Only Christ Can Fill A Void

Looking for satisfaction in all of the WRONG places is a sure way of taking your eyes off of Christ. We tend to look for satisfaction because we have a void. A void is composed of lonely and empty feelings that are birthed from the holes in our heart and soul. This loneliness and emptiness can result from a broken heart, grief, job loss or unfillment, lack of self-love, compassion and close relationships, etc. No earthly person can satisfy a void. Alcohol and drugs won’t satisfy a void. Posessions, professions or positions won’t satisfy a void. Pornography and sex won’t satisfy a void. These things may work for a little while and cause the void to take a break. But once temporary pleasure fades, that void will sneak back in. The void in our hearts are created by God and it is only God who can fill it. When our lives start becoming meaningless, boring and difficult, it is because we are filling it with everything except God. Running after the love of people is a constant and trying run that many of us never win. Temporary pleasure is just what it is – TEMPORARY. I choose to run after Christ. A personal relationship with God through His One and Only Son, Jesus Christ, is the only thing that can fill the void in the human heart. Until He becomes the desire of our hearts, we will always look to other people and temporary pleasure to meet the needes that only He can fill. “For he satisfies the longing soul and fills the hungry soul with goodness”  (Psalm 107:9).

More and Bigger Isn’t Always Better

More and bigger is not always better. If someone has told you that it is, I come to tell you that the person flat out lied to you. In Genesis 13, we find that Abraham and Lot both had flocks, servants and herds. As a result, conflict arouse between them. Quarrels broke out between the herders and this put a strain on the land. Abraham told Lot that they needed to separate. “Now Lot, who was moving about with Abram, also had flocks and herds and tents. But the land could not support them while they stayed together, for their possessions were so great that they were not able to stay together” (Genesis 13:5-6).

Many of us think that if we had more or if we had bigger, it will be better or we would be more happy or at peace. If we had more friends. If we had more money. If we had a bigger home or better vehicle. If we had that higher position at work. If we had more time. If we could go here or there and do this or that. If. If. If. Some of us actually obtain more and bigger only to discover that it wasn’t all that we hoped it would be. More and bigger sometimes comes with high cost. We get home later. We sleep less. We devote less time. We run ourselves ragged. We get into unnecessary argument. We gain unnecessary stress and worry. We confront conflict. So, no….more and bigger is not always BETTER. I am not saying that you shouldn’t pursue ANYTHING but I am saying just run it by the Lord first. He does know if we need it, why we need it, how we need it, where and when we need it, RIGHT? Let’s check our pursuits on today.

Returning to Your First Love

Can I be honest with you? Like, truly honest with you? I do so well with inspiring others. I really love to do it. It flows from me just as breathing. It comes naturally. I get so indulged in it at times that I forget to encourage myself. When I do, I get hit hard by life in so many ways. At least that is what it feels like in my life right now. It’s like my life is a field and balls are being thrown at me from the left, the right, the front and the back. I dodge a ball only to be a hit by the throw of a bigger ball that leaves me face down in the dirt. A hit so hard that all I can do is just lay there in pain, frustration and confusion. A hit so hard that I am just too embarrassed to get back up again. A hit so hard that leaves me almost lifeless. A hit so hard that it seems to be too much to reach up for a hand to help me up. A hit so hard that I am just tired…..just flat out tired. It was at this point where I started withdrawing from all that once made me so full of joy. My light went dim but not out. I was walking away from my FIRST LOVE. And that’s when the devil got really busy playing games with my mind, making me question my faith. God refused to let me get too far and He did the necessary things to get my attention. I had to repent. I had to remember all He has done for me including sending His Only Son, Jesus, to die on the cross for MY sins. Today, I am taking His Hand and I am getting back up. I am shaking all of the pain, all of the doubt, all of the stress, fear and anxiety, all of the worldly theories, and all of what is not of God – I am shaking all of it off. I am returning to MY FIRST LOVE.

Maybe I am the only one going through a difficult season in life. If you are one who is flying high in a beautiful season right now, this message may not be for you today. But for the ones who are in a very trying season, I encourage you to stick with YOUR FIRST LOVE. Without Him, life will take you out but with Him, defeat stands no chance. I know the valley is dark but if we allow the Savior to walk with us through it, we have no reason to fear. We simply have to choose to walk in FAITH each and every day. No matter how hard it gets. No matter how much we cry behind closed doors. If you realize today that you have walked away from YOUR FIRST LOVE, I have great news for you – you can return. I can return. We can listen to the Holy Spirit and press in to God’s voice at this very moment. We can choose to be overcomers and grow deeper in the love God.

“Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love. Remember the height from which you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place” (Revelations 2:4-5)

Walking On Water

I have come to realize that the reason that God sometimes hold His plan and His blessings is because He wants me to learn to “walk on water.” Yes, walk on water! Let’s recall Peter. A storm was surrounding Peter. When Peter had faith, he walked on water but when he didn’t, he began to sank. Having faith calls for looking to Jesus. When the storms surrounds us, we can become distracted. We stop looking to Jesus and we sank into fear, worry, depression and panic. There are many who don’t believe anything about Jesus or Peter walking on water. But that’s their belief. Stacy Lynn believes in the story and think it’s a great one that teaches us to ALWAYS LOOK TO JESUS FOR EVERYTHING. It teaches us to keep faith when the circumstances are hectic. It teaches us to focus on the Power of Christ and not our storms. It teaches us to call on Jesus FIRST and not others. Of course, others can pray with us and for us but only GOD has the answer. Are you “walking on water” today?

WALK THE TALK

Talking about God’s Word is great. I talk about it a lot. Actually, talking about God’s Word has become a habit worth having for me. It helps me endure and persevere. It helps me to remember who I am in Christ. I love to share it with others and for others to share it with me. This means I can’t TALK love but WALK in hate. I can’t TALK giving but WALK in always taking. I can’t TALK togetherness but WALK in causing division. I can’t TALK about being humble but WALK in thinking that I am better than everyone else. I could go on and on but you get where I am going with this. Some of us TALK straight but WALK crooked as drunken man. We must not only be hearers of God’s Word but also doers. It’s easy to talk about God and our faith; however, God expects us to OBEY His commands and DO what He says. I am convinced that many can be inspired by us TALKING but they may receive us more willingly when they witness our WALKING lining up with our TALKING. Our walking consists of godly character and conduct. “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 7:21 NIV)

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PRAYER MATTERS!

Prayers matter! They are both powerful and effective. Prayers protect us in the physical and spiritual world we live in. They are etched in eternity and don’t just impact today. There are a lot of ways we can pray. We can pray standing up, kneeling, sitting, or lying down. We can even pray while driving but WE SHOULD KEEP OUR EYES OPEN. We can pray silently, verbally, publicly or privately. Remember David in the Bible? He prayed in a field. What about Peter? He prayed on and under the water. And Jonah? He prayed in the belly of a huge fish. Daniel? He prayed in a lion’s den. And let’s not forget the one who is the model of prayer – Christ. He prayed in many places. No matter how or where, just know that your prayer matters. Don’t ever stop praying. 1 Thessalonians 5:17 reminds us to “pray without ceasing.” Christ never stopped praying and if we are to model Him, neither should we. When you don’t know what to pray, just ask God to give you the right words. I can testify that He will. For some of us, our lives have pressured us in ways that make it difficult of us to speak and we can only cry. Well, tears are prayers, too. They reach God when our words can’t. Prayer brings glory to God, gives us insight into who He is, and has a tangible effect on our lives and the lives of others. Prayer matters. How is your prayer life today?

PRUNING OUT THE WEEDS

Weeds can pop up anywhere in a garden. And if those weeds are not removed,, they can take over and what was once a nice garden turns into a ugly sight. Yesterday evening, I let the weeds of irritation and frustration take over the garden of my evening. They just popped up out of nowhere. I was weary and I gave in. It happens. I am human. Someone allowed God to use them as a vessel to cut the weeds before I laid down and left them unattended. God does that, you know? He knows how life can get us all worked up. He knows that we can get so overwhelmed that we start looking at our problems instead of Him. I love the fact that GOD JUST KNOWS. I love the fact that GOD SENDS REMINDERS TO REMIND US THAT HE KNOWS. Tending to the gardens of our lives is an everyday task and we need God to help with the tending. Weeds of all kinds need to be pruned from life’s garden constantly.

Remembering on Memorial Day

Today, I extend honor to all those who gave their lives protecting our country. If everyone in this world operated in this honor, the world would be a much better place. Soldiers gave their lives to protect a country that so many are destroying.  Yet, if we all walked in the honor that we claim to give, this world would know peace, unity and love.

And also, on this Memorial Day, let us honor Jesus Christ who gave His life to pay for our sins so that we could be saved from the wrath of God and so that we can have eternal life. So many are against following Christ. They choose to follow other gods who didn’t die on cross for their sins. They choose gods who give temporary pleasure and a lifetime of pain. They live any kind of way and will do just about any kind of thing. If we walked in honoring Christ the way we should, the world would know peace, unity and love as well.

Christians are the most prosecuted group of people on this earth. I thank God for the freedom of speech and religion I have in America. I thank those who serve in the military helping all to defend our constitutional rights. I grieve for those who lost their lives protecting our country and extend much sympathy to their families. I encourage all of you to remember the fallen soldiers, remember our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, remember the Christians who were martyred for their faith and remember the ones who are still being persecuted for their faith today.

Have a Blessed and Safe Memorial Day!

Will Your Heart and Soul Still Say YES??

Our hearts and souls are made for lifting up praises to the Almighty God. When you have money in the bank, it’s easy for your heart and soul to say yes to praising God. It’s easy when you get that major raise or promotion on your job. It’s easy when your relationship and marriage is sailing on smooth seas. It’s easy when your children are well-behaved and making great progress in life. It’s easy when you receive that approval for that beautiful home and/or luxury vehicle. It’s easy when the ones you love are still here on earth…………….BUT………………..

When it all seems to go to Hades and troubles come, will it be easy for your heart and soul to say yes to praising God? What about when you only have two dollars in your bank account? What about when you don’t even make enough to live paycheck to paycheck on your job? What about when the boat of your relationship or marriage is being tossed by rough seas? What about when your kids have go astray? What about when bills, maintenance and repairs overwhelms you with your home and vehicle? What about when your loved ones unexpectedly leaves this earth? WILL YOUR HEART AND SOUL STILL SAY YES?

When it hurts the most, will your heart and soul still say yes?

“My tongue will proclaim your righteousness, your praises all day long” (Psalm 35:28).

Manipulation, Deception and the Christian

The devil’s time is just about up so he is willing to use whoever, whenever and however to get what he wants so he can drag down as many people as he can possibly get. He will shift, shape and form into what appears as light to mislead others. He will use a Christian only if that Christian allows him to do so. There is an evil in this world that will try to attach itself to Christians causing them to use Christ-talk to manipulate and deceive others. This evil tries to acquire something for itself and lead others astray. It wants the spotlight. Some Christians, unfortunately, allow this type of evil in. When it takes over, these type of Christians use the name of God to make people believe what they say. They twist Scripture to back up their claims. Some even act religious in order to hide their struggles or failures not realizing they are operating under pride. They are very quick to judge others for their sin but are even quicker to talk about the grace and forgiveness of God when it comes their sin. Christians are called to live a life of honesty. Christian should deal with others using this same honesty, along with transparency and truth. None of us can hide anything from God so we might as well be true. God doesn’t manipulate or deceive us into doing His will, does He? No, He doesn’t. So why should Christians do it?

“Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God” (John 3:20-21).