“Blessed Are The Peacemakers”

By Georgia (Jo) Kent

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.”Matthew 5:9 NIV

The world needs peace. The home needs peace. The office, the factory, the school, and the family need peace. To have peace there must be those who bring the peace of God. We are called to bring the peace of God into the life of others. In the middle of the storms of life, you can be a person who brings the calm that others so badly need. When you look around you, you can see anguish, worry, doubt, and fear in the life of others. You can reflect the peace of Christ and bring a kind word of love and assurance. Give away the calm love of God. Bring the healing of His grace, love, and peace.

“Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:” Hebrews 12:14 KJV

Sin has a way of creeping up in our lives. There’s no big warning sign that sin is about to manifest itself somehow through our lives and then boom, something comes out of our mouth or a thought crosses our mind and suddenly there it is. Often that can lead to strife among our friends and even our own family. Yet, there is a call from the Lord Jesus for us to be peacemakers at the same time. How can that all work together. I believe there are two catalysts to making peace as a peacemaker. One is forgiveness and the other is humility.

“Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.” Romans 14:19 VIV

Let’s face it, not everyone likes you or me. We may have enemies, even in the Christian body. But the Bible is clear that we are to make peace with those individuals. Whenever we encounter a situation that is hostile and fraught with tension, we are to be the peacemakers. The Bible teaches us to do whatever it costs to live at peace with all men. There’s a peace that comes from having an inner peace with God, one that allows you to sleep at night because you have been perfectly honest with yourself and with God.

Personal peace is only possible through Christ! Not only is it only possible through Christ, but it comes as a gift from God, totally removed from our circumstances of life. Even if one’s life is filled with controversy, anxiety, or even constant troubles, the peace of God can and will rule in the heart of the true believer. The peacemakers are those children of God who not only have great love for God, but also have love for all of mankind and they attempt to do everything possible for the advancement of peace everywhere.

Father, I thank you that I have found peace with you through Jesus Christ. I thank you that you have renewed my spirit. Help me to live with everyone in peace, that I can forgive as you have forgiven me and give me a humble heart. In Your name Lord, Amen.

Sweet blessings

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Be Heavenly Minded

By Georgia (Jo) Kent

“He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” Micah 6:8 NIV

These are simple instructions, but absolutely impossible to do unless God Himself empowers us, which is what He does through the ministry of His Holy Spirit. What a great God we serve! He tells us what to do then enables us to do it. He simply instructs us to “act justly in everything we do and every decision we make.” The second is to “love mercy, embracing compassion and forgiveness for everyone we meet.” Lastly, is to “walk humbly, lifting up our heavenly Father and serving others.” He desires us to live out our faith by our actions.

“So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless.” James 2:17 NIV

Just think about sitting around in God’s throne room listening to his plans and strategies and watching the inner workings of all of creation. Think about being right there when he says; “I need someone for an assignment” and your hand flies up first. What then? Are you worthy of this assignment? Ask yourself; “Am I always honorable and fair to others?” “Am I compassionate and forgiving to others?” “Do I regard others without personal gain.” that’s all the Commander (God) asks of us. When He sees that you are ready then He will give you the assignment.

“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Mark 10:4

Satan attempts to keep the door shut tight to the room of our assignment; but God promises that our obedience is the strategic key to unlock that closed door. Heaven always uses the obedient to do great and mighty things on the earth. You have an assignment and a divine purpose, and obedience will take you to it by acting justly, loving mercy, and walking humbly with our God.

Dear Lord, help me to know Your commands and obey them. Give me the mind and obedient attitude of Christ today. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Sweet Blessings

Serving The Lord With Excellence

By Georgia (Jo) Kent

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” Colossians 3:23-24

How does a Christian develop a spirit of excellence in a day when almost anything can be passed off as good enough? Excellence does not necessarily mean the absence of mistakes. There is a difference between striving for perfection versus endeavoring to be excellent. Achieving excellence is an impossible task without the love of our Lord. A person who strives for excellence doesn’t give up when he makes mistakes, and he doesn’t avoid tasks for fear of failure. The true goal of excellence is to do the best you can with what you have at every moment.

“Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! It has no commander, no overseer or ruler, yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest.” Proverbs 6:6-8

Excellence means giving your maximum in everything that you do. Many people give their minimum to God. We are called to strive for excellence in order to be the best testimony for the Lord that we can be. Non-Christians are watching to see what kind of a difference Jesus is making in your life; you can point others to Him by being diligent in your tasks. Do you know you can do God’s work shoddily, and in the process stir up His anger against you? Our Lord Jesus Christ served God with passion. His zeal was overwhelming. Jesus would have been doing everything with His whole heart so that the Father may be glorified.

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” Philippians 4:8

Excellence is a reflection of the God we serve. Always remember that to pursue excellence in your works is to rely on the grace of God’s hand in all you do. To be excellent at whatever God has called you to do, you must first ask for His strength to accomplish the task and His endurance to complete it. Prayer is an important part of pursing excellence; you cannot do it on your own. Excellence cannot be achieved by personal merit, but only through divine grace. His divine power has granted this to us, but we must come to Him in prayer. Make a commitment to excellence today! Strive to be a faithful bearer of the image of a perfect God.

Lord, help me to walk excellently before You in speech and in service so that I may be more effective in your ministry to others. Thank you for the perfect example that you sent us in Your Son. Help us to be worthy of our task. In your Name, Amen

Sweet Blessings

“But For The Grace Of God…”

By Georgia (Jo) Kent

“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Matthew 7:1-2 NIV

We’re all guilty of being critical of other’s. It’s so easy for us to judge others because they are different then us. We often see other people as sinners and ourselves as saints. When, in reality, we are just as big of a mess as they are. We forget our sin without any difficulty while pointing fingers at other’s sins. We judge on appearances, we judge based on attitudes and temperaments on education or employment, and on social status. The truth is none of us are saints. We are sinners saved by grace! God will hold us all accountable for being judgmental.

“You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” Matthew 7:5 NIV

Self-respect is the key to self-esteem. We should follow Jesus’ example, He extended love and grace to everyone. He looked past the sins of others; He looked beyond the rough edges of fishermen, tax collectors, and adulterers and reached into their hearts. He interceded for those who hung on the cross beside Him, asking, “Father forgive them, for they don’t know what they do.” He interceded for everyone despite all the sin they were mired in. He never once judged or criticized.

“Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is before his own master that he stands or falls. And he will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make him stand.” Romans 14:4 ESV

Jesus set an example for us to follow. We cannot hope to feel good about ourselves unless we are living a life of respect that values others above yourself. God did not give us knowledge/discernment for self-righteous elevation. Our godly character should give us a greater capacity to love. When you hear yourself putting someone down, stop and lift them up in prayer instead. Let us always thank God for His grace and extend His magnificent love to others. Never forgetting the simple phrase, “But for the grace of God go I.”

Lord, I ask you to keep me humble. Help me to keep my eyes focused on my own behavior and to show your love through my actions. I ask this in Your name, Amen

Sweet Blessings

Light My Fire

By Georgia (Jo) Kent

“Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 5:14-16

We, as women, have such powerful ability within our lives to inspire or expire the hope in those around us. We can light a fire of rejoicing or just as quickly extinguish it. Life, with its problems and pain can easily steal your joy. When you spend too much time dwelling on these problems the negativity will begin to flow out to everyone you touch. It’s like a virus that instead of providing encouragement and inspiration leaves only a trail of desolation. When we profess to be Godly women, we are representing Him daily. People watch how we live, what we say, how we react.

“In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 5:16

As Christians, we hear a lot about ‘Godly behavior’, but often wonder what that actually means. We are called to live to a higher standard, because we are representatives of God on Earth. So striving to live a God-centered life is important, because when we exhibit Godly behavior we are providing a good witness to those around us. By being a shining example of goodness, honesty, kindness and love, we show what a relationship with God is like. What a great responsibility and honor we have as Godly women. Our Father planted within His daughters such a power to bring hope to others. Especially during times of great despair. He instructs us to pray together, to hold each other up with positive attitudes, joyful hearts and spiritual courage.

“Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” Ecclesiastics 4:12

Heavenly Father, please give Godly women of today a heart to always display good behavior. So that we will bring honor and glory to you. Help our lights to shine far ahead of us and our speech to always be edifying to others. We thank you for loving us. In Your precious name. Amen.

Sweet Blessings

Did I Just Say That?

‘DEAR LORD, PLEASE KEEP YOUR ARM AROUND MY SHOULDER AND YOUR HAND OVER MY MOUTH!’ AMEN

By Georgia (Jo) Kent

“Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.” Ephesians 4:29

I can think of so many times when I should have kept silent, but I just had to speak. On more than one occasion I have said something, and the moment it left my lips, I thought, “Why did I just say that?” And I have found myself instantly wishing I could have those words back. Learning how to be a good steward of our words is a tall order for many of us. Especially, if we tend to speak first and then to think. By the time we are adults we’ve already created habits of speech but it’s never too late to check ourselves on what and how we choose our words that we so freely share with others.

Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue keeps himself out of trouble.” Proverbs 21:23

While the tongue may be one of the smallest parts of the human anatomy, It can be very dangerous. Words matter. Words have power. They can build up or tear down. They can encourage or discourage. They can pour forth love or spew forth hate. God calls us to cultivate a habit of speaking life-giving words. Sometimes we need to apply filter to our conversations. We need to ask ourselves…Will these words build this person up or tear them them down?” What a difference there would be in the content of our words if we can learn to give thought to what we are about to say.

“Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips!” psalms 141:3

I’ve come to the conclusion that speaking with grace and kindness is not just a matter of learning to say the right words; it’s an attitude of the heart and mind. The Bible tells us that “what comes out of our mouth only reflects what’s going on inside our heart.” We can all say we have been guilty of letting a comment slip here and there, and then regretting it later. Chances are you will never know that something you said hurt someone deeply. But God knows and He will hold us accountable when we stand before Him in Heaven. I encourage you to be thoughtful with your words. That way you will never have to readdress them when they come back to you. If you feel checked in your spirit about something you are about to say…Maybe you should not say it! Challenge yourself to think before you speak and you will be gifted with a lifetime of peace in your soul.

“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.” Psalms 19:14

Lord, my heart echoes the words of David when he said, “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Thy sight…” I pray that we will always be good stewards of our words and that we may glorify you in everything we say. Give us the grace to never knowingly hurt someone with the words that we speak. In your precious name. Amen

Sweet Blessings

Is Humility a Weakness?

by Kim McDougal

But he gives more grace; therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”  -James 4:7 RSV

I’ve heard many people tell me that being humble is a sign of weakness, but I beg to differ. Think about this…how easy is it for us to turn to anger when someone upsets or hurts us? How easy is it to instantly forgive them? I admit that I have trouble with both anger and forgiveness. It’s something I constantly have to work at. So, how is it a weakness when the easy way out to go off on somebody, take revenge, or try to teach that person a lesson? I’m making a choice to let God handle my injustices. And in turn for letting Him deal with my anger and hurts, He gives me freedom! TOTAL FREEDOM! I don’t have to walk around bitter and angry. I don’t have to take on a victim’s attitude. I don’t have to let my hurts overcome me. That’s power folks, real Godly power!!

So what does being humble truly mean? It’s lifting others up before oneself. The humble person doesn’t go around proud or boastful and this doesn’t mean they suffer with low self-esteem either. Humility is something that happens in the heart of a child of God. We can’t show humility of our own strength because our human nature defaults to our fallen emotions. This is why we need the Lord’s power and grace. It is He that gives us of Himself to help us live the way we should.

Personally, I’m drawn to people who do not exalt themselves up or even talk a lot about their accomplishments. False pride, I say “false pride” because there’s nothing wrong with feeling proud of things you’ve done, but false pride is more like boastfulness which is apart from God…these emotions puff themselves up above God. Take an example from the Pharisees and Sadducees of Jesus’ day. These religious leaders took pride in knowing the law and quoting from it. But, they were far from humble, they relied on their own accomplishments. They even thought they knew more than Jesus and it was Jesus who wrote the law!

I found this really good definition of humility from an article, “What Does God Say About Humility.” “Humility is submitting ourselves to the will of God and obeying Him. Humility is expressed as believing what God says and doing what He asks. It is an attitude of the heart that naturally recognizes that we are lower than God and owe our lives to Him. We learn about humility from studying the words and actions of Jesus Christ, the only perfectly humble person who ever lived. Finally, we have to resign ourselves to the fact that developing and maintaining a humble heart takes constant work and great courage. If we are not careful, our sin nature will rise up within us and produce pride and an entitlement attitude that will then be quickly followed by greed, anger, gossip, and other such sins. Also if we are not careful, our courage will give way to fear, and we will submit to it and not to God, and act in ways that do not bring the honor and glory to God that He deserves. Yes, it is hard to be humble, but God deserves it, so as Paul wrote, “…we make it our goal to please him…” (2 Cor. 5:9).” – excerpt from Truth or Tradition?

If we are going to walk in this life successfully, then we have to follow the example of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ as He set the example of humility.

A Heart to Serve

by Georgia Kent

“Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self controlled and pure. To be busy at home. To be kind and to be subject to their husbands so that love will malign the word of God’. -Titus 2:4-5

My deepest desire is for the world to see Jesus through me. If people are going to see Jesus through me then I must learn to have a ‘servants heart’ to serve others. My Husband, my children, my family, my church, my community, and anyone who God puts into my path.

This may be as simple as sharing a smile, or a ride to church, or a meal when someone we know is sick or had surgery, or a death in the family and are in need of our help. Sometimes these needs come at difficult times and we have to reach outside of our comfort zones. I have learned that when God asks these things of me and I Truly have to stretch to make it happen that He blesses me beyond measure.

“Love and kindness are never wasted. They always make a difference. They bless the one who receives them, and they bless you, the giver”. In order to serve others, we must be anchored in Christ. I challenge myself to meditate on the words of Titus 2:4-5 and to find ways to make them come to life in me. I pray that I will always be found willing and able to serve in any situation that God calls me into.

 “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility, value others, not looking to your own interests, but each of you. To the interests of others”. Philippians 2:3-4