The Holy Spirit. 

“If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.” (‭John‬ ‭14‬:‭15-20‬ NIV)
Holy Spirit
We follow him, he doesn’t follow us 
He’s not subtle 
He isn’t offended by you or the world 
He doesn’t quench as easily as we may think he would quench 
This is the the reality of God 
We have this helper in us And he is always with us 
We are to have a real relationship with him 
Know him and follow him daily. 
We are meant to know the Holy Spirit just like we know the father and the son. 

The Holy Spirit helps us to believe. 

He makes us believe. 

We can not be a Christian without the Holy Spirit. 

He gives us the ability to believe. 
We were once dead in sin, but now we believe. 
We did not decide that we received Jesus, that was the work of God! 
You can not come to Christ without the power of the Holy Spirit. 
You must be born again! You must be born in spirit. 

How do you know you’ve been born again? 

If you can see the holy spirit in your life, if you can feel his presence. 
The Holy Spirit brought this to you! 

He was a part of every phase of your redemption. 
He will dwell with you and be in you forever!!!

Holy Spirit is the means of grace! 

He allows us to go through hard times and come out better after. 

Holy Spirit means worship! 
As we worship the spirit comes and fills our hearts and minds. 
Be filled with the Holy Spirit! 

People want to worship God when the Holy Spirit comes! 
The Holy Spirit is active in the church today! Where many gather, God will be present. 

The church will never fail…
Why? Because of the Holy Spirit. 
He is the part of the trinity that is fully present to us everyday. 
The Holy Spirit is active in the world today! 

He will get you to where he wants you to go and he will use you in the way that he wants to. It’s not up to you, it’s up to HIM!
The holy spirit helps us to pray. 

He prays through us. 
Even when we don’t know what to say, he is there to intervene.
He cleanses us from sin. 

He brings forth fruit in US. 

Even your self control is the work of the spirit in you. 

The Holy Spirit gives us spiritual gifts. 
He makes his presence known and felt! 

The Holy Spirit helps us to see the work of God, to see beyond the natural and to see in gods perspective. 

Don’t forget about this important part of the trinity! He loves you and wants to be near you. Welcome the Holy Spirit into your life or pray that he will make himself known to you again! 

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Gods grace. 

I think as the younger generation, we often forget that many of the things around us are actually Gods grace showing through. If you think about a lifetime, you’re born so helpless and pure, then you grow up and can care for yourself. Now if you’re lucky you’ll never fall back to the stage of being completely dependable, but most aren’t so lucky.
I went today to a nursing home and while meeting with this woman, her name was Virginia, I was reminded of how full of grace God really is. She was so happy and free, so full of life. It really reminded me once again how greatful I need to be For life and all the gifts that come with it. Talking with someone who’s been married for 53 years now, (long Time I know!) I was reminded of what it really means to live. God gives us life, and in our lives we must be willing to give of ourselves. Now this means different things for different people. For some this means be a good wife and mother, for others it means travel the world and share the gospel.
I think there’s a lot to be learned from both the young children and the elderly. Children see life very simplistically whereas the elderly are very wise. Both have something the other doesn’t , and both have what ages in between have forgotten about. 
Gods grace is shown around us everyday but we choose whether or not to see it and accept it. Today I accepted it and the beautiful gift of my friend Virginia. She was strong and brave and I know with peace in my soul, that when God is ready for her, she will have a lovely place in heaven. ❤️

Live IN the world, not OF the world. 

While in college, I was asked why I don’t ever go out? Meaning why don’t I go to the bars and clubs…I replied to this man that I’ve had a lifestyle change. He says, “…growing up so soon? I’m still living the college lifestyle.” This really surprised me. I don’t think that I act “old” or anything. I’ve just come to know my Father, and I would disappoint Him by partaking in such acts. It’s really hard to say “no” in college. There’s constant pressures to fit in, much worse than ever in high school. God has shown me in the last couple years what it really means to be a follower of HIM. It is NOT easy, it’s not even always fun, BUT it’s the right thing to do because God died for me and by honoring Him in front of my friends, He will honor me in front of the Father. The verse that immediately comes to mind, is that as followers of Christ we are to be IN the world, but not ever OF the world! What a powerful statement!! What does that really even mean to you?? I’ll tell you what it means to me. It means that you can live on earth, spend time with whom ever you want, but don’t par take in the selfish acts of non followers. It breaks God’s heart whenever He sees His children doing drugs, drinking, cheating, lying, hurting… He sent His ONLY son, into the world, to die for our sins and when we willingly and knowingly par take in the crazy “college lifestyle” as this man was referring to it…it breaks God’s heart. He cries for us, but He has hope in us. In the book of Jeremiah, it says, “For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Can you imagine just from that alone, how much God loves you? Honor God in all things you do, no matter what it is. When you do so, He will be happy. “Blessed are those who trust in the Lord. They are like trees planted along the riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green, and they go right on producing delicious fruit.” Jeremiah 17:7-8. I want to leave you with this thought. What decision have you been making? Are they making God happy or should you be asking for forgiveness? Just remember, you are the Son/Daughter of the All Mighty King! He loves you! He adores you! He will forgive you!

Malachi bible study. 

Malachi 3:13-18 (NIV) 

Israel Speaks Arrogantly Against God
13 “You have spoken arrogantly against me,” says the Lord.
“Yet you ask, ‘what have we said against you?’
14 “You have said, ‘It is futile to serve God. What do we gain by carrying out his requirements and going about like mourners before the Lord Almighty? 15 But now we call the arrogant blessed. Certainly evildoers prosper, and even when they put God to the test, they get away with it.’”
The Faithful Remnant
16 Then those who feared the Lord talked with each other, and the Lord listened and heard. A scroll of remembrance was written in his presence concerning those who feared the Lord and honored his name.
17 “On the day when I act,” says the Lord Almighty, “they will be my treasured possession. I will spare them, just as a father has compassion and spares his son who serves him. 18 And you will again see the distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between those who serve God and those who do not.

1. What do you believe the word righteous means? What does it mean to you?
a. For me it means, being right with GOD
b. Which we can’t do on our own
c. We need the strength of Jesus
d. He died for us, so we can be saved
2. As a child do you ever remember doing something wrong and then being punished for it, but perhaps you really didn’t know what you’d done? 
a. V. 13 makes me think of this idea because many times both Christian and non-Christians speak arrogantly about God
b. Some believe they can act how they’d like and still receive all of God’s blessings
c. Non Christians don’t care how they’re perceived as long as their accepted by their peers
3. (v. 13) Can you think of a time when you spoke arrogantly against Him?
a. What does it mean to be arrogant towards God?
b. How did you feel after the fact?
c. These words can be any negativity towards him such as blaming him for your downfall or bad luck
d. Blaming him for death or pain
e. How do you think this makes Him feel 
4. (v. 16) What can we gain by carrying out his requirements
a. What’s it matter
5. This can be described as being two types of people- those who understand the importance of serving Him and those who don’t
a. Those who serve Him would fear Him
b. Those who don’t believe there’s nothing to lose
6. (v. 17) When looking at v. 17, what do you think the day if referring to?
a. I believe it introduces the last day of judgment
b. A day of destruction for the wicked but healing for the righteous. 
7. (v. 17) How do you feel about line 17 where he says, “…they will be mine”?
a. Refers back to v.16
8. In the early stage of Old Testament revelation the nation of Israel is called God’s “treasured possession” (Ex. 19:5; Deut. 7:6; 14:2).
9. The final verses return to the promised ancestors and encourage the people to keep the Law of Moses.
10. What are some ways you can tell the different between those who serve God and those who don’t?
a. Values
b. Beliefs
c. Actions
d. Friends
e. Habits
f. Hobbies
g. Language
😊

Where’s God?

There’s times that it feels like He isn’t even around at all.
Recently I’ve prayed a lot asking Him to show himself to me so I can see Him more clearly. While I know he never leaves me, sometimes I don’t feel any guidance or answered prayers. I think it’s important at these times to really force yourself to dig into the Gospel to read more scripture. God is all around us all the time and I think the times when we don’t feel His presence is when we have replaced Him with other things. Maybe you’re super busy at work with presentations and deadlines, or maybe you’re a student and have so much homework you don’t find much time left in the day for Jesus.
I have found that when I give God the best I can, that I can see Him more and feel Him more and know Him more.
Ask God for what you want to recieve from Him. He knows what you need and He knows what you want but you still need to ask.

Who are you? 

Who do you want to be? This is a very common question. We’re asked all the time, from the start of school and much past graduation. Do you want to be something more common like a doctor or teacher? Maybe you want to be something out of the box like a video game creator or a photographer? So once you decide what you want to be, whatever it is, you have to next figure out how you’re going to get there. What steps are needed, who’s needed, what’s needed. The stress can quickly pile up… 
Know who you want to be. Then make decisions that point in that direction. 
This is something you need to decide early into 2015. How is this year going to be different? How will you be different? There’s always something more we could be doing for our family, community, or for our God. What is it for you? Maybe it’s a decision for change. If so, what are you going to do, to make this year different from the last? 
As stated in Luke 1:45, “Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill His promises to her.” Do you have no idea how to become who you want to become? Start here, with trusting God and his plan for you. Do you trust him, or do you trust man? Who’s going to get you to where you need to be? God. Who will be there even when you don’t know which path to take? God. Who will love you unconditionally even if you make a mistake? God. So what’s the decision for your year? God. 
You’ve made the life changing decision to trust God and follow his way of life. There is scripture to help you approach a new path or decision in strong faith. There’s a verse (or two) I specifically think of that shows us how to plan our future with focus. We must follow a present pattern of growth through Christ. 
“So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.” (Colossians‬ ‭2‬:‭6-7‬)
What does this tell you? It tells you that no matter where life takes you, God will forever be with you. God will forever strengthen you, if you’ll only trust Him to take you there. 
We are all called to live in Him. Regardless of the world around us, constantly be looking at Him. He gives us joy, love, peace, and happiness. We must all be thankful for our present from The Father. 
God has a plan for you, just say yes!

Just say yes.

Who do you want to be? This is a very common question. We’re asked all the time, from the start of school and much past graduation. Do you want to be something more common like a doctor or teacher? Maybe you want to be something out of the box like a video game creator or a photographer? So once you decide what you want to be, whatever it is, you have to next figure out how you’re going to get there. What steps are needed, who’s needed, what’s needed. The stress can quickly pile up… 
Know who you want to be. Then make decisions that point in that direction. 
This is something you need to decide early into 2015. How is this year going to be different? How will you be different? There’s always something more we could be doing for our family, community, or for our God. What is it for you? Maybe it’s a decision for change. If so, what are you going to do, to make this year different from the last? 
As stated in Luke 1:45, “Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill His promises to her.” Do you have no idea how to become who you want to become? Start here, with trusting God and his plan for you. Do you trust him, or do you trust man? Who’s going to get you to where you need to be? God. Who will be there even when you don’t know which path to take? God. Who will love you unconditionally even if you make a mistake? God. So what’s the decision for your year? God. 
You’ve made the life changing decision to trust God and follow his way of life. There is scripture to help you approach a new path or decision in strong faith. There’s a verse (or two) I specifically think of that shows us how to plan our future with focus. We must follow a present pattern of growth through Christ. 
“So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.” (Colossians‬ ‭2‬:‭6-7‬)
What does this tell you? It tells you that no matter where life takes you, God will forever be with you. God will forever strengthen you, if you’ll only trust Him to take you there. 
We are all called to live in Him. Regardless of the world around us, constantly be looking at Him. He gives us joy, love, peace, and happiness. We must all be thankful for our present from The Father. 
God has a plan for you, just say yes!

First was God, then you. 

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (‭John‬ ‭1‬:‭1‬ NIV) 
This means that all life, all people, all things flow from him, and only him. This means if you are struggling for money, you go to Him. If you are on cloud 9 and have all you’ve ever wanted, you praise Him. All things in this life are because of him and flow from him. Below you will see 7 points to help you realize God is the most important in your life! 
You can’t do life alone. 

You are not strong enough to make decisions on your own, not the best ones anyways. When we try to replace God with our own thoughts, we fail. If you say to yourself, “I got this, I can do life,” you will fail. Sometimes though, life may appear perfect, so the need for God’s help never prevails itself to you. This is the devils way of making sure you don’t run to God or look to God for help. He doesn’t want you to change your ways of sin and lust, for godliness and faith. Be aware when the enemy is present. Seek a mentor and those who can walk with you along the way. 
God will always be there. 

People fail you. Cars fail you. Jobs fail you. Life fails you. God was once very important to you, when you gave your life to him, but maybe you’ve become busy and forgotten, pushed him aside. Eventually, you may turn to God again, and decide to give him a try. It’s important in these moments to remember he is a forgiving and loving God. Nothing you’ve done is too big for him, not to forgive, but you mustn’t go and do it again. You must ask for forgiveness for your sinning and move forward into this faith. God wants to be the center of your life, and by doing so, you will see how great your life can be. He will always be there for you, and the more you ask for him, the more you’ll see him. “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” (‭Psalm‬ ‭46‬:‭1‬ NIV)
Trust in the unknown. 

Faith in God, includes his timing. This for me is one of the hardest things to accept, that I’m really not in control, he is. God knows when you will fail, when you will succeed, when you will find your soulmate, when you’ll have your first child, when you will fail a test, miss your flight, sing amazing grace! It does, not, matter what it is, God knows. The best thing we can do is have faith. In Matthew, Jesus asks, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” (‭Matthew‬ ‭14‬:‭31‬ NIV) 

Why do we doubt him? Is his faithfulness not enough? Is his gift not enough? Is he not enough? 

On numerous occasions Jesus says, trust in God! “In you, Lord my God, I put my trust.” (‭Psalm‬ ‭25‬:‭1‬ NIV) “When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.” (‭Psalm‬ ‭56‬:‭3‬ NIV) Perhaps most importantly, Jesus says about God, “It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”

(‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭13‬:‭7‬ NIV) So put your faith in Him, and see where he will take you. 
What is God telling you?

God shows us all signs, they’re all around you if you’re willing to stop and seek them. Some signs will be very blunt, in your face, others will hide quietly in the corners of your life. God wants to communicate with you. He wants to build a relationship with you, if you let him. Don’t think that by walking around in your everyday life, though, that you will see him if every time he approaches you, you turn your head and walk away. “The Spirit of the Lord will come powerfully upon you, and you will prophesy with them; and you will be changed into a different person. Once these signs are fulfilled, do whatever your hand finds to do, for God is with you.”

(‭1 Samuel‬ ‭10‬:‭6-7‬ NIV) Once you realize in your situation that it’s God speaking to you, you should listen, pray, and follow as directed. 
Pray. 

Prayer is the most important form of communication with the Father. There’s no better way to communicate with him. This can be done many different ways: singing, speaking, listening. Nevertheless, the power of prayer should not be underestimated. James 5:16-18 declares, “…The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. Elijah was a man just like us. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops.” If Elijah had given up on God and went about his days trusting his own judgement as a farmer, the outcome would have been much different. If your life is full of noise and clutter, use prayer to push it away and focus solely on God. He can do amazing things, don’t you see, “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” (‭John‬ ‭3‬:‭17‬ NIV) Ask God for help, guidance, love, and glorify him all the days of your life. 
Spending time in the word. 

What better way to connect to God than to read the Bible. It doesn’t matter in what form you read it: paper copy or electronically. In this book there are directions for times when you’re needing guidance, there’s encouraging words for when you’re down, there’s applause for those who faithfully follow Him, and much more. While to many this just seems like an old, outdated story to read children before bed, it isn’t. It’s very relevant and very useful even today. People really haven’t changed very much since the beginning of time. Humans still lie, steal, kill, hate, they still love, care, give, and smile- so how could it not be relevant? The bible alone has transformed thousands of lives, if it hasn’t already transformed yours, today’s the day to begin. 
Surround yourself with like-minded people. 

I saved this part for last, because for many, it seals the deal! If you, on your own, pray, read the bible, or sing, to spend time with God that’s wonderful- but if you only keep it to yourself what good is it? Being a Christian isn’t a personal religion. God commands us to form churches and gather together with equally yoked people. You’re to go into the world and spread The Word, and the best people to do that with are those who understand your relationship with God. It takes a special relationship created by God, to truly make a difference with. You should look for friends who are not only running towards God, but running at the same speed you are. These people will keep you accountable, keep you aware of your actions, and help keep you focused on God when you start to wander off. These are important gifts in your life, from the Father, and the heavens are the limit. If God is for you, what could ever stop you? Pray for these people to come into your life, if they aren’t already present. When the time comes, ask God what his plans are for your group and soar! 
For you I pray, “Heavenly father, I pray you will come into the hearts of those who read this post and help them to be more focused on you, and less focused on themselves. Help them to learn what it means to be in the world, but not of the world. Help them to not conform to worldly ways but to your Godly ways. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.”

What’s contaminating you?

“Therefore, since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.” 2 Corinthians 7:1 NIV
Something to think about. What is something that is contaminating you and keeping you from holiness? Is it worth holding onto?

Trust the unknown. 

Trust that god will get you through your storm. Trust he will get you to the place you want to be. Eventually he will. That’s the hard part. Trust your decisions. Know that you will not make it through this life flawlessly though. It’s ok to make mistakes. It’s part of it. That’s how he teaches you. Try not to be afraid of your instincts. You are the sons and daughters of the almighty King!! You might surprise yourself how good your decision making skills are with God by your side.