Christian

What Kind of Worshiper Am I?

Those bad Pharisees! I can’t believe how stubborn they were! I’m glad I’m not like one of them!

We tend to see the faults in others before we see our own. Isn’t that true? I’m pretty sure that’s called pride. So as we examine what the Bible says about worship, let us look inward, at our hearts.

Jesus talked about two kinds of worshippers – “true worshipers” and those who “worship me in vain.” Do we really understand the difference? Let Jesus explain.

To the Samaritan woman at the well, Jesus said,

“Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.” John 4:23-24 NIV

But when Jesus spoke to the Pharisees, He said,

“You nullify the word of God for the sake of your tradition. You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you:

These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.
 They worship me in vain;” Matthew 15:6-9 

The Greek word translated “worship” in the first passage is proskuneo. It means to prostrate oneself in worship, to reverence, to adore. To lie prostrate implies total surrender.

The Pharisees put on a show of reverence, but were not totally surrendered to God. It is interesting to note that Jesus did not use the same word for worship in Matthew 15:9. He used the word sebomai, which means to revere. There is a big difference. The Pharisees honored God, but they were not surrendered to His will. Their hearts were somewhere else.

“And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him.” Romans 12:1 NLT

Let us examine our hearts. What kind of worshipper am I? Is my worship pleasing to God? Am I surrendered to His will? Or, do I worship Him in vain? Do I give Him reverence, but cling stubbornly to my own will? Do I worry more about how I appear on the outside, or the condition of my heart?

Am I totally surrendered to Jesus?

“If we will only surrender ourselves utterly to the Lord, and will trust Him perfectly, we shall find our souls “mounting up with wings as eagles” to the “heavenly places” in Christ Jesus, where earthly annoyances or sorrows have no power to disturb us.”

– Hannah Whitall Smith

With Love, 

Cindy

This Is My Journey Unscripted.

Do you want to become a Christian? Click this link to learn more: Who Is Jesus?

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1st Photo by NATHAN MULLET on Unsplash

2nd Photo by Rachel Pfuetzner on Unsplash

Christian

GPS to the Small Door

Imagine you are sitting in church, listening to your pastor’s message, and he says,

“By the way, a lot of people around here aren’t going to Heaven!” (Everybody perks up and starts to pay attention.)

He continues, “The door to heaven is pretty small. So, many people are going to go through the wrong door. In fact, only a few people will find the right door, only a few.”

The people are thinking, “What? Is that really true?”

He continues, “You better make sure you are studying your Bible or you won’t find the small door. Instead, you’ll follow the crowd through the big door. Some of you tend to do what sounds good, instead of carefully studying your Bible.” (People start to fidget because they don’t have time to read their Bibles. They’re really busy!)

The pastor exclaims, “Now that big door is not only the wrong door, it is the door that, once opened, will take you down a big, wide road that looks like a good road, but it isn’t! It leads to devastation and disaster!” (This isn’t what the people want to hear. They think he is too negative.)

He ends by saying, “Make sure you find the small door. Like I said, study your Bible. It is the GPS to the small door.”

Will the people start studying their Bibles, or will they dismiss the pastor’s warning?

Jesus said, “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” Matthew 7:13-14  

That is an intriguing statement, made by our Lord Jesus Christ in the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus and the Apostles gave us many warnings in the New Testament. We would do well to know what they are. We mustn’t only read and study the promises. We must read and study all of God’s Word.

Do you know what God’s warnings are?  Several are listed in my post, Don’t Follow the Crowd. https://realchristianwomen.blog/2019/02/18/dont-follow-the-crowd/

With Love, 

Cindy

This is My Journey Unscripted.

Click this link to learn more about Jesus: Who Is Jesus?

All Scriptures are NIV unless otherwise noted.

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Christian

Sunday’s Memory Verse, 10/4/20

“All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.  God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17 NLT

With Love,

Cindy

This Is My Journey Unscripted.

Do you want to become a Christian? Click this link to learn more: Who Is Jesus?

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

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Christian

Prayer Power!

We are vulnerable when we’re lonely. During this time of social isolation and quarantines, I suspect there are many people fighting the attacks of the enemy. But, as Beth Moore once said, “The devil can knock you down, but he can’t keep you down!”

We must follow Jesus’ example and speak the Word. Jesus quoted the Word of God to the devil in the wilderness. It was powerful then and it’s powerful now. Satan will flee.

After fasting forty days and forty nights, he (Jesus) was hungry. The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” Matthew 4: 2-4 NIV

I like to copy the Scriptures I pray into my journal. These verses strengthen my faith. I will list some of those verses, but you can add verses that are specific to your prayer needs. Keep them handy (or better yet, memorize them!)

“Take … the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”

Ephesians 6:17 NIV

Verses for Prayer

FIRST FORGIVE:

“I have forgiven in the sight of Christ for your sake, in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes.” 2 Corinthians 2:10-11 NIV

GOD’S PROMISE:

“Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.  Come near to God and he will come near to you.” James 4:7-8a NIV

GOD’S PEACE:

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7 NIV

IN FAITH:

“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us …” Ephesians 3:20 NIV

FOR SAFETY:

“I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” Psalm 91:2 NIV

FOR STRENGTH:

“My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” Psalm 73:26 NIV

“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9 NIV

IN TIMES OF TROUBLE:

“And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” Ephesians 8:28 NASB

“When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.” Psalm 56:3 NIV

“Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him;
    I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
 He will call on me, and I will answer him;
    I will be with him in trouble,
    I will deliver him and honor him.
 With long life I will satisfy him
    and show him my salvation.” Psalm 91:14-16 NIV

FOR GUIDANCE:

“Your word is a lamp for my feet,
    a light on my path.” Psalm 119:105

“The Lord will guide you always;
    he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land
    and will strengthen your frame.” Isaiah 58:11a

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways acknowledge him,
    and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6

FOR ANOTHER’S SALVATION:

” … if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth,  and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil …” 2 Timothy 2:25-26 NASB

“One of those listening was a woman from the city of Thyatira named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth. She was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul’s message.” Acts 16:14 NIV

“Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.” Luke 18:1 NIV

Prayer is our declaration of dependence on God.”

Dr. David Jeremiah

See how many Scriptures you can add to your prayer journal. Your faith will soar!

With Love,

Cindy

This Is My Journey Unscripted.

Do you want to become a Christian? Click this link to learn more: Who Is Jesus?

realchristianwomen.blog  

Christian

Is The Bible Relevant in the 21st Century?

I recently heard a pastor say something that sent shock waves through me. In an attempt to draw unchurched people to Christ, this popular pastor is teaching his flock that the Bible, especially the Old Testament, is not essential to following Jesus. (I find that really hard to accept since Jesus Himself taught from the Old Testament!)

Even more shocking, is how easily people accept it! That’s why I feel I have to talk about it on my blog. The Old Testament is vitally important because everything in it points to Jesus. The better we understand it, the better we will understand our walk with God.

“All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.” 2 Timothy 3:16 NLT

Once the enemy convinces the church that we shouldn’t base our beliefs on the Bible, he can bring forth all kinds of deception and lies that will be gobbled up by itching ears. Without the Bible, the church is destined to embark on a path that gradually looks more and more like the world and less and less like Christ.

The importance of Bible reading can not be overemphasized. And if we read more books about the Bible than the actual Bible, well, we are treading on dangerous ground. But isn’t that what people like to do? It’s the lazy way out. Don’t let someone tell you what the Bible says, unless you have read it for yourself first.

“For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.  They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.” 2 Timothy 4:3-4 NIV

“Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.” John 17:17 NIV

Yes, maybe our churches will grow bigger and faster if we present a message that mirrors the world view and culture, but is that really a good idea?

Jesus said,

“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.  But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” Matthew 7:13 NIV

My purpose in writing this post is not to criticize, but to highlight the vital importance of reading, studying, and knowing God’s Word for yourself; and to warn against any teaching that does not honor God’s Holy Word. A cursory knowledge of the Bible is not good enough. For the Bible is our guide to discerning truth from error.

I challenge you to read the entire Bible within one year. It’s easier than you think! I did it last year and I’m doing it again this year. In fact, I plan on doing it every year from now on. Why? It’s so easy to do! And once you do it, you’ll want to do it again. I promise!

I personally like the One Year Reading Plan here. Using this chronological reading plan, you will study the Bible in the order that events happened. I found it very helpful to better understand the Biblical timeline. And it requires only a few minutes each day.

“Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.” Psalm 119:105 NIV

The Bible guides us through life and teaches us what is true. It is indispensable!

As always, comments are welcomed and appreciated.

With Love, 

Cindy

This Is My Journey Unscripted.

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Do you want to become a Christian? Click this link to learn more: Who Is Jesus?

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Christian

Psychics and Witchcraft: Is It Harmless?

Every Christian should know that divination is an abomination to God. But do they?

This subject was brought to my mind when I read 1 Chronicles 10. It is the story of King Saul’s last day on Earth. He is wounded by the enemy and then kills himself to keep from being captured. The next day, the Philistines stripped him and took his head. Verses 13 and 14 say,

“Saul died because he was unfaithful to the Lord; he did not keep the word of the Lord and even consulted a medium for guidance,  and did not inquire of the Lord. So the Lord put him to death and turned the kingdom over to David son of Jesse.”

There are many Scriptures that make it clear that all types of divination are a sin and an abomination to God. Here are a few.

“When you enter the land the Lord your God is giving you, do not learn to imitate the detestable ways of the nations there.  Let no one be found among you who sacrifices their son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft,  or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead.” Deuteronomy 18:9-11 NIV

Witchcraft

“I will set my face against anyone who turns to mediums and spiritists to prostitute themselves by following them, and I will cut them off from their people.” Leviticus 20:6 NIV

“Do not turn to mediums or seek out spiritists, for you will be defiled by them. I am the Lord your God.” Leviticus 19:31 NIV

Tarot Cards

God calls these things detestable. Yet people swarm to fortune tellers and psychics by the millions. According to an article by Paul Thagard, PhD in Psychology Today, “4 out of 10 people believe that psychics are effective and billions of dollars are spent yearly by people desperate to have psychics help them with their problems.”

Dr. Thagard explains the deceptive practices psychics use, but I’d like to point out that whether the psychics use trickery or not is immaterial. God says it is an abomination to consult them.

Christians should look to God for guidance, not demons. Consider these verses from Acts 16:16-18 (NIV):

“Once when we were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a female slave who had a spirit by which she predicted the future. She earned a great deal of money for her owners by fortune-telling.  She followed Paul and the rest of us, shouting, “These men are servants of the Most High God, who are telling you the way to be saved.”  She kept this up for many days. Finally Paul became so annoyed that he turned around and said to the spirit, “In the name of Jesus Christ I command you to come out of her!” At that moment the spirit left her.”

The devil will entice God’s people to sin any way he can. One of his favorite ways is to make the sin seem innocent. (It’s just for fun!) But it’s not innocent fun, and sin has consequences.

Methods of divination include psychics, tarot cards, ouija boards, reading tea leaves, astrology, horoscopes, zodiac signs, the occult, fortune tellers, drug use and others.

Horoscope

God wants to protect His people from demonic forces. I believe that people can open a door to evil spirits by participating in these things. (Paul associates fortune-telling with demons in Acts 16 above.)

When I was a teenager, I participated in a seance with friends. They said there would be someone there who really knew how to do it. That night I was overcome by an intense fear that I had never experienced before or since. I knew I was doing something I shouldn’t be doing.

I repented of this sin and I would never, never do it again. I learned my lesson well.

If you know someone who is troubled by unusual fear, make sure they are not opening the door to the occult in some way. If they are, they need to study the Scripture, pray, and repent.

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7 NKJV

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9 NIV

Remember, sorcery of any kind is not innocent fun. God’s Word is our guide.

“If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking.  But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind.” James 1:5-6 NLT

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart;
    do not depend on your own understanding.
 Seek his will in all you do,
    and he will show you which path to take.” Proverbs 3:5-6
NLT

The Lord says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life.
    I will advise you and watch over you. Psalm 32:8 NLT

“Your word is a lamp to guide my feet
    and a light for my path.” Psalm 119:105 NLT

With Love, 

Cindy

This Is My Journey Unscripted.

Do you want to become a Christian? Click this link to learn more: Who Is Jesus?

realchristianwomen.blog  

Paul Thagard, Psychology Today, Should You Believe in Psychics? April 24, 2019

Photos from Unsplash and Pexels

Christian

Trusting God for Guidance

Do you ever feel like God isn’t there? When we can’t seem to hear His voice or sense His leading, that’s when it’s time for faith to take charge!

God is always speaking to us in the sense that His Word is alive and all we have to do is open our Bible to hear God’s Word. Today, as I sought the Lord regarding what to write about, I realized that He is always leading me, even when I can’t “feel” it.

How do I know? Because He has promised me He would. If I look to His Word, He speaks. Psalm 119 is about God’s Word, but it also promises that those who love His Word will be rewarded with counsel, wisdom, insight, guidance, and peace.

“Your statutes are my delight;
    they are my counselors.” Psalm 119:24

“Your commands are always with me
    and make me wiser than my enemies.
 I have more insight than all my teachers,
    for I meditate on your statutes.” Psalm 119:98-99

“Your word is a lamp for my feet,
    a light on my path.” Psalm 119:105

“Great peace have those who love your law,
    and nothing
can make them stumble.” Psalm 119:165

“Your promises have been thoroughly tested,
    and your servant loves them.” Psalm 119:140

I will trust Him to lead me because I have surrendered to His will for my life and I love the Word of God. So during times when all I hear is silence, I will trust that He is still leading me through the darkness. I believe His promises are true.

“For the Lord Almighty has purposed, and who can thwart him?
    His hand is stretched out, and who can turn it back?” Isaiah 14:27

In their hearts humans plan their course,
    but the Lord establishes their steps.” Proverbs 16:9

“From the east I summon a bird of prey;
    from a far-off land, a man to fulfill my purpose.
What I have said, that I will bring about;
    what I have planned, that I will do.” Isaiah 46:11

“He guides me along the right paths
    for his name’s sake.” Psalm 23:3

“He who has compassion on them will guide them
    and lead them beside springs of water.” Isaiah 49:10b

“The Lord will guide you always;
    he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land
    and will strengthen your frame.” Isaiah 58:11a

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
    I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.” Psalm 32:8

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding;
 in all your ways acknowledge him,
    and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6

Your Watchful Eye Will Lead Me

Your watchful eye will lead me.
You never look away.
I turn to you for guidance
Every single day.

Because I love your Word,
And seek to know it well,
I trust your hand to guide me,
For in my heart Christ dwells.

With Love, 

Cindy

This Is My Journey Unscripted.

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Do you want to become a Christian? Click this link to learn more: Who Is Jesus?

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All Scripture references are from the NIV.

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Christian

Worry Is Like a Rocking Chair

Corrie Ten Boom was a prisoner and survivor of Ravensbruck Concentration Camp. If anyone ever had an excuse to worry, it was her. Corrie, her sister, and their elderly father were whisked from their home and sent to Ravensbruck Concentration Camp, “the deepest hell that man can create”¹ because they were caught hiding Jews during WWII. Following are some quotes on worry from Corrie.

“Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength. It does not enable us to escape evil. It makes us unfit to face evil when it comes. It is the interest you pay on trouble before it comes.”

“Worry is like a rocking chair; it keeps you busy but does not bring you farther.”

Corrie Ten Boom’s book, The Hiding Place, had a profound effect on me as a young adult. Her faith and trust in Jesus Christ will encourage you through any trial you may find yourself in today.

Corrie lived her life, before and after Ravensbruck, serving the Lord Jesus Christ.

“Do not be anxious or worried about anything, but in everything [every circumstance and situation] by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, continue to make your [specific] requests known to God. And the peace of God [that peace which reassures the heart, that peace] which transcends all understanding, [that peace which] stands guard over your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus [is yours].” Philippians 4:6-7 AMP

So many times, people say, “I’m a worrier. I worry about everybody.” It’s as if they think it’s a badge of honor. It’s not! To worry means we are not trusting God. To please God, we must have faith. We must trust Him.

And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” Hebrews 11:6 NIV

With Love, 

Cindy

This Is My Journey Unscripted.

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Do you want to become a Christian? Click this link to learn more: Who Is Jesus?

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1The Hiding Place, by Corrie Ten Boom