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.

 

 

 

 

 

Love = Time

What makes you feel loved? Does receiving a gift or help make you feel loved? How about hugs and kisses? Maybe you feel loved when someone tells you you look nice or that you did a great job on a project.

For me, the thing that makes me feel most loved is uninterruptable time and undivided attention.

Time is a priceless irreplaceable commodity. To give someone our time and full attention is to say, “You are valuable to me.”

In this busy, overly stimulated, entertainment addicted world, giving others time and attention is an extream rarity. That is why it’s such an amazing way to express our love for one another. Because it actually takes effort.

What might giving someone our time and attention look like?

It may look like actually looking at the person while they are speaking to us instead of a phone or a laptop. Or maybe it looks like turning off the television and actually having a meaningful conversation with someone.

Luke 6:31 Do to others as you would have them do to you.

Likewise, we can express our love for God by giving Him uninterruptable time and undivided attention. We can turn off our phones, computers, and televisions and talk to Him and listen to Him through His Word and His Spirit.

We will never be able to repay God for all He’s done for us but we can show Him that we love Him and that we are thankful by spending quality time with Him.

King David knew how to express his love for God.

Psalms 63:1,6,8 You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water. On my bed I remember you; I think of you through the watches of the night. I cling to you; your right hand upholds me.

We could all learn a thing or two about showing others and God how much we love them.

How about you? How do you express your love for others? Do you give them your uninterruptable time? Do you give them your undivided attention?

Do you make time to spend with God? Do you turn your electronic devices off and just focus on the One who loves you so much that He gave His one and only Son to be sacrificed for your sins so He could be in a relationship with you and spend eternity with you?

Don’t waste your irreplaceable commodity -time- on things that aren’t worth it. Spend it on the ones you love and the One that loves you unconditionally, perfectly, and completely.

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.”

~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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s not Fair!

The world is full of injustice and unfairness. There is so much on social media and the news about it these days. We are crying over it and ranting and raving about it.

The list of injustices spans from one end of the spectrum to the other: religious persecution, poverty, racism, illiteracy, abuse, being wrongfully accused of a crime, murder of the helpless and innocent.

The list of injustices could go on and on. You could probably think of a few in your own life that should be added to the list. Some that were mentioned may be less important to you than others but to the person who is on the other end of the unfairness, it means a great deal.

When someone doesn’t see the injustice as you do, trying to have an adult conversation with that person about these issues may, unfortunately, result in yelling and hurt feelings. Then what?

What should we do when life is unfair? Is there a proper way to handle injustice? Should we lash out verbally or physically? Should we sit back and watch injustice reek havoc on the inoccent? What should we do? Where should we turn?

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

God is definitely a fan of justice! He is a just God! He sees all, hears all, and knows all. No injustice will go unpunished either in this life or the next.

Unfortunately, because of evil in the world and evil in the hearts of people, there is injustice and unfairness everywhere. Evil and injustice go hand in hand. But God does not condone us taking justice into our own hands.

Romans 12:19 Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord.

God wants us to wait on His justice. But that is often much easier said than done.

I’m reminded of the unfair treatment of Joseph in the bible.

To make a long story short, Joseph was hated and mistreated by his brothers. They wanted to kill him but sold him as a slave instead. As a house servant, he was wrongfully accused of attempted rape. He spent many years in prison because of it. When it looked like he may have had an opportunity to be released, he was forgotten about and ended up spending more time in prison. Joseph was finally released due to his God given ability to interpret dreams and wisdom. He was then made second in command to the king of Egypt. His wisdom saved Egypt and the surrounding nations from starvation during a famine. He was reunited with his family due to the famine. He forgave his brothers saying, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” (Genesis 37,39-50)

Joseph chose to forgive his brothers for their unfair treatment of him. He chose to see the negative events in his life from a positive perspective. He had every right to be bitter and vengeful but he chose mercy and forgiveness instead.

Joseph never allowed the negative, unjust circumstances in his life to cause him to go through life with a chip on his shoulder or with a bad attitude. He chose to see things from God’s perspective. He saw the negatives in his life as part of God’s plan for a greater purpose for good.

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.

We should always stand up for what is right and just in God’s eyes. But we should always do so in love.

1 Corinthians 13:4-8 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 learn a lesson from the way Joseph handled injustice and unfairness. Let’s be patient and leave room for God to handle the situation His way and in His timing.

Let’s respond to unfairness with love and forgiveness as God instructs us to do. Let’s ask God to help us see things from His perspective and to show us how He’s using the unfair treatment for a greater purpose for good.

Romans 8:28 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.

Responding to injustice with an injustice doesn’t correct the injustice. Two wrongs don’t make a right.

God’s way is always the right way! God’s way is always the best way!

Daniel 4:37 Praise and exalt and glorify the King of heaven, because everything He does is right and all His ways are just. And those who walk in pride He is able to humble.

~Patrice Maguir

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.

 

 

 

 

 

What do you do with your Pain?

What do you do with your pain? What do you do when someone hurts you? How do you react when, out of nowhere, someone becomes Mr. Hyde?

What do you say when someone makes you feel insignificant…again? It’s hard, isn’t it? Especially when it comes from someone close to you.

Just as when incurring a physical injury, our first instinct is to recoil from what is causing us pain. No one keeps their hand in the fire once they have been burned.

It’s normal to draw back from pain. But once we recover from the shock, realize what has happened, and access the damage, then what?

Should we confront the person who has hurt us? Should we retaliate? Would telling others about it help? Should we ostracize them? What should we do with our pain?

If it is possible to approach the person to discuss the situation as two mature individuals, then, of course, we should try to resolve the issue. But what if we can’t go to the person that has hurt us and confront them? What if they are unreasonable?

What if we do approach them but they only blame us for the situation or deny responsibility and never apologize; causing more pain? What then?

Initially, we have a couple of choices to make: we could either lash out in anger, making things worse or remain calm, letting the incident go, until we have had time to think things through.

Ecclesiastes 7:9 Do not be quickly provoked in your spirit, for anger resides in the lap of fools.

When we don’t know what to do we should always go to God in prayer to ask for help and go to His word for guidance. Just like a good father, God always knows what’s best.

Unfortunately, God seldom gives us a convenient or comfortable way out of this sort of dilemma. He usually asks us to do something that is completely contrary to normal human behavior.

Isaiah 55:8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.”

In these painful situations, our human nature wants to retaliate, speak negatively about the person to others, shun them and refuse to forgive them. But that’s not how God says we should handle these types of situations.

Instead of retaliating against a person, Jesus instructs us to love them, do good to them and pray for them.

Luke 6:32-33, 35 Jesus said, “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? But love your enemies, do good to them.”

Instead of telling others about a person’s hurtful ways, tarnishing their reputation, God’s word tells us to show love towards them by remaining quiet about what they’ve done.

Proverbs 10:12 Hatred stirs up conflict, but love covers over all wrongs.

Instead of shunning a person who mistreats us, God tells us to make peace with them and treat them well.

Romans 12:18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Luke 6:31 And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.

Instead of refusing to forgive those who inflict pain, God tells us to…you guessed it; forgive them.

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.

These are all very difficult tasks. When I am faced with a challenging assignment, I often remind myself that it may be tough but it’s not impossible. With God, all things are possible [Matthew 19:26]!

Through the power of God’s Spirit, we can accomplish God’s will.

Ephesians 3:20 Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us.

What if we remain quiet about the person’s hurtful deeds or words, pray for them, do good to them, forgive them and make peace with them but we still have a broken heart? What if after all of that we are still hurting? What then?

We continue doing what God has told us to do in His word and trust Him to heal our broken hearts. We do our part and God always does His part.

Psalm 147:3 He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.

God’s instructions may be difficult but they do not go without reward. The rewards of obedience to God and His word are blessings and spiritual growth.

Psalm 128:1 blessed are all who fear the Lord, who walk in obedience to Him. Romans 5:3 Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

When I find it grueling to follow God’s instructions on what to do when someone hurts me, I remember what Jesus did and said while He was being mistreated in the hours before He was put to death.

First He washed Judas’ feet knowing Judas would soon betray Him. During His “so-called trial” many false accusations were made against Him but He did not defend Himself.

Jesus was beaten, mocked and whipped and never complained. He had committed no sin or wrong and yet did not resist being nailed to a cross. And, after all of that, before dying, He prayed for those who had hurt Him saying, “Father forgive them for they know not what they do [Luke 23:34].”

No matter what anyone has done to you or me, we have never endured the sort of pain, rejection, or humiliation that Jesus has endured. He had every right to defend Himself or retaliate the wrong that had been done to Him but instead, He chose to forgive. How much more should we?

~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.

 

 

Go Your Own Way

Last week, during a weekly Bible Study, our group of ladies was discussing answers to a question concerning Psalm 2:1-3:

Why do the nations conspire and the people plot in vain? The kings of the earth rise up and the rulers band together against the Lord and against His anointed, saying, “Let us break their chains and throw off their shackles.”

The discussion question was, What is the complaint against God in Psalm 2:1-3 and how does this compare with people’s complaints against God today?

One of the ladies in our group creatively responded with, “It reminds me of that Fleetwood Mac song ‘Go Your Own Way.'” Which was very appropriate since we were discussing Psalms. We all laughed.

Needless to say, I haven’t been able to get ‘Go Your Own Way’ out of my head or off of my tongue since. It’s funny how God can use a song to expand our thoughts on a subject. He’s so clever!

The growing consensus against God thousands of years ago and today seems to be, “Leave us alone! We want to do what we want to do and we don’t want any accountability or consequences. We want to be free of You. You only want to spoil our fun!” If it isn’t said in words it is definitely said in deeds.

God gives us free will. We get to reject Him if we want to. That’s one of the aspects of His love for us; freedom.

We are free to live apart from God. We are free to do what we want when we want and how we want to do it. We are free to have as much so-called fun as we want to have. But there will be consequences and accountability rather we want them or not.

I’m reminded of a parable in the Bible of a Father that had two sons. The younger son wanted his share of the Father’s estate. So the Father divided the property between his two sons. The younger son decided to gather all of his money and belongings and move far away from his Father. He squandered his wealth on wine, women, and song.

There arose a severe famine where he was living and he became desperate. So he went out and got himself a job working for a pig farmer. The pig farming business must not have been very lucrative because he was so hungry that even the pig’s slop looked appetizing to him. [Luke 15:11-16]

God is the Father. We are the rebellious son. We want the benefits of God the Father but we don’t want to live with Him or be in a relationship with Him. We want to be far away from Him. So we “go our own way” living our life of freedom apart from God.

We spend our money the way we want to. We use our bodies the way we want to. We spend our time the way we want to. All of which are gifts from God our Father.

We think we are enjoying a life of freedom without accountability. But in reality, we are living a lie.

Revelation 3:17 “You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.”

Consequences do come and when they do we need to know where to go for help. There is hope!

The story about the father and son continues. The son came to his senses and decided to go home to his father, ask for forgiveness, and ask for a job. He thought he had messed up so bad that the best he could hope for was a job working for room and board.

While the son was on his way home, but still afar off, his father saw him. He was filled with compassion for his son; he ran to his son, embraced him and kissed him. The son asked for forgiveness and told him he no longer felt worthy to be called his son.

To the son’s surprise, the father threw him a party and lavished him with gifts. The father proclaimed, “My son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found!” It was a time of repentance, forgiveness, and restoration; a time of celebration! [Luke 15:17-24]

Maybe you have “gone your own way” and are doing things your way like the son in the parable. Maybe you are wallowing in a mire of sin. Maybe you are squandering God’s goodness on wine, women (or men) and song. Maybe you think you are living the high-life of freedom but inside you feel dead, lost and empty; hungry for something that will truly satisfy.

The good news is we get to choose life over death.

Deuteronomy 30:19 This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live.

We can choose to be found over being lost.

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

We can choose a life with the Father, sharing in all that is the Father’s; true love, true joy, and true peace. We can choose true freedom; freedom from slavery to sin.

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?

We can choose true satisfaction.

John 6:35 Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.”

Just as the son came to his senses, realizing that life apart from his father wasn’t as great as he thought it would be, will you come to your senses today? Will you go to the Father with a repentant heart? Will you ask God to forgive you for wasting His goodness on a life of self-gratification?

Ephesians 2:3 All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath.

The Father is longing for you to come to Him. He’s waiting for you. He loves you and has compassion for you. He wants to call you His son or His daughter.

He wants to give you gifts and give you a life worth celebrating; a life of eternal purpose. Will you go God’s way instead of your own way? Will you do life His way instead of doing life your way? He’s waiting for you! Come to your senses 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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stop Paying for Things that Already Belong to you!

Do you know someone who has so much stuff that they don’t know what they have? I do! We probably all know at least one person who is that way.

They start a project and need a particular tool so they go to the store to buy it when all along they already have two or three of the exact same tool; they just didn’t realize they already had it.

I have to admit I’ve done that a time or two myself only to find the twin item later and feel silly about having wasted money on something I already had.

A lot of times we do the same thing in life. We go about trying to obtain things that are already ours.

We may try to acquire peace by having more money, more insurance or more security systems when Jesus has already given 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.

There is nothing wrong with having money, insurance, and security systems. But if we are putting all of our trust in them bringing us true peace we will ultimately be disappointed.

Maybe its love we desire and we think that buying friends or sex is going to fill the love void that we feel. Maybe we are tolerating abuse and calling it love. Maybe we are trying to buy the love of our children with stuff and enablement when all the while we are already loved.

We don’t have to earn love or deserve it we only have to accept it.

Romans 8:38-39 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 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.

How about joy? A lot of times we try to attain joy by purchasing things. We think that the more stuff we have the more joy we will have.

Sometimes we think food, drugs, alcohol or sex will bring us joy. Maybe a better job or a different wife or husband will bring us joy? How about a bigger house or a fancy new car? Travel? More money? The list is endless.

In reality, Jesus is the only way to true and lasting joy. The joy that He gives never fades due to circumstances. It’s in us and it stays in us no matter what is going on around us because we have something that can never be taken from us; true love, true peace, and hope.

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.

Maybe you didn’t know that you have access to true love, true peace, and true joy. Or maybe you’ve forgotten that these things already belong to you. Regardless, they belong to all of us through Christ.

Stop paying for things that already belong to you. Jesus already paid for them. They’re yours! Just accept them and enjoy them.

~Patrice Maguire

If you have never accepted Jesus as your Savior, you can pray this prayer: Dear God, I know I have sinned and I want to ask for your forgiveness. I believe that Jesus died for my sins. I now accept Your offer of eternal life. I will follow Jesus as my Savior and try to obey Him in all that I do. Thank You for my new life. In the name of Jesus, I pray. Amen.

Thoughts from a Higher Perspective

 

Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a

new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness (II Peter 3:13).

 

There is no doubt that we live in a stressful world today. Tune in to a local newscast, and virtually every day the top news story will bring us awful news: a fire, a robbery, a murder, perhaps a political scandal.

 

Such headlines can cause despair if we’re not careful to stay focused on our salvation and what lies ahead for us as believers!

 

I have a friend who occasionally wore a T-shirt which said something like this: “Christian work: the pay ain’t much, but the retirement program is out of this world!”

 

So what will we enjoy when we get to heaven?

 

Certain things will NOT be there: no temple, no sun, no moon, no shut gates, no liars or any sin, no curse, no night, no tears, no death, no sorrow, no pain (all these are listed in Revelation 21 and 22)!

 

The Word tells us “the former things are passed away” (Revelation 21:4)!

 

There will be sights that will be wonderful: a pure river of water, foundations made of precious stones, the tree of life, pearly gates, renewal of relationships with those who have gone on before us, and—most of all—we “shall see His face” (Revelation 22:4; see also I John 3:2)!

 

These great truths are often pointed out to us, but (as modern advertising often emphasizes) wait, THERE’S MORE!

 

Consider these factors:

 

  1. We will be able to explore the “new heaven.” Think of the power and creativity of God in creating the earth we presently live in; now try to ponder how magnificent an entirely new universe will be! No doubt every star and planet will be beautiful, and be sure that none of them will be exactly alike!

 

  1. It is clear to many that God likes to surprise His children, much like a spouse likes to surprise a mate or a parent likes to surprise a child.

 

Because God is so creative, so powerful, and so loving, try to imagine what lies ahead!

 

In I Corinthians 13:13 we are told: “And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.” Because love is the greatest and eternally enduring virtue,

I am convinced that God will want to surprise us every hundred million years (hey, heaven is forever!) with a new revelation, a mind-boggling surprise, which reminds us just how much He loves us!

 

And the surprises will never end!

 

These thoughts were presented by John Rataczak, Ph.D.

Check out: www.eleutherosbooks.com

Honor One Another Above Yourselves

I learned a long time ago that if I focus on self-preservation God can’t use me. And as hard as it is to be transparent I know that it is required of me for the greater good of others. If God can turn my mess into a message then so be it. Every day I pray that the Lord will help me to use all that He gives me to glorify His name, build His kingdom and edify His body (the Body of Christ/the Church). That includes revelations about myself. So here it goes.

Those that don’t know me very well may think that I have it all together. Well, that couldn’t be further from the truth. I’m literally a mess. God is never reluctant to correct me and discipline me. As painful as it may be I know it’s necessary to my spiritual growth. Like any good father, He does it gently and in love. I guess the worst part about the revelation of my sins is the ugliness of them. When He shows them to me I can hardly believe I actually did them and thought they were ok to do at the time. I don’t even recognize it. That’s scary!

Recently I was in Barnes and Noble checking on the sales of my children’s book, ‘The Many Fears of Miela the Cat.’ There was only one left on the shelf. I didn’t like where it was. It was all the way on the left end of the shelf and the side of the bookshelf was casting a shadow over it. I thought it should be in a more prominent position on the shelf. Seems reasonable right? I mean if you want to succeed in life you need to be aggressive right? So I saw no harm in moving my book front and center at eye level. The only problem was I had to move someone else’s book onto the shadowy end of the shelf to get mine where I thought it should be. So I did.

This happened Friday and it wasn’t until Sunday morning, while I was reading my morning scriptures and devotionals, that I realized my sin. Funny how God’s word has a tendency to do that. My sin literally shocked me. I felt like Urkel and found myself saying,  “Did I do that?” I felt so disgusted with myself. I repented right away and managed to not wallow in regret but instead got back up and moved on. That in itself is a testament to the work of the Holy Spirit that I’m so thankful for.

The scripture the Lord used to reveal my sin to me was Romans 12:10. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. I was not honoring, above myself, the other person who had written the book that I moved to a less prominent place on the shelf. I was being greedy and selfish. I was not treating that person the way I wanted to be treated (Matthew 7:12). I was not trusting God with all of my heart. I was leaning on my own understanding. I was not acknowledging Him in all of my ways (Proverbs 3:5-6). I was wrong on so many levels. I cannot tell you enough how thankful I am for the convicting of the Holy Spirit. I don’t want to stay in my sin and misrepresent God. I want to move up and onward.

How about you? Is there something that you do or have done that is justifiable in the eyes of the world but offensive in the eyes of God? Will you confess your sin and ask God to forgive you today? Don’t wallow in regret over it. Get up and move up and onward!

~Patrice Maguire