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July 2019

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In response to the Questions of the Day:
I had a very strong firm foundation from the time I was very young; there were a lot of people looking out for me. I went to church regularly, Sunday School, youth group, camp, retreats..you name it, I was there. I went away to college, but the Lord blessed me with many Christian friends and a church close by. Then, when I transferred back up to my hometown, I let my faith slip and found more and more excuses for why I wasn't able to make it to church. Too far, too early, too busy...Yes, my home church is about 30 minutes from me, and I don't have my license, but that doesn't mean I cannot search for a church around here. I finally came to the realization that I was relying on other people to build my faith for me, and I CAN'T do that. God wants a relationship with ME, so it's up to me to maintain that. So, I would really love it if some of you wouldn't mind in joining me in praying for a home church. Thanks! :-)
In the meantime, I also build my foundation by prayer, and reading my Bible daily.
I definitely think that storms will continue to come into my life. It's when we are at our weakest that God uses us, and we learn to rely all the more on Him. When you have nothing left, He is the only Constant.
Oh, there have been so many storms in my life, but the one that immediately jumped into my head was when my mom was in an abusive relationship. It lasted for about 4 years (a pretty long storm!) and I can't tell you how often I prayed for my mom, and our family.My faith literally got me through that storm. I don't know how else I would have gotten out of it, or my mom for that matter. Oh, if only she could see how God's love got her through that! I am still recovering from this time in my life, and still rely on my faith to get me through when I see this person around my town.
What stood out to me today was definitely Matthew 7:24. I want to build my house on the Rock! I so desire for my future children to have what I didn't. I want them to be comfortable in their home, hear about Jesus daily, and never feel unsafe! It is my prayer and my husband's, that our children will come to know the Lord, and we want to teach them using the right foundation, the Lord!
He is so good!
Blessings,
Kelly

Here are my thoughts on Matthew 7:24-27. In a short devotion format :-)

Interesting passage, yet quite a simple passage to see Jesus "MAIN POINT". Most of the time you hear people say we need to be founded upon the ROCK which is JESUS which is True, but that is not the SPECIFIC principle Jesus was teaching here. Jesus was teaching what makes a person have a solid foundation or an unstable foundation or what makes one a "wise man" or a "foolish man". Which comes down to ONE thing, which is whether we DO what we hear or not. Let's look at the difference between the "Wise Man (Rock man)" and "Foolish Man (Sand man)".

WISE MAN (built house on rock) HEARETH these sayings and DOETH THEM.
1. Rains descended
2. Floods came
3. Winds blew
4. Beat upon that house
It Fell NOT.

FOOLISH MAN (built house upon sand) HEARETH these sayings and DOETH THEM NOT.
1. Rains descended
2. Floods came
3. Winds blew
4. Beat upon that house
GREAT was its FALL.

What is the difference, again as you can see, the only difference is one was a DOER of what he heard and the other was NOT A DOER of what he heard.

They both heard same thing, had the same set of circumstance, but one fell one did not, because one was a DOER of the WORD the other was a HEARER ONLY.

James 1:22 says, "But be ye doers of the word and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves".

These scriptures makes it quite clear that were deceived and in for a great (big) fall if we think hearing alone will benefit our lives. You can hear all the Bible, Studies, Devotions, Sermons, Christian conferences, Christian Workshops, etc. But if there is NO application you are not on a good foundation.

I will say here that, that should not be a discouragement from hearing (learning) as it is the first step to being a DOER. I can't DO what I don't hear. So we need to HEAR! Then we need to DO! I personally don't do 100% of what I hear (even though I should), but thank God I DO a lot of what I hear, that DOING is where my foundation in Christ is established.

Just for the records I am NOT talking about "good works" but BEING DOERS OF GODS WORD, there is a difference.

If Gods Word clearly tells us something then our goal should be to DO it. So do you want a to establish a Firm (Solid Rock) Foundation then start putting God's Word to practice in your life. I promise you God who cannot lie will bless your life!

I appreciate all your hunger for God's Word!

This One Year Bible group is exciting!!!

Jim

My personal theory is that Mount Moriah, the place where God showed Abraham, was probably Golgatha.

Also, as I heard Pastor David Yonggi Cho say, we should remember that Abraham was very old and Isaac was a young man who was probably much stronger physically than Abraham (Isaac carried all the wood). This would mean that at the point when Isaac understood he was the sacrifice, he probably could have escaped and run away quite easily but Isaac likewise must have had faith in his father and faith in God and was willing to be sacrificed, again a picture of Christ.

LIFE STORMS - everyone had, has or will have a devastating storm in their lives sometime. I'm going through a storm right now. It's a long storm and has been tearing away at me for sometime; nearly destroying me, but building my life on a solid rock is saving me. I am working my way through the Bible a second time. The more I read the Bible the stronger I get and the better understanding of why the storm.
"Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock." Matthew 7:24 NIV and to tie that verse with this verse is amazing; "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." Matthew 6:34 NIV

Kelly, thanks for sharing your story about your mom and your heart to find a home church. I will pray for you. I like what you said about taking responsibility for your own faith--may the Lord honor your heart in that!

Jim, I appreciate your "devotion" ; ) Such a good point about being a doer....reminds me of that passage in James:

" But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing." James 1:22-25

I can't tell you how many times I walk away from the mirror of the Word and forget. That's the crux of it...isn't it? Remembering the Word and then walking it out in the everyday. It keep me humble that's for sure...even when I retain it, the step of applying never comes "naturally"

I love this story about the man who builds his house on a rock. It's simple, but speaks into so many life situations. When my husband and I went to our first marriage enrichment conference (would strongly recommend such events to folks out there), they played a video from Big Tent Revival about "Two Sets of Jones"--the ones who built their marriage on the rock of Jesus and those who didn't. It made me cry at the time because my heart longed so deeply to be the wise set of Jones. The song still strikes a chord in me today, even though that conference was easily ten years ago.

Here is a link to the video if you have inclination:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KQE5PNRLZ40

Life is tough, and there are continual distractions to what is really important. But, HE makes all the difference if we'll let Him,

Matthew 7

21"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?' 23Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'

You can know about Jesus, you can believe he is God and Lord over all, but that is not enough. Jesus says in verse 21 that it is doing the will of my Father that gains one entrance into heaven. What will?

In John 6:28-29 the crowd asks Jesus what works they need to do to do the work of God. Jesus points out that they the premise is incorrect. For the Work of God (in His Will)is that you believe in the one He has sent. The Greek word root "pistis" for believe means Trust. Remember David's Psalms talking about trusting in the Lord. The message in the Bible is consistent.

It is spelled out in other places - John says you must 'believe and receive', Paul says 'confess with your tongue and believe in your heart'.

The will of God is that if you are being drawn to Him you turn back to Him, repent, believe and receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior. Many people have no problem with the Savior, but because of pride many bridle or simply ignore the Lord part of the equation.

If someone came to Wash. D.C. as a leader and cured people, fixed the economy, brought about world peace, and made America the utopia on earth to live in - many people would have no problem rushing to Washington bowing down to this guy, erecting statues to him, wanting to make him king, and following all his edicts.

Yet with Christ there is a stumbling block for many. Ahhh you have to believe without seeing.....

So these people in cited verses say - wait a minute - we did everything in your name. We did fruits.

Not good enough. Jesus says "I never knew you". not I used to know you and you drifted away. But absolutely at no time did I know you.

"Know" is ginosko in Greek and is the word used for the coupling of married persons - "two as one". That is not the meaning here but accurate translation is an intimate loving relationship between Christ and a follower.

We were never close. You never invited me into your heart. You did not abide in me, nor I in you. You knew about me, you believed I was God, but you never submitted your heart, mind and soul to me. Therefore - DEPART. You never wanted to be close and intimate with me on earth - why would you want that in heaven now?????

Were the things they did "evil". Not by man's standards. It was some prett good stuff. But God's standard is different. Only the things done in the Father's will by the help of the Holy Spirit are "good" in his eyes. Without accepting Christ, you do not even have a Father in Heaven, nor the Holy Spirit working in you. Thus the things you do, while good in man's eyes, do not count to the Father. If it is not good, then it is evil.

From Abraham's experience, it's so awesome to know that God partners with ordinary people who make mistakes and sinners like us for His purpose.

Yes storms are a fact of our lives. When they happen, we can only survive in God's grace, and by asking God to be in the storms with us, and help us through it. I really like the reminder that we can praise God in the storms! Another song I really love about facing storms is called "Still" - "Find rest my soul, in Christ alone....when the oceans rise and thunders roar, I'll sore with you above the storms, Father you are King over the floods...." You can listen to it here: http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=Mgob5afanUg

I'm starting where I am right now... by daily bible reading and trying to saturate myself with His prescence.

My name means "God's gift of grace" and I believe that and my parent's prayers have kept me safe in God's arms all these years. His Grace has truly been manifested so many times in my life.

I would say my most recent storm was when my daughter lost her big toe in an accident. Thank God, I never once doubted Him. Instead, I was able to see and recognise the earthly angels that He provided for us during that rough time. He even gave me the strength to recognise and acknowledge that I was dropping into depression. He gave me the grace to go look for help and find it. The strength to keep going, to keep trusting, to keep loving.

My foundation is not thick but I believe it is strong. This year, my goal is to thicken, to strengthen that foundation til I give my life totally to His control.

verse for today
Matt 7:22
They are foundational words, words to build a life on.

The Word of God isn't just words on a page... head knowledge. We need to incorporate it into daily living for it to really come alive and be an IMPACT on us. I must guard myself against seeking more head knowledge and instead go after heart knowledge and a deep intimacy with my God.

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