Dirty Feet!

‘John 13: 14-15  Since I, the Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash each other’s feet.  I have given you an example to follow. Do as I have done to you.” NLT

 

Good morning friends in Christ!  We don’t often think about dirty feet, especially our own.  Though we have probably spent far too much time thinking about the dirty feet of others.  Of course I am not truly speaking about the cleanliness of feet here; I am referring to our sin filled hearts and the grace offered to us by Jesus!

This verse reminds us that Jesus washed our feet in His grace.  No matter how dirty our sin has made us, He will wash us as white as snow!  This is such as amazing gift from God, to be offered such grace in our ugliest state!!  Wow, I have no words to describe the depth of this kind of love and grace being offered to me!  Ponder that for a moment!  What has the Lord washed you clean of?  Hate, malice, sexual impurities, greed, addictions, and the list goes on.  We are so unworthy of Jesus, yet He comes in humility to wash our feet from the filth of our sins!

If you have not accepted Jesus in your heart and life and His offer of salvation and forgiveness, don’t wait!  Speak to someone who can help you  pray the sinners prayer and accept Jesus into your life.

Now here is the meat of this verse and the most convicting part; we are called to follow Jesus example and wash the feet of others.  Meaning we are to forgive others their sins against us.  When we look at the context of this section in John, we see that Jesus  washed the feet of Judas as well.  Judas who Jesus knew would betray Him.  How can we do the same?  How can we forgive those who have sinned against us and then show them kindness too.  Even if the kindness is not in actual deed ( washing their feet) .  The kindness can be in our thoughts toward them being for good and not evil and that we pray from a sincere heart for their repentance and salvation.  The only way we can do this is with God’s help.  Jesus will give us the strength and love to see these people through His eyes, not our own.  But our part is to seek this help from Jesus, even if this has to be repeated every few days, hours, minutes.  Jesus will not turn away from our asking, He will draw near to us!

Consider how very much filth Jesus has washed your feet from and then ask Him to show you who you need to begin the washing process with.  He will be pleased you asked and even more so to work through you to offer grace and love to others.

Love and prayers,  Paula Nebel

 

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A Living Sacrifice!

Romans 12:1, “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 wait o worship him.” NLT

Good morning friends in Christ!  Sorry it’s been awhile since I posted.  I have been preparing to give my testimony at the women’s retreat my church is doing.  This is truly out of my comfort one yet I am willing to step out in faith in order to do God’s will.  This goes right along with our verse today.  Let’s look closer.

We are told to give our bodies to God as a living and holy sacrifice.  What does this mean and how should it look in our daily lives?  We were created by God and so it makes sense to dedicate the bodies He created back to Him.  A living sacrifice is just that, while we are alive in these created bodies we should honor God by using our bodies to worship the Lord.  For me this goes beyond the Sunday musical worship, or the physical stance I take during prayer.  Everything I do throughout my day can be an act of worship to God.  When we stop and pick up something that a person has dropped in the grocery store and return it to them; we allow the person with a handful of items to go ahead of us in the line; when we say a prayer for the person who is inside the ambulance that just whizzed by you in traffic; when we clean someone’s house who is in the hospital; when we make meals for the friend who just broke her foot.  The list can go on and on.  Basically any thing you do can be an act of worship to God.

Remember that the Holy Spirit lives inside us; therefore ALL that we do is either going to honor God or dishonor Him. I certainly do not want to dishonor God and grieve the Holy Spirit!  If we keep this in mind as we go through our day, think about how blessed our days would be.  The blessings would be full circle!  More importantly, God will be blessed and honored with our living sacrifice!  Consider each thing you do today as a holy and living sacrifice you are offering up to the Lord; then you will have a truly amazing and wonderfully blessed day!!

Love and Prayers, Paula Nebel

Pleasing to the Lord!

Psalm 19:14,”May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, o Lord, my rock and my redeemer.”

Greeting friends in Christ!  Words have such a profound and indelible impact on those who hear them and speak them!  That’s why this verse starts by talking about our words.  The words that come out of our mouth are extremely important to God. There are  so many verses in the Bible that refer to our words.   Proverbs 15:4, tells us the tongue is soothing like a tree of life or as perverse as to crush the spirit.  Proverbs 18:21, tells us our words have the power of life or death.  2 Timothy 2:14, warns about quarreling with words due to it ruining the one who listens.  James 3:6 tells us that the tongue is a fire that corrupts our whole body.  There are many other references to our words in the Bible, if you are interested in continuing your study into it.  Without a doubt our words are important and God will be pleased with them or He will not be!

This verse continues to tell us that the meditation of our heart should be pleasing to the Lord.  This is when our thought life is brought into focus.  God knows are thoughts even if we do not speak them out loud.  Do your thoughts please the Lord?  Many times we are probably hard pressed to admit that our thoughts may not be very pleasing to the Lord.  Our sinful, impure thoughts become sin in word and action, unless we do something about them.  What do we do?  We take every thought captive!  Each and every time a thought is sinful, we need to give it to God immediately with confession and a repentant heart.  For example worry can bog many of us down in our thoughts.  I find instead of mentally beating myself up for having worrisome or anxious thoughts, I give that worry to the Lord immediately.  Even if you have to give the Lord that worry 50 times a day, He is always pleased with this.  The thoughts will come, it’s what we do with them that is  most important.

I am so grateful Jesus is my Rock and my Redeemer!  I want to please Him with my words my thoughts and all that I do!

Do you have a story about how words hurt you or gave you the encouragement you needed?  I would love to hear about it.  Reply and share your story of words.

Love and Prayers, Paula Nebel

Throne of Grace!

Hebrews 4: 16, “Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”

Good morning friends in Christ!  How humbling to think that we can even come to God’s throne!  Who are we, that God is mindful of us?  Oh Yes, He is not only mindful, He is ready to offer His grace and mercy!  What a precious, mind-boggling gift!  I am in awe of the amazing gift we receive when we place our trust and  faith in Jesus!

How do we approach the throne of God?  We are allowed to enter into God’s throne room when we have made a decision to believe that Jesus is the Son of God, and He alone can save us, and give us the gift of eternal life.  There is no other way to eternal life with God, and there is not other way to approach God’s throne.  When we have given our life to Jesus , we can enter God’s throne of grace, with confidence.  Not meekly, timidly, shamefacedly; we enter with confidence.  Jesus has earned the right to sit at the right hand of God and He intercedes on our behalf.  God accepts us because He sees us through the eyes of Jesus.

We are offered mercy and grace when we approach God’s throne.  We are treated kindly and forgiven, we are granted an unmerited assistance from God.  There is nothing we can do to receive  God’s grace and mercy, once we have accepted Jesus.  All we need to do is approach confidently, knowing that Jesus is speaking to God for us. I am so grateful for the intercession Jesus provides for me.  Without JEsus we would not be able to approach God at all.

The help we need is given to us when we need it.  Many times God’s timing is different from our own.  We may ask for something good, but God has better for us!  God never withholds what we need.  He will not recent the asking and will gladly give us what is in alignment with His will.  For example asking God to help you win the lottery, would not be God’s will.  God speaks against  greed and love of money in His Word.  However, when we ask God to provide for a specific financial need we have; such as to make a house payment, He will provide in His time and in His very creative ways.

Friends, remember God is willing and able to help us in our time of need, we just need to come confidentially to the throne and ask.

Love and Prayers, Paula Nebel

 

 

Prayers

Proverbs 15:29, “The Lord is far from the wicked, but he hears the prayers of the righteous.” NLT

Good morning friends in Christ!  I find myself truly amazed by prayer.  The longer I walk this  journey with Jesus and grow in my faith, the more astonishing it becomes.  So our verse tells us the Lord hears the prayers of the righteous.  Who are the righteous and what kind of prayers do we need to say in order for Him to hear?

To explore who is righteous and will be heard when we offer up prayers, we need to look at salvation and sanctification.  Two big words that have a clear meaning.  Salvation is the choice we make to belive that Jesus is the Son of God and that He died and rose again for us.  He saved us from the punishment we deserved for our sin.  When we believe this and accept the gift of eternal life, we are saved.  Sanctification is the ongoing growth of Christ likeness as we allow God to work in and through our lives to touch others.  As we stand on the foundation of our faith through salvation and grow in our walk with Christ, we are righteous.  We are righteous, even as we know we are not without sin.  Therein, are prayers are heard.  The Father hears our prayers and answers according to His will for our lives.  Not as we may desire, but as He knows best!

What kind of prayers will the Father hear?  I remember thinking this very same thing when I was a baby Christian.  I didn’t feel like I knew how to pray, what words to say even.  Is there a formula?  Praying out loud was even scarier!  As I grew in my relationship with Jesus, I understood that prayer is a conversation with God.  We  adore and praise God for who he is and then talk to Him from our heart.  We take time to be still and quiet during prayer, as well, this allows us to hear from God.  There is no special formula or words.  God knows our heart, and wants us to talk to him. This is how our relationship with God grows.

I am forever grateful that Jesus love knows no bounds and as such I can be assured that my prayers are heard and answered!

Consider that your prayers are heard and answered, before you have even spoken them to the Father!

Love and prayers, Paula Nebel

Love and Patience!

2 Thessalonians 3:5, “May the Lord lead your hearts into a full understanding and expression of the love of God and the patient endurance that come from Christ.”NLT

Good morning friends in Christ!  How amazing it is to ponder the true and full meaning of God’s love for us and patience with us!  We move at such a frenzied pace most days that we do not give much consideration if any to the full understanding of God’s love and patience.  Sure we have our devotional time, prayer time and even study time in the Word; yet sometimes we take for granted this beautiful gift God has given us through Jesus!

Let’s take the time in this moment to open our hearts and minds to a greater understanding of God’s love and patience.  God so loved us, He gave up His Son, Jesus for us (John 3:16).  God knew when Jesus entered into the world, He would have to suffer and die as a penalty for our sin.  This is such an abundantly, extravagant, love, we have nothing to compare it to.  This is a love that is divine and our finite minds can not completely grasp it; yet when we try to this is when the full understanding falls into place.  The love God has shown us through His Son, can not be equated to anything found here on earth!   I am in awe when i consider this and meditate on this. God’s love is like no other love!  God’s love is perfect!  Allow yourself to be immersed in the full expression of God’s love right now!

God’s patient endurance with us is demonstrated in many ways.  When we consider the old testament accounts; we see many examples of God’s patience with us.  Then we move into the new testament and we find the same.  God using seemingly lost, broken, corrupt people to do amazing things for His people.  Saul turned Paul comes to mind as I consider this.  Talk about a life doing a 360 turn!  He went from persecuting and executing God’s people, to spreading the Good News of Jesus to the Gentiles!  How patient God was with Paul during this time!  Consider how patient He is with you and I.  We are sheep wandering, hard-hearted, prideful, prodigals that are only right in the sight of God because of the work Jesus did on the cross for us!  We do not deserve it, and often do not even ask for it, yet there it is!  I am so very grateful for the patience God has shown us.  Jesus gave us a wonderful example of patient endurance and love.  All we need to do is look at the CROSS!

May your hearts be filled to overflowing with the true and full understanding of God’s love and patience with each of us.  Jesus life and death speak loudly of a love and patience we can not fathom!  Try to grasp onto this today and carry it with you.

Love and Prayers, Paula Nebel

The Holy Spirit!

1 Corinthians 6:19-20, ” Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, whom lives in you and was given to you by God?  You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price.  So you must honor God with your body.”NLT

Good morning friends in Christ!  I am humbled, privileged and convicted all at once with this reminder in God’s Word.  What about you?  How do these verses make you feel?  Our body is the temple for the Holy Spirit!  My body is the temple for the Holy Spirit!

God gave us a beautiful gift in Jesus and then in the Holy Spirit.  The Holy Spirit LIVES in us!  This is extremely humbling to know that the Holy Spirit of God is living inside of me!  When we consider what a special gift this is, we are certainly privileged.  We have something so amazing that is a huge benefit to us, and those who do not believe Jesus died for their sins can not ever experience it for themselves.  But do we move through our day with no consideration or awe over this reality as Christians?

I am convicted by this reminder of the Holy Spirit living in me, because there is nothing we say, do, or think that the Holy Spirit of God is not aware of.  This is why we are told there is no place we can go that the Spirit of God is not with us; He is indwelling us.  So here is where the conviction comes in.  Do you live your life with the understanding that God’s Holy Spirit lives within us and knows everything we say, do or THINK?  Yes, even our thoughts are known to God.  This is why scripture tells us to take every thought captive.  When sinful thoughts come to mind, we can give them to God and ask Him to take them from us!  Through prayer and reading God’s Word, we can replace those sinful thoughts with God’s pure and lovely thoughts!

Let us walk through our days with the certain knowledge that God is within us and we have access to such a powerful, divine source to guide us with all God’s wisdom and comfort, and protection.  Live like a child of God, because that is who you are!

Love and Prayers, Paula Nebel

 

When We Don’t Know What To Pray!

Romans 8:26, ” And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness.  For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for.  But the Holy Spirit prays  for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words.”

Good morning friends in Christ!  Prayer is such a powerful, central, integral , mysterious part of the Christian life.  You really can’t be around a church or Christians without hearing the word prayer or hearing prayers.  We pray for many reasons, all of them good. Praising God for who He is, asking for blessings, confessions, seeking God’s wisdom, His discernment, asking for healing and guidance, protection and salvation for loved ones.  The list is endless for why we pray, yet there are times in our lives when we need to pray the most and the pain or suffering we are under is too great to even form the words to pray.  What do we do?  This verse is a comfort and a mystery; the Holy Spirit will pray for us.

The Holy Spirit is our helper.  Jesus sent Him to live in us and help us while we are here on earth.  We are weak and because of this truth, the Holy Spirit works in us and through us.  Specifically this verse reminds us that when we don’t know how to pray the Holy Spirit will pray for us.  He can use groanings when words can not express our needs.

I have experienced the Holy Spirit interceding on my behalf many times in my life.  The one time that stands out, is when my mother in law had a car accident and was on life support in the hospital.  I remember sitting at her bed side, I was in shock and couldn’t even process what had just happened.  I knew I needed to pray but was numb and did not know what to even pray for or how.  I asked for a Bible and thought I could read through some of the Psalms, yet all I could do was hold the Bible at first.  Holding the Bible gave me a measure of Hope and though I did not utter a word of prayer, I did feel that God was with me.  I did open the Bible, yet I could not tell you what I read.  This was only the first of many times during this time in my life that I experienced the Holy Spirit’s presence and prayers on my behalf.  The next most vivid time I remember was after we had made the decision to take this dear, precious woman off of life support, and I was driving from the store after trying to buy clothes for my husband and sons to wear to the funeral services.  I was so overwhelmed by grief I couldn’t stop the tears from pouring from my eyes and all I could do was whisper the name; Jesus.  Just His name and I could literally feel the peace of God surround me and hold me up.

Ever been there?  Ever have such a heavy burden you are walking under that you can not even pray?  The Holy Spirit prays for us when words will not express the pain or the need.  I dare say that the Holy Spirit prays even alongside us when we have the words.  Many times we may not know exactly what we should be praying for and The Spirit guides our prayers.  Wherever you find yourself today, remember the Holy Spirit is in you and praying on your behalf using groans that express more than words can.

I would love to hear how you have experienced the Holy Spirit praying on your behalf.

Love and Prayers, Paula Nebel

Guard Your Heart!

Proverbs 4:23, ” Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.” NLT

Good Morning friends in Christ!  I love this verse, it’s a beautiful reminder of the role our heart plays in our Christian walk.  How we live out our daily life is determined in large part by our heart.  Now I am not talking about feelings here.  Our heart, soul and mind are the tendrils of ourself that are connected to The Vine, Jesus.  We are called to love our God with all of our heart, soul and mind; our heart is first.

How do we guard our heart?  Webster defines guard as “carefully looking for possible danger, threats or problems.”  In any given situation we find ourlselves in our daily life, we should be on guard; watching for danger or problems.  The devil is prowling, always looking for a way to attack us.  We must not let our guard down, for the enemy  will pounce.  Keeping a guard on our heart should start with prayer.  When we stay connected to our Heavely Father through prayer, He hears us and He will act.  Be attuned to the Holy Spirit’s leading.  When presented with something that just is unsettling and doesn’t feel right, that still small voice you hear is The Holy Spirit’s leading.  I have learned through experience that following His leading, even when it makes no sense to me is always God’s way of answering my prayer and guarding my heart.

When you are in a troubling situation and are not sure which direction to go, seek God in His Word.  Pour over the Holy Bible and God will give you direction and this is always a way to guard your heart.  Trying to find answers through other avenues and self help books, and classes; will not guide you down the right path and will certainly not guard your heart.

To Guard your heart you need to pray, read and meditate on God’s Word, then you will know if someone or something is trying to lead you down the wrong path.  As this verse reminds us our heart will determine the course our lives take, so protecting your heart should be a huge priority.

Love and prayers, Paula Nebel

Stay Connected!

John 15:5, “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches.  Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit.  For apart from me you can do nothing.” NLT

Good morning friends in Christ!  Rejoice in this day the Lord has made!  This verse is Jesus speaking.  Jesus is talking right to each one of us when we read this verse!  Jesus is my vine!  I am a branch on His vine!  Amazing, mysterious, wonderful!!  When we are saved by God’s grace and confess Jesus is the Lord of our life, our life changes.  We are now being transformed from the inside out and we WILL produce fruit.  This fruit is the sweet and sometimes difficult things we do in the name of Jesus!  How much and what kind of fruit depends on where we are in a walk and growth with Christ.  It depends on the gifts and talents God has blessed us with.  It more importantly depends on our obedience to God’s calling on our life.

We all know far too many Christians who do not seem to bear much fruit and often we see ugly, tangled weeds spring up in their lives.  Not one of us is without sin, we are all human.  Yet when sin enters our life what we do with it depends on where are branches are connected.  Is your heart, mind and soul connected to the one who created you and gives you eternal life?  Does your mind know about Jesus, you go to church when you can, and maybe glance at your Bible a couple of times a year?  These two people will truly have two very different lives and the fruit they produce will be of abundance or a pittance.  Which one are you?  Which one do you want to be?

Before I begin a blog, I pray and ask God to guide me, show me what He has for me today, give me wisdom, and allow me to encourage others with His Word.  Often times a verse will come to mind, and I will think about where I would go with it.  Then the Holy Spirit moves and His words flow from my fingers to you.  Many times what I thought and what the Spirit. Gives me are different.  “Stay Connected” is what I heard today.  How do we stay connected to Jesus, so we can produce much fruit?  I say this often, but it is always the right answer; PRAY!  What a humbling honor and privilege that we do not deserve; we can communicate with the Almighty Father, Creator of the Universe!  We should never take this for granted, yet we often do.  Today take the time to ponder this: we can pray and speak to God and hear from God!  Wow!  Pray and read, meditate and study His Word!  When we have a daily connection with our Father, we are connected to The Vine: Jesus.  In this connection we are growing and becoming more and more like Christ!  This growth allows us the privilege of producing fruit.  This fruit is evident in our lives and pours out into the lives around us!  When we are not connected, we have no fruit for ourselves and none to share! Apart from Him we can not accomplish anything that has eternal value!  Remember we are never alone , Jesus is with us always!  Stay connected to Jesus today!

Love and Prayers, Paula Nebel