In Joshua 15:16-19, we read of a woman named Achsah, who was Caleb's daughter.
Upon marrying Othniel, she was given a piece of land from her father. It was dry land. Achsah asks her husband to make a request on her behalf to her father. Her request was for a blessing. Now, he had already blessed her with land, but Achsah realized that she needed more, and wanted more from the hand of her father as far as blessings went, so she asked for Springs of water. She was granted her request and more was given to her than she originally asked.
We have been blessed by God upon salvation. We have so many blessings as well as an inheritance connected to that alone! But, what have we done with our Individual, and personal blessing that is connected to the ministry of our Spiritual gifting? Has the outcome been a productive one? Have we developed what God has placed within our hands? Is that gifted ability being called upon, or in use?
Achsah knew that the land she was given was a dry land and that in order for her to produce anything on that land, it would need water. Her request wasn't just for more, it was a request that was directly connected to the development and productivity of that land.
God makes everything that we need available to us! It is His desire that we build on what has already been given. That requires ingenuity and work! We must be willing to do the work. We must have insight into what it will take for us to develop what we've already been given.
Let us be inspired by the story of Achsah and her determination to be proactive and productive with what she was so graciously given by her loving father!
While the world is focused on the Caronavirus, and the devastating pandemic, we must balance all that we hear with the many promises of God.
As we do all of the important things mentioned, such as, staying indoors, if at all possible, washing our hands regularly with soap and water, covering our mouths when we cough or sneeze, we should be praying to God for healing of our land and all of the countries in the world. God is in control, and He is the one we can petition, especially at such a time as this.
"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."
"You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on you, Because he trusts in You."
"Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid."
"Now may the Lord of peace Himself give you peace always in every way. The Lord be with you all."
Perhaps you are reading this and haven't been introduced to the Lord Jesus Christ; He came to earth, and He died for your sins on Calvary's cross that you might be forgiven of your sins, and have eternal life. He is the Son of The Living God who is the Creator. He knew you before you were even born. He loved you then, and loves you now. John 3:16 clearly states, "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." Won't you let Him come into your heart? You can experience a peace that the world can't give you, and a faith that will carry you through all of life's struggles and challenges. Your life will be blessed beyond measure, and all of your burdens will be lifted; But the choice is yours, right here, right now.....
"These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so." Acts 17:11
We live in a time when there is so much religious talk among churches and groups. How is one to know if they are being told 'truth'? There are various doctrines and theologies that clash one with the other. We are living in a time where those who once followed the truth of the Scriptures, are now taking up new and false teachings of the 'New Age' movement.
I am a stickler for searching the Word of God to prove or disprove what I'm being told. I follow the teachings of no one! I simply read my Bible and ask God what He is saying to me. The Holy Spirit of God opens my understanding of the words I read, and clearly guides me to all truth.
We must be like the Bereans in Acts. Whenever someone tells you something in association to God, go and see if Scripture supports what they are telling you. Ask God to open your understanding and give you His Truth on the matter.
It takes desire and effort to spend time reading and studying God's word. Don't allow yourself to be lazy as a Christian where you just follow what others say. Know for yourself what God says and approves of. Hear it from God, Himself!
Ask God to help you to not get twisted up with every wind of doctrine that's out there. He can bring to your remembrance His words to you, but you have got to apply yourself and give yourself over to the reading and study of His Word, the Bible. You will only be able to retrieve what's been put into your heart and mind.
Make sure you are hearing from God, Himself!
God knew what He was doing when He made you and I. We are all different as far as our personalities and ways of doing things go. I've come to enjoy my own unique qualities.
When we read the story of Mary and Martha in Luke 10:38-42, we're able to see the distinct differences between these two sisters. Their perspective on things and their priorities were completely different.
Martha was task oriented and proactive. Those are very good qualities to have. Mary was more compliant and laid back, and that was a plus as well. I could hear Martha right now, "If I want it done, I have to do it myself!" I have encountered that spirit and attitude before. Now, Mary was no slouch! She wasn't lazy or irresponsible. What was priority to her, in that moment when Jesus stop by to visit, was of utmost importance. Mary was focused on her spiritual need. She also enjoyed the presence of the Lord Jesus. She didn't want to miss out on what He had to say, so although she knew her sister was in that kitchen preparing a much needed meal, the place she chose was more important.
Martha was a bit of a complainer. When things didn't go quite the way she wanted, she barked about it. Martha was inflexible. She also made service her priority. Service is important for we are saved to serve, but sometimes the activity of serving can get in the way of spiritual things. The tendency is to be so caught up with 'Doing Stuff', that we forget about the person we're doing it for.
Perhaps you are a Martha type or maybe you're like Mary. They both are needed in the body of Christ. Jesus pointed out to Martha that she was a bit preoccupied. He called her name twice and when the Lord has to call our name twice, He's really trying to get our attention. He said that Mary had chosen the good part; He didn't say, 'Better Part'. There is a difference. While Martha was agitated with her sister and probably felt like Mary wasn't doing what she was suppose to be doing, the Lord saw the imbalance in Martha's life.
As you and I embark upon a New Year and a new decade, let's prioritize. Let's keep the things that should be first and foremost front and center. Let's serve the Lord, but not let serving keep us from sitting at His feet listening, learning, meditating, and praying. Let's make sure we are giving adequate time and attention to our one on one relationship with God.
May you have a prosperous, and rewarding year! There will be ups and downs, but if you stay in tune with God, you will be a blessing no matter what happens in your life!
It's a New Year! I sat pondering what I could share with you that would be spiritually helpful. God is faithful! A dear fellow friend, and believer wrote this wonderful passage filled with hope for 2020. I share it with you.
May you for 2020 be blessed by the Lord Jesus Christ; may He continue to enlighten your mind with life changing truths; may He enlarged your borders, your territory spiritually, and physically-may every ground your feet tread upon be yours! May satan and his host be kept at bay as you walk through the valley of life with all it challenges...may you daily have mountain top experiences of sweet fellowship with the Lord Jesus Christ; and victory over ever foe...and when you are wearied and dismayed, may you wait on the Lord to renew your strength so you can fly over mountains: of stress, disappointment, satan's attacks, frustration, confusion, conflict, temptations, frustration, doubts, distrust, distractions, discouragement, loneliness, threats on your life, and ministry, attacks on your finances, uncertainties, every hurtful thing, wicked schemes-with the massive wings of eagles enabled by the great and magnificent power of God.
"It's an honor for a man to keep distance from strife." Proverbs 20:3
"A dishonest person spreads strife." Proverbs 16:28
"Hatred stirs up strife." Proverbs 10:12
There is so much that can be said about the subject of 'Strife'. There are different triggers that cause this type of behavior in people, but its origin comes from the same place.
Lack of affirmation
The list above are symptoms of a greater problem that's within the individual. Their actions, reactions, and behavior are exemplified in various ways. The core of their problem is that they are in great need of 'LOVE'.
When a person has experienced love from the time they are a child, they feel secure, confident, happy, worthy, and contented. That's the power of love! Many are raised without it, or never experienced it and as they grew up, they were functioning at a deficit and the only way they knew how to cry out for it was to strike out at others, and this revealed itself in negative ways.
Perhaps you have been the recipient of such backlash and negative treatment from persons and wondered what you ever did to get that kind of response. The truth of the matter is that you don't have to do anything for a person to treat you in a negative way. People with the above issues will treat anyone negatively that has the opposite behavior. For example, insecure people are always jealous of secure, confident individuals. Persons who are bitter are often angry and display hatred for those who are happy and contented. The envious, jealous person will always throw shade at those who have good solid friendships and get along with others, or they seem to possess qualities or possessions they don't have.
So, how do you navigate in the midst of such behavior? The first thing is to call it what it is when you see it! Don't minimize it or tell yourself you aren't seeing or feeling what you're feeling. Secondly, Identify what you see and understand the implications of keeping that individual in your friendship pool. Thirdly, decide on whether they will be a healthy addition to your social circle, or a poisonous snake. Last, but not least, make a decision that you will be able to live with. Sometimes you have to cut these people loose and move on in life without them.
Jesus dealt with all types of people when He walked this earth. He came across many difficult people who were negative, dishonest, disloyal, liars, trouble makers, schemers, haters, and the envious persons who ultimately sought to kill Him every chance they got. He's the expert on handling people who cause strife!
Sometimes Jesus put a question to them when they came with foolishness. "Some Pharisees came and tested him by asking, "Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?" Jesus asked, "What did Moses command you" (Mark 10:2-3) The Pharisees were only trying to cause conflict. That's what people who create strife do.
"They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him. But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger." (John 8:6). In this account Jesus chose to keep silent. In another account Jesus has to rebuke the person. "Whoever belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God."
The minute a person comes your way to create strife, call on the Lord, right there and then, and ask Him for the wisest way, for that moment in time, to deal with the person. He may tell you to keep silent, turn their comment to you into a much needed question, or to rebuke them using scripture. Which ever way is needed, do it with a soft, non-argumentive, and calm way. This way you don't cause a full blown argument because that's what the person wants. Proverbs 15:1 says, "A soft word turns away wrath, but harsh words stir up anger." They want to fight with you to embarrass you, and to walk away with something legitimately negative to say about you to others. Ask God for wisdom.
Always remember, it's not about you, it's about them. Don't take on their issues. Don't let them rob you of your peace of mind and joy in the Lord. Commit them to God!
As a writer, I enjoy giving you the honest side of truth! As an artist, I create what doesn't exist. Each day I look for new and creative ways to use every ability God has so graciously given me.