wrong and God doesn’t like it.

I am learning that there is a difference in following Jesus and following church. The church is people, not a place or building. Jesus’ Spirit is inside of us. We carry the light. Satan works where he has an opening, even in churches. This is why people are turned off to going to church. Since they see and feel corruption, they turn away and get even further fom God. These man made denomnations are not what Jesus wanted for church. He wants us to fellowship and worship together and spread the good news. Who cares how big or how many satellite churches you have. When Jesus threw the moneychangers out of the synagogue it was because they were tainting something holy with something common. He didn’t like money being a part of the spiritual.

I will confess something here. I was saved in my kitchen in August 2010 with the Gospel Of John on the computer. Jesus came to me and revealed Himself to me all by myself. I have allowed the Holy Spirit to teach me and guide me. He has manifested Himself to me because I ask Him to. He is experienced by me because I want to. This experiencing God is what makes a relationship with Him, not going to church. I am a true worshiper but I don’t fit in with church people and now I don’t fit in with the world. I guess this is how Jesus was. You see, there is the world that belongs to Satan and the so called church. Jesus even said of the church in His day that they were white washed tombs. Meaning they looked good on the outside but empty on the inside. I’m not saying all churches are this way, I’m just saying be careful about where you go.

True And False Worship

There are 2 interpretations of fasting in today’s reading. I like the second one which was written by Ole Hallesby ( 1879-1961) because I think he more closely explains what it really means. The other one by Donald Whitney comes from more of a now-a-days interpretation, I know this because it says (USA Contemporary) beside his name. Could it be possible that our interpretation of fasting could be all wrong? Considering what it says in Isaiah 58:1-14 the church and people have made it into something about themselves. In the Mosaic Bible before chapter 58, it is titled: True and False Worship. I learned worship is how your heart is toward God. Worship is a state of being, not singing. Praise and song come from worship. So to be a true worshiper my heart has to be pure and sincere toward God. In this scripture God is talking about their fasting, which is what we see today as false worship. Here is Isaiah 58:1-14, NLT version from Bible Gateway,

True and False Worship

58 “Shout with the voice of a trumpet blast.
    Shout aloud! Don’t be timid.
Tell my people Israel[a] of their sins!
    Yet they act so pious!
They come to the Temple every day
    and seem delighted to learn all about me.
They act like a righteous nation
    that would never abandon the laws of its God.
They ask me to take action on their behalf,
    pretending they want to be near me.
‘We have fasted before you!’ they say.
    ‘Why aren’t you impressed?
We have been very hard on ourselves,
    and you don’t even notice it!’

“I will tell you why!” I respond.
    “It’s because you are fasting to please yourselves.
Even while you fast,
    you keep oppressing your workers.
What good is fasting
    when you keep on fighting and quarreling?
This kind of fasting
    will never get you anywhere with me.
You humble yourselves
    by going through the motions of penance,
bowing your heads
    like reeds bending in the wind.
You dress in burlap
    and cover yourselves with ashes.
Is this what you call fasting?
    Do you really think this will please the Lord?

“No, this is the kind of fasting I want:
Free those who are wrongly imprisoned;
    lighten the burden of those who work for you.
Let the oppressed go free,
    and remove the chains that bind people.
Share your food with the hungry,
    and give shelter to the homeless.
Give clothes to those who need them,
    and do not hide from relatives who need your help.

“Then your salvation will come like the dawn,
    and your wounds will quickly heal.
Your godliness will lead you forward,
    and the glory of the Lord will protect you from behind.
Then when you call, the Lord will answer.
    ‘Yes, I am here,’ he will quickly reply.

“Remove the heavy yoke of oppression.
    Stop pointing your finger and spreading vicious rumors!
10 Feed the hungry,
    and help those in trouble.
Then your light will shine out from the darkness,
    and the darkness around you will be as bright as noon.
11 The Lord will guide you continually,
    giving you water when you are dry
    and restoring your strength.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
    like an ever-flowing spring.
12 Some of you will rebuild the deserted ruins of your cities.
    Then you will be known as a rebuilder of walls
    and a restorer of homes.

13 “Keep the Sabbath day holy.
    Don’t pursue your own interests on that day,
but enjoy the Sabbath
    and speak of it with delight as the Lord’s holy day.
Honor the Sabbath in everything you do on that day,
    and don’t follow your own desires or talk idly.
14 Then the Lord will be your delight.
    I will give you great honor
and satisfy you with the inheritance I promised to your ancestor Jacob.
    I, the Lord, have spoken!”

 We should take great notice of what God considers fasting.

Fast From Sinful Nature

In Isaiah 58:1-14, God talks of the people’s idea of fasting which isn’t His idea. He then gives examples of what fasting looks like to Him. He doesn’t say to “give something up” but to give to other people. To make burdens light on others, feed them, clothe them, help them. Then He will be with you and help you and your light will shine among the darkness. Keep the Sabbath holy and delight in the Lord and don’t pursue your own interests on that day.

When we help people with the right motives God blesses us. If we don’t particularly want to do these things but override the flesh and do them knowing we are doing them for God then it becomes fasting. Romans 8:6-11,  The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ. 10 But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life[a] because of righteousness. 11 And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of[b] his Spirit who lives in you.

Lent to Repent

The scripture reading today is Romans 8:12-17. It’s talking about our sinful nature and if we have the Spirit of God living inside us we will be able to overcome the sinful nature. We are no longer slaves to it. With God’s Spirit joined to ours we become children of God.

Ann says: Today we will practice our faith- because we will practice joy. Practice thankfulness. Practice smiling, practice Counting Gifts. We will repent of forgetting we are the Resurrection People.

The scripture reading sheds new light on what God calls fasting. I see that what He considers fasting is “giving up” our way and living His way. Living His way goes against our nature but if His Spirit is truly living in us and guiding us we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. Philippians 4:13, I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me. We can live holy as He is holy. This is how we do it.  1 Peter 1:16, For the Scriptures say, “You must be holy because I am holy.” Giving up our sinful nature ( doing it our way) and doing life His way is what makes Him glad.

 

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Go About Doing Good

In my reading of the Mosaic Bible it is a prayer to do good. I recently watched The Shack movie and at the end they said every time we do a kindness the universe changes. I liked the thought of this. That even though I feel small if I show love and kindness it effects the universe. Our collective conscienceness is what the good things are effecting. We are all connected, so like a stone thrown in the water, the kindness has a ripple effect on the whole world. This thought and idea makes me happy and I want to contribute to the wholness of the universe.

Lent to Repent

Scripture reading for today is Luke 6:27-36. It’s talking about doing good to others the way you would want others to do good to you. Love your enemies. Give without wanting a return. Have compassion as God has compassion on us.

Ann says: Today I will thank God for every interruption of my list- as I’ll see it as a manifestation of my Lord.

We should be having an eternal perspective in our daily walk. Everytime we praise God, thank God, spend time with Him and serve other people we are creating what will not burn when we are standing in front of God. Every good act we do inspired by the Holy Spirit counts for something in God’s Kingdom. John Bevere says in Driven By Eternity that when we stand before God we won’t be judged on what we did but rather according to what we were called to do.

 

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The Lent That Sticks

Ever since I got saved in August 2010, I have done something to acknowledge the Lent season. I was raised Catholic but that doesn’t have anything to do with it. When I got saved for real, you know when this happens, I had a strong desire to follow Jesus and His teachings. Practicing Lent is not a teaching, it’s something that certain denominational churches have come up with. It’s about observing the 40 days before Easter, representing the 40 days Jesus spent in the desert.

I feel that most people are turned off to observing Lent because they think it’s for the church. I have to say that I am turned off to denominational churches, they are the Pharisees of our day. I am learning more and more about Jesus and how the church of His day hated Him. I know most people don’t know this but it was the church who crucified Jesus. Now I know it was the plan of God but Jesus confronted them on many occasions about how they followed rules but they didn’t know God.

This is what is happening today. People are in church doing church things and they think they have to observe Lent. I choose to observe Lent because of my obedient heart towards God. If you are just going through the motions with an empty heart you are wasting your time and energy. God knows. He sees your heart. That is all He sees for that matter. The things you do or don’t do, doesn’t matter to Him, it’s the state of your heart that counts.

My husband teases me about my Lent devotion. He will say there is Lent all over the table or something funny like that. Today he made another comment like that and something was said to me in my spirit. Whatever it is your doing for Lent season keep doing it. Lent sticks to stuff right? Well, how about letting this Lent stick to your heart and soul? The only Lent that sticks is one done out of love. We love because He first loved us. Out of love we want to please God. Don’t do anything out of obligation, God doesn’t see it or feel it. He wants our love, fellowship, relationship.

I have been reading lately about soaking in His presence and intimacy with God. I found out that I do these things without realizing it just by following the Holy Spirit. I learned from Kim Walker Smith that stopping and talking to God, asking Him questions, this is intimacy with Him. Waiting for His answer, soaking in His presence. The problem we have is we are so rushed all the time and we forget. I have written about this before that forgetting God is the real sin. We have to fight to keep an awareness of His presence. This is what I am aiming for now, to stop and ask the Holy Spirit for direction, what choice to choose, what to say. I want Him in my every moment. This is the Lent that sticks. The Holy Spirit is stuck to you, inside of you, if your a believer, welcome Him, talk to Him, commune with Him. This is what He is waiting for. I read the other day that God is waiting for you to wait on Him! I loved that!

Jesus just wants us. Our belief, faith, love, trust. Following church rules doesn’t bring you closer to Him. Loving Him does.

I Have a Plan….Do You Trust Me?

This week begins with scriptures referencing our need for Jesus. Some people are numb to this fact and others think they have been so bad, how can God forgive them. Sin leads to death.  Romans 6:23, For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Not just eternal death but death in all that we try to do. Everything is meaningless without Jesus. Our sin separates us from God, we are born sinners, it’s our nature. Romans 5:12, Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned. So from the beginning our nature is against God. But even while we were born sinners Christ died for us. Romans 5:8, But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. I read something interesting the other day about Jesus dying for us. He died WHILE we are still sinners. We can understand laying your life down for good innocent people, but He died for ALL the sins of the world including the people who mocked Him, tortured Him, crucified Him.He died for them too. Think about how hard this would be to do. When you realize this then you come to the awareness of God’s great love for us. The thief beside Jesus on the cross asked for forgiveness and mercy by saying: Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom. And Jesus said to him: Truly I tell you, you will be with me in paradise. If we can do what this thief did and realize we have sinned against God, repent and ask for forgiveness then Jesus will say the same to us. Jesus is the ONLY way to the Father, no one goes to heaven except by and through Him. In Jesus there is eternal life! John 14:6, Jesus said to him, “I am the [only] Way [to God] and the [real] Truth and the [real] Life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.  John 11:25, Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die.

Lent to Repent

Psalm 15:1-5 is the reading for today. The psalmist is asking what kind of a person can worship in the Lord’s sanctuary. Who may enter God’s presence and His holiness? It’s people who don’t gossip, lead blameless lives, do what is right, speak truth from sincere hearts…

Ann says: Today repent from wasting time.

I wrote an article about Time here. Do something of eternal value today! Anything having to do with praising God or helping others, loving others, has eternal value.

In reference to the Psalm 15, we know we aren’t perfect. This is why Jesus was sent and died in our place. He is the perfect one who lived without sinning. He is the perfect sacrifice for our sins.[ here is an explanation of this] From gotQuestions.org. He stood in our place so we can live in eternity. After we die, we actually will live because we accepted God’s free gift of Jesus to take our sins away. He is the lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. After we receive Jesus we can live a life of freedom to do Kingdom work. Do what God will’s for our lives.

Psalm 32 from Bible Gateway

Blessed [fortunate, prosperous, favored by God] is he whose transgression is forgiven,
And whose sin is covered.

Blessed is the man to whom the Lord does not impute wickedness,
And in whose spirit there is no deceit.


When I kept silent about my sin, my body wasted away
Through my groaning all the day long.

For day and night Your hand [of displeasure] was heavy upon me;
My [b]energy (vitality, strength) was drained away as with the burning heat of summer. Selah.

I acknowledged my sin to You,
And I did not hide my wickedness;
I said, “I will confess [all] my transgressions to the Lord”;
And You forgave the guilt of my sin. Selah.

Therefore, let everyone who is godly pray to You [for forgiveness] in a time when You [are near and] may be found;
Surely when the great waters [of trial and distressing times] overflow they will not reach [the spirit in] him.

You are my hiding place; You, Lord, protect me from trouble;
You surround me with songs and shouts of deliverance. Selah.


I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
I will counsel you [who are willing to learn] with My eye upon you.

Do not be like the horse or like the mule which have no understanding,
Whose trappings include bridle and rein to hold them in check,
Otherwise they will not come near to you.
10 
Many are the sorrows of the wicked,
But he who trusts in and relies on the Lord shall be surrounded with compassion and lovingkindness.
11 
Be glad in the Lord and rejoice, you righteous [who actively seek right standing with Him];
Shout for joy, all you upright in heart.

 Your time will then become very valuable to you. You will WANT to do things of eternal value because you LOVE Him. Love is the key. When you really fall in love with Jesus because of who He is, then you will WANT to follow Him.

 

jesus-is-alive-group