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?

realchristianwomen.blog  

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.

Photo by Arno Smit on Unsplash

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Christian

A Shepherd’s Perspective on Psalm 23

“I have concluded based on my years of experience that sheep are stupid. Not just stupid but mind-numbingly stupid— sometimes I wonder how they manage to breath and eat.” Glenn Brunkow, Rancher¹

Somehow that quote from Brunkow gives me comfort. God wants to lead us, feed us, and guide us. Our responsibility is to just obey.

*********

I’m re-reading a fascinating book by Phillip Keller called A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23.² Keller was a shepherd for years and explains many things about sheep that most people don’t know.

The book is eye-opening and provides a deeper understanding of our relationship with the Lord, the Great Shepherd. It’s no accident he calls us His sheep!

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.

He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.” Psalm 23 KJV

The shepherd watches over his sheep day and night. They cannot take care of themselves, and they get into all kinds of trouble. They will drink polluted water, wander off and be attacked by a wild animals, get stuck in the same fence repeatedly, etc.

“He who watches over you will not slumber;” Psalm 121:3

Sheep are fearful, timid, and skittish. A rabbit hopping by suddenly can send them into a panic. But they calm down when the shepherd walks into view and they are comforted. So many times in my life, when I was in a panic, the Lord has comforted me and calmed my fears. That’s when I wonder how people who don’t know Him get through tough times.

We do “not want” because Jesus is always with us, in good times and in bad.  Our joy and peace comes from His presence in our life, not in what we have or the way life goes. We are content to be led by Him, doing His will.

One thing I found interesting is the fact that like humans, some sheep refuse to follow the shepherd and instead do their own thing. (Ouch!)

This can result in lots of serious problems for the sheep, problems they would have never experienced – if only they had followed the shepherd. (I think this parallel is pretty obvious!)

Keller tells how he would lead his sheep to a clean, clear stream and a stubborn ewe would go off and drink from a polluted, parasite-infested puddle instead. Isn’t that what some people do? We choose the unclean ways of the world instead of the ways of God.

“Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink.  Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.  By this he meant the Spirit,” John 7:37-38 NIV

A good shepherd provides good forage for the sheep, lush green vegetation, so that the sheep can have plenty to eat, grow, and thrive. However, some sheep will wander off and eat from barren, dry brush instead. Many times, we prefer to feed on the barren ground of the world around us instead of the peace and comfort that comes from dwelling in His Word and His presence.

The final parallel I want to share is the most extraordinary. Sheep must have plenty of pure clean water. One of the best ways to accomplish this is to lead them to a lush green field heavy with morning dew.

The sheep can keep fit and hydrated for months just by grazing right before dawn when the field is heavy with dew. The sheep feed heavily and are most content at this time of day. A good shepherd will make sure his sheep have this opportunity to drink in the “still waters” of dew.

“In the Christian life it is of more than passing significance to observe that those who are often the most serene, most confident and able to cope with life’s complexities are those who rise early each day to feed on God’s Word.” (Keller)

These are just a few of the many insights from A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23 by Phillip Keller.

I don’t know about you, but it gives me great comfort to know that I don’t have to be smart to thrive. I need only to follow Jesus, the Great Shepherd.

“We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
    each of us has turned to our own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
    the iniquity of us all.” Isaiah 53:6 NIV

“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” John 10:11 NIV

“If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off? 13 And if he finds it, truly I tell you, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off. 14 In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should perish.” Matthew 18:12-14 NIV

With Love, 

Cindy

This is My Journey Unscripted.

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

realchristianwomen.blog 

¹https://www.agupdate.com/midwestmessenger/opinion/columnists/glenn_brunkow/the-questionable-intelligence-of-sheep/article_69540f07-7577-5559-bfde-a31ea95acc0c.html

²ISBN 0-310-26790-0 available on Amazon

Photo by Sam Carter on Unsplash

Christian

Be Still and Know That I Am God

I’m a To-Do List,  planner, scheduled-day kind of person. I didn’t realize how much until recently.

It was early in the morning, about 6:00, when I let my dog, Bella, out the back door. Sunny skies, a gentle breeze, and the sweet sound of birds singing greeted me. I sat down on my little black bench to enjoy it for a minute.

I already had coffee in hand, so I drank it outside instead of hurrying into my office. Suddenly, a hummingbird darted past and paused to drink from the bright pink Hibiscus bloom peaking out from my neighbor’s balcony.

A baby bunny hopped out of the cornfield and looked around. A striking red cardinal flew to my bird feeder and looked me right in the eye. “Are you going to put any seed in this feeder or what?” he seemed to say.

A bright yellow Monarch fluttered by. It was like God had orchestrated his creation to entertain me. I couldn’t leave my seat.

After a while, this Scripture came to me, “Be still, and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10)

I sat peacefully, obediently, enjoying the beauty right outside my door. My brain stopped buzzing around like it was on fire.

Then, God reminded me that His plan is never what a person thinks it will be. Abraham didn’t know that Sarah would give him a son in her old age. Jacob didn’t know he would have to work twenty years for Laban before he could leave with Rachel. And Joseph could never imagined that God’s plan would land him in prison. But all these things were part of God’s plan!

If these men of God were like me, they would have been thinking that it was all their fault that things were working out so badly. But God’s will was being accomplished through ordinary, imperfect men – in spite of their flaws.

I learned something important that day. Sometimes I just need to slow down, quiet my brain, and observe God’s creation. It reminds me that He is God. And I might hear that still, small voice.

“And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; 12 and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice.” 1 Kings 19:11-12

With Love, 

Cindy

This Is My Journey Unscripted.

(Re-posted from July, 2018)

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

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reblogged from archives

Photo by David Clode on Unsplash

Christian

A True Story You Won’t Forget

Once there was a very popular preacher. So many people crowded into his church services, the church had to be enlarged. He frequently preached at other churches, as is often the case with popular ministers.

The preacher wrote beautiful Christian songs, that were also popular with churchgoers.  Soon be began a series of weekly prayer meetings in addition to regular services.

What made this preacher so special? I believe it was his life journey.

All the experiences in our past have shaped us into the person we are today. This preacher, at one time, was a vile sinner, cruel and having a hardened heart; a man without compassion or mercy.

Is it possible for such a person to have a complete turnaround? Can a hardened sinner become a saint? Can a depraved evildoer become a man (or woman) of God?

Ask the woman who washed Jesus’ feet with her tears and dried them with her hair,  anointing them with costly perfume. When an indignant Pharisee questioned Jesus about allowing this sinful woman (probably a prostitute) to touch him, Jesus said this:

 “I tell you that her many sins are forgiven, so she showed great love. But the person who is forgiven only a little will love only a little.” Luke 7:47

Read the full story HERE.

Have you guessed the identity of the preacher, yet? You won’t find him on YouTube or TV. He was born in 1725.

Before he gave his life to Christ, he was the captain of slave ships. I can only imagine the horror of such ships, but it is well documented that slave ships provided such wretched accommodations that many men, women, and children died before arriving at their intended destination. In the words of a former slave, Olaudah Equiano, “The shrieks of the women, and the groans of the dying rendered the whole scene of horror almost inconceivable.”

Who was this forgiven reprobate turned preacher-songwriter?

His name is John Newton and he wrote these famous words:  Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost, but now I’m found, was blind, but now I see.”

This celebrated hymn touches my soul because I know that what God’s grace and mercy did for John Newton, He did for me.

As you listen to Amazing Grace, thank God for his mercy and forgiveness. The more we have been forgiven, the more we love Him. That’s what Jesus said.

“Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” Isaiah 1:18 KJV

“He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy.” Titus 3:5 NIV

With Love, 

Cindy

This Is My Journey Unscripted.

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

Story reposted from January 2019

RealChristianWomen.blog

Photo by Tomas Jasovsky on Unsplash

From Amazing Grace: The Story of John Newton by Al Rogers

Christian

When God Feels Far Away

Recently, I felt like my faith was losing steam. My zeal and enthusiasm for God was draining away, kind of like a car leaking oil. You can put in more oil, but it keeps leaking out.

Satan was putting doubts in my mind, even if only briefly.

I couldn’t feel God. I didn’t feel like praying. I didn’t even feel like going to church. I didn’t feel like reading my Bible. I just wanted to watch Madam Secretary, play games on my Ipad, and eat.

But instead, I did pray ( although without emotion). I did go to church. I did read my Bible. And I continued to write my blog. I went through the motions, all the while Satan whispered lies in my ear. At the time, I was ashamed because I thought they were my thoughts!

But Jesus said, “When (Satan) lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” John 8:44 .

But then God . . .

Then, in church, we sang, Jesus Draw Me Nearer by Keith Getty. As I sang the words, I knew God was explaining things to me.

May this journey bring a blessing,
May I rise on wings of faith;
And at the end of my heart’s testing,
With Your likeness let me wake.

God was testing my heart! I realized that God was making me stronger. If I lost all emotion, all feeling and joy, would I still pray? Would I still read His Word? Would I still serve Him?

Yes, Lord. I will. Let me pass the test. Make my heart pure. Make me strong.

Did God let Satan test me? I think He did. Once I realized that I was in a test, I became strong because I knew those thoughts of doubt were lies from Satan. I knew God wanted to make me stronger.

So next time your joy disappears, it seems like God is far away, or something happens that you don’t understand – maybe you’re taking the same test I just took. Maybe God is making you stronger!

“Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.” James 1:2-4 MSG

The crucible for silver and the furnace for gold, but the Lord tests the heart.” Proverbs 17:3 NIV

Jesus Draw Me Nearer:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eOVGChMsPsg&list=RDq3N9VNe7Jto&index=2

With Love, 

Cindy

This Is My Journey Unscripted.

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

Photo by Vlad Bagacian on Unsplash

realchristianwomen.blog  

Christian

Life Is Not All Fun

Somehow our expectation is that we should have no problems and life should always be smooth sailing. But life is not all fun.

Have you ever felt like you were at the end of your rope? Stressed out, tired, irritable?

I ‘ve been under a great deal of stress over the last year, and especially over the last 3 months. It’s as though the devil has thrown everything he’s got at me.

I have to wonder, “WHY?” Is my Heavenly Father disciplining me as a father disciplines his child? Has Satan outwitted me in some way? Is God pruning the branches?

If God is teaching me, what am I supposed to learn from this? As I always do, I looked for answers in God’s Word. Here’s what I found.

What Does God Say About Trials?

They make us strong, able to endure whatever comes our way.

“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds,  for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.  And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” James 1:2-4 ESV

Steadfast: dependable, unwavering, implies a sureness and continuousness that may be depended upon.

After we are afflicted, we can be used by God to comfort others.

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 ESV

Suffering builds Godly character.

“More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope.” Romans 5:3-4 

God Is With Us

The other day, Jen Life Beyond #Blessed commented on my re-post from May 5, Ruffled Feathers and Unanswered Prayers by Mitch Teemley. She said, “I, too, often focus on Philippians 4 and praying as Paul instructs. One thing I’ve found particularly helpful is going back to verse 5. Our very ability to be anxious for nothing is grounded in God’s nearness. Focusing on the gift of His presence in any and every circumstance sometimes makes all the difference.” 

When I read Jen’s comment, I knew what God was teaching me. I am supposed to remember that He is always with me, in everything – He is with me! Simple, yet profound, and for me at least, sometimes easy to forget.

When we’re at the end of our rope, do we stop and think, the Lord is with me? From now on, when I’m stressed out, frustrated, or afraid, I will remember that God Himself taught me that I am never alone. He is with me.

“For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers,  nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39 ESV

“If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me.” Psalm 139:10 ESV

“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” Psalm 23: ESV

Jesus answered him, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.” John 14:23 ESV

And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.” John 14:16-17 ESV

Let all men know and perceive and recognize your unselfishness (your considerateness, your forbearing spirit). The Lord is near [He is coming soon]. Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition (definite requests), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God. And God’s peace [shall be yours, that tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and being content with its earthly lot of whatever sort that is, that peace which transcends all understanding shall garrison and mount guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:4-7 AMPC

Lord, May your nearness be my greatest treasure.

With Love,

Cindy

This Is My Journey Unscripted.

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

P.S. This post first appeared in May, 2019, but seems more appropriate now than ever.

realchristianwomen.blog  

Christian

How To Change The World

Today my daughter said to me, “God teaches us through lots of different people, sometimes from someone we don’t expect.”  That’s just what I was thinking…

The author of Bitchin in the Kitchen, a popular blog I discovered recently, tells about her “chance meeting” with an American veteran. I was moved to the core. This is a perfect example of how we should love people in the world around us.

Oh, and remember:

“The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7

Excerpt from: How To Change The World In The Time It Takes To Read This

By Britchy¹

… Then I met her polar opposite. I was back in town to see an endocrinologist so I bought a few things while I was there to save another trip. I decided I was going to walk up the hill to the Five Guys burger place and treat myself to lunch. It was a lovely day again and you know I love being out in the sun.

There was a homeless guy sat outside an empty shop. He wasn’t begging, just sat there… so on impulse I asked if he was hungry. He was stunned so I asked again if he’d like some lunch. He stammered Yes please so I gestured to Five Guys and said come on!

He said that place is expensive, you can get me McDonalds that’s okay. I’m crying again writing that. That anyone can think they’re not worth a nicer burger..

We went in and I got him a burger and fries and I had the same. I asked if he’d like a milkshake and he just beamed and said yes please! He wasn’t very old, maybe 28 or so. I could just about have been his mum.

Again he was stunned when I wanted him to sit with me to eat. This was breaking my heart in about a million pieces. We were chatting and he was a vet. He came home from a years deployment to find his wife with a new baby, obviously not his so he left and basically ran away from his life.

I told him that was what we called a Grudge Pregnancy in England. He said ‘A what???’ So I told him it was someone else had it in for you!

He burst out laughing, he really found that funny bless him. We kept talking and he mentioned his mum. I asked if he missed his family and he said yes so I handed him my phone and said “Call her”

That was the first thing I said he didn’t question! He called his mum. They were both crying. He’s from Ohio so his mum was going to drive and pick him up and take him home.

I’d gone through two packets of Kleenex by this time!

She was going to take 5-6 hours to get to him so I got him a couple of bottles of soda and some peanuts for while he was waiting. Honestly, I would have stayed but I thought he needed time to think and adjust. He has my phone number and he said he’d call when he got home. (He did)

Before I left him he asked if he could give me a hug and said ‘Thank you for treating me like a normal person’

I can’t even type that again without getting a huge lump in my throat and getting leaky. It cost me less than $20 to change someone’s life. I’m not telling this for praise because this should be normal. It shouldn’t be ‘amazing’ or a ‘wow’ story and none of you know me in real life so it stays anonymous. It’s very special to me and I don’t want to ruin it by telling my family or friends. It’s mine.

It’s not the big things in life that matter, it’s the little things. Those little things can be momentous in their own way. You won’t get rich or famous, you won’t change the world.. or will you?

Changing the world is easy – it happens one person at a time.

********************

“God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him …. We love because he first loved us.” 1 John 4:16 & 19

Thank you, Britchy, for sharing this beautiful story of loving kindness in action. I will never forget it!

With Love, 

Cindy

This is My Journey Unscripted.

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

realchristianwomen.blog 

Christian

Don’t Be So Hard On Yourself

Are you ever too hard on yourself? When confronted with our failures or weaknesses, we can feel like we’re not good enough, not measuring up. I struggle with this sometimes, especially when I have been too harsh with my middle school students. Why can’t I be more patient?

When we’re too hard on ourselves, we get discouraged and feel like giving up. Nothing could make Satan happier! Remember: Satan is “the accuser of the brethren.” and “a liar” (Revelation 12:10, John 8:44) But the promise of God is this:

“There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Romans 8:1 NIV

Sunday in church, I was feeling discouraged. We sang the song His Mercy is More. As we sang, the Holy Spirit comforted my soul like only He can. The lyrics say, “Our sins they are many. His mercy is more.”

I felt the love of God embrace me. God is not a hard taskmaster. He is loving, merciful, and kind. No matter how many times we mess up, He still loves us more than we will ever understand. Let the Holy Spirit, our Comforter, speak to your heart through God’s Word.

“Jesus said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30 NIV

“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning;” Lamentations 3:22-23 ESV

His mercy and love are greater than all our failures, mess-ups, and shortcomings.

“And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love.” 1 John 4:16 NIV

The Apostle Paul wrote, “And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power …… to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge.” Ephesians 3:17-19 NIV   

“Though the mountains be shaken
    and the hills be removed,
yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken
    nor my covenant of peace be removed,”
    says the Lord, who has compassion on you.” Isaiah 54:10

“You, Lord, are forgiving and good, abounding in love to all who call to you.” Psalm 86:5 NIV

This is our God. If you need His encouragement today, I urge you to listen to and sing, this beautiful song. I pray that it will comfort you as much as it comforted me. God’s love is reaching out to us every day.

Lord, may we have a deeper revelation of your love.

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

That’s Not What I Expected!

Sometimes God has a plan that is nothing like our expectations.  If only we would just trust Him, but instead we think we know what He should do. Learn how God just might do things in a completely different way than you expect!

Meet Naaman, the Commander of the Army of the King of Syria, a valiant soldier and highly regarded by the King. He was wealthy and respected by everyone; he had prestige, servants, and lived in grand style. I’m sure he had the best clothes, a beautiful home and (well you get the picture). Oh, he did have one little problem. He had leprosy.

His wife had her own personal servant girl, of course. Lucky for Naaman she was an Israelite. Even though she had been captured by a band of Syrian raiders, this little girl had compassion for her master (owner). 

One day, she told her mistress, “If only my master would see the prophet who is in Samaria! He would cure him of his leprosy.” (2 Kings 5:3)

Desperate to be cured, Naaman reported this to the king. The king, also anxious to see his best general cured of this egregious disease, sent Naaman to the King of Israel (with a lot of money, to boot).

Naaman expected the King to cure him of his leprosy in return for a substantial payment; but that is not what God had in mind. In fact, when the King of Israel discovered what Naaman wanted he panicked, thinking the King of Syria was trying to pick a fight. (See how this is not going as expected?)

When Elisha the prophet heard about this, he sent for Naaman. So Naaman gathered his entourage, his horses and chariots, flags and whatever, and he paraded to Elisha’s door.

Naaman must have thought pretty highly of himself, making a grand arrival with all those horses and chariots, and lots of money. But Elisha doesn’t even bother to come out and greet him! Instead Elisha sends a messenger who says, “Go wash yourself in the Jordan River seven times.”

Naaman expected the Prophet of God to dramatically wave his hands in the air and call on his God to cure him in some spectacular display. But once again, not what he expected. 

Naaman probably thought, “Who does this guy think he is? I’m not going to take a bath in that muddy river! Naaman, used to being treated with honor and respect, refused to do what Elisha said and stomped off in a rage.

I know what you’re thinking: What!? How can Naaman be that stupid? Doesn’t he want to be cured? 

But don’t we do the same thing? We pray for something, but it isn’t answered the way we expect. So we think our prayer isn’t being answered at all. Or, maybe we don’t like the way it is being answered.

It isn’t surprising that Naaman got angry. The Jordan River is a dirty, muddy river. We wouldn’t want to bathe in it either, especially if we tend to think rather highly of ourselves. (Ouch!)

Only after his servants convince him, does Naaman agree to go and dip himself in the dirty river. When he followed God’s plan, he was completely cured and his skin became like that of a young boy. Things turned out even better than he expected!

Naaman exclaimed, “Now I know that there is no God in all the world except in Israel.” (vs. 15) And he vowed to never worship any other god but the Lord.

Read the whole story of Naaman in 2 Kings chapter 5. There’s a lot more to the story!

With Love,

Cindy

This Is My Journey Unscripted.

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