He Reigns!

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Don't Worry About The Past



Isaiah 43:18
"Do not call to mind the former things, Or ponder things of the past.
Philippians 3:13-14
...one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead...
You cannot change the past, so let it go and move forward. I know that's​ easier said than done but if you're ever going to have a life worth living, it is absolutely necessary. Don't let your past haunt you, don't let it drag you backwards, don't let it keep you from living the life God wants for you.
You have three choices:
-Live in the past wallowing in your mistakes
-Stand still and miss out on life
-OR-
MOVE FORWARD!

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60 Second Scripture

Each day I add a 60 Second Scripture to YouTube. Each one is designed to inform everyone about having faith in Jesus Christ, but in one small bite at a time.

Take a listen today!

60 Second Scripture link

Sunday, February 12, 2017

The Blood & The Cross

Do you remember this song? "What can wash away my sin? Nothing but the blood of Jesus, What can make me whole again? Nothing but the blood of Jesus."

It's one of my favorites and it always brings me to tears. The image of Jesus on the Cross fills my mind and it breaks my heart. Here is God Almighty, who came to earth in the flesh for one reason: to save us from a fate worse than death - an eternity in hell. He was beaten and nailed to a tree when He could've called angels to rescue Him.

The Bible says He became sin for us. But have you ever considered what that really means? Jesus, the perfect human, Jesus, the sinless among a world full of sin took on our sins. He never murdered anyone, yet while on the Cross, He became fully aware of what goes on in the mind of a murderer. He saw, felt and tasted the bitterness of taking a human life out of anger, spite, & jealousy. He took on each and every single sin the same way. He became a thief, an adulterer, a liar, a drunkard, a gambler, an abuser, and felt, saw, and tasted each and every single sin we've ever committed.

But He also took on the human condition - hatred, bitterness, gossip, loneliness, despair, anger, and every other negative emotion we ever experience.

It was during this time that God could not watch because God cannot look upon sin. The sky went dark for three hours (Mark 15), it took three hours for our sins to be piled on Jesus. One by one, Jesus was crushed by our sin. Look at the world around us, do you see the sins going on daily? Rape, murder, shootings, drug addiction, terrorism, homosexuality, abortion, divorce, living together without marriage, lawlessness, cops being shot, arson, bank robbery, drug smuggling, human trafficking, child abuse, pedophilia, and so much more. Things that make us angry, feel helpless to stop, and make us cringe at the thought.

Jesus took them all on, in His mind, heart, soul & body. And while He did, the world went dark.

He did that for you, for me, for all of humankind for all time. For every race, creed, and color. Jesus Christ became sin for us. His blood on the Cross is the only way we could ever be reconciled with God. Jesus, the sacrificial Lamb whose blood was required by God in order to save a lost world.

Look at the Cross. Look at Jesus. Remember the blood that ran down the Cross, the single drop that fell on you, that fell on me, that continues to fall on every sinner who calls out to Jesus in the realization that apart from Him, our lives are useless.

God has always required blood sacrifices and Jesus is the final sacrifice. The ultimate sacrifice for this world. His life was required by God to save us from sin  and death. One day your life will be required by God, but it won't be to save anyone. It will be to stand before the Almighty and answer one question - Did you accept Christ as your Savior and let His blood redeem you?

Father, I come to you in Jesus’ name and I apply the blood of Jesus to my life, to all that belongs to me, to everything you have given me to steward. I put the blood of Jesus on my mind, my body, my emotions and my will. I put the blood on my family, my co-workers and my friends. Thank you for protecting me with your blood. Thank you for the drop of blood that fell from Calvary and landed on me. Lord, let everyone who reads this know and understand the power in the saving blood if Jesus. In the Name of Christ our Savior, I pray. Amen.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Modern Idols - The Arts

Back before I wound up in a wheel chair due to a degenerative bone disease, I loved to dance. I think most of us do but when does the things we like to do, such as dancing, music, singing, painting, drawing, sculpting, writing, acting etc. become a modern idol? It's no secret that musicians, actors, and sports figures have fans who follow them on social media, buy tickets to their concerts, movies and events, and some even go so far as to stalk these entertainers.

The word "fan" comes from "fanatics". And when we turn from what is right, from our families, our jobs, and other important things in life, we become fanatics. It's not just following after the famous but it can be the things we like to do, including our jobs and the money we make.

Fanatic is defined as: excessive, single-minded, with zeal especially when it comes to religion and politics; enthusiastic devotee, ardent admirer. The 16th century French definition was used to describe possession by a demon. (Fantasque or Latin, Fanaticus).

An idol is a false god. Exodus 20:4 says we shall have no idols, no bowing or worshipping
Deuteronomy 27:15 says idols are cursed and detestable to the Lord
Isaiah 44:9, 15, 17, 19 says idols are foolish, worthless, show stupidity and ignorance, and makes one a "deluded fool."
Habakkuk 2:18 says idols are "deceptive, foolish"
Romans 1:23-24 says it's "utter foolishness to worship idols."
1 Corinthians 6:9 says those who worship idols "will not inherit the Kingdom."
1 Corinthians 8:4 says an idol is not a god, there is only One God!
Revelation 2:14 told the church at Pergamum their sin was that they tolerated teachings like Balaam, and that was teaching sin

Anything we follow after whether it be money, jobs, a person, or a pastime and it draws our focus away from God, it becomes an idol, and we are committing the sin of spiritual adultery. Focus on anything that takes our time, money, and thoughts away from God is a self-centered pursuit. If we are to have a life in Christ, our focus must be on Him, on His Word, and our time must be spent in pursuit of Him alone.

We must ask ourselves:
Who created me?
Who do I ultimately trust with my life, my finances, my future?
Who do I look to for ultimate truth in both the every day things of life and the grand scheme of things?
Who do I look to for security and happiness?
Who is in charge of my future?
Who is in charge of my life on earth and my life for eternity?

Idols are nothing more than figments of our imagination. They are false advertising and most of all, they are worthless. Idols may bring us a few moments of happiness, and we might think it's worth giving up everything else but in the long run, our idols will fail us and leave us in the ruin of reality.

Only a life in Christ Jesus is worth giving up everything in this life for. He is the only One who can bring us true joy and happiness, and give us an eternity with Him.







Monday, January 23, 2017

Forgive & Forget

For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.
Hebrews 8:12

It's never easy to forgive someone who has caused us pain, who have injured us, we have abused us, or have forced themselves on us in some way. But we are commanded by the Lord to forgive others just as Jesus forgives us of our sins. The Bible says that if we don't forgive others, then we won't be forgiven (Mat. 6:15).

The person we need to forgive might not deserve it but we still have to do it. Forgiving someone is a conscious effort of your will. It is something that you have to decide on your own to do. It is not predicated by the person wanting forgiveness, deserving forgiveness, asking you to forgive them, or for them even being sorry for what they did to you.

Forgiveness doesn't mean that you just say, "I forgive you," because you can say it but it doesn't make it true. It's something that you have to will yourself to do but the essence of forgiveness is that after you have decided to forgive someone, you can no longer hold it against them.

You can't bring it up to them ever again. You can't remind them of what they did to you. You can't keep reliving it to make them feel guilty for what they did to you. You don't forgive for them, you forgive for YOU.

You have to let go of the bitterness, anger, disappointment, and yes, even the guilt that you may feel that somehow you were responsible for the abuse in some remote way, even though you're not.  You may have been told that it was your fault but you do not make other people hurt you. You cannot make another person abuse you. You can stick around and let them continue to do it but you never MAKE them do it, that's an act of their will.

Even so, we are commanded to forgive and we are commanded to let it go. I'm not saying that it's easy because it's not. It can take years to come to a place of forgiveness for the person(s) who have hurt you in your past. But you have to actively seek that ability through prayer, through the Bible, & through fellowship with people who have been through the same things you have.

Forgiving and forgetting the horrors of our past is how we move forward, and are able to live fully the life that God has planned for us.

          www.mariemcgaha.com

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Comfort & Joy



Forgiving those who have hurt us can be one of the most difficult things we ever have to do. In fact, it’s so difficult that there is a very popular saying, “I may forgive but I will never forget.” I’ve even heard this come from Christians but nothing can be farther from the teachings of Christ.
1 John 1:9 tells us that, “He forgives us and cleanses us from all unrighteousness.” Not only are we forgiven for our sins but they are no longer remembered by God. He takes our sins, throws them into a Hefty Bag, and then tosses it into a big dump that only God has the directions to.
          God is not a god who reminds us of our faults of yesterday but of our abilities through Him for all of our tomorrows. God wants us to shine, to minister to others, to represent His Son, Jesus, wherever we go, and to win souls to the Kingdom of Heaven.
          One of the biggest things we will have to do in order to accomplish this is to forgive and forget our own past. Yes, I said to forget the past, not just forgive the past but forget it ever existed. That includes not only forgiving others but one’s self, which is a difficult task, I know.
          I am one of those people who bear the weight of the world on their shoulders. I think that I am responsible for everything everyone else does, and if I had just said or done one thing differently, the entire outcome of everyone else’s lives would be different. I ride on waves of guilt that seem to well up within me from nowhere at all. I allow the consequences of other people’s actions to land on me, and make me feel as if I am responsible for what they have done.
          What I had to come to terms with is I am not God. Imagine that—I am just one of several billion people who occupy earth and take up oxygen, living a very ordinary life. I cannot make anyone do or say anything they don’t want to, and beating myself up over what other’s do only drives me farther from the love and grace of God.
          I have laid in bed crying in anguish over my ex-husband who passed away. (Dancing With Bear: A Love Story) I was so distraught over his passing, and convinced that I could have done or said something to someone, somewhere, that would have prevented his death. I loved this man for more than half my life and his passing felt as if it would destroy me. It was just one more thing the devil had in his arsenal against me, and he used it well.
          The truth is, the devil is out to kill, steal, and destroy (John 10:10) your life on  earth, and ultimately, your soul. He doesn’t want you to live happily with God’s blessings, no, he wants you to be miserable and unhappy, and he wants your soul in Hell with him.
There is a saying among Christians, “We know how the story ends and the devil loses.” Yes, he loses but in the meantime, he is active in this world to make sure he takes down as many of us as he can in the time he has left.
          So, how does the devil work? Unbelief is his greatest ally. For those who don’t believe in God, the devil doesn’t really have to worry about them. He knows they have what they want—money, drugs, fame, or whatever it is—and that is their reward. But for those of us who believe in God, who believe Jesus is the Savior of the world, we can expect the devil to do his best to destroy our lives. The devil is a coward, he never just confronts us directly, no, he likes to use those things that make us most vulnerable. The biggest of those is our past.
          Don’t we all let our past get to us? Don’t we obsess on all the things we have done wrong in our lives? And don’t we dwell on the things others have done to us? These are the devil’s weapons. He knows where to jab, punch, and kick. He knows how to use our guilt and unhappiness against us.
The Bible describes the devil as “…your great adversary, the devil… prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5:8) But verse nine says, “Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith…”
So, the only way to defeat the devil is to be strong in our faith in Jesus Christ and the Word of God, the Bible.
          I know sometimes that is so difficult, especially if you are new to Christianity and are just learning the Bible. When we are brand new, baby Christians, we still have our old non-Christian baggage that we drag around behind us. We haven’t figured out yet how to let it go, or what to do with it. And the devil knows this.
          What is inside your bag? Were you hurt as a child? Abused physically, sexually, emotionally? Have you been raped, lived with an abusive partner, or been a drug addict? Were you a prostitute? Do you have a sexually transmitted disease there is no cure for? Were you a criminal, served time in prison? Or perhaps nothing in your life has ever worked out for you, and everything you have tried to do has come to nothing?
          No matter what is in your bag, God can rid you of it, but the first step is allowing God to have full control of your life. And to allow God to do that means to forgive yourself and those who have harmed you.
Forgiving those who have hurt us can be one of the most difficult things we ever have to do. In fact, it’s so difficult that there is a very popular saying, “I may forgive but I will never forget.” I’ve even heard this come from Christians but nothing can be farther from the teachings of Christ.
1 John 1:9 tells us that, “He forgives us and cleanses us from all unrighteousness.” Not only are we forgiven for our sins but they are no longer remembered by God. He takes our sins, throws them into a Hefty Bag, and then tosses it into a big dump that only God has the directions to.
          God is not a god who reminds us of our faults of yesterday but of our abilities through Him for all of our tomorrows. God wants us to shine, to minister to others, to represent His Son, Jesus, wherever we go, and to win souls to the Kingdom of Heaven.
          One of the biggest things we will have to do in order to accomplish this is to forgive and forget our own past. Yes, I said to forget the past, not just forgive the past but forget it ever existed. That includes not only forgiving others but one’s self, which is a difficult task, I know.
          I am one of those people who bear the weight of the world on their shoulders. I think that I am responsible for everything everyone else does, and if I had just said or done one thing differently, the entire outcome of everyone else’s lives would be different. I ride on waves of guilt that seem to well up within me from nowhere at all. I allow the consequences of other people’s actions to land on me, and make me feel as if I am responsible for what they have done.
          What I had to come to terms with is I am not God. Imagine that—I am just one of several billion people who occupy earth and take up oxygen, living a very ordinary life. I cannot make anyone do or say anything they don’t want to, and beating myself up over what other’s do only drives me farther from the love and grace of God.
          I have laid in bed crying in anguish over my ex-husband who passed away. (Dancing With Bear: A Love Story) I was so distraught over his passing, and convinced that I could have done or said something to someone, somewhere, that would have prevented his death. I loved this man for more than half my life and his passing felt as if it would destroy me. It was just one more thing the devil had in his arsenal against me, and he used it well.
          The truth is, the devil is out to kill, steal, and destroy (John 10:10) your life on  earth, and ultimately, your soul. He doesn’t want you to live happily with God’s blessings, no, he wants you to be miserable and unhappy, and he wants your soul in Hell with him.
There is a saying among Christians, “We know how the story ends and the devil loses.” Yes, he loses but in the meantime, he is active in this world to make sure he takes down as many of us as he can in the time he has left.
          So, how does the devil work? Unbelief is his greatest ally. For those who don’t believe in God, the devil doesn’t really have to worry about them. He knows they have what they want—money, drugs, fame, or whatever it is—and that is their reward. But for those of us who believe in God, who believe Jesus is the Savior of the world, we can expect the devil to do his best to destroy our lives. The devil is a coward, he never just confronts us directly, no, he likes to use those things that make us most vulnerable. The biggest of those is our past.
          Don’t we all let our past get to us? Don’t we obsess on all the things we have done wrong in our lives? And don’t we dwell on the things others have done to us? These are the devil’s weapons. He knows where to jab, punch, and kick. He knows how to use our guilt and unhappiness against us.
The Bible describes the devil as “…your great adversary, the devil… prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5:8) But verse nine says, “Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith…”
So, the only way to defeat the devil is to be strong in our faith in Jesus Christ and the Word of God, the Bible.
          I know sometimes that is so difficult, especially if you are new to Christianity and are just learning the Bible. When we are brand new, baby Christians, we still have our old non-Christian baggage that we drag around behind us. We haven’t figured out yet how to let it go, or what to do with it. And the devil knows this.
          What is inside your bag? Were you hurt as a child? Abused physically, sexually, emotionally? Have you been raped, lived with an abusive partner, or been a drug addict? Were you a prostitute? Do you have a sexually transmitted disease there is no cure for? Were you a criminal, served time in prison? Or perhaps nothing in your life has ever worked out for you, and everything you have tried to do has come to nothing?
          No matter what is in your bag, God can rid you of it, but the first step is allowing God to have full control of your life. And to allow God to do that means to forgive yourself and those who have harmed you.

                                                              www.mariemcgaha.com

Marie McGaha is an author, editor, & owner of Dancing With Bear Publishing. She is the author of several books in genres ranging from Christian nonfiction, historical fiction, to contemporary romance. She was named as one of the 50 Authors You Should Be Reading 2016.

She lives on a farm in SE Oklahoma with her truck driver husband, Nathan, and a plethora of farm animals, and a houseful of dogs.