God's Roadmap

Now may the Lord Jesus Christ and our Father God, who loved us and in his wonderful grace gave us eternal comfort and a beautiful hope that cannot fail, encourage your hearts and inspire you with strength to always do and speak what is good and beautiful in his eyes (2 Thessalonians 2:16-17 TPT).

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Lessons from Linus and The Great Pumpkin

by Barbara Latta

I love the Peanuts comic strip and cartoon movies. They are some of my favorite holiday
Lessons from Linus and The Great Pumpkin
classics. Snoopy never fails to amuse me with his antics and who could not feel sorry for poor Charlie Brown? He gets left out at parties and gets rocks for Trick or Treat. But he is resilient. He finds a way to hang in there.

This week I again watched, It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. Linus and his blanket spent the night in the pumpkin patch waiting for the arrival of the Great Pumpkin. Shivering in the cold, he waits and waits each year to no avail.

While I do love Linus, I found some great lessons from his mis-beliefs:

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Our God is a Consuming Fire

by Barbara Latta

The heat of the backyard fire surrounded me like a cozy blanket. Gray smoke curled toward the sky and drifted into the pine trees. Chilled air was pushed aside as logs popped and crackled creating the scent of burning oak. Give me a marshmallow and a hot dog, please.

I watched the orange flames blaze with light and was reminded of the verse in Hebrews that says, For our God is a consuming fire (12:29 NKJV).

What does that mean?

The logs in front of me burned down to ash.

I thought about Jesus on the cross being burned in the fire of God’s wrath.

All the sin of the world, past, present and future was laid upon His body.
God sent the fire of judgment to burn up that sin.

God’s fire consumed sin. It turned to ash at the cross.
While we are still on this earth, we still commit sin, but the punishment for it has been done. The power of sin is ash.
Our forgiveness is complete because Jesus endured the fire.

God’s fire consumes us with power when we welcome the Holy Spirit into our lives.
After Jesus ascended to heaven, God sent another kind of fire to the earth – the Holy Spirit.  I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clean out His threshing floor and gather His wheat into the barn; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire (Matthew 3:11-12).

Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them (Acts 2:3).

God’s fire consumes the motives of all our works. Each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire (1 Corinthians 3: 13-15).

The fire of judgment day is in the future. All those who did not accept the payment Jesus made when His body was consumed in the fire of God, will be burned in eternal fire. That will be a sad day.

The payment has been made, but many will not accept it.

Our God is a consuming fire. He burned our sin at the cross, He burns up our dead works to purify our motives and minds, and He burns within us with power. And His fire will judge those who reject Him.

Satan will feel that fire of judgment, too. Eternal damnation for the one who caused all the pain and destruction on earth since the Garden of Eden. He will be consumed with eternal misery. And I'm glad.

What kind of fire do you want in your life? God’s love can burn within your heart if you accept His sacrifice and join His family.

Join the conversation and share your thoughts.


Monday, October 15, 2018

A Fishing Trip Teaches Lessons About Temptation

by Barbara Latta

Brilliant blue sky, cooler temperatures and the scent of fall in the air called us to some
The fish we caught took the bait.
outdoor activity. Friends were kind enough to invite Ken and I for an afternoon of fishing.
Autumn color brushed the edges of the trees as their foliage started the winter sleeping process. A gentle breeze blew across the water occasionally, but not enough to ripple the surface. Fish were waiting.

After a few casts with no success, I changed my bait. We were using plastic worms, so I changed to another color. Surely these fish wanted bright orange. Bingo! I had a strike. I pulled my little bass to the shore and proudly showed off my catch. When the fish stopped biting, we changed our tactics and moved to another pond. The fish we caught took the bait. I didn't get a picture of my fish, but here is one of Ken's bass.

As we were patient and continued to fish, I thought about how similar our fishing process is to the temptations the devil lays before us.

Bait – he uses something that looks good to us. The devil doesn’t tempt with something that is not appealing. For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world (1 John 2:16 NKJV).
Tactics – when one bait doesn’t work, he changes to another. This they said, testing Him, that they might have something of which to accuse Him. But Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground with His finger, as though He did not hear (John 8:6)
Patience – if we don’t take the bait the first time, he waits and tries again later. Now when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from Him an opportune time (Luke 4:13).

How do we resist the devil’s fishing skills:
ResistTherefore, submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you (James 4:7). The key to resisting is to submit to God.
Renew – And do not conform to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God (Romans 12:2). Changing our thinking to line up with God’s Word helps us recognize temptation when it comes.
RevealYou are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world (1 John 4:4). Show the devil that we belong to God and that he is defeated.

When we stand on God’s word and use His weapons, the devil’s tactics come up short. His fishing expedition ends with an empty stringer.

Share some other scriptures you use to resist temptation. Join the conversation.


Sunday, October 7, 2018

How Can I Know if I Love God Enough?

by Barbara Latta

Many Christians strive over these questions:

How can I know if I love God enough?

How do I know if I love God enough?
Am I doing enough to show God I love Him?
What else do I need to do?
If I sin, does that mean I don’t love God?
And if I do, is He angry with me?

Once when a Pharisee asked Jesus which command in the law was the most important, Jesus replied, Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and mind. This is the first and most important command (Matthew 22:37 NCV).

It was a works mentality. They had to perform correctly to show God they loved Him by obeying His commands. If they didn’t do good, they were punished and an animal had to be sacrificed to atone for that sin.