Goodness

For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of what we eat or drink,
but of living a life of goodness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
Ro 14:17 nlt

As children of God, we are to live a life of goodness. That seems pretty simple and straightforward and it is but is it easy? The dictionary says goodness is a state or quality of being good; moral excellence; virtue; generosity; integrity; honesty.  Easy to read the definition of goodness and I would like to say it is easy for me to live it. But I often find it difficult to be an example of goodness.

When I find myself with thoughts that are not good or generous, less than honest or pure Iheartlight have a choice. I can follow through with those thoughts or I can turn away from the darkness of them and face the Light of my life.

For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord.
Live as children of light
(for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth)
and find out what pleases the Lord.
Eph 5:8-10 niv

When I turn to Jesus I can see where the problem lies and do what I need to sweep it away. I may think I have kept my heart clean and well kept but in His light, I can see into all the nooks and crannies where dust and dirt have found their way and settled in. Then I know it is time for some housekeeping of my heart. There isn’t room for unwanted clutter in my heart. That stuff has to go to make room for more of the goodness of the Spirit.

A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him,
and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him.
Matt 12:35 niv

There was a time when I believed I was to be good, to have goodness shine through me to prove I was a child of God. The truth is I have no need to prove anything with whatever goodness I have in my heart. The goodness is there, has been put there so through me others can see God’s light, His goodness.

…You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession.
As a result, you can show others the goodness of God,
for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.
1 Pet 2:9 niv

Why would I let the light of life that dwells in my heart be masked with worthless thoughts? It is so easy to relax and let the light in my heart be veiled by my inattentiveness and selfishness. How sad is that?!

When I talk with Jesus He often reminds me of what I must be vigilant and aware;

Above all else, guard your heart,
for everything you do flows from it.
Prov 4:23 niv

Blessings this day of grace,
patricia

 

 

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Be Gentle

Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.(Col 3:12 nlt) Notice the word gentleness. What does it mean to be a person of gentleness?

Gentleness is a quality of character. It is a behavior that is deliberate, a behavior we choose to demonstrate that isn’t always natural to us. We show gentleness when we act or respond in a kind and quiet way. With gentleness, there is calm in the storms of oursheep-451981_640 relationships.

Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.
Eph 4:2 niv

Some may think that gentleness is soft and weak but in truth to be gentle takes strength and thought. Not only our actions are to be gentle but also our speech is to be gentle. Sometimes we must say something to another that is hard or unpleasant; at those times we may need strong words. When strong words are needed it is best to have a soft voice, guarding our tongues and expressions so our words are expressed in a way that can be accepted without anger or hurt feelings.

A gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare.
Prov 15:1 nlt

Some people are gentle by nature and find it easy to show and express gentleness. They at heart are kind and merciful. I have talked to Jesus about this on many occasions when I have not felt merciful or kind, patient or humble, times when I have not shown gentleness where it was needed. He knows these traits are not necessarily inherent in us and it is essential that we develop them.  He will help us;

Take my yoke upon you.
Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart,
and you will find rest for your souls.
Matt 11:29

To help us He tells us to take His yoke and asks us to let Him teach us. He doesn’t force these lessons but He wants to teach them. When we look to Him as our Teacher we learn to be like Him, humble and gentle at heart. Is that not what we want, too?

Blessings this day of grace,
patricia

 

Beauty, Then and Now

When I am out and about I feel young and think I look younger than my years. But when I see my reflection in a mirror I am reminded I am no longer a young woman. What I see is an older woman. Why does this surprise me?  I have lived at least two-thirds of my life already. There are fewer years of life ahead of me than years past. I understand this and accept it. I understand that the way I look today is because I have lived more than a few years but this I find difficult to accept.

When I was a young woman I was told I was beautiful now I am told I am attractive. I want to be beautiful. I know it is shallow and superficial of me. I know there is more to sun-622740_640-1beauty than the physical aspect of it. Jesus and I have been having talks about this more often lately.  He reminds me, The LORD doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart (1 Sam 16:7b) and Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the LORD will be greatly praised.(Prov 31:30)

Jesus has also reminded me of the gift He gave me long ago, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God. I know physical beauty fades and we are not to be concerned about the outward beauty…You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within.(1 Pet 3:4)

Well, I am trying but it is hard!
I still want the beauty that faded.

Blessings this day of grace,
patricia

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Thorns and Strength

In 2 Corinthians 12, Paul tells us he had visions and revelations from the Lord. He doesn’t say what the visions and revelations were only that they were so astounding they cannot be expressed in words and no human is allowed to tell.(1-4) Then he tells us he was given a thorn in the flesh to keep him from becoming proud. (7b) He begged the Lord to take it away but the Lord said,”My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” Paul then tells us he is glad to boast of his weakness so the power of Christ can work through him.(8-9)) Paul learned when he was weak, then he was strong.(10b)

I am nothing like Paul. I have never been given visions or revelations, there is nothing about the Lord I am not allowed to talk about, but I have a thorn in the flesh that keeps me thorny-dragon-387217_640from becoming proud.  It’s not a disease, it won’t kill me. It is just a physical anomaly that can be painful but usually just bothersome and sometimes embarrassing. No one can tell anything is different about me by looking at me but there are times it is obvious I feel unwell. And unlike Paul, I continually ask to have this “thorn” taken from me, not just three times but over and over. I know I am weak and during a bad spell, I don’t feel the power of Christ resting on me. Oh, how I want to be like Paul!

There are times that I stand strong and weather the storm but there are as many times I am weak and I just go home, lock the door, and feel sorry for myself. I am blessed to know Jesus and He doesn’t leave me alone in my self-pity. He reminds me;

A joyful heart is good medicine. But a broken spirit dries up the bones.
Prov 17:22 nas

Let all that I am praise the LORD; may I never forget the good things he does for me.
He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases.
Ps 103:2-3

You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you,
all whose thoughts are fixed on you!
Isa 26:3

I don’t write this for sympathy or to make myself sound like I am so good and holy.  I write it to encourage you.  I think we all have a thorn of some sort. It may be physical, mental, emotional; caused by disease, an accident, trauma, circumstances, financial or family problems, whatever is chronic or continuous. My hope is that you will know that you are not alone. There are many who are hurting and none need be alone. Call on Jesus, He is never too busy to take your call, there is never a busy signal, you will never be put on hold, and never disconnected. Talk to Jesus and all will be well with your soul.

Blessings this day of grace,
patricia

All scripture unless otherwise noted
from New Living Translation
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Guard Your Heart

I am very careful with my heart. I don’t want it to be hurt in any way. Not physically or emotionally. Whatever happens to my heart determines my overall health. I could take better care of its physical health but I tend to take that aspect for granted.  Not wise, I know, but a fact. But taking care of my heart’s emotional health is a different story. I guard my heart. We are told in Proverbs 4:23

Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.marguerite-1358773_640

So, it is a good thing that I guard my heart. Maybe…maybe not.

There are some broken places in my heart that have healed and don’t hurt anymore, with scars that have made my heart stronger. Other places seem to be targets of unintended hurts and are often bruised and tender, nothing serious just bothersome. But there is a part of my heart that has been shattered. It has been pieced back together. I live with the pain. Sometimes months go by with only an occasional twinge to remind me of it, then there will be a memory triggered and the pain is unbearable. This was why I protected my heart, put a guard around it to keep it safe and untouched.

I  guarded my heart by not trusting many people and letting only a few  have access to it. I didn’t freely share my heart, I was selfish with it. But talking with Jesus has taught me I had it all wrong. He wants me to trust people and let them into my heart. He wants me to share my heart and be generous. What I must guard my heart against is evil in all its forms. I am to use His teachings as the touchstone, the standard, for what and who I share my heart. Yes, I am to guard my heart, with His words, not mine, with His truth, not mine, with His love for me, not my love of self.

My prayer today,
Open my eyes to see the wonderful truths in your instructions.
Ps 119:18

Blessings this day of grace,
patricia

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