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Entries in Walk with God (2)

Tuesday
Jan162018

Live the Abundant Life in 2018!

Many write about “abundance” these days, but abundant living doesn’t mean we won’t experience struggles, as Yvonne Ortega explains in this Spiritual Life UPGRADE.

“I went through aggressive chemotherapy and thirty-three rounds of radiation seventeen years ago this month,” Yvonne says.

“That experience and the loss of my only child in 2009 convinced me that I want more out of life than a mere existence of going through the motions day after day.

When I (Dawn) think about “going through the motions,” I picture monotony and boredom. Though we may face tough “wilderness” experiences, monotony and boredom are not what the Lord has in store for His children in our times of difficulty.

Yvonne Ortega continues . . .

I celebrate the gift of life not only on my yearly anniversary of being cancer-free but every day.

Jesus said,

"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly" (John 10:10, NASB).

I want to live the abundant life Jesus came to give us.

My life changed in my journey to live the abundant life. I questioned every area of my life and searched the Bible for answers.

I came up with FOUR AREAS that required change.

First, I had to make FOOD CHOICES to live the abundant life.

For the most part, I look at food from the perspective of 1 Corinthians 6:19–20:

Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.”

The Holy Spirit convicted me that I couldn’t eat junk food and take care of my body, His temple.

Second, I had to get SUFFICIENT SLEEP each night to live the abundant life.

For me that means eight hours of sleep each night.

Jesus saw the need for rest in Mark 6:31–32:

Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them (the apostles), ‘Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.’ So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place.”

Third, I had to EXERCISE MORE than my fingers at the computer to live the abundant life.

I tried various types of exercise before I settled on the ones that work for me. I enjoy walking outside. As I walk, I review Bible verses and pray for the needs of my neighbors.

Since I live close to the beach, a walk at the beach delights me. The sound of the waves and the feel of the sand between my toes revive me. As I look around at the beach, I thank God for the beautiful world He created.

I also enjoy swimming laps and aqua classes. Through my time at the pool, I’ve met many wonderful people.

Fourth, I needed to DEEPEN MY RELATIONSHIP with the Lord to live the abundant life.

I committed to reading the Bible from Genesis through Revelation each year.

One year, I read the Bible in 90 Days in addition to reading the Bible in a year.

I also chose to listen to praise and worship music daily. When I listen to praise and worship music, I am transported into the very presence of God. He speaks to me, and I listen.

What will you do this year to live the abundant life Jesus came to give you?

Yvonne Ortega is a licensed professional counselor, a bilingual professional speaker, and the author of Moving from Broken to Beautiful: 9 Life Lessons to Help You Move Forward (paperback, Kindle) and Finding Hope for Your Journey through Breast Cancer (Kindle), both available at amazon.com/books. She not only survived but thrived after a domestic violence marriage, breast cancer and the loss of her only child. With honesty and humor, Yvonne uses personal examples and truths of the Bible to help women move from broken to beautiful. Find out more about Yvonne at her website.

Graphic adapted, courtesy of Pexel at Pixabay.

Tuesday
Mar102015

How to Keep Steady in Your Walk with God

I met Teri Thompson in a ministry that cares deeply about equipping and encouraging women, and this is Teri's heartbeat, for sure. I asked her to write a Spiritual Life UPGRADE.

"Would you ever be tempted to purchase a dining table with only three legs?" Teri said. "What if it was a beautiful, one-of-a-kind table . . . with one exception? That silly leg is missing! I doubt you would buy it."

While I (Dawn) have bought many garage sale items I later regretted, I don't think I'd ever buy a three-legged dining table. But there's something just as absurd, as Teri points out.

Teri continues . . .

There isn’t a three legged table I know of that is sturdy enough to handle the pressure of anything weighty being placed upon it! The missing leg makes the crippled table—no matter how beautiful it was in mint condition—unstable.

Our spiritual life can be compared to a four-legged table.

If we have four major spiritual disciplines operating on an ongoing basis our faith is strong, our joy is evident and the peace that passes all understanding anchors us to the Rock of our faith. But when just one or more of those disciplines is lacking, our spiritual life fluctuates, faith diminishes, discontentment sets in and peace is replaced with nagging worry and joy flees as a frown sits upon our brow.

We all know believers like that. You have seen them haven’t you? You would never be able to tell by their demeanor and their stern facial expressions that they were heaven bound!

I have seen those serious, worn, worried Christians. They are not fun. And I hate to admit it, but at times I have been that Christian.

God’s Word has an answer for every dilemma. We can find the solution to joyful steady plodding in our walk with God right there in scripture!

Peel your bible pages back to Acts 2:42. In this meaty section of scripture, God gives instruction to the New Testament Church as to how they were to operate. If we believe we are the church, then we can assume this instruction also pertains to the individual believer.

Right there in Acts, we see God calling His people to practice four spiritual disciplines. We could visualize these as “the four legs of a table.”

Scripture says,

“They continued steadfastly in the apostle’s doctrine (which is God’s Word) and fellowship, in breaking of bread (worship) and in prayer” (Acts 2:42 NKJ).

Do you see it?

  • God's Word
  • Fellowship
  • Worship
  • Prayer

If we take just one of these disciplines out of our daily life, it doesn’t take long before life’s pressures bear down upon us, causing instability. We become weak and the peace we were meant to live in is gone.

What is it that has made you uneasy lately? Has a “people problem” drained you of your last bit of heavenly joy? Did that recent news rob you of all peace?

When was the last time you positioned your heart low enough before the God of heaven in prayer, not coming unto Him with a need’s list but just to commune with Him because He is worthy to be worshipped? Is time alone in God’s Word a common practice? Hungry souls sit at a distance from the mercy seat of God!

If we will avail ourselves to these four spiritual disciplines God has given us in His Word, we will not be promised a perfect life, or a trial-free life. Frankly, that would be unscriptural. But we will invite the joy-filled, abundant life that God had intended for us to live!

Which of these four disciplines is weak in your life today? Isn't it time to prop up and strengthen your "spiritual table"?

Teri Thompson lives in Bakersfield, California, with her wonderful husband, Brad—happily married 32 years—and has three grown children and seven adorable grandchildren. Teri loves to teach the Word of God to women and watch it wonderfully transform their lives. She is the Women’s Ministry Director at Crossroads Christian Fellowship, Director for the Kern County Women’s Conference and the President of NEWIM Kern County. Teri has taught and written weekly Bible Studies for many years and speaks at various women’s retreats and events. Her “Ephesians” Bible study is available here.