He Reigns!

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Blow Over Me

“When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from Heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them.  And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.
~Acts 2:1-4

I’ve always liked the wind; whether it was coming off the ocean when I was a kid at the beach with my grandmother, or hitting my face while riding down the road on a motorcycle, or a storm blowing in, I’ve always found the wind refreshing. I think it’s because I see the correlation between wind and the Spirit of God. I cannot see the wind, but I can see its affects around me, and I can feel it brush over my skin and blow though my hair. I cannot see God, but I see His affect on my life and I can feel His Spirit in my heart.

“The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”
~John 3:8

When we are born of the Spirit, we have an intimate relationship with God Almighty. It is as real in our life as any tangible relationship we have on earth. Even though we don’t physically see God, and can’t touch Him with our hands, He touches us in ways that no one else can. Sensing God’s Spirit is something He allows us to do with our minds, hearts and spirits when we are born again through the redemption offered by Jesus Christ. No other relationship on earth can cleanse us from our sins, make our lives brand new, give us an eternal purpose, and turn us from hell onto the path of Heaven. It is only though a relationship with Jesus Christ that we can experience true righteousness, abiding love, and hope for a future.

“Jesus said to them again, ‘Peace be with you. As the Father has sent Me, even so I am sending you.’ And when He had said this, He breathed on them and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit’ (John 20:21-22).”

“There's a wind a-blowin', all across the land
A fragrant breeze of Heaven
Blowin’ once again
Don't know where it comes from
Don't know where it goes
But let it blow over me
Oh, sweet wind, come and blow over me…”
Sweet Wind by David Ruis

Read Acts 20-24

©2018 Marie McGaha

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Love Your Mother

‘On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, and Jesus and His disciples had also been invited to the wedding. When the wine was gone, Jesus’ mother said to Him, “They have no more wine.” “Woman, why do you involve me?” Jesus replied. “My hour has not yet come.” His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever He tells you.”’
~John 2:1-5

As a mother, this is one of my favorite passages. Here is the Lord Jesus Christ, God Himself, at a wedding and His mother wants Him to provide wine for the guests—and He wasn’t the host! I think the reason it appeals to me so much is because I have sons and it doesn’t matter to me what their job is, or who they married, or how many grandchildren they’ve given me, they are my boys and I love them. More than that, I know how much they love me and will do anything I ask them to do for me, even if it meant making the wine for a wedding. Obedience to God, to our parents, and to our spouses is an important part of who we are as Christians. And even if I didn’t already love the Lord for what He’s done for me, I’d love Him even more for the way He loves His mother.

“Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honor your father and mother (this is the first commandment with a promise), that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land (Ephesians 6:1-3).” 

While we are young, obeying our parents is for our own well-being and safety. We are under their care and they provide for our needs. As we get older and come into a sense of independence, we may begin to push the boundaries our parents set for us, and sometimes, we may push those boundaries too far. There are consequences for our actions, and even though we may be too young to understand those consequences, they may affect our lives for years to come. There is a reason the Lord wants us to be obedient as children—there’s a steep learning curve that can have immediate and dire repercussions, some that we may never recover from. On the other hand, as we mature and become adults, we are told to “honor” our mother and father, and that’s different than obedience. Honor means to show respect and hold in high esteem. Even parents who weren’t the greatest at parenting deserve our respect. When we honor our parents, we honor the Lord.

“Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the Name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him (Colossians 3:12-17).”

Read Acts 13-19

©2018 Marie McGaha

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

No Worries

“Out of my distress I called on the Lord; the Lord answered me and set me free. The Lord is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me?
~Psalm 118:5-6

So many times in life we become distressed over things that happen—our jobs, our families, our love lives, finances, and a million other little things that make up the human experience. We react emotionally to situations, and if we’re really honest, there’s no reason to. We have been conditioned to listen to our emotions instead of what God says about every situation: trust Him. The psalmist says he was distressed but he didn’t go on Facebook or Twitter and post about it, or scream and yell at other people, or break things, or act like so many that we see today on TV and social media. No, he called on the Lord. Then what happened? The Lord answered him and set him free. So, he declared, “The Lord is on my side; I will not fear!” And that is the appropriate response for anyone who claims to be a Christian.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths (Proverbs 3:5-6).”

For us to live the kind of lives that honors the Lord, we must trust that He knows what’s best for us, even in the face of crisis. I’m not saying there aren’t situations that are going to cause us to be angry, or depressed, or broken hearted, that’s life and it happens to all of us—it’s our response to those situations that should set us apart from the rest of the world. If our spouse dies, of course there is an emotional response but there are appropriate emotions and inappropriate emotions. The appropriate emotions would be sadness, tears, feeling lonely and empty; inappropriate emotions would be to break things, get drunk or high, blame others, or seek revenge. That might seem ridiculous, but people do react to stressors in very destructive ways. Ways that are not in line with what the Lord wants from us.

“If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory. Put to death therefore what is earthly in you… (Colossians 3:1-5).”

“And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him (Colossians 3:15-17).”

Read Acts 7-12

©2018 Marie McGaha

Monday, October 15, 2018

I Will Bless The Lord

“I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul makes its boast in the Lord; let the humble hear and be glad. Oh, magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His name together!
~Psalm 34:1-3

I like reading the Psalms because they remind me how good the Lord is, especially when life isn’t going the way I like. It’s easy to say we praise the Lord at all times, but do we really? When we are in the middle of a personal crisis, do we praise the Lord? In the middle of stress, anxiety, anger, loss, grief—or any of the other emotions that plague us—is His praise continually in our mouth? I got to test that recently when I was having a really, really bad day. I was not in a praising mood, but the above verse went through my mind, and I had to check myself. It wasn’t easy to suppress the emotions but that is the power of the Holy Spirit. I was able to put aside what I felt and praise God for what I knew to be true.

“I sought the Lord, and He answered me and delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to Him are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed. This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him and saved him out of all his troubles. The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him and delivers them (Psalm 34:4-7).”

The Lord cares about our emotions, He cares about our problems, but He doesn’t want either of those things to get so out of control that we forget Who is in control. No matter what we go through in our lives, we can depend on the Lord to work problems out in our favor. Our job is to depend on Him at all times, but especially in those times when our emotions are out of control.

“The eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous and His ears toward their cry. The face of the Lord is against those who do evil, to cut off the memory of them from the earth. When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all (Psalm 34:15-19).

Read Acts 1-6

©2018 Marie McGaha

Thursday, October 11, 2018

The Absolute Truth

“Jesus answered, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, You must be born again.’”
~John 3:5-7

I have felt led over the past few months to speak on salvation, and I have several times, but the impact and importance of salvation cannot be overstated. It is the single most important thing we can do in our lives for our lives. This life is very short. The Bible tells us we are given 70-80 years (Psalm 90:10), but what follows this life is eternity and where we spend eternity is very important. No matter what doctrine a person follows, or what god they claim as truth, or if they believe this life is all there is, and death is the end of everything, one day every one of us will know the absolute truth of God Almighty. At the very moment we exhale our last breath, we will stand before Jesus Christ and we will know the Truth. That is why salvation is the most important topic in the world and cannot be ignored.

“This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone. And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other Name under Heaven given among men by which we must be saved (Acts 4:11-12).”

The death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ is the basis our salvation. We must be born again, or we cannot enter Heaven. There is no other way. To be born again we must identify and participate in Christ’s death, burial and resurrection but how do we do that? First, we must believe the gospel that Christ is the only begotten Son of God and that He is who He says He is. Second, we must participate in Christ’s death by dying to our fleshly self. That is to say, we must recognize that our way of life cannot get us to Heaven, and we must give up our ways and accept Christ’s way of living. Third, we must bury our old life, which is baptism in water. We go under the water as a burial, and when we come up, we are resurrected into a new life as a follower of Jesus Christ. Not only does this guarantee our entrance to Heaven for eternity when we leave this life, it changes the life we live while we’re still here. If you have not made the most important decision of your life—salvation through Jesus Christ—as long as you have breath in your body, it’s not too late. Don’t wait until it is.

Pray: Jesus, I believe You are the Son of God and You died and rose again for me. I accept you as my Savior and choose to live my life for You. Thank you for saving me and loving me, in Jesus’ Name, Amen.

You don’t have to say those exact words. Pray whatever is in your heart, God will hear you and Heaven will rejoice over your decision.

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to Himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ, God was reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making His appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake He made Him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God (2 Corinthians 5:17-21).”

Read John 17-21

© 2018 Marie McGaha

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Shekinah Glory

“And after six days Jesus took with Him Peter and James, and John his brother, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. And He was transfigured before them, and His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became white as light. And behold, there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with Him. And Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good that we are here. If you wish, I will make three tents here, one for You and one for Moses and one for Elijah.” He was still speaking when, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is My beloved Son, with Whom I am well pleased; listen to Him.” When the disciples heard this, they fell on their faces and were terrified. But Jesus came and touched them, saying, “Rise, and have no fear.”
~Matthew 17:1-7

This is one of my favorite chapters of the Bible. I always imagine what it will be like to stand face-to-face with Jesus, and here, Peter, James and John not only have seen the person of Jesus Christ, they also got to see the Shekinah glory of God and hear God’s own voice. Not to mention seeing Moses and Elijah! What a gift that was. The Shekinah glory of God is something we will all see when we arrive in Heaven. It is the light of Heaven, brighter than the sun that comes only from Christ Himself.

“Again, Jesus spoke to them, saying, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness but will have the light of life’ (John 8:12).”

If you’ve ever been in a dark room, or in the woods at night, you know there is nothing as black as the absence of light; strike a match and the darkness flees. That little flame will light up the dark recesses of a room and allow us to see, so imagine what the light of the glory of Jesus Christ can do! We see the light of glory when we follow Jesus Christ. He is the light of the world, and in Him is no darkness (1 John 1:5). It is that light we see in other Christians and that others see in us once we accept Christ as our Savior.

We will all stand before Jesus Christ no matter what we believe or what we’ve done. When we die, we will close our eyes to this world and open them to Heaven. Even those who do not follow Jesus Christ will still see Heaven and the glory of the Light of the Lamb. I imagine that is the only thing that can make hell worse—knowing what Heaven looks like, getting that glimpse of His Shekinah glory and then be sent to everlasting separation to spend eternity in the darkness where there is nothing but sorrow and suffering. And as much as my heart aches for those who will spend the afterlife separated from God, it also soars for each of us who will spend eternity in His glorious light.

“And I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb. And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb (Revelation 21:22-23).”

Read John 12-16

©2018 Marie McGaha

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

The Root, The Shoot, The Fruit: Sow You Own Seed

The world we live in is in total opposition to a life in Christ Jesus. In the world, we are taught to be independent, don’t rely on anyone, get up and do it yourself, pull yourself up by your bootstraps, but a life in Christ is total dependence upon Him. John 15:1-8 is all about dependence rather than independence, yet being dependent upon Jesus is the most freedom a person will ever have. Sounds like a contradiction but it isn’t. The passage in John tells us that Christ is the vine and we are the branches, and apart from Him, we can do nothing. Jesus is our root system, He is what holds us firmly in place, grounded when everything in the world seems to be spinning out of control. In Him, we live and move and have our being (Acts 17:29).
          Have you noticed what happens to a branch that gets ripped away from the vine? It dies. There is no nourishment from the roots, so instead of that branch continuing to grow and produce fruit, it withers and dies. The branch is useless away from vine. So it is with us. Nothing we do in life, no matter what kind of success we might have, no matter how much money we make, or how famous we become, none of it is worth anything if we are not connected to the Vine that is Jesus Christ.
          The rich and famous have problems, perhaps more problems than the rest of us. They have addiction problems, their children are out of control, they are unhappy and seem to have no direction. That’s because all of the riches and fame in the world cannot produce satisfaction in the soul. True satisfaction can only come from one place, and that’s from the Lord. We have to fill that God-shaped hole with God. Nothing else fits. Nothing else satisfies because our spirits are created to worship only One. When we worship at the feet of the gods of this world, we cannot find the peace we desire, or the satisfaction our souls search desperately for.
          “For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world and loses his own soul?” (Matthew 16:26).
          How many Hollywood “stars” have we seen take their own lives, overdose on drugs, be victims of murder, or have their lives so out of control they become jokes on late night talk shows? Money, fame, and success does not equal happiness and contentment. Very few “stars” stand up for what is right and good and pure. Very few will speak about God, and the few Christian “stars” in Hollywood are ostracized by the rest.
          We see famous politicians, businessmen and women, people who are known for nothing but being rich who face the very same problems in their lives as the rest of us. Money is not a cure for what is wrong in our lives. Fame is not the cure either. If it was, those rich and famous people would not be in such pain and turmoil. The only cure for our souls, for the world as it is today, is a right relationship with God Almighty through His Son Jesus Christ.
          “From whence does my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made Heaven and earth.” (Psalm 121:1)
          Our only real, lasting help comes from Jesus Christ. He is the only One who can save us from ourselves, the world, and what is to come after our physical deaths. Afraid to die? If you don’t know Jesus as your Savior, you better be! What comes after this life is eternity. Forever and ever and ever… A time that we cannot even truly understand. Eternity is infinite, without end, no time, no calendar, no concept of life as we now know it. Yet we will live eternally. After we die here, and we are all going to die, our souls leave our bodies and go to eternity. Where that eternity is spent is totally up to us.
          “If you confess with your mouth… you will be saved,” (Roman 10:9). If you have accepted Christ as your Savior and made Him Lord of your life, you are saved. You will spend eternity in Heaven experiencing the Lord in a way we cannot even comprehend in this life. It will be joyous, wonderful, and beyond words. We will be with our friends and family who went before us, as long as they also knew Jesus as their Savior. If we had young children or infants who passed away, they will be there waiting to welcome us. I have a son, three daughters, a step-daughter, and three grandsons who are in Heaven awaiting my arrival. My grandmother is there too. What a family reunion that is going to be! The Bible says we will “know as we are known,” (1 Corinthians 13:12). That means we will know one another just as we know them now on earth in this life. But more importantly, we will see Christ face-to-face and we will know Him as He is, (1 John 3:2).

(Excerpt from The Root, The Shoot, The Fruit by Marie McGaha Buy here

Available in paperback, Kindle and now on Audible narrated by Christy R. Diachenko

Read John 6-11