From Busy To Fruitful

By Georgia (Jo) Kent
 
“Remain in me and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:4-5
 
As busy people, we often find it difficult to be still. Whether we work, volunteer, stay home with kids, or are retired, we are busy running from one thing to the next without much time in between. We hardly have time to accomplish what is required of us in a given day, let alone find time for ourselves or for God! However, the reality is that, without His help we cannot be all that He created us to be; and all that others need us to be. The travesty is that we allow the busyness of life to crowd out the Source of life. As the Psalmist wrote; “We are merely moving shadows and all our busy rushing ends in nothing…” Psalm 39:6  Just like any other relationship in our lives, to sustain a healthy relationship with God; we have to make time to connect with Him one-on-one. This can be done through prayer, bible study and worship, and can be done any time or anywhere. 

 “and to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.” 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12
 
Often God has to shut a door in our lives so that He can subsequently open the door that He wants us to go through. There are times in life when you want to be surrounded by other people, in the thick of it, when you are ready and willing to jump into whatever life throws at you. And then there are other times when you want to hide yourself away and take refuge. You want to go to a remote place where the only one who can find you is God. There’s never a point when you reach full spiritual maturity and you don’t have to grow anymore. There is nothing in or of this world that can compete with knowing God and who He is through Jesus Christ. You can’t have one foot in the world and one foot in the faith and be growing as a Christian. God doesn’t want us to be busy; He wants us to be fruitful! Take time to go from busy to fruitful…a place God intends for you to be. Be still and remain in His presence.
 
“You’re my place of quiet retreat; I wait for your word to renew me.” Psalms 119:114
 
Father, please help us to remember to make room for You in our dailey lives so that we can and be all that you created us to be for those who rely on us. Thank you for all that you do in and through us. In the mighty name of Jesus we pray, Amen
 
Sweet Blessings

This Little Light Of Mine (Using Your Spiritual Gifts)

By Georgia (Jo) Kent

“We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.” Romans 12:6-8

The Bible teaches us that there are nine gifts of the Spirit. These 9 gifts are divided into three sets of three gifts. 1) Gifts that say something; Tongues, Interpretation of tongues, prophecy. 2) Gifts that do something; Healing, Miracles, Faith. 3) Gifts that know something; Wisdom, Knowledge, Discerning of spirits.

The gifts of the Spirit are not to be confused with the Fruit of the Spirit. The Fruit of the Spirit is spiritual grace in the character of the believer. The gifts of the Spirit are used in directing and blessing the church. The day we are born again in Jesus Christ we receive at least one spiritual gift…a spiritual “birthday gift.” These gifts are to be used to build up the body of Christ.

“There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work. 1 Corinthians 12:4-6

Using these gifts are pleasing to The Lord. What is your gift? Helping others, singing, planning, or playing music, writing, teaching, parenting, and serving? These are all gifts from God. No matter where you are in life, there is a specific purpose for you and for your gifts. How do you find the gift that you have? The answer is you find spiritual gifts just as you find natural talents. God gives us all the blessing of different gifts to serve Him and to serve others! Are you aware that God has given you certain passions and abilities to use for His glory? And then His Holy Spirit nudges you to use it.

”You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:14-16

Father, thank You for the spiritual gifts that You have so freely given me. Help me to use them for your glory. AMEN

Sweet Blessings

RSVP Heaven


By Georgia (Jo) Kent

“And the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” And he said to me, “These are the true words of God.” Revelation 19:9

Some of the happiest moments of our lives are spent around a banquet table. Milestones are celebrated there, friendships grow deeper, and relationships are renewed. Could this be why Jesus so frequently used this image to describe heaven? God is planning the ultimate party called the Bridal Feast of the Lamb. It’s the celebration of the union of Jesus Christ and the church, everyone who have believed in Jesus while on earth. It has been a longtime in the planning and the experience of it will be unequaled!

“Hearing this, a man sitting at the table with Jesus exclaimed, ‘What a privilege it would be to have a share in the Kingdom of God!” Luke 14:15

If you have been putting off your response, your RSVP, or if you presume that you can enter heaven without responding to Christ’s invitation, one day you will deeply regret it. You need to turn away from all your offenses so that sin will not be your downfall. Take responsibility for your sin and commit to change those wrong actions and attitudes because the Lord has set a day to judge all people. The joy and happiness of that banquet are worth the sacrifice of any worldly priority. Have you said yes to Christ’s invitation to join Him at the wedding feast and spend eternity with Him in His House? If so, you have reason to rejoice, Heaven’s Gates will be opened to you.

“Now the dwelling of God is with men, and He will live with them, they will be His people, and God Himself will be with them and be there God.” Revelation 21:3

Heaven is a real place. It’s where Jesus lives and waits for those He loves to come to Him. It’s a place of joy and love and hope, a place where all of God’s children, young and old, will stay and be happy forever. Our Lord is preparing a resurrection feast, celebrating the conquering of Satan, sin, death and hell, through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ on the cross. The invitation to come into our Father’s House has been extended to everyone through Jesus Christ at the Cross. If you refuse, the door to Heaven will be closed. Have you ‘RSVP’ your invitation yet?

“Oh God, Thank You for inviting us to a share in Your Kingdom. Give us the courage to say ‘yes’ to Your Invitation and ‘no’ to excuses that would hinder us from the feast You’ve prepared for us. Amen.

Sweet Blessings

Writing God’s Word In Your Heart

By Georgia (Jo) Kent

“Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.” Joshua 1:8

One of the difficult things about aging or even having such busy lives is that we often have a harder time remembering things. Most of us have a ‘to do’ list just so we can remember to do all the things that we deem important to our daily living. Sometimes forgetting where we put the list! Have you ever had someone come up to you in a store and start talking to you like they were your very best friend? ‘Blank’ then you go home and spend several days…and nights trying to remember where you knew them from. Not to worry! These are normal progressions of life. However…‘what if we forget God’s word’!

“and it shall be, when he sitteth upon the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write him a copy of this law in a book out of that which is before the priests the Levites.” Deuteronomy 17:18

In Deuteronomy 17:18 God tells the King; “he shall write a copy of this law”. God is telling him to write the laws in a book so he would remember them. That’s exactly what we need to do with the scripture. We need to write down every scripture that we receive from the Holy Spirit so that we will be able to remember it always. There is a direct link to what we remember and what we absorb. When we take the time to write scriptures down we are absorbing it into our heart. We not only remember it but we live it.

“And it shall be with him, and he shall read therein all the days of his life: that he may learn to fear the Lord his God, to keep all the words of this law and these statutes, to do them.” Deuteronomy 17:19

Psalms 119:18 says that “the word is full of wondrous things” Challenge yourself to write the word on paper everyday and meditate on it, then you will begin to live the word. Truly live it! Write it on paper so you can remember it in your heart. It will give you peace when you heart is broken, strength when you fail, comfort when you hurt and shelter in your storms. When you read the Bible, you read a message from God Himself and then you will be blessed by a closer relationship with Him.

“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” Psalm 119:105

Sweet Blessings

It’s A God Thing

By Georgia (Jo) Kent

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the Heavenly realms, with every spiritual blessing in Christ.” Ephesians 1:3

Have you ever known with absolute certainty that God was responsible for something in your life because there just wasn’t any other answer available? I like to call these ‘God things’. I didn’t always recognize them as the hand of God. Sometimes it’s small things and sometimes it’s much bigger things. It may be something that I need or an answer to my prayers. I’ve learned to recognize that this is part of my personal relationship with my Heavenly Father. God is a very personal God and he loves us very much. If he cares enough to count the hairs on our head, just think how much he cares about the things that matter to us in our daily lives. He sprinkles blessings in our lives every day. Things that no one else would have a clue about but you, and you just know that there was no other answer except that it’s a ‘God thing.’

“Hath not my hand made all these things?” Acts 7:50

Sometimes we don’t recognize all of the ‘God things’ in our lives. Sometime His footsteps are invisible, and we don’t think about it as anything unusual. Take the time to look back and trace God’s hand in the events and circumstances that have happened in your life. Learn to recognize the little ‘God Things’ and give Him praise for his goodness and blessings.

“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” Psalms 139:14

The hand of God is a symbol of His love, guidance, instruction, and discipline for us. Through the study of God’s Word, a strong prayer life, and an abiding trust in God, we can learn to recognize, trust, and enjoy the hand of God moving in our lives. It is so amazing to realize that the ‘God things’ are all a part of God nurturing our daily relationship with Him. So in every blessing and gift from God, big or small, let’s give thanks and praise to Him.

“So that people may see and know, may consider and understand, that the hand of the Lord has done this, that the Holy One of Israel has created it.” Isaiah 41:20

Sweet Blessings

Our God Reigns

By Georgia (Jo) Kent

“Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh, and having a High Priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith.”
Hebrews 10:19–22

Easter is the day we celebrate the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ rising from the grave. It is the most important day on the Christian calendar. In a world often devoid of hope, the resurrection offers abundant hope for the living. This is the event that conquered sin… it conquered death… and it made it possible for you and me to have a personal relationship with God! Because of Jesus sacrifice, you and I don’t have to be chained with the shackles of sin. We are free to live the life God intended for us to have.

“I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me, though he may die, he shall live.” John 11:25

Jesus looked beyond all his suffering, shame and death that he knew was to come and focused on the joy that would come from his sacrifice. What a wonderful God we serve who honors sinners like us. He rejoices when we respond to him through repentance, love, and good works that bring honor and glory to him. Our risen Lord will give us a new heart and put a new spirit within us. He will give us new knowledge, new comfort, new peace, and a new life in Him.

“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him, endured the cross, scorning its shame, and set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:2

It’s been such a long time since the resurrection of Christ but it’s the one thing that gives us hope. The one thing that makes our Christian life worth living. Everything about Christianity hinges on that one event in time. I pray that I always remember to tell others about what Christ did for me. God calls us to share the joy and victory of the resurrection of Christ with others. If you have put your faith in Christ, then Easter means that you will live forever in the presence of God.

“For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him should perish, but have everlasting life.”
John 3:16

Wishing you a blessed Easter

He Lives

by Kim McDougal

“The LORD lives! Praise to my Rock! May the God of my salvation be exalted!” – Psalms 18:46 (NLT)

When I’m in my darkest hour, I need a God that I can talk to and He will answer me. There are times when I feel lonely, afraid, frustrated, angry, nervous, sad, confused, sick, or anguished and those are the times I need my Lord Jesus the most. How can a statute help me during those times? How can a God who’s buried in the grave help me? What good is it for a sinking man crying out for help and he’s reaching for a boat that’s sinking too? Let’s face it, we need a LIVING, BREATHING GOD who is there for us! And thank God, we have one! The Lord Lives! He Lives! And He Lives Forevermore! I’m so glad He rose and went up to Heaven and now all the glory and power belongs to Him on earth, in Heaven, and under the earth! He is the all powerful, all magnificent, all knowing, everywhere present, able to help you all day long, 24/7 Living Jesus!

When He’s your Savior, you don’t need a ticket to ride on His train, you don’t have to go through His secretary to get on His calendar, you don’t have to leave a voice mail, text, or Facebook Him to get His attention. You can simply cry out to Him wherever you are! And He’s there. He’s been there all the time and He will never leave either! What a God we serve! When I think of all the times He has protected me, saved me from death, provided for my needs, been with me when I was alone and single, held me up when I had to face tough situations, comforted me as I lost my mother, 1st husband, step-grandfather, grandmother, back to back, kept me strong when we nearly lost our livelihood… I can’t help but shout to the hilltops that my Lord Jesus is alive!!!!!!!! And He’s in my heart! Think about all the stuff you’ve been through and thank God He rose! He rose so that you can call on Him morning, noon, and night! You can have Him as your best friend! Oh Hallelujah! Praise God my rock, my salvation, HE LIVES!

Why Do We Worship Him?

by Sis. Kim McDougal

“Day after day and night after night they keep on saying, ‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God, the Almighty—the one who always was, who is, and who is still to come.”’ – Revelation 4:8 (NLT)

Worshipping God goes so much further than thanking Him. Oh, nothing wrong at all with, “thank you Father for the food I eat”, “thank you Father for a place to stay.” But worship is “Father, I love you because you’re Holy, you are an awesome God, I lift your name on high, you are ever present with us, thank you God for your Holy Spirit that’s inside me…” Even singing praises to Him for He is holy…all is worship. During worship, we’re not bringing a long list of concerns before Him. We’re expressing our deep love for who He is and what He’s done by becoming our beloved Savior. I love to worship Him and not just in Sunday morning service, but when I’m at home or driving in the car. I love to sing songs to Him for He has done more for me anyone ever could. He literally snatched me out of the darkness and put me in His light and now I am truly free to live. No longer and I’m bound in drugs, heavy metal music, lovers who never intended to give their life to the Lord, self-destructive habits, suicide, depression, and anger. I am free from these horrible habits and I can worship the Lord forever.

What has the Lord done for you? Worship Him. If you feel like He hasn’t done anything for you…look around then…you’re alive to see the sun or the rain. You can hear the birds chirping, you can walk today, you can talk to someone today, you can give God thanks for protecting you throughout the night. There are things God does we’re not even aware of sometimes. Thank Him for loving you. He does love you. Life may not be fair and God never promised it would be, but what He did promise was He would with you even to the end of the age. That’s more than enough for me to worship Him. One day we’ll get to see Him for ourselves, the Holy One, the Prince of Peace.