365: Barbara Thurston

Things that distract us from spending time with God

12.12.15 Reason we avoid spending time with God
When your alarm goes off in the morning do you hit the snooze button? You could get up a few minutes early and spend time with God instead of sleeping a couple more minutes. Is sleep really more important then God is? We don’t really see it as “avoiding” time with God, we just think that between everything else we have to do, we don’t have time. The truth is that often, deep down, we lose sight of who God really is and who we are in light of that. When we really look at our lives, though, we know that’s not true. We’re all busy, but we could set aside some time. Why don’t we?
Well, I think it has to do with what we allow into our lives that can distract us from God. Not all of these things are “bad” in their nature…in fact, a lot aren’t, but they become a problem when we allow them to distract us from looking at, and to God. You know those things I’m talking about; they can be anything from a job, car, or movie, to fantasy football, Xbox Live, a magazine, or even church. There are so many things in this world that fight for our time…and when we allow them to take too much…well…we lose our focus. The answer is not necessarily to cut these distractions out entirely (in some cases it is), but to realize that they can distract us…and we need to keep them in check.
Here are a few things that might keep us away from God:
*Money- Matthew 6:19“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. 22 “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light. 23 But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness! 24 “No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money. 25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? 28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
*Media-the Internet, TV, movies, music, video games, newspapers, magazines…
*Church/Religion- It is so easy to go to church to…well…go to church, when the real reason we should be going church is to refuel for our week by coming together with fellow believers to worship and meditate on God. To keep church from becoming a distraction from God, make sure you are pursuing God before pursuing “beliefs” about Him, or church/religion. We need to get past religion and into a relationship. It starts with you! Love your brothers and sisters, be open to people, and DO NOT CONDEMN others when they fail!!
*Relationships- Every kind of relationship falls into this category; friends, parents, siblings, spouses, girl/boy friends, children, co-workers, bosses, etc. We can allow any of these relationships to distract us from God. It is our relationships that are our connection with the world, and it is our human nature to have them, but when we allow any one of these relationships threaten to become more important to us than God…well, they become a distraction. Remember, God calls us to love one another (1 John 3:11), so when we do, it is an act of obedience to God. But don’t forget about God in the process. We need to make sure we are giving God ample time everyday.
*Routine-The most important thing is that spending time with God should be in your routine! Far too often do we just squeeze God in when we have down time (I am extremely guilty of this). Its so easy to get caught up in all the things we have to do, like work, eat, sleep, etc. If we didn’t spend that extra hour sleeping in, we would have a whole hour with nothing to do but seek God! So make sure spending time with God is a part of our routine. And also, make sure you are willing to abort your routine, and let God have complete control.
*Work-38 As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. 39 She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. 40 But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” 41 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” -Luke 10:38-42
*Hobbies-Do you find yourself doing something like knitting or fishing...etc... There's nothing wrong with these things but don't let them consume you to where you don't spend time with God. 
*Desiring a blessing from God, more than God Himself-It can be so easy to pray for a specific thing over and over again, but forget about spending time with God. Remember, its “seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” (Matthew 6:33), its not “first seek all these other things”.
*Your Pastor-Too many of us depend too much on The Pastor and the Word he brings us instead of doing some studying ourselves. 
*Ourselves-We are, by nature, sinful, and if we live by our nature, we will not get close to God. That is why we need to die to ourselves, and live in Christ (Romans 6:11). But no matter what we do, there will be a constant battle within ourselves between spirit and flesh (Romans 7:15-21). That is why we need to constantly allow God to search our hearts, and purify it (Psalm 139:23-24). The first step to overcoming ourselves is being aware.
It is a constant struggle to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, and to not become distracted by the passing concerns and things of this world. But if we are aware of what can, and does, interfere with our walks with God, we can begin to take the necessary actions to prevent them. Remember, seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” (Matthew 6:33).
Lord I come to You asking that You forgive me for the times I get distracted. I love spending time with You, I don't know how I let myself @ times get caught up in the other things instead of spending time with You. Lord please be with my facebook family and friends and know I love You. I ask these things in Jesus Name Amen.

God desires to spend time with you

12.11.15 God desires spending time with us
Christ is depicted as the bridegroom, and the Church is depicted as the bride. Marriage is two joining their lives as one (Genesis 2:24). Such intimacy involves time spent alone with one another. Another relationship is that of father and child. Close parental relationships are those in which children and parents have special “alone time” together. Spending time alone with a loved one provides the opportunity to truly come to know that person. Spending time alone with God is no different. When we’re alone with God, we draw closer to Him and get to know Him in a different way than we do in group settings. God desires “alone time” with us. He wants a personal relationship with us. He invites us to come to Him and know Him (Isaiah 1:18; Revelation 22:17; Song of Solomon 4:8). When we desire to know God intimately, we will seek Him early (Psalm 63:1) and spend time with Him. We will be like Mary, sitting at Jesus’ feet listening to His voice (Luke 10:39). We will hunger and thirst for righteousness, and we will be filled (Matthew 5:6). Without time alone with God, we will find needs unmet; we will not truly know the abundant life He gives. Spending time alone with God rids our minds of distraction so that we can focus on Him and hear His Word. Abiding in Him, we enjoy the intimacy to which He calls us and come to truly know Him.
Lord I love spending this time with You each night and I love sharing what You shared with me in a blog for others to read. Lord let the blogs touch someone so if they are not saved that 1 may touch them to ask questions about getting into a relationship with You. Lord please be with my facebook family and friends and know I love You. I ask these things in Jesus Name Amen.

Are you content?

12.10.15 Are you content with what God has given you? Do you wish for more money, a new job or the perfect relationship? Well don't you think God knows what you need? God supplies all your needs and sometimes He throws in things that you don't really need but would like to have. But would you be content? You beg him to save the life of your child. You plead with him to keep your business afloat. You implore him to remove the cancer from your body. What if his answer is, “My grace is enough!” Would you be content?From heaven’s perspective, grace is enough. If God did nothing more than save us from hell, could anyone complain? Having been given eternal life, dare we grumble at an aching body? Having been given heavenly riches, dare we moan about what we don’t have? It never seems to be enough does it?

Romans 8:28 that says, "All things work together and are fitting into a plan for good to those who love God and are called according to His purpose."

In Philippians 4:11, Paul said, "I have learned in whatsoever state I am in therewith to be content." The Amplified Bible describes being content as "satisfied to the point where you are not disturbed or disquieted". It doesn't say satisfied to the point where you don't want change, but satisfied for now until God brings the change.

One dictionary defines contentment as “the state of being mentally or emotionally satisfied with things as they are.”

Jesus said, “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?” (Matthew 6:25).

The latest global statistic shows that if one has a roof over his head and a meal on his table he is richer than 93 percent of the world’s population. If a person wears a pair of shoes he is richer than 75 percent of the people in the world. In the United States alone, credit card debt averages more than $16,000 per household, and we are still discontented. Solomon, the wisest and richest man who ever lived, said, “Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income. This too is meaningless” (Ecclesiastes 5:10).

"There is great gain in godliness combined with contentment; for we brought nothing into the world and we can take nothing out of it." 1 Timothy 6:6-7

My dad use to say you can't take it with you when you die.

How do you learn to be content? Stop comparing. God says we shouldn't compare yourself to others. You compare houses, clothes, cars. I bought a computer a couple of weeks ago and I was so excited about it. Then I opened a magazine and there's a newer model! We're constantly comparing -- and comparing causes discontent. And because of discontent God says, "You can't handle what I want to give you because you're putting too much priority on things in your life."

 

Lord I thank You for everything You have given me. I may not have a lot of money, or live in a mansion but I know I have what You said I need and 1 day I will live in a mansion with You. Lord please be with my facebook family and friends and know I love You. I ask these things in Jesus Name Amen.

God Expresses His love

12.9.15 So tonight we are going to take a look @ some of the ways God expresses His love for us
*The Cross-The greatest sign of love that God showed to us is when he sent his Son down to earth to suffer and die for us so that our sins could be forgiven and we could achieve eternal life. Just think of it. God himself gave up all his glory and power to take the human form of Jesus Christ and come down to earth to become a mere mortal; all for the privilege of someday welcoming you into heaven.
1 John 4:10 "This is what real love is: It is not our love for God; it is God's love for us in that he sent his Son to be the way to take away our sins."
You must also remember that what Jesus did on the cross for you, he also did for your worst enemy. Because God's love for your enemy is as perfect and as great as his love for you, it shows that you can count on God's great love being there for you at all times.
Even the design of the cross points to God's love. One beam is horizontal, while the other is vertical. One reaches out - like God's loving arms. The other reaches up - like God's holiness. One represents the width of his love, the other reflects the height of his holiness. The cross is the intersection. The cross is where God forgave all of his children, and the cross is where God tells each of us that he loves us.
*Daily forgiveness-His love allows us to continually walk in the stream of constant forgiveness. God has allowed us to be forgiven for all those sins that we commit on a daily basis.
*The gift of the Holy Spirit-Romans 5:5 says that God's love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the helper and the teacher who guides us, teaches us, comforts us and strengthens us.
*A personal relationship with God-He allows us to have a warm loving relationship with him. We can talk to him and listen to him at anytime of the day or night. He is always there. All we need to do is be aware of him and ask him to come to us. He patiently awaits us.
*Answers prayers-We can go to the Father at any time and pray to him for any reason. Whether it is to ask for forgiveness, to seek guidance, to ask for something that we want or need, to thank and praise him, or for any other purpose. He is always there waiting for us. Always ready and willing to come to our assistance. All we have to do is be aware of him, turn to him, and ask him.
*Heals us-He is always there to heal our bodies and our minds. This of course includes both our physical as well as our spiritual needs. Nothing is beyond his power. No disease, no situation, no circumstance, no tragedy is beyond his ability to heal, restore, or resolve.
*Takes the fear out of death-For the believer he has taken the sting out of death. The child of God soon learns that death is merely a way of entering into the arms of God.
*Protection-Our Father protects us from harm and injury, from both the things that we are aware of and from things we are not aware of.*
*Prepares heaven for us-One of God's greatest acts of love toward mankind is his creation of heaven for us as our eternal home. God doesn't merely love us enough to create us and give us a few decades of life on this earth, but instead his love for us is for all of eternity.
1 Corinthians 2:9, "The eye has not seen and the ear has not heard, nor has there even been conceived in the mind of man the things that God has prepared for those that love him."
*Disciplines us-He corrects us when it is needed so that we become the person that God wants us to become. The very word of God says that those who God loves, he disciplines. 
Deuteronomy 8:5 tells us, "So you should know in your heart that as a man chastens his son, so the Lord your God chastens you".

 

Lord I thank You for showing me Your love, I thank You for saving me so that I may live with You for eternity. Lord please be with my facebook family and friends and know I love You. I ask these things in Jesus Name Amen.

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