Tag Archives: Bible study

Investing in Blessings

 

INVESTING IN BLESSINGS

By Carolyn Dale Newell

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. I will be found by you, says the Lord,

Jeremiah 29:11-14a NKJV

Do you ever feel as if your spiritual gas tank is running on empty? Does it seem like your prayers go no further than the ceiling? Is your bank account of blessings almost overdrawn?

At times, we may reach a spiritual lull. That should send up a red flag. Warning lights should flash as sirens blast. Something is just not right.

The causes can be numerous, but let’s examine the most likely culprit. We have a deceptive enemy who strives to pull us away from God. Any of the following symptoms can be attributed to our adversary: times of prayerlessness, a decline in church attendance, slack in Bible reading, or sin.

Satan may already have a stronghold in your mind (2 Cor. 10:4). Don’t despair! God has given us spiritual weapons for the tearing down of strongholds. Prayer and the Word of God will put us back on track. And if there is sin in our lives, God is faithful and just to forgive when we repent (1 John 1:9).

As our verses from Jeremiah tell us, God has plans for us. Plans that include a future and a hope. The next verse directs us to pray and seek God. God isn’t a cosmic Easter bunny hiding eggs from us. But we must invest ourselves. We must give God our time, our lives, our money, and our all.

Consider your 401K. Your return is based on your investment. A person depositing $100 may earn $10. The individual contributing $1,000 may earn $100. The more you invest, the more you earn.

Look at a farmer who plants a full acre of crops. He tends to his crops and reaps the harvest.

But a farmer who only plants half of that acre and pays little attention to it will reap a much smaller harvest.

When we fill our days with everything but God, can we really expect him to bless us? God loves us. He desires to commune with us. He wants an intimate relationship with us, His favored sons and daughters.

I have wonderful news! You can start anew today. Get alone with God. Tell Him how you feel. He won’t rebuke you. Ask Him to help you in your desire to spend more time with Him. You will be met with interruptions and distractions as you devote more energy to the Lord.

A life invested in God will be a life of rich blessings. Maybe not worldly riches. Maybe not wealth. Maybe not a trouble-free life…definitely not a trouble-free life. But a life rich in God.

Lord, forgive us for distance. We yearn to draw near to You knowing You will draw near to us. Guard our precious moments together. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

DIG DEEPER

Read 2 Corinthians 10:3-6.

HIKING THE TRAIL

When you begin to devote more to God, the enemy will counter attack. What can you do to be prepared for this temptation and battle? I keep in mind that He will seek to steal that time or money away, and when it occurs, I know it is the enemy, and I stand firm.

Copyright 2018 Carolyn Dale Newell.

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Throwback Thursday: 4 Essentials for the Christian Life

4 ESSENTIALS FOR THE CHRISTIAN LIFE

But you beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. –Jude 20-21

 

Jude gave these commands to help his readers as they contend for the faith. They make great building blocks for any Christian. They will not make the sorrow or pain of persecution and tribulation any less, but they will give you a firm foundation.

First, build up your faith. Good, deep, daily Bible study is essential. Sound preaching and teaching are not enough by themselves. You must spend time digging into the Bible and applying it to your life.

What does it mean to pray in the Holy Spirit? It is the same thing as praying in the name of Jesus. That does not mean tagging His name at the end of your prayers. Pray according to God’s will. We know that it is God’s will for people to live holy, but there are many times when we don’t know the will of God. That is when we pray as Jesus did by submitting to the Father’s will, not our own. In this process, don’t forget to believe for miracles. We are commanded to do both.

God will never cease to love us, but we show our love for Him by obedience. In John 15:10, Jesus said, “If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love,” Obedience keeps you right in the middle of God’s blessings. Disobedience puts you in the place of His chastisement.

The final building block in Christian living is hope. Christians should live in the hope of the second coming. This is a purifying hope and it should cause Christians to witness to the unsaved. The greatest mercy we will receive is eternal life.

Build a good foundation that will withstand the storms of life. Deep Bible study, praying according to the will of God, obedience and hope are good Christian principles.

 

Copyright 2013 Carolyn Dale Newell.