Inside Out

It it is the unseen and the spiritual in people that determines the outward and actual. ~           Oswald Chambers

The other day someone told me that she wished everyone was like me.  Her friend agreed.  I was shocked.  I'm not exactly sure who they know, but I surely felt it wasn't me.  After all, I know myself and often times feel like my witness, the words I speak and my expressions toward others is less than perfect or desired by the Lord. I thanked them for their kind words and walked away.  Oh oh....immediate conviction.  I had forgotten to give credit where credit was due.  I returned to them and said that I could not leave without telling them who they were seeing, who was Jesus Christ in me.  Much to my surprise, it was well received.  Their comment?  Keep it up, it shows.  I am so thankful Jesus Christ dwells in me and that people are drawn to what's inside of me and not my outward actions.  ~ Susan B.

 

Humbled Before You

When my hands, soul and heart are tired of trusting those who let me down, Jesus I give You everything. When I see what a hypocrite I am, how lost I feel, and I fail to go in the direction You have called me to, please bring me down to where I need to be...at Your feet.   Take all my passion for things and all my lies about who I think I am because I never knew what freedom was until you rescued me from the prison I was in. I'll keep on because without You there is no rhythm or reason to life. ~ Susan B.

God FIRST

Before I bring my need, I will bring my heart

Before I lift my cares, I will lift my arms

I wanna know You, I wanna find You

In every season, in every moment

Before I bring my need, I will bring my heart and seek You

I wanna seek you, I wanna keep you

More than anything I want, I wanna seek You First

Before I speak a word let me hear Your voice

And in the midst of pain let me feel your joy

You are treasure and my reward

Let nothing ever come before I seek You FIRST

                   (Excerpts from "First" by Lauren Daigle)

I was reminded once again, this morning, that it is all about Him, not all about me.  How often I forget this. I don't want to forget, but my own sin, desires and selfishness get the better of me.  It is a constant conflict.  Mark 12:38 tells us to beware that when we serve ourselves, we are the losers.  Our resolution to this conflict is submission to God. This is the place where I want to be. Praise the Lord for His patience, love and forgiveness as I wade through this journey called life.  I want to seek Him and let nothing ever come before I seek Him FIRST!

by Susan B.

Psalm 8:4

This morning I have been listening to music, which is always a blessing for me.  Some of the songs caused me look back over my life and see where I was and where I am today.  Coming up from the ashes, where my life was filled with emptiness, to feeling that emptiness filled with Jesus Christ,  I see that I have had a front row to His faithfulness. He has always been there, even when I felt He wasn't.  I don't know why, but it is a fact. I know I don't deserve it, yet all He has to offer is ALWAYS available to me. How thankful I am and what peace it gives me to know no matter what He is there and He is enough.

"What is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?" (Psalm 8:4)

by Susan B.

Fear vs. Trust

 

What I've learned about trusting vs. fearing is the closer I get to God by spending intimate time with Him is when I'll BELIEVE (trust) Him more than my fears.  His indescribable love casts out the fear. I believe that God's got it (whatever I'm dealing with), He's in charge, He's doing His work in me, He allowed it for His reasons, He'll give me all I need to endure until He ends the suffering, and He wants to show Himself through me.  When I CHOOSE to obey Him (with those things) and believe these things even though it's really hard, He rewards me with His amazing righteousness and favor.  Each time an opportunity occurs, I trust Him a little more. Then each time I'm faced with another thing that requires trust, I "remember" His faithfulness and I choose to trust Him again.  That is the cycle of spiritual growth.  It's always a CHOICE that I make on trusting or fearing. Sometimes I do both throughout an issue but the closer I've come to God, the less I fear.  This is God's principle of "replacement."  Replacing fear for trust; replacing wrong thoughts with right thoughts; replacing lies with truth; replacing despair with joy; replacing whining with praising. etc.  All of these are CHOICES.  Hallelujah!  Hope this encouraged you today!

Character

What is the definition of character? It means the mental/moral qualities distinctive to an individual. Our character is shaped by our experiences. Godly character is what is perfect and worth pursuing. Even becoming a successful leader encompasses character-driven traits. Character-driven leadership focuses on leading a life that influences others in every way. I've learned that cultivating a personal relationship with Jesus by spending time with Him is how I am developing godly character traits. If I want to see positive change in my life, it will not just happen. I must spend time reading and studying the Bible daily. Only then will I be transformed and take on the character of Jesus - loving, joyful, peaceful, kind, good, faithful, gentle, and self-controlled. 

Choose to Read the Bible

We do have a choice to start reading the Bible (God's Word).  Most people do not desire to do this because of multiple reasons. But when you push aside those excuses and decide to start reading it, God honors and blesses. Then when you ask HIM to help you with reading, understanding/interpreting, applying, and obeying, He will help you with this FOR ABSOLUTE SURE! Try this today - I challenge you to make a decision to start reading the Bible everyday.  Start with 5 minutes per day for 5 days.  Then continue for another 15 days.  Then start reading a bit more.  I encourage you to make this a lifestyle of reading the Bible daily. This will be one of the BEST decisions you have ever made.  The Bible is God's instruction book for all mankind for every day of our lives.  I have learned so many incredible truths that has blessed me in every aspect of my life.

Just some of what God taught me in His Word (and I'm certainly not perfect at this) is:

More loving - I don't need to push my agenda nor my faith and instead just love, love, love
When I offend or hurt someone, I am immediately convicted and I've improved in the area of humbling myself and apologizing (refraining from rationalizing my sin)
Cultivating a much more sensitive heart towards people, especially people in need
Can actually hear from God now, rather than wondering what is His will; He tells me everything in His Word on how to respond to everything
Remain peaceful while trusting, even through the toughest of times
Think of others rather than just myself; I ask everyday for God to help me to make a difference in someone else's life
Loving God more than my sin (sinful ways)

Discovering God's will through an accurate knowledge of His Word and beginning to think as He thinks is the beginning of a new life for anyone who desires one.  Will you choose right today?