Once Jacob made the connection with God, he took an interest in God. He took hold of God and when he did, he didn't let go until he got a blessing. (Investment-Interest) People that invest in their marriage don't just walk away from their marriage.
Church is a place where we meet with God. At church we make a connection with God. At church we communicate with God. At church we are to make a commitment to God. This is a small part of what I will be sharing Wednesday evenings, at our church during the month of February. When we love something we want to give to it, and provide for it. The scripture many people get confused is Matthew 6:21. The NIV reads, "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." This means your heart follows your treasure, not the other way around. When we begin to tithe, then our heart will go towards our money. Many people want to be closer to God, tithing will get you there. Why, because our heart follows our money. Anytime you make an investment in something, you have an interest in that something. Invest in the stock market and you will take an interest in the stock market.
Genesis 28:16 (NIV) "When Jacob awoke from his sleep, he thought, "Surely the LORD is in this place, and I was not aware of it."
Jacob built an altar where he connected with God. He saw a connection in his dream. He got up and said, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I was not aware of it.” He was afraid and said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God; this is the gate of heaven.” Why did he say that? Because there was a connection made. Then he wanted to give a tithe. He wanted to put his money where his heart went.
Once Jacob made the connection with God, he took an interest in God. He took hold of God and when he did, he didn't let go until he got a blessing. (Investment-Interest) People that invest in their marriage don't just walk away from their marriage.
Maybe you haven't been faithful to the house of God. This is the beginning of the year. I am encouraging you to come to the house of God and meet with God. Church is not about the show, the music or even the preaching; it is about connecting with God.
There are several definitions for tenacity. Tenacity means mental or moral strength to resist opposition, danger, or hardship. The woman with the issue of blood found in Matthew chapter nine, was tenacious. She kept fighting for years. I think I would have quit. I think many of us would have. I do not know at what rate her blood was draining from her body, but we do know we can't loose all our blood and live. Can you imagine living with an issue that is draining the life out of you? I think many of you reading this can. Maybe it's your job? Daily going to work and doing the same thing over and over again is draining you. Perhaps it is your marriage? The spouse that you thought was going to make everything wonderful has instead, got you wondering how much more can you take. You feel drained. We all hit periods in our life where circumstances arise that drain the life out of us. Hang in there.
Hebrews 13:8 (NIV) "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever."
It is in times like these that we find out just how tenacious we are. Will we quit or will we hang on? Will we fall down or bend down and reach out to touch the hem of Jesus's garment. When we feel as though we are being drained we have a decision to make. Jesus has already made His. He tells us that He will always be there for us. He waits however, for us to reach out, to call upon His name, to pray. We have many options. We are not stuck. When we are weak He is strong. So, don't quit!
You can do this. Keep going! Be tenacious. We are going to go through some trails and some temptations. Things are going to test us. But, be encouraged! Keep the faith. You will come out better than when you began. Just don't give up! The person you were when you began this trial that's draining you right now, will not be who you are when you get to the other side.
Let this be your confession. "I will not quit! I will not give up or give in. I will win! I will hold on! In Jesus name, Amen."
Grace runs out when we turn to bad knowingly and are willing to throw it all away. As I stood before the Lord waiting for Him to give a word to a man, I was shocked when He said, "Nothing". "I have nothing to say." God with all of His words that He created says, "Nothing". I knew He had nothing to say. When God has given us grace and we choose to do nothing in obedience but everything in defiance and selfishness then God has "Nothing", left to say. Surprised? Don't be. Obedience is better than sacrifice.
1 Samuel 15:22 (NKJV) "So Samuel said:“Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, As in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, And to heed than the fat of rams."
So, today obedience is better than sacrifice. In fact everyday obedience is better than sacrifice. So what are you doing today that is anything but obedience to a loving God that sacrificed His son for you? Ask yourself the hard questions. Answer with total honesty. Then rectify any wrong doing on your part. God is a forgiving God. It is not a good thing when He has nothing to say.
Father do not leave us to our own devices. Everything will fail us bit You.
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I believe with all my heart people don’t fall out of love. Instead, people run out of tools in the “Tool Box called Marriage,” then do great damage to one another. If they get the necessary tools, then the marriage can be fixed if you will. But, we also need to keep the “Tool Box” handy for regular tune-ups. This devotional is just the tune-up your marriage may be needing.
I didn’t marry the love of my life. I married a man and he became the love of my life. Real love takes time to grow. Real love takes work. It is not a fifty/fifty deal. Marriage is a 100%/100% day in and day out commitment. My husband and I have worked together. I’ve quit. He’s fired me, and yes—we are still together. We believe that it has all been worth it, and continue to make each moment of marriage matter.
See, marriages aren’t made of years, they are made of moments. Moments of intimacy and moments of loss, moments of tears and slugging it out together. But mainly, marriages are made of moments where commitment to the same lifetime goal are walked out, “... until death do we part.”
A lot has changed since we said, “I do.” Many days we have both wondered how we were ever going to make this thing called “marriage” work. However, once you decide to work it, it does exactly that, it works. So, for each of the 40 days let this book challenge you to be all in. Roll up your sleeves and go to work. Make each moment matter for a better marriage!
So, this is a book for you, for your marriage, for your sons and daughters and their marriages. There is no generation gap when we are talking about marriages. When we can individually model a successful marriage that has stood the test of time it speaks volumes. When it's hard to find the words to help then hand them this book. It will speak for itself.
Register today. Spaces limited. https://www.eventbrite.com/e/marriage-seminar-2018-tickets-40111994054
Can God interrupt your life? Let's face it, there are a lot of interruptions in this journey called life. If your reading this and live on the East Coast then more than likely your life was interrupted last night. Here in my home town, we had a beautiful but unexpected snow fall. Temperatures dropped and we had 3 inches of snow fall within approximately an hour. Problem occurred when the ground beneath that snow turned to solid ice. Our main Interstate 79 N and 79 S shut down. Both lanes were closed due to accidents. Then an alternate route to our home town Rt. 73 closed, and before we knew it still a third road was closed on which our church is located. So how do you handle the unexpected. Do you snap under pressure? Do you lay down and quit? Do you not take heed and move on anyway?
Well, last night I saw examples of all of these and the consequences thereof. When the unexpected occurs we need to adjust to the wisdom of God. When we adjust then God can use our adjustment to minister to others, and at times minister to us individually.
An interruption can get you what you need, our example is the woman at the well. An interruption can get others they need, our example is the woman with the issue of blood. During an interruption you can be changed in to a new person, our example is Saul having been changed to Paul. Interruptions are inconvenient to one but a blessing to another, our example is Ananias.
Mary is our example of probably the most incredible interruption ever. She had her life planned out and God interrupted her plan. But God, interrupted Mary's life to bring life into all our lives.
The next time you experience an interruption ask yourself how do I need to adjust? Then once you've made the adjustment, seek God for the new direction in which you need to go. God may very well use your interruption to meet someone else's need.
You and I both know that it takes 21 days to develop a habit. Here we are on the 24th day of the New Year 2018. Even if we gave ourselves the first day of the year off to do whatever it is we wanted or needed to do, at least 21 days have still gone by. So, let's take an assessment today. How are you doing with yourself? Have you established routine? Is the new routine bringing you closer to your goals? How do you feel about where you are in the commitments that you have made?
1 Timothy 4:16 Take heed to yourself, and to the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this you shall both save yourself, and them that hear you.
Notice in the scripture above it begins with take heed to yourself. The first thing we are to do, is take heed to oneself. If we are unable to take heed to ourselves, then we will be unable to take heed to anything else. As one teenager said to me, "adulting is hard." Yes, it is. If her concept of adulting was telling herself what to do and what not to do--it will be one of the hardest things she will ever do.
The wonderful thing about being a christian is we do not have to do this alone. The Holy Spirit is with us to lead us and guide. He is truly a great gift. The Holy Spirit is our guide. When we have a guide we do not have to worry about where we are going. We know we will end up in the right location, if we follow the guide. The Holy Spirit gives us a check in our spirit man, when we get off course and then, gently and lovingly redirects our steps.
Psalms 37:23 (NKJV) "The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord,
And He delights in his way."
Today, take an assessment of where you are. Ask yourself some hard questions. Have I been heeding the voice of the Holy Spirit, or doing things my own way? Am I following the Holy Spirit's leading? Am I closer to where I want to be or further away?
Dear Lord, forgive me for doing my own thing, my way.
I know this is not your will for my life. Help
me to get back on track. In Jesus name,
If you are on track, celebrate! Rejoice in the Lord! Call a friend and thank them for helping you stay focused. Call your pastor or boss, and encourage them to keep doing what they are doing because it is helping. Everyone needs encouragement.
You can start a new today. The Lord's mercy is truly, new every morning.
Yesterday I did a long Blog about the "Brother Test". You know when you expect your brothers and sisters to rejoice with you about something and instead they throw you down into a pit, and sell you off into slavery. Come on, you've been there. Instead of being happy for you they attack you in areas you are not prepared to protect yourself. You found the love of your life and they don't like them. You bought a new house and they think you got in over your head. You have a need for a baby sitter and they are family but always too busy for their niece or nephew. Our "Pit" can be anything that we feel hopeless in. Our "Pit" is where we are completely abandoned and stuck. Yep! We all been there. Today however, I want to talk to you about what comes next. That's right. It Ain't over till it's over. Now those same brothers and sisters need something from you. Test number two. Are you going to over look their ill treatment of you and do what's right? Or are you going to be vengeful? The devil wants us to "get even". In the Kingdom of God there is never a place where we get even. Judgement belongs to the Lord and we are to respond with kindness when it is within our power to do so and let the Lord deal with those that have wronged us. Easier said than done.
Joseph passed the test. He fed his brothers. Oh, he toyed with them for awhile. I think he was struggling with doing what he knew he had to do. However, in the end...he did right. Read yesterdays Blog again and see for yourself the challenges he faced. What would have you done?
Here is your challenge for today. Do right by your family even if they have done you wrong.
Genesis 37:10-36 (NKJV) "Now Jacob dwelt in the land where his father was a stranger, in the land of Canaan. This is the history of Jacob. Joseph, being seventeen years old, was feeding the flock with his brothers. And the lad waswith the sons of Bilhah and the sons of Zilpah, his father’s wives; and Joseph brought a bad report of them to his father. Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age. Also he made him a tunic of many colors. But when his brothers saw that their father loved him more than all his brothers, they hated him and could not speak peaceably to him. Now Joseph had a dream, and he told it to his brothers; and they hated him even more. So he said to them, “Please hear this dream which I have dreamed: There we were, binding sheaves in the field. Then behold, my sheaf arose and also stood upright; and indeed your sheaves stood all around and bowed down to my sheaf.” And his brothers said to him, “Shall you indeed reign over us? Or shall you indeed have dominion over us?” So they hated him even more for his dreams and for his words. Then he dreamed still another dream and told it to his brothers, and said, “Look, I have dreamed another dream. And this time, the sun, the moon, and the eleven stars bowed down to me.” So he told it to his father and his brothers; and his father rebuked him and said to him, “What is this dream that you have dreamed? Shall your mother and I and your brothers indeed come to bow down to the earth before you?” And his brothers envied him, but his father kept the matter in mind.Joseph Sold by His Brothers Then his brothers went to feed their father’s flock in Shechem. And Israel said to Joseph, “Are not your brothers feeding the flock in Shechem? Come, I will send you to them.”So he said to him, “Here I am.” Then he said to him, “Please go and see if it is well with your brothers and well with the flocks, and bring back word to me.” So he sent him out of the Valley of Hebron, and he went to Shechem. Now a certain man found him, and there he was, wandering in the field. And the man asked him, saying, “What are you seeking?” So he said, “I am seeking my brothers. Please tell me where they are feeding their flocks.” And the man said, “They have departed from here, for I heard them say, ‘Let us go to Dothan.’” So Joseph went after his brothers and found them in Dothan. Now when they saw him afar off, even before he came near them, they conspired against him to kill him. Then they said to one another, “Look, this dreamer is coming! Come therefore, let us now kill him and cast him into some pit; and we shall say, ‘Some wild beast has devoured him.’ We shall see what will become of his dreams!” But Reuben heard it, and he delivered him out of their hands, and said, “Let us not kill him.” And Reuben said to them, “Shed no blood, but cast him into this pit which is in the wilderness, and do not lay a hand on him”—that he might deliver him out of their hands, and bring him back to his father. So it came to pass, when Joseph had come to his brothers, that they stripped Joseph of his tunic, the tunic of many colors that was on him. Then they took him and cast him into a pit. And the pit was empty; there was no water in it. And they sat down to eat a meal. Then they lifted their eyes and looked, and there was a company of Ishmaelites, coming from Gilead with their camels, bearing spices, balm, and myrrh, on their way to carry them down to Egypt. So Judah said to his brothers, “What profit is there if we kill our brother and conceal his blood? Come and let us sell him to the Ishmaelites, and let not our hand be upon him, for he is our brother and our flesh.” And his brothers listened. Then Midianite traders passed by; so the brothers pulled Joseph up and lifted him out of the pit, and sold him to the Ishmaelites for twenty shekels of silver. And they took Joseph to Egypt. Then Reuben returned to the pit, and indeed Joseph was not in the pit; and he tore his clothes. And he returned to his brothers and said, “The lad is no more; and I, where shall I go?” So they took Joseph’s tunic, killed a kid of the goats, and dipped the tunic in the blood. Then they sent the tunic of many colors, and they brought it to their father and said, “We have found this. Do you know whether it is your son’s tunic or not?” And he recognized it and said, “It is my son’s tunic. A wild beast has devoured him. Without doubt Joseph is torn to pieces.” Then Jacob tore his clothes, put sackcloth on his waist, and mourned for his son many days. And all his sons and all his daughters arose to comfort him; but he refused to be comforted, and he said, “For I shall go down into the grave to my son in mourning.” Thus his father wept for him. Now the Midianites[a] had sold him in Egypt to Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh and captain of the guard.
Notice after God gave Joseph a dream, the test came. The father gives Joseph an assignment. However, it's in the assignment that the testing comes. If a dream is not challenged it's just a dream. However, if the dream is from "The Father" test will come. Many times test will come from within your own household. Dreamers often find themselves in a Pit with no water in it! This is why we have to have the water within us.
John 7:38 (KJV) "He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water."
Notice in the scripture that the brothers dip the coat of many colors in goats blood. This to me says they are of their father the devil. The true Father used Lamb blood. This is really the story of two brothers. One uses the blood of their father the devil and the other as we read through scripture has the fruit of the blood of the Lamb. See what we do will expose who our Daddy is. Whose your Daddy? Oh you don't have to answer the question the fruit of our life will answer for us.
Further in the scripture we see that Joseph still feeds his brothers. Regardless of how we feel about those we journey through life with do we still choose to do what Jesus would do? Notice Joseph's father grieves for him. Joseph's father grieves for what happened to his son. In all ways Jesus knows how we feel. Jesus get's it. Jesus has been through it.
We live knowing the truths of the New Testament. Joseph didn't have this revelation. Yet Joseph passed the test. What do we do when we are wronged by a stranger is one thing. Being wronged by a brother, let alone several brothers who gang up against us and lie about it is another story.
I feel that the Body of Christ is in this story right now. The Body of Christ at large is at the place of choice. What decisions will we make because of how we have been treated? These decisions will reveal who are Daddy is.
I read in my fasting journal a little story about a tree that falls in the forrest. No one is there to see the tree fall, yet in the middle of the forrest is a huge gapping hole. This story leaves you with the visual of a thick forrest, that light can't get through, and now the beam of light is breaking through. I thought of exposure. What no one could see in the middle of the forrest, now lays open to the Sun.
Isaiah 61:3 (KJV) "To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified."
We are called the "Trees of Righteousness". When we are rooted and grounded in the Lord we need to network with other trees. Our roots need to go down deep. A tree finds water or it dies of thirst. When we sin the Bible tells us that our sin will find us out. We will be exposed.
This ministers to me because, it tells me that it is my responsibility to read the word of God. It is my responsibility to reach out to others of like minded faith. I am responsible for my roots and therefore, I am responsible also for others. If I get uprooted and fall no doubt I will take down, or do some major damage to those trees around me. I may break the branches off some other trees. Everyone tends to think what they do, doesn't affect others. This is far from the truth.
Today, I encourage you to think about your life. Are you a supporter of others, or have you put others at risk, and done some damage. God forgives us. God is a God of second chances. Reach out to those that you have hurt. Ask God for forgiveness. Then get up and start feeding your roots. Reach out and do some networking. Who we connect with matters. Choose wisely who you stand with.
Proverbs 13:20-25 (MSG) "Become wise by walking with the wise; hang out with fools and watch your life fall to pieces. Disaster entraps sinners, but God-loyal people get a good life. A good life gets passed on to the grandchildren; ill-gotten wealth ends up with good people. Banks foreclose on the farms of the poor, or else the poor lose their shirts to crooked lawyers. A refusal to correct is a refusal to love; love your children by disciplining them. An appetite for good brings much satisfaction, but the belly of the wicked always wants more.
God has a plan and a purpose for you in mind. He has a destination that He wants to take you to. He wants to change you into the image of His son – Jesus Christ. He is in the life change business. You have a choice. You can fight against the process – you can sit back and do nothing – or you can work together with Him in the process of becoming more Godly – of becoming more like Jesus. It takes work – it takes effort – it takes discipline. Remember what Paul told Timothy? “Discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness.” (1st Timothy 4:7)
Check out this portion of scripture: John 1:35-51 (NKJV)"Again, the next day, John stood with two of his disciples. And looking at Jesus as He walked, he said, “Behold the Lamb of God!”The two disciples heard him s peak, and they followed Jesus. Then Jesus turned, and seeing them following, said to them, “What do you seek?”They said to Him, “Rabbi” (which is to say, when translated, Teacher), “where are You staying?” He said to them, “Come and see.” They came and saw where He was staying, and remained with Him that day (now it was about the tenth hour). One of the two who heard John speak, and followed Him, was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. He first found his own brother Simon, and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” (which is translated, the Christ). And he brought him to Jesus. Now when Jesus looked at him, He said, “You are Simon the son of Jonah. You shall be called Cephas” (which is translated, A Stone). The following day Jesus wanted to go to Galilee, and He found Philip and said to him, “Follow Me.” Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found Him of whom Moses in the law, and also the prophets, wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” And Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.” Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward Him, and said of him, “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom is no deceit!” Nathanael said to Him, “How do You know me?” Jesus answered and said to him, “Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.” Nathanael answered and said to Him, “Rabbi, You are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!” Jesus answered and said to him, “Because I said to you, ‘I saw you under the fig tree,’ do you believe? You will see greater things than these.” And He said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, hereafter you shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.”
God can find that which is lost. He can fix that which is broken. He can mend that which is torn. He can straighten that which is bent. He can buff out the scratches. He can clothe the naked. He can feed the hungry. He can give water to the thirsty. He can bring dry bones back to life. He can take a heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. He can change a person’s life! That is what He does. God is in the life change business – and He is good at it. If you give your life to Him – if you place yourself in His hands – if you decide to follow Him – if you discipline yourself in discipleship – God will change you. That is the power of discipleship – that is the power of God! The saying is true - God loves you just the way you are – but He loves you too much to leave you that way. God can take a lump of clay and make it into a work of art. He can take a painting and make it into a masterpiece. He can take whatever you offer Him and change it into something beautiful. That is what God does. He is in the life change business.
If we want to see things, few see--then we must follow where few will be lead.It takes discipline to be a disciple.
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Rena Perozich is a wife, mother, mentor, author, and encourager. Her life's purpose is to become all God has called her to be and to encourage others to do the same. Learn more.