My Lord Is Taking Good Care Of Me!!

I got up this morning and I started my day
God’s mercy was with me all of the way
His goodness stayed close by to meet all my needs
My Lord is taking good care of me.
~
CHORUS
I’m never forsaken I’m never alone
One day I’m moving to my brand new home
I’m blessed beyond measure; just look close you’ll see
My Lord is taking good care of me
~
I’m counting my blessings as I journey along
Good friends, a family and a place to call home
The church where I worship, the Bible I read
My Lord is taking good care of me.
~
When Satan comes tempting and he brings up my past
I tell him I’m forgiven and it’s buried at last
The blood shed at Calvary now speaks for me
My Lord is taking good care of me.
~
CHORUS
I’m never forsaken, I’m never alone
One day I’m moving to my brand new home
I’m blessed beyond measure; just look close you’ll see
My Lord is taking good care of me.
(Stacy Pearcy)
~ Rachel ~

Persecution…It’s Just To Be Expected

“Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you.” I John 3:13

I don’t think I know of anyone that actually desires to be hated…no name comes to my mind at the moment. 🙂 But, the above verse is a reminder that being hated could be a reality in a Christian’s life. Again, I don’t think it is something that anyone would actually desire. Romans 12:18 exhorts us, “If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.” But, although that verse states our desire should be to live peaceably, it also insinuates that peace will not always be possible.

From the very first family all the way until today, we can see countless examples of contention and yes, even hatred between individuals…those that desire to live for God and those that are living in disobedience. We all know the story of Cain and Abel. What was Cain’s reason for killing his own brother? I John 3:12 tells us, “For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother’s righteous.”  Abel’s obedience to God made his disobedient brother very angry. Genesis 4:3-5 says, “And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD. And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering: But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell.” Very simply put, Abel obeyed God. Cain disobeyed God. God accepted Abel’s offering. God rejected Cain’s offering. Cain became very angry and murdered his brother.

Two brothers. Two choices. One chose obedience to God and the other chose disobedience to God. The result was hatred in the disobedient brother’s heart toward the obedient brother. Why did Cain hate his brother just because Abel chose to obey God? Cain could have chosen obedience just as well. “And the LORD said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen? If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted?…” Genesis 4:6,7  

If we, as believers, choose to live a consecrated life in obedience to God’s Word, we should not be surprised if there are individuals who are NOT THRILLED with our choice. In fact, the more we desire to be like Christ, the more we should EXPECT criticism, persecution and yes, even hatred. Isaiah 53:3 speaks of what our Saviour experienced, “He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.”  Despised…rejected…sorrow…grief…if we are Christians (CHRIST-LIKE), why shouldn’t we expect the same?  II Timothy 3:12 reminds us, “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.”  Persecution is a reality to those who strive to live godly.

“The world never burned a casual Christian at the stake.” ~ John R. Rice

Should we desire persecution and strife and hatred? No. A person who DESIRES and DELIGHTS in constant contention has a major PRIDE problem. “Only by pride cometh contention:…”  Proverbs 13:10  We see no hint of pride in Abel’s obedience to God for, if pride had been present, God would have rejected his offering. God hates pride. “Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.” James 4:6

The story of Cain and Abel is a reminder of what to expect when we choose to live consecrated lives to God. A NEW life in Christ may bring criticism.  A NEW life in Christ may bring rejection. A NEW life in Christ may even bring hatred. Yes, a NEW life in Christ will rub some people the wrong way. Speaking of this, I Peter 4:4 says, “Wherein they think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you:”

The question is, are we OK with being spoken of in an evil manner?

I think it is everyone’s natural desire to be loved. But, there will be times when we will be faced with the choice to obey God and therefore PLEASE God while receiving negative reaction from individuals (to put it mildly). OR, we can choose to disobey God and therefore DISPLEASE God while receiving praise from those who are living in disobedience as well.

They that forsake the law praise the wicked: but such as keep the law contend with them.” Proverbs 28:4 

It’s really our choice of WHO we desire to please.

“For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.” Galatians 1:10

~ Rachel ~

Don’t Quit!

Jeremiah 20:7-9

Jeremiah was depressed – “O LORD, thou hast deceived me, and I was deceived: thou art stronger than I, and hast prevailed: I am in derision daily, every one mocketh me. For since I spake, I cried out, I cried violence and spoil; because the word of the LORD was made a reproach unto me, and a derision, daily.”

He wanted to quit – “Then I said, I will not make mention of him, nor speak any more in his name…”

BUT…he couldn’t!! – “…But his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay.”

Praise God for the sustaining power of His Word!  When in the midst of the darkest of valleys, cleave to His Promises…put your complete trust in Him to see you through!

“Unless thy law had been my delights, I should then have perished in mine affliction.” Psalm 119:92

~ Rachel ~

Sunday Thought

“Thank the Lord for saving me” – “Thank God for the peace He gives” – “I thank Him for reaching down so far to save me” – “Praise the Lord for His leading” – “Thank God for His mercy in my life” – “Praise the Lord for the sweet sleep He gives in the midst of trials” – “Thank the Lord for humbling me through His Word” – “Thank God for His longsuffering in my life” …

Just some of the “Sunday Thoughts” from this morning’s service as the sweet Holy Spirit made His presence known in a very special way. I don’t ever want to take these services for granted. So very sweet…so very humbling…so very thankful to HIM.

~ Rachel ~

Jesus Is Still The Answer

Some men try so hard to prove
That God’s not really real
While others  say they know for sure
His love you cannot feel
But I know He is real within my soul
For one day He cleansed and He made me whole
And Jesus  is  still the answer
For that longing deep in your soul

Chorus
Jesus  is still the answer
And though time and ages roll
Jesus is still  the  answer
He’s the answer for your soul
And though some may say
That He  doesn’t fit with their philosophy
I know Jesus is still the  answer
He’s  always been and always will be

Verse 2
Some men  pretend that  things of this world
Have brought them peace of mind
But  with the dawn  of each new day
New thrills they try to find
Not until  they meet the  Prince of Peace
Can they ever hope to find relief
For  Jesus is still the  answer
For a world that’s seeking for peace

Chorus
Jesus is  still the answer
And though time and ages roll
Jesus is still the  answer
He’s the answer for your soul
And though some  may say
That He  doesn’t fit with their philosophy
I know Jesus is still  the answer
Yes,  Jesus is still the answer
I know Jesus is still the  answer
He’s always  been and always will be

(lyrics by Lanny Wolfe)

Trials – Oswald Chambers

(I read the following quote yesterday and it reminded me of some dear friends who are being “stretched” right now. So thankful for the reminder that there is a purpose in the trials God allows and, if we respond in the right way, He will use them to prepare us for further service for Him!)

“A saint’s life is in the hands of God as a bow and arrow in the hands of an archer. God is aiming at something the saint cannot see; He stretches and strains, and every now and again the saint says, I cannot stand anymore. But God does not heed; He goes on stretching until His purpose is in sight, then He lets fly.”
~ Oswald Chambers

ahem…..AHEM!!!

While living in the NC Mountains, we attended a little independent Baptist church on the side of the road…what wonderful memories we have!  During those years, our family sat in three different areas of the sanctuary: my husband and Caleb sat on the front row of the right section, Stephen and Joshua sat up front on the left side in a pew where the back was up against the side wall (the “amen corner”) and the girls and I sat three rows back on the left side. In order for this momma to get the attention of a misbehaving child, she needed an attention-getter. It didn’t take too long for our children to learn that a clearing of the throat meant someone was in trouble. As six pairs of eyes turned to momma, the guilty party was given “the look” (if you’re a momma, you know exactly what I mean – the “straighten up or else” look) and then all eyes turned back to the front.  The guilty had been warned.

Attention getters. My siblings and I have a childhood memory of a shoe being thrown across the living room to get the attention of one of us kids who was talking while Daddy was praying.  I honestly can’t remember WHO was guilty that time but apparently a clearing of the throat was not enough.

So often, our Heavenly Father needs to get the attention of a misbehaving child. How tragic for a child to ignore those warnings. Consider this from Amos chapter four –

vs. 7-8, “…I have withholden the rain from you…yet ye have not returned unto me, saith the LORD.”

vs. 9, “I have smitten you with blasting and mildew…yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the LORD.”

vs. 10, “I have sent among you the pestilence…yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the LORD.”

 vs. 11, “I have overthrown some of you…yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the LORD.”

What does it take for God to get our attention? When we ignore the Holy Spirit’s nudgings…His “ahem, that is wrong”…we are allowing our heart to begin hardening. The longer we regard that sin instead of confessing, the less sensitive we become to His warnings. Now, instead of a mere “clearing of the throat”, a louder warning must be given.

The remedy for this hardened condition is to restore fellowship with the Lord by confessing any unconfessed sin. And then, maintain that close fellowship by responding to the “ahems” with immediate confession and/or obedience.

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” I John 1:9

~ Rachel ~