Thursday, December 25, 2014

Happy Birthday Jesus

A babe was born so that we may live. May the love and joy of Jesus fill your hearts as we meditate on the true meaning of Christmas, the indescribable gift of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Let's glorify His name. He is worthy!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Your Legacy

We've all heard what we believe is an old cliche 'Life is but a vapor.' But some cliches are rooted in some very real truths. James 4:14 says that our life is like the morning fog--it's here a little while, then it's gone. The truth of the matter is that some day we will all breath our last and we will have a funeral. Have you ever asked yourself what people will say about you at your funeral? 

Will they focus on your worldly accomplishments, your reputation, the material things you owned, the degrees you held, your profession, or will they say that your were a man or woman who loved God above all else and your faith was the driving force in your life? The answer to these questions will determine the kind of legacy you will leave behind. A heritage is what is passed down to you such as a family name, culture, birthright etc. A legacy is what you build into people. It's what future generations will say about you.  It is for certain that you will leave a legacy. The question is what kind?

Our lives have a huge impact on those around us. You are or will be the patriarchs or matriarchs of your families...the leaders, and your children, grandchildren, and great grand children will take what you have done with your life and build on their own lives. Your legacy then it's a continuation of your influence beyond your lifetime. It's either positive or negative that reflects what you value. 

Have you thought about what legacy you want to pass on to your family? If you were to die today what kind of legacy would you leave behind? What if by the grace of God you were given more time, a day, a week, a month? How about another 50 plus years? What would your children, grandchildren, great grandchildren say about you? 

My dear brothers and sisters in Christ please hear this, even if you only have one more day, the word of God tells us that one day in His courts is better than a thousand elsewhere. We serve a God who heals, redeems, restores and can transform your family legacy despite what was passed down to you or you have been leaving behind up to this point. Joel 2:25 tells us that God will give us back the years that the locusts have eaten away. Genesis 50:20 declares what the enemy meant for evil God will turn  around for our good. 

The world is a darker place today than when we were children and it's only getting darker. We must stand up and be a light not only in our generation but we must pass on the torch of light.. our faith, for the next generations, but it starts with our families. It starts with you. You can  be the one who applies the redemptive power of the cross of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and leave a legacy of faith that lasts. One that honors God and makes a difference for all eternity. Choose to leave a godly legacy. Your great great grandchildren are depending on you.

"I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse.  Choose life in order that you may live, you and your descendants” (Deuteronomy 30:19)

by Cecilia Trent

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

How Does A Heart Harden?

A hardened heart is unnatural. Sadly many of God's children are walking around with hearts so hardened that they are unable to experience intimacy with God, themselves or others. Since we were created for connection and relationship with God first then others, a hardened heart will cause us to live isolated and withdrawn never truly experiencing the joy, peace, love and the abundant life that Jesus came to give us.

How does a heart hardened? A prolonged struggle. Perhaps you have grown weary in the trial even blaming God for not changing the circumstances. Maybe you have a deep wound, or a broken heart that has caused you to put up walls. When we do this, our defenses go up. It won't let anyone in including God. Self protection separates and leaves us running on reserve, alone and isolated. We were not meant to live that way. We were designed for intimacy. It may seem easier to be hard than soft and vulnerable but you were not created to live that way.  God made you to be tender and responsive. 

God wants to shape your heart but it's hard to shape stone. You must be willing to let the living God come in, heal your wounds and tear down your self protection and defenses. The amplified version of Ezekeil 11:19 describes beautifully what happens when we surrender our stony hearts to our loving God. 

"And I will give them one heart {a new heart}, And I will put a new spirit within them; And I will take the stony {unnaturally hardened} heart out of their flesh, And I will give them a heart of flesh {sensitive and responsive to the touch of their God}."

It's hard to shape stone. Give God access to your heart. Let God shape it and mold it. When you do that, He will leave his fingerprints all over your heart and His love will find you, apprehend you and fill you.

by Cecilia Trent

Sunday, December 7, 2014

God Breathed To Transform

The bible is comprised of 66 books written over a period of about 1,500 years by over 40 different authors from all walks of life, with different kinds of personalities, gifts, struggles, and in all sorts of situations. 

Yet it is God breathed. It is unified and fits perfectly together to unveil God's love for His people. It's a story about redemption and restoration and reveals the heart of God to reconcile with His people. 

God's word brings change. It transforms us from the inside out. It sets us free.

In the beginning [before all time] was the Word (Christ), and the Word was with God, and the Word was God Himself.
 John 1:1

I will delight myself in Your statutes; I will not forget Your word. 
Psalm 119:16

Your word have I laid up in my heart, that I might not sin against You.
Psalm 119:11

Every word of God is tried and purified; He is a shield to those who trust and take refuge in Him.
Proverbs 30:5

For the Word that God speaks is alive and full of power [making it active, operative, energizing, and effective]; it is sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating to the dividing line of the breath of life (soul) and [the immortal] spirit, and of joints and marrow [of the deepest parts of our nature], exposing and sifting and analyzing and judging the very thoughts and purposes of the heart.
 Hebrews 4:12

Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of Your law.
Psalm 119:8

I will meditate on Your precepts and have respect to Your ways [the paths of life marked out by Your law].
 Psalm 119:15

Every Scripture is God-breathed (given by His inspiration) and profitable for instruction, for reproof and conviction of sin, for correction of error and discipline in obedience, [and] for training in righteousness (in holy living, in conformity to God's will in thought, purpose, and action).
 2 Timothy 3:16

He is dressed in a robe dyed by dipping in blood, and the title by which He is called is The Word of God.
Revelation 19:16

But what does it say? The Word (God's message in Christ) is near you, on your lips and in your heart; that is, the Word (the message, the basis and object) of faith which we preach. 
Romans 10: 8

Sky and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away. 
Matthew 24: 35

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. 
Psalm 119: 105

So get rid of all uncleanness and the rampant outgrowth of wickedness, and in a humble (gentle, modest) spirit receive and welcome the Word which implanted and rooted [in your hearts] contains the power to save your souls. 
James 1: 21

But be doers of the Word [obey the message], and not merely listeners to it, betraying yourselves [into deception by reasoning contrary to the Truth]. 
James 1: 22

I delight to do Your will, O my God; yes, Your law is within my heart.
 Psalm 40: 8

So shall My word be that goes forth out of My mouth: it shall not return to Me void [without producing any effect, useless], but it shall accomplish that which I please and purpose, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.
Isaiah 55:11

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Does The Bible Say That God Won't Give You More Than You Can Handle?

James 10:13 says that God will not allow us to be tempted beyond what we can handle and that He will provide a way of escape. But nowhere in the bible does it say that God will not give us more than we can handle. But many Christians erroneously believe that it's in the word of God due to misquoting James 10:13.

The truth of the matter is that our God in His infinite wisdom knows that we, His children cannot overcome trials and difficulties in our on strength. Jesus exhorts us,  "Come to me all who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest. (Mathew 11:28)  He also warns us, "In this world you will have tribulation but be of good cheer for I have overcome the world." (John 16:33) 

It is evident through just these two scriptures alone that God knows that we cannot handle our darkest trials alone....but He can!

It is in those pain wracked moments and places in our lives where we cry out to Him in sweet surrender and cling to Him when we just know that we can't take anymore and fall at His feet, that we encounter His supernatural peace, strength and comfort and gain a deeper closer relationship with our Jesus than we could have ever imagined. That's because we encounter His very heart and are overcome with His love and grace, causing us to drop to our knees and bow down in praise and adoration giving Him all the Glory for meeting us in the depth of our pain and despair, and carrying us through it in victory.

"And He said unto me, My Grace is sufficient for you, for my strength is made perfect in weakness." (2 Corinthians 12:9)

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Jesus Christ Is The Balm Of Gilead

A balm is a fragrant ointment or preparation used to heal or soothe the skin. In biblical times, there was an area east of the Jordan River called Gilead known for its spices and ointments with soothing and healing properties. People traveled there from all over the region to soothe many ailments and wounds.  Therefore, the “Balm of Gilead” was known for its high-quality ointment with healing properties and the Bible uses the term metaphorically as an example of healing and soothing powers.

The prophet Jeremiah was anguished to the depth of his heart over the rebellion of God’s people who refused to turn from their wicked ways and be healed by the mighty hand of their God causing him to cry out

 “Is there no balm in Gilead, is there no physician there? When then is there no recovery for the daughter of my people?” (Jeremiah 8:22)

Sadly, there is no healing or recovery for those intent on rebelling against God.

How about you? Are you done rebelling against God?  Do you want to be healed?  Is your heart so hardened and broken over what you have done or what has been done to you that you just know there is no hope for you and you’ll never be the same?

The one who created your heart has the power to mend it and make you new. He can give you the oil of joy for mourning.  He is the lover of your soul and the great physician. Jesus Christ is the Balm of Gilead. 

by Cecilia Trent