Change

On Sunday’s the blog Restored Ministries posts is a song.

This past week it was a song called “Changing Me.”

A beautiful song that requires us to realize that change MUST occur in our lives. As God changes us, we can recognize that His voice is like the water running through us. As I listened, I wondered, “Who wouldn’t want God’s voice running through us like water?” It made me want MORE! So then, how do I get more?

When we KNOW that He is God and that only HE can change us, we WAIT on Him, and in the end we receive MORE!

Malachi 3:6 “But because I, Adonai, do not change,you sons of Ya‘akov will not be destroyed. (CJB)

Hebrews 13:8 Yeshua the Messiah is the same yesterday, today and forever. (CJB)

James 1:17 Every good act of giving and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father who made the heavenly lights; with him there is neither variation nor darkness caused by turning. (CJB)

In other versions this says, “Who does not change as shifting shadows.”

Numbers 23:19 “God is not a human who lies or a mortal who changes his mind.When he says something, he will do it;when he makes a promise, he will fulfill it. (CJB)

The verses above are HIS PROMISES to us that HE will never change. HE will be the same “yesterday, today and forever.”

His desire is for us to “wait for Him” and let HIM show up to work in us. He wants us to be OPEN and moldable. He wants to “run through us.”

We are not to be afraid. We are to TRUST. This verse in Lamentations should bring us HOPE that HE really is ALL we need. If we truly TRUST Him, than change should not be too hard.

Lamentations 3:21-22 But in my mind I keep returning to something,something that gives me hope —that the grace of Adonai is not exhausted,that his compassion has not ended. (CJB)

The song ends with a question, “How can I not be changed when You’re all around me?”

If God is truly all around us, and He does NOT change, than we should desire to be LIKE HIM and change ourselves.

I know these are all words we have heard before. I know that if we have been walking as a believer and following Jesus for years, this is not a new message. However, it is an important message. It is vital to our growth.

If we choose NOT to change, we are ultimately saying that HE is not enough. We are denying that HE is WHO He says He is and that we don’t trust.

My challenge to all of us today is too take a hard look inside and ask ourselves what we need to change. Is there anything hindering us from the PROMISES of God because we are stubborn and irritable? I am asking myself the same question as I type this and re-read it…

The song challenged me to once again, “wait and listen.” Two words which are not easy to do. Waiting and listening are not fun, but are required. Waiting and listening for HIS voice. Waiting and listening for HIS command.

Once we KNOW and we CHANGE, than we have HIS compassion and HIS promises.

When we come to the realization that allowing HIM to change us brings comfort and peace, than we can find REST in Him. We will RESTORE ourselves to Him. We are then REFRESHED to walk forward day to day.

 

Love and blessings,

Rose

 

 

Advertisements

Look Up

I keep hearing the words, LOOK UP.

This week as we read our Torah Portion these words teach us WHY we need to do this. We look up to be HEALED. When we LOOK UP we acknowledge that our Father is in charge and that HE will take care of us.

Numbers 21:9 Moshe made a bronze snake and put it on the pole; if a snake had bitten someone, then, when he looked toward the bronze snake, he stayed alive. (CJB)

John 3:14-15 Just as Moshe lifted up the serpent in the desert, so must the Son of Man be lifted up; so that everyone who trusts in him may have eternal life. (CJB)

Psalm 121:1 If I raise my eyes to the hills,from where will my help come? (CJB)

In the wilderness the Children of Israel were dying because of their disobedience. God sent snakes that bit the people. As they cried out to Moses for a solution, Adonai told Moses to build a snake and all of those who looked on it would be healed and live. This required them to look up!

The book of John tells us the story of Nicodemus. He approached Jesus and asked how a man could be born again. The explanation Jesus gave included the incident of Moses and the snake. Nicodemus was told that just like Moses lifted the serpent up in the desert (a story Nicodemus would have known well as a scholar of the Torah), so the Son of Man was to be lifted up. It is through belief in HIM that eternal LIFE is found. Nicodemus found that he had to LOOK UP for his LIFE.

The verse from Psalms takes us back to David, but it is clear that David found his way to help was by LOOKING UP. He had to raise his eyes to the hills and BELIEVE that his help was coming. If you have ever been to Israel you know that there are lots of hills. To see above them one must look up.

How should all of these situations affect us today? HOW do we look up today?

So often we trust man to bring healing. We look to those around us to bring us health and peace. Yes, God sends people to us to help us. God brings ideas through people that might help us with our health or life situations. We must, however, take all ideas and thoughts to our Father and Creator. HE gives guidance and direction.

Moses actually had to build a pole to look at. I don’t recommend building anything like that today, but I have found that sometimes having a “reminder tool” in my room or house is beneficial. Maybe it is a verse card, maybe it is a painted rock, maybe a simple souvenir from a trip… something that REMINDS me to LOOK UP and BELIEVE in my Father.

KEEP TRUSTING that HE wants you WHOLE. He wants us to KNOW that HE is in control. HE wants to receive the glory for HIS accomplishments. I have found that when I keep my eyes on HIM, PEACE is in my soul.

When we come to the realization that LOOKING UP brings healing and peace, than we can find REST in Him. We will RESTORE ourselves to Him. We are then REFRESHED to walk forward day to day.

 

Love and blessings,

Rose Horton

 

Photo Credit is given to Serena Geiger who captured it in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre while we were in Israel several weeks ago.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Church Club

I was with a friend yesterday, and she had a friend there whom I had never met. He began asking me questions about what our family does. When I mentioned that our organization is considered a church (501c3) in the US, he was curious. He wanted to know how we did “church” over the internet since we are in Cyprus and people that we teach are scattered around the world.

If I felt like he would understand, I would have explained that our thought process is to build communities and not a “church.” Touched by Grace desires to strengthen those in the body of Christ in the places where they are currently serving so they can serve those around them.

The response I gave is that it is our desire is to teach people the Bible in the place where it actually happened. We believe that as people travel to the places where the Word took place, it will give them insight into what was said and why it was said. It truly brings the Bible to life. It makes discipleship real as we walk and talk together in places where we can see and feel the things that the followers of Jesus would have been a part of thousands of years ago. By living in Israel, and now Cyprus, and having the ability to travel to Greece; this is how we teach.

He kind of understood that, than asked the question, “So how many people are a part of this ‘church club?’”

To be honest, it took me off guard. That is NOT how I want any community to be viewed. And yet, sadly, I have been hearing those words more and more from different people. The “church” has become viewed more and more as a place for people to gather and socialize than it is seen as a place where lives are changed.

I have been asking myself, “WHY?” What has happened to make people on the outside looking in think this?

The thought that has been in my mind as I ponder this is, “Because our lives are no different than anyone else.” It is becoming more and more evident that what happens inside the “church” is the same that happens in the world. Bitterness. Gossip. Unkind words. Slander. Gluttony. Divorce. Lies. The list could probably go on…

Yes, we are all human. Yes, we will make mistakes. We will gossip at times. We will become bitter. However, our responses to all situations will determine how people view us and if we are truly different.

We need to ask ourselves, “HOW are we different?” Or maybe we should ask, “ARE we different?”

The next challenge is to change and MAKE ourselves different. The Word tells us that when we choose to follow Jesus, we should RESPOND different and ACT different. People around us should notice that we are different. They should be drawn to us, and WANT to be with us. This happens when we REACH OUT.

Acts 2:42 They continued faithfully in the teaching of the emissaries (apostles), in fellowship, in breaking bread and in the prayers. (CJB)

James 1:22 Don’t deceive yourselves by only hearing what the Word says, but do it! (CJB)

John 1:5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not suppressed it. (CJB)

The verses above encourage us to do this.

Community happens when we break bread and fellowship together. This should be happening in our homes, not just in a building we attend. Community happens when we pray together. This can happen anywhere we go because when two or three are gathered HE is with us. When we DO what the Word says and not just hear it, our lives WILL be different. When we CHANGE and follow the Word, than our LIGHT will not be suppressed by the darkness.

The choice for us today is to be DIFFERENT. Make a difference in the LIVES of those around us. Bring LIFE to those HE places in our path. Choose to BE THERE for others. Take food. Take laughter. Take JOY. When we LIVE DIFFERENT than we are more than a social club. We reach OUT instead of drawing in.

Clubs draw people in; HE reaches OUT.

When we come to the realization that FOLLOWING God and DOING what He asks actually brings REST in Him, than we RESTORE ourselves to Him. We are then REFRESHED to walk forward day-to-day living CHANGED and showing our LIGHT into the darkness.

 

Love and blessings,

Rose Horton

 

 

 

 

 

 

Will You Stand Alone?

This past two weeks I was traveling around Israel with two couples. It is always a blessing to stand and walk in the places where events from the Bible actually happened. Here are two verses that impacted me as I was sharing them one day.

Acts 10:1-2

There was a man in Caesarea named Cornelius, a Roman army officer in what was called the Italian Regiment. He was a devout man, a “God-fearer,” as was his whole household; he gave generously to help the Jewish poor and prayed regularly to God. (CJB)

I Kings 19:10

He answered, “I have been very zealous for Adonai the God of armies, because the people of Isra’el have abandoned your covenant, broken down your altars and killed your prophets with the sword. Now I’m the only one left, and they’re coming after me to kill me too.” (CJB)

As we traveled around, the Holy Spirit was impressing on my heart that most of the people we spoke about, read about and studied seemed to “stand alone.” Both verses above bring reality to that statement.

When we stood in Caesarea and read the account of Cornelius, I realized that he was alone. As a Roman army officer, no one else around him would have been following the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Even Peter, who went to visit Cornelius to help him understand who God is, had to stand alone.

The second verse is from Mt Carmel. This is about Elijah. He was the prophet who called down fire from heaven to defeat those who were worshipping Baal. Immediately after this event, Elijah was told by Jezebel that he was going to be killed. Elijah because afraid and used the word, “Now I am the only one left…”

Clearly Elijah felt alone. He became afraid and actually ran.

As I spoke about these events, I realized that many people today “feel” alone. They wonder if they are the only ones trying to do what is right. They either become extra bold in their faith, or they become fearful and hide.

When you begin to “feel” alone, remember that even years ago many people had to stand by themselves for their faith. We can go back to Noah, who was the only righteous man. From there forward the list grows long.

The question for us today is, how are we going to respond when we have a moment that “hits us” and we believe we are alone? Are we going to be like Cornelius and “move forward” asking God to bring people our way to help us? Or, are we going to be like Elijah and flee?

We are blessed to have the Word of God that reminds us of ALL who have gone before us. We are blessed to have LISTS of names in the Bible that STOOD strong in the midst of trials. We need to STOP and recognize that God has given us His Word in order to remind us of ALL that He has done.

When we come to the realization that TRUSTING God to walk through life with us assures us that we are NOT alone, than we can find REST in Him. We will RESTORE ourselves to Him. We are then REFRESHED to walk forward day to day.

Love and blessings,

Rose Horton

 

 

 

 

 

Return To Me

Some of my favorite words in the Bible are, “Return to Me...” these words bring me comfort and HOPE that God cares for me and wants what is best for me. These words are used often in the prophets. God spoke to them and used them to remind the children of Israel that they needed to “return to His instructions.”

 

I usually do not like to list verses without copying and pasting them in, but there are so many with these words that I wanted to give them to you and have you read them yourself!  

 

Zechariah 1:3

Nehemiah 1:9

Jeremiah 24:7

Hosea 6:1

Jeremiah 4:1

 

I chose one verse to share with you…

 

Malachi 3:7

 

Since the days of your forefathers

you have turned from my laws (instructions) and have not kept them.

Return to me, and I will return to you,”

says Adonai-Tzva’ot.

“But you ask, ‘In respect to what

are we supposed to return?’ (CJB)

 

The children of Israel often walked away from the heart of God and would follow what the cultures around them were involved in. They often chose to forget what God blessed them with and found it easier to be a part of the world around them. Maybe trying to follow the instructions God gave were too difficult. Maybe they just wanted to be like everyone else. I guess we will never truly know what caused them to turn away from God’s teachings, but one thing is for certain, they rebelled often.

 

I think these words need to be a reminder to us today as well. I think that as a “community of believers” we have given into events and teachings that the world holds too, but are not from the heart of God. We easily dismiss practices we participate in that do not bring honor to God by saying that God can redeem all things and turn it for His glory. We excuse our involvement in them by saying that God wants us to love everyone.

 

Don’t get me wrong… God does say to “love our enemies” and to “love our neighbor as ourself.” Love does cover a multitude of wrongs, and like I wrote before, GRACE is there for everyone! However, God also has HIS instructions that He holds too as important and we need to uphold those teachings. He gave them for a reason and desires that we follow them so we can live LIFE to the fullest and with freedom.

 

The word “return” is sometimes translated as, “repent.” If we look back to the original Hebrew understanding, the closer translation means to “turn back.” If we are repentant it does mean we do a 180 degree turn around. It is supposed to mean that we “turn away” from things in our life that are not from God. When the Holy Spirit convicts us to let something go, we must RETURN to what God requires.

 

My challenge for you today is to look at your life and clean out the area(s) HE wants to purge. Where is He challenging you to “return?” What teachings do you need to “return too?” Are you willing to go against the flow of society and follow His heart?

 

God does have grace for His people. Just like with the children of Israel, when we are willing to repent and return, He is there ready and waiting with open arms to bless us. We just need to LISTEN to our Father and heed His call to “return to Me.”

 

When we come to the realization that returning to the heart of God will bring REST, we will want to RESTORE ourselves to Him. We are then REFRESHED to walk forward day to day.

 

Love and blessings,

Rose

 

 

 

 

 

Hope

Hope…

 

Where does your hope come from? Hope… what exactly is it?

 

Romans 5:5

 

and this hope does not let us down, because God’s love for us has already been poured out in our hearts through the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) who has been given to us.

 

What is the definition of hope? According to the dictionary it is, “a feeling of expectation and desire for a particular thing to happen.”

 

A friend recently said, “I have faith that God will work things out, but I don’t have hope.”

 

I had to stop and think about that. As we go through life there are many situations where we “hope” for something and then… when it doesn’t happen we feel let down. We question God. We begin to lose trust. If it happens too many times our faith may also be shaken.

 

There are many verses about hope in the Bible. The one above says, “this hope does not let us down.” According to those words, if our hope is in our Father and His Son, than we should not be let down.

 

As I read that I realized that I needed to stop and rethink about where I put my hope. It is a fine line to walk when it seems like man is supplying the funds for the work one does. Am I putting my hope in the job I do, or am I tapping into the love of God and letting the Holy Spirit bring hope to my soul?

 

So many days we put our hope in man. We think someone will do something and they don’t. We believe an event will take place and things get cancelled. When these things happen, we get let down. Frustrations set in. Suddenly, we do not focus on HIS love for us.

 

I needed to be reminded today that only God can bring HOPE. Only through the Holy Spirit being poured out in my life can I have a place of not being let down because I KNOW that His plans for me are the best.

 

I challenge us all today to BELIEVE that His love has been poured out! His Spirit is there to bring HOPE to our souls. Man will let us down, but God will not. Man will fail us, but God will ALWAYS take care of us.

 

When we come to the realization that TRUSTING God to walk through life with us brings HOPE to our lives, than we can find REST in Him. We will RESTORE ourselves to Him. We are then REFRESHED to walk forward day to day.

 

Love and blessings,

Rose

 

 

 

 

 

Teaching And Encouragement

Since I have started blogging I realize that there is a difference between “teaching” and “encouragement,” especially in writing and speaking. I want to reflect on this a bit today.

Romans 12:6-8

6 But we have gifts that differ and which are meant to be used according to the grace that has been given to us. If your gift is prophecy, use it to the extent of your trust; 7 if it is serving, use it to serve; if you are a teacher, use your gift in teaching; 8 if you are a counselor, use your gift to comfort and exhort; if you are someone who gives, do it simply and generously; if you are in a position of leadership, lead with diligence and zeal; if you are one who does acts of mercy, do them cheerfully. (CJB)

When I read this I asked myself, “Wait! What happened to encouragement?” I choose to use the Complete Jewish Bible most times because I believe it takes us back to a more “original intent” of the teachings of Jesus. It brings a completeness to the Words God spoke in the Old Testament.

In this verse it does not use the word, “encouragement.” This translation chooses to use the word, “counselor.” This person is challenged to use his/her gift to “comfort and exhort.”

Personally, I see myself in this role. I view myself as someone who wants to comfort people, but also challenge or exhort them to move forward. This would be considered a form of “encouragement.” I enjoy writing short little paragraphs with Word from the Bible to comfort or exhort those around me.

A teacher is someone who brings information and knowledge to a subject. My husband is a great teacher. He retains information, and is able to share it in ways that people remember, and understand, what is usually difficult to comprehend. He brings teachings and writings that contain useful information for discipleship and strengthen the body.

These differences come across in our writings and our speaking. How he presents ideas and thoughts is different than how I share them. It is clear that we have different gifts and abilities. When I help edit his writings, I must put aside my way of addressing a topic so that his gift shines through. He does the same for me.

The Word of God makes it clear that we all have different gifts. These gifts must work together for the community of faith to function properly. It is learning how to use our uniqueness for His Kingdom purposes. It is learning how to work with others as they use their gifts for His glory.

I challenge you today, don’t be afraid to use your gift. If you are using it for HIS purposes, yes, there will be pain because not everyone will accept it all the time, but let us learn how to work together. We are called according to HIS plan and purpose, so let us honor Him by using our gifts.

When we are able to use our gift for His purposes, than we can find REST in Him. We will RESTORE ourselves to Him. We are then REFRESHED to walk forward day to day.

Love and blessings,

Rose

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grief And Grace

The words I kept hearing today as I was asking Him what to write were, “Grief and Grace.”

1Corinthians 15:10

But by God’s grace I am what I am, and his grace towards me was not in vain… (CJB)

Bad things happen. Death. Unexpected moves. Job loss. People we thought were friends stab us in the back.

These situations cause grief. The hurt is real. Tears will flow. Anger will come. So will depression. There are many different emotions that cause waves in our life.

I have to think of the movie “Inside Out”. The girl and her family move across the US and she has to start over. Anger, Joy, Fear, Disgust and Sadness. These are feelings she deals with as she starts over.

These events are part of life. Feelings are too. However, we all walk out the events and feelings differently.

Grief can take 2 weeks for some people. It might take a year for others. Men and women respond differently too. How do we handle situations like this? What does the Word of God say about how to respond in situations?

A command that is given several times is to, “give thanks.” It also says to, “fear not!” We know David shed tears. We also know David got angry and frustrated with himself and others.

BUT, what happens when others don’t respond in the same way you do? What happens when others continue in their grief longer than you think they should? How do you treat them? What do you say?

The Holy Spirit has been convicting me lately of GRACE. What does it mean to extend grace? How long does one extend grace? What does it look like within families when individuals all respond uniquely to the event(s) taking place?

I truly believe that grief and grace need to work together. In grief we must allow grace, for ourselves and for others. We must realize that feelings and emotions are part of grief and that we will all respond differently to situations we face. If we LISTEN to the Holy Spirit, He will guide us through the emotions and grief. He will also give us the grace to extend His love to others as they grieve.

If God can grant grace to you, how much more should we try to extend grace to others? I’m not saying let them live in sin, but sometimes grace means just walking away and letting God take care of the situation.

When we come to the realization that TRUSTING God to walk through life with us brings GRACE to our lives, than we can find REST in Him. We will RESTORE ourselves to Him. We are then REFRESHED to walk forward day to day.

  ~ Rose Horton

Rest, Refresh, Restore

I am super excited to welcome Rose Horton to the Restored Ministries Blogging Team!

Rose with Touched By Grace will be sharing each Friday new words of encouragement right here on Restored Ministries Blog.

Check out more of Rose on Touched By Grace YouTubeChannel