24 Hours

There is one thing that we all have in common - we all have 24 hours given to us in a day. Some people use that time and do so much in that 24 hours and others do so little and waste their time. What does the Bible say about our time and how we are to use it?

Ephesians 5:16

"Redeeming the time, because the days are evil."

Redeeming - to make wise and sacred use of every opportunity for doing good, so that zeal and well doing are as it were the purchase money by which we make the time our own.

We should make WISE use of our time! I hear people all the time tell me they are too busy to do this or that and how much they have to do everyday. Yet, when I ask what they did.......they come up with a blank....why? Because they are doing things that aren't really worthy of their time! So what is worthy of our time?

  1. God -time spent with God is wise and useful time!
  2. Family - as women we are called to love our husbands and teach our children!
  3. Others - if you don't have time for others, what kind of life are you living? A selfish one? To build a relationship with someone, you spend TIME with them. If you really love someone, you will not be so upset that you had to spend TIME to help them when they needed you!
  4. Self - contrary to some, we should spend some time on ourselves. If we are not taking care of our selves, how can we help others and take care of our families? It is when we let self take over completely and don't give time to the above, that our priorities get warped
There are some people who are so busy they have no time for God and they have no time for others. They are living a life unto themselves and they don't even realize they are getting no where in their 'busy-ness'.

If you don't have time to read your Bible and pray every day, spending that precious time with God each time then you have your priorities wrong! Let's look at Jesus' visit with Martha and Mary:

Luke 10:38-41

"Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house.
And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus' feet, and heard his word.
But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me.
And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things:
But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her."

Martha was just so busy that she didn't have time for Jesus. She even got mad at Mary because Mary was not helping her. Yet, in reality, Mary was using her time wiser then Martha was. Mary was where it was really at - at Jesus' feet! Notice it said that Martha was cumbered about and careful and troubled about many things. Just what do those words mean?

Cumbered - to be driven about mentally, to be distracted; to be over-occupied, too busy, about a thing
Careful and troubled - anxious; troubled in mind; troubled with cares; disturbed

Martha was too busy and didn't realize she was not doing what was "needful", but Mary knew what was needful! How about we become busy with needful and useful things?

Just what is your life really full of and what are you really "busy" with? Stop and think about it and make a list of what you fill your life with each day and does it include God and others or just your own selfish agenda. If God is not first in your life and the top of your priority list then you need to change that. Then on the flip-side, some think they are doing God's will and so busy for the Kingdom of God but they actually forget the King!

You need to have goals and a purpose to your life instead of just running around being busy and not accomplishing anything! Set some goals! Have a purpose to your day and your life! Quit running around spending time accomplishing nothing and doing things that are unfruitful. End your day feeling like you actually redeemed the time and used your 24 hours wisely.

Thoughts from Sunday Morning Service

What a service this morning!  The choir sang a song about a psalm and it was wonderful and for those that weren't there, I'm going to share the Psalm where the verses for the song came from:

Psalm 3:1-3

"Lord, how are they increased that trouble me! many are they that rise up against me.
 Many there be which say of my soul, There is no help for him in God. Selah.
 But thou, O LORD, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head

It was such an uplifting song!  Then Pastor preached a message entitled "Straighten Up" and spoke about the woman with the spirit of infirmity eighteen years.  He explained the "spirit of infirmity" in detail.  It got me to thinking of what I was saying in my last post towards the end about that I don't have time to pity myself.  Yes, it would be easy for anyone when they are sick or struck with a disease or cancer to walk around feeling sorry for themselves but that isn't how it should be!  Someone had told me that they struggled with wanting to be sick and they asked me to pray for them.  It was honorable that this friend had even confessed it and made it known that she knew she struggled with this.  Some people struggle with it, though they never face themselves - they live in denial.  I believe that God is going to deliver this friend from that feeling because she wants deliverance!

Here is the text from which he brought the message:

Luke 13:11-13

"And, behold, there was a woman which had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bowed together, and could in no wise lift up herself.
 And when Jesus saw her, he called her to him, and said unto her, Woman, thou art loosed from thine infirmity.
 And he laid his hands on her: and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God" 

He went into detail about straight and tied in how the road to Heaven is narrow and straight.  He also spoke on how we relate mean men with being crooked.  God's way is very narrow.......it is very straight!  When Jesus comes on the scene, he straightens us out if we let him! 

Then going on with the woman being healed, she was made straight!  She was no longer bent over, but Jesus had loosed her from her infirmity that satan had her bound in!  Let's look at what the ruler of the synagogue said in response to Jesus healing this woman:

Luke 13:14

"And the ruler of the synagogue answered with indignation, because that Jesus had healed on the sabbath day, and said unto the people, There are six days in which men ought to work: in them therefore come and be healed, and not on the sabbath day."

He got angry at Jesus because he healed on the sabbath day.  How dare he heal someone on the Lord's day is basically what this man was saying to Jesus.  So how did Jesus reply?  Oh I'm sure it was with soft spoken, very gentle and kind words right?  Oh wait......did Jesus respond and label the ruler of the synagogue for what he really was?

Luke 13:15-16

"The Lord then answered him, and said, Thou hypocrite, doth not each one of you on the sabbath loose his ox or his ass from the stall, and lead him away to watering?
 And ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan hath bound, lo, these eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the sabbath day" 

Jesus called the ruler of the synagogue a hypocrite! That really goes along with what I was saying in the last post about how some people have misconceptions about WWJD.  There are times to be quiet and have mercy but then there are times when you must be bold and tell it like it is!  Jesus wasn't one to back down to even the ruler of the synagogue.

God spoke to my heart about a lot of things in my life this morning that I need to work on and like Pastor said, he isn't perfect and there is a lot he has to work on too!  There has never been a time in my life that I have had it all together and reached perfection, I'm still a work in progress and so thankful that God loves me enough to deal with my heart and show me just where I need to fix something!

I just wanted to share with you all about this morning's service, it was a blessing!

Misconceptions of WWJD and Bearing Your Cross

While I was in the hospital, I got so many things and can't wait to write about them, this devotional being one of them! Common misconceptions abound, satan loves confusion and its time to squash some of his confusions with truth from God's Word! What are misconceptions? A misconception is a false or mistaken view, idea, or belief.

A phrase that so many people are familiar with is WWJD or What Would Jesus Do? People have used this simple phrase for many things and one of them being using it in an accusatory fashion as if you were doing something that Jesus wouldn't do. Let me explain.....some say that you should not get angry at anything, or that you should not say anything bad about governmental leaders, such as the President. However, they seem to have forgotten that Jesus himself had some choice words of the leaders of his day! He labeled evil for evil! If a man's works are evil then he is evil. If he does the works of satan, he is of satan! It is that simple......you represent your true Master by your actions. And on being angry.......well, God himself is angry at the wicked EVERY day! (Psalm 7:11) Actually, true Christians HATE sin and even the garment spotted by sin! We are like our Father. Seeing that our laws allow the murder of babies is something that I get angry at and I KNOW God hates it and is angry at the evil people that bring it about.

Would Jesus ever say anything bad about someone or label them in public? Yes he would! Even Paul labeled people that left God and the Bible warns us to stay away from the likes of them! I like this one verse that Jesus told the Pharisees to tell Herod:

Luke 13:32

"......Go ye, and tell that fox, Behold, I cast out devils, and I do cures to day and to morrow, and the third day I shall be perfected."

WHOA! Did Jesus just call Herod a fox?? Yep, he sure 'nuff did! What did fox mean? Let's look at the word as it was used:

Fox - a fox; a sly and crafty man

Looking even further when we check the definitions of sly and crafty we see it as a whole that a fox is a man who is deceitfully cunning, one that conceals and is full of tricks.

Jesus wasn't someone who refused to label the "haters" or evil men! He told it like it was and didn't back down until it was His time to be quiet. While he carried out his ministry, he was bold and definitely did not resemble this mamby-pamby pious Jesus that some like to paint Him as. He was bold......he was straight to the point! When people say you aren't acting like Jesus because you may call someone out that is evil, just what Jesus are they referring to? Actually you are being like Jesus! There is a time to be bold and time to be quiet and we use the wisdom God gives us to differentiate between the two. When it came Jesus' time, he opened not his mouth and let the Will of God be fulfilled but until then, he boldly proclaimed the truth and called out evil doers and even whipped some people out of the temple and turned over their tables! It was his fierceness of righteous indignation (zeal) that drove them out! He knew what time it was that day......it was not a time to be quiet lol.

John 2:14-16

"And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting:
And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers' money, and overthrew the tables;
And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father's house an house of merchandise."

Just what does it mean to bold? Have you ever really looked it up in its true meaning from the scriptures or do you just think you know what it means? Let's look it up as it was written in several places in the New Testament:

Bold - to use freedom in speaking; free spoken; to speak freely; to grow confident, have boldness, show assurance, assume a bold bearing

Mixing bold with confident we get this meaning from Webster's: standing out in assured and certain conviction

For some they seem to never have that time of boldness but rather are full of shame and embarrassment to even stand up for their God or His Word. What does God think of these type of people? In Mark 8:38 and Luke 9:26, it tells us that whoever is ashamed of God and His Word, He will be ashamed of YOU when he returns! We are rather admonished by Paul to do what?

2 Timothy 1:8

"Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God."

Paul tells us to not be ashamed but rather be a partaker of what? The afflictions of the gospel! The gospel comes with afflictions (to suffer hardships). Also we are told that we WILL suffer persecution as well. What is persecution?

Persecution - to harass or punish in a manner designed to injure, grieve, or afflict ; specifically : to cause to suffer because of belief 2: to annoy with persistent or urgent approaches (as attacks, pleas, or importunities)

Have you ever experienced any of the above in the definition of persecution because of Christ? I have! Just having a website of truths from the Bible opens you up to that. But I won't back down or let it shut me up! It just 'comes with the territory' of standing up for God and His Word in a sinful world! Rejoice when others revile you! Get excited when things come your way because God will work it for your good somehow! I found it so odd that the nurses in the hospital wondered why I was so happy, even though I was so sick. My response is I don't have time to pity myself! I force my mind to see ahead and to see just how God is going to work this to my good because God doesn't lie! I look for the positive in the situation - hey I lost some weight! I lost more in 1 week being sick then I did the past year lol.

It's high time that people STOP COMPLAINING about the cross they have to bear! Stop complaining that your cross is too heavy or its too hard! Did you hear Jesus saying this while he carried his cross and went all the way to Calvary? Are you bearing a greater burden then what he did; the sins of the world?? NO! So shut up! Bear your cross, quit being ashamed and trying to be a men pleaser and be bold and stand for something for once in your life!

I know people who claim to be a Christian, yet when they get around family and friends, and start getting asked about their faith and convictions or why they do this and why they do that........they clam up and say "uh I don't know, that's just what the Pastor said to do". When will you find out for YOURSELF what the Bible says? When will you be bold and not ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ?

The misconceptions abound and there will never be a lack of them for satan is the author of confusion and his job isn't over yet. Will you listen to the lies of the devil or will you search God's word for the truth? Next time you hear someone ask WWJD......you might just have to tell them straight from God's word just what Jesus would do! Instead of getting down and wondering 'why me' when bad things come your way - why don't you shock satan and started Praising God for the trial? Why don't you rejoice that God counts you able to bear it? Get up and shake off the self pity and bear your cross with joy!

If I Were the Devil by Paul Harvey

If I were the Devil:

I would gain control of the most powerful nation in the world;

I would delude their minds into thinking that they had come from man's effort, instead of God's blessings;

I would promote an attitude of loving things and using people, instead of the other way around;

I would dupe entire states into relying on gambling for their state revenue;

I would convince people that character is not an issue when it comes to leadership;

I would make it legal to take the life of unborn babies;

I would make it socially acceptable to take one's own life, and invent machines to make it convenient;

I would cheapen human life as much as possible so that the life of animals are valued more than human beings;

I would take God out of the schools, where even the mention of His name was grounds for a law suit;

I would come up with drugs that sedate the mind and target the young, and I would get sports heroes to advertise them;

I would get control of the media, so that every night I could pollute the mind of every family member for my agenda;

I would attack the family, the backbone of any nation.

I would make divorce acceptable and easy, even fashionable. If the family crumbles, so does the nation;

I would compel people to express their most depraved fantasies on canvas and movie screens, and I would call it art;

I would convince the world that people are born homosexuals, and that there lifestyles should be accepted and marveled;

I would convince the people that right and wrong are determined by a few who call themselves authorities and refer to their agenda as politically correct;

I would persuade people that the church is irrelevant and out of date, and the Bible is for the naive;

I would dull the minds of Christians, and make them believe that prayer is not important, and that faithfulness and obedience are good enough to get by;

Hmmm...I guess I would leave things pretty much the way they are."

Drip, Drip, Drip

“Drip. Drip. Drip. Drip.”

The faucet was leaking again! Every time I tried to read or think or sleep, all I could hear was that awful dripping. I always felt a flush of anger, as I had to jump up and attempt to shut up the noise. I would put a washcloth in the sink where the water would land hoping this would quite the noise. I would tighten the faucet handles, but nothing worked. I could always hear it no matter what I did to remedy the problem.

“Drip…Drip…Drip.” If it was quite bothersome to me, I may have even gone to a different room to read where I could not heart it, although I really longed to sit in my chair which I remembered to be my comfortable and peaceful place.

No remedy could be found, until one day we replaced the entire faucet. Now it is silent and I do enjoy it so. Most of the time I forget how irritating it was. But sometimes I stop and remember and am grateful for its silence.

I believe God used that dripping faucet to teach me something very important. God speaks to us all in different ways. Because I am sensitive to noises, God used this sensitivity to teach me.

Proverbs 19:13 tells us:

“….the contentions of a wife are a continual dropping”

When I am quarrelsome or “nag” my husband, I am like a constant dripping! Do I want to be like that old leaky faucet that always stirred bad feeling in me? Just when I wanted to relax in my chair; my safe haven, to read or nap, that dripping invaded my space.

Is it possible that a wife who nags her husband invades his peace everyday? A man’s home is his safe haven from the outside world. It should be a place where he comes after a hard day’s work. He knows he is free to be himself, to kick off his shoes, to relax, to just enjoy the peace of his home. He knows that it is a place of unconditional love and respect, or does he?

“Don’t leave your shoes there!”

“When will you fix this? I’ve asked you five times!”

“Do you think you could help me with the housework? I have to do everything myself!”

“How long are you going to read that paper?”

Does this sound familiar? Even if it does not, there are most likely other words used that seem accusatory or insulting as these do.

Just as I tried to fix that faucet with the washcloth or by tightening the handles, the husband may try his own tactics to remedy the problem. If nothing works and he still hears the “dripping”, he may decide to go somewhere that he can’t hear it.

Not only does the Word of God tell us that a quarrelsome wife is like a constant dripping, it tells what is better than living with one.

Proverbs 21:9

“It is better to dwell in a corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman in a wide house.”

Proverbs 21:19

“It is better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious and an angry woman.”

The dripping faucet certainly could not fix itself. But when we replaced it, it was made “new” and did not drip any longer. In that same way, Jesus can change the wife and make her “new”. He will change her to see more clearly and have different priorities and give her love in her heart.

by Julie Ryan