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Posted on August 18th, 2015
​Often in Scripture, Jesus would go away to be by himself with God.
When I think of this it always causes me to reevaluate how I spend
my time. As followers of Christ, it is our job to be out among the
people spreading the gospel and sharing His light. In order for us to
be able to do this, we also must go away for a time to pray, read
Scripture, and just be alone with the Lord.
Jesus desperately needed this time with God. He did this on a
consistent basis regardless of  what was going on around Him. We need
to do the same. We need to stop allowing the circumstances in our daily
lives to be an excuse for not spending time with God. We can’t sit
around hoping that extra time will magically appear, just so we can
consider giving Him a tiny piece of it.
Yes, we are busy with work, kids, school, activities, family, health
issues, friends, and church. The list could continue indefinitely.
Our lives are full of people and circumstances that demand our time and
energy. We can choose to give our time and energy to God first, rather
than giving Him the leftovers. When we put Him last, instead of first, we
believe we have nothing left to give. When we give Him our best, He
will take what seems like nothing and turn it into more than enough.
This concept was illustrated when Jesus fed the 5,000 with only a little
boy’s lunch.
We can be aware of God’s presence and be in constant
communication with Him as we go about our daily activities, but it is
incredibly vital that we spend time with Him without all of the other
noise. Can you be a Christian without having a daily quiet time? Yes,
but why would you want to? It’s like paying to belong to a club and not
really enjoying any of the benefits. Did we receive salvation just so that
we can say we are a Christian or do we want all that God has to offer?
Our spiritual growth is dependent on our relationship with the Lord. We
need to walk past salvation, straight into a full blown love affair with
Jesus!
How can we do that if we aren’t spending time with him? How can
we know God if we aren’t reading His Word? How can we hear the Holy
Spirit if we don’t take the time to listen to his voice? When we speak to
our children, many times they don’t hear us, but it’s not because we aren’t
speaking, it’s because they aren’t listening. It’s the same with God. He’s
patiently waiting for you to listen to His voice so that He can guide you
and bless you. Won’t you stop today and just listen? Alone in the quiet is
where we learn to recognize His voice. The more time that we spend
with Him, the more recognizable His voice becomes.
We often blame our lack of time with God on the fact that we are too busy.  When the truth is that we don’t fully trust Him. We think we know more than He does. We think He doesn’t understand how busy we are. We don’t believe that He knows best. These are all lies that the enemy would want us to believe. The truth is that God always knows best. If we will put our trust in Him completely, and give Him everything, He will reveal to us how we should be spending our time. He will help us to order our day so that by spending time with Him, we can receive every blessing that He has for us.
Posted on July 29th, 2015
“​As believers we should be looking for God in our fellow believers despite our differences.” This sentence touched me today.  It hit me hard, convicting and encouraging me at the same time.
Convicting because I have been, and can be, so critical of others.  Insecurity, jealousy, and fear beg me looking for what others are doing wrong, so I can feel better about myself.  Clearly, our confidence should never lie in that we are more, or better, or “Holier” than anyone else.  Our confidence is only secure when we base it on Christ.  Every time I think and/or speak negative thoughts about someone else, I damage my relationship with God, the other person, and my ability to speak truth.  While I might gain a temporary feeling of good, the negative feelings and consequences weigh me down.
John could have been jealous of Jesus.  He had a good thing going until Christ came around. He had a large following, a successful ministry, and was serving God.  All the sudden, here comes this new guy who takes all the attention.  He could have been angry, bitter, and insecure. Instead, he immediately acknowledges who Jesus is and what He has come to do. His choice to follow Jesus, and encourage others to follow Jesus, opens the door for God to do what He needs to do. When we are able to encourage others, rather than criticize them, we give God room to do His work.
I was encouraged because it reminded me that we are all made in the image of God.  Isn’t that a beautiful truth?  Each one of us reflects His glory.  He made us exactly who we are, with His purposes in mind, and we can relax in that knowledge.  When we look for God in others, we can see His reflection.  We get to add one more glimpse of who He is to our hearts.  We get to see how He is working and participate in His plan.  What a gift.  It also means that we don’t have to strive so hard to be better than anyone.  We get to be us and let them be them. What a relief.
Thank You Father that You have a plan for each of our lives.  Thank You that You work in and through each of us.  Guide us to see Your hand, Your faithfulness, and Your spirit in each other.

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