Christian living

Where’s my Joy

When we allow God to define our identity, what happened in our past isn’t nearly as important as what’s promised in our future.

How can you overcome heartache and despair? 

Your words were found, and I ate them; and your words were to me a joy and the rejoicing of my heart: for I am called by your name, the LORD, God of Hosts.

– Jeremiah 15:16

According to today’s verse, joy and delight come from devouring God’s Word. That means more than simply reading the Bible–we need to memorize it and meditate on it.

When you are in stormy seas of life, there comes One who can give you joy and peace. God’s Word is a joy – no matter what you’re going through.

This is hard for some people to do, when you’re going through a rough season, do you run and tell others, do you gossip about someone, do you seek help from a friend? The Bible tells us that we are to turn to the only one that can heal us and truly give us Joy. If we turn to his word and “ate” them as the verse is telling us, then we will receive Joy and the rejoicing of our hearts. All that is hurt, will be healed in your heart through Reading his word.

I pray that when you’re in a hard season, that you will turn to God to find joy!

Dear God,

Please help me draw near to You today and be a blessing to others!

I trust You completely.

Please give me a greater hunger for Your Word.

I ask in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Be still Shirt

Christian living

Fullness comes when we remember to be with him before going out to serve him

He appointed twelve that they might be with him and that he might send them out to preach and to have authority to drive out demons

-Mark 3:14-15

I was doing a lot, pouring myself out for God, but not really spending time getting filled by God. Maybe you can relate?

We run around trying to do everything, and please everyone.  We say yes to volunteering and baking something for the kids school party, taking the kids to multiply after school sports or events. We fill our plates completely full. However were missing out on what God want’s for us, he wants us to slow down enough to receive from him. I don’t know about you, but I’m always praying for God to help me, help me with all of my daily task. I have a hard time saying no, and then end up overworked in the end. I love to serve, however I’m missing out on being served and left feeling empty. He really does have it all worked out. The gaps filled. The needs met. The questions answered. The problems solved.  And the parts he’s purposed for us? They’re all perfectly portioned out in assignments meant for us today. No more. No less. All he ask is that we personally receive from him BEFORE setting out to work for him. This is HUGE and I don’t want you to miss this. In doing so we are encouraged by his presence. This is the daily sacred exchange where ministry turns into pure delight. 

He is capable! We say we trust him but act like everything depends on us. We give all we have to the task at hand with only occasional leftovers of time slightly acknowledge him. It must break his heart when we work like we don’t believe he’s there to help us. Jesus doesn’t participate in the rat race. He’s into the slower rhythms of life like abiding, delighting,and dwelling. When Jesus appointed the disciples, there were two parts to their calling, as we see in Mark 3:14-15. Yes they were to go to preach and drive out demons, but FIRST they were called to be with him. Fullness comes when we remember to be with him before going out to serve him.

He wants our hearts in alignment with him before our hands set about doing today’s assignment for him.  We need to receive in prayer, worship, and truth from his word. Fix your eyes, not on a worldly prize, but on staying in love with me.

That’s an agenda that’s always completely satisfying.

Christian living

Keep it shut

I highly recommend the book “Keep It Shut” by Karen Ehman.

It contains a section about how to make sure your words are always God-honoring. Ehman says the key is making sure we spend as much or more time talking to God in prayer and through reading God’s Word as we spend talking and listening to everyone else.

She says that when God is the One we spend the most time talking to, He will become the One we most want to please—the One whose opinion of us matters most.

Wow! Talk about an “ah-ha” moment! This sage advice is so obvious, but yet so easily overlooked. When we spend time talking and listening to God through prayer, reading and studying the Bible, singing songs of praise, enjoying the beauty of creation, and enjoying the talents and abilities God gave you in ways that honor Him, we draw closer and closer to Him.

Today’s verse is to our spiritual life what the adage ‘you are what you eat’ is to our physical body.

Be mindful of what you allow into your mind, because it goes straight to your heart, before flying out of your mouth.

Pray

Dear Lord,

Fill my mind and heart with only those words that honor You.

Let my words be uplifting, encouraging, and full of love and grace.

When I speak to Your children, please let them hear more of You and less of me.

In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen

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Christian living

The Promotion

No longer do I call you servants, for the servant doesn’t know what his lord does. But I have called you friends, for everything that I heard from my Father, I have made known to you.

– John 15:15

As a middle child, it felt like a promotion when I got to be included with the older set of siblings who babysat the younger ones.

I imagined that I had risen through the ranks and now stood in my parents’ stead as I delegated tasks or listened to the younger kids’ concerns. The respect and obedience that I had given were now due to me. I was a co-laborer with my parents to carry out their wishes during their absence.

Such authority was not arbitrary.

My parents gauged my fitness for responsibility, taking into consideration how mature I was, how readily I obeyed their requests, how well I followed their rules, if I made fair decisions, and how harsh my reprimands were. They carefully assessed my own character growth before putting vulnerable little ones under my rule.

Our Christian journey is similar to growing up in a large family. As we mature, we learn more about the reasons for our Father’s rules. We learn from those who are more advanced in their faith than we are. And we have the great privilege of working with our big brother, Jesus, as we help those whose belief is still small and fragile.

Jesus calls us His “friends,” and invites us all to a deeper relationship of mutual intimacy.

Pray

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank You for accepting me as I am.

It is unimaginable that You would call me “friend,” yet You have.

I, too, want a friendship with You.

I pray in Christ’s name, Amen

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God.Family.Faith

If God says he will do something he will be faithful to preform. Don’t let impossibilities quench your faith. Instead, allow it to fuel your faith! Look beyond your circumstances to a completely loving, faithful and powerful God.

The more we intentionally praise God, the more reasons we will recognize to praise him. Psalm 92:1 “It is good to give thanks to the Lord, to sing praises to your name, O Most High.”

God is Greater Than the Highs and Lows