Do we honor God through our praise?

This past weekend I went to get my nails and feet done. This is one of my once a month guilty pleasures that I’ve learned to keep up as my to do thing for myself. While I was waiting for my “nail guy”, someone else had started my pedicure. In the meantime I was reading a bible study on my phone and I came across this scripture…

Mark 7:6-13 NLT “Jesus replied, “You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you, for he wrote, ‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship is a farce, for they teach man-made ideas as commands from God.’ For you ignore God’s law and substitute your own tradition.” Then he said, “You skillfully sidestep God’s law in order to hold on to your own tradition. For instance, Moses gave you this law from God: ‘Honor your father and mother,’ and ‘anyone who speaks disrespectfully of father or mother must be put to death.’ But you say it is all right for people to say to their parents, ‘Sorry, I can’t help you. For I have vowed to give to God what I would have given to you.’ In this way, you let them disregard their needy parents. And so you cancel the word of God in order to hand down your own tradition. And this is only one example among many others.”

Some twenty minutes later my “nail guy” and we were carrying on a conversation. He pointed out to a guy who looked a lot like him. It was his younger brother. The young fellow didn’t look happy. He explained that the guy had been at home without a job or schooling and their mother, the owner of the shop, had made him come work with them. The guy was not pleased, but didn’t feel like he had a choice, so he had been coming to work.

This narrative reminded me of the scripture I had just read. And there’s so many things that I got from this scripture.

  • The religiosity in our world, where “believers” operate by religion and not love
  • The ideas and doctrines that we see that stray from the teachings from the bible.
  • The disrespect that we see against the older generations
  • The lack of respect that we see in our younger generations towards their parents

My mother lives in an independent living place and when I visit her she tells me the stories of many of her neighbors who are sick or in need of help and support but there’s nobody to attend their needs. My question to her always is do they have family? The sad answer is always yes.

The way I saw the last part was when people go to church, are very involved, but do not have time to tend to their elderly parents. Those who help every charity, but their parents are in a home without anyone who would buy them toothpaste or a soda.

How does this relate to my nail salon experience? I’ve seen teenagers and young adults snap at their parents when given a directive. This young man, although he didn’t want to be there, he respected what his mother asked of him. Even more, the one telling me the story has been working in that shop for 6 years, although he’s licensed to do something else that he eventually wants to pursue. But he always tells me that he will be there while his mother needs him. He plans to train his brother to see if that would be his opportunity to move on, but until his mother is covered he will not move.  And he does his job with excellency even though its something he doesn’t care for.

It makes me reflect on the following questions:

  • Have I honored God by properly honoring my parents?
  • Do I honor what God wants me to do? Or do I follow my wishes?
  • How is my worship? Is it heartfelt or do I just follow the tradition and customs?

I think is a lot to digest but a great food for thought

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Allowing your joy to be stolen

happy-women1The other day,, a coworker and I went for our early morning workout. When we made it back to the office we were happy, energized and giggling. We were talking about our lives and about the things we had to do that day. The day was sunny; we had just brewed the perfect pot of coffee. It was a good day.
As we sat to work, we started talking about a common challenge. As we discussed the issue, we both started painting the possibilities of the worst case scenarios and how we could handle those. The conversation continued for a little while, and all of the sudden there was silence.
Now, bear in mind we are both very chatty people and we continued almost until noonsad women working quietly, which is a very rare instance. All of the sudden I turned to her and asked her, “What did we just do? Did we just depress ourselves? Her answer was yes.
We had started the day energized and happy, but we had allowed negative thinking to enter into our lives. Even at that point when we had both agreed that even if worst case scenario played out we both believed that God would make everything work for what was best, we didn’t regain our joyful demeanor.
The truth is that in general we all have the tendency to do that. . We allow the enemy to enter our minds and guide us to the landfill of doubt and discouragement. We allow the fear, anxieties and doubt to take the place of faith and trust in God, leaving us hopeless.I had to go to the Word and remind myself that I need to stand in God’s promises. That just like Jeremiah 29:11 says, ” For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”

I also had to tell myself that if I put my trust in God I have to know that  “we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” Romans 8:28 (NLT)

What lie is the enemy feeding your mind today? What is making you look at your circumstances instead of the face of God?
Cast all your fears and doubts at the feet of Jesus. Remember, he already paid the price. He always loves you.

Everything-Will-Be-Alright

1 Peter 5:7

Let Him have all your worries and cares, for He is always thinking about you and watching everything that concerns you.

John 14:27

I am leaving you with a gift – peace of mind and heart! And the peace I give isn’t fragile like the peace the world gives. So don’t be troubled or afraid.

Until next time, be blessed

How to do right

Doing the right thing should be a lifestyle just for the pleasure of pleasing God and to live the way we’re supposed to. When we do the right thing just to get accolades the Word says that we have already received our prize.

When we live a life focused on eternity, we should not focus on what others think or in advertising our good deeds. We should do what’s right out of love and obedience to our Heavenly Father, that’s when doing the right thing feels great. It will be God who will bring up to the light all your good deeds.

What good thing will you choose to do today?

John 3:21 (NLT)

But those who do what is right come to the light gladly,

so everyone can see that they are doing what God wants.”

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Until next time,

Be blessed.

What is Faith?

Hebrews 11:1 Tells us that faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.” (NLT)

Basically, faith is belief that is not based on proof. In other words, we don’t need to see something in order for us to believe that it is there. But faith isn’t based on the absence of proof. It is based on previous experiences or testimonials from those we trust. It is a knowledge based not on evidence but on witness within our Spirits.

Faith requires trust. If you hear a testimony from someone you trust about something, you believe what they are saying even though you haven’t experienced it for yourself.

In Hebrews chapter 11, we are given several examples of biblical personalities who exercise faith. My favorite is Abraham who was willing to sacrifice his son in response to God’s test. He had faith that God who promised him this son (and many other things through him) could raise the boy up again or in some other way fulfill him promise to him. (Hebrews 11:17) Talk about blind faith.

Believing in God requires a tremendous amount of faith. Believing that the earth was created by this same God; yet another vast amount faith is required. But God doesn’t leave us on our own with this one. He knows that our human nature will require a bit of help, so he gives us that by proving His existence with his presence in our lives, His solutions to our circumstances and His Spirit bearing witness with ours.

Faith is believing in the seemingly impossible but upon closer examination, you’ll see that your faith in God makes perfect sense really. It makes less sense not to believe.

Joana Head ShotJoana James – Author of From Redemption to Maturity,   Nightmare at Emerald High & Alana and Alyssa’s Secret

Joana Melisia James is a young Christian author from the island of Saint Lucia in the Caribbean. Her work includes the two-part series “Alana & Alyssa’s Secret: Rise from the Ashes”, a Christian Thriller “Nightmare at Emerald High” and her latest devotional series Soul Food, with book one, “From Redemption to Maturity” currently available.
Joana is multi-talented. She has been a dancer for over ten years and a singer for most of her life. She is an Information Technology Professional but her hardcoverstackpassion is writing. She spends most of her free time relaxing with her kindle or in front of the computer screen.

Joana has plans to release several other titles in the coming months, including her newest project, a three part series called “Her Cross to Bear”.

You can grab a copy of the Joana’s Devotional “From Redemption to Maturity” for kindle today for free.