It’s Not All About Me

Hello, Beloved Reader! I’m Faith. thanks for visiting me today.

I’ve got some reading for you to do. Read Genesis (37:28), (39:4, 20, 22), (41:39-40).

Now, most of us know the story of Joseph. His brothers placed him in a pit and then sold him. He went to being just under the head of the Potiphar’s house. Then, he was cast into prison and left there for a while. Then, he was made second to Pharaoh in Egypt. But let me ask you something:

Was it all about him?

Well, the obvious answer is “no.” God put him in a place through his ups and downs where he could help His people. Through his trials, God brought him to a place where he could save thousands. But he had to be taught some lessons first.

When we go through trials, sometimes we have the tendency to ask “Why me?” or “Why this?.” But God never does anything without purpose. And what’s more, He can do something in your life that can help in more than one area. One of the main things in a Christian life is to live your life for others. So now let me ask you this:

Are the things you’re going through all about you?

Correct answer: no. Trials and tribulations help one to grow, or teach one a lesson. Your growth can help someone else down the road who is going through the same thing you faced. The heartache can teach you a lesson and help you talk someone else out of making the same mistake.

God loves you, and if you were the only one on earth, He would have still laid down His life. But the truth is, there are other people on this earth too. There are people at rock bottom who need help. Think about it, Joseph went through ups and downs and in the end saved a nation from starving. He couldn’t help them until he was at the right place physically and spiritually. And to get to that place, God found it necessary to put him through trials.

This trial is not all about you. This pain, it’s not just for you. You, as a child of God, are put here for a purpose, and everything you go through is to help you and possibly help someone else.

–Faith Cross

Love, Selfishness, and Self Care

Hello, Beloved Reader! I’m Faith. Thanks for visiting me today. 

So, here I am again, breaking things down the way I understand them. I don’t know everything, and I don ‘t have all the answers, but here’s what I think.

In the blog “Love Is Sacrifice,” I went over defining love and its attributes. But now I’m going to continue this thought and bring in two more subjects, selfishness and self care.

It is my understanding that the world runs on two very simple concepts, love and selfishness.

If you think about it, love is the sacrifice you give, just like God gave of Himself.

“For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in him shall not perish but have everlasting life.” — John 3:16

Love is giving of yourself, and selfishness is taking for yourself. satan is a prime example of selfishness.

“How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.” — Isaiah 14:12-15

So, to be like Christ we must give of ourselves to others. But here’s something to think about: Can you give too much of yourself?

That’s where the third subject, self care, comes into play. Google gives the definition of self care, “the practice of taking action to preserve or improve one’s own health.” You see, this is the balance between love and selfishness. And even though it may seem like you’re being selfish to take time for yourself, it’s really helping you to help others.

Let’s face it, we’re all human. We all get angry, sad, upset, beat down, and discouraged. We can’t help everyone all the time, because we ourselves need help too. An angry person who meets another angry person won’t bring them out of anger, but each fuels the other and both rage together.

So take some time for yourself. Let yourself grow in God. Read His Word, talk to Him, ask Him to help you. Make sure your heart is as right as it can be. It’s okay, it’s good even to do things that make you happy (as long as they are pure things).

Remember the acronym of J.O.Y. Jesus first, others second, and yourself last. Don’t neglect Jesus, don’t neglect others. But don’t forget: Don’t neglect yourself.

–Faith Cross

Brother’s Keeper

“Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:2

When you think of being your brother’s keeper, what or who do you think of? I think of the story of David and Jonathan & their friendship. 

David and Jonathan came from two, very different backgrounds. 

Jonathan came from a powerful family. All of his life he thought he knew what his calling and place in life would be. David was a shepherd, with little support or encouragement from his brothers and father. He probably imagined that he would be in the background his whole life, tending to the sheep. 

They had very little in common, except for one thing; obedience. In order for Jonathan to do what God required of him, he had to step down. The way that he guarded David, went unnoticed by everyone except David. David on the other hand had to step out of his comfort zone. God didn’t make a mistake when he gave David and Jonathan their callings. He put them exactly where they needed to be. David’s life was spared because Jonathan had access to the kings table.

“And Jonathan said, Far be it from thee: for if I knew certainly that evil were determined by my father to come upon thee, then would not I tell it thee?” 1 Samuel 20:9

God has given each one of us a very specific calling. We make the choice to step into the calling He has placed on our life. The Lord never forces us to do something, and if we choose not to walk in obedience, those around us may suffer. 

“We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves.” Romans 15:1 

Have you ever been trying to walk in obedience with God’s will, and someone around you made it harder than it had to be? Jonathan could have chosen to walk in disobedience, and then David would have not been able to walk in obedience himself, as easily as he did. Those we surround ourselves with can make our lives easier or harder. Jonathan and David had an amazing friendship, not based on similar backgrounds, but based on their decision to walk in obedience to God. Saul hated David, the reason being that Saul was not obedient, and David was. 

“He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.” Proverbs 13:20 

We are all members of the body of Christ, where there is obedience, the body is able to flourish, and when the opposite is happening, then the whole body suffers. Watching out for each other, choosing forgiveness instead of strife, can lead to harmony. Be a Jonathan in someone’s life, and surround yourself with people who walk in obedience. 

“For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.” 1 Corinthians 12:12

— Joy Morgan

When They’re All Gone

Hello, Beloved Reader! I’m Faith. Thanks for visiting me today.

“(For the Lord thy God is a merciful God;) he will not forsake thee, neither destroy thee, nor forget the covenant of thy fathers which he sware unto them.” — Deuteronomy 4:31

“Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.” — Deuteronomy 31:6

“And the Lord, he it is that doth go with thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed.” — Deuteronomy 31:8

Notice the words in bold. Notice the word forsake. I like to know the basics of things and try to break things down as simply as I can most of the time. And I like to know exacts. So, what exactly does forsake mean? According to Google’s dictionary forsake means to “abandon (someone or something)” or  to “renounce or give up (something valued or pleasant).”

I told you to notice the words in bold, now really pay attention to them. These three verses are telling Israel that God wouldn’t abandon them. So, I’m going to break it down nice and simple for you. The children of Israel were God’s people, His children, and He told them that He would never abandon them. We are His children, too. And as children of God, He will never leave us.

But what happens when they’re all gone?

The “they” that I’m talking about are people. When we are alone for so long, we start feeling down on ourselves. We think we aren’t anything special, that people don’t care about us, and we start to think we don’t have any friends. Sometimes, we feel that we are unlike everyone else. That we are different and no one likes us because of that. Maybe we start to think that we aren’t appreciated. When “they” are all gone, when empty air surrounds us, if we aren’t careful, we will dive too deep into our own heads.

The devil is really having a time with America right now, well the whole world really. He’s relishing the fact that people are quarantined. He plays with people’s minds, and one of the best times he can do that is when we are by ourselves. “Stuck at home?” he says, “Oh, now I can really have some fun.” And he begins to work away, piecing things together about people, when it’s a complete lie. Then, we get down and depressed. We start believing the lies. After all, it’s not so hard when they make sense, right? Then, when we are pinned against people, we start pushing them away, wishing to be alone. And then the devil can do more damage in our minds.

That’s where you need to realize something.

“They” might be all gone, but He isn’t. Yes, it is nice to have people validate us. It’s nice to see people, talk with them, and laugh with them. And yes, it is lonely when they aren’t around. But, as much as we need people, we need God more. If you were the only person in the world, you could survive alone if you had God. But, if you had every rich man in the world at your side, and everything you need taken care of, without God, you couldn’t last one second.

So, when everyone is gone, what do you do?

Before you start creating pandemonium in your head about who doesn’t like you and who is not your friend, take a step back. Imagine your mind to the left, and God to the right. Then, head right! Take the path closest to God.

The devil wants to make you think that you aren’t good enough, that no one loves you, and you’re not appreciated. And he likes to do that when we are alone, with no one to tell us otherwise. So, instead of listening to him, take up your Bible and listen to the One who loves you, and thought you were enough to send His Son to die for. Run from the devil’s lies. Listen to God’s truth.

Being alone is a struggle for just about anyone. But if you’re a child of God, then you are never truly alone, are you?

— Faith Cross

Love Thy Neighbor

“This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.” John 15:12 

Have you ever been told that you should be friends with everyone? Have you ever felt guilty because you just could not see eye-to-eye with someone, and it led to disagreements with that person? Many times I have asked the question, “As a Christian, am I required to be friends with everyone?”. I believe the answer to this question is “yes” AND “no”. 

I have three questions that one should ask themself before becoming friends with everyone they meet.

1. Does becoming friends with this person mean that you are disobeying your parents?

“Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honour thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise; That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.” Ephesians 6:1-3

If your answer to this question is yes, then becoming friends with this person does not allow you to be in alignment with God’s Word. 

As Christians, children should always obey their parents. Children have parents for many reasons, one of them being they are protectors in your life. They are given the job of looking after their children. Watching who comes into their children’s lives is one thing that comes along with that. Your parents want what is best for you, including good influences in your life. Listening to your parents advice and instructions can save you a lot of unnecessary hurt and pain in the long run. 

2. Do they help you maintain & grow in your relationship with God?

He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.” Proverbs 13:20 

In this scripture you can read that God does not want us to put ourselves in friendships that could bring our relationship with Him any harm. We need to have discernment. God can give us this discernment, if we ask Him. A true Christian friend will want to see you grow in the Lord and would never encourage you to be disobedient to your parents, or to The Word of God. Parents will do their very best to protect their children in all ways that they can. In that same way that we should do all we can to protect our walk with God. Do not remain in a relationship with someone when it puts your relationship with God as risk. 

“Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?” 2 Corinthians 6:14 

3. Do you have peace when you are around them?

Do you ever feel guilty when you hang out with a certain crowd? Maybe you are tempted to do things that you know are wrong when you hang out with a certain friend(s). If you do not have peace about a friendship, this could be discernment that God has given you. It could be God’s way of warning you about a person’s negative influence on your life. 

“But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.” Hebrews 5:14 

Maybe you struggle with getting along with a person, no matter how hard you try. One of the most important things in a situation like this is to make sure your heart is right. If you are holding on to grudges, jealousy, or anger towards a person then it is time to take this to God and let these things go. Maybe the reason you do not have peace when you are around someone, is because you have allowed things in your heart to come between you and the other person. 

It is quite nearly impossible for someone to be “best friends” with everyone, but as the Bible directs us, we should try to be at peace with all of those around us. 

“If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.” Romans 12:18 

If you are not disobeying your parents in having a friendship, if this person does not hinder your walk with God, or the Lord has not warned you or given you unrest about a relationship you have with someone, then it may be time to examine your heart towards that person. God is able to change your feelings towards a person if they are not aligned with His word. We must remember that while being friends with everyone is not a requirement, we are required to love everyone, just as Christ has loved us. 

And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” Ephesians 4:32 

— Joy Morgan

Love Is Sacrifice

Hello, Beloved Reader! I’m Faith. Thanks for visiting me today.

February is known for holding the famous Valentine’s Day within its short calendar time. We all know that Valentine’s Day is most commonly associated with lovers. What better to talk about than what real love is? So here’s some reading for you, 1 Corinthians 13:1-8.

Before we define love, let’s look at its attributes.

In this Scripture, we find that charity (love) suffers long. Even if someone is unkind to it, it returns with kindness. It doesn’t boast about or praise itself, and it doesn’t make itself look big in the eyes of others. It behaves appropriately, doesn’t seek its own, doesn’t get easily annoyed or angry, doesn’t think evil, and doesn’t rejoice in iniquity. Charity rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things, and most of all it NEVER fails.

So, what is love?

The exact definition of love from Google is “an intense feeling of deep affection,” but that’s only half way right. For the most part, real love is commitment, whole-hearted dedication. It’s a No-Matter-What statement. No matter what, you will completely give your all. Love, real love, is sacrifice.

God showed us that.

He’s suffered so long with us through all of our mistakes, even when we flat out disobeyed and turned around, knowing we were doing the wrong thing. He’s kind even when we get angry with Him. When we fall down, He picks us up instead of getting annoyed or angry with all our problems. His thoughts toward us are of “peace, and not of evil, to give us and expected end.” (Jerimiah 29:11) Most of all, GOD NEVER FAILS.

Love is sacrifice.

Even when others beat you down, as hard as it might be, be kind. When they drag your name through the mud and cause everyone to shun you, return it with kindness. When they hate you, and cast you out, and leave you to the dogs, or stone you like they did Stephen, forgive them. Show them the real love of God. Give them your all. Sacrifice for them because that’s what God did for you! Jesus was betrayed, denied, beaten, whipped, mocked, spit upon, laughed at, scourged, and hated by His own people, and He did nothing but love them. He was murdered by the ones He loved. He gave His all to give all of us an opportunity for eternal life. I don’t know of a greater love. In the end, it will stand. God is love, and love will win. Love will stand.

— Faith Cross

God Is Our Keeper

Hello, Beloved Reader! I’m Faith. Thanks for visiting me today!

  Before we begin, let’s look at Psalm 121.

  Times are rough right now. It’s not hard to see it. To be honest, all this stuff gets overwhelming and pressure weighs down on us. We bend under the harsh beating that life brings. I know how it is. It’s not easy living in these times, but yet, we live. We live through the pain and heartache. We live through the joy and praise, and through the good times and bad. Because we have the Creator of the Universe holding us in the palm of His hand. We can trust Him.

  Let the last two verses sink in for a moment. Psalm 121: 7-8 — “The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul. The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore.”

Just think about that.

  Life can throw everything it has. The devil can try his hardest to destroy us. But, God will keep us. Why should we fear the trials and tribulations? Why should we cower at the sight of hardship? Stand up and face the demons head-on with the power that Christ has given you. You are mighty through Christ. Get up and walk through the fire with the confidence that you have as a child of God. He’s right there with you through the flame.

We Didn’t Have to Fight

Hello, Beloved Reader! I’m Faith. Thanks for visiting me today!

 I’ve got some reading for you. So, before we get started, take a look at 2 Chronicles 20: 1-30.

 Here we have a king named Jehoshaphat, who is the king of Judah at the time. Some people come and tell him that a great multitude is coming against him, and he starts getting scared. How many times have you heard something that frightened you? Maybe you’ve felt the fear that haunts you with a bad doctor’s report. Perhaps, you know what it’s like to hear that scary phone call telling you that an ambulance is on its way to the hospital with your loved one in the back. Jehoshaphat got the news that a great multitude was coming against him. This would most likely result in his death, along with the death of his people.

What did Jehoshaphat do?

  In verse 3, he sets himself to seek the Lord and proclaims a fast throughout all Judah. All the people come together to ask for the help of the Lord. Jehoshaphat prays, telling the Lord that they were not capable of defeating this army. They looked to God for help.

  In the middle of the fear that grips the people, the Spirit of the Lord moves and lands on a man named Jahaziel. He speaks, telling the people that the battle belongs to the Lord, and they would not have to fight. The people start worshipping the Lord.

  Soon, the time came for them to go out and meet their enemy, and see the salvation of the Lord. Jehoshaphat appoints singers to the front of the army. They began to sing praises to the Lord. The Lord moved, sending “ambushments” against the multitude. Ammon and Moab went against the inhabitants of Seir, killing them, and then turning on each other. In the end, none of them escaped death.

Why?

  Because the king and his people turned to the Lord for their salvation. They prayed for help, and that’s exactly what they got. They fasted and gathered together and the Lord fought for them. When they got to the battlefield, their enemies had destroyed themselves. Judah did nothing but pray, fast, and worship.

But, that’s not all!

  The enemy was laced with precious jewels and riches. So much in fact, that it took the people three days to take it back home. Don’t fear. Stand. God will fight for His children. Pray, fast, seek the Lord and He will fight for you. Your enemy will destroy itself and you won’t even have to lift a finger. Also, added plus, you get the spoils.

When the Wicked Prosper

Hello, Beloved Reader! I’m Faith. Thanks for visiting me today. I am going to be talking about one of the most famous men in the Bible, David.
 
If you up for it, we will start by reading Psalms 73 because that is the basis of what I’m writing about today. Don’t worry, it’s only 28 verses.
 
So, David finds himself struggling a bit. He claims that he was envious of the foolish when he saw the prosperity of the wicked. Looking at the world today, it seems the wicked do prosper. There is so much going on in the world, so much evil and hate. You don’t have to look very hard to find it. You can wake up in the morning and turn on the news channel which slams the terror down on your eardrums. Evil takes many forms. If you leave the news off and you flip on your phone to take a glance at Facebook for a moment, evil blows up your phone. Hatred and disappointment remain plastered on the screen until-oh, look! A cute puppy! Then, you scroll a bit further and more havoc wreaks on the screen.
 
In David’s day, the wicked people were living it up like they are today. They were happy and didn’t have to face things as others did. Life for them seemed great. If life was so good for the wicked then what was the point of being good? What was the point of living right, if you could live wrong and increase in riches?
 
Here’s what David did. He went into God’s sanctuary and soon began to understand that it rains on the just and the unjust.
 
Want to know a not-so-secret secret? Those that live far from God perish. Even though it looks like the wicked prosper, in the end, a lake of flames dances around them. They live bound forever in an eternal flame. Living right may have its troubles, but we have a God to guide us through them and lead us to an everlasting home. The wicked may have pleasure now, but pleasure flees when their judgment comes.
 
So, I say all that to say this, the wicked get their reward. Living wrong in this life makes for a pretty awful eternal death. Don’t be envious of them if it seems they have more money than you or everything seems to be going right for them. Because in the end, they can’t take the fame and fortune with them when they die. In the end, they have to suffer flames forever. Who would be envious of that?

Arise

Hello, Beloved Reader! I’m Faith. Thanks for visiting me today. I have a question for you.

Why do we sit idle? Our bodies cling to our pews, folding our arms back in our seats. Sometimes, people raise their hands, and a few hallelujahs ring out. After a bit of worship, we are content to allow the pastor to get up and speak the message God has permitted him to give. Some may pray once the service is over, and then, we all leave. The church sits empty while we return to our homes and go on with our lives like we always do. Living life paycheck to paycheck, service to service. Since when have we become only survivors? Since when are we hanging by a thread getting by? Why does our faith seem as thick as a strand of hair? We limit ourselves, and we limit our God.

 

Arise! Stand and hold firm to the wonderful promises of God. Must we only survive? No, we must conquer! We are God’s children, the beloved of the Lord. The train of His robe blankets the world. His victories, unexplainable, and none can count His triumphs. Why do we continue to think that all we can do is survive? The very blood of the King with the mightiest of all armies flows through our veins. We are more than conquerors through Christ Jesus! Act like it!

Romans 8:37– “Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us.”

 

Arise, fight! Don’t give a half oh-I’m-so-glad-I-made-it-through-another-week praise. Don’t quench the spirit. Have faith and give liberty to the Lord in your life and in your soul. Sit idle and die, or stand and fight! Death of action, sitting idle, is a lack of progression. You can’t and won’t move forward. Adversity is a small thing to face when our powerful, mighty God protects us. Let the fire rage in your bones until its flames reach your skin and glow for the entire world to see the glory of your God. Let the power of the One True God, who vanquishes every enemy, work through you. Through you, He will completely eradicate the darkness.

 

Arise, have faith! Stop allowing the world to crush you and bend you to its will. Don’t fear the enemy. God will not allow us to break under his vile attacks. Award him no quarter. Don’t allow him one foot through the door of your mind or he will steal your entire soul. Abstain from evil, and the enemy will flee from you.

 

Power, the very power that created you, swirls in your blood. The very power that built the vast universe, that spoke it all into existence…it’s inside you!

I ask you again…why do we sit idle? Why do we only survive? Why do we limit our God? Why do we put Him in a box? STOP!!!!!!!

 

Galatians 6:9– “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.”

 

Arise. Conquer!!!

 

Isaiah 41:10– “Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.”