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Leaving a Legacy Ministries with Codi Gandee

Using the Word to Encourage Others

Month

April 2013

Cry Out To Jesus

Psalm 130:1-4

Jonah sat in a fish’s belly. The events of the days leading him to where he was flash backed through his mind:….God told me to go to Nineveh….I went in another direction….I bought a ticket…..a storm came while we were at sea…..I told them to throw me over….I was the cause…..

Jonah began sobbing. The reality of his decisions had finally hit home. He poured his heart out to God. He begged for forgiveness.

The Lord forgave him.

Even though Jonah had purposefully chosen to go in a direction that The Lord wasn’t leading him in.

The Lord forgave him.

Even though Jonah was in direct contrast to God’s will.

The Lord forgave him.

God didn’t hold out on forgiveness for Jonah. He forgave him as soon as Jonah humbly prayed to be forgiven.

Jesus is able to forgive any person at any time they choose to come before Him with a repentant heart.

Even if that person has purposefully turned their back on God.

Willing to Work

Matthew 12:50

Naaman was not only captain over Syrian’s army but he was also a leper. He went to Elisha, a prophet of God, to be healed of the disease.

Elisha told him to be cleansed of the leprosy by washing in Jordan seven times.

Naaman left in a rage. How dare the prophet tell him to do something as simple as washing himself in the Jordan River! He was going home angry…and still diseased with leprosy.

Naaman’s servants stepped in: “Master, if Elisha had asked you to do some great thing, wouldn’t you have done it?”

The servants had learned to be obedient to their master. They didn’t allow their opinion to affect their service. They were willing to obey at all cost. This way of life prepared the servants to offer wisdom to Naaman when he became the one receiving instruction.

We aren’t here to lead The Lord in what direction we think is best. We are here to be led by Him. As followers of Christ we should be willing to do whatever task The Lord has laid out before us, regardless of our opinion.

Through Thick and Thin

I Thessalonians 5:14

Nehemiah, King Artaxerxes’ butler, was an Israelite. One day as he worked in the palace word came to him that his people’s city, Jerusalem was lying in waste. Nehemiah’s heart broke for his people. He cried out to God, begging Him to restore to the people their land. He asked The Lord to use him for the rebuilding of the city.

King Artaxerxes granted Nehemiah permission to return to his homeland. As Nehemiah rode into view of Jerusalem he saw for himself the broken down wall, the gates on fire, the city in ruins.

He went to the people and told them that God had sent him and that it was time to rebuild. The people responded: “let us rise up and build”.

The wall that had laid in ruin was restored in only fifty-two days.

The encouraging word from a man of God had inspired the people to get out of the mess they were living in. Nehemiah’s leadership and example strengthened them as they restored the walls.

We can be that person who God calls on to be an encouragement to someone else. To help lead someone out of a hard time. To be an example. Talk to The Lord about it. Rely on Him for direction. Allow Him to use you.

Be Aware

I Thessalonians 3:3

Two men headed toward Emmaus. They had just walked away from the empty tomb broken-hearted and discouraged. Jesus’ body was no longer there.

A man came along beside them. He asked why they were so somber. He comforted them with scriptures. He walked with them.

The man was Jesus. The men were clueless.

The men on the road to Emmaus had left the grave of Jesus with their faith in Him rocked. As Jesus came unto them they were completely unaware. Their thoughts were on what they believed to be true, not The Truth walking with them.

As believers we sometimes allow our focus to stray from Jesus to the situations that we are encountering. We allow our emotions to dictate what we believe. We dwell on what we think to be true and totally miss out on enjoying the presence of God.

We will face situations that discourage us. Instead of getting caught up in those emotions stay focused on Jesus. He is with you always, caring how you feel, teaching you with His Word, walking by your side.

Recognize His presence and enjoy the walk.

In It’s Place

Exodus 20:3

Tears of joy streamed down the woman’s face. She was overcome with love and gratitude. The Lord had blessed her with the desire of her heart. Finally, her prayers had been answered. Hannah had just given birth to a precious baby boy, Samuel, her firstborn child.

Within moments she remembered her prayer: “I will give him unto The Lord.”

This thought could’ve torn apart the elation she was feeling. She could’ve turned her back on God for requiring her to give Him her son. Very easily she could’ve allowed her son to take the place in her heart that belonged to God alone.

But she didn’t. She knew that God was the one responsible for the miracle she was holding. He was the one she should worship. Graciously, Hannah gave Samuel back to God.

Sadly people often times don’t follow Hannah’s lead. Parents choose children. Workers choose jobs. People choose hobbies. All above Jesus. They allow the blessings of God to become their God.

We are responsible for the hierarchy of our heart. Jesus should always be found at the top, reigning in our lives.

A Sore Thumb

Matthew 6:33

Noah and his family were singled out….of the entire human population. They were standing on the principles of God….literally all alone.

The people of the world had given themselves over to sinful ways. But Noah continued to seek God. He chose to not be concerned with the popularity of his choice. He knew it wouldn’t be easy to go in the opposite direction of every human being. He was aware that he wouldn’t receive any encouragement from the wicked people. But he still chose God.

Noah recognized the reward of walking with God outweighed the risks of living without Him. Noah found strength and encouragement, peace and future from his Lord. It was enough to sustain him when he was persecuted. It was enough of an encouragement to keep him going when he felt like giving in. Noah’s desire to seek The Lord saved his life when everyone else around him lost theirs.

Sometimes as Christians we may feel alone in this world. We may feel like we are being singled out. Don’t let your feelings dictate your decision making. Continue to lean on Jesus even when everyone else is seemingly walking in the opposite direction. Rely on Him for everything. He will bless you with life and life more abundantly.

Road Block

Psalm 40:2

You want to go back to Egypt? Seriously? The place that our people were held captive for hundreds of years? Our people were beaten and killed. They had zero amount of freedom. And that’s where you want to go back to?……this could have been Jeremiah’s reaction to the Israelites when they approached him with their idea of returning to Egypt.

To the Israelites Egypt seemed like a logical choice. They thought they wouldn’t have to face war in the country. And there was plenty of food. They asked Jeremiah to speak to The Lord about it. Ten days later God gave the people an answer. He told them not to go. He went on to say that if they did go they would die by the sword and famine, the very things they were seeking to avoid.

God had already brought the Israelites out of captivity from Egypt. He didn’t want to see his people bound by the Egyptians again. But ultimately it was their choice.

The Lord brings us out of bondage from sin when He saves us. He doesn’t ever want to see us go back to it. He has delivered us from our former life and has put us on a new path leading to Him. We shouldn’t return, no matter how enticing it may seem. We need to trust Jesus and His guidance and continue moving forward with Him.

I For An Eye

Romans 12:19

Saul was jealous of David. He hated him with a passion. He threw a javelin at him, on two different occasions, attempting to kill him. He hired hit men to take David out. Saul spent a lot of his time as king of Israel seeking to destroy David from the face of the earth.

David, in turn had spent a lot of his time running from Saul. He climbed mountains. He hid in caves. His life had become consumed with outsmarting Saul and his men.

Saul was worn out. He and three thousand men had searched for David all day. He entered into a cave for rest. Unbeknownst to him, David was in that same cave, in the shadows. Saul fell asleep. David’s opportunity for revenge had presented itself. His men urged him on. Now was his chance.

But David wouldn’t kill Saul. He cut off a piece of his garment to show Saul that he could have. But he didn’t. His reason: He didn’t want to kill the man anointed of The Lord.

David could’ve avenged himself. He might have felt relief and satisfaction for a while. But David knew that those feelings wouldn’t last with him the way that guilt for going against God would. By not returning evil with evil David was able to stay free of the burden of guilt, free from regret and free from sorrow.

Jesus taught that we should love our enemies, bless the people that curse us, do good to those hate us and to pray for the ones that persecute and despitefully use us. Not because that’s what they deserve. But because Jesus wants what is best for us. He doesn’t want His children to carry hatred in their heart, to be found always trying to avenge themselves. Instead He wants us to lay down our fleshly instincts and to let Him handle the situation.

The teachings of Jesus may at times seem restricting and unfair. But in reality Jesus’ teachings are always freeing and He is always just.

Part Of The Plan

I Thessalonians 5:18

Five thousand men were saved! Thank The Lord! Peter had been faithful to preach the Gospel. Thank the lord! People were praising God. Thank The Lord! A healing had taken place! Thank The Lord! A man was crippled from birth. Thank The Lord!?!

The crippled man had been in that condition since birth. Everyone knew him as the man that sat at the Temple and begged for money. Peter, through Jesus’ name healed him. The man stood up, ran, jumped around and praised God. People noticed. They remembered the terrible condition this man had once been in. They were curious as to how he was moving around with no problem and why he was praising God. Peter gave them answers. He preached Jesus. Five thousand men were saved.

The man had to be crippled or there wouldn’t have been a need for a healing, which then led to the praising of God, preaching of Jesus and ultimately the redemption of five thousand mens’ souls. Thank The Lord for the crippled man!

It’s unnatural for us to praise God for situations or circumstances that we don’t understand. But we should be found worshipping The Lord in spirit and truth, not in our flesh. We need to trust that He has our best interest in mind and that it will all work for His glory.

We may not be able to comprehend what’s going on but we can know that Jesus is in control. For that we can be thankful.

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