Category Archives: Walk With Christ

Focusing on the Lord, Part 1 (February)

copyright ASourceOfJoy

In the midst of the busy schedule of daily life, it can be easy to loose sight of our ultimate goal, which as daughters of the King, is glorifying Christ and doing His will.

Life has become increasingly busy for me during the last few months, with projects to complete and deadlines to meet. My mind has become continually occupied with these projects, always on the race thinking of these things that need to be done and trying to mentally work out problems. In essence, my mind has shifted from the peace and steadiness of Christ, to my surroundings and troubles.

Then the Lord broke through my thoughts and quieted my soul. I felt Him asking me, “Are you doing what truly matters? What are you focusing on? When you are 70 years old, will you look back in regret at how little time you spent during these years pouring out your soul into the only thing that eternally matters – Mwill?”

Shamed, I bowed my head and admitted, “I fear that I someday, yes, I will see the opportunities I missed to invest in the most important relationship, and realize all the riches I missed that are found in Your quiet presence.”

Life is fleeting and circumstances are unpredictable, but there is One in life that makes it worth living – God alone. He is unwavering, never changing, never rushed by approaching deadlines, never faced by complicated dilemma. He knows everything, and He can give me this same peaceful calm – if I will look to Him for that all-comforting grace. One glimpse of my Savior and the agonies He faced pales the stormy weather around my troubled spirit. He knows what I am facing. He has sufficient grace!

“Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow.
For what is your life?
It is even a vapor, that appeareth for a little time,
and then vanisheth away.”
(James 4:14)

Sister, I have not found all the answers to this. I am still struggling through this issue, but I have begun to see that all these things that are going around me and the things that I am worrying about are truly so trite…so vain…so vanishing. My own goals seem so worthless, so self-centered, so carnal, when I take my eyes off His will. Yet, one look to the Savior, again, solves all the troubles of my soul, as I realize that seeking His pleasure, His glory, His approval, makes all my efforts entirely worth it, and all worldly goals utterly worthless.

“Let us not be desirous of vain glory.”
(Galatians 5:26)

Though the projects that I am doing may be good in themselves, if I lose sight of God’s will and how He wants to use these things – if I cease to do them for His glory and for my own edification – I will find that though these projects may be God’s will for me, it certainly is NOT His will for me to sacrifice my relationship with Him in doing these things.

Walk in wisdom toward them that are without,
redeeming the time.”
(Colossians 4:5)

Later in my life, I want to look back and see that because I focused on God’s will rather than the World’s approval, the Lord was able to use my life for His glory and my refining. I want to know that I looked to Christ alone for my reward and my motivation. And He was enough.

Look to Christ! Jesus is the Prince of Peace…stop and rest in Him. Let the cares of the world fade away, and with His strengthening peace filling your soul, you will be enabled to face the battles and troubles around – in His strength.

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2 Comments »

MAGGIE B. » I Just wanted to drop you a note to tell you that I really appreciated your February “monthly thought.” Actually, this is something that I have been thinking of over these past few weeks – focusing our whole life on the Lord.
Sad to say, in past years my life was mainly divided into two parts…my daily life and my walk with the Lord. I’d get out my Bible, hurriedly read a few verses, so I could get back to my busy life and feel good that I had “spent some time with the Lord.” But I am beginning to realize in a completely different way that my WHOLE life belongs to Him. He is our Heavenly Father – read His word, talk to Him through the day, ask His help with your projects, share Him with others, love Him always! Thanks again Sarah!

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SAMANTHA P.» Thank you, Sarah, for this month’s “thought for the month”! It is something that I have been especially working on this month, namely to let nothing to take the place of my Savior in my life. It is so easy to get wrapped up in the things of this world, yet we are told, “be anxious for nothing”. God has loved us with an everlasting love, yet how often I do not seek to put Him first in everything! “Jesus! What a friend for sinners! Jesus! Lover of my soul, friends may fail me, foes assail me, He, my Savior, makes me whole. Hallelujah! What a Savior! Hallelujah! What a Friend! Saving, helping keeping, loving, He is with me to the end.”

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SARAH LEE » Maggie and Samantha ~ thank you both for your thoughts – it is encouraging to hear that the Lord has been teaching you both similar things. Maggie I agree that it is so easy to not live daily life with Christ in and transforming every moment and action. But He should be because He is our best Friend! Blessings to you both. 

Scripture Memory (December)

Memorizing Scripture 

Time flies – I can’t believe that December has already arrived! At the end of each year, I like to reflect on the previous months and events. Something that is always evident in days gone by is God’s hand and plan unfolding. I am awed to see all the Lord has done!

Each New Year’s I make a list of goals to work toward in the coming year. I can’t say how much of those goals I actually accomplish, but it is always encouraging to read over the goals at the end of that year and see what the Lord has done in my life, and the prayers He has answered.

One of the goals I made last year was to memorize Scripture. I have known for many years that I needed to hide God’s word in my heart, but just did not make the commitment to do so. Finally, one day I just told myself I was goingto do it, and decided to make myself accountable to someone and memorize with them. I asked a mature friend if she would join me, and she agreed. As we have memorized Titus together, our friendship has been strengthened and I also have been pushed to be diligent with my memorization! Actually I have found that memorizing is much easier than I thought it would be. The biggest blessing is having these verses in my mind to dwell on during the spare moments throughout the day.

Here are some ideas that I have found helpful in memorizing Scripture:

~Pick a few verses or even phrases to work on at a time. Each morning during devotions, study the entire passage, but then specifically pick out the next phrase that you need to memorize, and break it down. How many phrases (divided by conjunctions) are in that verse, and are the phrases in an special order that would assist you in remembering it? For example, if there are three ways we should live in the passage I am currently working on (Titus 2), how can I remember exactly what order they are listed? Are they listed alphabetically? In verse 12 they are actually the opposite – backwards: soberly, righteously, andgodly; and all three end in –ly. There are several ways to make a phrase memorable – even just by repeatedly studying the order of the words in the phrase.

~Write the verses that you are working on on a sticky-note and post it on your bed, mirror, desk, or other often-used place. This will help you memorize how it looks, and also serves to help other family members memorize them with you!

~Recite the verses while driving, resting, folding clothes, or going to sleep – any time you need something worthy to think about!

~Listen to the passage read – recordings are available, often for free, in many formats.

~Be faithful. Do not put it down! Make a habit each time during your daily devotions and maybe another time of day as well to work on Scripture memory.

~Be accountable. Memorize with a friend or family member, and regularly check in with them and tell them how you are progressing.

If you have any tips to share, please do! I am learning and want to hear what works for you.

I want to encourage you also to evaluate your life during the closing of this year – choose about three areas that you desire to grow in during 2010. I would love for you to share the goals you set for the coming new year with me! Let us spur one another on in the ways of the Lord.

SarahLee

Rachael and Sarah B.

Copyright by Sarah Bryant

“I have one deep, supreme desire−
That I may be like Jesus.
To this I fervently aspire−
That I may be like Jesus.


I want my heart His throne to be,
So that the watching world may see 
His likeness shining forth in me
I want to be like Jesus.”
-“I want to be Like Jesus” by Thomas O. Chisholm

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2 Comments »

BETHANY WARD » Sarah,
What a beautiful article, I to have often known and wanted to memorize scripture, but I never ended up doing it. I am so glad that you have made this calendar available, and I know that with God’s help I will be able to memorize 11 Corinthians with my sister. Thanks so much!
Bethany
P.S. Here are some things that I hope to improve in the next year:
1. Memorize more scripture
2. Be more like Jesus in every way possible
3. Be more of a caring gentle sister and a great example as well.
May God Bless!!!

SARAH LEE » Bethany, Thank you very much for sharing your thoughts. I am so glad that you are now going to work on memorizing Scripture! I know the Lord will abundantly bless your faithfulness in that. Also, I am so thankful you shared three goals for your life in the new year! Those are wonderful areas that I think each one of us will always have to grow in. In fact, those were some of my goals for the past year. May He bless you this new year!!

JENNY FLORIO » I enjoyed reading your monthly thought. Memorizing is so important! I feel such an urge to memorize God’s Word when I consider all that is going on in our government and wonder if one day I will not have such easy access to the written Word as I do now! I have been listening to the Bible on CD lately and that really helps with memorizing. I am working on memorizing John right now, going rather slowly through it. It is such a special book! Lately I have been meditating on the verse, “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” How amazing to think that He came truly dwells among us, that He, very God, desires to be with US! I can’t even comprehend it… He is an amazing God!

SARAH LEE » Jenny, I appreciate you sharing what Scripture memorizing “projects” you have been working on as well. You shared some very good ideas for memorizing – I also have found it so beneficial to listen to the Bible read (I use my MP3 player and often listen to the passage as I go to sleep). One of the greatest things about memorizing Scripture is that it is always in mind to abide on.

Accepting Correction (May)

Copyright by Sarah Bryant

“You don’t like correction, do you?” What a humiliating question to be asked. Yet God has been asking me this so many times lately, through different circumstances or people. It seems like every time I think I “have it down,” this is brought to my eyes again. What a hard area it is!

Who likes being rebuked, instructed, or corrected?

Well, Proverbs 13:1 says a wise son will hear his parents’ instruction and humbly accept it. Our natural human nature despises counsel and correction, but Proverbs 10:8 says “the wise in heart will receive commandments.” The wise person embraces correction, realizing his/her own weaknesses and need to learn.

On the other hand, a fool scoffs and rejects correction. “A fool despiseth his father’s instruction: but he that regardeth reproof is prudent.” (Pro 15:5) Which do we want to portray–the wise, or the foolish?

We are commanded, in Proverbs 19:20, to “hear counsel, and receive instruction…” Jesus says that His rebuke is a sign of His love for us in Revelation 3:19: “As many as love, I rebuke and chaste.” We should feel loved when our parents correct us, because they have the courage and love for their children to do so.

“Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying.” (Proverbs 19:18)

A wise man will love those who rebuke him in love (Pro 9:8). Our parents want our best when they correct us; they care enough to stop and show us where we are erring. When we are reprimanded by our authorities, we should have an open heart for their wisdom and thank them for it. God will greatly bless that humility!

I have found that I must seek God’s grace to accept correction. I cannot do it alone. When someone tells me that I did a certain task wrong, I must ask God for grace to respond humbly, to be humble enough to say, “I am sorry; I was wrong!” Then go on with life, joyfully accepting it. When I am asked to do something that I do not want to do or that interrupts my schedule, I must stop and pray for God to work in me so that I can serve Him foremost. “Sure, I can do that for you!” When I get frustrated and am tempted to say something wrong or display a bad attitude, I have to close my mouth and go in another room to pray for help! God has truly delivered me, though, when I do this.

This is such a hard area; I fail many times a day. But the Lord is teaching me so faithfully, and it is a comfort to know that how ever many times I fail or give a wrong response, He still has grace and forgiveness for me. He will help me start again. And He wants me to succeed for His cause! He will be faithful until the battle is won. But I must desire His work to be done in my life, and must surrender my will for His.

Will you too allow the holy Spirits’ conviction and work in the daily, hidden, mundane responses of life? Few will see your efforts. But God will. What else matters? When we allow God to change our “old man” into His new nature, HE will radiate from our lives and others will be blessed by our life crucified with Christ. Will we let Him live in us completely? He gave His life for us; He will surely see us through.

“I am crucified with Christ:
nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith
of the Son of God, who loved me, & gave himself for me.
(Galatians 2:20)

Press on with me, dear sister!
~SarahLee

“A wise son
heareth his father’s instruction:
but a scorner
heareth not rebuke.”
~Proverbs 13:1

Copyright by Sarah Bryant

“Humble yourselves
in the sight of the Lord,
and he shall lift you up.”
~James 4:10

Trusting God (April)

Recently, I wondered why God had not given a clear answer in various situations in my life, just a “yes” or “no”! I asked God why He could not just give my an answer so I could “move on with life.” I just wanted to know the answer, to know what He had for this situation!

As I pondered this, He gave me a clear revelation of the reason: He reminded me that through me not knowing exactly what He has in the future, He draws me to Himself and shows me His all-sufficiency in all areas. Through waiting I have to turn to Him in complete surrender, waiting for His will. And this is exactly why He wants to lead me through situations when I do not know what is ahead. He desires me to look to Him completely in my insufficiency, to lean on His promises, to learn more fully Who He is and His great love.

Though it is hard not knowing what lies ahead, the best part is the lessons He will teach through it. I am so amazed that God loves me enough to teach me these wonderful lessons! He could simply let me wander alone, but He shows me Light and His character instead. Isn’t it amazing to think God of all desires us to know Who HE is personally? He cares! How glad I am of that. I am so thankful He is working in my life! It is assuring to me to know that this time is being used profitably by Him.

His work is always so different from what we expect, isn’t it? It always catches me by surprise, for some reason.

A friend recently encouraged me with her words on what God has been showing her as well:

It is hard to not have a ‘yes or no’ answer to things. But really what matters is if we are trusting God with what we are doing and with what the outcome will be. I think one of the reasons He gives us these times where we can’t see the road ahead is so that we will fully rely on Him! He says, ‘Come to me, all you heavy laden and I will give you rest.'”

Maybe you are not sure what is in your future in some areas as well. Whatever area it is, lean on God. Search His Word. Learn His character. It will be worth all to learn more from our God, Sister!

“Blessed be the Lord my strength~
“My goodness, 
& my fortress;
my high tower,

& my deliverer;
my sheild,
and he in whom I trust.

“LORD, 
what is man, 
that thou takest knowledge of him!
or the son of man,
that thou 
makest account of him!”
~Psalm 144:1-3

Sarah

Loving God (March)

“Thou shalt love the LORD thy God
with all thine heart,
& with all thy soul
& with all thy might.”

(Deut. 6:5)

I have heard this verse countless times. But have I taken it into consideration?

Lately, the Lord spoke to me through this. He asked me to search my heart: “Do you truly love ME above all else?” My immediate answer was, “Of course I do! I would be nothing without you, God.” But when I further thought about it…when it comes to everyday living,

Where are my thoughts?
Who do I go to for strength?
Where am I spending my time?
Whose favor am I seeking?
Do I relish the time I spend with Him?

O, when it comes to this, I find myself so lacking for love for my God–the holy One who requires my love and full surrender of every part of my life. Gill’s Commentary says, “God is to be loved because of the perfections of his nature, and the works of his hand, of nature, providence, and grace; and because of the relations he stands in to men, and especially to his own people; and because of his peculiar love to them…”

What is the deeper meaning of this verse?

“And thou shalt love
[to have affection for]
the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all
[properly the whole; hence all, any or every]
thy soul, and with all thy
might. [properly vehemence, that is, vehemently; by implication wholly, speedily]”
[definitions from Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance]

My love for God should be a mighty fervor that is not divided among any other thing or person; perfect, pure, and complete love. My affection for Him should be whole, unmatched, and vehement!

“A superlative love, above all creatures whatever; with the whole of the affections of the heart, with great fervency and ardour of spirit, in the sincerity of the soul, and with all the strength of grace a man has, with such love that is as strong as death.” -Gill’s Commentary

How I need to place God on the throne of my life! How I need to give Him the honor in my life that He deserves!

How can I love God with all of my soul, with all of my heart, and all my very might?

There are many ways to do this, and I have not begun to find the answers. But we simply must make the choice. As a friend recently said, “He will help us!” He is faithful. God WILL give the rewards when we strive to seek Him. We are unable to know His face, but He WILL answer our quest for wisdom. Let us start today, to give God our hearts, our love. How can we begin to love God above all?

1. Yearn to love Him!

2. Humbly pray for more love for Him.

3. Spend time with Him in His word.

4. Dwell on Him throughout the day. Avoid distracting thoughts, non-glorifying music, and unprofitable books. Share your struggles with Him, and trust Him to take care of them–don’t think about it anymore.

5. Memorize Scripture. This will help us focus on Him throughout the day, if His word is in our heart.

6. Show His love to others! When we love God, we love others as well. (1Jn 4:20: “If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar.”)

God should be my greatest love,
my highest goal,
my constant thought,
and my very being.
Is He?

 “Walk in love,

as Christ also hath loved us ,
& hath given himself for us an offering,
and a sacrifice to God.
(Eph 5:2)