“Say, YES!”

“Behold… be it unto me according to thy word,” (Luke 1:38) are the words Mary spoke when she willingly accepted God’s plan for her life.  She said yes to a future unknown.  She got into agreement with God and allowed His mission to become her mission, and her life was changed forever.

I believe that God wants to move mightily in many lives, but many are not willing to say yes.  It’s not because they don’t want God to do a fantastic thing in them and through them, but when they preview all the ideas that could happen, the balance of all the what-ifs seem too much to bear.  Yet, it is most often in those extremely unbearable moments where God works the most wonderful of wonderfuls.

Yes, comes with sacrifice.  Yes, refutes the idea of the impossible.  Yes says, “I don’t know where this journey is leading me, but Lord, I accept the challenge.  I choose Your cause and I choose this day to order my life according to that cause.”

Mary’s yes could’ve ended in her death.  Surely there must’ve been shame and ridicule hurled at her.  Never once, not even when her eldest Son, Jesus Christ, hung on the cross to redeem man, did we ever hear of her recoiling from that original yes.  There had to have been troubling times and days of confusion – yet, her yes remained yes, and to Him, she surrendered all.

Yes, can be glorious and lead one on the wildest journey they could ever experience.  But, yes can also be the hardest and most selfless decisive act one can take on.  Nevertheless, God’s invitation has gone out to many.  How will you respond today?  Will you recoil in fear, or through faith, say, “All aboard!”  I choose to ride with God through this journey by saying yes today!

Photo: Pixabay/Fotorech

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“Don’t Count People Out!”

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“Yet count him not as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother,” 2 Thessalonians 3:15

We all have those acquaintances in life that make us constantly shake our heads, and we feel like throwing up our hands in exasperation.  Especially when their behaviors do not line up with our beliefs.  Many of the times one can feel justified in their decision to wash their hands of that relationship and count that person out.  It doesn’t.

I’m so glad God has more patience with us than we have with one another.  In our humanness, we are so quick to give up on what we perceive as a lost cause.  Even members of our own family – oh, they may try us, but we can’t write them off.

When Jesus gave the command for His followers to be witnesses for Him in Acts 1:8, the first place that was mentioned was Jerusalem.  Jerusalem was home base.  Jerusalem was where everything started.  He wanted the people “at home” to have the first shot of this powerful, saving message.  In fact, that’s exactly what happened.  When Peter got up on the Day of Pentecost and preached Jesus Christ to the people “in Jerusalem,” a mighty thing occurred.  Acts 2:37 boldly tells us the message that was preached was their undoing.  It says, “Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?”

That’s a powerful reversal of opinion by those who in verse 23 were accused in the killing of the Lord Jesus Christ.  Bearing with people is not always the easiest thing to do, especially those closest to you.  You know a lot about them and it is sometimes hard to envision a reversal on their part, but can I tell you something, they are still souls before God.

It is easier for us to “go into all the world,” (Mt. 28:19), then to make disciples out of those closest to us.  Matthew 5:16 says, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”  You might be the only glimpse of what life in Christ could be for them.  But, if you give up on them and count them out, how will they see?

Your love, patience, and attitude toward another could be their deciding factor.  “Count him not as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother.”  What if God had given up on us?  Rather, Psalm 103:8-10 tells us, “The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy.  He will not always chide: neither will he keep his anger for ever.  He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.”  We deserved the worse, but God saved us and gave us the best.  He did not give up on us!

I can readily admit that before my relationship with Christ I was not all peaches and cream, nor was I sugar and spice and everything nice.  I was a sinner.  My life was not right.  I was not born a Christian, and neither were you.  God has been very patient with me, with us, and we should return that same grace to others.

It may be a work in progress for most of us, but at least it’s in progress. Therefore, we don’t have the right to count others out either.  Our love, compassion, and desire to see them saved should always compel us to “admonish them as a brother.”  People need you today, don’t count them out.  Exhort one another in love.  We need each other so badly to make it through.  Our hearts should yearn to see all saved even when we don’t see it.

Photo Credit: Pixabay

Tuning In and Tuning Out

 

 

I absolutely love earplugs.  As someone who spends a great deal of time reading and studying, the ability to block out irritating and distracting noises is quite appealing to me.  I mean, really, I could be in the same room with someone watching TV, and with my trusty earplugs, I can continue in my little-secluded paradise of the book or materials I am going through and remain undisturbed.  The people around me can continue their activities all willy nilly and my little bubble of earplug world is protected.

Unfortunately, when it comes to the grand scheme of this thing called life, popping in earplugs to block out unwelcomed voices and interruptions is not so easy.  Yet, what we allow to seep into our hearing can shape you for the good or the bad.  It can influence your next move in life or totally debilitate you depending on what messages you are paying the most attention to.

We have the choice to tune in or tune out the right frequencies that will build our faith, encourage our walk, and bolster our energy that will inspire us to move forward.  Like those radios of old, we turn the knob until we get the right wavelength so that we can hear them playing our song.  And, when it comes to life and where God is leading us, we want them playing our song.  We want to hear things that are pleasing; things that encourage and lift up.

But, as the story of this world goes, that’s not always the case.  Negative is all around us so we have to be selective in what we receive into us, into our thinking, and into our faith.  Sometimes you even have to turn a deaf ear to your own inner voice.  You know the one; the one that expresses doubt and confusion where there should be none.

Every message and every voice we allow to take up space in us is something that will fill us with positive or negative potential.

Gideon was a man in the Bible who had to overcome insecurity.  He not only had to deal with his fear of what it really meant to go against such a large army with a few men, but he also had to tune out his own inner voice that expressed doubt about what God was going to do for him and the people against the Midianite army.

God directed Gideon to go down into the camp with one purpose: to tune him into a different channel of thought than what he had been listening to.  God wanted him to hear something different.  He said, “If you are afraid to go down, go down to the camp with Purah your servant, and you shall hear what they say; and afterward your hands shall be strengthened to go down against the camp,” (Judges 7:10-11, NKJV).

When he got into the camp unawares, what he heard changed his whole perspective on the move of God in his life.  There were certain men of the enemy’s army talking and one told the other of a dream he had: “I have had a dream: To my surprise, a loaf of barley bread tumbled into the camp of Midian; it came to a tent and struck it so that it fell and overturned, and the tent collapsed,” (Judges 7:13, NKJV).

The man who was listening to the dream admitted the truth he felt as its telling.  He said, “This is nothing else but the sword of Gideon, the son of Joash, a man of Israel! Into his hands God has delivered Midian and the whole camp,” (Judges 7:14, NKJV).  Gideon heard the enemy admit defeat before the battle was even fought because God was with the people of Israel.

When those words fell on Gideon’s ears it changed his perspective on the battle.  Those words fed his inner man with a healthy dose of courage and caused him to get into agreement with God.  He spoke to his fellow countrymen and gave this report: “Arise, for the LORD has delivered the camp of Midian into your hand,” (Judges7:15, NKJV).  He was ready to step into new territory of being victorious for God.  He was ready to take on this battle and win.

Stand guard against what you allow to be fed into your hearing.  For what enters your hearing enters your thoughts, and what enters your thoughts affects the spirit man.  Today, make a conscientious effort to tune in to what God is saying through His Spirit and through His Word and tune out anything negative that speaks against His truth.  Let Him be your spiritual earplugs.

Text Free Photo: Pixabay/LubosHouska

“8 Ways to Speak God’s Blessings Over Your Children!”

God wants everyone in your family to be blessed.  From the least, unto the greatest, it is His desire that all that is in your household be entrenched in God’s favor.  What better gift to give to your children than to extend the blessings of the Lord over their life.  These little ones will be the next carriers of God’s word.  They will be the conduits through which generations after them will find their way to the Lord and His salvation.  It all starts with what is planted in them today.  When we step off the scene we want to be sure these future leaders are strengthened in His might and power.

Below are verses you can begin to pray over your children today.  Sow the seed of God’s Word into their life through intercession and may the Lord bless their growth.

  • A prayer for beautifully, mature growth – “That our sons may be as plants grown up in their youth; that our daughters may be as corner stones, polished after the similitude of a palace,” Psalm 144:12.
  • A prayer for the instruction of the Lord and peace – “All thy children shall be taught by the Lord, and great shall be the peace of thy children,” Isaiah 54:13.
  • A prayer for understanding and judgment; to be opened to receive guidance – “My children, listen when your father corrects you. Pay attention and learn good judgment, for I am giving you good guidance. Don’t turn away from my instructions,” – Proverbs 4:1-2, NLT
  • A prayer to stay on the paths of the righteous – “That thou mayest walk in the way of good men, and keep the paths of the righteous,” – Proverbs 2:20.
  • A prayer for God’s blessings – “The LORD bless thee, and keep thee: The LORD make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: The LORD lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace,” – Numbers 6:24-26.
  • A prayer for a deep relationship with God – “For in him we live, and move, and have our being . . .” – Acts 17:28.
  • A prayer for protection –  “The LORD shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul.  The LORD shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore,” – Psalm 121:7-8.
  • I declare today, My children are a gift and a blessing from God – Psalm 127:3-5.

There are numerous verses you can proclaim over your family today.  Many of these I have prayed over my own children down through the years and though many are of adult age, some with children of their own, I still find myself praying for them.

God’s Word is powerful!  Why not use it to pray over and bless the lives of your children?

What are some ways, verses, or prayers you use to bless and/or pray over your family and children?  Share them with me and they may appear in a future article.

Photo: Pixabay/cherylholt

“The King to My Rescue!”

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“Save, LORD! May the King answer us when we call,” Psalm 20:9, NKJV

 I am definitely a girly girl, to an extent.  I love the idea of love.  I can bury myself in stories of romance and rescue.  What is a lovelier picture than that of a knight in shining armor coming to the rescue of a damsel in distress?  I’ll tell what a lovelier picture is, when the King himself gets personally involved in the rescue.

As long as we live in this earth days of trouble are never far from any of us.  There will always be an occasion that we need to be rescued, be it mind, body or spirit.  We will never be the end all of every answer to every trouble we face.  There will arise at one point or another a situation or a trial where nothing and no one can help unless the most powerful in the land intercedes on our behalf.

“Save, LORD!” becomes more of a desperate plea than a battle cry.  When adversity has made itself too comfortable in your presence and you don’t know how to rid this awful pest, a plea to the King to answer our most urgent request comes forth from the lips, seeking a life saver to lift us up out of the drowning depths.

Our King is not too high that He cannot hear.  Our King is not so secluded behind palace walls that He doesn’t see the plight of His people.  Our King has granted us an open access policy to be able to reach Him when hard times are weighing us down.  “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need,” (Hebrews 4:16).  Therefore, we cry out, “Save, LORD! May the King answer us when we call,” (Psalm 20:9).

“In the day of my trouble I will call upon thee: for thou wilt answer me,” (Psalm 86:7).  Over and over again we see the plea.  Over and over again we see the promise.  The King is waiting to hear from you and me.  Stop carrying the trouble alone.  Seek the King’s intervention in your life.

Sometimes a knight in shining armor just won’t do.  You need the King to come to the rescue.  Be blessed.

Photo Credit: Pixabay

An Incomplete, Complete Mess | Word For Life Says

 

 

Incomplete really speaks to the idea that I, we, us, don’t really have it all together like we think we do at times.  I mean, really, we are often so short from where we need to be; from where God wants us that we can feel the dragging of lack in our spirits.  If we were really honest with ourselves we would see within us deficit upon deficit without any real way of adding up to that holy mark of perfection our soul longs for.  If left to ourselves and our own ingenuity we would find that we are an incomplete mess.

But, thanks be to God that our completeness is not dependent upon us.  Rather, it is in Christ alone where we find everything that makes us 100% whole in Him.  In our relationship with Jesus as our Savior, there is no lack.  The Bible assures us, “You are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power,” (Colossians 2:10, NKJV).  On the cross, Jesus secured everything we need to have a full relationship with God Almighty, leaving nothing out.  Jesus Christ really does become more than enough for believers to rest in His salvation.  Through Calvary’s sacrifice, Jesus turned our incomplete mess into something completely beautiful.

More encouraging verses:

2 Corinthians 3:5 “Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God.”

John 1:16 “And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace.”

Colossians 1:19 “For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell.”

“Just Give Me Jesus!”

“But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.” 2 Corinthians 11:3

Every once in a while we need to take a step back and examine ourselves.  What or who is it that we are really devoted to?  What or who are we chasing after?  What or who are we investing our time and energies toward?  Are we just running this Christian race for a better life on this side of the grave?  Or, are we sincerely and completely devoted to the Christ who redeemed us from its power?

The Apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthian church for them to beware.  Beware of what?  Beware of deception that is afoot.  “But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ,” (2 Corinthians 11:3); or the sincerity of devotion to Him.

Jesus is our lifeline for the here and now, and for time to come.  If we are not completely tied to and devoted to Him, then what are we doing?  Why are we claiming our attachment to His holy body if our devotion is not fully geared toward Him, being sincerely in love with the Savior?

Our lives are to be simply Jesus.  Yes, we have other things to attend to in life and we cannot shirk those responsibilities.  But, the center of our heart is for the Lord.  In all that we do, we seek to do it in devotion, love, and honor to Him.

“Just give me Jesus,” the soul within cries.  The complications of life and the whisperings of other “means” seek to disrupt and break our sincerest fellowship with our Savior.  But, just give me Jesus.

May our devotion to Him, no matter what we are facing, be of the sincerest form.  May our hearts ever be tied to the Christ who redeemed us.  May our minds carry Jesus in it as we walk the paths of this life.

Text Free Photo: Pixabay/TheDigitalArtist

“Today I Believe I am Big Enough!”

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“And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak which come of the giants: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight,” Numbers 13:33

Feeling outsized in life?  The fact of the matter is that many of us feel too small for the task ahead.  Goals, dreams, and possibilities are alright to fantasize about, but when it actually comes down to implementing what needs to be done, we often feel inadequate, as if we don’t have enough in us to see it all the way through to the end.  We feel too small to go in and take hold of what we can be.

Too often we get stuck in a rut because of this line of thinking.  The pressure of what it actually takes to step out into something new, to believe there is a chance for you to be better and to have better, is a little overwhelming to most.  Dealing with the unusual and stepping into the unfamiliar takes a strong act of courage.  It involves one having enough strength and faith to look past what they view themselves as now and see something bigger.

For any area of life where we want to see improvement, there will always be barriers.  There will always be “giants,” whether real or imagined, that will say and make you believe that you are too little; that you don’t have enough in you to be big.

“Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world,” (1 John 4:4).  The world doesn’t want you to make it.  And, he that operates in the world wants your faith to diminish to the point that you feel like you’re a little “grasshopper.”  It is time for you to stop listening to the world and turn a deaf ear to the “giants.”  If God brought you to the edge of the promise, then, He is most certainly able to bring you all the way into it.  The main factor that can hinder you is you!  It is what you believe about yourself!   It is what you believe God can do in and through you!

“Greater is He that is in you!”  Our belief in ourselves and what God can do through us rises when we realize who it is on our side and what He can do.  That’s the beautiful thing about this.  Life may outsize us but it will never outsize God!  God dwarfs to nobody!  He is greater than all.  So much so, that when He was telling Abraham about his promises, “He could swear by no greater, he sware by himself,” (Hebrews 6:13).

God is the greatest there is.  The buck stops with Him.  He can’t be outdone.  He can’t be belittled.  He is king and will be king forever.  And, He is “in you!”  That means you are big enough!  You are nobody’s grasshopper!  You can do it because of who you have on the inside of you!  Your job is to wholeheartedly believe, understand and know His bigness, so that you can believe, understand and know that today, “I am big enough!”

Photo Credit: Pixabay

“Love Makes a Difference!”

"Love Makes a Difference!" 1 Peter 4:8 www.wordforlifesays.com

“Above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.”1 Peter 4:8

Love makes the difference!  There’s no way around it.  God is love (1 John 4:8).  Jesus died because of love (John 3:16).  And now we are admonished to have that same “fervent charity/love” toward one another.  Christians are to have a love for each other that cannot be easily extinguished by life’s difficulties.  Paul wrote, “Ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another,” (Gal. 5:13; emphasis mine).  The love and compassion we have in us should be poured out freely to one another.

“For charity/love shall cover the multitude of sins.”  God’s love, through His Son Jesus, covered a “multitude” of my sins and yours.  We are to be imitators of our heavenly Father.  Proverbs 10:12 tells us, “Hatred stirreth up strifes: but love covereth all sins.”  Both of these verses pronounce love as a covering.  It’s not that we don’t see, feel or hurt at the wrongs of others, it’s all about what we choose to do with it.  Much like God (although we can never touch the capacity of His love), our love is to be so on-fire for one another that it causes us to look beyond the faults of others and see to the core of their very need.  That’s how love makes a difference!

“Come to the Waters”

“Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters . . .” Isaiah 55:1

Come to the waters, the Lord beckons.  This world will tire you out and the pursuit of it will leave you drained.  Refreshment can only be found in Him.  As one traipsing through a desert of darkness that this world so often leads you through, His plentiful Spirit will satiate the aridness and will water your life where it was once dry.

Do you need that touch from Him?

Come!

Do you need that refreshing spring that flows from the everlasting Father?

Come!

Do you need the tenderness and hope that can only be found in the stream of His salvation?

Come!

Do you need to be rejuvenated into new birth in the waters of His spiritual deliverance?

Then, come!

Don’t lighten your pace.  Run with haste to the pool of His mercy and grace, and come.  Don’t let anyone stop you from dipping in.  Dive in with full surrender and with full abandon, and come.

A sip just won’t do.  We are thirsty for You, O God!  We have nothing to offer for the price You paid, yet, You say come.  We have no value on our own, but You speak, come anyway.  There is no good thing that dwells in our flesh (Romans 7:18), but You invite us to draw near to You and come.

Come to the waters.  Step into the abundant life He so offers (John 10:10).  Come and let your soul be spiritually satisfied.  Come and take the offer of His salvation for yourself.

Come, and don’t turn away.  Don’t give up this great treasure that can only be found in God.  Don’t let the delight of what the Lord Jesus Christ bought for you on that cross slip through your fingers.

“Incline your ear, and come to Me. Hear, and your soul shall live . . .” (Isaiah 55:3, NKJV).  Live in Him.  Live in the peace He offers through the pouring out of His blood.  Live a life free from spiritual drought because you were once thirsty and you came and partook of His holy waters.

Yes, this world will dry you out, but He restores, He redeems, and He puts in right fellowship with Him every thirsty soul that comes to Him and drinks.  Jesus said, “But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life,” (John 4:14).

Therefore, come to the Water!