Scriptures to Live by: Repentance

“Repent is to turn from sin and resolve to reform one’s life, while repentance is a reciprocal action or effect.”

When I was 15 years of age, I attended a Pentecostal church and our transportation to and from the church each Sunday was a large school bus owned by the church. I enjoyed attending both Sunday School and the morning services. Eventually, I began attending Sunday evening services, which included a teen meeting prior to the worship service. It was there that I learned how important it was for me to turn my life over to God and repent from my sin. It has been over 50 years, and I am still serving a wonderful living Savior.

There are numerous scriptures that explain why it is necessary and why it is important for those who do not know Christ to repent and turn their lives over to God and to begin trusting Him for the strength necessary to serve Him every day.

Matthew 4:17: “Repent for the Kingdom of heaven is near.”

Luke 5:31-32: “Jesus answered them, ‘It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.'”

Acts 3:18-19: “But this is how God fulfilled what he had foretold through all the prophets, saying that his Christ would suffer. Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord.”

Acts 5:31: “God exalted him to his own right hand as Prince and Savior that he might give repentance and forgiveness of sins to Israel.”

II Corinthians 7:9-10: “…yet now I am happy not because you were made sorry, but because your sorrow led you to repentance. For you became sorrowful as God intended and so were not harmed in any way by us.”

Revelation 3:3: “Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard, obey it, and repent. But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you.”

In Revelation 3:3, we are reminded that Christ will come back like a thief in the night and for those who have not repented and “turned from their wicked ways,” they will be left behind. May He find us ready.


Scriptures to Live By: Obedience

John 14:15: “If you love me, you will obey what I command.” (NIV)

According to a devotional by Pastor Rick Warren, obedience is: Love + Trust + Action. Obedience comes from knowing that God loves you, and you love Him in return. Throughout my 50+ years as a Christian, there have been many instances where I have seen God’s hand intervene with family members and even in personal situations in my own life because I was faithful and obedient to God’s direction in my life, including marrying my husband of 45+ years and praying for and obeying God’s direction for our lives together in ministry.

Obedience calls not only for love, trust, and action, but a change in our hearts and attitudes. We obey God for several reasons:

We believe that God answers our prayers.
We feel the Lord’s presence.
We gain wisdom.
We have an open communication with God.
We are blessed beyond measure.
We have a peace that “passes all understanding.”
We will enjoy a long life.

The scripture is filled with verses that pertain to our obedience to God:

Ephesians 6:1-3: “Children obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honor your father and mother–which is the first commandment with a promise–that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.”

II John 1:6: “And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love.”

Luke 11:28: “Blessed rather are those who hear the Word of God and obey it.”

Romans 5:19: “For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.”

Let us continue to live our lives in obedience to our loving Lord every day.


Scriptures to Live By: Trust

“Trust is a firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something.” Who do you put your trust in?

When I was growing up in a “dysfunctional” family, I quickly learned that trust in my family was underwhelming. My father was an alcoholic who had little or no trust in himself or in others. That lack of trust made its way into our hearts as children. However, after I became a Christian at the age of 15, the Lord helped me begin to trust in His ability to resolve or change the dynamics within my own family. It took quite a long time to realize these changes, but I trusted in my Lord to do so. In the end, that trust changed me–my heart, my attitude, my life.

Scripture shows us that we are to trust in God for every situation that happens in our lives because “He works out all things for our good.” He is the strength of our lives.

Psalm 18:1-2: “I love you, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I call to the Lord, who is worthy of praise, and I am saved from my enemies.”

Psalm 91:2: “I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.'”

Psalm 25:1-2: “To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul; in you I trust, O my God; Do not let me be put to shame, nor let my enemies triumph over me.”

Psalm 37:5: “Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this.”

Isaiah 26:3: “You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you.”

Proverbs 3:5-6: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.”

Psalm 118:8: “It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man. It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in princes.”

We trust God for our salvation, but do we really trust God with our every day lives?

May the Lord help us to trust Him more and more each day as we look to Him–the author and finisher of our faith.


Let Freedom Ring: July 4 (1776), 2014

This week as we celebrate our freedom as a people and one nation under God, let us remember the words that have been passed down from history as a reminder of our inalienable rights and the pursuit of happiness in this great nation of ours.

Inalienable Rights: “We hold these truths to be self-evident; that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” Thomas Jefferson, The Declaration of Independence.

History: “Fellow citizens, we cannot escape history.” Abraham Lincoln

Liberty: “A day, an hour, of virtuous liberty Is worth a whole eternity in bondage.” Joseph Addison, from Cato, Act II, Scene 1

Hope To All: “Without the Constitution and the Union, we could not have attained the result; but even these are not the primary cause of our great prosperity. There is something back of these, entwining itself more closely about the human heart. That something is the principle of ‘Liberty to all,’ the principle that clears the path for all–gives hope to all–and, by consequence, enterprise and industry to all.” Abraham Lincoln

One Nation: “One flag, one land, one heart, one hand, One nation evermore!” Oliver Wendell Holmes, from “Voyage of the Good Ship Union”

United: “A song for our banner! The watchword recall, Which gave the Republic her station: ‘United we stand, divided we fall!’ It makes and preserves us a nation!” George Pope Morris, from “The Flag of Our Union

Think Anew: The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew, and act anew. We must disenthrall ourselves, and then we shall save our country.” Abraham Lincoln

Diversity: “If we cannot end now our differences, at least we can help make the world safe for diversity.” John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Courage: “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself–nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror.” Franklin Delano Roosevelt

Determination: “America was not built on fear. America was built on courage, on imagination, and an unbeatable determination to do the job at hand.” Harry Truman

Principle: “Americanism is a question of principle, of purpose, of idealism, of character; it is not a matter of birthplace or creed or line of descent.” Theodore Roosevelt

Vigilant, Active, Brave: “We are not weak, if we make proper use of those means which the God of nature hath placed in our power…The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, and brave.” Patrick Henry

Duty Bound: “The strength of the Constitution lies entirely in the determination of each citizen to defend it. Only if every single citizen feels duty bound to do his share in this defense are the constitutional rights secure.” Albert Einstein

“Let There Be Peace On Earth”, written by Sy Miller and Jill Jackson, serves as a constant reminder to us all that “peace on earth” should begin within the hearts of each one of us.

“Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me. Let there be peace on earth, the peace that was meant to be. With God as our Father, brother all are we, Let me walk with my brother in perfect harmony.

Let peace begin with me, let this be the moment now. With every step I take, let this be my solemn vow: To take each moment and live each moment in peace eternally. Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me.”

May God be our guide as we live in peace and harmony with our brothers and sisters and God Bless America!