One Way Remains True

Only One Way!
John 14:6
Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

I fully understand how confusing it can get with so many versions of what it takes to please God, become a child of God, and to be eternally secure. But, the truth is that it is really a simple matter that has been told and has not changed: JESUS CHRIST IS STILL THE ONLY DOOR TO SALVATION & BEING ACCEPTED AS “God’s Child” — we are not all God’s children; and none of us were born in His Image nor with His Likeness. However, the DOOR IS ALWAYS OPEN FOR ANYONE TO “BE BORN AGAIN!”

Enjoy Still God by Elevation Worship

 

Body Strengthening

Set your affection on things above – Colossians 3:2

A brother-in-Christ, Dedrick Abbott, posted the below comment on Facebook. It’s a topic that me and my boss talk about all the time!

Dedrick Abbott  1 hr  Followers of Christ should be more interested in building each other up than tearing each other apart. It is easy to be critical, but when we bear with others we enter into their story and the little things that cause them to act the way that they do. This is an opportunity for the church to be counter-culture to the world around us. We should try to value others for who they are and not simply for what they can do.

It’s true … the body of the church has played a pretty good role in causing this growing lean toward disdain for “church” followers of Jesus Christ. It’s true … a lot of churches have to make a greater effort in drawing the hurt, abused, fearful, confused and lost into our bosom (a familiar source of protection, security or affection) in our bodies of worship.

It starts, however, with INDIVIDUALS who truly love the Lord and who purposely DEMONSTRATE that LOVE person-to-person. It requires both the church-goer and the Believer to come to understand that not everyone is mature enough to operate in the will of God’s command that we love each other. Loving others in spite of their faults is a learned heart attitude that can only be grasped by those who truly have allowed God full access to their heart.

In all the years I attended church from my youth up into my young adult years, it took me until I was around 37 yo to recognize that not everyone who says, Lord, Lord, does God’s will. I learned that not everyone who attends church is a “Believer” who practices godly living. At the end of the day, I had to make up my mind to put my focus on God and not people. I had to stop allowing people to be the deciding factor in how, why, when and where I worshipped the Lord of my salvation.

woman writing in white board

 

The lessons taught me to make a personal choice to walk with Christ and focus on Him instead:

  • I choose to learn more about Him for myself – not accept second-hand knowledge
  • I choose to know Him – not just accept someone else’s experiences of Him
  • I choose to seek Him – not through a preacher or teacher but through His Word
  • I choose to serve Him out of my heart belief of His deity – not look to flesh for His image

I learned early in life that man was a sinful creature, flawed, and in need of a savior. It was in my immature and infantile stage as a Believer that I allowed the fallacy of man to cripple my relationship commitment and dedicated service to Christ. God kept reminding me through situations and circumstances that I needed His umbrella of love and protection more than man’s. Because of God’s patience, I was able to grow into the Woman of God I am today, firmly committed and settled in heart, mind, and spirit to stand firm in Christ alone. Christ is the umbrella that keeps me from being overtaken by the desires of my flesh and the enemy’s destructive vices.

I can tell you I spiritually feel like a young 20-something in Christ! My faith continues to grow stronger every day; I see the world for what it is—a battlefield for a spiritual kingdom that has already has been designated as the inheritance to the One who sits at the right hand of His Father – Jesus Christ.

It is true, there is much work to be done within and without the church, and it’s sad that those who need to make their standing in Christ sure are still busy looking outward instead of inward. For those doing their part, I say God Bless You and Keep You Strong on the path of His righteousness. The greatest prayer the Body of Christ can utter continually is that God would help us individually examine ourselves:

  • How is my relationship with Christ?black and white blackboard business chalkboard
  • Who am I sharing Christ with?
  • What is my service lane in the Body?
  • Where do I exercise my servanthood to Christ?
  • When has my light brought others near to Christ?

Attitude is a huge deal when it comes to operating in the world as ministers of reconciliation and Christ representatives. It’s crucial in these last days that the Body of Christ gives more focus to redeeming the lost from the hand of our enemy and incorporate more of sharing Christ into our areas of purpose. Remember, the most important call on every believer’s life is the call to witness – to share the gospel of Christ with a lost world and bring sinners into the saving grace of Salvation.

Let us gather the spiritual tools that enable us to strengthen the weak and draw the hurting. I was hurt in the church many times. It took finding one person in the Body to love on me. My need for Christ helped me consistently get back up and go back into the Body. I came to understand by-and-by that at the Judgment Seat of Christ there is no finger pointing. Each of us will stand alone before our sovereign God while a panoramic view of our life showing the good – the bad the ugly, and the abominable flashes before the heavenly hosts. That should make you shiver.

Church Body, we definitely need to get our act together so we don’t do more damage to the Body of Christ and God’s name. It might be better for some to become or remain “uncover Christians” so we don’t scatter those with a real desirous need of the Savior. What my brother-in-Christ spoke today should give all of God’s children reason to pause—consider their ways—and GET RIGHT CHURCH, because we will soon be going home!!

To my weaker brothers/sisters-in-Christ, to the hurting, and to the lost who have judged the Body of Christ – I’d like to make this suggestion: Find one person in the Body who demonstrates God’s love and care and then draw near to them. Most of the time this is called Discipleship in churches. They’ll help you grow in your relationship with Christ. I’ve seen process in action and everyone benefits, including the Church Body.  The only way you’ll learn to stand in Christ in the midst of the spiritually immature is for you to seek to know Christ intimately yourself. Doing this will help you stand by faith as an individual while operating in faith corporately.

women watching gray tablet computer

Copyright © Speak True Life, Wanda J. Murry, February 1, 2019

[Eternal security is found “in Christ” and there is a plan already in place to guide you to that road:  Romans 3:23, 6:23, 5:12, 10:9; 1 John 1:9]

 

 

War Cry

What battle cry echoes in your spirit?

We all need a war cry that makes us rise up, plant our feet, and STAND against whatever may be attacking us physical, or our faith, spiritually.  Every battle differs one from the next, so adding (2 Peter 1:5-8) to our spiritual arsenal is necessary (Ephesians 6:13-17).

Today I added this song to my arsenal of praise and worship music.  It resonates even stronger as I think on the story of Joseph who endured a lot before reaching the Vision State given in his youth by God.  May this song echo in your heart to cast out every thought not of God.

Song:  Your Promises                                                                                                                                       Artist:   Elevation Worship

Traveling on the Wings of Praise

[When You Need to Remind Yourself of God’s Faithfulness]

Copyright © Wanda Murry, April 9, 2018

040918-ThoughtsFirst Things First:  I want to apologize to all of you who actually follow my blog, and those who actually take the time to read the words that come from my heart! I appreciate each of you! I love knowing you can identify with me by a like, a comment, or sharing a post. I look forward to connecting with you more. I hope to hear your personal thoughts and testimonies as they relate to the posts and/or things God is doing in your own lives.

Secondly, it’s been well over a month since my last post, and that is just not acceptable at all.  As a writer and blogger, I know I must do better. Expecting readers to partake of an inspirational menu that isn’t regularly restocked with new words of encouragement makes little sense. There are no excuses because, if I consider myself a writer but don’t write – well, I’m sure many of you might agree that there is something wrong with that picture!

WIN_20150310_203251 (2)So, what’s new? I confess there are potholes I sometimes fall into on my personal, wonderful journey called “Life.” Like street potholes, these personal potholes rattle me, causing me to veer off the writing path! This I must say — sometimes, focusing too much on surviving life can throw a monkey wrench into living the life God set us free to live. I like John 10:10 as a spiritual reminder that there are two sides to my story & to my life — two warring principles – my flesh and God’s Spirit.

10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that  they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

pexels-photo-932398.jpeg

Without doubt the enemy takes many shapes and forms to accomplish his thievery, murder, and destruction. Hard lessons are especially difficult when I realize I failed to stay alert & became complacent in areas of my life. I never feel good when I view my failures alongside Christ’s sacrifice. I’ve been robbed in the physical, and it’s just as unnerving when it happens in the spiritual.

In those moments of insecurity, when I’m unsure of my path, are the times when I feel more alone than I care to admit. And for one accustomed to encouraging others, I’m not a good recipient when the shoe is on the other foot, even when I need to be encouraged. Some say it’s pride, but I beg to differ. I’m private about my personal issues.

Why bother others,” reason in my heart, when I know where my help comes from. Let your requests be made known unto God, Philippians 4:6 says. Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God…Casting all your care upon him;” 1 Peter 5:6-7 says. So that’s what I do; not out of pride, but because I’ve learned to turn to the rock of my salvation like David in 2 Samuel 22.040918-WordThe old saying, on a wing and a prayer, fits this post. When my wings are clipped, and I find myself unable to soar about my circumstances emotionally and spiritually, I turn to God’s Word to encourage myself. A good bible study, like the 52 Weeks of Pursuit provides incredible insight given by Mark Trotter. Sobering is the knowledge that today’s Christians aren’t so different from the errant Nation of Israel in their shortcomings.040918-MusicSymbolMusic is a balm of melodies for the issues of life. Through praise, overcoming obstacles seems less daunting as I am reminded of God’s love for me despite my failures. The fact that God already knew I’d fall short makes getting back up easier! I listen to a variety of Christian music but, Jonathan McReynolds and Tauren Wells are currently supplying my wings of praise.

When Tauren Wells speaks of being Known,” you recognize that he’s uncovered the basic heart of man – the desire to be fully known and loved by someone. His words resonant as he sings:

It’s so like You to keep pursuing; It’s so like me to go astray – But You guard my heart with Your truth; A kind of love that’s bullet proof – I’m fully known and loved by You – You won’t let go no matter what I do

Then, there is Jonathan McReynolds, who sings of the Pressures that come with all he does while also staying true to his faith. He sings, “Help me,” continuing to say:

Jesus take from me – All the pressure, pressure, pressure – To be someone that you did not create – Help me be me – And only see you – Let me decrease – And glorify you!

 

The road of life can get rocky, but with the right travel companion (Jesus Christ), You will be able to soar above the obstacles in the road on the wings of praise!  

2018 – Enlarging My Investment Portfolio

Keys to growing your spiritual bank account!

Happy New Year!

For all who are reading this – God has graced us with another day of life, and a new year to choose to do something new or better. My new year goals are very simple – I plan to become a better INVESTOR:

  • Invest more in my relationship with God!
  • Invest more in the study of God’s Word!
  • Invest more in the things God cares about!

For a little over three years, I have been investing in quality time alone. It has been an adventure in digging deeper and unearthing the dead things lying beneath the surface. Normally, I end each year with time away from home to prepare for the new year, but that didn’t happen this year. Instead, God provided a ram in the bush that was far better than a trip away from home.

On New Year’s Eve, I had the pleasure of meeting with an African pastor and a stateside mission leader in preparation for my first mission’s trip abroad! Talk about a great ending to 2017! Our mission’s team was able to ask questions, listen to stories of needs, and how those needs are being met by mission efforts. I wanted to cry, both from excitement and of hearing some of the stories. It was definitely the fuel I needed to come into the new year with.

Today, I couldn’t wait to delve into the new year-long bible study I was starting. Titled “52 Weeks of Pursuit,” it is a 5-day, weekly reading through the bible, from Genesis to Revelation, with notes that provide wonderful insights into the bible.  I invite you to join me in the reading – it’s an opportunity open to everyone by just clicking on the title above, then scrolling down to click on Week 1-4 and begin.

Already, my investment in reading and studying has paid off. I’d like to share just a few things I have gleaned from God’s Word using the guide of 52 Weeks of Pursuit:

Mankind is foolish! Our attempt to change the interpretation of God’s written Word is insulting to His holiness. One example is the foundation set for marriage which God has never changed: One man. One woman. One lifetime. Period! (Genesis 1:27-28; 2:24) [52 Weeks of Pursuit; page 1]. Although I fell short in this area, it makes God’s grace and mercy through salvation all the more precious!

God created man to have a relationship with him. The notes say: God beautifully offered man the opportunity to exercise his will by making his own choice concerning this relationship. [52 Weeks of Pursuit; page 1, last paragraph].  There were two trees and two choices. Just as the first Adam choose the wrong tree, man today chooses the world [Satan’s domain] over a relationship with God [through salvation].

We can run, but we can’t hide.  In Genesis 3:8, “…Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God amongst the trees of the garden.” Trees are a picture of man. Man’s attempts to hide himself in the world [amongst the trees of the garden] is sad. The substituting of good works while outright rejecting the good news will be exposed at the great white throne

Satan’s tactics are transparent. It’s important to know how Satan operates. Genesis 3:1 reveals his tactics with these words, “…Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?” Satan is transparent–he has always attacked God’s Word, and he always uses three effective traps against man: (1) lust of the flesh, (2) lust of the eyes, and (3) the pride of life. On page 2 of 52 Weeks of Pursuit, in the last two paragraphs, we are provided a great example of one who falls for Satan’s trap versus one who resists Satan’s attack in comparing Genesis 3:13 with Matthew 4:1-11. Our greatest weapon against Satan remains the Word of God hid in our hearts to help us resist his temptations!

Day One of enlarging my investment portfolio has been an amazing day to set the tone for a wonderful 2018 year!

I invite you to stay tuned and join me in the 52 Weeks of Pursuit bible study. As well, I request your prayers and our support in raising funds as I and others prepare for our first mission’s trip.

Let’s set 2018 on Fire for Christ!

 

 

 

 

My Soul Cries… S-t-r-e-t-c-h

Let me ask you; “Have you ever felt an inner unease or restlessness in your spirit where you can’t quite pinpoint the source of the feeling?” I’m sure this sounds eerie to some, but I’ve learned to pay attention to this feeling because my past has proven that it is seldom without merit.

I don’t watch the news or keep up with current events, politics or the such so I can’t pin it on those outside factors. Yet, I know something is in the wind, heading my way, and experience has shown it will become an exercise in spiritual and mental stretching. This I know: I must prepare myself for whatever is coming by praying in earnest.

Needing encouragement, I grab my first book, and find these words:

Philippians 3:13-15 – Page 37

In order to press forward to do that which we are called to do, we must make peace with the past! God has brought us this far for a reason and the past has already played its part in developing a part of our character.

Aim to do better, and be better for Christ with each new day. Do you want what God has for you? Then, press for excellence in the call God has placed upon your life. If anyone deserves the efforts of our very best it is Christ who gave His very best unto death!  Maybe you are facing something that is trying your patience or endurance.  Like me, you can probably use a little encouragement, so for all who may need a dose of uplifting, here’s a few words of comforting encouragement to help you along the way.

Matthew 7:12-20 Page 62

“The fruit of Love is an action word best confirmed by attitude and deed. The real thing shouldn’t be hard to see or feel. It will be sacrificial and compassionate in spirit, just as Jesus was. However, rotten fruit may still appear to be usable until you draw near and are met with a horrible smell that repels. For that reason, it is better to cut off anything that corrupts to keep from ruining the testimony of the Christian faith.

Psalm 22:22, 25 – Page 63

When we are knowledgeable about both our enemy and our Savior, there is little that should surprise us or catch us off guard. When you know that you are the prize in a spiritual tug-of-war, wisdom dictates that you prepare for the battle, that you stay alert, and that you map out your strategy for a sure victory.

Zephaniah 3:12 – Page 46

When there are no problems in our lives we tend to get lazy in our daily communion with God. We kind of get a faulty way of thinking toward God that says, “out of trouble, out of mind.” We mistakenly forget that troubles don’t last always, but neither will the calm days. Satan never, ever rests; he just changes tactics and disguises.

When my soul cries, “Prepare Arms,” my spirit says, “STRETCH”

to meet the unknown encounters that are ahead.

Private I

The Word of God is the perfect spiritual investigative tool known to man.

Emmanuel Otoo, a Moderator for the Facebook Group “Jesus The Only Way” posted 2 Timothy 3:1-7, prophesy of these last days we are experiencing today. This list includes not only perilous times, but a picture of mankind’s ills: lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof; A call: from such turn away.  The stigma: this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. The post included as the caption: Do You Fit the Description?

In my opinion, mankind is busy with the business of living without really giving thought to how our living reflects Christ. Where someone may feel such questions come across as a judgmental wagging of a finger, we believe looking at them from a stance of pause—reflect—detect—seek remedial action is more beneficial for an individual.

Pause – Stop briefly to consider the question(s) posed. Does it apply to you? Is it an accusation, or more a question or suggestion? What this really boils down to is how you choose to view it.

Reflect – Next, give the question careful and serious thought by removing emotions so the process is not clouded by human reasoning. If it applies, then the question becomes how, why and what should be done? If it doesn’t apply, then discard it and ‘keep it moving” on the everyday journey of living.

Detect – If it applies, prayerfully attempt to uncover its origin and the depth to which you’ve been affected. Once the digging starts, the tracks may appear rather quickly, especially when one is truly open to following through. This is important as our past and/or childhood sometimes hold things we’ve buried under events, traumas or situations. Hence, prayer is a must from the very beginning, but especially at this stage.

Seek Remedial Action – This is where the hardcore work comes in; the stage where the real cleansing begins. It’s the place where humbling occurs; where the truth makes you free while bruising your ego, shaming your self-sufficiency, before building you up and providing solutions.

In all that’s going on worldwide, distractions are the handiwork of the enemy. We can see his work everywhere if our eyes are open. Yet, we can never forget that with salvation came a change, and with that change a process of sanctification. God’s children have to be honest with themselves first; wisely transparent with others. We admit God is working on us day-by-day; but, we don’t use that as an excuse to continue sinfulness.

There is work in becoming better representatives of Christ. We have to learn, and then be, who we are called to be for furtherance of the gospel of Jesus Christ. We have to be the difference; the peculiar of faith-in-Christ the world sees. We have to call sin, sin, and PRAYERFULLY ask for help when there are things ingrained in us.

My constant prayer for my own private and transparent flaws remains for God’s Word to illuminate the darkness lurking within me so it can be rooted out. At the end of the day, my Private I is between God and I so others will see more of JESUS and less of I!

Copyright © Wanda Murry, September 28, 2017

[Thanks, Emmanuel Otoo, for the inspiration today!]