Natasha’s Daily Scripture, Prayer, and Reflection for 2.28.14

Do not commit adultery.
 
 Exodus 20:14 HCSB
 
 Pray
 Father I pray for every married couple regardless if they have been married less than one hour or more than 75 years. I pray that their union is held together by Your love, and that they never allow another person to come between them. I pray that they rebuke adultery and other sins. I pray that they rebuke the tempter and temptress that seeks only to destroy and conquer through darkness. I pray that they are surrounded and protected by family and friends who will do their part to protect their union, and block any attempts to attack the union.
 
 Mold out of those weak individuals who struggle with fidelity, that which is not favorable to You, and mold into them that which will make them great in a Your eyes. I pray this to You as a believer in You and Your son Jesus Christ. Amen.
 
 Reflection
 God did not beat around the bush with His commandments. God was crystal clear and straight to the point. Adultery is so great a sin it’s listed there with murder. Yet more and more people give in to this sin. More and more people justify cheating on their spouse emotionally, sexually, and in other ways. People justify calling, texting, sexting, emailing, IM’ing, DM’ing, inboxing, sending cards and letters, gift giving, and more—-to a person not their spouse—to a person that they didn’t vow to “have and to hold forsaking all others…until death do us part.
 
 People say, “I didn’t intend to,” but some do it and then blame their spouse, and oftentimes commit adultery again, and again, and again—usually because they haven’t been caught. But they forget that God is always watching.
 
 What do you think could possibly be gained by destroying the vows you spoke to and before God?
 
 If a person is a cheater before marriage, what’s the likelihood that they will remain faithful forever to one person? If a person has no problem violating their vows to their spouse, how can you trust them to be honorable in other areas of their life? A single person intimately involved with a married person must realize one fact, even if you end up with this married person, you will lose them just like you got them—that’s the karmic circle.
 
 Questions of the Day:
 1. Why do you (or don’t you) hold a married person accountable to their marriage vows?
 
 2. In what ways can we support and hold married people accountable?
 
 3. In what ways can we empower single people to not get caught up in the ugly web of adultery?

 
 
 Feel free to share your answers, prayers, comments, and reflections in the comment section below. You can also send me an email at: breakingbreadwithnatasha@gmail.com Please also feel free to share this post with others. We’re never quite sure who needs to hear and see what, and when! May God continue to bless and keep all of us. Have an amazing weekend. Don’t forget that tomorrow is March 1st!
 
 Love always,
 
 Natasha
 
 Copyright 2014. Natasha Foreman Bryant. Some Rights Reserved. All Prayers and Reflections are Copyright Protected by Natasha Foreman Bryant, unless otherwise noted. breakingbreadwithnatasha.com Copyright 2009-2013 under Natasha L. Foreman, unless otherwise noted.
 
 Scripture quotations marked HCSB are taken from the Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Holman CSB®, and HCSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.
 
 
 

Natasha’s Daily Scripture, Prayer, and Reflection for 2.27.14

At that time, when you call, the Lord will answer; when you cry out, He will say, ‘Here I am.’ If you get rid of the yoke among you, the finger-pointing and malicious speaking, and if you offer yourself to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted one, then your light will shine in the darkness, and your night will be like noonday.
 
 The Lord will always lead you, satisfy you in a parched land, and strengthen your bones. You will be like a watered garden and like a spring whose waters never run dry. Some of you will rebuild the ancient ruins; you will restore the foundations laid long ago; you will be called the repairer of broken walls, the restorer of streets where people live.
 
 “If you keep from desecrating the Sabbath, from doing whatever you want on My holy day; if you call the Sabbath a delight, and the holy day of the Lord honorable; if you honor it, not going your own ways, seeking your own pleasure, or talking too much; then you will delight yourself in the Lord, and I will make you ride over the heights of the land, and let you enjoy the heritage of your father Jacob.” For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.
 
 Isaiah 58:9-14 HCSB
 
 Pray
 Father thank You for those countless times throughout human life when You have changed cities, towns, and countries. I pray for an increase in faith to trust that there is an opportunity for a great spiritual movement in my lifetime. I seek the days where we’re more concerned about eternal things and eternal life, where Your presence is felt in homes and in public locations, and where people are filled with (and freely express) love and joy.
 
 Father please use circumstances of terror and pain within our communities to cause Your children to begin thinking about ‘eternal matters’ and turning to You for guidance. I pray that Your conditional believers recognize their need for You, and come directly to You. I pray for all of these things in Jesus’ name. Amen.
 
 Reflection
 This scripture explained the process of a spiritual awakening, and what would happen if God’s children turned away from darkness, turned to the light, and cried out for God’s salvation. We have had spiritual awakenings throughout the world and even here in the United States. With the first Great Awakening in this nation taking place circa 1740-1743 thousands of people grew in their faith and began turning to God. Colleges like Princeton and Dartmouth were founded to train ministers and missionaries to share the gospel to those with little or no exposure or faith in God.
 
 In Northampton, Massachusetts a citywide awakening took place in 1734-1735, and a nearby village changed the lives of more than 1,000 people which represented 27 percent of their population.
 
 How would our neighborhoods be if we all embraced God’s love and light? What would happen if we stopped being malicious, and stopped the finger-pointing and back stabbing? What would happen if we invested time in helping the poor, under served, hungry and needy? What would it be like to see impoverished neighborhoods rebuilt, streets repaired, unsightly graffiti removed, and those residents who lived years in squalor, now given the opportunity to live with dignity? How would life be if we stopped desecrating the Sabbath?
 
 Now consider how life would change for several neighborhoods, cities, counties, states, and an entire nation. I can see a major drop in crime, domestic violence, road rage, poverty, drug use and alcoholism, prostitution, unemployment, homelessness, and foreclosures. I can see an increase in church attendance, community engagement activities, business ownership, and home ownership. I can see predatory establishments like payday loan centers, title lenders, and others being shut down and replaced with community banks and credit unions.
 
 Imagine that!
 
 Question of the Day:
 What can you visualize taking place in your neighborhood, city, state, and country if we began to come together in love and light? What changes can you see?
 
 
 Feel free to share your answers, prayers, comments, and reflections in the comment section below. You can also send me an email at: breakingbreadwithnatasha@gmail.com Please also feel free to share this post with others. We’re never quite sure who needs to hear and see what, and when! May God continue to bless and keep all of us.
 
 Love always,
 
 Natasha
 
 Copyright 2014. Natasha Foreman Bryant. Some Rights Reserved. All Prayers and Reflections are Copyright Protected by Natasha Foreman Bryant, unless otherwise noted. breakingbreadwithnatasha.com Copyright 2009-2013 under Natasha L. Foreman, unless otherwise noted.
 
 Scripture quotations marked HCSB are taken from the Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Holman CSB®, and HCSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.
 
 
 

Natasha’s Daily Scripture, Prayer, and Reflection for 2.26.14

“Be careful that you don’t forget the Lord your God by failing to keep His command — the ordinances and statutes — I am giving you today. When you eat and are full, and build beautiful houses to live in, and your herds and flocks grow large, and your silver and gold multiply, and everything else you have increases, be careful that your heart doesn’t become proud and you forget the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the place of slavery….”
 
 Deuteronomy 8:11-14 HCSB
 
 Pray
 Father I can clearly see many of the substitutes that I have put in Your place, now and in the past. I promise to put these substitutes away. Help me Father to see the other things, ways, and people that I have substituted for You, so that I can put them aside, in their rightful place, and only focus on You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
 
 Reflection
 
 Material Substitutes
 Cars, houses, money, jewelry, clothing and shoes, accessories, food, and other material things have oftentimes been substitutes for God—loved and cherished more than He. The act of greed is a total blotting out of God. It’s a focus on self—me, myself, and I. When it’s “all about me” there is no room for God. God said we’re not to focus on self, but to focus on Him.
 
 An obsession with material possessions and buying things, and having an abundance of objects around you are all substitutes for having a relationship with God. When there is so much focus on objects and how to get them, there is less focus on the reality that without God you simply would not have access. When we focus too much on the pleasure we receive from material things we oftentimes do not invest enough time in advocating and fighting for the oppressed, under served, and poor.
 
 Church and Religious Substitutes
 Church baptisms performed as tradition/ritual, evangelistic visits with a primary focus on getting visitors to the church to reach attendance goals, and other ritual/traditional religious activities are substitutes for a genuine love relationship with God. Baptism is expressly for each participant to have a renewal with God. It’s a time of public testimony. Many people and churches simply “check the box” as the thing to do. Evangelistic trips or visits are supposed to be a time to allow people to feel God’s love through others where in that love they are encouraged by Him to seek Him.
 
 No where in the Bible does it mention mega churches in the same sentence of building God’s Kingdom. If the majority of your congregation is struggling financially, unemployed or underemployed, living paycheck to paycheck, then there’s a problem with that equation. The size of that building and the property acquired is being funded by those members. They are being put further in debt to achieve someone else’s mission, not God’s. We must check ourselves, and check those leaders who run the churches. Has the physical structure of the church become a substitute for God?
 
 Human Substitutes
 Human substitutes are present in most of our lives. We either substitute our parents, spouses, the person we’re dating, or our so-called religious leader for God. We have such intimate relationships with these people because we can see, hear, smell, touch, and have conversations with them where we gain immediate feedback. But there is no relationship more intimate and more rewarding than the one with our Heavenly Father.
 
 Think about the millions of people around the world who place their religious/spiritual leaders on a pedestal as though they are God, or His right hand. Think of the millions of people who sit back and watch their religious leaders commit heinous crimes against others, yet their followers forgive them and continue to follow them (and support them financially) instead of forgiving them, and then sending them on their way. These relationships are substitutions for God. We don’t need to go to man or woman to get closer to God. All we have to do is turn to God. You don’t need to turn to man or woman to find out how to pray to God, all you have to do is start talking to Him just as you would a loved one. Have a simple conversation and open your heart and mind to being receptive to Him.
 
 An obsession with self and our appearance means a lack of focus on God. There is a huge difference between taking care of your body in dedication to our Father (the One who gave you your body) versus working out and flaunting your body, obsessed with how it looks because you want adoration from others—you want to say, “look at me”. The former is to praise God. The latter is to praise self. Remember what I said earlier in this message, “When it’s “all about me” there is no room for God. God said we’re not to focus on self, but to focus on Him.”
 
 I admit that I have ignored God’s warning and followed the lead of a human instead. I have been involved in love relationships and friendships with people who were toxic, and God showed me that they were toxic, yet I ignored Him. I have been with men who couldn’t be faithful to our relationship, and God showed me in the very beginning that these men would not be faithful, yet I ignored Him. God showed me the so-called friends who would betray me, but I didn’t believe the message. I assumed that in every situation it wasn’t God warning me, but rather it was the enemy just trying to mess up a good thing. I can admit that every time that I have done so it has been to my detriment. I’m obviously hard-headed, and that’s why my molding process is at times extremely intense.
 
 I seek restoration and renewal in my life and journey. How about you?
 
 Question of the Day:
 Can you recognize some of the ways that you have turned to substitutes instead of turning to God?
 
 
 Feel free to share your answers, prayers, comments, and reflections in the comment section below. You can also send me an email at: breakingbreadwithnatasha@gmail.com Please also feel free to share this post with others. We’re never quite sure who needs to hear and see what, and when! May God continue to bless and keep all of us.
 
 Love always,
 
 Natasha
 
 Copyright 2014. Natasha Foreman Bryant. Some Rights Reserved. All Prayers and Reflections are Copyright Protected by Natasha Foreman Bryant, unless otherwise noted. breakingbreadwithnatasha.com Copyright 2009-2013 under Natasha L. Foreman, unless otherwise noted.
 
 Scripture quotations marked HCSB are taken from the Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Holman CSB®, and HCSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.
 
 
 

Natasha’s Daily Scripture, Prayer, and Reflection for 2.25.14

Jesus answered, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word. My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. The one who doesn’t love Me will not keep My words. The word that you hear is not Mine but is from the Father who sent Me.

John 14:23, 24 HCSB

Pray
Father I have come to realize that I can’t possibly love you 100 percent because I do not obey you 100 percent. I can see that my heart has turned away from You because I’m not giving 100% of it to you. I want to return to You fully Father.

I thank You for Your love and patience as I work to come back to You. I thank Your son Jesus for the sacrifice of love that he paid for me. I want to do right by him and by You. In Jesus’ name I humbly pray. Amen.

Reflection
Jesus was quite clear in his teachings and declarations. He clearly said that if anyone loved him they would obey his teaching and if anyone loved God, his Father, our Father, then we would obey His commands.

There is no gray area here. It’s not possible to straddle the fence. Either we all obey and love Them or we disobey and we don’t love Them. That is a very big pill to swallow I have to admit.

I read that we have a tendency as humans to try to make excuses for why we don’t truly love God and Jesus. We try to rationalize and say that it’s not that we don’t love God it’s that we have difficulty obeying Him. But the Scripture is clear. Jesus’ teaching is clear. God’s command is clear.

My husband is known for saying that, “to rationalize is to tell rational lies,” and I have to admit that I have been rationalizing and lying to myself and to God for far too long.

If I am not obeying Him immediately and 100 percent of the time, then I can’t possibly truly love Him. I can’t be a true follower of Christ if I’m not obeying Christ. It hurts to say that. It hurts to say and read these words. It hurts to admit that even in my daily walk, sharing in this blog, and trying my best as a servant leader, I am still disconnected from God. I have departed from God.

Jesus says, God says, the Bible says:

Love each other as Christ loves us.
– Forgive others so that we can be forgiven.
– Pray daily and often
– Tithe
– Practice justice, mercy, and faith
– Actively making disciples of the nations, even those around our community, and teaching them to practice all that Christ has commanded.
– Witness about Christ to the world
– Displaying unity with other believers in your church, other churches, and Christians in other denominations

Consider Jesus’ commands, teachings, and what God expects from us, and then ask yourself are you 100 percent obedient every single day?

Question of the Day:
I have fallen short and I see the areas. Where have you fallen short? What are you willing to do to come back to your true love, your first love, our Father?

Feel free to share your answers, prayers, comments, and reflections in the comment section below. You can also send me an email at: breakingbreadwithnatasha@gmail.com

I love you all!

Natasha

Copyright 2014. Natasha Foreman Bryant. Some Rights Reserved. All Prayers and Reflections are Copyright Protected by Natasha Foreman Bryant, unless otherwise noted. breakingbreadwithnatasha.com Copyright 2009-2013 under Natasha L. Foreman, unless otherwise noted.

Scripture quotations marked HCSB are taken from the Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Holman CSB®, and HCSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.

Natasha’s Daily Scripture, Prayer, and Reflection for 2.24.14

Update: My apologies for forgetting to post this on time.

Original message……………………………….

It touched my heart to share this with all of you (see below). Enjoy and then check out the Question of the Day at the end.

~Natasha

——————————————————–

Your Story Ends in Victory

TODAY’S SCRIPTURE
You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.

Psalm 139:16, NLT

TODAY’S WORD from Joel and Victoria

In difficult times, you have to remind yourself that nothing is a surprise to Almighty God. He’s not up in the heavens scratching His head, saying, “Oh, man, he got laid off. That messed up everything.” “Oh, she was diagnosed with cancer.” “Joseph was thrown into a pit.” “Joel lost his father. Now what am I going to do?

No, God knows the end from the beginning. He has already written every day of your life in His book. The good news is that if you will stay in faith, your book ends in victory.

The next time you face an unexpected challenge, remember, it’s no surprise to God. He already has the answer, the provision, the healing you need. Keep standing, keep praying, keep hoping and keep believing that your story isn’t over until your story ends in Victory!

A PRAYER FOR TODAY
Father, thank You for the strength I need to overcome in every area of my life. I know that You hold the days of my life in the palm of Your hand. I believe that You have equipped me with everything I need for spirit, soul and body in Jesus’ name. Amen.
— Joel & Victoria Osteen

Natasha’s Question of the Day:
When you are going through an uphill battle, complications, or some sort of dilemma, what can you say to yourself in that moment to bring peace within knowing that God has already handled it?

Feel free to share your answers, prayers, comments, and reflections in the comment section below. You can also send me an email at: breakingbreadwithnatasha@gmail.com

Love,

Natasha

Copyright 2014. Natasha Foreman Bryant. Some Rights Reserved. All Prayers and Reflections are Copyright Protected by Natasha Foreman Bryant, unless otherwise noted. breakingbreadwithnatasha.com Copyright 2009-2013 under Natasha L. Foreman, unless otherwise noted.

Sunday Sermon Share Day: Natasha’s Daily Scripture, Prayer, and Reflection for 2/23/14

Welcome to Sunday Sermon Share Day for 2/23/14

Today’s sermon comes from Destiny Metropolitan Worship Church in Marietta, Georgia. Taught by Elder Ron Sumpter, Courtney Harkness, and Marlon Montgomery

Today’s Subject is: Love…It’s The Law!

Today’s Scripture selections from are:

2 Corinthians 8:7-8 [Scripture selected during the offering time]

1 Corinthians 16:14 (NET)

Romans 13:8-10 (NIV)

Luke 10: 25-29 (NIRV)

Matthew 5:43-48 (NLT)

Luke 10:30-37 (CEB)

James 2:12-13 (TLB)

Highlights from Today’s  Sermon:

Everything CAN be done in love. If so, then why aren’t we doing EVERYTHING in love? Love is the law.

Are you a law breaker? Have you fallen short of loving someone else?

Love is God’s only requirement  of me concerning everyone else .

No debt should be outstanding, only love for others should be your debt. But your credit card, mortgage, and other bills should have a zero balance.

God’s love doesn’t hurt anyone. God wants us free. He wants your only debt to others to be is to love them.

God’s Word is simple. Love is simple. It’s supposed to be simple. We have a life responsibility.

I can satisfy the law of love, if I…

1.   Let God decide who deserves my love.

Passages selected: Luke 10: 25-29 (NIRV), Matthew 5:43-48 (NLT)

Jesus said love your neighbor as you love yourself. Your neighbor is your fellow human being. Look at your neighbor through God’s eyes, not yours. God looks at them with no strings attached. You can’t sit back and say, “I don’t want you to be my neighbor because I don’t like that you keep putting your trash cans in front of my house” First God says you have to love Me. Love me with all of the passion and praise that you give in church when you have high energy, etc.

Once God gets our attention He shows us how to love others, our neighbors. No strings attached.

When God is in our life it’s easier to receive His instruction.

We keep trying to impress others, Jesus, and God, but we’re not doing what we’re supposed to. We’re talking the talk but not walking the walk.

– An example of this is in Luke 10:25-29 when the man whose an expert in the law but then he wants to show off and try to test Jesus (the true expert in all things) and ask Jesus a question of “what must I do to receive eternal life” Jesus switches it up and tells the man to tell him the answer. Once the man answers the question, then Jesus said, “go and do likewise”. Don’t just talk about it, go and do it. You know it to be true, so then go do it.

We should also let God decide who deserves our love.

When you think of the Stand Your Ground Laws in Florida and elsewhere, it is crazy to think that these provisions were actually entered into and supported as laws. It’s easy to say that Michael Dunn (the shooter involved in the “loud music murder trial”) should have allowed God to decide who deserved his love (instead of shooting into the car at those teenagers and killing, Jordan Davis), but we can’t do that ourselves in our lives.

  • Don’t judge the shooter. It is not our place to say, “he deserves what he gets”. It’s not your place. Let God decide.
  • There is justice and then there’s hatred painted the color of justice. We have to make sure that we can see the difference.
  • You may be saying, “I haven’t shot anyone” but that doesn’t make you innocent. The Lord is your judge. Have you pulled a trigger with your mouth? Have you injured some people with your criticisms and then walked away as though nothing happened? Has your eyes and body language shot like bullets at someone that you prejudged or simply disliked?

Everyone deserves our love, especially the ones who you think deserve it the least.

It’s easy to love your friends but you may feel it difficult or impossible to love your enemies.

  • The Bible says that with God all things are possible. God first must start with us and change our attitude. You will think of all the reasons why someone doesn’t like you, why they are discriminating against you, or hate you. You have to get rid of that out of your thinking, your heart—let the offense go. Let it go! It’s not worth holding on to. Get rid of the burden.
  • It starts with us. We have to let go. We expect God to do tremendous things in our life but we keep holding on to our burdens and we’re cluttering up our lives and blocking our blessings

I can satisfy the law of love, if I…

2.   Extend mercy to others as needed.

Passages selected: Luke 10:30-37 (CEB), James 2:12-13 (TLB)

Have you given a few dollars to someone on the streets and then you pat yourself on the back thinking you really did something great?

When we’re watching someone on a descent, downward spiral, are we the thief, priest, Levite, or samaritan?

Being Like the Thief

Do you strip people of their joy? Nasty attitude is what it looks like to be a thief?

Being Like the Priest and Levite

When Jesus mentioned that a person could be a thief even if they are a priest, Levite, or see themselves as a samaritan, do you question what he means by comparing these types of people? How could a priest be in a position not favorable to Jesus? By sitting back and watching, thinking that saying a prayer is good enough, but not jumping into action to help others, by crossing to the other side of the road and continuing on your journey. The Levite did the same thing as the priest did, he simply crossed to the other side of the road knowing that the man was injured and needed help.

  • When you see someone going through some things do you tell them, “I will pray for you” or do you go and help them?
  • When you see a person with their car  broken down on the side of the road, do you say, “I will pray your car get fixed…that you aren’t stranded for long…that you don’t get injured” or do you go over and try to help them?
  • When you see a homeless person are you satisfied with giving them a couple of dollars and a prayer, or do you go a step further and offer them a warm meal and warm place to temporarily stay.

Being Like the Thief

When you see someone who was robbed, beaten, etc. do you rush over and help or do you flee in fear of being robbed, beaten, etc?

Being Like the Samaritan

A samaritan stops and helps, and does the best they can. The samaritan bandaged up the wounds of the injured man. The samaritan offered a ride on his donkey. Then he took him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he paid the innkeeper two full days worth of wages and asked the innkeeper to take care of the injured man, and that when he returned he would pay the innkeeper for any additional costs.

Now think of that. Can you truly say that you are a samaritan? A modern day look at things is that our donkey is our cars. Are you willing to pick up and total stranger, mend their wounds, place them in your car, and take them to shelter where they can rest and heal? Are you willing to pay for the supplies, food, and any other expenses required to help them?

Do you have the type of compassion of the samaritan? Do you fully see the condition that other people are in, or do you see the situation?

  • Have you seen people who come into work each day with an attitude? Do you see the attitude or a heart that is trying to love itself because it doesn’t feel as though no one else does? What do you see? Are you responding to their condition or are you reacting to what you think you see?
  • We cross to the other side of the street with people through our mind, farther from the truth, but comfortable for us. We quickly come up with an explanation as to why they are where they are, and we use this an excuse to not help meet their needs. It’s a conscience, deliberate decision, to not love people. And we think it’s okay because we say we don’t hate them. We think God is grading us by how few people we hate and not how many people that we love.

There will be no mercy to those who show no mercy. If you withhold mercy it will be withheld from you.

  • Watch what you think and do. Our thoughts are oftentimes what condemns us. There are no condemnation to those who belong to Christ Jesus.
  • Think about how many times you were supposed to be dead. How many time your were caught in the wrong place, enjoying the wrong things, with the wrong people, but God’s mercy and grace came through for you.

It’s not love for the sake of love. Mercy is love spread widely across. Mercy is how love covers all grounds. Not just love on top, but rolling down a hill. It has to reach you, you can’t reach it—you cry out, “Lord have mercy on me!” and Jesus responds, “I did.” In Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, mercy was shown to all of us.

There is always someone lower on the mountain than you. You can’t stop mercy from rolling. In our selfishness we try to slow it down and dictate, and control, how fast God’s love gets to others. You have to be careful with that, because if God’s love can’t roll through you it will roll over you, because there are some other people lower down the hill than you that His love is trying to reach—and if you try to slow it down it may just roll over and past you. It may have rolled over others to get to you.

Maybe you feel as though God’s love hasn’t reached you yet, maybe you feel that way because you have been so consumed with what’s not going right that you haven’t even seen his love coming your way. Or maybe you have been so focused on running away, that it just hasn’t caught up. Or maybe you’re so busy trying to dictate who deserves love, that you have positioned yourself to have His love roll right over and past you.

If God’s love is rolling down hill then it’s picking up speed. His speed is going to outrun you the faster it rolls, faster than you can get to it. It’s going to catch up to you.

What are you going to do when God’s love comes to you? Are you going to surrender? Are you going to try to push it away or run away? Or are you going to let God be God?

——————————————————————————————————Now this part you hear from me every Sunday:  Be sure to share highlights from sermons at your church or place of worship here on my blog. Feel free to also visit and contribute to our community chat room where we can have healthy, positive, dialogue on the sermon I shared today, Breaking Bread daily posts, or issues impacting the Christian community.

Remember there is absolutely no preaching, passing judgment, converting, recruiting, or focus on any specific church or religious leader. Those are the rules. We’re here to share words of love and peace inspired by the Word of the Bible. We’re here to uplift and never tear down. If you can roll with that, then you can roll with me and the Breaking Bread family! Visit the chat room here: 

http://chatroll.com/embed/chat/breaking-bread-with-natasha?id=lCL-CHvZOne&platform=wordpress-com

You can also send me an email at: breakingbreadwithnatasha@gmail.com

Have an amazing week family. Remember that love covers everyone including your family, friends and strangers, and even your enemies. The law is love. It is God’s expectation of and from us. Don’t try to dictate who gets it, when, and how much. Show mercy to others if you expect mercy to be shown to you.

Love always,

Natasha

 

Copyright 2013-2014. Natasha Foreman Bryant. Some Rights Reserved. All Prayers and Reflections are Copyright Protected by Natasha Foreman Bryant unless otherwise noted. breakingbreadwithnatasha.com Copyright 2009-2013 under Natasha L. Foreman, unless otherwise noted.

 

Scripture quotations marked HCSB are taken from the Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Holman CSB®, and HCSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.

Saturday Recap: Natasha’s Daily Scripture, Prayer, and Reflection for 2/17/14 to 2/21/14

Happy Saturday family!
 
 We’re several days shy of March. Can you believe that Spring is right around the corner? Amazing. This just reinforces why we must make the most of each day, because we can’t make up for the lost ones!
 
 This past week we read, prayed on, and discussed the act of confessing our sins, acting immediately when God calls on us, and living holy as God is holy. If you missed one or more days, or just feel the need to return to one of the posts, below you will find the links for each day. Read slowly the parts that hit home with you. Read slowly the parts that you normally shy away from.
 
 Change is always awkward and difficult. My husband always says that people don’t change in good times, we change in bad times. We change when the discomfort has become too intense. So read the parts slowly and embrace your change.
 
 Love,
 Natasha
 
 
 Monday- 2/17/14
 
 Read the daily message here:
 https://breakingbreadwithnatasha.wordpress.com/2014/02/17/natashas-daily-scripture-prayer-and-reflection-for-2-17-14/
 
 
 Tuesday- 2/18/14
 
 Read the daily message here:
 https://breakingbreadwithnatasha.wordpress.com/2014/02/18/natashas-daily-scripture-prayer-and-reflection-for-2-18-14/
 
 
 Wednesday- 2/19/14
 
 Read the daily message here:
 https://breakingbreadwithnatasha.wordpress.com/2014/02/19/natashas-daily-scripture-prayer-and-reflection-for-2-19-14/
 
 Thursday- 2/20/14
 
 Read the daily message here:
 https://breakingbreadwithnatasha.wordpress.com/2014/02/20/natashas-daily-scripture-prayer-and-reflection-for-2-20-14/
 
 
 Friday- 2/21/14
 
 Read the daily message here:
 https://breakingbreadwithnatasha.wordpress.com/2014/02/21/natashas-daily-scripture-prayer-and-reflection-for-2-21-14/
 
 
 Don’t forget that tomorrow is Sunday Sermon Share Day. If you hear or take part in an awesome sermon, please share your notes, highlights, scripture, or reflections with the rest of us. I don’t care if it’s a sermon from an online or televised broadcast, please share with us. Just post it as a comment or send a message to my new email at: BreakingBreadWithNatasha@gmail.com Thank you.
 
 God bless you all!
 
 Natasha
 
 Copyright 2013-2014. Natasha Foreman Bryant. Some Rights Reserved. All Prayers and Reflections are Copyright Protected by Natasha Foreman Bryant, unless otherwise noted. Prior posts from 2009-2013 are copyrighted under the name Natasha L. Foreman. breakingbreadwithnatasha.com
 
 Scripture quotations marked HCSB are taken from the Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Holman CSB®, and HCSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.
 
 
 
 

Natasha’s Daily Scripture, Prayer, and Reflection for 2.21.14

But if your heart turns away and you do not listen and you are led astray to bow down to other gods and worship them, I tell you today that you will certainly perish and will not live long in the land you are entering to possess across the Jordan. I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you today that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Choose life so that you and your descendants may live, love the Lord your God, obey Him, and remain faithful to Him. For He is your life, and He will prolong your life in the land the Lord swore to give to your fathers Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.”
 
 Deuteronomy 30:17-20 HCSB
 
 Pray
 Father I pray for the strength to see obstacles as nothing more than speed bumps in life. I pray that when I need help that I turn to You for both the small and big things. I want to live and love fully. I want to be obedient to You, immediately, not when all of my other perceived options have ran out. I want to use the Bible as my road map, and never as something that I use to go through the motions to ‘play’ a Christian. Turn me away from any substitutes that I have created or allowed in my space. Show me the things that have taken up too much of my time and attention. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
 
 Reflection
 I could be wrong but I think that all of us have turned away from God more than once at some period in our lives. If I’m wrong about you, and you have never turned away from Him please let me know. The rest of us can learn a great deal from you. At the end of this post I will share how you can explain to us how you have remained obedient and faithful to God your entire life.
 
 For those of us who confess that we have in the past, and/or recently, turned away from our Heavenly Father, we have to identify what happened that made our hearts switch from on to off? What made us feel and believe that His presence and our obedience weren’t necessary to thrive in life? What made us feel that we could pick which commandments to follow? What made us feel that the Old Testament commands and ways no longer applied to us? What made us turn to other substitutes for God?
 
 When you re-read the passage above we can see that God gave us two options: life or death. Life would bring us prosperity and death would mean the end of all that we know and love. Even Jesus told one of the churches (we discussed last week) that if they didn’t repent and return to their first Love (God) and return to living the lives they led before they sinned, then he would remove their church from its place (Revelations 2:4-5).
 
 Do we flip flop from God because we don’t like the fact that He is still a mystery to us? Do we flip flop because when we see wars, terrorist acts, destruction, disease, and the deaths of babies and small children, we can’t accept how God would allow these things to happen?
 
 I can confess that I have used substitutes for God. Years ago my priorities were out of order: Career, Family, and God (and sometimes God and family would flip-flop). I’m learning to place God first, family second, and then my career—-where I turn to God for all of my decision making for both my personal and professional lives.
 
 I can also confess that I lack obedience when I don’t act immediately or promptly when God calls me to do something. Whether that something is to stop or pause before proceeding, apologize to someone, try to resolve conflict, or to move quickly on a project or business decision, if I sit back and contemplate or delay the process, I am being disobedient to God.
 
 The amazing thing, which also saddens me (when I realize it) is that God doesn’t tell you to do or say something one time, God repeats Himself until we make a decision. His voice doesn’t have to be loud and strong, it can be that faint, still, calm voice within. It brings you a feeling of peace when you hear it, yet we still ignore it sometimes.
 
 When I disobey God the repercussions are almost instantaneous (if not so). It doesn’t take me years to see the err of my ways. No, they hit me square in the face soon after I blunder. So I have been praying to be more obedient.
 
 Question of the Day
 1. In what ways do you lack obedience towards God? What substitutes have you used in place of God?
 
 Share your comments about today’s message and responses to the Question of the Day, below this post or email me at BreakingBreadWithNatasha@gmail.com
 
 Happy Friday family. Work like it’s Tuesday, and then enjoy your weekend!
 
 Love always,
 
 Natasha
 
 To participate in today’s Breaking Bread With Natasha you can comment below my post, or send an email to BreakingBreadWithNatasha@gmail.com
 
 Copyright 2013-2014. Natasha Foreman Bryant. Some Rights Reserved. All Prayers and Reflections are Copyright Protected by Natasha Foreman Bryant unless otherwise noted. breakingbreadwithnatasha.com Copyright 2009-2013 under Natasha L. Foreman, unless otherwise noted.
 
 Scripture quotations marked HCSB are taken from the Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Holman CSB®, and HCSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.
 
 
 

Natasha’s Daily Scripture, Prayer, and Reflection for 2.20.14

Therefore, with your minds ready for action, be serious and set your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. As obedient children, do not be conformed to the desires of your former ignorance. But as the One who called you is holy, you also are to be holy in all your conduct; for it is written, Be holy, because I am holy.

1 Peter 1:13-16 HCSB

Pray
Father I pray that I can become the type of person that You can use. I pray that the churches around the world seek out Your molding touch, to remove all that is unfavorable to You, and replace it with what You desire. I confess today the ways in which I am not holy as You. I fall short of reflecting You in Your nature and ways. I fall short of being holy and abstaining from all sinful desires. I fall short of separating myself from the common and from the ways of the world.

I pray that even if I were accused of wrong doing that others would instead see my good deeds and glorify You and Your name. Please work through me Father. Use me. I want to be holy and set apart for Your exclusive use. In Jesus’ name I humbly pray. Amen.

Reflection
To be holy is to be set apart for God to use as He sees fit. Not the world to use but for God’s exclusive use. We are to separate ourselves from what others (who are not holy) do and say. We are to separate ourselves from the negativity, bad habits, bad practices, and bad ways of life.

I confess that I fall short of God’s holiness because there are times when I give in to negative talk, anger, fear, doubt, and jealousy. I confess that there are times when I give in to my weaknesses for food, knowing that if I don’t workout and take care of my body every day, then I’m not taking care of God’s temple that He has loaned me. I confess that sometimes the words that come out of my mouth clumps me in the same category with the rest of the world. In those moments I do not stand out as different, instead I ignorantly blend in.

How can God use me fully if I am unwilling to let go of the world’s drama, and the negativity that slips in and takes over my mind and mouth? How can I grow as God intends when I keep following others down dark paths? Even for only a moment, a backslide can do great harm. Just like rebuking a nightmare, I and we must rebuke those things and people who keep us disconnected from God.

It is not sometimes, but every moment in every day, that God expects for me to reflect Him. It is not sometimes, but all of the time, that God expects me to be loving and kind. It is not sometimes, but all of the time, that God expects me to speak words that uplift and heal, not tear down and hurt. It is not sometimes, but all of the time, that God expects me to be holy.

Guess what? These things He also expects from you!

I want to be reconciled to God, to be restored to a right relationship with Him, so that I can serve Him fully. Christ’s love compels me just as it compels you. We can’t serve fully and honorably if we aren’t walking the walk. I pray that God continues to mold out of me the unholy things, so that I can be the best ambassador that I can be. I pray that He molds each and every one of you into the ambassador that He sees in you.

Question of the Day
1. In what ways are you not as holy as God? What are you willing to do to make your life right so that you can be reconciled to God?

Share your comments about today’s message and responses to the Question of the Day, below this post or email me at BreakingBreadWithNatasha@gmail.com

Love always,

Natasha

To participate in today’s Breaking Bread With Natasha you can comment below her post, or send an email to BreakingBreadWithNatasha@gmail.com

Copyright 2013-2014. Natasha Foreman Bryant. Some Rights Reserved. All Prayers and Reflections are Copyright Protected by Natasha Foreman Bryant unless otherwise noted. breakingbreadwithnatasha.com Copyright 2009-2013 under Natasha L. Foreman, unless otherwise noted.

Scripture quotations marked HCSB are taken from the Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Holman CSB®, and HCSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.

Natasha’s Daily Scripture, Prayer, and Reflection for 2.19.14

Show us Your faithful love, Lord, and give us Your salvation. I will listen to what God will say; surely the Lord will declare peace to His people, His godly ones, and not let them go back to foolish ways. His salvation is very near those who fear Him, so that glory may dwell in our land. Faithful love and truth will join together; righteousness and peace will embrace. Truth will spring up from the earth, and righteousness will look down from heaven. Also, the Lord will provide what is good, and our land will yield its crops.
 
 Psalms 85:7-12 HCSB
 
 Pray
 Father there are numerous examples of believers and nonbelievers who changed their ways and committed to live their lives as followers and servants of Christ. I pray for Your guidance throughout my journey. I pray for Your protection, and that You protect my family. Protect us from ourselves, from others, and from the enemy.
 
 Father lift up those who feel lost, abandoned, weak, beat down, defeated, betrayed, and manipulated. Those who have lost their homes, cars, jobs, health insurance, personal belongings, life savings, or anything else of human value—-I pray that You restore their hope and help them to see the victory that awaits them.
 
 People only change when they have become new creations in Christ, and I pray for this change. Father help us to connect with others on our street, in our neighborhood, and in other churches, so that we can spread Your love, reflect Your light, and awaken the dormant servant within. I humble myself in my prayer and in my walk. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
 
 Reflection
 I read that the primary work strategy for a church is the action and practice of prayer, and that God only answers the prayers of those who are right with Him. We have to get right by thinking right, speaking right, living right, and treating others the same way Jesus did/does.
 
 We have to first start with ourselves, our immediate family members, next is our extended family members, and then we can branch out. We have to get right by God and surrender to the four points that we discussed on February 12, 2014 (Note: Read that post here). If we can’t surrender to these four points then we can’t sufficiently and sincerely change. How can we then be helpful in our families, communities, and elsewhere? We can’t possibly serve God fully, because we won’t give 100 percent of ourselves over to Him.
 
 Here is another point to consider, if we can’t love, honor, respect, forgive, repent to, build up, support, and pray for our own family members then how can we possibly commit to doing these things for anyone outside of our family? How dare we try to help, pray for, convert, administer to a stranger when we won’t accept the burden of helping, praying for, converting, or administering to a person we call family through blood or marriage.
 
 Start with your family first, if they decline, push back, or run away, then pray for them and leave it to God.
 
 When your relationships and ways are right within your family (or you have exhausted your options, and have left it to God to untangle and fix) then you have an extra layer to your foundation. You can branch out to friends and neighbors, engaging in mutual prayer, respect, support, and forgiveness. It then becomes more natural to expand to our community and beyond.
 
 I pray for all of us. I pray that we confess our sins to God and those we have sinned against. I pray that we let go of any doubt and double-thinking (straddling the fence of decision). I pray that we obey God immediately. I pray that we confess our faith and share our testimony with others.
 
 Question of the Day
 1. What do the four points I mentioned today have to say to us and our churches?
 
 To read the entire message discussing the Four Points click here
 
 Share your comments about today’s message and responses to the Question of the Day, below this post or email me at BreakingBreadWithNatasha@gmail.com
 
 Love always,
 
 Natasha
 
 To participate in today’s Breaking Bread With Natasha you can comment below her post, or send an email to BreakingBreadWithNatasha@gmail.com
 
 Copyright 2013-2014. Natasha Foreman Bryant. Some Rights Reserved. All Prayers and Reflections are Copyright Protected by Natasha Foreman Bryant unless otherwise noted. breakingbreadwithnatasha.com Copyright 2009-2013 under Natasha L. Foreman, unless otherwise noted.
 
 Scripture quotations marked HCSB are taken from the Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Holman CSB®, and HCSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.
 
 
 

Natasha’s Daily Scripture, Prayer, and Reflection for 2.18.14

I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone….This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.

1 Timothy 2:1-4

Prayer

Father I pray for salvation for not only myself but for all of Your children. I pray for the churches of the world, and hope that they become more inclusive and accepting of all people—not just the ones pleasing to them. I pray for less judgment of humans by humans. I pray that we fight the urge to hold grudges and instead lean more towards forgiveness and ending conflict. Mold out of us our self-absorption. Mold out of us our narcissism. Mold out of us our self-centeredness, so that we place you in the center of our life—and first in our decision-making.

Father help us to realize that we are not perfect and in our imperfection we should see in ourselves those very things that we like or dislike in others—and in this recognition, we feel less inclined to ridicule others and more inclined to celebrate them. Help us to correct ourselves quicker than we are to correct others. Help us to reach our hands out to others who are struggling, less fortunate, lacking hope, in pain, or troubled. Father I pray that you touch our hearts to help the least of Your children not just with a donation or the implementation of a program, but with our hands and feet in the ‘ditches’. Let us be honorable soldiers marching in Your honor. Let us see, embrace, and live Your Truth. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Reflection

We have placed people into classes and categories. We have chosen how to treat people based on labels, titles, classes, and categories. We have created a hierarchy that Jesus would scoff at and dismantle. Remember that Jesus was outraged with the elitist who thought they were living righteously and felt entitled to look down and dictate to others. He chastised the elitist with their titles and arrogant ways.

We are so full of ourselves, but it’s really not about us. It’s about God. It’s about seeking, finding, and embracing His Truth, and living life as He commands. Excluding others isn’t Christ-like. Discriminating against others isn’t Christ-like. Controlling and abusing others is not Christ-like. We are all God’s children. We must change our thinking, then our speech, and then our ways.

I love you all!

Natasha

 

Copyright 2014. Natasha Foreman Bryant. Some Rights Reserved. All Prayers and Reflections are Copyright Protected by Natasha Foreman Bryant, unless otherwise noted. breakingbreadwithnatasha.com Copyright 2009-2013 under Natasha L. Foreman, unless otherwise noted.

Sunday Sermon Share Day: Natasha’s Daily Scripture, Prayer, and Reflection for 2/16/14

Welcome to Sunday Sermon Share Day for 2/16/14

Today’s sermon comes from Destiny Metropolitan Worship Church in Marietta, Georgia.

Today’s Subject is: Love is Loyal

Today’s Scripture selections from are:

1 Corinthians 13:7 (NLT)

1 Samuel 18:1-4 (GW)

1 Samuel 19:1-5 (TLB)

1 Samuel 23:15-18 (CEV)

 2 Samuel 1:25-26 (NCV)

Highlights from Today’s  Sermon:

Loving others requires LOYALTY

Loyalty is complete dedication.

Years ago people negotiated, did business, and made agreements with a hand shake, your word was your bond.

Social media has allowed us to reach a lot of people at one time, but it can also be harmful because it limits our identification of who is truly our friend. You have 400, 800, or over 1,000 so-called friends but they aren’t all friends. You have an address book filled with thousands of names, but they aren’t all truly your friends. These are people who you socially affiliate yourself with. These are people who have shared interests that you engage with from time to time, for small windows of time—but they aren’t really your friends.

I can love with my loyalty as I…

  1. Defend my friend’s honor against unfair attack

Now this statement isn’t just for an individual defending people, but this calls for the church to defend others from unfair attack.

There is an increase of athletes and entertainers publicly coming out of the closet and admitting that they are gay/lesbian. Your loyalty is based on whether or not you defend that person’s honor when they are attacked because of their sexual orientation or preference. Will you just sit idly by and do nothing? Or will you join the crowd and begin judging and attacking someone?

The same question is directed to the church. The church is where we are to come for refuge. The church historically has had the reputation of protecting the people. Many churches now have joined the crowds and taken part in attacking rather than including others. The church is supposed to rally around the person being attacked and stand as their advocate, taking them in, and praying for them.

Another thing to defend is issues with jealousy. When you hate/jealous (of) others you look less like Jesus and more like satan. You lose your holy perspective.

  • Jesus vouches for us to God because he loves us.
  • We need to learn to vouch for others.

I can love with my loyalty as I…

  1. Encourage my friends success in uncommon adversity

When our friends are going through hard times we need to lift them up. We need to keep encouraging them to reach the finish line. If you want to see who your true friends are, it’s the ones who are standing beside you the entire time.

Like Oprah Winfrey has said many times, “your true friends aren’t the ones who ride with you in the limo, their the ones who ride with you on the bus when you can no longer afford the limo”.

It’s not in the good times that the character of those who surround you is revealed. It is in adversity, especially the adversity that blindsides you, that is when you will find out what people are made of——do they stand by your side, help you up when you feel (and are weak), or do they walk/run away to distance themselves?

I can love with my loyalty as I…

  1. Value my friends presence in case of unforeseen tragedy

Being there is a sign of loyalty.

Have you ever noticed that when someone passes away that people are there, bringing food, sending their condolences for the first couple of weeks—but soon people return to their every day lives and engage less with those who still mourn the loss of a loved one?

In moments of tragedy a friend is there. When you love someone, you make sure that you are there for them. You invest time in them.

——————————————————————————————————————————————————-

Now this part you hear from me every Sunday:  Be sure to share highlights from sermons at your church or place of worship here on my blog. Feel free to also visit and contribute to our community chat room where we can have healthy, positive, dialogue on the sermon I shared today, Breaking Bread daily posts, or issues impacting the Christian community.

Remember there is absolutely no preaching, passing judgment, converting, recruiting, or focus on any specific church or religious leader. Those are the rules. We’re here to share words of love and peace inspired by the Word of the Bible. We’re here to uplift and never tear down. If you can roll with that, then you can roll with me and the Breaking Bread family! Visit the chat room here:

http://chatroll.com/embed/chat/breaking-bread-with-natasha?id=lCL-CHvZOne&platform=wordpress-com

You can also send me an email at: breakingbreadwithnatasha@gmail.com

Have an amazing week family. Remember that loving others requires loyalty, and to love with loyalty you must defend your friends honor against unfair attacks, encourage your friends success in uncommon adversity, and value your friends presence in case of unforeseen tragedy.

Love always,

Natasha

Copyright 2013-2014. Natasha Foreman Bryant. Some Rights Reserved. All Prayers and Reflections are Copyright Protected by Natasha Foreman Bryant unless otherwise noted. breakingbreadwithnatasha.com Copyright 2009-2013 under Natasha L. Foreman, unless otherwise noted.

Scripture quotations marked HCSB are taken from the Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Holman CSB®, and HCSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.

Natasha’s Daily Scripture, Prayer, and Reflection for 2.17.14

Natasha’s Daily Scripture, Prayer, and Reflection for 2.17.14
 
 As I was preparing myself for today’s message, I noticed that I had a text message waiting for me to review on my phone. It was from my friend and neighbor, Juanita. She was sharing a recent post by Joel and Victoria Osteen, and I’m glad that I decided to read it. Today I share this message with you.
 
 Also, I want you to know that I haven’t forgotten to post yesterday’s Sunday Sermon. I’m finishing it and will have it posted within the next hour or so. I was traveling yesterday so I’m just getting settled into things today. If you went to church yesterday (in-person, online, TV, or radio) please share your notes with us by posting a comment, joining our chat room, or send me an email: BreakingBreadWithNatasha@gmail.com
 
 Love,
 Natasha
 
 Put Your Love into Action
 
 TODAY’S SCRIPTURE
 “If anyone has this world’s goods (resources for sustaining life) and sees his brother and fellow believer in need, yet closes his heart of compassion against him, how can the love of God live and remain in him? Little children, let us not love [merely] in theory or in speech but in deed and in truth…”
 
 1 John 3:17–18, AMP
 
 TODAY’S WORD from Joel and Victoria
 I’ve heard it said that you can give without loving, but you can’t love without giving. Notice this verse tells us that love isn’t just about our words or thoughts; it’s about our actions. Love is about reaching out and meeting the needs of others. Sometimes meeting someone’s needs is as simple as a smile or sharing a word of encouragement. There are many ways to show the love of God. Can you pay for someone’s gas or groceries? Do you see a need in someone’s life that you can meet? Remember, you are the hands and feet of Jesus in the earth. The Lord wants to bless you today so that you can be a blessing to others. He wants to work through you to show His love and compassion.
 
 Today and every day, look for ways to put your love into action. The Bible says that it’s His kindness that leads people to repentance. He wants to show His kindness in the earth through you. Step out and sow good seeds of love by meeting the needs of others. God promises that those seeds will produce an abundant harvest in your life in return!
 
 
 A PRAYER FOR TODAY
 Heavenly Father, thank You for Your hand of blessing in my life. Thank You for choosing to work through me today. I submit myself and my resources to You. Show me ways to be a blessing to others so that the earth will be filled with the knowledge of Your glory in Jesus’ name. Amen.
 — Joel & Victoria Osteen (Copyright 2014)
 
 
 Copyright 2014. Natasha Foreman Bryant. Some Rights Reserved. All Prayers and Reflections are Copyright Protected by Natasha Foreman Bryant, unless otherwise noted. breakingbreadwithnatasha.com
 Copyright 2009-2013 under Natasha L. Foreman, unless otherwise noted.
 
 
 
 
 
 

He Chose Us

This is an amazing quote about our relationship with God. We love Him because He first loved us. We choose Him because He first chose us. It’s quite humbling when you really think about it. With all of our flaws and sins, God still chooses us even when we wouldn’t choose ourselves.

~Natasha

The Whole Armour Of God

Click blue quote logo for more quotes

I believe in the doctrine of election, because I am quite sure that if God had not chosen me I would never would have chosen him; and I am sure he chose me before I was born, or else he never would have chose me afterward.

C. H. SPURGEON

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Saturday Recap: Natasha’s Daily Scripture, Prayer, and Reflection for 2/10/14 to 2/14/14

Happy Saturday family!
 
 Can you believe that we’re already in the middle of February? Times flies, so we must remember to make the most of each day because we can’t turn back the hands of time. Whatever God has touched your heart or whispered to you to do, you need to do it immediately and not when you think the time is right. If you have something that you need to repent to God, then do it now. If there is something that you need to repent and atone for to another person, then what are you waiting for? Repent so that you can move forward with your life.
 
 How many times have you or someone you know (or heard of) had regrets because the moment slipped by, or someone passed away before you could apologize for something you did or said to them?
 
 This past week we read, prayed on, and discussed repentance and revival within our lives, churches, and communities. If you missed one or more days, or just feel the need to return to one of the posts, below you will find the links for each day. Read slowly the parts that hit home with you. Read slowly the parts that you normally shy away from. If you normally have issues with the idea of repenting your sins, then in those moments when I’m referring to this act, you need to read those words slowly so that they can really sink in.
 
 God has a way of touching us where and how only He can, and in His touch, more love is expressed while more fear is extinguished. I hope that these posts help you in your journey. We’re all in this together.
 
 Love,
 Natasha
 
 
 Monday- 2/10/14
 
 Read the daily message here:
 https://breakingbreadwithnatasha.wordpress.com/2014/02/10/natashas-daily-scripture-prayer-and-reflection-for-2-10-14/
 
 
 Tuesday- 2/11/14 Happy birthday to my aunt Ava
 
 Read the daily message here:
 https://breakingbreadwithnatasha.wordpress.com/2014/02/11/natashas-daily-scripture-prayer-and-reflection-for-2-11-14/
 
 
 Wednesday- 2/12/14 Happy birthday to my sister, and happy anniversary (of our engagement) to my husband.
 
 Read the daily message here:
 https://breakingbreadwithnatasha.wordpress.com/2014/02/12/natashas-daily-scripture-prayer-and-reflection-for-2-12-14/
 
 Thursday- 2/13/14
 
 Read the daily message here:
 https://breakingbreadwithnatasha.wordpress.com/2014/02/13/natashas-daily-scripture-prayer-and-reflection-for-2-13-14/
 
 
 Friday- 2/14/14 Happy Valentine’s Day!
 
 Read the daily message here:
 https://breakingbreadwithnatasha.wordpress.com/2014/02/14/natashas-daily-scripture-prayer-and-reflection-for-2-14-14/
 
 
 Don’t forget that tomorrow is Sunday Sermon Share Day. I will be traveling, so I may miss my opportunity to tune in to a church service. If you hear or take part in an awesome sermon, please share your notes, highlights, scripture, or reflections with the rest of us. I don’t care if it’s a sermon from an online or televised broadcast, please share with us. Just post it as a comment or send a message to my new email at: BreakingBreadWithNatasha@gmail.com Thank you.
 
 God bless you all!
 
 Natasha
 
 Copyright 2013-2014. Natasha Foreman Bryant. Some Rights Reserved. All Prayers and Reflections are Copyright Protected by Natasha Foreman Bryant, unless otherwise noted. Prior posts from 2009-2013 are copyrighted under the name Natasha L. Foreman. breakingbreadwithnatasha.com
 
 Scripture quotations marked HCSB are taken from the Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Holman CSB®, and HCSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.
 
 
 
 

Natasha’s Daily Scripture, Prayer, and Reflection for 2.14.14

“Since the days of your fathers, you have turned from My statutes; you have not kept them. Return to Me, and I will return to you,” says the Lord of Hosts. But you ask: “How can we return? ”
 
 Malachi 3:7 HCSB
 
 Pray
 Father I know that You discipline with love and that You want Your children to be fully aligned with You and serving only You. I know that we keep straying, disobeying, and turning to substitutes for You. Father forgive us. Forgive our arrogance, fear, and doubt. Forgive us for repeating the same mistakes over and over, even the ones of our ancestors that we should be wise enough not to repeat. I pray for Your continued patience. Father I pray that each child repents to You so that we can be restored and made whole. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
 
 Reflection
 Let me start off by wishing my amazing husband, John, a happy Valentine’s Day. I also wish each of you a happy Valentine’s Day. Every day we should be loving towards each other. Every day couples should declare their love and pamper each other. Not just birthdays and holidays.
 
 Speaking of love, there’s none greater than God’s love. He is our first love, the most purest and deepest, yet we have created a conditional relationship with Him where we often tiptoe away and cuddle up with a substitute. We need to stop betraying God for other gods, people, money, things, and places. There is no better than Him. There is no greater than our Heavenly Father.
 
 Stop treating Him like He’s expendable. We need to stop acting like we have some type of ‘open relationship’ where we’re free to do what we want, when we want, with whomever we want and there are no negative consequences. God isn’t a play thing. He’s not the guy or girl you sometimes take on a date, but never bring home to meet your mom. He’s your Creator. He’s the reason you have life. He’s the reason you are here today reading this. Honor Him.
 
 Love,
 
 Natasha
 
 
 Copyright 2014. Natasha Foreman Bryant. Some Rights Reserved. All Prayers and Reflections are Copyright Protected by Natasha Foreman Bryant, unless otherwise noted. breakingbreadwithnatasha.com
 Copyright 2009-2013 under Natasha L. Foreman, unless otherwise noted.
 
 Scripture quotations marked HCSB are taken from the Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Holman CSB®, and HCSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.
 
 
 

Natasha’s Daily Scripture, Prayer, and Reflection for 2.13.14

But I have this against you: You have abandoned the love you had at first. Remember then how far you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. Otherwise, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place — unless you repent.
 
 Revelation 2:4, 5 HCSB
 
 Pray
 Father I thank You for another day. Today I come to You to ask for forgiveness for those moments when I doubted that my circumstances would be bearable, or could get better. I ask for forgiveness for those moments when I thought that I could intervene and handle a situation because I felt that You were taking too long. I ask for forgiveness for those moments when I didn’t place You as my highest priority, as my first love. Please forgive me Father.
 
 Next I would like to pray for my church and its leaders, and for the leaders and congregations that make up churches around the world. I pray that we all rebuke and depart from the viscous cycle of departing and returning to You as displayed in the Old Testament, and towards the end of the New Testament. I pray that we continue to serve You and only You, that we teach all generations coming after us to love and serve only You, and that our outreach to nonbelievers has well intentions, and is never aggressive.
 
 I pray that we place no one and nothing above or near You. May You be the only power and presence that we consider and use for our decision making, and that we follow Jesus’ way to You. I pray to You as a believer and follower of Christ. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
 
 Reflection
 Today’s scripture describes the intensity at the time when Jesus had had enough of these churches repeating the ignorant cycle of those from generations earlier. Jesus wrote to several churches (Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Laodicea) including the one shared today, Ephesus, and others. He outlined their sins, told them to repent, and then explained to them the consequences if they didn’t repent. Jesus told the church of Ephesus that if they didn’t repent for turning their backs on God, their first love, that he would shut down their church.
 
 To the church at Pergamum (worshipping another god, committing sexual immorality, and eating food sacrificed to idols) Jesus said he would fight against them using the “sword” of his mouth. Thyatira was warned (about tolerating and being intertwined with the false-prophet Jezebel, being misled by her to take part in sexual immorality and eating sacrificed foods) that he would repay them according to their deeds. The church at Sardis (living life like they did before Christ was in it) was told that he would come like a thief and they wouldn’t know when he would come for them. The church at Laodicea (indecisive, fence-straddlers, taking no position to follow Christ or darkness)—he was going to spit them out of his mouth (totally dismissing them as a part of Christ).
 
 Think of today’s churches compared to Jesus’ time. Do you see any similarities? Pray for your church, the leaders within, and the congregation that fills the spaces. Consider why there are people who shy away, flee from, and refuse to be members of Christian churches. Say a prayer for those who want to have a relationship with God and Jesus. Pray that their relationship is formed and maintained as God intends. Pray that no human or presence can break that bond.
 
 Love,
 
 Natasha
 
 
 Copyright 2014. Natasha Foreman Bryant. Some Rights Reserved. All Prayers and Reflections are Copyright Protected by Natasha Foreman Bryant, unless otherwise noted. breakingbreadwithnatasha.com
 Copyright 2009-2013 under Natasha L. Foreman, unless otherwise noted.
 
 Scripture quotations marked HCSB are taken from the Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Holman CSB®, and HCSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.
 
 
 

Natasha’s Daily Scripture, Prayer, and Reflection for 2.12.14

Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my concerns. See if there is any offensive way in me; lead me in the everlasting way.
 
 Psalms 139:23, 24 HCSB
 
 Pray
 Father I pray that You touch the hearts and minds of Your children— believers, non-believers, and conditional believers, so that they might respond to living a life of pure joy as designed by You. I pray that Your believers confess their faith in Christ publicly to their circles of influence. I pray that any doubtful habits I possess are put aside so that I have a clear and healthy conscience. I pray for obedience to You and only You. I pray for the sense of urgency to act immediately when You call on me. I pray that any unconfessed sins that I have I am able to make right with You and others in my life. In seeking restoration in my life and in the lives of my fellow brothers and sisters around the world, I pray to You in Jesus’ name. Amen.
 
 Reflection
 Evan Roberts, a coal miner in Wales, accepted God’s calling as a preacher in the early months of 1904. Later that year on October 31st, following a prayer meeting he spoke privately with 17 young adults. His message was simple to hear but maybe not simple to act upon, but they did, and night after night the crowds grew. Within two months 70,000 people were converted to Christ. In five months the number grew to 85,000. By month six it was a staggering 100,000 people who had agreed to the following:
 
 1. Deal with all unconfessed sins (Translation: make things right with God and any person you have sinned against).
 
 2. Get rid of any doubtful habits (Translation: any questionable actions that you are on the “fence” about get rid of them. You must have a healthy clear conscience).
 
 3. Obey God immediately (Translation: don’t delay when He tells you to do or say something. Act immediately)
 
 4. Confess Christ publicly (Translation: tell everyone you know what Christ has done for you and why you are a follower. Let the world know that you are a Christian).
 
 I have confessed my faith publicly. My friends, family, and associates know that I’m a believer and follower of Christ (and that I’m still being molded of course). My #BreakingBread blog has been helpful (and I acknowledge my blog on my other blogs and in my bio), my signature line in my emails speaks volumes—the Bible verses I highlight makes some people cringe and others celebrate the fact that I’m proud to let the world know that I’m a believer— and then there’s my title on social media platforms that always indicates that I’m God’s servant, etc.
 
 But here’s the thing, I believe that I still have some unconfessed sins or at least some sins that I can’t seem to let go of, even if He has. So I need to deal with those and then move on. I also have some doubtful habits where I flip-flop, find myself on the fence, or that I question. I must drop those like a hot potato and move on. I also am working on acting immediately when God calls on me for anything, big or small. I tell myself that my “ministry” is only to be limited by this blog and through my service of others, but nothing formalized where any official titles and schooling are involved. I could be right, or I could be wrong. Others have said that I’m ignoring my calling in ministry. So I guess that I have to be open to listen for His voice. Not mine and not others.
 
 Which of the four things do you have to work on? Which have you mastered? Share how you have mastered your sins, doubtful habits, obedience to God, and publicly confessing Christ—-we’re all here to learn from each other, and to spread God’s love to the masses. It’s not possible to spread God’s loving message if the majority of us don’t participate. Free yourself and act. I look forward to hearing from you.
 
 Before I go, let me wish my sister Alexandra a happy birthday. I constantly pray for her and pray that God molds into her (that she can see and feel) the woman that she is destined to be. I pray for her protection and that she is surrounded by people who are true friends and protectors—-those who can and will uplift her and not drag her down. I pray that her gifts and talents are used fully and that she sees in herself what God and her family sees in her. Happy birthday sis! I love you!!!!
 
 Sending love to each of you,
 
 Natasha
 
 
 Copyright 2014. Natasha Foreman Bryant. Some Rights Reserved. All Prayers and Reflections are Copyright Protected by Natasha Foreman Bryant, unless otherwise noted. breakingbreadwithnatasha.com
 Copyright 2009-2013 under Natasha L. Foreman, unless otherwise noted.
 
 Scripture quotations marked HCSB are taken from the Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Holman CSB®, and HCSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.
 
 
 

Natasha’s Daily Scripture, Prayer, and Reflection for 2.11.14

Lord, I have heard the report about You; Lord, I stand in awe of Your deeds. Revive Your work in these years; make it known in these years. In Your wrath remember mercy!
 
 Habakkuk 3:2 HCSB
 
 Pray
 Father thank You for this day. Please protect me and my loved ones throughout our journey, and protect those I have never encountered, for one day it may be Your plan that my life and theirs may cross for a collaboration in greatness.
 
 Father I pray for a spiritual awakening around the world, in neighborhoods, cities, states, and provinces. I pray for spiritual awakenings to spread like the ocean touching one continent after the other.
 
 I long to see the day when marriages are restored and people are steadfast against adultery, and less quick to divorce. I pray for the day that family life is strengthened, and children grow up in nurturing homes filled with love and encouragement. I pray for a decrease in crime, and a change in or enactment of laws to protect those who have been oppressed and victimized, and where justice is upheld regardless of the color of one’s skin, their nationality, religion, or socio-economic status.
 
 I pray for the day that all of Your children learn to love one another, regardless of what name they call You. Father help us to free ourselves from the thinking that we are entitled to judge others. Help us to see that only You can judge, and only through Christ can we be saved. Show me how to be a catalyst for positive change in the world. Show me how to serve You best. I pray for these things in Jesus’ name. Amen.
 
 Reflection
 To see the change we want to see in the world we must push away our fears of sharing with others our testimonies of how God healed us, showed us mercy, and molded us. We have to be willing to praise Him publicly, and this doesn’t just mean at church and around other believers. It means everywhere. It means proudly saying that we’re Christians, in business, in mixed company (with people who we aren’t sure are Christians or not), and online through our social media platforms and email signature lines.
 
 We cannot be closet-Christians or conditional Christians, and expect a spiritual awakening to take place in our community. We must talk with each other just like in Malachi 3:16—when the people who feared the Lord talked with each other, He listened and heard. We must come together, talk, share, uplift, love, and heal these wounds that we have caused. Ask God to show you how your can play a part in this change.
 
 Before I wrap up, let me wish my aunt Ava a happy birthday. My middle name came from her, so we have our own special bond. I love you Ava!
 
 Love,
 
 Natasha
 
 
 Copyright 2014. Natasha Foreman Bryant. Some Rights Reserved. All Prayers and Reflections are Copyright Protected by Natasha Foreman Bryant, unless otherwise noted. breakingbreadwithnatasha.com
 Copyright 2009-2013 under Natasha L. Foreman, unless otherwise noted.
 
 Scripture quotations marked HCSB are taken from the Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Holman CSB®, and HCSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.
 
 
 

Natasha’s Daily Scripture, Prayer, and Reflection for 2.10.14

I gave you a land you did not labor for, and cities you did not build, though you live in them; you are eating from vineyards and olive groves you did not plant.’
 
 Joshua 24:13 HCSB
 
 Pray
 Father I know that it is only because of Your grace and mercy that I live, experience love from others, and have the benefits of food, home and community. I know that I did not build this land, and even if the food that I eat was planted by my hands, it is only possible because of You because You provide the seeds for planting.
 
 Father please continue to water and nurture me and the resources that I use each day, and bless me in a way that I might be in a position to help others less fortunate than me with a hand up out of their current situation, into something more suitable to Your vision for them. I pray these things in Your name as a servant for Christ. Amen.
 
 Reflection
 Be grateful for all that you have and that which was given to you by and through God. Time stands still for no one, so treasure each moment and don’t waste precious seconds or minutes over frivolous things.
 
 Love,
 
 Natasha
 
 
 Copyright 2014. Natasha Foreman Bryant. Some Rights Reserved. All Prayers and Reflections are Copyright Protected by Natasha Foreman Bryant, unless otherwise noted. breakingbreadwithnatasha.com
 Copyright 2009-2013 under Natasha L. Foreman, unless otherwise noted.
 
 Scripture quotations marked HCSB are taken from the Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Holman CSB®, and HCSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.