“Lay it all down!”

“Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,” Hebrews 12:1

Lay those burdens down!  Give yourself permission to release it, and let it all go.  Grab hold of the confidence of His Word, and cling to it for dear life.

This world is raging.  Things we’ve never seen before are unfolding at a frightening rate.  Hurts are dissimulating families.  Distresses are speaking despair into lives.  Lay it all down!

Refuse to pick it up today!  That fear; that feeling – refuse it space in your world today.

Who does God say I am?  What does His Word speak over my life?  That’s what I choose to pick up today.  That’s what I am choosing to carry with me.  Not these burdens.  Not these worries.  They are hindrances to my progress.  They’re deflating my steps.

I want to run!  I want to run for You, Jesus!  I want to run my race well and effectively.  But, in order to run, I have to release some things that’s been holding me down.  I must cast disappointment aside.  I have to get rid of any sin that’s stopping me from running full speed ahead for the Lord.  I have to throw away everything that’s not working for my heavenly good and trust in God the Father who is.

Lay it all down, dear friend, lay it down.  The heaviness it holds it’s not worth it.  Don’t coddle it.  Don’t get comfortable with it.  Don’t declare this is how it is now.

No, get rid of it.  By faith, be determined.  By faith, walk in the confidence of the God who has spoken beautiful things over your life.  By faith, don’t just claim His peace – live it, because it’s already yours!

The weight is not yours to carry, but His peace is.  Run your race with Him and be blessed.

“Seek God First…”

God knows what we really stand in need of; He knows the good that will help us the most. Seek Him first, with a heart of faith, and let Him work out the blessings that come to us. Even the strongest of the strong will eventually know lack but they that trust in God, shall not want any good thing! “The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they that seek the LORD shall not want any good thing.” Psalm 34:10

“Lead Me.”

Lead me to the cross where
I can lay my burden down.
Lead me to Him who will
never let me drown.

Lead me to the Rock
that is higher than I.
Lead me to the One who
bottles the tears I cry.

Lead me to Him who knows
all my cares and sorrow.
Who holds my future and
all of my tomorrows.

There, I find solace in
the grip of His embrace.
So, lead me where I can rest
from this exhausting race.

He’s my source and my shield;
my covenant and mercy.
Lead me to God, whom I love
to the bursting.

When life is overwhelming and
I don’t know what to do,
Lead me to Your arms, O Lord.
Lead me to You.

“From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I.” Psalm 61:2

Father God, we need You.  We cannot find the strength or wisdom on our own to properly care for the things and adversities we face.  But this we do know, You are our Rock.  You are the peace we find in the midst of all that overwhelms us.  Take us by the hand and lead us to You – our safe sanctuary, our hiding place, from all these storms that blow our way.  In the name of Jesus Christ, AMEN!

“Think of His Grace!”

It amazes me how quickly we, as humans, and operating in our human nature, want to write things in the story of others that God never intended, nor did it come to His mind.  We tend to write negative responses in the lives and the stories of others while forgetting that the very grace that was poured into our life, can be poured in another as well.

When we were in our messes; when we, as individuals, were outside of the will of God, God didn’t give up on us.  He didn’t give things in our story that were not going to work out for our own good.  Rather, in His grace, He made a way for our personal redemption.  In His grace, He wrote a better ending to our story than we could ever imagine.

Before you judge another or look down on someone because the season they are in right now doesn’t look right to you, remember the grace that was once shown to you, and freely extend that same grace to another.

God’s grace is a beautiful thing and without it, none of us would be here today, and none of us could make it.  None of us had the power to save ourselves.  None of us was capable of doing for us what Jesus did.  But God’s grace stepped in our lives and He raised us out of the muck and mire of our sins.  He lifted us out of our personal ruts and restored us to something wonderful and with purpose.

Think on God’s grace today.  Let it be that gentle reminder of what God has done for you, and let that motivate you to share this same grace toward another.

“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:” Ephesians 2:8.

“God’s Got You Covered!”

 

Do you ever feel opened and exposed during the trials of life?  Do you ever feel that the enemy has free pickings when it comes to your heartache?  Well, he doesn’t!  The enemies of this life may chase you, hunt you down and all together seek to make your life miserable, but the enemies do not have the last say over anything.  God, in His complete sovereignty, has you covered!

If anybody knew about being constantly chased by enemies seeking to take their life it was David.  Saul, in a jealous pursuit, saw something special in David, the favor of God, and wanted to destroy David.  There were days when David may have felt like giving up.  There were days of hiding in caves and pretending to be a mad-man to seek solitude in other countries.  But, through it all David dealt best with his enemies through prayer.  He declared who his God was and committed his trust to Him.  In Psalm 140:7, “O God the Lord, the strength of my salvation, thou hast covered my head in the day of battle.”

To be covered means to be concealed and to be protected.  The battles of this life may at times make us feel that we are an open target to everyone who can’t stand the favor of God on us, but be of good cheer, God’s got us covered!  “As the mountains are round about Jerusalem, so the LORD is round about his people from henceforth even for ever,” (Psalm 125:2).  And, if God is like a mountain surrounding us then there is no adversary that can break through the covering He has over us.  It may feel like we are on the run sometimes but God is still that protecting force that “covered my head in the day of battle.”  Commit your heartaches, your battle and your enemies to God and let Him be your covering today.

“May I help you?”

“After that He poureth water into a bason, and began to wash the disciples’ feet …” John 13:5

 I wonder if anyone in our day and age really understands the concept of service.  Does anyone really grasp the meaning of what it is to serve another?  If you’ve recently gone to a fast-food restaurant or a big box store or any consumer outlet where things are acquired, purchased or eaten, you know what I mean.  The lack of good customer service drives me away from some establishments regardless of how cheap their prices are.

I remember when one of my daughters, who was a teenager at the time, was working her first job in a national fast-food chain, and how much the idea of good customer service rang out to me by what I witnessed there.   At this establishment where she worked,  they would take servicing the customer very seriously.  If it was raining outside, some of the employees were on post at the front door, umbrellas in hand, waiting to assist patrons to and from their cars who didn’t have one.  This company did many small things and details that let people know that they mattered to them and they were important.

Although things like this are considered uncommon in our day, what those employees did really spoke to the fact that they were at that place of employment to work according to that company’s standards.  Every day they were urged to step outside of themselves to assist others.  Oh, if more would catch on to this concept!  But, the infectious, self-serving mentality, which permeates this world’s culture doesn’t allow people to see or even consider others over themselves.

That is far from the teaching Jesus laid out for those who would follow Him.  He has given us many examples to follow but the one that really sticks out to me  is Jesus stooping to the level of the lowliest servant in the house and performing duties that were detested by all in that day,  “He began to wash the disciples’ feet.”  Can you imagine what those feet must have looked like after walking many miles in sandals?   Can you imagine what they must have smelled like?  Yet, He took a towel and wrapped it around His waist, took feet in hand and began to carefully administer this duty to them.

We all know that Jesus always considered and worked for the betterment of those around Him.  He did this to the point of laying His life down on the cross for the sins of the world.  But, what Jesus showed them on this occasion, was a one on one lesson with those who would be responsible for carrying the gospel to the world.  He showed them that there are everyday occurrences where one can serve, where one can put another before themselves.

We are so thankful for the many areas of missionary work that go on throughout the world.  Those who render themselves to such service are able to reach the unreachable and set up foundations for Christ in far off lands. But every day, right where you are, there are opportunities to let the love of Christ shine in this dark world.  The world is already used to seeing the inconsiderate side of man, so now it’s time for the church to rise up and show them the loving side of God.  How?  Through our service to them.  Through everyday occurrences where you show somebody that you value them.  Oh, how would that make them feel?  I’ll tell you.  It would make them feel loved!

It makes people feel as if they matter also.  That someone cares enough to let them go first in line, or take your right-of-way in traffic.  These are little things – but, can I tell you, little things done in great numbers make a great impact.  If each of us would show the character of Christ’s service and stop placing so much focus on other things, I think we could make a tangible difference in this world.  It would still be an infectious cycle. Instead of the world’s disease permeating the church, the church could infect the world and really show them how much Christ loves them.

“God Knows Best!”

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LordFor as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isiah 55:8-9

We all want the victory in life, but we don’t always know how to go about doing it.  There is a right way and a wrong way of getting things done.  If you have ever purchased one of those DIY furniture kits, then you know what I mean.  If the directions are followed incorrectly, often we will end up with a product that doesn’t look the picture describes or a product that doesn’t function as it should.  One misstep in the procedure of putting it together can really derail the end result.

So it is true in life.  We can see in our minds how this or that will work out, but the process it takes to get there is a little more obscured.  We know how we want the end to look, but allusive is the way to get there.  And despite what the world shouts, there is a way that is right, holy, and just.  There is a way that is not hidden or playing hide and seek.  It is God’s way!  And sometime human nature has a hard time letting go of their own way to take on His perfect will for their lives.

There is this beautiful word called “omniscient.”  The word itself means to be all-knowing and the only one to whom that can be referred to is God Almighty.  The Bible tells us multiple times and in multiple ways of the infinite understanding of God (Psalm 147:5); that He knows everything there is to know and to be known (1 John 3:20).

So, why am I telling you all of this today?  Because all of us deal with times, situations, and decisions where we simply don’t know.  We barely know how our story starts, let alone each step necessary to walk through the process to reach the finished end.  But, God does.

We are told to “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not to thine own understanding.  In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct our paths,” (Proverbs 3:5-6).  We are told to let go of our own perceptions or preconceived ideas and notions and lean in complete trust in God, and what He knows, and let Him guide through all of those processes we are so struggling with.

Whatever we are undertaking or engaged in, do not be overcome or feel overwhelmed with what’s before you.  Lean on God.  There is so much in this life that we carry the full weight of when God is offering to take some of the weight off of you if you will just trust Him to do it.

Trusting Him is not passive, it’s a walk of obedience.  It is following His way all the way through.  Abraham, a great man of faith, didn’t become that way by just saying he had faith.  He was given the privilege of that title because the faith he had in God caused his steps to walk in obedience in His will for his life (Genesis 12-25; Hebrews 11:8-10, 17-19 ).  Trusting that God knows best is actively walking out one’s faith in obedience, and depending on God for the final results.  It is not just quoting that His ways are higher than ours; it’s knowing and believing they are and leaving the outcome of everything we are dealing with; all of those times, situations, and decisions in His more than capable hands because God’s knows best.

Our victory begins and ends with knowing above all else, God is in charge of our story and He knows best.  All we have to do is follow Him.

“Uphold me according unto Thy Word…”

 

Father God, in Your Word, is life and hope. In Your Word is everything I need to make it through this day. Uphold me with Your Word. In those holy pages, we can find comfort, peace, and wisdom for the day written. “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee,” (Psalm 119:11). We cannot live without You, and we cannot live without Your Word. Thank You for blessing us with the guidance of this blessed and holy treasure, in the name of Jesus Christ, I pray, AMEN!