|Posted by Shannon Biggs-Ross on April 8, 2011 at 7:51 AM||comments (0)|
“Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying.” - Romans 12:12
I know if I took a poll asking the simple question, “Have you ever faced a problem”? I would get a unanimous, “yes”. Without a doubt, this life promises troubles, but that doesn’t mean we should be fearful or consumed with the problem. Romans 12:12 reminds us we can rejoice in our confident hope of Jesus Christ. We are to be patient in times of trouble and we must keep praying. God promises to never leave nor forsake us (Hebrew 13:5). We are reminded to strong and courageous(Deuteronomy 31:7).
Friend, troubles are not something any of us enjoy, but rest assured even in the midst of the deepest darkest problem you and I will ever face God is with us. We have a hotline directly to Him, prayer, and He wants us to use it. We also have His Word. If you find yourself there today call out to God in prayer, remain patient, cling to the promises He left us in His Word.
Holy Father, when trouble arrives at my doorstep help me remember I can rejoice with confident hope that you are my guide and will direct me; you will never leave nor forsake me. Help me to be patient while I wait on your timing. I love you. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
|Posted by Shannon Biggs-Ross on April 7, 2011 at 10:46 AM||comments (0)|
For if you forgive others when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins. - Matthew 6:14-15
"To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you". - Lewis B. Smedes
Forgiveness is surely one of the most misunderstood concepts in Christianity. Despite the fact that we are all called to forgive as our Father in Heaven forgives, misunderstandings are widespread. In this devotional, we want to broaden your understanding of what it means to truly forgive.
Forgiveness is not an emotion. It's a sound choice. Forgiveness happens when we choose that we will no longer expect those who hurt us to repay us for the harm that was done. We choose that we will get on with our lives and no longer dwell on the hurt.
Forgiveness is not initially about the person who wronged us; it's about us. If we will not forgive someone who failed to meet our expectations, we start to change on the inside. We grow in anger and resentment. The quality of our own life continuously suffers and in this way, we compound the wrongdoing until it becomes something far more damaging than it originally was. One of the most important reasons we must forgive is that we cannot grow into the mature Christian whom Jesus is calling us to be with all that hurt and animosity building up inside us. Forgiveness is that act by which we release ourselves from our own prison of bitterness.
Forgiveness does not require that the wrongdoer apologize or is remorseful.
Forgiveness does not mean that we forget the offense.
Forgiveness does not mean that we condone what was done to us.
When we forgive evil we do not excuse it, we do not tolerate it, we do not smother it. We look the evil full in the face, call it what it is, let its horror shock and stun and enrage us, and only then do we forgive it. " Lewis Smedes
Forgiveness is not easy, but it is also not optional - our Lord commands it in Matthew 6:14 as a prerequisite for our own sins being forgiven.
If you are having difficulty forgiving someone today, take a moment and examine your reasons. Is it because the hurt is so big? The bigger the hurt, the more devastating is your prison of bitterness and therefore the more important it becomes to let yourself out. Are you having difficulty because they have not apologized and show no signs of changing their behavior? Remember that your forgiveness is about you, not about them. Are you struggling because you are still so angry and hurt? The pain will not subside until you make the choice to forgive. Ask the Lord for the strength and conviction to emulate Him, and make that decision today.
Heavenly Father, Help me to live your command in Matthew 6:14. Help me to forgive those who hurt or wrong me. Father Your Word is clear, I will only receive forgiveness of my sins if I forgive others when they sin against me. I love you. Thank you for Your Word. Thank you for the forgiveness You offer me. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.
|Posted by Shannon Biggs-Ross on April 7, 2011 at 8:50 AM||comments (0)|
My son is a wiggler. A busy body. A mover and a shaker (as my husband refers to it). It’s difficult for him to stand still. He is nonstop from the time he wakes up until he falls asleep. When he was smaller he would wear himself to exhaustion. Seriously, he would just drop where ever he was. At times it was quiet humorous because if he stood still long enough he'd fall asleep standing up. I don't know how many times that I have said, "Son, stand still". I'm trying to tie his shoes, he's moving. He's sitting at the table eating supper, he's bouncing in his chair. I'm trying to talk to him, his attention is quickly lost. I'm trying to bathe him and I get more water on me than he does. Sometimes it's funny. Sometimes it's not.
God has shown me something through my little busy body. At times I am the busy body! Ouch. I, like my son, run myself to exhaustion. Failing to give God a moment of my time.
God is calling out to me, “Daughter, stand still”. “Spend some time with me”. “I've got something important to say to you”. "I long to fellowship with you". Countless times I have stood before God with my attention and focus on other things. He's saying, "Shannon, look at me, directly in my eyes ... Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth! Psalm 46:10
God is so worthy of our time. God is so deserving of our time. Yet so many times I'm consumed with other things.
Know that the LORD has set apart his faithful servant for himself; the LORD hears when I call to him. Tremble and do not sin; when you are on your beds, search your hearts and be silent. Offer the sacrifices of the righteous and trust in the LORD. Psalm 4:3-5
My hearts cry - Be still and know that He is God, Be still and know that He is Holy, Be still oh restless soul of mine. Bow before the prince of Peace, Let the noise and clamor cease, Be still and know that He is God. Be still and know that He is faithful, Consider all that He has done, Stand in awe and be amazed, And know that He will never change. Lyrics from Steven Curtis Chapman's song, "Be Still and Know"
Holy Father, please forgive me for the times I have put other things before You. You are so worthy and deserving of my time. I stand in shame as I look at the nonsense and clamor that I allow to capture my attention and time instead of Your voice and Your Word. Please help me to prioritize my life and put You in Your rightfully deserving place - FIRST, above all else. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
|Posted by Shannon Biggs-Ross on April 6, 2011 at 9:48 PM||comments (0)|
And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins. Mark 11:25
Forgiveness ... a word that sometimes stings because of my selfish pride.
Have you ever been wronged ... hurt ... betrayed? By someone you love and trust? I'm sure, like me, everyone came back with a strong and unwavering YES. But I'm not done there ... not only have I been hurt, wronged, and betrayed, but I've been on the giving end of that, too. I've let those I love down when they needed me most. I've broken promises. I've turned my back on loved ones because I was in disagreement with certain decisions they made. I don't confess that with pride, but in complete shame.
So why is then I come to God (when someone is asking me to forgive them) with my "Surely Lord, you don't expect me to forgive them." "Didn't you see what they did to me?" "I've done nothing to deserve that treatment!"
It's amazing how quickly I forget ... when I am the one in the wrong I long for forgiveness, yet I only want to offer to others forgiveness with limitations and in some cases, depending on how I scale the offense, I greedily want to withhold forgiveness completely.
For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. Matthew 6:14
How do we forgive when we don't feel like it? We forgive by faith, out of obedience. Since forgiveness goes against our nature, we must forgive by faith, whether we feel like it or not. We must trust God to do the work in us that needs to be done so that the forgiveness will be complete. God honors our commitment to obey Him and our desire to please him when we choose to forgive. He completes the work in his time. We must continue to forgive (our job), by faith, until the work of forgiveness (the Lord's job), is done in our hearts. Philippians 1:6 And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.
Friend, if you struggle like I do with forgiving others God's Word is pretty direct on how we should respond to those who hurt us. Forgiveness shouldn't take a second thought. Colossians 3:13 reads Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
Father, I come to you today confessing there are times I want to withhold forgiveness from those who wrong me. Please forgive me. Help me to remember I am only forgiven because you forgave me - willingly, without limitations, and more than I ever deserved. Thank you. Help me to be more like you. I love you. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
Your Sister in Christ,
|Posted by Shannon Biggs-Ross on April 6, 2011 at 1:52 PM||comments (0)|
It's Sunday evening and I'm sitting on my front porch as I write this. I hope everyone made some time in their schedule this weekend to be in the Lord's house. My pastor, Bro. Glenn George, preached a wonderful message from God's Word this morning about the Cross.
I love messages about the Cross; after all, my hope lies in the empty cross and the empty tomb.
As Holy week nears I think it would be good for all of us to take some time to reflect on the events leading up to Jesus' crucifixion, what took place while Jesus was on the cross and what happened after His death and resurrection.
Today I want to share with you Luke 22; I hope you will take time to read this chapter in its entirety and allow time to reflect on God's Word.
Heavenly Father, As I take this time to reflect on the events leading up to the Cross please remove every distraction from me. Help me to sink deep into Your Word so that I can gain a better understanding of Your crucifixion and resurrection. Thank you for going to the Cross for me, Thank you for completing the work of Your Father and taking on my sins so that I can one day, stand before God completely reconciled. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
Luke 22 (NKJV)
The Plot to Kill Jesus
1 Now the Feast of Unleavened Bread drew near, which is called Passover. 2 And the chief priests and the scribes sought how they might kill Him, for they feared the people. 3 Then Satan entered Judas, surnamed Iscariot, who was numbered among the twelve. 4 So he went his way and conferred with the chief priests and captains, how he might betray Him to them. 5 And they were glad, and agreed to give him money. 6 So he promised and sought opportunity to betray Him to them in the absence of the multitude.
Jesus and His Disciples Prepare the Passover
7 Then came the Day of Unleavened Bread, when the Passover must be killed. 8 And He sent Peter and John, saying, “Go and prepare the Passover for us, that we may eat.” 9 So they said to Him, “Where do You want us to prepare?” 10 And He said to them, “Behold, when you have entered the city, a man will meet you carrying a pitcher of water; follow him into the house which he enters. 11 Then you shall say to the master of the house, ‘The Teacher says to you, “Where is the guest room where I may eat the Passover with My disciples?”’ 12 Then he will show you a large, furnished upper room; there make ready.” 13 So they went and found it just as He had said to them, and they prepared the Passover.
Jesus Institutes the Lord’s Supper
14 When the hour had come, He sat down, and the twelve[a] apostles with Him. 15 Then He said to them, “With fervent desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer; 16 for I say to you, I will no longer eat of it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.” 17 Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, “Take this and divide it among yourselves; 18 for I say to you,[b] I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.” 19 And He took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” 20 Likewise He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is shed for you. 21 But behold, the hand of My betrayer is with Me on the table. 22 And truly the Son of Man goes as it has been determined, but woe to that man by whom He is betrayed!” 23 Then they began to question among themselves, which of them it was who would do this thing.
The Disciples Argue About Greatness
24 Now there was also a dispute among them, as to which of them should be considered the greatest. 25 And He said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them, and those who exercise authority over them are called ‘benefactors.’ 26 But not so among you; on the contrary, he who is greatest among you, let him be as the younger, and he who governs as he who serves. 27 For who is greater, he who sits at the table, or he who serves? Is it not he who sits at the table? Yet I am among you as the One who serves. 28 “But you are those who have continued with Me in My trials. 29 And I bestow upon you a kingdom, just as My Father bestowed one upon Me, 30 that you may eat and drink at My table in My kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.”
Jesus Predicts Peter’s Denial
31 And the Lord said,[c] “Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. 32 But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.” 33 But he said to Him, “Lord, I am ready to go with You, both to prison and to death.” 34 Then He said, “I tell you, Peter, the rooster shall not crow this day before you will deny three times that you know Me.”
Supplies for the Road
35 And He said to them, “When I sent you without money bag, knapsack, and sandals, did you lack anything?” So they said, “Nothing.” 36 Then He said to them, “But now, he who has a money bag, let him take it, and likewise a knapsack; and he who has no sword, let him sell his garment and buy one. 37 For I say to you that this which is written must still be accomplished in Me: ‘And He was numbered with the transgressors.’[d] For the things concerning Me have an end.” 38 So they said, “Lord, look, here are two swords.” And He said to them, “It is enough.”
The Prayer in the Garden
39 Coming out, He went to the Mount of Olives, as He was accustomed, and His disciples also followed Him. 40 When He came to the place, He said to them, “Pray that you may not enter into temptation.” 41 And He was withdrawn from them about a stone’s throw, and He knelt down and prayed, 42 saying, “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.” 43 Then an angel appeared to Him from heaven, strengthening Him. 44 And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground. 45 When He rose up from prayer, and had come to His disciples, He found them sleeping from sorrow. 46 Then He said to them, “Why do you sleep? Rise and pray, lest you enter into temptation.”
Betrayal and Arrest in Gethsemane
47 And while He was still speaking, behold, a multitude; and he who was called Judas, one of the twelve, went before them and drew near to Jesus to kiss Him. 48 But Jesus said to him, “Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?” 49 When those around Him saw what was going to happen, they said to Him, “Lord, shall we strike with the sword?” 50 And one of them struck the servant of the high priest and cut off his right ear. 51 But Jesus answered and said, “Permit even this.” And He touched his ear and healed him. 52 Then Jesus said to the chief priests, captains of the temple, and the elders who had come to Him, “Have you come out, as against a robber, with swords and clubs? 53 When I was with you daily in the temple, you did not try to seize Me. But this is your hour, and the power of darkness.”
Peter Denies Jesus, and Weeps Bitterly
54 Having arrested Him, they led Him and brought Him into the high priest’s house. But Peter followed at a distance. 55 Now when they had kindled a fire in the midst of the courtyard and sat down together, Peter sat among them. 56 And a certain servant girl, seeing him as he sat by the fire, looked intently at him and said, “This man was also with Him.” 57 But he denied Him,[f] saying, “Woman, I do not know Him.” 58 And after a little while another saw him and said, “You also are of them.” But Peter said, “Man, I am not!” 59 Then after about an hour had passed, another confidently affirmed, saying, “Surely this fellow also was with Him, for he is a Galilean.” 60 But Peter said, “Man, I do not know what you are saying!” Immediately, while he was still speaking, the rooster[g] crowed. 61 And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how He had said to him, “Before the rooster crows,[h] you will deny Me three times.” 62 So Peter went out and wept bitterly.
Jesus Mocked and Beaten
63 Now the men who held Jesus mocked Him and beat Him. 64 And having blindfolded Him, they struck Him on the face and asked Him,[i] saying, “Prophesy! Who is the one who struck You?” 65 And many other things they blasphemously spoke against Him.
Jesus Faces the Sanhedrin
66 As soon as it was day, the elders of the people, both chief priests and scribes, came together and led Him into their council, saying, 67 “If You are the Christ, tell us.” But He said to them, “If I tell you, you will by no means believe. 68 And if I also ask you, you will by no means answer Me or let Me go.[j] 69 Hereafter the Son of Man will sit on the right hand of the power of God.” 70 Then they all said, “Are You then the Son of God?” So He said to them, “You rightly say that I am.” 71 And they said, “What further testimony do we need? For we have heard it ourselves from His own mouth.”
Your Sister in Christ,
|Posted by Shannon Biggs-Ross on April 5, 2011 at 8:18 AM||comments (0)|
Look here, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we are going to a certain town and will stay there a year. We will do business there and make a profit.” How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone. What you ought to say is, “If the Lord wants us to, we will live and do this or that.” James 4:13-15
Good morning, Friends!
I've been following the story of Brennan Daigle since I heard about his battle with cancer. This little boy - This strong, courageous, full of Faith in our Lord Jesus Christ little boy has touched so many lives, mine included. He's made me realize, no matter what life throws at us there is always good that can come from it. You never hear of him complaining regardless of the pain he's feeling that day. His bright little smile never ceases to show. In January the doctors gave him an estimated 2 weeks to live and with all Glory to God, as I write this, it's been about 9 weeks and he's still hanging in there. If you get a chance look up his story on Facebook, Brennan's Brigade http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Brennans-Brigade/166334860043846.
As I reflected on the news I heard that day, "nothing more the doctors can do - they've given Brennan 2 weeks to live", I thought about my life and the days I waste with meaningless tasks. If I had fourteen days - how would they be filled? I would immediately go back and try to right every wrong I've done. I would share the Good News of Jesus with everyone I meet. I would instantaneously lose the selfishness and pride I carry in the depths of my heart. I would give without expecting anything in return. I would hold my husband and my kids just a little bit longer. I would say a million I love you's. My list went on and on, then I realized, whether or not I've been given that order from the doctor, my days are numbered and my life is like a vapor; gone in an instant. With every passing moment we're either one step closer to Jesus returning or us leaving this earth to go meet Him.
Friend, as the saying goes, and it's oh so true, it's not the years in your life that count, but the life in your years. Today is not too late to reprioritize our life. Begin today, make every moment count. Do those things that you would do if you only had today to do it.
Lord, forgive me for the wasteful and meaningless tasks I fill my life with. Father, help me to always be aware of the fact that my time on this earth is no more than a vapor and as the morning dew melts away with the rising sun, so will my life. Help me to rid myself of the selfishness and pride that hinders my ability to love, care for, reach and teach others. Thank you for giving me life and help me to remember only what I do for your Kingdom will last. In Jesus' name, Amen.
Your sister in Christ,
|Posted by Shannon Biggs-Ross on April 4, 2011 at 2:12 PM||comments (0)|
Good afternoon, Friends.
Today I'm not speaking about being perfect as the world defines it. The world’s view of perfection will vary from person to person, but for the most part, worldly perfection is used to determine the value of a person, approval or whether or not a person is worthy enough to be accepted. This is in complete opposition of God’s Word. I want to talk about biblical perfection - Complete, Reconciled.
Biblical perfection is achieved through Jesus - Deuteronomy 18:13 reads, "Thou shall be perfect with the LORD thy God". Jesus is the perfect and sinless sacrifice that makes us perfect (complete, reconciled) with the Lord, our God.
As I continue to grow in my relationship with Christ I realize Christian's are not perfect (sinless), but forgiven by the Grace of God through Faith in Jesus Christ. We are accepted, valued, called to come and throw off our old sinful nature and our former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. Ephesians 4:22 We are to put away all that the world has taught us.
Perfection is a condition of the heart. 1 Kings 8:61 Let your heart therefore be perfect with the LORD our God, to walk in his statutes, and to keep his commandments, as at this day.
As a Christian our goal is (should be) to live our life according to the Word of God and using the perfect standard Jesus set before us. We are called to a higher standard, much higher than a worldly man can dream up.
Holy Father, please forgive me when I use the world's measuring stick to measure my value and worth instead of Your Holy Word and the perfect standard Your Son and My Savior, Jesus, set for me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Your Sister in Christ,
|Posted by Shannon Biggs-Ross on April 3, 2011 at 8:04 AM||comments (1)|
Good morning, Friends.
In this generation we are connected; iPods, iPhones, iPads, Mac Books, social networking sites, blogs, vlogs, you name it. With just one click we can reach any one at any time regardless of our location. Our newest TV allows my family to surf the web, it even allows us to connect to our desk top computer clear across the house to access our photos and files. My son's PlayStation 3 allows us to connect with other players and rent movies from NetFlix, it even allow us to directly connect our camera so we can instantly access our photos and videos.
I love technology, I really do, and I'm not saying these are bad things, by all means, I own the items listed above and I use them all on a daily basis, but it scares me sometimes to think how "plugged-in" we are. Growing up the Jetson's were one of my favorite cartoons - and I often wonder if the generations to come will get to that point? Robots as servers, order food directly from a machine, and it delivers, after all, my husband's favorite way to order pizza is from Pizza Hut's mobile website.
Sometimes I feel in years to come there will be no need for verbal communication. I get more text messages, emails, and posts on my Facbook than I do calls, most of the time. This past Christmas my girls were given an iPod Touch. They love to "text" me. Even if I'm sitting across the room from them. These gadgets are loaded down with games to the point my youngest daughter has no more memory and when she wants a new game she has to delete an old one.
I've even noticed some people have quit bringing their Bible to Church, instead they bring their iPad or iPhone and access the Bible through a downloaded app or Biblegateway.com. Once again, I'm not saying this is completely bad. I do bring my Bible to Church, but I will admit, I also love the Bible app on my iPhone, in times when I do not have my tangible Bible, I can access God's Word with one click, in several different languages, should the need arise.
With all the technology, I'm wondering how plugged-in we are in the area of prayer. Are we waiting for Jesus to get a cellphone, Facebook page, or an "i" gadget so we can communicate with Him? Are we too busy staying connected with everyone else we are unplugged in our most important relationship?
So then, since we have a great High Priest who has entered heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to what we believe. This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin. So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most. Hebrews 4:14-16
James 5:16 reads, Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.
Friend, Jesus is waiting. He longs to hear from me and you. Take some time today to unplug from the technology world and "plug-in" using your USB - (yo)U, (your) Savior, and Bible. It doesn't require a 10 digit number, or an internet connection. Just simply call out to Jesus with your lips and speaking from your heart, location is not a problem. His Word tells us, He hears us. ... the LORD will hear when I call to him. Psalm 4:3b.
Heavenly Father, Thank you for technology. Thank you that I can connect with loved ones and friends, as well as, access and share Your Word with one click, but Father help me to always make time unplug so I plug into my most important relationship, the one I share with You. In Jesus' name, Amen.
Your sister in Christ,
|Posted by Shannon Biggs-Ross on April 1, 2011 at 9:25 AM||comments (2)|
Good afternoon, Friends.
Originally I had something else I wanted to share, but as I was praying I felt like God was leading me to share something about suffering.
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1:2-4
Everywhere I look I can find someone going to a difficult season; financial, relational, health. I can relate to these difficult seasons personally, as I'm sure we all can in one way or another.
In July 2003, after giving birth to my second child, I went through a season of depression, post-partum, as the doctor labeled it. For no apparent reason, other than a hormonal fluctuation. It was terrible. On the outside I looked fine, as a matter of fact, very few people were aware of my illness. Two, to be exact, Chad and my doctor. I've often heard hell described as a pit of darkness, a place without rest, with complete isolation. This is where I was; my world was dark, cold, filled with fear (for my life), I was unable to sleep and I felt completely isolated. Yes, I could see people and they could see me, I wasn't physically isolated, but I was emotionally disconnected. I remember laying awake many nights watching my two daughters sleep as I wept over them. I really thought I was going to die. For a year and half, I struggled in this season. But I stand to tell you today, because of it, I learned of the God I serve. That season was not fun, but had it not been for that season I would not have the relationship with Jesus that I have today. I learned suffering brings me in the presence of Jesus. Though I was emotionally disconnected to everyone else, I could feel the presence of God. I remember laying in bed one night, crying out to God in prayer; longing to be held by Him, and I tell you my friend, a peace came over me as if I was laying in His lap. In that moment, I learned that God will supply my/our needs; I hung on not day by day, but second by second. I remember saying, God, If You will just get me through the next minute, and I was serious - just 60 seconds Jesus, I would make it! I knew if He was able and willing to carry me for sixty seconds, He would keep carrying me. And He did. With every season I've encountered since then I have Faith that He will carry me through it - and friend He will do the same for you. I love Romans 8:35, Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?
Friend, whatever season you find yourself in today, know NOTHING can separate you from Christ. Not the problems in your relationships. Not the problems in your finances. Not the problems with your health. NOTHING! Maybe you are going to a season like I described above, if so, hang on. God WILL, CAN AND WANTS to supply what you need for this moment.
Another verse I want to share with you is, what I call my 911 verse, Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you,? declares the LORD, ?plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
1. Brings us into the presence of God
2. Grows our Faith
3. Removes pride
4. Develops our character
5. Produces endurance
6. Allows us to share in what Jesus went through
7. Reveals our complete dependence on God
In closing, God's Grace is sufficient and His Power is revealed in our weakness. I love what?Charles Spurgeon said, "It would be a very sharp and trying experience to me to think that I have an affliction which God never sent me, that the bitter cup was never filled by his hand, that my trials were never measured out by him, nor sent to me by his arrangement of their weight and quantity." Take comfort in knowing that?trials are measured out by an all knowing, and all loving, Heavenly Father. Take great comfort in the fact that even if?our trial never goes away, God has given?us His grace--grace that is indeed sufficient.
Your sister in Christ,
|Posted by Shannon Biggs-Ross on March 31, 2011 at 8:03 AM||comments (1)|
Good morning, Friends.
I believe Abraham Lincoln said it best, "No one is poor who has a godly mother."
What is a godly woman? This is a woman who diligently strives to posess a God-like character. It doesn't mean that she'll be perfect. It means that she will study the character of God, through His Word, and practice it so that it becomes a part of who she is.
A godly woman is Wise
Through wisdom a house is built; and by understanding it is established: And by knowledge shall the chambers be filled with all precious and pleasant riches. (Proverbs 24:3-4)
If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. (James 1:5)
To obtain a working knowledge of God's character, we must spend quality time reading His Word -- The Bible.
This can be difficult for us at times I think, because some of us approach the Word as if it were a book to be read for a history class. But the bible is not just another book, it is Jesus Himself, The Living Word.
A godly woman Loves
"And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him." [1 John 4:16]
"He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love." [1 John 4:8]
God does not just posess love and share it with us, He is love! God's love is expressed as mercy in forgiving sinners, and in rescuing or blessing those who do not deserve it.
If we will take a moment to examine our hearts, can we say that we are loving? I don't mean lovely to look at or so externally sweet that people find us loveable. I mean loving and merciful towards people who do not deserve it -- that Supernatural God-kind of love.
A godly woman is Eager to spend time with God
And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus' feet, and heard his word. (Luke 10:39)
Approach the Word as if it is Jesus sitting right there personally recounting the events of the bible as they occurred; or sharing how much He loves us and forgives us; or teaching us how to respond to/deal with the day-to-day workings of life.
Like a child who is eager to have their parent read them a bedtime story, we must be enthusiastic about having the Lord share with us, the Divine revelations contained in His Word.
A godly woman has Influence
Let’s look at this letter Paul wrote to Timothy, this is the second letter from Paul. Paul is writing from prison to Timothy, who was preaching in Ephesus.
Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God according to the promise of the life that is in Christ Jesus, to Timothy, my beloved child: Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord. I thank God whom I serve, as did my ancestors, with a clear conscience, as I remember you constantly in my prayers night and day. As I remember your tears, I long to see you, that I may be filled with joy. I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well. For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands, for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord or me, His servant. (2 Tim. 1:1-8)
In this passage Paul mentions Timothy’s mother and grandmother, Eunice and Lois. Because their Faith in God was sincere (on fire, true, active), they were able to share it with Timothy who became Paul’s chief assistant in preaching the Gospel of Jesus. If Eunice and Lois had not taken God’s Word seriously and applied it to their life perhaps Timothy would have never became the man God had destined for him to be. Our children, grandchildren, nephews, nieces, friends, etc. are watching us, they are learning from our example.
It is important for us to live according to God’s Word and strive to become godly women; Paul also noted the importance of the Gospel of Jesus, he was writing from prison, of all places; locked away for his faith, but he’s still doing all within his power to influence and encourage Timothy to not give up, nor be ashamed of the Gospel. To Paul, Christianity wasn’t just a “nice” religion; it was his complete purpose for living and it was his destiny.
The Bible doesn’t say much about Lois and Eunice, other than both mother and daughter, were Jewish, but had married Greek husbands (Acts 16:1-3). It is believed that Lois was widowed; her daughter Eunice's husband had likely abandoned her, along with young Timothy. Paul was so fond of Timothy that he called him "my beloved son." If Timothy - as it seems - lacked a dad in the home, then this expression is particularly meaningful, but this also proves it’s largely a mother’s (Godly Woman’s) influence that builds tenderness and plants seeds of Faith into kids.
Ladies, once again we see we are of great importance. Be mindful of whose you are, how you live, as well as, those who are looking up to you. Godly women leave a godly heritage. A godly woman imparts sensitivity. Embrace the place God has designed just for you!
Your sister in Christ,