When I take a moment and pause to think about my life, I am overcome with joy and quiet laughter. It’s because of the glory of God being revealed to me each day. His miracles are the sweetest things I’ve ever known. Every time with Jesus. He gives me butterflies.
Acts 2:25-28 King James Version (KJV)
25 For David speaketh concerning him, I foresaw the Lord always before my face, for he is on my right hand, that I should not be moved:
26 Therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad; moreover also my flesh shall rest in hope:
27 Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.
28 Thou hast made known to me the ways of life; thou shalt make me full of joy with thy countenance.
He knows we have little strength.
Revelation 3:8 King James Version (KJV)
8 I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name.
But He takes care of us!
Matthew 11:28 – Come unto me, all [ye] that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Isaiah 40:31 – But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew [their] strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; [and] they shall walk, and not faint.
Isaiah 41:10 – Fear thou not; for I [am] with thee: be not dismayed; for I [am] thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.
Matthew 6:33 – But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
Accepting the free gift of Salvation (which comes through The Lord Jesus Christ, The Son of God, and He alone) CHANGES everything! With The Holy Spirit inside of you, a new heart and a new perspective… The Bible, God’s Word, will come to life unlike before you were saved! In Jesus you will find purpose. In Christ there is a peace that surpasses understanding. You are never alone.
Heart surgery was what I needed.
Ezekiel 36:26-27 King James Version (KJV)
26 A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.
27 And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.
If you do not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord, I encourage you to see Him now because the soul goes on. You were created by Almighty God and will exist forever either way. Jesus is the only way. I pray you will make Him your way today. God bless. ♥
It hurts that it has to be this way. I am blessed with my eyes wide open to the truth of this world and just how things really are. My entire perception of reality has changed, and sometimes it can get to me and reality hurts. I have this brokenhearted feeling within me. Tears from the depths of my soul. If only people would listen. If only everyone would pause for a moment to take it all in and to see just how we take everything for granted.
Life is fragile and all is uncertain. Nobody knows when their last breath will be drawn or when they will see someone for the last time. When it really is goodbye. If we would all come to understand what it really means to show others that they matter and are really valued… If we could forgive as easy as the grudges that we hold are so quickly formed… People get offended. We hold onto bitterness which robs us of the precious time that we have on this earth as human beings. We take others for granted, living like they’ll always be there, when the truth is, nothing stays the same. We are not promised another day or breath. It hurts to think about how we just go through the motions day after day, when people need to know they are loved and they matter. They need to hear and also see how much we care for them.
Just let it all go. These dark, heavy feelings you have toward others are truly silly and childish when you step back and look at your life. Keeping harsh feelings and a negative outlook on life and other people (for whatever reason) is robbing you of this very short, precious life on earth. The devil comes to lie, kill, and destroy. He loves gossip and whispering lies into your mind, causing confusion to create strife in your mind and among others. Planting seeds of doubt, there is an assault on your faith! Satan gets great satisfaction from causing division and creating conflict between people. However The Lord Jesus Christ came and died for our Salvation, to give us peace and show us how to forgive.
Remember The Cross.
By Lysa TerKeurst
“There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” Romans 8:1 KJV
Have you ever looked at other people and thought to yourself, “How does everyone else have it all together? And why is it I seem to have so many issues?”
I understand. For most of my life, I’ve struggled with my weight and committing to a healthy lifestyle. My soul was rubbed raw from years of trying and failing.
I wanted something to instantly fix my issues.
I wanted to stop calling myself awful names I’d never let another person call me.
I wanted to be naturally thin like my sister.
I wanted to stop crying when I walked into my closet to get dressed in the morning.
So when I lost 25 pounds a few years ago and kept it off for the first time in my life, it was a huge victory.
But my real celebration hasn’t been over the smaller clothing size and reduced numbers on the scale. My real celebration is over the spiritual insights I gained while losing the weight and maintaining my healthy progress.
For me, this has been a spiritual journey — a significant spiritual journey with great physical benefits. I had been overweight physically and underweight spiritually and finally tying those two things together was life changing.
One of the richest lessons has been realizing the amount of mental and spiritual energy I wasted for years just wishing things would change. All the while, I was beating myself up for not having the discipline to make those changes.
If you have an issue with weight and food, you know what I mean. But no matter what issue you are currently dealing with, can I offer a bit of encouragement?
Jesus wants to help you with that issue. He really does. But you’ve got to stop beating yourself up about it and determine to follow His lead.
We like to identify our shortcomings, form them into a club, and beat the tar out of ourselves mentally. Over and over and over again. We label ourselves and soon lose our real identity to the beaten and bruised fragility we call “me.”
We compare, we assume, we assess, we measure and most times walk away shaking our head at how woefully short our “me” falls compared to everyone else. How dangerous it is to hold up the intimate knowledge of our imperfections against the outside packaging of others.
If there is one thing that living 40-plus years has taught me it’s this: All God’s girls have issues. Every single one of us.
But we can make the choice to identify our shortcomings and instead of using them against ourselves, hand them over to Jesus and let Him chisel our rough places.
The grace-filled way Jesus chisels is so vastly different than the way I mentally beat myself up.
My mental scripts are too often full of exaggerated lies that leave me feeling defeated. His chiseling is full of truth that sets me free.
Oh what a difference.
Jesus doesn’t compare.
Jesus doesn’t exaggerate.
Jesus doesn’t condemn. Our key verse, Romans 8:1, confirms this.
He simply says, “Hey, I love you. I love you just how you are. But, I love you too much to leave you stuck in this. So, let’s work on it together. You can do this.
There is something so powerful in really believing that with Jesus’ help you can do this. Say it with me, “I can.” I can is a powerful little twist for a girl feeling deprived and defeated.
I can helps me walk into the dinner party and find the conversation more appealing than the food table. I can helps me stay on the perimeter of the grocery store where the fresher, healthier selections abound and smile that I know this.
I can helps me look at the drive-thru menu and order a fruit tray without even giving a thought to the fried foods I used to snack on. I can reminds me to look online for a restaurant’s nutritional information before going out, ensuring wiser choices. I can reminds me no food will ever taste as sweet as victory does.
Having issues isn’t the absence of victory in our lives. It’s simply a call to action reminding us victory is right around the corner. Today is a great day to start believing you were made to walk in victory and to say to Jesus, “Yes, with Your truth as my guide, I can.”
Dear Lord, help me see myself the way You see me. Remove the lies that defeat me more often than I want to acknowledge. You have set me free. Help me live like I truly believe that. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
I realized that God is more than just to be feared. He truly wants a relationship with ME. He loves ME. He loves YOU. So much that He left Heaven and died on that Cross.
Jesus took the COMPLETE WRATH of God The Father upon Him. The death that I should be dying. The sentence He knew I would be guilty of thousands of years before I was born…He offered Himself up for Me. Even ME.
I just want to completely soak HIM in. I want to walk with Him and talk with Him. I want our relationship to be stronger. I want us to be closer. In fact, I want Him to draw me into the very heart of HIM. I want to be right there. I just want Jesus. He wanted me and had been waiting on me all along. He could see the path I would follow and the many dark detours I would take.
God watched over me when I got sick with a Bipolar Manic episode. I turned away from Him. He knew all of the terrible things I would do, people I would do wrong, and the suffering to come. He NEVER left my side. The verse that says He will Never leave you nor forsake you….I have experienced God in the dark.
We all come to know Lord Jesus in our own ways, on our own unique paths. Each and every one of us has a past. A story. And It matters to Him! Not just because of the wrong and the sin…but because of what JESUS wants to do in your life!!! He is the life-healing glue that put me back in place. He’s my everything. I was His Everything before I was ever even aware of it.
So I know that if my GOD has brought me this far in life, He certainly is NOT going to let me down now.
If you don’t have your own relationship with Jesus right now, today is the day to seek Him. We aren’t promised tomorrow. No one can save you but Jesus. And it is only you that can approach The Savior who awaits you with outstretched arms.
I encourage you to come to the Fountain of Living Water…you will NEVER thirst again…
Seek Jesus today.
Turn away from the sins in your life and leave the old you behind on the Cross, or repent. You are PAID FOR in full! Accept this Salvation today. If you believe that Jesus Christ is the SON of the Living GOD, then the Word of GOD says you must act upon your faith, upon your confession, be baptized, just like Jesus was in the Book of Matthew…down into the water, immersed. Jesus is our example. After we are baptized into the Body of Christ, then we must simply live faithfully the rest of our lives, walking with God.
Acts 2:38 ” Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.”
Bring your broken heart, bring your disease and sickness, bring your addiction, bring your grieving….bring everything to His feet. Actual HOPE can only be found in Christ. He freed me when I didn’t even know I was in chains…
So today I’m asking Him,
Let me experience you on a whole new level, Father. I’m ready.
I tried to buy happiness, but I couldn’t find it on any rack or shelf. Always seeking confirmation and acceptance-the approval of another.
Now I am happy because I am unconditionally loved and never alone.
Love can only be found at the Cross. You can’t find yourself in the world, it’s way too easy to get lost.
Knowing who I am in Christ gives me peace so I’m able to live out His calling for my life, and my joy is forever unwavering.
Earlier today, while looking through the guest bedroom, I happened to glance up at an old, framed family photo. A thousand memories flooded my mind. The contrast between everything I know today…and who and where we were back then…is just jaw-dropping. Oh, how everything has changed. I’ve heard that my whole life, but this morning it really sunk in.
Of course, people change throughout their lives, one stage to the next. A sharp sting and a dull ache at the same time. The troubles we knew then were nothing compared to the ones to come. Gazing at myself in the picture, my tiny 16 year old body…frail inside and out, I recalled all I was dealing with at the time in high school. Rejection. Bulimia. Becoming a Christian. The successes in extracurricular activities. My broken heart. Comparison, comparison. I can’t imagine what it’s like to be a teenager attending public school in today’s world…
Now, here I sit a strong woman of God. I’m no different than any other Christian, just trying to live the rest of my days faithful to Jesus, to God. My heart goes out to that confused and broken girl. In the end it was all in my head. Yes, I had some real issues to be tended to, but so much deception by the enemy himself as I chose Jesus. I didn’t know about spiritual warfare. At least not how real it really is.
Choosing Jesus is the best thing you could ever do. People won’t always understand why you’ve changed…how you changed. Your lifestyle, goals, worldview. Following Jesus means walking the straight & narrow road, traveled by few. Sometimes you feel alone, especially if you have no support at home. But you see, in this wilderness...you are transformed. In what seems to be the darkness, something beautiful happens. You find out who you are. That you were made for more. You are a Child of God.
By SUZIE ELLER
|“I planted the seed in your hearts, and Apollos watered it, but it was God who made it grow. It’s not important who does the planting, or who does the watering. What’s important is that God makes the seed grow.” 1 Corinthians 3:6-7 (NLT)
They showed up at my door when I was 14.
Because they went to my school, my mom let them in. They stumbled into my room, standing awkwardly with their youth pastor behind them. One invited me to come to church. Another teen shuffled from foot to foot and asked if she could tell me about Jesus.
I didn’t want to hear it. I was angry at God, if there even was one.
I didn’t grow up in church, so I didn’t know a lot about the Bible. All I knew is that life was hard, and I didn’t want anyone to fix me.
Thank you very much, now here’s the door.
I can only imagine the scene afterwards. A bunch of teenagers clustered on the sidewalk outside our home on Latimer Street, wondering what in the world just happened.
I’m sorry. I really am.
Wherever you are, I want to thank you for trying. I don’t know why you picked me, but I love the fact that you wanted to tell me about Jesus.
That day you didn’t find fertile soil, but a small seed was planted. Jesus eventually rooted His love in my heart and changed not only me, but also generations after me. I wish you knew that the angry girl in the bedroom became a woman of faith who loves nothing more than telling others about Jesus.
In today’s passage, Paul and Apollos had faithfully planted seeds of teaching in a new church body. We see the newness of the church as members debate about who is the most important, Paul or Apollos.
Paul diverted the attention away from himself to remind them of a simple truth: Telling others about Jesus is not about one person or another. It’s not about recognition. It’s not even about success or failure.
It’s about faithfully planting seeds, watering them and allowing God to grow them.
If someone were to look at those teens standing in my room, they might think that their words had little effect. One day in Heaven I plan to thank them. For every person, including them, who bravely shared the truth with me planted a seed of faith in my heart.
Like Apollos and Paul, one planted. Another watered.
And then, at just the right time, a seed sprouted and broke the crusty soil of my angry heart.
Why am I telling you this?
Maybe you’ve sensed for a long time that you’re to talk to someone about Jesus. You’ve hesitated because you don’t know how or you don’t want to fail. Perhaps you even experienced someone like I once was, and it made you think twice about trying again.
But I want you to know something.
When you move beyond your fears to tell someone that Jesus loves them, it may be exactly what they need to hear that day even if they don’t know it yet.
I want a front seat one day in Heaven when those teens discover that their bravery wasn’t in vain. I want to hug their necks and thank them. In fact, there will be a lot of seed sowers I want to thank, because all of them together made a difference.
They sowed. Some watered. God grew me.
If God is leading you to tell someone about Jesus, don’t miss that moment. There might be someone in your path — a woman, a girl, a friend, a loved one — who doesn’t know Jesus loves them and His love changes you forever.
Lord, thank You for allowing me to plant a seed, or water a seed or perhaps to even watch a seed come to fruition in the life of another. Lead me. Guide me. Show me what to say and when to say it. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
What if the next big step God wants you to take is actually small? Wherever God has called you, you can take the first step. Registration for the P31 Online Bible Study of What Happens When Women Walk in Faith by Lysa TerKeurst is open, and the study kicks off next Monday, April 13.
Join Suzie Eller on her blog today to share your story and for a giveaway.
REFLECT AND RESPOND:
Consider the following as conversation starters:
|© 2015 by Suzie Eller. All rights reserved.
By WENDY BLIGHT
“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.” Romans 12:2a (NLT)
|Before blogs, Facebook and Pinterest, we actually used cookbooks. Old-fashioned cookbooks, with pages that you turn, not swipe on an electronic device. I opened one of those folded-down, tattered pages and found an old favorite. I labored throughout the day, creating a magnificent meal featuring one of my grandmother’s treasured recipes as the centerpiece.
I couldn’t wait for my family to gather around the table that night. My husband usually arrived home at or before 6:30 p.m., so that was our appointed time to eat. The kids and I sat down for dinner at 6:30 … but no husband.
6:40, still no husband.
6:50 … no husband and no call. Where was he? How thoughtless. Not even a call.
At 6:55, when the phone finally rang 25 minutes later, I was fuming! So what did I do? I ignored it, and told the kids to eat.
When my husband finally walked in at 7:05, I narrowed my eyes and gave him the silent treatment. Not just for that moment, but for the rest of the evening. I was furious. How could he be so rude? I worked on this meal all day. How hard is it to call?
That night, I allowed my emotions to override any and all rational thoughts. I was frustrated, and just plain mean.
I look back now and think how differently this night would have ended had I prepared my heart for the disappointment, anger and hurt feelings. But I hadn’t. I had nothing but my emotions from which to pull … and they ran wild.
But what if I had more than just my fickle feelings? What if I had God’s Word stored in my heart to renew my mind, to speak truth over my emotions, to rein in my tongue, to soften my eyes? What if I acted in accordance with our key verse so that I thought differently and responded differently? “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think” (Romans 12:2a).
What if I got a “do over”?
Let’s replay the night, but with a different scenario. In this one, I have readied and renewed my mind with God’s Word.
Well, 6:30 arrives, but Monty doesn’t. The thoughts creep in: Where is he? Why hasn’t he called? He knows we eat at 6:30 every night. He always calls when he is going to be late.
As the minutes tick away, my anger escalates. But suddenly, out of the corner of my eye, I see pink sticky notes over the kitchen sink. Three Scriptures that I had not only memorized but also personalized. I walk over and drink in the words:
Wendy, a gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. (Proverbs 15:1)
Wendy, a fool gives full vent to her anger, but a wise woman keeps herself under control. (Proverbs 29:11)
Wendy, be kind and compassionate to your family, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.(Ephesians 4:32)
In this scenario, I was open to God as He interrupted my angry thoughts and replaced them with fresh thoughts … with His powerful, life-giving, life-transforming, mind-renewing words. Words that are a gift from the One who only wants the very best for me, my marriage and my family. When I read them, God reminds me of who He is and who He wants me to be. The Holy Spirit softens my heart.
So this time, when the phone rings at 6:50, I answer it. I hear my husband’s sincere apology and accept it. He walks in the door at 7:05, after a long day’s work, forgiven and ready to enjoy a wonderful meal with his family … experiencing grace, love, forgiveness and joy.
Which is the better scenario?
Heavenly Father, fill me with the riches of Your Word. Give me a heart that loves and seeks after Your Truth. Guard my heart. Interrupt my thoughts. Renew my mind so that I can live ruled by Your love and Your Word, not by my emotions. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Stop by Wendy’s blog for more guidance on how to personalize and pray God’s Word. She is also offering a FREE devotional, “Five Days to a Faith-Full Life.”
REFLECT AND RESPOND:
Then open God’s Word and find one or two verses that address the area you chose. Personalize the verses, and ask God to renew your mind. Invite Him to give you the strength and the power to accomplish a “do-over” in that area.
|© 2015 by Wendy Blight. All rights reserved.|