Focus on the Eternal!

“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” ‭‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭4:16-18‬ ‭NIV‬‬

As time goes on, I observe my hair turning gray and wrinkles appearing deeper and more pronounced. My eyesight has dimmed and my body has changed. Yes, outwardly there is a “wasting away.” Time does indeed affect our physical bodies.

BUT, we are told to not “lose heart” – to not get discouraged. Even as our physical bodies may let us down, our spirit is not getting weaker, it is getting stronger as we are being renewed day by day! Hallelujah!!

As we go through challenges and troubles, the Lord reminds us that in and through them we are receiving an eternal glory that outweighs them all!

So, I won’t focus on the changes of getting older. I won’t focus on COVID-19. I won’t focus on all the turmoil that is raging around us. I will remind myself that all that I see is temporary.

Brothers & Sisters! May we not focus on the problems, but focus on the SOLUTIONS. When we pray, may we not bring a list of everything that is wrong to the Lord, but may we seek His vision, plan, and purpose and join Him in praying that!! God knows what we need in our lives. God knows what we need in the world. As we seek Him, and move our focus from the seen to that which is unseen – we will be focusing on the eternal!!

Oh God!! We join You in speaking Your will, plan, and vision for our lives, our church, and our world. Help us, Lord, to get our eyes off of the problems and onto YOU! We join You in the midst of it all! We want to be a part of the solution that You want to bring to a hurting world. Speak to us, Lord! We are ready to be Your hands, feet, and mouth. Pour through us and touch this world for Your glory! In Jesus’ Name. Amen! ~Tina K. Roach

O MY SOUL

“Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God. ‭‭Psalm‬ ‭42:11 ‭ESV‬‬

I don’t know about you, but sometimes my soul does get “downcast.”  Other words that describe this state are – dejected, sad, depressed, discouraged, and disappointed. 

I think we all have those days. How do we rise above those feelings?  How do we get our soul (mind, will, and emotions) to leave the position of being “cast down” to one of being “uplifted?”

Have you ever thought about speaking to your soul?  This is what is happening in this passage of scripture. If you are someone who has ever engaged in “talking to yourself” – you now know that it is scriptural!!  😃

As we read this verse, we see that the solution to the soul’s downcast state is to hope in God, praise Him, and to remember who He is – our salvation and God!

Sometimes we need to remind ourselves (speak to our souls) of God’s goodness and how we should respond to Him. As we move our attention from ourselves to God Almighty, our feelings of depression and discouragement begin to fall away. 

Oh my soul, why are you discouraged? Jesus is my salvation and Lord! The Lord loves me. He is faithful, strong, and true! He is my Rock and my Redeemer! Oh my soul, why are you cast down within me? By day the LORD commands his steadfast love, and at night his song is with me! Oh my soul! Hope in God! Even in my discouragement, yet will I praise Him!

As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God… Psalm 42:1-2

~~Tina Roach

RESURRECTION SUNDAY

I wasn’t really planning on doing a written post today.  To be honest, I woke up a little depressed. If it were a “normal” day, I would be getting dressed in a beautiful, colorful outfit and looking forward to joining my friends at church to celebrate this special day.  Of course, I know this day isn’t about me…I know that it is a day of focusing on our precious Jesus…I know this and yet I still find my thoughts drifting towards my isolation. Am I the only one?

So!  At this point, I CHOOSE to refocus my thoughts…I CHOOSE to trade in my depression for the oil of gladness!  I CHOOSE to celebrate the awesome resurrection of our precious Lord!

As I said, I really wasn’t planning on writing a post this morning – but the Lord had other plans. Thoughts of resurrection have been floating around in my mind and spirit. And I know I am to put it to “paper.”  

When we receive God’s Truth we are expected to react to it.  We know that the resurrection of Jesus is true! So what should our reaction be?  Hopefully, foremost our reaction should be to accept the NEW LIFE that Jesus offers to us through His death and resurrection.  If anyone who reads this has not made that salvation step – I would encourage you to stop…seek the Lord…and CHOOSE to accept what Jesus did for you. 

Again, what do we do with this Truth of the Resurrection of Jesus? We must DO something! I am reminded that “Faith without works is dead.” (James 2:26). We have faith that Jesus was indeed resurrected from the dead. What are we going to do with this knowledge? How will our lives be changed with this knowledge? How do we “walk out” this Truth?

Resurrection Power is within us! Through the Holy Spirit living within us, we walk in the same power that Jesus walked in on this earth. Sometimes it’s hard for me to wrap my brain around that Truth. But, Jesus confirms this Himself!

“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father.” ‭‭John‬ ‭14:12‬ ‭NASB‬‬

CHURCH!  Are we walking this out in our ministries and lives?  Jesus is our example. Are we seeing the works that Jesus did being manifested in our families, in our church, in our communities?  

I believe that on this Resurrection Sunday, as we celebrate our risen Lord, He is calling us to be the expression of His Life on earth!!  BE the hands, feet, eyes, ears, and mouth of Jesus! HE IS ALIVE and HE LIVES IN AND THROUGH US!!

Oh Jesus! We thank You for dying on the cross for us. We thank You for the resurrected life we have in You. When we accepted You as our Lord and Savior – You brought us from death in our sins to eternal life in You!! We celebrate Your resurrection on this most high and holy day! WE CELEBRATE YOU!! Amen!

~Tina K. Roach

GOD IS FAITHFUL!!

“Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.”       ‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭10:23-25‬ ‭NASB‬‬

I woke up on Palm Sunday feeling at odds because I was not getting ready to attend church on this special day.  As a matter of fact, it was supposed to be the day of our Easter Cantata. But, due to the quarantine/stay-at-home, we were unable to follow through in leading this worship experience. 

I know that once this separation is over, we will not only pick up where we left off, but we will pick up NEW ways to “stimulate one another to love and good deeds….and encouraging one another.”  We already have found ways that maybe we weren’t doing before as a Church or individually.  I would say that Church, as we know it, is being transformed!!  

We have also discovered that even though we have been unable to assemble together in our church building – we have NOT forsaken our “assembling together.”  Through phone calls, email, texts, and social media – we HAVE stayed connected!! Hallelujah!

In and through it all – 

“Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful!!”

GOD IS FAITHFUL!!

Your Sister on the journey,

Tina Roach

DRAW NEAR!

“…let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews‬ ‭4:16‬ ‭NASB‬‬

I would say that we are definitely in a time of need!  God loves us so much. He doesn’t expect us to make this journey alone. He tells us exactly what we are to do during these challenging times. 

We are to DRAW NEAR! As we faithfully follow the social-distancing guidelines, it is imperative that we remember that it is not a time to distance ourselves from the Lord. He invites us into His “personal space!” He won’t back off and say, “Whoa! Too close!” No, as we begin to step closer and closer – I see Him smile, and with a soft, loving look He whispers, “Closer…”

We are to draw near with CONFIDENCE! Some translations say with BOLDNESS. We are to come before the throne with the assurance of who we are in Christ Jesus and who God is. We are “dressed for the occasion!”

“I will rejoice greatly in the LORD, My soul will exult in my God; For He has clothed me with garments of salvation, He has wrapped me with a robe of righteousness, As a bridegroom decks himself with a garland, And as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.” Isaiah‬ ‭61:10‬ ‭NASB‬‬

Ahhh, Brothers & Sisters!  He is inviting us to His throne to receive mercy and grace during our time of need. Are you ready to join me there?

Dearest LORD, such love You have for us! Even as we struggle daily with new boundaries of quarantine and social-distancing…YOU are with us every moment of every day. May we take this time of forced separation and see the blessing in it – more time with You…more time with family…more time to evaluate our priorities. We aren’t happy in the circumstances that we face, LORD. But we do rejoice because YOU are with us!! We exalt and honor You each day – in quarantine or out. Blessed be Your most holy name!

~Tina K. Roach

Peace of God

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.                   Philippians‬ ‭4:6-7‬ ‭ 

 

I have been praying for you, dear friends.  I know that many of you are going through anxiety as we continue to face the unknown with the coronavirus.  Our minds are full of questions. How long will our quarantine last? When can I go out without fear? Will I be able to return to my job and have financial security again? 

We are taking this journey together step-by-step.  There are no shortcuts. We follow the guidelines given us and we trust God.  Again, WE TRUST GOD!

The Scripture above reminds us that we should never be anxious – not about anything!  I don’t know about you, but I find this to be challenging. How can I not be anxious about what goes on around me?  Now it’s the coronavirus, but it seems like there are always situations and circumstances that can cause me worry and concerns.

I love how the LORD tells us to do something and then tells us how to do it!  He’s a good God!! How can we “be anxious for nothing?”

  1. By going to God about everything!  There is nothing that is too small or too big.  If it is causing us to not walk in strength and victory – then He wants to help us with it.  GO TO HIM!
  2. Remember to enter His courts with thanksgiving.  As we remember all that He has done for us in the past, it builds our faith to know that He WILL help us now.
  3. As we go to the LORD with our requests/prayers and believe He hears us and is moving on our behalf, THE PEACE OF GOD will guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. 

Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you.  I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.   John 14:27

Dearest LORD!  Thank You for guarding our hearts and minds against anxiety, fear, and depression.  We receive Your peace! We walk in Your peace! We spread Your peace to others! In the mighty name of the Prince of Peace, JESUS, we pray      Amen!   

 

Fill Your Lamps!

Fill Your Lamps!

What a time we are experiencing in the world! The Coronavirus is causing us to be quarantined from our “normal” day-to-day lives. I know many are experiencing financial hardship as they are not able to return to work. Some that are working are having to find child care for their children because of school closings. We are praying for you!

I am hearing a lot of negative talk going around on social media and from people that I have encountered on my short trips to pick up supplies. I hear you…I understand the frustration and the fear that is trying to surround us. In the midst of this “storm” I am reminded that God has not given us a spirit of fear but of power and love and a sound mind. (2 Timothy 1:7)

I do not speak against those that are having fear, but encourage you to look to God to help you overcome it. I have to admit that I have moved from the initial feelings of fear and frustration to seeing the spiritual implications of what’s going on spreading out before me.

I do not believe that the enemy of our souls, Satan, has caused this virus. However, I do believe that Satan is taking the opportunity to release a spirit of fear to paralyze the church and world. He is trying to separate and shut down God’s people and cause anxiety and depression.

I come against that right now, in the mighty Name of Jesus! I rebuke and root out the spirit of fear. I command it to GO and I release God’s POWER and LOVE to rise up within God’s people! I thank You, LORD, that we have the mind of Christ, a SOUND MIND…a mind that is not filled with what the world says, but with YOUR TRUTH, O God!! I thank You, LORD, that out of our sound mind we make decisions and choices based on Your Guidance and Your Word. May we honor and heed the guidance and directions of those that are positioned to stop the spread of this virus. May we look past ourselves to those that are vulnerable and need to be protected. Help us, LORD, to be on the front line of defense – through our actions and through our prayers.

I also believe that God has not caused this virus. However, I do believe that He causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28)

I see God using this time to wake up His Church!! What are we turning to in reaction to what’s going on? Are we comforting ourselves through things of the flesh or are we turning to God? Where does our hope come from?

What are we doing now that we are forced to be at home? Oh Brothers & Sisters!! What an opportunity we have to connect more deeply with the Lord! I hear the Lord calling us to DRAW NEAR!! How can we journey through this time and come out on the other side stronger?

I would encourage you (and me) to dig deeper into God’s Word. I would encourage us to spend quiet time just resting in His presence – feeling His love and expressing our love to Him. Take this time to LISTEN. God wants to speak to you. I believe that as we press into the Lord, really press in, we will begin to receive answers to questions we have had unanswered. We will receive deeper revelation of what God wants us to do during this time of separating ourselves from the world and abiding in Him.

God is calling us to HOLINESS! I see this time as a time of “cleaning house.” May we physically clean house and get things in order…but even more importantly…may we spiritually go through our homes and get rid of those things that God says to remove. Get out the anointing oil and (re)dedicate our homes as places of spiritual safety, health, love, and rest.

We also need to “clean house” in our own lives. What has God been calling us to stop doing or to begin doing? What things are causing us to move away from God instead of drawing near? Brothers & Sisters, the time is NOW! No more putting it off until later…

Then the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them, but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps. (Matthew 25:1-4). *I invite you to read through verse 13*

WE ARE THE CHURCH!! We are just as much the church even when we are not physically able to meet in the church building. May we focus on the LORD during this time. May we position ourselves to become the Church He has called us to be. May we use this time to be wise and “fill our oil lamps!” Allow the Holy Spirit to fill you to overflowing! May we burn brighter and brighter as we are filled more and more with the oil of the Holy Spirit!! When we are released from this quarantine may we be LIGHTHOUSES shining brightly for the LORD!!! GLORY!!

We are in this journey together!! You, me, and Almighty God!! Trust and KNOW that He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 15:57)

HALLELUJAH!!