Learning to Walk

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As infants we learn to walk upright, during this process we fall and stumble until we gain our sea legs. The same is true as we become mature Christians. Learning to walk worthy of the Lord is a process.

~ Lisa Blair


For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives,[a]10 so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God. Col 1:9-10 NIV

As I read Colossians 1:9-10 I sought commentaries to further learn its essence. I found Chuck Smith’s sermon notes to be most beneficial. These are my take aways.

The Outline Points are:

(I recommend reading the full set of notes.)

  • That you might be filled with the knowledge of His Will.
  • That you might walk worthy of the Lord.
  • That you might be fruitful in every good work.
  • That you might increase in your knowledge of God.
  • That you might be strengthened with all might according to His glorious power.

Reference – A Prayer for the New Year, Sermon Notes, Chuck Smith, Blueletterbible.org

Image – LABPhotos

What does it mean to ‘FEAR’ the Lord?

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Fear the Lord in reverence, not anxiety of retribution.

~ Lisa Blair

I attended Sunday Bible School and Vacation Bible School like so many reading this post. As a teen and young adult, I attended Sunday service and Bible Study. The Word seemed so demanding during that period of my life, which caused hesitancy. I could find no sense of Free Will. Our Lord seemed to allow no breath of discovery. I felt He was saying, fear me or else. I only knew one fear and that was carnal fear. The Online Dictionary defines it as, a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, leading to anxiety, and that is what I felt when the Word said, ‘fear the Lord’. I was instructed to fear the Lord. So, while I loved the Lord, I also hesitated for fear of retribution if I did not get it right.

LAB PHOTOS

I believe that all too often we share the Word but do not define the importance of the words (in the scriptures) to our youth or new believers. We leave to much to the imagination, our carnal perspective. Biblical terms often do not mean what we think they mean. They represent a heavenly perspective. They represent a different truth. They define a relationship like none other, yet left to the untrained mind, we suffer setbacks because the Word can seem harsh. The Word is love. Let’s share that love by explaining, or defining terms as God has defined them. When those around us understand the terms, they open their minds and are eager to learn more about our Salvation and relationship with the Lord, our Savior.

The daily message below is a good explanation of what it means to fear the Lord and follow him. It is a great message to share with youth and new believers.

Online Bible Dictionaries: Biblestudytools.com, kingjamesbibledictionary.com, Biblegateway.com, Biblehub.com, biblestudylight.org.

App: The Bible Dictionary app

Photo: LAB PHOTOS

Devotional Message: Southwest Church, Palm Desert, CA.

How Do You Exit the Wormhole of Challenge?

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Traveling through space, amazed by the magnificence of it all and then without warning you find yourself in a wormhole. The space is dark and unfamiliar. Suffering and anxiety prevail, unless, you call on the Lord.

~ Lisa Blair
Popular Mechanics

Have you ever found yourself in a position where all was going well, and then, a health, career, financial, or other personal issue comes out of nowhere? Well that recently happened to me. Life is funny that way. We spend time at the top of the mountain in complacency and then the sky shifts. So, I ask, in the midst of the unknown, do we rely on our own thoughts and plans to escape, or do we go to the Lord in prayer? In the darkness, did you stop to ponder that there are lessons that we can gleam from these experiences? The Bible is replete with people and societies that experienced the travails of life, and through the harshness of the tribulations, challenges and trials, they, over time recognized the lessons presented through the tough times. Reflecting on the concept of the wormhole, we can either implode or we can process what is happening and seek understanding about how to navigate and exit better than when we entered the darkness of the wormhole.

As Christians, our purpose on earth is two-fold. The first is to take the journey the Lord has laid before us which includes challenges, trials and tribulations and mature in our Christian walk, and the second is to be ambassadors of Christ and spread the Good News, and loving all of humanity friends and foes. What better way to spread the Good News than through life’s challenges, how we approached challenges, and the victory of coming out of the wormhole in one piece.

One piece? Did you think that once you accepted Christ as you Lord and Savior it would be ‘smooth sailing’ from that day forward? The reality is, the Lord did not say the path would be easy. On the contrary, he said it would be difficult. The thing we must remember is that we will come out on the other side. The wormhole will close behind us and your challenges will lead to your testimony. You are the author of your story. Ask yourself, how will others interpret my story, will they see only the struggles and failures, or a story of walking with the Lord and overcoming the challenges, trials, and tribulations? Will your story be a testimony for others to cherish when they enter tough times, reflecting on your story as the path out of darkness? Or, will your story leave them defeated wallowing in failure and defeat?

As we walk with Christ through the challenging times, acknowledge that you are never alone. The Lord will never leave you or forsake and like the Footsteps poem, He will carry you when you can no longer walk on your own. Let these times become your testimony.

I am attaching scriptural resources to help you through the difficult times. Begin writing your testimony as you journey through challenges, trials, and tribulations, it will encourage you to stay the course and come out of the wormhole in one piece. You will come out with a closer relationship with our Lord. You will come out more mature and able to help others navigate life. You will come out stronger.

Resources:

What Does the Bible Say About Difficult Times. Openbible.info

Bible Verses About Having Strength During Hard Times. Biblemoneymatters.com

~ 10 Bible Verses To Help You Through A Difficult Time. Heartandsoulhomeschooling.com

~ 3 S ruptured to Pray When You Just Don’t Know What to Do.  Jenniferrothschild.com

~ 33 Powerful Bible Verses About Healing and Overcoming Sickness. Testimon.io

~ 20 PsalmsTo Read When Life is Miserable. Crosswalk.com

~ 31 Spiritual Warfare Scriptures: Help for Facing Life’s Battles. Crosswalk.com

Baptized in the Greek means—

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When we read the word baptized, what does it mean to you? How does it impact your life? Do you categorize it as an intellectual thought, or spiritual delivery?

~ Lisa Blair

To be baptized means you are immersed, dipped, or submerged, to become cleansed of impurity. The truth is you are renewed the moment you accept Christ as your Lord and Savior. The act of baptismal is sharing your conviction with the world. The two are linked and create the new creature in Christ and changes how we represent ourselves. As Christians, we enter as sinners, and arise renewed with a change of mind and heart. (Holman Bible Dictionary, Studylight.org) Once baptized we take on a new perspective on life. We become guided by the Spirit who is in, by, and with us. We take on the characteristics of Christ, stripping our own self-motivated, self-determined nature to exude Christ in our breath, actions, and deeds.When we intentionally stay connected with the Holy Spirit, our actions take on the love of Christ. We are no longer isolated, we become one with the body of Christ. Our intentionality in demonstrating the characteristics of Christ is spelled out in Galatians 5.

[Image, Galatians 5:16, Bible.knowing-Jesus.com]


“For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love. For the whole law can be summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!”
‭‭Galatians‬ ‭5:13-14, 22-23‬ ‭NLT‬‬
https://bible.com/bible/116/gal.5.13-23.NLT

This post is extracted from today’s (10/27/2021) LECTIO (app) devotional. I strongly encourage you to download the app. I take no credit, I did not write the devotional, but do plan to apply it to my walk today.

This is a great way to begin and end your day with, in, and by in the Word of God

Yield

As I return to the passage, I listen for a particular word or phrase that the Holy Spirit is highlighting to me today…

[Image, 1 Corinthians 12:27, Faithandhealthconnection.org]

Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. For we were all baptised by one Spirit so as to form one body – whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free – and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. And so the body is not made up of one part but of many.
1 Corinthians‬ 12:12-14‬

What word or phrase jumped out at me from these verses?

I noticed the phrase ‘baptised by one Spirit’. The Greek word translated as ‘by’ can also be translated as ‘in’ or ‘with’.

I become part of the Body of Christ by the Spirit, I live each day in the Spirit, and I face every challenge, as well as every celebration with the Spirit. 

Closing Prayer

Father, help me to live this day to the full,
 being true to You, in every way.
Jesus, help me to give myself away to others,
 being kind to everyone I meet.
Spirit, help me to love the lost,
 proclaiming Christ in all I do and say.
Amen.

Join us this weekend at The Gathering Online. Book your free ticket to pray with people from the 24-7 movement around the world: https://www.24-7prayer.com/events/GatheringOnline21

Surrendering Looks Like…

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Surrendering is not an act of attrition, it is a deliberate act of contrition.

~ Lisa Blair

‘Looks like’ is a common idiom of our time. What does surrendering look like, you ask?


Surrendering is not a one-time event. It requires constant attention. “Until Jesus returns and takes His rightful place as the final authority and ruler overall, we have to make the decision over and over to surrender our minds, wills, and actions to Him (Romans 8:20–22; 12:1–2). Our first stage of surrender is the surrender of our lives to God when we are saved. www.compellingtruth.org/surrender-to-God.html

My thought for the day. There are many quotes of what people in the Bible have said when they surrendered their will to God’s will for their lives. The two that stand out to me today are:

  1. The angel came to Mary to inform her that God was pleased with her and chose her to give birth to His son. Mary, a young girl of marrying age, was betrothed to Joseph. Wouldn’t you imagine her first thinking, I cannot become pregnant until I marry, what will people think of me in particular and Joseph if I carry a child before the ceremony ends. However, Mary responded to the angel saying, “I am the Lord’s servant,” “May your word to me be fulfilled.” ~ Luke 1:38 NIV
  2. Jesus, the, was in deep prayer about the circumstances that would result in his death, He prayed, “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; this is the human condition, to ask God to remove the situation so we do not feel the pain. However, the second part of the prayer is one of submission – Jesus then prayed, “yet not my will, but yours be done.” ~ Luke 22:42 NIV

So, what does surrendering look like? Surrendering looks like the person who moves out of the way to submit to another’s wishes. In this case surrendering is looking to God for direction and following His path for our lives rather than forging ahead blindly satisfying our own urges and direction for our lives. If Mary had not accepted God’s will over her own, Jesus may not have been born to her and the story of Abraham may not have been written as we know it. Our decisions not only affect us but many others in our immediate and future sphere of influence. Our decisions affect our descendants. *

If Jesus, the man, chose to run from his purpose, again, the story would have differed, and the Son of God, Immanuel-the God with us, would have led to a different story. Thinking back, how many times has God instructed, or better said, invited you to do something His way, to follow Him, not turn to the left or the right, and you did just what you were instructed not to do, waiver to the left or right and not stay on the path He designed for us, how did that turn out for you? Ask yourself, what happened when you listened and surrendered to God? I am certain the latter set you on a path you couldn’t imagine you could ever attain.

Surrendering looks like victory. It feels like love. Surrendering lifts the burdens of life off of your shoulders and places it on Christs’ shoulders. In Jeremiah 38:17-18, the scripture reads, Jeremiah said to Zedekiah, “Thus says the LORD, the God of hosts, the God of Israel: If you will surrender to the officials of the king of Babylon, then your life shall be spared, and this city shall not be burned with fire, and you and your house shall live. 18 But if you do not surrender to the officials of the king of Babylon, then this city shall be given into the hand of the Chaldeans, and they shall burn it with fire, and you shall not escape from their hand.” (Je 38.17-18)

Jeremiah presents him with a choice – Surrender Babylon, or Don’t surrender to Babylon. The writing is on the wall. (https://thescripturesays.org/2014/08/22/jeremiah-38-41-if-you-will-surrender-to-babylon-then-your-life-shall-be-spared/)

Surrendering looks like victory. The writing is on the wall. God does not promise it will look like success, sometimes the direction is pain staking, but looking deeper we reflect that it was part of the path we must take to become more like Christ, when he said, but your will be done. Surrendering looks like, choosing the path of righteousness over the path of selfishness. Surrendering to God looks like and feels like love, a connection greater than anything this life could afford you.

Surrendering is the establishment of your lineage to God the Father, Christ the Son-our Savior, and the Holy Spirit. Surrendering is the act of no longer resisting God’s love and is the state of acceptance and no longer defiance. It looks like victory when we spread our arms over our head and jump up and down in joy, no longer relying on our own focus for our lives but rather God’s plan for our lives that is often unseen and unexpected. Surrendering is the act of faith. Surrendering looks like and feels like – Victory over our carnal state of being. It is the act of intentionally becoming part of God’s family.

* The Book of Matthew begins with the genealogy of Christ. It is a look at the descendants of Jesus. In the Jewish faith and many others, the lineage is important, it defines who you belong to, it expresses your values and character. 

Just between us.org

Resources: Bible.com; the scripturesays.org; compellingtruth.org

Images: google images