Organizing the Inside 365 Days

Empowering Christian Women To Get Organized and Discover God's Plan for Their Lives

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Organizing the Inside – Day 363 For Ourselves and Our Posterity

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)

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Organizing the Inside – Day 362 Identify With Christ

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)

Organizing the Inside – Day 357 Take Heart

“I have told you all this so that you may have peace in Me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”  John 16:33 (NLT)

Stand courageously for Christ.  Jesus has defeated death, hell and the grave. Christ’s finished work at Calvary gives us the confidence to stand, and the assurance of knowing that we have eternal life. We’ve been redeemed from a life of hopeless destruction. He stands between now and eternity, bridging the gap of time. Having conquered death Jesus is the doorway to eternal life.

Access to a love beyond compare. It is not until we surrender to Christ completely that we can begin to comprehend (although only dimly) what is the height, depth and scope of His glorious love. Strengthen that which remains and set a standard of righteousness that is unwilling to compromise. Refuse to lower your standards to pursue worldly pleasures. And since we are His children, we are His heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory. But if we are to share His glory, we must also share His suffering. Romans 8:17 (NLT) Jesus knew we would have conflict in this life, but the certainty and peace we have in the midst of confusion enables you and me to rise above our circumstances and live victoriously through Him.

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. Matthew 5:16 (KJV)

Organizing the Inside – Day 345 When Family Decides Not To Serve God

32“Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven. 33But whoever disowns me before men, I will disown him before my Father in heaven. 34“Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35For I have come to turn “‘a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law— 36a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household. Matthew 10:32-36 (NIV)

Ultimately we all want what’s best for our family. We have brothers, sisters and other close family members whom we’ve spent years of our lives sharing and growing with. But what happens when you choose to serve God, and your family could seemingly care less? Or perhaps they started out walking with you and somehow they’ve decided to go another way?  Can two people walk together without agreeing on the direction? Amos 3:3 (NIV) Where does this leave the family bond? We know that family meant a lot to Jesus, but we also realize that He never put family before His relationship with God, and His mission to serve Him. Matthew 12:47-50

Jesus came to bring a sword, not peace. It takes a bold Christian to agree with Christ regardless of what family and friends choose. When Jesus is introduced into the family dynamics it will be decision time. Some will say yes to being sold out for Christ. Others will reject God’s free gift of salvation and make the choice to serve their sinful nature instead. While you choose to make Him Lord, there will be those in your family who choose to go against your Christian lifestyle and reject everything you know to be true about God.

Christian commitment may separate family and friends. You must be willing to take a stand for God, no matter who disagrees. Especially for those who are in close-knit families, your choice to live for God and follow the way of Christ may leave you standing alone. No one is suggesting you abandon your family, but if you are following Christ and they aren’t, you will indeed have to make some tough choices. The calling of God is to a higher mission and although we have peace on the inside, a peaceful life without conflict is far from what He’s called us to have. That kind of thinking makes the gospel appear uncertain. The choice must be clear and we cannot present an, “I’m okay; you’re okay. We are all God’s children… let’s have world peace.” kind of false gospel and expect people to choose LIFE. 7Even lifeless instruments like the flute or the harp must play the notes clearly, or no one will recognize the melody.8And if the bugler doesn’t sound a clear call, how will the soldiers know they are being called to battle? 1 Corinthians 14:7, 8 (NLT) If you choose Christ you will inevitably find yourself in conflict with the world. The Christian life we’ve chosen is by no means a tip-toe through the tulips way of living.

Have you ever had to make the hard choice of following Christ and it meant going against your family? If so, find comfort in knowing that your decision to stand up for Jesus will be rewarded. Although close friends and family deny the truth, we have confidence in Christ. 32Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. 33But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven. Matthew 10:32, 33 (KJV) Not unlike many of your Christian comrades you at one time or another have had to make the decision to stay on the right path and do so in spite of what everyone else chose. Jesus makes the matter plain. 37“Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; 38and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Matthew 10:37, 38 (NIV)

Organizing the Inside – Day 339 Have You Checked Your Reflection?

17Then the Lord said to Moses, 18“Make a bronze washbasin with a bronze stand. Place it between the Tabernacle and the altar, and fill it with water. 19Aaron and his sons will wash their hands and feet there. They must wash with water whenever they go into the Tabernacle to appear before the Lord and when they approach the altar to burn up their special gifts to the Lord—or they will die! Exodus 30:17-20 (NLT)

The Word of God is not only cleansing, it is also reflective. Moses was instructed to place the bronze washbasin between the Tabernacle and the altar and fill it with water. The water in the bronze basin which was made from bronze mirrors was both reflective and for cleansing. Each time Arron and his sons entered the Tabernacle to offer gifts before the altar of God they were to first purify themselves by stopping to wash at the reflective washbasin. Today as Christians those same reflective and cleansing properties are found in the Word of God to change us to be more like Christ.

God’s Word gives us an honest look at ourselves.  We must daily look into that perfect mirror and circumspectly consider the refection that is looking back at us. 22But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves. 23For if you listen to the word and don’t obey, it is like glancing at your face in a mirror. 24You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like. 25But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it.  James 1:22-25 (NIV)

Have you looked at yourself in the mirror then walked away and forgot what you looked like? If during the course of the day you realize you haven’t checked your hair or makeup wouldn’t you give it a quick check before going into an important meeting?  The Word of God should be the same, we can’t just check this wonderful reflective mirror in the morning and not look at our reflection again until a few days later. Most women will do several quick checks through out the day. When we are open to both the reflective and cleansing power of God’s Word, it really does set us completely free from what we used to be.

The books of Exodus and James teaches us an important lesson about our reflection and how to be blessed by God.  What is says to me is that each time I meet with God I should remember the Word and remember my reflection. I can’t just go away and forget what I look like, but I have to obey the Word and continually allow it to cleanse and change me into Christ’s very own image.

Organizing the Inside – Day 334 What Do You Know?

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28 (KJV)

Consider for a moment what this scripture tells us we know. We know that all things… I wonder, what is it that we truly know? To bring one’s mind and heart completely in agreement with God’s Word is to know.  To know God’s Word is to establish a relationship with it. Reading the Word won’t automatically give you a relationship with it. However, meditating on the Word of God will intrinsically change what you know and completely free your heart from fear and doubt. By meditating on the Word you establish a knowing (or relationship) with the truth that defies human logic. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 1 Corinthians 2:14 (KJV)

Oh, how I love your law! I meditate on it all day long. Psalm 119:97 (NIV) Through biblical meditation we can affect the course of our lives, because when we receive the engrafted Word of God in our hearts FAITH happens. So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Romans 10:17 (KJV) To stay strong and have peace in a world where everything that is wrong is considered right, and all that is right is considered wrong, we must make time to meditate.  To survive in a foreign land there are some things that those of us who are in Christ must “know.”

Another similar post on meditation.

Organizing the Inside – Day 330 God’s Forgiveness Liberates

1Oh, what joy for those whose disobedience is forgiven, whose sin is put out of sight!
2Yes, what joy for those whose record the Lord has cleared of guilt, whose lives are lived in complete honesty!
Psalm 32:1, 2, 5 (NIV)

Is it possible to live a life free of guilt?  While we all have made mistakes, considered and even carried out poor choices at one time or another; who can actually be found blameless?

You and I can because of Christ’s finished work at Calvary. Knowing God’s forgiveness and experiencing the cleansing power of His blood is not a license to sin.  On the contrary, knowing God and His love for us in spite of our past mistakes and sins gives us liberty and allows us to serve Him freely.

5Finally, I confessed all my sins to you and stopped trying to hide my guilt. I said to myself, “I will confess my rebellion to the Lord.” And you forgave me! All my guilt is gone. Let us therefore celebrate the liberty which is ours through Jesus Christ and live a life of thanksgiving which honors and glorifies Him.  And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice–the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. Romans 12:1 (NLT)