Specks n Logs

Matthew 7:1-3 NLT — “Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. For you will be treated as you treat others. The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged. “And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own?


Where human eyes see greed in another, maybe Father God sees the precursors hopelessness and desperation that led to the greed we now judge. 
Where were we in the hopelessness? Where were we in the desperation? Did we take the time to notice to hear the cry for help? Were we too busy with our own troubles? Maybe so, yet now we justify standing in judgment of the greed we couldn’t be bothered to help prevent? 
Where is our justification?


We too walked in greed, as we concentrated on ourselves so much we couldn’t stop to notice, we could have set aside our worries, to care for someone on the brink of destruction. 
And now, we think we can justify our right to abandon them, now that greed has taken root in them and we shouldn’t have to be bothered by it? Which side of the fence do we truly stand on in such a situation? Selfishness or selflessness? 


Though we can surely make a defensive argument make sense to ourselves and others, we know the truth as it can be felt in our gut. We don’t want to be the person pictured here so we battle even the idea of it, as that’s not who we are. 
Perhaps it’s truly not who we are, yet avoiding the truth of the situation, to justify our behavior, turns one selfish act (the spec) into a self-righteous attitude (the log) that’s near impossible to escape once it takes root. 
What may have started as a “speck” in our eye, then becomes a “log” and now, we have become that person depicted because we refused to take responsibility for a mistake moment.


Romans 12:9-16 NLT — Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other. Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically. Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying. When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality. Bless those who persecute you. Don’t curse them; pray that God will bless them. Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with each other. Don’t be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don’t think you know it all!


Only God knows the truth within each human life. We can be so blind by our own troubles, that we never see the pain and suffering others around us might be struggling to survive. We don’t know what hides under the attitudes and actions of those around us. 
God knows what hides beneath the surface. When His word tells us how to treat people, He didn’t give us these instructions meant to work for only those who lived in the bible times, no His Word is timeless as He is timeless. He knew then, just as He knows now, what hurting, misunderstood, barely surviving people would need from those of us willing to be obedient to Him and with a joyful heart serve others. 


I have heard it said that in heaven the highest, most honorable, second in greatness only to Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, position is… servant. I repeat, in heaven they say the greatest position is servant. Everyone serves everyone.. No more being bogged down with the weight of selfishness, self pity and self righteousness.


It can feel like it takes a lot of faith to believe God will fight our battles, while we follow His instructions, and love on the very people we are battling, especially the people that seem to drive us  crazy. Oh but the reward that comes, once we allow Holy Spirit to love them through us!! We start to see the echo of Christ’s behavior within ourselves. Character of heaven shaping and molding us from the inside out.. 
As we grow in character through the utilization of God’s word and the fruit of His Spirit, we can start to see others as He sees them. What once we saw as someone just being greedy, can be seen with new compassionate eyes toward the painful struggle they’ve endured, causing the symptom of greed to manifest.  


Leaving judgement up to God we can then love them in their process of divine shaping and molding. 


Until next time, may God bless you and keep you as you seek Him with your whole heart.  


My favorite things

For the last few years I believe Father God spoke to my spirit on various occasions about giving away something of mine to bless others. If I was to admit a small complaint, it would be that each time He asked me to give something away, it just happened to be one of my favorite things.

One such time I procrastinated for two weeks before I finally gave in and did what Father God was asking. My only copy of my favorite devotional was the item in question. That devotional meant so much to me because it got me through an extremely hard time in my life. I often told people that I highly recommend it as it saved my life. It took two weeks to open up and allow the Holy Spirit to convince me it truly was God requesting I give that devotional away.

The day I decided to finally be obedient, no sooner did I pull into the driveway, when the person to whom I was to give the book to, walked right by my car. I called out to her. As she approached my window I handed her the book and told her “ God wanted me to give this to you.” She looked at it and with a lit up face she smiled and said to me, “oh grandma just gave me this same book a few days ago.”

 As she handed the book back through my window, I knew in my spirit, grandma got my blessing. God first gave the job to me and not once did he push me or threaten me about it. No as a matter of fact he allowed me all the time I needed to settle my emotional ties to this worldly object. He was patient, understanding and gentle with me, but because the job needed done in the right timing, His timing, He asked Grandma whom happened to be mom to me, Mom then went obediently right out to do the job. As I sit in my car thinking about this, I couldn’t help but smile and tell the Lord okay I get it, I see what’s happened, I missed an opportunity to be blessed because of my emotional attachment to that book. I also chuckled with the realization that Father God worked it out so that I would see clearly that blessing was given to my mom because she acted immediately.

He was showing me that to be effective for Him it’s crucial to listen and act as quickly as I can as some jobs are time sensitive. He wouldn’t push me into obedience and He will always give me the space I need to heal or let go but at the same time the job needed done so He made sure it was. He didn’t rub it in my face, He didn’t tell me I failed, He never condemned me. He didn’t even seem slightly disappointed in me. Instead he got overjoyed along with me once the concept truly set in and I finally understood. Less than a week later someone else needed my book and that time I didn’t hesitate. That book led me closer to Father God, Lord Jesus and the Holy Spirit. During major hardship in my life I knew that book help me get to know God on a whole different level than ever before. I never thought God would want me to part with it. Oh sentimental soul that I am. The prize is the new level of relationship I gained with Father God not the book the book was just the tool God used to draw me into this new level. I unwittingly placed the value on the wrong thing.

The true value was never the book itself, but it was found in what the book brought into my life. A close, intimate, relationship with Father, Son and Holy Ghost!

The Lord is showing me how easily I can find reasons to become attached to things of this world. How  occasionally  I convince myself that my attachment is justifiable. Because of this He had been asking for my favorite things to be given to someone else.

I find the more I act in obedience giving away my favorite possessions, the easier it gets. I won’t pretend not to hesitate, or whine, or pull a Jonah kinda move hoping to avoid it all together, because I do.. I’m still a work in progress after all.

Matthew 6:19-21 NLT — “Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.

One of the things I have learned through all of this is, those things I have in this world that I try so hard to hold onto, once I’ve let them go, truly let them go joyfully and willingly, the weight that came off of me had been so heavy, I had no idea I carried such weight until it was lifted off me. I never noticed it until I was free of it.

This world has many treasures. It was after all designed by The Master Designer, whom  thought it, spoke it, and it was.. All for His good pleasure and as a blessing unto us. Sometimes we need a reminder that all things here are on loan, we cannot take them with us.

The enemy will help us find any and all possible reason to hold onto treasure here in order to stop us from longing for home. If he can cause us to become emotionally bound to our relationships and worldly possessions, it’s less likely for us to yearn for heaven when our hearts, everything we love, is here.

The enemy tricks us with treasures equivalent to less than a penny in comparison to the home Jesus has prepared for us once we are called home. Life doesn’t end here. This life isn’t even the dress rehearsal of eternity. It’s more like roll choosing.

1 Corinthians 3:12-15 NLT — Anyone who builds on that foundation may use a variety of materials—gold, silver, jewels, wood, hay, or straw. But on the judgment day, fire will reveal what kind of work each builder has done. The fire will show if a person’s work has any value. If the work survives, that builder will receive a reward. But if the work is burned up, the builder will suffer great loss. The builder will be saved, but like someone barely escaping through a wall of flames.

This life and what we do with it will determine our place in heavens society. This less than a millisecond of time is our schooling for life in the kingdom of Almighty God!

What we do with what Father God  gives us whether in abundance or small portion, including the time we are allotted here on Earth, determines what we will be in eternity.  

Friends, God does all the work for us and gives us the opportunity to be heroes for His glory. All we need to do is let go of this world and with all our heart seek Him, love Him and worship Him.

Until next time, may God bless you and keep you as you seek Him with your whole heart.

 

 

Once brokenhearted

Have you ever had a real broken heart? I’m not talking about I’ll miss you, cry for a few days and be over it kind of broken heart. I’m talking about that ache deep in your core, somewhere between your lungs and above your stomach. That block, something is there but you cant get it out. No amount of tears can help you. That desperation kind of heartache. You try to keep busy so you don’t have time to dwell on it but it traps you. You cant move. You either want to die or make it go away. Have you ever had this kind of broken heart?

I used to live with this broken heart everyday. I was continually suffocated by it. Sometimes I would get relief for an hour, maybe a day, but then it would just come back to torture me again and again. It wasn’t about loosing the love of my life, he was still there right beside me, trying to understand how I could be so happy yet so utterly unhappy at the same time. It was not about loosing my children, their smiling faces would shine up at me everyday just wishing mommy had the power to smile more often. You see,  it wasn’t about loosing a loved one to the hereafter, or not having my dreams fulfilled, or being alone. No, the hardest thing  was, it was not because I had anything to be unhappy about.

           I had a wonderful life. I was surrounded by people who loved and supported me. Problems? Sure, I have lived a life of ups and downs, but who hasn’t? We all have burdens to bear. In fact, I couldn’t pinpoint one thing to be heart broken about in my life.

           There it is! An unending, unyielding, broken, shattered heart for absolutely no reason at all. How do you beat that? How do you heal that? How do you make it stop? When hurt by circumstances, it is easy enough to just change the circumstances, then just like that the hurt is gone. What could I do about this broken heart? It was just there taking over my mind and body as it pleased. How could I make it stop? How could I continue to live with the unending pain that would catch me off guard and wanted to destroy me?

 

It seems that, all around us are the devil’s lies. Most of which we haven’t even discovered are lies and so still believe them as truth. So many of us go through our days just trying to breathe, searching for hope, all while feeling tired and alone. So much of the feedback we receive from others is muddied and often hollow, for brokenness, heartache and struggle make up the true pandemic these days.

Everyone is hurting, everyone is struggling just to barely survive. Each of us in our own personal way, gasp for air as the waves carry us away.

 

Where is a hearing and listening heart?

Where is a timeless shoulder?  Where is a cheerful giver?

Where is a non-complainer?

Where is an encouraging speaker? Where is an unbiased leader?

 

Our society as a whole, it seems,  took a path that felt good and sounded right. We never saw the dividing wall through all the laughter and the smiles. Smooth and Sly the serpents invisible walls started to divide. Broken homes, broken friendships, broken families, broken countries, broken lives. Everyone must fend for themselves, no time for another’s problems and strife. What about me, what about me, what about me we all cry! None seem able to put themselves aside.

Have we, become so deceived, blind, full of wishful thinking, rose colored glasses wearing or downright truth ignoring, in today’s society?

 

Have we, in an effort to build ourself up, to love ourselves, to self motivate, really become shut off and cold to each other? Have we hardened our hearts, taking the community out of humanity?

 

Ashamed I fell to the floor and surrender my crown, asking the Lord to take the lead, when in my spirit I heard, if you want to change your heart and find the purpose to your life, all you have to do is change your mind. Fix your eyes upon Almighty God and refuse to believe the world and all its lies. It’s your choice when your confusion finally dies.

 

In this upside-down world amidst sorrow and pain, there is still a beautiful joy to be found. John 10:10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.

 

Jesus said in  John 15:11, “These things I have spoken to you so My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.”

 

I no longer live in that almost constant state of depression. Jesus pursued me and found me thirsty! Hungry for what only He can provide, to this day He never ceases to fill me up. Even with all my sadness, my flaws, He pursued even me. Wow!

 

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice!

— Philippians 4:4.

 

Until next time, may God bless you and keep you, as you seek Him with your whole heart.