Monday, December 31, 2012

Announcing the new "Loving the Lord" Blog plan launching tomorrow!

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We are so excited to announce the new "Loving the Lord" Blog plan launching tomorrow!! We would love to have you join us in the days to come as we seek our amazing Jesus! More details coming tomorrow!

Who is like the Lord?



"O Lord, who is like you...?" Psalm 35:10

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Merry Christmas!



Merry Christmas, Friends!

We hope you have a wonderful Christmas filled with Jesus and His love!

May your heart be filled with joy as you remember what we celebrate:

Jesus came to earth to redeem our hearts – hearts created, hungry, and needy for Him - and to draw us to Himself - first in salvation as we trust in Him alone to save us from our sins, and then to a deepening relationship with Him.  This results in our satisfaction and His glory.

He is calling us to Himself.  This is the wonder of Christmas!  Let’s embrace this reality – Jesus – this Christmas and all of our lives and find the fulfillment that we crave in Him – the One who “satisfies the longing soul.”  (Psalm 107:9)

We look forward to seeking Him with you in the coming year!

With love in the One we celebrate,
Amy Vest
for Loving the Lord Ministries, Inc.

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”  Isaiah 9:6

Monday, December 17, 2012

BTG Follow Up Completed!

Congratulations to all of you who participated in and completed the Conference 30 Day Follow-up!

We trust that you have grown closer to the Lord and He has continued to do His beautiful work in you!

It was so exciting to seek Him together and we look forward to continuing to do so in the days to come!

He has amazing things in store for you as you continue to walk closely with Him, base your life on His Word, and allow Him to work in your life!

As you continue to seek Him, we are claiming the promise that, "...He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ." Philippians 1:6

BTG Follow Up - Day 30 - Your Life



The essence of a life that is beautiful to God is:

Someone who has come to Jesus for the forgiveness of her sins, accepted Him as her Lord and Savior, given Him full control of her life, and now is seeking and living for Him with all of her heart.

It is a life that is SET APART for the Lord.

YOU must personally make this choice! No one can make it for you! Will you respond to this call to seek the Lord and live a life that is beautiful to Him? There is nothing better in the world!

~ DON’T SETTLE FOR ANYTHING LESS THAN GOD’S BEST!!!! Is. 55:8-9 The Lord’s ways are so much higher than ours and SO WORTH IT!!!!!!!

~ Seek the things that will encourage you in Christ and get rid of the things that distract you from Him and living for Him. Heb. 12:1-2

~ TASTE the Lord’s goodness and the fulfillment of a life lived for Him for yourself! If you have already begun to do this, seek to do it more! I am on this quest with you! Ps. 34:8

~ Continue seeking and growing in the Lord every day! It is the most incredible, life-long journey! Every day is an opportunity to grow closer to the Lord and become like Him! Never settle for where you are at in your walk with the Lord. Press on to know Him more! Hos. 6:3

~ Keep your eyes on Jesus. Seek to know, love and obey Him with all that you are! Your relationship with the Lord is the most important thing! Everything else will flow out of it! Remember, "The main thing is to keep the Main Thing, the main thing."

~ When the Lord is your best Friend and Treasure and you love Him, all of the other areas of life will fit together!

Matt. 22:37-40 - "And he said to him, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets."
Matt. 6:33 - "But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you."
As you focus on, seek, and follow the Lord, you will know Him, find true fulfillment, love Him, and become more like Him.
As a result, you will become beautiful to God and impact your world for Him!

He is calling YOU to this - Will you respond?

Today ~
- Write a summery statement of what God has done in your heart these past 30 days!
- Review the goals that He has given you and find an accountability partner to encourage you in seeking His best for your life!
- Tell the Lord your decision to live for Him and ask Him for His help to live a life that is beautiful to Him!

As you continue to seek, love, and live for Him, you will see the reality that, "...Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him." 1 Corinthians 2:9

Sunday, December 16, 2012

BTG Follow Up - Day 29 - Setting Goals

It is so important that we seek the Lord for His will, set goals towards fulfilling it, and take action on those goals!

Someone once wisely said, "No one plans on being mediocre, mediocrity is the result of no plan at all."

Proverbs 29:18 tells us, "Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he."

One of the greatest temptations we face is to drift through life without clarified goals or true vision. In Christ we are called to so much more than this, friends! Proverbs 14:15 says, "...the prudent man looketh well to his going." Let your vision be Christ. As you seek and keep your eyes on Him, allow Him to give you a vision for your life and to help you set goals that will help make that vision real in your life.

A goal is something that helps you clarify your priorities, grasp what you want to accomplish, and give you something towards which to work.

It is so important that you personally seek the Lord and set goals for your life!

As you set goals, ask yourself:
- Why am I here on earth?
- What are (should be) my priorities?
- Where will these priorities and the resulting choices lead?
- How will this impact my life, those around me, and eternity?

A good process for goal setting is to seek the Lord and:
- Confirm what your goal is. (Set realistic goals. This could be memorizing a verse or two of Scripture a week vs. memorizing the book of Job in a day!)
- Figure out how you are going to practically work towards it. (See below.)
- Ask the Lord for His help. (We can’t do this on our own, but God gives us grace to do everything He calls us to do!)
- Take action! (Goals are good, but if you don’t act on them, they are not going to help you much!)

For example, my biggest goal is to know the Lord more. Writing it out could be something like this:
Goal #1 - To know the Lord more.
Application to life:
- Give Him priority over other things.
- Spend time with Him every day. (Even set a certain amount of time and what part of the day you will aim for.)
- Read a book that will encourage you in your walk with Him.

~ Today - Seek the Lord and set 3 goals for your life. Write out application steps for each goal. Choose 1 goal to focus on today.

We’d love to hear what your goals and plans of action are! E-mail them to us at info@lovingthelordministries.org!

Proverbs 4:26, "Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established."

Saturday, December 15, 2012

BTG Follow Up - Day 28 - Living for Eternity

Life is so short. All we do in this life impacts eternity - the life to come! That is FOREVER!

Let’s ask ourselves - "What really matters?" Our relationship with the Lord, His Word, and people’s souls are the only things that will last for eternity.

It is important that we keep an eternal perspective. "How will this impact eternity?" This doesn’t mean that you never get together with a friend, or are refreshed, but even then, what is the purpose of it? It likely will mean that you spend more time reading God’s Word than surfing the internet. Sometimes it will mean opting out of "pleasure" activities, so that you can invest your time in something that lasts. It is worth it!

We were meant to live lives that are filled with joy, fulfillment, and meaning. This will come as we focus on, seek, and live for what really matters!

Isaiah 55:2, "Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labour for that which satisfieth not? hearken diligently unto me..."

It is a daily, moment-by-moment choice. As we make this choice through the day, let’s ask ourselves these questions, "Is this what the Lord wants me to do?", "When I stand before the Lord, will I be glad I did this?", and "Will this last for eternity?"

"Only one life, twill soon be past, only what’s done for Christ will last."

Friday, December 14, 2012

BTG Follow Up - Day 27 - God's Work Through You

The Lord wants to use you to impact this generation - and eternity - for Him!

Esther 4:14 says, "...who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?"
The Lord has had His women in every generation:
~ The Esthers, Hannahs, Ruths, and Marys of the Bible.
~ The Susanna Wesleys, Amy Carmichaels, and Gladys Alywards through the ages.
~ And, in this generation, He is calling YOU!

These other women received the Lord's grace to walk closely with God and to allow Him to do whatever He desired in and through their lives. He wants to, and will, do the same with you, if you allow Him to!

It will all depend upon the choices you make to respond to His grace - which will determine how closely you know the Lord and how fully you allow Him to live His life through you!

There is such a need today for people to stand up and live for what is right!

The need is great for young women to live the lives of Truth and freedom that God has called us to. Lives that triumph the cause of Christ and the Gospel in this generation. Lives of purity, devotion, and conviction. Lives that show what truly matters.

The Lord is calling you. He is saying like He did in Isaiah’s day, "Whom shall I send? Who will go for us?" Let our response be, "Here am I! Send me."

Let’s allow Him to work through us! (2 Cor. 4:7) This can be serving at home, at church, at school, with relatives, with each person with whom you come in contact, in your city... and anywhere else!

As you step out in faithfulness to God - He is going to use you to fill that need!

You are "...come to the kingdom for such a time as this!"
"...I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me." Isaiah 6:8

Thursday, December 13, 2012

BTG Follow Up - Day 26 - Choices

Who you are today is the result of the choices you have made.

Each day is filled with defining moments.

The result of every choice will either draw you closer to the Lord or push you from Him!

It is so important that we make our choices carefully!

Choices we make every day include:
~ Priorities
~ Friends
~ Use of time
~ Input - What you watch, read, listen to
~ Output - What you do, say, act like
~ How spend money
...and more!

Seek the Lord and His wisdom as you make your choices. Choose what will help you to know Him. The more you do this, the more you will taste Him, see that He is good, love Him, and desire to make more choices that will bring you closer to Him!!!

"...choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve..." Josh. 24:15

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

BTG Follow Up - Day 25 - The Impact of Your Life




Your life impacts others far more than you will ever know!

Who you are greatly affects the impact that your life will have.

The more you walk with the Lord and allow Him to work in you and through you, the more beautiful and God-glorifying your impact will be!

The Lord can use His work in your life to show others how close someone can get to God, that it is possible to live for God through the life of Jesus in you, and the beautiful work that He does in a life that is seeking to be pleasing to Him!

You are evidence to those around you - and the world - what a Christian is like. "The proof is in the pudding." You are not pudding, but you definitely are proof! People are watching you to see if you have what they want.

Let’s make sure we are walking closely with Jesus, letting Him live in and through us, and truly allowing the joy that comes from Christ to show in our lives!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

BTG Follow Up - Day 24 - Your Attitude



Our attitude shows what is inside of us.

It is the result of the condition of your heart and what you choose to believe - which affects how you respond to life.

The attitude you have when you do things is really important! God cares about your heart. 1 Samuel 16:7, "...the LORD looketh on the heart."

The more that your life is based on the Lord, and the more He is in control of your life, the more stable and unchanging your attitude will be. Malachi 3:6, "For I the Lord do not change..."
Psalms 43:5 is a powerful reminder of how to have a good attitude, "Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God."
When our hope is in God, we have every reason to smile (have a healthy countenance!) and our souls cannot be cast down! I find that when I am having a hard day, it is when I am hoping in something besides the Lord!

You have salvation in Christ! What greater reason is there to have a good attitude? Psalms 35:9, "And my soul shall be joyful in the LORD: it shall rejoice in his salvation." When we really keep that in perspective, a good attitude will come a lot more easily.

Make the choice to have a good attitude by accepting the Lord’s grace, basing your life on Him, and rejoicing in the reality that you are His!

Today ~ Choose to base your life on the Lord, to think and believe His Truth, and to have a good attitude that brings glory to Him!

Monday, December 10, 2012

BTG Follow Up - Day 23 - Meditation on Scripture

There is incredible power in Scripture meditation - Reflecting upon the Word of God and allowing Him to make it to come alive to you.

Psalms 1:1-3 gives us a special promise about meditating on Scripture.
"Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper."
Special helps in meditating on Scripture:
~ Ask the Lord to help you understand the verse(s)
~ Think about what it means
~ Ask how it applies to your life
~ Personalize the verse ("Blessed is (your name) if she does not walk in the counsel of the ungodly...")
~ Pray the verse to the Lord ("Lord, You say that (quote verse) - Will You help me to do that?")
~ Record what you learn
~ Let your mind be fixed on it as you go through the day (You can do this when you have memorized it!)
~ Seek to apply it to your life, with the Lord’s help!

Today ~ Take the verse you memorized yesterday and meditate on it.

"This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success." Joshua 1:8

Sunday, December 9, 2012

BTG Follow Up - Day 22 - Memorizing Scripture



It is so important that we memorize Scripture!

Yesterday we looked at the importance of the thoughts we choose to think. A critical part of this is what we allow to fill our minds.

Colossians 3:16 tells us, "Let the word of Christ dwell (LIVE) in you richly..."
It is a powerful thing to commit Scripture to memory and allow the Lord to make it a part of you!

Some benefits of memorizing Scripture:
~ It helps shape how you think, what you do, and who you become.
~ Your heart is filled with Truth and you gain the Lord’s mind on things.
~ You are better able to identify the lies of Satan and fight his attacks.
~ You always have Scripture with you.
~ It often comes to mind when you need it the most.
~ It gives you guidance for every situation of life.
~ It helps you to always have a ready answer.
~ The Lord will use it to speak to you, to help you know Him more, and to change your heart.

Helps in memorizing:
~ Ask the Lord to show you verses to memorize.
~ Find a regular time to memorize - in your devotions, when you are doing the dishes, etc.
~ Write the verse on a 3x5 card and carry it with you - or put it in a place you will see it often!
~ Method - As you memorize a verse, it can help to work in segments. You can start by memorizing 5 words. Once you get those down, you can add a few more. Go through as much as you have memorized and keep adding more as you work!
~ Set (realistic) goals for memorizing.
~ Find someone to hold you accountable!

Job 22:22, "Receive, I pray thee, the law from his mouth, and lay up his words in thine heart."

As you commit the Lord’s Word to memory, He will bring beautiful results!

Today ~ Choose and memorize 1 verse.

Psalms 119:9-11, "Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word. With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments. Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee."

Saturday, December 8, 2012

BTG Follow Up - Day 21 - Thoughts and Truth

Your thoughts are so very, very important!

Your thoughts shape who you are - What you choose to THINK will affect what you BELIEVE and what you believe will affect your BEHAVIOR. So, really, what you choose to think about will affect your relationship with Christ, the way that He is glorified in your heart, and then what your witness is for Him in the world.

It is critical that we choose to think true thoughts that will lead us in the right direction!

The key to telling what thoughts are true and what are false is to compare them to the Bible.

This is one reason it is so important that we are faithful to do the following:
~ Read Scripture
~ Memorize Scripture
~ Meditate on (think about and study) Scripture
(We will cover these more in the days to come!)

Remember this: *True thoughts bring us freedom, lies of the enemy bring us bondage.*
John 8:32 says, "And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."

If we see that a thought is not true, 2 Corinthians 10:5 tells us what to do:
"We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ."

Let’s set our minds on Christ, fill them with Truth, and seek to bring every one into obedience to Christ!

"Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God." Colossians 3:1-3 (Emphasis added)

Today:
- Spend 5 minutes reading Scripture.
- Look at your thoughts. Ask yourself if they line up with Scripture - are true thoughts.
- Choose to accept God’s grace to bring every thought to the obedience of Christ!

Ps. 139:23-24 - "Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!"

Friday, December 7, 2012

BTG Follow-up - Day 20 - Purity of Life



Purity of heart will flesh out in purity of life.

Mark 12:30 says, - "And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength."

We can love the Lord through seeking to have purity of heart, soul, mind and strength.
ALL of the areas of purity are so important, seen by God, and affect our lives and walk with Him!

Let’s look at the areas and related verses:
~ Heart - "Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life." Proverbs 4:23

~ Emotions - "This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh." Galatians 5:16

~ Mind/Thoughts - "Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things." Philippians 4:8

~ Body/Actions - "Do you not know that you are God's temple and that God's Spirit dwells in you? If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy him. For God's temple is holy, and you are that temple." 1 Cor. 3:16-17

Today - Look at each area (heart, soul, mind, and strength) and allow the Lord to show you at least one thing that He wants to purify in that area of your life. Accept His grace to make any changes that will help you towards purity!

Keep in mind the purpose - to be able to see the Lord more clearly! Matt. 5:8

Thursday, December 6, 2012

BTG Follow-up - Day 19 - A Pure Heart



"Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God." Matthew 5:8

Let’s allow this verse to be our motivation for purity in our lives!

Desire to have a pure heart and life so that you can see God clearly!

The purer your heart is, the more clearly you can see Him. The more you see God for who He is, the more you will love Him. This will lead you to desire to follow and obey Him with all that you are!

Remember that God cares so much about your heart condition - not just that you do what is right on the outside. When your heart is pure, purity of life will flow out naturally.

2 Timothy 2:22 - "So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart."
Today - Ask yourself what things encourage you towards purity and what things hurt you in the area of purity. Pursue the things that help you and get rid of the things that hurt you.

1 Timothy 4:12 - "Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity."

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

BTG Follow-up - Day 18 - A special verse for the day

2 Peter 1:2 is so powerful ~ "Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord." (Emphasis added)

I have found it to be so true that the more I truly know the Lord (not just in my head, but in my heart) and experience the reality of who He is, the more I have grace and peace in my life!

I would encourage you to (and am doing this myself!):
1. Ask the Lord, and look for, a special Bible verse as you read and carry it with you through the day.
2. Seek to know Him more! (Go back and look at the ideas on Day 4 of the BTG Follow up on "Seeking the Lord.") Then you will experience His grace and peace in deeper ways!

We would love to know the verses that the Lord gives you as you seek to know Him! Please e-mail them to us - info@lovingthelordministries.org!

May God's grace and peace be multiplied to all of us today as we increase in our knowledge of Him!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

BTG Follow-up - Day 17 - You are perfectly made by God

God made you uniquely and perfectly with a special plan and purpose!

Let’s look at Psalms 139:13-16:
"For You formed my inward parts;
You
wove me in my mother's womb.
I will give thanks to You,
for
I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Wonderful are Your works,
And my soul knows it very well.
My
frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the
depths of the earth;
Your
eyes have seen my unformed substance;
And in
Your book were all written
The
days that were ordained for me,
When as yet there was not one of them."

Do you see that the Lord has a perfect plan in the way that He created you? He has an incredible plan for you and has perfectly designed your life for that plan! He is so trustworthy in the way He put your life together.

The aspects of His plan include your physical features, personality, family situation, nationality, environment/social status, circumstances, gender, birth order, skills and talents, time in history, limitations, and more!

Know that it is His best for you. He arranges it out of a heart of love and for His glory!

It is important that you embrace His beautiful design for your life and live in it with all of your heart!

As you do, you will know Him more and He will be able to fulfill His amazing plan for you!

Remember:
"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." Jer. 29:11

Today - Choose to thank God for the way that He created you and embrace His plan with all of your heart!


Monday, December 3, 2012

Day 16 - BTG Follow-up - A Powerful Verse to Memorize

"I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me." Galatians 2:20

Memorize this verse today. Spend some time thinking about it, asking how it applies to you, and seeking the Lord for His help to make it real in your life!!! The Lord will use it to change your life, if you let Him!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

BTG Follow-up - Day 15 - Living for an Audience of One


"For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ."
Galatians 1:10

It is so important that we live to please God ALONE as our "Audience of One!"

~ When you are pleasing God, you are pleasing the One who matters most. Let us desire to please Him alone out of love for Him and treasuring Him as our best Friend!

~ Do not live for the crowd says. (Do you remember when we had the crowd at the conference separated into cheering and booing sections?) It should not matter if they are cheering or booing! Keep people in their proper place and God in His.

~ This brings freedom to be all that God intended you to be, stand up for what is right, and to focus on His best. You have only one person to please. That is what you wake up for and live, breath and care for.

~ Always picture yourself before the Judgement Seat of Christ. It all boils down to this question: "Is the Lord pleased with me?" The response to that question is all that matters!

~ When each day is done, you can say, "Lord, if when I go to sleep tonight, You are pleased with me, I will rest well."

"I am Almighty God; walk before Me and be blameless." Gen. 17:1 (Emphasis added)

Live for the Audience of One!

Today - Look at your life. Evaluate if you are living for God as your Audience of One, or if you are trying to please people, too. Walk through your day consciously living for the Lord’s approval alone!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

BTG Follow Up - Day 14 - Your Identity in Christ



Where you find your identity is so important!

Your identity shows who you belong to, where you find your sense of worth, and what is most important to you. Where you choose to find your identity will dictate how you live, the choices you make, and your view of life.

Choose to find your identity in Christ!
~ Know who you are in Christ:
- A new creation, 2 Co. 5:17 - "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come."
- A child of God, John 1:12, "But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:"- God’s temple, 1 Cor. 3:16
- Accepted in Christ. Ephesians 1:6, "To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved."
- Chosen and beloved, Col. 3:12
- More than a conqueror, Romans 8:37, "...we are more than conquerors through him who loved us."
- Delivered, Col. 1:13, "He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son."(We encourage you to your own search in Scripture and find more!)

~ Live in the reality of who you are in Christ.
Don’t just know it in your head. Base your life on it!!! Walk in the reality of your position in Christ.

~ How will that impact your life?

Today - Find one aspect of your identity in Christ and live in the reality of it.

E-mail and let us know the difference it makes! info@lovingthelordministries.org

Draw your sense of worth and confidence from Christ and who you are in Him!

Galatians 2:20, "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me."