Sunday, February 28, 2010

ALONE WITH GOD…..

I read recently that the average pastor spends about 4 minutes a day with the Lord personally. Where would you think that leaves us??? I suggest, at less than that. If you were God, how pleased would you be with your people considering what it cost you to purchase back for them their salvation and eternal future with Him? Is it any wonder we have few spiritual giants among us??? In our everyday life, how many do you meet, how many in your neighborhood or at your place of employment? My son Pastor Bill reads a lot…and I mean a lot. He particularly likes to read about the Puritans and other long past believers. I have read many giants from the past and have the same opinion Bill does…we are the losers because we have allowed ourselves to get into a circle of “doing.” We are so busy, we never take the time we must have with the Lord alone, in order to maintain a quality spiritual life. I remember reading about Oswald Chambers and his relationship with Christ…he referred to it in a Biblical term, intimate. We generally think of that word as referring to a sexual relationship in marriage. Not so, God uses it as depicting such a close relationship with Him that even if we DO think of it in those terms, we won’t be far off. His idea of intimacy is being so close and in tune, we talk to Him continually, think through with Him our daily life and decisions, look to Him to think with us our choices and options. It becomes a matter of what or in this case, Who is in/on our minds. Every Biblical character we read about that did great things for God, was “with Him” continually. Our problem is we have allowed our lives to become too complicated, we constantly spin our wheels and frequently get no where. If we would spend more time with Him we would have spiritual giants among us once again. If we let Him, He will show us the “much more” of Scripture, more beyond what others see. He wants us to realize our true strength will come from our stopping the idea of controlling our own lives and turning the “control tower” (our minds) over to Him. Our entire human society teaches us the opposite. Consequently, when we spend little if any time with Him, we don’t take in enough to make the difference. We think like the world thinks because that is where our input is coming from.

Another contributing character quality that we have greatly neglected is humility. The world makes humility, meekness, gentleness, caring, seem to be signs of weakness not strength. Years ago an old friend of mine used this phrase, “meekness is strength grown tender.” I never forgot that quote, she was speaking of
Christ and it truly fit Him…He was the strongest man that ever lived…and died! We as believers need those qualities in our lives and in an active manner…those qualities show moral character, ethic, principle…qualities sadly lacking in our country today. There is a moral glut…if you pay any amount of attention to our congress and other leadership that is available to us on fox News and the few other conservative/fair and balanced outlets, you can plainly see the total lack of morality and ethics in many/most of our representatives. They have even forgotten they represent us…they say they do but don’t act like it. They do not listen to what their constituents are saying and voting and promoting those values and  issues that the people want. That is what our Constitution promotes, actually what our War of Independence was fought for…representative government. We elect individuals to “speak” for us by their vote. Today, our representatives think they know more and better than we do and will vote accordingly. Progressivism has taken us far away from what our Founders intended and wrote. I  understand we  living in the end time and much of this is being allowed by God to that end, so I try not to rail against what God is allowing. But it surely saddens my heart as I watch the Body of Believers that I am part of and care about, accept like the sheep we are, what the world wants us to accept. A humbled heart doesn’t accept such things, but looks to God for further instruction and for action. I trust you will consider and obey the Spirit of God as he leads us on to “higher ground,” which is being alone with God, drawing wisdom and strength from Him, for His glory.

Friday, February 26, 2010

DEALING WITH THE GOLIATHS SURROUNDING US!

Recorded for us in 1 Samuel 17 is the account of David and a literal giant named Goliath. David was a teenager at the time, had come to the battlefield originally to bring supplies to his brothers who were fighting in the battle with the Philistines. The account is very inspiring…David could not believe the Israelites, God’s own people, were intimidated by the Philistines, even if they were giants. As far as David was concerned, the Israelite warriors were God’s warriors, and the battle was NOT theirs, it was His! Why were they so afraid???? Sound familiar? Can you put yourself in the place of the Israelites or are you like David, incredulous at their lack of trust in the Living God?  I think we have each been in same places…and our faith has been tested and in some cases, tried.

What is the back story here????  There is more than originally meets the eye…David was indignant, with righteous indignation because he felt the attitude of the Israelites brought reproach to the Name of a Holy God. He believed someone had to wipe away the reproach to God and if no one else would do it, he would. In our current society, we come across Goliaths/Philistines everyday…we are surrounded by people who have no regard for God, His Word, His world, His people Israel, the church…I could go on and on. There are blasphemers all around us all the time. Do we handle them as David did? Do we look to the Lord Himself to give us instruction, strength, wisdom, weapon,…victory?????

Unbelievers/nonbelievers/atheists, etc., surround us, and are very vocal. How about the ACLU???? How about those that are pro-choice? How about those that hold a non-Biblical view of homosexuality? Are these issues not our modern day Goliaths? Like David are we righteously indignant on God’s behalf pertaining to upholding His Name and His holiness on issues that are contrary to the Word? Do we know the Scripture well enough to uphold the Biblical view in a discussion, not an argument since that is futile, but an exchange of views? It is our responsibility to be informed, to know the Word well and accurately, and as it says in Colossians 4:6, “let our speech be seasoned with salt, knowing how to give an answer to all.” Could you defend what you believe to be God’s truth?” 

Do you know how much the Judeo-Christian faith and Scripture influenced the founding of our country, and the writing of our Declaration of Independence, Constitution and Bill of Rights. Do you know how many of the Founders and signers were Pastors and Seminary Professors, writers of Christian classics as well as our founding documents. The American Heritage Foundation has DVD’s and books that are marvelous to see and read, retelling the ACCURATE story of our Founding Fathers, with the documents to back up the truths,  not the mish-mash we have in what are called history books today?  David Barton is a marvelous historian and teacher, knows his material and can set straight the mess progressives have made of our history and and trying to do to our country. Check him out on the web, at www.wallbuilders.com. His DVD series on our American Heritage is well worth buying and viewing, I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to confront the goliaths of our time.

We are living in a privileged time…The Lord will be returning soon for His church. But in the meantime we are told to :occupy” and in our time, we have the privilege of defending the Scripture, our Christian heritage, the principles and ethics we have been taught in our youth, and sharing out faith as God gives us opportunity. I trust you will be serious concerning your faith, your relationship to the Lord and the sharing/teaching of His Word…He’s coming soon and we must be about our Father’s business.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

MARANATHA!!!!

Scripture teaches us that one day, which one unknown by us, our risen Savior will come from heaven to take His own to heaven…wow! This promise I originally learned as a child in Sunday School, and God re-emphasized to me and returned me to Himself at the age of 36 by reading Hal Lindsey’s book, Late Great Planet Earth. I recognized that what Hal wrote concerning the Lord’s return was possibly even probably going to happen in my lifetime. The primary reason I believe this to be true is his point that for the first time in over 2,000 years, Israel is in it’s own land. Because of the book by Hal, and reading additional  books on the same subject, I have become convinced this is the timeframe. Matthew 24 gives us a good itinerary of events prior to His return and tells us this…”therefore, keep watch.” You could well ask, what does He mean to “keep watch.” As I see it, it means to go about your life, being a faithful testimony by living out Biblical principles. By allowing the Holy Spirit to make the changes in our character that are necessary to conform us to the image of Christ, being an active member of the Body of Christ. We are to contribute as the Holy Spirit directs. Additionally, we are to remember we are pilgrims here, heaven is our home, we are not to become “like” the world around us but be separate and a testimony. But, we are to “WATCH!” Be aware of what is going on around us in our town and state, the governing of our great country and the world. And we are to look at this governing from the Bible’s point of view. I am sadly disappointed at the illiteracy of the church in general concerning prophecy. WE MUST KNOW THE TIME IN WHICH WE LIVE FROM GOD’S PERSPECTIVE! If we don’t we will fit into the parable of the Ten Virgin’s in Matthew 25, half kept themselves ready, half did not and were left behind. Where are you? I would urge anyone that reads this blog to carefully read or re-read the books of Revelation and Daniel. Hal Lindsey has a great web page with loads of information, all backed up, on exactly this point. Hal is also a great student of the Israeli people and their homeland. If you don’t understand about Israel’s history, you will be totally uninformed concerning prophecy. ISRAEL IS HISTORY AND THE OBJECT OF PROPHECY! We are privileged to be living in the time frame when the return of Christ for His church will probably happen…we may never face death, but rather be taken up to the clouds and be changed, and meet our Lord. Hallelujah!!! Read or re-read the portions in I Corinthians 15:51-57 and I Thessalonians 4:13-18, which will tell you about what we call “the rapture” of the church or the “catching away.” I cannot think of a greater privilege than to among that company, I and my immediate family. These are exciting times, and Israel is the centerpiece. If you are not following current events you are missing an exciting (and at times, discouraging) series of events. Please don’t be fooled…Israel  is not the bad guy here. They have problem areas, but they are not the heavy’s. If you want to have a discussion on this issue you can email me at eagleone4@comcast.net and I will be happy to share. I love prophecy, mainly because I can see the detail in God’s plan. I love to do timelines and research on Biblical events…recently I spent a lot of time going back over the history of the Jews and the Arabs. Most Christians know the bad blood began with Abraham’s sons, Ishmael and Isaac. The Bible tells us that Abraham and Sara “helped God out” by Abraham fathering Ishmael by Sara’s Egyptian maid, Hagar. He was the child of the flesh. When the time was right, God opened Sara’s womb and she gave birth to Isaac in their old age, the child of promise, Genesis 15:4.  A major problem today is that so few people, Christians as well as non-Christians do NOT believe the Bible is God’s inerrant word and therefore do not believe what it says. However, there are many historical records that back up the teaching of Scripture as factual. And, remember please, just because you don’t believe what the Bible teaches doesn’t make it untrue. It is still the Word of God, true and faithful, every jot and tittle. In addition to loving Scripture and prophecy, I have become a follower of current events, probably because of my love and knowledge of prophecy and being able to see the alignment of those current events with the bible teaching about future events. It is exciting! God is never wrong, always is right on the mark, total truth! We are about to see the fulfillment of God’s plan for mankind and the Jews in particular. Praise Him, He is about to come.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

HAVE YOU THOT ABOUT THE FUNDAMENTALS LATELY!!!

Have you ever wondered why there are so many denominations and divisions in the Body of Christ? I have…in fact I have spent considerable time thinking about it over the years and I still don’t have a definitive answer. I’m very much a people person, and over the years have come to a pretty good understanding of how and why our minds function the way they do, at least the Biblical view and alot of wisdom from the Lord. Because I have been involved with inmates and their families for so many years, it is a priority for me to have the wisdom and mind of the Lord, as He promised I could have in His Word. I don’t want to operate on my own understanding, I need His. And, He has graciously shared His understanding with me, at least as much as I can handle. We often wonder why one group pulls away from another, and decide to fellowship separately. At first look it seems like some minor thing, some seemingly silly, fleshy thing, power seeking, control, . Many times it is over the Scripture…which version, how it is taught, interpreted, viewed…This raises another question, what Biblical principles are so firm and presented in such a definitive way that we really need to be in agreement to truly worship together. But, they are few and I have indeed researched and read to come to the conclusion of these few points that believers need to consider with no compromise:

1. God is a tri-unity. Father, Son, Holy Spirit. All are equal in position and power, but each has a different function in regard to humanity and salvation. All three are eternal beings. The best illustration of this is at Jesus baptism in Matthew 3.

2. All Scripture is God-breathed. It is the infallible, inerrant Word of the Living God. The Scripture we have today in the KJV, the NKJV, the NIV and a very few others, are accurate translations, reliable for us to use for reading and study. There are some versions that are called “paraphrases,” are clearly noted in the preface by the authors as such. A good illustration of this is The Living Bible. OK for just casual reading but not for study. Many paraphrases are very scholarly works, the Phillips NT is beautiful for reading but it is a paraphrase, a work interpreted and  put in everyday language by the author. It is also clearly stated that this is truly a paraphrase.

3. Jesus Christ was virgin born. It is considered culturally correct these days to believe otherwise. We do so at our peril, since Scripture clearly states He was virgin born. Why is this important? Leviticus 17 says, “the life is in the blood.” I don’t know why God said that, but He did and that makes it so. Medically we know most diseases are transmitted through the blood, we can rightly believe that based on what God said and did concerning the blood makes it the conduit for sin. All through Scripture it is stated blood must be shed to remit sin. Look at all the OT sacrifices and the elaborate instruction God gave concerning the offering of those sacrifices. Another interesting fact is this, the flesh is not inherently sinful but it is fed by the blood. Ponder this: a baby “in-utero” has it’s blood supplied and recirculated by the mother, being enclosed in a sac and separate. This is the plan made by God in eternity past, and carried out in the birth of His Son. Beautiful isn’t it!!!

4. Jesus lived a sinless life, gave Himself willingly as the payment to the Father for the sin of mankind, fully and completely. The debt is paid. After His death and burial, He was resurrected bodily on the third day, by the power of God. He was taken bodily into Heaven, in view of His disciples and He promised to return for His church.

5. Heaven, Hell, Satan, and judgment are all very real, whether one believes it or not.  

6. Possibly the most important point is this…salvation is by faith in Christ’s atoning work, and by faith in Him alone, nothing added and nothing subtracted. We are secure in our salvation when it is transacted according to the Word in John 3, are to live a separated life, one that is according to the Scripture and pleases God.

These are not difficult  concepts to understand, why we cannot agree on them I do not know, or at the very least, agree to disagree and worship together the Father, Son and Holy Spirit with our whole hearts as children of God.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

AFFLICTION

This time of year many of us are prone to depression…not necessarily the heavy-duty, debilitating type, just a “flat,” not quite with it feeling. This winter seems especially bad, probably because of all the snow, keeping us “house-bound” more than usual. Frankly, after quite a few bouts over many years, I don’t have all the answers but I am convinced God knows every whip stitch that goes on in my life and I assume yours, and He allows it for a reason and a season. Paul had a “thorn” in the flesh…could depression be a thorn? If so, I am obligated to “bear it well” and allow God to use it. Paul said his thorn kept him from being proud…maybe the same applies to me…or you! This I also know, I work diligently on staying very close to Him during these times, pray a little more, read a little more, and I make a project out of memorization. I keep a little notebook handy, even when I go to bed, write down verses that seem to “hit the mark” for where I am, and go through them when I sense the heaviness coming. Perhaps I would not have as close a relationship with Him if it weren’t for these bouts ? It’s important to keep as busy as possible even though you are house-bound and probably don’t feel like it. There is a name for the condition,SAD, but I don’t  remember what the initials stand for. At least it has been identified and recognized as an existing condition, apparently quite common. I have to say the memorization works pretty well, not totally but running through a number of verses does ease the sense of gloom.

I’ve known the Lord for 36 years, as I have thought back over my life I remember quite a few bouts, a couple pretty long-lasting. I also remember reading that many of God’s men and women from the past have endured bouts of depression, causing me to assume that your spiritual condition probably has little or nothing to do with it. When men like Martin Luther, Judson Adonijah, C.I. Scofield, the man who founded the Salvation Army, named Brengel to name a few, come down with the “blahs” from time to time, (some had very serious bouts according to what I read) why not an ordinary person like me, no matter how much I love the Lord and how close I live to Him. It may not be any different than the high blood pressure I take medication for!!!!  But I have to admit I work harder at “lifting” it than I do on lowering my blood pressure…because I am convinced He is allowing it for some reason and I need to be open to hearing what that reason is. I also know from Scripture that any affliction is for a season, it has a beginning and it will have an end, and God knows the timeframe. Will I trust Him and hang in there, continuing my memorization and “singing and making melody in my heart to the Lord?” Yes, I will. I found many a verse that spoke about praise, singing, and glorifying the Lord with speech, witnessing and bearing testimony to His goodness. And,…I remember that no matter how I “feel” God does not change, not one wit, He is ever the same and I can take that to the bank!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

WHERE ARE WE IN OUR GROWTH PROCESS?????

2 PETER 3:14 is a wonderful verse to use as a guide for our growth…we can check ourselves by these few words: “be diligent to be found by Him in peace, spotless, and blameless.” The word diligent is perfect here, Peter means we are to be always on the alert, with our minds focused on how we are developing in Christ. Following are some markers I found in a DVD by Dr Charles Stanley. They have helped me immensely in my years as a Christian. They are good, common sense “rules.” We have no problem getting a physical checkup,”surface  but seem to have trouble with spiritual checkups. We should not, as the spiritual is frequently more important than the physical. I would suggest writing them down and keeping them in your Bible or journal for future reference.

1. We should have a growing hunger for “more” of God. I have met far more superficial Christians than mature, committed ones. Sorry to say, “surface Christianity” is all too common and much is by choice. maturing is hard work.

2. We need a deep desire to know God’s truth, His deeper truths. It is God’s desire that we know Him “intimately.” That takes some doing, time and desire…Jesus said in John 14:6, “I am the way, the TRUTH, and the life…” This says to me that one that does NOT know the Savior, cannot know truth. I know that is a strong statement but I believe it to be true…apart from a relationship with Him, we are unable to discern the truth, our thinking processes are crooked. Most people don’t realize that when we are born again, our minds are NOT born again, we are instructed to “renew” them. There are a number of verses that tell us that we have work to do on our minds. A good word study is looking up in a concordance the word mind, and write out the verses you find in your journal so you can meditate on them from time to time.

3. We become aware of our sinful state…not that mature Christians should see themselves as worthless or devalued in any way, rather it should make us sense in new ways, our desperate need for Him. The older I have grown in Christ, this very attitude has taken over in me. I KNOW I need Him more now. I am a single, live alone, and fully recognize my need to depend on Him for decisions, leading, and companionship. I understand how when I was a young believer I thought and acted on my own. But as I grew I realized what I was doing, and then what I should do, and proceeded to change my thinking. Now I take great comfort in “leaning” on Him and needless to say, my life is much more settled and comfortable.

4. We develop a quicker response to sinful thoughts, which becomes sinful deeds. At times early in our Christian life, we may even presume on God’s Grace and stay in a sinful behavior longer than we should. We know we’re growing when we can quickly take that offense to the feet of Christ and leave it there.

5. As we grow, the battle frequently becomes more intense, problems seem bigger, temptations more inviting. We can however, rest in the knowledge that the Lord is developing us into mature believers as He shows us His power to overcome ANY situation.

6. We have come to recognize that we do more growing in hard times than in peaceful times. God reveals Himself to us in the most exciting ways when our backs are against the wall and we have no choice but to His power to see us through the trial victoriously. Additionally, we discover character qualities in Him (and sometimes ourselves) that we didn’t see before.

7. There is a saying, LOVE is spelled TIME…as we grow, a sincere desire to serve develops and we want to give Him the time necessary to serve fully and well. That time for His work is given out of love for Him, not out of duty and it becomes very pleasurable. We also need to remember that God is not a hard task master, He wants us to pace ourselves and not overdue it. Proper rest keeps us at our best for Him.

8. We have come to understand that God is a sovereign God, and that good and bad both come from God’s hand and is under His control. We may not understand it all, but we have learned to trust. Romans 8:28 proves true…”all things” work together. “all things.”

9. We should see our faith growing, our confidence in His willingness to answer. He  wants us to “pray big.” Nothing we can ask is too big for Him to handle and personally, I believe He enjoys surprising us with answers just to grow our faith. We can tell we are learning to let the Holy Spirit guide our asking also.

10. A big example of growth is wanting to share our Lord and our experiences with Him, with others. We understand that others need to know Him and w3e are willing to tell them.

11. We become willing, even eager to give to God’s work. He teaches us that His plan is that His people are to support His work. It helps us get out of the “me” point of view. We also will find the more we give, the more He gives back to us.

12. A true believer cannot divide up his life into little sections…God is active in every part of it. We find ourselves talking to Him all the time, it just becomes second nature.

13. He, and spending time with Him become our #1 priority…we give Him the first and best part of our day, willingly.

We have moved into an intimate relationship with the Savior…the best place to live from moment to moment!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

ABIDING IN HIM AND OUR FRIENDSHIPS

When you think about it, abiding in Christ should make us the best possible kind of friend. We should be able to show to others the best character qualities there are…Christ’s…the fruit of the Spirit. Love, joy, peace, gentleness, patience, goodness, faithfulness, meekness, self-control, Galatians 5:25. Others should be attracted to us BECAUSE we exhibit these qualities. But, for our sakes and for the sake of others we should have some mental ground rules for developing friendships. Think about these:

1. Be careful and take your time. You’re risking a lot, so do not be in a hurry.

2. Try to discern if this person is “free from neediness”…are they looking to you to make them feel good about themselves? (That’s God’s job)…are they requiring, perhaps demanding a lot of your time?

3. Are they “negative” in their conversation? Are they frequently putting a negative “spin” on situations? Do you find yourself feeding into their negativity when ordinarily you would not?

4. Do you feel “shut in” with this person…no one else allowed in?

5. Do you come away from time with them feeling distressed or even depressed?

 

These things need to be considered in forming friendships…it kind of falls into the area of an “unequal yoke”…believe it or not, some people can’t be fixed! They have chosen to stay where they are, and God being a gentleman, won’t force them to change. He will urge, but not force. People as I described above are always looking for friends…they wear out the ones they have and have to move on to others. So be careful!

So how do we make wise evaluations in forming friendships? Think about these things:

1. You share mutual concerns and interests.

2. The focus for each of you is doing something positive for the other.

3. We must be willing to risk rejection, and perhaps be misunderstood.

4.  Be willing to understand and love unconditionally.

5. Be willing to be open and transparent.

6. Be willing to “serve” the other.

7. Be willing to confront…one of the most difficult things to do.

8. Be willing to ask for and give forgiveness, and say, “I’m sorry”

9. Accept criticism and praise gladly, have their best interest at heart

10. Be committed to the spiritual growth of the other, and allow the principles of Scripture to govern the relationship.

 

Few things in life are more rewarding than a mutual and edifying friendship! One of the most difficult things to do as a friend, is to understand what is going on at times. You know something is wrong but you just can’t put your finger on it…here are some things to consider when you are in that spot.

Attitudes that destroy relationships:

1. selfishness     2. manipulation     3. jealousy     4. criticism

5. anger/exploding     6. coveting     7. disloyalty     8. dishonesty

                                9. busyness

If you give some thought to the above, any of them can cause harm to a relationship…where do you stand?

Ways to heal and rebuild a relationship:

1. address the matter     2. determine what happened     3. apologize where appropriate     4. refuse to explain and/or defend yourself, God will do it for you…..5. Ask…what can I do?       6. make a commitment to rebuild…

Additionally, you may want to consider these things

1. Am I projecting onto my friend something or a problem with someone from my past?

2. Am I acting fearful, afraid to open up or be transparent?

3. Am I expecting more than they can give?

4. Am I feeling rejected because of my own insecurity?

 

Considering our own true feelings and why you are having this problem can open up areas in our lives that need healing, a healing that only God can give. He wants us whole, and if we look at ourselves, and see we are over-reacting to someone’s desires or expectations in a friendship, we may need God’s touch for us too, personally.  

Most of what I have written here i have learned from personal experience. Additionally, I’ve taught classes to inmates on Healing for Damaged Emotions for many, many years. All the while I taught, I continued to learn myself. God is awesome in His patience and love, as well as His desire for us to be whole. He is the One that makes that possible, try it…you’ll profit greatly.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

DO WE KNOW HOW TO “ABIDE?”

I don’t think I am alone in noticing that life in general is getting more difficult. It’s not just finances, jobs, and the accompanying situations but it’s interpersonal relationships and how we relate to each other, speak to each other, and respect each other. I sometimes think I was born in the wrong century, should have been born in the Victorian era…I may have fit better. I am also convinced that living a peaceful, fruitful life in our time frame, makes belonging to Christ imperative, I know I could not go on from day to day with general living, apart from relationship with the Lord. Years ago, John 15 made a big impact on me, the concept of “abiding” completely captured  my imagination and created a deep desire within me to know the Lord in this manner. I’ve pursued it passionately and have never been sorry for the time and effort I put into it. Lots of reading, prayer, “think time,” and applying have become a permanent part of my daily life. Of course the application moves it from a vertical relationship to the horizontal plane, my learning experience expressed to those I come in contact with. This blog gives me the opportunity to express what I’ve learned over the years. Who knows but that someone may read my experience or think my viewpoint has value, and put it into their life. I believe that is a part of discipleship!

Abiding in Christ requires time…how much? Good question…think about this, we all know that God asks us for a tithe of our funds to finance His work. Well, what about a tithe of our time to “finance” our growth and closeness to Him…a tithe of our time is 2 hours 24 minutes each day. Think about that for a minute, and ask yourself how close you come. If we took that seriously, we Christians would set the world on fire! Our love for God shows itself in the following ways, 1) time spent with Him 2) talking with Him 3) thinking about Him and what His Word says 4) our feelings for Him, and expressing those feelings 5) trust…do we REALLY trust Him? Interesting ideas, right?

So how can we know we are abiding in Him?

1. We are being obedient to Him, and acting on what His Word says

2. We produce fruit…the fruit of the Spirit, which manifests itself by changes in our character, our conduct and attracting others to the Savior

3. We experience the pruning of the Father…difficult times, difficult people, difficulty prioritizing our lives.

4. We see our prayers being answered in new ways, because our asking has been altered.

5. We find we love, and are more patient and tolerant of others, particularly difficult people.

6 We live in the joy of the Lord, regardless of our circumstances.

As we think about these things, we have to wonder about our love for Him, for each other, and living in the world the way we should as far as our testimony goes. Friendships are very important, and we need to be aware of with whom to develop a friendship and who we are better off leaving alone…next time I’ll share some gleanings I’ve developed over the years.