Category Archives: GreenePastures.org

Hannah: A Biblical Character of Worship

Hannah’s Dedication

In Chapters 1 and 2 of 1 Samuel, a touching story expresses Hannah’s complete dedication toward God. Elkanah was the husband of two women—Peninnah and Hannah. Peninnah had children, but Hannah was barren. Every year when the two women accompanied their husbands to the temple to worship and sacrifice, Hannah would weep because Peninnah would provoke her due to her having no children. Being oppressed in spirit one year, Hannah prayed and wept bitterly and made a vow that if the Lord gave her a son, she would let Him have the child for service. The priest Eli heard her prayer. He mocked her and accused her of being intoxicated. However, when he saw that she was afflicted and not drunk, he said, “Go in peace; and may the God of Israel grant your petition that you have asked of Him” (1 Sam. 1:17). In due time, Hannah conceived and gave birth to a son which she and Elkanah named Samuel. Hannah said, “For this boy, I prayed, and the LORD has given me my petition which I asked of Him. So I have also dedicated him to the LORD; as long as he lives, he is dedicated to the LORD” (1 Sam. 1:27-28). After weaning him, they brought the boy to Eli to serve in the house of the Lord.

Hannah’s Distress

In this Bible story, we see that Hannah was distressed. She prayed, cried out to the LORD, made a vow, listened to what Eli told her, trusted God, conceived, had a son, and remembered her vow to give her first child to the Lord for service by bringing him to Eli. Hannah started by worshiping the LORD in the temple, but we see it more profoundly after she dedicated Samuel to serve.

In her beautiful Song of Thanksgiving and Worship, we read:

My heart exults in the LORD,

My horn is exalted in the LORD,

My mouth speaks boldly against my enemies,

Because I rejoice in Thy salvation.

There is no one holy like the LORD,

Indeed, there is no one besides Thee,

Nor is there any rock like our God (1 Sam. 2:1-2).

Hannah’s Worship

Because worship is unique to every individual, Hannah’s worship experience was not like Abraham, Jacob, Isaiah, or Mary of Bethany. However, we see Hannah using elements from each of them in her worship of the LORD, as stated in Real Worship: Playground, Battleground, or Holy Ground by Warren Wiersbe. For example, she conversed with God (like Abraham), she made a vow (like Jacob), she heard Eli speak (like Isaiah listened to the angels), and she gave her best to the LORD—Samuel (like Mary of Bethany gave perfume). ¹ Furthermore, she trusted in the promise of God when Eli said. “Go in peace, and may the God of Israel grant your petition that you have asked of Him” (1 Sam. 1:17).

There are multiple reasons we know she worshiped God. First, she approached the LORD with an honest and sincere heart. Second, she had a focused purpose in communicating her desire to God. Third, she waited for God with a humble attitude; we see that by Hannah’s initial deep cries in the house of God that worship filled her heart even before her prayer of thanksgiving.  Fourth, Hannah centered her life on God and His power by pouring her entire being to the LORD. Hannah’s ultimate blessing included her transformation from a barren woman to a child-bearing mother. After she conceived and weaned Samuel, her worship prayer included:

-An exalted heart,

-A mouth speaking boldly against enemies,

-A rejoicing in her salvation, and

-An acknowledgment that there is no one besides God.

Our Experiences

In today’s context, Christians can worship as Hannah did. Many times, when people experience trauma and distress, they give up on the LORD. They are not patient enough to wait on Him to work. Being impatient can diminish confidence in the Holy Spirit leading one’s life. However, every believer who yearns to empty himself of sin and live for Christ can worship like Hannah. We must continually train our church congregants to know what to do at all stages of their lives. We might not be going to the temple to worship, but we can go to church. We might not be experiencing barrenness, but we are experiencing something. We might not get our prayers answered as Hannah did, but we can trust that God knows the big picture of our lives, and He knows what He is doing.

Prayer:

O, dear heavenly Father, may my life seek Your will. May I feel at home with You enough to share both my distress and hearts’ desires? I seek Your wisdom. I give my life to You. Let me do all that is honorable in Your sight now and for the rest of my life. In Your name—the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Bible Verses:

No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth (Matthew 6:24)

Come, let us worship and bow down, let us kneel before the LORD our Maker (Psalm 95:6)

For from Him, and through Him, and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen (Romans 11:36).

God Bless,

greenenpastures.org

Edited by E. Johnson

¹Wiersbe, Warren. Real Worship: Playground, Battleground, or Holy Ground? 2nd ed. Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 2004. p. 82.

Bible verses come from The New American Standard Bible.

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Books by Patti Greene

  • Awaken Me – Devotional Workbook
  • Anchor Me – Devotional Workbook
  • Answer Me – Devotional Workbook
  • Christian Caregiving

Click here: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=patti+greene&ref=nb_sb_noss

GUEST BLOG by Heroes II: What Makes Bible Characters Better Than Superheroes?

Most of us, especially children and youth, are fond of fictional superheroes like Superman and Batman.

We often watch them, collect toys and souvenirs, and even imitate their signature moves. Do you remember putting on an improvised cape to pretend like flying? Have you attempted to jump from a rooftop? Dangerous, right? Those were the days!

Let’s admit it! Superheroes are fascinating to follow. It is not only because of their powers but because of the inspiration they give us. We can relate to them because they experience the same struggles we do.

The most exciting part, perhaps, is whenever they overcome a tragedy.

Before going any further, let us define a “superhero.” A superhero is an imaginary character possessing superhuman power.

But do you know that the Bible also has heroes? It defines a hero as someone who lived his life in faith and helped his neighbors.

The Most Famous Fictional Superheroes of All Time

Superman the Greatest

Superman is the superhero we consider the strongest. His name implies it.

We identify him with the red, blue, and yellow costumes. His height is 6 feet and 3 inches, while his weight is 225 pounds. His hair is black with a natural curl, and his eyes are blue. He has a rugged body-build and a square jaw, giving him a noble physique.

He has a gentle, kind, and selfless personality. He knows what is right and wrong. Thus, he can act decisively during a crisis. In addition, he can maintain friendships and acquaintances.

Finally, he has superhuman powers that make him invulnerable. He can fly and leap in the air. Having X-ray vision, he sees through walls and other obstructions. It allows him to shoot red beams out of his eye.

Batman the Protector of Gotham

Batman is the superhero in a black and brown costume with the wings of a bat. He claims to be the protector of Gotham City.

His love for his city is probably one of his best qualities. He is intelligent, suspicious, devoted, and determined. He is ready for any challenge. Another good trait is his ability to control emotions and tolerate pain.

He does not have superhuman abilities, but he can do incredible things. He can pick a lock, hack and record mobile frequencies, understand multiple languages, and much more.

Spider-man the Superhuman

Spider-man is the character who does whatever a spider can. He shares almost the same uniform colors as Superman’s uniform.

He is caring, kind, loyal, brave, and intelligent. He uses more of his left brain in assessing situations. However, he has a personality disorder–neuroticism. He is anxious, fearful, jealous, envious, lonely, and frustrated.

Despite those weaknesses, he is notable for his superpowers. Like a spider, he can cling to walls. He has a sixth sense which keeps him alert for possible danger. He can also maintain perfect balance and equilibrium.

The Most Famous Bible “Hero” Characters of All Time

Joseph the Dreamer

Joseph was the second youngest son of Jacob and Rachel.

Since he was his father’s favorite, his brothers envied him. They became angry whenever he shared dreams, telling them that he would someday be their king.

As such, they would always trick him until they finally decided to sell him to Egypt. To protect themselves, they made their father believe Joseph died.

Extremely cruel, were they not?

In Egypt, Joseph became a slave. He suffered for something he never deserved. Nevertheless, God blessed his curse.

He earned the favor of the king by interpreting his dream about the coming famine. Eventually, Pharaoh appointed him governor.

When famine came, his brothers went to Egypt to buy food. They did not recognize him until he revealed himself (Genesis 45:4-5). Soon, he met his father and youngest brother. It was a dramatic revelation and reunion.

Indeed, Joseph’s curse turned out to be a blessing. It not only benefited other people but saved his family who his brothers had once disowned him.

What a hero!

Noah the Ark Builder

Noah, son of Lamech, was a righteous man in his generation. God entrusted him a special mission to save and restore the earth from all wickedness. He was to build an ark.

For 120 years, he preached about the coming global flood. He encouraged people to get into the ark, but they laughed at him–thinking he was crazy.

When the flood came, the people realized they were wrong. They wanted to get into the ark, but it was too late. Thus, they died along with other living creatures. Only Noah’s family obeyed and saved themselves.

Though he was not able to save his generation, Noah was a hero to his family. He became God’s instrument to eradicate all sinful beings and start anew.

Jesus our Savior

And, of course, there has been no better hero than Jesus Himself! Can you believe the Creator and God of the universe sacrificed Himself on our behalf?

He fulfilled this plan by living as a human on earth. God guided His earthly parents in preparing Him for the divine mission. By overcoming sin his entire life, He saved the world by dying on the cross of Calvary.

Indeed, Jesus is the ultimate hero in the Bible. His life, death, and resurrection justified us, giving us the chance to obtain salvation if we accept Him.

Reasons Why Bible Heroes Are Better Than Fictional Superheroes

Bible Heroes are Real

Bible heroes truly existed on earth. Superheroes are just fictional—meaning they are made up.

No matter how much we admire and follow them, superheroes can’t do anything outside our television screens.

On the other hand, Bible characters were real humans who did exist just like us. Genesis 2:7 confirms that God created man from the earth and gave life to it. Verse 27 of chapter 1 adds that He made them in His image.

Bible Heroes Did Not Need Superpowers to Carry on a Mission

Superman, Batman, Iron Man, Wonder Woman, and the rest had superpowers. Without such, they could not protect themselves and other people.

Meanwhile, Bible heroes did not have supernatural powers. Faith and prayer were their weapons. “Faith is the assurance of things hoped for…” (Hebrews 11:1).

With God as their source of power, they have performed acts that changed the world beyond human understanding.

The Deeds of Bible Characters Never Exemplified Violence

Fictional superheroes have good motives. Saving people from danger is their mission. However, it involves killing and other forms of violence.

In contrast, Bible characters never had to be cruel to bring about change. They just relied on God’s power and let Him move. They did not have to commit any sin that would ruin their moral character.

1 John 3:9 says that a child of God does not practice sinning because God’s seed abides in him.

Take-home Lesson

There is nothing wrong with admiring fictional characters. But to be fanatic about them is somewhat alarming.

It may sound harsh, but the truth is that there is no sense to idolize fictional characters. Superheroes are just a product of human imagination. They do not give us any value more than entertainment.

And so, Bible heroes are the ones worth following. We learn the best moral lessons from them. We can relate well because they were real beings like us. Above all, they lead us to the ultimate hero of all – Jesus Christ. Amen!

Heroes 2: The Game is a Bible trivia game released by the Hope Channel. It is a sequel to the game Heroes which was released in 2013.

The latest game version features:

  • New 3D animation
  • More challenging Bible Questions
  • Comes in four languages: English, Portuguese, Spanish, and French
  • Heroes 2 is available on  iOS and Android
  • Downloadable at the Apple Store and Google Play

CLICK HERE – Heroes II Bible Trivia Game

Ten Ways to Acknowledge God Honorably and Biblically

Have you ever felt led to pour love and grace upon a person? If so, it is most likely a person that you find great happiness being with. You want to help this person in their pursuits and passions. You protect them and wish them the best. Just as with a boyfriend-girlfriend relationship, you find time to be with them—no matter what!

This is the same reason we should find time to spend with God. We do this because . . .

  • He loves us.
  • He is gracious to us.
  • He is merciful to us.
  • He forgives us, and
  • He sent His own Son Jesus Christ to die for us.

Let’s see what the Bible says about how to acknowledge our heavenly Father honorably and biblically. While these ten ways are not exhaustive, they are an advantageous start to keeping our minds focused on the Lord.

Ten Ways to Acknowledge God Honorably and Biblically

  1. Be obedient. (See Genesis 22:1-14)

Now it came about after these things, that God tested Abraham, and said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” Then He said, “Take now your son, your only son, whom you love, Isaac, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I will tell you.” So, Abraham got up early in the morning and saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him and his son Isaac; and he split wood for the burnt offering, and set out and went to the place of which God had told him. (Gen. 22:1-3)

  1. Offer Him your sacrifices. (See 2 Chronicles 7:1-9)

Now when Solomon had finished praying, fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices, and the glory of the Lord filled the house. (2 Chron. 7:1)

  1. Humble yourself and pray. (See 2 Chronicles 7:12-22)

And My people who are called by My name humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. (2 Chron.7:14)

  1. Marvel at what He has done through His resurrection. (See Luke 24:1-12)

Nevertheless, Peter got up and ran to the tomb; and when he stooped and looked in, he saw the linen wrappings only; and he went away to his home, marveling at what had happened. (Luke 24:12)

  1. Follow His words. (See John 21:1-14)

And He [Jesus] said to them, “Cast the net on the right-hand side of the boat, and you will find the fish.” So, they cast it, and then they were not able to haul it in because of the great quantity of fish. (John 21:6)

  1. Follow Him. (See John 21:15-25)

Now He said this, indicating by what kind of death he would glorify God. And when He had said this, He said to him, “Follow Me!” (John 21:19)

  1. Worship Him. (See Revelation 4:1-8)

And the four living creatures, each one of them having six wings, are full of eyes around and within; and day and night they do not cease to say,

Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God, the Almighty, who was and who is and who is to come.

And when the living creatures give glory, honor, and thanks to Him who sits on the throne, to Him who lives forever and ever, the twenty-four elders will fall down before Him who sits on the throne, and they will worship Him who lives forever and ever, and will cast their crowns before the throne, saying,

Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and because of Your will they existed and were created.

(Rev. 4:8-11)

  1. Bless, honor, and glorify Him. (See Revelation 5:6-14)

Saying with a loud voice,

“Worthy is the Lamb that was slaughtered to receive power, wealth, wisdom, might, honor, glory, and blessing.”

And I heard every created thing which is in heaven, or on the earth, or under the earth, or on the sea, and all the things in them, saying,

“To Him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be the blessing, the honor, the glory, and the dominion forever and ever.” (Rev. 5:12-13)

  1. Give Cheerfully. (See 2 Corinthians 9:6-8)

Each one must do just as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. (2 Cor. 9:7)

  1.  Praise Him. (See Psalm 34:1-10)

I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth. (Ps. 34:1)

When you embark on a lifestyle of poring your love and mercy upon your heavenly Father in an honorable and biblical fashion, you will notice positive changes in your life occurring and so will others! Despite anything you are going through!

And that’s awesome!

Prayer:

Dear Lord, help me to become more honorable to You. Allow me to become more conscientious as I go through my day to appreciate the tenderness You have shown me. I am sorry for when I have failed to recognize Your movement in my life, Let Me become more like You as I practice Your righteousness in my heart and before men.

God Bless.

All Bible verses come from the New American Standard Bible (NASB).

Books by Patti Greene

Awaken Me: Growing Deeper in Bible Study and Prayer (Westbow, 2016 Reprint)

Anchor Me: Laying a Foundation in Bible Study and Prayer (Westbow, 2016 Reprint)

Answer Me: Developing a Heart for Prayer (Westbow, 2016)

Christian Caregiving: Practical Advice for a Happy Ending (Awesome Librarian, 2018)

A Christmas Devotional for You and Your Family!

A Christmas Devotional for You and Your Family!

The devotional below was originally published 17 December 2017 under the title A Christmas Devotional YOU Can Use: For Families

I want to take this opportunity to wish you a Merry Christmas. May this Christmas season be filled with joy, gratitude, and a renewed devotion to Jesus Christ.

I want to thank you for reading, commenting, and sometimes challenging me on the blogs I have written this year. I listen to the Holy Spirit’s leading, as carefully as I can, to write what He is leading me to share with you.

This year I have been slacking a little bit for good reason–my dear mom passed away in August. Between caregiving, illness, and selling a home, I have been rather distracted. Let’s see how next year goes.

Knowing that many of you have lost a loved one this year as I have, I pray you are depending on God’s love and strength to get you through this first season without that special person. Jesus knows and cares about EVERYTHING we are going through. Prayers, my friend. I am empathizing with you.

Remembering Christ during this season is what really matters. Not how many material possessions you get or give – not your success or your perceived future achievements – not even your “spiritual knowledge.” What is important is that you honor Jesus Christ!

If you have not accepted Christ into your life, consider starting the new year with Christ as the supreme head of your life.

God’s purpose for us is salvation. But our problem is that we sin. Graciously though, God has provided a Savior in Jesus Christ who died for our iniquities. Our part is to entrust our lives to Him by confessing our sins and giving Him control.

It is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God–not by works, so that no one can boast (Ephesians 2:8-9)

Changing the subject, I do want to tell you how much I appreciate those who have subscribed to my blog this year and for the shares with your friends and family. Love y’all for that. If you haven’t subscribed, but would like to, see the link below. It is easy. Just type in your email address, receive an email confirmation, and you will start receiving my blogs and snippets as I write and post them.

To subscribe to the Greene Pastures blog, Click here and locate the “SUBSCRIBE TO BLOG VIA EMAIL BLOCK”

I hope you use the devotional below as a tool to bring Christ into your home this Christmas. Adjust it. Rework it. Do whatever will work for your family regarding the length and age of those involved!

Merry Christmas,



Christmas Family Devotional

Patti GreeneGreenePastures.org

And thou shalt call His name Jesus, for He shall save His people from their sins. Matthew 1:21

Preparing for Your Christmas Devotional
– Find a fun Christmas song for the family to listen to.
– Decide on a Christmas song to sing as a family.
– Locate music/instruments as accompaniments.
– Locate a Bible. Family Bibles are fun to use.- Decide on a Devotional Leader.

Prelude
– Play a favorite Christmas song or hymn.
– Open with a prayer thanking God for the Christmas season and the celebration of Jesus’ birth.
– Read Luke 2:1-20 from the Bible
[Children and teens love the opportunity to read the Bible.]

Responsive Reading:
Leader: For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given; and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.

Family: Jesus is the Savior of the World.

Leader: For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Family: Jesus is the Savior of the World.

Leader: I have come that they might have life and that they might have it more abundantly.

Family: Jesus is the Savior of the World.

Leader: Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.

Family: Jesus is the Savior of the World.

Leader: All we like sheep have gone astray, we have turned every one to his own way, and the Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all.

Family: Jesus is the Savior of the World.

Leader: Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if any man hears My voice, and open the door, I will come in to him and will sup with him, and he with Me.

Family: Jesus is the Savior of the World.

Leader: I am the light of the world; he that followeth Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

Family: Jesus is the Savior of the World.

Leader: Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men.

Family: Jesus is the Savior of the World.

Song/Hymn
Sing your chosen Christmas song or hymn with optional instruments. Note: Young children can use any noisemaker; i.e. maracas, children’s instruments, guitars, or cooking pots with wooden spoons!

Sharing Time
Leader: As we celebrate the Christmas season, let’s not lose the true meaning of Christmas. Christmas does not rest in finely-trimmed trees, expensive gifts, or in the hustle and bustle that fills the Christmas season. Christmas is about the coming of Jesus Christ into the world. Through Jesus, all mankind can experience forgiveness and freedom.

Leader: Ask family members if they would like to share what Christmas means to them.

Family Prayer

Leader: Pray and thank God for the coming of Christ. Consider your family joining hands and allow each member of the family an opportunity to pray.

A “Christmas Gift” from Me to You!

Love in Christ,

Patti

P.S. I would LOVE to see pics of you having a Christmas devotional (either using this devotional or any other devotional). Please post it on my Facebook page for me and others to enjoy! The photo above is of our grandchildren from Christmas 2019; this year there will be ONE MORE! A baby boy born in February 2020.

With Christmas coming up, devotional workbooks are great gifts for your parents, children (any age), and friends. By purchasing one of my books, you will be helping me to maintain and upkeep my Christian blog. Love y’all.

Awaken Me: Growing Deeper in Bible Study and Prayer (Westbow, 2016 Reprint)

Anchor Me: Laying a Foundation in Bible Study and Prayer (Westbow, 2016 Reprint)

Answer Me: Developing a Heart for Prayer (Westbow, 2016)

Christian Caregiving: Practical Advice for a Happy Ending (Awesome Librarian, 2018)

Sacred Snippet: Hidden Faults

If you have ever lived any length of time in a house, you know its hidden faults—those flaws that others who enter do not see. It might be the chips on your wooden floor that only you notice. It might be the water stain on the ceiling that no one sees unless they look up, or it could be the light fixture you never turn on because there is something faulty with the electrical outlet.

As a house has hidden “dents and dings”, we as human beings do as well.

We try to conceal them from others. Many times, succeeding.

Unfortunately, sometimes we try to hide these shortcomings, frailties, and weaknesses from God. Be that as it may, that is an impossible endeavor, because the Lord already knows everything about us. He knows our vices, our sins, and our thoughts. Our Heavenly Father even knows our personality and our temperament.

God confirms He knows us in Psalm 139 when He says, He…

  • Formed our inward parts;
  • Wove us in our mother’s womb;
  • Knows our frame;
  • Understands our thoughts;
  • Knows when we sit down and when we rise; and
  • Is acquainted with all our ways.

We may love our house—imperfections and all, but do these spots and blemishes ever end up on a “to do” list for someone to fix? Of course, they do!

God loves us—His children—and we are always on His “to do” list. He sees us and knows what is best for us. Desiring to lead and guide our souls, He disciplines and lovingly guides us knowing how to perfect us to bring more honor and glory to His holy name.

Today, let God have His way and will with you. Allow Him to fix you up so you can be the shining example He desires you to be. Ask Him to show you your imperfections. Then, confess them and claim the victory the Lord Jesus Christ won for you on the cross at Calvary.

“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:14-16 NASB)

GreenePastures.org

COVID-19: Are We There Yet? How Much Longer? [Part 3]

COVID-19: It’s Time to Take God’s Word to Heart [Part 1]

COVID-19: It’s Time to Take God’s Word and Prayer to Heart [Part 2]

Once upon a time, our family lived in St. Louis, Missouri. It was during that time when my husband and I first became acquainted with the phrase, “Are we there yet?” In the summer of 1994, while living in the Midwest, we vacationed in Illinois, Wisconsin, and Michigan. On that vacation, that phrase “Are we there yet?” was a constant with our three children!

Of course, we were “car traveling” before there were iPads, iphones, or videos to keep the kids occupied. I was the mom who checked out baskets of library books for our trip instead! Nothing was more difficult than driving long distances with squirmy kids in the car yelling, “Are we there yet?” It was annoying. Very annoying!

That phrase, along with its partner phrase “How much longer?” is usually asked by ones wanting to know when we will reach a destination or an endpoint—like going from Point A to Point B and wanting to know how much longer until we are there or the “When will it end” mentality.

How Much Longer?

An adult may ask similar questions today—in our current COVID-19 epoch.

  • How much longer will the Coronavirus last?
  • How much longer will we have to social distance?
  • How much longer until I can get my hair dyed again?

“Longer” seemed to be the reoccurring word here, so I looked up a few Bible verses using the word “longer” or words related to “longerto get a Biblical glimpse of the “How much longer” or “Are we there yet” phrases. I am not a Bible scholar, so please use the comment section to correct me if my thoughts or translations are way off base. I speak as a layperson, but I did use Strong’s Concordance!

Bible Verses and Thoughts

And he [Moses] said unto them, I am a hundred and twenty years old this day; I can no more go out and come in: also, the Lord hath said unto me, thou shalt not go over this Jordan. My grace is enough for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. (2 Corinthians 12:9)

Thought: We get weary and wonder how much longer we will go on living like this?

How many are the days of thy servant? when wilt thou execute judgment on them that persecute me? (Psalm 119:84)

Thought: How much longer will we have to serve the Lord? And, am I making the most of my time? Pastor Charles Stanley recently posted, “Jesus wasn’t crucified so we could sit in pews each Sunday and listen to sermons. He has specific tasks for each of us to achieve during our lifetime.” ¹

So that the Lord could no longer bear, because of the evil of your doings, and because of the abominations which ye have committed; therefore, is your land a desolation, and an astonishment, and a curse, without an inhabitant, as at this day. (Jeremiah 44:22)

Thought: God has thoughts about how much longer He will put up with evil.

Bible Verses and Translates

For thus saith the Lord GOD, how much more when I send my four sore judgments upon Jerusalem, the sword, and the famine, and the noisome beast, and the pestilence, to cut off from it man and beast? (Ezekiel 14:21)

Translates: God sometimes is tired of putting up with us.

And sware by him that liveth forever and ever, who created heaven, and the things that therein are, and the earth, and the things that therein are, and the sea, and the things which are therein, that there should be time no longer. Revelation 10:6

Translates: An end is coming.

These verses speak to me. They say, we are weary and are wondering how much longer we will have to put up with the repercussions of the Coronavirus. We question which Christian leaders we should believe in or listen to—not wanting to be swayed by false teachers or doctrines. We speculate whether COVID-19 is a foreshadowing of prophecy because the Lord is tired of our sinfulness. And lastly, we are reminded that there will be an end to our “shelter-in-place” period and are we prepared for it?

Face the “How Much Longer” Seasons of Life with God

One of the hardest things I go through in life has been the “How much longer” seasons:

  • God, how much longer until I will feel whole after my employment let me go?
  • Lord, when will my broken heart be healed?
  • Jesus, how much longer will I ruminate over an unrealistic possibility?

I tend to hang on to thoughts, desires, and concerns way longer than I should. Sometimes I know they are spiritual warfare attacks. Sometimes they occur from living in this secular world. Sometimes they are exacerbated on account of my personality—either the personality the Lord has given me OR maybe the personality traits He is trying to change in me.

As I have grown in my walk with the Lord, I have learned that all these worries need be laid at the feet of Jesus. He is the one that will give us peace and rescue our hearts from the terrible thoughts of “How much longer?”

Have you ever had thoughts so deep that you can’t share them with anyone else?

I have!

We hide them in ourselves. Often, we endure this emotional pain alone—not wanting anyone to think less of us. Sometimes, with me, it is because I don’t want to appear weak to my church family. Yes, I have said it. And, I know I am not alone in occasionally thinking this.

There are some thoughts that should NOT be shared! It is up to us to discern the difference. But remember, before talking to others, it is always best that Christ should be our first source in unburdening ourselves. He will show us if we need to share our concerns with others or not.

With the Coronavirus in full swing, you may be experiencing some of these deep thoughts or burdens right now!

  • How much longer will I be burdened with the kids out of school?
  • My husband is working from home. How much longer Lord?
  • Our family is struggling financially. How much more can I take?
  • How much longer will we be quarantined?

How to Function through the “Are We There Yet” Seasons of Life?

Strive for Contentment

We all desire contentment. As believers, we need to be content with what we have, and we learn contentment through our trials—whether it be a job loss or being thrust into “homeschooling” unwillingly. Erik Raymond in Chasing Contentment says, “Contentment is the inward, gracious quiet spirit that joyfully rests in God’s providence.” ² In Philippians 4:11, the Apostle Paul says, “Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.”

Respond Responsibly and Biblically

We must act responsibly and Biblically. When we abide in Jesus Christ and anticipate Heaven before the state of affairs on Earth, we are better able to honor our Lord and other people. When our lives are surrendered to Christ, learning to be joyful regardless of our situation is the result. I am not saying our situations always dissolve. They usually don’t, but we can enjoy the journey we are on until we take our trip to Heaven. This may include repentance and change on our part. When we pray and call out to our Heavenly Father to align our will with His will, Biblical responsibility may involve encountering what Matthew 7:3 says, “And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?” And, dealing with that takes effort!

Let God’s Word Speak Supernaturally

Did you know that we can’t depend on pastors, teachers, religious magazines, books, and online services to be the only source of our spiritual growth? We must continually read the Word of God. Furthermore, before you read, pray and ask God to speak to you through His Word. Look with anticipation for the Godhead–God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit–to enlighten you.

Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not. (Jeremiah 33:3)

Accept Christ

All the above is dependent on our relationship with Jesus Christ. If you don’t know Jesus as your Savior, you can commit your life to Him right now. You don’t just “say” any old prayer. Our prayer to the Lord should express our sinfulness while asking Jesus to forgive us for our wrongdoings, and place our trust in Him to come into our life as our Savior. Pastor Greg Laurie recently said in his Easter 2020 sermon that, “Some of you might need to change your eternal address from Hell to Heaven.” ³ We do that by accepting Jesus Christ as our Savior. (John 3:16)

Fast Forward to Our Current Situation with COVID-19

Just reading the news headlines is tiresome and tedious right now.

  • How much longer will we be inside—and then what happens?
  • How long will the Coronavirus Outbreak and Shutdown last?
  • Life-or-Death Hospital Decisions Come with Threat of Lawsuits
  • Let’s Have Christian Woodstock! US Pastor Says Despite Anti-Coronavirus Quarantine Orders
  • Personalities that thrive in isolation and what we can all learn from time alone
  • The Digital Divide

God is Sufficient

Dealing with “Are We There Yet?” and “How Much Longer?”, I have personally asked questions like . . .

  • When will [it] ever end?
  • How much longer do I have to endure this until Your answers are made clear?
  • When will You show me why? How about now?

Subsequently, I have learned that when I am weak, He is strong. Our questions may remain unanswered. Thus, we must learn to trust that there are mysteries and secrets God keeps to Himself forever or until the timing is right to share it with us.

By accepting His strength, His sufficiency, and His all-knowing qualities, we can get through these difficult times with graciousness and humility. Yes, we will fail, but we have a God who loves us and accepts our weaknesses. It is the LORD who helps and sustains us.

And he said unto me, My grace is enough for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. (2 Corinthians 12:9)

Conclusion

In Deeper than Tears, Oswald Chambers’ short blurb is good for us to remember as we face this Coronavirus and other situations in our lives.

How many of us get into a panic when we are faced by physical desolation, by death, or war, injustice, poverty, disease? All these in all their force will never turn to panic the one who believes in the absolute sovereignty of his Lord. The thing that preserves a man from panic in his relationship to God: if he is only related to himself and his own courage, there may come a moment when his courage gives out. Don’t be disturbed today with thoughts about tomorrow: leave tomorrow alone, and bank in confidence on God’s organizing of what you do not see. ⁴

Bible Verses: Above

Prayer

My Heavenly Lord, as the world faces times of uncertainty and awe, let my feet remain staid on You! Let me trust You, follow You, and depend on You through this unusual season of life. Let me rest assured knowing that You knew this virus was coming and You know when it will end. Give me Your insights as I wait on You. It isn’t over yet. I don’t know when it will be over. But, thank you for peace as I await Your timing. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

God Bless.

greenenpastures.org

Central Houston Inspirational Writers Alive! Associate Member; BibleGateway Blogger, Member; SBC, Church Member

Edited by E. Johnson.

Works Cited

¹ Stanley, Charles. The Cross The Believer’s Motivation. In Touch Ministries with Charles Stanley.  11 April 2020. [Web]

² Raymond, Erik. Chasing Contentment: Trusting God in a Discontented Age. Wheaton: Crossway, 2017.

³ Laurie, Greg. Easter 2020. 12 April 2020, Greg Laurie Live: Harvest Church. Live Sermon.

⁴ Chambers, Oswald. Deeper Than Tears: Promises of Comfort and Hope. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2007. [Originally published in Run Today’s Run.]

Bible Verses from the King James Version.

Books by Patti Greene 

Christian Caregiving

Christian Caregiving: Practical Advice for a Happy Ending

Devotional Prayer Journals

Answer Me: Developing a Heart for Prayer

Anchor Me: Laying a Foundation in Bible Study and Prayer

Awaken Me: Growing Deeper in Bible Study and Prayer

COVID-19: It’s Time to Take God’s Word and Prayer to Heart [Part 2]

COVID-19 [Part 2]

It was Tuesday, March 24, 2020, in Houston Texas—the last day all the nail and hair salons in our area could operate under the newly imposed state laws due to COVID-19.

To me, it was the last day I could get my hair colored gray to match my gray roots!

One week earlier I took the plunge and had 5-6” of my long hair cut off. My wonderful hairdresser (yes, I am showing my age by calling her that) kept three tufts of my hair to skillfully practice various dye methods to see which shade of gray would be best suited for me. Unfortunately, none of the three gray strands fit the bill–and we both recognized that.

Not knowing when the salons would be given the green light to open again, I left the shop both disappointed and empowered—disappointed I could not obtain my gray hair and empowered because I still had the choice not to go through with a dye job.

Perhaps that is how you feel with COVID-19—disappointed, empowered, or both!

Maybe you must Stay-at-Home or Stay-in-Place. Maybe your children are out of school and you don’t know how to teach them remotely or even worse, you are still having to work leaving your children unattended all day. Maybe you have been furloughed and you don’t know if you will have a job when all this is over. Maybe you had to cancel your cruise. Maybe you can’t find food or toilet paper in the grocery stores. Or maybe you have lost half or more of your life savings in the stock market.

Or on the opposite side of the spectrum, maybe you are grateful for the time to do some Spring cleaning. Maybe you are looking forward to just being home with your family. Maybe you are grateful for the time to read and spend time with the Lord. Or maybe you are thankful your church has an online service you can participate in.

The Word of God and Prayer

We may be disappointed in what is going on, but we can also be empowered because we have the choice in how we respond to the circumstances this virus has foisted on us.

I am choosing to spend this time in the Word of God and prayer.

In last week’s post titled COVID-19: It’s Time to Take God’s Word to Heart, I shared,

The question is, “Why is God allowing this?” Honestly, I don’t know. But I do know that He knew about it and He knew when it [the Coronavirus] would arrive.

Whether the coronavirus is just a medical occurrence or a foreshadowing of what is to come in our world, only our Heavenly Father knows for sure. ¹

And one week later, after reading multiple secular and Christian articles from various viewpoints, I feel the same way.

The Word of God—The Bible—has many purposes in our lives. Click here to read.

But prayer has many purposes in our lives, as well. Prayer . . .

  • Allows for faith, trust, and humility to develop
  • Creates humility and obedience in our lives
  • Builds compassion
  • Unlocks divine resources
  • Allows the Holy Spirit’s presence to guide and help us
  • Equips us to face every situation that comes our way
  • Develops our character
  • Permits us to see situations from God’s perspective
  • Shows us our weaknesses and failings, among other purposes.

Below are some Old Testament Bible verses from the King James Version to help us during this present-day situation.

Read them, pray over them, write them down, memorize them, meditate on them, highlight them in your Bible, or look them up in other Bible versions. But, please take them to heart and let the Holy Spirit of the Living God speak supernaturally to you through prayer.

As in all cases, when a particular verse is shared alone, there is always the possibility it may be misunderstood. I pray that these verses are not in that category. However, if you feel any verse is difficult to understand, out of context, or hard to digest, please take the time to look up the verse and read it in context to completely understand what God is saying to you or to one of his “ancient” servants.

The Pentateuch

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. Genesis 1:1

Thou in thy mercy hast led forth the people which thou hast redeemed: thou hast guided them in thy strength unto thy holy habitation. Exodus 15:13

Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the Lord. Leviticus 19:18

God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good? Numbers 23:19

If thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to keep his commandments and his statutes which are written in this book of the law, and if thou turn unto the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul. Deuteronomy 30:10

And the Lord, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed. Deuteronomy 31:8

The Histories

One man of you shall chase a thousand: for the Lord your God, he it is that fighteth for you, as he hath promised you. Joshua 23:10

And they said unto him, Ask counsel, we pray thee, of God, that we may know whether our way which we go shall be prosperous. And the priest said unto them, Go in peace: before the Lord is your way wherein ye go. Judges 18:5-6

And he shall be unto thee a restorer of thy life, and a nourisher of thine old age: Ruth 4:15

He will keep the feet of his saints, and the wicked shall be silent in darkness; for by strength shall no man prevail. 1 Samuel 2:9

And David spake unto the Lord the words of this song in the day that the Lord had delivered him out of the hand of all his enemies, and out of the hand of Saul: And he said, The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; The God of my rock; in him will I trust: he is my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my high tower, and my refuge, my saviour; thou savest me from violence. I will call on the Lord, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies. 2 Samuel 22:1-4

(Elijah says to a widow) And keep the charge of the Lord thy God, to walk in his ways, to keep his statutes, and his commandments, and his judgments, and his testimonies, as it is written in the law of Moses, that thou mayest prosper in all that thou doest, and whithersoever thou turnest thyself. 1 Kings 2:3

And David enquired of God, saying, Shall I go up against the Philistines? And wilt thou deliver them into mine hand? And the Lord said unto him, Go up; for I will deliver them into thine hand. 1 Chronicles 14:10

And he went out to meet Asa, and said unto him, Hear ye me, Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin; The Lord is with you, while ye be with him; and if ye seek him, he will be found of you; but if ye forsake him, he will forsake you. 2 Chronicles 15:2

For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the law of the Lord, and to do it, and to teach in Israel statutes and judgments. Ezra 7:10

Let thine ear now be attentive, and thine eyes open, that thou mayest hear the prayer of thy servant, which I pray before thee now, day and night, for the children of Israel thy servants, and confess the sins of the children of Israel, which we have sinned against thee: both I and my father’s house have sinned. Nehemiah 1:6

For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, then shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place; but thou and thy father’s house shall be destroyed: and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this? Esther 4:14

Poetry and Wisdom

He shall deliver thee in six troubles: yea, in seven there shall no evil touch thee. Job 5:19

Behold, I go forward, but he is not there; and backward, but I cannot perceive him: On the left hand, where he doth work, but I cannot behold him: he hideth himself on the right hand, that I cannot see him: But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold. Job 23:8-10

And he shall judge the world in righteousness, he shall minister judgment to the people in uprightness. The Lord also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble. Psalm 9:8-9

He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. Psalm 91:1

Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day; Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday…Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name. Psalm 91:5-6, 14

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Proverbs 3:5-6

He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end. Ecclesiastes 3:11

As thou knowest not what is the way of the spirit, nor how the bones do grow in the womb of her that is with child: even so thou knowest not the works of God who maketh all. Ecclesiastes 11:5

Major Prophets

Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. Isaiah 41:10

When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. For I am the Lord thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour: I gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee. Isaiah 43:2-3

For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the Lord that hath mercy on thee. Isaiah 54:10

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. Jeremiah 29:11

Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not. Jeremiah 33:3

Thou, O Lord, remainest for ever; thy throne from generation to generation. Lamentations 5:19

 A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them. Ezekiel 36:26-27

To the Lord our God belong mercies and forgivenesses, though we have rebelled against him; Daniel 9:9

And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. Daniel 12:2

Minor Prophets

My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children. Hosea 4:6

And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: Joel 2:28

Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets. Amos 3:7

Though thou exalt thyself as the eagle, and though thou set thy nest among the stars, thence will I bring thee down, saith the Lord. Obadiah 1:4

And the word of the Lord came unto Jonah the second time, saying, Arise, go unto Nineveh, that great city, and preach unto it the preaching that I bid thee. Jonah 3:1

Therefore I will look unto the Lord; I will wait for the God of my salvation: my God will hear me. Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy: when I fall, I shall arise; when I sit in darkness, the Lord shall be a light unto me. Micah 7:7-8

The Lord is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in him. Nahum 1:7

Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls: Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation. Habakkuk 3:17-18

Seek ye the Lord, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought his judgment; seek righteousness, seek meekness: it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the Lord’s anger. Zephaniah 2:3

Now therefore thus saith the Lord of hosts; Consider your ways. Ye have sown much, and bring in little; ye eat, but ye have not enough; ye drink, but ye are not filled with drink; ye clothe you, but there is none warm; and he that earneth wages earneth wages to put it into a bag with holes. Haggai 1:5-6

Turn you to the strong hold, ye prisoners of hope: even today do I declare that I will render double unto thee; Zechariah 9:12

And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse. Malachi 4:6

Headlines, Articles, and Reports

This week countless headlines, articles, and reports seemed threatening, gloomy and ominous. Regrettably, we can anticipate more will come this following week, but let’s try looking at them from our Heavenly Father’s viewpoint. We can when we are grounded in His Word and prayer. He will show us how to pray. Let’s not let Satan create a fear in us. That is what he wants to do, so our hearts will worry and stray from God.

Recent headlines include…

  • Health care workers on frontlines feel like ‘lambs to the slaughterhouse’
  • Hedge funder Bill Ackman profited $2.6B in Coronavirus market rout
  • Southwestern Baptist Seminary full-time faculty members were let go for financial reasons
  • Pestilence-Is the coronavirus an end-time biblical plague?
  • Surging traffic is slowing down our Internet
  • Virtual happy hours are the new shut-in activity—and everyone’s invited
  • How can you have a church in the age of social distancing?
  • Women are begging for pills to end their pregnancies
  • The reality is that the disease is beyond our capacity to handle in this country
  • Hospitals across the U.S. consider universal do-not-resuscitate orders for coronavirus patients
  • Texas colleges change to pass-fail grading during the pandemic
  • Amazon delivery guy spits on package

Conclusion

The happenings of the day will create fear, loneliness, and an unsettled feeling to many. But, let’s try looking at them from our Heavenly Father’s viewpoint. It is then, and only then, we can experience the wonders of God (during this time) through prayer and His Word—The Bible.

So as with my hair, I was disappointed I couldn’t reach my goal of leaving the salon with my new gray hair. But, I was empowered I had the choice I could wait for a better day and a better color.

We may be disappointed regarding the state of world affairs right now or we can be empowered to make a difference in our life or in the life of others. It is my choice! And, it is your choice.

God promises to care of us. Just keep looking to Him through prayer and the Word of God.

He loves you.

To read COVID-19: It’s Time to Take God’s Word to Heart Part 1, click here.

God Bless.

GreenePastures.org

Bible Verses: See above.

Prayers:

“20 Prayers to Pray During This Pandemic” by Jen Pollock Michel

1. For the sick and infected: God, heal and help. Sustain bodies and spirits. Contain the spread of infection.

2. For our vulnerable populations: God, protect our elderly and those suffering from chronic disease. Provide for the poor, especially the uninsured.

3. For the young and the strong: God, give them the necessary caution to keep them from unwittingly spreading this disease. Inspire them to help.

4. For our local, state, and federal governments: God, help our elected officials as they allocate the necessary resources for combatting this pandemic. Help them to provide more tests.

5. For our scientific community, leading the charge to understand the disease and communicate its gravity: God, give them knowledge, wisdom, and a persuasive voice.

6. For the media, committed to providing up-to-date information: God, help them to communicate with appropriate seriousness without causing panic.

7. For consumers of media, looking to be well-informed: God, help us find the most helpful local information to equip us to be good neighbors. Keep us from anxiety and panic, and enable us to implement the recommended strategies, even at a cost to ourselves.

8. For those with mental health challenges who feel isolated, anxious, and helpless: God, provide them every necessary support.

9. For the homeless, unable to practice the protocols of social distancing in the shelter system: Protect them from disease, and provide isolation shelters in every city.

10. For international travelers stuck in foreign countries: God, help them return home safely and quickly.

11. For Christian missionaries throughout the world, especially in areas with high rates of infection: God, provide them with words of hope, and equip them to love and serve those around them.

12. For workers in a variety of industries facing layoffs and financial hardship: God, keep them from panic, and inspire your church to generously support them.

13. For families with young children at home for the foreseeable future: God, help mothers and fathers to partner together creatively for the care and flourishing of their children. For single mothers and fathers, grow their networks of support.

14. For parents who cannot stay home from work but must find care for their children: God, present them with creative solutions.

15. For those in need of regular therapies and treatments that must now be postponed: God, help them to stay patient and positive.

16. For business leaders making difficult decisions that affect the lives of their employees: God, give these women and men wisdom, and help them to lead self-sacrificially.

17. For pastors and church leaders faced with the challenges of social distancing: God, help them to creatively imagine how to pastor their congregants and love their cities well.

18. For college and university students, whose courses of study are changing, whose placements are canceled, whose graduation is uncertain: God, show them that while life is uncertain, their trust is in you.

19. For Christians in every neighborhood, community, and city: May your Holy Spirit inspire us to pray, to give, to love, to serve, and to proclaim the gospel, that the name of Jesus Christ might be glorified around the world.

20. For frontline health care workers, we thank you for their vocational call to serve us. We also pray:

  • God, keep them safe and healthy. Keep their families safe and healthy.
  • God, help them to be knowledgeable about the diagnosis and treatment of this disease, as well as the changing protocols.
  • God, help them to stay clear-minded in the midst of the surrounding panic.
  • God, deliver them from anxiety for their own loved ones (aging parents, children, spouses, roommates).
  • God, give them compassion for every patient in their care.
  • God, provide for them financially, especially if they fall ill and are unable to work.
  • God, help Christians in health care to exhibit extraordinary peace, so that many would ask about the reason for their hope. Give them opportunities to proclaim the gospel. ²

Bibliography

¹ Greene, Patti. “COVID 19: It’s Time to Take God’s Word to Heart. Greene Pastures Blog. 24 March 2020. https://greenepastures.org/COVID-19.

² Michel, Jen Pollock, “20 Prayers to Pray During This Pandemic.” Christianity Today. Mar 18 2020. Accessed Mar 29 2020. https://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2020/march-web-only/covid-19-coronavirus-20-prayers-to-pray-during-pandemic.html

All Bible verses come from the King James Version.

Patti Greene’s Bio

Patti Greene is a fun-loving (but serious) coffee drinking wife, mom, and Grammi! She serves as a Bible teacher and Sunday School helper in her home church in Katy, Texas. She writes and speaks with the sole purpose of leading and maturing others in Jesus Christ and His everlasting love. To receive blogs from GreenePastures.org delivered straight to your email, please sign up from this blog or email her at Patti@GreenePastures.org with your email address, and you will be added to the email listing. You will need to confirm your decision to be added to the blog by email. You can also catch up with her on her Twitter feed at (@PattiGreene13) or her Facebook Patti Greene-Pastures page at (https://www.facebook.com/author.greene).

Books by Patti Greene

Christian Caregiving

Christian Caregiving: Practical Advice for a Happy Ending

Devotional Prayer Journals

Answer Me: Developing a Heart for Prayer

Anchor Me: Laying a Foundation in Bible Study and Prayer

Awaken Me: Growing Deeper in Bible Study and Prayer

@PattiGreene13 #PattiGreene13 #bgbg2

 

COVID-19: It’s Time to Take God’s Word to Heart [Part 1]

COVID-19 [Part 1]

Covid-19, also called coronavirus disease—is the name of the disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus. The virus was first detected in Wuhan, China on December 31, 2019, and has led to outbreaks across the globe.

On February 11, 2020, Time reporter Sanya Mansoor describes how the name COVID-19 was named. She states,

The  World Health Organization (WHO) declared an official name for the new coronavirus disease: COVID-19 — making sure not to reference Wuhan, the central Chinese city where the virus originated. COVID-19 stands for Corona Virus Disease 19. “Having a name matters to prevent the use of other names that can be innaccurate or stigmatizing,” said Director-General of the WHO, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. It also gives us a standard format to use for any future coronavirus outbreaks.” The WHO referenced guidelines set in 2015 that ensure the name does not refer to a geographical location, an animal, an individual or group of people, while still being pronounceable and related to the disease.¹

COVID-19: Changing Lives

COVID-19 has changed our lives this past week.

In one fell swoop, we are now concerned about hand sanitizers, toilet paper, wipes, disinfectants, water and for me—I am concerned about my Diet Cokes.

Empty shelves at the stores are freaking people out.

Work, traveling, and socializing (or the lack thereof), has been reduced or stopped because of this virus.

The financial world is collapsing. Businesses are closing along with many losing their jobs. The stock market is unstable and a potential economic downturn is on the horizon.

In the medical field, surgeries have been canceled, health professionals are scared, and equipment is lacking to handle the virus. Even many physicians’ offices are only offering remote appointments.

Sports games have been canceled. Disney World and Disneyland are closed. Restaurants are shut—except for those equipped for takeout or drive-thru sales. Churches have locked their doors and are trying to manage their congregations remotely. Movie theaters and so many more places are impenetrable all within one week.

New words have arisen this week such as Close Contact, COVID-19, Doomsday Prophets, Epidemic, Essential Business, Financial Disaster, Isolation, Novel Coronavirus, Outbreak, Pandemic, Patient-zero, Public Health Emergency, Quarantine, Remote Learning, Shelter-in-Place, Social Distancing, Social Isolation, and many more.

God and His Word

The question is, “Why is God allowing this?” Honestly, I don’t know. But, I do know that He knew about it and He knew when it would arrive.

Whether the coronavirus is just a medical occurrence or a foreshadowing of what is to come in our world, only our Heavenly Father knows for sure.

The Word of God (The Bible) has many purposes in our lives. It . . .

  • Convicts us of our sins;
  • Gives us His promises;
  • Guides us in moral, ethical and spiritual decisions;
  • Gives us strength and peace;
  • Generously gives us wisdom;
  • Keeps us from false teachings, false teachers and false doctrine;
  • Leads us and others to salvation and eternal life;
  • Gives us consistency in our walk with the Lord;
  • Guides our heart; and
  • Shows us how to minister to others.

Below are some New Testament Bible verses from the King James Version to help during this present-day situation.

Read them, write them down, memorize them, meditate on them, highlight them in your Bible, or look them up in other Bible versions. But, please take them to heart and let the Holy Spirit of the Living God speak to you through them.

God’s Word from the Gospels and Acts

Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. Matthew 6:34

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28

Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows. Matthew 10:29-31

But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. Matthew 24:36

Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. Matthew 26:41

For they all saw him, and were troubled. And immediately he talked with them, and saith unto them, Be of good cheer: it is I; be not afraid. Mark 6:50

Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is. Mark 13:33

And the people, when they knew it, followed him: and he received them, and spake unto them of the kingdom of God, and healed them that had need of healing. Luke 9:11

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16 

A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. John 13:34

Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. John 14:1-3

Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. John 15:4

Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. Acts 2:38

And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ. Acts 5:42

God’s Word from the Epistles

And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. Romans 12:2

For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. 1 Corinthians 15:21

But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. 2 Corinthians 4:7

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23

That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; Ephesians 3:16

And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you. Ephesians 4:32

Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice. Philippians 4:4

Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7

For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. Colossians 1:16-17

And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled in the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight: Colossians 1:20-22

Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man. Colossians 4:6

For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. 1 Thessalonians 5:2

Pray without ceasing. 1 Thessalonians 5:17

But we are bound to give thanks always to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: 2 Thessalonians 2:13

Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified, even as it is with you: And that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men: for all men have not faith. But the Lord is faithful, who shall stablish you, and keep you from evil. 2 Thessalonians 3:1-3

And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry; 1 Timothy 1:12

And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory. 1 Timothy 3:16

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7

For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Titus 2:11-13

Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work, to speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men. Titus 3:1-2

I thank my God, making mention of thee always in my prayers, hearing of thy love and faith, which thou hast toward the Lord Jesus, and toward all saints; that the communication of thy faith may become effectual by the acknowledging of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus. Philemon 4-6

Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him; Hebrews 5:8-9

Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised; Hebrews 10:23

My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. James 1:2-6

Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up. James 4:10

Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. 1 Peter 5:6-7

But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you. 1 Peter 5:10

The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. 2 Peter 3:9

Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time. 1 John 2:18

Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward. 2 John 8

But I trust I shall shortly see thee, and we shall speak face to face. Peace be to thee. Our friends salute thee. Greet the friends by name. 3 John 14

Mercy unto you, and peace, and love, be multiplied. Jude 2

How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts. These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit. But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. Jude 18-21

God’s Word on Prophecy

And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last: Revelation 1:17

Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing. Revelation 5:12

And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. Revelation 12:10

For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book. He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen. Revelation 22:18-21

Conclusion

As I have read these verses over and over myself, I know I am grateful that I know I am secure in Jesus Christ no matter what occurs. I wish that for you as well. And you can know as well by believing in Jesus Christ and accepting Him as your Savior!

On a secular note, I am also grateful my hair salon has not been ordered closed. YET!

To read COVID-19: It’s Time to Take God’s Word and Prayer to Heart Part 2, click here.

God Bless.

GreenePastures.org

Bible Verses: Above.

Prayer by Pastor Max Lucado; Oak Hills Church, San Antonio, TX

Dear Lord,

We’re still hoping we’ll wake up. We’re still hoping we’ll open a sleepy eye and think, “What a horrible dream. How could this have happened?”

Just a moment ago moms were packing school lunches. Just a moment ago chefs were planning the day’s menu. Just a moment ago arenas were noisy, brides were walking down the aisle and neighbors were discussing the weather.

In just a moment, everything changed. A phantom disease invaded our peace, our plans, and our security. In a heartbeat, our language and behaviors were upended. Even young children understand the term “social distancing,” “quarantine,”  and “Covid-19.”

Grandma isn’t allowed visitors in her nursing home. Workers are telecommuting, Zooming, and Skyping in their baseball caps and slippers. Handshakes and hugs have been put on indefinite hold.

This strange season has introduced a level of fear we haven’t seen since 9/11. Fear of what might come. Fear of touching. Fear of exposure. Fear of what we can’t see.

We are anxious, Father. And so we come to you. We don’t ask you for help; we beg you for it. We don’t request; we implore. We know what you can do. We’ve read the accounts. We’ve pondered the stories and now we plead, “Do it again, Lord. Do it again.”

This strange season has introduced a level of fear we haven’t seen since 9/11. Fear of what might come. Fear of touching. Fear of exposure. Fear of what we can’t see.

Remember Joseph? You rescued him from the pit. You can do the same for us. Do it again, Lord.

Remember the Hebrews in Egypt? You protected their children from the angel of death. We have children, too, Lord. Do it again.

And Sarah? Remember her prayers? You heard them. Joshua? Remember his fears? You inspired him. The women at the tomb? You resurrected their hope. The doubts of Thomas? You took them away. Do it again, Lord. Do it again.

You changed Daniel from a captive into a king’s counselor. You took Peter the fisherman and made him Peter an apostle. Because of you, David went from leading sheep to leading armies. Do it again, Lord, for we need counselors today, Lord. We need apostles. We need leaders. Do it again, dear Lord.

What we’re seeing on the news, you saw on that Friday so long ago. Innocence interrupted. Goodness suffering. Mothers weeping. Just as the darkness fell on your Son, we fear the darkness falling on our friends, our family, our world. Just as our world has been shaken by disease, our world was shaken the day the very child of Eternity was pierced.

You saw it. But you did not waver, O Lord. You did not waver. After your Son’s three days in a dark hole, you rolled the rock and rumbled the earth and turned the darkest Friday into the brightest Sunday. Do it again, Lord. Grant us another Easter.

We thank you, dear Father, for these hours of unity. Selfless acts of service and kindness warm our hearts. Strangers see opportunities to share with others. Our medical warriors are working together, at personal risk, to care for the rest of us. We thank you for their remarkable commitment.

And we see the world turning to you, Father.  People encouraging people with scriptures and reminders of your sovereignty. We read posts urging us to respect each other, care for each other, and lookup. We confess we have been anxious, but because of you, we have hope.

We ask, Father: let your mercy be upon all who suffer.  Grant to those who lead us wisdom beyond their years and experience.  Have mercy upon the souls who have been hurt by this disease. Give us [the] grace to help each other and faith that we might believe. And look kindly upon your church. For two thousand years, you’ve used her to heal a hurting world.

Do it again, Lord. Do it again.

Through Christ, Amen. ²

Bibliography

¹Manssor, Sanya. “What’s in a Name? Why WHO’s Formal Name for the New Coronavirus Disease Matters.” Time. 11 Feb 2020. Accessed 3-22-2020. https://ti me.com/5782284/who-name-coronavirus-covid-19.

²Lucado, Max. “Max Lucado: A coronavirus prayer – ‘Do it again, Lord.” (Accessed 22 March 2020.) Fox News. https://www.foxnews.com/opinion/max-lucado-coronavirus-prayer-do-it-again.

All Bible verses come from the King James Version.

Patti Greene’s Bio

Patti Greene is a fun-loving (but serious) coffee drinking wife, mom, and Grammi! She serves as a Bible teacher and Sunday School helper in her home church in Katy, Texas. She writes and speaks with the sole purpose of leading and maturing others in Jesus Christ and His everlasting love. To receive blogs from GreenePastures.org delivered straight to your email, please sign up from this blog or email her at Patti@GreenePastures.org with your email address, and you will be added to the email listing. You will need to confirm your decision to be added to the blog by email. You can also catch up with her on her Twitter feed at (@PattiGreene13) or her Facebook Patti Greene-Pastures page at (https://www.facebook.com/author.greene).

Books by Patti Greene

Christian Caregiving

Christian Caregiving: Practical Advice for a Happy Ending

Devotional Prayer Journals

Answer Me: Developing a Heart for Prayer

Anchor Me: Laying a Foundation in Bible Study and Prayer

Awaken Me: Growing Deeper in Bible Study and Prayer

@PattiGreene13 #PattiGreene13 #bgbg2

God’s Vision

God’s Vision Statement

God knows what He would like us to achieve and accomplish in our lives. His vision statement for us would include a description of what He wants for us, both in the near-term and long-term future. He knows which course of action He would like us to choose.

Companies provide their employees with clear directions and give them a mission to complete within a certain time. Ecclesiastes 3:1-2 states, “There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven—a time to give birth and a time to die.” God’s vision statement—also known as His mission statement—includes His ideas for how He wants us to live our lives from birth to death.

John Nuyten, author of Different Spirit, a non-denominational Christian Bible-teaching ministry, states “The only goal or vision that counts in the Christian life is that His Kingdom comes in the hearts of all people and His will be done.” (Matthew 6:10, 2 Peter 3:9) ¹

God’s Vision

Hence, when I talk about God’s vision, I am not talking about what God dreams or strange visions that occur in His head. I am talking about the all-knowing desires He has for our lives.

God’s major vision for us is He wants us all to be saved. Because He loves us, He gives us free will so we can decide for ourselves to be part of His vision.

Our heavenly Father wants us to be part of His vision. He plans our lives with His wisdom and love. God loves us so much that He has a vision for every believer. When we trust Him and allow ourselves to get quiet in His presence, God’s vision becomes clear to us.

It isn’t always easy, but He won’t show us how to live like Him without also showing us how to execute that vision, so we can reach our full potential for Him.

Winston Churchill

Remember Winston Churchill, the man who, during World War II, led Britain and the Allied powers to victory against the Nazis? Churchill had a vision and he finally became the Prime Minister of Britain—twice. He won a Nobel Prize for Literature. But, did you know that Churchill suffered from depression? Even through his struggles, he was motivated to continue.

God’s vision for us is even stronger than Churchill’s vision to succeed. He wants us to become all He intended us to be for His glory. But, how can we, as mere humans, get God’s vision?

Eyes Give Vision

Vision is a funny thing. We usually start life with good vision, but as we age, it becomes harder and harder for us to see. Having a normal 20/20 vision means no glasses, no contacts, and no surgery. In WebMD’s How to Keep Your Eyes Healthy, it says we should eat well, quit smoking, wear sunglasses, use safety eyewear, look away from computer screens and visit your eye doctor regularly.²

When we develop God’s vision, He will carry out His vision.

God Views Everything in the Spiritual Realm

Our Heavenly Father wants us to be part of His vision.  He does not give us His vision without showing us what to do. So, if you want His vision, pray for it, desire it with your whole heart. Ask Him to take away any distraction from seeking Him with your entire heart. He wants us to live in the spiritual realm.

Plead for Him to strengthen your faith, show you your sins, confess your weaknesses, and so desire your life to conform to the will of His Son, Jesus Christ. God uses our sins, our weaknesses, our pressures, our spiritual growth, our achievements, our character, and our integrity to mold us into His Son’s likeness.

Moses

Moses wasn’t quite ready to accept God’s vision for him as the spokesperson for the chosen people, so God used his brother Aaron to speak for Moses, but that wasn’t the original intent.

As with Moses, God’s vision occurs with or without our help.

Knowing Christ puts us in the position where we can want and desire Him to use us as His delight. Furthermore, we must count the cost, get prepared and be intentional in loving God and desiring to be more like Him.

Gifts of the Spirit

One way the Lord allows us to become like Him is for us to learn, use, and desire the Gifts of the Spirit.

Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware. (1 Corinthians 12:1)

 Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are varieties of ministries and the same Lord. There are varieties of effects, but the same God who works all things in all persons. But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. For to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit and to another the word of knowledge according to the same Spirit;  to another faith by the same Spirit, and to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, and to another the effecting of miracles, and to another prophecy, and to another the distinguishing of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, and to another the interpretation of tongues. But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually just as He wills. (1 Corinthians 12:4-11)

For even as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body, though they are many, are one body, so also is Christ. For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit. (1 Corinthians 12-14)

Doing His work and allowing the Holy Spirit to use you for His Kingdom is necessary to fulfill God’s vision.

Teaching a Prayer Meeting

During the summer of 2014, I felt a deep yearning to have a Ladies Prayer meeting at my apartment since our regular Bible study was off for the summer. I recall being nervous about asking the Ladies Ministry leader if I could do that.

One Sunday, that lovely woman sat behind me in the church service and the tugging on my heart became so strong I knew I couldn’t leave the church without asking her about it. I will never forget her gracious response. She said, “That sounds wonderful, but I can’t lead it.” God is good and had already prepared me to answer her that I would do everything. I encouraged her to come and enjoy the Word and prayer time as a respite from her spring and fall ministries. If I had not asked her and obeyed that tug, there would not have been any ministry for the women that summer.

God showed me His vision. I asked permission. And with permission, I received the confirmation to serve. That is how having God’s vision is accomplished. OBEDIENCE.

How Can We View Life As God Does?

When we desire to have our vision mingled with the Lord’s vision, we must prepare ourselves. Be intentional in living for God. As believers, when we have been in the Word, praying, and seeking His face, we may be led to a specific Bible verse leading us to do or say something. We might be presented with opportunities that sound interesting and/or we might have a tugging in our hearts that God is impressing us to do something for Him. If the feeling does not go away, it is most likely the Lord is prodding us to join Him in His work and vision.

Seeking His Face

We seek God’s face by being consistently in His Word, praying daily, meditating in His presence, and being obedient. Submitting totally to God is very difficult, but don’t ever give up. I have noticed as I have gotten older that I wish for the thrill of living in Heaven more and more than desiring the earthly things in life. When God starts impressing things on your heart, pray for it (if it is within the instructions, He has shown us in His Word), and write “the vision” down.

Vision is God sharing Himself with you. However, sometimes we misread the vision. Maybe the vision is for a later time. And, not all impressions or visions are God-breathed or even meant to be shared.

Within a church or ministry setting, when you feel that wrenching pull that God is wanting you to participate in a ministry for Him, share it with a church staff member or leader. Don’t expect ministry leaders to “have osmosis” about your leading. Share your idea, pray, and wait on the Lord. It could be the Lord is saying, “Great idea, but not yet” or He may have already planted that idea in the minds of those who can see what you think is God’s vision for you, and guide it into fruition.

This Little Light of Mine

There is an old peppy toddler song named “This Little Light of Mine.”

The lyrics state . . .

This little light of mine,  I’m gonna let it shine,

Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.

Hide it under a bushel, no!

I’m gonna let it shine.

Hide it under a bushel, no!

I’m gonna let it shine, let it shine.

Let it shine, let it shine. ³

Let’s keep our God-given visions at the forefront of our minds and let’s not hide them under a bushel. Let them be known at the right time, in the right place, and to the right people. Our obedience to seek out His will and vision for our lives is what keeps the light for Jesus alive in our hearts.

Obedience

I don’t understand how it all works, and it sounds rather presumptuous to say, “God told me to go and buy a puzzle and work on it.” That conjures up so many questions from others, such as:

  • How did God tell you?
  • How did you know it was God? and
  • Why would God do that?

I prefer to just say I felt impressed that God wanted me to buy a puzzle. So, when last month I felt “impressed” to buy a puzzle, my first thought was, “I hate puzzles.” I hate them so much that I never even bought puzzles for my kids unless they had 6 pieces with a knob on the end to fit them in the obvious opening. Hmm, not quite right. I did buy my kids a puzzle of the 50 states and the world, but that was due to the educational side of me.

Buying a Puzzle

I looked up and prayed, “God, I want to be the kind of Christian that follows You to the tee, so if you want me to buy a puzzle, I will.” Searching Amazon for a pretty brain-teaser was quite challenging, but I was not going to do an ugly puzzle for God, and I found a gorgeous assemblage that fit the bill—complete with flowers, a city scene, a balcony, and an inviting bench!

Not being used to doing puzzles, I spread out all the pieces on the coffee table right-side-up—only to discover I did not leave any space to work the puzzle. That was my first mistake. I was overwhelmed by the magnitude of this project. However, I knew to try to work on the border first. Unfortunately, that took me three days to complete.

After a few more days, I added a few pieces here and there to the puzzle.

And finally, on Day 5, I bought a white poster board and I slid the border I worked so hard on onto the poster board, packed up the puzzle pieces into little baggies by their color or design, and said, “Enough is enough!”

Then, I brought the puzzle to my closet to work on it ANOTHER DAY—or ANOTHER YEAR!

Refreshment

Did I feel like a failure in God’s eyes for not completing the puzzle? No, because God impressed upon me to buy the puzzle — not finish the puzzle — and I did that.

With what I did accomplish, I was refreshed with the insights God wanted to show me from this endeavor. His words were like drops of honey from Heaven. I began to see His vision for me more clearly as He addressed them all with my name!

Patti…

“Being obedient is the key—and you did that when you bought the puzzle that I impressed upon you to purchase.”

“There are a lot of different people in this world—just like there are lots of different puzzle pieces.”

“Life is hard–so are puzzles.”

“Reaching My goals in life can be time-consuming—just like putting this puzzle together.”

“At times, plans seem to fit together, but they don’t—just like when you thought that one piece fit perfectly, until you found that puzzle piece that really fit.”

“Sometimes you can’t figure out how all the pieces of your life fit together—just as you didn’t understand how to put the puzzle pieces in order.”

“On occasion, life looks like an impossible mess—just like your coffee table looked filling with 500 mismatched puzzle pieces.”

“Occasionally, you might have to put away your dreams either forever or for another day—just like you did when you put the puzzle in your closet.”

“Once in a while, you have to obey me even if you don’t understand why—just like you did when you searched for the right puzzle on Amazon.”

Without obedience, the insights I received may never have come—as simple as they seemed. Simple, but needed.

Conclusion

God may not ask you to buy a puzzle. But He might ask you to go to church, serve in a Sunday School class, smile at your waitress, or a multitude of other things. The important thing is for us to wake up each day desiring His vision and committing ourselves to be our best for Him—through daily repentance, prayer, reading the Bible, meditating in His presence, and determining to be obedient in all He calls you to do. And, before too long, we will smile at ourselves knowing that we are changing into the image of God and His vision is becoming our vision.

I’m not there yet, but maybe, just maybe, I am getting closer.

Bible Verses

But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7)

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord. (Isaiah 55:8)

As for you, lift up your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it, and the sons of Israel shall go through the midst of the sea on dry land. (Exodus 14:16)

You shall march around the city, all the men of war circling the city once. You shall do so for six days. Also seven priests shall carry seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark; then on the seventh day you shall march around the city seven times, and the priests shall blow the trumpets. (Joshua 6:3-4)

Now the Lord said to Abram,

“Go forth from your country,
And from your relatives
And from your father’s house,
To the land which I will show you;
And I will make you a great nation,
And I will bless you,
And make your name great;
And so you shall be a blessing; (Genesis 12:1-2)

Since you have in obedience to the truth purified your souls for a sincere love of the brethren, fervently love one another from the heart. (1 Peter 1:22)

In everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. (1 Thessalonians 5:18)

Prayer

Dear Jesus, I love more You than You will ever know, but I find it hard sometimes to know Your will and what You want from me. Lord, show me how to find Your will; Show me how to find Your vision. Teach me to walk in Your footsteps in all I say and do. I feel unworthy to be used mightily for You, but I know You desire me and my obedience above all things. Please help me. In Your name, I pray. Amen.

God Bless.

greenenpastures.org

Edited by E. Johnson

Bibliography

¹ Nuyten, John. How important is it for Christians to have a vision? Different Spirit. Accessed 16 Feb 2020.

https://www.differentspirit.org/opinion/christian-vision.php/

² Vision. WebMD. Accessed 13 Feb 2020. https://www.webmd.com/

³ Loes, Harry Dixon. “This Little Light of Mine.” Hymnary Organization. Accessed 20 Feb 2020. https://hymnary.org/text/this_little_light_of_mine_im_gonna_let/

All Bible verses come from the New American Standard Bible unless otherwise noted.

Patti Greene’s Bio

Patti Greene is a fun-loving (but serious) coffee drinking wife, mom, and Grammi! She serves as a Bible teacher and Sunday School helper in her home church in Katy, Texas. She writes and speaks with the sole purpose of leading and maturing others in Jesus Christ and His everlasting love. To receive blogs from GreenePastures.org delivered straight to your email, please sign up from this blog or email her at Patti@GreenePastures.org with your email address, and you will be added to the email listing. You will need to confirm your decision to be added to the blog by email. You can also catch up with her on her Twitter feed at (@PattiGreene13) or her Facebook Patti Greene-Pastures page at (https://www.facebook.com/author.greene).

Books by Patti Greene

Christian Caregiving

Christian Caregiving: Practical Advice for a Happy Ending

Devotional Prayer Journals

Answer Me: Developing a Heart for Prayer

Anchor Me: Laying a Foundation in Bible Study and Prayer

Awaken Me: Growing Deeper in Bible Study and Prayer

@PattiGreene13 #PattiGreene13 #bgbg2

 

God’s Heart

A Love Story

We all love an upright and virtuous love story—the kind that moves our hearts to cheer wholeheartedly for that couple whose love seems unquenchable. We might even find ourselves reading those love stories or watching those movies repeatedly.

The story is told about an elderly couple in a nursing home that eats together every day. They have been married for 63 years. The wife had a stroke and can’t stand, eat, talk or do anything for herself. He doesn’t need to live in a nursing home, but he does so anyway, just to be with her. Every day he eats his food, feeds her, and sits next to her, looking at her like he must have the day they were married.¹ His unconditional, undying love and loyalty is quite evident.

This is how our Heavenly Father looks at us! This is how much He loves us.

God’s Heart

Our God is forgiving. He is merciful and loving. His heart is clean and pure. Furthermore, He marks Himself with all the fruits of the Spirit—love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23).

When we think of how a heart works, we are awed by its uniqueness and importance. Our heart muscle sends blood through our bodies. This vital muscle provides oxygen and beneficial qualities to the four chambers of our hearts. Working through our valves, our blood moves through our veins and arteries and circulates to keep us alive. Our hearts may sometimes give out an extra LUB-DUB. While we want our hearts to be continuously perfect, they sometimes fail us. But God never fails us; His heart is perfectly filled with compassion, love, mercy, kindness, and more.

I Want

a. I want my heart to beat like God’s heart.

b. I want to let His heart be my heart.

c. I want His blood circulating through me… do you?

How to Let God’s Heart Become Your Heart

King David wrote, “My soul longed and even yearned for the courts of the LORD; My heart and my flesh sing for you to the living God.” (Psalm 84:2) But, how do we fill our hearts so much with God’s love that our hearts are aligned with His heart?

First, we must know Him. We know God by believing in Jesus Christ, confessing our sins to Him, and trusting Him with our lives. This is proven when we change our heart of stone to a heart filled with His love. Gradually, or sometimes immediately, you will notice that you are not the same person you once were. Your heart starts to become more sensitive to what is right and what is wrong. Our lives start to emulate God’s character.

Second, we become sanctified. The process of sanctification is where we grow in our faith and notice that we are becoming more and more like Him. Our commitment to the Lord becomes stronger and more pronounced. Sanctification occurs when we desire His heart. That does NOT mean we have to be perfect. But we will notice ourselves desiring the things of God more, i.e. reading the Bible, praying, worshipping with other believers, repenting, and praising Him.

Third, in the Old Testament, the Bible notes that King David’s heart is after the heart of God. Whenever we admit our sins and repent, our heart becomes purified and undefiled—like the heart of God.

God Loves You

In the Old Testament, when God abandoned Saul as the king of Israel, He tasked the prophet, Samuel with finding a replacement. In his search for a new ruler, Samuel came to Jesse to evaluate each of Jesse’s sons for the job. About one of them, Eliab, the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or the height of his stature, because I have rejected him, for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7)

God knows our inner selves—our hearts and our secrets. Because of this, we can all go to Him expressing our fragile and honest souls to Him. Bearing our souls to God is our privilege. As a result, we can ask Him to show us how we can become more and more like Him and how we can make His heart our heart.

Psalm 44:21 says, “He knows the secrets of the heart.” So, as we are reassured in Scripture that He knows us, we can go to the throne of grace, praying for Him to change us to become all He desires us to be.

God loves us with an everlasting love. His heart yearns for us to submit all to His will and for us to be obedient to follow the directives laid out in His Holy Word because He has given us His heart through His Word.

As the man in the nursing home cared diligently for his wife, God cares for us like that with His whole heart. Let’s let His heart become our heart.

Bible Verses

I will give thanks to the Lord with all my heart; I will tell of all Your wonders. (Psalm 9:1)

But from there you will seek the Lord your God, and you will find Him if you search for Him with all your heart and all your soul. (Deuteronomy 4:29)

Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. (Ezekiel 36:26)

Prayer

Heavenly Father. Oh, how I love You. It seems so hard some days to align my heart and will to Yours. Show me my sins, let me confess them and change my heart to desire Your heart. I know this is a daily thing. Help me to be consistent in giving up my life every day to You. Give me the desire to follow You, to love You, and to obey You. Please make my heart so soft and moldable that it becomes more like Your heart every day. Thank You, Jesus. Amen.

God Bless.

greenenpastures.org

Works Cited

¹Chernoff, Angel. 60 Short Love Stories to Cheer You Up. Marc and Angel Hack Life. Accessed 5 Feb 2020. https://www.marcandangel.com/2013/02/13/60-short-love-stories-to-cheer-you-up/

All Bible verses come from the New American Standard Bible unless noted otherwise.

Edited by E. Johnson.

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Patti Greene’s Bio

Patti Greene is a fun-loving (but serious) coffee drinking wife, mom, and Grammi! She serves as a Bible teacher and Sunday School helper in her home church in Katy, Texas. She writes and speaks with the sole purpose of leading and maturing others in Jesus Christ and His everlasting love. To receive blogs from GreenePastures.org delivered straight to your email, please sign up from this blog or email her at Patti@GreenePastures.org with your email address, and you will be added to the email listing. You will need to confirm your decision to be added to the blog by email. You can also catch up with her on her Twitter feed at (@PattiGreene13) or her Facebook Patti Greene-Pastures page at (https://www.facebook.com/author.greene).

Books by Patti Greene

Christian Caregiving

Christian Caregiving: Practical Advice for a Happy Ending

Devotional Prayer Journals

Answer Me: Developing a Heart for Prayer

Anchor Me: Laying a Foundation in Bible Study and Prayer

Awaken Me: Growing Deeper in Bible Study and Prayer

@PattiGreene13 #PattiGreene13 #bgbg2