devotional

  • Obedient Faith…Brings Rest

    “…since the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us be careful…”
                                            Hebrews 4:1  NIV
    Why is it so funny when others wipe-out?  I love the TV show where everyone is on a competition to finish the race without wiping out but, it’s inevitable!  You can see the fall coming before they do!

    The Israelites are always an example to us.  We can either learn by our mistakes or theirs!  Disobedience and lack of faith in God took their rest away.  Obedience and faith are the keys that will open the door to your rest.  No more striving to do enough, have enough or be good enough.  A simple obedience in faith is what it takes to enter into rest.
    When I hear the word obedience, I immediately think of a set of rules.  It seems to me in this passage from Hebrews 3 & 4 that God is not describing rules.  He’s talking about living in obedience to who He’s designed you to be, and following where he’s destined you to go.  To live that out—you need faith.  Faith to believe in who God says you are and faith to believe that He will accomplish it through you!
    When we are being obedient to God’s calling on our lives that’s when we’re most at rest.   No more striving to do enough, have enough or be good enough.  A simple obedient faith that believes in what He says over every circumstance we face…that my friend brings rest!
    Prayer: 
    Father…Help me to see the difference between striving and, being at rest to follow You in obedient faith.  Help me to believe in Your Word above all my thoughts, experiences and circumstances.  I declare my obedient faith to Your call.  May I live in the rest you promise!   In Jesus name, Amen

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  • Absolute Dependence

    “There remains, then a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from his own work, just as God did from his.”                                                                    Hebrews 4:10-11 NIV
    Why is striking a balance between work and rest hard to do?  It seems there are so few people who can master this balance well.   One person who nailed it, and has helped countless others do the same was Mary Kay Ash.

    mary kay success story title

    Our society calls people like her “self-made”, but I don’t think that’s how she would describe herself.  Mary Kay’s life motto was ‘God First, Family Second and Career Third’.  It remains the motto of her abundantly successful cosmetic company to this day.

    mary kay motto

    When discussing the verse above, The Voice Bible Translation notes that, “By letting go of daily work, they declared their absolute dependence on God to meet their needs.”1  May Kay Ash was a single mom by divorce and widowhood when she started her company.  Instead of trying to do it all on her own, she emphatically stated her absolute dependence on God.
    Last week we talked about living a life that’s worth following and Mary Kay fits the bill!   Let’s follow her lead and let the verses below strengthen our resolve for complete dependence on God to meet ALL of our needs.
    Philippians 4:19  “And this same God who takes care of me will supply ALL your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus”  NLT
    2 Corinthians 9:8  “And God is ABLE to bless you abundantly, so that in ALL things at all times, having ALL that you need, you will abound in EVERY good work.”  NIV 
    Prayer:
     Father…I thank-you that I can rest because You will take care of me!  Help me to live in absolute dependence on Your provision.  In Jesus name, Amen
    1 The Voice Bible Copyright © 2012 Thomas Nelson, Inc. The Voice™ translation © 2012 Ecclesia Bible Society All rights reserved.
    http://www.marykay.com

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  • Happy Holiday!

    Happy Presidents Day to all my American friends!

     Happy Family Day to all my Canadian friends!

    “There remains, then a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from his own work, just as God did from his.”
                                                                     Hebrews 4:10-11 NIV
    Today is a holiday for Canadians and Americans alike.  A day to kick back, relax and for most, take a day off of work!  Could there be a better time in the calendar to have a holiday than in the dead of winter?  I know you southerners can’t understand, but this year has been one of the harshest winter’s North America has ever experienced!  It leaves you tired and worn out.  Like bears in winter, we need a little extra time to rest.

    Genesis 2:2 says “By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work.” (NIV)

    We live in such a fast-paced society that the work never seems to be done.  It’s hard to let ourselves take the time to rest.  The problem with not following God’s example and later His law to rest is that we go beyond the limitations God set in the human body.  Without adequate rest our bodies get run-down and burn out.

    Wikipedia gives a review of a report from the Journal of Health Psychology,8. It says that Burnout decreases your job performance, causes physical and mental health issues, along with cognitive impairments.  The study found that “burned out workers reported as many depressive symptoms as clinically depressed patients”2

    The writer of Hebrews encourages us that “anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from his own work”.  Allow yourself the blessing to enter into His rest and Have a Happy Holiday!

    Prayer

    Father… I thank-you that you have provided rest for my.  Please help me to enter into your rest and allow you to renew my spirit today!  In Jesus name, Amen

    If you think you may be struggling with clinical depression or anxiety, check out my MENTAL HEALTH page for some guidance and links to great resources.

    1Bianchi, R., Boffy, C., Hingray, C., Truchot, D., & Laurent, E. (2013). Comparative symptomatology of burnout and depression. Journal of Health Psychology, 18 (6), 782–787.
    2https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burnout_(psychology)

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  • God Of The Turnaround

    turnaround
     “I’ll turn things around for you. I’ll bring you back…you can count on it”
                                                    Jeremiah 29:14 MSG
    In a week Olympic Fever will hit our TV’s!  I think my favorite part is hearing people’s life journey to the Olympics.  There’s something about a great turnaround story that gives you hope, especially when you seem to have lost your own!
    So many times in life I could not see how my life could turnaround: how God could take my mess and turn it into a message.  All I saw was brokenness and heartache, yet there was an underlying trust in my heavenly father.  When Jeremiah spoke these words recorded in scripture, the people of Israel felt like I did.  They couldn’t see how God’s promises to bless their nation could ever happen when they were in bondage—again.  They had been caught in the cycle of sin, slavery, sorrow and salvation for centuries.  How could things ever change for them?  They seemed to keep getting themselves back in the same trouble over and over.  The key to breaking free is found in verse 13.  Through Jeremiah God tells His people “when you come looking for me, you’ll find me…when you get serious about finding me…you won’t be disappointed.”  (The MSG) When the Israelites turn to God and away from their sin, God breaks them out of this cycle and brings them back into the Promised Land!
    No matter what your situation…whether you brought this bondage on or if it’s a result of others choices, believe God’s Word and His promises over your feelings.  He is the God of the Turnaround…you can count on it!
    Prayer:
     Father…I thank-you that you are all powerful.  Nothing is too hard for you!  No problem to difficult for you to break me free from.  Help me to stand on Your Word today and trust You for the turnaround in my life!  In Jesus name, Amen

    On Thursday, my blog
    http://www.soul-h2o.com

    will feature a story about an Olympic athlete’s incredible life story.
    A “must read” kind of post!

     

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  • Running To Win

    You’ve all been to the stadium and seen the athletes race. Everyone runs; one wins. Run to win. All good athletes train hard. They do it for a gold medal that tarnishes and fades. You’re after one that’s gold eternally”

    1 Corinthians 9:24 MSG

    “He shoots, he scores” that’s a familiar sound you’ll hear when watching hockey on TV!  Tonight I went to my stepson Brandon’s hockey game.  I was nervous when the other team scored first, but his team was playing to win tonight!  Win they did, with a final score of 6 to 3 and 3 of those goals were assisted by Brandon!  (Bragging…yes!)  It was such an exciting game to watch because the boys were so focused on winning to the very end.
    Not so exciting are the games when the team gets behind and they give up.  I know it frustrates Brandon.  He’s a kid who strives to win in everything he does.  Captain of two hockey teams, he plays to win!
    Life can be like a game of hockey.  When we’re gaining on things it’s easy to stay excited and focused on winning.  We can be friendlier, happier and take more chances, when things are going well.  It’s harder to stay focused and keep that victor mentality when we start falling behind.  Our speed decreases along with our ambition.  Soon we’ve gone from “full-speed-ahead” to sitting on the bench.  Too many times we just take ourselves out of the game.  We give up when we need to rally ourselves and exercise our hope because we serve the God of the great comebacks!  Just think of Calvary and what looked like sure defeat.  Remember that Good Friday is followed by Easter Sunday and Christ’s resurrection!  God desires for you to win and His Word assures it.  So keep the faith and Run to Win!
    Prayer:
    Father…I thank-you for guiding me by example.  Thank-you that when I put my faith in you I will be an overcomer!  Help me to not look at my circumstances, whether good or bad, but to trust in You and keep running to Win so that I can one day receive the eternal prize You have for me!  In Jesus name, Amen

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  • Payback or Reward?

    Screen Shot 2014-01-06 at 8.29.29 AM“The faithless will be fully repaid for their ways, and the good man rewarded for his.”  Proverbs 14:14
    What’s in your wallet?  Ever since stores started coming out with Rewards Programs my wallet started getting thicker!   I had to get a separate wallet of sorts to hold them all!  I love all these programs.  It’s so nice to get to the checkout and have the cashier ask you if you want to use your reward.  Who wouldn’t choose that?  Stores reward us for shopping with them.  God rewards us for the way we live.
    Rewards are blessings for doing something good.  Merriam Webster describes the word Payback as “punishment for something that was done in the past”1.   http://www.ThePayBack.com is a strange website dedicated to recording “payback” stories of revenge.  The funniest one I read was about a girl who played a “payback” prank on a cheating boyfriend by giving him a pair of boxers rubbed in poison ivy, before she told him she knew!  Now that’s one sassy lassy!
    Without the grace of God in our lives we would all reap the payback for our sins.  Through Christ’s work on the cross we receive His righteousness, His goodness and are rewarded with His eternal blessings.
    Payback or Reward?  It’s your choice, but like I said, who wouldn’t choose a reward?
    Prayer
    Father… I thank you for your grace that frees me from the law of the payback.  May I continue to place my faith in you so that I may receive every reward you have for me here on earth and in heaven.  In Jesus name, Amen

    1.  https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/payback

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