Finding God’s Favor – Psalm 5:12

Finding God's Favor Psalm 5:12

It seems that lately I’ve been praying a lot and asking God to show me His favor. At times maybe even begging Him for it. But the response I got back was silence, crickets, nothing.

Then suddenly, I did get an answer. God gently told me that I already have His favor. How could this be?

You see, I’ve always thought of God’s favor as something to strive for and work towards, an elusive object just out of my reach. Finding God’s favor seemed impossible. So how is it possible that I could already have it when I didn’t try so hard to get it?

I delved deep into the scriptures and discovered a shining diamond of truth that I would love to share with you.

We all know that God’s grace and our salvation through Jesus Christ is a free gift given to those of us who believe. And we know that no matter what we do or how bad we mess up our salvation can’t be lost. But here’s the truth that God in His infinite wisdom shared with me… If we are saved by the blood of Jesus, then we already have God’s favor. Maybe this isn’t news to you, but it was to me. Maybe you already know all about God’s favor in your life and I hope that you do. But for me, this is a lesson that God wants to teach me right now.

If we are saved by the blood of Jesus, then we already have God’s favor. #GodsFavor #BibleStudyClick To Tweet

As I began to realize just how wrong I had been about God’s favor and how to obtain it, I wanted to look at exactly what His favor is and how can we find it in our lives.

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.

                                                            Ephesians 2:8-9

Of course, I knew that grace was a free gift from God and that I can’t work to get it. But somehow I thought of grace and favor as different and separate, but they are not. In fact, grace and favor are the same!

It is the blood that Jesus shed for us on Calvary that cloaks us in His righteousness. And our faith in Jesus makes us righteous in the eyes of the Father. When God looks at us He sees this righteousness covering us.

God’s favor is a gift He gives to all Christians just as His grace is. There is no amount of work that we can ever do to earn His favor. We can only graciously accept this free gift of God’s favor.

For you O Lord, will bless the righteous;

With favor You will surround him as with a shield.

                                         Psalm 5:12

This is the verse that the Lord gave to me as I prayed to understand what He meant when He said that I already have His favor. It paints a vivid picture of a warrior in battle surrounded by the protection of his shield. No arrow could find him and no man could knock him down while his shield defended him from the opposing forces.

God’s favor is like this shield in the battle of life. It surrounds us, protects us and keeps us covered by His loving embrace. Whenever we go and whatever we face God’s favor is there with us and for us.

If we want to find God’s favor in our lives, all we have to do is reach out and take it. It is not the elusive object that I once thought it was. God is there with open arms, waiting for us to grab hold of His favor. He wants to give it to us because He loves us.

This realization has changed my faith. It has renewed my heart and mind. I no longer feel like I working toward an unattainable goal. I can see clearly now that God has given me everything I need for my faith to flourish. He will bless me and surround me with His favor. And He will do the same for you! Will you reach out and find God’s favor? I truly hope so. I pray that you will be blessed by God’s grace and favor!

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By | 2018-02-28T13:32:34+00:00 February 28th, 2018|God, Grace|6 Comments

What I Learned Moving My Website from Weebly to WordPress

What I Learned Moving My Website from Weebly to WordPress

Have you ever felt like you made a huge mistake? Yeah, me too. Many times. My latest huge mistake moment came when I realized I’d picked the wrong website server.

Some time ago God had told me to build a website and blog. I immediately thought, I can’t do that, I don’t know any of that technical mumbo jumbo. But I began researching and found Weebly. It’s drag and drop interface seemed like the perfect fit for my non-technical skills.

I spent months and countless hours building my website, only to find out that I really couldn’t get anyone to see my site or read my blog posts with Weebly. It seemed that I had missed the boat and was paddling my little website into the big black sea all alone. This is when I discovered WordPress and found out that everything I needed to do in order to see my little website get going was on WordPress.

Now, I had two problems. I didn’t know how to use WordPress and I needed to figure out how to move my website over to it.

Again I did some research and found out that moving a website from Weebly to WordPress is not an easy task. That was a real gut punch. I decided I had two options, give up or figure it out. Well, I’m no quitter, especially when God has told me to do something. So, even though it seemed like an impossible task, I resolved myself to the fact that it was time to make the move.

With a lot of trepidation I began by setting up a WordPress site where I could transfer all of my Weebly stuff over. Setting up the new site was the easy part. I had 115 posts and I don’t even know how many pictures to move. I thought it would take about a week to do it. Well, it ended up taking six weeks, a lot of headaches and some shear determination. In the process I learned a lot about WordPress, and more importantly God taught me some great lessons on following Him even when it seems impossible. Here are my three big takeaways from this experience.

#1 Be Patient and Persevere

Rejoice in hope, be patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.

                                                 Romans 12:12

When we think of affliction it’s usually in the physical form. Someone who has a terrible disease or debilitating disability. Although I wasn’t afflicted in a typical way, I felt I was afflicted in a mental and emotional sense. The frustration I felt grew bigger every day until I wanted to throw my computer out the window. Mentally, I thought, I just can’t do this. Emotionally, I felt drained. About half the way through I wanted to give up completely. My normal “can do” attitude was gone. But God whispered from deep inside of me, “Keep going. Don’t give up.” I knew I had to finish what I started so, I put blinders on and pressed forward. I found a rhythm, get one post transferred and then the next and the next. Still it seemed like there was no end in sight. Patience and perseverance became my only goal. Patience because it was taking so much longer than I expected. And perseverance to keep at it no matter how long or hard it got. After weeks of endless hours staring at the computer screen, I suddenly realized everything was moved and it was time to make the permanent change over to WordPress.

#2 Trust God when change is scary.

Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in you.

                                             Psalm 56:3

I don’t know when or how but during this six week period my Weebly site became a security blanket to me. It was a backup just in case a transfer didn’t take. Now it was time to delete the Weebly site and make the move permanent. All of the hard work I had put into building that site was about to disappear with one click of the mouse and my security blanket was going to be pulled out from underneath me. It was scary! I hemmed and hawed about it and walked away from the computer multiple times. Finally, after much deliberation, I decided it was now or never. I sat at the computer staring at that delete button and prayed, “Please God.” Those were the only words I had in that moment. And with that I clicked delete.

Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in you. Psalm 56:3 #BibleVerseClick To Tweet

It took some time for the new WordPress site to become active. That next day of waiting was full of stress and dread. Doubt filled my heart. What if it doesn’t work? What if I can’t fix it? But I put my trust in God and believed that He had it under control.

#3 God makes the impossible possible.

With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.

                                                 Matthew 19:26

I may have had serious doubts about my technical abilities going into this move, but I had zero doubts about God’s ability to bring about His will in my life. When I saw my new website up and running I can’t tell you how much relief I felt. God is good, always good. But it took me being obedient to Him and stepping out in faith to see the goodness of God in my life. I give God all of the credit. He did it. Without Him it would have been an impossible task for me to accomplish on my own. But with God the impossible became possible.

I know it may seem that this post is all about me, but in my heart it is all about you. I want to encourage you to seek God, persevere through the difficult times, trust Him when change is scary and see the impossible happen in your life too.

When you follow God you will never go wrong.Click To Tweet

Has God asked you to do something that seems impossible? Are you thinking of taking that leap of faith? You may feel that the deck is stacked against or that you’re facing an impossible task. But when you follow God you will never go wrong. May God bless you!

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By | 2018-02-21T11:37:07+00:00 February 21st, 2018|Bible Study, Christian Life|0 Comments

A Love Poem – 1 Corinthians 13:4-8

A Love Poem 1 Corinthians 13:4-8

Today for our weekly dose of Monday Motivation, I would like to share with you a poem my mother wrote many years ago. It’s a take on 1 Corinthians 13. This passage of scripture is something we are all familiar with. It is often read at weddings and so when we hear it our thoughts naturally turn to a romantic kind of love.

But this poem refers to the love that Jesus has for each one of us. His love is a perfect love, full of hope and forgiveness. And He freely gives this love to those of us who love Him and are called by His name.

Valentine’s Day is almost here. Some of us are looking forward to spending time with the love of our life and some of us are still looking for that special someone. No matter which camp you fall into, I pray that you will know the love of Jesus and join me in celebrating a life lived for and with Him.

God bless you and your love this Valentine’s Day!

Love is patient
But is not slow
Love is kind
Much more than we know
Love is not jealous
But is God’s plan
Love is not boastful
And on it we stand
Love is not rude
But covers our sin
Love isn’t vengeful
It cleanses within
Love endures all
And Christ’s blood set us free
Love never fails
So free we will be.

written by: Charlotte Rowland

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By | 2018-02-12T15:16:19+00:00 February 12th, 2018|Love, Monday Motivation|2 Comments

Race to the Finish – 1 Corinthians 9:24-26

Race to the Finish 1 Corinthians 9:24-26

Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown. Therefore I run thus: not as one who beats the air. But I discipline my body and bring it into submission, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.

                                                            1 Corinthians 9:24-27

During Biblical times, there was an athletic competition similar to our Olympics. The Isthmian Games where held in the city of Corinth every two years. Athletes would train hard and devote themselves completely to the Games. Then, and only then, they would be allowed to compete in an event. Along with the bragging rights of a true companion, the winner would receive a pine wreath crown. The Apostle Paul likened the life of a Christian to that of a competitor in the Isthmian Games. But instead of bragging rights and a crown of pine, after we have run the race, we receive eternal life with Jesus.

There are certain qualities that an athlete must have in order to perform at the Olympic level. And I thought it would be fun to look at some of these qualities and compare them to what we as Christians can do to perform at a top level in our walk with Christ.

First, we need a Goal.

Every athlete has a goal in mind when they practice and when they compete. Without a goal there wouldn’t be a desire to win or a reason to show up at the competition. That goal is their main focus in life and their eye is always on it. They are always in pursuit of their goal and nothing will stop them from achieving it.

Every Christian has a call from God on their life, and each of us should set our goal on that call. We should be pressing forward or deliberately pursuing that goal. Just as an athlete sets their eyes on the gold medal or a Super Bowl ring, we must set our eyes on Jesus and make sure that He is the main focus of our lives. He is what we are pressing toward. His call on our life is the goal, and nothing will keep us from getting to that goal.

Every Christian has a call from God on their life, and each of us should set our goal on that call.Click To Tweet

Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
                                                                                              Philippians 3:13-14

Second, we must work hard and show Discipline.

It takes hard work to get from the goal to the prize. We tend to think that people are born with a natural ability to be a top tier athlete. Either you have it, or you don’t. But an athlete needs discipline to reach the top of the podium. It is everyday practice and discipline that makes them able to train their bodies to perform at such a high level. Discipline makes them get out of bed every day and practice, even when their body is tired or injured. Discipline propels them forward when nothing else will. Discipline is what creates winners.

Just as an athlete needs discipline to go from a goal to the prize, we also need discipline in our daily lives. We should be training ourselves by praying, reading and mediating on God’s Word. These are some of the ways that we can work to put our faith into practice every day. When we do, God promises that we will be rewarded for our efforts and our goal will become closer and closer.

Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.
                                                                                          1 Corinthians 15:58
Third, we should have endurance and Perseverance.

A track runner is trained to only see the hurdle in front of them, not to look past it for the next one. They jump over the first hurdle, then move on to the next. Eventually they get to the last hurdle and then the finish line is in sight. They show perseverance through each hurdle until the race is over.

That’s how we need to be, focused on what God has put right in front of us. There will always hurdles to overcome in life and many things will distract us from our goal. At times the finish line will seem to be just out of sight. But when we have perseverance and look to Jesus, “the finisher of the faith” we will be able to run with endurance and see the finish line clearly up ahead.  

Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin that so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith. Who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
                                                                                             Hebrews 12:1-2

It’s easy to feel weighted down and discouraged. When you don’t see any forward movement the finish line seems so far away. But Jesus has already won the victory for us! And when we set our goal on Him and run the race before us, we will receive everything we need to make it to that goal. We can race to the finish with confidence in our Savior Jesus Christ.

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Picture, Olympic rings made of plasma copyright Filip Susanek used under license of Dreamstime.

By | 2018-02-12T16:29:28+00:00 February 7th, 2018|4th of July, Christian Life|0 Comments