Mine Own Vineyard Have I Not Kept

You must take care of yourself to take care of others. Don’t be a casualty of your desire to help people. Heed this powerful reminder.

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Song of Solomon 1:6   “Look not upon me, because I am black, Because the sun hath looked upon me: My mother’s children were angry with me; They made me the keeper of the vineyards; But mine own vineyard have I not kept.”

This verse speaks of a woman who was a servant. She had responsibility and worked hard. Her skin was darkened from long days in the sun. She helped others to the detriment of her own responsibilities, yet people were still unhappy with her. Sound familiar? This scenario has played out many times over throughout history.

You must take care of yourself to help other people!

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New Year – New You: What you Need to Know

The Divine Power to Change

A New year is a perfect time to reevaluate your life and make important changes. What if you had the power to make lasting personal changes that would benefit you and your family for generations? It is easier than you think!

New Year - New You: You Can Change

There are things that need to change in your life. You know it. I know it. There are things that need to change in my life too. One of the constants of human experience is the need to grow; to improve; to better oneself.

The age old question is “Can people change?” There are those who state emphatically that people cannot change. Their experiences in life have painfully proven it time and time again. The truth is people don’t change on their own. We tend to rise or fall to the level of our character and morality. But notice the important phrase “on their own”.

People don’t change, but God changes people. Yes, God can change people! (more…)

5 ways to Respond Appropriately to God’s blessings

Rendering Proper Praise

Our God is kind and generous! He blesses us with numerous benefits. How do you respond to these blessings? Your response matters to the Lord. Let’s see what God teaches us about King Hezekiah.

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2 Chronicles 32:24–26
“In those days Hezekiah was sick to the death, and prayed unto the LORD: and he spake unto him, and he gave him a sign. But Hezekiah rendered not again according to the benefit done unto him; for his heart was lifted up: therefore there was wrath upon him, and upon Judah and Jerusalem. Notwithstanding Hezekiah humbled himself for the pride of his heart, both he and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that the wrath of the LORD came not upon them in the days of Hezekiah.”

Hezekiah was a good king. He brought revival to Israel and led the people to follow Jehovah again. The Lord blessed his obedience greatly. God won the impossible victory against the large Assyrian army and vicious king Sennacherib through the prayers of Isaiah and Hezekiah. 2 Chronicles 32:20-22 Furthermore, the Lord magnified Hezekiah in the sight of the people, protected him from his enemies and enriched him financially. Truly, we serve a generous and compassionate God! (more…)

5 Ways to Put God First

You have something that takes priority in your life. We all do. It changes our schedules, captures our passions and causes sacrifices. We defend it. We fight for it. We claim it. What comes first in your life?  For the Christian, God should come first. He should capture our passions. His worship should change our schedules. His work should cause us to sacrifice. We should defend Him and proclaim Him!

5 Ways to Put God First

Sadly, for most Christians God has a small place in their lives. He is low on the priority scale. They feel as though they do God a favor by going to church an hour a week. Others may attend church regularly, but act very differently outside of church. Even those that are faithful to church rarely tithe 10% of their income or read their Bibles daily. Work, recreation, and rest often come before God. This should not be.

Matthew 6:33  “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”

God should be first in your life. If you seek God first, He will take care of all the other areas of your life. The first priority of a child of God should be to spend every day making sure God is preeminent in life. This is not easy. The world, the flesh and the devil will conspire together to keep God low on your list of priorities. You must fight for Him.

Let me be clear. The Bible doesn’t mean you should SAY that God is first in your life. It means to LIVE with God first. You are seeking His Kingdom and putting Him first by your decisions and deeds. Lip service only deceives self. Your love for God is proven by your actions. I John 2:3

How do we put God first? What does that life look like?

Give God the First Hour of the Day.

Psalm 63:1  “O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: My soul thirsteth for thee, My flesh longeth for thee In a dry and thirsty land, where no water is;”

Mark 1:35–37  “And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed. And Simon and they that were with him followed after him. And when they had found him, they said unto him, All men seek for thee.”

Spending time alone with God in prayer, Bible reading, and meditation is essential. During this time you center your mind, heart and soul around God. Your inward man is renewed and grace is given for the day ahead. (more…)