Help Me, I’ve Fallen and Cannot Get Up!

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Help Me, I’ve Fallen and I Cannot Get Up!

There is a commercial which uses a similar line to try to sell devices to older people so they can call for help if they’ve fallen and can’t get to a phone. When we fall, it is often caused by something careless we have done, like tripping over a rug, being in too much of a hurry, or tripping over our own feet.

In Acts 20:9, there was a young boy who had carelessly fallen into a deep sleep, fell from the third story, and died. Yet when Paul prayed for him, he was raised to life again.

This scenario reminds me of what often happens among believers. When we first get saved, we are so excited about the Lord and reading His Word. Later, cares of this life come in, and we find ourselves too busy to make time for the Word. Before we know what has happened, we carelessly fall asleep spiritually.

Yet, I have some good news! God can still raise foolish people back to life!

Ephesians 5:14 tells us when we are spiritually dead, we can wake up from our slumber. We can rise from the dead, and Christ will give us light.

2 Peter 1 tells us that the Lord has given us everything we need pertaining to life and godliness. Through His precious promises, we can become partakers of His divine nature. We must be diligent to add to our faith: virtue, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness, and love. If we allow these things to abound in us, we won’t become unfruitful (dead) in our knowledge of Christ. What I really love about this portion of scripture is that if we are diligent to do these things, verse 10 tells us we will never stumble (fall)!

What a priceless word for us! But it comes with a price – we must be diligent! But look at the rewards we gain! Treasure that is more priceless than silver or gold!
Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, And to present you faultless
Before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, To God our Savior,
Who alone is wise, Be glory and majesty, Dominion and power, Both now and forever.
Amen. Jude 1:24-25 NKJV
© 2018, Stacy R. Miller

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The Dew From Heaven

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The Dew From Heaven

Do you feel drained? Do you feel like you have grown stale and stagnant in your walk with the Lord? Do you walk out of church feeling more drained than when you walked in?

Hosea has some insights which may help. Many times, we start looking in the wrong direction, or we search for the wrong things. First and foremost, we need to return to the Lord. It is possible that we may have stumbled, due to sin. Instead of repenting of it, we try to hide it. We let guilt pull us away from the Lord. I guarantee you, those thoughts are not from the Lord, but from Satan. He wants to keep you from returning to the Lord, finding release and forgiveness.

Sometimes we feels distance because we begin to look to the world for comfort and encouragement. However, Hosea 14:3 shows us it won’t work. The world’s ways will never save us, comfort us, or give us hope. That can only be found in Jesus.

The Lord longs to heal our backsliding. We’ve all been there. It’s a slow fade. It doesn’t happen in just a day. It happens over time. One day, we wake up and realize we are empty and dry, and we can’t figure out how we got here.

Just as the dew falls every night, watering the earth, we also need the dew of heaven. We need to be in the Word every day. It is living water to us. It will refresh us, giving us wisdom and insight to face any situation. It will restore our soul, filling us with God’s joy and peace, once again.

When we are faithful to be in the Word, our roots grow deeper and stronger. Hosea describes it as our branches spreading, our beauty becomes like an olive tree, and our fragrance like Lebanon. We will be revived like grain, growing like a vine. (Hosea 14:5-7) What happens is that we are changed from glory to glory. (2 Corinthians 3:18) People will begin to see a beauty arise within us because the Lord is transforming us to be more like Him. They will see a joy and peace that is so rare in these uncertain times. They will wonder how we can be so serene when going through the tumultuous times.

We will turn from our idols, and seek the Living God. We will have a desire to listen and obey because anything else only leads to dissatisfaction and frustration. His fruit will be found in us. (Hosea 14:8; Galatians 5:22-23) We will have learned that the ways of the Lord truly are right, and we will delight in walking in that path. (Hosea 14:9)

The more time I spend in the Word, the more I benefit from it. Recently, my family has gone through one trial after another – some big, some small. However, because I have invested the time to being in the Word, my attitude is much better in the midst of it. I have a joy and peace that doesn’t dissipate in the midst of the trials. It is priceless! When I look back on previous years when I often chose to neglect the Word, I see a huge difference in how I handled difficult times. What wasted time! However, I know I cannot live in the past, with all of those regrets. Instead, I forget those things which are behind me, reaching for that which is ahead of me. I press on toward the goal for the prize of the high calling of God in Jesus!

It’s the same for you, brethren: Press on toward that prize! It is awesome!
© 2018, Stacy R. Miller

Is This Your First Year or Your Last?

This message is one we all need to hear so we can reflect on our own lives to see if we need to make changes.  You won’t find many pastors who will preach a word like this one!

Making the Best Use of Time

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Making the Best Use of Time

Have you ever met someone who is good at quoting lines from movies? The lines seem to roll off their tongue so easily. It is because they have immersed themselves in the movie, practicing the lines repeatedly until they could say them fluently.

That is how I want to be when I speak to others about the Lord. However, I tend to get tongue-tied and stumble over my words. I struggle with what to say, and how to say it tactfully so that I don’t come across as judgmental, or holier-than-thou in my attitude.

Colossians 4:5 tells us to walk in wisdom toward outsiders and make the most of our time. My manager often uses the phrase, “Maximum impact with minimal effort.” That is another way to view this verse.

I have learned that the best way for me to walk in wisdom, making the best use of my time is to daily get into God’s Word, and spend time in prayer. I notice a huge difference in how I respond and react to people. I have a better sense of God’s heart, able to offer love and compassion, which may not come so easily through my own efforts. I also have better discernment for how and what to say to those I encounter.

There is a phrase, “You are what you eat.” When I eat junk food, I feel awful and tired. When I make healthier choices, I feel more vibrant and balanced. It is the same with what we allow into our minds. If we are ‘feeding’ our minds worldly things, worldly things will be coming out of mouths because what enters our minds also goes to our heart. Out of the abundance of our heart, our mouth will speak. (Luke 6:45) When I have been diligent to be in the Word, ‘eating’ Living Bread, bible verses will come quickly to my mind to help shine His light on situations. I walk away from the conversation feeling much more invigorated and refreshed because I know I have just poured life-giving words into someone else’s life!

Eating the Living Bread of the Word will help you walk in wisdom, making the most of your time!
© 2018, Stacy R. Miller

When Bad Things Happen

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When Bad Things Happen

 

There has been a teaching for several decades that says when you get saved, nothing bad will happen to you. You will live a life of ease and joy. If you have troubles, it is because you have sinned.

 

God’s Word tells us it rains on the just and the unjust. (Matthew 5:45) We are told in 2 Timothy 3:12 that all who live godly lives will face persecution. Notice that it speaks of those living godly lives, not lives full of sin, and what do they face? Persecution. That doesn’t sound to me like ease and joy, with nothing bad happening. In our society, we have recently seen bad things happening to those who are Christians. A good example is the bakers who refused to do a wedding cake for a same-sex couple. They faced a myriad of hardships when the lawsuit came against them.

 

What about Job? Scripture makes it clear that Job was a righteous, godly man. God, Himself, described Job as a blameless, upright man, like no other on the earth. Yet we see that in one day, Job lost his servants, his livestock, and his children.

 

We are told in 1 Peter 4:12 not to think it strange when we face fiery trials. Notice this verse doesn’t add the words “when you have sin in your life.” Rather, it says we are sharing in the sufferings of Christ when we face situations like these. And Christ never suffered because He had sin in His life! We are told in James 1 that the testing of our faith produces patience. Notice it doesn’t say that when we sin, we are tested. Rather, it is the testing of our faith.

 

When you hear this teaching, flee! It is nothing more than a doctrine of demons (1 Timothy 4:1), sent to make you doubt and fear, to torment you, and to destroy your faith. The apostle Paul had a strong warning for those who teach another gospel – they are accursed. (Galatians 1:8-9) Stay away from them! Your spiritual life depends on it!

© 2018, Stacy R. Miller

Seasoned Words

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Seasoned Words

A male coworker stopped by my office one day and repeatedly dropped the f-bomb. It was very uncomfortable for me. One of my other coworkers was there that day, and could easily see that I did not like what I was hearing. Once I had clocked out for the day, she told the him that I didn’t like hearing it. He was clueless as to how uncomfortable it was for me.

I also wasn’t too pleased that my coworker spoke up and said something to him because I had a feeling it was done in a way that made me come across as having a “holier than thou” attitude. I decided to pray about it, trusting the Lord to open the door for me to address it with him in a way that let him know the true reason I was upset by hearing that language. I wanted my words to be as Colossians 4:6 says – gracious, seasoned with salt, so that I would know how I should respond to him. I didn’t want to offend him. He doesn’t know the Lord, and the last thing I wanted was for him to be thinking, “Oh, so she is one of those people who thinks she’s better than everyone else.”

He stopped by my office a few days later, and the subject of language came up. It opened the door for me to address the situation. I casually mentioned that I knew my coworker told him I did not like hearing that word. I added, “It’s not because I think I’m better or holier than thou. It’s because I used to speak that language, and I don’t want to be that person again!”  I could tell he appreciated my honesty and now when he stops by, the conversations tend to go in a more positive direction.

I wonder what would happen if we would pray daily for the Lord to grace our words, seasoning them with salt, so that we will have the wisdom to know how to respond to those around us. I have a feeling we might just be amazed!

© 2018, Stacy R. Miller

The Last Miracles of Jesus

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The Last Miracles of Jesus

It is important to notice the ‘firsts’ in the bible. They have important insights for us. For example, the first time the word ‘love’ is used in scripture is in Genesis 22:2 when God told Abraham to take his only son, whom he loved, and sacrifice him to the Lord. This story is a picture of Jesus being God’s only Son, whom He loved, thus why it is important to note that it is the very first time that word is used in scripture.

 

Another example is in Exodus 20:3 with the Ten Commandments. The very first one is that we have no other gods before the Lord. If we get this one mastered, the others will follow suit, and not be as likely to cause us to fall.

 

In Galatians 5:22-23, we find the fruit of the spirit. The first one is love. Why? Because if we have love, then it only makes sense that we will have joy, peace, faithfulness, goodness, gentleness, and self-control. True love will emanate these others qualities in our lives.

 

I believe it is also important for us to look at the ‘lasts’ in scripture. My friend, Kathy, saw a very interesting insight that really peaked my interest on this topic.

 

The last healings Jesus did in Matthew and Mark was blind Bartimaeus. In the book of Luke, it was the healing of the ear of the high priest’s servant, which Peter cut off. Notice that these final miracles had to do with sight and hearing.

 

As we look at the warnings Jesus gave us in Matthew 24 regarding the end times, we see many of them had to do with these two things! He warned us what to watch for, as well as what things to which we should not be listening.

 

Verse 5: We are to watch out for (look, see) those who come in His Name, deceiving many. Keep in mind, this does not just mean people are going to be saying, “Hey! I am Jesus!” Rather, it is referring to those who claim to represent Him, but what they preach and teach will be a false gospel.

 

Verse 6-7: We will hear about wars, rumors of wars, nations rising against nation. We will see famines, pestilences, and earthquakes.

Verse 9-10: We will see Christians murdered and hated by all nations. During that time, we will see people betray one another, as well as hate one another.

Verse 12: Because of how lawlessness will abound, we can watch for the love of many to grow cold.

Verse 15: When you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place”… –Notice that He says when “you” see. He is speaking to believers here. If believers will not be here to see this, why is He mentioning it?

Verse 23-26: Jesus tells us look out for false Christs and if we hear anyone tell us where to find him, not to believe them. He tells us to watch for great signs and wonders to appear, deceiving many, even the elect.

Verse 27: Jesus tells us that His coming will be as lightning flashing across the sky. In other words, He is saying that all will see it. It is not a secret coming, where we just suddenly disappear, and no one knows where we went.

Verse 28-31: Notice He says “immediately after the tribulation.” He is telling us what to watch for, what to listen for, and the order in which these events will happen. We will see the sun darkened, the moon won’t give its light, and stars will fall from heaven. Next, He will appear and all tribes of the earth will see Him coming. He tells us to watch for angels to come and to listen for the sound of the trumpet. This is the rapture of the church!

 

I hope this study has peaked your interests in looking at the deeper meaning of things in scripture, like when you see a list of things mentioned. Study it and search why something is mentioned first. What is the significance? I believe you will see the Word become more alive in your life, as well becoming much more interesting to study!
© 2018, Stacy R. Miller

 

 

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