It takes hands to build a house, but only hearts can build a home.

Author Unknown

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

The Bread of Life




1 Samuel 21

Verse 6

The priest gave him the consecrated bread, since there was no bread there except the bread of the Presence that had been removed from before the Lord and replaced by hot bread on the day it was taken away


Saul had alerted the country to be on the outlook for David. He was on the run. David faced a terrifying prospect for a person ….he was on the run for his life.

The only bread they could find for David was the bread of the Presence

In Leviticus 24:5-9 we see the regulation concerning the bread. …it was set out as a lasting Covenant on behalf of the Israelites

God might have wanted David to have the bread of the Presence symbolizing the everlasting Covenant of God with David.

Or the bread of the Presence might have symbolized the Presence of God in the life of David. The everlasting Covenant symbolized by the Bread of the Presence was a reminder of God’s promise to His people

Jesus says I AM THE BREAD OF LIFE

God reminded David of His presence and His power

Jesus combines the bread with everlasting life. Christ is the bread of God’s presence to us.

Those who have eaten the bread of His Presence have the same everlasting covenant He made with David.

Then in search of refuge, David fled to Achish the king of Gath, he then encountered the Philistines and pretended to be a mad man. Not only was he a harpist and a warrior, now he was an actor.

In the chapters ahead we will see David negotiating some tough times.

Like David, God doesn’t want us feeding on ordinary bread, but on the bread of the Presence.. His table is always set and ready for us.

‘On Ya’ - ma

Monday, January 30, 2006

THAT'S WHAT FRIENDS ARE FOR



1 Samuel 20
Show me unfailing kindness like that of the Lord, as long as I live so that I may not be killed….



Here we are talking about the friendship of Jonathan and David.

Saul wanted to kill David. But Jonathan assures David of his commitment to protect him.

This was a re-affirmation of Jonathan’s covenant. 1 Samuel 18:1 tells us that Jonathan became one in spirit with David.

The spirit of God sometimes knits two people together as part of His plan. God had choosen David for his future king and Jonathan was part of the plan to deliver him safely to his throne.

These two men were unafraid to share their hearts with one another. They shared a common goal : the will of God. They had sworn friendship together in the name of the Lord.

In Ecclesiates 4: 9-12 we read:

Two are better than one,
Because they have a good return for their work
If one falls down
His friend can help him up
But pity the man who falls
And has no one to help him up.


This Scripture applies perfectly to Jonathan and David.

If God is not an active part in your friendships you are missing one of life’s most important treasures.

The Lord has blessed me with a few good friends, and I can say that we are all believers and can pray together and worship together. We all have a common goal: the will of God.

‘On Ya’ - ma

Sunday, January 29, 2006

THE LAST DAY OF THIS STUDY IN THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT



Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God

Ephesians 5: 1-2


Living a Spirit filled Life !

Psalm 63 is a wonderful guide for living a day in victory from morning til night

Oh God, you are my God who I seek…my lips shall glorify you…That you are my help, and in the shadow of your wings, I shout for joy…

This Psalm opens in the earliest moment of the day, reminding us that a victorious day begins in the morning !

Mark 1:35 tells us that Jesus would rise very early before dawn…he left and went off to a deserted place, where he prayed.

It may be that you have more time to study and pray in the evening, but remember the words of Isaiah 50:4-5

The Lord has given me a well trained tongue, That I might know how to speak to the weary, a word that will rouse them. Morning after morning he opens my ear that I may hear.

We should accomplish the following steps each morning and evening

1. Acknowledge His authority


Awaken every morning to the challenge “Choose…this day whom you will serve” Joshua 24:15

2. Abound in His presence

My soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you – Psalm 63:1


Ask for Him to give you a spirit that desires to be full of Him
Remember : cleansing + yeilding = filling , and with the filling of the Spirit comes the fruit of the Spirit

3. Ask to see His glory and Power

In Psalm 63 : 2 we see that Power appears in the works of God. Glory describes the ways of God. His presence is not limited to the big things, but to the small intimate details of life.

If we seek him and agree to keep watching through the eyes of the Spirit we will see His power and His glory

4. Award Him your mouth

Psalm 63:3 Thus I have gazed toward you in the sanctuary to see your power and your glory

5.Approach Him with Praise !

I will praise you as long as I live
- Psalm 63:4

6.Attribute all satisfaction to Him

Psalm 63:4 For your kindness is a greater good than life; my lips shall glorify you
And in Psalm 65:4..because of wicked deeds, we are overcome by our sins; it is you who pardon them

From a glorious morning to a marvelous day to a blessed night

7. At night audit your blessings

Psalm 63:6 On my bed I remember you

Recount His faithfulness to you

He never changes, he will never forget you. As he cared for you today, he will tomorrow. Night time is Prime time for remembering the day

8. Allow yourself to rest in His arms

Psalm 63: 7-8 …That you are my help, and in the shadow of your wings I will shout for joy

Cast your cares at his feet and curl up under His everlasting arms and rest

With these steps you can have a life of victory.

If we live ‘beyond ourselves’ with the fruits of the Holy Spirit,
we’ll find it’s the only way to live and that He is the only way to do it.

But the fruit of the Sprit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law

Galatians 5:22-23


Next week I hope to start a study on David. I’m also starting an e-course on the Bible and how the new and old Testaments relate, I’m not sure of what I’ll be putting in my journal, maybe a little of both.

‘On Ya’ - ma

The Bible verse grahics I have used were from www.creativeladiesministry.com

Friday, January 27, 2006

Exercise in Control



A man of knowledge uses words with restraint, and a man of understanding is even-tempered. Even a fool is thought wise if he keeps silent, and discerning if he holds his tongue.

Proverbs 17:27-28


Self control of the mind

One great need of self-control of the mind is the television

Is it possible that what’s going on on TV has desensitized parents to what is acceptable and what is not???

TV viewing can contribute to our being in a snare

Psalm 25:15
My eyes are ever on the Lord, for he will free my feet from the snare


If the deeds of faithless men are set before our eyes, those deeds can cling to us

Psalm 101:3
I will not set before my eyes any base thing. I hate him who does perversely, he shall not remain with me.


Psalm 119: 37
Turn away my eyes from seeing what is vain, by your way give me life


Romans 12:2 tells us not to be conformed to this age but to be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may decern what is the will of God.And in 2Corinthians 10:5 We read…take every thought captive in obedience to Christ.

The self control of the mouth.

There are two functions of the mouth. Taste and speech -- What we put into our mouths and what comes out of our mouths

1 Corinthians 6:12 says…I will not let myself be dominated by anything.

Many Americans are dominated either by thier obesity or by being bone thin. Both are mastered by what they eat.

Craving food seems to be an acceptable Christian addiction. It’s acceptability does not mean that it has benefits.

Equally devastating is the avoidance of food. It is not God’s will that we be mastered by anything other than Him.

Crash diets and starvation are not acceptable ways to show glory to God either.

If we look at eating what is good for us as a way to glorify God, then we have freedom. If you are mastered by food, then you need God’s help in fortifying your walls. Seek HIM , he has a plan for you.

Controlling that which exits the mouth

James 3: 1-12 says if anyone does not fall short in speech, he is a perfect man, able to bridal (control) his whole body…as a ship is steered by a small rudder likewise it is the same with the tongue a small member but has great pretensions
…from the same mouth comes blessings and cursings
.

Ephesians 4:29 sets a standard for words we say to others

No foul language should come out of your mouths but only such as is good for needed edification, that it may impart grace to those that hear.

1 Thessalonians 4:11-12 tells us to aspire to live a tranquil life and to mind your own affairs

We need to mind our own business !


Peters words can help us to make choices in favor of self-control

2 Peter 1: 3-11

His divine power has bestowed on us everything that makes for life and devotion though the knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and power…

Make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, virtue with knowledge, knowledge with self – control, self-control with endurance, endurance with devotion, devotion with mutual affection, mutual affection with love.

If these are yours…they will keep you from being idle or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.


We have been given knowledge. It is our choice to add self control. It’s the only way to godliness.

This whole lesson on self-control has been a difficult one for me. I really don’t think I use enough control at all. It’s a good thing the Lord is patient with me. I have many walls to build to fortify my temple.

2 Peter 3:1-11

In the last days scoffers will live according to their own desires. They ignore the fact that the heavens exist…But do not ignore this my beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years and a thousand years like one day. The Lord does not delay His promise as some regard ‘delay’ , but He is patient with you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and the heavens will pass away with a mighty roar and the elements will be dissolved by fire and the earth and evething done on it will be found out.

Since everything will be dissolved in this way, what sort of persons ought you to be, conducting yourselves in holiness and devotion…


Tomorrow will be the last day of this study of the fruits of the Spirit and we will take a look at Victorious Living .

‘On Ya’ - ma

Thursday, January 26, 2006

TO CHASE THE WIND




Remember your Creator in the days of your youth, before the days of trouble come and the years approach when you will say, I find no pleasure in them. Ecclesiastes 12:1

Solomon had it all. He inherited the largest and most powerful kingdom in his region of the world. He was rich, beyond compare and the earth bowed before him

We would be remiss in our study of self-control if we did not include excess.

The Word of God addresses the obsession of money, position, and possessions.

Today we’ll look at one man’s soul once he gained it all !

Eccl. 1:1-11
Vanity of vanities, says Qoleleth, vanity of vanities. All things are vanities.

…The eye is not satisfied with seeing nor is the ear filled with hearing.

What has been that will be, what has been done, that will be done. Nothing is new under the sun.


There is no remembrance of the men of old…

Eccl. 1:18 ..When I applied my mind to know wisdom and knowledge, madness and folly, I learned that this also is a chase after wind.

For in much wisdom, there is much sorrow and he who stores up knowledge stores up grief..


Eccl. 2:18 we see that He hated all the fruits of his labor because he had to leave them to a man that would come after him.

Then in Eccl 5: 19 we read that Any man to whom God gives riches and property and grants power to partake of them, so that he receives his lot and finds joy in the fruits of toil has a gift from God. For he will hardly dwell on the shortness of his life, because God lets him busy himself with the joy of his heart.


God gives us wealth and possessions and only God can enables us to enjoy them.


If we are miserable in our job, only God can make us happy

Contentment with your present position , no matter great or small, can come from Him only.

Eccl 12:9-14
Besides being wise Qoheleth taught the people knowledge, and weighed, scrutinized and arranged many proverbs. He sought to find sayings and to write down true sayings with precision…

The last word when all is heard. Fear God and keep his commandments for this is man’s all….


Lord, let me never have such riches that I forget you , not such proverty, that I steal and dishonor your name.

Never forget to depend on God every single day . Depend on Him to make ends meet. He knows our needs. All things are His to give and take. Ours is to gladly give and to return.

Solomon learned some valuable lessons about excess. May our dear Lord continue teach us too.

…but seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well

Matthew 6:32-34


I am in awe of the messages about everyday life that are in the Bible. We truly live the same life as those in the past. Nothing is new under the sun. That is why the Word of God is such a good guide for life. The Holy Spirit works thru the words to teach us some valuable lessons.

Tomorrow we’ll study about the struggle to gain self-control over the mind and the mouth.

‘On Ya’ - ma

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

TWO EXAMPLES




TWO EXAMPLES

So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity , with a continual lust for more.

Ephesians 4: 17, 19


God ordained Samson’s dediction to Him as a lifelong Nazarite.

In Numbers 6:1-20 we see three section actions required of one who took the Nazarite vow.

He shall abstain from wine and strong drink…he shall not eat anything of the produce of the vine.

No razor should touch his hair…letting the hair of his head grow freely

He shall not enter where a dead person is.

This vow was usually taken by those who desired to be focused totally before God

In Acts 18:18 we see that Paul had a hair cut after leaving Corinth. He had taken the Nazarite vow for the time he ministered there. It was an outward expression of total devotion.

It was a vow of self-control, of restraint, of extreme personal discipline and God ordained it for Samson for the length of his life.

In Judges 14:1-20 we see that there were 2 serious signs of self-indulgence in Samson’s life.

He not only disregarded his consecration by touching a dead animal, but he also disrespected his parents by having them eat from the carcass of an unclean animal.

Disrespect of God given authority ultimately reaps dreadful results.

In Exodus 10:12 we see the importance of respect.

Honor your father and your mother, that you may have a long life in the land which the Lord, your God is giving you.

And in Galatians 6: 7-8

Make no mistake, God is not mocked, for a person will reap only what he sows, because the one who sows for his flesh will reap corruption from the flesh, but the one who sows for the spirit will reap eternal life from the Sprit.

Samuel had an inappropriate sense of humor. He did practical jokes and riddles that were motivated by lack of respect and always at the expense of others.

God loves laughter, but when it is at the expense of God character, another's character, or our own, the laughter becomes toxic.

In contrast we will now look at the life of Daniel

In Daniel 1: 1-21 we see that Daniel refused to eat the food from the King’s table. He requested vegetables to eat and water to drink. He begged the chief chamberlain to spare him from this defilement.

Daniel took the food he was to eat seriously unlike Daniel who thought it all a joke.

In Daniel 6:1-28 we see that Daniel was a man of prayer. Even though the king forbid him to do so. He was cast in to the lions den as punshiment and the Lord intervened on his behalf by saving him in the lion’s den. He was unhurt.

Both of these young men had everthing going for them, with the exception of one thing. One was protected by the wall of self discipline, one was not.

Tomorrow we’ll take a look at Solomon. A man who had everything.

‘On Ya’ - ma

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

THE CRUCIBLE OF SELF-CONTROL



Like a city whose walls are broken down, is a man who lacks self control
Proverbs 25:28



Why do we need self – control?

Lack of self-control kills self respect, friendships, marriages, careers, and ministrys. Not one of us can boast that we’ve always avoided it’s clutches

This is the ninth and final quality of the Fruit of the Spirit

It is appropriate that the list begins with love and ends with self-control

Love keeps us afloat, self-control keeps us anchored.

It means restraining passions and appetities.

In Acts 24:22-27 Paul spoke to Felix and Druscilla on faith in Jesus Christ. He spoke about righteousness, self-restraint and the coming judgement.

Felix was a man filled with lust, pride, greed and selfish ambition. He did not want to hear what Paul had to say.

Sometimes we don’t want to hear what God has to say.

In 1 Corithians 6:12 we find the key to self-control

Everything is lawful for me, but not everything is beneficial. Everything is lawful for me, but I will not let myself be dominated by anything.

The 3 enemies – the flesh, the world, or satan - cannot have power over us if they are not invited.

We make the choice in the issue of control.

The spirit led self holds the power in 5 key words
No, yes, and not right now.

Remember in ancient architecture a city was only as strong as the walls that surrounded it. God commanded walls in every dwelling place He chose to grace. Even the tabernacle in the wilderness had a portable wall to provide security.

We too need strong walls to provide us with the protection for our body – the temple of God. The quality of self control is the ability to make choices which invite and enhance the authority and filling of the Holy Spirit.

Any out of control area in our lives is an open invitation to the enemy. He is always on the look for any crumbling sections of that wall. His weapons are your greatest temptations.

In Nehemiah 2:1-20 God’s Word tells us how to begin to havae the protections and victory of self-control

v.12 I set out…with a few men.
Ask a few friends to be accountability partners

vs 13 I went out…examining the walls of Jerusalem which had been broken down
Perform an honest self-examination to see where you lack sel-control

vs. 17 Come let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem, and we will no longer be in disgrace . Admit to the times you have been self-indulgent

vs 18 They replied, Let us start rebuilding. So they began this good work
Begin to cooperate with God’s diligent work with you in your areas self-control

vs20 The God of heaven will give us success.
Give it to God then keep giving it to God over and over until you have succeeded.

Isaiah 58:12 says
The ancient ruins shall be rebuilt for your sake and the foundations from ages past you shall raise up.


Self- control incompasses so many aspects of our lives.

In my own life I have been working on controling my bad habit of being jealous of what others have. I was tempted to think that everyone had more than I. Now I realize that I have more blessings than I can count.

Talking about others and judging their actions is another area I’ve been trying to curb. It’s very tempting to deride others actions and forget that we have some bad habits too.

My list of things to help make my walls stronger is getting smaller, but slowly, and with a lot of help from the good Lord.

I still have a long way to go.

Tomorrow we’ll be looking at Two Biblical examples - Daniel and Samson

‘On Ya’ - ma

Saturday, January 21, 2006

THE ULTIMATE TEACHER




And the Lord’s servant must not quarrel: instead he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. Those who oppose him must gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.

2 Timothy 2:24-26



THE ULTIMATE TEACHER



Jesus left this command with his disciples:

Matthew 28: 19-20

Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son , and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them all that I have commanded you.
And behold I am with you always until the end of the Age.

To disciple, we have to go. To teach , we have to know.

To know means to accept by fact and experience.

The church desperately needs some sound teaching.

In Phillipians 1: 9-11 we find out the value and necessity of teaching in the Body of Christ.

And this is my prayer that your love may increase ever more and more in the knowledge and every kind of perception to discern what is of value so that you may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ for the glory and praise of God.

2 Timothy 2:15 says we should be a workman who causes no disgrace, imparting the word of truth without deception

Hebrews 6:1 tells us that we should mature in our teaching and learning.

God not only commands that His people be taught, but has specific requirements as to what they should be taught

Jesus Christ is the ultimate teacher and we should teach as He taught.

So Jesus said to them, When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will realize that I AM, and that I do nothing on my own, but I say only what the Father taught me. The one who sent me is with me. He has not left me alone, because I always do what is pleasing to him

Teachers cannot teach what they please , even Jesus Christ taught only the words of His Father

In John 17:17 Jesus says God’s word is the truth

We should always measure others words against God’s word. If it doesn’t match, don’t accept it.

There are commands that tell how we are to teach

Titus 2:7-8 tells about the lifestyle of a teacher

…Showing yourself as a model of good deeds in every respect, with integrity in your teaching, dignity and sound speech that cannot be criticized, so that the opponent will be put to shame without anything bad to say about us.

Our attitude should be to sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts. Always be ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope, but do it with gentleness and reverence, keeping your conscience clear
1 Peter 3:15


God’s teacher is the vessel while God’s Word packs the punch

We are all called to teach in one form or another, as a mother, as a neightbor OR as a witness, a living testimony. If we analyze the responsibilities God has given us at home, work, or church, we can discover that we are all teachers.

Next week we will be the final week of this study - we’ll examine self-control. We’ll discover three principles for growing in self control and we look at a day lived in the self-control of the Spirit.

‘On Ya’ - ma

Thursday, January 19, 2006

A Learning Experience




It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn your decrees. The law from your mouth is more precious than thousands of pieces of gold and silver.

Psalm 119: 71-72



Learning From Our Circumstances.

In I Chronicles 13 we see David trying to bring the ark back to the city so that it could be returned to a place of prominence. Everyone agreed as this was a most pleasing idea !

The ark was called ‘Lord enthroned upon the Cherubim’

The cart carrying the ark was about to upset and Uzzah reached His hand to steady it. The Lord be came angry and struck him dead because he had laid his hand on the ark.

David was disturbed and feared the Lord. Therefore he left the ark at the house of Obededum and the Lord blessed Obededom’s household and all that he possessed.

God reigned judgement on David’s parade. It seems unfair, but there is more to the story...

In I Chronicles 15:1-15 we see new instructions for transporting the ark of God

No one may carry the ark but the Levites, they had not been with them the first time they tried to transport the ark.

The Levites bore the ark on their shoulders as Moses had ordained.

Exodus 25:13-15 gives the orginal instructions

Then make poles of acacia wood and plate them with gold. These poles you are to put through the rings on the sides of the ark and never be withdrawn.

God was angry at David the first time, because David made a decision with out consulting Him. When David checked the manual he found the Lord’s way and God was pleased.

David went to God’s word and found the correct instructions even though he feared God.

God does not allow compromise.

David accepted tragedy and failure as a challenge to search God’s Word for the answers. We need to turn to God’s Word in difficult situations

Psalm 119:28

My soul weeps for sorrow , strengthen me according to your words

Psalm 119: 67

Before I was afflicted, I went astray, but now I hold to your promise

Psalm 119:93

Had not your law been my delight, I would have perished in my affliction

Psalm 119:147

Before dawn, I come and cry out. I hope in your words

We miss the most important instructions if we fail to get into God’s Word.

In Job 22:22 we see how to accept these instructions

We are told to lay up His instructions in our hearts.

In Proverbs 4:13 it says…Hold fast to instruction, never let her go. Keep her for she is your life.

In Proverbs 16:20 we are told – Happy is he that trusts in the Lord

I know that when I lay the Lord's instruction upon my heart, I think of things in a whole new light. When I might have been devastated, I have received hope.


"Hold on to instructions...for it is your life"


Tomorrows study will be – Gentleness in Teaching

‘On Ya’ - ma

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

A TEACHABLE SPIRIT



Therefore get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you

James 1:21


Another way to say the word planted in you, is to be teachable.

Today we’re going to look at the different degrees of teachability in God’s word.

In Acts 18 Paul meets Aquila and Pricilla in Corinth and stayed and worked with them because they were of the same trade. They then sailed together to Syria, when they reached Ephesus, he left them there. Appollos arrived in Ephesus and began teaching about Jesus. Aquila and Pricilla instructed him more accurately about the Way of the Lord.

This is an example of teachability. Paul had passed his knowledge on to Aquila and Pricilla they in turn passed the knowledge on to Appollos. He took everything he learned and went on to be a great teacher to many others.

Sometimes we believe something all our lives and find out something new about it, or that it was wrong to begin with. Sometimes in our stubbornness we refuse to listen to God.

In Numbers 22 we see that God can use anything and anyone as an instrument of instruction. He used Balaam's donkey to teach .

In 2 Peter 2:15-16 it says…Balaam, the son of Bosor , who loved payment for wrongdoing, but he received a rebuke for his own crime: a mute beast spoke with a human voice and restrained the prophets madness.

I will give you an example of His teaching me a very important lesson. When my husband died, I felt as though my world was ending. I had lost 1/2 of me. I depended on my husband for so much, that I didn't know how I would go on. My lesson was that I should not put my life in the hands of any human being, I should place it in the hands of God, who is always there and will never leave me. It was a lesson well learned.


Sometimes we don’t mind God’s teaching, but dislike they way he chooses to teach us.

We should be willing to learn, regardless of who our teacher is.

Tomorrow we will take a look at learning through our circumstances.

‘ON YA’ – ma

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Selfless Humility

Selfless Humility

Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and to show true humility toward all men.

Titus 3:1-2


2 Chronicles 7:14 we are told -

And if my people, upon who my name has een pronounced, humble themselves and pray and seek my presence and turn from their evil ways, I will hear them from heaven and pardon their sins and revive their land.

Humility is the correct estimation of ourselves which results from a correct estimation of our God.

We see true humility portrayed by John the Baptist

He was the forerunner of the long awaited Messiah

In John 1:6-35 we see John declaring himself to be ‘the voice in the dessert’. He says over and over that he is not the messiah, but only preparing the way. When he saw Jesus he said ‘Behold, the Lamb of God’

In Matthew 11:11 Jesus says that if we are willing to accept it, John is the Elija the one who is to come

In John 3:30 John says So this joy of mine has been made complete. He must increase; I must decrease.

In Luke 1:15 the angel Gabriel says He will be filled with the holy Spirit even from his mother’s womb.

Humility comes from being filled with the Holy Spirit. The more John poured himself out, the more the Holy Spirit poured himself in.


A second factor increasing John’s humility was by the example of his mother, Elizabeth. She was a humble woman before God and others.

In Luke 1:43 Elizabeth calls the babe in Mary’s womb ‘our Lord’.
She knew that Jesus was the Christ child and she taught John to know Him as He truly was. This 3rd factor also added to Johns humility.

We too have those same factors in our lives.
We can be filled by the Holy Spirit.
We can choose to have ‘Spirit filled’ men and women as role models.
We can pray for the same ready spirit of repentance that John had
We can be transformed by studying God’s word

If we seek Him, we will find Him and will bow down before Him on humble knees.

Just as the Maji did when they encountered the Christ Child.

We know our God is greater than we are and often it’s not hard to humble ourselves before him, but humbling ourselves before others is often a far greater task.

In Phillippians 2:3 we are commanded to do nothing out of vain glory, rather, humbly regard others as more important than yourselves, each looking out not for his own interests but everyone for those of others.

If we are in a right relationship with God, He will make us see our own sins as ‘Planks’ and those of others as ‘specks’ .

In this lesson I’ve learned that I have an important job to do in the building up the esteem others as more important than my self. We are not to depreciate our value but to realize that value in the sense of importance in God’s eyes. As we value His love , we should value others.

Tomorrow we’ll study the way to humbly accept the Word planted in you – our teachability.

‘On Ya’ – ma

Monday, January 16, 2006

Gentleness - The Eighth Fruit of the Spirit




As for me, I am in your hands, do with me whatever you think is good and right.


Jeremiah 26:14


This week we study the fruit of the Spirit – Gentleness
We’ll see this quality in the aspects of submission, humility, and teachability.

Today we will look at Sacrificial Submission

The Greek word translated gentleness is praotes

Meakness, mildness, forebearance
Primarily it does not denote outward expression, but inward grace of the soul
Calmness towards God imparticular


Praotes decribes the complete surrender of God’s will in our lives.

Meekness or gentleness is the power and strength created from from submitting to God’s will. When God’s will blows, praotes prevails when we let go of every object that would hold us back and ride the wind where ever it takes us.

Do we really have a choice?

Submission is the foundation of gentleness.

In John 21:15-19 we read about Jesus asking Peter – Do you love me? He tells Peter to feed and tend His sheep

In Act 2: 14-36 we read Peter’s speech at Pentecost

This is a true example of praotes. Gentleness in a giant of man.

Could we submit to God’s will knowing what Peter did about the future?

God’s word tells us about our own future in Acts 14:22It is necessary for us to undergo many hardships to enter the Kingdom of God

And in John 16:33 Jesus saysI have told you this so that you might have peace in me. In the world you will have trouble, but take courage, I have conquered the world.

Our dear Lord is really the only one who can help. I submit to Him in all things, and faithfully say - Thy will be done Lord.

I have faith and believe because He is…

Tomorrow we’ll study the second aspect – humility


‘On Ya’ - ma

Sunday, January 15, 2006

HE IS FAITHFUL




Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, and had made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father – to him be glory and power for ever and ever! Amen

Rev. 1:5-6


God can do anything ! Anything is possible with God! There is nothing that is too big for Him to handle.

Sometimes we attempt to handle God-sized tasks and wonder why we can’t succeed. With the help of the Holy Spirit we are given the power to believe in what God can do.

Jesus Christ is the living testimony of God’s believeability.

We know that God is the one and only because of His incomparable record of fulfilled prophecy. Only the true God can foretell what is going to happen and then bring it into being. 61 of His many prophesies were fulfilled during the time of Jesus’ life on earth.


A few prophesies remain yet to be fulfilled

In John 14 He tells us that He’s gone to prepare a place for us


In Acts 1 Jesus tells us that in the same way He went to heaven , he will return

In 1 Thessalonians 4: 13:18
We are told that God through Jesus will bring with him those who that have fallen asleep

God is faithful whether we believe in Him or not. He is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

I’ll keep believing because He is …


‘On Ya ‘ - ma



Friday, January 13, 2006




KEEPING THE FAITH


I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.
Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day – and not only to me but also to all who have longed for His appearing.

2 Timothy 4: 7-8


Why is keeping the faith a fight?

In Ephesians 6: 12 it says our fight is not with flesh and blood but with the evil spirits.

Faith is our shield against the powers of darkness. When we believe in God and respond to Him in faith, nothing can get through to us. But when our faith diminishes, our shield drops and we are vulnerable to the enemy.

Two of Satan’s most effective weapons are fear and casual familiarity. When great fear exists there can be no faith. When we are so familiar with our circumstances, we forget about how great our awesome Lord truly is.

Mark 6: 1-6 says that Jesus was teaching in the synagogue in His hometown and people that had known Him, refused to hear what he was saying. They couldn’t believe that this former neighbor of theirs was anything special. They took offence at Him.

Mark makes it clear that you can know Christ for a long time and still not really know Him.

Psalm 3:4


… but you O Lord are my are my shield; my glory, you lift up my head

We need to never stop growing and never stop knowing our God. He will never stop showing His wondrous love to us. Take time to pray for faith to trust Him more fully.

Fear more than familiarity has caused my shield of faith to drop more than once in my lifetime. I used to fear not being able to take care of myself and my family after the death of my husband. I was afraid of being alone. But with the shield of faith, I found out that I was never alone. Our powerfully wonderful God does truly gives us ‘Our Daily Bread’ and provides for all that we need.

I don’t sit back each day and wait for that to happen, but go off to work knowing that my faithful Lord will be there to help me each step of the way.


Help comes in many forms, but I know where it originates from !

‘On Ya’ - ma

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Faith in Action




Faith comes through hearing the message and the message is heard through the Word of Christ.

Romans 10:17



Yesterday we read that faith is an absolute necessity in the life that pleases God.


Today we will take a look at faith in action.

In Acts 27:1 through Acts 28:10 we read about a sea voyage in which Paul, a prisoner, tries to warn those on the ship about an approaching storm.

He told them that they were destined to run aground on some island and
he was told by an angel of the Lord that they would live.

The people refused to listen to him and all but the centurian guarding him, wanted to kill him.

They finally arrived at the island of Malta, and were given a warm welcome

If we compare Acts 27:10 and Acts 27:24 we see that Paul’s feelings were not entirely accurate. Before he heard from God, Paul did not assume that all will go well.

Faith comes from listening.
Paul choose faith. He had steadfast faith in a rocky ride because he listened and responded to God’s word. God is capable of speaking over the wind and the waves. He may calm them as He did for his disciples or lead you through them as He did with Paul.

We should keep listening and take Him at His word.

Deliverance does not always mean ease, it may be simple and painless or we may ‘run aground’ before we reach our destination. Even though we might have overlooked sound advice, He still can show us the miracle of doing what only He can do.

Listen and believe. If we read His word we find that it overflows with promises that are always true and always kept. We must seek His heart to know His will for us. If we don’t hear the message intended for us, we must read and reread His word until the message becomes clear.

A few years ago, I was floundering with what my purpose in life might be. My Husband had died, my children all grew up and left home and I felt like my purpose had been taken away. The message I received ‘strong and clear’ was that I must bloom where I am planted. As I had a computer and knew how to use it, I felt that this was my new purpose – I try to encourage others and demonstrate my faith by my journal writings and a daily newsletter which I e-mail to friends and family. This is my faith in action for our Lord.

‘On Ya’ - ma

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Those Who Believe



And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.

Hebrews 11:6


One chapter in the Bible , above all others, extols God’s faithful servants.

Hebrews 11:1-39


By faith Abel offered to God a sacrifice greater than Cain’s
By faith Enoch was taken up so that he should not see death
By faith Noah warned about what was not yet seen , with reverence built an ark
By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance

These are some of the heroes in the Hall of Faith. Others are Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Rahab, Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel and the prohets and many more.

In Hebrews 11:1 we find the definition of faith:

Faith is the realization of what is hoped for and evidence of things not seen.

Today we’ll focus on one man of faith – Enoch

In verses 5-6 we read. “Before he was taken up, he was attested to have pleased God, But with out faith it is impossible to please him.”

Enoch pleased God.

In Revelation 4:11 carefully read the words ‘and by your will they were created’
God created us to bring Him pleasure. Therefore we realize that Enoch had so enraptured God that God took him up to heaven.

If you are still wondering why on earth you are here – This is the answer.
We are called to please God.

In Genesis 5:18-24 we find details concerning Enoch.

Enoch was the the son of Jared who lived 962 years.
When Enoch was 65 years old, he became the father of Methuselah. And he had other sons and daughters. He lived 365 years , he walked with God, and he was no longer here, for God took him.

He walked with God and that is what God calls each of us to do.
2 Corinthians 5:7 says ‘For we walk by faith not by sight.’

In Hebrews 11:6 God tells us something very important about faith while he is on the subject of Enoch. Faith is a necessity in the life that pleases God.

We must believe that God exists
We must believe that God lives
We must believe that He is a rewarder of those who earnestly seek HIM.
We must base our faith on who God is, rather than what He does.

Faith in what God does is a roller coaster faith that barrels down the hill the moment God seems inactive.

In Isaiah 55:8-9 we are told that His thoughts are not our thoughts nor are His ways our ways.

When prayers are unanswered, the roller coaster faith is saying if God is not obvious, then obviously He is not God.

Genuine faith walks steadfastly with God for the pleasure of His company not for His results. Our entire lives are full of changes, but He will never change. God is our guarantee. His faithfulness flows from who He is.

When we cannot understand the things that happen in our lives, remember that His heart is loving, good and faithful. Some how, some way, all these things are for good.

Faith based on who God is frees Him completely to show us what He can do. Right motives invite real miracles.

Tomorrow we will study faith in action.

‘On Ya’ - ma

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Keep Believing



This week we will study faithfulness as a characteristic of the fruit that the Spirit grows in our lives. God is infinitely faithful,and we too can be characterized by faithfulness.

The Lord is faithfull to all his promises and loving toward all he has made.

Psalm 145:13



Faithfulness is believing the reality of a sovereign God... Believing that He is and believing in what He says.

The degree of our faithfulness is the direct result of our regard for God's faithfulness. He is worth believing !

In Exodus 34:1-6 we read of a God abounding in love and faithfulness.

His love is exceedingly abundant in faithfulness for all His children.

Psalm 34:4

For Upright is the word of the Lord, and all his works are trustworthy
.

In Psalm 117:2 it says- the fidelity of the Lord lasts forever.

He is certan, true, and enduring

His Word exists
His Word is truth,
And His Word will last forever
!

God expressed faithfulness to us in Christ, and Christ expressed His faithfulness to us in the Holy Spirit. Only through the Holy Spirit can we express our faithfulness to Him.

I thank God for the ways He has made himself 'believable' to me. I rejoice in his faithfulness.

'On Ya' ma

Tomorrow we will learn more about the faithfulness of God's people.

Monday, January 09, 2006

My Bible Study will hopefully resume tomorrow evening



The hour is getting late and no time to post my Bible Study this evening, but I'd like to share an e-mail I recieved today. I thought it was a beautiful message. Enjoy


Just up the road from my home is a field, with two horses in it. From a distance, each looks like every other horse. But if one stops the car, or is walking by, one will notice something quite amazing.

Looking into the eyes of one horse will disclose that he is blind. His owner has chosen not to have him put down, but has made a good home for him. This alone is amazing.

Listening, one will hear the sound of a bell. Looking around for the source of the sound, one will see that it comes from the smaller horse in the field. Attached to her bridle is a small bell. It lets her blind friend know where she is, so he can follow her.

As one stands and watches these two friends, one sees how she is always checking on him, and that he will listen for her bell and then slowly walk to where she is, trusting that she will not lead him astray.

Like the owners of these two horses, God does not throw us away just because we are not perfect or because we have problems or challenges.

He watches over us and even brings others into our lives to help us when we are in need.

Sometimes we are the blind horse being guided by God and those whom he places in our lives. Other times we are the guide horse, helping others see God.


Tomorrow I'll continue with my study on the Fruits of the Spirit.

'ON YA' - ma

Saturday, January 07, 2006

GOODNESS KNOWS






Goodness Knows


Goodness knows that sometimes the greatest thing
in the world is a smile from a child,
So Goodness laughs a lot.
Goodness knows that it's easier to break a child than to mend one,
So Goodness handles with care.
Goodness knows that everyone deserves a second chance,
And sometimes a third and fourth chance, too.
Goodness knows that we all need friends in this world,
So Goodness is determined to be friendly.
Goodness knows that only people count,
So Goodness never counts out people.
Goodness knows that life is sometimes lonely,
But we are never alone.
And when the sorrows of life are left unexplained,
it's still not too much to bear,
For we can trust that Goodness knows.

unattributed



I found the poem above in my search this morning and it seemed to go with the study on the fruits of the Spirit of Kindness and Goodness, so I thought I'd add it here .

'ON YA' -ma

Friday, January 06, 2006

No Pain- No Gain



Those who have trusted in God may be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good. These things are excellent and profitable for everyone.

Titus 3:8


Today we will finish up this week's study on the fruits of the Spirit -- Kindness and Goodness.

God's word always brings about good, just as God does.

The good is not always easy as we see in 2 Corintihians 12:7-10

The cleansing of the temple. Jesus had to drive out those selling things and overturn tables of the moneychangers.

Sometimes we too have to rebuke or correct someone. We should always be careful in how we do that. Sharp tongues and self-righteous attitues cannot be excused in the name of good works.

Kindness and goodness do go together because kindness provides the safeguard for misguided goodness.

In 1 Thessalonians 2: 6-8 Paul demonstrates this as he worked to bring the Gospel to others.

Remember good works are always appointed , not assumed. We cannot be trusted to do good works until the Word of God has done its good work in us.

We pray that our dear Lord will show us how to accept His Word in our lives so that we bless the lives of others through His good works.

Next week's study will be about BELIEVING

'ON YA' -ma

Thursday, January 05, 2006

HIS GOODNESS



For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do

Ephesians 2:10



Today we study the fruit of the Spirit – Goodness
(Galatians 5:22)


In reading Ephesians 2: 1-10 we find that once we lived in the world with the desires of the flesh, but God in his mercy, has saved us by grace, not by our deeds, but by His love for us.

We have not been saved by our works but for His works.

We are called to energize the character of kindness into acts of good.

We have good works to do which have been choosen, predestined, assigned in advance. God has planned and perfectly timed a mission designed for Kingdom gain in every generation .

Matthew 25: 14-30 The parable of the Talents

We have been entrusted with gifts from our Master. At the end of our lives we hope to hear – Well done my good and faithful servant! God uses our ablilities for His good works through us.

We have been called to do good in our own time, as little good or as much good depending on our obedience to God.

Guard this rich trust with the help of the Holy Spirit which lives within us.
2 Timothy 1:14



Tomorrow’s study – No Pain – No Gain

‘On Ya’ - ma

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

OUR TENDERHEARTED SAVIOR



Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.
Matthew 19:14


Our Tenderhearted Savior


His word invites us to behold His tenderness. His tenderness to children, toward Israel, and toward each individual.


Children


Matthew 18:1-9

In these verses we are told that we must be like children in order to enter the Kindom.

In Mark 9: 36-37 we are told that when receive a child in His name , we receive Him, and if we receive Him, we receive His Father in Heaven.

Christ had a tender healing touch. He made the blind man see, and He brought life to a dead child.

Israel

Matthew 23: 37-39

Jerusalem…how I long to gather your people together as a hen gathers her children under her wing.

Psalm 91: 4

…with His pinions He will cover you , and under His wings you shall take refuge.

Jesus desires to hold us close, to protect us, to shield us from harm.

The Individual

In the 40 days between resurrection and ascension Jesus handpicked a few people to whom He would appear.

First there was Mary of Magdala (John 20:1-18) In her grief our tenderhearted Lord took pity on her .

Then there was Thomas. Doubting Thomas he is called. Again in his tenderheartedness, He was willing to show Thomas the proof of his resurrection.

In I Corinthians 15: 7 Christ appeared to James.

Jesus appeared first to those that needed Him most. A mourner, a doubter and a mocker.

We each have probably been one of these in our lifetime. Jesus will and can show his tenderness to each of us, if we but ask and believe.

Tomorrows lesson : His Goodness

‘On Ya’ - ma

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Cords of Kindness




I led them with cords of human kindness, with ties of love
Hosea 11:4

If God shed His tender grace on Ishmael, how tender would His heart be to His own holy nation? There are 4 segments of today’s study that will lead to the Heart of God.


Deuteronomy 7: 6-9


Here we find the reason God choose Israel.

“The Lord loved you, and because of His fidelity to the oath he had sworn to your fathers, that he brought you our of slavery, and ransomed you from the hand of Pharoh…The Lord your God is God indeed, the faithful God who keeps his merciful covenant …”


Isaiah 49:14-16

…see upon the palms of my hands I have written your name…
If you sometimes feel forgotten by God remember -- God will never forget his own, because their names are written in the tender palm of His hand.


Zephaniah 3: 14-17


Here we read that the King is in our midst and we have no further reason to fear. He will renew you with His love.

God is portrayed showing his tender heart and nurturing Spirit.

He pulls His fretting children in his arms and quiets them. Just as you would quiet a crying babe. We should allow God to be a parent to us by taking our fears and worries to Him and letting Him quiet us with His love.

Let Him soothe our hurt feelings. We cannot grow spiritually if we think of Him as only a Sovereign Judge.

Hosea 11: 1-4


God led His children by tying them with cords of kindness, the nurturing of God was their healing, whether or not they recognized Him.

He stooped to feed his children. How wonderful this picture of God is.

Psalm 81:10

I am the Lord your God… open wide your mouth and I will fill it.

The scriptures are full of God’s tender heart and nurturing Spirit.
We are urged to grasp this truth and allow our Father in Heaven to quiet us with His love.


“Try a little tenderness, it may be just what the doctor ordered.”


Tomorrow we’ll continue this study with ‘A Tenderhearted Savior’

‘On Ya’ - ma

Monday, January 02, 2006

A look at my Bible Study for today



Continuing Bible Study by Beth Moore

I took this online Bible Study a year ago. I did finish the ‘on line’ part, but have never finished the ‘work book’ part of the study. So I’ll try to finish this one before beginning a new study this year.

I had the pleasure of seeing Beth Moore in person a few years ago and this wonderful and gifted lady is very a dynamic and inspiring teacher .

I apologize if you are reading this and coming in on the middle of my study is confusing, but I think it’ll be fine.

In this study we are exploring the gifts of the Spirit and I am now in Week 7 of 10 weeks.


Week 7 - The kindness and goodness of God With out kindness, goodness becomes harsh and self-righteous. Without goodness, kindness become indulgent tolerance.

Only the Holy Spriit can balance the qualities in our lives

Goal : to understand how these characteristiecs of God and elements of the character of Christ may be ours as the Spirit develops His fruit in our lives.

Day 1 – Nurturing Parent

Fifth gift of the Spirit – Kindness

Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom or the strong man boast of his strength or the rich man boast of his riches, but let him who boasts boast about this: that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight. Jer 9 : 23 -24We know Him well as Lord, but how well do we relate to Him as Father. We look at the tender heart of God and see the El Shaddai, the Father of sufficiency, our God , the nurturing Father


Read Gen 16: 1-15
Sarai’s 1st problem

We see Abram’s barren wife Sarai telling him to have children with her maid Hagar. Hagar became pregnant and Sarai was hurt and abused Hagar so she ran away. Hagar was approached by a messenger from the Lord at a spring in the wilderness saying- I will make your descendants so numerous that they will be to many to count…for the Lord has heard you , God has answered you…

Hagar’s name for God was the God of Vision

Sarai’s second problem was that Hagar despised Sarai because she abused Sarai.

Sarai did not wait for the Lord to solve the problems she had , but tried to correct things on her own.

In Gen 21:1-21 we find that God was able to fix Sarah’s problem even though she had made some big mistakes.

God knows intense pain and love. He knows how we feel. Read Isaiah 53

If God says no to a crying parent it is because He is saying yes to eternal kingdom profit.

In Isaiah 12: 2-6 we read a song of thanksgiving. We can be thankful too, for our heavenly Father for His unfailing kindness. If you are a parent that needs some encouragement read about Gods kindness and mercy, it is there for you too. Even if you’re not a parent, He is your loving Father and will be there to guide you, you only have to put your trust in Him.

We’ll continue tomorrow with the Cords of Kindness

‘On Ya’ - ma