Responsibility Of Self
Are you taking responsibility in your own personal life or are you shifting the blame onto others and everything around you? Are you making up excuses for your sinful way of life by believing that because you come from a family of alcoholics, addicts, gamblers, etc., etc., that this gives you the right to be who you are today? We all start off in life as babies, with someone always there to tend to us. We are loved and cared for. We are fed, clothed, kept clean and given a warm bed to sleep in at night. Life is good being cared for because there is no responsibility. But as we grow and mature, our lives begin to change, and soon, personal responsibility is handed out in small portions, such as clearing the table, folding the laundry, clothing ourselves, and making our beds, etc.. We learn that with responsibility, there comes a reward but with irresponsibility, there is a penalty. Suffering in sin has a less-than-desirable effect on our minds, hearts, and reality. When we become adults, we are now responsible for our own self. Now is the time for us to quit making excuses for our actions and shifting the blame onto others and things around us. We need to listen to Paul and ‘put the ways of childhood behind us’ (1 Corinthians 13:11).
God repeatedly tells us of right and wrong in the bible. Adam was given a specific command and expected to obey it (Genesis 2:15). But, Adam tried to blame Eve for his sin and God for giving him her (Genesis 3:12). Later, Adam’s son Cain was warned by God that he would be held personally responsible for his actions (Genesis 4:7). Cain tried to avoid responsibility (Genesis 4:9). By blaming others and things of this world, we are not taking responsibility for ourselves. Thus, we are going against God’s law and as God clearly states, “You may be sure that your sin will find you out” (Numbers 32:23). We all have the personal responsibility, “to repent and believe the gospel” (Mark 1:15). Those who choose to reject the truth of God “are without excuse” (Romans 1:20). Come to Christ now, repent of your sins and be washed of your guilt. Start by being responsible for yourself.
©Lorraine Goodwin 12/10/2018 (Inspired through the Holy Spirit)
God’s Sovereign Choice
The passage, Roman 9:11 in Scripture, is talking about the integrity of God. Paul is addressing this to converted Jews that he was teaching to at the time. You see, the Jews thought they were being replaced – that God had forsaken them and that they would not be His first “chosen ones” any longer. But Paul is saying, “No! This is not true! God has not changed His mind. He does not favor the Gentiles over you because then the Gentiles would come to believe that God is going to be unfaithful to them at any given time.” God’s word is based on the deep foundation of His promises of faithfulness given by His sovereign grace (Romans 8). God does not break His word. Now, we know that God knows all things, so who are we to question His authority in His decisions? When it comes to God’s election, yes, we can be a part of it, but some will not be saved. God foreknew this when He elected Israel as His chosen people. Look what happened out in the wilderness to the Israelites and how many actually were “elected” and saved?
God calls on specific people to do specific tasks, all for His glory. God anointed Cyrus (Isaiah 45:1) but yet he was not saved. He also chose Jacob over Esau, “in order for God’s purpose in election might stand” (vs.11). God did not predestine sin. God knew all were sinners. But, God graphed in the Gentiles with the Jews so that all could be united with Christ. Paul is giving warning to the Gentile Christians that if God could break off those Jews who disobeyed Him then God too could do the same to the Gentiles. Bottom line, it all comes down to the attitude and the behavior towards God in all of this. Who are they to question who God chooses or what He does in His “election?”
Jesus Christ is the testing stone for the Jew and the Gentile.” This is all God’s work, God’s business, His plan and His will.
The last phrase in Romans 9 clearly states, “whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame!” This means that Christians are to truly believe in the son of God, Jesus Christ, by faith and obey the commandments that are written in the gospel. But, Paul will point out in the next chapter (10:16) “… not all obeyed the gospel.”
©?Lorraine Goodwin 12/4/2018 (Inspired through the Holy Spirit)
Heavenly Father I am forever grateful for Your grace.
Thank you Jesus for taking my place.
Blessed be Your name who’s light shines down on me.
I am here my Lord; I live to serve You.
Lead me, teach me and give me direction so that I may be used as Your instrument.
Lift me high with Eagle’s wings; I want to soar above my adversity. Set me free, Lord, I want to fly. Amen
Rejoice And Give Thanks
“Now when Daniel learned that the document had been signed, he went into his house, where the windows of his upper room opened toward Jerusalem, and three times a day he got down on his knees, prayed, and gave thanks to his God, just as he had done before” (Daniel 6:10)
When Daniel learned that he could not pray for 30 days, he did not follow the king’s decree. Instead, he went into his house, went straight up to his upper room where the windows were facing, as far as he could see, toward Jerusalem and began to pray on his knees, giving thanks to God. He did this three times a day.
In the scriptures, we are commanded to, “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).
No matter what our circumstances are, whether good or bad, we should always rejoice and give thanks so we can experience God’s grace (favor) and be conscious (glad) for His grace. But we also need to be aware of which direction we are moving in. Are you focusing on the negative or the positive of who God is and what He has done for you? As Christians, we are all going to be put through trials, some very painful, but we need not wallow in them either. “Do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope” (1 Thessalonians 4:13). But instead, lean into Jesus who gives us our strength. “He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak (Isaiah 40:29). When you lean into the Lord, you can rejoice in Him always, in spite of your circumstance. Remember God created you, He knows what is best for you. Why would you NOT want to rejoice and thank Him? Daniel was faithful, dedicated and sincere in his prayers to God. He was humble with a thankful heart. He took the time every day and leaned in to God without making up any excuses of why He couldn’t pray even when it went against the decree of the king. Daniel turned his eyes to the Lord and never lost his focus. We all need to follow Daniel’s lead because, “This is good, and pleases God our Savior” (1 Timothy 2:3).
©Lorraine Goodwin 11/25/2018 (Inspired through the Holy Spirit)
I will praise Your name on high for You are great and worthy my God.
I give You all my heart-felt thanks for all that you are doing and have done in my life.
Even when I have fallen, You, my LORD, have been there to pick me up and put me back on the straight path of righteousness.
My eyes are set on You; my heart is filled with joy when I speak of Your name.
I will sing of blessings to You, my LORD, all glory to the King who sits on His throne!
Your love is never ending. You, God, are filled with compassion and grace. I love you so much Abba Father for loving me and protecting me; always there for me.
You have never left my side and I thank you. Amen
©Lorraine Goodwin 11/25/2018
The Parallel’s Of The Fridays
There is an interesting parallel between Good Friday and Black Friday. They are both represented by a relentless and ruthless suffering that results in savings. The lesson learned would be like that of the shrewd business manager in Luke 16:1 -15. Jesus teaches us through this parable to be like this shrewd business man in our thinking about what we are willing to give up today to secure an eternal reward.
Both Good Friday and Black Friday are about surrendering to gain, to secure savings. Some people will camp outside stores all night long to hold their place just to be the first one in line for the Friday’s savings. Jesus spent all of Thursday night praying in Gethsemane, sleep deprived, while watching and waiting as the disciples slept.
People will often be pushed and shoved and called bad names as they try to make their way through the store on Black Friday with long lines ahead of them. Jesus also suffered being pushed and shoved and called bad names as he took a severe beating that left him barely able to walk. Jesus was also forced to carry His own cross and harassed by the crowds on the streets of Jerusalem.
Those who do make it to the check-out counter are rewarded with great prices and special gifts for those they love. Jesus Christ paid the ultimate price, His very life, to secure the greatest gift that would ever be given, eternal life. Taking Jesus’ command to be like the shrewd businessman and applying it to the headstrong shopper, we are to be just as determined in our desire to give the best gifts to those we love.
So I am asking you, where is your heart during this season? Are you sacrificing and persisting against all odds to do whatever it takes to make sure that you get your loved ones to that point of decision making? Are you pushing ahead in a loving, encouraging and most of all, speaking truth until you leave knowing that those you love received the greatest, most expensive gift that life can afford, Eternal Life in Christ?
The Gospel begins with the birth of Jesus and ends with the resurrection, Christ, our Lord and Savior. Jesus is “The GIFT” and we must receive Him to benefit from His saving power. Zacchaeus assures us that Jesus is worth standing in line to hear; He is worth fighting the crowds and doing whatever it takes to see (Luke 19:1-10).
“And this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you sent” (John 17:3). Are you going to be known as the best Black Friday shopper or are you going to be remembered as being the most determined messenger of the Gospel? Black Friday is not about the earthly gift’s purchased but those who believe into Christ; who were purchased by His blood on Good Friday, that is what brings you eternal savings.
“For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul?” (Matthew 16:26)
©Lorraine Goodwin 11/21/2018 (Inspired through the Holy Spirit)
“Fear not” or “don’t be afraid” of this or that fear is frequently repeated in Scripture, commanded by God. There is a discrepancy of how many times “fear not” is written in the Bible? But does “x” amount of times really matter? What really matters is that God definitely said it once and we should really listen to Him. Right? Because the first “negative” emotion recorded in the Bible is fear, a result from the Fall. When Adam and Eve sinned and God sought them out in the garden, calling to the man, “Where are you?”, Adam answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid” (Genesis 3:10).
Some of us have the fear of heights, the fear of flying, the fear of speaking in public places, the fear of spiders, the fear of thunder and lightning, the fear of the dark, the fear of being alone, the fear of poverty, the fear of cancer or some other debilitating disease. Some of us fear death. Some of us experience the fear of anxiety and worry or even depression at times. The list goes on and on. During these times we may feel like God has forgotten us, like he has left us to fend for ourselves, like he has abandoned us. The presence of our fears and our phobias is usually the greatest persuasion of God’s absence, but remember that various times in Bible times, God was there even in the midst of war, famine, flood, and even storms. God is with us always and promises to never leave us nor forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:6).
The best way to always remind ourselves of this is to remind ourselves of what God’s Word promises us when it comes to Him always being present in our lives. “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous hand” (Isaiah 41:10). And now in the face of our fears, the Lord says, “Everyone who is called by My name, whom I have created for My glory; I have formed him, yes, I have made him (Isaiah 43:7). God is not going to abandon us, even in our sin. He has given us His promise in His son-our Savior, Jesus Christ; our redeemer. We do not need to be afraid anymore because God picked us. He has “called us by our name” (Isaiah 43:1). We, Christians, are on a journey home. Our journey has many potholes, detours and side tracks that slow our progress and threaten to stop us in our tracks. We need God; we need His promises of salvation. God says, “Fear not for I am with you” (Isaiah 41:10). Do you think you could keep on going if you knew without a doubt that God was with you?
Do you have times when God seems far away? Are you sometimes afraid that maybe He has abandoned you? That God has left you to struggle all alone? Then ask yourself these two questions: “Has God redeemed me? And has He called me by my name?” If you have heard Him call your name and if you have accepted His redemption, then fear not, God is with you. He is with you always, even to the very end of the age (Matthew 28:20).
©Lorraine Goodwin 11/18/2018 (Inspired through the Holy Spirit)
Spiritual Throwback Thursday
The derogatory meaning for the word “throwback” is a person considered to be primitive, uncivilized and mentally deficient. When we look at old photographs of ourselves, they can bring back good memories of a time gone by, but they are also reminders that we aren’t who you used to be. Times change and we all change with it. It’s a slow process that is gradual that we hardly notice. But have you ever really stopped to reflect on how much you have changed and how far you have come in your spiritual growth with the Lord? Spiritual growth is a work-in-progress. It doesn’t come through human effort, self-condemnation or the white-knuckling works of the flesh. It comes as a result of spending time in prayer and having your mind renewed daily by His Word. As you agree with God, believing what He says is true, change automatically happens. You start to think differently, talk differently, and act differently. I believe that it is also a good practice to do a Spiritual Throwback Thursday. It is important to look back and see all the great things God has done for you and to see what He has brought you through. Times of reflection help you to remember where you once were. They help you to relive the pain and hopelessness of the moment just before God came through. They help build your faith so that you can face even harder times in the future. God is faithful. What He has done in the past, He will do today and in the future. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation” (2 Corinthians 5:17-19). Our lives are no longer worldly; they are now spiritual. Our “death” is that of the old sin nature which was nailed to the cross with Christ. It was buried with Him, and just as He was raised up by the Father, so are we raised up to “walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:4). The “old” refers to everything that is part of our old nature—natural pride, love of sin, reliance on works, and our former opinions, habits and passions. Most significantly, what we loved has passed away, especially the supreme love of self and with it self-righteousness, self-promotion, and self-justification. The new creature looks outwardly toward Christ instead of inwardly toward self. The old things died, nailed to the cross with our sin nature. Will we still sin? Yes of course we will but we will not continue to live in our sin. Day by day, we will sin less frequently and hate it more each time that we fail as we mature. Our new self hates the sin that still has a hold on us. The difference is that the new creation is no longer a slave to sin, as we formerly were. We are now freed from sin and it no longer has power over us (Romans 6:6-7). Spiritual Throwback Thursday will help you to remember the faithful love of the Lord. Let’s take time today to reflect on how far we have come by humbling ourselves, giving thanks and praising God in all that He has done in our lives. Spiritual growth must be your priority; otherwise it won’t happen! ©Lorraine Goodwin 11/15/2018 (Inspired through the Holy Spirit)
God Is Good
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance” (James 1:2-3).
Trials are a part of our lives. God puts us into trials to test how strong our faith is. As human beings, we may be knocked down at times but never knocked out in God’s love for us. Always remember that when our strength ends, God’s strength begins. He will not, “leave us nor forsake us” (Deuteronomy 31:8). So let’s shout to the world that, “I CAN DO ALL THINGS THROUGH CHRIST THAT STRENGTHENS ME” (Philippians 4:13). “But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:57). Your story is the key that can unlock someone else’s prison. Only God can turn a mess into a message, a test into a testimony, a trial into a triumph, a victim into a victory. God is good…all the time!
Dealing With A Brutish Person In The Church
“For it is time for judgment to begin with God’s household; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God? (1 Peter 4:17).
The church body needs to stand together and support what is right and true, as well as protecting the “fragrance” of our testimony by addressing the behavior of bullying in the church. We are called to mercy and truth. These individuals that sow such damage can only continue if there are ears and hearts around them that tolerate this kind of behavior.
Proverbs 12:1, “Whoso loveth instruction loveth knowledge: but he that hateth reproof is brutish.” Someone who is brutish is uncivilized in some way. The word brutish means “like a brute,” and a brute is an extremely violent or wild person or animal. A brutish person might, for example, knock a table over when he’s angry or slap another person without a thought. The Hebrew and Greek words translated “brute” or “brutish” means “stupid, foolish, and irrational, as cattle.” We can derive from this that those who bully are acting as cattle or other beasts incapable of rational thought. It is, unfortunately, not uncommon to see this type of repugnant behavior in fallen man, even in the church, in both males and females throughout all life stages.
The basic goal is to have a healthy church. The Lord’s children should never drop their guard, exposure carries no threat to the godly. “I will call attention to what he is doing,..” (3 John 10). This has always been God’s plan, to tell the church, expose the brute, and expect God’s people to do the right thing. It is biblical to address conflict. In Matthew 18:15-17, “If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over. But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses. If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector.” We as the body of Christ need to start paying attention to what is going on in the church. We need to start standing firm in the truth, speaking up for the weak and calling out the offender and praying to God so that we can make the right decision on disciplinary action. In Jesus’ first miracle, He turned water to wine but ever since Christianity has been turning wine back to water (Stephen Brown). If Christians are to ever get over their fear and build up their faith stronger, they will be dangerous. Don’t be afraid, “Be strong and courageous (Deuteronomy 31:6). “Speak up and judge fairly” (Proverbs 31:9).
©Lorraine Goodwin 11/9/2018 (Inspired through the Holy Spirit)
Glory glory in Heaven above, for the angels sing sweet melodies of love. Their voices all in perfect harmony, as they give praise to the Almighty. All of Heaven is alive, the atmosphere in pure delight. “Praise be to the king who sits on His throne, worthy worthy is He!” They all shout for joy, for He is worthy indeed. Give thanks to the Lord this day and evermore, for your days are short-lived on this earth. Eternity is for forever. Let us all rejoice in the presence of our Savoir. Amen
Fortified Wall Of Bronze
“I will make you a wall to this people, a fortified wall of bronze; they will fight against you but will not overcome you, for I am with you to rescue and save you” (Jeremiah 15:20).
Too many believers in the church today are diluted by worldliness. We need believers who are truly “walls of bronze,” Christians who can withstand the flaming arrows of the evil one. We need believers who are not “tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming” (Ephesians 4:14). We need believers who are not afraid to stand strong on the truth of the gospel, preaching and teaching, as Paul did, “the whole counsel of God” (Acts 20:27). We need to move forward in maturity as Christians. In Isaiah 55:11, “the promise that I make does not return to me, having accomplished nothing.” We need His word, the pure word, without substitutions.
God is still with us, “He will never leave us nor forsake us” (Deuteronomy 31:6). Believers who love and fully appreciate the doctrine of grace possess the doctrine of grace. They are sustained through their storms because they are sanctified in Christ, being spiritually fortified in a hostile world around them. They will only hate sin as much as they love Christ. He has promised us; “I will strengthen you and help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” (Isaiah 41:10). We need to always keep our eyes on the Lord, standing firm and not being moved. We will not be blown over!
©Lorraine Goodwin 11/8/2018 (Inspired through the Holy Spirit)
Engraved In The Palms Of His Hands
Isaiah 49:16 “Behold, I have indelibly imprinted (tattooed a picture of) you on the palm of each of My hands; [O Zion] your walls are continually before Me.” (AMPC)
Isaiah 49:16 “Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me.” (KJV)
The word indelibly means making marks that cannot be removed, erased, or washed away, blotted out, cancelled or forgotten. The word graven means to cut or engrave. The Jewish people in ancient days would mark their hands or puncture their skin to remember, as a sign, or a representation of the city or temple, to show their zeal and affection for it. Some others would use objects on their fingers or wrists to remember as well. Architects draft or model a building, outlining the size, the form, and the proportions before they commence building it.
God had outlined (drawn) Jerusalem on His hands long before it was founded and has had His eyes constantly on it since then. God laid out His plan long before it was built and because it was so dear to Him that He engraved it on His hand. The walls represent God constantly looking upon them, never forgetting them. He has constant and holy regard for His people and in the midst of all their disasters and trials, God still remembers them.
Today, not our names, but our very selves are engraved on His hands. God loves us, cares for us, and will never forget us. Although Jesus’ hands were scarred by the nails of the cross, He has promised us that He will never let go of His loved ones. All who believe in Him, as their Lord and Savior, are safe and secure in the palms of His hands.
As Jesus promised, “I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand.” (John 10:28-29 NIV)
©Lorraine Goodwin 11/2/2018 (Inspired through the Holy Spirit)
All glory and honor to you Father God! I will praise you with all my heart as I worship you today. I come to you and humbly ask for my daily bread. I ask that you forgive me of my sins. I forgive those who have trespassed against me Lord. Protect me from the enemy and use them to glorify Your kingdom, blessing others. Pour out Your living water, and fill me with the Holy Spirit so I can freely give to others what You have given to me. I thank you My father for all that You do in my life. In Jesus’ name I pray this. Amen
©Lorraine Goodwin 11/3/2018
A Message From The Lord
God has placed this on my heart to share His message. Please be encouraged and allow the Holy Spirit to guide you. Please share this with others so it may help someone today. All of us have been placed on this earth as tenants in God’s vineyard. You have been placed in this vineyard as a tenant and yet you don’t want to acknowledge the owner of the vineyard. You, yourself, want to be the owner. You don’t want to pay your rent. You want the total control and to be the boss. Look at Adam and Eve. They wanted to be God. And yet, we today are doing the same thing ever since. Or look at the people of Israel, who were led into Egypt into exile because they kept turning away from God to worship idols. Or look at the Kings of Israel and all their failures. Or look at the Church, with it’s different denominations and church doctrines. All because people didn’t want to follow Jesus. We are thieves trying to take the ultimate gift that was given to us by our Creator. People, surrender your seat of dominion in the vineyard and start following God’s direction, believing in Christ.