Tis The Season – For a Change of Heart

I should probably preface this post by saying it is not at all strange for me to be thinking or daydreaming about all things Christmas, no matter what time of year it is. You see, I am a Christmasaholic. Even as I sit in my rocking chair on my front porch enjoying this beautiful 72 degree May evening in Kentucky; I can’t help but wish it was almost Christmas again.

My mind was repeating, the song “Pretty Paper” by Randy Travis. If you’ve ever heard it, I’m sure the unique voice of Mr. Travis is ringing through your ears with those familiar words. I slowly rock back and forth as I watch the sunset over the horses in the field, humming the holiday tune. But the rocking stopped, and I felt myself scowling as I paused on the following lyrics:

“Crowded street, busy feet, hustle by him
Downtown shoppers, Christmas is nigh
There he sits all alone on the sidewalk
Hoping that you won’t pass him by
Should you stop? Better not, much too busy
You’re in a hurry, my how time does fly
In the distance the ringing of laughter
And in the midst of the laughter, he cries….”

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My feelings of holiday spirit quickly shifted to ones of concern and sadness. How often have I been guilty of that very thing? How many times have I been too busy or distracted to notice someone I could help? I’m flooded with conviction as I think of this morning’s drive to work. It was pouring rain; I could hardly see through the windshield. Through the rapid swiping of the wipers I could see a man riding his bike in the same direction I was headed. A raincoat synched around his face and wearing a backpack; I am confident he was doing what he could to get to the school that’s a few miles down the road. The next thing I know, I am looking at him through my rearview mirror as I drive on. I could’ve stopped. I could’ve put his bike in the back of my SUV and got him out of the rain. Yes, I would’ve gotten drenched, and I had no way of knowing if he was a good person or not (you know, all the excuses I let justify me not doing the right thing). But isn’t that the point? Sacrificing for someone else?

Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God. Ephesians 5:2

My heart aches at the thought that our world, or should I say, the people in it, can be described much more accurately by the lyrics of that Christmas song than by the example set by our savior.

Think about the last time someone did something nice for you that was a complete surprise. Those moments in life when people go the extra mile to encourage and lift us up really makes us feel special. Why do their actions have that effect on us? I’m sorry to say that they probably stand out because it’s so different from what we experience the rest of the time. Day in and day out, most of us are forced to deal with people who care more about themselves than they care about others.

We have allowed ourselves to become a people who are no longer willing to carry the burden for someone else. We make every excuse in the world to justify our behavior. “I’ve got my own problems; I can’t worry about them right now.” “Someone else will do it; I just don’t have time.” Or my favorite, “I just don’t feel called to do that.” So engulfed in the business and worldly things we have worked so hard for; we are suffocating from our toxic self-centeredness as we choke God out of every aspect of our lives and effortlessly make those in need around us invisible. Just look away, don’t make eye contact…the second you are out of sight, they are out of your mind.

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These quotes from Francis Chan’s book Crazy Love are spot on:
“God’s definition of what matters is pretty straightforward. He measures our lives by how we love.” – Chan isn’t referring to how we love our families and friends. And neither is God.

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments. Matthew 22:37-40

You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. Matthew 5:43

How are you doing in that area of life? How often do you find yourself showing love, compassion, and respect for those that aren’t your favorite people in the world? One of God’s greatest commandments is for us to love our neighbor as ourselves. To regard their needs and desires as highly as we regard our own. THAT is what God measures our lives by…are we imitating the life of our savior and putting the needs of others above our own?

“It is true that God may have called you to be exactly where you are. But, it is absolutely vital to grasp that he didn’t call you there so you could settle in and live your life in comfort and superficial peace.”

Chan is reminding us that God didn’t create you and me to merely exist and make our goal in life to get as much money as possible so we can be as comfortable as possible. He puts us where we are because He has something for each of us to do at that very moment. I passed that man on his bike and FAILED! God’s plan was still fulfilled. Someone did stop to help him. I drove right past an opportunity to serve and glorify God and be used by Him out of complete and utter selfishness. So He used someone else. That shouldn’t be a relief to anyone. I want to stand before a Holy God and hear Him say, “Well Done Daughter, Well done.” Not, “Is this all you did with the time I gave you.”

“Do you know that nothing you do in this life will ever matter, unless it is about loving God and loving the people he has made?” – I don’t think Mr. Chan needs my help explaining this one at all, do you?

How’s The View?

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?

ashamed 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!

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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…”

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 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

DON’T MISS IT

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.

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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

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Get up, Sister!

Get up! Sister…

We need you to rise and take hold of who you are in Christ. We need you! We need your voice; we need your words, we need your personality. We need your hands and feet to proclaim Jesus. We need you to realize who you are in Christ. You are not a mistake, a joke, a failure. You were purposed to be a solution in our world. Your life and the events that have happened were not so you could roll around in ashes, NO, you were created to overcome the ashes for beauty.

You have not been through it all in vain, you have been through it all and have remained. You are still intact not with a spirit of fear, but a spirit of power and love and sound judgment. You are not defeated, Get up! Sister

Rise and take hold of what God has put before you. Do not back down now! You are not weak-willed you have been trained and sustained so that you can stand with confidence. You chose to endure when no one saw; you chose Jesus when everything in you wanted to jump ship. You chose the good portion, and it will not be taken away from you, just like Mary at Bethany. At the feet of Jesus trusting and believing, listening and learning. Instead of busyness, you chose Him.

You filled your lanterns with oil, trimming the wick so the flame would not go out. Yes, maybe at times the flame has waned, but it has never gone out. Get up! Sister. There is still more oil to store. There is a wick that needs trimming so the flame can burn bright once again.

Get up! Sister and read your Bible out-loud when the enemy whispers His lies. Fight him with the word of God and he will flee. There is no other way!

Get up! Sister and dismiss the voices of others who do not have any oil for this time. Dismiss the Martha’s who are bitter because they chose to be busy when Jesus was inviting them to sit and learn. We need you, girl! We need you standing full of confidence in Jesus with us; there is plenty of room, we saved you a seat. Take it!

Get up! Sister and find your identity in Christ for yourself. Fill your vessels with oil, the word of God. We need you, we are waiting for you to rise up.

Faith Over Fear

Fear is something we all feel, no matter how big our faith is. Fear is fickle and funny; it creeps in all too often in our fragile hearts. I find myself asking over and over what am I going to choose? Am I going to decide to let my fear overtake my faith in God or, am I going to resolve myself in God’s truth and walk forward and trust Him? These are questions we all face as believers, and to tell you the truth they are hard, but not impossible.

Photo by Bas Masseus on Pexels.com

I found myself staring late last night at my bible app. when I clicked on Luke 8:25 and read this verse there was the question that had been gnawing at my soul all day. A question of my faith, was I going to trust in my living hope; Jesus Christ or was I going to trust in my fleeting feelings?


25 He said to them, ” Where is your faith?” And they were afraid, and they marveled, saying to one another, ” Who then is this, that he commands even the winds and water, and they obey him?”
Luke 8:25 ESV

Where is your faith? That is a question that God asks me continually. I like what is behind that question most of all, ” And they were afraid!!! I am not sure what that does for your heart, but what it does for mine is give me courage! A hope that I can be completely scared out of my ever-loving mind, and still have faith! I can even be amazed at what and how God is working and be terrified all at the same time! What this tells me is I can be in the middle of my fickle fears, and still choose faith! I might feel fear, but I can choose to resolve myself to courage.

In the Merriam-Webster Dictionary

courage

nouncour·​age | \ ˈkər-ij  , ˈkə-rij\

Definition of courage

mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty

In Matthew 14:27 Jesus says something to the disciples in their fear. ” Take courage; it is I. Do not be afraid.”

Jesus knew that the disciples were shaking and quaking in that boat! Jesus spoke to the fear, confirmed His identity, and instructed them in their fear. That is what we have to do; we have to seek God’s wisdom and speak His truth. Jesus will confirm and affirm who we are in Him and finally give us instructions to carry out. We get so caught up the fact that we feel fear, but from what I have read in scripture from Genesis to Revelation, all I see in people is fear in many different forms. What separates the faith-filled from the frightened is courage. No matter how bad it looked, the heroes of faith believed God and GOD BLESSED IT! We can look at their stance; the common thread is they took comfort, hope, and a knowing that at the core of God is love and that He purposed them to do the thing that was asking.

I truly believe in my heart no matter how mature you are in Christ, fear will always be there, not to hinder us but to build our faith in Him. Fear is only bad if we let it overtake and overcome us. We can choose courage over fear through Christ. If you are like me and your struggle with fear these verses will give you the courage to do the thing God has purposed you for. If you are in Christ all things are possible!

We are more than conquers in Christ Jesus Romans 8:37

for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. 2 Timothy 1:7

You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world. 1 John 4:4

Father we thank you, for your son, Jesus Christ. We thank you that we are free from fear through Jesus. Holy Spirit, enable and empower us to conquer our fears through courage. Father, tear down any strongholds of fear in us. Lord, we pray 2 Corinthians 10:4-5 The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.  We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. We acknowledge that fear is a weapon, but we know that you Lord are more excellent than he who is in this world. We take heart in Jesus our Savior and commit to believing Him at any costs! Help us to resolve ourselves in your word so that you can fill us up with hope once again. Strengthen and fortify the breaches in our faith. Help our unbelief, Lord! In Jesus mighty name Amen.

The ESV Global Study Bible®, ESV® Bible
Copyright © 2012 by Crossway.
All rights reserved.

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®)
Copyright © 2001 by Crossway,
a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
All rights reserved.

ESV Text Edition: 2016

My Eyes Are Above The Waves

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Just wanted to give some of you just a glimpse of what has been going on. No excuses except one tired Mama. To be honest and transparent  I am in a bit of a dry spell. Seems these days I am grasping for alone time with Jesus. I believe Jesus in this season is just simply throwing me for a loop. That is good, ha! He is switching up and stretching me. So, I pray I am even more honest with Jesus and you all. It is an accountability thing, so here we go! Back in the saddle as they say.

This morning I was standing at coffee maker and had an overwhelming feeling of fear of failure. A “feeling” that turned into a “thought” (hmmm sound familiar??) As soon as that thought ran through my mind I said to myself ” Jesus, meet me right here. I am choosing today to direct my eyes back to you and not what I feel or think.”  A simple heart cry from a struggling piece of flesh. A heart cry, I believe there is something broken and beautiful about a heart cry. I am not saying replace a heart cry with prayer, but there are moments on our journies where the weary can only cry out from their heart. That heart cry invites Jesus to come in like a flood. That heart cry is healthy and welcomed by a tender and merciful God.

A heart cry of a wounded warrior is the beginning battle cry to the divine warrior, Jesus.

A heart cry is really a heart turning to Jesus, it is repentance. Repentance for walking without talking; running without resting. To me, there is just something miraculous and full of wonder about a child of God’s heart. I am captivated by how gentle and caring our omnipotent God can turn a heart of a wandering child. There is just something about it, I really can’t describe it with words. It is powerful, yet so graceful. Every single child of God knows the indescribable brilliance of God turning a heart. It is God’s glory, and His name is Jesus.

I don’t really have anything profound or significant to type out today. Just in case you are in the same rocking boat I am in today. Know this, a heart that cries out to Jesus is a heart that knows Jesus. It is a heart that knows the grace, mercy, and love of God.

It wouldn’t be me without scripture, so I am going to leave you with this Psalm 123 MSG. I chose The Message translation because it just fits this morning. Feel free to read in any translation. I really believe with all my heart all the things that are occurring in our lives, world and specifically in the United States. I would be safe to say every child of God is crying out in our hearts today Psalm 123. I am praying today, in my small prayers that our heart would cry out to Jesus and would lead us to the feet of Jesus every time in every situation. I sure do love each precious eye that reads these words. It really is an honor to get to share my heart with so many. Today, my friend in the waves of life there is mercy. So, with that being said when things are looking bad or even terrible I am reminded of this:

My eyes are above the waves, my eyes are drawn up toward heaven for help.

I am a servant that is watching, waiting, and holding my breath for your mercy God

Mercy, God, mercy! <3

Thank you, Father, for your mercy; Jesus Christ. In Jesus glorious and mighty name, Amen

Psalm 123 Msg

1-4 I look to you, heaven-dwelling God,
    look up to you for help.
Like servants, alert to their master’s commands,
    like a maiden attending her lady,
We’re watching and waiting, holding our breath,
    awaiting your word of mercy.
Mercy, God, mercy!
    We’ve been kicked around long enough,
Kicked in the teeth by complacent rich men,
    kicked when we’re down by arrogant brutes.

 

The Deceitful Distractions

Luke 10:38-42English Standard Version (ESV)

Martha and Mary

38 Now as they went on their way, Jesus[a] entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. 39 And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching.40 But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” 41 But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, 42 but one thing is necessary.[b] Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”

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This small bit of info in the scriptures has always intrigued me. I mean I get the spiritual implication here. I know that we can get so caught up in serving that we forget to come to Jesus in prayer and allow Him to teach us His word. What I really want to focus in on is Jesus reply to Martha. After she has what I call a spiritual breakdown and physical fatigue meltdown.

The reason we react just like Martha in our journey with Jesus is:

1.) We are distracted

Just like it says here in verse forty, 40 But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.”

Martha was distracted with much serving and not enough time with Jesus who gives rest

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When we have a distracted mind frame, we are spread thin. Troubled mindset is always related to not taking our cares to God in prayer. We think we can just “handle it” “we believe God has strengthened us enough to take care of it” or “We might even find it is just not important enough to vocalize to God.” We are carrying loads of emotion, regret, and shame and suppressing it instead of sharing it with the burden carrier. This leads straight to excuses then before you know it we have arrived at distracted danger. You know it could be as little as someone said something to you that hurt you to the core. It could be that you are struggling financially, it could be that you are having major problems in your relationships with your loved ones. All these things have the potential to distract us from the word of God. Oh, how guilty of this I am. No matter how mature or immature I appear or even am, I still need to reset and rest at the feet of Jesus.  That will never change, His Word says:

Matthew 11:28

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

 

2.) We become impatient

Martha says directly to Jesus ” Lord! Do you even care that my sister has left me alone to serve? Tell her to help me!!!!

 

 

So, when we become distracted any little infraction becomes gigantic and we microscope everything, everyone, every situation. We are walking around like a nuclear bomb waiting to unleash on everyone and everything. We are bubbling over with cares concerns, and criticisms that have not been passed through the Word of God or at the feet of Jesus. We are wired like eight-day clocks.  This is stress, it is building up because we are holding it in. Again, no matter how far I grow up in Christ. If I am not careful, I naturally get to a place where I begin to do this. Jesus knows this and is well aware of “What is actually eating at Gilbert Grape.” This is when we should be clued in, this is when the Holy Spirit is saying ” Come to me, I will give you comfort, rest, assurance.” Our instinct is to hold it in, but Jesus is saying ” Tell Me, what is bothering you.” If we do what the Word of God says:

1Peter 5:7

7  casting all your care on Him, because He cares about you.

You know Martha is not the only person to think that God did not care about a circumstance. The disciples also did the same thing in

Mark 4:38.

38  But He was in the stern, sleeping on the cushion. So they woke Him up and said to Him, “Teacher! Don’t You care that we’re going to die?”

The boat was catching water, it was tipping back and forth, so many men crammed in, lighting striking all around, wind blowing them down. You get the picture! Yet in letting the storm distract them, they grew impatient. They cried out and accused The Lord of not caring about their lives. Sound familiar??? I know it does to me! I am so thankful for infinite grace and renewed mercies every day for all of us.

The third and final point I want to draw out is

3.) Jesus is faithful, even when we are distracted and impatient.

Even in our distraction and impatience Jesus still answer’s us. He calms us down and say’s to us just what He said to Martha

41 But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things,

Jesus knows what really is bothering Martha, she is trying to carry all of it on her shoulders. She is trying to control and she can not, she is trying to rely on herself instead of Jesus, she is not allowing herself enough time with Jesus to unload her cares and concerns to Jesus who gives rest.

We are all Martha’s at times, we just have to remember that there is always a pair of feet we can come and rest at.

Phillipans 4:6

6 Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.

Luke 12:22

22  Then He said to His disciples: “Therefore I tell you, don’t worry about your life, what you will eat; or about the body, what you will wear. 

I love a comma, I love that there is something that follows right behind what we know we should already do. It is called God’s grace, and without it, we are bankrupt. It is how love endures and never fails.

Notice after Jesus tells Martha what the real problem is he follows up with an invitation at least that is what I see in this scripture.

41 But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, 42 but one thing is necessary.[b] Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”

 

 

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But one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the right portion, which will not be taken away from her.”

Jesus is telling Martha ” That can wait, Martha, come and join Mary and sit at my feet and listen.

Jesus said one thing is necessary for us to continue to move forward in our relationship, our callings, our season’s of life. That is that when we feel overwhelmed, defeated, anxious, upset, angry or happy, joyful, and rejoicing that we make time for us to sit at the feet of Jesus and listen to what He says and teaches us, daily. He invites us, He never forces. He will remain to wait even when we come to Him asking with prayer ” Lord! DO YOU EVEN CARE!”

Of course, He cares, He is just not distracted by the storm like we are. He is the living God, nothing moves Him; except us. He moved from His throne to save us. He moves on our behalf every day. He is our all in all; our Champion. Our Hero.

Psalm 16:5  Lord, You are my portion hand my cup of blessing; You hold my future

Psalm 27:4  I have asked one thing from the  Lord; it is what I desire: to dwell in the house of the  Lord all the days of my life, gazing on the beauty of the  Lord and seeking Him in His temple

Remember our work is unto the Lord

John 6:27

27  Don’t work for the food that perishes d but for the food that lasts for eternal life,  which the Son of Man  will give you, because God the Father has set His seal of approval on Him.”

 

 

 

Your Weakness Is Where Grace Glories

Grace1

 

Friend, remember today in all of our weakness His power is made perfect through those weaknesses

You don’t have to have a particular prayer

You don’t have to look a certain way

You certainly don’t have to be “good enough.”

All you have to do for God to use you is have a dependency on Jesus.

I asked the Lord a couple of weeks ago to heal a broken place in my life. I heard inside my heart “My Grace is Sufficient for you.” I smiled and said “Amen.” That answer was not No, or I don’t care. This reply was telling me to lean on Jesus, He will sustain us (Colossians 1:16-17 )

So, as Paul says in

2 Corinthians 12:10
That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weakness, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Friend, I don’t have all the answer’s. There are thing’s that make me scratch my head and even wonder “Why?” but I know to the core of my soul. God’s Character is only good and no darkness lies (1John1:5) (James 1:17) (Daniel 2:22) Why do I believe that? Not because of my own heart, but because of God’s heart toward man. That’s found in the Bible. That beautifully bound book reveals Him and only Him. Sometimes we have to get over ourselves to see the bigger picture. All roads lead to Jesus. He is the center of the universe, and if God says it in His Word, then He will do it. He stands guard over His word watching, making sure it comes to pass. Jeremiah 1:12

Keep praying the Word of God over yourselves and declaring His Word even in our weaknesses.  After all, His word says He has loved us with an everlasting love. (Jeremiah 31:3)

Washed by the Water

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In our service to Jesus sometimes we have to make hard decisions. They are sometimes hard to carry, sometimes they come with a price. I am reminded of what Jesus said and did for the disciples in
John 13:6-8
Jesus Washes His Disciples’ Feet
 …6He came to Simon Peter, who asked Him, “Lord, are You going to wash my feet?” 7Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later” you will understand. 8“Never shall You wash my feet!” Peter told Him. Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with Me.”…
I can relate to Peter. Peter’s heart is in devotion mode, but his flesh needs constant washing with the Word. Jesus knows the heart. Jesus saw past the quick response that Peter gave and saw a heart that was devoted but lacked understanding. Peter replied to Jesus,
Never will you wash my feet, and Jesus said, “Peter! If I do not wash your feet, you will not have business with Me.”
Peter complied because his heart was devoted, and Jesus washed Peter’s feet signifying that nothing is below us in service to Jesus and that in Jesus washing us with the Word of God we will be able to remain in Him and devote ourselves to service.
Even the most mature Christian will become ineffective if we refuse Jesus, and deny Him to wash our feet with the Word of God. With that washing, our lives will bring glory and honor to Jesus. We must determine ourselves to duty and anything that might hinder us to do so we must lay to the side so that we can bring glory to Jesus. We must Abide in Christ. He is our source for service, without Him will we fall away.
John 15 Abide in me, and I in you.
My point being Jesus is telling us Abide in Him, then He remains in us.
He never leaves nor forsakes us; we are the ones that decide where to abide.
We leave Jesus; He never leaves us.
 Jesus is our source.
 Jesus is the Word of God.
 Jesus has made us clean.
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So, today if you are facing another decision, another boundary, another problematic circumstance. I am praying for you, Jesus never said that our journey through this world would be easy. He did say He would be with us and help us through our troubles. One day we will no longer feel the pain of stress, sickness, or sadness.
One day we will not feel the frustration of being wronged, betrayed, misunderstood, or accused. One day we will be standing in front of Jesus wrapped up in his everlasting arms, and we will understand everything. This life is difficult at times; I pray we give each other grace. I pray that today for both you and I that we will sit for a while and allow the water of the Word to wash over our minds, hearts, and souls.
I am praying this verse over all of us who are in Christ and are in service and who are facing difficult decisions.
Galatians 6:9
 Let us not grow weary or become discouraged in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap, if we do not give in.
woman in the fields Photo by Kaat Houben on Pexels.com
No matter what Jesus is asking of us or leading us to, you can know this. There are reason’s and things that we don’t understand, but we can trust that He always has the best for us.
Abide in prayer
Abide in the Word
Abide in Worship
The Father gave us the best rescue that is Jesus. He did not withhold His very own son. (John 3:16) We can’t out give God. Trust Him, and know that whatever He may be asking from us it is because it is for our good and His glory.  Remember His ways are greater, and His thoughts are higher than ours (Isaiah 55).
I am reminded of what I wrote in my journal:
 Today I wasn’t perfect, I might have even acted like an idiot trying to figure it all out! I am reminded of the Word. His thoughts and ways are higher and greater, My ideas and thoughts are a path to rebellion.
Love you, friends