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

God’s Grace

God gave the Law to Moses and the Israelites for many reasons.

The law provided health and hygiene safety measures, set up a fair and just judicial system, provided a code of ethics and moral standards, provided boundaries (both tangible and intangible), and to prove that without a Savior Redeemer, we cannot possibly enter into the presence of God. Our sin is too high and too impossible on our own.

Often, however, people choose to acknowledge only that last reason—our need for a Savior. Now while I would certainly not argue that this is the most important reason, it isn’t the only reason. And since God saw fit to include these other elements, we need to give them the attention and obedience they deserve.

Jesus was adamant in saying He didn’t come to abolish the Law, but to fulfill it; meaning He was (and still is) the Redeemer Savior; taking away the need for sacrifices.

But the health/hygiene, judicial, and moral and ethical aspects of the Law remained in place. Murder, incest, greed, adultery, stealing, cheating…all of these things are still wrong.

We are still bound to the obedience of God’s Word and Law. But praise God we have been given the gift of eternal life with God and Jesus because of God’s grace. He removed the barriers between Him and us that were impossible for us to break through on our own.

So don’t discount the Law as anything. Know that much of it carries forward into the New Testament and the doctrine of the Church.

Just be prayerfully wise; being careful to know that you are saved because of God’s grace through faithful obedience and worship.

Pray

Dear God,

Thank You for your Son, Jesus.

Thank You for the gift of salvation.

Help me honor that gift by being obedient and faithful to your commands.

In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

“As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace:”

“But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.””‭‭James‬ ‭4:6‬ ‭

What this means is that God has already given you grace just by believing in him. God’s grace is that he loves you and is there for you despite the fact that you’re a sinner. You just have to choose to put that grace first in your life. God’s grace means he’s looking out for you and you are saved because of this. But while it’s important to acknowledge that grace, there’s so much more to grace than just accepting that love. 

When you think of a graceful person, who do you think of? 

They’re kind to everyone, they say the right things, and they never miss a step Whether it be out on the dance floor or just merely in the presence of strangers, having grace is very admirable. But it’s really easy to feel like you’re not a graceful person just because of the way you move and speak. It’s even easier to say that you don’t have grace within you because you have a rocky relationship with God. Newsflash: you don’t have to be a talented dancer, eloquent speaker, or even a perfect Christian to be considered graceful. 

It’s so easy to be petty and cruel and let horrible thoughts control you because your feelings have been hurt or you feel betrayed. Trust me, I know. But being graceful and living with grace mean that you put that grace before these other emotions because grace is much more important. It means gracefully letting things go that are not meant for you. It means going beyond your inclinations of trying to get the upper hand or revenge on someone who hurt you. Having grace in your heart and soul is choosing to be the bigger person. It is acting like a lady and understanding that having mean thoughts doesn’t mean you have to act on them. No one is perfect or acts like a complete angel all the time. However, being graceful means that you put your best intentions forward with everyone despite what you have heard or what they have done to you. Grace is doing what is right, not what is easy.With God all things are Possible Shirt Matthew 19 26

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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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