Worried and Troubled About Many Things

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“And Jesus answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things.”
‭‭Luke‬ ‭10:41‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

How many of us stay busy because we believe it means we are doing the Lord’s work? I can raise my hand, guilty as charged. Luke 10 is about two sisters, Martha and  Mary. The two women learned that Jesus was going to visit their home. This immediately set an expectation that they had to ready the house, at least that is what Martha thought. On the other hand, Mary thought – what an opportunity. When he arrived, she perched herself at Jesus’ foot breathing in His every word, loving the feeling of his presence. Depending upon where we are in life, we will become a Martha or Mary. But, the Lord is not asking us to prepare things for or around him. The Lord does not want us to worry, or fret over the issues that surround us. He wants us to still ourselves, feel his love, and spend time in His Holy Presence.

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Like Martha we become distracted. We lose sight of the purpose, our dependence upon the Lord, and our desire to listen to Him, learn the practicality of the Word and then share the Good News. But, we are not wholly Martha, we also embrace the wonderment of Mary, waiting to serve, listen and learn.

We are told in John 15, the Lord is the true vine and God is the vinedresser. The vine cannot bear fruit by itself. In other words, we cannot bear fruit by ourselves. Without sitting at the Lords’ feet, we will wither. We need to be still and listen, and not become distracted by the things around us. The scripture reads, “He who abides in Me, and I in him bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.” The Holy Spirit must dwell in us. It is His blood that flows through our veins, our heart, and our soul. The scripture further shares, “If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered. Mary scurried about during the visit reading the house, preparing a meal, and doing all of the ceremonial things. Her sister Mary wanted more of Jesus. She wanted to breathe Him in, be a student of his Word and spend as much time as possible with Him; food was not important, a clean home was not important, spending time at the foot of our Lord was all that mattered. She knew she would be stronger for it, that sharing her story about what she learned that day with others would bear fruit.

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When we feel the urge to become busy rather than sit still, it is more than a tick, it is a red alert.

Mary and Martha clearly loved Christ; we can gain more from this story, we can look at this in the scope of Spiritual Warfare. When we feel the Mary-Martha tug, we should acknowledge that it is often the devil trying to distract us and delay us from spending time with the Lord. His purpose is to kill, steal,  and destroy. He wants to kill our relationship with the Lord, steal our time with the Lord and destroy our hope to reach heaven.

Like so many, I try to stay alert. I know spending time with the Lord every day is imperative, yet there are times when I become enveloped in the stuff around me. But as the scripture says, only one thing is needed, not the fluff and circumstance, only one thing, to spend quality time with the Lord.

In the end, we must ask ourselves when we are falling into oblivion, who do we belong to, where do we reside?  Do we respond to Jesus’ invitation like Martha or like Mary? Will we wither or bear fruit?

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Images – Google Images

Scriptures – YouVersion.Bible.com

References/Resources – Finding Rest In a Busy World Devotional, Bible.com. Study – http://www.susannarjala.com

Thank you for visiting my Young Christian Warriors site and dailyinspiration-lisasthoughts.com, at the moment there is some duplication. I am working on merging the two to create one great site. Please bear with me through this process.

Jeremiah 31:3, He Drew You

Isn’t this a beautiful verse? He has drawn us. Out of his mind, to paper he gave us life. Have you ever observed a child drawing. They do so with such intensity. Their focus is spot on. I can image the Lord doing the same.

The full verse reads:

I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore with loving-kindness I have drawn you and continued My faithfulness to you. (‭Jeremiah‬ ‭31‬:‭3‬ AMP)

He loves us with everlasting kindness. It doesn’t matter what we have done with our lives; he loves us still. He has faith that we will find our way when we accept that he unconditionally loves us. His love is merciful and steadfast. It is covenant love. Covenant love is a pact between God and each one of us. It is everlasting.

How awesome is this? Shame cannot destroy it. Missed opportunities cannot destroy it. Pride cannot destroy it. You can run but you cannot escape God’s unfailing loving-kindness. He has drawn us. He created us. We came from Him. He unconditionally loves His creation, i.e., Us.

 

Pray, Believe, Receive

Mark 11 24

How many of us were raised thinking Mark 11:24 was about praying for and acquiring goods, products or services, you know, stuff from God? The truth is, this scripture is not about praying for and acquiring things. It is about developing an ongoing conversation with God.

“I tell you, you can pray for anything, and if you believe that you’ve received it, it will be yours.”
Mark 11:24 NLT

The scripture is about faith, belief, and relationship. It’s about God’s Omnipotent power. It is also a lesson about our faith in God, who provides all that He has for us. It is about building confidence in the fact that God is our Father and knows all there is to know about us and more. God knows what our material needs are, after all, he created us before he called this universe into being. He knew our challenges, pitfalls, and successes long before we were born. He gave us free will to navigate our paths. He knows our destinations, and as my VP used to share, he knows our stops on the way to our destination. This scripture is about encouragement. The encouragement to develop a daily conversation with God seeking his love, guidance, forgiveness, grace, and mercy. Once we develop a pattern of spiritual thinking, we can ask for anything in faith, knowing that God meets our needs.

Please pay attention to the term ‘needs.’ God provides what we need, not necessarily what we want. If we pray for our wants and they do not equate to needs that move us in the direction of spiritual maturity, they may not be granted. However, on the other hand, if we pray in confidence that God provides for our needs, then the expectation of receiving anything else is not considered as an option. Praying is the process of establishing our relationship with our Father, communing with him as we do with our best friend, confident that He will not let us down.

Matthew Henry puts it this way; All true Christians are endued with faith, which doeth wonders in things spiritual. Matthew Henry puts it this way, to that faith of miracles which the apostles and first preachers of the gospel were we endued with, which did wonders in things natural, healing the sick, raising the dead, casting out devils; these were, in effect, the removing of mountains. The apostles speak of a faith which would do that, and yet might be found where holy love was not, 1 Co. 13:2 . [2.] It may be applied to that miracle of faith, which all true Christians are endued with, which doeth wonders in things spiritual. It justifies us (Rom. 5:1 ), and so removes the mountains of guilt, and casts them into the depths of the sea, never to rise in judgment against us, Mic. 7: 19. It purifies the heart (Acts. 15:9 ), and so removes mountains of corruption, and makes them plains before the grace of God, Zec. 4: 7. It is by faith that the world is conquered, Satan’s fiery darts are quenched, a soul is crucified with Christ, and yet lives; by faith we set the Lord always before us, and see him that is invisible, and have him present to our minds; and this is effectual to remove mountains, for at the presence of the Lord, at the presence of the God of Jacob, the mountains were not only moved but removed, Ps. 114:4-7 .(2.) To this is added here that necessary qualification of the prevailing prayer, that we freely forgive those who have been any way injurious to us and be in charity with all men (v. 25, v. 26); When ye stand to pray, forgive.  (BibleStudyTools.com)

As I was reading and studying this scripture and the two preceding ones I realized that I had been praying this prayer incorrectly. I used it to pray for things rather than to establish and strengthen my relationship with God. The scriptures throughout the Bible inform us that God moves mountains, manifests miracles, provides food, clothing, and provisions to survive. He does these things because He promised us He would, not because we asked in prayer.

The asking (in prayer) is our way of announcing that we have faith and confidence to petition requests to Him knowing that He has heard and will manifest what is needed in our lives. Once we understand Mark 11:24, we enter into a more mature relationship with God and ‘revelation’ will become a more frequent occurrence when studying the Bible.

The caveat announced in Mark 11:25, is that if we ask and have not forgiven others who have sinned against us, we ask God in vain because He must first forgive us before he answering our prayers.

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22 “Have faith in God,” Jesus answered. 23 “Trulya]”>[a] I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them. 24 Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. 25 And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.”
Mark 11:22-25 NKJV

I’ve learned that when studying a specific scripture it is important to read it in context which means reading the scriptures before and after the scripture we intend to use in prayer and when possible read a variety of commentaries about the scriptural package.

Ask yourself, how often do I pray amiss? Should I study scriptures more in-depth than simply reading them and adding them to my prayer tools?

Images – Google Images; LAB Photos

Scripture – Bible.com; Biblestudyhtools.com

Visit my Young Christian Warriors site. The earliest Posts were written to help parents guide and train their children to access the Word of God to direct their steps. Later Posts were written for everyone, though I believe the Posts to parents can serve as reminders for all ages.

Thank you for spending time on my sites, if you like what you are reading, follow me, dailyinspiration-lisasthoughts.com and receive the daily inspirations in your inbox, or visit my other site, youngchristianwarriors.com and subscribe.

Ask. Seek. Find. Receive.

We all communicate with God through prayer, petitioning/asking Him for things to meet our needs, but what does the scripture really mean? I think we read these scriptures incorrectly. We assume we can ask for material things, that God is a box store like Macy’s or Harrod’s, or Amazon online. We read it in a secular sense and respond in a secular sense.

We often approach God asking like children with the ‘give me’s’, you know – ‘give me this, give me that.’ The truth is, prayer is the basis for approaching our Lord and asking for his mercy and his grace. It is a spiritual dialogue. Matthew 6:25- 33, paraphrased, says do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you wear. Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. We cannot add a single hour to our lives through worry. Our Father knows what we need. He created us before the earth and all that is on it. He knew us before we were born. He knows our destiny and the exploration of our life. There is little need to make these types of requests if we do not first seek the Kingdom of God and his righteousness. If we begin in faith, all the things we need will be given to us.

If we ask according to the will of God in the name of Christ, under the direction, guidance, and influence of the Spirit, in faith and fear, with submission to the divine will, we shall have what we ask for, not because we deserve it, but as a gift from God. God’s gifts are in reference to our needs, as he sees them, not necessarily what we want. The two are not necessarily synonymous.

“God will always give us good things. Our job is to understand what is good so that we know what to ask for. The natural mind cannot understand this. But, when we offer ourselves as “a living sacrifice” and are transformed by the renewing of our minds, then we “will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will” (Romans 12:1–2). Then, asking for what we need in faith, we will have all we need for life and godliness and fullness of joy (John 16:24).” [Gotquestions.org] The scripture, knocking, seeking, finding and receiving is so much more than crying out to meet our daily needs, though if our wants are in line with His needs to move us forward, they will be granted.

The key is – When we seek God’s face and favor in prayer, we shall find Him. When we knock, we are knocking at the door of mercy; faith is our door knocker. When the door is opened, we receive God’s grace and mercy used to assist us in time of need. Seeking is the object of our prayer. The door that is opened, is the door to our salvation.

God

Images – Google Images; Bible.com

Scripture – Bible.com; Crosswalk.com

Resources – studylight.org/commentary/Matthew/7-8;Bible.com/Matthew/6:25-33; gotquestions.org/What did Jesus mean when He said, “Ask and you shall receive”?

Visit my Young Christian Warriors site. The earliest Posts were written to help parents guide and train their children to access the Word of God to direct their steps. Later Posts were written for everyone, though I believe the Posts to parents can serve as reminders for all ages.

Thank you for spending time on my sites, if you like what you are reading, follow me, dailyinspiration-lisasthoughts.com and receive the daily inspirations in your inbox, or visit my other site, youngchristianwarriors.com and subscribe.

God Loved Us First

L O V E

God breathed life into us. He created us in his own likeness. He gave us Free-Will and saved us from sin through the sacrifice of His Son. He loves us when we conform to his will and his way, and when we stray. He loves us!

How then can we hold back love from others? Love is not a commodity to be traded for goods, services, and kindness. Love is a gift to be given freely with no expectation of return.

The Christian definitions of LOVE confirm that it is a gift from God, and in turn should be a gift from us to others. It is not a practice or a choice, it is a commandment. Love seeks the welfare of all, those you are in agreement with, those you oppose, those who mean you harm, those who ‘have your back’, those in the group of mankind that you have no relationship or knowledge of. Love is a blanket that warms the earth and changes the outcome of hate that infects the world and causes chaos and derision brought on my Satan. Love is the remedy to many ills, beginning with you. It frees you from hate, intolerance, anxiety, and strife. It removes the boundaries or restrictions that once held you hostage. Love is enlivened through obedience. And, through our obedience, Love strengthens our relationship with the Lord.

Love is an intentional act. When we feel oppressed, angered, or mistreated, we should purposely replace those feelings with love. Why? Love is not a feeling but an action. It is the power God gave us when he sacrificed His son. Love is the way we move from feelings to obedience, to dependence, to freedom, and our relationship with our Father, our Lord, and Savior.

Clarifying Bible Definitions of Love

Love is a deep enduring concern for others’ welfare; affection, friendship (Gen. 37:3; Matt. 5:46). An essential characteristic of God that comes only as a gift (John 3:16).

Christian love has God for its primary object and expresses itself first of all in implicit obedience to His commandments, (John 14:15, 21, 23; 15-10; John 2:5; 5:3; 2 John 6.)

Christian love, whether exercised toward the brethren, or toward men generally, is not an impulse or a feeling, it does not always run with the natural inclinations, nor does it spend itself only upon those for whom some affinity is discovered. Love seeks the welfare of all, Rom. 15:2, and works no ill on any, 13:8-10; love seeks the opportunity to do good to ‘all men, and especially toward them that are of the household of the faith,’ Gal. 6:10.

Images – LAB Photos; Google Images; Bible.com

Scripture – Bible.com; Crosswalk.com

Resources – The Student Bible Dictionary. Karen Dockrey, et al. 2000. Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary. W.E. Vine. 1996

Visit my Young Christian Warriors site. The earliest Posts were written to help parents guide and train their children to access the Word of God to direct their steps. Later Posts were written for everyone, though I believe the Posts to parents can serve as reminders for all ages.

~God’s Divine Influence
~God’s Unequivocal Love
~There’s more, visit the site.

Thank you for spending time on my sites, if you like what you are reading, follow me, dailyinspiration-lisasthoughts.com and receive the daily inspirations in your inbox, or visit my other site, youngchristianwarriors.com and subscribe.