365: Barbara Thurston

Ways God tries to get our attention

9.25.15 How are some of the ways God tries to get our attention?
*God gets our attention by disrupting our ordinary routines. This forces us to slow down and to focus on God.
*God gets our attention by making us restless.
*God gets our attention through the voice of the voiceless. Eli received a message from God through a small lad named Samuel. (1 Samuel 3:4-9)
*God gets our attention through an unusual blessing. God wants us to know that we can depend on Him for our needs.
*This method is not pleasant, but God gets our attention by saying "No" to our prayers. David's child died even though David had prayed fervently. That got David's attention. (2 Samuel 12:16-18)
*God uses disappointment to get our attention.
*Sometimes God will use bizarre or extreme circumstances to get us to stop and listen. In Exodus 3:1, God got Moses' attention through a burning bush.
*God gets our attention through defeat. Israel was defeated by the small city of Ai in order to get Israel's attention. (Joshua 7)
*When you begin losing material belongings, it could be a way for God to get you to pay attention through your financial troubles.
*Tragedies, sickness and affliction will certainly get one's attention. While we must never look at these being caused by God, we should regard our tragedies and afflictions as God's way of getting our attention. (Read the Book of Job).
God knows exactly what we need, and He wants to give it to us, but first He must get our attention. If unexplainable things are happening to you, it might be God's way of getting your attention in order to give you a hope and a future.
God deserves our undivided attention, but we get preoccupied. He waits to speak with us, but we are often busy looking at our circumstances. Allow the events of life-both the pleasant and the painful- to prompt you to turn to God and ask, "Lord, are You asking for my attention?"

So what's it going to take for God to get our attention? Maybe all the killings and crimes that are going on could be God trying to get our attention. Maybe He's trying to tell us we need to turn back to Him.

God I come to you asking that you be with the ones who are out there killing people for no reason and doing all the other crimes that they no they should not be doing, I pray that the world start turning back to You instead of keep turning their back on You. Lord please be with my facebook family and friends and know I love you. I ask these things in Jesus Name Amen.

What's it going to take for God to get your attention?

9.24.15 Do you ever going through a few things and say I've had nothing but bad luck lately. Well have you ever thought maybe it's God trying to get your attention? Maybe you use to go to Church when you were younger because your parents went and made you go. All of a sudden maybe you are having some hard times, well maybe God is trying to say it's time for you to come back to Me where you belong.

FIRST, HE'LL TAKE US DOWN A NOTCH
Saul was full of himself. He had authority and power. He was looked upon favorably by the other Pharisees for his zeal and passion for the Jewish faith. In his mind, he was doing the Lord's work. He seemed to revel in the opportunity capture and imprison these Christians. He was riding high that day on his way to Damascus. But God got his attention.
Look at verses 3 and 4
3 As he journeyed he came near Damascus, and suddenly a light shone around him from heaven. 4 Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, "Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?"

God turned His searchlight on Saul. We need to remember that we may ignore God. We may choose not to acknowledge Him or open our eyes to what He is doing or what He desires to do in our life, but God knows where we are. He knows where we're going. He knows what we're doing. He knows the very thoughts and intents of our heart. He knows our downsitting and our uprising, our going out and our coming in. He knows our thoughts afar off. In other words, He knows what we are going to say, before we even thought about saying it. We may choose to ignore God and we may act like He isn't there, but He knows where we are and He knows how to get out attention. We can't hide from God. The Psalmist said (139:8-12)
8 If I ascend into heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there. 9 If I take the wings of the morning, And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, 10 Even there Your hand shall lead me, And Your right hand shall hold me. 11 If I say, "Surely the darkness shall fall on me," Even the night shall be light about me; 12 Indeed, the darkness shall not hide from You,
But the night shines as the day; The darkness and the light are both alike to You.

When that light from heaven shone upon Saul, Saul fell to the ground. This proud man with his letters of authority was now face-down in the dirt in the presence of the Lord. There is nothing that God despises any more than pride. Proverbs 6:16-17 tells us that "a proud look" is "an abomination to Him." Proverbs 16:18 say, "Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall." Saul fell to the ground. God was taking him down a notch. 
I heard someone say that God knocked Paul off his high-horse, but there is no horse mentioned in this text, and the fact that they eventually led Saul away by the hand suggests that they were all on foot. But the truth is that God can knock us off our high-horse if we will not humble ourselves before Him.
Sometimes people think they're too smart to believe in God. They think they're too sophisticated or too educated to believe in an all-powerful, everlasting God, who is Creator of heaven and earth. They think the church is just a group of superstitious people with weak minds. So they ignore God and even mock God. But God knows how to get their attention and God knows how to bring them down a notch.

SECOND, HE'LL PUT THINGS IN PERSPECTIVE
Notice what God says. God put's Saul's actions in perspective. Saul thought he was punishing some heretics, but Jesus says, "Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?" In verse 5 Paul asks, "Who are You Lord?" God has Saul's attention now. Now that searchlight of heaven has shown upon him, now that Saul has been taken down a notch, now that the thunder of God's voice has penetrated the pride and arrogance of Saul, God has Saul's attention. Saul asks, "Who are You Lord?" Then the voice responded, "I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting."
God was putting things into perspective for Saul. Saul thought he was doing God's work, but in reality Saul was persecuting the Lord Himself by persecuting God's people. When God gets our attention He has a way of breaking through the fog of our own delusions and personal agendas and plans, and opening our eyes to what is really going on and what He desires to do with our life.

God is getting the church's attention. The economic downturn has left a lot of church in a tough financial situation. In fact, there are 200 churches in the Atlanta metro area that are in foreclosure and over 10,000 nationally. God is getting the church's attention and He's telling us that the church is not the brick and mortar, but the church is the people of God who are willing to be His witnesses. People who have been obsessed with building bigger and more opulent buildings have often lost the vision for the harvest and have ignored God's plan for the church to reach the lost, raise up disciples, and send disciples into the harvest. God is taking churches down a notch to get their attention. 
Second, God is taking America down a notch to get our attention. We have been arrogant and proud. We have looked down on other nations. We have assumed a cultural superiority to other cultures. But God despises pride and arrogance and if we will not humble ourselves and pay attention to what God's will for our country is, then God will take us down a notch and bring our nation to its knees so that we will again look to Him as the author and the founder of our nation.

God was saying to Saul, "I have a better way." Jesus said, "My yoke is easy and My burden is light" (Matt 11:30). Jesus has a better way. What is that way? For the church and for America that way is found in 2 Chronicles 7:13 When I shut up heaven and there is no rain, or command the locusts to devour the land, or send pestilence among My people, In other words, "When I have to take extreme measures to get your attention," 14 if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves , and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land. How did Saul respond when God finally got his attention? "So he, trembling and astonished, said, "Lord, what do You want me to do?" Now that God had Saul's attention, Saul was ready to do whatever the Lord asked him to did not strip Saul of his freewill, but God has a way of getting our attention, and motivating us to do what we know we should be doing. "Then the Lord said to him, "Arise and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do."

When God finally gets our attention, as a church and as individual believers, we will respond like Saul and say, "Lord, what do You want me to do?" Notice that Saul personalized it. We need to stop asking what the government can do, or what the legislators, or what the courts can do and start asking, "Lord, what do You want me to do?" Does God have your attention? Are you listening to Him? God has a plan for your life. You are important for the kingdom of God, but if you are not walking in His will, and if you are not allowing His plans to unfold in your life, then God can get your attention. The spring will dry up. The rooster will crow. The prophet will confront you. The floods will come, the storms will rage, the finances will fail, the famine will come . . . God will get your attention. He will rock your world until everything that can be shaken will be shaken, but God will get your attention.

Wow so does God have your attention yet? Well come back tomorrow so we can find out more about how God can get your attention.

 

God I come to you thinking you for getting my attention and loving me every step of the way. I want to think you for your saving Grace and for being a just God. You know when we need to be chastised and you know when we need to be loved and encouraged. Lord please keep watch over my facebook family and friends and know that I love you. I ask these things in Jesus Name Amen.

God never changes

9.23.15 God never changes

Max Lucado from The traveling light said: Though he creates, God was never created. Though he makes, he was never made. Though he causes, he was never caused. Hence the proclamation in Psalm 90:2, “Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting, you are God.”

God—an unchanging God, an uncaused God, and an ungoverned God. You and I are governed. The weather determines what we wear. The terrain tells us how to travel. We may challenge these forces and alter them slightly, but we never remove them. God, our Shepherd, doesn’t check the weather; he makes it. He doesn’t defy gravity; he created it. Unchanging. Uncaused. Ungoverned. These are only a fraction of God’s qualities, but aren’t they enough to give you a glimpse of your Father? Don’t we need this kind of shepherd? Don’t we need an unchanging shepherd?

Numbers 23:19 God is not human, that he should lie,
not a human being, that he should change his mind.
Does he speak and then not act?
Does he promise and not fulfill?

"Whatever is good and perfect comes to us from God above, who created all heaven's lights. Unlike them, He never changes or casts shifting shadows" (James 1:17).

God never changes. In fact, it is impossible for God to change. The influences that cause change in your life have no effect on God. He will never be stronger or weaker. His knowledge and wisdom will not increase or diminish. God does not compromise or change His values. And God does not have mood swings. Life and its uncertainties may shake you, but God-the Rock of Ages-does not move. If you cling to Him, His strength will sustain you.

God's unchanging purpose gives you eternal significance. Psalm 33:11 states, "The Lord's plans stand firm forever; His intentions can never be shaken." God's plan is unchangeable. It existed at the beginning of creation and remains the same today. And you are part of His plan! Paul explains, "We are God's masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so that we can do the good things He planned for us long ago" (Ephesians 2:10).

God's unchangeable ways assure you of unwavering guidance. Psalm 18:30 states, "As for God, His way is perfect. All the Lord's promises prove true." God's principles for life never change. His guidelines, given in Scripture, produce fruitful lives when you follow them.

God's unchanging Word equips you with timeless truth. Isaiah declared, "The grass withers, and the flowers fade, but the word of our God stands forever" (Isaiah 40:8). God's words and commands are timeless.

God's unchanging commitment guarantees everlasting security. If you have trusted in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you can be assured of eternal life. God is eternally committed to your redemption, your spiritual growth, and your eternal destiny. God's commitment to you is as strong as He is eternally constant. The storms of life are continually changing, but God remains the same. He is consistent and reliable. He is your anchor. You can count on God because He never changes.

"Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever" (Hebrews 13:8).

Because God never changes, my future is secure and eternal.

We all need that something in our life that we can count on to always be there. Therefore, it is important to establish early on that our God and Savior Jesus Christ is unchanging. There is no God like the God of the scriptures. He alone is our rock and salvation. It is in Him that we can find a firm foundation of peace and confidence when everything around us is changing.

Are you glad God doesn't change? I am couldn't you imagine if God says oh I change my mind there will be no eternity for you. So many of us change our minds every time we turn around.

 

God I come to you thinking you for being the same all the time, never changing. I couldn't imagine if you'd change Your mind about our eternity, Without You this world would be nothing but with You we can do all things. God I pray that the people in this world would turn their eyes upon You and Your loving Grace that You have for them. Lord please be with my facebook family and friends and know that I love you. I ask these things in Jesus Name Amen.

How much time do you spend with God?

9.22.15 How much time do you spend with God?
We schedule time. It takes effort to find the time and energy to connect with God on a regular basis - just as it does with any relationship that matters. The truth is we can find a few minutes to be alone with God, but we have to be intentional. Think of it as though you're scheduling an appointment on your calendar to meet a friend.
We strive to be consistent. Commitment to faith is not reflected in the number of days we can check time with God off on our calendars; nevertheless, it does matter that we consistently set aside time to sit with Him.
We get quiet. Christ often went to solitary places to pray (see Matthew 14:23; Mark 1:35; Luke 6:12). Maybe leaving the house to find solitude isn't realistic, but we can all find ways to shut out the noise and put ourselves in a position to hear God. In fact, it's essential.
Each moment is another opportunity to reconnect with God, step away from the same old routine, and invite Him to do a new thing in our lives.
<we can more easily find out what God wants for our lives
<we can refocus and get our mind off the world and worries around us
<we find it easier to worship Him
<we naturally become more like Him
<and most importantly, the more time I spend with God, the more I will love Him!
The main ways I can spend time with God are through Reading the Bible, Prayer and Worship.
So if you're still working to make time with God a part of your life, keep at it. Like any lifetime habit, set reasonable goals that you can maintain for a long period of time and slowly increase the time you spend with God as you mature in your faith. When the "fun stage" wears off, as it likely will, ask God to help you stick with it...He wants this time with you and will give you desire and discipline to make it through. The difficult times don't last forever, and soon you will find that your daily time with God is something you wouldn't even think of missing.

Matthew 6:33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

So much of what we do every single day is the result of habits that we have formed over time. And when it comes to establishing healthy, new patterns in our lives, I’ve found that spending time with God and acknowledging Him in all of our ways is one of the most important and rewarding habits we can ever develop (see Proverbs 3:6).

I can tell you from experience that God’s help and presence in our lives is vital. He is the Author of all true success and everything that is good—without Him, we can do nothing of true value. Spending time with God through prayer and His Word is a prerequisite for having a great life and fulfilling your purpose.

Prayer doesn’t just change things—it changes us. If we are diligent in seeking God, slowly and surely we become better people.

While studying tonight I found the following: When it comes to our everyday habits, it’s important to ask: Am I putting God first?

It can be easy to put ourselves and our reputations first…or our friends…or our possessions. But when we continue to put everything else ahead of the Lord, we cheat ourselves out of something good that God wants us to have.

I tried for many years to work God into my schedule, but it seemed like I never found time. I had good intentions, but procrastination got the best of me. I was always going to spend time with God later on…or after the “one more thing” I was going to do.

The result? Not much was working right in my life or in my ministry. I was frustrated most of the time and felt like I was barely making progress. I am grateful to say that God finally got through to me! I have learned how to work my schedule around God, who is first, rather than trying to work Him into my schedule.

Jesus said in Matthew 11:28, Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy-laden and overburdened, and I will cause you to rest. [I will ease and relieve and refresh your souls.]

The answer to my problem (and yours) is simple: Come to Jesus!

It’s not about having a program to follow—it’s simply about forming a habit of putting God first in everything we do. If we will seek first His Kingdom, He has promised to add everything else that we need. (See Matthew 6:33.)

Start by taking some time in the morning to talk with God in prayer and read His Word—even if it’s just five or ten minutes.

So in the morning get up and if nothing else thank God for waking you up again. God let us make it through another night so we should thank Him for it. If you can spend time watching TV, playing video games, etc.... then you have time to spend with God. God wants to be your friend that you spend time with daily, He doesn't want to be put on the back burner to be picked up only when He's needed. I know we don't like it when someone calls us just when they need something, well I'm sure God is the same way. He wants us to contact Him everyday not just when we need something.

 

God I ask that you Bless my facebook family and friends and Lord just show them how important it is to spend time with You. I know I'm not perfect and I don't always spend time with you other then doing this Blog. I want to think you for allowing me to do this Blog. I really enjoy my time spending it with you and sharing what You have me share with others. Know I love you and I ask these things in Jesus Name Amen.

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