Good morning bloggy friends! Today is a GOOD day! For the first time I feel my God-centered than I've felt all of this year. I don't know how/why I seemed to hit a spiritual slump (that seemed like a rut so deep it could never end) and yet today it is over! Ok so it could have a little something to do with the fact that I took twice my normal dose of Effexor XR since I was no longer functioning under the dose I was on. Why do I keep hitting that point and having to get my dosage upped? Oh well I suppose I should thank God that there is a medication out there that will allow me to lead a somewhat normal life? I just wish I knew why I was perfectly fine and then one day out of the blue over a year ago I started having anxiety attacks and mild depression and couldn't function on a daily basis and at this point I have found myself increaded from 75mg to 150 mg and now facing another increase? Is it ever going to get any better or do I just have to accept that I can't live my life normally without the help of drugs? AHHHH! The things you ponder when given a free moment and you allow your fingers to run away at the keyboard.
Anyway I say ALL of that to say this...My lack of blogging has been due to this slump and well know I hope that I will be motivated to continue on with it because I do so enjoy it and I hope that someone out there somewhere (if anyone is even reading this?) gains something useful (a blessing?) from reading it!
and now on with the meat of the message...my quiet time with God this morning consisted of
Psalm 49 (NIV)
For the director of music. Of the Sons of Korah. A psalm.
1 Hear this, all you peoples; listen, all who live in this world,
2 both low and high, rich and poor alike:
3 My mouth will speak words of wisdom; the utterance from my heart will give understanding.
4 I will turn my ear to a proverb; with the harp I will expound my riddle:
5 Why should I fear when evil days come, when wicked deceivers surround me-
6 those who trust in their wealth and boast of their great riches?
7 No man can redeem the life of another or give to God a ransom for him-
8 the ransom for a life is costly, no payment is ever enough-
9 that he should live on forever and not see decay.
10 For all can see that wise men die; the foolish and the senseless alike perish and leave their wealth to others.
11 Their tombs will remain their houses forever, their dwellings for endless generations, though they had named lands after themselves.
12 But man, despite his riches, does not endure; he is like the beasts that perish.
13 This is the fate of those who trust in themselves, and of their followers, who approve their sayings. Selah
14 Like sheep they are destined for the grave, and death will feed on them. The upright will rule over them in the morning; their forms will decay in the grave, far from their princely mansions.
15 But God will redeem my life from the grave; he will surely take me to himself. Selah
16 Do not be overawed when a man grows rich, when the splendor of his house increases;
17 for he will take nothing with him when he dies, his splendor will not descend with him.
18 Though while he lived he counted himself blessed— and men praise you when you prosper-
19 he will join the generation of his fathers, who will never see the light of life .
20 A man who has riches without understanding is like the beasts that perish.
God spoke to me through a message by Dr. Charles Stanley on the message of the Cross night before last. + each point on the cross was one of his points.
1. The justice of God
2. The wisdom of God
3. The love of God
4. The power of God
The Message of the Cross
Scripture: 1 Corinthians 1:17-25
I. Introduction: Why do Christians put such emphasis on the cross? What message does it convey, and exactly what does it symbolize?
A. The cross is a message about the justice of God.
God is the epitome of holiness and righteousness, so He must punish sin.
Every other religion teaches that people reach God through their works.
God placed all the sin of humanity on Christ in order to provide a substitute in our place.
God deals not only with our actions; He changes us from the inside out.
B. The cross is a message about the wisdom of God.
The cross is foolishness to those who are perishing. The Jews and Greeks saw the cross as a sign of weakness, shame, and punishment for crime.
Because salvation is a gift of God, we can’t take credit for what God has done in our lives.
God’s redemptive plan is unique in human history.
People who attempt to work for their salvation never know if they have done enough to go to heaven. In contrast, those who receive God’s forgiveness have assurance of their salvation.
C. The cross is a message about the love of God.
God is love, but that doesn’t mean He overlooks sin.
If you receive salvation but then live a disobedient, rebellious life, God will discipline you in love.
No one deserves to go to heaven. A 90-year-old man and a 10-year-old boy are both saved by grace.
D. The cross is a message about the power of God.
Paul writes that the cross is about God’s power (1 Cor. 1:18).
God's power transforms anyone who will accept salvation.
Example: Prisoners who are incarcerated for life but have never felt freer
Example: A drug addict whose life was eventually transformed after he heard one sentence about God’s unconditional love
III. Closing: The message of the cross is that the Lord is willing to save anyone who asks. Once you ask Him to forgive your sins, He instantly begins to change your life. Live every day in the assurance that you are in God’s loving hand, and that He will take care of you for all eternity.
and then my quiet time this morning reinforced the fact that do one can be good enough to go to heaven, no one can buy their way into heaven, it's only by the blood of Christ we can go to heaven.
I really needed the meat of the message and the focus of my Christian life to be refocused on what really matters and that is what has helped to pull me back into the center of God's will where I need to be. Thank you God for these messages and the medication that can help me to focus and concentrate on living rather than muddling through life with no purpose. Thank you for forgiving my sins, the ones i've commited, the ones i'm omitted and the ones that I will commit and omit in the future and for all time. Thank you for sending your only son Jesus to die for MY sins (even if I was the only one - you would have sacrificed him just for me!) I love you with all of my being and want to strive to be obedient and open to your will so that I can be the one to say "Here am I, send me!". Amen!