Too Good To Be True

Do you ever take time to actually listen to and watch commercials on tv or social media? They are all offering us something that they claim is sure to change our lives.

This anti-aging cream will take 10 years off your face. This pill will take 10 inches off your waist. This food will add 10 years to your life.

If you buy this car, this vacation package, this house, you will be happy. If you have this job, this education, these clothes, these shoes, you will be important.

If you take this drug, drink another drink, have more sex, eat more food, all the pain will go away.

Sound too good to be true? That’s because it is. How do I know? Because I’ve tried them. They only left me wanting more and never lived up to their claims.

What are we all searching for? The fountain of youth? A trouble-free life? Purpose? Happiness? Peace? Love? Hope? Security? Acceptance?

We are all searching for something that’s real and lasts forever. Some of us are willing to pay any price to get it.

What if I told you the most important things in life are not for sale? What if I told you that the most important things in life are free for you and for me? They’ve already been paid for.

We can live forever. We can have peace, love, joy, and purpose. There is hope. And it doesn’t cost us a thing.

God gave us eternal life. The definition of eternal is ageless, dateless, everlasting, immortal, imperishable, timeless, undying. Who wouldn’t want that? It’s ours for the taking!

John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

Jesus gave us His peace.

John 14:27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

God gives us unconditional, complete, unchanging love.

No one will ever love us like our heavenly Father loves us. He is love. People can only give us as much love as they have in themselves to give. They can’t give us what they don’t have. Human love is imperfect but God’s love is perfect and nothing can separate us from it.

Romans 8:39 Neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

God gave us joy.

Joy is not happiness. Happiness depends on what is happening in our lives. So we can be happy one minute and sad the next. Happiness is fickle.

Joy doesn’t depend on what is going on around us. It has more to do with what’s going on inside of us. Joy is a calm consistent delight.

1 Peter 1:8 Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with inexpressible and glorious joy.

God gave us hope.

Joy and peace are a result of hope. God fills us with hope. Hope is always looking forward and expecting better. God always keeps His promises and this alone is our source of great hope.

Romans 15:13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

God gave us purpose. Life without purpose is meaningless. Life without God is meaningless.

Ephesians 2:10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

All we have to do is accept the gift of forgiveness for our sins through Christ Jesus to enjoy all of the amazing benefits of the cross; eternal life, peace, joy, love, hope, and purpose.

You may think that this offer is too good to be true. It is the one thing that will ever be offered to you that is not too good to be true. How do I know? Because I live it every day and so can you.

It is so good and so true! 

How have you experienced disappointment in what the world has to offer? How have you experienced the amazing benefits of the cross that God offers? Share in the comments below!

~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.

 

 

 

 

 

Mending Power

Recently, my oldest son introduced me to the mending power of Gorilla Glue. He helped me fix a dining chair with a wobbly leg the week before Thanksgiving.

Then, when one of my new Christmas Santas was knocked over and broke in half, I knew that Gorilla Glue was what I could depend on to put it back together. It’s proven to be very reliable.

A few days ago, one of my flip flops broke. The little piece that fits between my toes snapped in half. That was the third flip flop I had broken in the last two months. I guess I’m pretty rough on my flip flops.

I was about to throw the flip flops in the trash and then I remembered the mending power of Gorilla Glue and wondered if it could fix my broken shoe. So, I decided to give it a try. I mean after all, what did I have to lose?

To my surprise, the glue worked and I am wearing my flip flops again. Gorilla Glue works great!

But what should we do about those broken non-material things in our lives? Is there a reliable mending source for those intangibles that are far more valuable than chairs, flip flops, and Santa figurines?

Yes! God’s word is the number one reliable mender of all things broken.

Do you have broken relationships? Any scripture about love and forgiveness will mend relationships if applied as directed consistently.

Ephesians 4:2 “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.”

Colossians 3:13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.

Is your heart broken?

Psalms 34:18 The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

Are you crumbling under the weight of debt?

Luke 14:28 Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it?

Hebrews 13:5a Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have.

Is your reputation broken?

Acts 24:16 “In view of this, I also do my best to maintain always a blameless conscience both before God and men.”

Is your career broken?

Colossians 3:23-24 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.

Maybe you had plans for your life but something happened that was out of your control or you made mistakes that broke your plans apart.

Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.

The list of broken things in our lives could go on and on. But the good news is that the Lord addresses all of those broken situations in His word. All we have to do is find the scripture that pertains to our particular brokenness and apply it.

What do you depend on to mend the broken things in your life? Alcohol, drugs, social media, complaining, or advice from others who are just as broken? Those are all temporary fixes that will only leave us more broken.

The mending power of God’s word is always reliable and lasts forever!

Matthew 24:35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.

I have personally experienced the mending power of God’s word in my own life. I was once bitter, resentful, angry, and had trouble forgiving others blaming them for my problems.

Through the daily application of God’s word, prayer, and reliance on the Holy Spirit, those broken areas of my life are now mended. Now I live a life full of joy, peace, compassion, and love for others.

God’s word works! We just have to use it.

Pray and ask the Lord to help you with whatever is broken in your life. Then go to God’s word to find the solutions and do what God tells you to do.

Luke 11:28 He replied, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.”

Believe me, I know it’s not easy to do God’s word all the time but I also know that it is possible through the power of the Holy Spirit. One of the Holy Spirit’s jobs is to help us obey God’s word, so ask Him to help you. He will!

John 14:16-17a Jesus said, “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever–the Spirit of truth.”

I’d love to hear the go-to scriptures that God has used or is using to mend your brokenness. Please share them so we can benefit from them as well. Thank you and God bless you!

~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.

 

 

 

 

 

My Journey/Week 4

Last week I underwent a lumpectomy leaving me scarred and in pain. Just one more scar to add to my life-collection of scars.

I have acquired a lot of scars in my lifetime; as I’m sure most of you have. Some are a result of bringing life into the world and some to save my own life. Others are a result of repairing damaged body parts. And still, others are scars on my heart, emotions, and memory that only God can see.

Do you sometimes hear a song and think to yourself, “Wow! This really speaks to me and my current situation.” In this case, the song I am referring to is Scars, by I Am They.

One chorus goes like this: So I’m thankful for the scars – ‘Cause without them I wouldn’t know Your heart – And I know they’ll always tell of who You are – So forever I am thankful for the scars

It’s uncommon to be thankful for scars. They aren’t exactly a pretty sight. Being thankful for scars goes against all human logic. Plus, there is pain associated with scars. No one wants to be reminded of the pain.

Each seen or unseen scar is evidence that we have lived. The pain and scars are part of life. They come with the territory.

Hardships in this life will do one of two things; draw us closer to God or further away from Him.

I have learned from personal experience that when I view my painful circumstances and scars from a godly perspective my faith, joy, and character grows and I become a better person.

But when I blame God and become angry with Him for allowing the circumstances that result in pain; I become bitter and turn away from Him.

During difficult times, we have to remember that God is sovereign and that He knows what He is doing. He knows the end from the beginning. And He sees the positive results of our pain that we cannot yet see (Isaiah 46:10).

God allows our pain and suffering as an opportunity for us to run to Him, to know Him better, and to trust Him more. In reality, He is the only one that can help us get through it and make us better on the other side of it.

We can become better instead of bitter.

James 1:2-4 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

Though it’s hard to do, we can remain joyful as we look forward to the spiritual growth and maturity that results from pain and suffering.

It’s not if we suffer. We will all suffer in this life. But it’s about how we suffer that counts. That’s what makes all the difference in becoming better or bitter.

Back to the song I mentioned earlier. There is another chorus that goes like this: I’m thankful for Your scars – ‘Cause without them I wouldn’t know Your heart – And with my life, I’ll tell of who You are – So forever I am thankful

We will never know the suffering Jesus suffered. He still bears the scars of His suffering. He endured the pain of the scourging and the cross in our place. He did it all so we can be in relationship with Him for eternity.

Hebrews 12:2 Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer, and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before Him, He endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Jesus’ scars are a reminder of His love for us and the relationship He desires with us. Those scars reveal His heart for His Father and for us. And the only way we can say thank you for all that He has done for us is to live a life that glorifies Him.

When we embrace the pain and suffering God has allowed in our lives with a good attitude we are living a life of gratitude that glorifies Him and points others to Him.

Do you have scars that remind you of your suffering and pain? Have you allowed those scars to make you better or bitter? Do you blame God for your pain or do you run to Him for the help and the comfort that He alone provides in the midst of pain?

Will you allow your scars to be exposed in order to help others, encourage others, and glorify God?

Don’t allow your pain and scars to stay hidden. Put them in the Lord’s hands and watch Him do amazing things with them.

Isaiah 61:3 God will provide for those who grieve-to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of His splendor.

~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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Are you a Prisoner?

Recently I took a trip to visit my cousins. Before leaving to return home, on a Sunday morning, I attended church with them.

During the sermon, the pastor told a story about a time he had visited a prison to play a softball game with the prisoners, have lunch with them and minister to them.

He mentioned that during the worship and ministry time with the prisoners, he marveled at their freedom. They didn’t restrict their worship or their joy for fear of what others might think. They were completely free! It’s what I like to call “reckless abandonment.”

Having visited a loved one in prison, hearing the pastor’s description of his prison experience brought me to tears. I was flooded with distracting memories of someone I love with all my heart, in an orange jumpsuit, shackles, and chains.

Thankfully, the pastor made the statement that redirected my focus, “Those men were locked up for life with no hope for parole and they were freer and more joyful than people that are outside of visible prison walls.”

The prisoners were physically captive but spiritually free. As a result of their spiritual freedom, they had unexplainable hope, peace, and joy.

There are people walking around today with sadness, anxiety, and anger on their faces, on their tongues, and in their hearts. They have no hope, no peace, and no joy.

But if you ask them if they are free they would say, “Of course I am free!” “I can do what I want when I want and where I want!” They would think that your question was silly. But is it?

Jesus said in John 8:34 that everyone who sins is a slave to sin. Slaves are not free!

Romans 6:16 Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey-whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness?

So we have two choices, we can choose to be obedient to sin or obedient to God. One leads to death and the other leads to righteousness, holiness and eternal life [Romans 6:22].

I don’t know about you but if I only have two choices in whom to obey, sin or God, obedience to God sounds like a much better deal. Not to mention that hope, peace and joy are included in the package.

Romans 15:13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

I’m reminded of an incident in God’s Word where Paul and Silas had been severely flogged and wrongfully imprisoned. Their feet were fastened in stocks. Then around midnight, they began praying and singing hymns to God [Acts 16:23-25].

How could men who had just been severely flogged/beaten, thrown into prison, with their feet in stocks, pray and sing hymns at midnight? They had to be in horrible pain. How were they able to move beyond their pain, suffering, and disappointment to praise and worship?

They were free on the inside! They had a hope, a peace and a joy that was not a result of their circumstance but instead a result of their faith in God.

A true sign of someone who is set free from a life of slavery to sin is hope, peace, and joy.

How do we get this freedom from sin?

Jesus said in John 8:31-32 That if we hold to His teaching and are true followers of Him then we will know the truth and the truth will set us free.

John 14:6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

Jesus is the truth that we need to know in order to be set free from slavery to sin. He is the only way to eternal life. He is the only way to hope, peace, and joy.

Don’t go through life shackled and chained by sin having no hope, peace or joy. Choose to know the truth! Choose to know Jesus! Choose to be free!

John 8:36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.

~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. I pray this in the name of Jesus. Amen.

 

 

 

 

This is a Test! This is Only a Test!

Tax season! Ugh! Need I say more? Well, I’ll say just a little more.

Recently, I had taken all of our required tax documents to the local tax professionals to have our income taxes calculated and prepared. I went in hopeful and optimistic but I left confused and, I must admit, more than a little upset.

Outwardly I maintained self-control but inwardly I wanted to cry. As a matter of fact, I did cry a little when I got back into my automobile. When I contacted my husband to let him know the results, he was very disappointed as well.

You see, my husband and I had finally managed to build our savings back up after buying a house with 15 acres a year ago. We were hoping to be able to start some needed home repairs and improvement projects soon.

Well, with the results of the income tax calculations we found that we owed all of the money we had saved. Imagine our shock and disappointment.

I spent the rest of the day feeling a little sick to my stomach and letdown. My husband was angry and depressed.

I had a decision to make. Was I going to allow the loss of our savings to determine my joy?  Was I going to be bitter and angry at the government? Was I going to put my trust in money or in God? After much prayer and with a lot of help from the Holy Spirit, I chose to put my trust in God.

Hebrews 4:16 Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

The tax incident happened on a Thursday. Friday morning I made the decision that I was not going to allow the loss of money to determine my behavior or my joy.

Money is not my God! God is my God! He is able to provide me with more money if I need it. He is my source and my provider. He meets all my needs!

Because I moved my focus from money to God, I went from being angry about losing all of our savings to being thankful that we had the money to pay our taxes.

2 Corinthians 9:8 And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.

As soon as I made the decision to trust God, to keep my eyes focused on Him, and to be thankful instead of resentful, my joy returned.

Psalm 107:22 Let them sacrifice thank offerings and tell of His works with songs of joy.

That Saturday, my husband and I went to the tax professional to ask a lot of questions and to sign papers. While there, mistakes were discovered and we ended up owing about a tenth of what was originally projected.

Wow! Talk about rejoicing! My husband and I were so relieved.

I was reminded of an incident in the bible where God asked Abraham to offer his son Isaac to Him as a sacrifice. Abraham must have been confused by God’s request but He willingly agreed to do what God had asked him to do. As Abraham was just about to kill Isaac on the altar of sacrifice, God intervened and said, “Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.” [Genesis 22:1-19]

It was a test! God was testing Abraham’s heart. God wanted to know that He was Abraham’s number one. Abraham passed the test!

That’s when I realized that the whole tax mishap was a test. God was testing my heart. God wanted to know if my trust was in Him or in money? He wanted to know if I would willingly offer my savings on the altar of sacrifice? He wanted to know if I would still trust Him if He took away what He had given me? God wanted to know if He was my number one.

What is God asking you to be willing to sacrifice to show your love and devotion to Him? Time, money, food, entertainment, friends? It may not be something negative. God asked Abraham to sacrifice his son; the son that God had promised him and had given him. Are you willing to sacrifice your ministry, gifts, and talents; things that God has given you?

God wants to be your number one. Is He your number one?

~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. I pray this in the name of Jesus. Amen.

 

 

 

Nowhere to Run to! Nowhere to Hide!

Temptation is all around us! It’s in our homes, in our workplaces, in our classrooms. It’s in our cars, at parties, at the grocery store and even in our churches. It’s everywhere!

Sometimes I feel like Martha Reeves and the Vandellas when they sang the words, “Nowhere to run to, baby, nowhere to hide.”

Or is there?

Thankfully the temptation to sin is not a sin. The sin is when we give in to the temptation.

James 1:14-15 But each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.

Whoa! Temptation leads to sin and sin leads to death.

Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

So what should we do when we are tempted to sin? Should we ignore it and hope it goes away? Should we play with fire and see how close we can get to sin without getting burned? Should we use will power?

I’m just like everyone else. I’m human. I am tempted to sin every day just like you. Over time I’ve learned that I have to rely on God for help to resist temptation or I will eventually fail.

Matthew 26:41 “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

Notice Jesus said to watch and pray. That means we have to stay on our guard because temptation is coming and it’s dangerous.

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

Once we see that we are being tempted, we should pray. Will power alone won’t be enough to fight the temptation. Even if we manage to resist the temptation the first time, it will come back, again and again, to wear us down.

When we pray we are humbling ourselves and asking God for help. Basically, we are saying to God, “I can’t fight this temptation on my own. I need Your help or I will fail!”

James 4:7 Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

To submit to God is to yield to His authority; surrender to His will [Merriam-Webster App].

When we surrender to God’s will we are saying “no” to our own will. When we say “no” to our own will we are saying “yes” to God’s will. God’s will is that we desire to please Him and not ourselves.

Galatians 5:16 So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.

Submitting to God helps us to resist the devil. The devil is the one behind the temptation. He’s the one that’s always trying to entice us to sin because he knows that sin separates us from a holy God.

Ultimately separation from God without repentance leads to spiritual death. Thus the scripture earlier, the wages of sin is death [Romans 6:23].

Resist means to exert force in opposition [Merriam-Webster App].

Exerting force in opposition to something requires violence. Meaning we have to see temptation as our enemy; a threat and a danger. This is not a time for passivity.

We have to see that the possibility of giving in to temptation is a threat to our reputation, our relationships, our family, and our future. It can also be a threat to our health. And as Christians, it is a threat to our spiritual growth and our influence for the kingdom of God.

We have to view temptation as a thief that is trying to steal everything from us! We have to see it as our enemy!

John 10:10a The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy.

God is our only hope to not fall into temptation.

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 endure it.

Even Jesus was tempted by the devil. Each time the devil tempted Him He fought back with God’s word; the scriptures [Luke 4:1-13].

The Bible refers to the word of God as a sword [Ephesians 6:17]. It is a weapon! A weapon to use against our enemy; temptation.

What are some things you are tempted by? Lust, gluttony, greed? Laziness, anger, envy, pride? Hate, adultery, stealing? Lying, cheating, gossiping? Drugs, sexual perversion? The list goes on and on.

Don’t make the mistake of thinking temptation is harmless and something that can be entertained or played with. See it for what it is…your enemy; a real threat and very dangerous.

Let’s be on the watch for temptation because it is coming. Let’s humbly submit to God by praying and asking Him to help us to resist temptation. Let’s use God’s word to fight temptation like Jesus did.

So, to the questions, is there someplace to run to or someplace to hide in times of temptation?

Absolutely!

Proverbs 18:10 The name of the Lord is a fortified tower; the righteous run to it and are safe. Psalm 32:7 You are my hiding place; You will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance.

~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. I pray this in the name of Jesus. Amen.

 

Paid in Full!

Recently I had designed and ordered 50 advertisement postcards from a company that specializes in business marketing merchandise. I had looked over my designed postcard several times to make sure it was perfect before choosing to purchase it.

It wasn’t until they arrived in my mailbox, about a  week later, that I noticed the misspelled word. When I sent a picture of one of the postcards to my cousin, to show her my mistake, she found another misspelled word. She also made a few suggestions on how to make the entire postcard more effective. I am so thankful for her expert eye and opinion.

I called the business marketing company the next day to make the corrections and place a reorder. To my wonderful surprise, they made all of the corrections at no extra cost to me. They didn’t even charge me for the changes I wanted to make that weren’t mistakes.

I didn’t have to pay for my mistakes! Talk about amazing customer service!

It reminded me of how I don’t have to pay for my sins. Jesus paid for them all. He paid for mine and yours. He paid for all sins for all time.

Jesus never sinned. He never did anything wrong His entire life. We’ve sinned and inherited sin and He paid for all of those sins. Wow!

1 John 3:4-5 Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness. But you know that He appeared so that He might take away our sins. And in Him is no sin.

Sins are like debts. God says the sin debt can only be paid with sinless blood. Even if we shed our own blood for our own sins the debt would still not be paid.

Only the sinless blood of Jesus was enough to pay for our sins. Blood tainted with sin cannot pay for sin. Jesus was and is our only hope!

1 Peter 1:18 For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.

Are you still trying to pay your sin debt? Are you trying to pay for your sins by doing good deeds? By punishing yourself? By being a good person?

Although it is good to do good deeds and to be a good person, those things will never pay for your sins. If they could then Jesus would have come to earth and died for nothing.

No! We can’t pay for our sins. Only the sinless blood of Jesus pays for our sins.

Don’t get to the end of your life and stand before Jesus only to find out that you lived your whole life believing a lie; that you could be good enough to get into heaven. Jesus said the only way to forgiveness of sins and eternal life is through Him.

John 14:6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

Stop trying to pay for your sins. They have already been paid for in full. Receive your gift of eternal life today!

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.

~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. I pray this in the name of Jesus. Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

Are People Like Pancakes?

On a recent Saturday morning, as I stood at the stove making my husband pancakes, a conversation about the appearance of my pancakes arose. I was commenting on how sloppy my pancakes looked. I was making a mess of them. My husband said, “That’s ok! It’s not about how they look, it’s about how they taste and they taste amazing!”

My immediate thought was, “If only we viewed people in the same way we view pancakes. If only we would give people a chance before judging them by their appearance.”

None of us are perfect. We all have things that have happened to us in our life that have left us and our lives looking like a mess. Life has left all of us with scars and brokenness. Some of us are just better at hiding it or masking it than others.

When Jesus was on the earth, He was drawn to the scarred and the broken. He was criticized for hanging out with sinners; those that may be considered by some to be lowlife today.

Luke 5:31-32 Jesus answered them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”

I don’t know about you but I am so grateful that Jesus came to call us to repentance. Because I was the sick sinner in need of repentance. I was the broken mess. I am the one with many life scars. I have been the one on the other side of judgment and criticism.

What if God would have looked down at us and said, “They are not worthy of my Son. My Son is too good for them. I don’t want my Son around those sinners. They don’t act right, they don’t look right and they don’t smell right. They are too trashy!”

Where would we be? What hope would we have?

Thankfully God doesn’t see us as worthless or trashy. In fact, He sees us in a completely opposite way.

To God we are amazing! We are created in His image.

Genesis 1:27 So God created mankind in His own image, in the image of God He created them; male and female He created them.

Psalm 139:13-14 For You created my inmost being; You knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

God thinks we are so valuable that He gave His one and only sinless Son to die for our sins so that we can be in a relationship with Him and live with Him for eternity (John 3:16).

What if we were to see and think about others the way God sees and thinks about us? What if we were to look past the mess, scars, and brokenness to see the value in people? What if we were to look at everyone and see a creation made in the image of the Creator?

How would our world be different? How would we be different? How would we make a difference in someone else’s life?

Let’s go out into the world today and treat people as valuable as God says they are. Let’s stop judging them by their appearance and instead see them as God sees them. Let’s look at people the way my husband looks at pancakes; no matter how they look on the outside, they are still amazing!

~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. I pray this in the name of Jesus. Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Friend or Foe?

What would you call someone who is only your “friend” when no one else is around? They never mention you to their other friends. They never invite you to go anyplace with them. They behave as if they are embarrassed to know you or to be associated with you.

They might meet you for lunch now and then if it’s convenient, and the rest of the week you never hear from them unless they need your help with something or they are in a desperate situation. It’s as if you are their secret “friend.”

How would that make you feel? Would you consider that person a true friend? Would you entertain the idea that this person may actually be an enemy?

Isn’t this how we treat God a lot of the time? When we are with our “non-christian” friends we are careful not to mention God. We leave God at home or at the church “where He belongs.”

Or we only talk to Him when we have an emergency or want something good to happen to us or someone in our family. We keep God a secret because we don’t want to be controversial or unpopular; we don’t want to be politically incorrect.

When we deliberately leave God out of our lives or don’t invite Him into all areas of our lives, that is what the Bible calls being of the world; worldly or a friend of the world. The world’s way of doing things, saying things and thinking things is to do so apart from God. God is not welcome. God is not invited.

We should always love people and be friendly towards them. God tells us to love all people. That is completely different than loving the world; the things of the world and the ways of the world.

God uses some pretty strong language about being friends with the world. He definitely doesn’t mince words.

1 John 2:15 Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love for the Father is not in them.

James 4:4 You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.

In the line of work I’m in as a book author, there is the constant temptation to leave God out. For example: If I leave God out of my books I could make more money; my books could be seen by more people and more people might buy them. I’m limiting myself if I label myself a Christian Author. I would be more successful and more popular if I were a secular author.

I once heard a statement in the movie “God’s Not Dead,” that has stuck with me and explains my view of choosing between God or the world; “I’d rather stand with God and be judged by the world than stand with the world and be judged by God!”

Even if I never make a living writing and selling books, I will never regret my decision to never leave God out!

John 15:18-19 “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated Me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.

1 John 2:16-17 For everything in the world-the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life come not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.

Every moment of every day we have a decision to make; will we invite God to go with us every place we go? Will we invite God into our workplace, our classrooms, our friendships? Will we invite Him into our intimate relationships? Into our entertainment, our wardrobe, our politics? Our conversations? Our finances?

Most importantly, will we invite Jesus into our hearts?

John 3:16-19 For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him. Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.

Will you choose to invite God into every area of your life? Will you choose to live a life that says, “I am a friend of God!”

Matthew 10:32 “Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven.

~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. I pray this in the name of Jesus. Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

​Heed the Call

On a recent Sunday afternoon, after church, I decided to go for a walk on our property to enjoy the warm sunshine and search for my husband who had mentioned that morning that he might go fishing that day.

We have a bayou that borders one side of our property. We also have a slew in the middle of our property and a neighbor’s pond that borders the other side of our property. I wasn’t sure where I’d find him but I set out to try.

Since I wasn’t sure where exactly he had decided to go fishing, I called his name out now and then, as I walked the property, in hopes that he would hear me. The area around the bayou and slew are wooded so I knew I wouldn’t see him from the main trail.

Finally bellowing his name paid off! I heard him answering my call. He called out to me. I walked back in the direction to where I heard his voice coming from and I could hear his footsteps through the woods walking toward me.

We visited for a few minutes. I warned him about the slithering sunbathers I had encountered along the trail and then he carefully returned to the bayou to do more fishing. He hadn’t caught anything at that point but later he sent me a picture of a nice looking catfish.

The next morning I started to replay that scenario in my mind. It reminded me of a scripture.

John 10:27 My sheep listen to My voice; I know them, and they follow Me.

I was calling out to my husband because I was searching for him. Jesus is calling out to the lost, searching for them and offering them eternal life.

Luke 19:10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.

When my husband heard my voice he knew that it was me. That’s because he knows me and my voice. He’s been hearing it for nearly 30 years.

If he had heard the voice of someone else that day in the woods; a voice he didn’t recognize, he wouldn’t have been so eager to walk towards that voice. That person would be a stranger to him.

John 10:4-5 His sheep follow Him because they know His voice. But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.

Jesus is calling out to the lost today. If you are lost and you don’t recognize the voice of Jesus, He is the one offering you forgiveness for your sins and eternal life.

You may not recognize His voice because you don’t know Him yet. The first step in getting to know Him is by answering the call, going to Him, and then asking Him to forgive your sins. There is a prayer at the end of this post that will lead you through the first step to getting to know Jesus.

The next step, in getting to know Jesus, is to read and study the Bible-God’s word. I’ve always been told that if you’ve never read the bible before, the best place to start is the book of John.

As you are reading, ask God to help you understand what you are reading. He will! He does it for me all the time!

Finally, find a good bible teaching church and a bible study group. Surround yourself with other followers of Christ. They will encourage you, pray for you, and help you along your journey.

I pray you will heed the call of Christ today. He is the only way to true peace, true joy, true love, a life of purpose, and eternal life. Don’t wait another day to enjoy all God has in store for you!

John 14:6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

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

~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. I pray this in the name of Jesus. Amen.