Grace to Love

Grace to Love

by Gerie Moody-Major

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781477264287
Publisher: AuthorHouse
Publication date: 08/31/2012
Pages: 144
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.34(d)

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Grace to Love


By Gerie Moody-Major

AuthorHouse

Copyright © 2012 Gerie Moody-Major
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-4772-6428-7


Chapter One

Parents

Honor thy father and thy mother that thy days may be prolonged: and that it may go well with thee. Deuteronomy 5:16

God was serious about respecting and honoring parents; that is why He made it one of the Ten Commandments. The Book of Proverbs (1:8, 8:32, 13:1 to name a few) repeats it, and Jesus reiterates it. No matter how awful your parents are to you, continue showing them respect. Forgive them, and let God exact punishment on them for not being good parents; for not doing the job that God gave them to do; that is, raising up a child in the way he or she should go (Proverbs 22:6). Let the sin be on them, not on you.

Marc's mother is in the same convalescent hospital as me. She has been there for eight years. I have never seen anyone so devoted to his mother. Marc works part-time just to be able to take care of his mother. He is at the hospital at 6:00 a.m. every morning to clean or shower and change her; he goes to work for a few hours and is back by noon to check and change her. Marc does everything for his mother, and only allows the nurses to change her if he is gone for a couple of hours. Marc even washes and colors his mother's hair because he says that he wants her to look her best at all times.

Marc and I were talking one day as I was waiting to be taken to the doctor. I mentioned, how devoted he is to his mother and how blessed she is to have such a devoted son. He said to me, "No! I am the one that is blessed for having such a good mother. God gave her a job to raise my siblings and me, and she did it to the best of her ability. She never complained when she had to do it without my father. I am only being a dutiful son. I thank God for the opportunity to serve and honor her."

I told Marc that the Lord will bless and prosper him, and it will go well with him, for God commanded that he honor his mother and father that his days may be prolonged (Deuteronomy 5:16, Exodus 20:12, Matthew 19:19). Marc has performed these duties with a smile on his face at all times.

Those whose mothers were faithful to God's direction in raising them through difficult challenges are fortunate and blessed if they are, like Marc, able to honor her and show love. Those who were not fortunate to have a loving and caring mother to raise them, must still respect her for giving birth to them, and thank God for that blessing. Those who had surrogate mothers to nurture and give them love are also blessed that God sent a mother to mother them.

If you were abused, abandoned, and/or neglected by your mother, forgive her. No matter what the situation, continue to honor her. Don't hold onto that grudge; let go, for the Lord will exact his vengeance and judgment. You do not want the sin on you for you have trusted in the Lord's mercy (Psalm 13:5). You suffered in silence but God, who sees in secret will reward you openly (Matthew 6:6)

Thought for the day - Respect your parents so that God will bless you.

The Price of Money

Thy money perish with thee because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money. Acts 8:20

There are some people who think that money can buy anything and everything. Because, for them, money is all you need. You and I, as followers of Jesus Christ, know that this is not so. Money can buy material things, a title, or, maybe a flight to the moon. It certainly can't buy love, happiness, respect, peace of mind, and above all, God's gift of salvation.

The spiritual gifts that God gives us, for the use of glorifying him, also cannot be bought with money. Very talented people leave you wondering "how do they do it?" Someone else tries and just can't get it; no matter how hard they try or how long; the gift is just not theirs to get or have.

Others, because they have wealth and power, think they can do and get anything they want or desire. All they have to do is flash their money, or make an offer, and it is theirs for the taking. Not so!

We Christians know that money can't buy us salvation, nor can it get us into heaven. It can help us help others less fortunate than ourselves. In this way, we are using it (money) to glorify God. Jesus said, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 19:24). Is this because the rich man focuses too much time on his money and not enough time on our heavenly Father? After all is said and done, our heavenly Father is responsible for the riches that we have; He loaned the riches to us.

God's gifts are given to us because He loves us; and if we trust and seek Him, we shall not want for any good thing (Psalm 34:10). Material things can be stolen, rust, break, and crumble (Matthew 6:19-21); while the gift of His son, Jesus Christ, lasts and lives forever and cannot be bought with money.

God's Grace is sufficient for us (2 Corinthians 12:9). We need to love Him in return, and also love our neighbor. That's not so difficult to do. After all, God gave us the grace to love each other as he loves us.

Thought for the day - Money can't buy everything.

Our Merciful God

Gracious is the Lord, and righteous; yea, our God is merciful. Psalm 116:5

Sometimes I sit and think about life and its many hills and valleys. I wonder why, with all my faults, mistakes, materialistic habits, and actions, the Lord still loves me? There are times when I selfishly think, and forget, that my body is not mine; I am only the caretaker of God's temple, and as such, I should be very careful of what goes into it, how I treat it, and how I allow or give others permission to abuse it.

They say that with age comes maturity. If this is true, why are there those, who should be very mature, still acting so childish? Does the Bible not say that as an adult, we should put away childish acts (1 Corinthians 13:11)?

I thank God every day for His grace and mercy (Psalm 116:5); I thank God for His forgiving spirit (Psalm 25:7) when I come to Him with a repentant heart; I thank God for His loving kindness (Psalm 86:15) when I put away my arrogant spirit and turn to Him with humility; I thank God for His unconditional love (2 Corinthians 12:9) when I open my heart and allow His love to enter and give me the grace to show others love without being judgmental.

Our Lord is gracious and righteous; yea our God is merciful (Psalm 116:5). He waits for us to come to Him of our own free will. He gave us the ability to choose. It is our responsibility to make wise choices. I appreciate the fact that if I make the wrong choice, our God gives me a chance to get it right (Isaiah 41:13). He gives us the grace to get back on the right path. Our God knows that the gate is narrow, the way difficult that leads to salvation, and there are few who find it (Matthew 7:14).

God's love and forgiveness (John 3:16) outweighs our limited concept of what is true love of self and others. Yes, our heavenly Father gave his son Jesus Christ, to be crucified for us. His son paid the price for the saving of our souls. Indeed, He is merciful and His kindness endures forever (Psalm 86:15, 117:2).

Thought for the day - The Lord forgives our many sins when we come to him in repentance.

Trusting in the Lord

God is my strength and my power: and he maketh my way perfect. 2 Samuel 22:33

We do not know God's plan for our lives. We can rest assured that his plan is for us to succeed and not to fail (Jeremiah 29:11). No matter what challenges we face in life, there is a purpose and a meaning to them. Through it all we need to continue trusting in the Lord; because He sometimes uses our disappointments to reach the success and happiness that He has waiting for us (Genesis 50:20).

Reverend Doctor Dianne Johnson is one who continues to trust God no matter what challenge comes her way. God puts people like her in our lives to be examples of what loving and trusting in HIM is all about. This child, and servant of God, over the past two years, has had many challenges. She knows that her God is carrying her because she is too weak to bear the burden alone.

She is trying to defend herself against several accusations, not being paid enough to sustain her family, trying to keep her home from foreclosure; all while trying to pastor and grow a church. Rev. Dr. Johnson has brought in several other ministries to rent space for worship and other activities. In the two years that she has been at this church, Rev. Dr. Johnson has renovated and repaired the sanctuary, meeting rooms, offices, and gymnasium that were in a terrible state of disrepair. By partnering with a non-profit organization she was also able to renovate the dwelling, owned by the church, that was vacant and being used as a flop/crack house. That facility is now a good source of income for the church.

As if these challenges were not enough, Rev. Dr. Johnson has had to eulogize six nieces and nephews who died in a horrific automobile accident; her brother died from cancer; her aunt, and uncle died from heart attacks. The deaths were within six months of each other in 2010.

On March 27, 2012, just before this book went to print, Rev. Dr. Johnson was brought to trial on the alleged charges put forth by the church. I am happy to say that she was exonerated with all salaries owed to her. She can retire with full benefits, and allowed to collect all her personal items from the church she was pasturing, as well as being restored to full Elder of the church.

Rev. Dr. Johnson continues to trust in the Lord, waiting on His Word to guide her where she should go; holding on to His everlasting arm knowing that He will keep her safe and lead her to His salvation. She knows that all this is just a stepping-stone to something greater from the Lord, for he shall make her way perfect (2 Samuel 22:33).

Thought for the day - I put my trust in God and he gives me strength.

Charity Begins at Home Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? Isaiah 58:7

I remember a time, not so long ago, when we could leave our doors unlocked; run errands all day; come back home in the evening; and the house would be just as we left it that morning. Are you with me? Today, even with triple locks, burglar bars on all windows and doors, central station alarm system with cameras and motion sensors, you leave for five minutes and someone may try to break into your home.

My grandparents, aunts, and uncles used to say, "charity begins at home." It was easy for them to say; they were not living in the 21st century. They were not afraid to welcome strangers into their homes and help those in need. Today we must, and need to be, very careful of those we allow into our homes. Background Check anyone?

How then can we, as Christians, help the poor, and teach our children to be charitable towards those less fortunate than ourselves, if we can't take the poor to our homes and have them dine with us at the same table? There are many ways that we can accomplish this. Numerous non-profit organizations, including churches, cater to the needs of the poor.

If we truly want to help and lead by example, we can get involved by volunteering our time and resources. Start simple by trying to donate your resources. There are places that need good used clothing, etc. Check the soup kitchens, you can volunteer to serve meals, sit and eat with the people that are there for a meal. Help wherever and whenever there is a need.

Trust our heavenly Father to lead you in the right path. There are doors of opportunity that the Lord opens and no man can shut no matter how hard they try (Revelation 3:8).

Thought for the day - Am I welcoming and helping those in need?

Do You Believe?

And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe: help thou my unbelief. Mark 9:24

We are very strong-willed, egotistical, arrogant, know-it-all, self-righteous people. We say we believe, but we need proof; we say we have faith, yet we give up when times get tough and rough; we say we are Christians, but let the devil lead us in the church parking lot when our cars are boxed in. Where is our faith? Do we really believe in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ?

We say we believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God who died so we may have life (John 3:16). If this is so, why do we lose faith and cry out, "why me?" when things don't go our way?

When I became ill in 2007, the doctors' final prognosis was that I would be a vegetable for the rest of my life. Lying there paralyzed, I prayed to God for a visible sign to let me know that He had not forsaken me. I felt lost and alone. I needed the courage to weather this storm in my life and truly did not see "a silver lining in the dark clouds."

The Lord then sent His messengers, in the form of five Latina ladies, with the message I needed to hear. The ladies surrounded my bed, laid their hands on me and prayed. I thought, "they didn't ask first." I kept quiet because I needed all the prayers I could get. Upon completion, the ladies prayed with me then hugged and kissed me. As they turned to leave, the lead lady turned and said to me, "Normally we ask first, but the Lord pointed you out and said, "There's my daughter, tell her that I didn't leave her side. I've been here with her all this time." Then they left the room.

It hit me "like a ton of bricks" what had just happened. I told my son Frederick to rush and bring them back I needed to ask them some questions. He went out and came back saying that the nurse, sitting at the desk to let visitors in, told him that no one had come except him and Janeth and she had not let anyone out. I cried for two weeks because I didn't recognize God's messengers. I was like unbelieving Thomas. My son Frederick, my adopted daughter Janeth, and three other patients in the room were witnesses to the visit and disappearance after they delivered their message of hope.

That day, I learned that no matter how weak your faith, you still have the courage to go through the storm, whatever the storm may be. For the Lord always sends us the winds to push the storm over and let the sunshine through to let us know that the storm is only for a little while.

Our God is always there to see us through the bad or good times. All we need to have is a little faith as small as a mustard seed (Matthew 17:20).

Thought for the day - If we believe, why do we not act like we do?

Christian Love

And above all things have fervent love among yourselves: for love shall cover the multitude of sins. 1 Peter 4:8

It seems strange that, without hesitating, we are able to welcome Christ Jesus into our hearts with love; but find it difficult to show love and welcome a stranger, the homeless, the poor or the lonely into our lives. If we are striving to be Christians, should we not offer a guest the best we have to give?

For when we show love to the least of these, we show it to our Lord and Savior (Matthew 25:40). I guess it is easier to love the Lord than it is to open our life to strangers. After all how many of us say, "we don't want people in our personal business!"

We are to be hospitable one to another without grudging (1 Peter 4:9). To me this means that we are to show hospitality to all whether it is a room in our home we open to someone, or take time in our busy schedule just to listen.

We often do not treat people the way we want them to treat us. Above all things have fervent love among yourselves: for love shall cover the multitude of sins (1 Peter 4:8). This is so true. If we show love for each other, we won't steal, covet, lie, murder or commit all of the other sins against each other.

As Christians, we honor our Lord and Savior when we show love for each other. By letting his light shine through us in how we treat the stranger, the homeless, the sick, the hungry and/or the prisoner, we are not only talking the talk; but we are also walking the walk. Yes, it is easy to love the Lord in our hearts. It is far more difficult to follow him and do as he has taught us to do.

Thought for the day - We should help each other with love and support.

Future Good

But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day. Genesis 50:20

Do you find yourself struggling to overcome challenges? Do they seem like a snowball effect that never stop? You start to think that everything and everyone is against you; nothing is going right.

As I look back over my life, I realize that everything that has happened in it was for something greater. The Lord's plan for my life was not clear to me; but I knew that something, or some unseen force greater than what I could imagine, was watching over me from birth to present.

There are numerous unexplained events in my life that I can only say, "but by the grace of God I am still standing, breathing, and living." I do know that all my challenges helped mold me into the person that I am today. They taught me different lessons in life; helped me to lean heavily on and wait for the Lord, not to sweat the small stuff, and stay away from all things negative - attitudes, behavior, words and deeds.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from Grace to Love by Gerie Moody-Major Copyright © 2012 by Gerie Moody-Major. Excerpted by permission of AuthorHouse. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Contents

Parents....................1
The Price of Money....................3
Our Merciful God....................4
Trusting in the Lord....................6
Charity Begins at Home....................8
Do You Believe?....................9
Christian Love....................12
Future Good....................13
The Fear of God....................15
Witnessing to Your Faith....................16
God's Kindness....................18
Hosanna....................19
God's Miracles....................20
The Well of Salvation....................22
Showing Appreciation....................24
The Power of Prayers....................25
Remember....................26
Looking Back....................27
God's Plea....................28
Thank You, Thank You, Lord!....................29
Futile....................30
Times of Despair....................31
Seeking Peace....................32
Doubting Thomas....................33
Our Light....................34
Mother's Advice....................36
God Sanctioned....................37
Family Squabbles....................38
Kind Words....................39
Judging....................40
Gracious Giving....................41
Burdens....................42
My Protector....................43
Slippery Slopes of Sin....................44
Equals....................46
Trusting in the Lord....................47
False Promises....................49
The Light....................50
The Sword Tongue....................52
Gifts....................53
Tongue....................54
Faith....................55
Humility....................56
Good Works Over Evil....................57
Users and Takers....................58
Revenge Is for the Lord....................59
Strength to Survive....................60
Faith Signs....................61
Plan for the Future....................63
Salvation....................64
In That Quiet Place....................65
Vengance....................67
Show Love....................68
The Lord Knows Our Needs....................69
God All Mighty....................70
Asking Forgiveness....................71
Forgiveness....................72
New Things....................73
Loving God....................74
Healing Heart....................75
Following Jesus....................76
Good Deeds....................77
Friends....................78
Lead by Example....................79
Light of the World....................80
Following the Crowd....................81
Leadership....................82
Learning Patience....................83
The Gift of God....................84
God's Love for Us....................85
Directions from the Lord....................86
Grace....................87
The Rebuilder....................88
Brokeness....................89
Sisterly Love....................90
Thirst for God....................91
The Dangers of Riches....................92
Service to Others....................93
Being Missionaries for the Word....................94
Tithing....................95
Gossip That Hurts....................96
Lift Up the Faithful Workers....................97
Reconcile Before It's Too Late....................98
Salvation....................99
People We Don't Want to Know....................100
A Mother....................101
Giving Freely and Willingly....................102
Hope....................103
Don't Trust a Gossip....................104
One Spirit....................105
Hands for Christ....................106
Believe....................107
Love....................108
A Lost Soul....................109
Distractions....................110
Gossip Is Not Pretty....................111
Love Without End....................112
The Word of God....................113
The Good News....................114
Glory in God....................115
Our Trust in Jesus....................116
Washing Our Dirt Away....................117
A New Creation....................118
Distractions....................119
No Talebearers....................120
God's Love....................121
A Precious Gift....................122
Give Praise to God....................123
Sharing Our Faith....................124
Saved by Whom?....................125
A Gossip Tells Lies....................126
God's Love Is So Wide....................127
Scatter to Serve....................128
Is She Sleeping?....................129
The Village....................131
Who Is a Christian?....................132
Praise God for His Blessings....................133

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