Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Rescue Me!

"Bend down and listen to me; rescue me quickly. Be for me a great rock of safety, a fortress where my enemies cannot reach me. You are my rock and my fortress. For the honor of your name, lead me out of this peril." Psalm 31:2-3"

God allows trials for our good. Trials come to us as a way of breaking us down to full dependence on God. Trials lead us to become a person of perseverance as James 1:2 tells us. But in the midst of a trial, fatigue and fear try to creep into our hearts and minds. This verse clearly tells us that we can climb to higher ground in our trials. God is our place of refuge. He is our rock! So, how do we get on the Rock instead of staying between the rock and the hard place of our trial?

Call on the name of Jesus asking him to rescue us. He hears us and loves to be invited into our life. As we tell him about our feelings, our fears and frustrations, he opens his arms and pulls us into safety. It is then that we must hide behind the mighty fortress of his word so as to remain on the Rock. 
  • Keep a pocket bible handy and/or a notepad of scripture. Read it immediately when the enemy tries to attack your heart and mind.  
  • Meditate on a scripture passage all day long. Breathing it in and out as you go about your daily tasks. Speak the promise until you believe it!
  • Offer praise instead of negativity.
  • Call a Godly friend to pray over you. 
  • Remind yourself that the Lord is working for your good (Romans 8:28) and ask him to reveal to you the lessons that you are to be learning. Trials are training ground to make us more Christlike.
Dear Lord,
The fight for our souls rages on. We find ourselves today between a rock and a hard place. As we cry out to you, lift us up that we will stand on you, the Rock of our salvation. Draw us into your word to find wisdom, comfort, hope and healing. Defeat our enemies quickly, and we will give you the praise. Amen

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

False Sense Of Security

The Lord was determined to destroy the walls of Jerusalem.  He made careful plans for their destruction, then he went ahead and did it.  Therefore, the ramparts and walls have fallen down before him.  Jerusalem's gates have sunk into the ground.  All their locks and bars are destroyed, for he has smashed them.  Her kings and princes have been exiled to distant lands; the law is no more.  Her prophets receive no more visions from the Lord.  
Lamentations 2:8-9

God's people had sinned to the point of destruction.  God was so angry with them and their disobedience that it was time for Him to follow through with his promise of punishment.  We often ask why, if He is so loving and full of grace, did God destroy whole cities?  God is a jealous God and He will not tolerate His people's love for other Gods.  He will punish those people who choose to disobey Him.  

Jerusalem was a powerful city and the people had a false security in that.  The walls and gates of the city made them feel safe from invasions and attacks.  They were able to lock everyone out and stay hidden from their enemies.  The people had strong leadership from their kings and princes and they felt safe under their protection.  Their laws that were set in place guided them and gave them security.  They also depended on their prophets' visions from the Lord which gave them an advantage over the enemy.  Jerusalem's security did not lie in their trust in God but in man and man made things.  They felt so sure of this security that living in sin and disobedience was comfortable for them.  It was time for God to destroy this false security, to destroy these idols and punish them for their disobedience.

I can't help but wonder what things in our lives give us false security.  What are we putting our trust in that keeps us comfortable in our sin?  I also question the things in our lives that we have lost in the past.  I wonder if our loss was because we held on too tightly, put our security in that thing or person, and God decided it was time to take it from us.  Similar to the people of Jerusalem, do we allow man and man made things to become our security and begin to slide into sin without even noticing?  Do we put our trust and base our security on our jobs, our leaders, our possessions, our friends, our money, or social status?   Do we feel so safe that we don't worry about our choices and whether we are sinning or disobeying God?  

Jerusalem had to lose all the things that they considered safe and the things they based their security in.  When God took these things away the people were left with nothing and had to make the choice  of repenting and turning to God or continuing on their path of sin and suffering.  Ask God to help you evaluate your life and the things you hold too tightly too.  Ask Him to show you where your security lies and if it is in anything that is not of God then it is time to get rid of it. 

Dear God, I don't want to trust in anything but You.  Please forgive me for placing my security in man and man made things.  I hand over all of the idols in my life and I place them at the feet of Jesus Christ. I choose this day to search my heart and refocus my complete trust in only You.  Thank You God for your grace and mercy and patience with me.  Show me where to start and help me to get rid of my false securities.  I love you so much, in Jesus' Name, Amen


Monday, April 28, 2014

A Kiss

"While he was still speaking a crowd came u, and the man who was called Judas, one of the Twelve, was leading them. He approached Jesus to kiss him, but Jesus asked him, "Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?"   Luke 22:47-48

I woke up this morning and this thought was on my mind, "He was betrayed with a kiss."
A kiss? A sign of greeting as common as shaking hands. A sign of friendship and acceptance. Why didn't Judas just point to Jesus? Why didn't he just walk past and pat him on the back? Why? Because Judas was putting on a show. He forgot that Jesus knows the heart. Judas thought he could deceive Jesus and others by his actions. He thought he could keep the blame off of himself and still get what he wanted. But clearly, Jesus knows it all. He stopped Judas before he was even able to go through with his plan. Jesus knows the motives behind our actions. He knows why we serve in the church. He knows why we give our tithe. Our motive speaks to him about the act itself. Jesus will not let falsehood go unexposed.

Let us all examine our motives. Ask the Spirit to search your heart for improper, selfish motives and be humbled to repent.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Praise The Lord!


Praise God in his sanctuary;
    praise him in his mighty heaven!
 
Praise him for his mighty works;
    praise his unequaled greatness!
 
Praise him with a blast of the ram’s horn;
    praise him with the lyre and harp!
 
Praise him with the tambourine and dancing;
   praise him with strings and flutes!
 
Praise him with a clash of cymbals;
    praise him with loud clanging cymbals.
 
Let everything that breathes sing praises to the Lord!
Praise the Lord!
Psalm 150

As I wake up from such a beautiful night of Godly influence I am amazed at God's beauty!  He has blessed us with so much!  My glance out the window displays the green grass, blue sky, and colorful spring flowers popping out of the ground.  God has intricately placed nature together to form the most beautiful pictures and scenes!  I replay, in my mind, the most beautiful dance recital, from the night before, and I am reminded that He has provided us with so many talents and gifts that all come together to make His beauty shine!  Last night my foster child participated in her first dance recital.  It was centered on Christ and portrayed every believer's journey to find confidence and security in Him.  The beauty of all of those talents working together to praise our God was enough to bring tears to my eyes.  One Woman's dream to share her passion for God and her passion for dance was a blessing and gift for all of the audience to see and for those those precious girls and boys who we were there to support.  I am so proud to live in my community where God is able to shine brightly through a dance recital and we are free to praise Him while we dance!  I am blessed to see people live God First lives and watch the Glory of God shine brightly.  I thank God for that this day.  

Things to think about:
What, of God's beauty, have you experienced this week?  What are you thankful for today?  How can you live your Christian life out loud?  What can you share with others?  How can your talents be combined with someone else's to make God shine?  Who can you work with to honor God?

If you are interested in this local dance studio and you live in or near Monroe, Indiana check out Studio 180


Saturday, April 26, 2014

Gentle Restoration




Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted. Galatians 6:1 NIV


Live creatively, friends. If someone falls into sin, forgivingly restore him, saving your critical comments for yourself. You might be needing forgiveness before the day's out. Stoop down and reach out to those who are oppressed. Share their burdens, and so complete Christ's law. If you think you are too good for that, you are badly deceived. Galatians 6:1-3 MSG


I received this verse 3 times this week from 3 different sources. Definitely there is a message here God wants me to know, and I need to get it figured out… Now! Yes, a dear friend of mine has fallen into sin and is struggling to find her way out. How then, do I gently restore her? I started by looking up the words restore & restoration. They mean to bring something/someone back to its original pure state, often leaving it better than it began. 
I imagined my husband restoring a car. Imagine this scene with me. He buys a car broken down and beaten up. Day after day he walks around the car examining it. Pondering what it looked like in its former condition. 
     Noticing the intricacies and beauty that once captured the creators detailed eye. Envisioning it fully restored; he sees it sparkling and all heads turning as he tools down the highway. This vision will drive every decision he makes in the process of restoration. Then out of nowhere he kicks it and says, "You messed up. You're falling apart. I can't believe you allowed yourself to be driven like this. You need to get it together!" No! Of course not; he certainly wouldn't point out the flaws. He wouldn't add more damage. He'd gently run his hand over the dinged up fender. He'd be excited at the engine and the details of all that went into it. He'd see the stains on the seats and the rips in the fabric, but he'd replace those with beautiful new covers. He'd spend hours and hours just loving on that car as it was restored one piece at a time. 

    As I now think about restoring my friend, I see my own mistakes as I've tried to help her. I thought pointing out her flaws would help. I did it in a kind manner. I was gentle with my words, but little did I know they were totally unhelpful. She knows where she's sinning. I thought pointing out scripture would give her basis for change. Why didn't I realize I was kicking flat tires and adding to her pain? What she really needs is a friend who can stoop down and gently lift her up; she needs a friend who is strong enough to walk along side her in her sin yet not get pulled into it herself.  I need to be that friend who sees the radiant beauty that God originally created in her. I need to hold the vision of who she was created to be, so that she has a partner to help get her where she's needs to be.  I need to praise the attributes that are beautiful and replace the broken ones by speaking life into those areas. I need to simply love her as I live my own life, not trying to fix her but building her up by just being me. The Spirit will gently restore her as I just love her! What a freeing feeling! Lord, bring on your loving restoration!

Friday, April 25, 2014

Gather It Up!


When the dew evaporated, a flaky substance as fine as frost blanketed the ground.  The Israelites were puzzled when they saw it. “What is it?” they asked each other. They had no idea what it was.
And Moses told them, “It is the food the Lord has given you to eat.  These are the Lord’s instructions: Each household should gather as much as it needs. Pick up two quarts for each person in your tent.”
Exodus 16:14-16

The Israelites where lost in the desert about a month after escaping slavery in Egypt.  They were hungry and angry about their situation, blaming God for not providing them with enough food and water, they believed they would have been better off had they stayed in Egypt.  God heard their complaints and answered them by sending food down from heaven.

God didn't place the food in their hands, the manna didn't just show up in their kitchen.  The people had to gather it up every day and be very careful not to get any more than they needed.  Just like manna provided in the desert, we have been provided with the Bread of Life, Jesus (John 6:35).  And just like the Israelites, we need to gather up that life giving bread every day.  We need to go to Jesus and fill up on just what we need in that moment and for that day.  We need not worry about tomorrow: Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning (Lamentations 3:23).  

Friend, do you find yourself complaining of being hungry?  Are you, like the Israelites, angry over your circumstances and searching for direction and answers?  Praise God for the gift of His Son!  Praise Jesus for so humbly dying a sinner's death to be forever our Bread of Life!  We need not ever be hungry again!  Satisfy your spiritual hunger, find your guidance and answers by going to Him today!   

  


Thursday, April 24, 2014

Humility









"Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her." John 8:7




As I stood before the 16 foot cross on Good Friday, I held in my hand a small tag on which I had written my name. I moved forward with the crowd to hang my name on the cross. "I did this for you," were the words that rang through my mind. I envisioned the blood and tried to hear the cries of those who wept as they watched their friend and savior hang on that cross. "For you, " I heard it again and then the pain of how I've pointed out others' sins rang deep within my heart. Yes, it's true, maybe their sins hurt more people. Maybe the consequences of their sins are much larger than mine, but Jesus didn't distinguish between sins as he hung on that cross. Not at all. And actually what he did was ask his Father to forgive me. For a moment, shame wanted to take up residence in my heart and mind. I crucified my God again.
Friends when another person is sinning against us we must gently restore them just as God has gently restored us. We do this by not allowing our sin to rule us, but remembering that our sin is no less. Humility keeps us from being judgmental and allows us to restore a lost and hurting friend. Jesus blood was shed for all sin..past, present, and future. Yours and mine. His and hers. Theirs and ours. We must take responsibility for ourselves first and then lay down our stones and instead wrap our arms around others. 
Dear Father,
 You sent your son to die for my sins. Teach me to walk humbly with you so that in remembrance of all you have done for me, I can be an instrument of restoration to someone else. I stand in awe today at all that you gave for me. It is undeserved. Yet, you gave your life freely. Thank you for loving me this much. Amen 

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Rebellion Ruined the King

God instructed Saul to destroy the Amalekites, he was told to destroy everyone and everything - men, women, children, babies, cattle, sheep, camels and donkeys - nothing was to be left of that nation (1 Samuel 15:3)  During this period, the Amalekite people were constantly attacking the Israelites and other nations carrying of with wealth and families.  They had to be completely destroyed in order for the Israelites to have any peace in the promised land and so they could not longer come between God and His people.  Saul attacked them, as he The Lord instructed, but he decided to keep some trophies for himself.  Agag, the Amalekite king was spared along with many choice animals, in fact, they only really destroyed the things that were worthless or of poor quality.  Similar to us, today, when we hold onto our sinful habits or lustful desires but claim to give the rest of our lives to God, or when we live by most of God's commands but disregard those that are inconvenient or undesirable - those that require too much sacrifice.  

In this case, Saul chose selective obedience and unfortunately it is still considered disobedience.  "But I did obey the Lord", Saul insisted, "I carried out the mission He gave me. I brought back King Agag, but I destroyed everything else". (1 Samuel 15:23)  How many times do we catch ourselves saying "but"?  When we are describing something, and add the word but, what follows is usually our selfish desire.  Like Saul, we have all chosen to go our own way rather than follow God's call.  There have been times in all of our lives, or even as we speak, when we know what God asks of us but our selfish wants get in the way and we end up basing our decision and actions on behalf of ourselves.  

Rebellion is as bad as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as bad as worshipping idols.  So because you have rejected The Lord's command, He has rejected you from being king. (1 Samuel 15:23) Saul's decision to rebel and to do His own thing resulted in a sin so horrible it was worthy of death. God did not completely reject Saul, there would always be a chance for Saul to seek forgiveness and restoration, but he would lose his kingdom and never be king again.  The same is true for us, if we go too far disobeying God He may eventually take something important from us.  We may not have kingdoms but He can take away our leadership, our family, our job, our congregation.  Anything successful and trustworthy can be taken from us when we are acting in rebellion and not obeying God.

The Amalekite's were the downfall of Saul.  What is your Amalekite?  What keeps you from fully trusting God's plan and obeying Him?  Is there something you just don't want to let go of?  What keeps you from enjoying all that God has to offer you?  Has your rebellion already caused you to lose something dear to you?  What is your downfall?

Father God, help me this day to acknowledge the things in my life that are unpleasing to You.  Show me the areas that I lack obedience and correct me when I am in the act of rebellion.  I desire to live in Your will and follow all the commands You have for me.  Please give me the strength to change the things in my life that could result in my downfall.  In Jesus' Name, Amen 

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Perfectly Free!


As I reflect on my Easter celebrations, I am left thinking about a specific message I heard. It was the message of Jesus atoning blood. I've watched the Passion, read the scriptures and envisioned the pain of Jesus death many times. Always I saw the horrible, the unthinkable pain that he endured, but until this weekend, I hadn't stopped to think about the depth of the blood's symbolization.
Jesus bled from 7 different areas of his body. Throughout the Bible 7 is a symbol of perfection. Jesus' blood perfectly redeems us and sets us free from absolutely every sin we have committed, are committing and those that will be committed in the future. Let me explain.
1: The crown of thorns that was shoved on his innocent head caused him to bleed. That blood trickled over his head, his ears, his mouth, his eyes. It covers anything we sinfully thought, seen, spoken, and heard.
2-3: Both of his hands bled. His blood covers everything we've sinfully touched, held and done.
4: His back was beaten to an unrecognizable state. This blood covers our sins and every time we've turned our back on him to do things our own way.
5: The sword pierce his side and the organs within. This blood covers our feelings and emotions that have led us into sin and shame.
6-7: As the nail pierced his feet, Jesus blood covered his feet. Therefore, covering everywhere we have been. Every wrong step, every sinful situation we've walked into has been cleansed from our record.

Dear Sweet Friend,
This blood, the blood of the lamb, was given with you and I specifically in mind. Without it we would have eternal separation from God. But when we choose Jesus, we are completely, perfectly forgiven. The shame, the weight, the torment are gone. We are free because of his incredible love.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Together We Can Be Amazing!

God meant for us to work together to accomplish His work on earth.  Christians should be joining in unity to bring others to a relationship with Christ.  There is no such thing as competition in God's eyes.  We are to be working as a team!  God gave us all different talents and blessed us with different skills and possessions and we are to be putting those together to make one large force for building the Kingdom of God.  While on earth we are not to sit idle and go about our life living selfishly and one sided but we should be joining with other christians all over, building up the faith.  We should be learning together and loving together leading to the day we all measure up to the complete standard of Christ.  The Holy Spirit is ours to use as a source of power and strength to accomplish all there is to do for The Lord.  This strength will build us up and hold us steadfast in our faith.  Together we can change the world and accomplish amazing things!     

Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ. This will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ. Then we will no longer be immature like children. We won’t be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching. We will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth. Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church. He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love. 
Ephesians 4:11-16 

Dear God, please lead us to unity!  Instead of a life of competition bring us together to acknowledge each other's skills and possessions as gifts from you.  Gifts we should be sharing and using together to build up your kingdom on earth and in heaven.  Show us how we can unite and complete your work.  Give us opportunities to work together.  Reveal your dreams for us and the visions you have of us working together to accomplish your goals.  And then, Father God, let your Spirit take charge of our hearts and help us to fulfill your dreams and desires.  In Jesus' Name, Amen and Amen

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Jesus said to her, "Mary."

"They have taken my Lord away", she said, "and I don't know where they have put him." At this. she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did n't realize that it was Jesus. 
He asked her, "Woman, why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?" 
Thinking he was the gardener, she said, "Sir, if you have carried him away tell me where you have   put him, and I will get him."
     Jesus said to her, "Mary."
She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, "Rabboni!" (which means "Teacher.")
John 20:13-16

Christ has risen! He wastes no time in revealing himself to the disciples and to his followers. Mary enters the tomb only to discover that the body of her Lord is missing. She is broken and weeps in devastation. I can just imagine her pain. I can hear the sobs and envision her body heaving as she mourns yet another injustice to Jesus, her innocent friend.
Without realizing who is speaking to her, Jesus asks Mary two simple questions; Why are you crying? and Who is it you are looking for? She responds with the hard to speak words that her master's body is missing. She pleads for the "gardener" to show her to the body.
And with one simply spoken word, Jesus reveals his identity. He simply says, "Mary!" At that very instant, Mary turns toward Jesus and cries out to him. 
This is one of my favorite parts of the Easter story for a few reasons. One, I love the passion that Mary has for Jesus. She loved him beyond the grave. She didn't just mourn his death, she wanted to care for his body as well. 
Another reason I love this part is because Mary wasn't expecting Jesus to show up. Mary had witnessed his death. She was sad, tired, and hopeless, and there unexpectedly, Jesus showed up to restore hope! His resurrection from death is surprising to her even though he had told them he would rebuild the temple (his body) in three days. He'd promised her! And with one small encounter,  the speaking of her name, Jesus touched her heart once again!
He does these things for us yet today. Because he has risen and claimed the victory over death, because his blood was shed, we are all able to encounter his surprising touch. He calls us by name and when we turn around to see him, he will restore all hope! Whatever situation you are in, cry for the touch of your healer. When all hope seems lost, he will show up! I know so, because I've heard him call my name too!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

We Know The End Result

The Lord has really risen!
Luke 24:34

This year I wanted my children to understand that Good Friday wasn't just a day off from school.  I wanted them to somehow experience it differently this year and look at this weekend as more than just a 3 day weekend filled with egg hunts, baskets of goodies and playing with the cousins.  No, I want my children to see Easter as a day to rejoice in our King!  To understand the suffering Jesus went through for us and to feel God's presence and love all around them.  As we sat down to discuss that dark day when Jesus was hung on the cross the topic of being Jesus' friend, on that day, came up.  How hard it would be knowing how everyone felt about Him.  How angry you would be watching your good friend be beaten, mocked, and ridiculed.  How difficult to stand by and experience His horrible death on the cross and to have so many questions as to why it was all happening.  We talked about Peter and how he denied that he even knew Jesus.  The difficulty and the reality of that moment spoke to my son.  He looked at me and said, "Mom I don't know what I would say"......... to be real honest, I wasn't sure what I would say either.  But then it dawned on me.  We are so privileged to know the end result!  We can look on this day with sadness but immediately turn that sad to joy because we know what happened 2 days later!  Peter did not know what was to come.  Yes, the promise was there.  Jesus would be the New Covenant, the Last Sacrifice.  He would rise from this ugly day and be seated beside His Father in heaven.  Jesus made this promise at the last supper and God had made this promise in the scriptures, but how hard is it to believe in something unseen?  Peter, Mary, and John were onlookers to such an unimaginable sight without the full assurance that things would be better in the end.

Friends as we wait today in anticipation for our Risen Lord we can wait in peace!  We don't have to sit in fear and worry wondering what was going to happen next.  We know that Jesus' promise to rise from the grave was true.  God followed through with His greatest promise!  How could we ever think for a moment He wouldn't follow through with all of the other promises He made?  Everything written in the scriptures is true and we can trust everything God does! (Psalm 33:4) 

If things are not going well for you.  If you are going through some tough times and your hope is fading.  Use this day of waiting to renew your faith in our Sovereign God.  You know the end result already!  You do not have to wait in fear.  You know that God follows through with what He promises.  Search His Word for the promises directly related to your suffering and claim them for yourself.  Don't wait with wringing hands and a nervous body.  Don't question whether He is powerful enough to help you in your distress!  He is God!  He can do ALL THINGS!  Believe in your promises because you have seen Jesus conquer death!  

Dear God, we are so blessed to know the end result of that dark Friday.  Thank You God for following through with the hardest thing imaginable so that we can wait today with expectance and without worry.  We can wait on you with strong faith because we know your promises ring true in all circumstances and we trust in Your faithfulness.  Thank you for Your son and thank You for loving us like you do.  In Jesus' Name, Amen

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Be In Prayer

When he came back to his disciples, he found them sound asleep. He said to Peter, “Can’t you stick it out with me a single hour? Stay alert; be in prayer so you don’t wander into temptation without even knowing you’re in danger. There is a part of you that is eager, ready for anything in God. But there’s another part that’s as lazy as an old dog sleeping by the fire.”
Matthew 26:40-41

I've experienced this Peter moment in my own life.  Things at home are going good.  My friends are all in a good place with no real big issues requiring help or encouragement.  The sun is shining and warm weather is fast approaching.  Extracurricular activities are in full swing and I feel like I live in my car.  Today I had just squeezed some quiet time into my day and began praying about my focus.  I felt like I was distancing myself from God, not having as much time with him during the days as I was used to.  As soon as I opened my eyes, and looked up from my prayer, God handed me the scripture above.  I read the helper in my bible that seemed to speak to me in all bold capital letters:
TEMPTATION STRIKES WHERE WE ARE MOST VULNERABLE
Right then it hit me.  Time management and a busy lifestyle are my weakness. I love to help people and I love spending time with my spouse and kids.  I know it sounds bad calling them weaknesses and maybe that is too harsh a word but they are the things that satan can use against me to keep me too busy for God.  And I'm not saying family time is a bad thing but not knowing when to say no to an activity or event makes me vulnerable to satan's attack on my quiet time with God and, like Peter, I end up falling asleep.   

In these seasons of my life I must take Jesus' advice and "stay alert and be in prayer".  I found that my feeling of being distant from God comes from my lack of prayer and my laziness to keep my quiet time a priority.  In the moments that business occurs and things are going on all around me I choose to join in instead of insist that I give God even just a little time reading His Word and praying.  In the heat of this, I am vulnerable, and satan has an open door.  I have every intention to stay close to God but I just don't get it done.....I put Him off another day.  

What are your vulnerabilities!  What area in your life do you leave an open door for satan to come in and attack?  What puts you to sleep and leaves you defenseless?  Pray today and keep close to God!  Stay alert and be watching for those things that satan will take advantage of. 

Dear God,
Show me my vulnerabilities.  I don't want to fall asleep and become weak in my faith.  Never stop pursuing me and drawing me close to you.  Help me to keep my focus on you and protect me from satan's attacks.  Keep me strong in You

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Powerful Words

"But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgement for every careless word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted and by your words you will be condemned." Matthew 12:36-37




Dear Friends,
Our words hold power! They literally have the power of life and death, both for ourselves and for others.

We will stand before our God and give account for each word that we have spoken. Our words will either prove us to be his children, or they will prove us to have spoken on behalf of the enemy. Our desire should be to honor God with each word we speak. Did you hear that? EACH word we speak. That means the ones we utter, mutter, shout or simply speak, but regardless of how we allow them to leave our mouth, we will be held accountable. Our words will free us or condemn us before a holy and just God.

God will hold us responsible for the words we have used to bring life to others and for the words that broke their hearts. EACH word you speak to or about another person has lasting impact. Words either undermine authority or enhance respect. Words build relationships or tear them down. Words spoken in anger fuel the fire while gentle words bring resolution and healing. Colossians 4:6 tells us to, "Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one." We must die to ourselves each day so that the Spirit can season our words with grace and love. Words left to our own control will most likely result in pain or conflict. So, determine today to think before you speak, pray before you respond, and when necessary refrain from words at all.

It may sound silly, but lately when I've been tempted to speak words that aren't "seasoned" I simply stop and respond with, "I love you." You just can't go wrong with these 3 little words!

Dear Lord,
Today we offer our words to you. Fill us with your Spirit that our words may be covered in grace and love. Guard our lips that we will only speak words of beauty and life. Seal our lips when ugly or discouraging words want to pass through them. Lord, let our words reflect our love for you!
In your precious name we pray,
Amen

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Choosing Persecution and Suffering

But before all these things take place, however, you will be arrested and persecuted; you will be handed over to be tried in synagogues and be put in prison; you will be brought before kings and rulers for my sake.  This will be your chance to tell the Good News.  Make up your minds ahead of time not to worry about how you will defend yourselves, because I will give you such words and wisdom that none of your enemies will be able to refute or contradict what you say.
Luke 21:12-15

No one wants to volunteer for this kind of trouble, or do they?  You see, this warning to Jesus' disciples was a warning for us, as well.  We are living in the moment Jesus speaks of in this scripture.  And all the while Jesus was giving them grave images they were determined to stick by Him.  One might ask why, but we all know what it feels like to really love someone be it a parent, friend, spouse, sibling or child.  Who would  deny that love to get out of suffering?  Who would choose to leave that loved one's side in order to selfishly remove themselves from persecution?    

Unfortunately many of us do every day.  We see the way following Jesus will "hurt our reputation" so we choose to leave His commands.  Some are afraid of the things they will have to give up so they choose to leave His side to follow their own desires.  Losing our comfortable friends sure isn't something we are willing to chance so we leave this One True Friend behind.  Christian's who claim to love God and people are choosing to run from this persecution every day.  What did Jesus suggest we do instead?

Jesus said it confidently and clearly, we make up our minds ahead of time, not to worry.  He tells us to use this as an opportunity to tell the Good News.  We take a stand for God and we stick by His side choosing to turn all of our suffering into God's Glory.  Don't be afraid of suffering for your Father God, and Friend Jesus.  Spend time with Him and let God give you the wisdom and words to handle these tough situations.  

I won't lie, my life situations bring about suffering.  At this very moment my thoughts are trying to drag me away from my place of peace and it's a choice every day to stay positive and trust that my God is bigger.  When I can share with you, or someone I run into at the store, I am given the opportunity use my struggles and suffering to Glorify God.  He is faithful to pull me through every time and give me perspective and strength to persevere.  It doesn't happen overnight and it isn't easy but when I made my decision to live for God I made up my mind ahead of time not to worry about how I would defend myself.  

Dear God, this suffering is real and it's not fun but I trust in you to bring me through.  Give me wisdom and strength to stay by Your side.  I don't want to leave you anymore.  I don't want my future to scare me and I want to trust that You are in control.  Amen

Monday, April 14, 2014

How Do We Rebuild A Relationship?

                     So this is my prayer: that your love will flourish and that you will not only love much but well. Learn to love appropriately. You need to use your head and test your feelings so that your love is sincere and intelligent, not sentimental gush. Live a lover’s life, circumspect and exemplary, a life Jesus will be proud of: bountiful in fruits from the soul, making Jesus Christ attractive to all, getting everyone involved in the glory and praise of God. 
Philippians 1:9-11

Relationships are not easy. They require work, focus, continual effort, and daily fresh starts. So what do we do when we find ourselves in a relationship that we don't know how to repair? The above verse is our guide. Paul knew that once Christ begins working in us that we will learn of his love and as we grow in our knowledge of Christ and his love, our secondary relationships will reap the benefits. But we must use our God-given intelligence in monitoring our actions. 

As I ponder this verse, I'm asking for wisdom, "Lord, How do we rebuild?"

First of all, Christ must be our foundation. As our foundation, every decision, action, and word is based on him. We must watch and learn from the example of Christ. 

Second, we must choose. Love is not a feeling; it is a choice, an action, a decision.
         Choose to keep quiet. (yes, that one's especially for me!)
         Choose to see the best in the other person, just as Christ does in us. 
         Choose to say, "I'm sorry" as often as necessary.
         Choose to forgive and offer grace.
         Choose to dismiss an offense and replace it with grace.

Third, we must continually surrender ourselves to the Lord's will and not force our own. 

Tonight I find my heart heavy for the mistakes I've made: I'm sorry and ready to start over. It will not be easy because I may be the only one ready to change, but I must! If Christ is to live in and through me, change is not optional. I do, however know that I can do all things through Christ's strength. So, here I go… I choose to rebuild no matter what the cost.

Dear Lord,
We all have relationships that are hurting. Give us the wisdom and strength to rebuild following your example. Your love is free, unconditional, life-giving, and full of grace. Teach us, Dear Jesus, to love like you!
Amen and Amen

Saturday, April 12, 2014

I Love You!

I will praise you, Lord, with all my heart; before the "gods" I will sing your praise. I will bow down toward your holy temple and will praise your name for your unfailing love and your faithfulness.
Psalm 138:1-2a


Dear Friend,
Today I just feel compelled to tell you a message from your Father: "I love you, Sweet Child!" 

So now, no matter what is going on in your life. No matter how tough the trials, great the fears, or deep the hurt, live today praising your God who loves you and will never withhold that love from you! Above all- praise Him, Friend, for his love never fails!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Look For God's Purpose

Although Jesus loved Martha, Mary and Lazarus, he stayed where he was for the next two days and did not go to them.
John 11:5-6

I have some very close friends who I would do just about anything I could for them.  If one of them needed me for something I would do everything possible to adjust my schedule to help her out.  I love my friends and I am committed to serving them as Jesus would.  So why, in this scripture did Jesus decide to wait two whole days before leaving to be with his friends and save Lazarus's life?  His response in verse 4 might help us understand a little better:  But when Jesus heard about it he said, "Lazarus's sickness will not end in death.  No, it is for the glory of God.  I, the Son of God, will receive glory from this".  Jesus obviously knew something that no-one else knew.  Jesus knew that he would use the Power of the Holy Spirit to bring Lazarus back to life and so he was not concerned for His friend's life nor his friends who were worried.  

Imagine yourself in Mary and Martha's shoes.  They sent a messenger to tell Jesus that they needed Him and like any one of us who is in need, they expected their best friend to assist them.  Days passed, and there was no sign of Jesus, in fact, Lazarus's body was in his grave for 4 days before Jesus showed up on the scene.  Can you imagine the disappointment that Mary and Martha were experiencing when they saw Jesus?  How would you feel if you thought your best friend just ignored your plea for help?  I'm pretty sure we have all been there a time or two and we can all agree that it doesn't feel good.  Mary didn't even want to see Jesus she, was so angry, and the first thing out of Martha's mouth was blame toward Jesus for her brother's death.  They trusted in Jesus to help them and in that moment they felt like they were let down.  Mary and Martha couldn't see beyond their disappointment to see God's purpose for Jesus' delay.  And what was that purpose?  If Jesus had shown up before Lazarus's death He would have healed him.  Something many had already witnessed.  By waiting, Jesus was given the opportunity to demonstrate His power over death.  A power that could not go unrecognized and a power that brought Glory to God proving that Jesus was the son of God and He would one day be raised from the dead.  

How many of us can't see past our disappointment today?  God certainly has a purpose for His delays and for the things He allows in our life.  He could easily prevent our hurts and disappointments but then we may never discover His purpose for our life.  He dreams for us to trust Him.  He desires that our trust be so strong that through our disappointment we can bring Glory to Him.  Through trust we can see past our hurt and understand the bigger picture that God has painted.  So if there is something bothering you today, hold off on that disappointment choose to trust in God's purpose for your circumstance.  See past the frustration to a better purpose in order for God's great plan to play out in your life.

Dear God, sometimes my hurt is so real and fresh that I can't imagine anything good coming from my circumstance.  In these times give me strength to trust in You and help me to look beyond my disappointment.  I want to see your work in my life and I want my troubles to Glorify you.  In Jesus' Name, Amen   

Thursday, April 10, 2014

The Scars


Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”
John 21:9

Friend, I want to ask you a serious question. Are you hurting today? Do you have wounds that bleed at the slightest touch? Does the shame of your sin cause you to hide from God and others? Do you have wounds caused by another that just won’t heal?

If you answered, “Yes” to any of these questions, then you need to seek His healing. Jesus’ wounds were deep. His hands and feet were pierced leaving gaping holes. But Jesus didn’t remain a wounded man. He went to the Father for healing. In the passage above, Jesus shows his scars to the disciples…no shame, no pain, no more bleeding. His scars were simply evidence of his story.

I don’t know what your pains are today. I don’t know where you are bleeding or how severely, but Jesus longs to touch you with his beautifully scarred hands and turn your wounds into scars. Scars that no longer bleed and cause you pain, but scars that represent grace, love, forgiveness and total restoration. Seek his face today by getting in your Bible and asking him to show you his fullness.

We’d love to pray with you, meet with you and guide you. And even now, though we don’t know you, rest assured that you are being lifted to our Father in prayer.

Dear Lord,
Many of our GFF’s are hurting. Their wounds bleed and need your healing touch. Give them the courage to come to you, to reach out to us or to another trusted friend, so that their healing can begin.
In your precious and holy name we pray, Amen and Amen

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Lay Down Your Life

I command you to love each other in the same way that I love you.  And here is how to measure it - the greatest love is shown when people lay down their lives for their friends.
John 15:12-13

I'm guessing that you all could think of at least one friend whose needs you would put before your own, or even die for.  Maybe it is your spouse, or that special friend you have known since grade school, a friend who you just met but you trust with your life, or a coworker who took the time to befriend you and show you the ropes.  Do you have a friend who you know everything about or is there someone in your life that you would do everything you could to help him or her out?  Chances are you have someone special in your life who means the world to you.  That someone special is worth sacrificing your personal time, or rescheduling an appointment for, and even dying for.    

An even harder question would be, are there a lot of people in your life you would lay down your life for?  Jesus stated in this scripture that we are to love each other in the same way He loves.  He didn't say love one or two special friends like crazy, but He said love each other.  Each other implies that we should love every one and be willing to die for anyone.  Now that is a big statement!  Laying down your life for a friend doesn't have to be, nor should it be, limited to your best friend, but instead it should include all people..........each other. 

Take this thought one step further and you will find yourself dying for Jesus Himself.  Verses 14-15 in John 15 go like this:
You are my friends if you obey me.  I no longer call you servants, because a master doesn't confide in His servants.  Now you are my friends, since I have told you everything the Father told me. 
If you are Jesus' friend then you must also be willing to lay down your life for Him.  Laying down your life for Jesus doesn't mean just dying for Him.  Laying down your life can also imply that you lay down your will and personal desires.  For, your friend, Jesus, you can lay down your sin and worry and selfishness to show Him your love and commitment.  Giving up your will offers amazing proof that you believe in Him. 

Friends, we should all be thinking about our selfish tendencies and the areas of our life that we hold tightly to.  God doesn't want us putting our needs in front of others.  Just like Jesus put our needs in front of His the day he was handed over to the Roman Soldiers and was beaten and hung on a cross, we should be willing to do the same for all people every where and especially for our greatest, most loyal friend, Jesus.  Lay down your wants and desires, share the remote, offer up the last piece of Dove chocolate, give up your time, sacrifice your will and love people every where because Jesus commands us to.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Meditate

Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on His law day and night.
Psalm 1:1-2

I will be the first to tell you that I am guilty of underestimating the importance of reading the bible.  I was content reading a devotion here and there and I attended bible study when it was convenient for me, but I never really cared about reading the bible.  No one ever told me how important it was, but I'm not here to blame my upbringing for why I didn't read the bible, because had someone told me, I probably still wouldn't have taken them seriously.  It took my own choosing and a good friend pushing me deeper, to decide one day to develop a relationship with God, and as I think back to that moment I believe God was drawing me to Him.......nudging me to to change my heart.  

It took discipline to start living for God and I spent much time reading His Word.  I didn't just read either, I thought deeply about the things I was reading and I studied further to find more.  I soon started taking notes on the new information I was learning.  I wrote down the things that really stood out and the things that I really sought to be important.  I began to understand this scripture that states those who meditate on His laws day and night will be blessed.  No, not everything goes my way and I haven't had an all easy road but with God and the wisdom and peace that His Word provides I have been able to see life differently.  This perspective allows me to appreciate His blessings that come through the good and the bad.

Before I began studying the bible I knew of Gods gift of salvation.  I understood the importance of repentance and loving people.  I could recite the 10 commandments.  There were a lot of things I knew about but that was all just head knowledge.  It took me reading deeper into God's Word, meditating on what He wanted me to know, and most importantly allowing that information to travel from my head to my heart.  Meditating does that........it takes what you know and makes it what you live.  The difference between mediating on God's word and just reading over it, is a personal relationship with God.  That personal relationship draws everything you know from your mind and plants it in your heart.  It becomes the way you live instead of just the way you should live.  All of God's wisdom finds its home in your heart where you can't deny God anymore.  You can't continue living in sin when God's word is planted on your heart.  When it becomes who you are it will guide you and lead you to do what is right.    

Please consider taking that next step and meditating on God's word.  No you don't have to sit on the floor with your legs crossed, arms folded, eyes closed, and humming in a low pitch.  All you need is your bible and a willing heart to go one step further from just knowing the law to really knowing God and living out His law.  Please if you need encouragement or help in knowing where to start email us and we would be glad to direct you.  Find a friend who will join you in this new journey.  We will be praying for you! 

Monday, April 7, 2014

Peace is a Gift



This week I've struggled to remain steadfast in Christ's peace. It was a roller coaster week. One moment I was feeling peace and the next my mind would be racing with questions and my stomach would be in knots. "Why?" I would ask. "Why, Jesus. do I feel your peace about things and then begin to question you?" I begged Him for steadfast peace, yet it didn't come. After 3 devotions in a row about peace from 3 different sources I asked Jesus to reveal what it was I needed to understand. He simply seemed to say, "My peace is a gift. You must choose to receive it!"

As I look back over the last several blogs I am reminded of how we CHOOSE PEACE.
1. Keep Your Feet Above Water: As Peter did when he walked on the water, we must choose to keep
    our eyes on Christ. When we look away, we lose his peace.
2. The Flip-side: We share what we love. Therefore, if we are not experiencing Christ's peace, we are
    choosing to love our circumstance above the peace that comes from loving our Lord.
3. A Matter of Perspective: We must choose to give thanks. Thanksgiving and worry cannot both
    take place in our heart and mind at the same time, so we must choose thanksgiving.

A gift is not forced upon you. It is held out and you choose to receive it or leave it in the hands of the giver. As followers of Christ, we are offered good gifts. One of the gifts Jesus offers is the gift of peace.
It is not a once and for all gift. It is a gift which you choose to receive moment by moment! Today, choose peace.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

It's Never Too Late

You will become pregnant and give birth to a son, and his hair must never be cut.  For he will be dedicated to God as a Nazirite from birth.  He will rescue Israel from the Philistines.
Judges 13:5

The Spirit of the Lord gave Samson immense power and strength.  Unfortunately Samson used that gift in selfish ways.  Like many people today, Samson was a selfish man.  He was chosen by God to do amazing things but Samson often disobeyed and did what he wanted.  He was a trouble maker who violated God's laws on many occasions.  For example he married a Philistine woman, ate honey from an unclean carcass and also shared that with his unknowing parents.  He killed many men for selfish reasons, always concerning himself with having revenge on his enemies.  Samson slept with a prostitute and again used His gift of power selfishly to escape punishment.  Samson wasn't your typical nice guy.  He was a bad boy who wanted what he wanted and did almost anything to get his way.  

Samson was mentally weak.  Twice he was tricked into giving away his secrets.  He was easily distracted by sex and sensuality.  He allowed flattery to deceive him and when he fell in love with Delilah she brought an end to his power.  Samson clearly had many gods in his life.......self, sex, and power, to name a few.  He often forgot who his real God was and relied on himself to "fix" his dire circumstances.  He was soon captured by the Philistines and his eyes were gouged out.  They chained him up in jail where he sat grinding grain.  After all of this ugly God still heard Samson's prayers.  God never left Samson and He was ready to assist him when He called out to Him. 

Then Samson prayed to the Lord, "Sovereign Lord, remember me again.  O God, please strengthen me just one more time.  With one blow let me pay back the Philistines for the loss of my two eyes."
Judges 16:28 

And so, in is final moments Samson brought down the temple and he killed more Philistines in his death than he had in his entire lifetime.  God heard Samson and answered His prayer.  God was also able to use bad situations, throughout Samson's life, and turn them into good for His people.  Samson, although not the way one would expect, did, in fact, rescue the Israelites.  God's plans for him did succeed because God is able to use our bad choices and the unfortunate circumstances in our lives and turn them into good.  

Samson was not perfect.  His life was full of sin and disobedience but he never forgot Who to call on when he was in need.  Maybe he was too arrogant to feel guilty for his sins or maybe he just understood God's forgiveness better than we do, either way he wasn't afraid to cry out to God.  He clearly had faith in God's power and he was confident in the unconditional love He provides.  We should all learn from Samson.  Even when we feel we have fallen short in God's eyes or we have too many sins in our past, God is still waiting for us to call on Him.  He is always ready to heal and restore someone no matter how big his or her faults.  My friend, it is NEVER TOO LATE and you are never too old to call out to God for healing and forgiveness.  

  

Saturday, April 5, 2014

The Flip Side

As I read yesterday's blog, I had to smile at the way Aimee's children love the movie frozen and just can't stop thinking, singing, and talking about it. I had to agree that when we love something, we just have to share it. I know that since Jesus has touched my heart and brought true healing, I can't help but talk about him. I sing about him. I think about him. I love him, and I just have to share him. It's a beautiful sharing because everything about Jesus is good and right. But I as I was thinking about this, my heart was saddened because I know people who don't want to hear about him because their love is for someone or something else.

Sadly, there is a flip-side. Matthew 6:21 tells us that "Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." That means that if we love money, we will talk about it and think about it. We will share our love of money with others. No, we won't share our money, but we will share our love of it! Know those people who only talk about themselves? Guess where the devotion and love are? If we love a person or activity over God, it is what we will talk about the most. It will consume the biggest part of our thinking and our love for it will just spill out of us. The flip-side is that our love for something can be to our demise.

So, I guess the thing we need to do is ask those around us, "What do I talk about? How do you see me spending my time? Who am I invested in?" Your true loves will be obvious to others because you are sharing it with them whether you realize it or not!

"Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." 
Matthew 6:21

Friday, April 4, 2014

Let it Go!

Our drive to Florida this year was filled with the sounds of the latest Disney movie, Frozen.  In fact, if 2 rounds in the car wasn't enough we were blessed to watch it two more times in our condo.  In the whole week we have been home this movie has been played 3 more times.  My children are quoting the funniest lines and singing the cutest songs over and over because they can't get enough of it.  So as I sit here praying about what to write for the blog, feeling God nudging me toward the importance of sharing our God moments, the song "Let it Go" is running through my mind.  

My kids have shown me that when we love something and we replay it over and over it is bound to be shared.  They have been filling their minds with this movie.........quotes, songs and visions, so much that they can't hold it in.  The moving is fun.  The movie is worth sharing, all day, to the point of exhaustion, but you see it doesn't annoy me because I see the fun in it and the way their eyes light up when they quote their favorite line or when they try their best to sing just like the movie.  I respect their admiration for the characters in the movie and for the way it makes them smile.  

Friends, God can do this for us!  God's word can give us this same jolt of excitement.  His work in our lives is so fun and exciting that we should be sharing it all day with everyone one encounter.  Why aren't we singing our favorite praise songs throughout our day and why aren't we quoting our favorite scriptures?  When something is important to us we should want to share it with people.  If God is important to you and if He is touching your life, then you should be sharing those moments with your friends, family and coworkers.  Don't be afraid to Let it Go for God.  Don't hold back anymore!  Share with the world what God is doing for you!  Sing to your hearts content and quote your favorite promises that God has given to all of us!  


And I keep praying that this faith we hold in common keeps showing up in the good things we do, and that people recognize Christ in all of it.
Philemon 1:6

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Glorious Completion

God knew what he was doing from the very beginning.  He decided from the outset to shape the lives of those who love him along the same lines as the life of his Son.  The Son stands first in the line of humanity he restored.  We see the original and intended shape there in him.  After God made that decision of what his children should be like, he followed it up by calling people by name.  After he called them by name, he set them on a solid basis with himself.  And then, after getting them established, HE STAYED WITH THEM UNTIL THE END , GLORIOUSLY COMPLETING WHAT HE HAD BEGUN
Romans 8:29,30 

Amen God!!  He is always working on us and in us!  Gloriously finishing us!!  From the very beginning God chose us and began working on who He wanted us to be.  Knowing every choice we would make since birth, God is able to take everything into consideration while He shapes us and makes us into His glorious masterpiece!  You may have made some really poor choices in your past.  You may be currently living in sin.  You may be experiencing something so difficult it hurts to wake up each morning.  Whatever it is or where ever you are in your life right this very moment, God is still working.  God is shaping and perfecting you and I until we are the glorious person He planned way back on that first day He chose us.

Don't be discouraged if your life isn't all that you had hoped or dreamed.  Don't let your past sins keep you chained down.  When God began working on you He promised to stick by you to the end.  I know, in my life God has had to work with a lot of my bad choices.  He has had to fix the many things that I broke.  But praise Him for loving me through those times and being committed to following me to completion!  Friend, things may not seem all that great right now but rest in the knowledge that if you love God and believe in His Son, Jesus Christ, then God continues to work for you every day!    

  

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Keep Your Feet Above Water

He said, "Come ahead."
Jumping out of the boat, Peter walked on the water to Jesus.  But when he looked down at the waves churning beneath his feet, he lost his nerve and started to sink.  He cried, "Master save me!" 
Jesus didn't hesitate.  He reached down and grabbed his hand.  Then he said, "Faint-heart, what got into you?"
Matthew 14:29-30 Msg.

What surprises me the most out of this scripture is how quickly Peter began to sink.  I am amazed at the miracle he experiences, walking on water.  I am doubly amazed at his faith to believe that it was all possible but what really catches my eye is how quickly it all turns south.  Peter is the one who offered up this idea in the first place.  It was his suggestion that led to his stepping off of the boat that night.  He had enough faith to step out onto the water, in the middle of the sea, during a storm.  How did it take only a few steps before he was on his way to drowning?

Peter's faith was quickly faltered because he took his eyes off of Jesus.  Satan is so good at making our circumstances look way worse than they really are.  He can get into our minds and convince us of so many lies about the things we face and the future that lies ahead.  When we, for just one moment, look anywhere but at Jesus and His promises in our life, we run the risk of drowning in fear.  Satan can literally scare us into faithlessness and hopelessness within minutes if we aren't constantly focusing on Jesus' help in our situation.  

So if you are drowning in fear right now, stop looking at all the lies satan has planted in front of you and turn your face upwards to the One who has all the power and authority to save you from your circumstance.  Don't take your eyes off of Jesus for even one moment and run the risk of sinking.  Satan will take your problem and magnify it.  He will make things look worse than they really are, and steal your hope and joy!  Say no to satan and yes to Jesus!  Keep your head above water.  Look up to the promises that give you hope and joy and keep walking firmly and confidently in whatever situation you are dealt with.     

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

We Can't Understand

We cannot understand the great things He does, and to His miracles there is no end.
Job 9:10

Preceding this verse Job was describing the wonderful miracles of creation that God had performed.  He explains how God hung the stars exactly where He wanted them and that He controls the weather.  As He listed so many beautiful things God has done for the world and for us, God's amazing power starts to shine.  As the scriptures say all things are possible with God (Matt. 19:26), these verses prove that God is amazing and that He certainly can do anything He wants to do.  But what fascinates me is, behind the power to do all things God has a mind that knows all things.  Being an all knowing God magnifies His power even more because when He knows what's best in every situation then His answers are always the best.  

This scripture means more to me than just the physical things God can do on earth.  This scripture speaks to the many people who are awaiting answers to prayer.  When we don't get the answers we want, it can be hard to understand.  But as this scripture points out, we cannot understand the great things He does.  Yes even when our answers come delayed or in a different form we can expect that they are great things because God knows best.  There is no end to His miracles because He will always know infinitely more than us! 

If you have a prayer that hasn't been answered the way you wanted or if you are living a situation that seems to never get better, trust in your God Who knows everything and remind yourself that you will never understand how He works.  Grab a hold of trusting in His every move and watch His miracles take flight, in His timing.