Sunday, September 16, 2018

Sunday Thoughts

I think sometimes when we become Christians, we expect that we will change overnight and be a new person. Or we see the changes we've made since becoming a Christian, and think we are so much better than we were that we don't always look at the things in our life that could still be improved on. We're focused on all the positive changes, which is a good thing, yet sometimes it keeps us stagnated and rooted in one place when God wants so much more for us.

I see this in my own life. Things I thought I had changed or I compared to my old way of doing, kept me accepting that I didn't really need to work on a lot anymore. I was so focused on the filthy rag that I used to be that I wasn't even aware that I still had stains on my character that needed to be dealt with. Isn't it funny how pride in the good can completely blind us to the bad?

I can't change myself. Only God can make the changes necessary to make me more like Jesus. He sees me for who I really am - not some illusion that I've made for myself. He may allow hard things in my life to refine me. When I'm going through the hard things, it's not always easy for me to accept that God is using them for my good. However, His Word tells me that He is!

Here are the keys to growing in our faith, in our character, and in our love for others.

1.  Read your Bible every day! We won't know what the attributes of God are or how He wants us to live our life if we don't read our Bible. Everything we need is in this beautiful book that is a gift from God. I'm always amazed at the fact that I can read a Scripture over the years and gain a new insight from it each and every time. God opens our eyes to new things as we grow in our relationship with Him. I find this so exciting as I read my Bible...I just never know what wonderful nugget of truth I'm going to find even if I've read the same thing before.

2.  Pray every day, throughout the day. Ask God to reveal areas of your life that need attention. Ask him for the strength and extra measure of self control in these areas. I think we all know areas of our life that are not what we want but ask God to show those hidden things that are holding us back or creating problems in our life for ourselves or in our relationship with others.

3. When you're going through hard times or through a difficult trial, ask God to show you what He wants you to learn from it. Ask Him to work it for your good and to glorify Him in the process. Again, ask for an extra measure of strength, faith and peace as you go through this hard situation. Trust me, I know what it's like to go through something so hard, you wonder if you'll come out the other side whole. With God we will! Not only will we be whole, we will be better in so many ways Spiritually, if we allow it. Use the hard times to grow in your faith. Not always easy but so necessary for our mental and spiritual well-being!

4.  When you see something that needs work in your life, make the effort in your own power to work on it, but more importantly, ask God to help you and rely on Him to work on you. I have seen areas of bitterness building up in my thoughts and it was coming out as harshness to those around me. I didn't really see it and when it was brought to my attention, my first response was that if anyone deserved to be bitter, I did! However, as I thought about it and prayed about it, I realized I was becoming someone I never wanted to be. How could God use a bitter person? How could I fulfill all that I knew God had for me if I wallowed in bitter and pushed people away through a harsh attitude? So, I am working to consciously stop this bitter root from taking hold myself but, more importantly, I am asking God to help me. He has way more power and might than I do so I need to ask Him for help, which He willingly gives!

God loves us so much and He knows that we are sinners. This is why He gave his only son, Jesus, to die on the cross for us. He is our Savior and Redeemer. We can't be better without Him. He is our strength, our refiner, and the One who loves us no matter how we are. However, I love Him so much that I want to be better for Him! That is my heart's desire - to be used for Him and His Kingdom!

Have a blessed Sunday!

Blessings - Julie

*I have used Bible Gateway for all my Scripture references. I enjoy this site so much as there's so much available for reading and studying the Bible. You can visit their site at

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