Stop Trying to Please Him!

“But I will give all my thanks to you, Lord, for you make everything right in the end. I will sing my highest praise to the God of the Highest Place!” –Psalm 7:17, TPT

8 “,…For it is by grace you have been saved through faith, and this not from yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance as our way of life.… ” Ephesians 2:8-10, TPT

This week, I was seeking the LORD more intensely than usual. I’ve always been a go-getter, and have spent most of my life involved in several activities at once. That can be both good and bad.

Anyway, the second of these days of seeking, the LORD impressed me early that I’d worked too much the day before, and He wanted me to rest the second day. “Okay, but HOW do you want me to rest?” I asked Him. I was honestly confused for a few seconds–till I felt His gentle Spirit showing me that there was a root of performance pressure in that question! In my heart, I truly was searching for the most efficient way to rest!

What an irony! So that was wrong thinking, with a root of fear (of displeasing Him, of not being “efficient enough,” which is performance–which is FEAR. We do NOT have the spirit of fear, but power, love, and a sound mind, when we are God’s kids!)

I also realized hours later that procrastination is linked to performance pressure/perfectionism (fear), so I repented for all that, and asked the LORD to “replace the wicked (fear/perfectionism/performance pressure) with the righteous (deeper understanding of His love, and peace)! He did!

The LORD’s had to remind me often to REST during the years! And, like most of us, I’ve been guilty of thinking that, when I’m DOING a lot of things for the LORD, that that is acceptable to Him. Truly, He knows my heart IS to please and honor Him–and to let my Light shine so that all may be drawn to Him (Matthew 5:16). Amen.

However–just as I love my darling daughter (now, almost 23 and a college grad, plus about to be married in the spring!) am am PLEASED WITH HER, completely apart from her performance–so I was reminded that my Daddy God loves me. (And I’ve had good parents who loved me through thick and thin, no matter what.)

So we know that our loving Father God loves us and delights to give us what we ask when we are close to Him, because, as I John 3;21-23 says, “…21 Beloved, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God, 22 and we will received from Him whatever we ask ,because we keep His commandments and do what is pleasing in His sight. 23 And this is His commandment: that we should believe in the name of His Son, Jesus Christ, and we should love one another just as He commanded us.…: Berean Study Bible

So, if you’ve been like me–thinking God is mad at you, or at least irritated, or even disappointed or such (although we CAN grieve Him with our disobedience, like any rebellious child can grieve a parent)–then just say this prayer to the Father:

Father God, thank You that You have loved me since the moment You created me in my mother’s womb! And, from the moment I was born again by my faith in the blood of Jesus shed for me on the cross over 2,000 years ago, You have adopted me as Your child to lavish Your love on me–and You see me as perfect and flawless and righteous! My mind can’t understand that! But, just like I received Jesus in my heart by faith, I now choose to believe Your love for me–that You are pleased with me no matter what I do or don’t do (Your Grace!)–because I am Your beloved child! Please help me grow daily in a deeper understanding of Your faithful love! In Jesus’ Name, amen!

Kids, Get Your Swords Out!

National “Bring Your Bible to School Day” is October 3! Kids have the freedom to bring their swords–their Holy Bibles, the living Word of God!–to their public schools, and talk about them! Now is the time for your child(ren) to make a statement and uphold the freedoms and values upon which the United States of America was founded! For more information, click on the Focus on the Family link below!

https://focusonthefamily.webconnex.com/co-oct3-bybts2019?refcd=779601&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIm57N98rv5AIV0MDACh1EvQmyEAAYASAAEgLZyvD_BwE

Share the Wealth!

James 1:21, TPT, So this is why we abandon everything morally impure and all forms of wicked conduct. Instead, with a sensitive spirit we absorb God’s Word, which has been implanted within our nature, for the  Word of Life has power to continually deliver us.”

Psalm 49:6-7, TPT, “They trust in their treasures and boast in their riches, yet not one of them, though rich as a king, could rescue his own brother from the guilt of his sins. Not one could give God the ransom price for the soul of another, let alone for himself.”

1 Corinthians 1:5 TPT, In him you have been made extravagantly rich in every way. You have been endowed with a wealth of inspired utterance and the riches that come from your intimate knowledge of him.”

You are extremely wealthy–you just need to open your eyes! And you need to share the wealth!!

River Rain Ministries is now collecting every Bible and book, CD, DVD, tract, and anything other item of such eternal wealth that you would like to sow to those ministers overseas who truly want and need them to feed themselves and those whom they are leading to Christ and discipling! We collect these, then distribute them to two other ministries (Mission Cry and Love Packages) who load them on to sea containers, where this wealth is distributed to Jesus-following ministries in other countries; up to 175 other nations who crave more of the living Word of God!

Those who need and want these either cannot afford them, or don’t have easy access to them, or both! We have such freedom and extremely low costs to enjoy the Word of God in the United States of America–thank the LORD!

It costs money to store and distribute these items, of course. But there is no obligation to give anything other than what the LORD leads you to give; the Bibles and other materials full of the Truth of Christ is THE valuable thing!

If you would like to share your wealth by giving such materials to those who give materials, please contact us at Tonja@RiverRainCreative.com or riverraincreative@gmail.com, and we will discuss details of acquiring these materials to send to those eager to receive them so they can grow in Christ!

He’s Got Your Back

Psalm 66:9 (TPT), “There’s no doubt about it; God holds our lives safely in his hands. He’s the one who keeps us faithfully following him.”

Psalm 12:6, (TPT), For every word God speaks is sure and every promise pure. His truth is tested, found to be flawless, and ever faithful. It’s as pure as silver refined seven times in a crucible of clay.”

Psalm 37:3 (TPT), Keep trusting in the Lord and do what is right in his eyes. Fix your heart on the promises of God and you will be secure, feasting on his faithfulness.”

Psalm 69:13 (TPT), “But I keep calling out to you, Yahweh! I know you will bend down to listen to me, for now is the season of favor. Because of your faithfullove for me, your answer to my prayer will be my sure salvation.”

There is a God, and He is real, and awesome, and good! He is forever faithful, and that’s why we each have life. That’s why the world keeps turning. That’s why there is beauty. He gives us every breath.

And while He protects us from so much every day–things that would try to destroy us that we don’t even see–our choices also affect things. But He is a good Father that teaches us what is best, if we will just listen to Him. He loves us so much He sacrificed His only Son, Jesus, so we would go free and have an amazing, prosperous life (John 3:15-17, John 10:10)!

But you don’t have to believe me. Get a Bible and ask the LORD if He’s real. Ask Him to reveal Himself to you. He will! And then, you’ll be in for the most exciting adventure you’ve ever known!

The Winning Coach

Jesus is the ultimate winning Coach–and the Bible is the ultimate “Play Book”!

“The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.” Zephaniah 3:1,NIV

1 Timothy 2:2 (TPT), And pray for every political leader and representative, so that we would be able to live tranquil, undisturbed lives, as we worship the awe-inspiring God with pure hearts.”

“Life is simple unless you make it hard,” the LORD told me months ago. He is our fearless Leader, our Good Shepherd, our all-knowing Coach Who always has the Strategy for victory! His Strategies always and forever will come from the Word of God, the Book!

He is our Good Shepherd Who always leads us in right paths, for our best and His glory. He is good, good, good, and only good, and will never lead us wrong.

In other words, if we follow Him, we will win–every time. Circumstances and the enemy’s lies may may it seem like we are not winning, but the LORD is the Master of turning messes into miracles; ask me how I know!

17 Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel, “I am the Lord your God, who teaches you to profit, Who leads you in the way you should go. 18 “If only you had paid attention to My commandments! Then your [h]well-being would have been like a river, And your righteousness like the waves of the sea.” (Isa 48:17,18 NASB)

We need coaches. Some call them mentors, or spiritual mothers or fathers. There are differences that technically distinguish those roles from one another. But we can know this: Jesus is the Winning Coach, and if we listen to Him–through prayer (which sometimes involves just listening!), reading His Word, worshiping Him, making corrections as He leads us to, and otherwise doing what we know He is leading us to do, we win too! Jesus the LORD will never–and I mean never–coach us to do anything that does not align with His Word, for He and His Word are One!

This article forwarded to me by Larry from JesusOnline.com (a cornucopia of resources to teach you how to know and love Christ!) will serve as a vessel through which The Coach Himself will speak to you–simply and effectively, to help you win! https://jesusonline.com/keeping-an-eternal-perspective-in-a-temporal-world/

Check it out!  

Who Needs a Man?

James 5:17 (TPT), Elijah was a man with human frailties, just like all of us, but he prayed and received supernatural answers. He actually shut the heavens over the land so there would be no rain for three and a half years!”

About 15 years ago, I read a “joke,” that said something like, “I have a job, email, and pizza delivery. Why would I need a man?”

That is the way a person who doesn’t know God and how He has made us to depend upon Him and one another may think. But that person really does depend on “a man”–if only the “man” who supplies the job, the email service, who built the computer and lines the email comes through, and the one who delivers the pizza, to name a few.

The LORD God of Heaven and earth has chosen to need “a man” and by that, I mean a person–man or woman, boy or girl, who will hear His Voice and work with Him to bring about His Kingdom in this earth.

In Ezekiel 22:30, He says, “I sought a man among them who should build up the wall and stand in the gap before Me for the land that I should not destroy it.” Wow–the LORD is so very patient and gracious, that the prayers of just one person coming earnestly and respectfully before the LORD can save a whole nation! There are many instances in the Bible about this.

Who needs a man? God does. Romans 5:19 is one Scripture the LORD has continued to bring to my awareness through the past couple years, to remind me that, when I–one man–obey Him and lift Him up, He can and will perform His Word and reach people: “For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous.”

Jesus, The Man–Who left His diety and became a man to live among us, that He may understand everything that tempts us yet not sin, was one Man.

Hebrews 4:15 (ESV) states, “Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to what we profess. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who was tempted in every way that we are,yet was without sin. 16 Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.… “

What can one–just one man (person) do? Much. There have been rulers that were wicked and accomplished much evil. The LORD never makes mistakes (Romans 11:29) and can use us to accomplish much good. He promises in John 12:32, “And I will do this when I am lifted up off the ground[a] and when I draw the hearts of people[b] to gather them to me.” 

When we lift up Christ, by letting Him live through us, first of all–and also by telling others about Him, He draws other people to Him. When His Holy Spirit convinces them of their need for Him and they agree, they will be saved.

So, as the song says, “This little light (life) of mine; I’m gonna let it shine.”

Who needs a man? GOD does. He needs YOU! He put you on the earth to know and enjoy Him and help others know how good He is. So just ask Him what your part is, or do what He has already told you to do, and He will work through you and multiply your efforts in marvelous ways!

“He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness.” 2 Cor. 9:10, ESV



The Light Outshines the Darkness–Every Time!

The Light Outshines the Darkness–Every Time!

John 1 The Passion Translation (TPT)

The Living Expression (www.Biblegateway.com)

In the very beginning[a] the Living Expression[b] was already there.

And the Living Expression was with God, yet fully God.[c]

They were together—face-to-face,[d] in the very beginning.[e]
And through his creative inspiration
    this Living Expression made all things,[f]
    for nothing has existence apart from him!
Life came into being[g] because of him,
    for his life is light for all humanity.[h]
5 And this Living Expression is the Light that bursts through gloom[i]
    the Light that darkness could not diminish
![j]

I believe it was Dr. Creflo Dollar whom I heard say, “Darkness will never outdo the Light.” Darkness will never outdo the Revelation of the unfailing, unchanging, unstoppable Truth of God–His Living Word.

The Word of God sheds Light–revelation, understanding–in our minds when we read it and hear it, and all the more as we think about it and ask the LORD for clarification. He is faithful!

I am so amazed and thankful that He has given us His Living Word, His Living Expression. The answers for successful life are ALL in there.

I’m about to go read more myself. No matter how many Scriptures I have memorized or how many messages I’ve heard from the Word, I want more. It is at once deeply satisfying and creating an insatiable hunger for more.

Jesus the LORD IS the Living Word. He is our Teacher, our Salvation, our Hope, our Peace, our Joy, our Love, our Strength, our Victory, and He eternally speaks through His Word.

If you have thought you could not understand the Bible, you may be right. This holy Book is only truly understood if you have the True Teacher, Jesus Christ, within you. You must be born again by His Spirit, and then He will enter your life and start helping you understand His Victory Book, the Bible.

Life can be hard, very hard. But Jesus makes it simple. Just find out what He says and do it.

With that, I’m going right now to get more instruction for myself!

Suffer Like This to Expand God’s Kingdom!

13 And they brought young children to him, that he should touch them: and his disciples rebuked those that brought them.   14 But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God 15 Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein.  — Mark 10:13-15, KJV

I am so thankful for the King James Version of the Bible, for it was the version the LORD used to cause me to start reading and loving  His Word when I was in the Southern Baptist Church in a small community about 45 years ago!  There were many words in there that I did not properly understand, such as “suffer.” I only knew it to be a negative word, and didn’t want to do any more suffering than I had to.

However, I’ve since learned that “suffer” also means “let.” Thus, when Jesus says to “suffer the little children to come to (Him), He means to let them, to not hinder them, to not discourage them, and, I truly believe, to purposely  encourage them to follow Him and to be examples of disciples of Christ.

As a teacher, it is natural for me to encourage children, and I am working at being a better example of Christ daily, so that they will be drawn to Him.

Children are not just leaders of the future; they are leaders now, and their pure spirits can easily receive the higher things of God. Let us be living letters of the love of Christ for them to read and understand–and to go and do likewise!