Saturday, October 8, 2011

Now is the Time

I haven't quit reading Crazy Love, but I have put it down for a few days.  There has just been so much stuff that God has been teaching me recently that I just really need to soak it all in.  I've been going to this women's Bible study at my church on Thursday nights.  While I've struggled to make any close connections with the women, I do know that this study is exactly what I've needed.

I've just wanted to share some things that God has just been teaching me and that I have been learning in the past few weeks.
  • God is faithful. Always.  Yes, I've known this my whole life, but it's been made real to me.  In the past few years when I wasn't faithful to Him, He was still faithful to me.  Wow.  Who wouldn't want to serve a God like that?
Psalm 36:5  
"Your love, Lord, reaches to the heavens, 
your faithfulness to the skies."
  • Merely desiring to do something for the Lord and actually doing something are two very different things.  I can want to do things for the Lord.  I can want to change my attitude.  I can want to lose weight.  As long as I want, it won't get done.  I actually have to do something about it.  Whatever God asks me to pursue, He will accompany me to complete.
Philippians 2:13
"For it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose."
  • Right now is the time for me to believe and experience the abundance, the greatness, the fullness that my God has come to give even in the face of frustration.  
    • True abundance is really seen when I'm sitting in a prison circumstance (like Paul was when he wrote Ephesians), when I'm eye to eye with an impossible situation, and right in the heart of my impossible, I experience the fullness of God.
    • This has really been on my heart, because when I feel like I'm in an impossible situation, I just feel stressed.  When I'm stressed, I have a bad attitude.  This is NOT how Paul reacted.  He praised God when he was sitting in PRISON!!! How can I not praise God in my circumstance?
2 Corinthians 12:9
"But he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.'  Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me."
  • I cannot out-ask, out-request, or out-pray the ability of God.  My wildest dream cannot out-dream His ability in my life.  PRAISE GOD!!!  This is probably the best news I've heard in a while!  All those prayers I prayed feeling selfish, now I know that I shouldn't feel that way!  God CARES about everything I care about.  He cares about the A that I made on my quiz.  He cares about the kindness I show to my neighbor.  He cares about how stressed I am with work, school, and home life.  He cares about me having enough time to clean my house.  He cares about all the prayer requests we have in small group.  He cares about each person in my small group.  Heck, He cares about EVERY, SINGLE person on this Earth.  When no one else seems to care, I can always count on God caring.  The God I serve is all-powerful, and He is all-powerful ALL the time.
  • The Holy Spirit lives in me, and that means that the ability and the power of God the Father is also in me.  The Holy Spirit is God Himself.  I received the Holy Spirit on June 13, 1999 when I was baptized into Christ.  He has been with me for 12 years, which also means the ability of power of God has been with me that long.  How have I not grasped this?  How have I not fully acknowledged that the power of Christ is in me?
Ephesians 1:13-14
"And when you believed in Christ, he identified you as his own by giving you the Holy Spirit, whom he promised long ago.  The Spirit is God's guarantee that he will give us the inheritance he promised and that he has purchased us to be his own people.  He did this so we would praise and glorify him."  (NLT)

  • People are more important that any amount of money.  This is something my parents have preached to me since I was little.  No amount of money is more important than any person.  I believe that they have done a fantastic job of making people feel welcome in their home by hosting many parties and gatherings and sharing with others.  They have also taken numerous people to lunch and have always paid for their guests.  They've stolen receipts off tables of people we know in the restaurant just to bless them that day with a gift of lunch.  People have asked my parents how much they owe them, the answer is always the same:  Nothing.  I see the blessings God has given them in their lives because they have blessed other people.  My parents never expect anything in return because they are gracious.  They have a willing spirit and really live by the lesson they teach.  I want to be like them.
Ecclesiastes 5:10
"Whoever loves money never has money enough;
whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income.
This too is meaningless."

Luke 16:13
"No servant can serve two masters.  Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other.  You cannot serve both God and Money."

My heart is so full, and as you can see I have a lot to just soak in and meditate on.  God has been so good to me.  He has blessed me abundantly with a caring and loving husband, fantastic parents, and some pretty great brothers.  He's given me the opportunity to learn, and given me a new church home to serve in.  I will continue to praise Him all the days of my life.  Now is the time.

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