Tuesday, February 28, 2012

WHY would we rather live than die?

This coming Friday I’ll turn 41 years old; I’m thankful that the Lord has granted me another year of life!  As many of you know, I was diagnosed with Malignant Melanoma Skin Cancer last January, which is the most serious & deadly form of skin cancer, thankfully my cancer was detected BEFORE it spread throughout my body, which would have greatly diminished my chances of survival.  

I’m sure most of us would agree that life isn’t always a bed of roses, therefore WHY would we rather live than die?  WOW, that’s a deep question to ponder!  

I can only answer this question for myself, and my answer is based upon my own personal experience.  The minute I found out that I had cancer and there was a chance that it had spread, I cried out to the Lord and said, “Lord, please spare my life, for their sake, NOT my own!”  

My thoughts immediately shifted from myself to my children, husband & parents; how would my death affect their lives?  I believe that anyone who has faced death would agree that our focus immediately shifts from ourselves to others!  I’ve learned through studying God’s Word, that this is how we should LIVE our lives.

Becoming concerned about and reaching out to others is one of the best things a person can do!  When we forget about ourselves and focus on others, our spirits are lifted and we please God.

Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.  Philippians 2:3,4 (ESV)

We are called to be others-centered (Acts 20:35) and God-centered (Matt. 6:33), yet everything in our society contradicts this by telling us that we need to be self-centered.  Well, I’m here to tell you, when faced with death, self doesn’t matter anymore and that’s when true LIVING begins! 

WHY would we rather live than die?  Simple answer:  "...for their sake, NOT my own!”

TODAY is the day; CHOOSE to make your life count, to matter, to be meaningful!  Ask yourself, “HOW can I (my life) make a difference in other people’s lives?”  In answering this question, you will discover YOUR life's PURPOSE!  (Isaiah 43:7, 1 Corinthians 10:31)  

Jeremiah 29:11 (ESV) For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.  

A Prayer of Thanks:

Lord, thank YOU for giving us the GIFT of LIFE.  Thank YOU (in advance) for revealing our life’s PURPOSE to us.  Thank YOU for giving us everything we need to accomplish your will and plan for our lives.  We praise you, Lord, we give you honor & glory.  In Jesus name we pray, AMEN (so be it)!

Scripture References:

Acts 20:35 (ESV) In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’

Matthew 6:33 (ESV) But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

Isaiah 43:7 (KJV) Even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him.

1 Corinthians 10:31 (ESV) So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

Written by Karen Rae Hickam

Monday, February 13, 2012

"Striving" to be Christ-like?

32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”  John 8:32

Strive for Greatness Event Speakers are Devoted to teaching the TRUTH as Servants of Christ Jesus.
 1 Timothy 4:6-10 A Good Servant of Christ Jesus If you put these things before the brothers, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, being trained in the words of the faith and of the good doctrine that you have followed. Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. Rather train yourself for godliness; for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance. 10 For to this end we toil and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe. (ESV)
Strive for Greatness event speakers stand for TRUTH, speak & teach the TRUTH and defend & fight for the TRUTH out of love and concern for God and for man (Ephesians 4:15).  The purpose is to win hearts and minds for the Lord, so that others can experience the freedom that comes from knowing Him (John 8:32).

I encourage each of you to Strive for Greatness (make great effort, fight, contend for the TRUTH) along with us!    

1 Timothy 6:12  Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.

Thank you, Lord, for revealing WHY you chose the name Strive for Greatness.  Thank you for clarifying that it is NOT because we are “striving” to become Christ-like, it’s because we are “striving” (making great effort, fighting, contending) for YOU, Lord!  You are an awesome God!  We are happy to be called by you to “contend for the FAITH!”  (Jude 1:3)  Thank you for giving us the strength & ability to do what you’ve called us to do,  may we represent you well.  We love you, Lord!  Amen

SNEAK PEAK:  Next week we will look at Philippians 3:14 “I press (strive) toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” 

The fact that God will transform us into Christ-likeness doesn’t mean we can sit back and be carried to heaven “on flow’ry beds of ease.” The process demands our willing cooperation with the Holy Spirit. Becoming more Christ-like requires both divine power and the fulfillment of human responsibility.  

Thank YOU for reading Monday Manna from Heaven.  May the Lord reveal Himself to you clearly as you seek His face.  

Sincerely & With Love, Karen