Yesterday marked a huge milestone for Organizing the Inside 365 Days. This blog originally began after much prayer, with fear and trembling. In the beginning I was not very comfortable in an environment where it was necessary for me to be vulnerable and transparent because of traces from my past. God had a different plan and out of reluctant obedience I started Organizing the Inside 365 Days. Knowing that titling it “365” would create a daily discipline that I’d often struggled with maintaining; I set out on a wonderful journey. Unwilling to write about anything that I was not committed to being first partaker of; I knew God was calling me into a deeper more meaningful relationship with Him.
Thank you for being there! You will likely never know how much your comments, likes, and emails have meant to me personally. The blessings I’ve experienced by way of new friendships, encouragement, and even challenges from my online community of writers and friends has been absolutely phenomenal. I’ve had the honor of reading posts from many of you, that were some of the most heart touching, soul-stirring writings I have ever read… this includes work from many world-renowned authors. Words cannot express the true honor and privilege it has been to serve you by sharing what God has placed on my heart each day of this journey.
God has now led me to do something new in ministry and business. As I prepare for the exciting venture that is ahead I’ll often think about the honor of this privilege I’ve shared with my online family and friends. Organizing the Inside has somehow become part of God’s unique big picture plan and I’m thrilled to see what He does next. While the journey doesn’t end here it does enter a new phase.
Each one of you has been and will continue to be in my prayers daily. Lord willing, I will stop by often and leave a like or comment on your blogs that I have grown to enjoy reading so much. I hope you will continue to follow my writings as I continue to seek God for His direction. In the book of Ephesians, chapter three, Paul seemed to capture the true essence of my heartfelt prayer to God for each of you who have shared this journey of Organizing the Inside 365 Days.
When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth. I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.
Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen.
“And Solomon, my son, learn to know the God of your ancestors intimately. Worship and serve him with your whole heart and a willing mind. For the LORD sees every heart and knows every plan and thought. If you seek him, you will find him. But if you forsake him, he will reject you forever. 1 Chronicles 28:9 (NLT)
Fellowship breeds intimacy. Intimacy with God is not something that is just going to happen because we hope for it. To know and experience the loving grace of God in a more intimate way we must first surrender, by faith to His divine will. Does God really want to know us intimately? But the man who loves God is known by God. 1 Corinthians 8:3 (NIV) As we answer our heart’s deeper calling in Him, our sincere desire will then be to know Him more intimately.
Let’s not let our needs be the single most important reason which drives us to seek God. Let it be our love that motivates us to give Him more time, attention and interest. The more we seek God, the deeper our desire to know Him becomes. The more we know God, the more we want to know about Him.
Let Intimacy bring about an entirely new gateway to experiencing a deeper commitment in Christ. God wants to do something new in your life and mine. For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? Isaiah 43:19 (NLT) He wants to give us a new song to sing. As you go about your way, allow the Holy Spirit to put God’s fresh melody in your heart. There are those who will live and die having never experienced true intimacy with God. However, for those who are willing to diligently seek Him, they will indeed find Him. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:13
Live out the purpose God has for you so that through your obedience others can clearly see His goodness. I pray you experience all that God wants for you. May the world catch a glimpse of true hope and contentment because of your life in Christ? For we know that the peace, love, joy, and complete fulfillment that comes from a personal relationship with God, cannot be compared with anything that this world has to offer. May your life be filled with His gladness and song, as you totally commit yourselves to living and celebrating it in Him. May you experience true hope, and the fellowship which is yours through Jesus Christ. He has given me a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see what he has done and be amazed. They will put their trust in the LORD. Psalm 40:3 (NLT)
3The Lord was with Jehoshaphat because in his early years he walked in the ways his father David had followed. He did not consult the Baals 4but sought the God of his father and followed his commands rather than the practices of Israel. 5The Lord established the kingdom under his control; and all Judah brought gifts to Jehoshaphat, so that he had great wealth and honor. 6His heart was devoted to the ways of the Lord; … 2 Chronicles 17: 3-6a (NIV)
Security is not found in what others before us have done. We are responsible for establishing our own relationship with God and obeying His calling today. Our biggest responsibility is to fulfill our purpose in our own generation. The great heritage of strong Christian women in my family is not something I take lightly. I’ve seen the stark contrast of the effect of sin in families whose parents and grandparents didn’t know the Lord. For those of us who are here today, the greatest legacy we can leave posterity is one that points to Christ. Business leaders, world-renowned artists and highly acclaimed scholars without a personal relationship with God leave behind nothing of eternal value.
Many people speak of family values; but how many actually live lives that honor those values? Quick to defend their “family values” most make excuses about choices made. What makes it so difficult to see that only what we do for Christ will last? When your last breath is taken what difference will your investments make in the lives of the next generation? Wealth and status, where do they fit in to God’s plan of redemption for your household and future generations? Sure we cherish the tea-cup set my grandmother played with when she was a child, and even the acreage that still holds the family name, but it was her relentless prayers and right choices that will forever reach the lives of our own grandchildren. No one can ever bring back to us wasted years spent in foolish acts of disobedience. Who can return to us the endless hours given toward earning more wealth, instead of answering the call to life?
Secure now a life of prayer and peace. Keep fellowship with God a priority. Do it for yourself, but also for the next generation who will inevitably be affected by the life you choose today. Through trial and success find ways to point out the mighty works of God. Let’s face it; much of what we experience today is a direct result of the choices our parents and their parents’ parents made. I’m not talking about generational curses. I’m talking about the enormous responsibility we have today to leave behind a legacy that tells a story and shows a path that points to the true meaning of love and prosperity. “Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live! Deuteronomy 30:19 (NLT)
14“You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. 15Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:14-16 (NLT)
God will open the door for you to witness. When was the last opportunity you had to witness to someone about the love of Jesus? You can be a bold witness for Christ and not be ashamed of your love for God. If anyone is ashamed of me and my message in these adulterous and sinful days, the Son of Man will be ashamed of that person when he returns in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.” Mark 8:38 (NLT) Let’s get this whole witnessing matter worked out.
First make up your mind that you want to live right (righteously). Let’s assume you’ve done that. Check! Now, ask the Holy Spirit to give you the power to be a witness and speak boldly about Christ. If you ask and believe, He will fill you full of power. (Read Acts 1:4, 5 and Acts 2:1-4) Next, let others know where you stand. Take advantage of the first opportunity you have to let people know where you stand. They will respect you for your honesty.
Let love be your banner. I’m not suggesting that every time you walk into a room you make an announcement declaring your religious beliefs. I am however suggesting that you ask God for the right opportunity to let others know you are a Christian and that you love God. Do both, because telling someone you are a Christian doesn’t mean much these days. It’s reported that up to 76% of Americans say they are Christians. If you hide your light how will they see Him? You are salt and light, therefore add flavor and don’t cover the light. If your life sets the tone, what’s wrong with that?
Being honest with people upfront will only strengthen you.
1. You will know they are watching your walk and this (if you are sincere) will encourage you to live upright as you represent Christ. 2. It will encourage humility and honor. For example: if you act out of character, an apology will seem much easier, and it will give others real interaction with an imperfect person who is living a sincere life for Christ. That is a powerful testimony! 3. When God gives you one-on-one time to share Christ, it will often be because the other person wants to know more about the hope that you have.
Here are a few things you could expect to happen:
1. They will rebel because of anger or conviction and persecute you.
2. They will avoid you all together, all the while watching your life.
3. They will simply watch how you live, and never ask any questions.
4. They will seek God through you by doing things like: asking for prayer or for your opinion about a serious problem they are facing.
Some are searching and don’t realize it. Just as many of us did before we gave our lives to Christ, people are looking for answers, and gathering information. I remember watching how people behaved in church and asking lots of questions. Perhaps you tried reading books about religion or watched religious programs on television. The point is this: when people don’t know Christ, but are seeking the truth they need your light. What God gives you to share may not be a lot of words about right and wrong.
Witnessing starts with the decision to forsake the world and live for Christ. Then you have to be committed to living that life openly before others. Finally, be ready to share the gospel, which frees those who are in bondage to sin. But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect. 1 Peter 3:15 (NIV)
Final thoughts about witnessing:
Some people are not meant for you to witness to. “Don’t waste what is holy on people who are unholy. Don’t throw your pearls to pigs! They will trample the pearls, then turn and attack you. Matthew 7:6 (NLT) Always practice discernment; share the Word as the Spirit leads. Don’t waste your breath on fools, for they will despise the wisest advice. Proverbs 23:9 (NLT)
Never allow anyone lure you into an argumentative debate about Christian beliefs and foolish fables. Do not get involved in foolish discussions about spiritual pedigrees or in quarrels and fights about obedience to Jewish laws. These things are useless and a waste of time. Titus 3:9 (NLT)
When you share the message of truth, if anyone doesn’t receive it… move on with peace and love in your heart. And if the house be worthy, let your peace come upon it: but if it be not worthy, let your peace return to you. Matthew 10:13 (KJV)
Always point them to Jesus. My three favorite scriptures for witnessing are simple, yet so powerful. “For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16
Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hears my voice, and opens the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. Revelation 3:20 (KJV)
That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. Romans 10:9 (NIV)
Be bold and let your light shine. And whether they listen or fail to listen–for they are a rebellious house–they will know that a prophet has been among them. Ezekiel 2:5 (NIV)
1But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. 2People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, 4treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— 5having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them. 2 Timothy 3:1-5 (NIV)
Most people refuse to go there. Many will keep doing what they do, until rejecting pure knowledge becomes a way of life. When you and I look deep into the hidden places of our hearts by allowing God’s Holy Spirit to go there, what do we find? Have we spent precious time pursuing our own agendas or does God rule supreme? This is as simple as any spiritual matter can be. Who rules my heart, me or God?
Question: What was the very last thing that He told you to clean up, remove, get rid of, let go of, give up, stop doing or surrender? Did you do it, or are you still trying to hold on to what you want?
There is a judge for the one who rejects me and does not accept my words; that very word which I spoke will condemn him at the last day. John 12:48 (NLT)
Yes, we know and understand this: So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. Romans 8:1 (NLT) The Word of God is not complicated or confusing… the plain and simple truth is clear. Those who have been born into God’s family do not make a practice of sinning, because God’s life is in them. So they can’t keep on sinning, because they are children of God. 1 John 3:9 (NLT)
I don’t believe the gospel was meant to make people feel good. For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear. 2 Timothy 4:3 (NLT) It’s time for many folks to stop playing “Christian” by assuming a form of what looks like Christianity on the outside, but honestly denying the power of God that would live on the inside. Having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them. 2 Timothy 3:5 (NIV) Jesus described them by saying, “These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.” Matthew 15:8 (NLT)
15Everything is pure to those whose hearts are pure. But nothing is pure to those who are corrupt and unbelieving, because their minds and consciences are corrupted. 16Such people claim they know God, but they deny him by the way they live. They are detestable and disobedient, worthless for doing anything good. Titus 1:15, 16 (NLT)
“The time promised by God has come at last!” he announced. “The Kingdom of God is near! Repent of your sins and believe the Good News!” Mark 1:15 (NLT)
But the time is coming–indeed it’s here now–when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for those who will worship him that way. John 4:23 (NLT) We must redeem the time!