You Are Not the Only One

You are seen. You are heard. You are not alone.

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“. . . knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.” 1 Peter 5:9

Sadness.  Sorrow.  Pain.  Sickness.  Disappointment with others.  Disappointment with yourself.  Hurt.  Betrayal, and more, can make anyone feel like they are living on an isolated island of despair.  While others may be physically near, the trials and troubles we encounter in this world can often make people feel alone, as if they are the only ones going through anything adverse or hard at the moment.

But the truth is, no matter the smile that splits across a face, and no matter how a social media post may read, people, every day, are suffering behind the façade.  Some are excellent at grinning and bearing it, while others will show you only what they want you to see.  Different people handle their different circumstances in different ways, but it does not mean they are not going through hardship or dealing with adversity.

It is easy to feel alone in the midst of trials.  The enemy would like nothing more than for you to think this way because when we feel alone, we tend to pull back into hiding, and we pull back our trust.  We don’t share with others what we are going through, carrying the burden and the weight of the moment on our own shoulders.

The beauty of the Bible is it does not hold back.  It shows us the good and the bad and lets us know the reality that comes with this life, that whether they show it or not, there are perhaps others around you who are experiencing afflictions of their own.

Jesus gave us no illusion that every day would be an awesome experience.  He said, “In the world ye shall have tribulation . . .” (John 16:33; emphasis mine).  We may not like to say or think about it, but there may be some things that come your way that will not put a smile on your face.  It may even leave you wondering, crying, “Why is this happening to me?”

While the words “you are not the only one” may not make you personally feel better, know that any affliction you face for your Lord will come with a promise that you are not alone (Hebrews 13:5).  It comes with grace and strength to say, “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory,” (2 Corinthians 4:17).

In times of personal pain, all of this may be hard to digest.  And I, for one, never want to brush off the realness of what others are going through.  But I do hope to encourage you, dear blessed one, that you are seen, you are heard, you are not alone regardless of what it feels like, and you matter so much to our heavenly Father.

What you are going through is not a trivial thing and we are not brushing it under the rug of Scripture or a well-placed verse.  But I personally pray that your heart will be full, knowing God’s love for you, and knowing the body of Christ is rooting for you.  We love you, dear one, and God loves you more.

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The Confidence of the Cross

“The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” John 10:10

I hope this great truth never escapes our attention or is put on the back burner of familiarity, dimming the bold message coming from it: for us to gain life, Jesus had to lose His.

But life is now the promise of today and all days, and that day that is to come because of the precious gift our Lord secured for us.

His love for you and me would not settle with allowing brokenness, sin, and destruction to continue to litter the pathway for our existence here on this earth.  No, when He laid down life it was to regain life – when He gave up everything, it was that we may gain even more.

Imagine a love that is so on fire for you that He will go to extreme measures so that you will get to heaven, so that you will get to be with the Father.  He already knew what this was like, and nothing would stop His pursuit to make a way for you and me to experience it too.

Life is the confidence of the cross.  The enemy’s purpose is to destroy life, but Jesus’ purpose is to give everything heaven has to offer, everything the enemy is working so hard to prohibit: LIFE.

“Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:” John 11:25

“In him was life; and the life was the light of men.” John 1:4

“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” John 14:6

“He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.” 1 John 5:12

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The Gates of Glory

Your beauty, O God, cannot be compared. I pray for many souls to be able to experience Your gates of glory. To walk through the doorways of heaven and to have their eyes feast on the sight of wonders beyond compare.

I pray for hearts to feel the embrace of love as everything in heaven welcomes them home. I pray for many to know what it is like to leave all the worries of this world outside those doors and to celebrate total freedom from all that tried to hold them down.

On this side of those gates, we can only imagine what that day will look like. But over there, the rich fulfillment of every Scripture-breathed promise will be seen, known, and felt, beautifully overwhelming us with the glory of our God.

Oh, that day is coming, dear friend. All will be revealed, and we will wonder no more. No, because there, we move from wonder to experience and this experience is its own reward.

Father God, thank You that You have prepared such a glorious place for us to dwell with You for all eternity. Beyond those gates, You welcome us into Your heavenly throne room. You welcome us into Your presence forever, no more to be separated by sin, death, and every failing thing this world offered. “In thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore” (Psalm 16:11). Beyond the gates of glory, our souls will take in every beautiful thing that You are without hindrance or obstacle. Beyond those gates is where I want to be, and I thank You for this salvation You have secured for me. It is my heart’s desire for many souls to be blessed to enjoy Your presence. In the mighty and matchless name of our Lord Jesus Christ, I pray, AMEN!

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“Throw away those filthy rags.”

If there is one thing I really cannot stand, it’s a messy house.  I am not saying my house doesn’t get messy, because it does.  But I can’t stand it that way.  When I see a mess, I see chaos and clutter.  Some days I can let it go, but then there are those days that I just cannot.  I cannot go to bed knowing in the morning as I fumble my way to the coffee pot, I will encounter a housekeeping tragedy.

I am one of those weird people who enjoy watching other people clean their houses on videos.  And let me clarify, I do not like to just watch anybody.  The few who I do watch, who I am drawn to, are professionals or are reputable.  Some older than me.  Some are younger than me, but because of their experience, I can learn things from them about cleaning that I may not have known about.  I may have been cleaning a certain way, and now I possibly may have learned a new, better, or more efficient way to get things clean and keep them clean.

Whether watching videos or in my own experiences of cleaning, one thing I do know is that what materials you use to clean matters in the results you will get.  Inefficient tools produce inefficient results.  And if one is trying to make something clean by using a dirty rag – it is not going to work.  All you are doing is spreading the previous filth from which the rag was used, what appears to the naked eye to be clean, but now it’s riddled with invisible germs and all kinds of gross stuff you can’t see.

So, we see with those filthy rags we didn’t actually clean anything.  We didn’t make anything right or better than it was before.  All we did was re-contaminate what we thought we were cleansing. 

Isn’t that like our human nature to step back and look at something and think that we made something right on our own, with our abilities, thoughts, and actions?  To take credit for things we ought not to?  Especially when it comes to spiritual matters and our Christian walk?  It is easy to fall into the trap of thinking we have obtained any of His goodness on our own.  As if by our will, we can check off invisible boxes that said we were good enough in this area and that, therefore the graces, mercies, and salvation bestowed on us is our just reward.

No, my friend.  That thinking is so far from the truth and reality of our stance before a holy God.

Isaiah let us know that no matter what we think the best of us is, in and of ourselves, it still amounts to nothing but dirty rags before a holy God.  “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags…” (64:6).

On our own, what we bring to the table of our lives and try to clean up, just amounts to mess on top of a mess.  Our nature has been sinful from the beginning.  This is why Jesus stressed to Nicodemus our need to be born again (John 3:3).

Outside of Christ, there is nothing within us that is powerful enough and good enough to wash away our sins and make us clean.  Any attempts within us to answer the charge against us are just that – attempts.  They are futile self-efforts of futile self-righteousness.  And self-righteous efforts never go far in God’s account book of records.  Because for one to claim self-righteousness means they can get right with God on their own and in their own way.  Who they are, their works, and their efforts speak for what they think they deserve.

By all accounts, Saul, before he became the apostle Paul, ticked off all the right religious boxes to be able to boast of his own acquired righteousness in the flesh.  In his own testimony of himself found in Philippians, he states:

“Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more:

Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee;

Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.” (3:4-6).

Have you ever been there with the mentality that the good you are or have is because of you and your efforts?  Have you ever looked down on another, even in just your heart, and felt they should be holy like you until God had to come in and knock you off your beast of pride like he did Paul to let you know you didn’t have it as together as you thought you did?  You are still harboring some mess inside of you.

At another time, in giving a defense for himself, the apostle Paul said, “I am verily a man which am a Jew, born in Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, yet brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, and taught according to the perfect manner of the law of the fathers, and was zealous toward God, as ye all are this day,” (Acts 22:3).  And still, to add to his accolades, Paul said at another time, “…I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee…” (Acts 23:6).

Paul supposedly had all the right stuff, and yet, he had nothing, and without Christ, he was nothing.

Back in Philippians 3, Paul continues to write:

“But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.

Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,

And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith,” (7-9).

Going off his own righteousness obtained by checking off the boxes of the law, Paul became a persecutor of the church.  After his transformation, he went from persecuting Jesus (Acts 22:4-8) to calling Him in Philippians 3:8, “My Lord.”

My friend, I don’t care what we think we have or bring to the table.  When we meet Jesus, we realize as Paul did, we have nothing on our own.  And that is a good place to be!

No matter who we are or what we perceive we have or do not have, we all start out with Jesus in the same way.  As Paul testified, “…not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith,” (Philippians 3:9).

So, whatever those “good enough’s” are that any are holding on to, without the righteousness found only in Christ, all those “good enough” efforts and ideas of self-realized righteousness are as “filthy rags.”

Throw away those dirty rags.  We all need Jesus Christ in order to be made right before God; in order to be saved.

Jesus, Himself, said, “…without me ye can do nothing,” (John 15:5).  He also said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me,” (John 14:6).  To make a long story short, we all need Jesus!

I have heard some say something along the lines of, “Well, I’m not as bad as some.  I don’t do this or that.  What do I need to repent for?”  In other words, they may not be super-saints (are any of us?), but they are not that bad either, so why do they need Jesus?  Aren’t they good enough the way they are?

To them, I give Jesus’ answer: “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me,” (John 14:6).

At another time, Jesus put to rest the idea of those who thought they were righteous on their own.  In the parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector, the Bible says:

“And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others:

Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican.

The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.

I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.

And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.

I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.” (Luke 18:9-14; bold emphasis added).

Friend, throw away any filthy rags of self-righteousness for they will never make one right before the Lord.

Come to Him humbly like that tax collector, realizing without Jesus cleaning us up on the inside, we will never be clean enough: “God be merciful to me a sinner.” 

When one trusts in themselves and their own works of righteousness, they put themselves in the dangerous place of tossing God’s grace aside and adopting a prideful position in life that opposes God and His plan of salvation. 

The Bible strictly warns, “Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God,” (2 Corinthians 3:5).

That is the best part of the gospel message.  It is never about what we can do, bring, or add to the equation.  It always has been, and always will be about Jesus Christ and what He has already done.

“For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.

For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.

But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.

For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.

And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.” (Romans 5:6-11)

Some Pharisees and those in religious circles could not accept Jesus’ message because they, in their self-righteousness, thought they were okay the way they were.  They were religious but didn’t have Christ.  They looked to be okay in all the right places and to be doing all the right things but took credit for their own perceived holiness.  Therefore, they looked down on others when it is only through the sacrifice of Christ that one can receive “atonement” and be made right.    

Then, there are those who don’t know or won’t acknowledge Christ, because as previously stated, they are not as bad as some, and think they are “good enough” the way they are.  But it is when none of us were “good enough”; when all of us were “sinners” that “Christ died for us.”

Self-righteousness is a set of filthy rags that many try to clean their life with.  We may not see the surface dirt, but the invisible attitudes of the heart, God sees it all.

Friend, we must throw away any filthy rags of self-righteousness and realize none of us got here on our own.  Everything we have and are is because of the work that Jesus Christ has already performed on the cross.  No self-works.  No self-efforts.  No self-righteousnesses can save any of us.  “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast,” (Ephesians 2:8-9). 

And, that salvation, my friends, comes through Jesus Christ alone! 

If you want your life to be truly clean, then one must come through Him who is perfectly clean, “without blemish and without spot,” (1 Peter 1:19).  No filthy rags will do. 

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The Real Gift of Christmas Was Born!

“For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.” Luke 2:11

He is not found on display in a decorated window.

Nor will He be purchased from off the store shelf.

No, the only purchasing to be done is

when He came to purchase you for Himself (Titus 2:14).

 

For you, the Savior has come.

For you, the prophecy had been fulfilled.

For you, heaven’s glory was housed in a manger.

For you, He was born by God’s overshadowing will.

 

The greatest Christmas gift one has ever,

or will ever receive,

is the truest reason for Christmas itself

found in Christ our Lord, the newborn King.

 

If it were not for us, He would not have come.

If it were not for us, there would be no need to be born.

But born He was, God in the flesh (Matthew 1:23; 1 Timothy 3:16)

purposed to save us from sin and eternal death.

December 25th is waited for with hope throughout the year of giving and receiving gifts. But on that holy night, at the announcement of the Lord’s birth by the angel, the shepherds working the sheep in the field knew the real gift of Christmas had been waited upon for much longer.

“For unto you.” Let the beauty of those words speak to your heart. The gift of Jesus was given for you, for us, for me.

God’s gift, wrapped in swaddling clothes at His birth (Luke 2:12), and linen at His burial (John 19:40), was personally wrapped and given for failing humanity.

May we ponder, as Mary did that night, the real gift of Christmas a little more closely this year. I pray that you would feel the Father’s love as He presents this Gift to you for unwrapping. I pray you would know the heart of the Father more fully as you receive His “indescribable gift” (2 Corinthians 9:15) for yourself.

Christ was given, by the hand of God, for all who were, and for all who were to come: “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6). “For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved” (John 3:17).

For this Christmas, and all to come, no Christmas gift could be or should be cherished more, than this gift of God’s great love (John 3:16).

At the trial of His crucifixion, Jesus spoke these words:

To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice.” John 18:37

The gift was born for you.  

Thank You, Father God, for the personal gift of Jesus Christ into my life. Neither words nor time would be enough to express my deepest gratitude for the Savior. Your Gift has intervened in my life and saved me, helped me, protected me, and blessed me far more than I deserve. My thank You seems inadequate for this season, but humbly thank You, I do, and I praise You for the real Gift of Christmas in my life.

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It’s a Matter of Choice

 When I was a child, one of the simplest toys we used to play with was dominoes.  I never played it as the game intended.  My only use for dominoes was to stand them aright like little soldiers in a line just to watch them fall.

After the pattern of my desire had been set, I tipped the first one, and that’s all it took.  As the first fell, it tipped the second, and the second tipped the third, and so on until they all lay still in the place where they had fallen. 

My designs were simple, but there are those who master intricate patterns and make designs on a grander scale.  And when their first domino tips, a beautiful display of artistry and showmanship unfolds, mesmerizing the onlookers.

The time and talent it takes to perform such works are amazing.  Investment of oneself is key for without that dedication the performance that brought the end reward would have never been accomplished.

And that’s how our lives pretty much go.  Daily we are faced with a myriad of decisions and each of these decisions matters.  Like dominoes, one will affect another, and then another, and so on, with not only the present moment of the decision being impacted but also the future that is to come.

With people being caught up in the here and now, the future, with its possibilities and consequences, is not the first thought on their minds. 

On the other hand, there are those who are concerned about their future and want to know what they can do to improve its outcome, be it physical, financial, or relationally.  The better investment of oneself in these areas is for a better turnout. 

But what about spiritually?

There was a young man who came to Jesus and wanted to know about his spiritual future.  He wanted to know what to do to gain eternal life (Mt. 19:16).  Jesus’ response to him was to follow the commands of God (v. 17).

“All these things have I kept from my youth” (v. 20), the young man replied, and yet, was there something still missing?  Did he feel a certain void?

I don’t have a definite answer, but I do know he pursued Jesus with more questioning, asking Him, “What lack I yet?”

“Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me” (Mt. 19:21).

Jesus’ response to his question of lack was not something the young man was expecting.  The answer he had been looking for to secure his future was found in giving up everything and following Jesus.

He had a decision to make, and like those tipping dominoes, one would lead to another.

After processing what Jesus required of him, he went away (v. 22) and Jesus explained how hard it was for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of heaven, the eternal life he was looking for.  It would be akin to threading a camel through the eye of a needle (Vv. 23-24).

With their thinking that the rich man had the better vantage point, the disciples were astonished at what Jesus had spoken and asked Him, “Who then can be saved?” (v. 25).  Jesus plainly let them know, “With man this is impossible; but with God all things are possible” (v. 26).

Thinking about their lives and the decisions each of them had made in walking away from everything and following Jesus, Peter asked Him, “Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore?” (Mt. 19:27).

That’s an important question, Peter.  When you decided to wholeheartedly follow Jesus, the first domino fell.  Everything that followed came from the ripple effect of your first choice.  And while there may be many occurrences that happen in the middle thereof, the end result will be the very thing the young man was searching for but missed out on: everlasting life (v. 29).

When asked to follow Him, the young man turned away, but Peter, along with the other disciples, invested themselves and followed on.

The path to follow may not always be easy, but after all the dominoes have fallen, and all the choices have been made, one day we will look back over the story of our lives from the vantage point of salvation, and be mesmerized by the beauty of heaven before us, for that’s what will we have, and it is a glorious future to behold! 

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A Truth You Must Know

Perfection.  Innocent.  Pure and undefiled is how the world stood.  It was beautifully unmarked and untainted from heaven’s sky to the dirt on the ground.

Then came sin with all the diseases that follow its wrong course.  There was now pain and sorrow, hurtfulness and despair.  Perfection has been injured.  What was beautiful has received a scar.  The world was fallen – utterly torn apart (Gen. 3; Rom. 5:12).

Torn apart from its innocence.  Pure no more. 

Torn apart from its Maker.  What would happen now?

Would He turn away and erase it all?  Could the shattered love that spoke of its good still see hope in the end?

He did. 

God didn’t leave the fallen world without an answer to its depravity.  He refused to forget His love for the ones He made.  He made a choice and had a plan to redeem what was broken.  In Jesus Christ, He had the cure: “Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father” (Gal. 1:4).

We can look around and measure the world by the wickedness we see.  Or we can look at how much grace was bestowed on you and me. 

In the world, we were far from perfect or right.  In the world, we too groped like people in the night.  But His plan shone a light to help us see that this is not the end of the story for us or humanity (Jn. 3:16).

Friend, if you have fallen, may your eyes upon Him turn.  He has not forgotten you.  God is waiting for your return.  There is salvation ready in His redemptive plan.  Something that could never be earned by any woman or man.  But because His love for us is so real, His only begotten Son became our everlasting seal:

“For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell;

And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.

And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled

In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight:

If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel . . .” (Col. 1:19-23)

When we believe, we are redeemed, covered by the ransom’s cost which His holy and undefiled blood has bought (1 Pet. 1:18-19).  That is the truth you must grasp today.  The question is, will you accept the Gift that saves (2 Cor. 9:15; Jn. 3:16)?

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16

“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” John 14:6

“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23

“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8

“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 6:23

“Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” Acts 2:38

“Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” Acts 4:12

Jesus said, “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” John 10:10

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Weeping and Washing

“And one of the Pharisees desired him that he could eat with him.  And he went into the Pharisee’s house, and sat down to meat.  And, behold, a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster box of ointment, And stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment.” Luke 7:36-38

Regardless of how they looked at her or what they thought of her, she came.

They scowled, they scorned, they didn’t like her – but she still came.

They counted her unworthy, undeserving, and disqualified.  Even then, she came.

Her sin met her Savior.  And though they said she shouldn’t be there, Jesus did not deny her access.  So, she came.

The atmosphere hung heavy with her guilt and shame, but His forgiveness erased all that blame.  She couldn’t help it.  She had to come to Him without delay.

With weeping and washing, her gratitude and love, He did not turn away.  She came with a gift so precious, more than what she poured that day.

A heart surrendered.  A heart that had been freed.  A heart delivered and determined to show how much He meant indeed.

A year’s wages was the cost, nothing compared to the weight of sin she gladly lost.  She lovingly poured upon His feet, weeping and washing with her hair.  Of their opinions, she did not care.

This repentant heart that was humbled and healed.  She would not let the judgment of others, her joy to steal.

She came to Jesus, and poured out her best.  With weeping and washing, she blessed, and was blessed.

Weeping and washing, humbled hearts so true.  If you come, Jesus will welcome you too.

“I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.” Luke 15:7

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God, plan perfectly my day.

We all have desires.  We all envision how we want our life to go.  And we are all guilty of thinking we know the best way to achieve it.  Often, we try to come to our own rescue by formulating plans, mentally putting pieces of this puzzle together, thinking, if this happens, then I’ll do this.  And if that happens, then this can be done.  Even though we may have prayed over the matter, maybe quite sincerely, that doesn’t mean we have invited God into the issue.  It doesn’t mean we have actually asked for His input, released it into His hands, or asked for His perfect will.

Leaving God out of the process means we have to have all the answers.  It means we need to know the beginning from the end and all the future consequences and ripples in our lives that those decisions cause.  It means we have to have perfect knowledge of everything about them now, and what’s to come – and, I am sorry, not sorry, to say, none of us are that smart.  No, not one.  That type of omniscient power can only be of God.  So, why do we fight so much to have it our own way?

Getting your way all the time is not all it’s cracked up to be.  With it comes more responsibility than we are equipped to handle.  So, today I urge you to release your plans, days, and life to God and pray for Him to plan it according to His perfect and unfailing will.

“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” Jeremiah 29:11

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Let them find life in You!

Father God, Your love for this world is unimaginable.  You go and have gone through the extremes of love to save as many souls as possible.  Today, we are praying for the increase of Your holy kingdom.  We are praying for many souls to enter in.  We are praying for new eyes and new hearts of faith to see You and to love You for the wonderful God that You are.  “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10).  

You are mighty and strong.  A refuge in the time of trouble.  You are our hope and our solid rock upon which we build our trust.  Let them see You for themselves.  Let them know how much You love them, that You are the good Father who gave the best gift that we may enter Your presence, that we may enter Your glory, the place where You dwell: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).

Let them find life in You.  Searches have been made to find fulfillment in many things, but in You only there is life.  We pray for hearts, minds, and eyes to be opened to that holy truth, and that many souls will turn to You for their refuge and their soul salvation.

In the name of Jesus Christ, we pray, AMEN!

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