Flashing Red Lights

A few years ago, I met Amy in the courthouse lobby downtown. She had a familiar brand of nervousness and angst. It was a state of being I know quite a bit about, and it pulled my attention straight away. Growing up, my neighborhood was full of abused women, and some of their abusers did things that were more ruthless than I would dare write about here. But these women stayed. Their children were raised seeing their mothers abused, and seeing their fathers pay no price for it. Amy didn’t have any children, but she had witnessed her mother taking verbal and emotional abuse from her father for many years. Her mother rarely defended herself, became lost in many ways, and stayed in the marriage.

Amy was just out of college. She spent her last year as a senior with an obsessive boyfriend who would threaten to do her harm if she ever ended the relationship. He was local to the area where they both attended college, and she landed a really good paying job there after graduating. She tried breaking things off with him several times, and after she moved into her own apartment, she felt she’d have some peace. And it was for a while—it was peaceful, but after a few weeks, the phone calls were non-stop. There were times that he seemed unbelievably sweet and caring, and she found herself forgiving him and allowing him back into her life. For months she tried the ‘let’s be friends’ approach, but he wasn’t having it. And the final straw was when he started showing up at her job; waiting for her after work.

She didn’t want folks at her job in her business, but she had to get security involved. It was then that one of the officers advised her to file a restraining order. It had never occurred to her to take that step, and she was terrified of what might happen when she did. Abusive situations like these are tormenting, and we must know that God doesn’t want this to happen to anyone. He will give us the kind of wisdom and spiritual guidance that will lead us away from danger. He tells us in Proverbs 1:7 that respecting His counsel will build a lasting foundation of true knowledge, but He also warns in this same verse that there will be some people who despise wisdom and discipline, and they have problems because they won’t listen to Him. This is an avoidable mistake.

In His Word, God provides wisdom, and if we will allow ourselves to be guided by His wisdom, we can make good relationship decisions. Through the Lord Jesus Christ, we can love smart. The very first step to loving smart is to make prayer a continual habit pattern. God never gets tired of hearing from us. He loves it! Jesus Christ said in Luke 18:1 that we should always pray. Think about a loving couple that have been together a long time. They know each other so well that they can finish each other’s sentences. They share a communication that is deeper than words. This is because they’ve spent time with one another. They are interested in what the other has to say, so they listen to one another.

Establishing our relationship with Heavenly Father is like this in some ways. The relationship each of us has with God through Christ is a very personal thing. The more we talk to Him, the more intimate our communication and communion with Him becomes. Heavenly Father is a loving God, and He sees things that we simply can’t see or know. Psalm 121:3 says that He’ll keep our feet from falling; He will not let us slip. This is what God will do for us, but if we desire His protection, we can’t exclude Him from our decision making. He’ll warn us, but we must talk with Him often, so we can recognize those flashing red lights of danger that He provides.

It was a very turbulent ordeal for Amy to get away from her abuser, but the restraining order seems to be helping. She is still nervous at times, and constantly looking over her shoulder. We need to know that God offers us His peace and protection. During the toughest times of our lives, He is with us and willing to help. He tells us in 2Corinthians 12:9 that His grace is all we need, and His power works best in weakness. If we trust Him, Heavenly Father will always get us through abusive situations, but He also desires that we’re committed to pray and talk with Him more. When we do this, our spiritual senses will be sharpened, then we’ll be able to recognize His warnings and have the wisdom to heed them. ■

“Flashing Red Lights” written by Fran, edited by PMB for DomesticAbuseAwareness.Org ©2019. All rights reserved. All done to the glory of God through Jesus Christ, our Lord!

The Truth of Liberty

Jesus Christ said in John 8:32 that the truth will make us free. This is razor-sharp clarity for any person seeking to live a successful life. If you’ve never struggled with overwhelming sadness, don’t know what it feels like to be all alone, and haven’t had to battle internal thoughts of insecurity and self-doubt, then you might not be able to appreciate the words of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. But if you have indeed had to confront some of these things, then you know what it is to be in mental and emotional bondage. These things can enslave us and make getting up every day feel like a chore instead of a privilege. Jesus Christ offers us a strategy for breaking loose. He tells us that the truth will make us free, because he wants us to know that the quest for our truth is the greatest journey any living person can take.

We waste a lot of valuable time searching for, and often not finding, the thing that is going to bring us the most fulfilment and satisfaction in life. Before I sought the wisdom of God regarding this search for truth and personal fulfilment, I often wondered why this information didn’t come standard with our programming. Seeking the truth, seeking fulfillment, and most importantly seeking a closer relationship with God; why is it necessary to seek what often seems so elusive? In answering this, I’m reminded that with God, we always have to keep it 100; and for those unfamiliar with the vernacular, know that God requires transparency in our approach. None of us can live free by believing a lie. So, when we come before God, we must do so with the intention of laying it all out on the table and surrendering everything to Him. It’s the only way forward.

Jesus Christ tells us in Matthew 6:33 that seeking the Kingdom of God and His righteousness must be priority #1. This allows us to know concretely that there’s something in this ‘seeking’ business that’s very important to God. It’s not complicated. Heavenly Father requires us to engage the process of seeking Him, because our effort to do so demonstrates the importance we place on finding Him. No person diligently seeks or searches for anything unless they value it.  

One of the truths that brought liberty to me in life is understanding that the intensity of our desires to obtain and retain the things we value will be tested, and sometimes severely so. How badly we want the thing and exactly why we want it will be brought to bear. Comprehending this further demonstrates the significance of why God requires us to seek Him, because only He can give us what we need. Jesus Christ said in Luke 8:17 that the secret thing will eventually be brought to the open, and what we do in the dark will be brought to the light. Transparency in our motives, desires, and identity is not negotiable. God has designed the universe in such a way that the truth is its fuel. This means that not only our desires, but again, our ability to steward and hold-on to the things we value most will be put to the test.

The motivation for our desires speaks volumes about who we are. It tells the truth about what is important to us. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 6:21 that wherever the thing we value most is, that’s where we can find our hearts. We are free to seek whatever we desire, but we must recognize that seeking anything outside of love will enslave us. The truth of liberty is that it comes only from seeking love, and 1John 4:8 declares that the God of Heaven above is love. He is the only Source of it.

When we’re frustrated by our circumstances and it seems as if nothing is going right, the truth will bring the liberty that Jesus Christ offers IF we seek it. God is not withholding His blessings. He’s shedding His light where darkness is hiding out. He’s illuminating our path so we can see what He sees. He’s correcting our motivation for desiring certain things so that love becomes the foundation that anchors them. If we’ll humble ourselves, pay attention, and seek His Kingdom first, the things we desire will manifest. They will continue to be a blessing to us and to others as well. ■

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

“The Truth of Liberty”
written by Fran, edited by PMB for DomesticAbuseAwareness.Org ©2018. All rights reserved. All done to the glory of God through Jesus Christ, our Lord!

The Breaker Anointing

“But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” Hebrews 11:6(NKJV)

I believe one of the reasons Heavenly Father has called me to write about His Word is to remove stigmas and overcomplications that have been added, so that the sheer simplicity of its truth is revealed. The ‘Breaker Anointing’ is an ordination of God for the blessing of His people, and it isn’t nearly as complicated as some have made it. I was particularly struck by this as I thought about my friend that I’ll call Ruby for the sake of anonymity. She has left an indelible mark on my consciousness. Like me, she grew up in a home where domestic violence and abuse was prevalent. When I think of what we both endured, I am amazed any human could or would inflict such pain and fear upon someone defenseless. I’m convinced the devil tried to destroy my destiny by possessing the person who oppressed me. The depth of gratitude to God for having saved me both physically and spiritually through the Lord Jesus Christ can’t be expressed with mere words.

It is by the grace of God that I’m able to write about what I know of Ruby’s life. As bad as I believed things were for me, I think the level of abuse she suffered was far worse. After years of going through it, I walked away sane; she did not. Although we were both raised in the church, Ruby and I knew nothing of a ‘breaker anointing’, had never even heard of it. The two words alone convey something pretty powerful, and certainly our circumstances desperately needed that kind of intervention. But this does not diminish at all the grace God showed us during those years. Given the dysfunction of our oppressors, our lives could have been wiped-out in a second on several occasions, but they weren’t, and we both managed to live through it.

Taking care of an ailing mother and younger siblings, Ruby was forced to be an adult way before her time. In Hosea 4:6, God says that His people are destroyed because they lack knowledge. From this, you and I can know that human-beings can be severely harmed or snuffed-out because of what they don’t know. Ignorance is darkness. It is imprisonment. Ruby was so busy taking care of folks and doing chores that school was her only escape, except she indulged play way more than she did education. She was so imprisoned by ignorance she couldn’t see that enlightenment is the key. And not just any enlightenment, but the kind that comes from Christ. It sets us free!

Jesus Christ is the subject of the entire Bible. He is the fulfillment of God’s promise to the world. He said of himself in Luke 4:18(NLT), “The Spirit of the LORD is upon me, for he has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the oppressed will be set free.” The truth of what this verse conveys is exponentially richer than any of us can fathom. Christ IS the Breaker! His love and power break every chain of bondage in a person’s life. Often our issue regarding seeing his power manifested is one of cooperation.

Hebrews 11:6 tells us that we cannot please God without faith, and Romans 10:17 tells us that faith comes by hearing the good news about Jesus Christ. Faith comes by hearing knowledge; the kind of knowledge that if allowed entrance into our hearts, will transfer us from darkness to light, and transform us into the people God desires us to be. One of the reasons that it is so uber important to know about the example and ministry of Christ is because he walked this earth fully God and fully human. By this, you and I can be confident that restoration is both supernatural and natural, working together. Jesus Christ, both God and man, demonstrated the potency of this collaboration.

The breaker anointing delivered by Christ through his love and power isn’t just for those who are religious. It’s not just for those who look to be perfect or think themselves deserving of special titles. It is for anyone that is willing to present all that they are to God—burdens and weaknesses. It’s for those who will learn from Christ what it means to walk this earth as a human with his supernatural love and power sealed on the inside of them. And it is for those who want to be free of the shackles of pain and brokenness from the past. He offers his delivering power freely to us, and although it saddens me that Ruby couldn’t enjoy the fullness of it, I am so monumentally grateful that he delivered it to me. He’ll do the same for you. Let him be your Breaker. ■

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

“The Breaker Anointing”
written by Fran, edited by PMB for DomesticAbuseAwareness.Org ©2018. All rights reserved. All done to the glory of God through Jesus Christ, our Lord!

Don’t Force a Fit

An abusive relationship can really do a number on your self-esteem, and one of its most damaging residuals is the development of insecurities in our decision making. We question our own judgment when choosing someone who’s right for us because a prior relationship felt so right in the beginning, but ultimately went devastatingly wrong. From personal experience, I know what it’s like to meet a person who looks the part of someone that is a perfect fit, however, this person turns out to be someone completely different than who you believed they were. Sometimes we’re shocked by how far off we ventured away from the “good judgment’ department. This can cause us to develop fear instead of faith when choosing a compatible partner in a relationship.

One of the things that we should all do is pray before we dive into a relationship. I’ve been a Christian a long time, and I’ve made prayer a habit pattern, but praying often doesn’t necessarily mean praying effectively. Prayer is a two-way street. When Jesus Christ taught the disciples the template for prayer, he instructed them in Matthew 6:9(NLT), “Pray like this: Our Father in heaven, may your name be kept holy.” God loves it when we come to Him in prayer. He loves talking with us, but sometimes we forget who He is, and this isn’t cool. Heavenly Father never forgets who we are. He knows us so intimately that He even knows the number of hairs on our heads. He knows us by name, and He would never mistake us for someone else.

He has set a precedent for our communication with Him, and it is one of mutual respect. He respects us as His chosen ones and precious children, and we must have honor and respect for Him; for His supreme sovereignty, divinity, and majesty—for the greatness of all that He is. His Word tells us that He is love. He is perfect, all-powerful, and all-knowing. He is holy, and holiness is a sacred quality. There’s nothing on earth that compares to it. This is who He is, and we must acknowledge our understanding of His identity, because that’s what you do in a respectful relationship. Approaching Heavenly Father with as much reverence as we can muster in our hearts and minds will convey that we are prepared to get down to business. We are prepared to both speak to Him and hear from Him.

1John 5:14-15 (NKJV) says, “14 Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. 15 And since we know he hears us when we make our requests, we also know that he will give us what we ask for.” I was beyond giddy when I first discovered this promise. Like a whole lot of folks, I saw the shiny, sparkling thing and thought, “Oooo, that looks good. Surely God will give it to me if I ask.” I didn’t realize that everything that shines isn’t gold, and just because it looks right doesn’t mean it’s right for me. I had a hard time learning this lesson well.

It also took a while for me to learn to reverence God in the way He deserves. He tells us in 1John 5:14 that we must ask according to HIS WILL. I skipped that part altogether. I’d get partnered up with a fine specimen of my own choosing, and then ask God to bless the relationship. “Please God, let this one be the right one. Please let this one work!” I’d pray. Often the warning signs would appear, but I’d ignore them, thinking that if I prayed enough, God would yield to my will. Nope! Doesn’t work this way.

I didn’t know if the person was always a malicious master of manipulation, or if there was something I had done to bring out the worse in them. This kind of confusion is a direct result of trying to force a fit. I had to learn that God has a plan for my life, and it’s a good plan. So instead of finding the wrong puzzle piece and trying to force it into a place it has no business being, I began to reprioritize my prayers and seek the will of God for my life.

Like so many others, I once bought into certain things that sound romantically hopeful. Sayings like, “follow your heart…” or “you can’t help who you fall in love with” are a few examples. The Apostle Paul said in 1Corinthians 13:11(NKJV), “When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things.” The lesson that we should learn is that the more spiritually mature we become, the more we learn to lean on God. With His anointing and blessing, pieces effortlessly fall into place.  We can always have confidence in our judgment and decision-making when we look to Him for guidance and direction, and we’d be wise not to make a move until we receive it.■

Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

“Don’t Force a Fitwritten by Fran, edited by PMB for DomesticAbuseAwareness.Org ©2018. All rights reserved. All done to the glory of God through Jesus Christ, our Lord!


A Love that Lasts

Everyone loves those romantic movies where a relationship that seems irreparably broken years prior, suddenly has a second chance. I’m a sucker for these types of movies and will watch them over and over. Of course, I know how the story ends, but we never get enough of seeing two people come together when so much has been stacked against them. Even vicariously, it’s an emotional high to witness a rekindled romance, because let’s face it, we all want to believe in happily ever after. Unlike the movies, real-life relationships are much more challenging, because the story doesn’t end when two people finally commit to one another. In real life, this is where the grunt work begins.

Again, relationships are often the most challenging work of our lives. They are even more difficult when we come to the table not having done some soul-searching and soul-work. It isn’t the best idea to look for a soul-mate, or a mate for your soul, when you don’t have a good grasp of who you are on a soul level.

Many people haven’t begun to grapple with the reality of being a spiritual being with an earth suit made of dust. They haven’t considered that spiritually, they are required by God to learn to navigate earth’s terrain by being the most loving, humble, compassionate, yet powerful individual they can be. The only way to accomplish this is to walk in the love of Christ. He showed us how it’s supposed to be done. It is the most delicate balance imaginable, because spiritual love very often has little to do with the human version of it—and this human version is the one most are hooked on. Human love comes with entanglements and confusion, and many of us haven’t learned to step out of it so that we can go higher.

Spiritual love is love on a whole other level. It’s God’s love and it embodies everything about His nature. Jesus Christ told us a little bit about it in John 15:13(NLT). He said, “There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” This is what Christ did for humanity. We’re the ‘friends’ he’s talking about. He gave his life because we were in total darkness. We were playing around in satan’s cesspool of death, and he rescued us from it. Colossians 1:13 says that through Christ, God delivered us from the power of darkness and transferred us into His Kingdom. This was a spiritual transaction, and the only way to cash in on it is to dive into love by faith. You have to rely on what you can’t see, because the things we can’t see are more real than the things we CAN see.

This love of Christ is a selfless kind of love for sure. Accepting it means that we understand there were barriers separating us from God’s love, and Jesus Christ removed them. Our work is to keep ourselves from setting them up again. In movies, wounded people fall in and out of love very easily. It’s a love that may make us feel good in the moment, but it doesn’t last. That’s not the kind of love that comes from God. His love is eternal, and it sticks with an ever-lasting bond. The amazing truth about His love is that you and I are capable of living in it, and we are capable of giving it as well.

Galatians 5:6(MSG) tells us, “For in Christ, neither our most conscientious religion nor disregard of religion amounts to anything. What matters is something far more interior: faith expressed in love.” You and I are on this earth but a moment. We’re here today, gone tomorrow. God is forever; He has no beginning, and He has no end. He’s loved us that long. It is too extraordinary to fathom, but it is our belief in His extraordinary love that fuels our own. This is what matters most. That’s why it is so important to believe in what we cannot see—to have faith in God’s love. It’s incomparable, and when we give it to others, we are giving them something that will last forever. ■

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Scripture taken from The Message. Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002. Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group.

“A Love that Lasts”, written by Fran, edited by PMB for DomesticAbuseAwareness.Org ©2018. All rights reserved. All done to the glory of God through Jesus Christ, our Lord!

Wisdom, How to love myself, Self-love, Love of Christ, Domestic violence and abuse, Spiritual Encouragement for Victims of Abuse, Victims of Domestic Violence, Learning about Jesus Christ

Understanding the End Game

In Hosea 4:6, God says that His people are severely harmed, and indeed many destroyed, because they lack knowledge. The Old Testament is filled with examples of individuals who thought they knew best, but ultimately landed themselves and others in serious trouble. This happened because either they didn’t consult with God or listen to His wisdom. He always knows best and wants the best for us, but we struggle with believing this. We refuse to understand that life is a corkscrew that in many respects can never be straightened.

The one fact that remains constant in life is that the more we think we know, the more we realize that we haven’t even scratched the surface. Solomon, the son of King David, cracked this riddle wide open long before any of us came on the scene. God allowed him this grace to spare us the time and waste of energy. Solomon was the wisest man that has ever lived. In Ecclesiastes 1, he tells us that he assigned himself with the task of carefully looking into everything with scrutiny. His final synopsis; it was a meaningless pursuit, like chasing wind. In Ecclesiastes 1:18, he said, “The greater my wisdom, the greater my grief. To increase knowledge only increases sorrow.”

Some people have interpreted the words of Solomon to mean that it’s useless to gain knowledge, but this isn’t accurate. Solomon was very young when he was called to be King of Jerusalem, and as any of us can imagine, it was a daunting task. He felt overwhelmed by the responsibility and knew that he needed guidance from God. He loved the Lord, and as was the custom of his father, King David, Solomon offered sacrifices and burned incense in what was known as the great high place in Gibeon. 1Kings 3:5 tells us that it was there, at night, that the Lord appeared to him in a dream and asked, “What shall I give you?” Solomon, considering his task, his desire to do it well, and the overall welfare of the people he would oversee, asked for wisdom.

God was pleased with Solomon’s request, because it wasn’t saturated in the selfishness of riches or revenge on his enemies. God’s nature and desire is to always go beyond what we can ask or think. Ephesians 3:20 tells us that He loves to deal in the exceedingly abundant, so he made Solomon’s wisdom unmatched by any human being before or after him.

Knowledge can be a never-ending pursuit. It seeks to uncover, expose, and resolve continually, but wisdom is the crown that few seek to wear. Wisdom will help us apply knowledge well. With Solomon’s request for wisdom came also a ravenous appetite for knowledge and understanding. He wanted to know what was down the rabbit hole of every subject and found it to be an exhausting and unproductive exercise. Solomon’s wise counsel and advice to us is to save ourselves from pursuing knowledge about things that are not aligned with our purpose. If we can’t use it to please God, it is not worth having.

We all carve out a niche in life. Satisfying and fulfilling or not, we move forward. We do so assuming we know who we are and what we should be doing. Sometimes the opposite is true, and there must be room in our beings to question this. The end game of this earth experience is to know who we are, whose we are, and why we’re here. Not knowing is the gap in our knowledge that causes wisdom to escape our choices and allows destruction a foot hole into our existences.

We spend way too much time obsessing about things that take us away from our destiny, and away from our true identity in Christ. We worry about the things that seem crooked, and we try to straighten them out. Solomon told us in Ecclesiastes 7:13(NLT), “Accept the way God does things, for who can straighten what he has made crooked?” Our time and energy are much better served in exploring all the glorious ways in which God has crafted us to share His love. Doing this will guarantee that we win the end game, and receive God’s eternal reward.■

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

“Understanding the End Game” written by Fran, edited by PMB for DomesticAbuseAwareness.Org ©2018. All rights reserved. All done to the glory of God through Jesus Christ, our Lord!


God Loves A Cheerful Giver

The parable in Luke 16 of Lazarus corresponds to the person who begs in our modern society, and there are far more of them today than in biblical times. If we’re honest, we have to admit that sometimes we’re uncomfortable looking them in the eyes. We avoid the exchange, because it forces us to grapple with how the person who begs will use the money we give them. Will they use it for its intended purpose, which is to help nourish their bodies with food, or are they lying for the benefit of whatever addiction or habit they might have? As followers of Christ, of course, we want to be compassionate individuals, but there’s a way to do it that is best for the person in need and for us as well.

Jesus tells us in Luke 16 that there was a certain rich man who fabulously adorned himself in the best of the best.  Lazarus was a poor man who was covered with sores, and laid at the rich man’s gate begging for scraps from his table. In Luke 6:20, Jesus said that the poor are indeed blessed, because theirs is the Kingdom of God. No doubt God’s heart is moved by the humility of the poor, and His Word tells us that only those that are humble will enter His Kingdom. Lazarus must have been a person that pleased God, because when he died, he was carried by the angels to be with Abraham. The rich man died too. Luke 16:23 tells us that his soul went to the place of the dead, and there, his soul was in torment.

Luke 16:24-26(NLT) states, “24 The rich man shouted, ‘Father Abraham, have some pity! Send Lazarus over here to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue. I am in anguish in these flames.’ 25 “But Abraham said to him, ‘Son, remember that during your lifetime you had everything you wanted, and Lazarus had nothing. So now he is here being comforted, and you are in anguish. 26 And besides, there is a great chasm separating us. No one can cross over to you from here, and no one can cross over to us from there.’” We would do well to remember that many people have material wealth, but are wicked in their hearts because they refuse to be generous. Jesus Christ reminds us of their peril in Luke 16, by telling us that the rich man had much, but shared little; greed dominated his heart, and that’s why he called hell his eternal home.

2Corinthians 9:7 tells us that God loves a cheerful giver, because this is a person whose love of sharing and giving is genuine from the heart. I considered myself such a person, someone who loves to give, but there came a time when I had to reexamine both my motives and attitudes about giving.

Frequently, I’m in an environment where I’m in regular contact with those in need, and sometimes their need is overwhelming. Over the years, I learned the hard way that the desire to be a good Christian and citizen can sometimes place us in harm’s way. This was not so much the case back in the day. It was not nearly as dangerous as it can be in modern times to lend a helping hand. I speak from personal experience as a not-so schooled giver, someone that gave money regularly to anyone that asked. I was sometimes targeted, and caught off guard when I was alone.

The times are very different than long ago, but we can’t use this as an excuse for not giving to those in need. That would be a humongous and detrimental error. As with just about every other facet of life, we have to be smarter about how we give of our resources. 1Samuel 16:7(KJV) tells us, “For the LORD does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”  God is concerned with our heart’s motivation for giving, and this is a piece of wisdom we should bear in mind continually. He knows that we desire to please Him, and pleasing Him means that we try to be wise stewards of our resources. In other words, we need to be both wise and cheerful givers.

A good giving strategy is to pray first, hear secondly, and lastly, think it through. God knows those in need better than we do, and He also knows those individuals that will benefit most from our help. We must never forget that we’re in partnership with Him, but we are to follow His lead. Praying about opportunities to give and be a blessing, and then hearing from God, will prepare us best to be doers of His Will. As we think it through, the Holy Spirit will whisper messages of inspiration that will help us. The area of giving and sharing with those in need is no different than any other assignment of God; it must be done, and leaning on His divine guidance will help us do it with love and wisdom.■

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

“God Loves A Cheerful Giver” written by Fran, edited by PMB for DomesticAbuseAwareness.Org ©2018. All rights reserved. All done to the glory of God through Jesus Christ, our Lord!