I’m a Tool…for Christ

Recently, I have found myself with additional time on my hands during my day. As a self-proclaimed procrastinator, this may not be in my best interest (such as writing articles for an established blog) for being purposeful and maximizing my abilities.  In all of this “extra” time, as you can imagine, I’ve found myself filling it with extra bus trips and hours at work, watching videos, shooting bows and hunting, etc.  What’s probably the greatest take away has been my ability to start my day out with my wife and doing devotions together.

Tara and I have begun a devotional that focuses us to direct our attention and trust in God as the sole provider in our lives, regardless of the situations around us.  In these devotional times, it’s been impressed upon me that whatever (ie: physical abilities, financially, job vocation, hobbies, etc…) our “resources” are, we are God’s “stewards” of those skills and capabilities that He has equipped us with.  For me, trusting in God is not all together the lesson that I’m being reminded of during these morning devotionals.  What God is reminding me of is that I have been entrusted to use my abilities to be a steward of His resources.

Usually we hear this type of topic relating to being “good stewards of financial resources.”  For me, I have been reminded that being a ‘good steward’ isn’t limited to just one resource.  Being a good steward is one that is to “be found trustworthy,” 1 Corinthians 4:2 (ESV).  In Colossians 3:23 (ESV) we are reminded that, “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men”.

What do I mean?

You’ve heard it said that “God has cattle on a thousand hills”, right?  Well that comes from Psalm 50:10-11 (ISV) which says, “Indeed, every animal of the forest is mine, even the cattle on a thousand hills. I know all of the birds in the mountains; indeed, everything that moves in the field is mine.”  God own’s everything, and everything is His to do with as He sees fit.  If God wants to move one cattle from hill “A” to hill “B”, He can do that.   WE… are His ‘vessel’, or should I say “tool(s)”, that He uses to accomplish His tasks and the “re-allocating” of the resources, or “cattle”.  So yes, I am admitting that I am a tool… for Christ!

What I have, or possess, in this world isn’t mine.  Where I live, or have lived, has all been a blessing to equip me for what God has for me in the future.  Even my “negative” experiences have been those that will be used for His glory.  We are not to forget about those things or throw them away as though they are not worth for anything; we are to use those experiences and abilities, strengths, successes, and resources for His glory.

The resources that we have been entrusted with are things that God trusts us to maximize and accomplish.  Those specific abilities are designed to and for you. There is a responsibility that we must hold true to “continue His good works.”  “Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity, and sound speech that cannot be condemned, so that an opponent may be put to shame, having NOTHING evil to say about us”, Titus 2:7-8 (ESV).

1 Peter 4:10 (NASB) reminds us that we are charged to be good stewards of what God has given us; “As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.”  This all brings delight to God.  In Matthew 25:21 (NIV) it says, “His lord said unto him, well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will set thee over many things…”

God is entrusting us to be good stewards of all his resources.  What can you do to begin becoming a better steward of God’s resources?  Where can you use your special gifts to maximize your potential?  Are you trusting God to be able to “re-allocate” His resources, either for ministry, someone else’s life, or even in your own life?

David DeMaris

David has a bachelor’s degree from Crown College and a Master’s in Athletic Administration from Idaho State University. David and his family make their home in north central Missouri and is the father to five children and strives to teach them to see God in every moment of the day and lean on Him. David Is a U.S. Army veteran and endured three deployments before being medically discharged in 2013. David joins the Titus II Ministry team as the executive leader of men’s discipleship and mentoring.

Simply Thanking Each Other

Marriage is always in need of some service because we need to keep it running smoothly. Just like we get our vehicles serviced regularly with oil changes, we must put effort into our marriages.  When we don’t do regular maintenance on our vehicles or marriages, they don’t run well. Oh, it may seem like all is good, running on autopilot, but one day it is bound to break down and that can be COSTLY. I don’t want to get too heavy here, I just want to make a simple suggestion, call it a “minor investment”  in your marriage, something you can do regularly.

I saw a shirt the other day that said “Thanks” and then “Giver”.  I loved how the words were separated and they both stood out to me on their own. We all need to be “Givers of Thanks”, not just to God, but to those in our circles, especially our spouses.

We all yearn to feel appreciated and, let’s face it, we don’t get a whole lot of that “feeling” throughout our day. Encourage your spouse with words of thanks, DAILY. Just grab their hand (we are big fans of hand holding), look them in the eye and say thank you for__________.

Wait, you wouldn’t know what in the world to say? Well, here’s a few suggestions to get you started, and I promise, the more you practice, the easier it becomes:

-Thank you for making me proud to call you the mother/father of our children.

-Thank you for being my best friend, my lover, my safe place. You are truly a blessing from God.

-Thank you for working so hard for our family and taking care of us.

-Thank you for the little things, fixing something around the house, making my coffee in the morning, letting me watch my favorite show, team, etc. (because the little things really are BIG things).

– Thank you for loving me and respecting me.

– Thank you for wanting me.

– Thank you for dreaming with me.

Thank them. Tell them what you love about them. Encourage them. I could go on and on, but I won’t. May I just encourage you to start today, START RIGHT NOW! If you can’t grab their hand at this moment, call them or send them a text or maybe FaceTime them. And then do it again tomorrow.

“I thank my God upon every remembrance of you,” Philippians 1:3

Now for the challenge . . . Your mission, should you choose to accept it:

For the next week, DAILY find one thing to thank your spouse for.  It can be something small or big, but it doesn’t have to be a deed, it can be an attribute.  It can be general or specific. It can be anything.

“In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18

I’d love to hear what you are thankful about in regards to your spouse and how they responded to you being a “giver of thanks”.

Much Love and God Bless,

Chaundelle Gage

#BeEncouraged

Chaundelle Gage, a graduate of the University of Oklahoma, is a Writer, Teacher and Encourager. She received her Texas Teaching Certificate in 2009 and her TESOL certificate in 2017. She and her husband have been married since 1992, have 2 boys attending Samford University in Birmingham, AL. She and her husband currently reside in North Texas. Chaundelle enjoys traveling, reading, singing, serving, learning and playing with their two dogs. Her passion is to encourage others in all of their relationships, especially marriage. Her mission work and vacation trips have taken her to Europe, India and the Caribbean. She is most grateful for her relationship with her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. (Psalm 121:1-2: I will lift my eyes unto the hills from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the Lord which made heaven and earth.)

We Are Ephesus

I have been reading one chapter a day from the Bible. I walked through several books slowly, taking notes and praying over the words that God presented to me. Every time I read the Bible, I get something new; something that has never come to light the way it did that day. I am continually surprised by what God has to say.
Today, I wanted to explore some facts about the book of Ephesians. I LOVE Ephesians and you are going to as well. It isn’t a long book. You can get through this book with one chapter a day in less than a week, but what you walk away with is encouragement and new life.

Ephesians…written by Paul (formerly Saul – murderer of Christians). It’s important that you know this. Paul once persecuted those called Christians and now he encourages them. He gave up everything to follow Christ after his Damascus road experience. He learned all he could about the Gospel and then spent the rest of his life proclaiming it. AMAZING!

Paul wrote Ephesians somewhere around 62 AD and it was toward the end of his life. This is a letter that he was writing to the church in Ephesus. He wanted to encourage them even through his suffering and tell them that all Christians are members of the “body” of Christ. We are the church!

Paul started the church in Ephesus, which you can see in Acts 19, and through the book of Ephesians, he explains that the church members have great relation to Jesus Christ as part of his body. He did this so that they would grow.

Ephesians 4:15 says, “Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.” Paul wanted the people to know that their new life in Christ should result in honest and pure living in the church and in the home. (Chapters 4-6)

We are reminded of our salvation in 2:8-9, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.” As Christians, it’s easy to forget that we can’t out-give or outdo God. He forgave our sins because of his grace. We deserve death, but Jesus died so that we would not have to. His grace is what allows us to be saved and it is our faith in Him that we can give of ourselves back to him from gifts that he has given us.

In chapter 6 verse 11 it says, “Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devils schemes.” Listen, I know we don’t live in medieval times any longer (how cool would that be?), but I do know that we still need armor to protect ourselves. We may not be fighting dragons and armies of knights, but we are fighting a demon much worse than the fiercest armies. God gave us all the armor we need in His Word.

My favorite part of Ephesians is found in 2:22 and says, “In him you too are being built together to become a swelling in which God lives by his Spirit.” Yes, Paul was speaking to the people of Ephesus, but I make this personal to myself. When I read this, I feel like Paul is speaking right to my heart. I want to be built together with other believers so that God will live in me with his Spirit. Can you imagine if every Christian were to walk around with the Spirit of God living in them (we are supposed to if we have been saved). We could change the entire world as we know it with the courage and gifts given to each of us. Change the world!

I want to encourage you to take the time to read Ephesians slowly and really take notes. I am a journaler. I get more from the Word of God when I highlight and write insights given to me and then research the history from the time it was written. I love the old maps and any pictures that I can find about the time period I am reading about. I am a visual person and it helps me to really grasp the time in which all this took place. God speaks to us all differently. What do you learn from Ephesians? I want to hear from you.

Be blesses as you go about your day. Lord, my hope is that Your people will return to You and take on a refreshed and renewed spirit in Your Word. Give wisdom of Your Word so that we can all share the Gospel with everyone we come in contact with. Make us ready! Let us live transparent and raw in You. In Jesus’ precious name, amen.

Tara DeMaris

 

Tara is the founder and president of Titus II Ministry as well as a contributing writer and speaker. She is the wife to David, eighteen years, and the mother to their five children. Together, they make their home in Missouri. She is a graduate of Crown College and most passionate about reaching the hearts of women globally through mentoring, friendship, and God’s Word. She is also the co-author of Journey In Faith. “Make history with God and He will make history through you.”

No Accident

Have you ever felt God’s deep love for you?

It’s easy to think that we may just all be an accident, but let me assure you that you are not and neither am I. Psalm 139:15-16 says,

“You know me inside and out,
you know every bone in my body;
You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit,
how I was sculpted from nothing into something.
Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth;
all the stages of my life were spread out before you,
The days of my life all prepared
before I’d even lived one day.” (MSG)

Nothing about you is an accident. God chose every detail of your being for a specific purpose. He knew exactly where and when you would be born. Some children may be unplanned by their parents, but they are not unplanned by God. He knew all along who, where, when and why they would be born.

What experience in life makes you think that maybe you were created for a specific purpose?

Before you use the “I’ve made too many mistakes” card, let me say this: God considers every human mistake, sins. He redeems our situations to use them for His glory. Thank goodness!

You may be asking yourself, “Why would God create me knowing that I would make all the mistakes I have made?” God’s motive for creating each of us is…love. Read Ephesians 1:4-5 with me, Long before he laid down earth’s foundations, he had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of his love, to be made whole and holy by his love. Long, long ago he decided to adopt us into his family through Jesus Christ.”

He is a God of love. That’s why He went to all the trouble to create each of us, even knowing that we would make the mistakes we did. He IS love.

I’m speaking to you out of deep gratitude for all that God has given me, and especially as I have responsibilities in relation to you. Living then, as every one of you does, in pure grace, it’s important that you not misinterpret yourselves as people who are bringing this goodness to God. No, God brings it all to you. The only accurate way to understand ourselves is by what God is and by what he does for us, not by what we are and what we do for him. (Romans 12:3, MSG)

Think about this: How would your life change if you really started to live each day knowing in confidence that God loves you and has a purpose for your life?

Until next time,

Tara DeMaris

Tara is the founder and president of Titus II Ministry as well as a contributing writer and speaker. She is the wife to David, eighteen years, and the mother to their five children. Together, they make their home in Missouri. She is a graduate of Crown College and most passionate about reaching the hearts of women globally through mentoring, friendship, and God’s Word. She is also the co-author of Journey In Faith. “Make history with God and He will make history through you.”

SET ASIDE THAT “BUCKET FULL” OF REQUESTS

I write this blog post to encourage you to …. just bow and give Glory to God in your quiet time. Set that “Bucket Full” of requests aside and experience the incredible joy of praying Revelation 7:12…Amen, blessing, and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever, Amen”.

Only a “Bucket Full” God ~ One day this last week I was in Corinne’s Garden[i] for my quiet time; It was cool and very quiet – fall weather is nearby and the ever-present squirrel acrobats flying through the trees brought a smile to my face. I bowed my head preparing my heart to list my requests. So many times, we come to God with our “bucket full” of requests and forget to just bow and give Him Glory.  It was then that I felt led to just pray through scriptures that give Glory to God.

The Joy of Pop-Up Verses ~ I typed into my phone “verses to glorify God”. A number of verses popped up and for the next hour and a-half I just Glorified God through scripture. What an incredible experience that was. One of those pop-up verses was Psalm 118: 28 – “You are my God and I give thanks to you. You are my God and I extol you”. If you are what I call a “seasoned believer in Jesus” These verses at first glance might seem pleasant to say, nevertheless, like me, so many times I don’t stop and look at the depth of meaning in God’s word.

Spiritually Intelligent Praise ~ I will list a few other verses later in this post but I want to share Revelation 7:12 with you once more; “Amen, blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever, Amen”.  We hear this in great choral works, and other doxologies throughout the Bible. I quote from John Gill’s commentary “May we too, like the doxology writers, reflect on the attributes of God, and bring forth spontaneous, spiritually intelligent praise!” [ii]

~All Glory to God ~

Psalm 86:12 • Psalm 99:9 • Psalm 63:3 • Romans 16:27

I am not sure how many believers in Jesus spend much time in Revelation. In fact, I remember when I was scared to read that book. Yet, Revelation reminds us that there is indeed hope beyond the momentary trials and struggles of this life. But, it reminds followers of Jesus that His love and salvation are available to all people. I have beloved family and friends who haven’t shown any interest in that love of Jesus and His salvation. I am sure you do also. Let us remember to ask God for opportunities to share His salvation and to heighten our awareness, giving glory to Him in all that we do

Nancy Bjorklund

Nancy visits the Titus II Ministry blog throughout the year with inspiration and poetic writing. She lives in Nebraska with her husband, Bob, and they are the parents to four grown children as well grandparents and great-grandparents. She holds both bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Nebraska in education. Her much loved verse comes from Proverbs 3:5 and 6, “trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths”.

[i] Corinne’s Garden is the name I gave to a beautiful place in a local park where I spent many days with my disabled granddaughter. It was here she found peace and rest. She has since moved away but I continue to go there daily to meet with my Lord.

[ii]  (https://www.biblestudytools.com/commentaries/gills-exposition-of-the-bible/revelation-7-12.htm

 

 

BREATHE*BE THANKFUL*ASK FOR HELP

I get the privilege of working at an elementary school.  With that comes summers off.  Don’t be jealous, I mostly just clean.

Every August, the realization of the impending school year brings a bit of anxiety.  Not because I don’t like my job, but because of resetting a house full of schedules and readjusting to them.

This year, I was determined to enjoy it more and make it more peaceful.  I took some time to really thing about what things might trip me up and what I need to do proactively to solve this.  I came up with the mantra, BREATHE*BE THANKFUL*ASK FOR HELP.

You know what?  It worked!  It wasn’t perfect, things didn’t get done, but I was thankful for what did get done, and I asked for others to help do what I couldn’t.

This last week I was practicing my daughter’s memory verse for church with her:

Philippians 4:6-7, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything, with prayer and petition, with thanksgiving let your request be known to God and the peace which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” 

Lightbulb!!! No wonder my new mantra worked!  It’s a biblical equation.  I hadn’t stumbled upon anything new!  Breath+Thankful+Pray(ask)= Peace.

When we breathe, we become aware of our feelings and of God’s presence in this very moment, no matter the struggle or chaos, He IS there.   We are able to recognize the truth of the situation, not just our perspective.

Praying and asking seems like an obvious thing to do,  but so many times we just complain to God without reaching out to ask for help from others.  We leave ourselves marooned on an island, population – one.  God is powerful enough to handle anything, but He gave us people to be our support as well.  Ask God and ask others.

Paul specifically tells us to be thankful in our prayers.  All of us have something to be thankful for, even if it’s only the sunshine.   Paul likely didn’t have access to brain scans and neuroscience, but he was onto something.  We now know that being thankful will actually improve your brain health.

The promise of all these steps is peace.  Not just calm, but a tranquility that passes ALL understanding.

I paraphrased this verse to fit my circumstances.  It goes like this….

Do not be troubled or worried with providing and promoting my own interests, but in everything, every situation, by prayer and asking for my needs and wants, with a thankful and grateful heart, let God know what I lack and what I need.  Then the striving and the war in my mind will cease, and peace will exceed my expectations, and surpass all reason.

Try to adapt a mantra from Scripture that you are needing in your life today. Biblical foundation to your every day changes life.

Sarah McCarthy

Sarah lives, works, and ministers in the heart of the country. For the last 19 years she has been growing a life in South Dakota with her husband, Lewis. The Lord has blessed her with three children who teach her more about life everyday. Sarah is an educational assistant at an elementary school and involved in her church youth group as well as women’s ministries. After being called into the ministry in high school, she has finally received her ministry certificate from the Assemblies of God. Sarah plans to continue to do God’s work right here, right now. In her spare time you can find Sarah watching HGTV, listening to an audiobook, or traveling the country with her family.

What’s Your Purpose?

Have you ever wondered about the purpose of your life?

If you answered “yes” to that questions, you are in good company. I don’t know a single Christian person who has always know the exact purpose that they were put on this earth for. I say Christian because once you accept Christ as your Savior and begin to follow Him, well, all bets are off and God really starts to change life.

So, have you tried to discover you purpose on your own? Asked God or a counselor or taken an assessment? Were you able to find your purpose on your own?

Let’s think about this for just a minute. If you call yourself a Christian, what is your purpose? Here is a phrase for you to ponder…It’s not about you. Your purpose is far greater than you. Greater than your happiness, career, family, dreams or ambitions. You were created by Him for Him.  You will not be able to discover your life purpose by looking within yourself.

I love how The Message puts 1 Corinthians 2:7-10, We, of course, have plenty of wisdom to pass on to you once you get your feet on firm spiritual ground, but it’s not popular wisdom, the fashionable wisdom of high-priced experts that will be out-of-date in a year or so. God’s wisdom is something mysterious that goes deep into the interior of his purposes. You don’t find it lying around on the surface. It’s not the latest message, but more like the oldest—what God determined as the way to bring out his best in us, long before we ever arrived on the scene. The experts of our day haven’t a clue about what this eternal plan is. If they had, they wouldn’t have killed the Master of the God-designed life on a cross. That’s why we have this Scripture text:

No one’s ever seen or heard anything like this,
Never so much as imagined anything quite like it—
What God has arranged for those who love him.

But you’ve seen and heard it because God by his Spirit has brought it all out into the open before you.”

  1. You discover your purpose by having an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ. Have you asked Him to be the Lord and Savior of your life? If not, we would love to visit with you about what this means and walk beside you, but more than likely, if you are reading our blog, you have already made that decision. We are walking in the same world and asking God to lead us too. Listen, God is not your personal genie in a bottle. He doesn’t grant your wishes. He accomplishes His will for you and He will allow you to choose experiences that will prepare you for His will. Hey, God doesn’t take No for an answer. Everything He does will bring you back to His will.
  2. God knew you before you were even born. Doesn’t that just thrill you? God though of me before my parents were even married or even born. God knew that I would be His child and He already had a plan for me. His purpose predates our conception. What?!!! That is simply amazing! God allows us to make choices, but He has already determined our purpose.
  3. The purpose of your life was designed for eternity. As a Christian, we think long term. Eternity. Our desire is to be more like Christ while we are here on this earth because we want to ultimate reward in Heaven. Obviously we will never be perfect, but we strive to be. We follow Jesus’ model while he was on earth, and it does apply to us today. Think long term with your purpose. God has a great plan for the long term. “In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will” (Ephesians 1:11, NIV).

This article was really intended to get you thinking about purpose. I have been the person who asked What am I here for? It’s important for you to know that, as a Christian, you are here to glorify God in all that you do. Seriously, everything.

It all starts with God.

Here is a good questions to ask yourself before everything you say or do: What would Jesus do?

Yes, it’s been done, but it’s so good. Really, ask this before you give that criticism, respond to harsh words, drink that beverage or eat that entre’. Would Jesus be seen at that kegger (because we are in the stage of raising teenagers)? Just think about it first, is all I am saying. We have a chance to glorify God in everything and why would we not want to?

This article is the beginning of a series that you will see from me in the coming months. I write about twice a month so you will be reading more on our purpose as we progress through this year. And, I really do hope to help you in your search for purpose and what it really looks like for you personally.

I want to leave you with this to ponder: Why do you think people try to discover their purpose without turning to God?

Until next time,

Tara DeMaris

Tara is the founder and president of Titus II Ministry as well as a contributing writer and speaker. She is the wife to David, eighteen years, and the mother to their five children. Together, they make their home in Missouri. She is a graduate of Crown College and most passionate about reaching the hearts of women globally through mentoring, friendship, and God’s Word. She is also the co-author of Journey In Faith. “Make history with God and He will make history through you.”

Listen Carefully

Discernment.

What is discernment?

Why is it important?

Who has it?

When is it important?

Where is it to be applied?

“I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.” (Ephesians 1:17, NIV)

In this letter, Paul asks that these friends be given this gift so that they may know the Lord better.

I have been involved in the reintroduction of Diaconate, deacon, to our home church. Our church had allowed the position to, wither, if you will indulge me.  One of the core values we are stressing is service to the congregation and to our community.  We will be charged with monitoring, fundraising, and disbursement of a benevolent fund. Something we all need to be prepared to do is listen to God’s answers to our prayers as we reach out into the greater community.

As we open our doors to greater need, we expect to see more grift. I don’t like being skeptical, but we find that this quality can be helpful, especially when practiced carefully.  It is important that you, as a congregation, are helpful in the greater community, but also turn down services too many times which may allow your church to be perceived as cold or dispassionate.  We must listen carefully to God’s call in each and every situation; prayerfully considering the request and using good judgment to make an informed decision

Lord, walk us through each decision that needs to be made in the body of Christ as well as in our personal lives. Give us each discernment. May we be diligent in serving You and seeing the needs before us. Amen.

Scott Smith

Scott is a long time follower of Titus II Ministry and comes as a contributing writer to our staff. He is married to Shannon and they have three teenage children. Together, they make their home in Minnesota, on the iron range, where Scott is active in his church and available to the community.

Day By Day

De Witt Talmage, the famous preacher, said, “If a man is right, all the bombardment of the world for five, ten, twenty, forty years will only strengthen him in his position.  All you have to do is to keep yourself right.  Never mind the world.  Let it say what it will.  It can do you no damage.”

Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, was a success because He wouldn’t give up.  Even when He was facing certain death upon the cross, knowing He was going to endure extreme suffering that would result in His death, the Bible says, He set His face as flint, (Isaiah 50:7).  Jesus’ persistence, His commitment, His dedication, to fulfilling the Father’s will paid off for you and I.  He purchased our salvation through His death on the cross at Calvary! HALLALUJAH!

The Word of God tells us, “But he that endures to the end shall be saved. (Matthew 10:22Be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus . . . endure hardness as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. (2 Timothy 2:1&3)

 Sometimes when the going gets tough, we must continue to Hold On, regardless of the struggle or the intensity of the pain.  We must NEVER GIVE UP! Listen, Child of God, you know as well as I do that the Lord of All Glory, the King of All Kings, is still on the throne and in control.   The LORD HAS OUR BACK! He is faithful and true to His Word.  He will watch over us and protect us.  He will “Order Our Steps if we will walk in His ways. Stop trying to live tomorrow before it gets here.  Do what the Word says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean upon your own understanding, but in ALL your ways, acknowledge Him and He will make your path straight.  (Proverbs 3:5-6)

Sometimes I find that when I try to look too far ahead concerning the things I must do or deal with in the week, the month or even the year, I am overwhelmed.  There are times when I am overcome with the enormity of it all.  So, instead of allowing myself to become overwhelmed or discouraged, I choose to just look at what each day requires of me.  I try not to allow myself to live out tomorrow before it gets here.  My friend, I encourage you to take the time to read Matthew 6:25-34. Listen to what the Lord’s thoughts are, concerning us worrying about tomorrow, or anything else for that matter.  The 34th verse of that passage says;

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.  Each day has enough trouble of its own.

So my friend, if you’re having a tough time, if you feel as though you’re at the end of your rope, HANG IN THERE.  Tie a knot in the rope and hold on.  Don’t give up.  Don’t allow yourself to be over whelmed.  Take the moment and turn it into an opportunity to grow and develop your strength in the Lord.  Should the days ahead seem to be filled with things that might come against you or challenge you, remember this; “Greater is He who is in you, than he who is in the world!” (1 John 4:4)

 Take each day as it comes and know that the Lord God of All Creation is with you and He will see you through, regardless of the challenges you face.  Challenges give us opportunities to grow in many ways.  Turn to the Lord for your strength and He will lift you up.  I close with this word from the Lord.

Being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus!”            (Philippians 1:6)

May His Strength Be Yours as you place your Hope and your Trust in Him!    And remember this:  “He (Jesus) is the Friend that sticks closer than a Brother!”   

Trust in Jesus and Be Blessed My Friend!

Blessings To You!

Pastor Mike Christian

Mike Christian is an Assemblies of God minister in Tarkio, Missouri. He has spent his life caring and nurturing congregations across the United States. He has been married to Glennette for forty years and together they have three grown children and a dozen grand-children. He loves to fellowship with others and share Christ’s love however he can.

Patience in the Process

Have you ever been so excited about what God is showing you, you can’t wait to make plans to set His vision in motion? Has God given you a victory in one area and your excitement carries you into making plans for another area? This is exactly where we find David in 2 Samuel.

He had finally become king after patiently waiting for years. He had been anointed king far before the actual event took place. He was winning battles and life was going great! So, he decides to move in his troops and bring back the Ark of God.

We pick up the story in 2 Samuel 6:3

“They placed the Ark of God on a new cart and brought it from Abinadab’s house, which was on a hill. Uzzah and Ahio, Abinadab’s sons, were guiding the cart that carried the Ark of God. Ahio walked in front of the Ark. David and all the people of Israel were celebrating before the Lord, singing songs and playing all kinds of musical instruments—lyres, harps, tambourines, castanets, and cymbals.”

What a party they were throwing! Such a celebration! But a closer look at the continuing story in verse 6 spoils the enthusiasm.

“But when they arrived at the threshing floor of Nacon, the oxen stumbled, and Uzzah reached out his hand and steadied the Ark of God. Then the Lord’s anger was aroused against Uzzah, and God struck him dead because of this. So Uzzah died right there beside the Ark of God.”

How tragic! This is the point at which most people get angry with God, including David. How unfair! Uzzah was merely trying to help after all. But, in David’s enthusiasm and excitement to bring a nation back to God he had neglected to obey God. The book of Numbers lays out specific requirements for transporting the Ark, including who was to carry it and how it was to be handled. Touching the Ark was a capital offense under Hebrew law.

The Life Application Study Bible puts it this way, “God had to remind the nation dramatically that enthusiasm must be accompanied by obedience to his laws.”

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been guilty of running ahead of God sometimes. I get so excited about what I feel like He’s doing that I don’t stop to consider the process. God is a God of order and process. The Bible is full of examples of His meticulous plans and instructions. While we are no longer slaves to the detailed laws of the Old Testament, God is unchanging. He still has the perfect process in mind to set His plans in motion. We just need to be patient enough to wait on His timing and spend the time needed in His presence to hear clearly from Him.

David did eventually move the Ark to Jerusalem, but the next time went so much better as David followed the Lord’s commands and ways set out before him. God’s not in a hurry, but sometimes we are. Maybe that could be why we get so tried and run down? If we are trying to make things happen that God hasn’t intended to happen yet we might as well be trying to move a brick wall! We have to trust God and the process. What He has in mind will come to pass, in His way and His time!

Father, thank You for the gentle reminder that we need to exercise patient and process to accomplish what You have set before us. May we be ever listening to Your still small voice for direction and guidance. Amen.

Amanda Keller

Amanda is a Worship Pastor and Tech Director and contributes as a writer and speaker for Titus II Ministry. She is a homeschooling mother of two great children and wife to Nathan of seventeen years. Their family makes their home in North Dakota. Amanda’s passion for leading others in worship shines through along with her love for Jesus, her family and laughter. Amanda holds associates degrees in both music performance and office administration from Trinity Bible College. “Your greatest contribution to the kingdom of God may not be something you do but something you raise.” ~Andy Stanley
%d bloggers like this: