COMPASSION

Compassion is part of our Christian lifestyle. Why aren’t we living the precepts we are governed by?

Lisa Blair

A few Wednesdays ago, my BSF small group discussed compassion as part of lesson 10. Living as Christ’s Followers, 1 Peter 3-5.

During the discussion, compassion was trending as predominately a Christian behavior, more so than any other religion. I believe most religions encourage their members to become more compassionate, this also includes secular groups, such as schools. Compassion is sought after by most people. It is a common theme among humanity.

Compassion is a feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is hurting, in pain, or has misfortune and is accompanied by a strong desire to help those who are suffering. (Bible Verses for Compassion. Biblestudytools.com)

      The Lord is good to all; He has compassion on all he has made. Psalm 145:9 NIV

When he saw the crowds (in the towns he visited), he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like the sheep without a Shepherd. Matthew 9:36 NIV

The difference between Christians and others and every other religion is that it is more profound, in that it is part of the makeup of our living God. The key is ‘living’ God who exudes compassion as part of who he is and the inspiration that we, too, internalize as part of His righteousness in the Holy Spirit who dwells in us.

The Lord is gracious and righteous; our God is full of compassion. PS 116:5 NIV

Natalie Dorin, Psalm 116:5-8 Twitter

Only Christians have a God who lived on earth without sin, was persecuted, suffered for us, died on the cross, and rose to heaven promising He will return someday to retrieve all believers and carry us to heaven with Him. He washed away our sins to give us new life and promises to return to earth and collect us (the believers) upon His return to usher us into heaven.

And as if that wasn’t enough, He returns a second time to receive those who had a change in heart and received Him as their Lord and Savior after the first were ushered into heaven. Our Lord is compassionate to the point of saving the least of us. We cannot earn His compassion; it is ours despite our flaws. He left the 99 sheep to go after the single lost sheep and carry him home.  No other religion can share our testimony about compassion.

Reference – BSF, Bible Study Fellowship, mybsf.org; Scriptures – Bible.org; Images – Google Images

Without You Lord, There Is No Me

Photo by Suzy Haynes

Your love, Lord, is greater than anything else.

Lisa Blair

Thank you Lord for waking me up.

Without you Lord there would be no life,

No depth of love,

No appreciation for life,

No understanding of challenge,

No understanding purpose,

No wind that lifts me up,

No relationship that withstands the test of time,

No assurance of eternal life,

Without you Lord there is no me.

I am Thankful!

I am thankful for being a child of God.

LISA BLAIR

Today is Thanksgiving in the USA, it’s our time to share what and why we are thankful. I am so thankful for so many things. My list is in this order – I am thankful for having a Sovereign God who is my Father in heaven, my family (husband of 47 years, three sons , daughter-in-laws and son-in-law, two granddaughters, one 11 and the other 2, and many cousins). We are blessed to have a 100 yr old Aunt who still lives in her own home and walks the bay several times a week. She has spent her life in church, and as they say, is a God fearing woman.

I’m thankful for our health and prosperity and the fact that Christ was by my husband and my side this year during health challenges that could have turned out much different. We are well.

But most of all I am thankful that Christ died for our sins. Our salvation is the result of Him taking on the worst of humanity to free us.

As long as I have Christ, I know my loved ones who shared their lives with me, raised me, cared for me, and made certain my memories are bright, are with God. 

I will continue to be thankful everyday and see the wonders of Christ in everything. Whether I suffer, experience trials and tribulations, or am in a place of peace. God will always be my Savior. I will continue to strive in obedience to His Word, His Will and His Life.

Never Enough Testimonies

All to often we pray, solicit prayer experience God’s blessings but never share our testimonies and victories.

~ Lisa Blair

All to often we pray, solicit prayer experience God’s blessings but never share our testimonies and victories. Sharing God’s grace, healing and strength is just as important as the prayer seeking God’s help. So, today I share this and encourage you to share His blessings as well.

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TESTIMONY

Praise the almighty power of God. I have submitted multiple prayer requests over the past two years regarding a friends who was being attacked by a form of fibromyalgia in Europe. Eventually, she was bedridden and unable to do anything for herself.

She texted me the other day to thank everyone that prayed for her. Deliverance has arrived, with the help of everyone who prayed for her complete recovery. She did not give up, or give in, but kept her eyes on the strength of the Lord. Result, she received new medications and the illness reversed itself. She walked her dog for the first time in two years, two days ago. 

She is in physical therapy, strengthening muscles etc., but functional again. She was always a God fearing woman and did not let Satan strip her faith.

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I love our victory stories, our God is our strength. When we walk by faith and not sight all things are possible. 1 Chronicles 16:12 tells us – “Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always.”

Thank you prayer warriors from the bottom of our hearts.

Images – Google Free Images

Everyday is Different

I love waking up to the new day ready to experience our Father’s plan for my day. Each day is new, no boredom if you are His child and live by faith and not sight.

~ Lisa Blair
Corporate jet waiting to take off.

Life unfolds with new wonders, gifts, and challenges every single day. Some large and extravagant, others small and barely noticeable. Some things are joyful and others laborious. Our God does not believe in boredom. He created seasonal change. He chose you and planned your life experiences accordingly. We are all part of His master plan. His children are well cared for, and want for nothing when we live in faith.

Filled with the Holy Spirit once, being filled until Redemption

The Holy Spirit lives in us and will not leave us or forsake us. His job is to fill us daily, direct our paths, guide us, and tell us what to say when sharing the Good News.

~ Lisa Blair

FILLED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT, WHO LIVES IN BELIEVER’S

In Acts 2:7 Jesus told his disciples, “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. “

Jesus also instructed his disciples to wait, not to begin witnessing until they received the Holy Spirit, why? Because we cannot interpret the Word without the Holy Spirit, only the Holy Spirit can provide the Words that will reach the hearts of the people, only the Holy Spirit knows the heart of man. Only the Holy Spirit has the authority and power to interpret God’s Word. We cannot become witnesses independent of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit empowers believers to speak the truth. He commands and guides our thinking.

Paul wrote, in Romans, that we are given life through His Spirit, God’s Spirit, who dwells in us. He takes controls when He takes residence in us. We are sealed by the Holy Spirit at the moment of our conversion, until the day of Redemption, Ephesians 4:30 NKJV:

Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.

The seal equips us to live a Godly life. We become convicted after we repent and receive the Spirit. We are convicted to live a holy, Godly life. He ushers in our desire to live a Christ-like life, to share the Word with others, and to demonstrate our faith through our actions and deeds. Our priorities change and are no longer focused exclusively on ourselves, we are transformed and renewed. We become dependent upon the Lord to lead us and direct us. We yield to His promptings. We want to live moment-by-moment in the will of God. We are willing to give up our liberty in exchange for dependence upon our Father, our Lord. We learn to become sensitive to His initial prompting as He guides, leads us, empowers us as we walk in victory spreading His Word.

BAPTIZED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT, ONE TIME EVENT

We are baptized once with the Holy Spirit, who will never leave us or forsake us. When we repent of our sins and receive Jesus as Lord and Savior, the Holy Spirit dwells in us. We are sealed by the Holy Spirit.

If you confess that Jesus is Lord and believe that God raised him from death, you are saved. For it is by our faith that we are put right with God; it is by our confession that we are saved. (Romans 10:9-10)

Anyone who is joined to Christ is a new being; the old is gone, the new has come. (2 Corinthians 5:17)

Since you have accepted Christ Jesus as Lord, live in union with him. Keep your roots deep in him, build your lives on him, and become stronger in your faith, as you were taught. And be filled with thanksgiving. (Colossians 2:6-7) [unitedbiblesocieties.org. 10 Bible verses about accepting Christ. Oct 9, 2017]

ONE BAPTISM, MANY FILLINGS—TIME TO GO TO WORK

When we are baptized, we are filled with the Holy Spirit. Our human fears are replaced by to the power of the Lord. When we are filled with the Holy Spirit, we relinquish control of our thoughts and emotions. We don’t lose control, we surrender all to God. We relinquish our independence and become dependent upon the Him; we go where the spirit leads. Our mind is set on the things of God, no longer consumed with doubt or fear, but rather a spirit of power and a controlled mind.

The scripture says, we are filled with the Holy Spirit, but we are being filled by the Holy Spirit daily. Christ resides in us through the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit directs our daily living. We are being continually being filled, we are saturated, and under His influence, much like wine.

Ephesians 5:18 NLT instructs us, not to be drunk with wine, because that will ruin our lives. Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit.

After we receive the Holy Spirit, it is time to go to work, the waiting is over. The baptism of the Holy Spirit empowers us to do God’s work. God does the filling when we ask Him. Yes, we must ask to be filled. It is an action. “He is in us, and we are completely permeated with the Spirit, we are inviting something to happen to us” (James McDonald).

WHAT HINDERS US FROM BEING FILLED?

Acts 7:51 NLT, explains that resisting the Holy Spirit is the most obvious way of hindering being filled. In this chapter, Stephen addressed the high priests and recognized they we not receptive and he was speaking to deaf ears.and told them,

You stubborn people! You are heathen at heart and deaf to the truth.”

The sad truth is that not all believers are responsive to God’s commands. We (Christians) often openly resist obeying what God instructs us to do. Our flesh is rebellious and disobedient. Being filled is ascribing to God’s way and not our own. It is acquiring and taking on the characteristics of Christ identified in the Fruit of the Spirit, Galatians 5. We hinder/forfeit being filled when we place ourselves first, focusing on our carnal needs and not on our spiritual relationship with our Lord. We hinder being filled when we do not listen to the Holy Spirit or do as we are commanded. How often do we hear his quiet voice instruct us to do one thing and we do another; far to often. Being filled requires action on our part, the Word is acted out through us. We are His ambassadors spreading the Good News through our actions and deeds.

WE ARE SAVED ONCE. WE ARE FILLED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT ONCE. BUT, WE ARE BEING FILLED UNTIL REDEMPTION.

Resources

How to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Pastor James McDonald. Https://youtu.be/xllbEPKHV1o

Walking with the Holy Spirit. Dr. Charles Stanley. In Touch Ministries, Life Principle 2.

How can I be Filled with the Holy Spirit? GotQuestions.org

Scriptures – biblegateway.com

What Does, God’s Will Be Done And Not My Own, Really Mean?

There are times in our lives when we surrender ourselves as a form of selfish need, and times when we surrender because we want a covenant relationship with the Lord. Where are you on the spectrum? It may be time to decide. You are on the precipice of surrender.

~ Lisa Blair
busy.org

Many of us tend to use this phrase nonchalantly. This is not a thoughtless statement or a decision to take lightly. When we express this thought, we are entering a covenant, a pack, with God. From this point forward, there is no looking back. This is the point of surrender.

I have heard this scripture spoken in many contexts during my lifetime. I imagine you have, as well. You may have glibly spoken it during a conversation. As a student of the Word, I now pose the question, how many times have I broken covenant with God? How many times have I uttered this statement and then chosen my own path, made my own decision, or followed others, overriding God’s purpose and plan for my life?

This gives rise to three questions we all struggle with:

1) What does ‘your will be done’ mean?

2) What does surrender mean?

3) Are you ready to commit to the covenant with God?

WHAT DOES YOUR WILL BE DONE MEAN?

When Jesus was preparing to take his place up the cross, after he could no longer take the pain, and wanted to be released from his duty, he cried out,

My father! If it is possible, let this Cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” (Matthew 26: 39 NLT)

This is the turning point in Christ’s prayer. “Here, Jesus demonstrated the turning point in prayer for all of us. Prayer is not about bending God’s will to get what we want. The purpose of prayer is to seek God’s will and then align our desires with his. Jesus willingly placed his desires in full submission to the father’s will.” (Not my will but yours be done. Learn Religions.com)

When we make the statement, we are in effect, praying. We are committing ourselves to God’s Will for our lives. His plan for our lives was established long ago, long before we were born, perhaps before He created this universe. If we allow God to lead us, He will show us the path to take. Your will be done means you will abide by His will and not your own. 99% of the time, your purpose will be different than His. You are not first in His Will, but you surrender regardless and are bound by the covenant you created when you cried out the phrase.

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. (Jeremiah 29:11 NJKV)

In effect, when you call on God, pray to Him and listen to Him, you are abiding in His Will for your life. Your (totally) surrender yourself, holding nothing back, to His Will and His Way.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO SURRENDER?

Surrendering means yielding ownership, to relinquish control over what we consider to be ours, to relinquish our life, all of it. We surrender what God has given us and how we wanted to use it to become His steward of this life. When we surrender to God, we are acknowledging His ultimate control of everything, including our circumstances, past, present, and future.

Billy Graham wrote: If you want a change in your life, if you want forgiveness and peace and joy that you’ve never known before, God demands total surrender, in so doing, our Lord becomes the ruler of your life.

When we surrender and give up all we are, we no longer seek personal gain, we are delivered from sin, and become useful to God to conduct His work on earth.

When we reach this point in our lives, making moral choices, we must choose to follow our own sinful nature (our carnal life) or seek God and surrender ourselves to Him.

ARE YOU READY TO COMMIT TO THE COVENANT WITH GOD?

Once someone speaks this statement, utters this prayer, recites this scripture, conversion has been set in place, you are on the precipice of changing your life to become God’s tool, His steward, and His servant.

Take heed, think this through before you find yourself amid the war for your soul. It is a choice, do you follow your carnal desires, or surrender them to our Lord and Savior, the head of our lives?

Are you ready to enter into covenant with God and all that it entails? Are you ready to allow God to take you wherever He needs you? Are you prepared to commit?

Internet Resources – Thy Will Be Done. lifehopeandtruth.com; A Message From Billy Graham. billygraham.org; Surrender To God. http://www.allaboutfollowingjesus.org; Total Surrender| My Utmost For His Highest. utmost.org; What Does It Mean To Surrender To God? http://www.gotquestions.org