Light is sweet; how pleasant to see a new day dawning.
Lately I struggle waking up early to fit my quiet time in before the day gets ahead of me. As I try to understand why, this scritpture helps me realize that it's not my reasons for sleeping in but my attitude about waking up. While it may be darker during these winter mornings, and my schedule may be busier, the reasons for pressing snooze on my alarm have nothing to do with what's happening around me but more with what's happening in my heart. When I wake up I am not thinking about what a blessing it is to receive another day of life. I am not thinking on my new day as an opportunity to grow closer to God, or to share His love. I am taking for granted another day and my attitude shows.
So I wonder if revival, in my heart, starts with appreciating God's gift of sunshine, or even rain, and a new day to live for Him, instead of just dragging my butt out of bed. The changes I want to see aren't going to happen even if I do find some way to wake up, if my heart isn't pleased and excited to spend time with Him. Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Light. Yes He is the light and light is sweet! Light tells us we have one more day to spend with Him and one more opportunity to love like Him. How pleasant to see a new day dawning!!!
Things to think about.
Am I happy to see the new day dawning?
Do I see a new day as an opportunity to further God's kingdom?
Am I pleased to wake up to His light?
How can I pray and ask Jesus to change my way of thinking?
I am in the middle of a fight. My spirit wants to rise early and spend time with God. My spirit craves exercise for my soul and my body. BUT.... my body is fighting against me. It's tired and out of shape. It enjoys the warmth of the electric blanket and my handsome man snuggled next to me. It's a battle, a constant battle!
Jesus was on his way to the cross as he asked his disciples to, "Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation." And yet, upon his return, the disciples were fast asleep. Even at this most critical hour. Jesus knew they were weary. He knew they would have a fight on their hands to stay awake and pray. He knew there would be a fight, not only with Satan, but within themselves. Why? Because he warned them, "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak."
Jesus knows our weaknesses, and Friends, our flesh fights against us. Throughout scripture, we see the word, "If." We have choices to make. When my alarm goes off, I must be reminded that it is a fight to win, not just an extra snuggle that I'm choosing. You see, if I stay in bed I miss my quiet time with the Lord. If I stay in bed, my body and mind grow less sharp and focused. We are cautioned that Satan prowls around looking for someone to devour, and in our battle against our own flesh, he finds us weary.... and that, My Friends, is when he will pounce.
So, as the enemy counts you out while you are down snuggled for those last moments in bed, look up. Shake the sleepiness from your head and fight back. Don't allow the stolen moments that result from staying in bed. Get up and begin the next round toward victory... Ding, Ding! Round 16
Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of so many witnesses.
As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.
A good friend should sharpen you. With the forever goal of causing you to improve, a friend should hold you accountable to doing what is right and staying true to your faith. She should push you to go further, deeper and higher. She should love you for you and encourage you to be who God has called you to be. She should walk with you, but when the time is right be willing to speed things up and encourage you to run. A friend who only agrees with you and goes along with everything you say and do, although easy and comfortable, isn't always what is best for you.
As you begin the new year think on your friendships. Who is a friend that sharpens you? Who do you sharpen? In what ways would you like to change your friendships this year?
It's been a bit since my heart has had a message to share and my body has had the gumption to write. I've been busy you know with all the wrapping, running, and sharing that I've "had" to do.
There was a time when God's word just seemed to be ever present on my lips and just flowed from my fingertips. But, lately the pages are oddly frightening with the blinking curser just staring me in the face. My heart cries, "What's wrong? What's going on here?" But, my mind knows the truth... I've wandered from God, and His word isn't on my lips because the busyness of this world has distracted me thus leaving my heart empty where it should be abundantly full especially at this time of year.
I was cautioned of this a few times throughout the past weeks. I was warned not to get distracted, but unfortunately, in my humanness, I'm prone to wander. Luke 2:6-7 was presented to me on a few accounts:
While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her first born, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.
The inn of my heart was crowded with the stuff of this world. Oh, not filled to full occupancy, but it definitely had a lobby a-flurry with activity!
Perhaps you are feeling what I'm feeling. The busyness of the holidays can unfortunately have that effect on us. As we embark on a New Year, let this song lead the prayer of our hearts as we move aside the busyness of the season and seek a renewed fire for Christ in our hearts!
Click here to hear the beautiful, passionate plea for God to stir up a fresh desire for Him: Unspoken: Start a Fire
Lord, Start a fire in my soul. Fan the flame and make it grow! Place a wedge between me and the things of this world. Turn my eyes, once again, to you! Amen and Amen
And here we are 12 days later! The final gift of Christmas is salvation! Oh, and what a wonderous gift it is!
Salvation is the beautiful, glistening bow on top of the 11 other stacked packages. Salvation is the redemption from the powers and penalties of sin. Without His salvation, we would be doomed to eternal life in hell, literal separation from God. In his kindness, God has chosen to redeem us. A gift we can never repay.
John 2:9 tells us, “Salvation comes from the LORD.”
Acts 4:2 says, “Salvation is found in no one else.”
We must understand a few things about salvation. It is a gift. We cannot earn it, and we do not deserve it! It is a gift given to us through the sacrifice of God’s son. We must believe in and respond to Jesus as our savior. We must place our faith in him and walk in a relationship with him. This gift is kind of like one you receive on Christmas morning that is labeled, “some assembly required.” Philippians 2:12 says “to continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling.” It is a maturing process.
Reflect with me for a moment on the previous 11 gifts: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, self-control, grace, and forgiveness. All of these come to us through the acceptance of Christ as savior and a continued relationship him. They are also the very nature of God. He is all these things. They make up his very being. God created us in his image, but sin has stained our lives. However, once we are called to the Lord, our response should be to mature in these exact characteristics of God. Jesus went through every trial that we face as humans. He knows first-hand how hard this life is for us and how difficult the maturing process will be, but 2 Timothy 3:15 gives us directive on how to continue maturing.
There’s nothing like the written Word of God for showing you the way to salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. Every part of Scripture is God-breathed and useful one way or another—showing us truth, exposing our rebellion, correcting our mistakes, training us to live God’s way. Through the Word we are put together and shaped up for the tasks God has for us.
It is clear that to continue maturing and working out our salvation we must be in the Bible asking questions, seeking answers and guidance, and getting to know the character of God in Jesus. As we learn just how holy He is we realize how incredibly sinful we are. But the good news is this realization leads us to feel sorry for our sins. This Godly sorrow leads to repentance. We ask for forgiveness and this leads to salvation, pardon from sin. (Paraphrased from 2 Corinthians 7:10)
When times were tough and he became discouraged, David prayed, “Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a wiling spirit to sustain me.” Ps 51:12 Life overwhelmed him causing him to lose sight of this precious gift. We too will become overwhelmed and unfocused. But we can follow David’s example and ask the Lord to restore the joy of his salvation, such a generous gift!
Help us to rid ourselves of malice, deceit, hypocrisy, and hurtful talk. Like newborn babies, make us to crave spiritual milk, so that by it we may grow up in our salvation, now that we have tasted that you, LORD, are good! (from 1 Peter 2:2)