Hearts and Minds

Sometimes when I pray I wonder if my words go any farther than the ceiling. In my heart, I know Jesus hears every word but my mind questions and doubts.

If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God,
who gives generously to all without finding fault,
and it will be given to you. 
But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt,
because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea,
blown and tossed by the wind.
James 1:5-6 NIV

I know in my heart that God is a generous and giving God but my mind often listens to what the world has to say. This saddens me. I have no reason to doubt Him. His word is true and without deception. I have much reason to doubt the world. The world is full of contradiction and lies. I have not been hurt by God but I have been hurt by the world.

Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. 
Their loyalty is divided between God and the world,
and they are unstable in everything they do.
James 1:7-8 NLT

Though my mind questions and doubts my heart is strong and committed to Jesus. I have orange-631354_640faith and hope that even my doubting mind cannot deny.

Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen;
it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.
Hebrews 11:1 NLT

For now, that is enough; I pray and wait.

In the morning, LORD, you hear my voice;
in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly.
Psalm 5:3 NIV

Blessings this day of grace,
patricia

Faithfulness

We are all called to be faithful and to make that happen the seed of faithfulness is given to us and planted in our hearts. How we nurture that seed and what we do with it is up to us. Jesus makes it clear in the Parable of the Three Servants (Matt 24:16-30) that being faithful is not something to take for granted.

In the Parable, Jesus told the disciples a story of a rich man going on a journey. Before he left he called three of his servants to him and gave each servant a bag of money. (To one he gave five bags of gold, to another two bags, and to another one bag, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey.v 15) Notice each was given an amount according to his ability. Nothing more or less than he could handle.

Each servant took what his master gave him and did with the money what he thought the master would want him to do. (The man who had received five bags of gold went at once and put his money to work and gained five bags more. So also, the one with two bags of gold gained two more. But the man who had received one bag went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.vs 16-18)

When the master returned he asked the servants to give an account of what they did with the money. The first two servants doubled the money making their master happy. (“His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’vs 21,23) The third servant came to his master with the one bag of money he had been given. The master was not happy.(“His master replied, ‘You wicked, lazy servant!“ ‘So take the bag of gold from him and give it to the one who has ten bags. vs 26a,28) The first two servants did what they were able with the money and it multiplied. The third did nothing with the money except bury it and gave back to the master exactly what he had been given.

How often do we do that? Do we take what God gives us and use it to grow so we have more to give to Him and others? Or do we do nothing and therefore, have nothing more to give back to Him or to give to others? Are we making the Lord and others happy or are we concerned only for our own happiness?

Jesus tells us that we are to nurture and grow the faith He has given us so that what we have will become more not just for ourselves but for others. When we do this there aresapling-154734_640 bountiful blessings.

To those who use well what they are given,
even more will be given, and they will have an abundance.
But from those who do nothing,
even what little they have will be taken away.
Matt 25:29

There are days when my faithfulness is small and seems dry and withered and I feel I have nothing in me to give. Then I am reminded that this is not true and that I am to trust God, and to listen to His voice.

For if we are faithful to the end,
trusting God just as firmly as when we first believed,
we will share in all that belongs to Christ.
Remember what it says: “Today when you hear his voice,
don’t harden your hearts as Israel did when they rebelled.”
Heb 3:14

All that is needed is a talk with Jesus.

All scripture from NLT

Blessings this day of grace,
patricia

Prayers and Tears

Sometimes when I am not feeling well I think maybe Jesus is too busy to hear my prayers. Or maybe He thinks I am just a whiner and is tired of hearing the same repeated prayers from me. I was about to feel this way when I happened upon this verse;

I have heard your prayer and seen your tears; I will heal you.
2 Kings 20:5 niv

That is what God told Isaiah to tell Hezekiah who was dying and had prayed to God to be remembered by Him.(2ki 1-3) He not only heard Hezekiah’s prayer He healed him and gave him 15 more years of life.

Is the Lord any different today? Of course not, Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, girl-863686_640and forever. (Heb 13:8) What He said to Hezekiah He says to you and me.  He hears our prayers and sees our tears. There will be healing, maybe not today, it may be delayed but it will happen.

Do you think I just “happened” to see  the
2 Kings verse?  No?  Me either.

Blessings this day of grace,
patricia

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Scripture unless otherwise noted,
New Living Translation

When You Hear His Voice

There are times when I don’t know where I am going or what I am doing. Times when I feel I don’t have a thing to offer. Times when I feel like I cannot take another step. This can happen when I am not taking care of my body; not eating right, not getting any exercise, not enough sleep or too much sleep. I know what to do to change these things and with some discipline get things back to where they need to be. It’s not easy but I can do it all by myself.

However, there is another reason for my loss of focus and my weariness. When I make “me” the center of my world. When “me” becomes the only one I listen to. When “me” is most important and nudges Jesus to second place “me” gets lost in simple everyday life. I know what I need to do to get back on track and with discipline, I can do it. It’s not easy and I cannot to it all by myself.  I need direction, refreshment, and restoration. I don’t need to go far to find it.

summer-895943_640

The LORD will guide you continually, giving you water when you are dry and restoring your strength. You will be like a well-watered garden, like an ever-flowing spring.
Isa 58:11

When I rely only on myself there is confusion and disquiet within me, when this happens on the inside anger and melancholy show on the outside. Not pretty and definitely not reflecting the image of Jesus to others.

I need to be reminded who is in control.
But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace.
Ro 8:6b

I need to be reminded of the promise that Jesus does speak to us.
That is why the Holy Spirit says, “Today when you hear his voice,
Heb 3:7a
All we have to do is listen.

Blessings this day of grace,
patricia

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Learning To Pray

When I first started talking to Jesus I didn’t know Him and like it is with any new acquaintance I was careful what I talked about and how I talked. I wasn’t sure what we should talk about, what was acceptable and what was off limits. After all, I didn’t want to shock Him or anger Him or for Him to think I was stupid or silly. I wanted Him to like me. Just shows you how little I knew about Jesus, doesn’t it?

At first, I was shy and timid trying to say and do the right thing and not to offend this new person in my life. How was I to pray? Should I kneel or sit? Should I talk out loud, whisper or be silent? How was He to be addressed, how to begin the prayer and how to end it?  Howbaby-1606572_640 long should I pray and was there some order or formula? What if I couldn’t think of anything to say or what if I talked too much? All these questions I worried over thinking I had to pray in a certain prescribed way.  I didn’t know that Jesus wanted to hear my prayers, (Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.Phil 4:6) that He wanted me to sit with Him, that there were no special rules or conditions to follow. All I had to do was…be with Him.

Ever so slowly I grew to be comfortable with Jesus.  He is my Lord and Savior and He is my friend and wants to talk with me. (Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Ja 4:8). I can talk to Him about anything and everything, important and trivial, good and bad, happy and sad, in anger and with laughter. My words don’t have to be eloquent or beautiful or grammatically correct. Sometimes there are no words at all. Doesn’t matter the time or place I simply have to call out, whisper or think, Jesus, and I know without a doubt that He is listening. Not only does He listen, if I am quiet He usually has something to add to the conversation.

Why am I telling you all this? Because I remember my first steps of faith and I remember all the times I faltered and stumbled. Because I still have times of uncertainty and questions, times when I am afraid, times when I fall. Sin is always a part of my life. Perfection is a work in progress and as with all work, there are good days and days I should have stayed in bed. I am telling you this because I want you to know that Jesus isn’t around just on the days when everything is good and only for those who never weaken. Jesus never leaves those He knows and loves. (God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”Heb 13:5b) No matter who you are, where you are or where you’ve been, what you are doing or what you have or haven’t done, Jesus is with you and wants to talk with you.

There are no long distance or roaming charges and you won’t get cut off or disconnected. Just say, “Hello Jesus.”

Blessings this day of grace,
patricia

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