I’m pondering a man with leprosy today as he steps forward to approach Jesus for help with his condition. Leprosy was often referred to as one of several skin diseases that placed many restrictions on a person who was struggling with it. Often in days of old, they were banned by society and the thought of approaching one such as Jesus was considered very wrong in the eyes of the Law and society. Therefore, as the man with leprosy stepped out to approach Jesus, I have to say that I admire this man as he chose to act on his faith in who Jesus was rather than fear judgment. In fact, this man had a very interesting attitude towards Jesus, in that he knew that Jesus had the power to destroy him for breaking the Law and if God chose to be a God of wrath, He was certainly capable and he also knew that if Jesus wanted to heal him, that he could do that as well! The man could’ve let his fear of God and his own legalistic approach to life prevent him from approaching Jesus, but instead he chose to act on his faith that God was capable to help him and that He might be a “merciful” God, however, the man had some question about Jesus being merciful. Sometimes it is easier to believe in God’s power than in His mercy, but God is indeed rich in mercy and this was very evident when Jesus responded to the man by saying “I am willing, be healed!” In so doing, Jesus placed love and relationship over the Law. This was His heart evidenced when Our Father demonstrated His love and mercy for us in that while we were yet sinners, He died for us so that we could have a relationship with Him. His mercies are new every morning when we confess our sins to Him and He cleanses us from all unrighteousness! He also promises to work all things for the good of those who are called according to His purpose. Hallelujah! Now how merciful is all of that! Jesus is someone who understands us and sympathizes with us and the author of the book of Hebrews encourages us to approach the throne of grace (Jesus) just as the man of leprosy did, with confidence to receive of His mercy and grace to help us in our need! Jesus was all about mercy over sacrifice, but in view of His mercy to us, let us do as Luke tells us to as a spiritual act of worship of our Lord - to be merciful as our Father is merciful. Jesus so longs for us to love one another as He loves us and that is with mercy. Mercy is to have pity or compassion for the ills of others, to exhibit and feel compassion towards one another. Mercy was shown to the leprous man and his life was forever changed. That thought just has me all inspired! Let us approach His throne of grace with confidence and pray for mercy and grace to have hearts of mercy with which to love others. We as our Father’s children can do just as Jesus did – show mercy and change the world! How wonderful is that thought? Much love to you all!
Have you ever thought about what you want to be in life? Often as the new year rolls around after Christmas, people begin to think about plans for the next year and what they want to carry out in life. Wow! The world has so many different opportunities and a person can actually see many years in and out, trying new things to find joy and excitement and to live their dreams in their lives. Sometimes what we set out to be or do though, ends up suddenly changing and we find ourselves with new unexpected plans. Mary had this kind of surprise in her life when she was told that our Father had a different plan in mind for her than what she had ever thought of and I have to say I marvel at her attitude as she said “I am the Lord’s servant.” Her love for the Lord was such that she trusted in Him to lead her through life in the very best of ways. His will was her plan for serving Him! This sounds like a pretty good gift to our Lord as we think about what to give Him this Christmas. I’m joining you in looking to Him in prayer as we contemplate the year ahead and ponder how our Father might want us to serve Him. I’m seeking to do so with a Mary attitude! May His blessings be upon ya as you go and do as well!
Lk 1:38; Jer 29:11; Ro 12:1-2; Ja 4:13-15; Php 2:12-13
Woohoo! This cowgirl is hollering out “Yippee,” a new day has dawned and it is jam-packed with opportunity to make a difference in someone’s life. Hmmm. As I make that statement, the thought has been presented that I can make a difference in my own life just by having a Godly attitude – choosing to think like my Father instead of giving in to enemy thoughts. I happen to love my work, but my Father is moving me to share the point that when someone has work to do, first things need to be first – get your mind right and in line with “the Boss” (the Lord), so partnering together to carry out His work goes well. I do this by starting my day by listening to Him as He speaks. His Word this morning tells me that in our earthly jobs to seek to do what is right at all times and not just when the eyes of our master are upon us. Have you ever had a boss watching you as you work? Some people get all nervous and twitchy when their boss is watching them. But, our great “Boss” (the Lord) always has His eyes upon us as we join Him in His work. There is no place where we can go to escape His eyes upon us and I am so thankful for that. Even when it appears all dark around me, He sees me with His full light. It reminds me of playing hide ‘n seek with a little kid when they think they are hidden, but they are in view. In my life, I’m the kid and no matter where I might try to hide from my Father, I am in His view. He can see me! To think I could hide from Him just makes me giggle. There is no place that I’d rather be than right in the clear vision of my Father who is always watching out for me, partnering with me, leading, guiding and helping me to be able to do His will and keeping me safe in it all. Even through the difficulties of life, He strengthens me to persevere through them and works good through it all. He has my best interest at heart and I definitely want Him to keep watching over me. “Well Boss (Lord), I guess it is time to move along to what we need to do next. I’m so thankful to be partnering with you – what a blessing it is and I just have to say it again “Yippee,” it’s a new day with you!”
Good morning! It’s a new day and with it are great opportunities to partner with our Father to bring forth His plans and purpose for our lives. Now how exciting is that? I think it is way cool! Eve did as well. I love her attitude when she realized that with the Lord’s help, she bore fruit – in this case, a son. She said “with the help of the Lord, I have brought forth.” This statement is a good reminder that apart from the Lord, we can do nothing, but with the Lord’s help, amazing and miraculous things can happen. Together, we can change the world! This was the case with not just Adam and Eve, but with God’s people all throughout the Bible and it is true of our lives today as well.. God wants to use me and you to bring forth great things! Woohoo! I”m rollin’ up my sleeves and ready to help Father. It’s gonna be an adventurous day and I just love that! I hope your day brings forth great things, too - His best through you!
Genesis 4:1; Jn 14:8-14,15:4-5; Jer 29:11; Php 2:13, 4:13
Good Thursday morning to you! Our Father is showing me His muscles today in His Word and we are talking about having a “He-man attitude.” I don’t know if you, like me, find yourself sometimes saying “I” can…. or “I” can’t….but I’m seeing this morning that the trouble with that is that when I do so, I’m trusting and looking to myself to do something. What my attitude needs to be is that of a “He-man” which is that through He (Christ), I can do all things because He is the One who by His grace is going to give me His strength, who gives me His wisdom, who gives me His gifts, His resources, His talents, His skills to carry out His plans and purposes for me. I’m considering these thoughts: To say “I” can’t could be to say I don’t trust Him to enable me. He can and will act to carry out His plans or purposes for me for where I’m supposed to be and when. To say “I” do something well is to steal His glory because apart from Him, I can do nothing. The right attitude is a “He-man” attitude – a partnership between Him and me that trusts Him to give me the grace to will and act according to His good purpose and to conform me or shape me into His image. His Word says ”he who trusts in himself is a fool, but he who walks in wisdom will be kept safe.” Security and safety is found in His wisdom, in Him and not in self-sufficiency. There are many books in the world written about self-help, but the only True one is the Bible that is “the source” to truly help someone. One of the great Truths it teaches is that just the way He created you and me has already made us great without our even trying. That thought just makes me feel so strong and desiring to step out and let Him flex His muscles in me as He desires - to be an amazing ”He-man.” Wow! With Him, life’s going to be a great work out, no doubt about it!
Pr 28:26; Ro 8:28-29; 1 Co 1:25; Php 2:13, 4:13; Col 1:9-12; Jer 29:11; Jas 4:15; Heb 13:20-21; Jn 15:1-17; Ps 139:14
Good morning to you! As I gaze upon our Father’s Word today, it is on my heart to write about the importance of putting off our old self which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires and to be made new in the attitude of our minds – to put on the new self created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. This is a message we have all heard before, meaning our old self is the sinful nature that lives within us, for which Christ died on the cross. This old nature within us misleads us from God’s ways and cheats us from seeing life at His best. Our Father mentions “attitude” of our minds in this passage. The attitude of our old self is one of worry, complaining and grumbling. Upon believing, He has placed His Holy Spirit in us to help us live our new self, to be like Him that is not anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, presenting our requests to God. And then the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things. “Attitude” is something we can all struggle with and a bad attitude is certainly something to work on. I like to think about it this way: When our attitude is bad, we need to think “going to the car wash.” Say what? Yep, I said “car wash.” After all, we are God’s vehicles, so to speak, that carries His Spirit that carries the Good News along the road of life. Our vehicles have a tendency to collect dirt and be unclean (due to our sinful nature). As a result, the view through the front window (our sight) can become clouded over so that we do not see well the way of the Lord. This calls for the need to hose off with His living water (the Spirit in us), to apply the scrubbing bubbles called “Gratitude” as you follow the Word instructions (the Bible) so as to dissolve away the muck of our sinful attitude and then, use prayer wax to help guard (our mind and heart) and the cleanliness and shininess of Him in us (the new self) will be the result. We can then head out onto the road of life with peace of mind and His ride into the world through us will represent Him well. I’m thinking toting a good amount of change is a good thing to do. How about you? See ya on the road. I can do that well with a clean window (a Godly view)! Eph 4:1,22-24; Php 2:14-16, 4:6-8; Mt 6:25; 1 Co 3:16; 2 Co 5:20-21, Ro 12:2
Good Thursday morning! Today, I’m seeking to trust in all our Father intends for us! Yahoo! I know Dad has the best plan ever for each of us and I’m excited to see how it all plays out. It’s gonna be exciting. Yep, it’s another adventure. Here we go moving along in this gift called life! That is exactly what the disciples and Jesus are doing as we peek inside of Mark’s storybook today. It says as they went along about life, they came across that fig tree again that we studied yesterday. Peter remembered it well and he pointed it out saying “Rabbi, look! The fig tree you cursed has withered from the roots.” Do you ever keep a prayer journal to go back and look at what you have prayed and how our Dad answered your prayers? It’s good to remember His faithfulness! Peter’s expression here is interesting. It is on one hand an attitude that is very excited in seeing the answer to Jesus’ prayer or heart desire towards the fig tree and on the other hand it is expressing an attitude of shock or surprise that Jesus’ prayer was actually answered as He had prayed it. What happened here is that Jesus’ will was spoken and the Father answered it in accordance to His will. Jesus tells the disciples they needed to pray in the same way. He said “Have faith in God. I tell you Truth. If anyone says to this mountain be cast into the sea and does not doubt, it will be done for you. Faith accepts it as good as done! Have you ever prayed a prayer and then said “thanks, God because I know you will be faithful with this request?” Jesus told His disciples that “whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it and it will be yours.” In John 14:12-13, Jesus told them “anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. I will do whatever you ask in my name so that the Son may bring glory to the Father.” To have faith is to believe without doubt that all things are possible with God and each day holds the possibility of a miracle. In fact, each moment of every day IS a miracle. This passage of God’s Word is one of those that must be taken in context with all the rest of God’s Word – the Bible needs to be looked at as a whole. As we do so, we find that while all things are possible for God, prayer in accordance to our Father’s will is important. If a father tells his child “For your best interest, I do not want you to eat three giant candy bars right before bedtime,” it seems it would be out of line for the child to then ask his father as he is being tucked into bed for three candy bars. He can believe with all of his heart that the father will give him the candy, but it would be going against the father’s character, his spoken word or will for him to do so. The father would not want to honor his child’s request knowing it would be harmful or not in the best interest to his child’s well being in the long run. It would also be out of line for the father to give in to the child’s foolish request and to do so would not be an act of love. The same is true with our Daddy in Heaven. Our Dad IS love and is all about blessing us, but it is in the context of Jesus’ name. Jesus taught us to pray “hallowed be Thy name” when talking to our Father. To pray in Jesus’ name is to pray in accordance with all Jesus was and is. It is to pray in accordance with carrying forward the work Jesus intends. We see this even in Jesus’ life when He prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane that “if it be possible, that the hour might pass from Him.” He said to His Father “everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.” At first glance, it can look like all the work Jesus had been so geared up to accomplish on the cross for our sins was now being thrown under the bus so to speak with regards to His heart’s desire. But in reality, it was a prayer for unity in accordance with His Father’s will. He was actually praying the time would move forward (the hour would pass) and that the work on the cross would be completed. His prayer for the cup to be removed was the cup of death that He would experience. He was praying here to be raised up again from the cup of death and three days after His death, He rose again. Praise Dad!!! The Father honored both of Jesus’ requests because He prayed in accordance with the Father’s will. If He had prayed contrary in asking that the cross not happen, it would’ve been a whole different story and one contrary to the character of God. It would’ve been a sad day for us all!!! Jesus ends His teaching in this passage by saying “when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him (her) so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.” This speaks to me again the importance of taking a stand in line with our Father’s will when we pray by having an attitude of forgiveness towards others including ourselves. If our Father forgives us, we need to forgive others. Also, do we forgive ourselves? This is important because it is to stand in agreement with the Father that we are forgiven for our sins. It is not good for us to hang on to our failures. We need to learn from them, but release them as cleansed from us and forgiven by our Father so that our Father has an attitude of forgiveness towards us when we pray. Oh, our Dad is so sweet to want to bless us. I’m thinking it is important that we study His Word so that we know His will – His good, pleasing and perfect will. This will help us to pray in accordance to His Kingdom come and that’s what this cowgirl desires as I know it is His best for me! It is also such a comfort to me that even when we do not know what to pray, the Holy Spirit within us takes where we lack and intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And He who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will. As a result, when we pray or ask about anything with an attitude of desiring our Father’s will, we can believe without a doubt that we will receive His will that holds back nothing as being impossible. That thought for me moves a huge mountain of anxiety into the sea of peace for my life that only my Daddy can bring about. I’m thinking I’ll pray my way through this day and trust my Daddy for the results, how about you? Peace to ya’s!
Mk 11:20-25, 14:35-36; 1 Sa 1:26; Eph 4:32; Ro 8:22-39, 12:2; 1 Jn 5:14-15, Jn 14:12-14, 27, 15:7, 16:23-24; Mt 6:9-10, 18:20
May this be a faithful Friday to you today – a day full of faith in our Father! Today I’m marveling at the faith of James and John, the sons of Zebedee. Having a father named Zebedee, I bet for them that every day was a Zebedee-do-dah day and I admire them for having the faith to trust that Jesus could do whatever they ask of Him. I ask myself and you as well, my friend – do we have that kind of faith? Is there doubt in an area of our lives where we need to have faith? I believe that with Dad all things are possible, but sometimes Dad says no or wait. Yikes!!! In those situations, am I and are you willing to accept His answer as the right one and keep faith in Him? In this story, the two brothers ask Jesus to let them sit one on His right and one on His left in His glory. Jesus was gentle with these boys for asking to share in His limelight by asking them if in order to share in His glory if they thought that they could also share in His suffering that came with His call in life. They said yes, they could. I don’t know about you, but I admire their attitude for being willing! Jesus told them they would indeed share in His suffering, but that it was up to His Father to decide their Heavenly position and glory. In other words, in answer to their request to Jesus, Jesus said wait on the Father. Wow! Ok, I don’t want to end up embarrassed over my motives or heart attitude when my Father considers my life on earth and in Heaven, so I’m seeking to position myself close to Jesus to ask myself some deep questions. If you’d like to position yourself with me, then here we go: How am I seeking to share in part or perhaps seeking all of Jesus’ glory? Why am I doing so? Is it to make my life a reflection of seeking glory for Him and where am I seeking glory from others? Is there a place of position that I am pursuing that someone else should have? Is there a position I am suppose to have that I need to accept? Where in my life do I need to position myself closer to Jesus? If I am seeking to share in Jesus’ glory, am I also willing to share in suffering alongside of Him for our Father’s Kingdom? What suffering in my life do I need to change my attitude about to bring Him glory? Is there an area of my life where I need to wait on the Father? What changes need to be made in my life to seek glory for Him? Where in my thinking do I need to position myself to rest in my Father’s glory for me? Yikes – tough questions!!! I’m praying with ya! The Apostle Paul wrote about the issues of suffering and glory and he wrote that as our Dad’s kids, we will indeed share in Christ’s suffering in our lives, but these present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. We as Dad’s kids will share in Christ’s glory in Heaven! To serve Jesus is not without its sacrifices and it is not without its blessings. I so want to live my life as a song to His name and I know that apart from Him, I can do nothing on my own. Only He deserves all the glory. This I know, I’m thankful to be positioned in life as one of His kids and I so admire the attitude of the Apostles who considered it an honor to be counted worthy to suffer for the name of Jesus. Dad’s Word says if you are insulted for the name of Jesus, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name. If our faith is in Jesus for our position in life and in our Father’s Kingdom, then you and I are blessed children of God – the heirs of God with all the riches of His blessings now and in the future. Let’s rejoice in that and give glory to our Dad. Have a faith-full day!
Mk 10:27,35-40; Ro 8:17-27, 12:1; Pr 3:5,16:2; Php 3:10; 1 Pe 3:8-22, 4:12-19, 5:8-11; 2 Ti 1:8-18; Ac 5:41; Ga 3:26-4:7; Ja 1:2-8; Jn 15:1-8