Growing Closer to Jesus

Have you ever felt far away from God and wonder what in the world happened? As most of us have heard, God has not gone anywhere, its us who have moved. Moved in what way? The one thing that gets in our way that we never see coming. It happens when we least expect it. It happens inside the church and outside the church. In a culture where we are encouraged to stand up and fend for ourselves. What we are talking about is “Pride”. First of all, if you think you have never struggled with this, you are just too proud to admit it. We all struggle with pride in one form or another. The key verse in James 4:6 says that “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble”. Pride is actually one of the things that God hates. I am not just making that up. Check out Proverbs 6:16-19. The Bible shows us here that there are 6 things God hates and 7 that are detestable to him. The first one is “haughty eyes” or pride. Pride says that we are really fine without God. We don’t need him for our life and can fully take care of things ourselves. No thanks God. Pride keeps us away from God. So, how can we come near to God?

I would like to give you 5 ways that the brother of Jesus, James, gives us to bring us closer to God.

1. Submit to God. (NIV) Humble yourselves to God (NLT) Verse 7 “So humble yourselves before God.” Whichever version you like its pretty clear what we are to do. By nature, we don’t want to submit to anyone, especially someone we can’t see. So to submit or humble ourselves to God is an active step of action. When we are submitting to Him we are giving up our control over our lives and asking God to take over. Take the reigns Lord, sit in the drivers seat, I will be the passenger.

2. Resist the Devil Verse 7 “So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” Notice we are submit to God first, then we are able to resist the devil. There is an order to this for a reason. We don’t have enough strength or power to do this on our own. The devil has been doing this for much longer than we have. He is a master liar and hates us and any plans God has for us. All the more reason we should allow God to fight the battle for us.

3. Wash your hands & purify your hearts Verse 8 “Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world.” We are to be cleansed from our sin. Ask God to forgive your sins and wash you clean from the guilt and condemnation that can stain your heart. Just as we shower to clean our physical body, we need to cleanse ourselves spiritually come into his presence.

4. Grieve, Mourn & Wail. Verse 9 “Let there be tears for what you have done. Let there be sorrow and deep grief. Let there be sadness instead of laughter, and gloom instead of joy.” Don’t be afraid to go have a good cry. We are allowed to express real grief for the past sins we have committed. In fact, God’s Word wants us to do that with a freedom that your creator gave us.

5. Humble yourselves before the Lord. Verse 10 “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up in honor.” When we take the posture in our heart of humbling ourselves before God, he lifts us up. He brings us to a new place with him. He knows our heart and the true cry of our heart. Either we can humble ourselves or we can wait until our circumstances humble us, pick one. Remember, we were created by a God who wants us to have a real love affair with him. To put him first in our thoughts, ways, actions and life choices. He wants to spend time with him as a father loves spending time with his children. When we practice these 5 things, we are assured to discover a deeper relationship with Him.


God is on the Move

God is on the move everywhere, are you?

It seems that when I am praying with anticipation and expectancy that my eyes are open and anxious to see God move.

When we step out in faith and pray for miracles to happen, do we really expect to witness them? I would say yes!

We have to seek Jesus and his face- when we do we have prepared our heart to look for Gods hand to move!

I am reminded that each day is a gift from God and we are not promised tomorrow. I want to value each and every day with God and others I love!

Thinking to Win

Our lives are formed in many ways initially by how we think! Our thinking leads to our behaviors which leads to our actions. Actions put into play for an extended period of time will result in a life well played or poorly lived.

In the book of Philippians Paul gives us a blueprint of how to think. Chapter 4 verses 8 and 9 say- “whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable- if anything is excellent or praiseworthythink about such things.

What we think about the most is generally most important to us. We will Become what we think about.

In this crazy culture right now it is so easy to get into your own head in the wrong way and have negative thoughts. Paul illustrates we should be thinking about whatever is true, whatever is right, whatever is pure and meditate on those items.

I am reminded that God’s word is full of truth and gives us the best blueprint we could ever ask for how to live our life. Saturating our mind with God’s word renews are thinking and put it on the right track to live a victorious life.

I know that whenever I am not allowing my mind to read and think about God‘s word I can drift toward selfish thoughts and depending on my own human strength. This way of living is so limited and has very little satisfaction.

Living in the truth of God‘s word and spreading the light enjoy to others in her life our encouraging words has got encourages us is the best way to live!

Is your Faith being Tested?

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.”
We know that the race that we run is a marathon, not a short sprint. These momentary trials we go through do not last forever, although it may seem like they do, they are gone before you know it. Perseverance is time tested. It’s not microwaved and drive through- it’s not swipe and Prime Delivery shows up in 2 days- its a process and many times hard- It’s during the middle of those trials where God does a work in us and develops us if we allow him to be more like Jesus.

As James is talking about testing of your faith in this chapter he reminds us to ask him for wisdom and his Holy Spirit will speak to us and give us the wisdom we need for our specific situation. We just have to be tuned in to hear gods voice. Through his word, his small still voice and talking to other believers, God speaks to us in so many ways.

Be encouraged today that no matter what situation you are walking through God is with you he is for you and he wants you to walk in victory knowing that he will give you the strength and power to endure and stand up under the test you may be facing today. I hope you have a great day, God bless you!

The Secret

Paul was in prison. He had been beaten. He was not treated well and had to be physically exhausted.

Perspective. Paul had it. He reminds all of us that our view of our circumstances can rely on our mindset and perspective.

The Holy Spirit of God filled him and used him as a major vessel and carried the gospel in prison. So much that he went to the house of another jailer and shared his faith in Jesus to the jailers house and the scripture said they were all saved!

He found the secret. The secret in the power of Christ. He is our only one true hope! Praise his name!

Have a great day and ask the Lord to help you with whatever you are struggling with today!

How can we pray for you?


Great scripture here in James 4!

We are not guaranteed tomorrow! Enjoy this day as a gift from God and his beauty all around you. Find 3 things to be thankful for. I’ve always tried to do that when I want to get too far ahead of God and do it myself and operate in my limited strength instead of Gods amazing power!

Our life is a mist….the Bible reminds us……here for a little while (in terms of eternity) and then gone….God wants us to make our time count when we are here! Lord Jesus help us serve you with our actions and our words!

God gives is the definition of Sin here- “if anyone knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them”. Ouch. That’s kinda close to home. Once God reveals himself and what he wants us to do it’s up to us to act and move….

I’m sure glad God is in control of my life and I will give him full surrender every day!!

2 Ears to Hear

Every time I read James Chapter 1 I always am reminded that God really wants us not just to hear people but intently listen to them!

1- Quick to Listen- a lost art in our culture. We are always thinking what we can say next and not letting others fully speak….people love to be heard!!

2- Do what the Word says- James reminds us not just to listen to Gods Word…..actually live it out in the flesh and just do it! Now that’s application!

3- When we examine Gods Word and obey it- He says we will be blessed at what we do! Family, Career, Ministry, whatever you put your heart to!

I’m glad we serve a God of Grace who’s mercies are New everyday!!

God Bless you!! Have an amazing week!