Soul H2O Devotions

  • We need to change our Christian Expectations

    “Dear friends, DO NOT BE SURPRISED at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something STRANGE were happening to you.  But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be OVERJOYED when his glory is revealed.”   
                            1 Peter 4:12-13

    We NEED to change our Christian Expectations.

    People tend to fall on either one side of the fence or the other; some expect too much yet some expect too little.  There are strange folk (and I mean that in the nicest way) who spend their lives jumping from one side of the fence to the other.
    Those are the type of people that this verse is talking about.
    I have to watch it or I can be one of these strange fence jumpers.  I’m sailing along believing God for great things, and then a problem hits and I’m tempted to fall into discouragement and give up hope.  In my life I have greatly struggled with getting-ready-for-the-carpet-to-be-pulled-out-from-under-me syndrome.  It’s an underlying fear of mine.  Until recently, t was an unspoken mindset that I functioned in, or should I say malfunctioned in!

    I believe a part of my problem has been my Christian Expectations.  

    I have expected that problems won’t get me because I do my best to live for God. It’s illogical that I could read the Bible and arrive at this mindset. Illogical yes, but a common Christian expectation!
    This verse talks about the danger of becoming like the seed that falls on the rock, which falls away when trouble or persecution comes.  We need to live our lives expecting the best yet not be shocked when trouble comes. Trust that God will somehow turn it around for our best, using it for His glory!

    [tweetthis]Expect trials and suffering will come as much as you expect God will bring joy afterward.[/tweetthis]

    Living with this healthy Christian expectation will allow you to walk in confidence no matter what your circumstances are!

    Prayer

     Father, today I ask you to help me to increase my Christian expectations to a level that lines up with your Word!  Help me not jump the fence when trouble comes, but to stand in faith believing that when hardship hits I can trust You to bring joy back into my life.  In Jesus name, Amen

    [tweetthis]Changing expectations changes things.[/tweetthis]

    Drawing From The Well - Wide

    1. 1 Peter 4:12-13
    2. Matthew 13:1-43 (the Parable of the Seeds)
    3. Psalm 30:5
    4. 2 Corinthians 4:17
    Soul H2O - Look InsideThis post was first published on November 18, 2013 and then included in my first Soul H2O Devotional book: 40 Thirst Quenching Devotions for Women.
    Devotion #2 – Christian Expectations

     
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    Post in the Comment Section below and bolster the faith of someone else!
    blogger prayerYOU CAN OFTEN FIND ME LINKING UP WITH:
    MONDAY 
    Monday Meditations – Laura J. Davis,
    TUESDAY 
    Cheerleaders of Faith #RARaLinkup – Kelly Balarie,
    WEDNESDAY 
    Coffee For Your Heart – Holley GerthWord Nerd Wednesdays — Liz Giertz
    THURSDAY 
    Heart Encouragement Thursday – Crystal Storms, Chasing Community  Barbara Bradford Ottinger
    FRIDAY 
    Dance With Jesus Linkup – Susan B. MeadGrace and Truth Linkup – Arabah JoyCounting My Blessings – Deb Wolf, Fresh Market Friday – Crystal Twaddell ELLEN’S PICKS– Ellen Graf-Martin

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  • Lest We Forget

    LEST WE FORGET POPPY

    No one has greater love than this, that someone would lay down his life for his friends.
    John 15:13   HCSB

    November 11th is a special date for Canadians and Americans.  In Canada we are celebrating Remembrance Day and in the US it’s called Veteran’s Day.  Today is the day set apart to honor the men and women who have served their countries well.   November 11th was chosen to commemorate the ending of battle from World War 1 in 1918 at the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month.  I remember all of the school assemblies where we heard stories from veterans who had fought in battles around the globe enforcing the liberties of the unprotected.   Around the world people are taking time today to focus their thoughts on what was done to achieve their freedom.
    THEY DIED THAT WE MIGHT LIVE
    It’s a somber day because it’s overwhelming to think that someone had to die in order that we might live free.   Growing up in North America we are blessed to not experience unrest like so many others do in this world.  It’s almost inconceivable for the average Canadian or American to understand the fear of war and having to fight to protect your freedom.  I think this sometimes plays out in our Christian walk.  We get comfortable and start to take for granted our salvation that came at such a high price.   Our freedom came at the cost of Christ’s life.
    “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit” .1 Pt 3:18
    On this day, take the time to remember and be thankful for all those who have fought the good fight of freedom for your physical and spiritual life.  Remember that they fought so you could experience liberty!   Walk in the liberty that you have been given and LIVE FREE!
    Prayer:
     Father,  I thank-you for the sacrifices that so many have made for my freedom.  Help me to live in a state of gratitude for all that has been lost so that I may live in liberty.  May I honor the sacrifice of others and especially of Christ by the way I LIVE!  In Jesus name, Amen.
    LEST WE FORGET RED BOX

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  • Rewarding

    “…without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.”

                                                                Hebrews 11:6

    When things go wrong, or when things go right, Todd and I often quote the end part of this verse.  You’ll hear us saying, “God rewards those who diligently seek him.”  I really had never taken the time to understand how the whole verse came together until now. 
    Hebrews 11:6 tells us that we can’t please God without faith.  So that means the converse is true.  We CAN please God with faith.  Which makes me ask, faith in what?  The verse even answers that question!  If we want to please God there are two things that we need to believe in that require faith.  This first is that we must believe God exists.  For some this is hard because God is spirit and you can’t see him with your natural eyes.  Like the wind, God is not visible, but we can see how He effects things.
    Secondly, this verse teaches us that if we want to please God we must believe that He rewards those who diligently seek Him.  Even when you don’t see it yet!  When the bills are still mounting and the problems are still around, you have to believe that God is going to reward you for seeking him.  Hebrews 11:1 teaches that “faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” Be sure that our loving God will reward you! His word promises it!  “This is what the LORD says:  “Restrain your voice from weeping and your eyes from tears, for your work will be rewarded,” declares the LORD! (Jeremiah 31:16)
    Prayer:
    Father, today I pray like the desperate dad in Mark 9:24, Lord, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief”.  By a work of your spirit, please give me the gift of faith to believe that you will reward me as I seek you.   I thank-you in advance for all of the blessings You’re bringing into my life!  In Jesus name, Amen

     (WATER IN THE DESERT; Section 3-WATER IN THE WANDERING: TESTING…FOLLOWED BY BLESSING, pgs.112-114). 

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  • Testing

    “The LORD blessed the latter part of Job’s life more than the first…”
    Job 42:12

    I was going through the Devotional in my book called “TESTING…FOLLOWED BY BLESSING”.  God has set a precedence in his Word that when you have gone through a time of testing successfully it will be followed by a time of blessing.  It’s not just a catchy line I came up with—it’s a principle in scripture!  Whether it takes place here or in heaven—Testing is followed by Blessing!

    There are so many biblical examples of this: Noah, Abraham, Joseph, Esther…the list could go on.  The biggest example of this is in the life of Job.  In Chapter 1 of Job we read the record of God and the devil’s discussion over how good Job is.  God saw Job as faithful.  The devil, literally translated as “the accuser”, thought that Job was only faithful to God because God blessed him so much financially and in his family.  The devil asked if he could test Job in these areas and God agreed.  First the devil killed all of Job’s servants, next all his children and then all his livestock; which was equivalent to financial ruin in that day. After all these losses Job still kept his faith in God.
    The devil went to God again and asked if he could further test Job and God agreed.  The devil gave Job boils all over his body.  Still he remained faithful to God in all of his testing.  It wasn’t like he enjoyed it or was happy throughout it all.  Job is very human in his response, but he never turns his back on God.  Job cursed the day he was born, but still did not curse God. Even when he lost everything and couldn’t see any blessing, he still believed God was good.  What an incredible testimony! 
    At the end of Job we read how God blessed him with MORE than he had in the first part of his life.  He ended up with twice of all that he owned before, a VERY wealthy man.  God blessed Job again with 7 more sons and 3 more daughters, giving him a long life to see even his great-great-grandchildren live!  Testing is followed by…

    word bles sing!

    Prayer:
    Father, I thank-you that you see me as good even when the accuser says differently.  I thank-you that your plans for me are good and that you won’t let me be tempted beyond what I can bear. Help me to stand strong so that I can pass the tests of my life and walk in Your blessing!  In Jesus name,  Amen.

     (WATER IN THE DESERT; Section 3-WATER IN THE WANDERING: TESTING…FOLLOWED BY BLESSING, pgs.112-114). 

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  • Never

    “the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you, never nor forsake you”
    Deuteronomy 31:6

    Last Monday I was teaching a Bible Study about when the Israelites left Egypt and started heading towards The Promised Land armed for battle, thinking they could take on the world.  God knew that they weren’t that strong…how worn out they were from the 400 years of bondage.  As they headed out, they were sure they could handle everything, but the first sign of trouble set them into full on panic, ready to run back to Egypt. 
    Breaking free is always a difficult thing to do, whether it’s sin, a bad habit, an unhealthy relationship or a negative workplace.  Everything in our nature screams to keep things the way they are, to stay where we know what to expect.  The Israelites were no different than us.  They left Egypt with their feet, but not with their hearts.  For a time they waffled back and forth between wanting to move forward into The Promised Land and wanting to go back to Egypt.  Instead they got stuck in the desert.  Todd’s illustration of the 3 Signposts in my book is a great visual of this cycle.
    In order to help the people go the right way, God placed a pillar of cloud in the day and a pillar of fire at night.  It never left its place in front of the people.  It was a visual reminder that God was with them. The verse above tells us how God is with us, that he never leaves us and never forsakes, rejects or abandons us. How incredible is that! God wanted us to understand this so much that He “repeats” himself, with this same message, many times so we could be sure that it is true.  At least 10 times God sends this message to us in His Word!  Be encouraged today…God is with YOU! He won’t leave, reject or abandon YOU!  So don’t waffle back and forth.  Move forward today in all God has for you!
    Prayer:
    Father, help me to let Your Word sink deep in my spirit so I trust you when you say that you are with me.  Help me to be confident that You won’t leave me, You won’t reject me, You won’t abandon me.  Let me takes steps toward Your good plan for my life today!  Amen.

    Never will I leave you “Repeat” verses: Deuteronomy 31:6, Deuteronomy 31:8, Joshua 1:5, 1 Chronicles 28:20, Psalm 37:28, Psalm 94:14, Isaiah 41:17, Isaiah 42:16, Hebrews 13:5
    (WATER IN THE DESERT; Section 2-WATER PARTING-STARTING TO SWIM, pg.68)

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  • Repeats

    “do not worry…do not worry…do not worry…”
                            Matthew 6:25,31,34

    Lately, I keep going back to the Devotional in my book called “DON’T BE AFRAID”.  The verses you look up are so repetitive…and I mean that in a good way!  I am overwhelmed at how many times God encourages us in His Word to “not worry”, “don’t be afraid”, “do not fear”, “do not fret”.  In one short passage alone Jesus bluntly tells us “Do not worry” three times!
    To paraphrase Joshua 23:3, God is saying, “You’ve seen what I’ve done for you and how I’ve been the one on your side!”  Then, He starts to remind the people how He was there for them and what He did for them.  God is our father and all too often we act like little children who need to be reminded of what our dad does for us.  We need that spiritual “cold shower” to wake us up and remind us that God is with us, so…we don’t need to worry! 
    When I want to get my kids to understand something or not forget something, I repeat myself.  The more important, or the more bothered I am with them for not listening will determine how many times I repeat myself!  Do you get the spiritual similarities?  Our heavenly father does the same!  As you study The Word, listen to our father’s REPEATS.  Be encouraged to trust and not worry…He’s on the job!
    Prayer:
    Father, Help me to be aware of who you are and all you’ve done for me.  May I not take it for granted or minimize all you do.  Please help me to focus on your greatness and your goodness so that I don’t worry, but live in confidence! Amen
    (WATER IN THE DESERT; Section 2-WATER PARTING; Don’t Be Afraid, pgs.78-81).  
     

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