Follow the Leader

You may know by now that my husband and I have a dog named Autumn. She has been the subject of a few of my blogs. Maybe you’ve read some of them. She definitely has some interesting behaviors.

Autumn’s newest interesting behavior is that she follows my husband everywhere he goes in the house. When he moves, she moves. When he is standing still, she stands still keeping her eyes on him and waiting for his next move.

Sometimes I’ll say, “Autumn is playing follow the leader again.” We laugh, but in reality, we know that she just loves my husband and feels secure in his presence.

Autumn’s behavior reminds me of a time when the nation of Israel was in the wilderness. God led them with a pillar of fire by night and a cloud by day.

When the fire or cloud moved, Israel moved. When the fire or cloud was still, Israel was still. The fire by night or the cloud by day was always in front of them. [Exodus 13:21-22]

The fire and the cloud were the presence of God. He was always with them. Leading them, protecting them, and providing for them. As long as they followed the Lord, they were safe, secure, and always headed in the right direction.

Israel was following the Leader!

Today, God doesn’t lead us with pillars of fire or clouds but He does still lead us. He leads us through His word-the Bible-and through His Holy Spirit.

Psalms 119:105 Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.

John 16:13 “But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.”

Maybe you have accepted Christ as your savior but you feel afraid, insecure, alone, and confused. You’ve lost your peace and your joy. Get back into the presence of God!

Keep God’s word before your eyes and in your hearing. Spend time worshiping the Lord, even when you don’t feel like it. Fellowship with other believers who will encourage you and pray with you and for you.

Maybe you are not a believer or follower of Jesus and you feel afraid, insecure, lost, alone and confused. You are not in the presence of God because your sin separates you from Him. I invite you to pray the prayer at the end of this blog.

There is only one access to God’s presence and that’s through Jesus. Jesus paid for all sin for all time when He gave His life as a sacrifice for our sins. When we accept Jesus’ payment for our sins we have full access to God, eternal life, peace, and joy.

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

There is no excuse for any of us to not be in God’s presence. He invites us to be with Him. He’s made a way for us to be with Him. In His presence, we are safe, secure, and never alone.

Deuteronomy 31:8 The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.

Likewise, there is no reason for us to feel lost or confused. God has given us His word and His Spirit to lead us and guide us into all truth.

Let’s follow the Leader. Let’s follow the Lord into the new year. Let’s resolve to stay in His presence and to allow His word and His Spirit to lead us and guide us into His purpose and His plan for our lives this year and every year.

I pray you all will have a safe and happy 2020. God bless you all!

~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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

​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.

 

 

 

 

A Brief Moment in Time

I know you’ve probably heard about the thief on the cross. But have you ever really thought about him? What was his name? What kind of life did he live? Did he have a family? How old was he? We know so little about him.

What we do know is that he was a thief and his crime was serious enough to require his execution. We also know that he had a conversation with Jesus before he died. Luke 23:42-43, Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”

Several years ago I was going through the hardest thing I had ever endured. It involved one of my children. One day over the phone I was having a conversation with my pastor at the time. We were talking about my son and his situation and he said something to me that I will never forget. He said, “God had to get the thief to the cross.” Those words were life-changing for me. Those words changed my perspective on the whole situation. It was no longer about consequence due to some bad choices my son had made but it was about God’s plan.

God used the thief on the cross to teach me about how far He will go to find the one sheep that is lost. And that’s when I started including these words in my prayers for my lost loved ones, “Lord, get them to the cross whatever it takes.” Those words are still so hard to say but with eternity in question, they are necessary.

So I’ve said all of that to come to this conclusion. We know one more thing about the thief on the cross. He had a purpose. For a brief moment in time, he fulfilled that purpose. Still to this day people are talking about the thief on the cross. He is being mentioned in sermons all over the world. A thief!

We all have a purpose. God used the thief on the cross to change my life, change my perspective and to change the way I pray.  Who’s life will God use you to change? Who’s perspective will God use you to enlighten? Who’s prayers will God use you to influence? You don’t have to have a platform or be a pastor or a famous person. All you have to be is available and willing to be obedient. It can be something as small as a short conversation. What may seem small to you could mean everything to someone else.

Philippians 2:13 For it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.

~Patrice Maguire