I find it so interesting how my Father often uses things of His creation to instill His Truths into my mind. For example, I, as a girl, have gotten to where I actually love frogs. I’m not much of a fan of snakes, though. Yikes! The reason I love frogs is that they help me to remember that I can fully rely on God. F for fully, R for rely O for on G for God, hence FROG. When I am looking at life with a FROG attitude, His presence in my life fills me with tremendous joy and He can get me excited about life that creates such zeal and fervor that I feel just like the Psalmist that wrote of Him “my heart leaps for joy!” Combining those two thoughts and feeling my Father’s presence close to me right now, I guess you could say I have a “leap FROG” approach to life today and I’m croaking out a song of thanks to Him for His goodness in my life. Ribbet, Ribbet! Well, gotta go. I’m on the hop and leaping out in faith! Much love to you all!
It is a blessing and an honor to be my Father’s kid today. My heart praises Him for all that He is. As I reflect upon Him this morning, the Shakesphere line comes to my mind of how a love spoke to his love long ago. Recognize the line “How do I love thee, let me count the ways.” I agree with the Psalmist who had the same mindset as he thought about our Father and he counted these great reasons why he loved Him and gave Him praise with a heart that was glad and a tongue that rejoiced: 1) He counseled him and instructed him. 2) He had confidence in always having Him set before him and at his right hand – “he was not shaken.” 3) He enabled His body to rest secure. 4) He did not abandon his body to the grave, nor let him see decay. 4) He made known to him the path of life. 5) His presence with Him filled him with joy and 6) He provided him with eternal (never ending) pleasures at His right hand (with Him). Oh, our Father is such a blessing in one’s life. I lift up this praise to Him this morning with you and am so thankful He is in my life.
My Father speaks to my heart today of how much He values my love for Him. His Word reveals to me that His eyes look down from Heaven to see the sons of men to see if they understand Him and see if there are any who seek Him. This passage speaks to me that He so wants to be found and loved. He desires the love of all of our hearts, souls and minds! He desires to be known by us, so much so, that He, who is Spirit, left His heavenly home to become a man to live among us that we might know Him. Jesus showed us the Father by the Father embodied in Him! Talk about going to great lengths to relate and develop a relationship with someone! As a result of Him leaving His heavenly home, we don’t have to look or seek far to find Him because now as believers (those who understand Him and His gift of love to us), He is always with us – His Spirit is in our hearts! The fact that my Father loves me personally, is always thinking about me and desires my love back just draws me to Him today. How precious to know He is with me in Spirit and walking with me through this day. He is my constant companion, always with me, always listening, always talking with me, always loving me, always helping me. He is committed to me and promises never to forsake me. How precious is that! Oh how my heart beats with the presence of the love, peace and joy of the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords today. I am so glad that all of us saints can journey through life together, sharing in His love for each of us and through each other. It just summarizes a blessed life right here on earth and it all just makes me smile! Much love to you all. Enjoy God with us!
Never say never! That is the message that my Father has given to me this morning as I study His Word and some examples set by saints of old that had this very mindset. These saints modeled persistence in prayer and faith in that though they had prayed over and over and over again about the same issues, they never gave up and ultimately they were blessed for their faithfulness. There was Hannah who prayed year after year for a son from her barren womb, Job who continued to talk to God about his difficult life situation until an outcome was realized that left him more blessed than he was before, Jacob who wrestled with God and would not let go of Him until He had received His blessing and Jesus told the story of the persistent widow who continually presented her plea for justice before a judge and ultimately received His justice. As I look at these saints, I see that though they lived with trials for quite some time, their lives brought glory to our Father because of their faith that never gave up. Their faith was not shallow faith that prayed a time or two and then gave up on God because they didn’t see results right away. I say to these saints “What a way to be!” They rocked! These were saints that trusted God was capable to bring the victory in their life situations and in Him, they never lost hope. They believed in the Lord’s unfailing love that it would not fail or give up on them. Jesus promises that He will reward each person for what they do for Him. Our Father has perfect timing and His presence with us as we wait upon Him will do for us just as He did for the saints of old. Our Father gave them strength to walk and not faint, to run in the call on their lives to persevere so they did not give up from being weary and He brought blessing upon their lives. They rose above defeat and rode the air of perseverance, soaring to the great heights of glory just like eagles. In whatever lingering trials we might face as saints, I say let’s keep going! It speaks volumes to the world around us of the difference in a life that faith can make and our Father is not unjust. He will not forget the love we have shown Him in trust that never gives up. I’m a gal that is trusting and hoping with you and keeping going in the difficult parts of life as I so want to bring my Father glory. Oh that thought just puts a song of peace and joy in my heart that lifts me up as I soar out into this day! I’m proud of ya all for persevering for our Father as we await His good plan to unfold. You rock! Enjoy the gift of this day!
1 Sa 1:1-20; Ge 32:22-32; Lk 18:1-8; He 6:10; Mt 16:27; Pr 3:5-6; Is 40:31;
One of the things that I love about my Father is that He is always there. When I wake up in the morning, there is always so many things on my mind – things that I thought about as I was falling asleep, things I thought about when I woke up in the night and things that entered my mind when I awake for the new day. It is always great for me to be able to talk with my Father about those things no matter when. 24/7, He is there for me to share my heart with. This is all part of the privilege of having the presence of Heaven on earth for us. I guess I can relate to how Jesus is the same way and our Father’s love letter to us (the Bible) tells us Jesus lives to talk to our Father on our behalf. Jesus, I so love His heart! Doesn’t it make you feel loved to know that Jesus loves us and cares about us enough to talk to His Father about us? It also blesses my heart to know Jesus cares enough about me to give me His written Word to help me and encourage me. He hasn’t left me to myself. Oh, how precious is His presence to me! So glad He is always there for me! I can see in myself that I desire to love others the same way Jesus loves me. My heart so longs to see others happy and at peace! May we all enjoy the loving presence of our Father today together! Life is so good with Him here!
My Father points out to me today in my reading that there are two trails we can journey down in our daily lives – one is a trail that is submissive to believing what He tells us, in that we are in the right through our faith in Christ’s gift of righteousness bestowed upon us (His knowledge) or we can choose to seek to establish our own righteousness through our own thinking that we can only be viewed as perfect and acceptable based upon our own set of standards or measures of success. We can be very zealous and aggressive in riding down either trail, but depending on which one we choose, we can end up feeling pretty beat up after a day’s ride or find that we have had a great joyful day enjoying the gifts our Father has given us in life. The choice seems so clear as to which one is the better ride, yet I always marvel at how it seems at the end of a day, we as our Father’s kids can find that we have ridden down the wrong trail by the way we tend to view ourselves. I say if I am right or wrong, a success or a failure, loved or unloved, worthy or unworthy, forgiven or not, joyful or sad. Our minds are so powerful! Our Father tells us all that as His kids, we are dearly loved with unfailing love, totally accepted and flat out all right in His eyes. The King of the Universe sees us that way – now how cool is that! He has gifted us with a great ride through life on the ”right” trail. I say, saints, let’s take the best ride possible through this gift of today. Wanna ride along with me? It’s gonna be a great day!
I marvel at the Apostle Paul today. He was a man of supernatural strength and that strength gave victory to him over his human weaknesses and struggles. He spoke often of how he saw the strength God gave him despite his hardships!. Among the various different trials he faced were the experiences of a life lived in danger, imprisonment, being constantly on the move, being stoned and beaten many times, without food, without water, without warmth, without clothing, without sleep, the facing of pressures concerning the church and a thorn in his flesh that he had asked the Lord to remove three times to which the Lord said “my grace is sufficient for you.” It is true that God’s grace that brought with it strength to endure proved sufficient for Paul. Despite all of these things that one could look upon as being less than ideal or perfect ingredients for a life in which to be able to have joy and rejoicing, Paul was a man of great joy and rejoicing! Woohoo! Go, Paul! He truly displayed the glory of the Lord! His secret? He had learned to be content in any and every situation through his union with the living and exalted Christ. He was the source of Paul’s abiding strength! Paul was strengthened in supernatural power through His Spirit living and working in the inner being of Paul. It is easy for someone to joyful and rejoice when their life is full of good and fine things, but when someone is joyful and rejoicing when they experience harship, that is truly glory to the Lord! Paul recognized that departing his earthly life would be great gain as he would be with Christ in His perfect Kingdom of Heaven, but he chose to endure the difficulties of an imperfect life in order to bring hope and blessing to others. What a model saint! Paul is truly an inspiration to all of us that no matter what our circumstances might be, when we abide in closeness with Jesus who loves us unconditionally and with perfect wisdom and unfailing love, His power in us can do immeasureably more than we can imagine to bring us strength, joy, perseverance and success in our lives and in the blessing of the lives of others. Jesus does not ask us to do anything He was not willing to do Himself. He died on the cross for the joy set before of Him of all that it would bring. He also knew He would have victory in the Kingdom of His Father who He looked to for strength! Jesus, now in Heaven, whose Spirit lives in us, prays perfect prayers for us to keep us going in life! Now how cool is that? Nothing can separate us from the love of Christ! Oh I say let’s keep going saints! No matter the difficulties , let’s draw near to our Lord who is for us and is returning soon! He will be and already is our gain we cannot lose! Rejoicing in Him with ya’s!
Eph 3:16-21; 2 Co 12:7-10; Php 4:10-13; Ro 8:28-39; Rev 22:12; Eph 6:7-8; Php 1:18-29; 1 Ti 6:6; Heb 13:5; Jn 15:5
Have you ever heard it said that the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence in life? So often we as our Father’s kids can look at our struggling lives with gloom and despair and long for a different life and because we can’t have that different life, we let discouragement control us. Yikes!!! That is so not the heart of our Father who desires us to be filled with His joy! He longs for us to be encouraged and feel His love in life. We all live in a sinful, fallen world with the affects of sin in us and all around us. Life can be hard! Often people are told “Give your life to Jesus and you will never have any problems again.” That is so not true and to tell someone that is to set them up for great disappointment when they find themselves after making a decision to trust Christ right smack in the midst of a trial that our Father allows to help them grow in life. Our Father desires to help conform us all to the image of His Son because He loves us too much to leave us where we are at when there is a much better place for us to be in our spiritual growth. Any good parent desires to teach their children and help them be their best. Our Father is no different with us, but where the grass is greener on His side of the fence over the side of the fence that can be full of weeds of discouragement, gloom and despair that we can let grow there is that our Father gives us hope in the midst of the trials of life. When we climb over the fence to be in His presence and graze on His Words of hope and encouragement, trusting Him to continue to care for us and grow us, we find ourselves well fed and much more satisfied in life, filled with His joy and zeal! In fact, you often see His kids, His sheep in the midst of trials on His side of the fence running and kicking up their heels, having fun despite the trials around them. Now how cool is that? I agree with the Psalmist who wrote “Why are you downcast, oh my soul, put your hope in the Lord!” Oh, I just love my Father’s green pasture of life. I am definitely most content to stay grazing on His side of the fence as I await the day when He moves us all to the ultimate of green pastures, the place called Heaven where we will all be like Him and where He will wipe away every tear from every eye, there will be no more death, or mourning or crying or pain or sin! Woohoo! While I so look forward to that day, until then, I’m happy in the pasture He has me in, knowing it is His best for me now as I hope in Him! Much love to you all!
Ps 42:5; Ro 8:28-29; Jn 15:1-17; Ja 1:2-4; Ro 12:2; 1 Co 15:49; 2 Co 3:18; Rev 21:1-5
As my Father drew me to Himself this day, I chuckle as I read His Word and see that I’m not the first one to understand how awesome Jesus is! Yesterday, I studied about a leprous man who was drawn to Jesus for healing and after receiving Jesus’ mercy on him, Jesus asked him to not tell anyone, but to go and show himself to the priest and offer a sacrifice for his cleansing as a testimony to them, but the man did not listen to Jesus. Just like with all sin, there are consequences and in this case, it made it so that Jesus could not enter a town openly but instead He stayed outside in lonely places. Jesus told the man not to tell anyone about his healing because Jesus had to be careful with timing – too much fame too soon could create some problems in carrying out His mission and that is what happened. Even though Jesus had to be more secluded from public, the people still came to Him from everywhere. You might say that Jesus had and still has what draws the human heart! His unfailing love, mercy, forgiveness, power, Words of wisdom and hope that brings peace and help to a struggling soul is something the world just cannot provide and people from all over the world who are discovering Him just can’t get enough of Him. They are always drawn to Him! Now that Jesus’ mission to go to the cross as a sacrifice for the sin of all people has been accomplished, He desires us to tell others about Him and if we who know of Him want to really bless someone around us, the greatest gift we can give to them, the kindest deed that can be done for them is to tell them about Jesus. Their souls will be forever blessed! Let’s not keep the best thing going to ourselves. Oh, I so hope that you experience fully the gift of Him in your life wherever you are today! Seek Him out – you will be so glad that you did! Much love to you all ~
One of my favorite performances is the song “Man of Constant Sorrows” by The Soggy Bottom Boys from the movie “O, Brother, Where Art Thou?” While the lyrics of the song itself talks about someone with many sorrows in life that can be rather discouraging, how they sang through it just makes me smile! I reflect on this song today as I read in my Father’s Word how Jesus was prophesied to live as a man of sorrows and to be very familiar with suffering in His life on earth. We all live in a sinful, fallen world with trouble all around us and Jesus can sympathize with us as to how hard that can be. The Old Testament talks about how the Lord saw the misery of His people when they were in Egypt and His Word says that He heard them crying out and was concerned about their suffering. He had a plan and He went to work on rescuing them and they were eventually delivered from out of their trouble of being in slavery to the Egyptians. Oh how this speaks to my heart of how caring our Father is! In the New Testament, Jesus told His disciples that in this world they would have trouble, but to take heart for He had overcome the world. He understood the difficulties that they would face in life, but He also knew the big picture plan that was about to unfold to deliver them! Jesus understands what it is like to have troubles in life as He took upon Himself all the troubles or sins of the world and as He persevered through those heavy steps, He made it to His eternal place next to His Father in His Kingdom, where He now intercedes for each of us to our Father concerning the troubles we face in life. Our Father’s Word tells us to keep our eyes fixed on the example Jesus sets for us in how He persevered by being focused on the joy that would come at the end of His perseverance of enduring the cross to relieve the troubles or sins of all the world. He tells us this so that we do not become weary and give up. He is our biggest cheerleader saying “keep going!” I hear my Father’s voice speak to me this morning through this to do as Jesus did and does – to persevere through the steps of troubles around me and seek to do what I can to lighten the trouble of others. Paul was a man who knew trouble as well. He looked at his life and seeing that death and entrance into Heaven would be of better gain than the life he was presently going through, he purposely chose to keep going in his life on earth because he saw that it was better for him to stay and help lighten the trouble for others. Because of that decision, we have his writings and the writings of others he encouraged in the Bible that so blesses us and helps us all to keep going in this troubled world today. Praise the Lord that neither Jesus nor Paul gave up! They persevered through the troubles of their life to the very end and along the way, they lightened the load of others. Despite troubles, they brought joy and found joy in helping others! Now that is the kind of gal I want to be! Whatever difficulties you might be going through where you are, your sister encourages you to keep going! Don’t give up! Your example and efforts of perseverance can greatly bless others and we will all be so happy in the end that we kept going when we are all delivered from this life of troubles and see how good it was we kept taking the right steps to get there. We’re all in this life together and we can all be assured our Father sees us, cares about us and is working out good plans for us! Much love to you all!
Gen 3; Ex 3:7-10; Is 53; Heb 4:15-16, 7:25, Ro 8:18-39; Php 1:18-26;Jn 3:16-17, 16:33; Rev 21:1-4; Pr 11:25
Spending time with my Father this morning reminds me of being a kid and going to a drinking fountain and drinking in the clean, cool refreshing water that leaped up until my physical thirst was satisfied and then walking away fully refreshed and relieved of my thirst. What a wonderful feeling it was back then to have that water fountain experience and how awesome it is today as my Father’s Spirit, His living water in me bubbles up, keeping me fully refreshed in life. Jesus understood this and when He was on earth, He told others “if anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me as Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.” He also told the Samaritan woman at the well that people who drank from the well she drew water from would get thirsty again, but those who drank the water He gave to them would never thirst. He said the water He gave to them would become in them a spring of water, welling up to eternal life.” Nothing in life can refresh someone like the Spirit of Jesus within you. He provides the abundant life! Taking the time for prayer and listening to His Word each day is like going to a spiritual drinking fountain where His Spirit will leap up to refresh you as His kid in life. After drinking in of His Spirit today, I say “Ahhhh! Oh, our Father – He is so good!” I’m His kid stepping out into this day refreshed by His living water in me. Here is a song that conveys my heart this morning if you’d like to drink it in:
Oh, as this gal steps out into life this day and thinks of the various things I have opportunity to do and all the people I will be able to interact with, my mind can take off in all kinds of thoughts. As I am sure it is true for all of us, there are parts of our lives that we can be very excited about and want to take off running faster towards than we can go and perhaps in directions not the best or not yet, there are probably areas where we are frustrated about – things that we want to see fixed in our own ways and in our own timing and perhaps there are things we want that we do not have but want to have. The message our Father reminds me of as my mind wildly races over all these thoughts is that success in stepping out into life is all about having the right connection. It isn’t who I know or even what I am capable of doing in life that will bring me success in living this day to my Father’s glory and in bearing fruit for Him in this world. My Father reminds me the connection I need, the secret to success is to be fully connected to Him! He is the vine and we are the branches and apart from Him, we can do nothing. Paul understood this and he also understood how to go through life with peace and contentment with all the many things before him and around him and in all that his mind could take it and think about. Paul understood that the secret he needed in life was the strength or connection that Jesus offered to him. So as I step out into this day and think about all that is before me and what I have to offer the world and I think about what connection I have for success in life, I am resting and trusting and seeking to stay as close to my Father as I can. In so doing, I know it’s going to be a great successful day! I hope you have a great day, too. Whatcha got to give to the world? Got connection? Got Jesus?
Good day beloved family! I hope you have a great day with our Father no matter what circumstances you may be in right now. I say this because sometimes life can be hard to endure because of situations that are beyond our control. Yet while we may not be able to control or change things as they are, what we can do is remember that we are not alone in our struggle and there is hope. Our Father is always with us and He longs to give us hope! Nothing can separate us from His unfailing love. Life is a mystery in many ways, but this our Father tells us: we are presently living in a fallen world, we are also in the midst of a spiritual battle in which the enemy inflicts hardship upon us in many ways, but the good news is that our Father assures us that there is a day coming when there will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain for the old order of things will have passed. In the midst of our hardships, He is always working on our behalf to work good through the difficulties we experience in life and it is through the difficulties that we grow and are conformed to the image of Christ. Our Father loves us greatly and He says not to give up in doing what is right in the difficulties. He says that those who go out weeping or sow in tears, will reap with songs of joy for having persevered in doing what is right in the trials of life. In other words, keep going because there will be a harvest that makes it all worth it! Not only growth in this life, but eternal rewards in our heavenly home with our Father. Even Jesus had trials in His life, but for the joy set before Him, He endured the cross. Our Father tells us to fix our eyes on Him, remember Him and what He went through and how wonderful His victory was in doing what was difficult. Let’s remember so we do not grow weary and lose heart. Wherever ya are today, join with me in keeping going. Together, let’s run the race to get the prize. Woohoo – the victory dance is going to be so worth it! Here is a song for ya to listen to that echoes these thoughts:
Spending time with my Father this morning is the most important thing I can do as I begin this new day. The day is full with much that needs to be done and lots of things on my mind, but my Father points out to me this morning the importance of “remaining in His love.” Without the connection or close relationship with Him as I go through Christmas, it is similar to receiving a gift that is empty of anything that brings joy. It is when we snuggle close to our Father, listening to His Words of love, grace, hope, peace and wisdom to us that our gift of Him in our life is found to be joyful. In fact, when the lid of preoccupation is removed so we can take time to take in or focus on the gift our Father is giving to us in His relationship with us, we will find joy that overflows from inside! The gift is downright exciting! So with all of these thoughts in mind, I encourage you dear brothers and sisters to spend some time with Jesus in the midst of the hustle and bustle of these last few days before Christmas. It will make the celebrations much more joyful! Woohoo! Have fun out there, but don’t forget to take Jesus with ya!
Woohoo! I’m counting down the days ’til Christmas morning with ya’ll. I feel like a kid at Christmas this morning, probably because I am – my Father’s kid! As I think back on my Christmas anticipation as a child, I remember how we as kids used to think. We usually had a pretty good count on all the packages that were under the Christmas tree with a label that read to us and we really got excited if the biggest present under the tree had our name on it. I chuckle as I envision a small child discovering that and jumping up and down with excitement! The hardest part was waiting until it could be opened and the secret within laid open! Well, as my Father’s child, I’m all excited today and jumping up and down because the greatest gift ever given has my name on it and not just mine. Each one of you has been given the greatest gift ever as well. It is the gift of Jesus as our own personal Savior from sin and death and great shepherd or best friend in our lives. He came into our lives not packaged up beautifully. He had no beauty or majesty about Him to attract us to Him. He was wrapped in cloths – nothing about His appearance that we would desire Him, but wow, what was on the inside was indescribable awesome! How cool is it that we have each been given the very best friend anyone could ever have for all of our eternal life? The gift of Him to us is just full of unfailing love and grace, hope, peace and joy and all of His goodness. As a small child finds great joy in receiving a gift they have been longing for, each one of us has a heart that longs for His unfailing love – the gift of Him in our lives. Having now received the gift of Him in my life just has me smiling from ear to ear! It is sweet to my soul! We’re talking blessed cowgirl here! I’m definitely having a Merry Christmas because the greatest gift given has my name on it! I hope you enjoy your gift of Him as well and that you have yourself a merry little Christmas wherever you are! All His best to ya ~
Is 53; Pr 13:19, 19:22; Lk 2:7; Ps 33:5, 36:7; Gal 5:22; Ro 8:28-29; Jn 3:16; 2 Co 9:15
Thanks to my Father, I have the gift of life today. Yippee! It is part of His great plan for me. I am very grateful that He has a plan for my life and He knows where we are going and is working to bring about His will, His plan and His purpose for me. As I reflect upon the story of Jesus this morning, He was born into this world with a destiny also. Our Father knew just the right timing for His arrival in Bethlehem, how He would get there and why, the timing of His birth and that the rooms in the inn would all be full, necessitating that Jesus would humbly be laid in a manger. He also knew the right timing for Jesus’ return with Joseph and Mary back to Egypt until after King Herod died, the timing to return to Israel and the right time for Jesus to die upon a cross as the gift to the world He was intended to be - the gift being that Jesus came into this world to carry out our Father’s plan for Him as the One who would save people from their sins. We are talking the best Christmas gift ever given here! No matter how hard one tries, nothing can be given that compares to the greatness of that gift! It was and still is the perfect Christmas gift to be given. As I ponder all of this, I realize that Jesus had great temptations that could have kept Him from successfully carrying out His Father’s will for Him. He had the temptations of the world and Satan that could have easily lured Him to seek His joy, His happiness and His recognition from the world and be one of many earthly kings that found that their destiny in life. Dang! That would have spoiled Christmas for all of us! I’m glad He didn’t go down that trail in life and chose our Father’s plan for Him to be the Heavenly King of Kings and Lord of Lords. My Father lays it upon my heart this morning that the reason Jesus didn’t go down the wrong trail in life is because He kept such a close relationship with His Father. He rested in and was confident in His Father’s love and plan for His life and He sought after it, even though it included some rough things or rocky spots that He had to get through or over to complete it. He found the strength and the wisdom to do so as He talked with and listened to His Father, His Lord, His Creator who had the knowledge of how it was all supposed to work out and was working towards that end with Jesus. Each one of us are our Father’s workmanship as well and we each came into this world packaged up with our Father’s plans or intent for us to make a difference in this world also. Now how exciting is that? We are all on a trail of adventure and as your sister in the Lord, I’m thinking how important it will be to reaching our Father’s end goal that we journey as Jesus did, staying very close to our Father. In doing so, we each are bound to be the gift to bless many that our Father intends! This thought before Jesus brought Him great joy as He rode His trail of destiny. I’m thinking if it worked for Jesus, it will work for us as well. Resting in that as our Father’s plan for us, I’m riding out into this day. I’m so happy to be able to ride with Him close to me - thanks to Jesus, my greatest Christmas gift ever. Happy trails to ya’ll as you journey along also. Watch out for that devil serpent along the way! You’ll want to ride around him so ya don’t get bitten!
Mt 1:21-24, 2:13-15, 19-20; Jn 3:16; 15:1-17, 17:1-5; Eph 2:10; Jer 29:11-13; Ro 8:28-39, 12:1-2; Lk 2:1-20, 4:1-13; He 2, 12:2; 1 Pe 5:8-9; Ge 3:1-15; 2 Ch 16:9; Rev 19:11-16
Today is a good day. This cowgirl has so much to be thankful for! My life is good. Everybody’s life, though, has its times when it is hard - like those times when we end up suffering unjustly due to living in a sinful world. When this happens, my Father reminds me that it is commendable when we bear up under the pain of unjust suffering because we are conscious of God. Christ suffered unjustly because of sin in the world as well. Our Father needs to be our guide in how we deal with others, but when He calls us to endure suffering because we are conscious of Him, we are like Jesus! This thought gets me all inspired that when the going gets tough, to keep going for Him! I think of all the missionaries in the world who sacrifice and endure hardship for the sake of people because of unjust suffering put upon them by various governments. These missionaries find their strength and joy in doing the hard stuff because they are conscious of God and they have a heart for carrying out His will, His plan and His purpose to help others know Him. They live the hard life because they lean on the Rock (Jesus) for their strength. I guess you can say it is a “hard-Rock” life which is commendable in our Father’s eyes. Consider how you might sacrifice to lend support to missionaries who seek to help those in the world to also lean on the Rock in the midst of their hard lives. It would be commendable in our Father’s eyes!
It is another day of doing life in a world filled with people. As we go and interact with people, they can bring us joy and sometimes they bring us sorrow. As I spend time with my Father this morning, He reveals to me that Jesus is someone who understood this. While He had those who loved Him and were devoted to Him, there were those who were always against Him and stopped at nothing short of crucifying Him even though Jesus had done nothing wrong. Even those who were devoted to Him sometimes worked against Him because they didn’t have His right understanding. People are so complex and there are many things we as people can believe that are are not in line with our Father’s way of thinking or we can just get busy and not think and consequently step on toes. Yikes!!! Often people react to us negatively because they do not understand the full picture. They don’t get it. It is important that we have humility and remember that sometimes we don’t get it ourselves and we hurt other people as a result. I so admire the way that Jesus handled it. He prayed for those who crucified Him and said “Forgive them Father, for they know not what they do.” I feel badly for the ways I have hurt people I love because I haven’t gotten it. I have lacked right understanding and this viewpoint helps me to have a whole lot more understanding of other people and extend to them compassion when my toes get stepped on. I’m putting into practice this mindset as I step out for my Father into the world full of people who struggle to get it just like me. It brings me a great big smile knowing that our Father does get it and we can rest in the blessed assurance that He always loves each of us with perfect, unfailiing, forgiving love. His love is always there to comfort us as His kids when our toes get stepped on just as He was there for Jesus when He hung on the cross because those in the world around Him didn’t get it. Oh our Father – how wonderful is He! I so want to be a copy cat of His grace and love. Love and grace to ya’s today!
This morning I am all inspired by the story of Jesus’ interaction with Peter after Jesus had been crucified and had been resurrected. Peter and the Disciples had just had an encounter with the risen Lord as He instructed them on where to let down their nets to have it filled with an abundance of fish. They were at a point where they had been fishing for quite some time and they were at a point of lack; they had nothing. Do you ever get that way as a Christian? If so, be encouraged that Jesus cares as we see in this story. Jesus saw the Disciples in their situation and He told them what to do to fill their net. It strikes me here that Jesus desires that His kids be filled with His provision and joy. Bless Him! The Disciples were enjoying the catch Jesus provided for breakfast when Jesus asked Peter just how much he loved Him. Now isn’t it just like Jesus to feed His kids what they need at the start of each day. I attest that when I look to Jesus at the beginning of each morning, He always feeds me spiritually what I need to get going for the day in accordance with His will. In this story, Jesus fed Peter the question three times “Do you love me?” After the third time, Peter was a little hurt by it and he told the Lord “you know all things – you know I love you!” Jesus then explained to Peter that if he really loved Jesus that he would feed His sheep, meaning He wanted Peter to share His message of love and hope with others. He also told Peter that it would mean great sacrifice - the laying down of his life as he might want it and that it would mean going where he would not want to go. Peter was crucified upside down for the cause of Christ. Yeppers – that was a difficult life! Jesus was asking Peter, do you love me that much? This story leaves me wondering if Jesus were to ask of us the same thing – to be willing to live through life difficulties to share the love and hope of Jesus with others, what does that mean in my life? As Jesus encouraged Peter, I want to encourage your heart that as you step out to share the love and hope of Jesus with others even if it causes you great sacrifice, know it greatly blesses Jesus. Keep going for Him! It will be worth it! He says that in the end, great will be our reward in eterntiy where there will be no more death, mourning, crying or pain. Among the rewards found there will be those next to us that are able to be there because of our sacrifices to share the love and hope of Jesus with them even when it was hard on us. Jesus loves you very much and so appreciates what you do for Him. I send you love as well. God bless your day!
Greetings everyone! I hope your new day is off to a great start! If you are like most, your day has a list of things to work on today – the ”to do” list. I always find it so interesting to read about Paul’s work for the Lord – he gives such great inspiration and perspective in stepping out to do the work of the Lord. The Apostle Paul said that as part of his going about doing, he and his comrades were often viewed as the scum of the earth, the refuse of the world. Now how is that for joyful work? Not! Yet Paul kept on going in serving others and in sharing the Good News of Jesus with joy and hope even though others looked down on him for doing so! Despite the persecution and mistreatment, he did not take on a mindset of being less than anyone else on earth. He believed God made him special and he believed in his call in life to make a difference. Paul acknowledged that he was free and belonged to no man, but yet he made himself a slave to everyone to win as many as possible to the Lord – meaning he had a heart to minister to all people as the Lord led Him to. Paul was a humble man and stepped out faithfully to go and do the work of the Lord because he loved the people of the world enough to reach them for the Lord and he loved the Lord enough to want to bless His heart by blessing people. He trusted in the Lord and found his joy in serving Him, looking forward to the hope of eternity. Oh, my brother Paul – he so inspires me to keep on going – to do the “to do” to win for my Father. I hope you have a joy-filled and hopeful day as well! Woohoo – win, win!
1 Cor 1:1,4: 6-7,11-13,9:19; 1 Pe 1:1-12; Ps 139:13-16; Ac 9;