Unity

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Unity

Unity is something which God truly desires for His church, yet very few churches have a strong sense of unity.  I came up with an acrostic to help us in striving to remember what unity is all about.

Use your gift and talents for God’s glory and never for your own.
Never put someone else down to try and elevate yourself.
Invite the help of the Holy Spirit so you will only speak that which is edifying.
Trust in the Lord at all times, even when you do not understand what He is doing.
Yearn for God’s presence to saturate you every day.

Remember that any gift or talent you have is from the Lord.  Every good gift comes from the Father. (James 1:17)

We are to do nothing out of selfish ambition, but consider others better than ourselves.  By keeping an attitude of humility, we will protect ourselves from a prideful heart that tries to make us look good on the outside, while polluting us on the inside.

The place where I struggle the most is with my words.  If I do not diligently seek the help of the Holy Spirit, I will easily be swayed to complain.  I am more likely to be critical if I am not mindful of the Lord.  If I fail to be faithfully in the Word, I resort to my “B.C” (before Christ) language – a language which should be completely foreign to me now.

Many times we see things in the church which we do not understand.  Rather than grumbling or gossiping about it, we need to trust the Lord to work out the situation for His glory, and our good.

When the body of Christ yearns for God’s presence seven days a week, great things will take place.  Relationships will be healed.  The sense of Christian family will grow stronger within the Body of Christ.  Visitors will not only sense God’s presence, but they will see His presence in our love toward one another.  Factions, dissensions, and gossip will cease.  We will be concerned about the Father’s business, rather than our own agenda.

© 2007, Stacy R. Miller

Unappreciated

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Unappreciated

A common thing experienced by women is feeling unappreciated as a wife and mom.  Yet God still sees EVERYTHING you do.  He sees your faithfulness in serving your family, and He sees the loving way in which you do it.  Though it may often go unnoticed by others, it will NEVER go unnoticed by your Father.

While you may get weary and worn in your daily duties, many of which can be very mundane, God sees your perseverance, even on those days when you are absolutely exhausted.

He sees you when you are up all night with a sick child.  He sees you on your knees in prayer over a wayward child.

He sees when you wash that load of laundry you would rather leave undone.  He sees when you wash that load of dishes when you would prefer to be reading a book or taking a nap.  He sees you cleaning the house when you would rather eat a good candy bar while chatting with a friend.  He sees you on those days when you feel so lonely, lost in the myriad of tasks which are part of motherhood.  In those times, He reaches out to you, saying, “My precious daughter, I am here.  Listen for my voice, for I am always trying to express my deep love for you.”
© 2007, Stacy R Miller

Trashy Love

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Trashy Love

One day while running errands with my mother, I mentioned something to her about some girls I knew who dressed so trashy.  As Rachel sat in the back seat of the car, listening to our conversation, she said, “Mom, how are you better than them when you talk about them like that?”  Busted!

Just as these girls dressed trashy, I was being trashy with my love toward them.  How often do we offer trashy love to others?

Instead of patience, we offer impatience.
Rather than being kind, we choose to be rude.
When we should rejoice in God’s blessing to someone else, we become envious.
Rather than having a humble attitude, we become puffed up and proud.
It seems that our motives are often self-seeking, instead of seeking the good of others.
While true love isn’t supposed to be easily angered, it seems that our temper can flare up in an instant.
We aren’t supposed to keep a record of wrongs, but when someone ruffles our feathers, we can quickly recite a list of wrongs done to us by this person.
Love is supposed to protect.  Yet, how many times do we hang up the phone, only to call two or three people and share something that was told to us in confidence?
Love is supposed to persevere, yet we live in a society that believes in giving up as soon as some problem arises.  People file for divorce.  People stop serving in the church when things they get their feelings hurt.  We quit attending church because we were offended by someone.  We would rather not learn about perseverance.

Excuse me now.  I think I need to be washed by the Father for some trashy love that I have offered to others.
© 2006, Stacy R. Miller

Transformed

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Transformed

In the fast-paced society in which we live, it is easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle.  Several days may pass before we notice it has been a while since we have taken time to pray.  Yet, if we want to see amazing things happen, we must learn to pray faithfully.  After all, the Word tells us we have not because we ask not. (James 4:2)

Incredible things would happen when Jesus took the time to pray. (Matthew 14:23) He walked on water. (14:25) He boldly faced the Pharisees and the teachers of the law. (15:1-9) He cast demons out of a little girl.  Not only that, this was accomplished while Jesus was in one village and she in another! (15:21-28) Next, He healed many who were lame, crippled, blind, and mute. (15:29-31) He followed this with feeding over four thousand people. (15:35-38)

After another time of prayer (Mark 1:35), Jesus healed a leper and a paralytic. (1:40-42; 2:15)
Again, He faced the accusatory looks of the teachers of the law. (2:6-12)

Jesus appointed the twelve apostles after spending a night in prayer. (Luke 6:12-16) This was followed with crossing cultural barriers by touching the casket of the widow’s son.  He raised this poor woman’s son to life. (7:11-15)

His diligent prayer life led to the transformation of a very sinful woman. (Luke 7:36-50)  She was able to perceive who Jesus was, even though the most prominent religious leaders of that time could not.

Jesus took Peter, James, and John with Him to pray one night.  During His prayer time, He was transformed before them.  His clothing became as bright as a flash of lightning. (Luke 9:28-36)

What transformations might we see if we cultivate a deeper prayer life?

After going through a serious trial, people may be amazed at the transformation which has taken place in our lives.
We all have modern-day Pharisees to face.  Through prayer, we can answer them with godly wisdom and insight.
Our prayers can help us to make wise decisions about our family, our work, our ministry, and our finances.
After spending time in prayer, we will have spiritual nourishment to give to others.
When we spend time with God, it will show in our countenance and in our behavior.  Unsaved people will be drawn to us, just as they were drawn to Jesus.
When basking ourselves in prayer, we will find the strength to cross our own cultural barriers and reach those who need a Savior.
Our prayers have the ability to heal the sick and set free those who are bound by Satan, even when in those individuals are in other cities, states, and countries.

What can God transform in your life if you take time to pray?
© 2007, Stacy R. Miller

Toss it Overboard

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Toss it Overboard

I have noticed that occasionally the Lord will allow us to go through storms of life so that He can bring to the surface things that are hidden.

Do you ever feel like you are a ship, carrying too much cargo, and headed for stormy seas?  Sometimes the cargo we carry may be stored ‘under the deck.’  In other words, it is buried in the deep recesses of our heart.  God can see the rebellious attitudes, our never-ending quest to please man, bitterness, deep hurts that need healing, or even fears.  Whatever we may have hidden, God still sees it, and He wants to bring those things to light so that we can be free from them.

Paul was on a ship during a storm of hurricane proportions.  The ship took such a violent battering that they began to toss things overboard in order to lighten their load and save themselves. (Acts 27:13-44)

When God takes us through storms, He wants us to see those hidden things and toss them overboard.  He wants to help us lighten our load, taking on his yoke. (Matthew 11:28-30) When we learn to toss things overboard during our stormy struggles, God will help us to persevere, growing and maturing in Him. (James 1:2-4)

© 2006, Stacy R. Miller

To Train or Not to Train

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To Train or Not to Train

In II Tim. 1:5, we find that Timothy had a godly heritage in his grandmother, as well as his mother.  Paul was convinced of that same godly heritage also abiding within Timothy.  It is apparent that Timothy’s dear mother was diligent in training him and instructing him in righteousness.

Today I am going to contrast the differences between training and not training our children in the Lord.  I found it to be an eye-opener for myself.

Prov. 5:23 tells us that a lack of discipline will cause one to die or to be led astray by his own folly (stupidity, carelessness, foolishness).
Prov. 15:10 tells us that stern discipline awaits the one who leaves the path, and the one who hates correction will die.
Prov. 17:21 tells us that having a fool (idiot, imbecile, blockhead) for a child brings grief to his father (or mother).  There is no joy for the parent of a fool.
— I guess another way to look at training and instructing in righteousness is to see it as an added benefit for ourselves.  I know that I want my child to be a joy to me, so I need to be diligent in instructing her in righteousness.
Prov. 17:25  A foolish child brings bitterness to the one who bore him/her.  — Can you think of a person who has become bitter, due in part to having a grown child who has turned out to be foolish?
Prov. 19:18 Tells us that we are to discipline our children and not to be a willing party to their death.  — The implication here is that if you don’t discipline your children, you are a willing party to their death.  Now this could refer to their physical death, but also to their spiritual death.
Prov. 29:15  tells us that a child left to himself/herself disgraces (discredits, strips of honor, shames, disregards) his mother.

Now let’s see what can happen if we follow the Lord’s command to instruct them in righteousness.
Prov. 2:1-5  If we teach them to store God’s commands in their hearts and to turn toward wisdom, we are helping them to understand the fear of the Lord.  We are also helping them to find the knowledge of God.
Prov. 3:1-2  If we teach them to hold the Word in their heart, it will prolong their life by many years as well as bring prosperity (accomplishment, victory, success).
Prov. 6:21-22 If our children will learn to bind God’s Word upon their heart and to fasten them around their neck, God’s Word will guide them, and when they sleep, His Word will watch over them.  When they awaken, the Word will speak to them.
Prov. 6:23  They will find that God’s teaching is a light and that the corrections of discipline are the way to life.
Prov. 19:18  The inference here is that we need to discipline them while they are young, (while there is still hope).
Prov. 22:15  The rod of correction (not punishment) will drive away the folly that is bound up in the heart of our children.  — Punishment is when we react out of anger, rather than responding to the situation with emotions which are controlled by the Holy Spirit.
Prov. 23:15  If we raise our children to have a wise heart, then our hearts will also be glad.
Prov. 23:16  When our children speak what is right (precise, accurate, certain), our inmost being will rejoice.  — Have you had times when you’ve been in public, observing the ungodly behavior of others, and suddenly you hear wisdom coming from the mouth of your child regarding that situation?  What joy that brings!
Prov. 23:24  If our children grow up to be righteous men/women, then we will have great joy.  A wise child will bring delight to us.
Prov. 29:15  The rod of correction will impart wisdom (sense, reason, clear thinking, good judgment, sanity, knowledge, tact, stability, solidity). — I know of individuals who refused to spank their children.  Now these children are grown and they are constantly getting into some kind of trouble.  It appears to me that the parents don’t even want the children to come visit because they have to worry about what valuables are going to come up missing, etc.

Father, You have given us much to do in training our children.  You know how tired we can become over the course of the day, and when we are tired, it desperately clouds our judgment.  WE NEED YOUR HELP!  We recognize that we cannot do it alone.  Thank You for not calling us to even try and do it alone.  Help us in our failings and shortcomings.  Help us in our short fuses, our busyness, our lack of patience, our intolerance, our selfishness.  Help us to grant mercy, grace, and love to those with whom You have entrusted to our care.  Help us to lay down our fleshly desires that we may fulfill your calling upon each of us as parents.  Amen.

© 2003, Stacy R. Miller

Jacob Prasch – A Picture of the Anti-Christ

This is a very informative and interesting message.

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