Quote From Benjamin Franklin

I think God is trying to tell me something about my writing and being more diligent about it.  This is the second quote in a row that has struck me about work.  And for me, my work is my writing.

So here goes today’s quote.

“Work while it is called today, for you know not how much you may be hindered tomorrow.  One today is worth two tomorrows; never leave that till tomorrow which you can do today.”

I think Benjamin Franklin had the right idea, procrastination can be the death of a project and acid to the soul.

Joy – A Fellow Sojourner & A Woman After God’s Own Heart.

Quote From McGuffey’s Primer

Today’s quote from McGuffey’s Primer is a poem that children memorized in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

Work while you work,

Play while you play;

One thing each time,

That is the way.

Do with your might;

Things done by halves

Are not done right.

There is a beautiful simple wisdom in this poem, that we can learn from.  Those who study with music blaring or the television on might gain some insight from these lines.  Or employees spending more time chatting with co-workers or smoking cigarettes than at their desk actually working might gain some insight here.  Likewise are the people that can’t go to the beach or on vacation with out their laptop or iPad.  There is a time to work and a time to play and as the poem says both times should be respected and separated.  I think if we live by this poem we may find that 1) We get more done when we work and 2) We have more fun when we play.  Both are equally important for a healthy life.

Struggle with Self-esteem?

I don’t know how many of you struggle with not feeling good enough, but it has been a thorn in my side for my entire life.  It was almost a stumbling block between me and salvation.  I didn’t think that there was anyway that God could possibly forgive me!  My poor self image and my awareness of my sinful nature was so before me that for some reason I thought that God would accept Hitler before me.

Now no at the age of 13 I had not caused the death of anyone or tried to take over the world, but all the same I felt so unworthy that I was certain that no one even God could possibly forgive me for my sin.  It took a long time to realize that it wasn’t a matter of worth that got me into the kingdom of heaven, but a matter of grace.

For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men.   –  Titus 2:11

The passage that really settled it for me and gave me assurance of not only my salvation but my position in Christ is Ephesians 2:1-10

1As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 2in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work is those who are disobedient. 3All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature an following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath. 4But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions – it is by grace you have been saved. 6And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. 8For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this not from yourselves, it is a gift of God – 9not by works, so that no one can boast. 10For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

What comforted me about this passage is many things and I’d like to break it down for you.  First of all, as I’ve already mentioned I was keenly aware of my sinfulness, which made me feel totally unworthy of anything God could have for me.  In Ephesians 2:1-3 it talks about our sins and how we were dead in our transgressions and how all of us lived this way as by nature objects of wrath.  When I read that I thought this Book gets me.  This is exactly how I feel.

Then came verses 4 & 5 “But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions – it is by grace you have been saved.”  I could hardly believe my eyes, God loved me and not only that he had rich mercy on me.  Though I was dead in my transgressions God chose to make me alive in Christ.  By grace I was saved.  What a generous God.  It was almost more than my eyes could take in.  My heart was pounding with joy as it is now reliving it.

As if He knew that I needed the added message of what my position  was to help me with my self worth, He goes on to tell me that He/God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, amazing.

So that we don’t get it wrong we are reminded that it is by grace we are saved, through faith, and this not from ourselves, it is a gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.  This keeps me in the right frame of mind humble because I know that I need God for everything.

Then the writer does us the wonderful blessing of letting us know what God’s purpose for us is. Verse 10 “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”  Isn’t it wonderful we know what we are here for to do good works that God has already prepared for us.  That means we need to keep in communication with Him so that we don’t miss out on our purpose.  Since He has planned them out in advance it would be foolish to just go around and do any good work that might not be the one He is wanting you or I to do.  Open communication is crucial for us to know what it is that we are to be doing to stay in God’s will.  Anything else is pride.

Lord thank You for Your Word and for Your will and plans.  Forgive me for my times of pride when I’ve charged off and done things on my own will whether I thought they were for You or not, I was sinful not to come toYou first.  I ask you to forgive me of the sin of my pride and help me to turn to You first.  In the sweet name of Jesus Christ I pray. Amen.

A Woman After God’s Own Heart!

Are We Willing To Hear A No or Say A No?

The messenger who went to call Micaiah said to him, Behold now the prophets unanimously declare good to the king.  Let your answer, I pray you, be like theirs, and say what is good.  But Micaiah said, As the Lord lives, I will speak what the Lord says to me.

– 1 Kings 22:13-14

How many times in life do we have the opportunity to stand up for God and we choose to become yes men instead?  Ready to give the populous the answer they crave, rather than the answer that they so desperately need?

Reading this passage I’m convicted at the conviction with which Micaiah remained true to God.  He was getting not just peer pressure but pressure from the king and his advisors to fall into line with everyone else.

Denying their request could have had horrible circumstances to it, but he shows no fear in his answer. “As the Lord lives, I will speak what the Lord says to me.”  No there is not a shred of fear or doubt or waving of what is the right thing to do. He is confident in his Lord and in the relationship he has with his Lord.  He hears His voice clearly and will not bow down to men but only to his Lord.

God was saying, “No!” to this people and Micaiah was the only one who was willing to listen to God and carry the message to the people whether they liked it or not.

Are we like the hard hearted people that Micaiah kept speaking to?  Unable to hear when God says, “No.”?  Or are our hearts open to the voice of God speaking to us and saying for our benefit, “No.”?

With a softened heart we are not only open to His no’s but His yes’s and not yet’s and maybes’.  When we have an open heart to His voice we have opportunity for relationship.  That is the sweetest thing of all!  With relationship we can handle the yes’s, not yet’s, maybes’ and no’s.  Even if He chooses not to tell us why we can trust in His goodness and faithfulness that whatever the answer it is for our best.

Are we unable to stand up to the peer pressure and say, “No.” when appropriate? Would Micaiah or the Lord be proud of our stance?  Did we stand up to the king and his advisors when they were wrong or did we cower?  As if we didn’t serve and have at our side the Master and Creator of the Universe, The Alpha, Omega, I AM, The Bright and Morning Star, King of Kings and Lord of Lords!  If He is for us who can be against us?

We must take courage when given the opportunity to share our hope and strength and courage and faith to step out on faith that the Holy Spirit will give us the words we need to touch the heart we are talking to.  After all this in not our work we are doing but God’s work and He will not let His work fail.  The only way it won’t work is if we don’t share.  Even then God will find someone else to share with that person.  But we will miss out on the blessings of sharing our faith with someone and possibly, just possibly even the blessing of introducing that person to Christ and being there as they commit their life to Christ.  Surely that’s a blessing that is too great to think about missing.

Joy – A Woman After God’s Own Heart!