Motivational Monday: What is your Name?


name tag

“Therefore if any man be in Christ,

he is a new creature:old things are passed away;

behold, all things are become new.”

2 Corinthians 5:17

“What’s your name?”- It is a question we get asked all the time.

We teach our children from a very young age to recognize their name and to respond to that name. Before a child is even born, parents are hard at work trying to decide what he or she should be called.

Your name defines you. It is who you are.

The same is true as a Christian. When you are saved God gives you a  new name. God calls you His child.

Satan, however, does not like this. He wants to remind you of all the other things you were before you were saved: sinner, hypocrite, liar, drunk, drug dealer, gossiper, thief… so many things we were before God changed our hearts.

In today’s verse, we are reminded that we are new creatures when God saves us.

The song I am sharing today talks about this same issue. I know this is a very popular song and I am sure that you have heard it before, but I wanted it to be a reminder for you this morning. No matter who the devil tries to tell you that you are, no matter what he calls you, remember that God says you are a child of the King.

I pray that this song will encourage your heart and motivate you today.

God bless you.

Video by:Tina Todd (from YouTube)

True Knowledge Comes from Above


back to school

“That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love,

and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding,

to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ;

 In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”

Colossians 2: 2-3

The day has finally arrived!

Today is the first day of our new school year. Summer break has been one of adventure and excitement, but the time has come for us to put on our thinking caps and get back to learning.

Supplies have been bought and placed in backpacks, awaiting their turn for service. School uniforms have been purchased and pressed, ready to be worn. Classrooms have been carefully decorated in preparation for the arrival of new students.

I do not know about other teachers and students, but in our house, school is not an ugly word. My children enjoy learning and I enjoy teaching, therefore the first day of school is very exciting for us.

I was thinking about the new school year and what I wanted to write about today. As I read through different Scriptures, I came across this one. I was reminded once again what my job as a teacher really is: To share the love of God with each of my students.

We make it a priority at our school to teach our children about God and to share His love with them on a daily basis. Our principal tells our kids throughout the year that even if they learn the text from their books forward and backward, but they fail to learn about God and the salvation He offers, then we as teachers have failed them.

In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge”- this is the part of the verse that really stuck in my mind this morning. If I make it a priority to share the love of God with my students and to lead them to Christ, there will they find the true meaning of wisdom and knowledge.

Yes, I do believe that education is important. I enjoy watching my kids learn every day. I love to see that moment when something new is discovered, I can almost see the light bulb turn on above their heads. I enjoy seeing them have an aha moment: that moment when the concept they have been trying to grasp finally clicks. Those are priceless memories.

Being a teacher is often exhausting, and there are times when I feel like my efforts are in vain. These are the times when I will cling to today’s scripture and remember why I am truly a teacher. No matter what happens throughout the school year, no matter what trials I face, I will remember that teaching my children about God is what will truly lead them to wisdom and knowledge.

I know you may not be a school teacher, but I want to encourage you today, and remind you that no matter what your title is, someone is still learning from you every day. Ask yourself, “What am I teaching others today?” I pray that you will hide this verse in your heart. I pray that it will serve as a reminder that no matter what others learn from you, the most important thing you can teach them about is God.

Did God Really Say…


question

For whatever things were written before were written for our learning,

that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.”

Romans 15:4

Have you ever heard someone ask this question?

Maybe you have even asked it yourself a time or two.

A fellow blogger and I were discussing an entry which he had written and this was the subject of our conversation.

We both agreed that, yes, God did mean exactly what He said in the Scripture and that we are not to take it lightly or to question how serious He truly was about a subject.

This is exactly what led to the fall of Adam and Eve. From the beginning of time this very question has been getting us in trouble.

Let’s look at Genesis 3 and see just how the story went:

 vs.1: “Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?”

The first thing the devil did was plant a seed of doubt in Eve’s mind: “Did God really say…”

You see, the devil is called the father of lies for a reason. It is not a mistake that the Bible tells us that he roams around like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour.

From the very beginning the devil tries to get Eve to doubt. He tries to confuse her and cause her to question what she knew God had told her. How can we be sure that Eve remembered what God had said? Let us read the next verses and find out.

Vs. 2-3:  “And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.”

We know from these verses that Eve did not have a sudden case of amnesia. She quoted God’s words back to the devil. She remembered exactly what God had told her.

Where she messed up was this: She allowed the devil to cause her to doubt. She allowed him to plant that tiny seed of doubt in her mind: Did God really say…

The next thing that happened was just as dangerous to Eve and in the end led to death for her and Adam.

Vs. 4-5 : “And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.

Eve lends the devil a listening ear for just a moment and she is deceived with a lie.

First, the devil gives Eve reason to doubt, and then when she drops her guard he feeds her a lie. The devil, however, is a sly old beast. He did not just feed her a line that he thought she might believe. No, he wrapped a lie in just enough truth as to assure its success. The devil knew that she would not just die right there on the spot. The death that God was warning against was a death of innocence, a break in the fellowship between God and His creation, and ultimately an eternal death if provisions were not made.

It worked. We know from reading the rest of the story that Eve ate the fruit from the forbidden tree, took some to Adam and he ate it as well. Their eyes were then opened and they realized what they have done.

Friends, our lives are no different from this story that was told so many years ago.

If we allow the devil to come in and plant that little seed of doubt, If we allow him to whisper in our ear, ” Did God really say…”, we are opening ourselves up to be lied to and then deceived.

We need to realize that when God says something He means it. When God gives us a commandment, it is not to keep us from having fun. It is to protect us.

God knew that as soon as Adam and Eve ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil that their eyes would be opened and they would no longer be innocent. He was trying to protect them.

God gives us His word for the same purpose.

When God’s word says, “Thou shall not…” that is exactly what it means. It does not mean maybe we can later, or maybe if you are good I will let you. It means no, not even almost, never.

I pray today that we will take the verses which God has given to us in His word, and that we will hide them in our hearts. I pray we will not allow the devil to plant that seed of doubt, and whisper that lie into our ear. I pray we will realize when God says, “No,” that it is for a reason. That reason is because He loves you and me. He wants to protect us, and to give us a home in Heaven with Him some day.

Motivational Monday: A Change in Pace


easternsky

Therefore be ye also ready:
for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.

Matthew 24:44

What if we could somehow know exactly when Jesus was coming back for His children?

Would that change your daily routine?

What preparations would you be making?

This week is bringing about a change in pace for our family. Stating today, we are making preparations, changing gears you might say.

School starts for us on Friday.

Every year, on the week of school starting back, we make the kids slowly get back in the routine of going to bed early, getting up early, and making preparations for a new school year.I have preparations to make myself. I make sure that my house is in order, that the cabinets are stocked with healthy foods for breakfast, snacks, and lunches. I make sure that I am prepared to get up, get my stuff done, and get out the door on time.

It never fails, however, that each year, when it comes time to prepare for school to start again, we are faced with the same questions from the kids: “Why do we have to go to bed early? Why do we have to get up early? Why do we have to make sure that all our school supplies are in our bags and ready for the first day of school?”

It is to make sure that we are ready. Changes are coming and I want us to be prepared. I do not want us to be caught off guard. We know the time is at hand, therefore, we make preparations for the changes.

We have the same responsibility when it comes to the return of Jesus.

We have preparations to make, and we have things to get in order.

The difference is this: We do not know when that time will be. That is why it is so important to make sure that we stay ready, that we keep an eye on the skies. The Bible tells us in 2 Peter 3:10 that Jesus will come as a thief in the night. Just as a thief would not announce his coming into your house, Jesus has not made the time of His return known to man. We simply must be prepared and ready to go in an instant.

Our family was coming home from Church last night and as we rounded a curve in the road, the trees thinned out and we could see the eastern sky. It was painted with blues and purples, all swirled together and the clouds were standing tall in a few different places among all the beautiful colors. As we drove, my husband and I began to talk about Jesus’ return, and I silently prayed, “Lord, will today be the day?” I began to think how amazing it will be, when that day arrives, to see Jesus split the eastern sky and come to take His children home.

Are you ready?

Have you made your preparations? There will be no time to make changes when Jesus comes back for His church. The time for preparation is now.

Are you keeping an eye on the eastern sky?

Jesus is coming back, and I believe that it will be soon.

I pray today that you are ready to go. I pray that you have made your preparations, that you have your house in order. If you do not, I pray that right now you will take the time to do this:  Accept Jesus as your Savior, ask Him to come in and dwell inside of you. Give your life to Him. With this done, you gain the assurance that when Jesus does return for His children that you will be ready.

If you have made preparations, if you do have your house in order and you are ready to go, Praise God! Let us keep working until He returns, but let us also keep an eye on the sky. I do not know about you, but I am ready to go.

I pray that you are as well.

God bless you today.

A Lesson from a Butterfly


butterfly

“And be not conformed to this world:

but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind,

that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”

Romans 12:2

My favorite insect is the butterfly. It have always fascinated me.

As I was reading my Bible this morning I came to this verse and the image of a butterfly came to my mind.

I was thinking about what it takes for them to transform. This led me to thinking about us as Christians.

What an example of transformation the butterfly is to us.

When a butterfly starts its journey, it is a small helpless caterpillar. It has only two jobs to do, to eat and to grow. Does that sound similar to a new Christian? When we are first saved, it is crucial that we begin to feed on God’s Word. This is how we grow and mature in order to be used by God.

The next phase is what always gets my attention. When a caterpillar has eaten and grown enough  it enters into the chrysalis. Here it changes and grows until it emerges a beautiful butterfly… or does it?

As I was reading about butterflies this morning a couple of things caught my attention. butterfly2

First, when a butterfly emerges its wings are limp and unusable. It is not until the butterfly has done some work that it can actually use its wings and fly.  We as Christians are like this as well. We are saved by God’s grace but the transformation does not stop there. The next step that we have to take is to be sanctified, which means that we allow the Holy Spirit to come in and change us from the inside. Once the Holy Spirit has come in and done a work in us, then we can begin to do God’s Work.

The second thing I found out was very fascinating to me. Did you know when a butterfly emerges it can not use its mouth? It is true. When a butterfly first emerges, its mouth is in two pieces. It is the butterfly’s job to join the two pieces together to form a useful unit. Only then can the butterfly successfully get nourishment. We as Christians must get our mouths under control as well. If we do not, we will not be able to successfully minister for God and carry out His purpose for our lives. The Bible tells us in James 1:26: “If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless.”

I had this thought this morning after reading about the things that a butterfly goes through: What if a caterpillar decided one day that the changes were too hard and it just was not going to do all that hard work? What if it decided it was going to stay a caterpillar forever? Well, we know this is a crazy question because the process from caterpillar to butterfly is a natural one and it can not make that choice. Let us use our imagination for just a moment then. What if this did happen? We know that in this case, the caterpillar would never reach its full potential. It would never be all that it was meant to be. We as Christians are the same way. God may point out some things to you that need to be changed. If we refuse, if we decide that it is to hard, we will never reach our full potential. We can not remain where we are and expect to become anything more than what we are now. We need to allow God to work in us, to transform us into the beautiful creation He has planned for each one of us.

butterfly3   butterfly4

Butterflies are beautiful creatures designed by God.

 We as Christians can take these lessons from the butterfly and apply them to our own lives. Just as the transformation for a butterfly is not easy, sometimes the changes we are required to make as Christians are not always easy, but they are necessary if we are going to be useful to God’s Kingdom.

 I pray today that you will allow God to grow you, to transform you , and then to use you for His honor and His glory. The changes may not always be easy, but I promise you the end result will be well worth it.