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First let’s pray as we set this notion in motion. Heavenly Father we come to you with the blinders off. We expose the darkness for its true value. Lord help us to recognize the devil at his schemes. He will not kill, steal, and destroy if we don’t allow him to. Give us the wisdom to stop him from doing harm to our relationships with family, friends and the community we live. God we know where our help comes from but we need the nudge at times to remind us to look up, to get down on our knees and pray like we have never before. Beyond just praying is the believing part. You can, you are able and you will see that the very best is completed with the most Love shown. We are undeserving. Thank You for forgiving our sins. God you are so Good. Thank You Jesus for your life and for becoming our Savior. In your precious name, our gratitude which is insufficient, we say Amen!
Taken from a recent article on the Desiring Gods page “Motherhood is Victory (Article by Rachel Jankovic) I had to pull a portion of it because I’ve been in battle with the “dragon”. He is trying to conquer in my household with devouring my daughter. She is a 13 year old who has zero clue as to what she is facing. What Mother’s go through to save their children from the viciousness of this world they have to live in. Well, most caring God following Mother’s I mean. Not all woman raising children had a mother to show them the way they should go. I pray that this message be of encouragement to another mother or even a daughter who didn’t have a mother to be there at war with Satan with her but she can for her own one day.
(Insertion: The portion of the Article by Rachel Jankovic that inspired this post.)
“It is natural and good that we delight in the little things with our children. God didn’t command mothers to rejoice over elbow dimples and the smell of a new baby’s head. He didn’t tell us to smile over them while they sleep, or to love the way they look in footie pajamas. He didn’t tell us these things, because He didn’t have to. That is the natural love of a mother for her children.”
Wow!!! Did you catch the wow moment? I did. That is the “Natural Love of a Mother for her children”…that part intrigued me the most. There is an urgency as a Mother to be at the for front of our children’s achievements and failures. Is that only to show how much we want to control their every move? Asking your teenage daughter that question would prompt the answer, yes. However we know better. She only knows her situation and believes it’s way worse than you experienced as a child. I laugh at the argument that happens when she tries to plead her case. I will admit that life in my home is pretty normal to our standards. We don’t curse, or watch just anything on television, we sensor what our children see, do and get involved with. I’ve gotten the silent treatment or a look cause I don’t allow my child to do things that other parents allow. I’m fine with it. I have had to handle much worse.
God has a sense of humor. He brought my husband and I together. I wholeheartedly believe that God strategically put us together for 2 reasons, to watch us try to blend a “leave it to beaver family” with a “rosanne & facts of life Family” for comedic purposes and triumphant purposes. He needs a laugh and also a “good cry” for how hard we work for his Glory! Let me tell you trying to blend both family dynamics is not easy. I fit in the Rosanne category of family. Except add the “Facts of Life” in there too. Raised with my biological mother until age 13, I was seasoned in a lot of unfortunate situations, then “a ward of the state” until age 18, that have made me into the person I am today. I see life so much fuller view than the way I’m raising my children. I tell them stories and even give them a taste with what I experienced by sharing people with them who were in my life in those dark times. We are involved with our community trying to share what other people go through by the work of our hands. We have extended our provisions beyond our own backyard in hopes that they understand the magnitude of blessings they have. Our family has grown over the years by some amazing individuals that call us their family. Our children won’t be blind when they go it alone. When they spread their wings and learn to be an adult in this great big world.
Goodness it’s my mission to be the person that they needed but not always desired. One day I know I’ll be appreciated but for now I’m standing firm with the foundations that have been set up for me by the knowledge I earned through my life. No apologies here. I’m proud that my “Natural instinct” to be the Loving Mother I am is being fulfilled by God each and everyday.
It’s not easy though. Since I didn’t get the same as a child I fail every day. I will raise my voice, not say the right things, close my mind off to avoid truth from what is being exposed, y’all I’m human! Can you relate? My flesh takes charge sometimes and I completely regret it. The thing that makes it all better is the relationship I have with Christ. It’s not below me to apologize when I’m wrong. It’s difficult sometimes to say I’m sorry but I can, I do say sorry. It’s important to show your children that you are not perfect. If you don’t than your going to have a hard time getting them to Love Jesus as much as you do.
There is nothing more precious than watching a new born baby take their very first Breathe outside of the womb. So let me tell you if it hasn’t been easy in life to Love people because of the continuous disappointments you have incurred, turn your heart upon the only Father who Loved you unconditionally. He is rooting for you and was from the day of conception. You didn’t have a choice in the beginning but you do in your ending. Your Breathe is sufficient enough to be valued as a gift from heaven. Take every one with gratitude and purpose to bring Jesus to life for every soul you come across. He died for you. Believe in his life, truly initiate his will over your own will, but most importantly live with a purpose that glorifies him.
Ephesians chapters 5 & 6 read and be empowered!
God Bless You and Your Families!
Righteous are you, O Lord, when I complain to you; yet I would plead my case before you. Why does the way of the wicked prosper? Why do all who are treacherous thrive? You plant them, and they take root; they grow and produce fruit; you are near in their mouth and far from their heart.
Jeremiah 12:1-2 ESV
Jeremiah is asking the Lord some bold questions here in verses 1-4. Jeremiah has just learned that the men of Anathoth, Jeremiah’s hometown (Jer. 1:1) schemed to have him killed. They ordered him not to prophesy, or he would die by their hands. Just wanted you to understand Jeremiah’s state of mind and how brokenhearted he must have been.
I don’t know about you, but anytime any form of persecution comes whether it’s rejection or the most severe cases giving our life to follow Christ. I believe it still hurts the worst when it comes from your community, friends or family.
It seems that our enemy loves to stir up those in a community against each other. I believe every single snare or pit that is dug for the body is to get us to pick each other apart to the bone. Sometimes we do it innocently, and I have done it. I know we all have. I believe once we know and see it, we can change it, of course through The Holy Spirit.
I suppose I am more tender to it because I am in a calling of my own that the enemy loves to persecute me whenever he gets the chance. That is a part of the territory and believe me the Lord is and has brought this tender-hearted girl long ways. I would do it over and over a thousand times over, because persecution keeps you humble, full of humility, and honest in front of the Lord, in my opinion. I believe that is why in the book of James it says during various trials and tribulations count it as joy! It is refining your faith.
So, Jeremiah is complaining to the Lord why does he allow this to happen! Then he says, Lord! You know me, you have seen me, you have tested my heart toward you (Verse 3).
So he went from complaining to pity party in a matter of seconds! We do the same thing. We feel like everything is wrong, when in fact God is strengthening us. It is okay! It’s our flesh dying! It is not ever going to feel good.
I love verse five which caught my eye because in Hebrew five means grace. How fitting! His grace is sufficient. Here is God’s reply to Jeremiah (Jer. 12:5)
“If you have run with the footman, and they have wearied you, Then how can you contend with horses? And if in the land of peace, In which you trusted, they wearied you, Then how will you do in the floodplain of the Jordan? For even your brothers, the house of your father. Even they have dealt treacherously with you; Yes, they called a multitude after you. Do not believe them, Even though they speak smooth words to you.
Last thought, when you are following Jesus, and He has called you to something that even leaves you with your mouth wide open. Don’t be thrown for a loop when the enemy of our souls stirs up persecution. Unfortunately, he will, but down deep in your soul know this. No matter what remember that God is allowing it to happen to purify your faith. He is allowing hard situations to test your heart toward Him; He is strengthening you spiritually so you will be able to run against the horses of our enemy. We are warrior’s, and we have to be cross-trained. Remember that we do not wrestle against people, but we fight against our enemy Satan. Eph. 6
I love spring! I love that all the barrenness of winter is leaving, and new life is waking up. I am not a big fan of winter, but without winter we would not appreciate spring, would we? Most of all I love seeing the growth and the newness of what spring brings!
Sometimes it takes a season of winter or two ( lol ) to see a ” new thing ” come forth. A new way that God wants to do something in and through us. The only way that we will ever perceive a new way is to do a ” new thing”! Even though I perceive it to be mundane, it could be exactly what Isaiah 43:19 says, a stream in the desert to my soul.
Behold, I am about to do something new; even now it is coming. Do you not see it? Indeed, I will make a way in the wilderness and streams in the desert.
God is moving; He was moving when Isaiah wrote this verse; God was moving towards the cross. God has finished the final work through Jesus, but He is still doing new things. Still actively moving in us and on behalf of us. I love how this verse says DO YOU NOT SEE IT? Oh! That question hits me, just like the Jews missed Yeshua (Jesus) our Savior! We can be so caught up in our daily lives, daily rituals, the busyness of life, and miss what God wants for our lives. We can be so caught up in religious activities and good works and miss God if we are not actively reading and dialoguing with Him in the scriptures, we can miss Him and miss the small blessings He brings to us daily.
I think more than ever we are losing something spectacular in our relationships with God. It is dialogue, the word of God is going to deal directly with your heart. It is going to speak to places you thought were dead and barren. God’s word was meant to be opened and we are supposed to ask questions and allow Him to answer us with His word. Ask, and you will receive. Seek Him and you will find Him. Knock and He will answer you! ( Matthew 7:7)
This past weekend I went to a leadership conference. I love how God uses these conferences to fill us up and to speak to us clearly through our leaders inside the church. Plus, let’s be honest just getting away and in a new atmosphere can bring clarity in itself. I suppose that is why I love going so very much. It is about God doing a ” new thing” in me and for me.
He used leaders to directly speak to places of uncertainty with the word of God. Directly into my circumstances! That prompted me to ask God more in-depth questions and to confirm His will through His word to me personally. Guess, what He did!
If I had chose to just shrug off what I heard God speaking and go on my way, I will have missed something God has in store for me. I haven’t always been walking with Christ. I would say seven years total that I have had a real relationship with Jesus. For years I believed, and I accepted Christ, but I never accessed our relationship. I simply didn’t think I had too! I missed those years, but I know now I never have to miss Him again! I have heard the loud critics voice in my ear, saying: ” You are taking that out of context!” “God is not saying that or why would He say that to you.” I don’t have the most exquisite way of saying it, but here is what I have experienced with the word of God and the Holy Spirit. The word of God is God’s very breath, all 66 books, from Genesis to Revelation. I believe and want God’s very breath to breathe in my life every day. The Holy Spirit is the power, wisdom, knowledge and understanding that I must have in order to take God’s breath in. I wish that for everyone, but as a person who lives in reality, I know that some won’t. That does not stop me though!!! I love God’s word, for goodness sake, anyone who knows me has seen my library of commentaries and my resource ” stuff ” I am not writing this to defend myself; I am merely writing this to express what God has shared with me and has helped me so much along the way. So here it goes:
English Standard Version
For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
Hebrews 4:12 ESV
If we are going to perceive a new thing that God wants to do in us or through us we have to be actively dialoguing with Jesus in and through the scriptures. That means you ask a question and He answers back through the word of God. In the verse above this paragraph, I want you to read that out loud. The word of God is alive, full of God’s spirit, and the word of God divides the lies that life throws us daily. The word of God redirects our motives and our thoughts.
English Standard Version
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
Romans 12:2 ESV
The only way that God can transform us is by the renewing of our minds. Sound’s like God is directly saying to us that if we want a new mind He will give it through the scriptures. God radically wants to transform us, but we have to be willing to find it in the word of God.
Do you sense God is wanting to do a ” new thing” in your life?
Are you confused or unsure about it?
What is leading your walk with God?
All three of these questions are easily solved. The answer is to be found in the word of God.
I challenge you this week, ask God a question in your life. A problem that is throwing you for a loop? See, if He will not lead you to the answer! He is faithful! There are amazing conversations to be had with The Lord of the U
I think most people will agree with me when I say that experiencing a moment, or multiple moments, of conviction, can be one of life’s best teachers. You know what I’m talkin’ about right? That second you want to crawl in a hole because you’re feeling smothered in guilt, remorse, shame…need I go on?
I am sure it doesn’t take long for us all to recall those, not so fun, life lessons. Whether we impulsively stuck our foot/feet in our mouths, blew a situation out of proportion, or continue to fail at that one thing you’ve been trying to work on; if you’re a follower of Christ, His Spirit will quickly begin to weigh on us. I can just picture His Holy Spirit standing in front of me with His arms crossed while tapping His foot out of frustration until I have that Ah Hah moment of, “Yeah, I probably shouldn’t have done/said that.”
I had just such an experience this week. Several of them, I’m sure, but one that is really tugging at me. I have been struggling for about a month with kidney stones. I was passing seven at one time, had surgery to have a stent placed, and finally began feeling better last week as I was starting to recover. By the end of the week, I could tell I was passing more. I went to the doctor, and they did see multiple stones. Good times (deep sigh). Ladies and gentlemen let the pity party begin!
Can’t you just hear the thoughts I was having…”Why is this happening to me again? What did I do to deserve this? Wah wah wah…” Poor pitiful me. I could feel the frown on my face. All while sitting in my air-conditioned home, on my comfortable sofa, reclined with my heating pad, my fourteen-year-old daughter making my plate of food, and watching all the Netflix my little heart desires. Sounds hideous, doesn’t it?
I have been blessed with the opportunity to go on two mission trips to very poverty-stricken areas in Uganda over the last couple of years. Each time coming home feeling terrible about how so very spoiled we are as Americans, and we don’t even know it. We don’t realize how ridiculous we sound to people around the world when we complain about standing in line too long, and wi-fi being too slow, and “I don’t really feel like eating there…”
I would get so aggravated when people would moan about their “first world problems”, yet here I was, doing just that. I realized it while I was sitting through our weekly Women’s Bible Study group discussing missionaries over the centuries that have literally sacrificed and lost everything to be obedient to God. One, William Carey, traveled to India in the 1800s with his wife and children. While there, one of his sons and his wife died. He continued to serve the Lord through it all, and His ministry impacted innumerable lives.
The way I would have seen that situation if it was me, I’m afraid, would be a much different view than what he saw. Through the pain, sacrifice, grief, and struggle, he saw the path that God had laid before him from the beginning. He could see the lives that would be touched, and the Glory God would receive if he persevered. His view was filled with the desire to show Christ to a lost world, the faith that knew God was in control, and the expectation of Him to do something absolutely amazing with his situation. Not only that but what a testimony for people to witness a man walking out His faith in such a way. We claim to have hope, but so few of us show it when the rubber meets the road.
As we read Carey’s story, I could feel myself sinking in my chair. How much had I complained that day and the days before? My view was filled with self-pity and impatience. I was focused on my circumstance instead of fixing my eyes on the One that was in control of it. I lost sight of all the blessings that fill my life that I know I don’t deserve.
With that being said, I type this with a smile on my face (while sitting on a heating pad 😊) because I am so very thankful for God’s sanctification process through conviction. NOT CONDEMNATION. That’s a whole other topic that I won’t get into tonight. I am thankful for the tests we must go through, whether I succeed or fail. I am thankful for conditions that He allows me to endure in order to continue to mold me into the person He created me to be.
Consider changing your view to one that sees struggling in the Christian life as a temporary privilege.
We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love. Romans 5:3-5
Love, what a word. It is a great word, over used, but a great word! Love is also suppose to be an action, not just a word.
Let’s look at this word “Love.” The Holman Illustration Bible Dictionary defines “love” as: unselfish, loyal, and benevolent intention and commitment toward another. These are hard for us sometimes.
There are a couple of Hebrew words used in the Old Testament for this word “Love” and they are: ahavah – which can be used of human love towards oneself, or another person (Jer 31:3); and the other is chesed – which is covenant love.
There are a few Greek words for “Love” in the new testament and they are: eros – erotic or sexual love; phileo– tender affection, such as towards a friend or a family member. It’s used to express the Father God’s love for Jesus (John 5:20), God’s love for an individual believer (John 16:27), Jesus’ love for a disciple (John 20:2). It’s not used for a person’s love towards God; and then there is agapao – used by believers to denote the special unconditional love of God and is used interchangeable with phileo to designate God the Father’s love for Jesus (John 3:35), God the Father’s love for a believer (John 14:21) and Christ’s love for a disciple (John 13:23). Love is a fruut of the Holy Spirit (Gal 5:22), it is not directed toward the world or the things of the world (I John 2;15, 16). The ultimate example of God’s love is the Lord Jesus Christ (John 13:34, and 15:12). Jesus is LOVE! (I John 4:8) God is LOVE!
There is no love like God’s love! He loves the un-loveable and undeserving. Can we say that we do this? Do we love our enemy, the person that caused us the pain and hurt us, or made us mad? God does – He loves each and every one of us; so much, He sent His son to wash away our sins and save us so He could be with us.
Jesus showed love to the soldier that came to take him away by healing his ear after Peter cut if off (because he was mad at the soldier for trying to take Jesus). So that person we don’t like because they hurt us or made us mad, the one we just can’t stand to be around, or the one we turn our noses up at – God loves and He COMMANDS us to do the same. We make the excuse sometimes, that “I’m not God, I can’t do that”; and that’s true – we are not God. So why do we try to be Him when we are judging people, or gossiping about people. If we are true believers in Christ then we can love like Christ because He placed His “Helper” in us when we accepted Him into our hearts. He sealed the Holy Spirit in us, so we have His power to love as He loves. We can’t do anything God asks us to do without His help, and allowing Him to do it through us. We need to ask God to change our hearts and eyes; so we can love and see people as He does. If we are sincere when we ask Him to do this, He will be faithful to change us; but we also have a teachable heart. Because when He changes us, He may ask us to show love to the one person we thought we couldn’t stand to be around.
Remember, we don’t know what someone else is going through or what they are dealing with in the life; but God does and he may just use us to reach that person. If we listen and follow what God tells us to do, He’ll do it through us, not us. Then we will start seeing our fruit start growing. if every one of us loved as God commands of us, oh how different this world would look.
Let’s pray for hearts and eyes like God’s, so we can start loving our neighbors and our enemies, and start making a difference in our communities. If we all start there then maybe all the communities would soon join together and a true Unity will start. Let’s start growing our fruit.
DON’T MISS IT!
“Ladies and Gentlemen, we are surrounded by insurmountable opportunities.” (unknown author)
Isn’t it just like us, humans, to overcomplicate things? I have recently had a realization that is going to change the landscape of my everyday life. God has already revealed His plan for my life. And yours!! And yet I, like many believers, have spent so much time making “doing His Will” way more complicated than it actually is.
Over the last several years, I have been blessed with the opportunity to be a part of some incredible works. I have participated in two mission trips to Uganda where I witnessed God’s glory in a way that forever changed my heart and how I see the world. I have watched our church family here in Kentucky transform into a church determined to spread the gospel as far as it can reach. After seeing so many miraculous and wondrous acts of God, I allowed myself to be convinced that that was the only way He could use me. In the “Big Stuff.” You know, the important stuff like mission trips, and church planting, fostering children….so I sat and prayed, “God, show me your will!” “Lord, I just want to do Your will, please reveal what you want me to do next.” “God, I’m still here…waiting for you to tell me the next big thing….” (crickets, lots of ‘em).
He was listening, He always is. He was just waiting for me too. So, to give me a little nudge it the right direction, he sent my friend Akim from Uganda to shake some sense into me. He came all the way to Kentucky in the middle of winter to visit the non-profit organization he works with here and in Uganda. I grew very close to him on my trips there and was thrilled to have him come and speak at our church about mission work. As we were standing around catching up, he asked how I was and what I had been up to the last several months. I responded with something like, “Oh, just going to work and church and chasing my teenager around. I have been praying for what God wants me to do next. I am seriously considering quitting my job to go into full-time ministry.” My tone must have been dripping with a bit of frustration. I could tell by the look he gave me when he asked, “Quit your job so you can what? Be in full-time ministry? Are you not in full-time ministry everywhere you go as a believer in Jesus Christ? Does He not have you right where He wants you in order to make the biggest impact at this very moment? Are you surrounded by more people that need to hear the gospel at your work or at your church?” Oh, how I wish you could read that in his soothing Ugandan accent just as I can hear it in my mind. I wonder if I looked like how I felt at that moment. You know that feeling where you want to crawl in a hole and cover yourself up? Even as I type this, I am shaking my head. Praise the Lord for His patience with us and the gentle nudges He gives to remind us of His Word and promises.
The Great Commission wasn’t meant for special occasions, huge church events, and mission trips. We are called to be everyday missionaries on the lookout for the opportunities God places in front of us, big and small. Everyday missionaries are those who practice life on mission where God has placed them. As followers of Jesus Christ, our lives have a mission. God has a purpose and plan for us. In fact, He wants to do more “in” us and “through” us than we can even imagine. But it is not about us—it’s about Him. EVERYTHING we do—our jobs, our parenting, our words, our actions, our life’s mission—should be done with the intention of bringing glory to His name. Never missing the chance to shine a light in this dark and fallen world.
1 Corinthians 10:31— “… Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for God’s glory.” (ESV)
We are everyday missionaries, and God has created each of us in a special way to take part in His plan. From high school students to retirees, from stay-at-home moms to CEO’s, we each have a part in the greatest story ever told. This is a story about an extraordinary love. Too many people think that only “extraordinary” believers can be used for Christ. God has called each of us to live a life on mission wherever we are – no matter our age, occupation, biblical knowledge, or busy schedule.
He’s asking us to see what He sees. Opportunities within our realities.
DON’T MISS IT!!
Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your hope as a believer, always be ready to explain it. 1 Peter 3:15
Listen to the latest Podcast! https://anchor.fm/songstrengthministries/episodes/Loving-One-Another-e3asuu
Greetings to all reading the blog today. May it be a blessing to you as it is for me sharing.
Dear Heavenly Father, as we continue to grow deeper in love with you, help us, to be aware of those around us needing your love as well. It’s easy to get caught up in “our truth” and lose focus on you. Be BOLD to us when we fall short of the messages you have for us; when we lose our attention from you. May we Lord, glorify you, by reaching out to the ones who can’t seem to find their way. Help us, to reveal to them the only way is through you in our actions and words. Help us, to relate to one another in one accord so that we appear as one army in connection with the Holy Spirit. Let us acknowledge the Holy Spirit when it’s present and declare its power over our lives. I pray these things in Jesus name, Amen.
February 23, 2018. A day like any other day. I woke up to get out of bed, I turned on my children’s lights and woke them up for school. I proceeded to order some products online before I took them to school. I don’t usually do work things before 10 a.m. because I wanted to exercise; I thought that I needed to get this one thing done. Ten minutes from walking out the door my ordinary life took a turn that I couldn’t imagine, I suffered a stroke.
While my children were scrambling to get their things together to walk out the door, I was trying to figure out how to get back in my house from going outside to warm up my car. Finally, making it back in I mumbled, that they needed to call their grandmother, who was only minutes away. The look of fear on their faces. I’ll never forget it. As I stumbled around trying to see correctly, I felt as if I was in a cloud. I felt light as a feather. Everything I was experiencing didn’t seem real. My children were so upset, and I couldn’t get upset with them! I had zero pain or discomfort. I was disoriented and couldn’t see properly, but for some reason I had peace.
It is so hard to describe into words what I was feeling emotionally and physically. I felt as if I was in a different place. My body was here, but my spirit was somewhere else. To see my kids upset usually ignites anxiety in me, but I had no emotions to express. I now understand the words “out of body experience.” I was lucky….or was I?
God’s mercy reigned supreme. I was hospitalized for three days and sent home. I spent twenty weeks in rehab. My body responded as well as it could. I am grateful where I am physically and emotionally. I am a new person, I know I could be much worse. There is a point of which your body and mind will only allow you to do before it literally shuts itself down. It is a science, I wished, I could explain, but I know that there is only one explanation…
God the creator of the Universe!
In many ways, I feel that my life parallels with many others. For instance, I feel as if I somehow can relate to stories I have read in scripture. I don’t mean literally but figuratively of course. The Bible was written thousands of years ago, yet, as I read through it, I’m amazed at the way each story is told and how relatable it is to my truth.
For instance, let’s take Joseph’s story. He came from a large family. He was not liked by his brothers so they conspired against him. His brother’s thought that murdering him would be the answer. Then his oldest brother Rueben stepped in, and he was sold instead. For years he was enslaved then became Potipher’s right-hand man with one request to not have any relationship with his wife. Well, she desired to have a relationship with Joseph but he is a man of God, a man who honored his position under Potipher’s leadership. So she lied and Joseph was thrown into jail. There he gained trust from the warden. He beyond his troubles had favor with God. God gave him the ability to interpret dreams. Pharaoh was very pleased with his gift. Joseph went on to save the people from famine in Egypt. (Read Genesis Chapters 36-46.)
Joseph could have easily, from adolescence age, have made a decision to not follow the calling God had for him. He could have rebelled at each place he was brought to. Eliminating his chances at making his environments better than they were. But, because of his obedience to God, Joseph chose the right side to be on. He made a decision to fight for his dignity by doing things that were pleasing to God. He forgave his brothers.
Through everything, you’ve been through, have you made decisions that could have put you in a good position with God and your neighbors? If not, it’s ok, you still can, you have the same freedom as we all do and the many others before you. Having Faith makes things possible, not easy. You just have to believe that your truth doesn’t define you in any way. That your unique experiences refined you, made you stronger, wiser, and gave you more endurance for the next hurdle to get through.
I’m about to celebrate my “Strokeversary!” That is Stroke Anniversary. 1 year ago this could have been a totally different outcome and yet he has me here sharing with you how you can be your better self. All you have to do is be encouraging to others. Igniting a fire of inspiration for someone who needs it.
I believe my parallel to this is that through it all, being an orphan, living in a group home, many health issues, gaining the trust of those around me through my heart on display, being willing to be obedient at any cost, believing that Jesus is the only way to my happiness. I know without a doubt that my testimony, who I know I am through Christ, is the Truth that I need to survive until he calls me home. What he equips me to be through the process, is his will and I can submit to it. That means I’ll take whatever fire that comes my way in the namesake for the King of King’s and Lord of Lords. I am invested because He is invested in me.
So don’t let your identity be sold by others. Your identity is in Christ Jesus the son of God who came to redeem you in his name. Live out your story with integrity and honor to the one who gave, Jesus, so that you can live forever beside him. The things we endure are not in vain nor are they to define us; they are to refine us. Today is a new day, live in obedience to God and own your truth.
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