A Noble Heart

By Georgia (Jo) Kent
 
“But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.” Matthew 13:23 NIV
 
Matthew tells us that the one who produces a good crop from his life is the one who hears the word and understands it. Jesus identified the soil of the heart as important in spiritual growth. If the soil is rocky or filled with weeds the seed of the Word of God cannot spring up and bear fruit. But if the soil is good then we bring forth an abundant crop of spiritual fruit. It is our job as Christians to make sure the soil of our heart is good soil and prepared to receive our Father’s teachings. 
 
“Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the LORD, till he come and rain righteousness upon you.” Hosea 10:12
 
Without perseverance a farmer would only produce a very limited crop from any sowing of seed. Farming requires diligent attention to the conditions in which the seed is sowing so that it will grow successfully. Then it needs protecting and caring for throughout the growing period until the time of harvest. Perseverance is an essential requirement for fruitfulness. And so it is in with us. God sows many seeds in our lives. Seeds that He wants us to nurture and bring to harvest so that others will know the love of our Father through us. 
 
“But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.” Luke 8:15 NIV
 
How do you cultivate a heart on good soil? Repent of any bitterness, unforgivness, anger, or any other sin that is hardening your heart! Seek the power of God to search your heart thoroughly and completely to root out all the weeds that hinder cultivating good soil. Cultivating good soil is a daily task; weeds spring up out of nowhere to hinder our growth. Satan throws everything he can in our way to ruin and contaminate our soil. Work tirelessly to keep the weeds away from your soil. God calls us to cultivate the soul of our spiritual garden and to follow it through to completion to harvest time. Cultivate your life in Him and He will produce His fruit through you!
 
Father, Thank you for the seeds you have sown in our lives. Help us to press through to completion so the crops from our life will bear good fruit for Your glory. In Jesus Name, Amen.
 
Sweet Blessings

His Presence In The Darkness

By Georgia (Jo) Kent
 
“When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12
 
Do you need to know that the Lord has not forgotten about you? Are you desperate for a glimmer of hope in a world that seems to be falling apart? Are you in need of a light at the end of the tunnel? There is a world full of people who long for the safety and presence of Jesus but they need a beacon to guide them. God’s love shines constantly upon us, an ever-faithful Presence. When your faith walk seems dark and God feels far away, when darkness and pain arrive, the ability to recognize God’s presence makes an immense difference. The peace and presence of Jesus in your heart banishes fear, restores faith and lifts spirits.
 
“For it is you who light my lamp; the Lord my God lightens my darkness.” Psalms 118:28 NIV
 
Think about the difference between light and darkness and its relationship to God’s presence in our lives. While in darkness, we walk carefully. In the light, we walk in confidence. While the darkness gives us fear, light gives us security. Knowing that Christ is with us in struggle and darkness is one of the only reasons we don’t completely surrender to our fears and stop moving forward. There will come a time that you may find yourself sitting in the dark, remember that living in the light requires time in God’s Word and time in His Presence. Though the future looks bleak and the outcomes uncertain, there is peace in resting in the light of the Lord. It is in His light that we can find courage and strength to face tomorrow.
 
“This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth.” 1 John 1:5-6 NIV
 
Though the world may look bleak and the situations in your own life may be dark, remember that Jesus came to this world to bring hope where there was despair. Our Savior will come and bring light and cheer to our heavy heart. One of the greatest blessings we have to look forward to in Christ is the ability to dwell in a new heaven and earth with Him as our light. A place where we will no longer feel darkness surrounding us filled with pain, sadness and sin. We will see clearly because of the bright Presence of our Lord. When you find yourself in darknesss and at your lowest and you need hope, think of some other beautiful things accomplished in the dark: a seed in the ground, a baby in the womb…the Cross. 
 
Father, give us the faith to help us in our weakness. Help us trust in Your Presence when we face situations that overwhelm us. Help us to remember that You are here with us as our shield. In Your Precious Name.  Amen
 
Sweet Blessings

Take Heart

 By Georgia (Jo) Kent
 
“But now thus saith the Lord that created thee…He that formed thee…Fear not; for I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine. When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee.” Isaiah 43:1-3
 
Everyone goes through tough times during certain periods of their lives. As Christians, we know in our heads that God is working in and through those times. But often our emotions take over. Fear and worry may set in. Are you in a difficult trial today? Are you wondering how to go forward? It’s possible to be going through tough times and have peace in the midst of trials. When the winds of change begin to blow violently all around us we can choose to focus on our unchanging God. He has A perfect plan for our lives. We must believe deep in our hearts that God`s love for us is unconditional. He loves us no matter who we are or what we have done, and nothing we do will make Him love us any less than He does already. 
 
“We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed…” 2 Corinthians 4:8-10
 
Have you ever been so upset you couldn’t pray? Maybe your mind was filled with panic and you couldn’t think straight. Sometimes we go through times in life when it feels like God Himself has pulled the rug right out from under us. Dazed and now on the floor, we look around and say, “What just hit me?” Our trials should lead us more and more to a trusting dependance upon God and His gracious favor towards us in Christ. God’s Word gives us a lot of encouragement to trust Him. God is omniscient, which means he knows your need even if you can’t express it. He always sees things clearly. When you go to him in fear or confusion, He wants you to depend on him and He wants to be your protector.
 
“In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world” John 16:33
 
The next time something does not unfold as you expected or you are suddenly faced with an unforeseen and unpleasant change in circumstances, remember the constancy of God. By doing this, you will keep the disappointments, surprises, and interruptions of life in proper perspective. God is unchanging, and He is committed to keeping every promise He has made. So if there is a tough situation awaiting you today, go right into it with a heart full of faith knowing that God is going to act to deliver you from every trial and suffering in His perfect timing. 
 
Father, thank you for all that You have blessed us with this week. Thank you for providing peace in the face of anxieties. Fill each of us with Your sweet presence. Help us to always have greatful hearts. Help us to show Your grace to others in need. Protect and guide our every step with Your loving care. In your precious and Holy name. Amen 
Sweet Blessings

Out Of The Darkness

By Georgia (Jo) Kent

“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” Isaiah 43:18

There are so many Christians today that live in their painful pasts, shadowing the present that stands before them. Never moving forward for fear of falling backwards. Finding true freedom in Christ requires letting go completely of the past that binds us to the pain. Sadly, many of us aren’t able to do that. Though we know intellectually Christ has freed us, our memories haunt us, and we repeatedly revisit our past and all the things we did wrong. Some things we’ve kept to ourselves and pray that no one ever finds out. Some things have left us so damaged we cant see a way out. We tuck all the shame, pain and fears deep down inside our heart and pray that we can forget. When present events trigger a reaction in you that takes you back to that unhappy time and the pain returns, we forget we have been set free.

“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:17 KJV

Letting go of the past not only helps you to live your best life now, but also paves the way for future success. The past is gone, but every time you give thought to it you bring it back into the present moment and you loose sight of the way out. Unhappy or hurtful past events can bring heartache, depression, and destructive behavior into your life if you don’t learn how to release them and let them go. Whatever holds you hostage keeps you from enjoying a deeper, fuller relationship with Christ. Surrendering your past is not about dwelling on the things you did. It’s about putting it under the blood of Jesus and focusing on the One who looks beyond those things into your heart.

“But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:13-14

Holding onto the mistakes and failures of our past stays with us and contaminates our future. To let go is to release the images and emotions, the grudges and the fears and the disappointments of the past that all bind our spirit. Peace of mind comes from living in the moment and not the past. We can’t focus our minds on Jesus and what He can do for us while we’re focusing our minds on our past and what we’ve done. Give your blessings the same amount of weight that you are tempted to give your troubles. Everyone has a past. The past can not equal the future unless you live there. By the grace of God lay your past mistakes at the feet of Jesus, walk into the light and begin a new life free of bondage to your past.

“Dear Father, help us to resolve any and all unresolved issues from the past and let go of any hurt, anger, grief, fears, and resentment. Help us to be free to fully live and fully love. Thank you for setting us free. in Jesus Name. Amen.

Sweet Blessings

Battling Spiritual Warfare

By Georgia (Jo) Kent

“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Ephesians 6:12

To often in our lives we find ourselves being attacked by the enemy of this world. The enemy knows that he cannot steal our salvation; but what he tries to do is hold us captive by having control over certain aspects of our lives such as our emotions and fears to name a few. Many Christians wonder about the struggles they have in their lives, their personal spiritual warfare. Why are things so hard? What are they doing wrong? Is there some particular prayer technique or spiritual discipline that will make things work?

“Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8

Today we live in a perpetual battlefield and God is our only safety net. Spiritual warfare is resisting, overcoming and defeating the enemy’s lies that he sends our way. God rescued us from the power and bondage of the world, the flesh, the devil, and supernaturally empowered us with the light of His truth, love, and Holy Spirit. Through the Word of God and the power of prayer we, as believers, have the legal authority to tell the enemy that he has no power in our lives.

“Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” Ephesians 6:17

Praise God that we are not alone. At those times, when we are called to do something far beyond our own physical and emotional ability, we learn a deeper dependence on Christ. He has promised not to leave us unequipped and alone in the struggle against Satan and sin. We can resist the schemes of Satan and remain firm in our faith through His promises. Claim hold of the truths of God with confidence, knowing that no attack of Satan can ever overcome the power of our God!

Father, I stand on Your Word, which says that “We are more than conquerors through Him who loves us.” I rest in You, my Father. Amen.

Sweet Blessings

Just Breath

By Georgia (Jo) Kent

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7

The truth is, we aren’t weary simply because our schedules are full. We are weary because our spirits are depleted. Within each one of us resides a soul that desperately needs renewal and restoration, something an overloaded schedule doesn’t always allow. It is often when we are the weariest that our souls can be in the midst of chaos, storms and confusion. Sometimes God allows us to be put into difficult situations so our faith grows. It’s through these trials that we learn to trust God and draw nearer to Him.

“This is what the LORD says: ‘Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls…”Jeremiah 6:16

God preserves a space in us to hear His voice He reveals the places we’re off track, and shows us what is unnecessary clutter. Quiet rest allows us to fill our cups back up. During the down time, we can deal with the mental clutter and focus on God. Resting gives us space to breathe. Inhaling and exhaling in a gentle rhythm set by God. We receive an inner peace that allows the heart and mind to cope when we are anxious. When we learn to rest in silence, patiently waiting, we find strength and joy in God Himself.

“My presence shall go with you, and I will give you rest.” Exodus 33:14

Invite God to restore your soul and receive a fresh filling of His love, mercy and grace. When you do, He will replace your weariness with strength, your resentment with thanksgiving, your irritability with patience, and your anxiety with peace. Meet with Him. He will refresh and renew you, enabling you to go out into the world to serve your family and friends filled with a newfound sense of His peace, love, and joy.

Precious Father I ask you to show us how to prioritize our daily schedules before our cup becomes completely empty and help us to always leave room for your presence. Help us to learn to listen for your voice and to recognize Your sweet spirit. Please help us to learn how to depend completely on you. I ask all this is your precious name. Amen

Sweet Blessings

Broken Vessel’s

By Georgia (Jo) Kent

“No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” Hebrews 12:11

Life sometimes delivers the unexpected. Lessons learned in the school of hard knocks. We are often left bruised, dented and scarred. It’s important to know that this damage does not define you, it is refining you. When it seems like you are at the bottom of life’s bin remember that Jesus paid a high a price for those of us at the bottom. We live in a broken world with broken people. We all have areas of brokenness; Broken dreams, broken spirits, broken hearts, broken relationships, even a broken sense of self-esteem.

A broken heart can hold us back from taking part in an authentic and loving relationship, a broken self-esteem can stop us from having a positive and productive personality, and a broken spirit finds it virtually impossible to experience real joy.

“Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work.” 2 Timothy 2:21

In Corinthians 12:9 Jesus said, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Through the brokenness of our lives we can become the vessels that God intended us to be. God gave us wisdom which is in His word. Through His word brokenness can be repaired. Maybe that broken dream was your dream that did not fit His plan for your life. Possibly that broken relationship was never ordained by God because it was never part of His plan for your life. As difficult as it may be for you to believe this today, the Master knows what He’s doing. He knows your breaking point. The bruising and crushing and melting process is designed to reshape you, not ruin you. Your value is increasing the longer He lingers over you.

“We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.” Isaiah 64:8

Have you made a mess of your life and wish that you could start over? Are you a broken vessel in the potter’s hand? If God left us broken, there would be no hope. Let the love of God break you so that you may also be a vessel for the Master’s use.

Sweet Blessings

God Heals A Broken Heart

By Georgia (Jo) Kent

“The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.” Psalms 43:18

Has there ever been a time in your life when you felt so empty you thought God had forgotten you existed? You wondered if He forgot where you lived? You just wanted to know He remembered you and your pain, your ache, your empty heart. Have you suffered from loneliness, discouragement, worry, anger, doubt, fear, guilt, temptation, resentment, failure or jealousy?

One of the most painful emotional experiences is that of a ‘broken heart’ whether it is from a severed relationship or the death of a loved one. Everyone has to deal with a broken heart at some point in life because we live in a fallen world, and, as a result, we are constantly faced with shattered dreams, unexpected losses, and hurting relationships. These ‘Goliath Giants’ plague today’s Church, causing far too many of God’s children to stumble in their walks.

‘When you’re in a dark place, God crawls into the darkness with you, tells you He’s with you, and then he holds you till hope begins stirring in your soul.’

Only Jesus can heal the brokenness of our hearts. Only Jesus can restore, refresh and renew the depths of our hearts, soul and spirit. So many of us are bound in our past by unthinkable sadness, fear and anxiety. We find ourselves continually operating out of emotional deficits. God gave us emotions to experience life, not destroy it! Every individual has a place to fill in the world and is important in some respect whether he chooses to be or not. You can choose to die of a broken heart or choose to be reborn out of the shattered pain.

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” John 14:27

How wonderful is the love of Jesus! The breadth of his love is immeasurable. There is no part of His people’s pain that He does not consider, and there is nothing that concerns their welfare that is not important to Him. If you are struggling with emotional pain, take comfort in the fact that God has your situation as well as you in the palm of His hands. It’s during your most difficult times that your Father in Heaven leans down, wraps His arms around His child and whispers these words of comfort and Love…

“I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5

Sweet Blessing

Choosing My Inheritance

By Georgia (Jo) Kent

“In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.” John 14:2

One morning as I was reading my bible study, I read these words in Samuel; “Has not the Lord anointed you ruler over his inheritance” But instead of “He” I saw the word as “Me” I thought just how gracious God is that he has given me the power to control my own inheritance in Heaven. If someone told you that you could have anything that you wanted in this life, all the wealth, homes, vacations, cars and toys, and all you had to do was except Christ as your personal Savior, be a good person with a pure heart, help others and, be kind, wouldn’t you think that you must have just won the lottery? There’s just one problem… All these riches end with our death. Only Heaven is for eternity.

“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.” 1Corinthians 2:9

Think about this…Heaven is a place of matchless beauty and blessings. Our Father has prepared mansions for us and there filled with great treasure for us? John described Heaven as an entire city of transparent gold with walls made of precious jewels with twelve gates made of single pearls. The streets are made out of pure gold. There will be neither tears nor the sound of crying. The leaves of the tree of life will guarantee our health. It will be place of fellowship and a place of joy. We will stand with angels, walk with friends, sit down in the company of Abraham, Isaiah and David and talk with Paul and Adam. The whole city is lighted by the glory of God. There will be no power shortages, for God is all powerful, no bumping into things in the dark; no sleepless nights. Nor will there be bills, hospitals, bank accounts. In fact, In Heaven we will have no complaints, no lying, no hate, no fear and no crime.

“Look, I am Coming Soon, bringing my reward with me to repay all people according to their deeds.” Revelation 22:12

There aren’t any riches on this earth to compare to the riches waiting for us in Heaven. God gives everyone of us the ability to control our own inheritance. By receiving Christ as our Savior we inherit eternal life. If we believe, we are a citizen of Heaven. We are to let Christ reign in our lives now, but our full spiritual inheritance includes being with Christ and reigning with Him throughout eternity.

Jesus said, “He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life” John 5:24

Sweet Blessings

What Are You Expecting?

by Sis. Kim McDougal

“But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind. Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.” – James 1:6-7 (NLT)

Expectations have a lot to do with outcomes. What is faith if it is not an expectation that God is going to do what He said He would do and what is hope if it is not an expectation of good things to come? At one time in my Christian walk, I would pray about something but then about 30 minutes later, I would pray about the same thing again. I know now that I didn’t really believe that God would answer my petition. I wasn’t expecting that He would help me. I thought, “maybe I should just ask again.” As I studied the scriptures more over the years, I learned that God makes promises to us and that He himself wants us to expect that when we pray that He will answer according to His will. And, we can expect that as we live for Him each day, He will:

  1. Never leave us, never forget about us.
  2. Provide our every need.
  3. Keep every promise He has made to us.
  4. Give us the plans that are the best for us.

We have to be steady in our belief and faith in Him and not waver the way the wind blows. If we go back and forth like that, how can we expect anything from God? We should expect His favor on our lives, we should expect Him to answer our prayers, we should expect Him to demonstrate His power, might, and ability to carry us through our trials and tribulations, we should expect that He will give us beauty for ashes and the list goes on. The fact is that God so loves you and I. He wants to bless us. What we have to do is believe in His love for us. If we can get our arms around that fact, then we can come to His throne expecting the very best for our lives.