“While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night, shall not cease.” Genesis 8:22
“And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” Galatians 6:9
“To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which was planted;” Ecclesiastes 3:1-2
“Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? Behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.” John 4:35
This time of year always reminds me of our responsibilities in the harvest of souls. Jesus has commanded us to go now, and bring in the harvest. There are many souls who do not know of God, what are you doing to change that?
“Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.” -Helen Keller
Have you ever noticed someone by their outstanding relationship with God? I know I have. I have often wondered how some people can be so radiant in Christ. How do they have such a strong connection with God? In my life, sometimes God feels distant, and I wonder if I actually do have a relationship with Him. I feel like I am not good enough for God to care about me. That isn’t how God wants us to feel. He wants to be involved in every area of our lives. Psalm 119:9-16 talks about how we are to cleanse our lives and walk in joy with Christ.
“Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to Thy Word. With my whole heart have I sought Thee: O let me not wander from Thy commandments. Thy Word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against Thee. Blessed art Thou, O Lord: teach me Thy statutes. With my lips have I declared all the judgments of Thy mouth. I have rejoiced in the way of Thy testimonies, as much as in all riches. I will meditate in Thy precepts, and have respect unto Thy ways. I will delight myself in Thy statutes: I will not forget Thy word.” Psalm 119:9-16
What stands out to you in these verses? What ways do you see that we can be cleansed? When I read this passage, I realized how much it talks about the Word of God. There are quite a few different words for the Bible used here, but in every verse it speaks of ways to apply God’s Word to our lives. That is a key way to be cleansed and to be near to God. James 4:8 says “Draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to you.” God wants us to spend time studying His Word, and learning more about Him. When we do that, He will draw nigh to us and bless us with His presence. May this part of Psalm 119 be your prayer; may you honestly be able to say, “I will not forget Thy word.” How are you revived by the Word of God?
These muffins are way better than the traditional “pumpkin-spice” combination! The smooth cream cheese filling is perfectly married to the soft pumpkin muffin. Enjoy fall with this great recipe!
Ingredients for muffins:
1 c. pumpkin puree
1/2 c. sugar
1/3 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. olive oil
1/4 c. buttermilk
1 t. vanilla extract
1.5 c. flour
1.5 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. ground ginger
1/4 t. ground nutmeg
1/8 t. ground cloves
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
Ingredients for filling:
8 T. cream cheese, softened
1/3 c. sugar
1.5 t. vanilla extract
Ingredients for streusel topping:
2/3 c. flour
1/4 c. brown sugar
1 t. cinnamon
5 T. butter
Ingredients for glaze:
2 T. cream cheese, softened
1/2 c. powdered sugar
1/2 t. vanilla extract
2 t. milk
For the muffins: Mix the first seven ingredients for the muffins in a mixer. Combine the dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Slowly add the dry ingredients into the mixer, just until combined.
For the filling: Beat all the ingredients together until smooth.
For the streusel: In a small bowl combine the dry ingredients; cut the butter into the mixture until it is coarse and crumbly.
For the glaze: Whisk together the ingredients until smooth; add more milk if it’s too stiff.
To assemble: Grease a muffin pan. Fill each cup with a heaping tablespoon of batter, a tablespoon of filling and another heaping tablespoon of batter, in that order. Cover each muffin with 1.5 tablespoons of streusel. Bake at 350 for 25-27 minutes. Cool and then drizzle with glaze. Enjoy! Yield: 15 muffins
‘Choose your friends carefully for they will become your identity.’ This sounds very scary!
We talked about our identity in Christ a few weeks ago and it is very important to make sure we are always rooted and grounded in who Christ says we are. But our choice of friends majorly impacts who we are too. Proverbs 27: 17 says;’ Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.’ We are designed to be strengthened, shaped, and sharpened by the people around us. So the people around us are going to change us. They will either influence us for the good or the bad.
There is a story in 2 Chronicles 10 about identity and how friends influence it. King Rehoboam had become the king and some of his people came to him asking for relief from the heavy hand his father had placed on them. Rehoboam wisely went for counsel on what he should do. He first talked to the older men and their advice to him was that if he would grant the people their wishes and be kind to them, they would be happy and willing to serve him. Then the king went to his friends to get their opinion. They had very different advice! A heavier hand and no mercy was what they thought he should do. It would appear that his identity in Christ was not very strong because he chose to listen to his peers, not the older and wiser men. When he made that choice he lost the respect of his people and his identity was changed in that country. The friends he listened to affected the course of his life forever.
Isn’t this what we tend to do too? We know who God says we are and that he says He loves us but we want to fit in or have the respect of our friends so we let ourselves listen to a wrong voice instead and just as surely as it changed Rehoboam it will change who we are.
Please think about the people you associate with and evaluate if they are influencing you for the good or the bad.
You may not know me, but I know everything about you. Psalm 139:1 I know when you sit down and when you rise up. Psalm 139:2 I am familiar with all your ways. Psalm 139:3 Even the very hairs on your head are numbered. Matthew 10:29-31 For you were made in my image. Genesis 1:2 In me you live and move and have your being. Acts 17:28 For you are my offspring. Acts 17:28 I knew you even before you were conceived. Jeremiah 1:4-5 I chose you when I planned creation. Ephesians 1:11-12 You were not a mistake, for all your day are written in my book. Psalm 139:15-16 I determined the exact time of your birth and where you would live. Acts 17:26 You are fearfully and wonderfully made. Psalm 139:14 I knit you together in your mother’s womb. Psalm 139:13 And brought you forth on the day you were born. Psalm 71:6 I have been misrepresented by those who don’t know me. John 8:41-44 I am not distant and angry, but am the complete expression of love. 1 John 4:16 And it is my desire to lavish my love on you. 1 John 3:1 Simply because you are my child and I am your Father. 1 John 3:1 I offer you more than your earthly father ever could. Matthew 7:11 For I am the perfect father. Matthew 5:48 Every good gift that you receive comes from my hand. James 1:17 For I am your provider and I meet all your needs. Matthew 6:31-33 My plan for your future has always been filled with hope. Jeremiah 29:11 Because I love you with an everlasting love. Jeremiah 31:3 My thoughts toward you are countless as the sand on the seashore. Psalm 139:17-18 And I rejoice over you with singing. Zephaniah 3:17 I will never stop doing good to you. Jeremiah 32:40 For you are my treasured possession. Exodus 19:5 I desire to establish you with all my heart and all my soul. Jeremiah 32:41 And I want to show you great and marvelous things. Jeremiah 33:3 If you seek me with all your heart, you will find me. Deuteronomy 4:29 Delight in me and I will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4 For it is I who gave you those desires. Philippians 2:13 I am able to do more for you than you could possibly imagine. Ephesians 3:20 For I am your greatest encourager. 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17 I am also the Father who comforts you in all your troubles. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 When you are brokenhearted, I am close to you. Psalm 34:18 As a shepherd carries a lamb, I have carried you close to my heart. Isaiah 40:11 One day I will wipe away every tear from your eyes. Revelations 21:3-4 And I’ll take away all the pain you have suffered on this earth. Revelation 21:3-4 I am your Father, and I love you even as I love my son, Jesus. John 17:23 For in Jesus, my love for you is revealed. John 17:26 He is the exact representation of my being. Hebrews 1:3 He came to demonstrate that I am for you, not against you. Romans 8:31 And to tell you that I am not counting your sins. 2 Corinthians 5:18-19 Jesus died so that you and I could be reconciled. 2 Corinthians 5:18-19 His death was the ultimate expression of my love for you. 1 John 4:10 I gave up everything I loved that I might gain your love. Romans 8:31-32 If you receive the gift of my son Jesus, you receive me. 1 John 2:23 And nothing will ever separate you from my love again. Romans 8:38-39 Come home and I’ll throw the biggest party heaven has ever seen. Luke 15:7 I have always been Father, and will always be Father. Ephesians 3:14-15 My question is… Will you be my child? John 1:12-13 I am waiting for you. Luke 15:11-32 LOVE,YOUR DAD…