Sunday, March 7, 2021

Do the Right Thing

 

By Andrea Merrell

 

 Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace.

Romans 14:19 KJV

 

I’m so frustrated and confused,” the woman said. “I don’t know what to do.

 

“Do the right thing,” her friend said.

 

“How am I supposed to know what that is?”

 

Doing the right thing can surely be frustrating, especially when we’re listening to the wrong people and bad advice. The Bible, on the other hand, tells us to follow peace. My rule of thumb has always been: when in doubt, don’t. If there’s no peace, I don’t move forward.

 

My good friend went through a horrific marriage for ten years. Faced with many decisions—both during and after—she developed her own rule: pray, then do the next right thing. This has served her well. She even has a sign on her wall with these words as a continual reminder.

 

Sometimes we make decisions harder than they should be. We try to see a mile down the path before us when we should be taking one baby step at a time, seeking the Lord’s guidance at every twist and turn.

 

God has an answer for every question and a solution for every problem. He knows exactly what we need and when we need it.

 

If you’re stumbling along the path and can’t get your bearings, go ahead—pray. Then do the next right thing. God will show you the rest.

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


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Sunday, February 28, 2021

Just Add a Little Water

By Andrea Merrell

 

Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean.

Ezekiel 36:25 NLT

 

I watched as my young granddaughter wiped the kitchen counter. The task was going well until she came upon a dried spot of coffee. She wiped … and wiped … and wiped—with no results. She looked up at me and frowned. “It won’t come off.”


 

I reached over and turned on the faucet. “Wet your rag.”

 

“Oh,” she said, then did as instructed. When the spot came off, she laughed. “Guess I just needed to add a little water.”

 

We don’t realize how dependent we are on water until we don’t have it. A few years ago, my family was without water for three days. No showers. No flushing. No teeth brushing. No hand washing. Little cooking. We had to go to a friend’s house to take care of business.

 

The Bible mentions water over 700 times. Just as it is essential to our health and basic needs, it is important in our spiritual life as well. Jesus offers us “living water” (John 7:38). We’re told when we drink from that water, we will never thirst again.

 

But not only does that living water quench our thirst, it cleanses and purifies. For He (Jesus) died for us, sacrificing Himself  to make us holy and pure, cleansing us through the showering of the pure water of the Word of God (Ephesians 5:25-26 TPT).

 

Jesus is waiting for a bride without spot or wrinkle. If you’re struggling today to get rid of the stain of sin, just add a little water.

 

(Photo courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net and pixtawan.)

 

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Jesus offers us living water, not only to quench our spiritual thirst, but to cleanse and purify. via @AndreaMerrell (Click to tweet.)

 

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Sunday, February 21, 2021

Did You Check the Right Box?

 By Andrea Merrell

 

Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed,

not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, 

work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.

Philippians 2:12 NKJV

 

Some folks are so casual about their salvation, it’s as if they checked the box that said, Yes, I want to be saved, then forgot all about it. A family member once told me she had her ticket to heaven. It was on the shelf somewhere—she wasn’t sure where—but she knew it was there.

There is so much more to the Christian life than just being saved from a life of eternal damnation. The apostle Paul told the Philippians to work out their own salvation. But what does that mean? The NLT says, work hard to show the results of your salvation. So what exactly should the results of our salvation be?

When we accept Christ as our Savior, we are justified. That justification makes us righteous in God’s sight. Some people say it means “just as if we’ve never sinned.” But that’s not all there is to the journey.

We are also to be sanctified, which simply means to be set apart. Merriam Webster's calls sanctification “the state of growing in divine grace as a result of Christian commitment after baptism or conversion." This is an ongoing, daily walk. 

The word commitment is the key. In the same way we are to be committed to our spouse, our family, our job, our church, our community, and our country, we are to be committed to the Lord. He should always be our first priority.

When you “check the box” for salvation, be sure to check all the other boxes:

ü  prayer

ü  Bible study

ü  meditation

ü  giving

ü  serving

ü  loving others

ü  spending quality time with God on a daily basis

 

(Photo courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net and David Castillo Dominici.)


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Monday, February 15, 2021

Are You Praying Positive or Negative Prayers?

By Andrea Merrell


God … gives life to the dead 

and calls into being things that were not.

Romans 4:17 NIV

 

“Oh, God, he drinks too much. Please make him stop. And change his nasty, critical attitude.” 

The husband’s problems were serious and the woman’s plea desperate. She prayed the only way she knew how. The only thing she could see was the situation—not the solution.

Imagine what could happen if she prayed with a different vision. Instead of focusing on her husband’s problems, what if she focused instead on the outcome—on how things should be according to God’s plan. What if she prayed positive instead of negative prayers?

Chris Tiegreen writes:

Which of those prayers is more likely to stir up your faith? One approach makes the situation look too big for God to handle. It cultivates anxiety, discouragement, and even despair. The other approach honors God’s power to transform any situation into something beautiful, joyful, and true. It cultivates expectancy and faith. It’s filled with hope.
 

Which vision you hold in your mind when you pray is significant. It matters a lot. When you pray for someone ruining his life, don’t focus on his mistakes. Develop a picture of what he will look like when restored, and then pray that picture. If you’re praying for someone who’s depressed, envision her shining with God’s radiance and pray that vision. If you’re praying for a broken system—family, government, work—imagine its glory when fully repaired. Positive praying is far more powerful than negative praying because God honors faith. A hopeful vision cultivates it. 

Next time you pray, instead of looking at the problem, focus on the solution. See the situation as it should be. As it can be. As God sees it. It probably won’t happen overnight, but don’t ever give up. God hears and responds to every faith-filled word.

(Photo courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net and imagerymajestic.)

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Monday, February 8, 2021

Learn to Go with the Flow

 By Andrea Merrell

 

We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps.

Proverbs 16:9 NLT

 

I’m an excessive planner. A list maker. Always thinking ahead about the what ifs and all that needs to be done.

 

In Jesus Calling, Sarah Young calls that “a commonly practiced form of unbelief.” She goes on to say, “Just when you think you have prepared for all possibilities, something unexpected pops up and throws things into confusion.” 

 

Ouch! Ever been there? I have. More times than I can count. By trying to control the future, the only thing I ever accomplish is losing my peace.

 

In reality, we’re not meant to be in control or figure out the future. When we place our life in God’s hands, our responsibility is to trust Him and walk in step with Him one day, one moment at a time. As a popular song says, “there’s not a day ahead He has not seen.”

 

Psalm 37:3-7 gives us a simple formula: trust, delight, commit, rest. Now that’s a recipe for true peace.

 

I’m still a work in progress, but I’m learning to go with the flow—God’s flow.

 

How about you?

 

(Photo courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net and Phil_Bird.)

 

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By excessive planning and trying to control the future, all we accomplish is losing our peace. via @AndreaMerrell (Click to tweet.)

 

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