God's Roadmap

Teach me to do Your will, for You are my God; let Your good Spirit lead me on level ground (Psalm 143:10 NASB).


Sunday, August 18, 2019

What Is Salvation - Back to the Basics

by Barbara Latta

If you have been a believer in Christ for a long time, you may wonder why it is necessary to rehearse
what salvation means. And if you are exploring believing in Christ for the first time, hopefully this can illuminate answers to help you know Him better.

Maybe I am the only one whose mind does this, but there are times I can hear something in a sermon or teaching moment and it is something I have already learned. My mind shuts down and thinks it doesn’t need to listen again. But we never stop learning. No matter how many times a subject is taught, we can still glean knowledge from other teachers and have new insight into lessons.

When we go back to the meaning of salvation, it can refresh our minds to what God really did for us. For without salvation, where would we all be? Lost and without hope. So, here are a few aspects of salvation to never stop thinking about.

Saturday, August 10, 2019

How to Overcome Jealousy and Envy


by Barbara Latta

Humanity has been dealing with jealousy since the beginning of time. Our fallen nature promotes self
Jealousy
and without Christ, we are captives of this sin.

The Bible gives us several examples of people in the Bible who gave in to jealousy and the disastrous result.
  • Cain was jealous of Abel – resulting in murder and Cain becoming an outcast (Genesis 4:3-15).
  • Jacob and Esau – Jacob was jealous of Esau’s birthright; Esau was jealous after Jacob stole it – resulting in Jacob’s deceit to his father and he had to leave home; Esau lost his rightful place as the firstborn (Genesis 25:29-34; Genesis 27).
  • Joseph’s brothers were jealous – resulting in selling their brother and lying to their father (Genesis 37:18-34).
  • Miriam and Aaron were jealous of Moses – resulting in Miriam contracting leprosy (Numbers 12:1-16).
  • Eliab was jealous of David – resulting in him not being chosen as the next king because of what was in his heart (I Samuel 16:6-7).
  • Saul was jealous of David – resulting in torment from an evil spirit (I Samuel 18:6-11).
  • Michel was jealous of David’s relationship with God when he danced before the ark – resulting in barrenness (2 Samuel 6:16-23).
  • Absalom was jealous of his father, David – resulting in his death (2 Samuel 15:12; 2 Samuel 18).
  • Jesus’ disciples were jealous of each other – resulting in Jesus’s reprimand (Luke 22:24-30).

As a writer, I have many instances for envy to arise in my soul. When other writers are published and I am still waiting, these feelings could derail my progress if I let them. But God showed me what jealousy really is.

But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where you have selfish ambition there you find disorder and every evil practice (James 3:14-16 NIV).

I highlighted the words earthly, unspiritual and demonic because reading that can set us in our place. That really spoke to me when I read those words in the NIV. Jealousy is demonic. I don’t want anything demonic in my life, but the only way to keep it out is to be submitted to God and feed on His Word.

No matter what our position in life is, jealousy and envy can attack. We can compare ourselves to other parents, careers, possessions and titles, but the bottom line is jealousy comes from the devil.
The remedy for this is to find scriptures that help with overcoming these feelings. Here are a few I stand on:

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit; rather in humility value others above yourselves (Philippians 2:3 NIV).

A sound heart is life to the body, but envy is rottenness to the bones (Proverbs 14:30 NKJV). Wow, I don’t want rotten bones!

Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go for to you I entrust my life (Psalm 143:8 NIV).

God will show His plan to each of us when we ask Him to. His plan for me is not the same as His plan for someone else so I shouldn’t strive to have another person’s position or accomplishment.

These are just a few scriptures that are medicine to the soul when the sickness of envy attacks.

Feel free to share some of your favorite verses and join the conversation.






Saturday, August 3, 2019

Avoiding False Vines by Recognizing the True Vine of Christ


by Barbara Latta

I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing (John 15:5).

Jesus used the analogy of vines and branches to teach believers about our relationship with the Father through the Son.

The agricultural society of biblical times understood Jesus’ comparison because they lived a planting and harvest lifestyle. Those of us who do not live on farms must delve a little deeper into the
Jesus is the true vine.
workings of seeds and growth to get the true meaning of Jesus’ message.

A visit to a friends farm showed us how large these vines can grow. Small, curly vines reached toward the sky hiding the larger stems and growth underneath. The aged vine had grown thick and woody like a tree trunk. Roots penetrated the earth and reached deep sucking up the moisture to nourish the branches. 

I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser (John 15:1).

Jesus said He was the true vine. That means there must be false vines and we need to recognize what that those false vines are so we can avoid them. Staying in the true vine gives us life.

What are some false vines offered in life?

Saturday, July 27, 2019

The Gentleness of Christ


The Fruit of the Spirit series –Gentleness
by Barbara Latta

The fruit of the spirit
The harshness of parts of our world and society create the wrong image of gentleness. This trait from the Fruit of the Spirit may sometimes be overlooked because we attribute being gentle with weakness or letting someone run rough shod over us.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control Against such there is no law (Galatians 5:22-23 NKJV).

Here are some examples of how Jesus used gentleness when dealing with sinners:
  • The rich young ruler – Jesus told him what to do to have eternal life. The way He demonstrated this fruit didn’t condemn the seeker, yet Jesus was able to expose the condition of the man’s heart. The youth made the decision to turn away and Jesus was saddened by his response (Matthew 19:16-23).
  • The adulterous woman – Jesus was gentle toward her, yet he didn’t condone her sin. She was given the option to stop sinning and we assume she went away and did what Jesus said (John 8:1-11).
  • The tax collector – Zacchaeus was not condemned for being a tax collector which was what the small man expected. Jesus invited Himself to the house of this sinner and because of His willingness to do so, Zacchaeus saw God looking back at him and he repented (Luke 19:1-10).
  • Peter - When this impulsive follower denied Christ, all the Savior had to do was look at His disciple and realization impaled Peter with the knife of regret. Yet after the Lord’s resurrection, Jesus restored Peter and made sure His follower knew forgiveness had been extended.

Every instance in the Bible where Jesus met sinners, He changed their lives by showing them the gentleness of the Spirit of God. Sin was not overlooked; rather, sin was repented of because of gentleness. You have also given me the shield of your salvation; Your right hand has held me up, Your gentleness has made me great (Psalm 18:35 NKJV).

Jesus changed the lives of sinners through gentleness.
But the Pharisees were treated differently because their hearts were hardened toward God. They had already decided in their hearts to reject Jesus so gentleness wouldn’t have worked with them. They had made themselves god by adding their own set of rules to the Law of Moses. Jesus knew what was in their hearts and He knew they were not going to change, so judgment was meted out to them (Mark 3:1-6, Matthew 23:1-36).

He was not gentle when dealing with the money changers who were abusing the Temple with their greed (Matthew 21:12-13).

We are told to restore those who have fallen with gentleness (Galatians 6:1-2). Someone coming out of sin doesn’t need judgment, they need restoration. This doesn’t mean sin is swept under the rug. If they are truly repentant, they have probably already beat themselves up with guilt. They don’t need others in the church helping them do more.

Restoring them in gentleness means giving them the Word of God to show Christ’s forgiveness. Showing kindness toward them without reminding them of their sin, and discipling them back into fellowship to grow in the Word will keep them out of future sin.

While someday there will be judgment extended to those who have rejected Christ, right now God is dealing with sinners with gentleness and mercy.

What does gentleness mean to you? Share your thoughts.













Saturday, July 13, 2019

8 Ways to Hear and Receive From God


by Barbara Latta

Do you have difficulty making decisions? Does God sometimes seem silent and your prayers
8 ways to hear and receive from God
unanswered? Most of us have gone through this in our Christian lives. Sometimes God is silent for a season because what we are asking for may not be in His timing yet. The key is to not give up. We need to continue to seek Him and listen for His voice.

Here are 8 ways I have found helpful to hear from God:

  1. Be available. Presenting ourselves as a living sacrifice and renewing our minds in His Word places us in a position to hear from Him. (Romans 12:1-2). Putting ourselves in a worship mindset will take the focus off self.
  2. Leave the past behind. We can’t move forward when we live in the past and dwell on mistakes and sins. This hinders our ability to hear what God is saying now (Philippians 3:13-14).
  3. Ask for revelation knowledge. (Colossians 1:9-10). He will give us understanding when we ask for it.
  4. Know that His will is available through His Spirit. He does want to reveal things to us (1 Corinthians 2:10-16).
  5. Believe we receive our answer when we pray. Make sure prayers line up with His will and are not selfish (James 1:5-8).
  6. Be quiet, listen and get rid of distractions. (Psalm 46:10). We cannot hear God’s voice in the middle of TV shows, a radio blaring or social media streaming through the computer.
  7. Pray in the Spirit (Romans 8:26-27). Many times in scripture praying in the Spirit is associated with praying in tongues. When the Spirit of God is praying from our spirit to God the Father, our mind is bypassed, and our reasoning cannot get in the way.
  8. Let peace be the guide (Colossians 3:15). When trying to make a decision and unsure which way to go, test the options with which one gives peace in the soul. When God is directing, there will be calmness and not anxiety or confusion.

What are some ways you have found helpful to hear and receive from God? Share your thoughts.


Saturday, June 29, 2019

What Does It Mean To Be Created Equal?


by Barbara Latta

The Declaration of Independence states that all men were created equal. 
The Declaration of Independence states that all
men are created equal.


It’s obvious all people on the earth are not equal. Many are enslaved, reduced to poverty, suffer from social injustice and abuse. So where does equality come from and what does it really mean?

The signers of our independence document recognized God as the Creator of all men. As the sovereign Lord, He made mankind in His image.

Each person is born as a human being with the ability to commune with their creator if they so choose.

And that is the key. Choice.

Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” (Genesis 1:26-28 NASB).

Adam and Eve had a choice and they chose to rebel against God.

That rebellious spirit has been passed on to every human born since that time.

Because of that rebellious spirit, those who choose to continue to disobey God exalt themselves in some positions of authority and inflict oppression on to others.

This is what causes humanity to be in classes of inequality today.

Oppression comes from other people. Dictators choose to inflict domination onto citizens; human traffickers take it upon themselves to think they can own another person because of their own selfish desires; socialism prevents citizens from owning their own property.

The earth is the Lord’s and all it contains, the world, and those who dwell in it (Psalm 34:1).

The signers of the Declaration of Independence
recognized God as the Creator of all men.
God created the earth and gave it to the people He created. But He intended that creation to be used for good and not evil. Romans 13:1-4 tell us that God ordained the authority of government because people choose to be rebellious. But because there are evil leaders who obtain high positions, wisdom is required as to how far obedience should go.

And Jesus said to them, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s,” (Mark 12:17).
But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men,” (Acts 5:29).

The Founding Fathers of America recognized that God is the giver of rights. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness is a God-given gift. But because of the selfishness of mankind those rights are denied to parts of the world by ungodly leaders who want to be in charge. 

Those of us who live in the United States have been given a gift that most of the world does not have. America has been a light and supportive arm to the nations of the world who have been attacked and oppressed. If that light is put out, how can others be helped? We have a foundation that was built on righteousness and that’s why our enemy, Satan, opposes it.

People are created equal in God’s eyes. Inequality comes from mankind and because of sinful rebellion the rights of equality had to be fought for. That’s what the American Revolution was all about.

Join the conversation and share your thoughts.


Saturday, June 22, 2019

How to Live Free of the Grip of Fear


by Barbara Latta

How to live free of the grip of fear
Angels bringing communication from God to saints of old always preceded their message with “Fear not.” While the visual image of a creature from heaven would be a terrifying sight to our natural eyes, God’s reassurance to the recipients of the words tells us He doesn’t want us to be afraid.

But how do we live free of the grip of fear?