Thursday, June 30, 2016

Five Minute Friday- Protect- Protector of Our Souls

Here comes another round of Five Minute Friday. The word is "protect".

So has anyone heard about the U.N trucks in like 25 major cities around the United States?

I sure did! My husband wasn't to fond of them. They are there to protect us. Protect us from whom you ask? That answer is different to each person you talk to about it.

Some like my husband would say that it is to protect the U.S from people who are wanting a change and would do anything to stop the government.

Others would say from terrorists.

But whatever reason they were or still here, we do need protection as a country. Not in the way you think. Not from our self serving president or sitting ducks politicians. No, we need protection for our souls. As Christians we don't know how much longer we have here until Christ comes back but there are lost people who need protection for their souls.

And stop.

This is something that God really has been working in my heart. Souls of people who are lost need Jesus. Everything in our flesh/Satan will try to stop us from telling others about Christ. Satan is going to try everything to hold onto those people who needs their souls to be protected. We know who the true Protector of souls are and we need to tell them about Him. No U.N trucks or new president are going to change things. It is us who need to step and see that people's souls are at stake.

 For you were like sheep going astray,
but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer[i] of your souls.
1 Peter 2:25

Monday, June 27, 2016

Knowing Our Enemy's Tricks - Peter

Satan is a pretty nasty guy and was going to try everything to stop people from believing in God's plan. He was going to make it as miserable for Christ and others as much as possible. He knew what his destiny was and he knew the only thing you could do was to bring people down with him. We need to remember those times when Satan tried in his own power to prevent others to know the will of God in order for us to be more aware of his tricks in our own lives.

The next three posts I am going to be asking three questions in order to focus more on the "opportune time" according to Luke 4:13 that Satan sought to "mess" with God's plan:

1) Who or what Satan used?
2) How does Jesus respond?
3) What is applicable to me?
1) Who or what Satan used?

Peter- Read Matt 16:21-23, Luke 22:31-34,54-62, John 21:15-19

Peter had a bold personality and sometimes allowed his emotions and desires to get the best of him. Satan could see that used his emotions and desires to mess with Jesus.

In the Matthew passage, Peter rebukes Christ telling Him that He wasn't going to die. What is crazy how just a few verses before, Peter tells Jesus He was the Christ, the Son of the living God. But Peter put his guard down telling Jesus that He was the Messiah but He couldn't do His Messiah duties. Peter was clearly leaning on his own understanding. As Christ said he was thinking in fleshy terms and not in the ways of God.

Peter also talked a lot before he spoke based off of his emotions. This is not bad but when pride or anger creeps in then it does become bad. In the case in Luke 22 verse 33, Peter had became self-righteous and prideful. I think Peter had good intentions wanting to stand with Christ but once again he was over confident and lean on his own understanding. In result as we all know Peter denies Christ 3 times. Satan really knew how to mess with Peter and his emotions.

2) How does Jesus respond?

In Matt 16:23 Jesus calls Peter out in a very serious tone, telling him that he was allowing Satan to mess with his thoughts. He reminded Peter that he was seeing and believing in human terms and not God's. Jesus knew that Peter cared about Him but knew Peter's struggle with his emotions and heart and not having them dictate what he believed.

Jesus actually warns Peter that he was going to deny Him in the Luke 22:31-32. Satan had his eye on him but Jesus prayed that Peter would have a strong faith. Jesus had his back and wanted Peter to know that.

Of course after Peter denies Christ 3 times and Jesus dies on the cross and rises from the dead (John 21:15-19), Jesus seeks after Peter, meeting him and the others for breakfast by the sea. He asks Peter 3 times if he would feed His sheep. Jesus forgave Him for all three times Peter denied Him because He knew his heart. Peter was sorry and Jesus knew that. This interaction showed the love Jesus had for Peter and how He still wanted to use him to do God's work. Jesus even takes it one step further by telling Peter of his death showing him that He was going to use Peter for His glory.

3) What is applicable to me?

Peter's personality was a bold and sometimes irrational and overconfident in himself. No matter what types of personalities we have we all at one time or another leaned on our own understanding. Each one of us have personality traits that are not necessary bad but could lead us to doing something bad when we don't have the mind of Christ. For Peter and for me, our emotions leads us to get to this point and when it actually comes to the point of doing something right, these same emotions allow us to not glorify God. Whatever that personality trait is, Satan could use it against us to get angry or fearful or self-righteous.

But what is awesome, unlike the Pharisees and Judas, Peter with his bold personality was used by God to bring about the church. There is hope for those who seek after God. There is hope for those who have a repentive heart. The Pharisees, Judas, and Satan were used by Satan to mess with Christ, but because of Peter's heart and his desire to follow the ways of God, despite his personality that he allowed to not please God, God was able to use him big. It is all about the heart!

Satan wants to mess with our hearts. He has the hearts of those who do not have a repentive heart but for those who have accepted Jesus and His good news, he doesn't have theirs. He is going to try to stop us by using these tricks from being used by God. He knows that if we are faithful to God he will loose more hearts. We need to remember that those people we know of that need Jesus, need us to fight and pray for their hearts. Satan is going to try to stop us but because of God's great love we can press on and fight for those people. That is my prayer for you and for me.

I hope you enjoyed this series. If there is anyone that you want me to pray for that isn't a Christian, just leave a comment or email me. I too have someone that I am fighting for.

If you want to check out the other parts of this series, check them out here, Jesus' temptation, the Pharisees, and Judas.    

Linking up with Jenifer #tellhisstory and with Holley Coffee for your Heart

Friday, June 24, 2016

Five Minute friday- Rest- What My Tailbone has taught Me About Rest

I was sad to miss out on last week's Five Minute Friday but I am back now for another week. This week's word is "rest"

So I fell down some of my stairs this morning and landed on my tailbone. I think I have bruised it. It kinda made me frustrated and upset. I have been emotional and very tired the past few days and now this. I was not looking forward to another day with this added on top of it. But I had to move on by starting out my day with my quiet time.

This week I started a new study from Katie Orr called Everyday Peace. She had us review the week. All of a sudden God told me, "Kristina, I am here! I will give you rest." No seriously, rest. When I rest in Him, He will give me peace to deal with my crazy almost 2 year old, tiredness, emotions, and discomfort. I then looked at a verse that I looked at at the beginning of the week. 2 Thess 3:16.

" Now may the Lord of peace Himself give you peace always in every way.
The Lord be with you all."

This is where I am going to find rest is in His peace IN EVERY WAY.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Knowing Our Enemy's Tricks - Judas

Satan is a pretty nasty guy and was going to try everything to stop people from believing in God's plan. He was going to make it as miserable for Christ and others as much as possible. He knew what his destiny was and he knew the only thing you could do was to bring people down with him. We need to remember those times when Satan tried in his own power to prevent others to know the will of God in order for us to be more aware of his tricks in our own lives.

The next three posts I am going to be asking three questions in order to focus more on the "opportune time" according to Luke 4:13 that Satan sought to "mess" with God's plan:

1) Who or what Satan used?
2) How does Jesus respond?
3) What is applicable to me?
1) Who or what Satan used?
Judas - Read John 13:2-5, 18-30 and Luke 22:47-48
Judas was a greedy guy. He liked money. It was his weak spot which enabled him to draw away from Jesus. Satan knew that and was able to entice him with 30 pieces of silver to betray Jesus.
Judas also lingered around and participate in the Passover. How hurtful was that for Jesus (v 21) even though He knew Judas was His betrayer.
When Judas also came with the chief priests and guards, he betrayed Jesus with a kiss. It was the way he identified Jesus from the others to those who were arresting Him. I don't know about you but to betray someone that you have associated with on a personal and intimate level with a kiss is pretty low.
2) How does Jesus respond?
It is always important to remember that God was still ultimately in control. And Jesus knew that. As it states in verse 3 of John 13, Jesus knew that everything was from the Father's hands was given to Him. He served God's purpose even if Judas was going to betray Him. Jesus' focus was always to do the Father's will despite what was wrong in the world's eyes.
Jesus, knowing Judas was going to betray Him, He still showed him love and how to be a servant by washing his feet. Imagine being Judas and Jesus doing this servant-like act for him. I wonder if he had guilt but pushed it aside because he was living only for himself. Jesus didn't care. He was an example to all no matter what Judas was planning to do.
At the table, Jesus tells everyone that someone was going to betray Him. He actually made it pretty obvious too (v 26) but the disciples were still pretty clueless. But He did this so that when Judas did betray Him, the disciples would remember that which would further give God the glory. It would remind them that Jesus was God and He was still ultimately in control. I just love Jesus' example of constantly wanting to glorify the Father despite what Satan tried to do.
In verses 21 and 26-27 Jesus is not afraid to call Judas out in front of everyone. What he was going to do was sin. Jesus was upfront about it and called sin as sin. There was no downplaying it. He kept Judas accountable to what he was going to do. I cant imagine how he felt when Jesus called him out. It is crazy how one sin can get someone so deep into trouble where they don't have a conscious.
When Judas comes into the garden to betray Jesus with a kiss, Jesus still shows him love by calling Judas friend (Matt 26:50). It was like He was giving him an opportunity to change his mind even though Jesus still knew the outcome. He knew Judas was apart of that outcome. He was basically saying go ahead and do what you have come to do. Jesus always focused on the Father's will.
3) What is applicable to me?
Satan knows where he is going. Satan knew that he was going to be overcome. His ultimate goal is to bring us down. Just like Judas, he sees our weaknesses and will use them against us to tempt us to go against God. What is an area you need to identify that is your weak spot that Satan continues to use against you that prevents you from fully glorifying God?
Also we need to be motivated by God's love and the knowledge that He is in control when we are attacked in our weak spot. We need to reconnect with God's purpose and will for our lives as Christians. When we do that, we are not allowing ourselves to become weak and give leeway to Satan.
Something also to think about concerning Judas and Satan was that he was not a believer. I know that all of us know someone who isn't a believer. They are not God's. Their hearts and free reign for Satan to mess with because the things of God is foolishness to the unbeliever. He knows this too and will try everything to keep that person from coming to Christ. But he also could try to keep you from telling that person about Christ or even just be an example to them. It is all about the heart and Satan knows that.
I hope you enjoyed this and please come back next Tuesday for my last "opportune time" with Satan

Also here is an awesome sermon if you want anything more extra to think about by John Piper.

visiting with Jennifer #tellhisstory, Holley coffee for your heart, and Jo Thankful Thursday

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Knowing Our Enemy's Tricks - the Pharisees

Satan is a pretty nasty guy and was going to try everything to stop people from believing in God's plan. He was going to make it as miserable for Christ and others as much as possible. He knew what his destiny was and he knew the only thing you could do was to bring people down with him. We need to remember those times when Satan tried in his own power to prevent others to know the will of God in order for us to be more aware of his tricks in our own lives.

The next three posts I am going to be asking three questions in order to focus more on the "opportune time" according to Luke 4:13 that Satan sought to "mess" with God's plan:

1) Who or what Satan used?
2) How does Jesus respond?
3) What is applicable to me?

1) Who or what Satan used?

The Pharisees - Read Matthew 12:1-14, 22-32

They were all about keeping the law vs the sanctity of life or one's heart. According to these verses, they got upset at the disciples for picking heads of grain and eating them on the Sabbath. Even in verse 10, they got upset at Jesus for healing a man with a withered hand on the Sabbath. Keeping the law was more important then giving food to a tired body or healing a man who had faith in Jesus and what He could do.

They also failed to believe that Jesus was the Messiah and suffered unbelief and were faithless. After Jesus heals a blind, mute, and demon- possessed man, the Pharisees said that Jesus was casting out demons by Beelzebub, the ruler of the demons. They clearly was blaspheming God by saying that He was doing it for Satan. 

2) How does Jesus respond?

He gives examples from Scripture. Look at verses 3-4 where Jesus uses the example of David in 1 Samuel 21:6 when the priest gives him and his men food because they were tired from wandering around. Jesus was making the point that one's physical well being should be our focus over following the rules. Jesus also uses another example that priests continue on doing their priestly duties on the Sabbath (verse 5). Their duties were to glorify God over keeping a rule. 

Jesus uses the scripture from Hosea 6:6 which says,

  "For I desire mercy and not sacrifice,
And the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings."
Jesus was telling them that to show mercy and love was more important than following the rules.
Look at verse 8 where Jesus tells them that He is Lord even Lord over the Sabbath. It was all about worshiping God and acknowledging Him and what He has done. 
In the other past of scripture, Jesus tells them that He is God and the kingdom of God is at hand (verse 28). Because they don't believe in Him as God, Jesus points it out that there is a division. He is God and when they cast out demons, they do it through Him. But Jesus tells them that because they are rejecting Him as God, it prevents them to be unified and causes them to continue to trust in their own works.  
3) What is applicable to me?
Satan sometimes can use tasks or rules that we have to follow to tempt us to focus more on what we need to do versus people's hearts and needs at that time. When we do that, we are making those things more important then God instead of glorifying Him. I have to say that I am very guilty of this when it comes to my daughter. I get so task-oriented when it comes to getting dinner ready because I want to please my poor hungry husband. But all the meanwhile I am promoting a grumpy house because my daughter wants my attention and I get upset because I want to get dinner done. I should stop instead and focus and foster my little one's heart because that is more important at that moment then getting dinner finished.
Satan used the Pharisees rejection of Christ to possibly mislead people. They were sending mix signals, saying they believed in God but rejected Jesus as God. I can only imagine the doubts that could have entered some people's minds. I believe it is the same with us. Sometimes we can contradict ourselves. We say we are Christians but through our actions of putting ourselves before God, we could be showing people poor representation of who God is.
Even though Satan could have tired to use the Pharisees to warp God's plan, we can rest that His plan did prevail. He has overcome the law and has given us the ability through what Jesus did on the cross to fight off the temptation to be just like the Pharisees. 
Please come back next week for another opportune time that Satan used to mess with God's plan.    

Friday, June 10, 2016

Five Minute Friday- Want- He wants Your Heart

Here is to another Five Minute Friday. The word this week is "want".

Jesus wants your heart! But He cant get your heart until you have an repentive heart.

Satan wants your heart! But he wants you to hold
onto your pride, anger, hurt, and the things of this world.

Jesus constantly came into contact with person after person who wanted to have their bodies physically healed. But He saw it their hearts. He wanted their hearts to be healed. Their faith healed their hearts.

Jesus also came into contact with many people who didn't want to let go of the things of this world who preferred their treasures or even their "good works" above Him. Jesus still wanted their hearts.

What things are we holding onto that stops us from completely giving on our hearts to God? Do you know that He wants your heart?

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Knowing Our Enemy's Tricks

Satan is nasty guy! He is full of pride and anger and does not like the things of God. This cunning snake only has years of experience under his belt. As a Christian, he has no power over us because of what Christ did for us on the cross and he knows that. The only power he has is the power that we give him when we allow him to dictate our moves and thoughts. Jesus was the only human that could take this guy down. That is what I am going to be sharing with you the next few weeks, the example Christ gave to us to resist Satan.

This post is going to be an introductory of this series where I am going to start when Satan first tempted Jesus in the wilderness. I am going to use the scripture in Luke 4:1-15.

Then Jesus, being filled with the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into[a] the wilderness, being tempted for forty days by the devil. And in those days He ate nothing, and afterward, when they had ended, He was hungry.
And the devil said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.”
But Jesus answered him, saying,[b] It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.’[c]
Then the devil, taking Him up on a high mountain, showed Him[d] all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said to Him, “All this authority I will give You, and their glory; for this has been delivered to me, and I give it to whomever I wish. Therefore, if You will worship before me, all will be Yours.”
And Jesus answered and said to him, Get behind Me, Satan![e] For[f] it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.’ ”[g]
Then he brought Him to Jerusalem, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down from here. 10 For it is written:
‘He shall give His angels charge over you,
To keep you,’
11 and,
‘In their hands they shall bear you up,
Lest you dash your foot against a stone.’[h]
12 And Jesus answered and said to him, “It has been said, ‘You shall not tempt the Lord your God.’[i]
13 Now when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from Him until an opportune time.
Then Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee, and news of Him went out through all the surrounding region. 15 And He taught in their synagogues, being glorified by all
Jesus just got baptized by John the Baptist and the Holy Spirit was upon Him. He was controlled by Him as He led Jesus into the wilderness where Jesus was going to fast for 40 days. According to verses 14-15, He was going to start His ministry here on earth. This is why He was going away into the wilderness to prepare for the very reason why He was here on earth.

Satan first tempts Jesus in verse 3 in two ways
1) By challenging Him on who He is and what He can do and
2) Giving Him a quick fix.

Jesus responds back by using scripture from Deuteronomy 8:3 where Moses is giving the example of how God provided for the Israelites in the wilderness by showing them that He was taking care of them but also how if they would live ultimately for Him, He would make them completely satisfied.

Jesus was giving us an example of how Satan can sometimes tempt us when we are feeling tired physically and spiritually to think that quick fixes will make us happy. But in reality those quick fixes can sometimes lead us away from God where we become more satisfied in the things of the world. God is our ultimate fix because every time we continue to draw near to Him, everything else doesn't seem that great anymore.

Satan doesn't give up though because he tempts Jesus again in verses 5-7. He is prideful enough to show all the things of this world to Jesus and "offers" it to Him if only He would bow down and worship him. Just the whole idea that Satan has the balls to even ask Jesus that is mind blowing.

Jesus of course responds back with more scripture from Deuteronomy 6:13 but I also decided to add verse 15 which says

for the Lord your God is a jealous God among you), lest the anger of the Lord your God be aroused against you and destroy you from the face of the earth
Jesus was telling Satan that God demands absolute commitment from everyone including him. There cannot be no other gods. No one should use God's name lightly. When one worships God, they are showing respect and an excessive admiration for Him and Him only.
Satan sometimes also tempts us to do the same. Whatever consumes us of our time that prevents us from reading God's word, or drawing near to Him in prayer, or even choosing to invest in someone's else life to reach their hearts is not worshiping God. When we allow Satan to tempt us to give something else more authority other than God, we are not giving God our absolute commitment.
The last time in the wilderness that Satan tempts Jesus is in verses 9-11 where even he uses scripture against Him. He quotes Psalms 91:11-12 and he actually uses it correctly. But it is how he starts it that is all wrong. He was challenging God's promises. "You say you will do it, then just do it." He was testing God and what He promises.
Jesus responds back using Deuteronomy 6:16 where the children of Israel were testing God back in Massah  (Exodus 17) by complaining to Moses about having no water. "If God really cares about us why is He allowing us to thirst." They were doubting what God said that He clearly was going to do, to take care of them.
How many times have we entertained the thoughts that Satan plants into our minds that make us question God's promises? Satan twists scripture and can make us doubt God and who and what He says He will do. It is a heart thing. Do we just read God's word and then go on with life? Or do we choose to meditate on it and find ways to make it applicable to our lives in order to have a heart change? Satan doesn't want us to have heart changes and he will tell you all the lies he wants to to stop you from believing God's promises.
Satan finally leaves Jesus alone but as it says in verse 13, he is already thinking of ways in the future to mess with Jesus' purpose on earth. Have you ever thought about that? Satan didn't just tempt Jesus this one time. There were many times that Satan used people and situations to try to mess with Jesus and the Father's plan.

Satan is a pretty nasty guy and was going to try everything to stop people from believing in the Father's plan. He was going to make it as miserable for Christ and others as much as possible. He knew what his destiny was and if he could bring people down with him, he would. And this is where I am going to take you these next few weeks; those times of when Satan tries in his own power to prevent others to know the will of God by what Jesus was going to do by dying on the cross.
I am super excited to share with you what God is going to show me next.  

 linking up with Jennifer #tellhisstory, Holley Coffee for Your Heart, and Jo Thankful Thursday  

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Five Minute Friday- Haven- Resting in My Haven

Here is to another week of Five Minute Friday. The word is "haven".

In the month of May, my husband started a new job where the store has not been built yet. He has to commute a hour and half everyday at 4 in the morning to go to the store of where he is training at. The first 2 weeks he came home and was exhausted and withdrew from my little one and I. I took it hard because even though I know he didn't mean to be that way, he was putting a lot of pressure on me to do a lot of things by myself. It was affecting my attitude and thought life. And in return my relationship with him and our little girl.

I knew this was wrong and I had to change my attitude. It was hard because of all the anxiety and fear I was having about this time of transition. But as James 4:8a says

Draw near to God and He will draw near to you..."

So I found some verses pertaining  to anxiety and fear of the unknown and drew near to Him. And you know what? He became my haven. He became my resting place. Every time I had thoughts I went to my haven. Every time I felt frustrated, I went to my haven.

You know what happen? Even though my husband is still tired, his attitude has also changed because he saw a change me in me because I chose to rest in my Haven instead of how the situation made me feel.

What an awesome God!
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