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Devotional

The Panic Button

Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth,where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where niether moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. Matthew 6:19-21

Recently I read an article in the "Mother Earth News" magazine. It ignited in me a fire that has been smoldering for some time concerning this issue. This article stated, "The hoarding of food, fuel and money by a couple million Americans in a pre-Y2K anxiety attack could prove more disastrous to the nation than any potential computer gliches.

Think about this. Are you one of these people? There are articles everywhere about people going overboard, hoarding everything. Buying generators, wood cook stoves, gardening equipment, the list goes on and on. I know one family who has buried an old box car under ground to store their bounty in, and to hide it from thieves.

When we look at the scriptures, do we not see how God protected his people? When a famine was coming, God spoke ( remember Joseph's interpretation of Pharaoh's dream.) and the problem was taken care of. Those who followed Jesus did not take off following laden down with sacks of food. They had no thought except to hear Jesus. To be close to him, and to recieve what he had to offer. When it came time to eat, Jesus provided, by multiplying the fishes and loaves. For the children of Israel, God sent quails to cover the camp, and manna from Heaven. He caused water to flow from a rock. He provided for them for forty years!!

This is not to insinuate that we totally ignore Y2K . Being prepared to have some utility problems would be wise. Especially among small, local utilities. Even the people of old put aside some food, in case the next seasons crops did not produce well. Today if we are told our water supply will be turned off for one day, we bottle extra water in preparation for this.

What God wants, even requires of us, is to use wisdom. All the "hoarding" is a potential for economic disaster.

Those who are hoarding are acting in a selfish manner. What about the poor and homeless, who cannot afford to hoard? Are you willing to share your bounty with them, or will you turn to violence to protect your bounty? This is assuming the Y2K problem comes to what some are predicting it will.

Regardless....we cannot stop what God has spoken, or what has been prophesied from coming to pass. What we can do is put our trust in God, and pray for wisdom. Matthew 6:33, But seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

Right now God is leading us through a wilderness, and each step we take brings us closer to our heavenly home. We can waddle along grumbling and complaining. Feeling we have to do everything ourselves. Or we can seek God, put our faith and trust in him. Use the wisdom he will provide. Lay down our selfishness (for if we truely loved our neighbor as ourselves, would we not be hoarding for them also?), and trust God to provide. He knows where he is leading us. He is in control, not us. We need to stop trying to manipulate God and understand that no matter what we do, God's direction will not change. We can listen to the doubts and lies of Satan, or we can get up and follow our Leader.

Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do the spin. And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For all these things do the gentiles seek): for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought of the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the thingsof itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. Matthew 6:27-34

O God, I pray that you touch the hearts of your people. That our faith and trust in you be increased. Give us wisdom and discernment to know how to live in your will. Help us to accept your will, and to not be afraid of where you are leading us, for we know that fear is of the devil. Help us to put on the full armor of God daily. To crucify the flesh, and to acknowledge that you are the Leader. You are in control. Always. In Jesus's name I pray. Amen.


God bless you.
Patti

DEVOTIONAL
July 25,1999

HOLINESS

Last night as I was in prayer, asking the Lord what I should use for my devotional this week, I kept feeling very strongly that he was leading me to write about holiness. I continued to pray thinking surley I'm wrong. Finally I spoke and said "Lord, how can I write about holiness, when I am so lacking?". Strongly I got the message..."Write, for I am not lacking!".

So, what does holiness mean? When we look in the Greek dictionary, we find that holiness is defined as Sanctification: To become holy, to purify from sin.
Sanctity: The state or quality of being sacred or holy.
Sacredness: Consecrated, to be secured against violation by reverence or respect.
Reverant: Expressing reverence - Reverence: An attitude of deep respect.
Reverant: Expressing reverence - Reverence: An attitude of deep respect; an awed, adoring respect.
Godliness: Revering God and His laws; devout; righteous.
Consecrated: To be made respected, hallowed.
Hallowed: To consecrate; to honor as sacred.

God's Word speaks to us over and over about holiness. Hebrews 12:14 tells us," Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord.". This scripture tells us to follow holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord. We know that God is holiness, we know that Jesus is holiness, we know that the Holy Spirit is holiness. Look at Romans 1:4. " And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the Spirit of Holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.". How do we follow holiness? We Follow our Lord,and thus we follow holiness.
1 Thessalonians 4:7 tells us: "For God has not called us unto uncleaness, but unto holiness.".Not only are we to follow holiness, we have been called to become holy.
2 Corinthians 7:1: "Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.". Here Paul even gives us an in-sight on how to become holy. To cleanse ourselves of ALL filthiness. Not just what we decide we don't want to keep. Not just our fleshly filthiness.....ALL filthiness, of the flesh and of the spirit. Note also in this verse the word fear ( which in some scriptures is translated as reverence) is translated in the Greek as meaning to be afraid, exceedingly. Terror. This scripture tells us how very important it is for us to seek holiness.God has called us to holiness. When God calls us, we either acknowledge his calling and follow, or we're in trouble. Remember when God called Jonah?

Let us read 2 Timothy 1: 9 " Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began.".
Ah! That says a lot! We can not obtain holiness by being good. Not by being the most popular, the hardest worker, the best liked. Not by always smiling and showing kindness. Good deeds come automatically, when you walk each day with your temple filled with the Holy Spirit, but in Revelation 15:4 we read: " Who shall not fear thee, O lord, and glorify thy name? For Thou only art holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for Thy judgements are made manifest.". The only way we can even think of becoming holy is through God. To accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savour, ( look at 2 Ti 1:9 again). To be grafted into the family of God. When his blood begins to flow through our bodies, when he takes up residence in our hearts, to be in Him, and Him in you. John 15:4 "Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.". Then we are given the ability to cleanse ourselves of all filthiness, and start perfecting holiness, in the fear of God.

Why do we wait? Where is our fear of God? Time is running out. Whether the Lord returns in all his glory soon, or whether our fleshly life on earth comes to an end. If we know Jesus as our Lord and Saviour, and are not seeking holiness.....why? What will we say when we stand before the judgement seat of God and he asks "Why?".

Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance; But as He which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; For I am holy.
1Peter 1:13-16 ************************************************************

O God, show us how much you desire for us to follow holiness, to walk in holiness. Reveal to us our filthiness, and give us the will to cleanse our flesh and spirit of all filthiness that we may be able to walk in your holiness. Open our eyes that we may see what you will for us to do. Cause us to cast aside our desires, and our fleshly wisdom, and give us your Godly wisdom. Allow the Spirit of Holiness to fill us and teach us. Come, abide in us, and let us abide in you. All to your honor and glory. In Jesus's name. Amen

God bless you.
Patti



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DEVOTIONALS
Aug 1,1999

MIND OVER MOUTH

I said I will take heed over my ways that I sin not with my tongue: I will keep my mouth with a bridle, while the wicked is before me. Psalm 39:1

My sister recently related a story to me concerning her grand-daughter. This grand-daughter is a step grand-daughter, 5 years of age. She has been a part of the family only a few months, and is just now beginning to get to know her new nana and papa. Not knowing that her new papa is a very big kidder, and is forever teasing everyone, both young and old,the new grand-daughter quickly took him at his word when he teasingly told her he beat little kids, and he was a mean papa. This grandaughter immediately began to relate to everyone that her new papa was mean,and that he beat little kids....that he beat her! When she was asked if he had indeed beat her, she said no, but if he does I'll call the police. She insisted that papa was mean. After it was pointed out to her what all papa had done that was good, and loving. She sat quietly for a short while, thinking. Then she began a chant..."papa good, papa good, papa good.". The little grand-daughter has since come to know when papa is teasing, and now it seems he has a new shadow.She is papa's biggest fan.

Hearing this story, I could not help but relate it to the way that people everywhere, so often are. How often do we accept new christians into the family of believers, only to end up saying something that gives them the completely wrong idea about us, or who we are? Or.....how often do we hear something a person says, and draw a complete conclusion about what kind of person they are? Then, not only is the thought, thought...or drawn to a conclusion.... it is most likely spoken as well. The bible tells us that we will be accountable for every word that we speak. Matthew 12:36,37-"But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account there of in the day of judgement. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.

Let us not fall into the trap of the devil, to speak so quickly. Proverbs 6:16-19 says: "These six things doth the Lord hate: yea seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren. Of seven things listed as being an abomination unto the Lord, two of them have to do with speaking. Lying. This the Lord surely hates. Of which can, and most likely will lead to the seventh abomination. If we do not know for sure, the best course is to choose silence.

So often we speak before we think about the consequinces. How often do we speak before we know the whole story, or before we know the person we are speaking to? It is so easy for us to use our mouth before we engage our brain. "Lord, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill? He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart. He that backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his neighbor, nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbor. Psalm 15:1-3

Over and over the bible refers to the tongue as being decietful and as a sword, a weapon. The bible also talks of the tongue as a tree of life. The tongue is more powerful than most of us can imagine. It can give someone a desire for life eternal, or it can totally crush that desire. "A wholesome tongue is a tree of life; but perverseness therein is a breach in the spirit." Proverbs 15:4 . " Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof." Proverbs 18:21.

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"If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but decieveth his own heart, this man's religion is in vain." James 1:26

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O Heavenly Father, I ask that you give us a new understanding of the power of our tongue. Help us to keep it bridled, and to use it's power for good, and not evil. To build up, and not tear down. To love and encourage, and not condemn. Teach us to not gossip, or speak about someone we don't really know. To always speak truth, and never lies. We need you O God, and we come to you with this prayer from our hearts.
In Jesus's precious name.Amen


God bless you.
Patti


DEVOTIONALS
Aug 8,1999

I'M GOING !

And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
Matthew 28:18-20

So often we christians tend to sit back in our easy-chair of christianity, surrounded by the central air of righteousness and look at the world around us. At all the wrong, the pain, the ugliness. We may sincerely care and want relief for those "out there". We often even mutter quick prayers as we pass by, or view something on TV, or in the news papers, but in reality, we really don't want to get too close to them. We are so quick to "be there" for a fellow christian in time of need, or even just to fellowship, but only with those we feel we have something in common with. How often do we go to our un-saved neighbor and really spend time with them? How often do we listen to them? You may say, " But I have nothing in common with them!". My friend, all we must do is but read the bible to see that we all have much in common with each other. You may say, "But doesn't the bible tell us to come out from among them?". Friend, if you are truely a christian, then indeed you have come out from among them.

I'm not saying that we should enter into their lifestyle and become as they, but to spend time with them without condemning them,or acting as if we are the uppercrust, or more deserving. By this,in NO WAY am I implying that we condone their sin...our actions, and our quoting of scriptures, and the presence of Christ in us, will cause them to know that we do not.
It is our job to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ! We are Christs ambassadors! We are commanded to "go". Not wait untill they walk through the front door of the church. Our first concern for the un-saved, is revealing to them, Jesus. Not simply stating we are praying. We must reveal the scriptures, without condemning them, or coming off as self- righteous. This usually means we need to learn to bridle our tongues, and allow God to speak through the scriptures. Our thoughts, and often legalistic ways can so often cloud the scriptures, that they can cause a person to become resentful, or arguementative.
The bible tells us in Rev. 22:18 "For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, if any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book.".
Thus I say, we need to learn to be quiet, and let the power of the Holy Spirit have control.
You may say: by being around them I may place myself in a position to be tempted, but Christ gives us the strength to over-come, and not give into the temptation. If we are truely sold out to Christ, and go into this for His glory, not ours, and as His ambassadors, then we will have all our armor i n place.
Look at Rev. 3: 10. " Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.
Several times in the bible, our Lord commanded the deciples to "watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation.". We must pray, and trust God's word.

Jesus supped with Matthew in his house, along with many publicans and sinners, and temptations. Jesus responded that he was not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.
Why then do we spend more time with christians than sinners?
Jesus, spent time with them showing love and wisdom. He did not condemn. Our job is to deliver the message with love, and allow the Holy Spirit to convict, and draw.
Zech. 4:6b Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts. John 6:44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.

How can we ever have compassion for the lost, if we do not spend time with them, and learn to really see them? So often what the un-saved see, is christians patting them on the shoulder, telling them, " I'm praying for ya.", or " Good to have ya visit our church today, hope you'll come back.". So often we speak those words with such cheerfulness, and boldness, like we have been given a special gift, and we're glad they came to view it. When in reality, what we are supposed to be doing is humbly and lovingly, showing them that there is a special gift available to them, and we would love to tell them how to recieve it.



Remember when Jesus revealed Himself to Mary after he had risen, He told her to go and tell.
Mary did as Jesus commanded. She didn't go and say " I'm praying for all of you." or " you should have gone to worship at the Lord's tomb today. You really missed a blessing."
She went quickly, with fear and great joy and told them.....
JESUS DIED FOR US, AND NOW JESUS IS ALIVE, HE'S ASCENDED TO HIS FATHER,AND OUR FATHER, AND HE'S COMING BACK !!!! \O/\O/

I praise you my Father. I love you O God, and I ask that you fill each of us with conviction and desire to spread the Gospel as you will it to be spread. Not as we will it . Give us boldness to go to the lost, and not continue to fellowship only with those who already know you. In Jesus's name, Amen.


God bless you.
Patti

Copyright 1999.Patti McConatha
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