Jesus, The One and Only

Posts tagged ‘Faith’

Faith & Perserverance

 
Perseverance

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I have to say that studying Paul was such an exciting adventure with Beth and we’re going to do it again with JESUS next… but let me fill you in with a little of my own faith journey :) 

God is so good!  Yep after being unemployed for over a year, I started a new position with a child placing agency who does foster care and adoptions and my business as a Certified Life Coach kicked off as well … Empowered With Excellence.   I was learning so many new things and growing and stretching in so many areas with some amazing discoveries along the way.   Since the first of the year there have been numerous changes that I’ve had to walk through and step out in faith as God had been speaking to my heart since even the summer of last year.  Changes was one of them!  We don’t always know what the picture or the outcome may look like.   There were some tough decisions that I had to make,  but I knew that I had to follow what God was putting on my heart. 

Talk about walking by faith!  It was so good for me to study Paul’s journey right along with everyone and spoke volumes to me each week as well.  I also love Beth’s insight.  Paul truly loved the Lord and went through many trials but I believe one of his greatest accomplishments was his PERSEVERANCE through his entire journey.   What stood out to me towards the later years of his life was the love for people grew even deeper and richer.  And that’s exactly what happens when you fall in love with the Lord!  There are some whose hearts can become calloused, but when we grow closer to the Lord and stand on His Word of Truth, he changes our hearts and we see things that we may not have recognized before.  Truth… His truth! 

I remember years ago during a challenging time in my life that I was praying, reading God’s Word and asking him what about this that or the other.  He led me to a scripture reference and it was about perseverance!  I thought to myself are you kidding me, I had been persevering!  But really life is about persevering and it will always be about preserving in one form or another, one adventure with the Lord to the next, and one step of faith to the next …  I just hope to finish well to lay the crown at the feet of my Savior one day! 

Next step… It’s all about JESUS!  Can’t wait to start this next part of the journey with you!

God bless you richly!

Vicky

God IS Faithful!

Believe

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“There they found believers and were invited to stay with them for seven days.  And so we came to Rome” (Acts 28:14 HCSB) “God fulfilled His promise to Paul.” (1)

WOW!  What Paul had to go through to see and experience what God had whispered to him awhile back!  Not only did God bring about where Paul was going to go but he found believers there and was invited to stay with them.  There’s a bond that forms between fellow believers in our journey of life.

“In reference to fellow believers in Christ, the term “came to designate a fellowship of love equivalent to or bringing with it a community of life.”  As Paul approached Rome, God knew he needed “a fellowship of love” or “a community of life.”’ ‘God recognizes our need for community and desires to meet the need through His church – the body of believers God organized to offer a community of life.” (2)

There’s something else that stirs within in my heart after reading this. Paul walked right into the promise that the Lord had fulfilled from Acts 23:11.  The Lord was faithful to what he told Paul earlier and He was faithful to deliver them all out of the horrific storm they went through. They made it to Rome unharmed and alive!

Have you had the privilege to experience something God placed in your heart and you saw it come to pass?  That you knew “only God” could have orchestrated events in such a way that no man could ever take credit?  Can you imagine Paul showing up at that moment and what he may have felt in his heart?  How would you have acted?

I have had some unique privileges to walk as Paul did into those moments when it’s like time stands still for just a moment and you’re thinking God is going to show up at any minute because it all originated with Him.  There is something so powerful and faith building during those times that it’s in those opportunities that we just want to thank Him and look forward to what He will orchestrate next.  Just to be in awe of such a magnificent God!

I call these moments God’s kisses because there’s such a sweet sense of peace and rest that envelopes me and I know everything is going to be alright!!  Usually we have had to overcome some kind of battle/challenge/obstacle and have had to trust Him through the journey no matter if it was an hour or days/months/years!!!  I believe our job is to look for those moments in time and to seek Him as He unfolds the mystery before our eyes.  What may look like a storm today carries the promise of a future and hope for tomorrow for those who believe! FAITH!!

Are you looking for Him in the moments of your day to see what He would orchestrate next for you to walk into?

Vicky

(1-2) Paul, 90 Days in His Journey of Faith / Beth Moore / B & H Publishing

“Only God”

Healing Hands

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Last time I shared, Paul and the crew had been saved from the storms that surrounded them.  When they reached land they were welcomed with open arms.  A viper attached itself to Paul’s hand but was not bitten.  They thought the viper would have been the end of Paul but he was saved … ONLY GOD!!  Remember also the islanders thought of Paul as some kind of god. 

There was an estate belonging to the leading man of the island, named Publius, who welcomed them and entertained them for 3 days.  Publius’ father was in bed suffering from fever and dysentery. Paul went to him, prayed, and layed his hands on him, and he was healed. After this, the rest of those on the island who had diseases came and were healed as well. So they heaped many honors on us, and when we sailed, they gave us what we needed. (Acts 28:7-10)

Beth shares 3 key points to the awesome, miraculous healings. “God’s main purpose was to meet their spiritual needs.” (1)

  1. “Paul Prayed!”  Prayer redirects the focus from the problem to the source for all healing.
  2. “God used physical needs to shed light on spiritual realities was His means of healing!  He used Paul to heal.  I believe God wanted the people of Malta to recognize God (instead of some well-educated professional) as the source of their healing.”
  3. “God was up to something spiritual was wholesome healing.  God used the physical needs of those in Malta to draw attention to the only One who could meet their spiritual needs.  He trusted Paul not to take credit for a work only God can do.” (2)

“We, too must be careful to give God the glory when He uses us to accomplish things only He can do.  Every time you exercise a spiritual gift, God is accomplishing His work through you.’  ‘Think of a work He has accomplished through you.  If you’re uncomfortable with this request, you may still be taking too much credit.  Boast in God, not in yourself!  Pray about your availability for any work He might use you to accomplish.  Then commit to give HIM the glory!!!” (3)

There is something so beautiful, humbling and peaceful when I begin to recognize the mighty works of God in my life.  There are times when there can be NO DOUBT WHATSOEVER that He has done something in and though me! I bet you too can think of some too :) 

Vicky

(1-3) Paul, 90 Days in His Journey of Faith / Beth Moore / B & H Publishing

“Weathering the Storm” – Part 3

Rembrandt's The Storm on the Sea of Galilee, s...

Image via Wikipedia

In Part 2 of “Weathering the Storm” the last one brings me the greatest comfort… “Listen for God to Speak”! When He brings revelation, everything changes.

It can be difficult to hear Him speak especially during difficult times in our lives because our thoughts, our focus can become engulfed in the circumstances of any storm.  When I hear the Lord speak to my heart, there’s an internal monitor that senses His peace!  Some people may be better at this than others and nothing fazes them, but in my life I can’t count how many times I have had to deal with some kind of storm/trial and have to refocus.  Be intentional at asking and listening to what God is saying to me no matter what’s going on around me.

We have to learn to replace worry, fear, anxiety, stress etc… you yes you have to know what God’s word says to make sure what you hear aligns with his Word … you yes you have to learn to hear and discern what God is telling you… you yes you have to decide that you trust what God is saying to you … you yes you have to believe in Him! 

Paul is one of the greatest examples of those who walked by faith.  He learned through the hardships he endured to hear and listen to what God was telling him and that’s exactly what happened in Acts 27:23-26:

“Last night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve stood beside me and said, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul. You must stand trial before Caesar; and God has graciously given you the lives of all who sail with you.’

Will an angel appear to you, probably not, but when God speaks to your heart are you able to recognize it and believe?  That’s what Paul did and tells the men in vs. 25-26 “So keep up your courage, men, for I have faith in God that it will happen just as he told me. Nevertheless, we must run aground on some island.” 

During a previous trial Paul heard from the Lord that he was going to Rome!  Notice too that it didn’t happen right away and another difficult situation has come about.  Sometimes it takes time and sometimes we will go through difficult situations to get to the destination!

I love this Rembrandt picture!  If you look carefully you’ll notice that one side of the painting the seas are raging and people are scurrying to tie down, hold on to the ropes, etc.  When you look at the right side :) Jesus is in the midst of all those listening attentively and the seas tend to be calmer.  Someone else pointed this out to me as I never studied the picture before, but when they did it resonated with me and I knew that Jesus even in the midst of the storm had the answer for me.  HIS PEACE! 

When you are in one of the most difficult times, ultimately it’s you and God.  God can use those who love you, even a stranger, a picture, great books, wonderful songs, etc. and when you know that you know God used whatever means to speak to you specifically… you encounter what I call that heart-mind connection and NOTHING compares!  What is HE speaking to you today?

“By Your Side”

Vicky

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