Greetings this day to you. This is the time of year that we celebrate the birth of our Savior and what a joyous event for us to remember and reflect upon! Christ aka Immanuel or “God with us” is such a miraculous provision of our Father’s love and grace to us. I marvel today, that in carrying out His great work of bringing Christ into the world, He chose two everyday people to partner with Him in accomplishing it. How exciting it is that our Father delights in working with each of us to accomplish great things in this world! In the passage of our Father’s Word that I am studying this morning, I see Mary who is pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with the Christ child through the Holy Spirit. Wow! What a surprise! I am sure this was not at all what either of them expected in life. Joseph, was quite confused by it. We see this, in that while he didn’t want to public disgrace her, he had in mind to divorce her quiety. Mary had to have been confused by the situation as well – excited about marriage, honored to have been chosen to carry the Christ child, but concerned for what Joseph was going through with this unexpected set of circumstances. In application of this story today, it strikes me that areas of someone’s life can be this same way sometimes – not quite what we have expected or dreamed it would be. I greatly admire that after considering the situation Mary and Joseph found themselves in, they saw the Lord had a plan in how to deal with it. Even in the unexpected set of circumstances, they saw that the Lord was wanting to work good through it for them. Upon understanding this, they carried out the Lord’s will in their blessed union. It speaks to me that each one of them individually looked to the Lord to be in their relationship with each other and in their circumstance what the Lord desired. In doing so, a great plan was carried out for them both. I ask myself and I ask of you, what circumstances have we found ourselves in that is surprising to us that we need to trust our Father in? I am inspired that in partnering with Him, He can work great things in the midst of whatever it is. So as I step out into today, I’m trusting my Father – He is Immanuel, “God with us” - a great reason to celebrate and keep going in doing His will where life has left us surprised!
Mt 1:18-25; Jer 29:11; Ro 8:28-29; 1 Pe 1:3-9; Ja 2:1-4, 12; 1 Co 3:9-15
I love the start of each new day as it is a time for a fresh new start and as I always like to begin my day by seeking my Father, part of each morning’s conversation with Him begins with a prayer for forgiveness from past sin and a request for a renewed filling of His Holy Spirit within me. His Word says that because of His great love, we are not consumed, for His compassion never fails. It is new every morning; great is His faithfulness! If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Oh, but I wish that I never had to ask my Father nor anyone for forgiveness. My heart so longs to live a perfect life, but because we live in a sin-tainted world, we all have this struggle until the day we enter into our Father’s new heaven and new earth. A person could choose to hibernate and never step out in an effort to keep imperfections hidden, but as my Father has shown me today in His Word, we would miss out and the people in the world would as well. We see this in the story of a man who had a shriveled up hand in the Synagogue. The Jews saw the man’s imperfection and saw it as an opportunity to bring accusation against Jesus should He decide to bring healing to the man on the Sabbath. Jesus chose to work through the man with the shriveled up hand to work a miracle. As I read this story, I thought about this man with the shriveled up hand and how hard it must have been for him to publicly display his imperfection when Jesus called him to “stretch out his hand.” But bless our Father who gives grace to the humble! I think to myself how sad it would’ve been if this man would not have had the courage to even go to the Synagogue. It would have been a great missed opportunity to do something great for Jesus and experience the blessing of Jesus in his own life as well. Everyone has imperfections – there are no perfect specimens living on earth that I have ever heard of. We all have imperfections, not only physically but imperfections in our ability to live perfectly. Even though this is the case, our Father says we should have the same attitude of Jesus who even though He was in very nature God, He considered Himself nothing and took on the very nature of a servant and became obedient to His Father to His death on the cross. Jesus had His eyes on His Father instead of on Himself and as a result of His willingness to step into the world, bearing the shame of the cross by being the total representation of sin and imperfection, He brought huge blessing to the world. Likewise, If we each do not step out into the world and let our Father work through us, even though we are not perfect, the world will forever miss out on the blessings our Father wants to work through us. We must remember that there is a flip side to this coin, in that although we may have our imperfections, we are also blessings! This mindset is to look upon ourselves with sober judgement which is how our Father desires we see ourselves. Our Father lives in us and His Spirit is working through us! Wow! That is amazing! He can bring blessing into our lives and the lives of others not only in this life, but for eternity through our extending to the world who we are – Him in us! There isn’t one of us that is perfect on our own because of the sinful nature, but we have been made perfect through Jesus! Our Father loves us just as we are! It is resting in His love and acceptance of us that needs to be our focus which leads to having a willing heart that will let Him work through us to carry out His great work in a world full of lives that so need us. Did you know that you are a blessing to the world? You are! Stretch out your hand and share the marvelous gift of you today!
La 3:22-23; Mt 5:14, 12:9-14; Ps 53:3; 1 Jn 1:910; Ro 8:28-29, 12:1-8; 2 Ti 1:6-7; 1 Pe 5:5-6; Ps 139:13-15; 1 Co 3:16;
Good day to you! It is a new adventure today with our Father and just the fact that we are able to share this time together is a downright miracle! How amazing is that? Each one of us as we sit studying these thoughts are actually multi-tasking, in that we are at the same time experiencing many miracles taking place not only in our bodies, but in the world around us. While we as humans struggle over the possibility for us to be able to carry out the performance of a miracle, miracles are an every second occurrence in the work of our Father. They are not a problem or concern to Him at all! Jesus was the same way. Can you imagine being Jesus and having to prove that you were God by performing miracles and that all of mankind’s salvation hinged on His ability to do miracles so people would believe? You or I left to ourselves would be “up a creek without a paddle” and headed straight for a waterfall that would drop us to our death. Yikes!!! I don’t suppose many would believe in us in the end. The Good News is that we have not been left to ourselves! Jesus became a man and walked upon this earth just as we do and He was someone who had great faith. We see this all throughout His life how He with His Father in Him turned water into wine, gave blind men their sight, healed illnesses and diseases, provided abundance where there was too little, walked on water, rode a colt that was never ridden and doing so without a rodeo, changed murderers into saints and raised Lazarus from the dead. We see the evidence of His faith in His words spoken to the people watching just before He raised Lazarus. He said “Did I not tell you that if you believed, that you would see the glory of God?” He then thanked His Father for hearing His prayer and in so many words told His Father, I knew all along that you heard my prayer – no doubts here that you are going to do a miracle. I’m only saying this for the sake of the people that they might believe that You sent Me. The scenario before Him, of Lazarus being dead in the tomb was a stretch of faith for Martha. She saw the bleak circumstances, the possibility of the impossibility of a miracle. For the stone to be removed from the entrance of the tomb was a step of faith. As a result of this step of faith, a miracle happened and the glory of the Lord was revealed just as Jesus believed all along. As I reflect upon this story, I ask myself and I ask you what might be happening in your life today where a stone of doubt needs to be rolled away revealing an entrance of faith for a miracle to be presented? Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, but as He hung on the cross, people mocked Him for not being able to save Himself from death, but you know what? They were wrong! Woohoo! Our Father raised Him from the dead and another miracle happening in our lives today is that Jesus is interceding or praying with complete faith to His Father concerning our lives. Even when we do not know what to pray, His Spirit in us groans out in faith, believing in our Father to do great miracles as He is doing this very moment. God in us makes each one of us a miracle worker. It’s a miracle! I’m stepping out with you in miraculous faith today, knowing our Father will be faithful to do great things. How exciting is that?
Jn 2:1-11, 4:43-5:15, 11:38-44, 14:8-14; He 2:3-4; Mk 11:1-11; Mt 14:13-36; 14-27:41-44; Ro 8:26-39; Ac 2:14-41, 9:1-31
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
Monday, May 14, 2012
Well, I’ve made it through the weekend to Monday and so thankful to be in Daddy’s company. I know I’m not the only one who loves His presence. As Jesus performed many miracles, a crowd was always following after Him. Because of His great compassion for the people and concern for their need to eat, He miraculously fed them with seven loaves of bread and a few small fish the disciples provided. He gave thanks, broke them and gave them to the disciples to distribute, hence feeding 4,000 with food to spare. Then sending them away, He got into the boat with His disciples and went to the region of Dalmanutha. The Pharisees came and began to question Jesus. To test Him, they asked Him for a sign from Heaven. He sighed deeply and said “Why does this generation ask for a miraculous sign? I tell you the truth, no sign will be given to it.” Then He left them, got back into the boat and crossed to the other side. It strikes me that Jesus sighed deeply when asked by the Pharisees for a sign from Heaven. This story speaks to me that Jesus understands high expectations and disbelief. He wanted the Pharisees to believe in Him for who He was – the great “I Am.” He desired them to love Him just as He was without having to gain their approval or acceptance based on more performance or meeting their expectations. To be accepted just as I am is what we all desire, too. It is to have unfailing, unconditional love – the kind of love that Jesus gives to us. He demonstrated this kind of love for us in that while we were still sinners, He died for us. He tells us that He does not find His pleasure in the strength of the horse, nor does He find His delight in the legs of a man (man’s own ways) but He delights in those who fear Him (respect, trust, believe and reverence Him) and put their hope in His unfailing love for them. He desires we believe in Him and the message He brings, to love Him for who He is and as He is. He desires we find comfort knowing we have His love, too! I know He loves me as I am because His Word tells me these things: God so loved me, He sent His only Son to die on a cross to save me from sin and death just through my faith in Him and not of myself. I am saved as a gift from God, not by works so nobody can boast. My efforts are as filthy rags, yet I can approach His throne with confidence because He is my high priest who sympathizes with my weakness. When I confess my sins to Him, He is faithful and just to forgive my sins. Oh, I’m so happy God’s love for us is not based on us pulling off the impossible of living perfect! Just as we are – that’s how Jesus loves us! Whoohoo! It just makes me want to love Him right back and love others this way as well. I’m sending much love to ya’s. Have a great day just as you are! Mk 8:1-13; Eph 2:8-9; Gal 3; Pr 19:22; Ps 147:10-11; Heb 4:15-16; 1 Jn 1:9; 4:7-21; Is 64:6; Jn 8:58-59; Mt 22:34-40