Monday, July 29, 2013

Trust depends on how you see Him

God always shows Himself faithful while He works in my life. : )

I recently got my old pastor's sermons on CD in the mail on his Creation to Christ series. I was very excited and popped one in that evening. He starts out by going over the point of the study which is to know and see that the God of the Old Testament is the same God of the New Testament. He shows that through His love and mercy on Israel to bring about His ultimate plan that comes in Christ in the New Testament. We cannot understand God's ultimate plan if you dont know who He is from the Bible. Most of our points of view about God come from how we were brought up or what our church taught mostly from man made traditions. This leads into a conversation he had with someone he knew at another place he lived where this person did not trust in God because what had happen in Ohio with those girls. He emailed this person asking where they were coming from. Their reply was that they knew that the world is corrupt because of our sin but if God was so powerful and in control why couldnt He take control of some of the hurt and evilness of this world? My pastor ask the question, "Do we want a holy God take control and give us truly what we deserved?" Of course because of what God has showed to me through His word the answer is No. His wrath upon this evil of this world would destory us and do I wish that upon anyone who is not a Christian. Of course not.

Then my pastor went on with his study where he left off before in Genesis 37, he introduces Joseph. Joseph is a prime example of someone who knows who God is and trult trusts in Him. First, his brothers hate him because he knows what he needs to do in order to please God even if telling his dreams made them more angry at him. Second, they sell him to slave owners going to Egypt. Ok if that was me, I would be scared. But Joseph continues on being faithful to God and trusting in Him knowing He knew the bigger picture. Joseph shows that when he works for Potiphar and even when he is the one in charge while he was in jail. His trust in a God who knows the ultimate plan for his life was what motivated him to not fret and freak out but to remain faithful to Him. Wow what faith! What trust! That is only the beginning : )

The next day, I go to church, one that my husband and I are checking out, to the evening service. The first thing the pastor talks about there is rejoicing in the Lord knowing the Lord is at hand. His scripture was of course Phil 4:4-9. He then says the way we preceive God is how we are going to trust Him. We wont "be anxious for nothing..." but we "let our requests be made known to God..". In return, as He promises and because we know that He is at hand, "the peace of God...will guard our hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."

Do I trust in that just like Joseph did? Do I know that the Lord is at hand? Lately I just have been struggling with worrying about things that do not exist or even have prove that does exist. But why? I know my God is faithful. I know my God knows my heart and all my days from the moment I was conceived to when I die. Oh how I hate my thoughts! Pray for me as I continue to allow God to conform my mind to His will.   

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Conforming to His will

As most of you know, my husband and I have recently moved, relocating for a new job. We have been here for almost 2 months. We also decided that I wont work to see if we can live off of his salary for the future. My prayer, without internet or Netflix, for the first month was to draw near to God knowing He will draw near to me as it says in James 4:8a. He has been so faithful and last month was amazing.

This month we decided that I liked going to the library for the internet and will not get internet for awhile. So I continue to pray for God's will as I continue on transitioning into this new lifestyle.  I will confess lately I have become restless where it makes me more conscious and watchful for discontentment and dissatisfaction which is only a gateway for Satan/my flesh to screw with my mind. I cannot allow him to get to me knowing that I am wrestling against rulers of the darkness of this age as it says in Ephesians 6:12 and that God is far more powerful than Satan/my flesh will ever be. I have constantly gone to His word and His promises which has remain so faithful for me.

What He has recently brought to my attention is my mind is in the process of being conformed to His will. I feel disconnected and unsure about things. God has blessed me with this amazing woman of God who has helped me get connected and been my friend. I have been to a picnic for the ACTION (Americans For Christian Traditions In Our Nation of Pennsylvania) group here. I have been going to a Good News Club and have been invited to volunteer at a camp next week. God alo has really laid on my heart on telling others about the Gospel and how it has affected my life with the people in my apartment complex. I have been struggling to do these things, being anxious if I am doing it right, and feeling like it is a duty and finding little pleasure in it. It is not like I feel like if I dont do this that God is going to be angry and I will feel guilty. I have gotten beyond that. He totally convicts me until I do do it. For example, I got some mail of this girl who lives upstairs next to me and I needed to go give it to her. I have talked to her before and she is very nice and this letter was my excuse to go to her again. So last Saturday I had my routine of getting ready for the day and was going to go to the library. I get into the car and notice her car was in her spot. Suddenly, God tells me, "Kristina go get the letter and go give it to her." I gave excuses like she will be here later after I am done with what I want to do. But He kept pressing me. Then I had the thought, What if she is thinking of something right now and I need to have a conversation with her about that? God works like that dont He? So after a minute of going back and forth, I turned off the car, got the letter, and knocked on her door. She invited me as she did before and I sat for awhile since she had some company. Then they left and we started to talk. We talked about some things that were going on in her life and how through it she was discovering herself. I was able to share a little bit what God has done in my life and how He has transformed it. It ended where sometime this week we are to hang out which I am doing this afternoon. But even then, I had my own plans today but knew that this is something God wants me to do. I know I will have fun. I always do : ) I have been praying for opportunites and discussions this afternoon but I have no passion. My friend finds so much joy in telling the Gospel to these little kids and seeks opportunities to do so where ever she goes. Peter, Paul, and the other disciples were like that. Everywhere they went, they preached the Gospel. It was what drove them! Is there a middle? I have the desire to do it but I feel like it is something I need to do. What comes to mind is in Matthew 16:24-27,

     "Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. 25 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. 26 For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? 27 For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works."

And Romans 12:1-2,
 "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God."

It is like I need reassurance that I am building those relationships or then I am afraid I am being too lazy. I dont know. But I do know that He is a faithful God and His word does not return void. His word is what motivates me. His word is what is alive. The Gospel is still working in my own life. The Gospel is what is powerful not me. I dont think I fully trust in God in that yet. 

 " For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ,[a] for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.” Romans 1:16  

Monday, July 8, 2013

The 4th of July

In light of the events of our government and country and personally what God has been doing in my life through His word, I felt that this year Cyrus and I need to read the constitution on the 4th of July. It was interesting but also rewarding as we read it. Hehe we did not even finished it. Cyrus had to explain alot of it to me which I think exhausted him : P But it was alot of fun and produce alot of conversation. My thoughts are going to be brief but to the point because I am still trying to learn about this: I dont think President Obama has a big part as much as we think he does when it comes to with whats going on. Now what do I mean by that? I believe that as a country and our country's leaders have allowed over time through the Great Depression, World War I and II, rules and laws to falter morally. What is also sad is how, as the church, we appear we dont care or do little about it. How does a nation or group of people falter morally? They forsake God. Other things get in the way and become more important. There are too many distractions. It does not rock our little world so we dont feel convicted enough. I know I am gulity of that.
I have been reading a book called Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy which by the way is AMAZING!! The burden that this man had for the spiritual welfare of Germany during Nazi Germany was HUGE. He was constantly in the word, seeking God's face in prayer, even apart of a church that separated from the church of Germany and started his own seminary discipling people in God's word and in their current circumstances. He read Jeremiah and felt what he felt. So that made me want to read Jeremiah also. It has convicted me on a level that I dont think I fully grasp yet where God wants to take me with it. But there are a few verses that have caught my eye that I believe relates to us as a nation.

“For My people have committed two evils:
They have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters,
And hewn themselves cisterns—broken cisterns that can hold no water." Jeremiah 2:13

"...'Your own wickedness will correct you,
And your backslidings will rebuke you.
Know therefore and see that it is an evil and bitter thing
That you have forsaken the Lord your God,
And the fear of Me is not in you,'
Says the Lord God of hosts."  Jeremiah 2:19

" 'Your ways and your doings
Have procured these things for you.
This is your wickedness,
Because it is bitter,
Because it reaches to your heart.' "  Jeremiah 4:18

Like I said I am still learning more about this and God is guiding me to something but this is something I want to challenge myself with too. What stops me from making a difference in this world where people see God and not themselves?
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