What Can I Do to Share My Faith?

If you’re a Christian today, you can rejoice. You are standing in the middle of a wonderful opportunity to share your faith. Never before have people been more desperate for words of encouragement and hope.

You can sow seeds of love and grace by being kind to those around you (including those you encounter in the grocery store and at the doctor’s office).

You can show Christ’s love by refusing to hoard supplies or even better by sharing your resources with those who don’t have any. You can share God’s peace by choosing to remember God’s care and provision in times past.

A Prayerful Response to the Coronavirus

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” – John 14:27

We’re living in troubled times. The Coronavirus is a globally spreading pandemic, affecting people from every continent and every walk of life. The young, the old, and everyone in-between is at risk.

It’s easy to panic right now. Maybe you are tempted to hoard supplies, anxiously watching the news, or fretting over all the horrible things that could happen to you and your loved ones.

These are natural and normal human reactions to chaos. But just because panic is a tempting reaction doesn’t mean it is your only choice. There’s another option that you may be tempted to overlook—peace.

What Is Peace?
Often, we think of peace as a blessing that we get every once in a while. Maybe you felt peace when you took a day off in the middle of the week to go spend time at the beach or when you heard the news that a loved one’s cancer hadn’t returned.

But peace isn’t just an unexpected blessing.

It’s also a choice.

Peace is something we can choose to experience, even in the middle of the Coronavirus. Even in the face of a global pandemic. Even when we fear losing our jobs. Even when we worry about feeding our families.

How you ask? It starts with turning your eyes towards God.

In Psalm 47:8, the Psalmist proclaimed, “God reigns over the nations; God is seated on his holy throne.” Just as these words were true over 2,000 years ago, they’re still true today. God is still on the throne. He still reigns. He is still in control

Think about that truth for just a moment. Despite the chaos, pain, and heartbreak we are encountering in the world today, God maintains absolute control.
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Grow Closer to God through Journaling

Do you long to get to know God better? Why not try writing Him letters?

How? You ask.

Through journaling!

Growing closer to God through journaling can be a wonderful adventure. It will nurture a deeper relationship, give you insight into God’s character, and teach you how to truly bring your burdens to Him.

But getting started can be difficult if you’ve never tried creating a spiritual journal. Here are a few tips to help you along the way…

Start by Choosing a Time

Many people enjoy spending time with Jesus first thing in the morning. This can be a wonderful habit but it isn’t ideal for everyone. Maybe you work odd hours, have a newborn baby, or a medical condition that makes morning rituals difficult.

Don’t beat yourself up over it. God delights in meeting with you – whether that’s at 6am or 6pm or any time in between! Just pick a time when you can show up and give God your full attention.

Pick a Location

Besides choosing a time, it can also be helpful to pick a location. When Dan started journaling, he was a work-at-home dad. The noise of his children made it difficult to concentrate so he would often go onto the back porch to read his Bible and pray. His kids knew not to disturb Dad when he was spending time with Jesus.

You can pick any location that’s comfortable and enjoyable to you. You could start your journaling practice at your local library, a coffee shop, or even from your favorite chair in your living room.

Remember David prayed to God in many locations – in caves, on mountains, during battle, in the Temple, and in his palace. God showed no preference over the location. He just cared that David came to Him.

Use a Guided Journal

When you’re new to journaling, it’s hard to know what to write. That’s why it can be helpful to grab a guided journal. A guided journal typically includes prompts or questions (usually faith-based) to help you get started.

Of course, you don’t have to use one. There’s nothing wrong with grabbing a blank journal and starting your letters to God. But if you’re having difficulty with the practice, you might benefit from a guided journal.

Show Up Consistently

You can’t grow a deep relationship with someone if you only see them once or twice a year and never speak the rest of the time. If you want true intimacy, you have to cultivate it. In our human relationships that means phone calls, text messages, Skype sessions, Facetime, silly videos, and even exchanging GIFs.

In our relationship with our Heavenly Father that means stopping in to pray, read our Bibles, or journal. Of course, you may not journal every day, especially not at first. But if you keep working to make it a habit, you will get there eventually.

Don’t Focus on Your Emotions

When you feel the presence of God during your journaling sessions, it’s amazing. It feels like you’re sitting down with the Holy Spirit and sharing special secrets. Like you have a unique relationship no one else can see (and you do!).

But not every journal entry will be fascinating. Not every journal session will feel like you’re standing on the mountain. In fact, those may be on the rare side. Most people just feel rather ho-hum about their journaling, especially when they’re first starting out. Don’t let this discourage you.
Instead, focus on meeting with God and spending time with Him. The more you do, the more you’ll learn to recognize His voice and feel His presence.

Remember, your journals don’t have to be filled with perfect grammar and punctuation. God isn’t grading your penmanship. He’s listening to your heart. He’s delighted that you’ve made the decision to spend more time with Him and He can’t wait to hear from you!

Here’s a link to a beautiful journal to inspire you. http://www.lulu.com/shop/ruthie-spoonemore/journal/paperback/product-24062427.html
You can see my other journals on my author page at. Ruthie Spoonemore Author Page at Lulu

Faith Through the Storm

A squall came down on the lake, so that the boat was being swamped, and they were in great danger.” – Luke 8:23

Normally, the rocking rhythm of a boat on the water would put Peter right to sleep. A fisherman before he gave it all up to follow Jesus, he was use to rough nights on the water.

But there was something different about this storm. There was an eerie feeling in his gut that Peter just couldn’t shake. He glanced around to see the other disciples talking among themselves.

Through the driving rain, Peter began to wonder where Jesus was. When he’d looked everywhere, Peter went below deck and was astounded at what he saw. There was his Jesus, sleeping as peacefully as a baby! Didn’t He see what was happening?!

He wastes no time, grabbing onto Jesus’ shoulder. He shakes him forcefully. “We’re about to drown here!” His urgency is unmistakable.

Jesus immediately rises and calms the storm. “Where is your faith?” he asks in the sudden silence.

When we encounter storms in life—like a serious diagnosis, the death of a friend, or the abandonment of a loved one—it can feel like we’re going to drown. The pain is threatening to take us under and we doubt we’ll survive that rip tide.
It’s in these moments that we’re tempted to doubt and say, “Where are You, Jesus?”

But just as Jesus proved He was in control of the wind and waves that night, He’s in control of your storm, too. The pain won’t last forever and the skies will clear again. God is holding onto you. He hasn’t forsaken you and left you stranded.

God, help me when I’m tempted to freak out. Sometimes, I focus on the storm rather than on Your power. Help me to rest in Your embrace today. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

God’s Faithfulness Forgives

For if we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. –1 John 1: 9

God is righteous and God is faithful. When we doubt that our sins are forgiven after we have confessed them we question God’s righteousness and His faithfulness, as well as His authenticity.

We are considered to be faithful when we keep our promises, when we do our duty. It is the same with God. Every time we confess our sins, He quickly forgives and cleanses us from them because He said He would. He is full of mercy and goodness.

God is faithful and just to forgive us, when we confess our sins, because that is His promise. The keeping, the forgiving, the cleansing day by day is all a part of God’s covenant with us. All a part of what was purchased for us on Calvary and has been promised to every child of God. So God is simply keeping His promise to us.

God faithfully forgives, because God cannot lie and this is His promise to us who believe and trust in Him. ‘Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.’ (2 Corinthians 5:17)

Once we have repented, we are fully forgiven and free to let go of our past sins, including all the guilt associated with them. He forgives because He is faithful. As Romans 8:1 reminds us ‘And there is therefore now no condemnation unto them who are in Christ Jesus our Lord.

When you accept Jesus, God wipes your slate clean…as if they never existed. He lets them go and so should you. Don’t dwell on your sins once they are forgiven.

Listen For God to Knock

Last time we talked about one way to be close to God is by activating your faith. Today we’re going to learn how to Listen for God to Knock.

Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. Revelation 3:20 KJV

When Jesus spoke these words, He was speaking to the church in Laodicea. He starts out saying…

I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.

He’s pleading with the people who choose not to pursue Him whole-heartedly. People who “play” at church–sometimes praying, sometimes believing. He’s asking them to repent in how they’re living and give up the “self-righteous” choices they are making.

Sometimes we think because we “belong” to a church and attend bible study we are living the Christian life. However, we aren’t sincerely seeking God, serving Him, and worshiping Him. We are actually “lukewarm Christians.”

The door is your heart and the knock is God’s gentle voice calling to you, asking you to leave your evil, self-righteousness and self-made doctrines that don’t serve Him. When you open the door and repent of the evil in your lives, you are able to “sup” with Him and receive more of His Spirit pouring over you.

Romans 10:17 tells us, So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

So, how do we hear His voice? We can do it in a various way: attend bible study, go to church, listen to audios of sermons or Christian podcasts, read the Bible, pray, and intently study the word.

When we listen for God’s “knock,” that is the moment He is led into our hearts. When we allow Him in, He brings with Him, love, power, understanding, grace, and mercy, all of which break down the worldly self and bring in the new spiritual self!

How can you bring about this change?

Matthew 6:33 says But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.

After you find Him, remember to let Him in. This is as simple as saying: Lord please come into my heart.

Lastly, get in a quiet place and listen intently for His voice. Do this every day and you will feel closer to God.

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will. – Romans 12:2

Another post you might want to read is this one.

Fruit of the Spirit

It’s been quite awhile since I’ve posted anything. I want to apologize to you all for my absence. I haven’t a real excuse, just lack of motivation. I pray that I’m able to, with God’s strength, return to a more consistent schedule.

The following post is the first in a series that will talk about “the Fruit of the Spirit”. If you’re not signed up for my email list and want notification when new posts are live, there is a sign-up form on the side of every page.

What is meant by “Fruit of the Spirit”?

Galatians 5:22-23 (NIV)
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

The “Fruit of the Spirit” are the nine attributes of a true Christian’s life. These attributes,  found in Galatians 5:22:23 are: love, joy, peace, patience (forbearance), kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. By applying these qualities in our lives, we are able to walk in the Holy Spirit and mature in faith. The Fruits become a part of our own personality; not through willpower or human strength, but by the incredible workings of the Holy Spirit. It is only through the Holy Spirit that we can live out these qualities on a daily basis.

In order to possess all nine fruits, we must first die to self, surrendering our fleshly personalities to the work of the Holy Spirit. Thus allowing Christ to dwell in us, and become a reflection of Himself to the rest of the world. Only after we completely hand over ourselves can these qualities flow through our lives and into others around us. This takes a fully humbled and surrendered heart to the Holy Spirit. Also an awareness of an intense need for the Spirit’s power to work in our life. Then the “Fruit of the Spirit” will be seen by the world for what it is – a living proof of God’s nature and his people.

He is With You Always

I was weak. I was vulnerable. I was scared.

I was recovering from three consecutive major surgeries. I was heavily drugged … And I was under attack.

I was hearing voices, not happy, reassuring voices, these voices were low and demonic. In my mind’s eye, I was being visually attacked by creatures-creatures from the “underworld. (Satan likes to come after us when we’re at our lowest point. (Satan Tempts Jesus) Satan knows that the only way to possibly influence us is when we are laid wide open. Our minds are most easily influenced in this state.)

In fear, my soul cried out to my Savior. With the assurance that I am a child of God, I knew that He would protect me. Lying in my bed, I began mentally reciting scriptures from memory, singing praises to God, and denouncing Satan. Shouting at him in my mind, telling him, “You have no power over me! I belong to God, and he will protect me!”

Gradually the creatures began to disappear, replaced by blooming flowers. One of Jesus’s names is “the Rose of Sharon.” I believe the flowers were to remind me that He was with me. As a sense of peace enveloped me, I eventually relaxed and went to sleep.

This is an experience I pray I never have to go through again. But I am grateful for the result of the strengthening of my faith, and the increased knowledge of God’s ever presence in my life.

 

Trust Him!

Matt 31b-32

Matthew 14:28-31

And Peter answered Him and said, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.”

So He said, “Come.” 

And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!”

And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased.
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