Are You Feeling Squeezed? Sin, Worldly Living, and the Narrow Gate

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Jesus answered them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed. (John 8:34-36 NKJV)

Our “ticket” to heaven or hell is given by God himself. There are no “get-by” passes or a friend standing at the pearly gates “hooking you up” to live in comfort and leisure up in heaven when you leave this earth while you have not done a self check and most importantly given your life to Christ for the sake of receiving salvation and forgiveness from He who is our Lord and Savior. It’s not that kind of party. God does not operate like that.

We choose the route we want to take in life. As well, we choose to do either right or wrong. The decision is ours. Scripture tells us “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it. (Matthew 7:13, 14 NKJV)

I need to be squeezed. Don’t you?

Often I find myself asking of the Lord in regards to reproof and correction. I surely am not one who is perfect and I claim to not be perfect though I am made perfect in Him. We all have sinned and continue to sin in some sort whether in word, thought or action consciously and subconsciously. I want to know the error of my ways so that I can change. I want to be forgiven of my sins. I want to be made over daily.

I NEED TO BE SQUEEZED.

All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. (II Timothy 3:16, 17 NKJV)

Many succumb to the ways of the world without fighting for what right. It’s easier to pleasure and please man because we don’t want to hurt their feelings or because we want to fit in rather than stand out for God who has been nothing but good and merciful toward us, who loves us without conditions and who gave us a way out and a way in that we may be washed, cleansed and approved to be united with Him forever where no more tears and sorrow shall reign in eternal glory in heaven. As believers and followers of Christ we are not called to life a life of such. We are not to conform to the ways of the world. (Romans 12:2)

We were made to stand out. We were made to let our light shine for the world to see. “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; (I Peter 2:9 NKJV)

Unfortunately this place we live in is full of evil and lust. Temptation is always knocking at our door. Will we answer?

Not one of us came into this world without sin so I pray we don’t walk around as if we have never done wrong. God knows all and sees all. He’s merciful and forgiving. He’s loving and patient. This is how we should also be towards others who have committed sin who are in the Body of Christ as well as the sinner who has not turned from his ways and who has yet to receive Christ into their life. The Word tells us:
Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. (James 5:16 KJV)

Are you feeling the squeeze yet? I’m not here to condemn one soul but I will not shy away from the truth. I will not accept what God says is wicked and abominable in this world and the ways of it so if I have to walk it alone to be seen as righteous and holy before The One who holds my life in His hands then I will. Temporary pain in this life is far from comparison to the eternal joy I will have in my Fathers kingdom.

I pray this for you too dear Reader. Fight the good fight and don’t give in. You can do it and come out victorious in Christ Jesus. He is our strength, shield, deliverer, protector and provider. Nothing is too mighty for God to do. Amen? Amen!

“Thank you Father, Son and Holy Spirit for being my path and light. I thank You for being my all and leading me in truth. May I cling to Your truths and convictions and lead a life that’s pleasing and honoring. You work as one but in unity giving leadership to all who will receive. Praises I sing on high for You are worthy my God to be praised! In Jesus name I pray. Amen”

Preach the Word

I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. (II Timothy 4:1-4 NKJV)

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Pride vs Prayer: Help! I’ve Fallen and I Can’t Get Up.

Pride comes before destruction, and an arrogant spirit before a fall. (Proverbs 16:18 HCSB)

Dear Reader,

I have but a short message for you today. It’s something to meditate on and worthy of calling on the Lord about.

“Where is your heart today? What thought pattern are you walking with?”

The Lord wants us to come to Him with a childlike faith believing Him for what we know He is able to carry out in our lives. Say if we do not know, then why not step out, call upon the name of the Lord to see and experience for ourselves that He is able to do exceedingly more than our minds can comprehend?

“Will you take matters into your own hands, give justification for your thoughts and reasoning which leads to action?”

Put away that haughty heart and tell our faithful Savior that you are standing in the need of prayer. Do not look to see what anyone else is doing or the lack thereof in their life. Look to Jesus because their downfall can keep you in the pits along with them.

Misery loves company.

As a child of The King, we are free. We do not have to live in emotional bondage over anything. We will experience valleys but we can have peace in the middle of dark days.

You have many who are willing to pray with you and for you. With Christ you do not have to walk alone.

Pride will deceive you and trip you up from receiving your blessing.

If you happen to trip and fall, I pray that it’s on your knees saying “It’s me, it’s me, it’s me O Lord standing in the need of prayer.”

My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise. (Psalm 51:17 NIV)

*I know there are many versions of this song you may have heard but I want you to meditate on the words and reflect on your life and where the Lord may or may not fit it. There’s no time like the present time to make a change for the good and edification of your soul. Peace and rest be with you all in Christ Jesus. God bless you and may you be encouraged this day.

 

Value in Wisdom: Chasing the Wind as a Busybody

*Dear Readers, I initially wrote this post Feb 2012. I thought it would be good to share it with those who I did not have the honor of meeting through the blog at the time. Enjoy

Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve,everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind;
nothing was gained under the sun. (Ecclesiastes 2:11 NIV)

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Take inventory of what’s going on in your life. Eliminate ( cut and prune ) things that are not profitable. Staying in direct line of the will of God that He has for you will profit greatly and it will bring Him the glory knowing you are acting in obedience.

For God giveth to a man that is good in his sight wisdom, and knowledge, and joy: but to the sinner he giveth travail, to gather and to heap up, that he may give to him that is good before God. This also is vanity and vexation of spirit. (Ecclesiastes 2:26 KJV)

Stepping back to observe and weigh the things you say and do on a daily basis gives you a broader perspective of what’s really important. Pleasing God should be your first choice; not the last resort if you seek to live righteously for Him. A time of rest may be in order. This time of rest I am referring to is of stepping back from things that are optional and/or not of great importance. If you have a job that pays the bills then that is not what I am talking about. It’s those social gatherings, projects, idle time given or used that is of your free leisure and things along those lines. Now I’m not saying that they are not valuable or of good service to the Lord even if it’s volunteering within your local church. What I am saying though is that there is a season to everything. (Ecclesiastes 3)

Don’t hinder your growth and time with God if He is wanting to spend some alone time with you. This is something you should want as well. Doing so will develop a more personal and intimate relationship with Him as well as building character within yourself.

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Chasing the wind doesn’t give you perfect peace. Jesus does. Running around as a busybody trying to make good on pleasures and vanities of this world, you will continue to search after things in life that brings temporary joy that will soon dissipate. Rich or poor we will all leave this earth with nothing in our hands. The life we live ( in Christ ) the values, integrity, service unto the Lord that is shared with others matters. No treasures, beauty or excellent education will be of gain or profit in heaven.

* spoken by Jesus “For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Matthew 16:26 KJV)

Don’t become consumed with the ways of this world that profit you nothing if you want to truly be grounded in God. It is very easy to get caught up doing “good works” that eventually may lead you astray from choosing ” the better part”; receive the word of God that it may be applied to your life and that of others. With wisdom comes discernment and knowledge. Peace and joy with contentment will be your anchor for it is the Lord Almighty keeping you with a steadfast heart and mind.

Which will you choose?

Little children, keep yourselves from idols (false gods)–[from anything and everything that would occupy the place in your heart due to God, from any sort of substitute for Him that would take first place in your life]. Amen (so let it be). (1 John 5:21 AMP)

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Weeping & Rejoicing

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Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. (Romans 12:15 NKJV)

As I sit outdoors listening to the windchime clank back and forth melodically in tune with the warm winds, I find my thoughts passing through the skies with some somber feelings and those of rejoicing.

My sister in The Lord lost her mother recently. I cried and my heart still mourns yet I find comfort and rejoice with her because her mother has gone home to be with our Lord.

Thinking back over the last few weeks as well as the months, she and I have had conversations of laughter and those deep in prayer over various matters.

She is my sister. In Christ we share His blood.

One of the most profound conversations we have had is that of having a kindred spirit. Through one of my dark times I told her that she was like a sister (blood related, earthly type DNA kind of stuff) to me and that I truly appreciated her. You know what she told me?!! She said “Terra, I AM your sister!” While it may not seem like it grabs and clenches the heart to you, it spoke volumes to me and it still does!

Though we have never met in person (yet) we have built this relationship that seems as if it was meant to be and we carry on like we’ve known each other for years! As much as I talk about her to my kids and my husband I think they pretty much know everything I know about her.

My other brothers and sisters in The Lord that I have grown close to have impacted my life as well as I of theirs. My heart is blessed when I am thought of and their lives are shared with me. The in and out, the good and bad are taken up and treasured for in these times, prayers are lifted up over many things that we each face. We weep together and we rejoice together. I find comfort in this.

Kindred spirits…. kindred bloodline. These are the treasures I have through Christ in the multitude of brothers and sisters I have become close to over passing time. I look forward to joining together with many I have yet to meet and bond with.

Who would ever think that such treasure could be found in the “blogdom”. Surely not I a few years ago. I am a believer who’s “cup has runneth over”.

The Blood of Christ Jesus surpasses any earthly blood ties and connections that a DNA test could ever compile. With that said, I am completely satisfied.

Though this life is temporary and shall pass away, I trust and believe that Father God will provide for the motherless, fatherless, those without siblings and those simply in need of love and fellowship with those that they can connect with.

Miles away, distant lands and even language barriers may separate us but it is the bloodline of Christ that unites us forever.

Whether you are weeping or rejoicing I am with you doing the same. I am thankful for the overflow of love that’s been poured out and for that which is received.

If we never meet face to face in this life, I look forward to seeing you in glory!

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Be Still: In the Light of His Presence

“Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.” (Romans 8:27 NKJV)

Photo Credit : Divine Creations Photography (http://tnewsome2creations.wordpress.com)

God is wonderful and amazing don’t you think? Actually don’t you KNOW?!! The sun goes up and goes down every day. The Creator of the heavens and earth gifts us not only with Life (Christ Jesus) but also with the wonderful things upon this earth that He spoke to be.

I took this raw and unedited picture above a little while ago today as I listened to the weather change course. It’s a rain and ice mixture falling down and it sounds like sand. It started to remind me of the countless granular of sand that our Almighty God placed on the earth. Only He knows exactly how many they are just like He knows the very hairs on our heads and every working cell inside our body. Again….. isn’t that amazing.

On a regular basis, we should ask the Lord to search our hearts. May He open us up and allow light to shine into the innermost parts of our being; of our spirit. We may not want the dark areas of our life to be seen but He sees them for they cannot be hidden. There are also lit areas that benefit our growth as well. Both can be used to lift and encourage another through our sufferings and through our joy.

To sit still and invite the presence of the Lord is a welcomed invitation to Him. There is nothing wrong with having some alone time with God even if it’s in the busyness of your day. Setting aside a more intimate time to dwell in His presence is even greater.

Scripture tells us in James 4:8Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.”

I find this to be true because I have done so many of times.

Through some of the most simplistic ways God will meet you right where you are. Just quiet your spirit and listen.

Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified. (Romans 8:27-30 NKJV)

Be still and KNOW that HE is GOD. (Psalm 46:10)

I hope that you enjoy the song just as much as I have. This is one my favorite songs. It really takes me to a place where it’s just me and God. Nothing around me can disturb me. As I lift up my heart, my hands and my voice, I surrender because without Him I am nothing. All that I am and all that I long for is in Christ. Nothing can be better than that.

Love and Blessings,

Terra

Merry Christmas to all my Blogging Friends, Readers and Followers!

Dear Reader,

It has been a journey in 2012 as I have come to know some of you personally outside of the blog, though I have been honored to fellowship with you all over time. What a bountiful blessing I have received. Thank You Lord for all these special lives that I have been impacted by in one way or more.

Today as we all celebrate Christmas may we always be in prayer for those whom have lost loved ones this year while keeping our hearts and minds centered on why we celebrate such an occasion.

Jesus is the reason for the season! And as our First wrapped gift, may we always be thankful and content if we receive nothing else. There is no greater gift one can receive than Christ our Savior and Redeemer!

God bless each and every one of you today, tomorrow and every day that is bestowed upon you and your family. Let us continue to go forth sharing the Gospel and being a light in such a dark world. Keep your light lit and not hidden for there are still many souls in need of being saved. Let LOVE drive you to press forward with perseverance, courage and humbleness as you run this Christian race. We will always have HOPE when we keep our trust and faith in God. He believes in you and so do I.

I count it joy, I count it all a blessing for the many friendships I have made, kindred spirits that continue to shape me into the woman/sister in Lord I have been called to be, the many prayers I have shared with you and for you on your behalf to the Father. Thank you for inviting me in with such warm and kind words of encouragement this year.

With love I wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

~Terra

*if I had enough postage stamps to go around the world, you all would have received a Christmas card in the mail. This is best I could do. I hope this is suffice! 🙂

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If You Love Me You’d Tell Me the Truth

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Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend. (Proverbs 27:17 KJV)

This scripture could not be more poignant.

Amazingly, the Lord’s hand has still been upon me even when I have become frustrated, even when I have shed tears out of compassion and a lack of understanding with the questions of Why, What and How juggling around in my brain. I know I’ve said “amazingly” but in all knowing, it has been His mercy and grace that has kept me. It has been His compassion and patience to show me the very things I needed to hear and see through His eyes and understanding.

Cast your burden on the Lord, And He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved. (Psalm 55:22 NKJV)

If we love someone, we will not give up on them. If we love them, we will do what’s right for the sake of righteousness.

May we be merciful upon those who bring strife, upon those that seemingly make something out of nothing, upon those who fall away from what’s right to start walking, talking and acting as if they never knew God’s truths. If they are not a believer and follower of Christ, the fruit we show bears witness to Whom we belong to and how we live out life as an example.

We all hurt and express our pain and emotions in many ways. Through our longsuffering, love and patience with others, a heap of coals could be removed from their heads if we treat them in a Christ-like manner.

No one is perfect.

Jesus met us right where we were in all of our mess waiting to clean us up, love on us, be our Friend who would never lie to us just to make us feel better. He sharpens us more than any other friend we could ever have in our lives just to give us a life that would be easier to bear spiritually by living right and doing so accordingly.

Love Above All Else

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