Archive | January 2014

Love the Lord – Part 4

 and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind,                                                                                                                                                                                     — Mark 12:30

The best way to love the Lord with all our mind is to have the mind of Christ, received via the Holy Spirit that lives within us. With the Holy Spirit’s help we can truly love Him with all we are. (1 Corinthians 2:16)

We can begin by asking the Lord to test our mind so we can be made new in the attitude of our minds; and put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. (Psalm 26:2; Ephesians 4:22-23) What better way to love our Lord.

We then need to set our mind on the things above like whatever is true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. Our focus on these things places us in the proper attitude of worship to truly love the Lord as He deserves. (Colossians 3:2; Philippians 4:8)

So let me encourage you to set your mind on loving the Lord and be greatly blessed.

Continually seeking Him,

Sharon

1 Corinthians 2:16 For who has known the mind of the Lord, that he will instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ.

Psalm 26:2 Examine me, O Lord, and try me; Test my mind and my heart.

Ephesians 4:23-24 to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self,created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

Colossians 3:2 Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.

Philippians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.

Love the Lord – Part 3

and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul,  — Mark 12:30

How do we love our Lord with all our soul? We need help because we are not able to love God on our own. Ezekiel 18:4 says, “Behold, all souls are Mine;”. Our souls belong to God. Because He is our God and our souls are His, our natural desire is to thirst and pant for Him.

He gives us the desire to cling to Him, to earnestly seek Him. As we seek Him our soul grows to love Him more and more. Seeking Him through His word it helps us to know Him and the more we know Him the more we love Him. In this we can rejoice and praise Him!!!

So seek Him earnestly through the word of God, prayer, and praise.

Continually seeking Him,

Sharon

Ezekiel 18:4  Behold, all souls are Mine; the soul of the father as well as the soul of the son is Mine. The soul who sins will die.

Psalm 63:1  O God, You are my God; I shall seek You earnestly; My soul thirsts for You, my flesh yearns for You, In a dry and weary land where there is no water.

Psalm 42:1-2 As the deer pants for the water brooks, So my soul pants for You, O God. 2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God; When shall I come and appear before God?

Psalm 63:8 My soul clings to You; Your right hand upholds me.

Psalm 119:75 Let my soul live that it may praise You, And let Your ordinances help me.

Love the Lord – Part 2

and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart — Mark 12:30

“with all your heart”

How? By a new heart given by God. (Ezekiel 36:26) My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart (Psalm 73:26). The Lord will circumcise your heart to love the Lord (Deuteronomy 30:6:). It is all about Him, isn’t it? God is love and He is the One who enables my heart to love Him. Mind boggling.

What can we do? Pray asking the Lord to create in me a clean heart, O God (Psalm 51:10) and search me, O God, and know my heart (Psalm 139:23). We need to set our heart to seek the Lord (2 Chronicles 12:14). We need His word — please receive instruction from His mouth and establish His words in your heart (Job 22:22).

I do my best to follow Your commands. You are the One who gives me the desire (willing heart, understanding) (Psalm 119:32).

We need a relationship with Jesus Christ so we can love the Lord our God with all our heart.

Continually seeking Him,

Sharon

Ezekiel 36:26 Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.

Psalm 73:26 My flesh and my heart may fail, But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

Deuteronomy 30:6 Moreover the Lord your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants, to love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, so that you may live.

Psalm 51:10 Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me.

Psalm 139:23 Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxious thoughts;

2 Chronicles 12:14  He did evil because he did not set his heart to seek theLord.

Job 22:22 Please receive instruction from His mouth And establish His words in your heart.

Psalm 119:32 I shall run the way of Your commandments, For You will enlarge my heart.

Love the Lord

and you shall love the Lord your God — Mark 12:30

 The commandment is to love the Lord, our God. How can we possibly love God who is love? (1 John 4:8)  We could not even come close to measuring up to His love. We are incapable of loving God on our own. We need the help of the Master. With salvation comes the Spirit of God living in us. The love of God living in us enables us to love Him. We can love Him because He first loved us. (1 John 4:19) And if we love Him we will keep His commandments — to love the Lord, our God.

John 14:15 “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.

Continually seeking Him,

Sharon

1 John 4:8 The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love.

1 John 4:19 We love, because He first loved us.

Baptism Testimony

At the age of 12 my brother and I went to a church and took a course to learn how to be a Christian. We studied for a few weeks, not remembering how many weeks it took looking back that long ago, but we learned about Jesus and the sacrifice on the cross He made for us, about baptism and reading our Bible and praying. After the course we were baptized. I can tell you now that I did not personally know Jesus Christ at that time. I was going through the motions because that is what we were supposed to do to be a Christian.

The Lord found me and entered my heart at the age of 15 (please see my salvation testimony). This time I really knew Him and knew I was different because of my decision. I read my Bible every night because I desired to do so and I prayed every night before bed. Things were different. Well, life goes on and many things happen but Jesus was always with me. He never left me nor forsook me even though I wandered many a time.

In 1994 I was taking a course at church on how to witness. The second semester focused on baptism. As I studied I was convicted because I was baptized before I really knew Jesus. I had been a Christian for 19 years and the Lord was telling me to be baptized. At the first thought of being baptized after walking with the Lord for 19 years was frightening. What would people think? I could easily just move on and no one will know that I didn’t get baptized after the fact of salvation. But as I pondered the thought and prayed about it I knew it didn’t matter what others thought, it mattered what Jesus thought. He was the One who wanted me to follow through in obedience for His sake, for a testimony to Him.  It is a sign of obedience just as Jesus through His obedience to the Father was baptized.  Baptism doesn’t save, it is a sign to proclaim the transformation that happens when one accepts Jesus as their Savior and Lord. I knew what I had to do . . .

I approached my pastor and told him that I wanted to be baptized. He basically blew me off thinking I was joking with him or something. Of course in his defense I said this in passing on a busy Sunday morning. It took about 3 attempts of asking to be baptized that he finally looked me in the eye  and asked why I needed to be baptized. I told him as I have explained above. So, one Sunday morning I was baptized to the glory of God. I understood what baptism was about and grateful that He led me to follow Him in obedience and be baptized.

Conveniently, it was also pot-luck day, to this day I say it was a celebration of my baptism (LOL). I sat across from a fellow parishioner who said, “I didn’t know you weren’t saved”. Please know that baptism does not save you. It is an outwardly demonstration of an inward decision. Baptism is done as a witness to others of your decision to walk with Jesus. It is your first act of obedience to the Lord Jesus Christ, your God. To God be the glory in all that we do.

Continually seeking Him,

Sharon

First and Foremost Commandment

and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.  – Mark 12:30

God commands us to love Him with “all” or with our “whole” heart, soul, mind and strength. Out of 44 Bible translations, 40 use the word “all” and 4 use the word “whole”. The Message translation reads, “love the Lord God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence and energy.’” This translates to me to love God with my whole being, all that I am. To make loving Him my passion and using my mind and energy and soul (deep longing) to accomplish it.

Mark 12:29 says that this is the foremost commandment. It is high priority, of utmost importance. Loving God is the most important thing we can and should do in our lives. But the only way to truly love God with all we’ve got, all we are, is by having a personal relationship with Him, God, for He is love. 1 John 4:8,16.

The greatest love anyone can experience is the love of God. Loving Him we get to experience first hand an abundant, everlasting, unconditional love. He is waiting to forgive you just for the asking of His forgiveness and believing that God raised Jesus from the dead. Acknowledge that Jesus is your Savior and ask Him to be the Lord of your life. Then begin loving Him with all you’ve got.

If you prayed asking Jesus into your life, would you please tell someone? You can even leave a comment telling me. I will rejoice with you and pray for you. If you prefer your comment to be private just put in the comment not to publish it and I will not post it.

Begin today loving God completely with all your heart, soul, mind and strength.

Continually seeking Him,

Sharon

You Are Valuable

Are not five sparrows sold for two cents? Yet not one of them is forgotten before God. 7 Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows. Luke 12:6-7

When I think about sparrows and how small they are and how I just take them for granted flying free, and then think about the God who made them, so BIG and Powerful, I am blown away with how He cares for them. They have no worry of food or shelter – God provides all they need. God considers them valuable and worth providing for. How much more are we valuable to Him. Yet, we fret and worry about how our needs will be provided. He cares and knows us so well that He is aware of the number of hairs on our head.  We have nothing to fear because we are valuable to God. As this Sunday we commemorate the Sanctity of Life, know that you are loved and valued by your Creator. He cares for you and desires an intimate relationship with you. Come to the One who values, cares, and loves you.

Continually seeking Him,

Sharon