As I reflect on the disciples I can’t help but be in awe of Jesus. Peter denied knowing Jesus. Thomas doubted Christ’s resurrection. Judas was a thief and a traitor, and yet Jesus allowed each of these men to sit at the same table with him. He knew all their faults and how they would stumble and fail, and yet He loved them, taught them and did life with them. The Father is always willing to meet people where they’re at, are we?
I’m challenged as I think about how Jesus treated Judas no different than the other disciples. I’d like to think I could love and be kind to someone who I knew was going to betray me the way our Savior did, but could I really? I know that’s the standard we are called to, but it certainly isn’t always easy to do. When I think of how difficult it can be at times to love someone where they are I think of how the Father did that for me. I recall to memory how He looked down from heaven and loved me in my sin. He is patient with me so I too must be patient with others. 1 Peter 4:8 (ESV) reads, “Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.” God bears with us. Let us bear with one another and show love, kindness, and mercy always.
Lord, help each of us be excessively kind. Help us to love others the way You love us. Help us to meet others where they’re at and to speak truth in love to them. Let us seek justice, love mercy and walk humbly with You. Amen.
I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; Be strong and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the Lord. Psalms 27:13-14 (NASB)
Wait for the Lord. That isn’t always easy. Believing that we will see the goodness of God here on Earth requires that we be strong and have courage. I think of the lyrics of a worship song by Bethel when I read the above verses. They say, “Take courage my heart. Stay steadfast my soul. He’s in the waiting. He’s in the waiting. Hold on to your hope as your triumph unfolds. He’s never failing. He’s never failing.” Oh child of God, Yashua Himself is right there with you in your season of waiting. Your triumph is unfolding. God never sleeps nor slumbers. He is working on your behalf. Refuse to fall into despair and instead cling to hope. Romans 5:3-5 says, “And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” God is with you. He is for you and He will never forsake you!
So when I started this blog months ago I was in the process of completing editing of my first book. Can I be candid? I’ve let fear keep me from publishing sooner. My pastor preached a message a week ago today about finding your war cry, which could best be summed up with the phrase, “Not today satan.” That message really resonated with me. So much so that when I woke up this past Wednesday on my 38th birthday I decided to kick the enemy in the face and do two things I’ve been letting fear keep me from doing. One was launching an online Christian themed t-shirt business and the other was taking the final steps to publish my book. The book is entitled “Quiet My Soul- Devotionals for the Single Mom” and is available on Amazon. In all my nervousness to step out, God reminded me that sometimes being obedient to Him means doing things afraid. We need to do them anyway!
What is the enemy using to keep you from doing something the Father has called you to do? Is it fear, anxiety, or not feeling worthy enough? Maybe it’s a lie of the enemy you’ve bought into, and you’ve believed the lie so long you don’t even know how to stop. Memorize scripture that combats that lie with truth. Deliver a 1, 2 punch to the enemy by doing what God has called you to…even if that means doing it afraid! 2 Timothy 1:7 tells us that Father God doesn’t give us a spirit of fear. Y’all we have to remember who we are and whose we are. The enemy has already been DEFEATED. Let’s walk in victory by walking in obedience even when being obedient is uncomfortable.
I wait quietly before God, for my victory comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress where I will never be shaken. Psalms 62:1-2 NLT
Sometimes when we go through things in life we forget who Our Rock is and allow anxiety, fear and worry to take ahold of us. At all times, especially in times of trouble, we must remember who our help comes from. Lord, help us to remain steadfast in Your peace and Your presence when life comes like a flood.
Philippians 4:6-7 tells us, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Father God help us to guard our minds and hearts from anything not of you. Help us to fall before You with a posture of gratitude for all that You are and all our many blessings even in the midst of our trials. He is worthy to be praised in every season!
Faith the size of a mustard seed can move mountains. What are you believing God for today?
Don’t be discouraged by the length of the wait. 1 Peter 5:10 says, “After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you.”
Our idea of a little while and God’s idea of a little while are usually two different things. I’m sure the man at the pool of Bethesda never envisioned his little while being 38 years. Think of the faith it would have taken that man to keep going to the pool of Bethesda day after day. The Bible tells us that as believers we will see miracles, signs, and wonders. Yet some of us still have a difficult time believing God can move in our situation. Lord, help our unbelief!
What is impossible for God? Absolutely nothing. Believe! Believing doesn’t mean God will move in the way you’re asking Him to, but it is a prerequisite to Him being able to do so. Disbelief can limit the works of the Lord. Mark 6:5-6, “And He could do no miracle there except that He laid His hands on a few sick people and healed them. And He wondered at their unbelief. And He was going around the villages teaching.” Ask the Lord to increase your faith today. Be it God’s will what you are believing Him for will come to pass.
“The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters. He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You have anointed my head with oil; My cup overflows. Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” (Psalm 23 NASB)
The valley of the shadow of death. What does that valley look like for you? It could be the sin you’re struggling with, the death or illness of a loved one, a wayward child, or maybe it’s that situation you’re faced with where all you can do is fall on your knees and cry out to God. Fear no evil. Are you fearful of what the outcome of your valley will be? If you are perhaps you need to take a step back and ask yourself, “Have I really given this situation over to God?” It may be that you’re holding on to that situation or circumstance and haven’t truly released it to the Lord. As long as we have our hands on a situation trying to control the outcome we bind the hands of God to be able to do His work. Release it to the Lord and watch what happens. For You are with Me. In the valleys God is there. On the mountain tops God is there. If you’re not feeling His presence in the season you find yourself in dig deeper into the Word and in worship. God never leaves us or forsakes us. The sad truth is that sometimes when the going gets tough we leave and forsake God! Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. Hallelujah that we serve a God who cares for us beyond what we could ever conceive or imagine!!! He is your comfort no matter where you are at in your walk. Let us seek Him first in every situation and circumstance for He is a jealous God. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. Though the enemy’s goal is to take you and your family out you DO NOT cower in fear because of the fiery darts that are being thrown at you! No, you take authority of whatever is assailing you, your family, your church and tell satan to BACK HIMSELF UP! The truth is sometimes we too easily forget that the very same authority and power that lives in Jesus Christ and gave Him the grace to be able to endure death upon a cross for our sins LIVES IN US. When the storms of life assail your dominion put on the full armor of God and fight!!! 2 Timothy 1:7 says, “For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control (ESV).” We have the power of Christ living in us. Let’s use it! You have anointed my head with oil. God has called you to the season you’re in. Personally, I struggle with some of the places He has me but I rest in the fact that God will never take me where His grace will not sustain me. That’s true for all Christians. The Lord Jesus Christ has anointed each of us to be where we work, to serve where we serve, to worship where we worship and to reach those He has placed in our lives. We are anointed to do His works for the furtherance of His Kingdom. My cup overflows. So often we forget how blessed that we are. I’m guilty of this as much as the next person at times, but the truth is when we neglect to acknowledge how much God has blessed us with we aren’t exhibiting what I like to call an “attitude of gratitude”. Let us be intentional (myself included) about stopping and thanking the Lord for what He gives us from the breath in our lungs to the shoes that cover the soles of our feet to the fact that God has redeemed each of us. We have so much to be thankful for and in the moments where we feel as though our cup is truly overflowing with joy and the goodness of the Holy Spirit let us be intentional about stopping and saying “Thank you, God.” Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life. Oh Lord let that be our prayer, that goodness and lovingkindess will take residence in us all the days of our life. Let us all remember to extend to others the same grace and mercy that you extend to each of us every day. And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. Galatians 6:9 says, “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” Let us never get tired of doing good or what is right. There are things God has called us to for which we will not see the harvest for on this Earth. We won’t know the full impact of the faithfulness we cultivate until we are in Heaven. Do not be discouraged if you do not see the fruits of your labor. No matter what things look like in the natural our call as Christians is to be an open vessel for the Lord to do His work in us and through us. Dwell where God has you and He will bless your faithfulness.
Dry bones. They may look dead when we gaze upon them with our natural eyes, but what potential lies within them? Dry bones in our lives could look like a prodigal child, an illness, a broken relationship, a marriage in need of restoration or any number of other situations. Ezekiel 37 speaks to dry bone situations.
Ezekiel 37:4 – Again He said to me, “Prophesy to these bones, and say to them, ‘O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord!’ ” A second time God commands Ezekiel to prophesy over the dry bones in Ezekiel 37:9 which reads…Also He said to me, “Prophesy to the breath, prophesy son of man, and say to the breath, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these slain, that they may live.’ ”
When Ezekiel looked at that Valley of Dry Bones there was nothing but what appeared to be death before him, but despite what he saw with his natural eyes he was obedient each time God told him to prophesy over the dry bones.
To prophesy means to utter by or as if by divine inspiration; to predict with assurance; to speak as if divinely inspired; to give instruction in religious matters. What are you prophesying over your dry bones situation? Are you speaking life or death? Are you being obedient to deal with that situation the way God told you to and believing with faith that the situation can change, or
are you merely going through the motions of obedience? Obedience
without faith is going through the motions. Let’s be faith filled,
obedient life speakers!