What Really Matters?

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“Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching.  Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers.”  (1 Timothy 4:16)

Today, I was very frustrated with myself.  Sometimes, it does not take a lot to distract me from what really matters.  The cares of life and many other things can so easily distract us from keeping the main thing the main thing.

In the book of Timothy, Paul from a heart of love, wrote to Timothy instructing him to keep a close watch on himself and what was taught.  Reading this reminded me that it is good to ask ourselves hard questions.

When we go to our family doctor for an annual checkup, they ask us a lot of questions that delve into helping them get a picture of what is going on with our physical being.  Depending on the answers we give to the questions, there may be even more questions that delve even deeper into potential problems.

Most of us put importance on having a physical checkup; however, often we neglect to with the help of the Holy Spirit do a spiritual checkup on ourselves.  Yet, this is exactly what Paul was asking Timothy to do.

Some questions I asked myself today were:

  • What am I doing with my life?
  • Am I doing only the things God asks me to do?
  • Am I wasting time doing things that when I die will mean nothing because they just consume my time with no purpose?
  • When I die (or when Jesus returns if that happens first), what are the things I will then look back at and wish I had done differently?
  • When I die, of all the things I do on a daily basis, what ones will be important in eternity?
  • What are the distractions that so easily draw me away from the peace of God that we have when we constantly abide in Him?
  • What distractions take me away from spending the amount of time I should with God each day, sitting at His feet, listening, talking, reading His word?
  • Is there anything in my life that is not 100% surrendered to God – in other words is there anything that stops me from obeying God or is there anything He could ask me that I would say no to?
  • What sins do I struggle with?  Have I asked the Holy Spirit to transform that area of my life?
  • Is God my first love? 

Our days on earth are numbered.  Oh how sad it will be for those who God called but the cares of life distracted them from following and obeying God.  Perhaps it is not even a care that is a distraction — it could be a fear or a person or allowing frustrations and your environment to pull you away from the gentle voice that beckons you to come and follow Him.  It is amazing what a distraction can be. 

How sad it is that millions are dying not knowing God and so few are willing to give up their lives to rescue others. 

What is even sadder is that the state of so many Christian’s hearts who sit in the pew every Sunday.  They are lukewarm Christians.  There is no sign of any care or compassion for the lost. 

If you honestly search your heart — Do you feel God’s love for the lost?  Do you care?  Do you care that most of the people you see every day – people who you look into their face and eyes – will die and spend an eternity in hell with unending torment?  Do you care that many of them live in hell just the way their lives are lived from day to day — they live in pain and hopelessness.

Have you had pain and suffering touch your life to where you could hardly breathe, and the only thing that let you survive was that you had God to carry you?  Do you care that millions live through pain and suffering — many live with worse situations than you ever lived through; but, they have no one to turn to?

What matters in your life?  What were you born for?  If God grants you a few minutes to think while you are dying (you don’t instantly drop dead), what regrets will you have in how you responded to the call of God on your life?  Will your life have had any purpose or was it all work, fun, pain, etc., and nothing to show for it that will last into eternity when your last earthly breath exhales from your body?

Throughout history, thousands have given their life to spread the Gospel.  Today in India and most countries of the world Christians are being martyred for their faith.  I heard of a pastor in India that only a couple of weeks ago was murdered because he loved Jesus.  I believe he was younger than me.

Are you truly 100% surrendered to God’s will for your life?  Is God the love of your life?  Did He really ask us to go into all the world and preach the Gospel?  What will you do with the rest of your days on earth?

While I am sitting writing this, Joel is playing the fiddle in the next room.  It is like God is giving him the music that goes along with what I am writing – only Joel doesn’t know that.  The song he just finished playing was “All to Jesus I Surrender”.  Now he is playing,”Oh, Lord Your Beautiful” by Keith Green.   I will, because of Joel playing that song, now use it in this blog because the message of the song fits this. 

Please right now pray and ask God to soften your heart and speak to you.  THEN, prayerfully listen to the following video with your eyes closed and your heart and mind focused on God.  Let the Holy Spirit speak to you.  Choose this day that the remainder of your days will have a purpose and meaning – choose God’s way!  Don’t be lukewarm!

“For we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world.” (1 Timothy 6:7)

“Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work.” (2 Timothy 2:21)

~ Esther

“HELP! — They are Hungry!”

I'm HungryMoms know that growing children have a bottomless pit in their stomach. 

When a child gets old enough to go to the cupboard or fridge, and they don’t find what they are searching for; Moms hear the words, “Mom, you need to get groceries!  I’m hungry!”

In Luke 9, Jesus was speaking to a crowd of people.  It was getting late in the day, and His disciples were worried.  They told Jesus that He should send the crowd away so they could get something to eat.  The crowd was hungry.

Jesus response was:

“… ‘You give them something to eat!‘ …” (Luke 9:13 NASB)

The disciples had five loaves and two fish.  This would not feed a crowd of 5,000; however, Jesus asked them to use what they had. 

When the disciples offered up what they had in their hands, Jesus then multiplied it and fed the hungry. 

We humans do not have the ability to feed the hungry without Jesus’ supernatural help; however, if we offer up what we have in our hands, He will do the miraculous and feed the hungry.

How often do people around us “go hungry” because we don’t feed them?  I am not talking only about physically feeding a person; but, spiritually feeding them.  How many people do you know that are spiritually hungry?

  • Someone needs you to share with them how God can help them in their time of grief
  • Someone needs encouragement to seek the Lord regarding an important decision in their life
  • Someone needs to be shown who God is – that He is a God who loves them
  • Someone needs to have the gospel shared with them so they don’t spend eternity in hell
  • Someone is lukewarm and needs you to direct them back to God – true love cares enough to confront
  • . . . the list is endless!  There are so many hurting and needy hungry people.  People need the Lord!

Every person who chooses to daily seek the Lord and put Him first in their life is fed by the Lord.  You receive loaves and fish.  Daily, God will speak to you if you spend time with Him in prayer and reading the Bible. 

You then can take the food God gives you and share it with others who are hungry.  Even though what you have may appear to be so small and insignificant, remember it is not about you or your abilities.  It is about God’s ability to take your five loaves and two fish and to multiply it.  He knows how to feed people if you will only offer up and give out what you have in your hand.

How often we think that only “the Pastor” or certain special people can feed the spiritually hungry.  That is not true! 

There are some things you need to be aware of when feeding people …

  • Hungry people with no food cannot feed others.  If you personally do not seek the Lord daily and have Him as the first love of your life, you have nothing to feed others.  You need to be fed.
  • If you eat unhealthy food — food that is tainted and not the pure word of God, you cannot pass on healthy food to others.  Make sure the food you are eating is truth – read the Bible for yourself!
  • You cannot be lazy and selfish and horde up food for yourself – you cannot seek only your own blessings.  If you honestly spend time with God each day and surrender all of your life to Him, it is not possible to stay in this state.  God will transform you! 
  • You cannot serve old wormy rotten food to others.  They will not eat it.  It is amazing how hungry people can so easily spot food that is not fresh!  They can smell it too – it stinks!  In the Old Testament, when God sent manna to eat, He daily sent a new supply.  If they saved the food for the next day,  it was full of worms and rotting.  Only  daily fresh food from God will feed hungry people.  You cannot be hungry yourself and give out to others what you have saved from the past.
  • You cannot be lacking in faith or not believe that God can use what you have to offer.  What you have in your hand, if you are seeking God and He is first in your life, is all you need to start feeding others.  God will multiply it and do the miraculous.  He also will daily teach you and feed you more each day which in turn you then can give out more.  Trust and believe that God will do what you cannot.  It is not about you — it is about God.  He used a donkey to speak in the Bible. He can use anyone who seeks Him and surrenders all their life to Him. 

I pray this will instill in you such a deep desire for God that you will begin to literally run to God in prayer every day (several times a day); I pray you will read His Word everyday.  I pray that you will thirst and hunger for Him and get fed everyday!

God is so good and loving!  There is no one like our God!  He is perfect in all His ways.  Feed on God and then reach out and feed the hungry! 

“Now when the day was ending, and the twelve came and said to Him, ‘Send the crowd away, that they may go into the surrounding villages and countryside and find lodging and get something to eat; for here we are in a desolate place.’

But He said to them, ‘You give them something to eat!‘  And they said, ‘We have no more than five loaves and two fish, unless perhaps we go and buy food for all these people.’

(For there were about five thousand men.)  And He said to His disciples, ‘Have them sit down to eat in groups of about fifty each‘. 

They did so, and had them all sit down.

Then He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, He blessed them, and broke them, and kept giving them to the disciples to set before the people.

And they all ate and were satisfied; and the broken pieces which they had left over were picked up, twelve baskets full.  (Luke 9:12-17)

~ Esther ~

 

“Trust in the Lord”

Forest.jpg“Trust in the Lord” is a phrase that appears frequently in the Bible.   

The words, “trust in the Lord”, give a first impression that this is an easy task to accomplish.  However, the act of trusting in the Lord is a decision (a choice) that is tested, tried, and bombarded by satanic arrows into our thinking that try and derail us from trusting.

Throughout the Bible, God asked His people to do giant exploits and go on extreme adventures that no one had ever gone on before. 

Would you take years of your life to build an ark because God told you the earth would be entirely flooded?  Would you give up your career to build an ark that would take years to complete without proof that it would even float?

“By faith Noah, being warned by God about things not yet seen, in reverence prepared an ark for the salvation of his household…”  (Hebrews 11:7 NASB)

Would you leave behind everything to go to a land without knowing where it is, how you will get there, or why you even need to go there except that God asks you to go to a “Promised Land”? 

Why would you trust God to such an extreme that you would surrender your whole life (your belongings, friends, family, career, city, dreams, comfort, entertainment — everything) to obey what God asks of you?  

To trust God to the magnitude of where a person is willing to surrender “ALL” (including their will) to obey what He asks, requires knowing God intimately.  You cannot trust God to this extent unless you love Him more than any person, influence, personal feeling, potential pain, inconvenience, potential shame  or absolutely anything.  To trust God with”ALL” means God is the God of your life.  He is your first love.

“Now faith, is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.  For by it the men of old gained approval.” (Hebrews 11:1,2 NASB)

It is impossible to please God without faith – without total trust.  To love God requires total obedience. 

“And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.” (Hebrews 11:6 NASB)

If you are reading this and know in your heart that you do not trust God with all of your life, start seeking God.  Spend time with Him every day.

Ask Him to create in you a desire to love Him more than anything.  Ask Him to help you to trust Him with all of your life.   

Ask Him to create in you a clean heart that trusts Him with “ALL” so that from now until your life ends or Jesus returns, you will trust and obey Him no matter the cost. 

“Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness.

Delight yourself in the Lord; and He will give you the desires of your heart.

Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He will do it.

He will bring forth your righteousness as the light and your judgment as the noonday.”  (Psalm 37:3-6 NASB)

~ Esther ~