Evangel Assembly of God Pastor Marsha Baxter pastormarsha@godincontrol.org

Thursday, 24 December 2009
Your Part of the Miracle

Today I was having a discussion with a friend about being in need, reaching out to God’s family and doing our own part in the miracle that God provides. We spoke on how sometimes some people have a tragic need and instead of them reaching out to the family of God for comfort, rest and restoration; they choose to sit in the dark cave they find themselves in a never light a candle. In other words, wallow in the despair. Why? I was told today that people mistake a quote from Benjamin Franklin taking it as scripture, “God helps those who help themselves.”  It may not be scripture, but I do believe that there is evidence of it in the Bible.

There are many parables that speak about people having to wash their eyes or bathe in the waters. It didn’t matter what their circumstance or how disabled they were. They had to put some type of effort! One man was in the right place at the right time when Jesus saw that he couldn’t get to the swirling waters at the Bethesda pool. Jesus healed him. Could it have been in some small part because Jesus saw this man’s determination to be healed eventually, despite others stepping over him and getting to the waters before him? (John 5:1-15) What about the crippled woman in the synagogue? She had probably lain there many times waiting for a miracle. How could Jesus have seen here there to heal her if she decided not to show up that day? (Luke 13:10-17) Ah, then there are the many times when people were healed by faith! Jesus asked so many times if they had faith that He could heal them. So many times Jesus said, “Your faith has made you whole. Your faith has healed you.” (Matthew 9:27-34, Luke 17:11-19)
Why in this age and time do we feel that we are so privileged that we sit back in our Lazy boys and wait for the blessings? Not wait on the Lord kind of wait, but I’ll sit here and eat Cheetos and check my watch and impatiently wait! Can’t imagine what God thinks of us sometimes…
If there is a need, why not run to the sanctuary of arms of your family and friends at your church? Hello…. One body of Christ ring a bell? When you’re hurting because you can’t provide, why wouldn’t you go to your spiritual family as well as your natural family for support, however that may come? What’s worse, why lean your hand to your church for a hand up, but not lean your heart to your church for a heart lift?
It is imperative that we not lean to the understanding of this time and age where we take all and give nothing and demand ceaselessly. We are to lean on God and His people when we are in need, not just for material gratification, but a spiritual reconnection with God and one another. Maybe Jesus is asking while you’re sitting there with what seems to be nothing. He’s asking you, “Do you believe that I am able to do this? Do you want to be made well?” Have the faith of the people of Jesus’ time, the blind, the crippled, the mute and the deaf. He is longing to tell you, “Your faith has made you whole.”

Heavenly Father, as we come to the 'highlight' of the time we celebrate your birth, the miracle and gift that is You, we give you all praise and glory. We thank you for coming to Earth and giving us hope of salvation everlasting. Let us remember that you look for us to take part in the miracles and blessings you provide. We know that You can do all things, bless who you want to bless, heal who you want to heal, but the miracle could be so easily lost if we, ourselves don't invest in You. Without You, Jesus we are nothing and with Your mercy and grace we are fulfilled! In Jesus' precious holy name, amen!

Posted on 12/24/2009 3:22 PM by Contessa
Thursday, 3 December 2009
Living Out of Your Heart, Not Your Head

Have you ever been watching tv or listening to the radio and hear a comment that probably was never intended to be spiritual or make you think about God? Well, there was a comment during a show where a person said, "I've been so busy living out of my head, I forgot there was a body." Immediately, the thought came to me - I was doing the same thing, except I forgot to live out of my heart. If I'm doing it right, I should be living out of Christ's heart.

Trying to live everyday  life almost seems to be an oxymoron when trying to live a spiriual life. You try to be a good Christian and turn the other cheek and keep good thoughts and be thoughtful to others and be there for others and live the golden rule and smile and... whew! Doing all that is one thing, doing it without cooperation from the world is another. How can you be a good righteous Christian when life makes it so hard sometimes. Strangers don't say thank you when you hold the door for them, friends interrupt your problems to discuss there problems, church family don't show up to church to see the work God has done since the last time they came to church and family who seem to use up every last bit of you that hasn't been beaten by all the above, without as much as a genuine smile! There is a unique technique to live the optimal life, live out of Christ's heart.

All those things mentioned before are things that take so much thought. It can and will drain you if you continually and constantanly think of what you have to do and who to do it for. Alas, if you think as Jesus Christ thinks, it become so divinely simple. Not that the tasks are not difficult, but deciding and doing by way of your heart is simple. That wonderful question comes to play, "What would Jesus do?" Would He help, yes. Would He give of Himself, yes. 2 Corinthians 9:7 Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, let him give, not grudgingly or of necessity for God loveth a cheerful giver. What does this have to do with living from God's heart? Have you ever seen a story about Jesus where He grudgingly healed someone? Did He ever respond with, "Do I have to?" No.

When you're thinking what you must do for God, family, friends and strangers from your mind's perspective, it's easy to get clouded and overwhelmed.  The mind is made of flesh and since when does the flesh want to do anything but sin? Ah, but when you live from your heart, Christ's heart. It is no longer what the flesh wants. I'm speaking spiritual heart of course. Christ was born, lived, died and rose again because He lives from His heart. God's word has the word 'heart' in it 833 times! I believed God was trying to get a point across. When He says we should be Christ like, it especially means from the heart.  He loves us so very much from His precious heart where grace and mercy reside. There is no darkness there, no weariness and no resentment. 

Times will come when people won't say thank you, when people won't show up when you need them and times when people won't seem to see you or your efforts at all. Christ didn't go and shake everyone that came to Him for healing and demand glory. People gave glory to Him and praised Him. Jesus appreciated and loved them for it and blessed them all the more for it. Jesus sees the work we do on His behalf and in His hands is where our true rewards lie. Try working from your heart, love from your heart, live out of your heart!

Posted on 12/03/2009 10:34 PM by Tess