Thursday, May 01, 2014

The Truth About Following Rules

Romans 13:1 ESV ~~ Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.


by Carley CooperClick to download this pic on FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Whether or not we like it, our society has rules that we must follow.  There are the laws of our city, county, country, and the world.  We have to follow certain rules at work.  God’s Word has laws on how we are to live our life.  Even our own household generally has rules.  There’s no getting away from it.  If we don’t follow those rules there are consequences that will result. 

Results of Breaking the Rules

If we shop lift, we will get charged, and maybe even go to jail.  If we betray someone we will damage a relationship.  If we don’t follow policies at work, we could lose our job.  If we don’t keep our home clean, we will put the health of ourselves and our family in jeopardy; not to mention it will be uncomfortable for everyone. 

Rules, laws, guidelines, and policies are put in place for our own good.  They keep us within safe and appropriate boundaries, which keeps us healthy, happy, close to God, and hopefully, civilized.  If we break God’s laws we are risking our salvation, if we don’t ask Jesus for forgiveness and repent. 

Laws Cannot Be Avoided

So with all that being said, I’ve wondered lately why so many think they can avoid following God’s laws, and then blame God for the consequences, or accuse Him of not being there when He was needed.  The other day I read a Facebook post by someone who was talking about something terrible that happened in their life. 

One of the comments that was left was by a person who wasn’t a believer in God.  The reply said “So where’s God now?” 

I have to say that when I read this, it really ruffled my feathers.  This person was accusing God of not being there because someone else went through a terrible trauma.  I’m not sure where the logic is in that kind of thinking.  Why do people think they can avoid living by God’s rules and not suffer the consequences?  Whether we like it or not, we are living on this Earth under God’s laws.  We live a sinful life, which means we haven’t followed God’s laws.  Therefore trials and trauma’s will happen in our life.  It’s of our own doing.  It’s not because God wasn’t there.  Break a rule, suffer the consequences.  That in itself is a law of God and nature. 

Romans 13:1-7 ESV says "Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God's servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God's wrath on the wrongdoer. Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God's wrath but also for the sake of conscience."

Obedience has a Real & Beneficial Purpose

Life will go so much smoother, and we will be so much happier if we would just be obedient; not to mention the salvation we gain.  If you’re not a believer, why don’t you give it a try and see what happens.  I promise, if you follow God’s laws, you will be blessed beyond your wildest dreams. 

Let’s Pray

Dear God ~~ You are so wonderful and awesome.  You are perfect, yet because of our sin, the world You created is not prefect.  But, You know how to fix it by making laws for us to follow.  We are blessed because of this.  So often we forget this, and try to live or lives by making our own rules, as if they could possibly be better than Yours.  Thank You that You are so forgiving.  Thank You for giving Your Son, Jesus, to save us from our own sins.  Please help me to always follow the laws of Your Word and the authorities You have set in place in everything I do.  I pray in Jesus name, AMEN

Now It’s Your Turn

Thoughts?  Questions?  Want to share your story?  Ask for prayer? Please share in the comments section.

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Friday, April 25, 2014

Problem Solving 101

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


by Carley CooperClick to download this pic on FreeDigitalPhotos.net

How many times have you had a problem and tried to solve it only to be disappointed?  What kinds of things did you try as a solution?  Did you turn to friends for advice?  Or, maybe you went to a family member, a doctor, or other authority. 

Giving Advice

A friend came to me for advice on a problem.  He told me all about it, and when he was done I didn’t have a solution for him.  I wasn’t sure what advice to give. 

So I said "The only thing I know to do is pray about it".

Afterward it hit me; why is it that praying was a last resort?   So often the first thing we do, now-a-days, is to turn to the internet.  We research it until we’re blue in the face, or post it on Facebook looking for opinions, and even then we don’t come up with an acceptable solution. 

Put God First

God’s Word says that we should put Him before everything.  He should be the very first one that we turn to for anything.  Every situation we face, good or bad, should be run by God first for His input. 

I saw a quote a little while ago that said “Sometimes when things are falling apart, they may actually be falling into place” (Author unknown).

Every problem we have, God can use it for our own good, and His glory.  There is nothing that He can’t turn around.  The enemy isn’t strong enough to get a hold on us if we don’t let him.  But we have to use God’s help.  To get that help we need to look to Jesus, talk to Him, and most of all, listen to Him.  It should be our first instinct in every thing we do. 

God Will Take Care of You

We should be so comfortable turning to Him, and knowing that He will take care of our every need that we don’t worry about anything.  Matthew 6:31-33 ESV says “Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you”.

Why don’t you try praying first next time, instead of last.  I will certainly be trying to do that with each and every problem I have.  It will also be the first advice that I give a friend in need, instead of the last.  God loves us, each and every one.  He won’t let us go in want of anything that is a need. 

Let’s Pray

Dear God ~~ Loving, graceful, merciful, and ever-faithful Lord; thank You so much for taking care of my every need.  Forgive me for not turning to You first instead of last with so many problems.  Please help me to turn to You first, and to hear Your voice clearly so that Your will is done always.  I pray in Jesus name, AMEN

Now It’s Your Turn

Thoughts?  Questions?  Want to share your story?  Ask for prayer? Please share in the comments section.

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Saturday, April 19, 2014

Listen to the Doctor!

Hebrews 4:16 (NIV) says “Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”


by Carley CooperClick to download this pic on FreeDigitalPhotos.net

About two years ago I had my worst Bipolar episode.  It lasted for six months, and I honestly didn’t think I was going to survive it.  My life was totally out of control.  It’s a typical trait that Bipolar Disorder patients have a hard time making and maintaining relationships.  I said things during this time to, and about, people that have damaged relationships beyond repair. 

Many other behaviour problems are also typical; like quitting medications and refusing to listen to the doctor.  During this bad stretch, I did this many times.  I changed meds so many times that I lost count.  Most of those times was because I quit taking what the doctor had prescribed for me before giving it a real chance to know if it was going to work or not.  At the time, I really thought I knew best.  I judged according to how I felt at the time to know if I wanted to quit the current medication.  I thought I was being pro-active and taking control of my own health issues. 

I Thought I Knew Best

However, things got so bad for me that I could no longer make my own decisions.  I was in the doctors office one day when I told him that I couldn’t do this on my own anymore.  I finally figured out that I could no longer trust my own opinions when it came to medications and other treatments. 

The doctor asked me “Do you want me to take control?  Will you finally listen to me?”

“Yes” I said.

I came to this point because I felt backed into a corner and I had no choice but to hand over control.  I didn't really do it willingly.  Since then, I’ve followed my treatment plans exactly as prescribed.  I don’t miss appointments.  I don’t quit or skip taking my medications.  I’m following the advice of the one who is trained and has the experience it takes to know what’s best.  As a result, my life and my health has been stable.  I’m able to function well, and I’m even beginning to be productive again.  So much that I’m going to be starting my own small business soon.  I wasn’t able to do that before.  People around me have mentioned how much I have changed.  My whole world and my mind has slowed down to a “normal” pace.  Life is good.  My heart and mind can even hear God’s voice so much better now.

Controlling Your Own is a Facade

I realized the other day, that our relationship with God often starts out the same way as my relationship with my doctor.  I lived a sinful life that didn’t include Jesus.  I did what I wanted, when I wanted, and I believed I was happy.  I thought I was living well, and in control.  I didn’t see anything wrong with how I lived, and the things I did. 

However, my life eventually spiralled out of control.  It got to the point that I remember one day being at home in my apartment, and screaming, through my tears, at the top of my lungs at God.

“What do you want from me?” I yelled.  “Please take this from me.  I can’t do it any more.”

From that moment my life started to change.  I started to change.  Granted, just like with the doctor, I didn’t give up control easily.  I felt that I was backed into a corner and I didn’t have a choice.  I still didn’t see what was wrong with me.  To truly repent of your sins means you have to give up your own selfish needs and desires.  I didn’t truly understand what this meant.  I couldn’t see why I had to change.  There was nothing wrong with me that couldn’t be fixed by changing other people, circumstances, or the world. 

The Doctor Knows Best

Slowly, as God led me, I changed.  My life changed.  I developed a relationship with Him.  Now, I’m not sure what it was I wanted to hold on to so badly.  When I let the doctor take control of my health, things improved.  When I let God take control of my life, things got better.  Why did my stubborn mind and heart have to try to hold on to control and my own way of doing things for so long?  Truthfully, I’m not sure.  But I’m so glad that I let the Greatest Physician, the God who created the universe, take control of my life.  Who’s in control of your life?

Let’s Pray

Dear God ~~ Your love is so great and merciful that we cannot truly understand it.  Thank You for such amazing and never ending love.  Please take control of my life and lead me.  I want to follow no one but You.  I pray in Jesus name, AMEN

Now It’s Your Turn

Thoughts?  Questions?  Want to share your story?  Ask for prayer? Please share in the comments section.

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