“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.” 1 Corinthians 9:24 NIVB Experiencing God is living your life (race) step by step, hand in hand with Jesus! Just like a physical race, you feel every up hill, down hill, desert flats through scorching valleys! It’s talking through the burning feeling you feel with every breath you breathe in the scorching temperatures to the burning feeling in your legs and arms! It’s even when every limb in your body is so frozen that you struggle to keep them moving. It’s the feeling when you are passed up and all alone! It’s struggling when you are overlooked left behind in the dust! There will be times you feel so exhausted like your legs and arms are like jelly! My daughter once said, “my arms are like noodles!” In my spiritual race, I don’t want to miss out on experiencing what God can do through each moment good, hard, or bad and experience what He has for me while running my race home to Him. Each day I look forward to not only seeing but experiencing what God will do as He develop perseverance – strength that only God himself builds in us as He spiritually knits us all together in Unity in Him building us all up for His Glory! “You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. For, “In just a little while, he who is coming will come and will not delay.”” Hebrews 10:36-37 NIV His ways are higher then my ways and so are His thoughts are higher then ours! I want to experience God with every step through all circumstances and trials while in relationship in the Body of Christ!
So let us all follow the Spirit of God by living our lives humbly under God’s mighty hands surrounded in His wonderful light! There is no better place to be! Let us all pray continually together in Unity by focusing on what we have in common while choosing to follow Jesus who is the Author and perfecter of our faith! All of us continually giving God glorious praise for His Kingdom come and His will be done on earth as it is in Heaven! Let us follow Jesus marvelous and wonderful ways by how we live our lives completely humble, and completely surrendered to God’s ways and not the ways of the world! This is so those who are of the world and don’t understand or know God’s love will be drawn into God’s unconditional love for them by how our actions in the body of Christ match what we do. This kind of love that God has for everyone surpasses all human understanding because the world doesn’t love in the same way. Especially when we all come from different places in life yet we have the love of the Father flowing in us and through us as we are led by the Spirit of God! I pray for all of us to have our Fathers heart! Let us slow down to hear His small still voice and be patient while putting up with each other! God promises to finish the good work in me and all of you until the day of Christ Jesus. Can you see it? The finish line the 12 gates with a pearl on each gate and streets made of gold so pure you can see through it. With Jesus arms open wide! Amen!
“He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life. Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children. But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.”” Revelation 21:6-8 NIV https://bible.com/bible/111/rev.21.6-8.NIV
My favorite is watching my children eagerly wait to open their gifts! It is a huge struggle for me too! The same questions every day, can I open just one or how many more days till Christmas? This morning I sat on the couch and noticed one of my younger kids snuck over to the tree to sneak a peek at one of their presents! One little tear here and one tiny rip there! I said, if you keep peeking it won’t be a surprise! I love how God teaches me something new and the amazing part is, if we are to busy we might miss it! He teaches us so much through our children as we lead them we will learn even more!
Today is Christmas! ❤️ We are so thankful for our family and all our sisters and brothers in Christ! 💕 We are so thankful for God’s love, Mercy and Grace! ❤️ God gave us a His living word, The Bible to give us a glimpse of His special plan for us starting in Genesis 3:15, Isaiah 9:6 and Micah 5:2-3 and more! We will discover how God’s word is alive and active!! He shows us in action of how much He loves everyone person in the world! John 1:14-18 NIV, “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John testified concerning him. He cried out, saying, “This is the one I spoke about when I said, ‘He who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’ ”) Out of his fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known.” God has a plan from the beginning to save us from Sin and He keeps all His promises!! We can not do anything to save ourselves! We need Jesus who came here to take us lovingly by the hand to show us the way, because Jesus is the way, the truth and the Life! We can’t go to the Father in our own way, but only through Jesus! We have to chose to follow! He didn’t want us to be stuck eternally separated from Him because of His love for us all! God gave us the best Gift, His Son Jesus, who died for us all, He rose on the third day and is alive preparing a place for all those who believe and follow Him! John 14:3 NIV, “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.”
I’m thankful we have the Bible, so we know the truth! We need to be careful on depending on watching Bible Story on TV or any device to present the Bible to our children! We have been given the blessing of our children and raise them to know the truth about Jesus! I do like watching movies however each movie is slightly different because of what is added to or taken away! We need to be on guard on what are children watch on TV, because they may think it is make believe or not real! I recently picked up a Christmas book. It had things in the story that were far from what actually happened in the Bible mixed with some truth! This is confusing to children! We need to be reminded by reading the story to our children as the Holy Spirit leads us and teaches them! Hebrews 13:8 NIV, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” With the variety of movies out there, I thought about how more then ever, As parents, grandparents and guardians together, help our children learn the truth through the Bible, so as they grow up, they will know to match up to what they see or hear to what the Bible says is true! We need to stay in truth in order to live out what we have learned from reading from the Bible! As we watch movies together, guide them in truth, so they grow discerning what is right and wrong! We won’t know which path to take if we neglect filling ourselves up with God’s word first! The world is loud and busy with many wonderful things God has blessed us with, but we need to be careful. Romans 12:2 NIV, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” We need to fill ourselves up with God’s living words that give life, so we can be the light God called us to be for His Glory!
I only want to be in Your wonderful light! There is no other place I would rather be than in your presence resting at your feet Praising you forever! Reveal my heart Jesus, wide open, every part of me exposed where no darkness can be hidden! Search every part of me, unveil my eyes and help me see even if I feel like hiding because, I only want to be in your wonderful light! Help me to become more for you, as I become less for me! Let it be Your will be done, for only Your Kingdom come forever with you!! Amen!
Every person in the world has their own race to run in life! When I was in high school, I had a difficult time with direction and worse I needed glasses too, but didn’t know it yet! One day, I was running this most awesome race in the woods! So many colors and the air was filled with the fragrance of fall! We all lined up to run our race and suddenly a shot signaled us to go! I took off with all my heart and just kept going, I didn’t look back leaving everyone behind! I was excited because Fall is my favorite time of the year and the best part for me, the rain! I loved running in the rain!! I was so far ahead! It was quiet, peaceful and so beautiful! Finally, I realized, I didn’t know which path to take! I had to make a choice, do I just keep going not knowing where I was going or slow down and ask! There was no one around me and it was so quiet! I made the decision to slow down and ask the person behind me! She was surprised and could have lied to me too! I wanted to finish my race but I couldn’t do it alone and I needed help! I could not see the lines marked out for me and was completely depending on the person behind me! She pointed the way as I followed because I couldn’t see with the lines especially with all the rain. We can’t see the path marked for us in our life but we can trust God who is the one who marked it for us! I remain confident in what Jesus told me to do that is clearly marked out to share the good news about Jesus wherever I go! Matthew 28:16-20 NIV, “Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Through this experience, I learned something about following! We all follow something or someone and to be a good follower means you either will go the right way or the wrong way depending on who you chose to follow! As we live our life, we must pray and pray for each other as we seek God first and His righteousness while we trust God in all parts of our life! We can remain confident Jesus will be with us and never leave us! Romans 12:2 NIV, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” There are two choices, either we will follow the world (conform) or God (transformed by the renewing of your mind) Our foundation is our starting block for our spiritual race and we must surround ourselves with people who will be your guard rails pointing you back to Jesus! We need our abiding relationship with Jesus, to know which way to go and that means we need a relationship with our sisters and brothers in Christ to help us, encourage, support, remind, spur us on, and point out our blind spots! God will surround you with people in your life at the right time, a cloud of witness! Hebrews 12:1 NIV, Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,” The things that hinder us could be pride by thinking we know best or not willing to listen to the wisdom God places in our life!
The starting block matters in our spiritual race! It’s starts with a relationship with Jesus, God’s one and only Son! God’s perfect gift for all of us! James 1:17-18 NIV, “17Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. 18He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.” The world patterns are like the sinking sand, changing wind patterns, and moving shadows which will lead you astray, lost and eventually alone! If we don’t have a solid foundation, we will follow anything that benefits us during that time or phase in life we are going through! It would be like chasing the wind or following shadows! It didn’t make sense to my cross country coach when I asked the second place person where to go, and it won’t make sense to people who don’t know God’s love yet! There is no competition in the body of Christ!
When we chose to be transformed my the renewing of our minds, we chose to follow Jesus example filling ourselves up with His living words! Our race is marked out for us and it’s not a race to be in competition with each other because we are all individuals made in God’s image to do good works planned for us to do in advance! We are all apart of the body of Christ United with our sister and brothers! My coach only saw from the outside and didn’t know what was going on within the individual race we were running! We have to be guarded by truth from God’s living words from the Bible to not assume what we think we see in other peoples life or heard! We are instead supposed to love the way God loves, encourage, and support while we spurs each other on to love and good deeds! Life can get hard but don’t give up and don’t give up on each other including yourself! The battle isn’t against flesh and blood! We glorify God when we Unify together in Jesus by loving the way He loves, and forgive the way He forgives by not holding records of wrong! God’s love is never ending! John 14:27 NIV, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”
When I was in the middle of cleaning, the sky began to change rapidly from light gray then dark! Gradually an illuminating glow shined behind the darkness as the rainbow slowly appeared out of no where! I thought to myself, “no rain, no warning!” In my excitement, I said, “look a rainbow!” Someone in a mask actually went outside to see the rainbow and said, “I need the pot of gold!” Then he left just like that! What do we look for when the sky is gray? Who do we turn to when the sky turns dark? The world seeks treasure on earth that is temporary and won’t last, however when you seek God and what He has for you, it will last for eternity with Him! It is important as believers to live out being the light and salt of the world to those who don’t know God’s love yet! We need to pray for everyone! In the mist of this moment, I found myself on my knees thanking God of what matters most as I change out the trash can liners! Yes, you can pray and work at the same time! 😊 With no warning, the rainbow just appeared, just like that! We too must be ready! Awake, Alert, sober minded!! We must keep our lamps full no matter where we are in our day because the glory of God lit up the sky tonight reminding everyone that God keeps all His promises! ““Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.” Matthew 25:13 NIV Each color compliments one another in an orderly way as it reflects God’s story, to seek the lost through His one and only Son, Jesus! He very much loves every person in the whole world!! James 2:2 NIV, “My brothers and sisters, believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ must not show favoritism.” Each color is unique and has a purpose! Not all parts of the rainbow shines at the same time but each part shines in God’s perfect timing in complete Unity in Him! All you need to do is, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” Matthew 7:7-8 NIV
The world’s ways can consume us like the suffocating world of smoke from the fires around us! It’s like pressing into the glass of your ice water in hope to get a breath of fresh air while escaping the heat holding your glass. How do we get a breath of fresh air in a world filled with so many different ways to find relief from the smoke? The smoke is like all the pressure around us from all sides telling you to do this, think this, run from that! It blinds you and even distorted what is right in front of you! How do we live in a world full of distractions that keep us on the purpose God has for us to do in the consuming smoke around us? We are called to live a life set apart from the ways of the world. John 15:19 NIV, “If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.” Instead of searching wisdom through the internet, we need to be searching for God’s wisdom in the Bible!
How do we react when pressure in life is like wearing a mask in the heat while the air is filled with smoke? Do we stop and Pray and run to scripture (Bible) to find and match up what going on with what God says we should do or go with what feels right and even search for it in the internet? There so much controversy over who thinks what is right or wrong! The only solid truth that we can stand firm on comes from the Bible! We need to remember and be reminded! “Remember, your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” (Hebrews 13:7-8). God is the same yesterday, today and forever.
We are seed planters everywhere we go either good or bad! How we handle pressure in this world is an opportunity to plant seeds to those who don’t know God’s love yet or water the seeds already there! We have an influence wherever we go and each day we choose who we will we serve. You can only choose one, because you can’t serve two masters. You will love one and hate the other. Matthew 6:24 NIV, “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money” What kind of seeds do we sow? The seed you plant comes from the master you serve, God or money (world) What you put into your mind comes out of your heart and it effects your choices. Do we sow in The Spirit, by loving God and everyone with love and respect or the flesh, love when you feel like it at the time or because you know yoursuppose to love. 1 John 4:18 NIV, We love because he first loved us. It is impossible to love without God because it’s His love in us that make it possible to love the way He loves. You cannot give someone a drink of fresh water when yourcontainer is empty. Romans 12:1-2, “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world,but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
Father God, praying that we will be all You called us to be for your Will to be done on earth as it is in heaven for your Glory! Praying for for Unity as all our sisters and brothers in Christ cling to your ways and hold onto truth according to your living word in the Bible! As all, sisters and brothers, everywhere gather in prayer for one another be Unified in you, living for your purpose for our lives in everything we do to further your Kingdom. I meditate on your living words all throughout the day, it refreshens me (a breath of fresh air) way down deep in my soul, as “we are hard pressed from each side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed (2 Corinthians 4:8-9 NIV). I keep my eyes on you, Jesus who is the Author and perfector of my faith who has good planned! I trust everything you said in the Bible, that you want us to have an abundant life in you! All scripture is from your breathe! I will not give up on doing what is good because I trust in your plan and will drop my ways for only your ways! I will not overlook the urgency you put in me and all of us, to share the Good News about Jesus, your one and only Son who came to save all people, once and for all because you love all and want no one to perish but have life in you! I will fix my eyes on you even if things like when I slipped of the counter in the process of moving last year made it difficult to move around. I will lean heavily on you because I desperately need you to guide me day and night! As you fill me with your strength and not my own, I am able to continue and will never give up! Praying with All my heart, that I become lesser (i) as YOU become more in me to further your Kingdom Come forever with you in heaven!“Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen. (Hebrews 13:20-21 NIV)
Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”
6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7 If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”
8 Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.”
9 Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10 Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. 11 Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves. 12 Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. 13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.
The world has become even more flashy, busy and noisy full of distractions with breaking news stories and many versions of social media to capture our attention! The rising and falling temperatures everywhere raise concern for everyone, as the world changes and shifts constantly! However, God says, there is nothing new under the sun! Ecclesiastes 1:9 NIV, “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.” This is why it’s so important to be in scripture so we can be ready! 1 Corinthians 10:11-13 NIV, “These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the culmination of the ages has come. So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! 13 No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted,he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” We need to stand firm and stay awake, alert and sober minded by keeping our lamps full! The distractions of this world can consumed us mentally and even weigh us down! As we drive down the road or even walk down the street, news and even music is playing everywhere! You don’t even have to try, news is everywhere no matter where we go! The need to know is overwhelming! What we consume in our minds by what we watch or read effect how we think and how we live out our day! We can get consumed by all the world events along with everything going on in your lives which can effect our emotions, reactions, and decisions! We need a filter to help us filter out the garbage! The filter we need is God! 2 Corinthians 10:5 NIV, “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” The world around us is huge but God is in control of it all! Revelation 1:8 NIV, ““I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.” God is our filter!
We can learn so much from the Bible as we live out our own lives! Exodus 14:13-18 New King James Version! Moses said to the people, “the Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace.” In the NIV, It says, “The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.”Be Still (you shall hold your peace), really caught my attention! You shall hold your Peace, caused me to dig deeper in God’s word! I can see why we need to hold onto Peace! Everywhere around us is the opposite of Peace or different verse of Peace! But, the Peace we hold onto come from God not the world! Romana 12:2 NIV, “ Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is his good, pleasing and perfect will.” We need to stand firm on truth and hold onto every living word from God! Because the word of God is our solid foundation! The patterns of this world is sand! Sand is not stable and always shifting and changing. What we are going through can cause us to react the same way the Israelites did when everything looked impossible! We can learn so much from them! What would you do in their situation? What are you going through similar to this where everything looks impossible? Exodus 14:10-12 NIV, “As Pharaoh approached, the Israelites looked up, and there were the Egyptians, marching after them. They were terrified and cried out to the Lord. They said to Moses, “Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you brought us to the desert to die?What have you done to us by bringing us out of Egypt? Didn’t we say to you in Egypt, ‘Leave us alone; let us serve the Egyptians’? It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the desert!” The Israelites were panicking and attacking Moses saying so many things! Even today, we can react the same way when the pressure and expectations feel consuming in our lives! The cares of the world aren’t meant for you to hold! We are to give them to Jesus! 1 Peter 5:6-9 NIV, “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.”
We need to remember who God is! “God is I Am who I Am” Exodus 3:14-15 NIV, “God said to Moses, “I am who I am. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I am has sent me to you.”God also said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites, ‘The Lord, the God of your fathers the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob has sent me to you.’ “This is my name forever, the name you shall call me from generation to generation.”Not only do we need to remember but we need to remind each other in love and respect to not give up on doing good, fix our eyes on Jesus who is the Author and perfect of our faith, seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteous, humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God, love unconditionally because love covers a multitude of sins, depend on God’s understanding and not ours, take each though captive and make it obedient to Christ, and live out our day thinking about what is true because Jesus is the way, the truth and the life, as we meditate on His living words day and night!
When we live out Peace in our lives, we have an unexplainable calmness within us from God while everything around us is a raging storm! The Peace within gives you confidence to do the very difficult steps in your life to get you to the next destination. The next verse says in Exodus 14:15 NIV, “Then the Lord said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to move on.”Be still (peace) an action preparing the steps to move forward! Now God says, Move On! We are not meant to do nothing by staying still! When you seek God first and His righteous in prayer and reading the Bible, your choosing His ways and not your own way! The world is always full of choices and is full noise telling you to go this way it that way! The voices are overwhelming! However with God there is only one way and that is “through” Jesus, God’s one and only Son! We need to follow the Spirit of God! We must move on (go), trusting God will lead the way! I’m sure, the Red Sea looked like a closed door, but It wasn’t! Just because a door looks closed doesn’t mean it really is! Also, just because a door closed on you, doesn’t mean it was closed by God! As we move on forward, we need to stand firm on the rock (Jesus) keep praying, keep trusting God and follow Him! It was impossible in the eyes of the Israelites! However, nothing is impossible with God! Just like for me last summer, it seemed impossible especially not knowing if we were suppose to stay there or go. But, through prayer we continued moving forward to building and repairing where we lived at the time! Then as we worked, we received a call! God showed us the answer! We must go! We wanted to just be delivered from place and felt stuck! We felt as though the harder we tried to leave something kept us there! However, when under pressure we look at our situation through what we are going through! However, God has a bigger and clear view because He is God the creator of everything and everyone! God loves everyone and it wasn’t just about us! God has no favoritism! It was about everyone involved in our lives and who was on the land with us! We don’t know God’s plans but we know all of us are together for a reason! Just as he knit us in our mothers womb! He is spiritually knitting us in the Body of Christ! We didn’t accomplish everything on this land, God did this through our sisters and brothers in Christ! It seemed like forever to get everything moved and we still had so many details to where we would go next, but we continued to trust God by fixing our eyes on Jesus and knew it would be worked out as we continued forward! God will show you the way, but it definitely doesn’t always happen right away, sometime it’s right at the last minute! When you live out your faith in God, other people with be drawn in. It looked like a closed door and seem impossible but just like the red seas opened, we too, must trust God and move on “go”! We can’t just sit and wait for everything to unfold! We need to be still (you shall hold your peace) live out what you believe to be true by trusting God and move on (go) as God amazing and wonderful ways unfold!
Today, I’m sitting here in the heat watching my beautiful children drive each other around on ice chests in the yard! I’m looking back at this moment last summer, thinking as I’m reminded, God works in action! We continued moving forward as we stayed close to God all the way through! He faithfully brought in sisters and brothers, and our family to help get us out of an impossible situation! Where we went wasn’t expected but a wonderful blessing in the waiting! Through it all we first and most importantly, seek God and His righteous as we pray through our day in each decision! We must also, be completely humble! No matter what, God will be with you and everything He plans for your life is for good for those who are called according to His purpose! So, knowing that helps me when it’s so hard to see where or when, especially in the heat right now. The heat pokes at the flesh but we need to follow the Spirit of God! When you are a child of God you can we confident that He has good for you! It might be hard to see this because of the trials and struggles we go through, but it’s important we allow God to mold us to who we are to become for Him! Mosses had to go through trials too! You can be confident that all the days have been set in your life before your even born, and God has it all worked out already! We just need to be still, as we move forward because God has work for us to do, we need to actively sharing Good News in not only what we say, but how we live for Jesus! We are to be the the light by living out the love we have from God and for others because God loves us first! We are to keep going as He unfolds our day for His glorious purpose which is good for all those who believe in Jesus and follow Him! He wants none to be lost!
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:2 NIV https://www.bible.com/111/rom.12.2.niv
““Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”” Matthew 7:24-27 NIV https://www.bible.com/111/mat.7.24-27.niv
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” Hebrews 12:1-3 NIV https://www.bible.com/111/heb.12.1-3.niv
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.” Philippians 4:8-9 NIV https://www.bible.com/111/php.4.8-9.niv
It amazes me how God works! We get to see the short cuts the Israelites could of went through as we read the Bible, to get to the promises land! However, God knows what it would take to work out the old patterns in their lives as they learn to depend and trust Him with all their hearts! What the younger generation experienced must have been amazing with their parents while spending 40 years in the desert and extremely hard! They experienced God’s power and Glory as they journeyed to the promise land! He knew what it would take to grow the new generation up for Him as he met the old generation where they are and made sure they were completely taken care of! The flesh can be hard to please as the intense, hot and dry land must have been hard! They learned hands on lessons that they can trust God and depend on Him! He never left them! “By day the Lord went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to given them light…Exodus 13:17-22NIV, “When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them on the road through the Philistine country, though that was shorter. For God said, “If they face war, they might change their minds and return to Egypt.” So God led the people around by the desert road toward the Red Sea.The Israelites went up out of Egypt ready for battle. Moses took the bones of Josephwith him because Joseph had made the Israelites swear an oath. He had said, “God will surely come to your aid, and then you must carry my bones up with you from this place.” After leaving Sukkoth they camped at Etham on the edge of the desert. By day the Lord went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel by day or night. Neither the pillar of cloud by day nor the pillar of fire by night left its place in front of the people.”
God loves us so much, he doesn’t leave us or forsake us! God does and continues to do the impossible! As we try to escape the blistering sun, the cloud by day makes more sense! God protected them by giving them shade from the fierceness of the desert sun! It also, get so dark and cold at night and He led them with His guiding light as they kept warm! He surrounded them with His presence and great and wonderful love! Today, we don’t have the cloud or fire! The good News is we have the Good News “Jesus” who is the light of the world! His living Words through the Holy Spirit gives us guidance to our day. He is with us and He will never leave us, He gives wisdom, He gives us direction, so we never have to fear being left on our own to figure things out. He goes ahead of us, he walks with us, and He guards our ways! His Word is truth and life, it shows us the way to walk in this dark world. We are called to be the light of the world!
We all need to keep hydrated and need water to drink, especially in the extreme heat! I love how God teaches us through scripture how as our physical bodies need water, we need spiritual water where we will never thirst! What do we do, when we thirst in the hot and dry desert heat? What do we crave in the waiting for a rain that drenched us to the bone? Romana 12:2 NIV, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is his good, pleasing and perfect will.” What you chose to do in the waiting matters! Where we spend our time matters! We are not suppose to be just hears of God’s word but doers as well! James 1:22 NIV, “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” God says don’t conform to the patterns of this world! What does this mean? When we break this down, you will see that what the world says is the opposite of what God says! God says, seek first the kingdom of God and His righteous! When we seek God first, we are choosing to meditate on God’s words day and night as we live out what He says! We are filling ourselves up with His living words from the Bible while thinking and talking about them day and night! The world says empty your mind but God says fill it up with Him! But what we fill ourselves up in the waiting, matters and it must come from God! We need to guard our mind which flow into our hearts because out of the heart the mouth speaks! Philippians 4:8 NIV, “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.” Not only do we fill ourselves with God’s living words while meditating day and night, we need to put them into practice in every part of our lives! Especially through the storms and trials in our lives! When you stand firm by being planted by streams of living water! You will be blessed because of God’s living words flowing into your life which gives you life forever in Jesus! Psalm 1:1-3 NIV, “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. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither—whatever they do prospers.” These dry and thirsty times are a reminder about who we hold onto while God walks with us as He molds us to be more and more like Him! We hold onto Jesus who is the author and perfectly of our faith! Who gives us living water where we will never thirst! In these thirsty days where the land even longs for a drop of rain! When the sand is so dense, the dust makes it hard to breathe or even see what’s going on around us! We need to remember, stay in God’s word and in relationship with our sisters and brothers in Christ! In Psalm 77, “I cried out to God for help; I cried out to God to hear me. When I was in distress, I sought the Lord; at night I stretched out untiring hands, and I would not be comforted. I remembered you, God, and I groaned; I meditated, and my spirit grew faint.You kept my eyes from closing; I was too troubled to speak. I thought about the former days, the years of long ago; I remembered my songs in the night. My heart meditated and my spirit asked: “Will the Lord reject forever? Will he never show his favor again? Has his unfailing love vanished forever? Has his promise failed for all time? Has God forgotten to be merciful? Has he in anger withheld his compassion? Then I thought, “To this I will appeal: the years when the Most High stretched out his right hand. I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago. I will consider all your works and meditate on all your mighty deeds.” Your ways, God, are holy. What god is as great as our God? You are the God who performs miracles; you display your power among the peoples. With your mighty arm you redeemed your people, the descendants of Jacob and Joseph. The waters saw you, God, the waters saw you and writhed; the very depths were convulsed. The clouds poured down water, the heavens resounded with thunder; your arrows flashed back and forth. Your thunder was heard in the whirlwind, your lightning lit up the world; the earth trembled and quaked. Your path led through the sea, your way through the mighty waters though your footprints were not seen.You led your people like a flock by the hand of Moses and Aaron.
When the storms in life are raging and they come in So many different ways and you’re going through trials, remember, stand firm on the solid foundation of Jesus who is the vine” John 15:5 NIV, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” Trust God, who cares deeply for you! His thoughts for you are as numerous as the sand in all the world and nothing can ever separate you from the love of God! Even if the dust in the air makes it hard to stay focused, fix your eyes on Jesus who makes a way when there seems to be no way! When you meditate on God’s living words that give life, day and night, you will be blessed! You will be rooted in Jesus and will able to stand strong in Jesus, You will know what the world offers is temporary and won’t last like a sudden mist that comes out of no where! If might feel awesome but don’t be lead away from what your suppose to do! The mist really is temporary because it evaporates in an instant. 1 Peter 5:6-9 NIV, “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.”
Through the dust storms, we need to stay connected to the vine (Jesus)! As we fix our eyes on Him by staying focused on the kingdom mindset! We will have peace and joy that can never be taken from you! Even during storms in your life! The sand of the world will become an overflow in our lives as it shifts and moves! But you will not be moved! The sand washes things away! If your not on guard by taking the full armor of God, you will be swallow up by every distraction or care of the world! It’s like waves in the ocean! But remember, Hebrews 13:7-8 NIV, “Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” Even when it gets hard, don’t give up on doing good! Galatians 6:7-10 NIV, “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers. Living out God’s love by living in His truth throughout our daily lives, will lead others to want to know God’s love too and we will be reminding each other not to give up! As we fix our eyes on Jesus and seek Him first in all we do, you do you will find Him, when you seek Him with all your heart! Jeremiah 29:11-14 NIV, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.”
We can’t depend on our own strength because nothing good comes from it! Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV) Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. It’s in our weakness that we bring God glory! 2 Corinthians 12:9-11 NIV, “But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” We must abide in Jesus who is the vine and God is the gardener! We will never thirst as our bodies do, because we are filled completely up with Him! We must cling to truth( Jesus)! Our bodies may struggles but we grow stronger as we grow spiritual fruit that bring God continual Glory! As I fall, I will stand, as I trip, I will remain! Everything we go through in life is an opportunity to grow more to know God’s love as we glorify Him!
I have so much to write and don’t know where to start! There has been so many changes! God is so good, loving and wonderful to us! I haven’t written in awhile as I’m filled with so much thankfulness, and decided today is the day! How you start the day matters so much! It’s best to start the day before your feet touch the ground, putting on the full armor of God! We need Him to withstand the cares of each day! We need to stand firm unified in truth not turning to the left or the right! With so many distractions in our lives and things to do, we lose focus! We are calledto be Holy in all we do as we live our lives for God! However, we needtobesobermindedwhichincludes not being overwhelmedwithsuchbusynessin our schedules ect. that we lose sight on what trulyimportant! When we overwhelmourselves to exhaustion, we can’tsee, hear or think clearly anymore! 1 Peter 5:8 NIV, “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” Each day and all day we needtoput on the full armor of God! Ephesians 6:10-17 NIV, “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”Each day is an opportunity to glorify God and share His love everywhere we go! However, sometimes life happens fast with busy schedules! Time slips through our fingers because we either lost track of time or slept in! My heart is troubled about how little times we actually have! Everyday is a gift and I want to do all I can for God. Lamentation 3:22-23 NIV “Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” Yesterday, we were in a hurry to get everyone ready to go! I noticed how everyone seemed stressed to get this and that done before they left! Suddenly, as my husband started to leave, I stopped with a strong urgency to pray! We all prayed together and off they went! What can we do if we find ourselves in these situations? In the scrabble to accomplish so much in our day, we can stop anytime to pray and listen! I’m thankful we took the time to listen and pray as He led us through the rest of the day! Shortly afterwards, my husband’s tire blew and the car lost control on the road! They ended up hitting a soft bank of dirt! My boys said, even though they felt like they were going fast, it was a gentle crash! I’m thankful for God’s protection! As we seek God no matter what time it is during the day, it’s never to late to stop, pray and listen to what God has to say! He talks to us through prayer, reading the Bible and our sisters and brothers in Christ. We keep learning and Growing as you experience all God has for us. Matthew 11:28-30 NIV, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
The Bible shows us how to live our lives through life experiences each person had in the Bible! They struggled through how they felt. All through scripture we see how God helps us in every circumstance and struggle. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NIV, “Rejoice always,pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. He even carries us through storms as we rest safely in His hands! Moses talked with God about everything and asked all kinds of questions!God didn’t hold back and He wants us to talk with Him about everything! God worked through every emotion with Moses. God worked through Moses and Moses mirrored everything God wanted him to do because he trusted God with all his heart! Keep seeking God by asking questions!!! God will strengthen us as we seek His will first in everything! Matthew 6:33 NIV, “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” As we live out His Kingdom come and His Will be done on earth as it is in heaven, every day through every circumstance you might be going through, you will grow to know God more! When you seek God, you will find Him, when you seek Him with all your heart! As we all pray for each other we will be stronger together because we are all unified in Christ! John 10:10, NIV: “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”
I was thinking about the power of words and how they stick to you like glue! Colossians 4:6 NIV Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person. My kids love to hear how we chose each of their names and what they meant to us! Issac and Rebekah named their twins, the oldest name is Esau and the youngest Jacob, the youngest was holding his brothers heel/foot! The name sounds good to us but the meaning of the name Jacob isn’t good! It means deceiver. This probably impacted his whole life in a big way especially when his father favored his older brother too! Genesis 25:28 NIV,”Isaac, who had a taste for wild game, loved Esau, but Rebekah loved Jacob.” If you hear something enough, you might believe it and live it out in your life! I remember the words spoken to me today and even remember what I felt at the time! Proverbs 18:21 NIV, “The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” We need to speak life into our children’s lives and teach them who they are in Christ, so their hearts will be guarded by the truth! Proverbs 16:24 “Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body.” Proverbs 10:11a “The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life”Proverbs 12:18b “The tongue of the wise brings healing.”
In Genesis 32:24-31 NIV, After Jacob sent his family ahead, he was alone and everything caught up to him! He was alone with no distractions and soon in a wrestling match with God. It was time for Jacob to put His faith in God by taking the first steps to reconcile with his brother! In Genesis 32:24-31 NIV “So Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him till daybreak. When the man saw that he could not overpower him, he touched the socket of Jacob’s hip so that his hip was wrenched as he wrestled with the man. Then the man said, “Let me go, for it is daybreak.”But Jacob replied, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” The man asked him, “What is your name?””Jacob,”he answered. Then the man said, “Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with humans and have overcome.” Jacob said, “Please tell me your name.” But he replied, “Why do you ask my name?”Then he blessed him there. So Jacob called the place Peniel, saying, “It is because I saw God face to face, and yet my life was spared.” The sun rose above him as he passed Peniel, and he was limping because of his hip.”Jacob was alone, where he had to face his past! Fear and anxiety was creeping in all at once. A man wrestled him until day break. How many nights have we laid awake alone struggling with our thoughts trying to figure things out on our own? How many times have you prayed knowing what you need to do but don’t! Jacob tried to look for the quick path or another way easier than facing his past!
After Jacob wrestled with God, his name was changed from Jacob to Israel! Hosea 12:3 NIV, “In the womb he grasped his brother’s heel; as a man he struggled with God.” The old way is gone! He is no longer a liar manipulator or deceiver! Instead of tricking his way through his life with family and friends, he would seek God’s ways and have faith trusting God has everything under control! He surrendered his control over to God! This is powerful to me because God is teaching us what he is doing with us as we live our faith! We need to live out not just knowing what God can do because we have seen it in other peoples lives, but believing in what you know to be true about God, is also for you too! Trusting your life in God’s hands, by humbling yourself under the mighty hand of God and surrendering and letting go of control! God is working in all of our hearts individually and lovingly works through the junk in our lives that wasn’t from him! We need to be challenged, pressured, uncomfortable to poke at our flesh, so we can we changed and be led by the Spirit. We need this because it’s how the junk is filters out of us, so we can be transformed by the renewing of our mind that comes from God through the Bible! I can see a difference in the way Jacob prayed to God. Jacob said “If” as though he didn’t know this was true for him too! Do we say If? Do we pray as though he is far away? Jacob was raised learning all what God has done when he was a kid. But did he truly trust God? But he had to chose for himself to trust God with his life and believe God loves him too. God is right here with you through all circumstances in your life. It might feel distant but really God is always there! In Genesis 31:42 NIV, “If the God of my father, the God of Abraham and the Fear of Isaac, had not been with me, you would surely have sent me away empty-handed. But God has seen my hardship and the toil of my hands, and last night he rebuked you.” In Genesis 32:9 NIV, “Then Jacob prayed, “O God of my father Abraham, God of my father Isaac, LORD, you who said to me, ‘Go back to your country and your relatives, and I will make you prosper,” In Genesis 48:15 NIV, “Then he blessed Joseph and said, “May the God before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac walked faithfully, the God who has been my shepherd all my life to this day, How powerful this is where Jacob says, the God who has been and still is to this day, my shepherd!! We might not feel like it but God is and always will be there working things out according to His will, good for your life! It won’t always feel good but it is. Romans 8:28 NIV, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
As we seek God through reading the Bible, we are being transformed by renewing our mind! (Roman 12:2) God is doing a new and wonderful change in us and is spiritually renewing us day by day! We need to humbly allow Him to changes us and truly live outside our comfort zone as we desperately depend on Him. He is making all things new as he lovely transforms our minds and hearts to be more like His son Jesus! Our names don’t change after accepting Jesus as our Lord and savior, but we do become a new creation! He is our father and we are his children! We will receive a new name in the future! Revelation 2:17 NIV, “Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who is victorious, I will give some of the hidden manna. I will also give that person a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to the one who receives it.
God is doing something beautiful and new in me, because the old is gone! My identity is now, in Christ! The Holy Spirit is living inside my heart because I accepted Jesus as my Lord and savior! Now, I’m a new creation, led by the Hoy Spirit! The old me is not there anymore! 2 Corinthians 5:17-21 NIV, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” However, we (sisters and brothers in Christ) must be on guard and fill our hearts and minds with God’s living words! We need to be in right relationships that will encourage and support you, who are willing to tell the truth in love! When we find ourselves under pressure because either time is running out or our expectations aren’t being meant, we could fall back into our old self! Jacob is now Israel which mean God fights! In our struggles, We need to remember God fights for us! We just need to let go of our old ways of doing things and trust God’s ways! He is doing new and beautiful things inside us and others! God knows the hearts of everyone! Once Jacob name was changed to Israel, He was no longer led by fear! He was a transformed by God! He chose to go ahead and reconcile with his brother. Fear causes us to do things and see things in a distorted perspective! We are not to fear for our life and what people can do! Jacob feared Esau and what he could do! Instead of trust God has everything in his hands! This is why we need to cling to Jesus and trust God has it worked out already! How many times does God show us he has everything worked out time after time, and wrestle with God instead of letting go of control and chose to have faith in our Heavenly Father! This is why we see God reminding Jacob that his name is Israel! Genesis 35:9-10 NIV, “After Jacob returned from Paddan Aram, God appeared to him again and blessed him. God said to him, “Your name is Jacob, but you will no longer be called Jacob; your name will be Israel. “So he named him Israel.” We need to remember who we are in Christ as we face the world! We need to cling to God’s living word to withstand the tricks the enemy tries to trip us with!
I love how my children play. They jump right in and play with each other. When someone gets hurt, all of them will come running to help or say its! Through relationships like these, we develop strong relationships knitted together by God! When we go to Church with all of our brothers and sisters in Christ, we jump right in focusing on God and each other. We all love Jesus who knits us together into one body. “so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it. Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.” 1 Corinthians 12:25-27 NIV https://www.bible.com/111/1co.12.25-27.NIV
Children learn early on about how good friend makes so many things in life better even when they disagree. The question a lot of people ask, how can we make friendships as an adult like children do? How can you develop relationships like David and Jonathan as an adult? In 1 Samuel 18, David and Jonathan were very different on the outside but had the most important thing in common, they love God! They focused on what they had in common, and used their different gifts for bringing God glory. It was their difference that made them strong for God. Our gifts aren’t meant to be compared to someone else’s gifts or for competition to see who is greater! We are to use them for God by loving each other, and to be the hands and feet for Jesus by being the light to those who don’t know God’s love yet. Peter 4:10-11 NIV “God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another. 11 Do you have the gift of speaking? Then speak as though God himself were speaking through you. Do you have the gift of helping others? Do it with all the strength and energy that God supplies. Then everything you do will bring glory to God through Jesus Christ. All glory and power to him forever and ever! Amen.”
Fall of last year, I wanted to already be on the land and start working! But, chose to trust God, listen and wait for His perfect timing. I remembered when I chose my own way long ago and it didn’t go well! I had to let go of control of what I wanted and what everyone else thought we should do! I felt pulled in so many directions! There were so many voices in what we should do and not do, but through prayer and wise council, we listened to God by stepping out in faith, by waiting on the Lord! I want only God’s Will and nothing else! In the waiting, I learned so much and one of them is to trust more, as I rest in God’s hands! He is healing me inside and out and preparing a way! What seemed to be impossible is possible with God! As I type this out on my phone, the deep muddy road is being finished paved In granite rock! Psalm 18:2 NLT, “ The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” God will make a way, we just have to trust Him! We need to keep our lamps full as we stay in relationship with each other in the body of Christ!
I was walking with a good friend, a sister in Christ! We were going to have coffee at a new coffee shop! My natural response is to take the shortest path to get to the destination! I was excited to try this new coffee shop while eating delicious food and drinking coffee with my friends! I was so hungry too! However, there is a war going on, a flesh verse spirit war! We need to be awake, alert, and sober minded to be lead by the spirit of God, so we can hear truth and stay on the path! Ephesians 6:12 NIV, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Who will we listen too? What will we chose to feed? Our flesh or Spirit? Galatians 5:16-18 NIV, “So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.”
As I walked with my friend, I kept bumping into her shoulder, as I felt the pull to cut across the grass! She kept me on the sidewalk all the way to the coffee shop! Hebrew 10:24-25 NLT ,”And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” In the same way spiritually, we help each other to stay on the straight and narrow path by spurring each other on! Matthew 7:13-14 NLT, “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.” Helping each other remember who they are in Christ when life gets hard! Remind them they are loved and wanted! Remind them to keep going, run your race, don’t give up! God has you in his hands and nothing can snatch you away! We point each other to Jesus! Washing with His living words!
The world is busy and the quick way might save you time! But, the easy way leads to snares and traps designed by the enemy to get you off course! There is no easy way or short cut! John 16:33 NLT, “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” The only way to God is through His one only Son, Jesus! Who is alive and preparing a place for you and me! The quick path is not an option! John 14:1-4 NIV, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God ; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.”
About this time last year, I felt a sudden heat wave within me! I was reminded by someone close to me that she was about my age when my dad passed away from cancer! The sudden stillness filled me, as I noticed fear trying to sneak in my day! It made an attempt to steal, rob and destroy! My mind started to go from one place to the next! Before it took me, I found myself in prayer! How can this happen again after it has been so long? I lost to much time worrying about my life, and if I would be there for my kids! God knows the numbers of hair on our head and worrying about my life won’t give us more time! 2 Timothy 1:7 NIV, “For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.” The spirit of fear (timid) doesn’t come from God, it will lead us astray, and blind us if we choose to let it in! It will keep us away from what is true! Then we would be robbed of life that Jesus came to give us and have it to the full (abundantly)! Instead, fear would end up causing us to loose our lives while we lived! John 10:10 NIV, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” We would miss out on the blessings of the day, as we would be living our life like viewing it from a rear view mirror of a car moving forward! The good News is our solid foundation to stand on as we abide is in Jesus! We can choose to continue to trust God with All of our hearts when everything around us is uncertain! We know love come from God who loved us first! He was thinking of you and me, and knew us and loved us already, when He sent His one and only Son to save us from our sins! 1 Corinthians 13 shows us how to love! Love is patient, love is kind but the part I’ve been praying about is love always trusts! What does this mean, always trust? It’s hard to trust when you have been hurt and more! We need to look to what God says about trust because we can easily fall in the patterns of the world! Romans 12:2 NIV, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is his good, pleasing and perfect will.” We are not to conform to the patterns or ways of the world including trust! The patterns of the world is shifting and sifting like sand! It even has a shape like solid Rock but actually it sandstone made of sand! When the storm comes, it will seem solid but soon it will crumble and crack! Hebrews 13:8 NIV, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” God never changes and His love never changes! James 1:17-18 NIV, “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.” Love based on what the world says leads us astray and away from truth! The world’s ways in love is self centered and not dependable by constantly changing like shifting shadows! 2 Timothy 3:1-5 NIV, “But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous , rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God—having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.” We are not to conform to the patterns of the world! We are supposed to love God and love everyone as we love ourselves! Matthew 22:37-40 NIV “Jesus replied: “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” No one is perfect but we need to trust God who loves us all! Love is not from this world! Love came to this world to saves us, Jesus! Love is trusting God with all of your heart knowing God is there working in us and around us for good! It’s seeking Him during the storms and valley and His righteousness! Filling your mind with His living words! It’s depending on His understanding even when nothing makes since while you step out in faith! Its loving each other the way God love us by looking at who they are, the way God sees us and not the way the world does! Love is choosing to trust God when fear tries to strike you down! Instead, you pick up your cross and run your race in confidence, because you know even in the unknown in your situation, God is doing a good work in you and will finish what He has started! It’s trusting the people he brings in your life. We can’t do this journey alone, we need sisters and brothers in our life too!
We need to fan into flame, meaning we need to put into action by breathing in the breath of God who gave us His words (the Bible)! 1 Timothy 1:6-7 NIV, “For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.” The Bible is God breathed meant to give us life through His one and only Son Jesus! By fixing our eyes on Jesus who is the Author and perfecter of our faith, all day! As I choose to take the thought of my dad captive, the one that circled in my mind for so many years, I felt peace and comfort! I know I lost my dad when he was young, but I don’t have to live in fear of that! I chose to talk to God as I prayed through this struggle! We can take everything to God because He cares for us! It didn’t matter how many times we go to Him for the same thing, He forever cares for us! It surprised me that this tried to happen again after so long! But, just because the thought came in, it didn’t mean it consumed me! Instead, remember God gave us a spirit of self discipline, I chose to allow God to consume me with His peace as He gently reminded me of what is true, that worrying about my life won’t give me anymore time! (Luke 12:25-31 NIV) I was reminded about what, I chose, and will continue to choose to give God each day as His will for my life will be done in me! We don’t know how long we have to live! Each day is a gift from God! Everyday I struggling in pain due to my injury and the unknown with my mom! I’m hoping to get better soon and praying for my mom! However, as I sang out in prayer, God said to me in my heart! My grace is sufficient! 2 Corinthians 12:9 NIV, “But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. “Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” I’m praising God with all my heart! Words just don’t seem like enough for how thankful I am for His mercy and grace! While I am working? I find myself on my knees more often and in these moments I notice things people hide for me to clean! One time, I found a rolled up burrito with crushed chip stuffed in a corner! Another day, I found clear tape put on the edge of the counter! The one that took me off guard was the carefully placed nuts put neatly under the legs of the table and chairs with ear plugs stuffed in the cracks! Normally I would of swept like normal which is cleaning under the table and moving things, but these few examples are things that might of been missed unless I was at floor level! I never would of seen it, if I didn’t go down to that level! Spiritually, God is doing a good work in us and it take being on our knees, at floor level for God to reveal the unseen in us, as He weeds the garden of our hearts! God is the gardener pruning us so we can bear much fruit for His glory! (John 15) Isaiah 61:11 NIV, “For as the soil makes the sprout come up and a garden causes seeds to grow, so the Sovereign Lord will make righteousness and praise spring up before all nations.” We need to be humble to receive and sometimes it’s in our pain that we can be open to hear God’s small still voice!
My life Is His as I will follow Jesus all the days of my life! I want to do what God wants for me, His purpose and will for my life as I continue to trust Him and hold onto hope with all my heart as I trust Him in everything! We can trust God who starts a good work in us will finish what He started! Philippians 1:6 NIV, “being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Even if fear creeps in, we can be confident that it did not come from God, we know God is right there and will lovingly hold us! He will not let you be snatched out of His hands! John 10:25-30NIV, “Jesus answered, “I did tell you, but you do not believe. The works I do in my Father’s name testify about me, but you do not believe because you are not my sheep. My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life,and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.” We need to be reminded of this when struggles in life come, God will bring people in your life to encourage you to keep going! Fear has no power!
How awesome it would of been to be there eagerly waiting to hear Jesus read from the scroll of Isaiah! (Isaiah 61) He had been in the desert forty days and forty nights and news about Jesus spread like seeds from a dandelion blowing in the wind! I can feel the anticipation and wonder as everyone fixed their eyes on Jesus who is the Author of everyone’s life even if at that particular moment, they didn’t know it yet! (Hebrews 12:2) They could of handed Jesus any scroll, but we know God has everyone exactly where they are for a specific reasons! They were sitting at Jesus feet who is the bread of life, speaking words of life! As they waited to drink in these living words, anticipation filled the air! They needed to hear the good news from Jesus Himself! There are no random events that takes place in our life or by chance! We have an orderly God who has perfect plans set up before the foundations of the world was set in motion! The author of life was standing right in front of them as they eagerly waited for Him to read like he always did! Jesus who is the word and the word was with God from the beginning! (John 1:1-5 niv)
Isaiah was specifically planned ahead of time to reveal a prophecy fulfilled! How marvelous it must of been to be there and hear what He would say next after reading Isaiah 61. Luke 4:20-21 NIV, “Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down.The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him.He began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” I wonder what they could of been feeling in that moment? However, their reaction caught my attention. Yes, they were amazed with everything Jesus said! However, Jesus identity is what they questioned first! Even in the desert the enemy attacked Jesus identity! This really struck me too because as we sit there eagerly waiting to hear from God while reading the Bible, wonder, do we do the same thing to each other? Do we look at at the outward worldly perspective of who someone is or do we look inward the way Jesus does! Do we chose to look at each other’s identity in Christ first or worldly identity? The flesh tries to get in the way of the Spirit as we can see the crowd moved with amazement but struggled to look passed Jesus earthly Identity! Jesus took scripture and showed them how no prophet was accepted in their home town! I wondered why that is? It hit my heart! We need to remember the enemy attacks our identity and causes us to question ourselves and others too! We need to focus on what is true by abiding in truth, Jesus! We need to hold on to hope that God keeps all His promises! We need to remember who we are in Christ and look at our sisters and brothers in the same way! 2 Corinthians 5:16-18 niv “So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer.Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation:
Jesus was tested in the desert! (Luke 4) His identity was under attack in a form of, If you are the Son of God and question, who He is (Identity)! Through trials and struggles in our life, the enemy will attack in the same way! We need to follow Jesus example by reading the Bible! He used scripture like a sword to answer with confidence when He was in the desert! We need to put on our full armor of God daily as we stay awake, alert, and sober minded! (Ephesians 6:10-18 NIV) We can have the same confidence as we are lead by the Spirit! We just need to trust God completely with all our hearts!
It seems the crowd was offended after hearing truth caused by Pride. The crowd reacted in the flesh after hearing the heart piercing truth! It’s sad because how often does our flesh get in the way of conviction? Convictions lead to repentance which sets you free so you can soak in Jesus living water! How do we react when we hear truth? How do we react when we have a conviction ? Do we run, hid, or fight or choose to be humble and repent? They could of chose to humble themselves and Rejoice in truth about how the prophecy had been fulfilled! Instead they chose to kill Jesus! Luke 4:28-30 NIV, “All the people in the synagogue were furious when they heard this. They got up, drove him out of the town, and took him to the brow of the hill on which the town was built, in order to throw him off the cliff.But he walked right through the crowd and went on his way.”
I’m sure the crowd read about David when Samuel came to annoite him as a young boy! (1 Sammuel 16) Jesse had all his older sons in line first but God chose David who was still working in the fields taking care of the sheep! Acts 13:22 NIV, “After removing Saul, he made David their king. God testified concerning him: ‘I have found David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.’ Jesus brother even said in James 1:22-24 NIV, “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.” We actually have to put into practice everything we have learned! Philippines 4:9 NIV, “Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.” We need to choose to see our sisters and brothers in Christ with a spiritual lense who sees their identity in Christ! Where we focus on Loving God and each other through serving in a relational way! Getting to know each other because God uses our testimony! Our different stories, different abilities and talents are used to bring God glory in the body of Christ as we abide in Jesus!