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Jesus Outside The Walls Ministries

Christian Outreach Ministry

The Importance of Identity: Is This Important to God?

    Identity is important. It is who we are. Our identity is the qualities, beliefs, characteristics, personality and our expressions. It is the way we think about ourselves. Identity is a huge part of what makes us human. We are not alive without an identity. Is this important to God? The answer is yes. Here are three reasons why identity is important to God.

Reason #1 God is Our Creator

Genesis 1: 1 says, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” Not only is God our creator He is the “Creator”. Genesis 1: 26 – 27 shows God as creator of mankind (male and female).
26 Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.

There is nothing or anyone that exists outside of God. Out of all God’s creations, His creation of mankind was His best because we are made in His image and after His likeness. There is no other creature on earth made in Him image and after His likeness. Identity is important to God because we mirror His image and likeness. That makes us important and valuable to God. Dominion is a part of our identity because it is one of the ways we are like Him. This is how we identify with His image. When this verse talks about likeness, it talking about man’s moral ability and capacity of obtaining holiness. Unfortunately, the fall of mankind changed all of this. What I find amazing is that God created mankind the same but we are all unique. We are all the same in the sense, that we are all made in His image and likeness. Also, physically we all have two hands, two feet, eyes, etc. We are unique because no one has the same finger print, and all image bearers of God have different personalities, characteristics, traits, etc. If identity was not important to God, He would not have paid so much attention to detail in creating us.

Reason #2 Attention to Detail

Psalm 139 13 – 15
13 For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. 14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. 15 My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
In these verses we see God’s hand in forming us in the womb before birth. God making this a priority shows why identity is important to Him. In one translation the first part of verse 13 says, “For thou hast possessed my reins”. Reins means the kidneys and then it denotes the inward parts. The mind, the soul, the seat of the desires, affections, and passions. God is and was intentional when creating us while in the wombs of our mothers. Not just the physical body but things where the identity dwells the mind, soul, seat of desires etc. Sadly, the fall of man affect all of this as well. Mankind now desires to identify themselves outside of God. When scriptures say in John 5:15, “apart from God we are nothing”. However, God original intent was for us to have our identity in Him through Jesus Christ.

Reason 3# We Are Christ’s Ambassadors (Representatives)
2 Corinthians 5: 19 – 21
19 that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. 20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

For every believer in Jesus Christ our identity is important to God because we represent Him as His ambassadors. What is an ambassador? An ambassador is a diplomatic official of the highest rank, sent by one sovereign or state to another as its resident representative. In other words, an ambassador represents his country and when he says something it is as though his country is speaking. Every believer is a representative of God and His Kingdom. We represent Him in character, deeds, what we say, and how we carry ourselves. We speak on behalf of God. Now, this is an enormous responsibility. We as fallen human being cannot speak on behalf of God or represent Him. This is why we had to be given a new nature or a new identity because we no longer represent ourselves, we represent Christ. We have been given the Holy Spirit (God’s Spirit) who empowers us to accomplish this awesome responsibility. We have also been given a message which is be reconciled to God. In other words, we were estranged from God because our sin. That estrangement has ended because of the Jesus’s death on the cross and resurrection. Jesus’s blood was shed so that we may have right standing and relationship with God.

Identity is important to God because as creator He was very meticulous in creating us with such care and love. We the undeserving, God allows us to be his ambassador’s as well. Knowing who we are should be important to us as well because it is important to God.

Three Practices To Grow In Jesus Christ

Thee Practices To Grow In Jesus Christ

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God’s will is that we grow in Jesus, become more like Him (Romans 8:29), and live a life that pleases Him. For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God (Colossians 1:9-10 )

This is an ongoing work of the Spirit of God in our lives; however, we co-labor with God and or not idle bystanders in the growth process. We have a responsibility as Christian to put into practice some things that help us grow in Jesus. God has given us instruction in His word what we are to practice to contribute to our growth in Him.

Three Practices God’s Word Instructs Us To Do To Grow In Jesus Christ

1. Pray and ask God for His help to grow in Jesus Christ

never stop praying

We are instructed to pray without ceasing (2 Thessalonians 5:17). Praying helps us not to faint but to keep doing good and that is a part of growing in Jesus Christ. Growing in Christ is work of the Holy Spirit working in us to will and do His good pleasure (Philippians 2:13). He began the good work in us and will complete it until Christ comes (Philippians 1:6). We cannot grow in Jesus in our own strength. Trying to do so with mere human strength and will is sure to cause discouragement and frustrate God’s grace within us. God can do far more in us by the working of His power in us in a minute than we can try doing ourselves in a lifetime. Praying to God for help, about our feelings, desires, and struggles is necessary. Life can be difficult at times. We experience ups and downs, along with temptations. We will always need guidance, stumble at times, feel confused sometimes, and go through things. This is a part of life. The devil is our enemy and will try to use whatever He can to trip us up in any way BUT GOD is greater and is always with us, lives within us, and is able and willing to help us. Going to God with all our needs, faults, struggle, pain, concerns, temptations, setbacks is the only way to avoid stumbling and staying down when we do stumble or to avoid stumbling in the same areas repeatedly. We can go to Him, repent, get instruction, get healing and help to get up when we mess up, keep going, and growing.  We can get better and do better. With God we do get better and do better. Praying helps us grow in Jesus.

 

2. Read the Bible

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How else will we know the truth about God, His ways, and how He wants us to live, and His promises to us if we do not learn? We can’t rely on other’s beliefs and opinions about God. We must learn for ourselves with the Holy Spirit leading and guiding us into all truth. We don’t want to be misled and there is a lot of error out in the world that will stunt our growth in Christ. The word of God is able to instruct us in who God (Father/Jesus/The Holy Spirit) is, God’s ways, thoughts, how we are to live, and God’s promises to us – All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness; so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work (2 Timothy 3:16-17). We can read the bible to learn the truth and ask God to help us grow accordingly and apply His word in our daily lives.
 3. Fellowship/Assemble with other Believers In Christ.

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Who we hang out with on a constant basis will influence us whether for good or bad. No one is exempt. Healthy Christian fellowship and worshiping together is encouraged in scripture –  And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching (Hebrews 10:24-25). Fellowship and times of worship with fellow believers in Christ contributes to our growth, encourages us, and helps with us being accountable. The devil likes when we are isolated, alone, and/or constantly around unbelievers alone so he can lie to us and get us caught up in worldly ways. When we are attending worship services with each other and have Christian friends to talk and fellowship with we are often refreshed and sharpen each other. We can also go to each other for prayer and get Godly counsel when we need it. This in turn helps us to grow in the Lord.

These three points are not exhaustive but general. Personally God may have you to do some other things regarding relationships, practices, and pursuits to contribute to your growth in Jesus. This means we all have to go to Him to learn what it is He is asking of us to grow in Him. I pray this information helps you.

 

Thanks for Reading, God Bless You,

Samantha

 

 

Knowing God through the “I am” Statements in the Bible.

My Hearts desire in this season of my life is to know God more. I believe the Holy Spirit is leading me to study the “I am” statements in the bible. I believe that the Holy Spirit is allowing me to share with you some of the things He is showing me about Himself through this study. This study is helping me, and I hope it helps and sparks a desire to know God in a deeper way.

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“I AM THAT I AM” (EHYEH ASHER EHYEH)
The first “I am” statement that I see in scripture is in Exodus 3:13,14. “I AM THAT I AM”. This is what God said to Moses when asked what is your name and who will I say sent me? For those who are not familiar with God, Moses, and the people of Israel, here is a little background. The Israelites (God chosen people) were made slaves and heavily oppressed by the Egyptian’s. Moses who was also an Israelite was chosen by God to deliver His people out of Egyptian bondage. However, when God called Moses to deliver His people he was far from Egypt and hiding because He had killed an Egyptian taskmaster for beating up on one of his people. Moses got married and started another life for himself. He was keeping the flock of father-in-law Jethro when God appears to him in the form of a burning bush but the bush was not consumed by the fire. God tells Moses I am sending you to Pharaoh so you can bring my people out of Egypt and out of bondage. Here is the text where we see God describe Himself:

Exodus 3:10-14
10 Come, I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring my people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt.” 11 But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?” 12 He said, “But I will be with you, and this shall be the sign for you, that I have sent you: when you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall serve God on this mountain.” 13 Then Moses said to God, “If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what shall I say to them?” 14 God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.'”
In this text Moses in some form was asking God what is your name? What if they ask me what is your name? “I AM WHO I AM” In Hebrew it is “EHYEH ASHER EHYEH” was God’s response. Tell them the “I AM” has sent you. In other words, tell them the self-existent, self-sufficient, has sent you. In this response I learned something about the God we serve. In that name God says, I am self-existent no one has created me. There was no one before me, and there is no one after me. God is the beginning, the end and everything in between. Genesis 1:1 says it in the first four words, “In the beginning God. Our human minds cannot fully understand this. However, by faith we believe it and accept it.

I want to quote an article from an author that I do not know. However, what was written was profound concerning the self-sufficiency of God:
Only God is self-sufficient, because he does not need from nothing or anyone. He doesn’t need life, because he is the Life; he does not need provisions; he is the Provider; he doesn’t have a beginning, because he exists from before the beginning. The self-sufficiency of God is part of his nature.
Our God lacks nothing. He does not need to ask permission to do anything. When God needs something to happen all He has to do is speak it and it appears. This is powerful, God is all powerful.

I AM WHO I AM, The self-existent, and self-sufficient God is the God that we serve.

The Anointing

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The Anointing (precious Holy Spirit) is every Christians’  helper, comforter, advocate, and teacher. He is the one that convicts us of sin, leads and guides us into all truth, brings things to our remembrance, advocates for us, intercedes for us, helps us, and empowers us to be Christ’s witnesses. The Anointing destroys the yokes and lifts the burdens off us as well.

 

And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment. ( John 16:8 ESV)

But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance whatsoever I have said unto you.  (John 14:26)

But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him. (1 John 2:27)

Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. (Romans 8:26)

But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. (Acts 1:8)

And it shall come to pass in that day, that his burden shall be taken away from off thy shoulder, and his yoke from off thy neck, and the yoke shall be destroyed because of the anointing. (Isaiah 10:27)

We do not have to, and quite frankly we cannot, rely on our own intuition, human strength, and human know how to accomplish and carry out anything God calls us to do. Nor can we deliver our selves from any besetting sin or handle life situations in a Godly way which glorifies Him, on our own.

Any struggle we face with sin and with various life situations which try to entrap us, weigh us down, oppress us and discourage us will not overtake us. We can be assured that the Anointing/Holy Spirit helps us through.  He comforts us, frees us, teaches us, uplifts and encourages us, advocates for us, and prays/intercedes for us according to will of God.

As we are trusting God’s Holy Spirit to work this out in our life, we must co labor with God in the name of Jesus endeavor to:

  • remain in prayer/seeking God’s face and heart daily
  • read God’s Word (The Holy Bible)
  • hear God’s Voice
  • resist the devil
  • submit to God
  • obey God
  • assemble and fellowship with other believers

and this too, the Anointing which is the Holy Spirit – God in the third person, helps us to live out. 

We are the helped ones. Jesus did not leave us comfortless and without help. The Anointing is with us and in us. We are empowered. We are anointed by the Anointing.

Go forth anointed ones, praying and praising, thanking God, for this is already done In Jesus Name! Only Believe! Be Encouraged!

Thanks For Reading and God Bless You,

 

Samantha Ann Waring-Jolicoeur

 

 

 

Trusting God With Not Trusting Him

Trusting God with Not Trusting Him:

It Seems Like an Oxymoron

trust Written By Samantha Ann Waring-Jolicoeur

     I’m learning from God that there are different levels of maturity in trusting Him. I admit I don’t always trust God the way that I think I do and hope that I will when situations occur. Some situations I do and then there are times I find that it can be difficult. It is not until I am faced with those extremely trying situations, that I see where my trusting God is wanting and needs to be developed. That is when I hear His Holy Spirit reminding me of the verse Lord I believe help thou my unbelief (Mark 9:24). This gives me some comfort and relief from the sadness I feel at the sight of my heart’s failure to trust Him like I should. Then comes my repentance “Sorry Lord, I don’t trust you with this (whatever the situation may be)”. Thank God that He knows, He already knew before I did that my heart would waver, and He readily forgives me. I am also reminded that He transforms us from glory to glory and that means there is always room for growth in the area of trusting Him. He is invested in developing trust in Him in various areas, thus the good work He began continues.

     I use to be so quick to feel ashamed and horrible when I didn’t trust God and take Him at His word when disappointment, hardship, and/or adverse situations transpired. To me it was a very grave offense because I know that God can do anything, is perfect, and with Him all things are possible. I’ve experience some ups and downs in the trusting God department and know I will in the future. I think it is all a part of growth and understanding that my heart and flesh will fail, but God is the strength of my heart and life. Now my perspective is quite different. I know I will mature in trusting Him and there is no need to feel hopeless or despair over falling short when it comes to trusting Him.  This leads me to these questions. What if I told you, that uttering Lord I believe help thou my unbelief demonstrates some level of trust? What if I told you that confessing to God that you don’t fully trust Him shows a measure of trust in Him? I say it seems like an oxymoron. I believe this confession shows trust and in and of itself is a part of pouring out one’s heart to Him. Psalm 62:8 states:

Trust in Him at all times, O people; Pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us. Selah.

The Contemporary English Version reads:

Trust God, my friends, and always tell him each of your concerns. God is our place of safety.

     Here we read the psalmist admonishing the people to trust God at all times, to pour out their hearts to God (share the concerns of their heart) and encouraging them that God is a place of safety. This gives me great comfort knowing I can tell God anything, even my deep concern that I am failing Him at the aforementioned admonishment before pour out your heart before Him, which is to Trust in Him at All Times. In other words, my prayer may sound something like this “God I am sorry I am not trusting you right now. I have trust issues and I have trust issues with you. Please help me. Lord I believe. Remove from me unbelief.” Yes, it takes some measure of trust to admit such an offense to God. Why would I not trust Him? Is He not worthy of trusting? Yes, He is and therefore I should be trusting Him, but my heart has failed Him. Oh! but my friend, He indeed understands why. He knows the past trust issues, previous disappointments, pain, suffering, feelings of fear, and distress associated with the situation, that causes my heart to go awry and not trust Him in that moment. Still His loving hand keeps it, towards trusting Him, and heals the hidden wounds that causes mistrust to emerge in grievous moments.

trust God

     God is a safe place for us to pour out our confessions and concerns whatever they may be, even the ones of unbelief and mistrust and indeed, all trust is not lost. If you are experiencing trust issues with God, don’t despair. He understands and you can repent of the mistrust and talk with him about it. He does not despise your affliction of the heart. He is near to the broken hearted and save those contrite of spirit (Psalm 34:18). Deeper trust is being developed when feeling of mistrust is confessed. God and you can get to and deal with the underlying causes of mistrust. He is the one that teaches us to trust Him and births sustaining trust in Him deep within our hearts (part of growing in a relationship – learning to trust Him). Also keep it mind, this is a life long journey of growing and getting to know God. We never arrive on this side of glory. There will always be room for growth in the area of trusting God. God is not caught of God by your shortcomings and your inability to trust Him and in and of yourself. He is invested in teaching you and I how to always trust Him because He indeed is trust worthy.  

Be Encouraged In Christ,

Samantha Ann Waring-Jolicoeur

 

What Did God Say?

What Did God Say?

god_says_vs_man_says

Written by Samantha Ann Waring-Jolicoeur

 

We live in a world with many voices (varying opinions, preferences, religions, philosophies, mindsets, etc.) I respect others and learned that respecting others doesn’t mean I have to agree and follow any voice that leads me astray from God. I don’t know about you who is reading this right now, but there was a time I was all turned around by the opinions of others.   At some point God in His awesome grace and mercy allows us to feel the disappointment, pain, and frustration with going along with opinions of others that’s void of His will. God knows that following the opinions, philosophies, and mindsets void of His Word and wisdom is dangerous so that is why He lets us know in His Word that following His voice is important:

My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. John 10 :27

Paul the Apostle wrote:

But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel other than what we have preached to you, a curse be on him! Galatians 1:8

We can see clearly by these two scriptures alone that knowing God’s voice and following Him is not just a good thing, but major.

my sheep hear my voice
One day riding on the bus, I was typing and a young lady was conversing with her son extremely loud. I notice I was so distracted by her voice, the octave, and even with what she was saying. I became so distracted in my thinking and started thinking about what she was saying instead of focusing on what I was doing. I even felt nervous. I started questioning God about what I was hearing and had crazy notions in my head regarding what she was saying. It was a fight to refocus my thoughts on what I was initially doing. I just kept praying. Finally, God quieted me inside and I was able to gather my thoughts, relax, refocus, and continue with what I was doing.

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Has that ever happened to you? Have you ever been in a situation where the voices of others were so loud you could barely focus. Perhaps you couldn’t even hear your own self think let alone what God was speaking to your heart? What about when God made you a promise, said something to you about you, called you to do something; did ungodly thoughts in your own mind, something you heard, or the opinions, philosophies, and preferences of others distract you? Perhaps it persuaded you to do differently than what God wanted, deterred you, and/or troubled you to the point of hindering you or provoking you to dismiss what God said and in turn believe a lie? Well you are not alone. I believe anyone willing to be honest about this, would admit it they experienced this too.  It is a human experience. Although Jesus never sinned, He was tempted with a similar experience:

And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, being forty days tempted of the devil. And in those days, he did eat nothing: and when they were ended, he afterward hungered.  And the devil said unto him, if thou be the Son of God, command this stone that it be made bread. And Jesus answered him, saying, it is written, that man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God. And the devil, taking him up into a high mountain, shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time.  And the devil said unto him, all this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it.  If thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine.  And Jesus answered and said unto him, get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.  And he brought him to Jerusalem, and set him on a pinnacle of the temple, and said unto him, if thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down from hence: For it is written, He shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee:  And in their hands, they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. And Jesus answering said unto him, it is said, thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. And when the devil had ended all the temptation, he departed from him for a season. Luke 4:1-13

Satan was relentless in trying to persuade Jesus to do something other than what the Father had instructed Him (what He knew to be right). Because Jesus experienced it and He is God, we can be comforted and assured that He knows and fully understand the struggle:

For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. Hebrews 4:15

it is written

    

The awesome thing is Jesus did not follow the devil’s voice. Notice each time Satan tempted Jesus, Jesus said it is written. See Luke 4:1-13.  Jesus quoted God’s Word which is pure truth not just fact. He was able to walk victoriously and not give in to the enemy’s temptation. Jesus knew what God said and followed God’s voice. God gave us His Word, His Spirit, and gives us the strength to follow His voice. I do have to state however, that we are not immune to the attack of other voices (opinions, preferences, philosophies, and lies of others) bombarding us, but we don’t have to be victim to it. We can pray and read the bible with the help of the Holy Spirit. As we spend time with God and in His Word/The Bible, we begin to know His voice better. Once we know, understand, and believe what God says/His voice, it is easier to receive, apply, and do what He asks of us. We, our dreams, and hopes will not perish because we don’t lack knowledge of what God says. We know what God said and says!

Thanks For Reading, God bless you,

Samantha Ann Waring-Jolicoeur
 

 

 

 

At The Feet of Jesus: The Good Part

At The Feet of Jesus: The Good Part

Better+Than+Busy

Written by Samantha Ann Waring-Jolicoeur

Sometimes we must stop and put everything on pause. If we notice that we are going-going-going, not praying as much, have a sense that something is even a slight bit off, and busyness is gripping our lives, it may be time to stop, seek God, and let Him recalibrate our movement. We want to make sure we are in step with the Lord, surrendering daily to God all of our plans and what we think we should be doing. It is healthy to access if we are indeed doing His will. Some possible questions to ask are: Is God in all this? Is this what He is asking of me? Am I too busy? How is my relationship developing with Him?

Lately I’ve been thinking about what sitting at the feet of Jesus looks like these days in our society. I do have an idea, yet I think I still have a lot to learn. I do however know what it means to be worry and troubled about many things. I know what it is to be helter skelter, running around like a chicken with my head cut off, and to have a daily to do list greater than the 24 hours allotted us humans daily – not to mention perhaps 16 hours really for those of us that endeavor to get at least 8 hours sleep a day.

What has provoked this mode of reflection is the scripture Luke 10:38-42. Now as they were traveling along, He entered a village; and a woman named Martha welcomed Him into her home. She had a sister called Mary, who was seated at the Lord’s feet, listening to His word.  But Martha was distracted with all her preparations; and she came up to Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to do all the serving alone? Then tell her to help me.” But the Lord answered and said to her, Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things; but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:38-42

In these verses we read that Martha was distracted with all her preparations, but what particularly stood out to me was the type of preparations she was doing. I think this is key to note because Martha was not busy doing sinful things. As a matter of fact she was busy with the affairs of serving. She was preparing for and serving Jesus, The Lord Himself. How wonderful for her to welcome Jesus into her home and to want to serve Him and anyone else who accompanied Him. Wouldn’t you agree that Jesus is the guest who deserves the best, so what harm could there be in all this goings on and fuss Martha was making? Why would her preparations be called distractions? Well, all we have to do is pay attention carefully to how Jesus addressed Martha after her complaining to Jesus about her sister’s lack of contribution of help with all the preparations. She even questioned whether Jesus cared about her situation (serving alone) and even gave Jesus a directive regarding what to do with Mary.

As soon as Jesus addressed Martha, He said her name twice – “Martha, Martha.” I liken it to a term of endearment. It reminds of me of someone wanting to comfort someone by saying, “There here now.” He really showed genuine concern and care for Martha. I also feel as if He was saying sweetheart listen. He then goes on to say, “You are worried and bothered about so many things.” What worried and bothered about so many things? What? How could that be Jesus? Martha was doing this for you!! I believe that Jesus saw the root of Martha’s works, all her goings on, her complaining and griping about the lack of help from her sister. She was all over the place and for nothing that Jesus really required of her. She was worried and troubled about getting things right, serving right, doing so much.  She had placed demands on herself to please Jesus in such a harsh and hardworking way and He did not demand that of her. Her preparations, although not intentional, at the point was idolatry and had taken priority over being with Jesus. Ridden with anxiety, going about what she must do for her Lord to make Him feel welcomed was all one big distraction as Jesus saw it. Jesus did not need or want that from Martha. He wanted  one thing at the time, her attention as it states, and I will explain further a little later. Martha did not have to drive herself with busyness for Jesus or to prepare for Him to feel welcomed. She had already welcomed Him in her home.  He had already felt welcomed and was there sharing His words.

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Do you see the connection between Martha’s experience and excessive busyness in Ministry? What about with affairs in everyday life? This can happen to anyone of us if we are not careful. We can get bogged down with to do lists, ministry, programs, or other activities and before we know it we are praying less, doing more, and taking on things we are not required to. If we are not careful we can overbook ourselves, stress ourselves out, and our relationship with the Lord suffers. The joy of just being in His presence, resting in His arms, sharing our heart with Him, hearing His voice, and knowing His heart is no longer our priority. Martha did not even appear to be experiencing joy in all her doing for Jesus. Her preparations were cumbersome and kept her occupied and distracted. Instead of truly entertaining and being with Jesus and taking time to enjoy Jesus and listen to Him, she anxiously went about preparing things all the while griping and complaining about what her dear sister Mary was not doing. Mary who had chosen to seek Jesus, learn of Him, and bask in His presence, decided to sit and His feet and hear Him speak. Jesus not only informs Martha of her spiritual state but then uses Mary as a model of what He desires.

After Jesus told Martha that she was worried and troubled about many things, he points her in the right direction away from her distractions. He tells her, “But one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her.” Mary was sitting at the feet of Jesus listening to His word. Wow! You mean to tell me that Jesus doesn’t see Mary as lazy or uncaring? Well, as we read, we see no He did not. He actually stated that what she was doing was what He required – what was necessary, and it is the good part that won’t be taken from her. To seek Him, wait on Him patiently, hear what He has to say, to learn about Him, and what is in His heart (Being with Jesus).

Do you see it? Prayer, do you see it? Yes, beloved sitting at Jesus feet and listening to Him is prayer. We don’t always have to be saying and doing something. Oh how God longs for our presence and for us to enjoy His presence. He longs for us to sit quietly at His feet (just stop for a time, give Him some time), turn of the flow for a bit, stop with the list of demands,  listen to Him, let Him love on you, and you love on Him. He does not require us to be ministry work horses or work mules. He loves us. He wants us more than what we can do for Him. He does not require us to work and work and work at the expense of our relationship with Him. He does not want us to work to we are ill, over tasked, burned out, asking where is God in all of this, and distracted from the good part – what is necessary (being with Him). He wants us not our works. Ministry will happen so pray and rest. The right works, the work of God, His works, will be wrought in Him through us out of the overflow of our loving, growing, maturing relationship with Him.

If you are now like Martha Martha, working and striving in your own strength needlessly to appease Jesus, to welcome Him, or for whatever reason Jesus says Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matthew 11-28-30.  How refreshing to know that Jesus did not put a heavy yoke on us and we don’t have to be burdened down with anxious doings, going about, and conjuring up preparations in His name.  We don’t have to follow a set of rules to earn His love and to show Him that we welcome Him. We can take on His yoke, learn of Him, and rest. Yes rest. No more striving on our own and no more distractions. Pray. Take time to be with Jesus. Indeed, the work of God will be done and from a place in Him not ahead or at the expense of Him or our relationship with Him. So now we can rest easy. You are already prepared, and preparations are done. You said yes and welcomed Him in. He is welcomed. So now no more ministry and works idolatry, no more idolatry period. Wait on Him and for His word. Instructions will follow and with empowerment. Priority – First Jesus! Just ask God for help and He will indeed help you and I sit at His feet.

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Are we doing what Mary did now? Great! We have chosen the good part, the necessary part, and that is what God gives and no man can take it away – No man can take Jesus from us.

 

Thanks for Reading, God Bless You

Samantha Ann Waring-Jolicoeur

 

Don’t Settle: Avoiding Instant Gratification

Don’t Settle: Avoiding Instant Gratification

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Written by Samantha Ann Waring-Jolicoeur

     Lately I’ve come to realize that one of the main ways I can avoid settling for anything less than God’s best for my life is to avoid giving in to the need for instant gratification. At the root of it all is anxiety. Sometimes we may have an unmet need or desire and are anxiously motivated to do act, get, or say something quick to fulfill the need or desire (instant gratification).

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Many have learned the hard way that instant gratification does not pay. In fact, some would agree there is more loss than gain if anything. Some of us have learned on a larger scale than others. Some of us have seen the damage that many have incurred because of instant gratification.

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Some of the ways people have given into being instantly gratified is as follows:

  • A job taken because of desperation and all the signs were there it was a bad offer
  • Marrying a person that God did not choose knowing that the person was not the one
  • Buying a house that was not fitting and more of a problem than a blessing of prosperity
  • Not waiting for a sale when the Spirit prompted only to waste a great amount of money in the long run
  • Settling for a fake imitation product rather than the real product because of a pressing need to have it now
  • Simply doing something quick, fast, and in a hurry when God said wait or flat out no
  • Fornicating and feel full of guilt afterwards because of the sin against God and oneself

The list can go on. The former stated is just a few out of many. Overall, settling, in any situation, for anything other than God’s best for us leaves us shorthanded in the end and often with problems of some sort within the context. That is not God’s will for us. We are the apple of His eye and He longs to bless and prosper us.

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Someone reading this may say, true, I don’t want to settle, but how do I avoid giving into the trap of instant gratification?  I don’t know all the answers but one thing I have learned in my walk with God is that dealing with anxiety in our hearts does help significantly. God says in His word be anxious for nothing.

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God and the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 4:6-7 (NASB)

Praising God and talking to Him about our unmet needs and desires in total transparency helps. When we keep feelings about these things bottled up, buried, and then seek to fulfill them ourselves we cause ourselves more pain. The anxiety builds up and then instant gratification takes over and we go in circles and then struggles in these areas become cyclic.  To avoid this damaging cycle, we can ask God for the strength to wait on Him, for His will to be done, and to comfort us as we wait. He will honor that prayer and help us. He desires that we wait patiently for Him to act.

Be still in the presence of the LORD, and wait patiently for him to act. – Psalm 37:7a (NLT)

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God wants us to live in His peace and trust that He will provide for us accordingly. He will take of the things that concern us.

The LORD will accomplish what concerns me; Your lovingkindness, O LORD, is everlasting; Do not forsake the works of Your hands. – Psalm 138:8 (NASB)

I learned that when I feel the urge to act, say, or get anything out of turn the Holy Spirit will check me and I can yield. When we obey His leading we get to see how He manifests the blessings He has for us in a way that brings Him glory and truly blesses our life instead of stressing us out. I have witnessed God’s manifested blessing in my life i.e. marriage, job, and in other areas in my life because of Him providing it all instead of me attempting to fulfill my own needs and desires. I do give Him the glory for it because I once tried, failed, and learned I could not do it in my own strength but He helped me to let Him do it. I also learned that after enough problems due to giving in to the trap of instant gratification and settling for less than God’s best for me it produced grief instead of happiness. I am no glutton for punishment and the hard lesson learned is it is best to wait on God.

So, I share with you today to pray. Pray and ask God to remove anxiety from your heart if you know it is there. Pray to be calm. Pray to be content and grateful for what you have. For godliness with contentment is great gain 1 Timothy 6:6 (NASB). Pray to trust God and see from His point and to trust even when you can’t see and don’t understand why things seem to be prolonged. Pray to wait, to wait with patience, and to avoid settling. Pray for His blessings, to be expectant, and to be open to receive from Him. God takes pleasure in this and I pray we always remember that God our Father in heaven wants what He knows is best for us. He loves us and we never have to settle for anything less than God’s best for us.

God Bless You! Thanks for Reading,

Samantha Ann Waring-Jolicoeur

 

Open To Receive

 

Open To Receive

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Written By Samantha Ann Waring-Jolicoeur

 

Last week, someone shared with me a dilemma she was having. I asked her if she would like me to do some research and look into something that may help her. She accepted the help willingly and with expectation. I immediately started doing some research. To her and my surprise I was quickly able to locate some information and resources that helped both her and I. When I presented it to her she showed such gratitude and appreciation. By this time, I was on a roll. I started doing more research and found more resources that I needed. I thought to share it with her and she said with genuine excitement “Oh thanks so much! I really really needed this. Thanks so much for your help!” I responded, “Any time! If you need any more help, just let me know.”

As I walked away from her, I felt a surge of encouragement to help her even more in the future based on some conversations we shared. I also started thinking of additional resources I could provide others. The heightened sense of desire I felt to help others, especially her, was so strong I prayed and asked God why was I feeling that way.

The Lord explained to me she was open to receive and I was open to give. He further explained that her openness to receive the help I offered placed a healthy demand on my skill set. She did not know this but God had used her as a divine provoker to provoke me to do good and go beyond. Her expectation pulled on my gifts in a healthy way. She had a problem and I was willing to help her solve it. She believed that what I had to offer was of substance and then showed gratitude and appreciation for what I had provided. This exchange between her and I fueled me on to help her even more. It was a chain reaction. She spoke to me, believed I could help, her heart was open to the help I had to offer, I could impart (provide information, tools, and resources) that help), and therefore It fueled me to give even more.

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God took this experience and taught me a lesson (spiritual parallel). He said this is what happens when you put a demand on my word, by believing and trusting in me. If you look to me for all your needs and desires and trust in me (expectation) I take note and move to action. Your faith pleases me. It motivates me. I have an exceeding abundant supply to provide and can and will supply it. When your expectation is of me and that is where I want it, you indeed receive. Just believe and expect. When you show gratitude and appreciation for what I do that pleases me. I love it when my children are thankful for what I do for them. I am able to do exceedingly abundantly above all you can ask or even think. He then spoke to me about the scripture where Jesus could not do many things but only a little in certain places because of their unbelief.

And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief. Matthew 13:58

      He said you could do more for her because she believed you could help her. She had faith, expectation, gratitude, and appreciation. Her heart was opened, not closed. If her heart was closed off, and she did not believe you could help her, you would not have been able to do much to help her. You would have been closed out. You would have no entrance to impart.

If we don’t believe a person can help us our heart will be closed off to what they have to say or offer. This can cause us to miss many opportunities. It is the same way with God. When we don’t believe He can help us, we will close our hearts and mind to His Word no matter where it is coming from. We will miss God. The sad thing about this is that sometimes our blessing or a solution we need and are waiting for from God is in others. This made me think who have I refuse to give time to listen to, have deemed as useless, and/or just think they can’t help me or have nothing to offer me?

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I also learned that if a person does not believe what you have to offer is of any importance, you can offer and/or talk to you are blue in the face and no one will benefit. You will be exhausted and the person will show no gain from it. The individual’s heart is closed off from you and if God sent you, they are not open to God’s move. It will be a complete waste of time if God does not open the person’s heart or mind. It is like going up against a brick wall. Nothing is getting through to them. I thought perhaps that is why Jesus said when you present the Gospel if they don’t hear shake the dust of your feet.

And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet. Matthew 10:14

In other words, keep it moving. He knows they will not hear or forbear and He want us to move on to the next. The decision to move on can be tricky though. We can’t take it upon ourselves to stop helping, offering, and/or talking. We must be led by God to stop when He says stop regardless of what we see happening in the natural. When God says to stop, He has not given up on helping and saving the person. Maybe He just choose to go another route to reach the individual. I can’t say I fully understand it all.

There is much to say about the matters of faith, expectation, receiving, openness, gratitude, and appreciation and I don’t know it all. One thing I do know is it works vertically (between us and God) and horizontally (in relationship with others). When I believe, have a healthy expectation of others, am open to receive, and are grateful, I do notice most of the time they have something to offer, even if it isn’t what I may have totally wanted, it is usually what I need and of some value. Even more so, this is all the time with God. I want my heart to be open to God, have a healthy expectation, and to be able to receive from God through whatever means He chooses.

Prayer: Father God, thanks for being in my life. Please help me to be open to you, walk in faith, leave off unbelief, expect you to come through, and show gratitude and appreciation. I ask that whoever you choose to bless me, I will receive them and not shut them out or close my heart, mind, and hands to the individual. I pray that I would humbly be open to receive from you through anyone you choose. I pray that I will not look down on anyone, render no man as useless, and be willing to receive all that you want to give me regardless of my preferences of any sort. Father God please forgive me for the times I have slighted and closed my heart off from you and shunned others you want to use to bless my life. I pray to always be open to receive your exceeding, abundant, bounty. Father thanks for all you have done, do, and will do In Jesus Name I pray. Amen.

God Bless You, Thanks for Reading!

Samantha Ann Waring-Jolicoeur

 

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