Father God, I thank You for Jesus, Your Holy Spirit, and all of the blessings You continuously make me aware of as You pour them out over my family and me. I thank You for making me more aware of Your presence in my daily life. I thank You for the inspiration and creativity You provide me as I write this online journal. I thank You for the people You are leading to this site, I hope and pray that by reading through my journey, they find something to help them on their journey. Thank You, Lord, praise You, Lord, bless You Lord, Jesus! I ask that You wrap Your hedge of protection around each and every one of Your people, I ask that You remove and destroy the enemies of their souls, and send Your Holy Spirit and Your angels to minister to and heal Your people, Lord. I ask all of this to be completed in whatever manner is Your will, Lord. I ask all of these things in the mighty, holy, and precious name of Jesus. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
On this thankful Monday after the Thanksgiving holiday, I give thanks to God, for planting this seed in my head and to myself for following through with watering the seed. I thank God for the confirmation that I receive that this is not only for me but also for others that are searching and seeking You. I’m surprised by the number of views this online journal has received over the last one and a half plus years now. Please don’t misunderstand, I’m surprised because I didn’t think I had anything to share that anyone would want to read. I am thankful for this realization of knowing that I had nothing to share, and through my weakness, He has shown me His power working both inside of me and all around me. This leads me to today’s post, Sacrifice. There is nothing that I can do to earn my salvation, it is freely given to me. However, the more action I put into following Jesus, the more I get back, in so many different ways. This way of living for me started as I realized when I was very young, maybe around 12 years old, when the enemy of my soul offered me a seat on the throne of my temple. It felt good, I felt like I was in control, and I had the freedom to do what I wanted. There were still consequences, but I was able to run my life the way that I believed to be the best for me. Yes, I had asked Jesus into my heart before and after this time in my life, but my relationship with Jesus was more like, please bless my will, Lord. Fast forward to periodic times when I prayed to ask God what His will was in my life and it turned out better than I could have imagined, but I still wasn’t willing to give up full control. Not until I was 38 years old did I start to realize what a relationship with Jesus really was supposed to look like in my life. I gave up trying to fix something on my own, and I didn’t know it or realize it at the time, but I had to step down from the throne that I so eagerly climbed into a long time ago. It was time to realize that I don’t have my life figured out and that while I might know what I want, I do not know what is best for me, and I had proved that to myself numerous times. Even though I had proved this to myself, I would turn a blind eye to that truth for fear of having to give up control. One of the things I’m learning is that I don’t HAVE to do anything He leads me to do, that is free will. If I’m asking Him for ways to have a more abundant life and live a life of peace in the shadow of His wings, I probably should at least make an effort to try to do whatever I can to follow Him and His direction. If I don’t at least make an effort, I shouldn’t be surprised if I feel like He is no longer leading me, because I haven’t done what He’s asked me to do first, before asking for more. God only asks for one thing and that one thing is EVERYTHING. Do you have to give Him everything? No, you don’t HAVE to give Him anything. He doesn’t NEED anything from me, that’s for sure. I believe that He came to give us life and to give it to us abundantly. Life, He has given us as a gift, if I receive a gift and do not open it, how do you think the person that gave me the gift feels? Do you think that I’ll receive any more gifts from that person? We only HAVE to do anything we’re told if we want to live the abundant life that Jesus is offering to us. If I were to do nothing, would I still have salvation? Based on what I understand about the Bible, God loves us unconditionally and His salvation was given freely to all. Am I really living if I’m not doing anything to follow Jesus? I believe God provided Jesus for us for many reasons, not the least of these being an example to follow. If Jesus is God, but in human form, and according to the Bible, Jesus had to spend time meditating and praying to the Father, how much more do I need to do this to be a follower of Jesus? While we may no longer need to provide animal sacrifices to our God because of what Jesus did to win the war for our salvation, does that mean we are not supposed to sacrifice to our God? According to Paul in the book of Romans, we are to offer our bodies as a living sacrifice that is holy and acceptable to God. What does that look like in your life? I just shared with you what I think that looks like in my life. I pray that all who read this, if they haven’t already, find the peace of living a life of following Jesus and being led by His Holy Spirit to do so. Do I still miss the mark and do the wrong thing? All of the time, the difference is I am more aware of everything I do and I feel like I’m becoming a little more aware each day as I travel this path of discovering who I am. I don’t believe the battle is for salvation, salvation has already been won. The battle seems to be for our time here on earth, are we going to follow the enemy of our souls, knowing or unknowingly, to our constant destruction of fear, guilt, and shame. Is there a better way to live? I believe so, and it begins with realizing how bad we are, which I don’t believe begins until we try to be all the good we want to be by following Jesus. -A humble warrior in God’s army
“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.” -Romans 12:1 ESV
Our Father, who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy Name. Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors. Lead us not into temptation and deliver us from evil. For Thine is the Kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever and ever, Amen. -The Lord’s prayer