Monday, December 15, 2014

Cherishing Jesus at Christmas

by: Jessica Finney

Have you ever thought about how Joseph and Mary raised the Son of God?  What were they thinking about as they held Jesus in their arms? Were they overwhelmed with emotions? Did they praise God everyday for entrusting them with something so big?  Did they fully understand how big it was? I have.  I often think more on Mary, as she not only held Him but carried Him in her womb.  Was she thinking already of the cross He would have to be crucified on?

Luke 2:19 But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering the in her heart.

I can't help but think that she cherished every moment that she had with Him.  Even if she couldn't quite fully understand how everything would turn out.

This Christmas, as we cherish our family time, lets remember the reason for the season and cherish that Jesus was born in a lowly manger and one day would die on a cross for our sins to raise again on the third day so we could have eternal life.

Dear Lord, even though I have no idea how Joseph and Mary felt at Jesus birth and on. I do know that it is important for us to celebrate the real reason for Christmas.  I pray that in all the hustle and bustle that people will take some time to reflect on what your birth really meant for us.  Thank you for the eternal life you have promised us.  In Jesus name, Amen.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Counting our blessings

by Jessica Finney

Psalm 100:4 Enter into His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise, give thanks to Him and praise His Name.

Have you ever noticed that sometimes when our life is going bad that when we pray it is all negative?  Please Lord help me through this or why is this happening to me.   God wants us to ask for his help and pray for those things but how many times do we go to Him, just to say thank you?   Sometimes we take things for granted and don't thank Him for the many blessings we have in our lives. Even through the struggles, we can see how God is working but only if we want to.

As an example, when my mom and dad got into a wreck they could have been angry that they had to go through that.  My mom was hurting for a good 6 weeks afterwards.  They could have been mad because they didn't have their old van, that they loved.  Sure they were disappointed like anyone would be but it is all how you look at it.  They chose to stay positive.  They listed all of the things that could have happened.  The SUV could have hit them an inch farther up, my dad could have been driving and he would have had the seat back farther and would have had more of a direct hit (so see there are advantages to being short), they may have stopped the lady that hit them from hitting someone head on, which could have killed everyone involved, and the list goes on and on.

I am horrible about getting into a self-pity party.  It is pretty lonely there because who else wants to join you?  No one because it doesn't help anything it just hurts our witness.  We need to remember that there is someone always worse off then we are.  Even during the bad times when we feel, we have no hope. We do. God gives us hope. No matter how bad it gets down here, it will be so much better in heaven. God will give us the strength to keep going down here as long as we ask Him for it.  He doesn't push His way into our life but is there when we allow Him to be.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for all the blessings you have given me.  I don't deserve even half of what you give me. Especially when I can get negative about life.  Help me to live in you and not have a self pity party and show others that You are helping me through any hard times.  I want to praise you in the  good times and in the bad. In Jesus, name amen.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Our words

by Jessica Finney

Psalms 19:14 Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart Be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer.

Have you ever been around a person, that you know they are lying because their mouth is moving? Then there are those who lie to protect themselves so you never know whats real and what isn't. It doesn't just effect the non-Christians. I know several people who are suppose to be Christians that I don't feel like I can trust at all. How are we suppose to shine God's light, if people don't trust us?

This week, month, and year lets focus on what we say and think about so it will be pleasing to the Lord.

Dear heavenly Father, thank you for being my strength and my Redeemer. Help me to always be able to discern the truth and to keep my words clean of lies and my focus be always on you so people see You in me. In Jesus name, amen.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Positive Attitudes

by Jessica Finney

I don't know how many of you know Jason and Jollee Reichart.  They are always up beat and anytime you are around them, you can't help see their excitement about their ministry. They are starting a college ministry and they are already starting Bible studies at Lakeland College   It makes you excited for them and helps you to stay upbeat about what God has in store for you.

Now on the other hand, there are those people that are always negative.  They are always dragging you down and you avoid them as much as possible.  There are probably times (like me) that we are the ones that people avoid.  Is that the way we want to be? No, but the cares of this world can get in our way and it is easy to become negative.  

Philipians 1:3-6  I thank my God upon every remembrance of you always in every prayer of mine making request for you all with joy for you fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.

We should shine God's light all around us and let everyone see the good work that God is working in us.  Let us as we go through this week be the ones that people are drawn to and not the ones that are avoided.  For if we are avoided then how are others to come to know the Lord?

Thank you, Lord for giving me people in my life that are upbeat and so excited about their ministry. Please help me be the one that people gravitate to and not avoid.  Help me to remember people are sometimes watching me to see how I react to this world and help me to show them You in my actions.  In Jesus, name, Amen.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Stepping out in faith

by Jessica Finney

Has God ever had you step out in faith before He would tell you what He wanted you to do?  I believe that sometimes He is testing us to see if we really mean it when we sing Where ever you lead I'll go. Have you ever thought about that some of the songs we sing in church?  I have decided to follow Jesus, Though none go with me I still will follow.  We sing those kind of songs every Sunday but do we really mean it?  God wants us to worship with our whole heart and truly mean the words we sing or say.

We have felt for awhile now that God has a different path for us but we were waiting for Him to tell us what direction, He wanted us to go.  We kept praying for God to show us and He showed us that He wanted us to leave our current position at church and follow Him.  Is it scary to not know where He is guiding us? You bet it is but we have to take that first step of faith so He knows we are willing to go where ever He wants us to go.  

Hebrews 11: 6 But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a re warder of those who diligently seek Him.

Sometimes when God tells us to do something we can grumble and say we aren't equipped for that.  I must be crazy to think He would be calling me to do that.  But you know what?  Moses stuttered when he talked and God used Him greatly.  He doesn't call the equipped but He equips the called.  He wants us to show people His glory and show that anything is possible.  It isn't about us and it is all about Him.

So the next time that you feel God is calling you to do something, please remember that sometimes He is just waiting for you to step out in faith. What are you waiting for?

Dear Heavenly Father, please guide us and direct us in the path that you want us to go.  We thank you for always being there for us.  I know the blessing that you have for us for stepping out in faith will be  worth it.  Where ever you lead we will go, Lord.  We completely surrender our lives to you. In Jesus, precious name I pray, Amen

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Life can be short, share Jesus!

by: Jessica Finney

I hope you don't mind but this one will be a little different.  I want to remind everyone how things can change in just a moment.  We found that out last Monday evening.

As some of you know my parents got into a wreck last Monday evening on their way to Willis Chapel Revival.  They were heading on new 40 getting ready to turn left on snake trail road.  As they turned they were hit by a vehicle that didn't have her lights on and was trying to pass.  For those of you that don't know that road it is on a little bit of a hill and is a no passing zone.  They didn't even know there was another vehicle around until they got hit.  It pushed them so hard that it pushed them towards some trees several feet away from the road.  My mom hit her head and was woozy.  She was trying to brake but the van wouldn't stop.  Thankfully my dad was able to grab the wheel and turn it before it hit the trees and shut the vehicle off.  After a few seconds or minutes, just long enough for the other driver to get her airbag out of her face she drives off.  A guy saw her drive off and checked on my mom and dad first then went after her to get a license plate number.  Thankfully, she was caught farther down the road.  My mom has whip lash, bruises, and received a bump on the head and my dad's neck is a little sore but praise the Lord that it wasn't any worse then it was.

When something like this happens, it really comes to light how short life could really be and we need to appreciate what we have and we need to do all we can to bring others to Christ before it is to late for them.

My parents and I have already forgiven the lady and pray for her salvation.  Though I am sure at least with me, I will need to keep praying for God to take away any anger that even tries to start.

I am going to try to find ways to bring alcohol awareness to more people because this is a good reason why it isn't good to drive.  She was 4 times over the legal limit.  So PLEASE don't drink and drive!

Dear heavenly father, I can't thank you enough for allowing my parents to live.  I realize that just a few more inches, Lord, and it would have been a lot worse then it was.  I praise you for showing your glory and protecting them.  I also pray that you be with the one that hit them that she may come to know you and that others may realize how short life really is and come to know you.  Let this be an eye opener that we need to let more people know about you!  In Jesus name, Amen

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Depression's Ugly Face

By: Jessica Finney

I am sure all of us have either went through depression or know someone who has.  A deep depression is when the world keeps getting darker and you don't see anyway out.  You can't even see a glimpse of the light at the end of the tunnel.

A lot of the time, you can see how it hurts the ones that love you but you feel helpless to know what to do and it just makes it worse.

The devil uses this as his playground, when we go through it because he doesn't want us to ever get the joy back that God wants to give us.  I think it is a taste of what hell will be like. Have you ever thought about that? If heaven is full of joy, happiness, and praising God. Then I feel like hell isn't just the lake of fire (although that will be bad) but also all the negative emotions we face down here but multiplied.

Of course one of the things you think about as you are going through depression is suicide.  Some feel that is the only way out and they feel they aren't strong enough to deal with it anymore.  When I went through it the devil kept telling me my family would be better off.  Sure they would grieve but eventually they wouldn't see me like that anymore and be able to go on with their lives. Thank God that He had a hold of me and I never even attempted it.

Even when we think we have made it through it sometimes it isn't completely lifted until years later, when all of a sudden we feel a huge weight lift off of our shoulders that we had carried so long that we didn't even know we were carrying it.  This happened to me when I was singing Above All and I felt the Holy Spirit cover me and let me feel an overpowering feeling of how much God really loved me that He thought of me above everything else.

Now sometimes when things are just not going right in my life, it is easy to see depression's ugly face coming again but this is when it is so important to pray to God for Him to take it away from you and tell the devil that he isn't taking your joy away from you again.  That no matter what I am going through that God wants me to have the joy that only He can give.

Psalms 30:5 For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for life, weeping may endure for a night but JOY comes in the morning.

Dear heavenly father, thank you for getting me out of the deep depression that I was in and reminding me that all I really need is you. Thank you for the ones that stood by my side and I pray that you give the ones that are going through it now strength.  I also pray that you will help us bring more people to you so that they don't have to go through the lake of fire.  Please give everyone that is reading this a touch of your hand that we may all feel your love and share your joy.  It is in Jesus, name. Amen.

Sunday, October 12, 2014


By Jessica Finney

How many time have we all worried about something?  It could be about our job, unemployment, illness (ours or a family member's), and the list goes on and on.  We sometimes forget the other circumstances that God has got us through in the past.

Mathew 6:25-34 Therefor I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on.  Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, for thy neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? So why do you worry about clothing/  Consider the lilies of the field how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.  Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not worry, saying, "What shall we eat?" or 'What shall we drink?" or "What shall we wear?" For after all these things the Gentiles seek.  For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added to you.  Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

Isn't it wonderful? All we have to do is seek God and tell him our troubles, and He will take care of us.  So why do we try do it all on our own?

I don't know about you, but sometimes I don't tell God everything that I should.  Sometimes I think my worries on the little things are silly, but sometimes they are big to me.  And you know what if they are big or little to me, God loves us so much that He wants to be in every part of our lives.  By trusting God in all parts of our lives brings us into a closer relationship with Him, which He longs for.

Dear heavenly Father, thank you for always being there for me in the small and the big parts of my life.  Please help me not to worry and give all my troubles to you.  I know that you have my best interest in mind and your ways are better then mine.  Help me to go in the direction that you want me too.  In Jesus name, Amen.

Sunday, October 5, 2014


by Jessica Finney

Proverbs 18:24 A man who has  friends must himself be friendly, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

There aren't too many people who will stick closer than a brother.  Most of the time brothers can torment their sisters or brothers, but no one else would dare  mess with them; they will have a fight on their hands.

I have had some friends and family that have went through a lot of troubles along their way.  Nothing that they have brought on themselves but some pretty drastic events in their lives.  As I am sure everyone can relate to.  

Do you notice in those verses it doesn't say anything about going to them to give them advice? Maybe we could ask Job's friends and see how that worked out for them.  We know that wasn't pretty.  It is so easy to try to say the right things that might make them feel better.  I am so guilty of that, when you know sometimes they just need you to stick close without saying a word.  I am not very good at that.  I want to try to make them smile when in reality I am making it worse.  

Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 Two are better than one, Because they have a good reward for their labor.  For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls. For he has no one to help him up.

My cousin gave me a paper that had that verse on it with two girls on it holding each other up.  It was a perfect picture of what we are suppose to do.  Not only to be there for our friends but also to show  others about how God loves them. Because what better way to show God's love then to be there for one another?!

Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you for the many friends that you have given me and especially for those who stick closer to me then a brother.  Help me be the friend they need and put away my selfishness and show them the love they deserve.  Help me to keep my mouth shut when it is needed and open when you are using me to say what you want.  Help me to know the difference.  In Jesus name, Amen

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Love one another

by Jessica Finney

Romans 13:10 Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.

It says multiple times in scripture that we should love one another as Christ loves us.  When we truly love someone, we do not want any harm to come to them.  Not to say that we don't hurt other unintentionally sometimes, but it should not be our motive.

I believe that anyone can say the right words to tell someone they love them, but if we don't show them with our actions, then what are we trying to prove? It is like the husbands/boyfriends that supposedly love their wives/girlfriends but they beat them.  How can you love someone and physically harm them? That isn't how God is.  He brings good out of our bad.  Not to say that He won't allow things to happen for consequences to our actions, but He loves us enough to forgive us and to not beat us up for our actions.

This week let's try to show God's love through us by trying to encourage someone with word and action.

Dear heavenly Father, I thank you for the love that you show for me.  I pray that you help me love others as you do, that I might bring more people to You.  Show me the ones that need an encouraging word or an action. Show me what you want me to do so I can show others Your love.  I love you Lord, In Jesus' name, Amen.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Let Us Not Grow Weary

by Jessica Finney

Have you ever done something you knew was what God wanted you to do, but you just got tired of doing it?

It is so easy to fall in the trap of the devil and feel we aren't getting the "pat on the back" we think we deserve. We can also feel we aren't getting the help we want, or we have just done it so long we feel we aren't doing any good.

It says in Galatians 6:9 "And let us not grow weary, while doing good for in due season we shall reap if we do not loose heart."

The Lord talks a lot about reaping and harvesting.  I believe this means if we keep our eyes on God and continue to do as God wants us to we will bring others to Him because we will be reaping what we sow.

Matthew 9:37, "He said to His disciples "The harvest truly is plentiful but the laborers are few."

People are waiting for us to show them Christ, but too often we let ourselves get in the way.

This next week let's try to encourage each other to not grow weary doing good but to continue to show the love of God to the world.

Lord, help me be who You want me to be.  Let me lead others to You by showing You through me. Help me to remember that I don't need man's applause but need to bring them to You.  Thank You for Your strength that You give us each and every day.  In Jesus name, Amen.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Waiting on the Lord

by Jessica Finney

Waiting on God to tell us what He wants us to do is not easy. It says in Isaiah 40:32 "But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount up with eagles, they shall run and not be weary. They shall walk and not grow faint."

To me that means that God know our limitations, so sometimes waiting for His timing is just getting us the rest that we need and helping us to get equipped for what He wants us to do. Once He lets us know, it usually is something we would have never imagined.

It also teaches us patience and lets us see how strong our faith really is. I don't know about you, but mine sometimes fails terribly.

I am a planner. I want to know what I am doing about every minute of every day and every year.  I start getting worried and nervous if plans aren't going well, even though God has showed me time and time again that some of the best moments are the ones that weren't planned out.

I believe during times like that God is reminding me that it isn't about me, and I need to put my trust in Him alone. His plan is so much better than mine, and His ways are the only ways I should desire.

I always want to be in His will, but I am like a child sometimes and don't want to wait for the answer; I want it now.

But how much better off our lives would be if we just waited on the Lord and loved Him enough to show that we are willing to wait, however long it takes.

Dear heavenly Father, Thank you for guiding us and growing us while we wait on You. Please help me with my faith because I can't do anything without You. Help me to not be impatient and try to get ahead of you. I want to show You that I love You enough that I will wait for your answer.  I know that it will be better then I could ever imagine.  In Jesus name, amen.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

The Slow Fade of Sin ~ Part 2

by Charity Pence

Sin has been a part of our world from the beginning.  Satan enticed Eve to eat forbidden fruit, and she in turn enticed Adam to eat.  Genesis 3:6 says, "So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate.  She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate."  By reading the entire passage we see what really happened there.  Satan fooled Eve.  He knew what would happen once she ate of the tree.  But did he share that information? Of course not.  Instead, he showed her all the great things the fruit had to offer, nothing else.  You know something? Satan still operates the same way today.  "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour." 1 Peter 5:8.

Sin is deceiving.  Sin often looks pleasant; we believe it will make us feel good or bring about something beneficial.  The path of destruction runs far, however.  The lustful thought that turns into an affair can destroy a marriage.  A lie at work or an immoral business decision forces one out of work which may lead to bankruptcy or prison.  An addiction destroys the one addicted and those around him/her.  There are consequences for our sins.  The consequence we should be most concerned with, though, is the separation from God sin brings about if we let it.

Are you ready for the good news? Romans chapter 6 can be difficult to grasp, but it is worth reading.  Verse 14, one of my favorites from this chapter, offers the following assurance: "For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace."  Throughout the chapter, we come to see that by believing Jesus to be our Savior, accepting what He has done for us, and turning our lives over to Him, we are set free from the curse of sin.  That is wonderful news! It means sin has no power over us unless we give in to Satan.

In order to deflect Satan's attacks, we must protect ourselves.  How? By putting on the armor of God.  Gird your waist with truth.  Put on the breastplate of righteousness.  Shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace.  Take the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the spirit.  (See Ephesians 6:11-20)

Keeping a close relationship with our Heavenly Father offers the best protection.  "The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous runneth into it and is safe." Proverbs 18:10.  God offers His strength to us so we can resist temptations.  But we have to strive to remain close to Him.  And when we do mess up, we must repent.  God forgives us when we admit our wrongs.  "The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit." Psalm 34:18.

God loves us, and I hope you understand how much.  "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believer in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life." John 3:16.  1 John 4:10 further states, "Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His son to be the propitiation of our sins."  God's love is nothing short of amazing.  After all, He not only knew how sin would entice us but also prepared a way for us to still enjoy eternal fellowship with Him.  Hallelujah!

Still looking for instruction? Open your Bible.  God's Word is filled with instruction and knowledge.  The Bible is not just a book of stories or information.  It's a journey.  One which will take you directly to your Heavenly Father and away from sin.

Dear Heavenly Father, help us all to get this, to take this message to heart.  Show us where we have taken the wrong steps.  Convict us and show us Your truth.  Cover us with your security so that the devil's attacks bounce away harmlessly.  You have sacrificed your son for us.  Help us to understand how powerful your love for us.  Thank You for never forsaking us.  I love You, Lord.  In Jesus' name, Amen.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

The Slow Fade of Sin ~ Part 1

by Charity Pence

I love the song "Slow Fade" performed by Casting Crowns.  Each time I listen to this song, I am reminded of how quickly, and sometimes unintentionally, we can slip into sin.  Reflect for a moment on the following lyrics:

It's a slow fade
When you give yourself away
It's a slow fade
When black and white are turned to gray

And thoughts invade, choices are made
A price will be paid
When you give yourself away
People never crumble in a day

The journey from your mind to your hands
Is shorter than you're thinking
Be careful if you think you stand
You just may be sinking

The path to sin may sometimes be like a fork in the road.  There are two clear directions we may go, and we make a conscious choice.  However, more often sin is like a road that gradually takes us further and further from our Heavenly Father.  We start on the path with what we believe to be a minor sin.  But the longer we travel that road, the more comfortable we become with that sin.  And then the sin grows into something bigger.  Before we realize what happened, we've travelled so far from where we began, we cannot see where we started. 

It's like a thought, or a fantasy.  We toy with an idea we know is wrong, but we let it play in our minds until we're comfortable.  And as the lyrics say, "the journey from your mind to your hands is shorter than you're thinking."  Thoughts become actions. 

It's like a lie, or an omission of the truth.  We get used to leaving out certain details until we suddenly find ourselves telling flat out lies.  Yet it isn't sudden.  It's a process we've allowed to take place.

The slow fade can take place with any sin.  A glimpse at an indecent photo can lead to an addiction to pornography.  "Playing around" with a particular substance such as alcohol or drugs can lead us to require more and more of the substance to be satisfied.  And as our lives begin to crumble, we wonder how we came so far.

Proverbs 5:21-23 offers the following warning: "For the ways of man are before the eyes of the Lord, and He ponders all his paths.  His own iniquities entrap the wicked man, and he is caught in the cords of his sin.  He shall die for lack of instruction, and in the greatness of his folly he shall go astray."

We need to realize how serious the slow fade of sin can be.  However, we are not without hope.  We are not lacking in instruction.  We are not destined to go astray.  Our Heavenly Father who loves us and knows us better than we know ourselves has given us His Word; that is where we find instruction.  And in God, we find strength to resist temptation.  "You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on you.  Because he trusts in You.  Trust in the Lord forever, for in Yah, the Lord, is everlasting strength."  Psalm 26:3, 4.

Dear Heavenly Father, how easily and quickly we allow ourselves to stray when we do not keep our hearts and minds on You.  Please forgive us the sins we've allowed ourselves to grow comfortable with.  Help us to see what we are doing.  Convict us when sin, regardless of how trivial we may think it is, tempts us.  Give us strength to prevent ourselves from straying further away from you.  We need you, Lord.  I need You.  Thank You for never forsaking us.  Help us to reflect on this message and to understand the consequences we may face if we do not turn away from the path we've chosen.  In Jesus' name, Amen.

Part 2 will be posted next week.  What to expect:
~How a close relationship of God protects us
~How to guard ourselves from the evil of Sin
~How to use God's word as daily instruction
~The importance of repentance
~God's great, never ending love for us

Monday, April 7, 2014

Multitude of Mercies

by Charity Pence

Just a quick word that touched my heart today.

"Nevertheless He regarded their affliction when He heard their cry, and for their sake He remembered His covenant and relented according to the multitude of His mercies." - Psalm 106:44, 45

The 106th chapter of Psalms discusses the great works God had done for His people Israel and the numerous times they rebelled against Him.  The few short lines of verses 44 and 45 offers a rich message.  Let me break down what this passage says to me.

Nevertheless. - It didn't matter that the Israelites had strayed so many times.
He regarded their affliction. - God knew how many times they had messed up but still cared.
He Relented. - God's love was too great for his anger to continue.
Multitude of His mercies. - God's mercy does not run out.

This passage applies to me and you as much as it did the Israelites.  We screw up.  Often.  Yet God opens His arms to us when we acknowledge our sins and return to Him.  How amazing! He has no three strikes and you're out rule.  Regardless of how many mistakes we make, His mercy never fails.

Praise His name! Hallelujah!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Draw Near to Him

by Charity Pence

This Week's Verse: "The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit." Psalm 34:18 (NKJ)

Some days God seems so near to me that I can feel Him holding me, uplifting me, and, yes, even pushing me when necessary.  Other days He feels distant, as if the sound of my voice crying out cannot reach His ears.  Do you have days like that? Ever wonder why? In my case, it's never that God is drawing away from me; I am drawing away from Him.

Unfortunately, drawing away is much too easy to do.  I get caught up in the things I need to accomplish and don't make the time for God.  Perhaps one day I don't read my Bible.  The next, I read a quick chapter or two but don't pray.  Or maybe I read and pray, but my mind is focused on what's in store for me that day which denies my Heavenly Father the opportunity to enter my heart.  Knowing I've neglected the relationship that should matter the most to me is heartbreaking.  My God wants so much more for me than what I allow.

The way I treat my relationship with God has a direct effect on how distant He feels.  Keeping in contact with my Heavenly Father is a must.  After all, I don't ignore my friends, my family, or my spouse with hopes of keeping the relationships intact.  Why do that to God?

Next time you feel God's distance, consider how much time you have been spending with Him.  Have you neglected Him? Are you not as close as you once were? Examining how you spend your time may make you uncomfortable, but spending time with God should be our priority no matter what else is going on.  If you find an area you've grown lax, change it.  Do whatever is necessary to draw close to Him again.  You won't regret it.

Dear Heavenly Father, I have neglected You in so many ways.  I am ashamed of my behavior toward You.  Yet I am thankful that You are never too far away to hear my voice.  Please forgive me and help me to re-focus so that You are my priority.  And Lord, please be with those who have struggled as I have.  Help them to return to You, to open their hearts to You, so that You can be their best friend and closest ally.  In Jesus' name, Amen.

Power Verses:
Isaiah 58:9 "Then shalt thou call, and the Lord shall answer, thou shalt cry, and He shall say, 'Here I am.'" (NKJ)
Isaiah 30:19 "He shall be very gracious unto thee at the voice of thy cry; when He shall hear it, He will answer thee."