Friday, November 30, 2012

Starting Your Own Relationship With Jesus Christ (And Why We Need Him!)

             John 3: 16: “For God so loved the world that he sent his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
            God so loved the world.  He didn’t just love the world; He so loved the world.  He so loved the world that He (Jesus) would die in our place before He would miss out on an eternal relationship with us.  He knew that we would disappoint Him and hurt Him and fail Him, but He still so wanted a relationship with us that He made a way.  He knew that there would be many, many people that would reject His gift of love and salvation, but an eternity spent with those who would choose Him was worth the price of dying on the cross.  That is some amazing love!     
            Let me ask you something:  If you were to die today or if Jesus came back today, would you be ready?  Seriously!   This life, as we know it, isn't going to go on forever.  And we are not invincible.  People die every day, in every kind of way.  Are you ready to face eternity, what comes the moment after you take your last breath?  Have you figured out who Jesus is and why He matters so much?  Because this will be what matters most the moment after you die.  And, quite honestly, it's what matters most in this lifetime, too.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Why I Wrote This Blog!

            My reason for this blog:
            “. . . to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners.”  (Isaiah 61:1)

            The goal for all believers:
            “He called a little child and had him stand among them.  And he said: ‘I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.  Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.’” (Matthew 18:2-4). 

            Well, hello there!  My name is Heather and this is not a blog.  Okay . . . yes, it is.  But not really, because there is no place for comments like on normal blogs.  But what I have put here are some resources that I hope will encourage and inspire other Christians on their walk with the Lord.  There is a section that explores “God’s Will,” where I share how I understand His “Will” and what it means for Christians.  There is a “Bible Study” that I put together, intended for people who have been walking with the Lord for a while.  There are some random, thought-provoking posts: questions to ask God and others, and a post on why we eat what we do.  And, in the October posts, there are two books that I spent the last five years writing.  And I am inviting you to read them for free.  Yep, that’s right . . . totally free!  

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Understanding God's Will (UGW) Intro

            Alright, I need to say this up front.  I am no expert in “God’s Will” or in how He works or what the Bible says.  I can only tell you what I think and believe at this point in my life.  And that could change.  There could be a Bible verse that I didn’t know about that could alter my view.  God’s ways are a mystery.  And ironically, they become more mysterious the longer I walk with Him.  But this is how I understand it now.  (And I may refer to things that I wrote about in deleted posts.  But it should still make sense.  Hopefully.) 

UGW 1-3: God's Plans, Cause vs Allow, Doing His Will

            1.  You say that we have an effect on the path that we walk in this life, that God’s “best path and best plans” don’t just happen apart from our cooperation.  Do you have Scripture to back that up?    
            Well, I’m glad you asked.  And let me ask this:  If God always did whatever He wanted to do in our lives, regardless of us, why are we told so often in the Bible to pray for wisdom, to seek it, and to be discerning?  If our choices and actions don’t matter and don’t have an effect on what He does in our lives, then it doesn’t matter if we live with wisdom or foolishness.  Whatever happens is God’s plan, right? 

UGW 4-6: Our Duties, Prayer Matters, But God Reads Minds

            4.  Is there danger in believing that God will always work His plan in our lives, regardless of what we do or any responsibility we have? 
            Definitely.  Because then we don’t think so much about what we do and about our responsibilities.  We won’t take seeking righteousness, wisdom, His kingdom, prayer, and obedience, etc., as seriously because we don’t see the effect it has over our lives.  If He’s just going to do whatever He’s going to do anyway, then it doesn’t matter what we do or don’t do. 

UGW 7-8: About Prayer and Finding God's Will

            7.  But what about the verses that talk about how God knows what we need before we ask, like Matthew 6:8 and Matthew 6:32?  Doesn’t this show that we don’t really need to pray for His care, because He’ll care for us anyway, since He knows our needs?
              God knows what we need, and He can read our thoughts.  (All the more reason to make sure that we set our minds on things above and not on impure, ungodly things.)  But once again, it doesn’t say that He responds to our thoughts or that He gives us what we need just because He knows that we need it.  We can choose to live apart from God and in self-sufficiency.  We can choose to live life sitting back, putting our feet up and saying, “Ok, God, bring on the blessings. . . Look at how well He takes care of me!”  Even though we are doing nothing to draw near to Him.   

UGW 9: Understanding Prayer Better

            9.  How come some prayers don’t seem to work, even when you believe that it’s God’s Will?  And how long do you keep praying for something (especially when it’s a painful issue) when God seems to not be listening or answering?   
            Boy, I tell you, I struggle with this one all the time.  I want something so bad sometimes (even something that’s good and beneficial), and I pray earnestly for it.  And when it doesn’t happen, I struggle with why my prayers aren’t getting things done. 
            When we were considering a possible adoption (one of my relatives was possibly going to give up his newborn and ask us to take her), I was reading a book that basically taught the “name it and claim it” idea.  If I felt like I could “hear” God’s answer in prayer, then I just had to claim it and cling to it in faith, until it happened.  Despite any appearances to the contrary.  If I had enough faith to continue to cling to His “promise,” it would happen eventually.  And if it didn’t happen, it’s because I gave up too early or because I doubted.