Ask God For Something Big

1 Kings 18:1–46

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I love this true story from the old testament.  Israel had gone more than three years without rain because of their idolatry. The prophet Elijah confronts the evil king Ahab and challenges him to a spiritual showdown. I LOVE THS….A SPIRITUAL SHOWDOWN!!

The king was to have all the Israelites gather at Mt. Carmel, along with the 450 prophets of the false god Baal and the 400 prophets of the false goddess Asherah.

When everyone was gathered, Elijah said “How long will you waver between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him; but if Baal is God, follow him.” Elijah then challenged the prophets of Baal to prepare a bull as an offering for their god—Elijah would do the same—with this catch: they could light no fire on their altar. The God who answered with fire from the sky would be considered the true God.

The people agreed that this was a good plan, and the prophets of Baal went first. The pagan prophets cried out and danced around their altar from morning till noon with no answer from Baal. Elijah began to mock them, saying, “Shout louder! . . . Surely he is a god! Perhaps he is deep in thought, or busy, or traveling. Maybe he is sleeping and must be awakened.”

So the prophets of Baal “shouted louder and slashed themselves with swords and spears, as was their custom, until their blood flowed. Midday passed, and they continued their frantic prophesying until the time for the evening sacrifice.”  Despite hours of effort, nothing happened.

Elijah then called the people to him as he repaired the altar of the Lord. He used twelve stones and dug a trench around the altar. He then placed wood on the altar and laid the cut pieces of the bull on it. Elijah then had the people douse the altar with twelve large jars of water. The water soaked the sacrifice and the wood and filled the trench.

Once the sacrifice was ready, Elijah prayed, “Lord, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, let it be known today that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant and have done all these things at your command. Answer me, Lord, answer me, so these people will know that you, Lord, are God, and that you are turning their hearts back again.” Then God did what Baal could never do: the fire of the LORD fell from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the wood and the stones and the dust, “and also licked up the water in the trench.” The people of Israel bowed down and declared the Lord as God. Following this event, the Lord finally ended the drought and sent rain upon the land.

We serve a God who does impossible things. The point is, with God, all things are possible (Matthew 19: 26), and He wants us to call upon Him in our day of trouble and need (Psalm 50: 15).

The peoples hearts were changed by the action of one person.  One person who ask for something big in front of others because he had faith in God.  We live in a time where people have forgotten all the big things that God has done for His people throughout history.  Families are so busy that they can’t hear the stories at church, because they don’t go regularly and due to that same busyness they don’t read the stories for themselves.  Bibles no longer sit on coffee tables and there is no worry of dust collecting on them because we have replaced them with an app on our phones.  Most people are checking or posting on FB, Snapchat, Instagram or whatever the newest app is that the bible app is very rarely opened.

Today, I challenge you to pick something BIG that your family needs.  Maybe it is to move churches, become a missionary, go to college, change jobs, insert your big need here_______.  Tell your family about it and then start to pray it out loud with your family and with believers and unbelievers.  Pray it with faith in a big kind of way.  Then wait and watch!!  Your answered prayer may just be what someone else needs to fall in love with God again, to commit to him for the first time or to encourage them to place their big prayer out there for God to answer.

Our God is a big God and He can do anything.  I believe enough for all of use so go on.  What are you waiting for? ASK GOD FOR SOMETHING BIG!!

A Love Grown Cold

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John 21:15-17 (ESV)

15 When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Feed my lambs.” 16 He said to him a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Tend my sheep.” 17 He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, “Do you love me?” and he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep.

Ask yourself these questions?

  1. Do you say you love Jesus but people don’t see it?
  2. Are you excited about the mere mention of Christ name?
  3. Are you asking Jesus to make you more like him?
  4. Is He the priority in your life?
  5. Are serving Him at work, at your church, in your community?

Go back to the day you were saved.  Do you remember how you felt?  Most of us could hardly wait to get back to church the next week.  We read His word, talk about Him to everyone would listen and we wanted to know every thing we could about Heaven and Jesus.  So what happened?

  1. Romans 3:23 (ESV) for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

    We forget we are sinners in need of Christ forgiveness.  Either we are living in sin or we begin to judge others sins not our own, thinking that WE are ok.  We no longer pray for God to remove the sins in our life.

  2. We have become one or more of these things:  2 Timothy 3:1–4 But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty.  For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God.
  3. We have lost faith because we have stopped asking God for impossible things.Matthew 17:20 ESV He said to them, “Because of your little faith. For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.”
  4. We forgot how much He loves us.  Romans 5:8 (ESV) but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

 If your heart has grown cold for Jesus it is time to TURN THE HEAT UP!  It is time for your SOUL TO BE ON FIRE AGAIN!!

Ephesians 3:17b-19, “And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge — that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” (NIV)

The A, B, C’s of Christian Relationships

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Hebrews 10:24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 

So this post is an interactive post.  It only works if you participate.  I would like to go through the alphabet and choose a word that is important to good relationships.  If you know of a scripture that works with your word, then list the scripture also.  Don’t get stuck….let’s get to the letter Z.

 

I will start us off with a couple:

A – ACTIONS speak louder than words – 1 John 3:18 Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.

B – Use the BIBLE as your book on marriage and relationships – 2 Timothy 3:16- 17 Every scripture is inspired by God and useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the person dedicated to God may be capable and equipped for every good work

– COMMUNICATION, communication, communication – James 1:19 Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger;

D – DEVOTED to each other – Romans 12:10: “Be devoted to one another in love.

Ok friends, what can you add to this list of A, B, C’s for Christian relationships.  Share your knowledge, wisdom and experience.

 

 

Make Jesus Great Again

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Philippians 3:7-9a NLT – I once thought these things were valuable, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done. Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ and become one with him.

Some of you may be offended that I used anything similar to our Presidents words in todays title. If you are offended then be sure to read yesterdays post then come back and read today’s post. LOL. Seriously, I have had this scripture and this title on my mind for days now.

Did you know that Rock Hill has a population of 69,103 residents and is the 5th largest city in South Carolina? Did you know that there were 8051 churches in SC as of the most current statistics? That’s a lot of churches. A lot of people who attend church. If you dig deep into the statistics you can see the number of people in our city who go to church, what they believe about God and what required to be a Christian. Ultimately, the statistics show that there are a lot of people who do not go to church and/or are not saved in our city.

The scripture says everything is worthless when compared to knowing Christ. EVERYTHING. If we want to make Jesus Great Again we, the Christians have to believe He is great. Our actions and our words must show that He is great. Things that are important to us take priority in our lives. The important things are in our conversations and we make time for them. I can assure you every one that knows me and spends any time talking to me knows that my grandkids are important to me. I talk about them every chance I get. I rearrange my work and personal life for them. I take their phone calls and/or face time calls. I go to their special events and love to celebrate them on birthdays and holidays. My grandchildren are great!

This scripture also says “For His sake, I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ and become one with him.” Ladies, there is nothing as important than Christ and our relationship with him. As a young mother and new wife I struggled with this thought. The love we have for our family, especially our own flesh and blood, is indescribable. I used to think it was unimaginable to love someone more than them. But as I have grown older I realized that God loves them more than me. Really. Hard to believe, because I love them all so much.

If we want to make America Great Again, we have to make Jesus Great Again. He is great right? Do you show it? Are you saying it? These are not questions for you to necessarily answer in this post but to internalize. We live in a time where there is much brokenness in our world. Jesus is the answer. I believe it. I have seen the miracles of families restored, marriages saved, bodies healed, forgiveness given, and entry to heaven granted by those accepting Christ as their savior. He is the greatest and He deserves our praise, our worship and He deserves to be number one in our lives.

The great news is that if you do not know Jesus you can come to know Him today. If you do know Him and you are not sharing the good news, you can decide to do it beginning right now. Ladies, we can make a difference in this world and we start in our homes. As an old saying goes, “if mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.” Making Jesus Great Again begins with one person. That person spreads it to their home, their work, their friends, their family and their churches. You can do it. I believe in you! Lets make Jesus Great Again!!

Choose Not To Be Offended

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Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control

We live in a world where everyone is offended by someone or something. If we have differing opinions then we are offended. What has happened to healthy discussion and agreeing to disagree.

I love the scripture above regarding the fruits of the spirit. We all have them. They are all in our fruit bowls sitting on the table just waiting for us to choose which ones we will use for that day. Some of us just give them a quick glance as we leave the house, while others arms are spilling over with fruit as we rush off to our jobs.

Even the Bible tells us not argue over foolish things but to be kind. 2 Timothy 2:23-24 ESV Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies; you know that they breed quarrels. And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil.

I think a few key words in this verse is ignorant controversies. I am sure you know someone who is passionate about their cause. As Christians, we must choose our causes wisely and then we must be able to listen to the other side without being offended.

When we become offended we loose our joy. Why would we allow someone else’s cause/passions cause us to be offended? 2 Timothy 2:14 ESV Remind them of these things, and charge them before God not to quarrel about words, which does no good, but only ruins the hearers.

I was watching a TV show yesterday where a mediator was helping a couple with their communication issues. The man said he did not argue with his wife. He said that he simply stated his opinion and then his wife went around and around in circles stating hers, never really getting to her point.

As the discussion went on the mediator finally concluded that the real issue was the man wanted his wife to agree with him. When she tried to give her opinion and it was different than his, he would continue to talk about the issue until she gave in and agreed with him.

I choose not to be offended by things that people do or say that is different than what I believe in. As Christians we all the Bible to tell us what is right and wrong. The thing we should remember is that each of us will be accountable for our own words and actions. With that said, I believe we should listen, give our opinion and then exhibit the fruits of the spirit as we conclude our conversation.

Maybe I sound like old 60’s hippy, But I believe the lyrics of the old 60’s song What the World Needs Now is Love, has it right.

What the world needs now is love, sweet love, It’s the only thing that there’s just too little of, What the world needs now is love, sweet love, No not just for some but for everyone.

What The World Needs Now is Love

“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.” 1 Peter 4:8

How many of you have heard the song A Bushel and a Peck” written by Frank Loesser, introduced in the Broadway musical Guys and Dolls and published in 1950? Here is the link in case you have never heard it before. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aw2phldcmCQ

heart-700141_1920Ok, so all of you young people who have never heard it and just listened to it, you can stop laughing now. I was watching TV yesterday and I heard this saying on a commercial. My first thought was how many people today even understand what that saying meant, then I decided to research it myself. It literally means I love you a lot. Southerners are so funny. I love our cute little sayings. I am sure this saying came from the south. LOL

As I pondered the saying “I love you a bushel and peck and hug around the neck” todays scripture came to my mind. We should LOVE deeply. We should love others “A Lot” or deeply. I Corinthians 16:14 says “Let all that you do be done in love.”….ALL that you do. Colossians 3:14 “Above all, be loving. This ties everything together perfectly.”…Above all, be loving.

This past weekend my grandson and sister were bickering. I heard my grandson say ” two wrongs don’t make a right, correct Mimi” Of course, I said correct. My grand daughter immediately began to state her case for why she retaliated to her brothers actions. Listen friends, God does not say to love deeply only those who treat us good, only those we know, only those who love us, only those who believe as we do, only those who are our family, only those who are saved. Scripture after scripture tells us to LOVE others, no stipulations on the others.

John 3:16 says “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” Now that is the kind of love we should strive for.

The song says to love others a lot and to show it with a hug around the neck. We may not want to hug that homeless person. We might not want to hug someone who is attacking us personally. We may not want to hug that person in the check out line that we do not know. But we can love them all the way God loves us.

There is another great old song by Jackie DeShannon that says “What the world needs now is love, sweet love
It’s the only thing that there’s just too little of
What the world needs now is love, sweet love,
No not just for some but for everyone.”

If no one has told you today….I love you and Jesus Loves you even more. Now go out into the world and find someone out of the ordinary to love.  Jesus loves you.

Friends

Job 2:4-5 (GW) Satan answered the Lord, “Skin for skin! Certainly, a man will give everything he has for his life. But stretch out your hand, and strike his flesh and bones. I bet he’ll curse you to your face.”
I recently received, what some would say is, bad news about my health. Honestly, when I heard the news it was not good timing for me because I was busy with a major fundraiser for the non-profit that I work for. I was already stressed with my big event taking place in just two days. Frankly, I did not have time to be stressed by the news from my doctor. I ask if I could council with her after the fundraiser and she said yes.
I called my husband, children and some of my closet friends with the news and told them not to worry because I wasn’t worried. I promised to follow-up with them after my next visit to the doctor.
The night before my big event a very close friend of mine called me. She and her husband have friends in high places and they had made a phone call to a very reputable surgeon friend of theirs. The surgeon had agreed to see me the day after the fundraiser. I was overwhelmed with their love and concern for me. And this is where God’s work through His people began.
I had the dreaded C word. Cancer. My diagnosis was Superficial Melanoma and surgery was necessary. I was on the phone again with family and friends sharing the news and continuing to tell everyone not to worry, that everything would be ok. I honestly, trusted that God was involved and His will would be done. I really was not worried.
My surgery was last Thursday and I have been on bedrest, which is very difficult for me. What has amazed me through this whole process from getting my diagnosis to after surgery is the response by my friends.
You see as a pastors wife, it is my job to care for others. I have been doing that now for about 27 years. My husband and I have been blessed to be pastors of small to medium churches for most of our life in ministry. God sends us a lot of new Christians who aren’t your typical church people with typical church talk or church celebrations. Some years Pastor appreciation month comes and goes and there is no celebration for us. Some years birthdays and anniversaries, marriage and church, go unnoticed and uncelebrated. This is not a complaint by any means. Just a reality that I had come to accept in our ministry.
For the last three days, since my surgery, my husband and I have been overwhelmed with the kindness from our friends. I have cried every day, not from the pain but from the joy that others care about us. They have shown their love by calling, texting, facebooking, mailing cards, and bringing food. My friend and boss ask her pastor to come in and anoint me with oil and pray for me before surgery.
What I have realized through this process is that no matter what happens to me physically, I can trust God. Like Job, I do not have to curse Him because of my physical ailments. The devil lost, again! I can trust God because I know Him and I love Him. I can trust Him because even though He can not be here physically to care for me He sends His children on this side of eternity to do it for Him. My friends have been Jesus to me. Their kindness in words and deeds have inspired me to be a better person and do even more for others. My heart is bursting with love.
Through this whole process I have trusted The Lord for His healing. I pray for His will in my life and place the final outcome in His hands. For those of you who may be struggling with a crisis in your life, whether it is a death, a divorce, a health issue, a financial issue or something legal etc, I encourage you to surround yourself with Christian friends. I can now testify from a personal standpoint how important it really is. With my friends, I can survive whatever the devil sends my way. It may be hard but my load will be lighter and more bearable because of them. THANK YOU AND MUCH LOVE TO MY FRIENDS and FAMILY who love me like Jesus!!!!
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