Saturday, September 16, 2017

GRATITUDE AND FAITH by Nina Keegan

Mustard seed faith… and an attitude of gratitude..
I believe this is a very important combination... 

 In reading in the gospels, which are always my favorite, because they are the chronicles of Jesus life on earth, we read about his ministry and the miracles and the people's responses to them… There's so much to learn from Jesus's amazing life and his unfathomable sacrifice for us all.
The Bible says in 1 John 4:17, As Jesus is, so are we in this world.
So if we're to be like Jesus, then we should study what Jesus did while he was on the earth. There is so much to learn, but we can ask for wisdom and great understanding because the Bible says God will give it to us liberally! 

The story of Jesus healing the 10 men with leprosy in Luke 17 always surprises me.. there is so much to learn about God's grace, the abundant love of Jesus, about stepping out in faith, and about having a grateful heart.

Ten Healed of Leprosy

11 As Jesus continued on toward Jerusalem, he reached the border between Galilee and Samaria. 12 As he entered a village there, ten men with leprosy stood at a distance, 13 crying out, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!”
14 He looked at them and said, “Go show yourselves to the priests.”And as they went, they were cleansed of their leprosy.
15 One of them, when he saw that he was healed, came back to Jesus, shouting, “Praise God!” 16 He fell to the ground at Jesus’ feet, thanking him for what he had done. This man was a Samaritan.
17 Jesus asked, “Didn’t I heal ten men? Where are the other nine? 18 Has no one returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?” 19 And Jesus said to the man, “Stand up and go. Your faith has healed you.”

Because leprosy was such a contagious disease, people who had the disease were required to stay far away from other people, and they had to announce their presence if they were to come anywhere near others in a public setting.
Back in those days, a priest would have to declare people disease free… The lepers were sent by Jesus to a priest  BEFORE They were actually healed… 
The men responded in faith, and then Jesus healed them while they were on their way…
 Is your trust in God so strong that you act on what God says in his word even before you see any evidence that it will ever work? Are you appropriating God's word through faith knowing that God's abundant grace through his Son's death and resurrection have already paid the price for what you need?
Mustard seed faith..
 Faith is always in what we cannot see… It is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen.

Jesus could've healed them instantaneously right then and there ...But many times we are asked to do something on our part… to step out in faith… To appropriate our faith to meet God's grace..
What we need has already been paid for… But sometimes we need to stretch our faith to reach out and get it… In this case, the diseased men, believing they would be healed, took off to meet the priest. I imagine they were in a big hurry to get where they were going ...
 Jesus's reputation as a healer had grown significantly and I believe it would have taken tremendous faith to leave Jesus's presence unhealed.
 Jesus was the one man of God they knew could heal them, and yet in faith they left without having been healed...
 It took strong faith to search out the priest who would need to look at them and declare them whole and made well… That was their hope... imagine their thought process as they headed to see the priest.
Imagine their joy and exuberance as they were declared healthy, imagine their thoughts of re-joining their families and friends. Imagine the great joy of no longer being an outcast, imagine the immediate freedom from a once painful ,incurable disease.

But yet in the second half of that scripture… 
ONLY ONE
 of those men, who were literally handed a miracle, who were literally given a new life, came back to Jesus praising him and thanking him for what he had done.
Do we remember to give God all glory and praise?
Do we thank him often enough for his unending mercy and blessings, love and protection?

The scripture shows that it is entirely possible to receive God's great gifts with an ungrateful spirit.. 9 of the 10 men actually did so. God is no respecter of persons ..
But there was so much more for the grateful man that returned.   He was to learn that his faith and played an important role in his healing;  he was able to share his joy with Jesus in fellowship, praise and love. I believe that grateful believers will grow in a deeper understanding of God's unmerited grace. 
To whom much is given much is expected..
 God does not demand that we thank him, Grace is a free gift… But gratitude and thankfulness pleases God and he uses our responsiveness of gratitude to teach us more about him. HIS PURE ,SWEET, LOVE!
 Jesus is all knowing… He knew before he healed the men that only one man would return and yet his love and grace healed them ALL any way...What a lesson there is in that statement alone!

Living with an attitude of gratitude, no matter what we are facing, gives us an appreciation for God's goodness.. The more we learn of God's faithfulness, the more trust we have to lean not on our own understanding but to fully trust in our heavenly Father who was and is and is to come..ALL GLORY TO GOD , the one who will never leave us or for sake us.

PSALM 23, SO MUCH TO BE GRATEFUL FOR

“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness
for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord
forever.”
Isaiah 63:7 - I will mention the lovingkindnesses of the LORD, [and] the praises of the LORD, according to all that the LORD hath bestowed on us, and the great goodness toward the house of Israel, which he hath bestowed on them according to his mercies, and according to the multitude of his lovingkindnesses.
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Saturday, September 9, 2017

GOD HAS ALREADY DONE IT.. by Nina Keegan

GOD HAS ALREADY DONE IT, YOU'VE ALREADY GOT IT!

We cannot ever say that we have been saved by faith or by grace alone, we must put both together..

Ephesians 2:8
For it is by GRACE you have been saved, through FAITH--and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God--

Before we ever lived a day on this earth God had already gone before us and anticipated our every need. He did this through Grace, he knew how many people would populate the earth, he knew how much air we would need, he knew how the atmosphere needed to be, he knew that the sun needed to warm us, he prepared the food supply, he supplied the animals, trees, and water, he planned ahead for our shelter… He even made everything to be able to procreate, trees have seeds so they can continue to replenish themselves… Animals replenish themselves .. they procreate and multiply..

There's no stone left unturned in God supplying all of our needs long before we ever were born… In fact God didn't make man until the fifth day day… He made everything else anticipating that he would create man… we were never an after thought.. WE WERE THE REASON FOR EVERYTHING ELSE...But before he made us, he made sure that we had food to eat, a place to live, warmth, and all of the other marvelous things needed for sustaining life and godliness.

Genesis 1:26-31
26 Then God said, “Let us make human beings in our image, to be like us. They will reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, the livestock, all the wild animals on the earth, and the small animals that scurry along the ground.”
27 
So God created human beings in his own image.    In the image of God he created them;    male and female he created them.
28 Then God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and multiply. Fill the earth and govern it. Reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, and all the animals that scurry along the ground.”
29 Then God said, “Look! I have given you every seed-bearing plant throughout the earth and all the fruit trees for your food.30 And I have given every green plant as food for all the wild animals, the birds in the sky, and the small animals that scurry along the ground—everything that has life.” And that is what happened.
31 Then God looked over all he had made, and he saw that it was very good!

God's anticipation of our every need still holds true today. He just didn't stop that day taking care of us and supplying our every need… No he did something even greater… He sent his son to save us !

Jesus paid the price for everything in advance of our need.. God once again sent his son in anticipation to provide a way for us to spend eternity with him. Jesus died so that we could have salvation, divine health, so that we could have provision  in every area of our lives… So that we could have peace and joy… and victory over sin and death...

GOD HAS ALREADY DONE IT!

 He has already provided everything we need ..that is his amazing GRACE  but we need to activate our FAITH to appropriate God's grace.

Faith alone does not move God, it only appropriates what God has already provided by Grace..

We must avoid cause and effect Christianity… It is a trap that makes us always feel like we have to do something or be better to get the hand of God to move..

Faith is ultimately just a positive response on our part to what God has already done for us by his grace..

Before we were hungry, God made food… Before we needed healing, God bought our health on the cross, we need to mix faith and grace and stop dying in the wilderness!
We must reach out and take what God has already  provided for us… We've already got it, we just need to take it… We need to stop
Begging God to do something and start understanding that he's already done it.

How do we do that? The Bible says to renew our mind…… Don't look at your problems, look at how big your God is and receive God's promises! Start changing the way you think, start realizing what you have available to you by grace through faith!
If God's Word says it, then you can have it… Does what you need line up with God's will? If so, then it can be yours!

When you get stuck, just say "help me Father to receive".. we don't need to spend all of our time trying to get God to do something… Instead, thank Him for sending his son to the cross ..say, "thank you that I know my healing has already been taken care of through Jesus's death on the cross!" DECLARE IT! RECEIVE IT!  in the name of JESUS… Take it!!
The word recieve translated from Hebrew means, TO TAKE..this is an action that we apply through faith!

My friends it's time for us to realize how powerful God is, and if he was so careful to supply our every need before he even created us, won't he most certainly take care of everything else we need?..He  has already supplied it, he  has already anticipated it… Let's activate our faith and receive! It's time to walk by faith and not by sight… It's time to walk in the power that we have received from on high through salvation… And it's time we learn how to release it into the circumstances of our life!
 It's time to stop letting our inabilities take on a greater focus than God's ability!
HE IS THE GREAT I AM!
God bless you all!

Romans 12:2
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will

1 Corinthians 4:20
For the kingdom of God is not in word but in power

Psalm 23:1
The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want.

Psalm 65:9
You visit the earth and cause it to overflow; You greatly enrich it; The stream of God is full of water; You prepare their grain, for thus You prepare the earth.

Luke 12:30
"For all these things the nations of the world eagerly seek; but your Father knows that you need these things.

Phil 4:19
And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.

James 1:7
Every good and perfect thing comes from above

Luke 12:29
29 “And don’t be concerned about what to eat and what to drink. Don’t worry about such things. 30 These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers all over the world, but your Father already knows your needs. 31 Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and he will give you everything you need.

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Wednesday, September 6, 2017

KEEP YOUR EYES ON JESUS by Nina Keegan

Eyes on JESUS!!! EYES ON JESUS!!!
That's the word I have for today.. just like Peter, when He was in the boat with the disciples, and they saw Jesus walking toward them on the water.. imagine it, the awe as they witnessed this miraculous feat...  JESUS WALKING ON WATER...Peter's exuberance took over and his confidence soared as he boldly decided to ask Jesus if He too could walk on water...Jesus, without hesitation invited him out of the safety of the boat and on to the waves to walk out to him... imagine the rush of amazement Peter was feeling as he began  to walk on the crest of the waves.. but then.. 
HE TOOK HIS EYES OFF JESUS
 The minute our eyes are off of Jesus... that's when we start to sink… But when our eyes are straightahead and laser focused on our wonderful Lord and Savior, we are able to do anything.. we are more than conquerors… 

Matthew 14:28-33 
28 Peter, suddenly bold, said, “Master, if it’s really you, call me to come to you on the water.”
29-30 He said, “Come ahead.”
Jumping out of the boat, Peter walked on the water to Jesus. But when he looked down at the waves churning beneath his feet, he lost his nerve and started to sink. He cried, “Master, save me!”
31 Jesus didn’t hesitate. He reached down and grabbed his hand. Then he said, “Faint-heart, what got into you?”
32-33 The two of them climbed into the boat, and the wind died down. The disciples in the boat, having watched the whole thing, worshiped Jesus, saying, “This is it! You are God’s Son for sure!”
There are so many things that I love about this story… So much information about the love and faithfulness of Jesus packed into a few short scriptures.

First it's obvious that we must keep our eyes on Jesus and not on the waves, and not on the chaos and the circumstances that inundate us in this life.

The words tunnel vision have never proved to be more true… We must picture that, staying zeroed in and focused on Jesus… Visually see yourself only being able to see HIM nothing but JESUS and how he alone is in charge of our moments, our days.. our lives.. Do not look to the left or to the right! KEEP YOUR EYES ON HIM..

Proverbs 4:27
Do not turn to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil.

When we do this, this is when we begin to sink.. this is when we see our circumstances as bigger than our God..

But, even then....what happens is an amazing example of God's pure love and grace.
 Even though Peter has failed to stay focused on Jesus...The very second that he said "Master save me"!
Jesus did not hesitate for a second… So even when we are off course… Jesus is right there, he is ready and willing at the sound of our voice to grab us and to save us… He loves us too much to let us fall… He will rescue us, his arm has not grown too short no matter what our circumstances are... no matter how imperfect we've been, and no matter our sins… There is nothing we can do that will cause Jesus to turn his back on us, when we cry out to him he will save us immediately!

Not only did Jesus lovingly save Peter but HE CLIMBED INTO THE BOAT WITH HIM! 
Jesus climbed back into the boat with Peter… He was with him ..he didn't just put Peter back in the boat, but knowing Peter and the others would need comfort, he stayed with them ..
Friends God will never leave us or forsake us… He is right there with us… And when Jesus got back in the boat that's when the  peace came.. that's when the winds calmed... that's when there was safety for everyone on that boat… When Jesus is in the midst of the chaos ..there is nothing that can stand against him!! NOTHING!

Stay in the presence of the Lord.. know that you are never alone and that he will never leave you or for sake you… God's got you… Trust him, he loves you with an everlasting love!

Deut 31:6
Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.

Prov 3:5-6
 Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

Numbers 11:23
The LORD answered Moses, "Is the LORD's arm too short? Now you will see whether or not what I say will come true for you."

Acts 4:12 And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”
John 3:16 

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

1 John 2:1 

My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.

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