Category Archives: Posts

When God Says: “Quit Procrastinating!”

According to a 2014 Pew Research Center survey, over half of Americans (55%) say they pray daily. Women respond as more likely to pray daily than men do (64% versus 46%). With the majority of us women praying, we can logically conclude that there are many different types of answers we receive to our prayers. A Pearl of Great Value will be exploring a few of these in a seven-part series on prayer entitled, “When God Says ….” 

Part 1 of 7

Writing—I’m passionate about it. I’ve maintained journals through the years, developed Bible study curricula, and did some editing work. But, I desired more and felt certain God had a plan for me. When I prayed about what to do, all I heard from our Lord was, “Quit procrastinating and get started!” “But how, Lord?” I would counter. It was my ready excuse.

Once I made the decision I couldn’t put this off any longer, God started putting His plan in motion for me. Through various events, He directed me to write Christian devotions and articles, but I didn’t know exactly what this would personally look like. After enrolling in an online writing course and hunkering down at the computer to write, God brought people into my life to encourage me in this endeavor and it started to take shape. Additionally, our oldest daughter and her husband became instrumental on the website/email newsletter portion of what would soon become a ministry handcrafted by the Lord for me.

What desires have you hidden in your heart that you want to accomplish? These dreams won’t just happen, as it’s a lot easier to procrastinate than spring into action. Most of us savor lounging around in God’s grace, but

God’s grace is not an excuse for laziness.

The book of Proverbs contains plentiful admonitions concerning laziness, often referring to such people as sluggards. Didn’t King Solomon and the other wise writers certainly have a way with words? One of my favorites is Proverbs 6:6 (NIV), “Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise!” Ants are industrious insects always unified in their hard work, and scripture directs us to learn from them. We’re also promised, “The sluggard craves and gets nothing, but the desires of the diligent are fully satisfied” (Proverbs 13:4, NIV). When we’re diligent there will be satisfaction.

If you’re praying and asking “But how, Lord?” as I did, then you’re well into the first step which is to earnestly seek God. If the Lord has laid something on our hearts—a ministry to perform, a job to accomplish, a relationship to restore—He will direct our paths (see Proverbs 3:5-6).

As we ask the Lord to help us over our hesitation and delay, it’s time to formulate a plan of action. But, and it’s a very big but, be prepared for God to tweak the plan! As we submit our plans to the Master Designer, He will shed light on the best way to accomplish the goal. Opportunities will appear, friends and family will be there to encourage, and most importantly, the Holy Spirit will provide what we need.

Just do it—I love this famous advertising logo for a sporting goods manufacturer. There will be some obstacles and stumbles along with the successes, but if God’s in it, we can step forward with confidence.

And finally, be diligent and faithful to what He has purposed and set out for you. When we’ve overcome the procrastination obstacle, we certainly want to stay the course until the Lord directs otherwise. Romans 12:11 (NIV) instructs us to, “Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.”

Father God, There’s so much I want to do and I’ve been putting it off for far too long. I’m ashamed when I think about how much time has gone by. Please help me to stop procrastinating, to start praying, and to begin preparing. I desire to do what you have for me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Bible Truths:

Proverbs 14:23 (NIV): “All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty.”

Luke 12:35 (NIV): “Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning.”

Galatians 6:9 (NIV): “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”

James 4:17 (NIV): “Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins.”

© 2017 APearlofGreatValue.org. All rights reserved.

Print this Post, Email to a Friend, or Pin It:

Comments Off on When God Says: “Quit Procrastinating!”

Filed under Posts

He Doesn’t Remember

And there it is again. Lying in bed in the wee hours of the morning, and the shame from past sin looms large in your mind. You’ve prayed for forgiveness and feel confident God has indeed forgiven you. So why can’t we release it? Why do we continue to relive it?

God’s Word assures us in Isaiah 43:25 (NIV), “I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more.”

Our Maker forgives and forgets our sins.

But, how can that be? How does an omniscient, all-knowing God forget our sins? I’m convinced God sees us as we are, not as we used to be. Our God is not some absent-minded professor type, but rather is wholly and perfectly true to His Word. His intentional design is to forgive and forget—He sees us as His righteousness through the blood of Jesus.

Scripture reinforces this truth, with Jeremiah 31:34b (NIV) stating, “For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.” Hebrews 8:12 (NIV) repeats this promise from Jeremiah, “For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.” And once more, in Hebrews 10:17 (NIV): “Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more.”

This repetition of the Jeremiah scripture shows the significance of this truth. A reality we can trust. Due to His great love for us, we can realize His compassions will not fail us, yet are new every morning (paraphrase of Lamentations 3:22-23). During those hours prior to daybreak, we can cast out those thoughts of past sins, rather than reel them in.

Father God, Your Word tells me you will forgive my sins when I confess them through Jesus Christ. I need your comfort in knowing that not only do you forgive me, but you also forget my sins. Please give me assurance to realize and claim this promise from your Word. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Bible Truths:

Psalm 103:12, NIV: “As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.”

2 Corinthians 5:21, NIV: “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”

© 2017 APearlofGreatValue.org. All rights reserved.

Print this Post, Email to a Friend, or Pin It:

Comments Off on He Doesn’t Remember

Filed under Posts

Talk Time

Do you love to talk to God throughout the day as I do? Sometimes it’s a session of intense prayer, other times it’s simply thanking Him for the beauty of His creation. Often I’m just wondering what to do next. No matter the situation, I’m thankful for the quiet confidence that I can talk to God about everything, all the time. But, it wasn’t always like this.

When I was a new believer, the short, but to-the-point admonition in 1 Thessalonians 5:17 to, “Pray continually” struck a chord with me. Do you wonder, as I did, how to pray all the time?

Preceding this instruction, we read in verse 16, “Be joyful always,” which directs us in our attitude of how we approach God. Verse 18 concludes with exhorting us to “give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” These straightforward teachings are the key to praying continuously.

As we talk to God we’re to be joyful, giving thanks to Him always. Through prayer we can ask the Lord to change us to reflect these qualities. Adapting this frame of mind, we will find it easier and easier to talk to our Father God throughout the day. Continual prayer will flow more naturally, and

Unlike limited minutes on a cell phone plan, there is no limit to our talk time with God.

Through the years I’ve grown in dependence on God, desiring a heart attitude fully yielded to Him. This awareness of Him can be our way of life as we pray silently in our hearts throughout the day.

I pray you will find reassurance in the lyrics of the first verse of What a Friend We Have in Jesus by Joseph M. Scriven:

“What a friend we have in Jesus,

All our sins and griefs to bear!

What a privilege to carry

Everything to God in prayer!

Oh, what peace we often forfeit,

Oh, what needless pain we bear

All because we do not carry

Everything to God in prayer.”

Father God, Thank you that we can take everything to you in prayer. Help me learn to talk to you continually throughout my day with a spirit of joy and thankfulness. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Bible Truths:

Matthew 7:7 (NIV): “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.”

Colossians 4:2 (NIV): “Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.”

© 2017 APearlofGreatValue.org. All rights reserved.

Print this Post, Email to a Friend, or Pin It:

Comments Off on Talk Time

Filed under Posts

Are You Buckled Up?

I know I’m not alone as I look around and wonder where truth is. The days of issues being black and white have disappeared and been replaced by relativism and vagueness. It has even penetrated the church, as many churches no longer stand on truth these days.

In Ephesians 6:14, the apostle Paul begins illustrating the full armor of God. The first piece of armament he describes is the belt of truth: “Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist.” Merriam-Webster.com defines truth as a “transcendent fundamental or spiritual reality.” Furthermore, Ephesians 1:13 clarifies that the word of truth is the gospel of our salvation. The gospel of Jesus Christ is truth.

I’m seeing many people wandering around with their pants falling down (literally and spiritually) these days.

Are your pants sliding down because your belt has become unbuckled?

There’s a reason Paul lists the belt first, as the rest of the armor will not stay in place without it.

What is the foundation of my life?

What am I basing truth on?

What do I fall back on during times of difficulty?

Are my decisions lining up with God’s truth?

These are challenging times in our culture and in our churches. God’s Word is clear about our individual responsibility to accept and share truth. Only when we hold steadfast with our belts of truth buckled, will we be able to successfully live in this world and be an instrument of change. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8, NIV). His Word is truth and never changes. Therefore we can stand on His truth, and be sure of tomorrow and that we’ve won the victory.

Father God, Thank you for providing truth through the gospel of Jesus Christ. Help me to stand firm in this world, with my belt completely buckled, and represent your truth to others around me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Bible Truths:

John 14:6 (NIV): “Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.’”

Ephesians1:13a (NIV): “And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation.”

© 2017 APearlofGreatValue.org. All rights reserved.

Print this Post, Email to a Friend, or Pin It:

Comments Off on Are You Buckled Up?

Filed under Posts

A Psalm 119 Approach

Excitement bubbled inside me as my husband and I finally made the decision to redo the majority of our master bathroom. Then we faced the dilemma of where to start. A multitude of decisions piled up in front of us and the choices seemed overwhelming. Glass shower enclosures, bathtubs, tile, paint—the list appeared endless. It became obvious before tackling this project we needed a game plan. Understanding exactly what our needs were was vital. This encompassed determining exactly what needed replacement and what would fit within the space we had. Only then did we proceed to look at and determine which models/tiles/fixtures fit our budget and needs, making our selections from those options. And finally, we applied our choices to our remodel through the contractor we hired.

Breaking down our remodel into several stages guaranteed us the success we desired to complete our project. And so it is with studying the Bible. At first it’s overwhelming, but by formulating an approach to scripture you can successfully study and understand God’s Word. As we read scripture and search for its meaning and application to our life, I perceive three stages:

Discern, Decipher, and Digest God’s Word.

 

Continue reading

Print this Post, Email to a Friend, or Pin It:

Comments Off on A Psalm 119 Approach

Filed under Posts