say good-bye to excuses

We must self- examine our tendency to justify our decisions.

sharing love and truth

Get ready, Sharing Love and Truth readers! Today we’re saying good-bye to our excuses!

Photo Credit: drewleavy via Compfight cc Photo Credit: drewleavy via Compfightcc

Let’s be real: We make excuses to ourselves; we make excuses to others, and we make excuses to God. Oftentimes, the excuses we make to ourselves are in the form of justification. We seek to justify our attitudes, words and actions in an effort to cleanse the conscience. And let me tell you something: you can justify anything you want to so your little mind is at ease.

Using your rationale, you can justify a deliberate offense against your own body, against others, and against God. We do it when we fall to temptation to lust, to overindulge, to be lazy, and to let our emotions control us. We often will employ justification when we make decisions concerning our use of money.

Anytime we compromise the truth and present our…

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Keeping Focused

After a full day of Christmas shopping with friends at Richmond’s Bizarre Bizaar, I definitely can attest to the real struggle of remaining focused on the purity of Christmas. At this time of year, Christians worldwide remember the reason for our hope: Jesus came into the world in human flesh, lived a sinless life, was crucified, died and resurrected on the third day. The most valuable gift in all the universe- the promise to forever know the presence of God, His love and acceptance- has been granted through faith in Jesus Christ having shed His blood for the payment of the sin of humanity.

I am an eternally blessed woman for having believed, and I pray that my desire for knowing God will stir a hunger for others to know Him as the Lover of their soul. That is my Christmas wish, and I must work at keeping focused, for the pull of commercialism is strong, my Friend!

I placed beautiful scripture cards written by the talented Alexandra Rutkowski on some of the Christmas tree limbs. May I remember truth and continue to reflect on the goodness of my God this Christmas and always.

May your Christmas season be full of heartfelt celebration bringing honor to our King!

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What is God Doing in This Season?

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The winds blew strongly on this warm fall day. Mild temperatures beckoned me to come outside and enjoy perhaps the last opportunity this year to go without a coat. I walked to the park and the pier overlooking the James River.

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With eyes wide open I looked to receive revelation from the Father in heaven. He is always speaking. I watch leaves drop from the trees and I hear Him say that we need to be just as willing to release everything attached to this temporal world, for it’s final destination is death. We who belong to the family of God have a holy pursuit of that which is of eternal value, namely, Jesus Himself.

To summarize what I sense in this coming season, I believe the Church is entering into a time of cleansing. We want only Jesus. God wants a purity of our faith. What results is corporate unity in our hearts and minds renewed in the truth of God’s Word and a relentless pursuit to know Him and make Him known.

Are you asking God to direct you with an expectation for 2017? I’m praying too. I want to believe for greater revelation. I certainly do not want to miss what He is doing in the earth in this new season to come.

The picture above shows a tree full of fruit. I pray that the berries speak to you as they do me. God wants us to be fruitful; He wants to see multiplicity come through our lives. So, I pray for us, that whatever we lay our hands to, we prosper in because He is with us.

 

Stuck on Paul’s Prayer

Paul wrote that our being rooted and established in God’s love grants us power to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ (See Ephesians 3:17-18)…

Only heaven will expose fully the true meaning of these descriptives! The united family of God will have some stories to tell, and then we might glean the fullness of the Father’s love. I will add my small measure of insight on the words, wide, long, high and deep.  

  1. WIDE   I believe the Father would have us to understand that we do not live our faith disconnected from the body. Even when we pray and seek God, there is an interlocking of the one with all believers, and His answers always consider the whole body. We know from Scripture that God’s ways are higher than our ways, and when we consider His knowledge of the entirety of the one body of Christ, we begin to grasp how limited our understanding truly is.
  2. LONG  Looking at the rocky cliff considered to be the ancient site of Golgotha, one can catch a glimpse of the length of God’s covenant. It’s a never-ending covenant between God and His people: those of natural birth through Abraham’s lineage, and those chosen and grafted in through faith in Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I don’t pretend to have it all in grasp just by having visited Israel, but I do have a greater sense of awe and wonder. God’s Word is eternal.
  3. HIGH  Think about it: the more your grow in your relationship with Jesus, the more you realize you’re only scratching the surface! There is no attaining the maximum fulfillment of revelation of the Lord! There is always more! That’s the kind of love that makes a believer jump out of bed in the morning saying, “Lord, I want to know You!”
  4. DEEP  This word holds a special significance for me. I was in the Atlantic Ocean and far out from the shore on a sandbar. Worshiping with songs of praise and enjoying God’s presence, I sensed Him ask me, “Child, how big are you?” I looked around at the water stretching to the horizon without any indication of an end, and I replied, “I’m so very small in light of this ocean. Even a pilot flying over this portion of the coast would not see me.” The Father spoke: “The proportion of my grace in comparison to your need is the same as this ocean’s volume to your body’s mass. I swamp you a billion times over!”

And that, my friend, gives a better understanding of His love demonstrated in the grace we have been afforded through Jesus Christ’s coming, His death, resurrection, and on-going intercession at the right hand of the Father.

“… to know this love that surpasses knowledge- that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God” (Ephesians 3:19).

How Great the Father’s Love for Us

God’s love cannot fully be discovered on this side of eternity; therefore, one merely can arrive to the conclusion that it’s greater than anything in the universe!

Paul writes to the believers in Ephesus his prayer for them (See Ephesians 3:17-19):

You, being rooted and established in love,

may have POWER, together with all the saints,

to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ…

{One must be sourced in God’s love demonstrated in salvation in order to have POWER to grasp the immensity of His love.}

And to know this love that surpasses knowledge-

{His love is not to be learned but experienced.}

that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

{Simply yield your life to be a vessel of Himself and His nature!}

 

Judgment Day

Dear Friends,

America has spoken. For more than a year we have been listening to those with a large platform tell us their thoughts about the 2016 Presidential Election, but yesterday the everyday citizen had his turn to speak. America decided the future path of the country. Judgment day has come and passed.

There is another day of greatest importance on the horizon. We are one day closer to its coming than we were yesterday. Are you ready for God’s judgment day? There is no escaping it.

“NOTHING IN ALL CREATION IS HIDDEN FROM GOD’S SIGHT. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of Him to whom we must give an account” (Hebrews 4:13).

When Jesus returns, the universal clock stops, and in whatever state your soul abides will be the determining factor of Jesus’ judgment. You and I do not get to decide the day of His coming. Only the Father in heaven knows. What we can decide in this moment- trust in God’s promise to forgive us of all unrighteousness when we confess our sins and acknowledge the power of Jesus’ blood shed to remove our sins. There is only one name under heaven by which man can be saved! Jesus!

Many people hope that their measure of goodness will be sufficient to receive God’s grace on judgment day, yet God’s Word makes clear that even our mindful attempt at righteousness is as filthy menstrual rags in God’s sight- worthless! Sorry for such a strong visual, but that is the meaning of filthy rags!

Jesus taught about God’s holy law saying that if you even have lust in your heart for someone, you have committed adultery. Additionally, if you have a hateful heart toward another, it is murder. So the standard of perfection is unattainable for all of us. The Bible states that all have sinned and have failed to measure up to God’s perfect standard.

You cannot save yourself! You don’t have holiness, and God has no fellowship with sin, so there must be a mediator. Jesus hung on a cross and died, suspended between heaven and earth, to take upon Himself the judgment of death for humanity’s sin. He paid the penalty in full. Do you believe?

All of my sin has been paid for, and I have been redeemed through Jesus’ work on the cross. He resurrected on the third day and lives forevermore with the Father in heaven, and He prepares a place for me. I am confident in having confessed faith in Christ Jesus and knowing my eternal destination is heaven not hell. How I want you to be there too, Friend. It’s the Father’s heart that none would perish but have everlasting life. God has made known the way of life for you, but He will not choose it for you. It’s all your choice. He loves you and refuses to use His infinite power to dominate you.

I have written much on Sharing Love and Truth about having life in Jesus Christ. It’s the most fulfilling life and holds promise of no end. In fact, there is only increase as the believer knows Jesus and knows Him more with each passing day! The psalmist said it well: “You guide me with Your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory… Those who are far from You will perish; You destroy all who are unfaithful to You. But as for me, it is good to be near God. I have made the Sovereign Lord my refuge…” (Psalm 73:24, 27-28).

Eternity awaits. What is your decision?