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Take My Heart It is Thine Alone

Jesus said Matthew 6:24, “”No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” In the culture that we live in, here in the United States, we tend to think of idol worship as statues of gods, like the kind you see in a Chinese restaurant or in pictures and movies of faraway places. But, this is where Satan gets us. Because we don’t put ceramic or wooden images in our homes and bow to them we don’t think we have idols. But idols are so much more.

Anything we put before God is an idol. Jeri, a friend of mine got real involved in her running and in her testimony, her running medals became her idols. At one time I got obsessed with couponing and it became my idol. A common idol in most homes is our TV’s or the shows and people we watch on them. And, as Jesus pointed out, money is an easy idol to bow to as well. Because, if I just had a little more, all my problems would go away… until I went shopping again. People, music, jobs, hobbies all can become idols.

What idol(s) have become your master(s)? Jesus says you will hate one and love the other; be devoted to one while you despise the other. How are these idols affecting your relationship with God? Are you beginning to love the idol more than God? Last question: What are you going to do about your idol worship?

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When you play hide and seek with preschoolers there is very little “seeking” involved. All you must do is follow the giggles or watch for the heads to pop up from behind a chair. Sometimes they will even tell you where they are if you act like you are having trouble finding them. The little ones get their joy in being found.
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As Christians, we are to earnestly seek God in all that we do through Bible study, prayer, and other believers. Sometimes it seems very hard to find Him, especially in crisis situations when instead of looking for His hand in all of it, we ask “why is this happening to me?” We make it so hard when our focus is not on the Lord but on ourselves. God is like the preschoolers. He is very close and will even help us find Him if we are sincere in our search. God gets His joy in being found. He wants to share with us the peace, comfort and security that can only be found in Him.
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Seek Him out and claim the promise in Jeremiah 29:13, “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”
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If Noah gave into his human nature for just a second he probably had a lot of second thoughts about both the boat and having to catch all the animals. However, this funny church meme was probably the true attitude of Noah since he put all his faith in God. I only hope my faith would one day match that of Noah’s.

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As a follower of Jesus Christ, you are the church; not the building you walk into once or twice a week, but you. Romans 12:4-5 says, “For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.” So, take care of yourself, physically and spiritually, and encourage others to do the same. We want the church to be at its best since we represent our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

If you are the church, then let us know in the comments!

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The definition of hope is to trust in, wait for, look for, or desire something or someone; or to expect something beneficial in the future. We can hope for many things. Some days I hope for trivial things. Today my hope was that I’d make all green lights. Unfortunately, that didn’t work out. I hope for important things too. I hope that my children will grow up stubborn for God. That they love and follow Him so closely that their faith surpasses mine.

Psalms 33:20-22 says, “We put our hope in the Lord. He is our help and our shield. In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name. Let your unfailing love surround us, Lord, for our hope is in you alone.” My hope is in the Lord and I am so very thankful for that hope. I have purpose and meaning because of the hope I have in Christ.

Several months ago, I went to a small family reunion. I sat across the room from one of my family members and saw what it looks like to not have any hope. It was sad, and dark, and lonely. I prayed for opportunities to share Jesus, and did my best to show what hope looks like. But, he left and seemed as hopeless as when he arrived. It breaks my heart and I regularly pray for him to find Jesus.

Where do you place your hope? My hope is in Jesus which fits perfectly with its definition. I trust in, look for and desire Jesus. And in Him I expect something beneficial in the future. I like to call it Heaven.

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Worry seems to intensify at night. I won’t worry about something all day long and then at 3AM my eyes fly open; my mind starts reeling and worry floods my heart. When does worry hit you?

My husband and I were stressed, exhausted and financially strapped. I would keep busy all day so that I could sleep at night, hoping to be too tired for the worry to wake me up, again, so many nights before. And then a group of our friends started Beth Moore’s bible study, Daniel. This study is full of information, but what caught my attention were all the prophecies that God told Daniel about and has been fulfilled and documented in history. These prophecies dealt with kings and nations.

One 3AM worry wake up God spoke to my heart. He said, “I gave and fulfilled the prophecies of kings and nations. Don’t you think I can take care of you too? So, why do you worry?” And He was right! Peace filled me and I could go back to sleep. And slept soundly every night through the rest of this trying time. Philippians 4:6 says, “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done.”

So, here are your 5 steps to defeat worry based on Philippians 4:6.

1. Don’t worry. I know it’s easier said than done, but stop worrying and thinking and move to step 2.

2. Pray about your situation. Bring it all to God. Your worry, your fears, your failures, all of it.

3. Tell God what you need. But, let Him work out the details. It usually doesn’t happen the way you think it should.

4. Thank Him for ALL He had done. Start listing everything you can think of that He has done for you.

5. Trust He is capable to handle the situation and do your part by following and obeying His word.

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One of my favorite songs is “This Is The Stuff” by Francesca Battistelli. Why? Because I can completely identify.

Little things set me off quickly. My kids and I will have a great morning getting ready for school, but once I realize we are late nothing goes right, my kids get slower and things start happening; like a spilled cup, choosing the shoes I specifically asked them not to wear, I can’t find me keys, etc. I repeatedly think: You’ve got to be kidding me! (or as a friend of mine says: Seriously?!) I’m stressed and cranky and my kids are stressed and crying. Making the morning drive one that requires me trying to salvage the morning so everyone doesn’t have a terrible day.

Any yet, among all the crazy I forget how blessed I am. I have two amazing kids who are healthy and smart. They love me so very much as I do them. I have a husband who works hard to provide for us and yet makes sure he always has time for us. Yet, another list I could go on and on with how God has blessed me.

John 10:10 says, “A thief comes only to steal and to kill and to destroy. I have come so that they may have life and have it in abundance.” Satan doesn’t have control over me, but he sure likes to try and distract me from my blessings by making me take for granted what God has given me. 1 Peter 5:8-9a says, “Be alert! Your adversary the Devil is prowling around like a roaring lion, looking for anyone he can devour. Resist him and be firm in the faith…” If I don’t resist him, these attitudes and feelings will devour me and destroy my relationship with my kids. I want, and want for my kids, the abundant life Jesus was talking about in John 10:10.

And with that I say NOT TODAY SATAN! Since being late tends to start my many problems I have been working harder to get up a little earlier each day so that “We’re late” isn’t a regular morning statement any more. So far, we’ve had about two great weeks with easy going mornings! Thank you, Jesus, for your wisdom and help!

How is Satan attacking you, your family, your marriage, or your friends? And what are you going to do about it?

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My spiritual gift is administration. Give me a something to organize and I am all over it. Paper, files, charts are my friends. However, if I have to muster up some mercy, that’s a totally different story. It is hard for me to stop the task and see the people. I saw a sign the other day that reminded me of this very thing- “Be kind today. Everyone is fighting some sort of battle.”

I am not giving myself a pass just because mercy is not my gift. I know that is not an excuse. We all need to show mercy to others and sometimes to ourselves (I am my own worst enemy). Some people find that very easy; I have to work hard at it.

We are so blessed to be surrounded by God’s grace and mercy. What would this world be like if the Great I AM was only interested in the organization of the earth and the task of controlling the weather with no thought of His people? Jesus showed us the very definition of mercy. “Yet while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8) Or, “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34) Mercy for others is not an option, it is an act of obedience to the one who showed us mercy. We can only be more like Jesus when we act more like Jesus. Is there someone you need to show mercy to today or do you need to stop organizing and pray; asking Him to show you how to be more merciful?

The gift of administration is a wonderful thing. God knew someone down here needed to plan and direct and file. Just don’t let it get in the way of seeing others with a merciful eye.

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