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

Jacob Prasch – A Picture of the Anti-Christ

This is a very informative and interesting message.

Those “Little” Sins

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Those “Little” Sins

In Christian circles, it’s easy to find ourselves isolated from the world.  We surround ourselves with Christian friends, Christian music, Christian television, Christian websites.  Because we are around those “Christian” things, it’s easy to begin to feel a little pious about ourselves.  After all, we don’t take part in orgies or carousing.  We don’t abuse our children.  We don’t murder or extort money.  In fact, we do pretty good!  We teach our children about Jesus.  We teach them how to pray.  We faithfully attend church, take meals to those in need, lead Bible studies, do volunteer work at church and other places.  We’re doing pretty well in our spiritual walk!

All of a sudden, Father comes to talk to us about those “little” things.  He says, “Do you remember when you came to just a rolling stop at the stop sign the other day?”

I say, “Oops, sorry Lord.  I was in a bit of a hurry.”

Then He says, “What about the words that came out of your mouth when that little, old lady was driving too slow to please you?”

I humbly reply, “Umm, I guess I was in a hurry again.  I didn’t give it any thought that I was being rude.  I’m sorry, Lord.”

Then He asks me, “What about the lies?”

I come up for air on this question! “What ARE You talking about?”

He gently reminds me,  “Do you remember telling the lady at church that you would pray for her?  Have you done so?”

Knowing I was caught again,  I reply, “Well, I’ve just been busy, and I forgot.”

He reminds me that it’s better not to make a vow, than to make one and not fulfill it.  (Ecc. 5:5)

Just as I ask Him to forgive me, He brings up another lie.  “What about the words you often tell yourself?  You know, the ones about how you don’t have time to read My Word?”

I answer,  “Well, Lord, I know I should, but it’s just so busy around here.  You know, the spring cleaning, school work, trying to get the summer wardrobe ready for all of us, and then the garage sale this week.”

He replies,  “I know that you’ve been busy.  I’ve been closely watching.  Even in the midst of all the things you mentioned, you still found time to do some leisurely reading, not to mention chatting on the computer.  The reality is, instead of saying that you didn’t have the time to read My Word, you should have said that you would rather be doing other things.”

“OUCH!”  I think to myself.  “Again Lord, I’m sorry.  You are right.  Will You help me to set the right priorities?”

He gently answers,  “Of course, my child.  I would LOVE to do that!  It’s one of my better specialties.  You know, my Son became a human being, never losing sight of His priority to do His Father’s will.”

“Are we done yet, Lord?”

“No, child, we aren’t.  Do you remember the phone conversation with your best friend?  You began talking about someone.  You tried to make it sound like you were really concerned about this person, but you forget, I see your heart.  You weren’t nearly as concerned about her as you tried to pretend.  You were just wanting to talk about her.”

“Oh, my Lord, please forgive me.  I was so wrong in that.”

As I began to ponder on those seemingly “little” things, they seemed to pile up very quickly, growing higher and higher.  As I continue repenting, I begin to think about how my loving and precious Savior hung on a cross and went through excruciating agony because of sins like these!  Oh, God FORGIVE ME!

I begin to read in Is. 6 where Isaiah cried, “I am a man of unclean lips!  I am ruined!”  Yes, I was feeling the same thing during my talk with Father.  –Or maybe I should say “during Father’s talk with me.”

In verse 6 it tells about how the seraph took a live coal from the altar and touched Isaiah’s lips, telling him that his guilt was taken away, and his sin atoned for.  In studying this, the word “guilt” stands for the most depraved or perverse thing we could do.  The words “taken away” mean “made to disappear, to be turned off.”  The reason that Isaiah’s guilt could be taken away was because the coal which touched his lips was a coal from the altar of sacrifice.  There had been an animal sacrificed, and the blood of that animal had touched the coal, which in turn, had been placed on his lips, cleansing him.

Jesus Christ was put on the altar of sacrifice for you.  His blood was poured out so that you can be guilt-free and cleansed.  That is why Rom. 8:1 says that there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.  Jesus bore all of the sin and guilt so that we wouldn’t have to do it!

Thank You, Loving God for your mercy that has been so abundant in my life.  It never ceases to amaze me.  Help me to think of the incredible sacrifice Jesus made for me each time that my flesh wants to lead me down a path of sin.  Give my spirit the strength to do the right thing, and to turn away from sin’s dark path. Amen.

© 2003, Stacy R Miller

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