False Advertisement

Have you ever purchased something online only to be disappointed when it arrived? Or maybe you watched a commercial about a particular food making it sound enticingly delicious only to bite into something that left you dissatisfied. You’re not alone. My husband and I fell prey to this trickery recently.

At the beginning of October, I was determined to visit a pumpkin patch to purchase pumpkins for my outdoor fall decorating. I went online to find a pumpkin patch nearby. My search was successful. On a beautiful Saturday morning, my husband and I set out to the pumpkin patch.

Upon our arrival, we didn’t see a pumpkin patch so we went into the information office to be pointed in the right direction. The kind lady behind the desk informed us that there was no pumpkin patch but was quick to point out other things they offered at that location.

Needless to say, we left unfulfilled; not finding what we had been searching for and what had been promised. We were victims of false advertisement.

A lot of us fall prey to another form of false advertisement; sin.

Hebrews 11:25 defines sin as fleeting pleasure.

We are tempted to sin with the promise that it can deliver pleasure, satisfaction, and happiness. However, instead, we are left discontented, unfulfilled, and miserable.

There is an old song by the Cathedral Quartet titled ‘Sin Will Take You Farther’. Some of the lyrics are:

Sin will take you farther than you wanna go. Slowly but wholly taking control. Sin will leave you longer than you wanna stay. Sin will cost you more than you wanna pay.

This reminds me of an incident in the Bible with a king named David. One night David was on his rooftop where he saw a beautiful woman bathing. He inquired about her and discovered that she was married and that her husband was away at war. He was not deterred. David sent for her and spent the night with her. The woman became pregnant. So David, trying to cover up his sin, sent for the woman’s husband in hopes that he would go home and sleep with his wife. Things didn’t go as David had planned so he went to plan B; he had the husband killed in battle. Wow! [2 Samuel 11]

David had gone further than he wanted to go and paid more than he wanted to pay. A family was destroyed, a young woman was now a widow, and an innocent man was dead. All for the selfish hopes of pleasure, satisfaction, and happiness. Sin is definitely a false advertisement!

Are you trapped in sin? Have you fallen for its false advertisement? There is hope! You don’t have to stay in that miserable unsatisfied condition.

1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

Once we confess our sins, repent, and ask for forgiveness, we can ask God to help us to stay away from sin through the power of the Holy Spirit.

1 Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can bear it.

We also have God’s word to help during times of temptation.

1 Thessalonians 2:13 And we also thank God continually because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as a human word, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is indeed at work in you who believe.

We all need a trusted friend who we can open up to, who will keep us accountable, and who will pray with us and for us.

James 5:16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.

There is no excuse to live one more day miserable and dissatisfied in a life of sin. God has provided all that we need to say “no” to sin and “yes” to true joy and true fulfillment.

God always delivers on His promises. He always keeps His word. With God, you never have to worry about false advertisement.

Psalms 119:89-90 Your word, Lord, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens. Your faithfulness continues through all generations; you established the earth, and it endures.

~Patrice Maguire

Dear God, I know I am a sinner, and I ask for Your forgiveness. I believe Jesus Christ is Your Son. I believe that He died for my sin and that You raised Him to life. I want to trust Him as my Savior and follow Him as Lord, from this day forward. Guide my life and help me to do Your will through the power of Your Holy Spirit. I pray this in the name of Jesus. Amen.

 

 

What is Your Value?

How do you determine your value? Do you determine it by how others treat you? Do you determine it by what others say to you or about you?

Maybe you determine your value by your regretful past. Or maybe by how you look, what you do, or what you own.

A long time ago I heard a statement that has stuck with me all of these years. I think I may have heard while watching Antique Road Show.

The statement is, “The value of an item is determined by what someone is willing to pay for it.”

Now, let me tell you how valuable you are.

You are so valuable that the creator of heaven, earth, and all living things gave His one and only Son, whom He loves, to die for you. In dying for you Jesus paid the price to redeem you from a life of slavery to sin and to give you eternal life with Him [Romans 6:23].

That may sound cliche to you but when you consider how much Jesus excruciatingly suffered in order to pay that price to set you free and give you eternal life, you will realize that you are priceless to God.

Isaiah 53:3-10

He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.

Surely he took our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds, we are healed.

We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way, and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth.

Yet who of his generation protested? For he was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgression of the people, he was punished. He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death, though he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth.

Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the Lord makes his life an offering for sin, he will see his offspring and prolong his days and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand.

I know those were a lot of scriptures but read them again. Slowly this time. Allow them to soak into your heart and mind.

When you get a full grasp of what Jesus went through for you; you will realize that the only thing that makes you valuable is what God through Jesus was willing to pay for you.

They gave everything for you. You are priceless!

~Patrice Maguire

Dear God, I know I am a sinner, and I ask for Your forgiveness. I believe Jesus Christ is Your Son. I believe that He died for my sin and that You raised Him to life. I want to trust Him as my Savior and follow Him as Lord, from this day forward. Guide my life and help me to do Your will through the power of Your Holy Spirit. I pray this in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Back to Basics

Sunday I had the privilege of serving my local church by helping at the Fall Festival. It was fun! I was assigned to the face painting table.

Thankfully it was really simple. I didn’t actually have to know how to paint. There were stencils with special crayons to use and the rest was temporary tattoos. Most of the tattoos were emojis. The kids loved them!

Even the adults were getting into the fun, myself included. I searched all of the emoji tattoos at our table to find the perfect one for me. I found the red heart emoji. You know the one.

The funny thing is that there was only one. There were duplicates of all the other emojis but only one heart emoji. Strange!

However, this did not deter me from claiming it for myself and applying it to my hand. What does that say about me? LOL

Later that evening the Lord began to reveal things to me about that whole heart emoji scenario.

The heart is the universal symbol of love. Love is the one most important thing according to God and His word.

1 Corinthinthians 13:13 And now these three remain faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.

God is love.

1 John 4:16 And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.

God is love, therefore He can’t help but show love.

Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

We are to love others. Even our enemies.

1 Peter 4:8 Above all, love each other deeply because love covers over a multitude of sins.

Luke 6:27 “But to you who are listening, I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you.”

We are to love ourselves.

Matthew 22:37-39 Jesus replied: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.”

You may be thinking, “This is so basic. I already know all about love.” You may be right; you and I may know all that the Lord has to say in his word about love. But the question is, are we doing it?

As I watch the news and scroll through social media, I dare say the answer to that question would probably be a resounding, NO! And I’m not talking about the world, I’m talking about professed followers of Christ.

John 13:35 “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples if you love one another.”

Maybe we just need a reminder of how to love God, one another, and ourselves.

John 14:15 “If you love me, keep my commands.”

1 Corinthians 13:4-8a Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.

So, let’s get back to basics-Jesus’ one new commandment; Love God and love people; including ourselves.

Let’s not just know about love; let’s do it! The world is watching!

~Patrice Maguire

Dear God, I know I am a sinner, and I ask for Your forgiveness. I believe Jesus Christ is Your Son. I believe that He died for my sin and that You raised Him to life. I want to trust Him as my Savior and follow Him as Lord, from this day forward. Guide my life and help me to do Your will through the power of Your Holy Spirit. I pray this in the name of Jesus. Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If You Love Me

My husband and I like to take our dog Autumn for walks on our property. We take the leash along just in case she refuses to obey.

If we’re not careful, she’ll wander off and return smelling like the decaying carcass of the animal she rolled around in. Why on earth do dogs do this? Baffling and gross!

When my husband and Autumn returned from a recent walk, he was happy to report that she was very obedient. Actually, he was amazed by her obedience. Needless to say, he made sure Autumn knew he was very pleased with her.

You see, Autumn is usually a fearful, stubborn, rebellious dog (sounds a lot like me at times). So, for one of us to say that she was obedient for an entire 15-acre walk is really saying something.

Autumn’s act of obedience reminds me of scripture. John 14:15 “If you love me, keep my commands.”

We don’t have to exhaustingly work hard at trying to obey God in order to prove our love for Him. The more we fall in love with the Lord, obedience to Him will come more naturally. We’ll actually desire to be pleasing to Him.

Psalm 119:35 Direct me in the path of your commands, for there I find delight.

The more time Autumn spends with my husband, the more she gets to know him and trust him. The more she knows him and trusts him, her love for him grows. Therefore, her obedience to him increases.

It’s the same with God. The more time we spend with Him in prayer, bible study, and experiencing life with Him, the better we will know Him. The better we know Him, the more we will trust Him and what He says.

The more we realize we can trust God and His Word, the deeper and deeper in love we will fall with Him. Resulting in more obedience.

What is the result of more obedience? A more pleasant journey.

Psalm 119:1-2 Blessed are those whose ways are blameless, who walk according to the law of the Lord. Blessed are those who keep his statutes and seek him with all their hearts.

What is the reward of obedience?

Psalm 91:14-16 “Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call on me, and I will answer him, I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. With a long life, I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.”

Just as my husband made it clear to Autumn that she had done a great job on their walk and that he was very pleased with her obedience, so also the Lord will express His delight in our obedience.

Matthew 25:23 His master replied, “Well done, good and faithful servant! Come and share your master’s happiness!”

I don’t know about you but that’s what I’m looking forward to hearing the Lord say to me at the end of my walk.

~Patrice Maguire

Dear God, I know I am a sinner, and I ask for Your forgiveness. I believe Jesus Christ is Your Son. I believe that He died for my sin and that You raised Him to life. I want to trust Him as my Savior and follow Him as Lord, from this day forward. Guide my life and help me to do Your will through the power of Your Holy Spirit. I pray this in the name of Jesus. Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

​​Better Than I Deserve

This morning, while reflecting on my weekend, I realized the Lord had been speaking to me throughout the weekend about His grace.

Saturday evening, upon greeting my son, I asked the usual, “How are you?” He replied, “Better than I deserve.”

I marveled at the depth of his words. As I pondered his response throughout the weekend, it has become very meaningful to me.

“Better than I deserve,” is the very definition of grace!

Then the Lord showed me an example of His grace while shoe shopping with my granddaughter on Sunday. I accidentally knocked over a trash can that was strangely in the center of the aisle. The trash spilled out.

There just so happened to be a man standing beside us who witnessed the incident. Immediately he bent over to pick up the trash can and the trash. He said, “I’ll get it.”

He wanted to clean up a mess I had made. He was giving me something I didn’t deserve. As I continued trying to do it myself, he kept telling me he would do it. He was very persistent.

Then this Monday morning, as I was listening to a sermon on my phone while getting dressed, I heard a message on God’s grace.

But it wasn’t until later this morning that I put everything that God had been trying to reveal to me since Saturday evening all together. I had an aha moment.

I started to laugh and then to cry as I marveled at God’s goodness to me and His faithfulness to reveal Himself to those who seek Him.

We all have been given far better than we deserve: salvation, the forgiveness of sin, eternal life.

The man in the shoe store persistently told me he would clean up a mess I had made and then proceeded to do so while I continued to try to do it myself.

We can’t earn God’s grace and we can’t pay for it. We cannot, no matter how hard we try, clean up our sin mess. It is an undeserved amazing gift.

Jesus paid for all sin, past, present, and future, for all time. The penalty for sin is death and He paid it in full. He cleaned up our mess! A mess He didn’t make.

Romans 5:18 Consequently, just as one trespass resulted in condemnation for all people, so also one righteous act resulted in justification and life for all people.

Are you trying to clean up your own sin mess? Jesus has already cleaned it up. All you have to do is receive the amazing undeserved gift and all of the amenities that go with it: peace, joy, unconditional love, eternal life, abundant life, purpose, and victory.

Ephesians 2:8-9 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God- not by works, so that no one can boast.

Wow! You can’t beat God’s grace! There is nothing like it in the entire world. As a matter of fact, the world will never be able to offer you anything remotely close to God’s amazing grace.

What are you waiting for? Pray the prayer at the end of this blog post, mean it with all of your heart, then receive the gift of God’s grace and all that goes with it.

~Patrice Maguire

Dear God, I know I am a sinner, and I ask for Your forgiveness. I believe Jesus Christ is Your Son. I believe that He died for my sin and that You raised Him to life. I want to trust Him as my Savior and follow Him as Lord, from this day forward. Guide my life and help me to do Your will through the power of Your Holy Spirit. I pray this in the name of Jesus. Amen.

 

 

 

 

Someone is Watching

Recently, while in the checkout line of a well-known store, I witness a little comedy-drama unfold. I was second in line. There was one lady behind me and one ahead of me. It seemed as though we were just in time for a cashier shift change.

I’m not familiar with the procedures of cashier shift changes but for this particular one, the new cashier felt the need to empty a whole box of new bags placing them in their proper place on the shopping bag carousel as we waited.

After a while, I decided to take notice of the reaction of the other two ladies waiting in line. The lady ahead of me looked at me as to say, “Is she really going to empty that whole box of bags right now?” I couldn’t help but laugh.

Then the woman walked up to me and whispered, “We have got to be being watched.” We both laughed. I knew exactly what she was referring to.

Back in the day, there was a funny TV show called Candid Camera. There would be hidden cameras set up to catch the reactions of people when presented with unbelievable scenarios. It was hilarious!

Her statement about being watched got me to thinking. We are always being watched. People are watching us and of course, God sees all.

Psalms 33:13-15 From heaven the Lord looks down and sees all mankind; from his dwelling place he watches all who live on earth–he who forms the hearts of all, who considers everything they do.

Patience is not only the act of waiting. We are all going to wait for something. But patience is more about how we wait. We can wait well or we can wait badly, the choice is ours.

Just remember, someone is always watching. And if we are a Christian (a representative of Christ) we have a responsibility to wait well.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own, you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.

~Patrice Maguire

Dear God, I know I am a sinner, and I ask for Your forgiveness. I believe Jesus Christ is Your Son. I believe that He died for my sin and that You raised Him to life. I want to trust Him as my Savior and follow Him as Lord, from this day forward. Guide my life and help me to do Your will through the power of Your Holy Spirit. I pray this in the name of Jesus. Amen.

 

 

​Broken Ears

While recently participating in a local children’s book festival and enjoying the interaction with the children and their parents, I overheard a conversation between an adult and a child. The adult was explaining to the child that because her ears were broken, she needed a special device to help her hear.

What stood out to me was how she referred to her hearing impairment. She said her ears were broken. She wanted to explain her impairment in a way a child would understand.

When our ears are broken we can’t hear what is being said to us or around us. The inability to hear could result in confusion or a lack of understanding.

Thankfully there are devices to assist us in hearing better, therefore, eliminating much of the confusion and lack of understanding.

When our spiritual ears are broken we can’t understand what God is saying to us through His word. And trying to read His word can be very confusing.

Ezekiel 12:2 “Son of man, you are living among a rebellious people. They have eyes to see but do not see and ears to hear but do not hear, for they are a rebellious people.”

Sometimes our spiritual ears may not be broken but we may instead have selective hearing. Having raised three boys, I am very familiar with selective hearing.

2 Timothy 4:3 For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.

Or sometimes we may choose to stick our fingers in our spiritual ears while drowning out God’s voice with a loud la-la-la-la-la. Many times we just don’t want to know the truth because we don’t want to change or lose control of our lives, which in reality is a mess.

Isaiah 42:20 “You have seen many things, but you pay no attention; your ears are open, but you do not listen.”

Whether our spiritual ears are broken, being selective, or choosing not to listen at all, it’s because we do not belong to God.

John 8:47 “Whoever belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God.” Ouch!

But just as the woman at the Book Festival explained, in her conversation with the child, there is a way to help our broken ears hear. Even our broken spiritual ears.

The Holy Spirit helps us understand what God is saying and doing. He helps us hear God with our spiritual ears and understand what He is saying to us, therefore eliminating confusion.

1 Corinthians 2:9-10a However, as it is written: “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived” – the things God has prepared for those who love him – these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit.

The only way to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit, which is needed to hear and comprehend the things God is saying and doing, is through Jesus. Jesus is the only access to God and He is the only access to the Holy Spirit.

Acts 2:38 Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”

Do you read your bible but can’t understand what God is trying to say to you? Do you have selective hearing when it comes to the things of God? Or maybe you just choose not to hear what God is saying.

The Holy Spirit is the answer; the help for the spiritually hearing impaired. He will give you a better understanding of God and His word. He will give you a desire to know the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. He will change your heart and mind and give you new desires.

All you have to do is pray the prayer at the end of this post and mean it with all of your heart.

Prepare to hear things you’ve never heard before. Prepare for new understanding. Prepare for spiritual assurance, certainty, and confidence. Prepare to be amazed!

~Patrice Maguire

Dear God, I know I am a sinner, and I ask for Your forgiveness. I believe Jesus Christ is Your Son. I believe that He died for my sin and that You raised Him to life. I want to trust Him as my Savior and follow Him as Lord, from this day forward. Guide my life and help me to do Your will through the power of Your Holy Spirit. I pray this in the name of Jesus. Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

​​Shattered​

I love Fall. Don’t you? I love the colors, the smells, and the slight chill in the air. It’s just all so beautiful and rejuvenating.

Come September 1st, Fall fever begins for me. It’s the beginning of school, football, and the hope for a near end to long hot Summer days. Don’t get me wrong, I love Summer too but by September, I’m ready for a change.

Considering I’ve just spent an entire Summer dealing with breast cancer and breast cancer treatment, I am definitely ready for a new season and a little Fall fun.

I usually manage to postpone my Fall decorating until September 15th. I know that’s not the official start of Fall but I think I’m doing very well in being able to wait that long.

Recently, while doing my much-anticipated Fall decorating, I had a little mishap. With an item in one hand, I tried to remove a larger item with the other hand. In doing so, I managed to knock over my favorite vase.

As I stood there, staring at the shattered pieces of my precious vase, I felt so much regret. If only I had put the less meaningful item down and used two hands to remove the larger item, my vase would still be intact. Ugh!

Sometimes in life, we have a tendency to do that very same thing. While trying to hold on to something trivial or meaningless, we may be recklessly destroying something priceless and irreplaceable.

In the Bible, Lot’s wife had trouble letting go of her past, therefore destroying her future [Genesis 19:26]. In Haman’s refusal to release racism, his life and the lives of his family were annihilated [Esther 3-9].

Solomon’s unwillingness to lay down his lust for passion and women damaged his relationship with the Lord and the future of his kingdom [1 Kings 11].

While Jesus was here on the earth, the Pharisees, refusing to abandon their traditions and pride, murdered their own long-awaited messiah [Matthew 26].

For years I held onto bitterness and unforgiveness that was hindering my relationship with the Lord, destroying my relationship with my family, and eating me up inside. I was angry and resentful.

Thankfully, I came to my senses before it was too late. By the power of God’s word and His Spirit, I have been set free.

What things are you holding on to that may be destroying the most meaningful things in your life?

Maybe you’re hanging on to the unforgiveness that is shattering your relationships and your health.

Maybe, like Lot’s wife, you are having trouble letting go of your negative past and it’s hindering you from enjoying your present or killing your hopes for a positive future.

Maybe, like Haman, you’re gripping racism and hate while decimating other’s characters. Ultimately destroying your own life and the lives of your family by obsessing over destroying other’s lives.

Maybe, like Solomon, you are holding on to an illicit relationship or an addiction that is ruining your family and your reputation.

Or maybe like the Pharisees, you’re embracing stale traditions and religious pride so tightly that you are demolishing any opportunity for the newness of life that is standing right in front of you.

Don’t be the one who ends up staring at the shattered pieces of your life, relationships, and potential in regret. Let go of the unimportant and grab hold of the most important before it’s too late.

Hebrews 12:1-2a Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer, and perfecter of faith.

~Patrice Maguire

Prayer for salvation: Dear God, I know I am a sinner, and I ask for Your forgiveness. I believe Jesus Christ is Your Son. I believe that He died for my sin and that You raised Him to life. I want to trust Him as my Savior and follow Him as Lord, from this day forward. Guide my life and help me to do Your will. I pray this in the name of Jesus. Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

​A Thief and a Liar​

Great news! My radiation burned skin has nearly been completely replaced with brand new skin. I’m healing well and quickly. Yay!

I still deal with some tired spells but thankfully they aren’t every day. Also, my skin is very itchy at times. I’ve been told that the itching of a formally injured area is a sign of healing. If that’s the case, the itching is welcomed but not enjoyed.

Recently, on one of my not-so-tired days, I went for a walk with my husband on our property. As usual, we took our dog Autumn along and our cat Gabby followed.

We walk on a trail that loops through our mostly wooded 15 acres. Gabby frequently follows along on the trail with an occasional romp through the tall grass or woods. But this time something frightened her and she went into the woods and refused to come out.

I could see and hear Gabby but she was out of reach and wouldn’t be coaxed back onto the trail. Therefore, we reluctantly continued our walk hoping she would follow, stay put, or run home.

Once we looped back around to where Gabby had been too frightened to continue her walk, we called out to her but heard no response. So we went on toward the house but as we neared we realized she wasn’t there either.

My husband went back out onto the trail in search for Gabby. He eventually found her hiding in fear behind trees in the tall grass. I was very relieved to see her in his arms as they emerged from the woods.

Due to fear, Gabby was unable to enjoy her journey and unable to reach her goal of completing the walk.

Fear is a thief! It will rob us of joy and peace. It keeps us from enjoying our lives and fulfilling our purpose. In reality, a life of fear is not truly living.

John 10:10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

I once read that fear is f-false e-evidence a-appearing r-real. Fear is not only a thief but is also deceptive!

As long as we are breathing, we will always have an opportunity to feel fear.

So what can we do about fear?

Pray!

Philippians 4:6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your request to God.

What if our fear doesn’t go away?

Trust God!

Proverbs 3:5 Trust the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.

Fear is putting our faith in something other than God. But if we don’t know God then we can’t trust Him or put our faith in Him.

The only way to get to know anyone is to spend time with them and experience life with them. That’s what a relationship is all about.

Spending time with God looks like reading and studying His word. Talking to Him and listening to Him as He speaks to us through His word and His Holy Spirit.

When we get to know God, His love for us, and His power, we quickly realize there is nothing to fear.

1 John 4:18a There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear.

Psalms 77:14 You are the God who performs miracles; you display your power among the peoples.

The feeling of fear may not go away. But when you know God’s got you, you can move forward, doing what fear has been keeping you from accomplishing or experiencing.

Philippians 4:13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

Sometimes, when we step out in faith and do the thing we were afraid to do, it may not turn out the way we thought it should. But we can still trust that God is using the experience for our good and His glory. Nothing is wasted in God’s economy [Romans 8:28].

What is fear trying to steal from you? Your joy? Peace? Sanity? Your future? Your purpose, promotion, or potential?

How is fear deceiving you? Is it telling you there’s no use in trying because you’ll just fail or end up being rejected? Is it telling you to compromise so you can keep your job or a bad relationship?

Will you make a decision to get to know the all-powerful God who loves you and has a great plan for your life? Will you get to know Him so you can start enjoying your life and fulfilling your purpose?

2 Timothy 1:7 For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid but gives us power love and self-discipline.

Don’t waste another day existing in fear. Start truly living today!

~ Patrice Maguire

Prayer for salvation: Dear God, I know I am a sinner, and I ask for Your forgiveness. I believe Jesus Christ is Your Son. I believe that He died for my sin and that You raised Him to life. I want to trust Him as my Savior and follow Him as Lord, from this day forward. Guide my life and help me to do Your will. I pray this in the name of Jesus. Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Intentional Pain

Many of you know that 2 weeks ago I underwent my last breast cancer radiation treatment. Unfortunately, I recently had to return to my oncologist due to the excessive pain and burning of my skin.

The condition of my skin was worsening. I was told that it would get worse but in my mind, there was no way it should be this bad.

The oncologist said that yes my skin was worse than what most radiation patients experience but for my particular situation the condition of my skin was normal. He said that he intentionally wanted my skin to burn this bad and that I may be suffering now but I’d be thanking him later.

The statement my oncologist made really got me thinking about intentional suffering resulting in a better tomorrow for ourselves or for others. In particular, how God allows suffering for a greater purpose.

Noah endured over 100 years of hard work, ridicule, and opposition to build an ark that God told him to build in order to save himself, his family, and the animals from being destroyed in the flood [Genesis 6-8].

Through Noah’s intended suffering, God saved the human race and the animals and we are here today to read about Noah’s faith and be encouraged by it.

Joseph was hated by his brothers. They sold him as a slave and he was taken to Egypt. While there, he was falsely accused of rape and spent many years in prison. Later he found favor in the eyes of Pharaoh and was placed in charge of all of Egypt; saving the world from starvation [Genesis 37-41].

In Genesis 50:20 Joseph says to his brothers, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.”

Ruth, a Moabite, married into a Jewish family. Her father-in-law died, her brother-in-law died, and her own husband died. She had a choice to make. Go back to her Moabite family or go with her mother-in-law, Naomi, to a foreign country to start over.

Ruth chose to stay with Naomi. In a foreign land, she worked hard gleaning grain so she and Naomi could eat. That’s when she met Boaz. They ended up getting married and having a son named Obed; the grandfather of David [Ruth 1-4].

God intentionally allowed Ruth’s suffering so that through her David would be born. We are still learning many lessons from the life and faith of both Ruth and David. Not to mention, Jesus is in their genealogy [Matthew 1:1-17].

Jesus was born to die. He left His place in heaven, came to earth, and was born of a virgin. He lived a life of obedience to His Heavenly Father. His life and death were a sacrifice for all of us. Because of His sacrificial death on the cross, we have forgiveness of sins and eternal life [Colossians 1:13-14].

Jesus rose from the dead, defeating death, hell, and the grave. Through Him, believers, also have victory over death, hell, and the grave [1 Corinthians 15:54-57, Revelation 1:18].

Oh, that’s not all, Jesus then ascended to the Father where He sits at His right hand forever living to make intercession for us [Romans 8:34].

And not only that, He sent His Holy Spirit to dwell within every believer; filling them with the Spirit of the Lord, wisdom, understanding, counsel, power, knowledge, and the fear of God [Isaiah 11:2].

God intentionally allowed Jesus to suffer for the benefit of the whole world.

Isaiah 53:10 But it was the Lord’s good plan to crush him and cause him grief. Yet when his life is made an offering for sin, he will have many descendants. He will enjoy a long life, and the Lord’s good plan will prosper in his hands.

What pain are you currently going through? Maybe, like Noah, you are being ridiculed for your faith. Maybe people think you are foolish as you obey God and walk in His ways day after day.

Maybe, like Joseph, you are hated or have been betrayed by those closest to you. Maybe your own family. Maybe you’ve been wrongly accused of something and are being punished for something you didn’t do.

Maybe, like Ruth, you have lost a spouse and with them your provision or hope for starting your own family. Maybe you’ve had to move to a strange place with strange people and strange customs. Maybe you have to work a back-breaking job every day to feed yourself and a loved one.

Have you considered that God has intentionally allowed your suffering for a greater purpose?

What do Noah, Joseph, Ruth, and Jesus have in common? They all obeyed God and trusted Him and His plan. And that’s what we have to do.

We have to resist self-pity and stay focused on God and His word. We have to keep moving forward and never give up hope for a better tomorrow.

Romans 8:18, 28 I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

~Patrice Maguire

Prayer for salvation: Dear God, I know I am a sinner, and I ask for Your forgiveness. I believe Jesus Christ is Your Son. I believe that He died for my sin and that You raised Him to life. I want to trust Him as my Savior and follow Him as Lord, from this day forward. Guide my life and help me to do Your will. I pray this in the name of Jesus. Amen.