Monday, March 18, 2019

No More Excuses


By Andrea Merrell

Excuses, excuses, excuses.

We all have them. I’ve been guilty more times than I can count for coming up with a reason not to do something—or at least putting it off.
 
At times, our reasoning can be totally bogus because we don’t know the whole story or the truth. Or because we don’t understand the situation. Too much of the time, it’s simply because we don’t want to.

When it comes to God’s kingdom, He takes all our excuses away. All we have to do is read His Word to understand—to know the whole story and the truth. Then the decision is up to us to do the right thing, to do what God instructs us to do.

Let’s defuse some of the most common excuses with the Word:

  • I’m too weak. My strength is made perfect in weakness (2 Cor. 12:9).
  • I’m not smart enough. We have the mind of Christ (1 Cor. 2:16).
  • It’s because of my past. Old things have passed away; all things have become new (2 Cor. 5:17).
  • I can’t afford it.  And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19).
  • I don’t know what to do. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him (James 1:5).
  • I don’t have what it takes. His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3).
  • No one believes in me. If God is for us, who can be against us? (Rom. 8:31).
  • That’s just the way I am.  Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ (Philippians 1:6).
  • It’s impossible. But Jesus looked at them and said to them, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible” (Matt. 19:26).
When God puts a call on our lives, He doesn’t accept our feeble excuses. And He doesn’t leave us to fend for ourselves. He makes a way where there is no way. He is God of the impossible. Whenever we need direction, He promises to guide us, light the way, and make our path straight.


God has a plan for your life, and you will fulfill it when you come into agreement with His Word. Begin to see yourself as God sees you.

And … no more excuses.

(Photo courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net, Stuart Miles, and artur84.)


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Monday, March 11, 2019

Age Is Only a Number




By Andrea Merrell

 The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you.
And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead,
he will give life to your mortal bodies
by this same Spirit living within you.
Romans 8:11 NLT 


Birthdays seem to come at lightning speed these days. The number keeps growing larger, yet my inner voice is screaming, “I’m much too young to be this old!”

Ageing is inevitable. We all know that. But sometimes it’s hard to accept when these body parts begin to sag and droop as gravity takes hold. Our energy level goes down. Our pain level goes up. Mundane, everyday tasks become more of a challenge. We long for the endurance we once possessed. It can be discouraging. But this is what the Lord says:

Do not be anxious about the weakness of your body. Instead, view it as the prelude to My infusing energy into your being. Though the process of ageing continues, inwardly you grow stronger with the passing years. Those who live close to me develop an inner aliveness that makes them seem youthful in spite of their years. ~Jesus (From Jesus Calling by Sarah Young.)

Age is only a number. It’s a state of mind. And it does not determine our worth, usefulness, purpose, or effectiveness in God’s kingdom. It actually enhances our life—and those around us—as we grow in wisdom and knowledge, learning to value what He values and love others the way He loves us. 

When we develop a close, intimate relationship with the Lord and walk hand in hand with Him through our days, He infuses us with His very own life and breath. His strength is made perfect (complete) in our weakness. While our earthly body grows weaker, our spirit grows stronger the closer we walk with Him. Therefore, we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day (2 Corinthians 4:16 NLT).

Life is precious. It’s a gift. Be thankful. Don’t dwell on the number of your days. God is the only one who knows that exact number. Fix your heart and mind on the One whose Spirit lives in you. 

(Photo courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net and sirayot.)


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Monday, March 4, 2019

The Red Letters


By Andrea Merrell

 
For the word of God is alive and powerful.
It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword,
cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow.
It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.
Hebrews 4:12 NLT


One day while I was driving, the radio announcer said, “there’s life in the red letters.” Tears filled my eyes as I thought about his statement. How true. And, sadly, how taken for granted.

The Word of God is described as alive and powerful. Sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword. It even exposes our deepest thoughts and the secret motives and desires of our heart. This is especially true when it comes to the letters in red. The words of Jesus himself—the Word made flesh who dwelt among us (John 1:14).

Jesus referred to Himself as the way, the truth, and the life. When we lose our way, He will help us find it and keep us on the right path.  If too many voices are clamoring for our attention and we don’t know who to believe, He will lead us to the truth. And when we’re struggling to make sense of our very existence, He fills us with love, strength, and purpose. He is our life, not only on this earth, but the door to eternal life in heaven with our Father.

Whenever you’re downcast and need comfort, open your Bible and turn to the red letters. Jesus said, I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. 

In those red letters, you will find everything you need.



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Monday, February 25, 2019

Are We Sleepwalking Through Life?


By Andrea Merrell

 
I have come that they may have life,
and that they may have it more abundantly.
John 10:10 NKJV


I’m such a creature of habit, I can easily find myself going through my daily routine without thought.

I do every task in a certain order. It’s ingrained, like getting into a car. Most of us don’t sit there and wonder what we should do first. We automatically turn on the engine, buckle our seat belt, make any minor adjustments that need to be made … and off we go. It’s habit.

But even though I like things orderly, consistent, and predictable (yes, I can hear some of you saying “how boring” 😊), I’ve found that my routine can become a bit mundane. A bit like a hamster running in circles. Sometimes I have to step outside my comfort zone and try new experiences. Do things in a different order. Shake things up a bit.

Having a routine is not bad or wrong, but when we default to habitual responses, we might find ourselves sleepwalking through life. Even our spiritual life.

God sends His Spirit to live inside every believer. He wants us to be constantly aware of His presence. He wants us to talk to Him about everything. Seek His advice. Consult Him about decisions, no matter how small and insignificant they may seem. He wants to be involved in every moment of our lives. He wants to fill us with His joy.

When we walk with Him, our days will never be boring or mundane. He will lead us on paths of adventure and reveal things to us that will thrill us, instruct us, and cause us to have a greater awareness of His plan and purpose. That’s what the abundant life is all about.

The Lord will guide you continually and satisfy your soul in drought, and strengthen your bones; you shall be like a watered garden, And like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail (Isaiah 58:11 NKJV).

If you feel like you're sleepwalking through your days, leave the old life behind. Take God's hand, and let Him take you on all the exciting adventures He has in store for you. Experience a brand new life in Christ.

That's the best way to spend our days.


(Photo courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net, Stuart Miles, and mrpuen.)


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Monday, February 18, 2019

A True Father


By Andrea Merrell

 
Now hope does not disappoint, 
because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts
by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
Romans 5:5 NKJV


My father never wanted children, so we didn’t have much of a relationship. He and my mother divorced when I was twelve, and he moved out of my life. For good.

When I went to live with my grandparents, my grandfather—who had quite the temper— was of the opinion that children should be “seen and not heard.” As long as I behaved perfectly around him, everything was fine. One tiny misstep and … well, you get the picture.

Rejected by my biological father and never able to measure up to the unrealistic expectations of my grandfather, I never felt safe or good enough. Putting my trust in men did not come easily. Growing up, I often admired (and maybe envied) others who had a wonderful father.

My heart was empty and searching for approval until God poured out his unconditional love and acceptance on me and showed me the attributes of a true father. At last, my heart found its home.

Over the past forty-plus years, I have watched my husband be that wonderful father and grandfather to our family that I always longed for. What a blessing to watch God’s unconditional love in action.

We never have to perform to receive God’s approval. It’s there for us regardless of how we feel or how we behave. All we have to do is receive it.

Whether you were raised with or without a loving earthly father, look to God as the ultimate father … your daddy, your Abba ... your heavenly Father who loves you more than you can ever comprehend.

He is a true Father.



(Photo courtesy of Blogpiks.com and FreeDigitalPhotos.net/Stuart Miles.)


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