A Blank Only God Can Fill

Void


Excerpt from

“The Word For You Today”

Maranatha Bible Church


“The heart is a God-shaped blank, and only God can fill it.” In “Through the Valley of the Kwai: From Death-Camp Despair to Spiritual Triumph,” Ernest Gordon writes about American soldiers who were captured, tortured, and starved by the Japanese in the Malay Peninsula in World War II. As a result they started acting like animals, clawing, fighting, and stealing food. In an effort to turn things around, the group decided to start reading the New Testament. And as Gordon read it to them, they were converted to Christ, and this community of animals was transformed into a community of love. That’s because God lives in Jesus, and Jesus is willing to live in the hearts of those who trust Him. He offers joy, peace, a transformed life, and assurance of eternal life to all those who place their trust in His atoning death. So what are you using to try to fill the void in your life? Material possessions? Mood-altering substances? Sex? Career success? The pursuit of intellectual growth? Excitement? You may as well give it up now–it won’t work! Paul explained it like this to the philosophers in Athens: “God…made the world and everything in it…He…gives life…to everything…He satisfies every need…His purpose was (that we should) seek after God…feel (our) way toward Him and find Him–though He is not far from…us. For in Him we live and move and exist” (Acts 17:24-28). In the words of the time-honored hymn: “Now none but Christ can satisfy; none other Name for me. There’s love, and life, and lasting joy, Lord Jesus, found in Thee.”

No Worries

Don't Worry


Pray more, worry less.  God takes care of the birds and the beasts, the flowers and all of nature… what makes you think He won’t take care of you?  Worry will not add anything positive to your life!


See what Matthew 6:25-34 has to say.

  • 25“That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing?  26Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are?  27Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?  28And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing,  29yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are.  30And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?  31So don’t worry about these things, saying, What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’  32These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs.  33Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.  34So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.”

 


 

Change your thoughts; Change your life!

Ruth Strait

Vice President, Thread of Hope, Inc.

Forgive Others

“For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.  But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” -Matthew 6:14-15

Jesus was tortured, mocked, and hung on a cross.  You’d think He would hate them because of what they did, but no, instead He said, “Father forgive them, for they do not know what they do.”  He didn’t hate them or spite them.  And so, you must forgive as Jesus did, for the Bible says to strive to be perfect like your Lord Jesus Christ.

Princess ElliD, 11 Years Old

Getting Real

 

Good & Bad Fruit

“A good tree can’t produce bad fruit; neither can a bad tree produce good fruit.  Every tree that doesn’t produce good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.  So you’ll recognize them by their fruit.” Matthew 7:18-20

My son and I were having a very important conversation yesterday. He is going to attend seminary, and this means he better understand what a true follower of God looks like and acts like. I told him that if he wants to be a good shepherd to his flock, he himself must model the True Shepherd. I told him the anointed of God are obviously seen in the fruits they produce. You just can’t fake it forever.

I was reminded how King Saul had the anointing of God in his life, but his disobedience and hatred for David, a young shepherd boy, used by God to play his harp in order to bless him became a huge problem for King Saul. King Saul began to disobey God, way before David entered the scene.

God is not mocked.

The fruit we bear is either good or bad.

King Saul wanted things his way, ignoring the warnings of God. God eventually took the anointing off of King Saul. Samuel mourned so much over this, God told him, “How long will you mourn over King Saul, I have rejected him from serving as King?” God does have a “Stop, I had enough,” time limit. God brought down his reign and set another man to be King, and in this case, King Saul’s mortal enemy, David.

God is a God of justice.

David did nothing but good to King Saul, but his payback from King Saul was plotting and conniving to kill David. Guess what? The mighty hand of God was with David and not with King Saul. God’s anger was against King Saul, not David. King Saul removed himself from the protection and blessings of God because of his disobedience. In the end, God removed the anointing, and he died a terrible death.  King David is described by God as, “being a man after his own heart.”

I continued to explain he has a huge part in how the ministry will be for him. If he follows God and obeys him, the anointing will never depart his life, thus like King David, a man after the very heart of God. Ministry is not a joke. He, as all those who proclaim as being ministers, are called to be above reproach, clearly showing the fruit of the Spirit.

People, understand not all those who say they are ministers are men after the heart of God. Those who are will exhibit love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. These are the attributes of a godly life.

It’s not the “fruits” but “the fruit” implying each person exhibits them ALL as one. My son has chosen ministry, and this means he must understand clearly what he must do. Ministers will be held accountable before God how they treated, loved, and cared for the flock God brought to them. I get there are black sheep, bad sheep, whatever you want to call them. Unfortunately, it’s not just the sheep that are a problem. King Saul, in the beginning, knew God, and he even prophesied. The anointing of God was on him. His arrogance, jealousy, and disobedience destroyed him. The fruit he brought forth wasn’t good. Just like we cut down dead and unproductive trees, God does the same.

There is such a deception in today’s world regarding the mercy of God. He sure is merciful, but you and I don’t get to act however we want and believe the anointing rests in our lives. The anointing is on the godly, the righteousness, and the holy. It’s not on the disobedient, arrogant, and self-righteous. What kind of tree are you? Are you exhibiting the fruit of the Spirit of a Living, Righteous, and Holy God?  Test yourself and know for sure you’re on the narrow road.  You can’t serve two masters.

 

Teresa Allissa Citro

Founder & President, Thread of Hope, Inc.

A Good Name

Perfume

“A good reputation is more valuable than costly perfume.  And the day you die is better than the day you are born.”  -King Solomon, Ecclesiastes 7:1

The richest and wisest man on this entire earth left us this wise statement, “A good reputation is more valuable than costly perfume…”  That wise man was King Solomon, and the quote is recorded in the book of Ecclesiastes Chapter 7, Verse 1.

It’s not man who gets this privilege of this statement, but God does.

A man or woman judges according to his/her own understanding, most importantly, his/her own walk with their Lord.  If the relationship is a solid one then they’ll see and understand what it means to have “A good name!”

Not everyone will say good about you because they’re not good themselves.

So, then, what does it mean?  God is the only one you should be concerned about having a good name with.  The next statement goes on to say, “And the day you die is better than the day you are born.” Why?  Because it’s at death, we see the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords. Victor, Overcomer, Savior, and Redeemer!

Only He needs to see your good name.  People can’t judge this no matter how wonderful they are.  They cannot read the heart of man; only God can do that.  Live for God.  Live to be holy and righteous before the only One that decides where you’ll spend eternity.  You can choose to have a good name before a holy and righteous God or with man who cannot save you from anything.  Choose to have a good name with Almighty God.

Teresa Allissa Citro
Founder and President, Thread of Hope, Inc.

Truth Stands The Test of Time

In my prayer time this morning, God showed me something important, and I believe I’m to share it with you.  I woke up to feeling I needed to read 2 Samuel 15.  I read about King David and how he had to flee his palace as his son, Absalom, was coming to over through King David.

Truth 2

History tells us of this story.  David flees the palace, and 600 men went with him.  When he gets away from the palace, Ziba, Mephibosheth’s servant, tells David that Mephibosheth was joining Absalom and was no longer supporting King David.  King David in return tells Ziba, “I’m taking back all the property I gave Mephibosheth and giving it to you.”  However, when David returns, he is met by Mephibosheth.

Remember Mephibosheth sat at King David’s table. King David did nothing but honor Mephibosheth. He blessed him and not harmed Mephibosheth. Certainly, King David had a right to understand what changed? He did good to Mephibosheth. Why the betrayal? Mephibosheth told David that Ziba had left him behind. He was ready to leave with David. Ziba, Mephibosheth’s servant purposely left him behind, and then told the King he was not supporting him but Absalom a madman.

King David was caught in a confusing situation.  Two different stories.  King David, then, tells them he will divide what was previously Mephibosheth’s property, which he had given him to begin with between Mephibosheth and Ziba.  But, Mephibosheth tells King David, “Give it all to him, I don’t care, I don’t want it!”  Obviously, this would not be the response of a man who hated the King or would want to harm him.  Ziba doesn’t even say a word.  Greedy, evil people never do.

Is it clear to you as it is to me?  It’s the closest people to you that betray.  Ziba might have inherited the worldly possessions by lying, conniving, conspiring, and manipulating, but in the end, it was Mephibosheth whom King David believed.  We can learn much from this story.  Lies, manipulations, and all sorts of evil can be told about you, but God always has final word.  Your response must always be like that of Mephibosheth, “Go ahead give it all to him who lied about me.”  Mephibosheth knew the truth and knew God would reveal the truth.

*

Last Word 1

My Friends, let your enemies do what they need to do.  Your trust and hope is to the God Who Sees and Hears what goes on behind the scenes.  He knows how to take care of the innocent, and God always reveals the truth.  Always!  Let your enemies be, and bless them.  Don’t fret over evildoers.  Keep your mouth shut, and keep your eyes on God.  Whatever the wrong- let it go.  Whatever was taken- let them have it.

Your reputation is not in the hands of liars.  Your reputation is in the mighty hands of Almighty God.  He knows how to avenge you. Oftentimes, your enemies are those whom you thought were your friends.  Ziba might have stolen Mephibosheth’s possessions, but I promise you his ending was not the same as Mephibosheth.  I believe God is telling us through this story that He will bring forth the truth always.  Trust God no matter what.   Give those who purposely hurt you over to God, and be radical.  Pray for them and mean it.  Leave to God what belongs to God.  This reminder blessed me today, and I pray it blesses you, too.

 

Teresa Allissa Citro

Founder & President, Thread of Hope, Inc.

Foundation of Self

“But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.” -Galatians 6:14 (NKJV)

 

“Humility is not thinking less of ourselves,

but thinking of ourselves less.”

C.S. Lewis

 

Pride is built on a foundation of self.  It is one of Satan’s sure-fire ways to ultimately fail. If we puff ourselves up enough or even say we’re not good enough, we will fail; we will fall and remove all claims of success.  However…we can change that prideful attitude by looking to Jesus, building our foundation on Him alone.  He is our Cornerstone, our Victory.  We can succeed IF we truly humble ourselves before God, giving Him every little detail, ALL control to Him.

 

Ruth Strait
Vice President, Thread of Hope, Inc.