Wow 2020 has been crazy. First the Impeachment trial, then the Chinese Virus and then the chaos in the streets. Now the schools are back to in person classes then there back to distance learning. Last but not least the mess that was called an election.
Ok, let me take a breath. Even in all of this “stuff” God is at work. As I pray and meditate, God has shown me he is beginning to separate the wheat from the tares.
The Parable of the Weeds
Jesus told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared.
“The owner’s servants came to him and said, ‘Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?’
“‘An enemy did this,’ he replied.
“The servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’
“‘No,’ he answered, ‘because while you are pulling the weeds, you may uproot the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.’”
As Christian we don’t always live like we have “hope”. With these weird times I have noticed some believers putting more trust in government leaders then in God. It is a double edged sword. On one hand God is the one who appoints the “Kings”around the world. So in our flesh we need to obey them. On the other hand when they are instilling fear to manipulate us, we should not listen to them.
So, how does the parable fit into what I am talking about? There are believers who are not coming to church because of COVID. They started watching services on line but as time goes on they watch less and less. Before you know it you are losing touch with the church/ body of Christ. Now to be clear, going to church does not make you saved and not going to church does not make unsaved. Christ is in us but we are made for fellowship. Getting together with other believers is good for us. The old saying, you are what you eat or garbage in garbage out. Satan is trying to keep us apart.
My encouragement is not to be the Tare in the parable. Be the healthy wheat that the will be kept. Get back to church if you are able to. If you are not able to then set your clock on Sunday and make sure to participate in the live service.
Don’t let Satan win by separating you from the body, church. Once we are separated it is hard to reconnect. Like a finger, there is a certain time before it can not be reattached. The good thing is in Christ so long as you’re alive you can be reconnected to the body.
Thanksgiving is upon us once again. This year’s festivities can either mean more to you or be very sad for you. With all that 2020 has thrown our way it is certainly understandable if you are not thankful. As I write this I don’t know where you are on the Thanksgiving spectrum. I can only share where I am and why.
This this year I am very Thankful for all God has done and is doing in our life. God has opened doors and allowed me to do things I love. I am thankful to my Honey for letting me be obedient to God. The financial reward is not huge but the spiritual reward is “bigger than huge” it’s eternal. Timeless Prayer Network is having a bigger impact than last year. God continues to give us wisdom for the ministry.
As I say that, it doesn’t mean life is all peaches and cream. I have had some health challenges but God remains faithful through it all.
Life has its ups and downs. Sometimes we think no one else has problems. Actually very few people have no problems. If you see someone and think “ their life is perfect”. Stop right there, no life is perfect. Especially if they don’t have Christ. We should not envy anyone especially someone who does not trust in Christ as their savior. I am digressing, my apologies.
Here is a great quote from Robert Louis Stevenson “Keep your eyes open to your mercies. The man who forgets to be thankful has fallen asleep in life.”
I could not have said it better than that. I believe that being Thankful is a state of mind and a choice. We can choose to be thankful. This is a far better way to live.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name. Psalm 100:4
Please know that if you are not in a place of Thanksgiving today I am praying for you.
God bless and Happy Thanksgiving from my Honey and I.
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So with the election winding down. I have been thinking about us Christians and how we spent the last 4 years. Well let me be more specific, how I spent them.
I realized on Wednesday after the election that I was pinning my hopes on one “political”individual. This individual has my personal and religious values at heart. So This made me “fat, dumb and happy”. This was something my father would say after dinner. I was more me centered then we centered. This made me lazy to an extent. I did the“ required” things to keep my relationship with Christ vibrant ie, reading, praying and attending church. However I think that when I was out and about in the world my walk was more benign or non-descript.
Let me share a personal story with you. I woke up early in the morning to realize that my candidate was behind. I casually told the Lord that I trusted Him. A split second later the Lord asked me “ do you trust me”? I knew the nature of His question. He was asking if my candidate does not win will I trust Him. The more I think on that moment the more profound the question becomes. I think at that moment, I knew a little of how Peter felt when Christ asked if he loved Him. I was a little hurt by the question. Tough questions help us identify areas we need to improve in.
I knew I couldn’t just answer without internalizing it. I did answer with “I trust you”. However this began to make me ask questions. The first question was, what did I do with these last 4 years? Was I the salt and light that He calls me to be?
Unfortunately I had to answer this question with a “no”. So I began to pray and ask Him how I can be “salt and light” in the coming days, weeks, months and years. Jesus has begun to show me the path to take to be the salt and light that He needs me to be. We have to remember that we are all called to His purposes. This will look different for all of us.
Even though this is not the New Year, begin to reflect if you are salting the world or if the world is salting you. If the world is doing the salting then dig into Him and ask how you can make a difference and fulfill Matthew 5:13-16.
Salt and Light
13 “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.
God bless you and have a great day, Jym.
Our church is embarking on a 10 Day Prayer Challenge. As I was walking our dog Max this morning I thought of the James, author of the Book of James. Why you might ask, glad you did.
James was known as (nickname) Old Camel Knees because he spent so much time on his knees praying. So much time his knees hardened like those of a camel. Imagine praying so much that our bodies are adversely affected.
Now let me connect these two points. As I thought of James and how he dedicated his life to praying.
I thought maybe these 10 Days can be a kick start for us. Let’s be like John and take this Journey of a lifetime. For the next 10 Days I will be posting prayer points. These points are the same that our church will be praying.
Enjoy the Journey
Day 1 of our 10 Days Of Prayer.
God’s blessing as you take this journey.
Day #1: The Ninevah Moment
Prayer for our REBELLION
The Ninevites believed God. A fast was proclaimed, and all of them from the greatest to the least, put on sackcloth.—Jonah 3:5
Father, forgive us for great sins in our nation and as believers. We have forsaken God and ignored His Word. We have shed innocent blood and hated one another. We have committed sexual immorality. We have worshipped money and trusted in our own strength. Forgive us! Let Your eyes be open and Your ears attentive to our prayers and repentance for the people of God and for our nation. Forgive us, Your people, for our sins that have grieved Your heart and deserve righteous judgment. Father, our human action is weak and inadequate for the problems we are facing. We do not trust in kings or princes, in politics or the power of our own hands, but our eyes are on You. Would You rise and take action to revive your Church and to bring about a great turning in this moment of crisis?
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Trust is an interesting word. The dictionary defines trust the following way: firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something. In this context trust can be withdrawn in an instant. If someone does you wrong or if they don’t follow through on something. We as humans constantly give and take our trust.
What about our trust in Jesus? How often do we give Him our trust, only to be “disappointed” because He didn’t do what we wanted Him to do. Then we decide to do it on our own, which is a huge mistake.
Recently my income has been cut in half. Partly because of COVID-19 and various other reasons. So like a “Good” husband I have tried to take things into my own hands. I have been applying for work and even started with a full service shopping service. Shopping and delivering groceries. All in an attempt to fill in the gap. The world tells us this is what we are “supposed” to do and unfortunately we Christians fall into this trap. Yes I said trap, Satan is always trying to get us to forsake our reliance on God. This was Satans down fall, he wanted to be like the Father. There is only one true God.
The last two days my devotional has told me to forsake the worlds ways. This devotional was written 100 years ago. It has been encouraging me and other readers to rely or trust in Jesus. Not to take away that trust just because things aren’t going the way you or I thought they should. The devotion is only reinforcing what Jesus has already told me. He has told me that He is going to take care of us, my Honey and I. So my job, is to have my eyes and heart open to what He wants me to do. The rest is up to Him. I am reminded that Gods way are not my ways. Thank God for that!
In Matthew 6:25-30 Jesus tells us what it is like to let Him take care of us.
Therefore 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 they 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?
So whether it is financial or health concerns, let’s continue to trust Jesus for our needs.
Have a great Memorial Day Weekend!
Lord even during this time, You call me to be cheerful. You have overcome the world. You conquered it and deprived it of power to harm me through your victory on the cross. Nothing I encounter along my life-path will ever separate me from your love. A joyful heart will improve my health-spiritually, emotionally and physically. Help me fill me mind with thankful thoughts. To praise You for all You are! I was designed to be filled with heavenly contents. Your Light and Life. As these nutrients soak into the depths of my being, they strengthen me and enhance my health!
Spiritual warfare is the Christian concept of fighting against the work of preternatural evil forces. It is based on the biblical belief in evil spirits, or demons, that are said to intervene in human affairs in various ways.
I am very intrigued when I come across (Christians) people who are ignorant to the idea of a spiritual battle.
As a baby Christian I was taught that we need to be aware of this battle. Not only to be aware but that we are part of that battle. Paul tells us of this battle and how to suit up for it in Ephesians 6:12-18
For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints—
Reading my devotional today it says when we Pray we take territory from the enemy. In other words we gain position.
In battle anytime you can gain position or an advantage you take it.
So when you pray remember you are a part of Gods army doing battle against Satan and his army. Never forgetting that we win in the End!
A message from Jym Winberg