God’s Light

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By: Tina Coble

God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. (2 Corinthians 4:6)

The last couple of weeks I have been struggling to see God in some darkness that was brought into my life. The darkness was hurtful.  I was confused why this person would do this and why god was allowing it.  False accusations were made towards both my husband and I. All I could see or feel was darkness.  I could not feel the Lord’s.  I couldn’t understand why I could not sense the peace of God or find his light in the midst of this dark storm so I began to pray and press in to God and I asked him this very question.

I literally prayed  “Jesus, where are you?”  When I did I heard a small voice in my spirit, “ Come and sit with me”. So I decided to make me a prayer closet. A place where I could sit with Jesus and see his glory and hear from him.  Now when I feel like the darkness is overwhelming me, I have a place I can get away with the Lord and do what He asked “come and sit with him”.  God has met me in this sweet place.  When I go there and sit the Lord has been bringing light into the darkness.

I am now able to see with more clarity and understanding .  When it seems the enemy is overwhelming the situation, God always has a bigger and better plan. His light is bright and it is clear. We just need to have his light show us truth.  It is meant to draw you to Him. Jesus came here to openly expose evil and shine on it with His light. Paul told the Corinthians that God “made his light shine in our hearts.” This is a personal mission God has for me and for you as well. This is what Jesus wants to do in our hearts.

So I encourage you today, if you feel like darkness is overwhelming you, go and SIT with Jesus. He will show you his light in the darkness that surrounds you. He will give you clarity and show you how to lean on him during this time. Listen again to what Paul wrote. God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. Darkness is, in an ironic way, the best place for the light to shine. When a light shines in the light it tends to dilute the light. But when a light shines in the darkness it is appreciated and used. Remember the most dark and disturbing periods in your life, what if Jesus could fill that memory with His love and forgiveness? This is what He wants to do. It is what the light is for. He doesn’t want any darkness. He is waiting on you to sit with him.

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Finding Time for the Lord

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By: Roslyn Maglione

As a child, most of us were taught to pray at night just before bed.  Due to a child’s attention span, this usually only took 1-2 minutes of a memorized prayer with the extras for blessing the family.  It was a great start for a kid, but not appropriate for an adult with more responsibility, problems, and needed daily guidance from God.  As we grow as Christians, we need our time with God to also grow and mature.  It seems that we all have good intentions to make that happen, but many of us fall short due to the busyness in our lives and excuses we make for things we think are more important in the moment.

So we need to make time each day with God our most significant habit change.  Surprisingly, researchers have now found that it takes on average 66 days to create a healthy habit; and I cannot think of a more important practice than a good strong prayer life.  Here are seven steps to help make this happen:

  1. Start small: begin by carving out just five minutes each day in the beginning of your transformation then as you have more to talk to God about, increase that time.
  2. Get addicted to your habit: enjoy your time with God, rest in His presence and know He is pleased with you.
  3. Have clear objectives: decide what your goals are each day in your time with the Father.
  4. Celebrate your small gains: after each week you fulfill your intentions, rejoice and continue on!
  5. Find your space: pick a location that is peaceful and makes you feel closer to God.
  6. Surround yourself with others who support your goal: having others that pray daily are great examples and will encourage you to keep up your positive changes.
  7. Pre-commit to your habit: know the importance of this goal and never give in to the enemy that wants to kill, steal and destroy your joy.  Spending time with God each day is the only way to have true enjoyment in your life.

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.    1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

New Wine in Old Wine Skin

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By: Dawn Ashley

No one puts new wine into old wineskins: otherwise, the wine will burst the skins, and the wine is lost, and so are the skins: but one puts new wine into fresh wineskins (Mark. 2:22).

Have you ever found yourself in a place of transition?  Found yourself in a place that was once so familiar. A place that excited you and that felt like “home”.  A place where God was moving in and through you and you found yourself growing and reaching people for Christ, and yet suddenly something changed.  Suddenly this same place no longer felt the same, something was different.  You found yourself wondering is it me?  Is it this place? Or God is it you…..am I in transition?  This is exactly where I am today.

Transition is hard.  Change is hard.  You want things to just go back to the way they were, good and comfortable. However, God doesn’t call us to good or comfortable.  Sometimes He calls us to transition.  Sometimes we find ourselves in a place where God is doing a new thing in us, pouring in new wine and we can’t stay in our old wineskin; within ourselves God is changing us and sometimes where He has planted us He is changing as well. If we don’t move with God, and allow Him to change us from within and our way of thinking, the new wine will burst the skins – us  – and we will be ruined.

Let’s be honest, we cannot put on new ideas in old mind sets. We cannot get new results with the same old behaviors.   Think about it. When wine is new it is fermenting it bubbles and expands as these formation gasses are released. If there is a fresh, flexible wineskin it can absorb the expansion and slowly age with the wine until the fermenting is complete. I am believing God is doing a fermenting within me and if you are in transition I would suggest He is doing that in you.  So let’s follow Him and allow Him to do this work in us and be willing to expand so we can receive this expansion of Him in us.  We cannot allow ourselves not to move when God says move or shed our old comfortable mind sets and we cannot rush this process any more than the fermenting of wine can be rushed.

So I challenge you to ask yourself, is there anywhere in your life, God is asking you to look at where you are and embrace a new direction?  Is there some old mind set He is asking you to shed so that He can pour in new wine?  We tend to lack understanding of what God is wanting to do and it causes us to shrink back.  Let’s step out in faith and believe God for the outpouring of new wine and not shrink back in fear.   The old wineskin says the harvest comes only at a certain time and a certain way. This is a lie.  The new wineskin of the mind of Christ says, But I tell you, look around you, and see how the fields are ripe for harvesting. (John 4:35) and give and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. (Luke 6:38).  

So let’s embrace wherever God has you in transition and put on the new wineskin of the mind of Christ and walk in greater understanding and belief, after all God is only wanting to fill us up with new wine, and prepare us, ripen us, for the harvest. Welcome the transition!