Welcome to Tried by Fire Ministries! If you like what you read and see here, please click the "share" button at the right bottom of each page to share with others via email or social media. No matter where you have been or what you have done in your life or what your spiritual or religious background may have been, God is faithful and just, and will help you in your trial or your situation if you only allow Him to! Tried by Fire Ministries was created to be a Light of God's Love to the world! Job 23:10 says, "when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold" (NIV) We all have our trials and testings in life but refining is a process where we, just like gold as it is refined in fire, are molded into what God wants us to be! Refining is a process for every believer. Just like when gold is refined to be the shiny stuff we know of. Without the refining process, it would be just some lump of impurities. God molds us and makes us what He sees fit for our lives. Remember if you are going through a trial, don't tell God how big your trial is but tell your trial how big your God is! Zechariah 13:9 declares, "And I will put this third into the fire, and refine them as one refines silver, and test them as gold is tested. They will call upon my name, and I will answer them. I will say, ‘They are my people’; and they will say, ‘The Lord is my God.’”
Tried by Fire Ministries desire is to see marriages strengthened, relationships restored, God glorified and most importantly, souls saved! Bro. Roger A. Hayes is a member of American Marriage Ministries and he also partners with Smart Marriages to educate couples who are married or looking to marry with thier TOOB (teaching out of the box) style of education. Smart Marriages is affiliated with the Coalition of Marriage, Family and Couples Education (CMFCE). He has also partnered with the National Healthy Marriage Institute and it's representative Aaron Larson to assist in the enrichment of marriages and to sustain a lifetime covenant. Please visit them at www.healthymarriagetips.com to learn more. They are great! Bro Hayes has been ordained by the United Christian Church and Ministerial Organization, Liberty Christian Fellowship and also with American Marriage Ministries. He is currently seeking his degree in Biblical Studies from the Bible Broadcasting Institute and a bachelors degree in business administration from Ashworth College. He and his wife have followed the leadership of the Lord, with the help of Smart Marriages and The National Healthy Marriage Institute, to educate and assist marriages and relationships and to encourage Biblical integrity in the home and family!
Please see the contact tab information if you are interested in having Bro. Hayes minister for your church, event, revival or to officiate your wedding! He has officiated well over 30 weddings in many years of ministry. If you have prayer request or praise reports please leave those on the prayer request section on his contact page. Furthermore, leave your comments and suggestions on the guest book page.
I'm sure that most of you may have heard the saying, it takes a village to raise a child, that may be the case, but the truth of the matter really is that it takes a lot of good, solid and stable marriages to create a village! The main worry about your children is not that they never listen to you but that they are always watching you. How you conduct yourself in life, to your friends, in public but, most of all toward your spouse! They are more observant than you will ever realize. Remember, it the marriage ain't happy, ain't nobody happy! (Excuse my Talladega up-bringing grammar) On of the most important marriage skills you can have, is listening to your spouse in a way that they can't possibly doubt that you love them. Listening to them makes them feel like an important part of your circle of life! It makes them feel wanted, needed and loved. The secret to having a good marriage is to understand that it must be total, permanent and it equal. Sure I've made mistakes in the past, we all have! But to learn from those mistakes and change for the better makes us better people, better husbands/wives and better parents! Live so that when your children think of fairness, caring and integrity, they think of you. God bless you all!
For all of you married adults out there, a stable, happy marriage is the best protection against sickness and even and early death, and for children, such a marriage is the best source of emotional stability and good physical health. Decades of research have clearly established this! "There's plenty of evidence that both love and marriage are very, very good for our health," Dr. Stephen Bogdewic, vice chair of family medicine at Indiana University School of Medicine told Indianapolis Star reporter Shari Rudavsky. "If a new drug had the same impact, virtually every doctor in the country would be recommending it." Remember what the first of this posts says, "STABLE AND HAPPY MARRIAGES"! "Researchers found men and women in unhappy marriages suffered from increased stress levels throughout the day at home and at work as well as higher blood pressure at midday at the office, which could raise the risk of heart attack or stroke." Marriage is NOT what you may have heard as 50/50% it is 100/100%. The man or woman who puts into the marriage only half of what they owns will get that back out it, only 50%. Love your spouse with all you have and show them the respect and kindness that you want in return. There is no greater happiness for a man than approaching his front door at the end of a day knowing that there is someone on the other side of that door that is waiting for the sound of his footsteps. Marriage is the foundation of the family and the family is the foundation of society, so if we strengthen marriage, we strengthen the family, we strengthen the children and we strengthen the community. If your goal is to help improve the world, marriage is as good a place as any to start. If you have conflict in your marriage, now is the time to make up, not break up. Start today by saying "I'm sorry" whether you were in the wrong or not. Make ammends and make a better family life and a healthier life for you and your children! Remember, any man can find a trophy wife, but it takes a REAL man to have a trophy marriage!! God bless you all!
Well everyone, Valentine’s Day is less than month away. Have you already made plans for your sweetheart? Is there a special time of year that you go “all out” for your spouse, such as Valentine’s Day or your anniversary? For my wife I don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day, I give her a week of celebration in which I call Valentine’s Week. It all begins exactly one week prior to the 14th and she gets a gift each day until Valentine’s Day. It could be something small or something not so small, something pricey or something not too pricey but, the point is, for 7 days she is given a gift and it has been a tradition since our very first Valentine’s Day together each and every year. I usually try to take her away somewhere for the weekend and treat her to a nice meal as well. All of that is fine and dandy but if I don’t give her the greatest gift I could give her, my love each and every day, then all of that is just a mute point! You can’t be value free when it comes to your marriage! What counts in making a happy marriage is not so much how compatible you are, but how you deal with incompatibility and still love one another through it all. Each and every one of us need a witness to our lives, a partner to share the joys and the sorrows of life with. The bible tells us in 1st Corinthians 7:2, “…each man is to have his own wife, and each woman is to have her own husband”, which tells me that there is someone for everyone out there! There are a billion people on the planet but, finding the one for you may not be easy. It may be that you are looking in all the wrong places. Start with looking toward God first, wrapping yourself so much and so deep in Christ, and then, the person meant for you should be the one that is also searching the depths of Christ’s great love and finds you all wrapped inside! You may be asking, “What does that really mean?” It means, the perfect person for any one of us will be “In Christ” already when you meet and not someone you try to “change” to conform to your Christian beliefs. So be picky, find the right one first! People get married without doing their homework. Too many people are getting married at the infatuation level and when hard times come, it falls apart. We’ve fallen in love with the wedding industry when what we need is a marriage industry. In a marriage, you’re promising to care about everything, the good things, the bad things, the terrible things, even the small things, all of it… all the time, every day. You’re saying “Your life will not go unnoticed because I will notice it. Your life will not go un-witnessed because I will be your witness.”
Do you want your children to look back some day and say, "I want a great marriage like my Mom and Dad had?" Do you seem like a really happy couple to our kids and even to the world around you? I sure hope so! Your spouse’s actions are a mirror. The way your spouse is acting toward you says more about you than it does about them. It says something about them too, but if you can focus on your half of the equation, you’ll make way more progress in resolving conflict and building a healthy relationship thus, setting an example to your children and the world in the process. You may have heard it said that it takes a village to raise a child. That may be the case, but the truth is that it takes a lot of solid, stable marriages to create a village. Families create villages, villages create towns, towns create cities, cities states, states countries and countries make up the world! It’s time we got back to basic godly families. Families that read the bible together, pray together attend church together. It is a crying shame we have kids that watch TV in a separate room from their parents and their parents are not monitoring what they watch or even entire families that watch trash talking teens or adults on TV and like it! Then they wonder why their children talk back and act up. We need a new perspective on life and start a family bible reading initiative in our homes. My mother used to always have either Christian music or bible reading always playing in her home. She called it “bathing her home in God!” I think I will declare this year for the Hayes home a “bathing our home in God year”! I already have a mezuzah at my front and back door, so if you walk in our home, you pass by God’s word and if you walk out you do the same, just as the Hebrew people do. But today I am starting downstairs and up, to play the bible reading CD’s that my lovely wife got me for Christmas a few years ago. I’m playing them 24/7 to “bathe” my home in God’s Word. I thank God for all He has done for me and praise Him continually for all He has in store for me and my family! I urge you all to do the same or something comparable. I think you will see a change in your family and in your life! Remember, marriage and the family, was the “original Department of Health, Education and Welfare.”
The devil tempts us so he can mislead us, but God allows us to have temptation to test us. Temptation is a trial of our sincerity and commitment to Christ. Every temptation is sort of a test, but not every test can be a temptation. Tests and temptations have different purposes and they come from different places. Tests are designed to show what we have learned and what we can do in our lives, just like a classroom test in school, we show “The Teacher” (God) how our faith has grown and the purpose of those type of test is a positive one, which explains why God tests people just like he tested Abraham (Hebrews 11:17). In other words, a test is a trial presented by God to prove the strength of our faith and commitment towards Him. Temptations, on the other hand, are more of a negative design to trip us up and lure us to sin, which is why they come from the devil in hopes that we will fail God and pull us away from our Christianity. Satan doesn’t tempt us because we have sin in us, but because we have grace in us and he can’t stand it. The most important weapon we can use in resisting Satan is the Bible, God’s Holy Word! Three times the enemy presented temptations to Jesus and three times he was refused, with a scripture as the reason, “it is written” (Matthew. 3:4, 7, 10). Why else would the Bible tell us to hide Gods Word in our heart, so we won’t sin against Him? (Psalms 119:11) So that we can battle the devil with any and all temptation he sends our way! His Word should be cast-iron in our minds that it becomes the leading inspiration in our thoughts, attitudes and actions. The most effective ways of influencing our minds is through memorizing Scripture by reading it over and over again each day, each week and each year. The many times I’ve read it through, I seem to find something I overlooked before, or I guess God is revealing something else to me that He needs for me right then and there, that I didn’t need at the time before. Open yours today and begin a new reading initiative to read the Bible through and through! You will be glad you did!
If you have joy that is, what Gods Word defines as “Shut up in our bones”, it is the complete confidence that God has absolute control in the events of your life for your own good and for His glory. Spiritual joy is not a viewpoint that relies on mere chance or accident. It is the deep and unshakeable trust no matter what may be your circumstances in life, all is well between you and the Lord. No matter what trial, tribulation, pain, disappointment, failure, rejection, or other challenges you may be up against! A genuine joy is inside you because of that feeling given to you by God’s grace! Joy is not being without any suffering or pain it is being in the perfect will of God and in His presence! St. Augustine once wrote, “Where your pleasure is, there is your treasure; where your treasure is, there is your heart; where your heart is, there is your happiness.” It is only through God that we can find true joy (Psalm 51:11-12; Galatians 5:22; 1 Thessalonians 1:6), and we can do nothing if it wasn’t for the power of God (2 Corinthians 12:10, 13:4). The harder we try to be joyful on our own, the more miserable we can become. Rest in the Lord’s arms (Matthew 11:28-30) and seek His face through prayer and Scripture. “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” (Romans 15:13). To make a long story short, joy does not simply happen to us but we have to choose joy and keep choosing it each and every day! God bless you all!
With everything that is going on in the world today such as the mass shootings and terrible violence that occurs at an alarming rate, our government officials are meeting to discuss either banning guns or putting a tight restriction on any and all purchases of guns. I personally think that any legislation on the purchase of a weapon would do no good because a weapon can be anything, such as a gun, knife, even an automobile and can be used as a method to wreak havoc on any person or a group of persons. Look at the Biblical story of Cain & Able where the bible says that Cain slew his brother. It didn’t say how but that he just did. It could have been with his hands or a rock or a stick, but nonetheless, he did. It begins inside a person with jealousy and pride, anger and frustrations, not with an inanimate object such as a knife, gun, rock or anything else. If we legislate or ban guns, are knives next? Will every butcher in a meat shop have to get a special license to cut meat? I think the legislations needs to be about a weapon, yes I said that, about a weapon. One that has been around for many, many years and has altered the course of time for many people and I am speaking of God’s Holy Word, the Bible! Legislation should be to reinstate Bible reading and prayer back in our schools! That is where we have failed, allowing our known source of protection for our children, our weapons of warfare, the Bible and prayer to be taken out of schools! It is so sad that children can’t even mention the name of Jesus any longer in schools when just by invoking His name can work wonders and miracles! And reading and studying His word is vital to change the way things have become. It may not happen overnight or next week or even next year but, it can and will change things for the better. Bible reading is an education in itself! We can teach reading, writing and even math to our children from the bible because they numbered the children of Israel and counted them often and the bible is the greatest example of the whole being greater that its parts. The Bible does not teach what methods to use in teaching our children, but it does teach what character to build. God bless you all!
One of the hardest attributes for any of us to acquire is patience! With the fast paced life we live in today’s world of fast food, fast cars, hurry up’s and quickly getting anything and everything by staying connected via our smart phones, tablets and computers, patience is much more than a virtue. We tend to forget that every trial and every problem we face is in some way, is a message from God and intended to do us good in the end. They are God’s way to make us think and to take a breather from the world around us. It is His intention to send us to the Bible and to drive us to our knees and come to Him for help and guidance. Health is a good thing for any of us, but sickness is better, if it leads us to God. Possessions and money is a great too, but trials and hard times are a greater, if it brings us to Jesus. Anything is better than living in carelessness, and dying in sin. To gain the much needed patience that we must have for our lives, we really won’t like the way it comes. Romans 5:3 says, “Suffering produces endurance,” and James 1:3 says, “The testing of your faith produces steadfastness.” Most of us would prefer a much easier way for to achieve it, but this is God’s way! To become a seasoned, well trained driver, you don’t expect to just sit on the couch and watch car shows do you? No! You get behind the wheel and drive in traffic, on rough roads, across valley’s and hills. And it takes years of practice. Same thing goes for patience, it is not just something that will happen, you have to be trained and disciplined into patience to endure any hardship that may come your way. I look at my lack of a job at this time as God’s way to mold me for something better. I’m sure He has an ultimate plan with my best interest at stake. I have had several interviews so far in two weeks and He is making a way and an opportunity for me, I just KNOW that! Nothing is ever wasted in the kingdom of God. Not one tear, not all our pain, not the unanswered question or the seemingly unanswered prayers. Nothing will be wasted if we give our lives to God. And if we are willing to be patient until the grace of God is made manifest, whether it takes nine years or ninety, it will be worth the wait. God bless you all!
No matter what problems may come, whether my job situation is resolved sooner or later, I will never stop rejoicing for what God has appointed me to and for what He has always done in my life, no matter what sacrifices I have to make and no matter what cost it takes. Sacrifice brings its reward in a hope of a glorious destiny after this life on earth. Instead of saying the word sacrifice we should say it is a privilege. Whether it is work, study, witnessing, mission work, preaching, teaching, troubles or trials, all of these are nothing compared to the glory which shall be revealed in and for us someday. If we really thought about it, nothing we can do or go through can compare to the sacrifice that He made, when He left his Father’s throne on high to give Himself for us and to life a life as an example to us all, then die such a horrific death, all for our salvation and for His glory! Think of it this way, if an appointment by an earthly king or president of some nation, would be considered an honor, how can the Great Commission by our Heavenly King be even considered as a sacrifice? A ministry that costs nothing accomplishes nothing! If you do the work of the Lord, sooner or later, you will come upon a personal experience with the cross which always involves loss, hurt and pain but, you will also experience the resurrection as well and that will make any loss or trial worth it all! Why would scripture tell us to put on the whole “Armor of God” and we not expect any battles? Remember, your lifestyle is your most powerful message and I want mine to be an example of Christ’s life in mine! God bless you all!
With all of life’s events around us, no matter if they are good or bad we do have a responsibility to make wise decisions and to discover the will of God for us. Every choice we make has a consequence. If we make bad ones, usually bad things come our way in return or the lack of a good thing. If we make good choices then we will get good in return, maybe not in this life but most definitely in the next. And it will be well worth the wait! God will never allow any action against us that is not in harmony with His will for us and His will is always aimed at to our good. But God’s plans do not rely on our decisions. God’s plan is sovereign and unlimited to our choices. His plans will happen, whether or not they include us or not but His will for you is for you to jump on board, follow Him, live your life pleasing to Him and His Word and bring others along for the glorious ride as well, leading the lost to Christ. His plan includes our foolish decisions as well as our wise ones. His will is that we choose Him and His ways. God’s will is revealed to us in His Word and in His works. It makes no matter where He places me, in what job, or how. For Him to consider me at all is enough because in the easiest positions He gives me His grace, and in even in the toughest, His grace is sufficient. I have two job interviews this week, one tomorrow morning at Nucore Steel and one Thursday morning at Honda. I ask that my friends pray for God’s will in my life, that I choose what He has for me and that I choose what’s best not only for my family, but best for His kingdom to shine. I have also submitted resume’s for many other companies and even to some churches. Please pray for me. John MacArthur once wrote, “Prayers are the nerves that move the muscles of omnipotence. Prayer is not an exercise in futility because God's will, will be done in any case; prayer is the means by which God's will is carried out.” The will of God will never take me where the grace of God will not protect me! God bless you all!
Well folks, love is in the air during this wonderful and glorious time of the year. Weddings are happening often because of that love. One a few weeks ago and two this week to perform! A true and godly marriage is the total commitment and the total sharing of your total self with another person until the Lord calls them home! It all began in the mind of God when He ordained and instituted it. (Malachi 2:14-16). Marriage is more of a spiritual thing as it is an earthly happening. God alone has the power to appoint the beginning, the care during, and its end. It was designed to be a perfect picture of Christ and the Church which can be a sacred mystery in itself. That is why a couple in love, to the world can be strange. Think of how many times we have told ourselves, “Why does he do such things for her” or why does she act that way toward him”, all because of LOVE! Think of the sacrifice that Jesus did for us, all because of LOVE! The miracle of marriage is tied to the amazement of the works of Christ and His sacrifice. The message Jesus gave to us on the cross is foolishness to us as human, and so the meaning of marriage is foolishness to the natural man (1 Cor. 2:14). The relationship between Jesus Christ and His church is the ultimate example of the committed love that a husband and wife should follow in their relationship with each other. This time of year, in which we celebrate the most amazing gift of love that God gave to the world, His Son, is probably the most wonderful time of year to wed. I pray blessings on these unions! Remember any man can find a trophy wife, but it takes a real man to have a trophy marriage!
In all marriages, there WILL be conflict. I’ve spoken with couples who were arguing over small, meticulous things like, squeezing or rolling up the toothpaste or which way the toilet paper should roll, from the back or from the front! Seriously, I have! All couples have differences, in personality and in preferences. They just need to communicate and not just think that the other person will “magically know what they want”. It just doesn’t happen that way. Your spouse, I’ll bet, is not a mind reader. Wherever you find marriage that may be at risk of failure, you will probably find that it all began with a breakdown in “REAL” interaction. However, where you see marriages that thrive and succeed, you will find good communication methods. It often happens that when couples get their relationship to God straightened out, their relationships with one another begin to straighten out as well. Our wives should make us glad to come home and we husbands should make her sorry to see us leave. Remember, we choose the one we loved, and now we must love our choice. C. S. Lewis once wrote, “When I have learnt to love God better than my earthly dearest, I shall love my earthly dearest better than I do now”, which is so very true, if we can give our focus, our love and our devotion to God first, then we can love our spouses the way God intended it to be! A lot of people depend on “compatibility”, with compatibility test and such that can be taken online but, that is not the key to a good marriage or relationship. Having a commitment and being faithful to God and sharing that attraction to Him and being willing to obey God’s wonderful teaching about marriage first, then you will love one another through it all! Staying married is not primarily about staying in love. It is about keeping covenant. “Till death do us part” or “As long as we both shall live” is a sacred covenant promise and is the same kind Jesus made with His Bride (The Church) when He died for her.
God did not require us to show our allegiance to Him before His Son would agree to die in our place so He acted first, motivated only by His love for us. He wanted to offer mercy to us as the best way to show us His grace. So, Christ died for us because He and His Dad loved us, the unlovable, just that much! Loving someone, for us, requires a love in return. We are caring for someone only as much as they are caring for us. To love God as we were made to love Him requires a foundation love in God for those whom He has made. He took the initiative. He revealed the deepness and degree of His commitment to us and the joy in His heart for us. We should set aside our self-centered ways, especially during this Christmas season, and be moved to seek Him with all our hearts and enjoy the love that He revealed through His Son, Christ Jesus. The measure of our love to God should be to love Him without measure. Think about this for a second, do you feel more loved when God is happy over you or do you feel more loved when God at the cost of His Son allows you to make Him happy? He could have just easily condemned us. He’s involved in our lives. He’s merciful! He hates sin, and yet pursues sinners by name. God is so committed to forgiving and changing you that He sent Jesus to die for you. He welcomes the poor in spirit with a shout and a feast. His love passionately does you good. His love is full of blood, sweat, tears, and cries. He suffered for you. He loves YOU! Celebrate this Christmas season by loving God with you whole heart in all that you do. What we are is God’s gift to us, but what we become is our gift to Him. Give Him the gift of love! You’ll be glad you did! God bless you all!
We should give thanks for all things in our lives whether it is good or bad. If it’s bad, it works patience in us! Some of our greatest learning opportunities come from our most painful experiences. For an example, when my dad died in 1989, I drew closer to God and was called into the ministry not long afterward. Your past determines your present, but you determine your future! The old saying, “if life gives you lemons, then make lemonade” is so not true. If you add just lemon juice, then you have the sour taste of just the lemon. Lemonade is made with sugar adding sweetness to the sour lemons unique taste then, it gives you the good stuff we know of as lemonade! In the bad times in life if we apply the sweetness of God’s Word to the sourness of those tough times it can get sweeter! Psalms 19:10 says of His Word, “They are more desirable than gold, yes, than much fine gold; “Sweeter” also than honey and the drippings of the honeycomb.” If this is your approach to tough times, you may even begin to welcome the lemons because, lemonade is delicious! The more lemons you get, the more lemonade you can make, and the better you will get at making it. You will be able to share it with your friends, and sell some of the delicious lemonade that you have learned to produce from the practice all your ‘life lemons’ have given you. Reading the bible during times of trial and applying those truths to your life will make things much better. Thankfulness flows out of a heart that is rooted in Christ. If Jesus is the Lord of our lives, we will live in Him, be built up in Him, and be strengthened in Him. Then we will find ourselves spilling over with thankfulness to Him for all that He has done for us; the good and the bad! Remember, if we had no trials, there would be no triumphs and His Grace will allow us to face the music, even if we don’t like the tune! God bless you all!
I realize that many people will be celebrating a “holiday” today, one that I personally do not recognize. This is my own personal convictions, which I will not impose on any of my friends but I just choose not to. People will be dressing up to “scare” others and tricking for a treat of some kind. Proverbs 1:33 says, “But whoever listens to ME will dwell safely, and will be secure, without fear of evil." Even Jesus said in Luke 12:5, “But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear Him who, after He has killed, has power to cast into hell; yes, I say to you, fear Him!” As I said, I am not going to put my personal convictions upon anyone else just as I wouldn’t want you to do the same. I want my life to be a positive influence for Christ. To be completely occupied with Him that the values and standards of the world around me have little influence: to be in the world and yet not of the world. Do you realize that you are the only Bible some people will ever read, and your life is under inspection every day by those looking and waiting to see you trip and fall. What do others learn from you? If you are a Christian, you can expect folks to criticize, but you also ought to live so nobody will believe them. We should make it easy for others to believe in God by the way we live! Now please don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying you are not Christian by celebrating Halloween nor am I saying it will send you to hell. I’m just saying that for me, Bro. Roger A. Hayes, I choose NOT to due to my own personal convictions. If you do, be safe, be careful and have a joyful time! May God bless you all!
Trials to a person with a victorious attitude, is like a rocky road to a 4 X 4 truck with a new set of shocks. We must realize that troubles are not sent to bother us but to better us and if we had no trials, we would have no triumphs. We will never be the person God wants us to be, if troubles, trials, and disciplines are taken out of our lives. He is molding us and making us into the person He sees in us. Just hang tough, have faith, and you will get through it. Don't tell God how big your storm is, tell the Storm how Big your God is. God’s love for us is not just a message that has to be believed in order to have faith but having an experience of faith will become a message to the world!
The greatest and most influential part of a Christian is supposed to be their heart, which should reflect in their attitude. It's your heart you have to change first in order to change your attitude in life not your attitude that will change your heart. It starts from the inside out! In order to change your character, your heart must be opened to allow Christ to enter in! How can we worship a loving and merciful God on Sunday and ignore Him on Monday? I see too much of this. Life is 10 percent what happens to us and 90 percent how we respond to it. Our attitude within us is more important than the circumstances outside us. The best use of our lives is to live it for something that will outlast it, leaving a Godly legacy behind for generations to come. If you are a Christian, be consistent, all out the whole route, every hour, in every part of your life! God gave us each day for us to give meaning to each day, not just the special or exciting days of our lives. Every day is important for us because it is a day ordained by God, for us to make a difference to the world. Christ died for us so the very least we can do is live for our faith. The Apostle Paul wrote, “For me to live IS Christ”, that tells me my life should reflect HIM! I know I can’t be perfect as He was, but I can strive for that perfection each day. Trying to reach the lost, one life at a time! My live is not distinguished by perfection in the way I live but by direction, in the way I am going! I’ll leave you with this thought: God formed us; Satan deforms us; preaching the Word reforms us; Bible informs us; but only Jesus Christ can transform us!!! God bless you all!
Why does God show us mercy toward us? He does not have to be merciful! Have you ever thought about that? Mercy is an optional virtue, even with us we don’t have to be merciful. We love it when we see someone show mercy toward another’s wrongdoings. We admire it. We encourage it. We even sometimes practice it ourselves. But we don’t say mercy is mandatory! He loves us SO very much that He shows us mercy even when we don’t deserve it! God does not have a responsibility to us apart from condemning us for our sins. Romans 9:18 says, “I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy”, but I am so very thankful that God’s mercy is so immense and so very amazing, that we may quicker drain all of the oceans of its water, or remove the sun of its brightness, than minimize the GREATNESS of His mercy for us! Romans 5:8 is one of my favorite passages, “But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us!” This is such an amazing show of His great love. Think of it this way, even our sighs are able to move the heart of God to think about us! Our whispers can cause Him to lean toward us to listen. Our prayers can move His hands to help us! Our childlike faith can move His arms to hold us tight. God gets far more pleasure in His mercy than in His wrath! Mercy is His nature! I would define the true meaning of God’s mercy like this; He can look on our failures and still see our future, He loves us that much! God bless you all!
I have heard people say that small things don't bother them but, I wonder if they have ever slept in a room with a mosquito. Little things are big things. In life, in love and marriage and they are to God too! No matter what you are going through today, it is NOT too small to take it to Him! An old song written many years ago goes like this, “What a Friend we have in Jesus, ALL our sins and grief’s to bear! What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer! O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear, All because WE DO NOT carry EVERYTHING to God in prayer. Have we trials and temptations? Is there trouble anywhere? We should never be discouraged; take it to the Lord in prayer. Can we find a friend so faithful who will all our sorrows share? Jesus knows our every weakness; take it to the Lord in prayer”! The emphasis I added because we should not hesitate to take EVERYTHING to the Lord in prayer, no matter how trivial or how small we may thing they are, they are HUGE to Him! A cute quote to give you some idea of how small things are big things came from Walt Disney, he said, “Always remember that this whole thing was started by a mouse." He was speaking about how huge his business became all from a cartoon about the life of a mouse, (MICKEY)! The mouse’ in your life right now that you may be worried about can turn into a big thing too! Worry doesn’t clear tomorrow of its troubles, but it will drain today of its strength! Only God can change sunsets into sunrises if you only allow Him too! God bless you all! HAPPY MONDAY!
One more day until Tried by Fire Ministries will host the “Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage” first session of four. We have committed couples who want to improve their relationships and enrich their marriages with lasting lessons that are funny and yet informative. Thanks to everyone who donated for door prizes and to the couples that have decided to attend. Marriage creates a family and we are to serve Him in our families. Families are the primary element of spiritual support in the covenant of God because they are the means where children are not only born but raised up in. Families have a great deal to do for God’s work, in showing His amazing grace, with the spreading of faith from one generation to next. We must be examples and show not only our children, but our communities and the world, that the relationship between husband and wife, the closeness, the loyalty, the trust, the example, and the leadership that happens in a God fearing family! He made the family the tool for us to show His grace in our children’s lives. We must understand that a spiritually unstable marriage does nothing but add poison into our children’s spiritual milk because when they grow up and lead by your example as most of them do, they too will be spiritually unstable. Research shows that a child who sees his mother mistreated is more damaged than if the child himself is abused and it also shows that marriage education workshops can make a real difference in helping married couples stay together! You may have heard it said that it takes a village to raise a child. That may be the case, but the truth is that it takes a lot of solid, stable marriages to create a village.
For my many friends out there who are going through tough times I want to say that God is right along-side you, even though you may not see Him or feel His presence, He is! No trouble can come so near that God is not nearer. The trials you are going through are nothing more than an opportunity in disguise for you to move to another spiritual level. It’s not the load that weighs you down but, it's the way you carry it. Give it to Him! He said, “Cast ALL your cares upon Him because He cares for you” (1 Pet. 5:7)! Think of yourself as a Passenger in an emergency situation while on a boat or ship and you may get a different concept of the word "cast." In order to survive, on board you may have to "cast" overboard the things that threaten the safety of the ship that may keep it from reaching its goal. He wants you to do just that; pass it on to Him! The Greek word means to literally throw it to Him! Jesus is no security against life's storms, but he is perfect security in them every time! We must remember that the reason the school of life is so tough is that we get the test first and the lessons later but, HIS grace will enable us to “face the music” even if we don’t like the tune! God bless you all! Have an AWESOME Day!
All husbands are called to be Christ-like in their love for our wives because this protects the sacredness of the family and represents His great love for The Church. As a husband then I am to display what I think of Christ by the way I treat Angela, my wife. This means marriage itself is a “sacred institution” because of how it illustrates through His perfect relationship with His bride (The Church). Marriage exists for God’s glory! God intends and expects marriage to be a lifetime commitment between a man and a woman, based on the principles of biblical love. The relationship between Jesus Christ and His church is the ultimate model of the committed love that a husband and wife are to see in their relationship with each other. Sadly, just as some “fall from the faith” in their walk with God, some husbands and wives will do the same but that was not the intention God has for us. Do you want to go to Heaven? Then stay close to God in your walk and faith with Him. Do you want the nearest thing to Heaven on the earth? Then treat your spouse with Godly love and respect and you will find the TRUE intention of what God wants your marriage to be! Remember you didn’t marry them because they were perfect, just as God didn’t send His Son to die because we are! You married them because you loved them! Any man can have a trophy wife, but it takes a real many to have a trophy marriage! God bless!
Love not just a feeling but can be expressed as giving. That is what the core of love is. Remember John 3:16, “For God SO LOVED the world that He GAVE His Son”? If we give, the feeling of love will follow close behind. To love someone we must give of ourselves, of our time, of our substance, of whatever it takes to show love because giving is necessary to show the biblical idea of what love really means. Love has the hands to help, feet to run to the one you love if they are in need, the eyes to see when they are hurting and need you most, and the ears to hear their silent cries for affection. It involves a willful choice, and that is why not only just saying the words “I love you” to your spouse, or the one you love, is crucial but, your actions are by far the most recognized. Loving is a voluntary commitment to sacrifice whatever we can for the completed good of the person we love. That’s what Jesus did for us and our marriages should reflect His great picture of such a great love! Have you shown your spouse you love them today? Have you told them? Do it right now, either in words, email, a letter or phone call! You will be glad you did! God bless you all!
God is not a flaw locater, always looking for things to find guilty in us. He guesstimates us at our very best, not our absolute worst. God gives benefits to us, the undeserving and it blesses Him to do that! He is happy to give us His AMAZING GRACE! He loves each and every one of us as if there were only one of us. His love for us is like the stars, so many and yet they shine brightest when our lives are darkest! His grace, mercy and love are always there for the asking. Let me ask you something, do you feel more loved when God makes a big deal about you or do you feel more loved when God at the cost of His Son dying on the cross, allows you to make a big deal about Him? He would love nothing more for you to do just that, worship Him, show Him how much you love Him and tell Him so! He decided to love you when He could have justly condemned you but, Hiss love demands that you respond to it by believing, trusting, obeying, giving thanks with a “joyful” heart, working out your salvation with fear and appreciating the Lord and all that He does for you. Say it to Him each day, I love you Lord! Actually say it! He deserves your adoration. Because of Him, I am not what I ought to be, nor I am not what I want to be or what I hope to be but I still am NOT what I used to be, and by the His wonderful, amazing grace I am what I am today! I want Him to see my inward feelings by my outward action that reveal to Him, how I feel toward Him!
We all need love and forgiveness, but we need it most when we deserve it the least! The times when we have done things wrong, make poor choices or even when we have failed in our walk with the Lord. These situations call for more than just ordinary love. This is when we need extra-ordinary love. D. L. Moody once said, “God has cast our confessed sins into the depths of the sea, and He's even put a 'No Fishing' sign over the spot”. Forgiveness brings freedom from being influence by our past so we can become complete and benefit from the richness a Christian life if we receive it through trusting Christ, which means, confessing sin as sin and turning away from it to accept the Gods ways. You can’t sin so much that it makes you incapable of forgiveness! Forgiveness is the marvelous miracle of grace which cost God the death of His Son, Jesus Christ on the cross many years ago. The moment you realize all that it cost God to forgive you, you will be held in a headlock so to speak, locked by the love of God. God is faithful and just to forgive every sin and cleanse from all unrighteousness because of Christ's complete sacrifice alone. If our greatest need had been information, God would have sent us a teacher or instructor. If our greatest need had been technology, He would have sent us a scientist. If our greatest need had been money, He would have given us a blank check signed by Him. If our greatest need had been amusement, He would have sent us an entertainer. But our greatest need was FORGIVNESS, so God sent us a SAVIOR! Happy Monday everyone!!!
Our past mistakes are irreversible because we have lost opportunities that will never return. Those we may have hurt or harmed in some way, those things we regret doing can haunt our minds, but God can change these thoughts that make us uneasy into a positive inspiration for our future. Leave the past behind, but leave it in the arms of Christ. Leave it in His hands, and step out into a powerful future with Him. We have to learn to commit not only the past but also the future to the Lord. God does not want to remove your memories He just wants to redeem them. He wants to change them into something good, something that will make you more like Jesus. Your bad memories of your past sins even the worst ones, can be opportunities for life-changing growth. You don’t need to avoid, run from, cover over, or get rid of your past. You can re-clarify it God's way. His goal is not to erase your memories or for you to deny them but He wants you to redeem them for your good and His glory! Remember Redeemer is much bigger than our past! Rejoice in the fact that you who you are by the grace of God and by His grace you can have the greatest surprise of your life that you are in the Kingdom. We glorify Him when we trust Him with all our hearts. Amazing Grace how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me; I once was lost but now I’m found, was blind but now I see! I thank God for taking away my past and giving me a brighter future. God bless you all!
Romans 8:28 declares that “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose”. I have heard people say to others who may be going through something, quoting this verse, then saying God has a reason for this and it will all be good. How can all things be worked together by God for good? The answer is looking at this verse more closely; it is a conditional verse with a promise for those who “LOVE” God and have been “CALLED” according to His purpose. It is because God's ultimate purpose is to make us like Christ. Do you show Him your love for Him in the way you live? We all have been “called” some of us just don’t heed to that calling. John Hannah wrote in his book “To God Be the Glory”, “Many say they have a love for God, but their love is only pleasure in God as the giver of good gifts and pleasant circumstances. This type of love is really a love of self because God is not the supreme object of the appreciation. It is merely a love for God as a provider, a Santa Claus; it is not a biblical love”. His goal is the complete renewal of the image of God in you! Such a great task requires all the resources God can use to mold us, and He turns our lives upside down the things that we feel are important and shows us what is really important in order to produce in us the character of His Son, Jesus. God never allows pain without a purpose in the lives of His children. He never allows circumstances or anything to trouble us unless He uses that for our good. He will never waste pain. He always causes it to work together for our ultimate good, the good of making us more to the likeness of His Son!
Have you ever wondered what it really means to “worship” God? True, sincere worship is the surrender of all of our character to God! Not just lifting our hands during church service just because everyone else is or because you are focusing on the words of the song being voiced over the sound system. It is the giving of yourself, at that moment in time, giving your all to the Lord and focusing on Him and you as if you were standing in front of Him. Like Moses standing before the burning bush many years ago and God Himself speaking from the flames and telling Him to take His shoes off, allow God to speak to you then. Open up your heart and mind and allow His Words to come in and bless you. Worship allows you to express the feelings you have of God's worth and significance in your life. True worship comes from a heart where God is cherished above anything else in your life and it purpose is to inspire a God-centered passion deep within your heart! Worship is not something we “work up,” it is something that “comes down” to us, from the character of God because it’s God who gives us the spirit of worship (Psalm 133:3), and it is what we know about God that generates this spirit of worship inside us. Instead of simply thinking about Him, we tell Him, in prayer and praise and song, how great, awesome, amazing and glorious we know He is to us!
Every temptation we have is sort of a test, but not every test is a temptation. Tests and temptations have different purposes, and they come from different places. Tests are designed to show what someone can do and, their purpose is a positive one that can benefit us, which explains why God Himself even tests people! He tested Abraham (Heb. 11:17). A test is a trial established by God to prove the strength of our faith. Temptations can have a negative effect, depending on how YOU react to them. Their specific purpose is to lure you to sin, which is why they come from the Devil. A temptation is a trial sent by Satan, with hopes that we will fail to turn those around for good and overcome them. He seeks to defeat you by tempting you to trust your own wisdom, to live according to your feelings, and to satisfy the desires of your flesh. On the other hand, God’s wants you to be a conqueror and overcome all of these tests for His honor and glory and for YOUR benefit! You will not have a test of faith that will not fit you to be a blessing if you are obedient to the Lord. Robert Murray McCheyne wrote in his book “Comfort in Sorrow” some very wise words, “When God gives a promise, He always tries our faith. Just as the roots of trees take firmer hold when they are contending with the wind, so faith takes a firmer hold when it struggles with adverse appearances.” Remember you can never have a Testimony without a little test and moaning. You can be an over-comer!
The worst days you may have are never so bad that you are farther than the touch of God's grace and your best days are never so good that you are beyond needing it! Grace is power, not just pardon. We have been saved from sin’s penalty but one day we will be saved from its presence. With grace we are being saved from sin’s power. God's grace doesn’t mean that God compassionately accepts humans in all their wrongs, forgives them, and then leaves them in that sin. God is in the business of transforming sinners, not just washing them of their sins. That’s why it is call AMAZING Grace! How sweet the sound; that saved a wretch like me, I once was lost, but now I’m FOUND; was blind but now I see! J You see, grace is the very opposite of deserving; Grace is not only undeserved favor, but it is favor shown to us when we have deserved the very opposite. It is the love of God shown to the unlovely. It is God reaching downward to people who are in rebellion against Him but, He loves us anyway! Grace is God Himself, His loving energy at work within us, because we are human and we falter and fail. He loves us just that much! God bless you all!
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Tried by Fire Ministries, Overton Manor Trail, Vestavia Hills, AL
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