Hi everyone!! What a crazy day it has been! I’ve been writing today in between various back-to-school appointments with my middle school daughter. You know the fun ones like getting her schedule, paying all kinds of fees, etc. Most importantly though, I get a chance to spend time with her and there aren’t too many school years left where I get to do that. I cherish this time.
The reason it has been crazy is that I spent a huge chunk of time writing about our trip to Scotland and the churches there only to not have a clear confirmation from God that He wants me to share it now. Does that make sense?!
Every time I go to write the conclusion, edit it, and polish it up with pictures, I have no peace about publishing it.
I have been mulling over it for the last 45 minutes trying to figure out if it’s from God or what. Seriously?! The more I thought about it, the more uncomfortable I felt. God finally put me out of my misery, and the Holy Spirit led me to read something I had written in my bible back in January 2017 from Jesus Calling by Sarah Young:
“When you seek my face and my will–searching for guidance–I may show you the next step on your journey without revealing the appointed time for you to take that step. I want you to trust me enough to cling to me and follow wherever I lead, whenever I choose. Your times are in My hands.”
Wow! God really spoke to my heart. The timing was all wrong in what I was writing–that’s why I didn’t have peace. No matter how many times I tried to fit that square peg into the round hole, it was not going to work!! I am so thankful that God is so persistent with me and doesn’t give up!!!
Who knows, maybe some day I’ll share with you what I wrote–on God’s timeline of course. 🙂
However, here are a few of the pictures from our trip to Scotland!!
All the glory to God,
Young, Sarah. Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence. Thomas Nelson Publishing. 2004. Print.
Hello everyone! What a beautiful day. Our weather here in the PNW has had the undertones of Fall–which I love, it’s my favorite season– but it reminds me just how fast time goes!
Summer went by so quick, I don’t think my kids had one chance to say they were bored on the long, lazy days of summer! 🙂
All of those thoughts on time got me thinking of right now. Today.
“What am I filling this day with and Who is leading it?”
Last week, while visiting a friend, she shared a book with me by Dr. David Jeremiah, “Slaying the Giants in Your Life.” While flipping through the book I landed on some words of Truth that I really needed to hear. Life changing, heart felt, and God-given words.
“Years ago, a very famous preacher surveyed the Bible to find out what were the most important words in the scripture. For instance, he wanted to find out what was the saddest word in the Bible, what was the happiest word. But when he came to the most dangerous word in the Bible, the word that he chose was the word “tomorrow”” (Jeremiah, Dr. David, emphasis mine).
Think about it. Procrastination leads people to put off fighting addictions. Or making that doctor’s appointment that can prevent a disease or bring about the right treatment plan. It has altered the dreams of students and their educational steps to fulfillment of degrees and higher learning. Also, may have kept many people stuck in the rut of a dead-end job, never taking a chance on what a different opportunity may bring.
Most importantly, “it has kept more men and women from coming to Christ than any other word in the dictionary. Let me tell you today that Satan’s favorite word of all words is “tomorrow,” but the word that is dear to the heart of God is “today” (Jeremiah, Dr. David, emphasis mine).
Again, the question comes to mind, “What am I filling today with and Who is leading it?”
The reason I believe those words of Truth put such a deep check in my heart is that I was putting off my writing until tomorrow and allowing Satan to steal and destroy what God is trying to do today–through my writing and through my life. Not anymore, No way!
So here I am TODAY. Leaning on and Trusting in the promises of God. He is leading me on this path of ministering through writing. The Lord began this journey in me years ago, and the Holy Spirit is leading me into this new adventure. This is one scripture that really inspires me:
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. Romans 8:28
So today I decide to live intentionally pursuing God first (through His Word, prayer, and worship) so that my eyes, ears, and heart are open to any divine appointments God brings my way. A word of encouragement to a friend or stranger. Calling someone that needs to hear that Jesus loves them. A hug that speaks a thousand words without a single word being spoken. Speaking the Good News of Salvation today to someone God knows doesn’t have tomorrow….
I do not want to miss any opportunity God brings my way, today, because “…your life is like a morning fog–it’s here a little while, then it’s gone.” (James 4:14 NLT)
Today is God’s day and can be filled with His divine appointments for you, so:
What are YOU filling this day with and Who is leading it?
All the Glory to God,
Image of Divine Appointments–The Journey Bible Church. journeybiblechurch.org.
Jeremiah, Dr. David. “Slaying the Giant of Procrastination.” 17 August 2019. Web.
Hello friend!! What a God-blessed day it has been! This morning, while I was seated at my writing desk, I began writing today’s blog on one of my favorite prophets–Elijah.
This wasn’t too surprising because we kicked off our new ladies bible study last Wednesday night which features this amazing man of God. We are studying, “Elijah: Spiritual Stamina in Every Season” by Melissa Spoelstra. I’m only on day four of the first week and I love it!! Which is why I began sharing in my blog today about how relateable Elijah is….and then, nothing. I knew the Holy Spirit was leading me in a new direction.
Apparently only across the room, to my dark brown bookshelf, where I keep my old bibles, writing books from school, and all of my past bible studies. I keep them all because I use them as journals, prayer prompts, and heartfelt answers to questions that reflect on that season of my life. I highlight, scribble, doodle, and mark it all up with memories and reflection. Anyway, why am I at the bookshelf…
Oh yeah. I am led to pick up a different bible study, by the same author, that we did the fall of 2017. It is titled, “Jeremiah: Daring to Hope in an Unstable World”. I am so thankful I looked through it. It really wasn’t that long ago, but in that short time, several prayers were answered, I can see growth in my relationship with God, and God revealed something new and fresh through His Word! Don’t you love that?!
One particular story really spoke to me. The author, Melissa Spoelstra, relayed her version of a story she heard at church camp many years ago:
A little girl bought a plastic pearl necklace with the money she had been saving all year. She loved her pearls and felt so grown up when she wore them. She only took them off when she went swimming or took a bath. Though the pearls weren’t real, that didn’t matter to her. She had bought them all by herself.
This little girl had a loving father. One day he said to her, “Honey, do you love me?”
“Yes, Daddy,” she said. “You know I love you.”
“Then will you give me your pearls?” her father asked.
“Not my pearls!” the little girl practically gasped. “But you can have my toy horse.”
“That’s okay, Sweetheart. I love you,” he replied. And then he kissed her cheek. About a week later, the father asked his little girl again, “Do you love me?”
“Daddy, you know I love you,” she said.
“Then will you give me your pearls?” he repeated.
“Not my pearls. But I’ll give you my baby doll.”
“That’s okay. I love you,” the father answered. And once again he gave her a kiss on the cheek.
This same routine happened again and again, and the little girl began to wonder, “If Daddy loves me, why does he want to take away something I love?”
Then one day the little girl walked up to her father with tears in her eyes and held out her fake pearl necklace. “Here, Daddy. This is for you,” she said.
The father reached out a hand to take the necklace, and with his other hand he reached into his pocket and pulled out a velvet case. Inside that case was a strand of genuine pearls, chosen with love and care for his daughter. He had had the pearls all along but was waiting for his daughter to give up what she had so that he could give her something even better.
Isn’t that story amazing? I know I read it during the bible study, but for some reason it was magnified today, and I felt, there it is. That is what God wants me to share!
And here we are my friend. What comes to mind when you read that story? Has God asked you to give up something in your life that you are holding onto? It may be an unhealthy relationship, bad habits, material things, a certain job, a place that you live, etc. What I have come to realize in my life is this:
“God will never take something away without giving you more in return. Trust that He knows what He is doing” (Joel Osteen).
I can honestly say I have experienced all of those things and more! Years and years ago, I was in a toxic friendship. It just wasn’t healthy any more. But we had been friends for over a decade, etc. Blah, blah, blah. I kept making excuses and God kept nudging me to let. it. go. Our friendship had run its course and we didn’t have much in common anymore.
Guess what happened? It kept getting worse until I felt bad all the time and finally listened to God. I would have experienced a lot less stress and pain if I would have listened to the Holy Spirit in the first place and let it go. Please tell me someone relates to that!?
The most amazing thing is what God did next. He brought some new friendships into my life that were more compatible with my family, interests, and faith. He was trying to bless me in new ways, but I was clinging to what I was used to and didn’t want to change.
God wants the best for you! In giving you the best He has, you have to give up all that He has asked you to. It isn’t an easy thing to do, and it may not be comfortable, BUT it will ALWAYS be worth it!!!
Praying God’s absolute BEST for you, my friend! Step out in faith and trust God!
All the glory to God!!
Image of “Just trust me…” by Jennifer Brobbey. “He’s Got Something Much Better For You…” 6 March 2017.
Image of “When God gives you a “No””… by Erin Perkins. Pinterest.
Hello friends, happy November! I cherish this month with the last of the leaves falling, cozy sweater and boot weather, and my heart is so full of thanks for God that gives so abundantly and lovingly! God is love! 🙂
Do you know that God in Heaven loves you more than you could ever imagine?! He loves you so much that He sent His only Son to die for your sins, “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16 (NIV). Not only does God want to save you, He has promises to guide you (Proverbs 3:6), protect you (Psalm 121: 7-8), strengthen you (Philippians 4:13), deliver you (Jeremiah 20:13), heal you (Jeremiah 17:14), and love you because nothing “… can separate you from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8: 38-39). These are just a few of the promises of God! Hang on tight there is more…He has awesome plans for YOU!
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV).
God gave my daughter and I a glimpse of these promises last Friday, November 2nd. God is amazing! But first, let me start this by saying that I choose to see God’s hand in everything. I do not believe in coincidence. I believe God orchestrates every part of my life and I “know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28 NIV)
I drive my daughter to and from school every day. It had been a trying week for both of us, so I thought we would get ice cream afterschool together on Friday. Just the two of us. However, it seemed to be taking longer than usual for her to get to the car. She is rarely late. About ten minutes later, I noticed her walking towards the Jeep.
“Sorry, I’m late mom. Grace was trying to get a hold of her Uncle so that we could give her a ride home. But he didn’t get back to us in time before the bus showed up.”
“That’s okay, honey. I understand. Ready to get some ice cream?”
About five minutes later we pulled into the parking lot of Baskin Robbins. Not too far from where we parked, we noticed a few police vehicles, a red SUV right alongside them, and a few officers walking around surveying the scene. I knew this was definitely not a traffic accident.
Savannah and I went inside Baskin -Robbins and placed our order. While the employee was getting our ice cream, I asked her what was going on outside. She said, “About fifteen minutes ago, there was a “road rage” incident and a vehicle shot out the back window of the red SUV.” Wow. Right near where we are parked. In my neighborhood. I would never of imagined it could happen!
Then I had an “A-Ha Jesus” moment. We were fifteen minutes late getting here!!! My daughter and I may have very well been in the middle of it….but God! Our late “set back” kept us safe. I believe it.
I have learned, over time and with God’s grace, to take setbacks in stride. Whether they are appointment delays, traffic, cancelled plans, etc. God knows the whole story. There could be a whole multitude of reasons why the setback happened or is happening. But God knows and I trust Him.
So many good things came out of this! Obviously, my daughter and I shared some time together protected by our glorious Father in Heaven. But, I also used this as a teaching moment with my daughters. I explained to them that even when it appears that things may not be going our way, the One that holds our today’s and tomorrow’s is working everything out for good, and we can always trust Jesus!
I’ve got to say that I truly love these teachable moments with my daughters. When the light of Jesus shines in their eyes, and they truly feel the touch of the Holy Spirit and the promises of Christ, my heart is so full of JOY!! I pray that they will draw on these moments in the future as they grow and walk with the LORD.
My friends, problems and setbacks will happen in our lives. We may not be able to control the fact that they happen, but we can control how we respond to them and Who we talk to about them.
While reading the November 3rd devotional from Sarah Young’s Jesus Calling, these words spoke to my heart:
“Every time something thwarts your plans or desires, use that as a reminder to communicate with me. This practice has several benefits…talking with Me blesses you and strengthens our relationship. Another benefit is that disappointments, instead of dragging you down, are transformed into opportunities for good. When you reframe setbacks as opportunities, you find that you gain much more than you have lost” (Young, Sarah. November 3rd, emphasis mine).
Isn’t God’s timing awesome?! I read that devotional the day after my daughter, Savannah and I experienced a change in our plans and we saw it as an opportunity to see the goodness of God in it! I pray that the next time you experience a change of plans in your life, pray to God about it and release it back to Him, trusting Him for the outcome. May God continue to bless you!
All the glory to God,
Image of “Sometimes you are delayed…” by Quotes about strength by Pinterest.com.
Young, Sarah. “Enjoying Peace in His Presence” devotional. Thomas Nelson. Print. 2004.
I know a few of you were singing along, toe-tapping to “Good Morning” by Mandisa (shout out to my fellow Jesus lovin’ blogger Brenda!!) Mandisa’s music is so up-lifting, inspiring, and real! I encourage you to check her out, you won’t be disappointed! 🙂
My Labor day morning started with coffee and prayer. I felt led to begin my churches’ new Fall small group bible study, “Raised Together: A study of Colossians” by Gloria Furman. We don’t actually begin the study until September twelfth, but we never know what a day may bring forth, and I know my Spirit led me to read today for a special blessing. 🙂
I have to say, I love, love the apostle Paul and I delight in reading his letters and books very much. Every time and through every season, something new and refreshing is revealed to me. Today was not any different.
The first session of our bible study begins with us getting acquainted with the letter Paul wrote to the Colossian church while he was imprisoned and, in chains, in a Roman prison. The letter focuses on the dangerous false teaching at Colosse, in southwest Asian Minor, and to “stress the true nature, characteristics, and necessary standards of new life with Christ” (Fire Bible: Global Study Edition, NIV).
While I was reading, this scripture was highlighted and burned with loveintomy heart:
“For you died, and your life is now hidden in Christ” Colossians 3:3 (NIV).
I know I’ve read over this scripture before, but today the Holy Spirit has breathed new life and meaning into it. Don’t you just love that?! I love that the precious Word of God is living. Ready to fill us, encourage us, and bring life to our parched soul. Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst” (John 4:13-14, NIV, emphasis mine).
Because that scripture spoke to me, I really felt the need to dive into it point by point using my bible’s concordance and study notes. Shall we start at the beginning of the verse?
“For you died…” This is a direct reference to my being born again through Jesus Christ, my Savior, and being dead to sin through His saving grace. Apostle Paul explains this in great detail through two verses in the book of Romans.
“By no means! We died to sin, how can we live in it any longer?” (Romans 6:2, NIV, emphasis mine).
“In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus” (Romans 6:11,NIV, emphasis mine).
We also died to the law.
Apostle Paul, “So, my brothers, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to one another, to him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit to God” (Romans 7:4, NIV).
“God has freed us from the guilt and consequences of not being able to live up to the requirements of his old covenant law. Christ himself fulfilled the law (Mt. 5:17) and made a new covenant based on his life, death, and resurrection (Study notes, Fire Bible). My heart is so full of love and gratitude for my Savior, Jesus. There are no words that can express my heartfelt gratitude, only my obedience to Him and placing Him first in my life.
“…and your life is now hidden in Christ.”
One of the first words that stood out to me in this scripture is the word hidden. My first thought was, “being concealed or protected by Christ.” Like a Father would protect a child. While that idea is very loving and comforting, it didn’t seem “deep” enough to me based on the scripture.
And then I stumble upon a true gem…”Robertson’s Word Pictures of the New Testament.” A.T. Robertson was a renowned scholar of the Greek New Testament whom in his book paints, “word pictures from the Greek to bring light to the words and actions of Jesus Christ and the early Christians” (BibleStudyTools). Take a look at “is hid” through the lens of the Greek New Testament:
Is hid (κεκρυπται — kekruptai). Perfect passive indicative of κρυπτω — kruptō old verb, to hide, remains concealed, locked “together with” (συν — sun) Christ, “in” (εν — en) God. No hellish burglar can break that combination.
We are, locked “together with” Christ “in” God!! Wow!! I am (and You, dear brother’s and sister’s) are characterized by, intricately placed together with, and interwoven by Christ, our Savior in God.
Praise God! Thank you, Jesus, that I am YOURS!
All Glory to God!
Fire Bible: Global Study Edition. New International Version. Life Publishers International. Print. 2009.
Furman, Gloria. “Raised Together: A Story of Colossians.” Lifeway Press Publishers. Print. 2008.
Image of “Good Morning…” by Good Morning Wishes.
Image of “Jesus Greatest Commandment” by Lord Jesus Saves WordPress.com
Mandisa. “Good Morning.” Lyrics provided by www.azllyrics.com
Robertson, A.T. “Robertson’s Word Pictures of the New Testament.” Colossians 3:3. Web. www.StudyLight.org.
Good morning! I am sitting at my desk, drinking coffee, and catching up on my newest edition of Charisma magazine. An article by Dr. Steven Greene spoke to me in a mighty way about something that has been plaguing my mind lately–my blog.
When I set out to start it last March, it was in pure obedience to God–and it still is. A labor of love for sure! But lately, I am realizing more and more my inadequacies and mistakes. This is where I get real with you:
—I still struggle with the technical side. I would love to update and change my website, but I’m not sure where to start.
—I long to broaden my audience, but again, I am way out of my comfort zone and not sure how to do that.
—Just putting my words out there is a struggle for me. I am most comfortable with a pen, paper, cup of coffee, and just sharing my thoughts with Jesus. Well, if I’m with close friends and family I do open up. A lot. 🙂
This is where God used Dr. Greene’s article to bless my troubled spirit. It’s okay that I (and you) have limitations! I really, really needed that reminder. In the article, “Virtual Reality,” Dr. Greene speaks of the Apostle Paul, take a look:
“He was aware of his personal limitations, feelings, and inadequacies. In his weakness, he showed the strength of the Lord. In his journey, as a follower of Jesus, he gloried in what he wasn’t. He took pride in what he couldn’t do. He failed–and told everyone about it” (Dr. Greene, 8).
So, my friends I am going to glory in what I am not: a website developer, IT genius, master of the written word, Queen of social media, and I could add several other categories to the list.
What I am is an awkward introvert sharing the hope and love that Jesus has gracefully shown and given to me. As long as the Holy Spirit guides me, I will continue sharing what I am led to write. Just as much as I am changing from the inside out, then I need to expect my blog will be transformed in the same way, in His time and with His provision.
Day by day.
Piece by piece.
Step by step.
I am submitting to the process, His process, and you know what? It is painful. My flesh wants to be perfect, to know how to do it now, and to have the dinner on the table by 6pm. But God…
I am keeping my eyes on Jesus and pressing on for His will, not mine.
Thank You Heavenly Father for seeing my heart and who I can be only through You.
Thank you, my dear friends, for being a part of my journey and encouraging me. 🙂
All the glory to God!
Image of “When I am weak then I am strong” by SixEight Church, Vancouver, WA
Image of “Mornings with Jesus” by Living a Beautiful Life
Dr. Steve Greene. “Virtual Reality.” Charisma Magazine. August 2018.
Good afternoon. What a beautiful day it has been! Yesterday, the first day of August, was my niece, Candice’s birthday. May God bless her today and everyday, she is a very special lady!
Ahhh…August. Pretty soon, the days will be getting shorter, the leaves will be changing, and the cries of children everywhere will be heard when school starts back up. In reality, though, I think kids crave the routine of school and once one day leads into another, they settle back in and enjoy it. 🙂
Our lives are so busy that it’s a wonder we can keep up with it all! It is so easy to miss the connections between family, friends, and even our neighbors as we hustle around getting everything done! Carpool, homework, appointments, church, drama class….and then…?
Did you miss it? That gentle nudge…of the Holy Spirit…
-Urging you to find a quiet spot to pray.
-Compelling you to turn off the TV, slip away, and read The Word.
-Stirring you up out of bed on Sunday morning to fellowship with Jesus and His church?
That my friend was Jesus, inviting you to hang out with Him, get to know Him, and allow Him to speak in your heart at that given moment. Richard Blackaby explains it like this, “He is the One who pursues the love relationship with us. We do not naturally seek God on our own initiative. Everything we are experiencing from God comes in response to His invitation” (Experiencing God, 55). Did you miss it?
In today’s world you can equate that to your Father: messaging you on Face book, texting you that He loves and misses you, or Instagramming you the address of where you can hear His Word and fellowship.
Would you ignore the text of your best friend? He desires to be that. Your confidant? He wants to hear every concern, joy, hardship, and dream.
In the bible, very frequently, we see God inviting the Prophets, Disciples, Patriarchs, and many other’s to have a relationship with Him. It is through this connection-and the time they spent together-that God could reveal all He was, all He is, and all He can do. Moses experienced this with God, take a look:
“Time and time again, God invited Moses to talk with Him. God initiated and maintained a growing relationship with Moses. This fellowship was based on love, and God daily fulfilled His purposes through Moses” (Experiencing God, 56).
What would have happened if:
Moses didn’t take his father-in-law, Jethro’s, flock out to the far side of the desert and tend to them. He could have been lazy and said , “Nah, I got your daughter, Zipporah, already. I’m good. No need to impress you and keep my good reputation. Besides, It’s hot. I’ll take care of them tomorrow.”
He may have missed God’s personal invitation. An angel of the LORD appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush when he was tending his father-in-law’s flock on the far side of the desert. This is where the LORD first revealed His holiness to Moses. “God spoke to Moses through the unique experience at a burning bush to reveal Himself, His purposes, and His ways” (Experiencing God, 56).
Our heavenly Father wants to build a relationship with us and “His desire is to get us from where we are to where He is working” (Experiencing God, 56 emphasis mine).
Did you miss it?
I pray you didn’t. I don’t want you to miss anything our Heavenly Father has for you! I get it though, it can be hard to stop what you are doing and heed the call.
What would you do if Jesus was standing right in front of you, extending His hand, and inviting you to hang out with him, “Come, sit on the bench with me. How are you, my child?”
In all honesty I go through the same thing. Last Wednesday, July 25th, I was not feeling well all day. The Holy Spirit gently reminded me to keep my commitment and go to bible study. I am a co-facilitator of my ladies bible study small group and it was our celebration night. Yay!! We had just finished “Word Writers: Philippians” by Denise J. Hughes, an amazing Bible study, by the way! Her “Word Writers : Ephesians” book is great as well.
Because I heeded the Holy Spirit, I was blessed in several ways that evening. First, after I walked into the sanctuary, I was enveloped in so much love, hugs, and acceptance. The ladies at my church are so welcoming that it feels like coming home. 🙂
Secondly, I felt a special awareness of the Holy Spirit while I was speaking to the whole group of ladies. Let me explain. During our celebration night, a member of each table may share something they learned, were blessed by, or any other special way they were touched by the bible study. I spoke from our group and when I shared, I felt as though the Holy Spirit was very present with me and was revealing a part of me that may be used in the future. It is really hard to put it into words, but I still feel touched by that moment.
Finally, while I was sitting at the table, the Holy Spirit revealed to me, in detail, what my next blog would be about. I quickly wrote it down, so one word, idea, or impression would not be lost! That was last weeks blog “Darkest Before Dawn.”
I was so blessed and my heart was so full on the way home from church. I would have missed such a sweet time with my Savior if I had not been obedient to the Holy Spirit.
Listen to the gentle promptings of the Holy Spirit. Spend time with Your Savior. God only knows what you may be missing and I promise you this:
Spending time with Jesus will change your life!
To God All the Glory,
Blackaby, Henry and Richard. Claude King. “Experiencing God: Knowing and Doing the Will of God.” Revised and expanded edition. B &H Publishing Group. 2008.
August image: mycutegraphics.com
Jesus Text image: Christian group’s phone Jesus text
Spend time with Jesus image: peopleandthoughts.com
Happy Friday!! It’s going to be an amazing weekend! My husband and I are getting away, just the two of us, to celebrate our twenty-fifth wedding anniversary. 🙂 Actually, our anniversary date is July 24th, but he will be in San Francisco for business all next week, so this weekend is ours! Praise God!
I did it again. I couldn’t help myself, I read ahead in my devotional today and stopped on July 21st, which really spoke to me.
“Blessed are the poor in spirit…” (Matthew 5:3).
I don’t know about you, but I have read the Beatitudes several times and have been inspired and encouraged by the blessings listed by Jesus on the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus’ message, to a large group of potential followers, is what it really means to follow Him and be a part of God’s kingdom. Of course, living up to these standards is possible only through faith in Jesus, the son of God, and through the power of the Holy Spirit.
This is where Chamber’s devotional titled, “The Doorway to the Kingdom” really kicked Matthew 5:3 into a whole new way of thinking for me:
“‘Blessed are the poor in spirit…'” This is the first principle in the kingdom of God. The underlying foundation of Jesus Christ’s kingdom is poverty, not possessions; not making decisions for Jesus, but having such a sense of absolute futility that we finally admit, “‘Lord, I cannot even begin to do it'” (Chambers, July 21, emphasis mine).
Friends, I am humbled to say that at times I have left several things at the altar of God and taken back portions of them to help them move along, without trusting God’s provision and timing. Anyone else like me?!
*I’ve taken a job when I didn’t have peace in my Spirit. Guess what? The job wasn’t right for me, but God was faithful in working it out for my good in spite of the fact that I was the one that put myself there in the first place!
*Another time, my Spirit let me know that a friendship of mine was not on the healthy side anymore and that I should take a step back and re-evaluate with prayer. But, I rationalized that we had been friends a very long time, so I gave her the benefit of the doubt. Feelings were hurt, trust was broken, and the friendship was severed in a wearisome way. Clearly, the Holy Spirit was trying to take a different path that would have ended in a more positive way, but I failed to heed the warning.
Those are two examples of how “poor” I really am and how much I need Jesus every day to begin to do everything He created me to be: submitted to Him, relying on Him and His timing, and allowing Him to accomplish His work in me.
“Then Jesus says, “Blessed are you…” (5:11). This is the doorway to the kingdom, and yet it takes us so long to believe we are actually poor! The knowledge of our own poverty is what brings us to the proper place where Jesus Christ accomplishes His work” (Chambers, July 21).
Are you poor? I am! I desperately need Jesus every day to “make me what He teaches me to be” (Chambers). With perseverance and the Holy Spirit, I move forward like the Apostle Paul, “I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:14, NIV).
Thank you Jesus for all that You do and all that You are!
Chambers. Oswald. “My Utmost For His Highest.” July 21st, “The Doorway to the Kingdom.” Discovery House Publishing. Updated edition, 1992.
Fire Bible: Global Study Edition. New International Version, Life publishers International, 2009.
I apologize that my post is a few days later than usual. I have not been feeling well lately and was a bit overwhelmed by the end of the school year chaos. Phew! God is Amazing and blessed this school year and (shhh…just between us) I’m already praying for next year: the teachers, students, and staff that will be coming together for the fall term. My youngest daughter would say, “Summer barely started, Mom, let’s not talk about the next school year yet!” What do you think she would say if I told her I’m already praying for her future marriage and husband? 🙂 We need to pray ALWAYS and WITHOUT ceasing, right?! AMEN!
What a blessing church was yesterday. It’s amazing how God knows exactly what we need to hear and His timing is perfect! The whole message was an answered prayer to me but, the beginning really penetrated my heart:
I really needed the simple, yet profound, meaning of that message. A gift is something that is given, willingly to someone, without payment. I’ll admit, especially on days of good health and ease, it is easy for the days to fly by without giving much thought to the gift (a new day) from the Giver, God.
God did far more than give us a new day, though. God gave us the ultimate gift: Jesus!
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
Jesus died to give you and me the following gifts willingly, without payment:
Grace: But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it. (Ephesians 4: 7 NIV)
Salvation and Faith: For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—( Ephesians 2:8 NIV)
Righteousness:For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ! (Romans 5:17 NIV)
Peace: And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:7 NIV)
Joy:I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. (John 15: 11 NIV)
God’s Word:For I gave them the words you gave me and they accepted them. They knew with certainty that I came from you, and they believed that you sent me. (John 17:8 NIV)
Holy Spirit: Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. (Acts 2:38 NIV)
Eternal Life:For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:23 NIV)
Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift! 2Corinthians 9: 15 (NKJV)
Talk about the Ultimate gift-giver!! God wrapped up unconditional love, peace, joy, eternal life, faith, grace, mercy, and so much more through the gift of His son, Jesus Christ, all for you and me. Wow!!! Have you opened the most life changing, love giving gift that our Creator has for YOU?
I pray that you have, if not a heartfelt, sincere prayer combined with a surrendered heart is the next step.
Dear Lord Jesus, I know that I am a sinner and need Your forgiveness. I believe that You died for my sins. I want to turn from my sins. I now invite You to come into my heart and life. I want to trust and follow You as Lord and Savior. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
I encourage everyone (new believer’s as well) to keep seeking God, praying, loving others, and spreading the JOY of Jesus to others.
Today is a gift from God. How will you spend today? The two greatest commandments are to Love God and Love people (Matthew 22:37-39).
Love God: I encourage you to spend time in prayer, the Word, or outside in the splendor of His Creation thanking Him for All His blessings. I spent my morning praying, reading my devotional/bible, and writing my heart and soul for Jesus. All the glory to God! My favorite companion, Sasha, our German Shepherd snoring by my desk. A treat, a little love, and she is in puppy bliss for a short while. 🙂
Love people: Love on your family, friends, and all of the people God has placed in your life. Help and encourage others. Smile. Make eye contact when you speak to others. Ask God whom you can bless today. First and foremost, I’m going to ask God to show me who I can bless today, there is so much hurt in the world and many people need extra love and attention. Spend time with family and friends as much as I can. 🙂
Enough about me, how are you going to spend your day? I’d love to hear it!
Thank you for coming to the table. Jesus has many seats available and He has saved a seat for you. Accept His free gift of salvation and invite others. All are welcome, no one is turned away.
May God bless you,
“Everyday is a gift from God.” Image from Pinterest.
“Jesus, the gift of God.” Image from Share a Verse wordpress.com.
God gave me an amazing revelation the other day. Imagine driving down a dirt road, across beautiful farmland, in a truck with Jesus at the wheel. You are a newly saved Christian, leaning right against Him on the truck bench seat, absorbing every parable and Living Word He shares with you.
Oh no, serve left! There is a pot hole in the road! You grab onto Jesus and while you do that you look down and notice He is also holding you tightly by His right hand. You settle down as you realize just how safe and secure you feel holding His hand and in His presence. Like a Father with His child. A few more content and Word inspiring miles go by.
You spy a herd of cows up ahead, blocking the road, but do not feel afraid because of how close you are to Him physically and spiritually. Two peas in a pod, your Savior and you. The cows easily move out-of-the-way as the truck moves further down the dirt road.
Time and miles go by. Feeling pretty confident in yourself, you scoot a little bit down the truck bench seat, but still in reach and hearing distance of your Savior. Danger ahead! A car just swerved right in front of the truck! Just in time, you grab onto His robe and also hear the whisper of His voice, “I am with you.”
Settling down, your mind reassures you that you are okay, even though you are not as close physically and spiritually to Jesus as you used to be. Because of this, you feel okay to move a little bit further away. God is still with you, your mind reassures you.
This time you scoot to where you are on the edge of the seat, ready to grasp the handle on the door. You are farther from Jesus, but closer to the door that opens up to the world that is based on your confidence, independence, and decision-making. Jesus will not be behind the wheel of your life. You will be.
Ah ha! Now, you are driving your own truck, making your own decisions, and Jesus is somewhere in the backseat of your life. When you are lost, you may ask Him for directions, but for the most part you navigate your own life. Your will be done. Right now you are feeling pretty proud of yourself.
One day you decide to throw caution to the wind and drive without much thought to where you are going. Or who you are going with. No cares in the world. Independence feels great and the miles are moving right along. Driving along, humming to yourself, you realize you made a wrong turn. Flashing lights and road blocks signify the end of the road up ahead. Your life flashes before you. What happened? Where did I go wrong? Jesus take the wheel….
Jesus, take the wheel
Take it from my hands
‘Cause I can’t do this on my own
I’m letting go
So give me one more chance
And save me from this road I’m on
Jesus, take the wheel
I am so thankful that Jesus gave me this revelation. Several times, over the course of my life, I have been in this particular situation. I give Jesus complete surrender and control in my life only to find myself inching away or even trying to gain some of the control back when life gets hard, doesn’t go my way, or I get tired of waiting for His will or timing. What Jesus showed so clearly to me is that He never changed or moved. I did. He was always behind the wheel of my life, from the beginning of my salvation, and waiting for me to surrender to His perfect will and timing.
Thank you Jesus, that YOU have never given up on me (and You)! Your mercies are new every morning and You are always ready for us to turn back, repent, and be in complete surrender to You. Your promises and truths are evident in your Word:
Deuteronomy 31:6 New International Version (NIV)
6 Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”
Proverbs 3:5-6 New International Version (NIV)
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.
Jeremiah 29:11-13 New International Version (NIV)
11 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. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.
Hebrews 13:8 New International Version (NIV)
8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
Isaiah 41:13 New Living Translation (NLT)
13 For I hold you by your right hand—I, the Lord your God. And I say to you, ‘Don’t be afraid. I am here to help you.
God is first and foremost in my life.
my husband Steve, daughters Suzanne and Savannah,
my AMAZING family and friends,
the majestic beauty of the Pacific Northwest,
traveling and camping,
a GREAT cup of coffee with my morning devotionals,
and my Sumner Family Church family. :)