God’s promises

  • Celebrating The Christmas Women | A Middle-Aged Woman

    Christmas WomenFor the next 3 weeks before Christmas, I’m going to release 3 posts Celebrating The Christmas Women.  I really wanted to title this series: The Teenager, A Middle-Aged Woman, and The Senior Citizen I Want to Be Like, but I thought it was a little long 🙂

    Parts of these posts I shared in a message at Christmas events.  There’s just so much to the lives of these women that I can’t get away from their stories and how it relates to the birth of Christ.  I want to share these snippets of their stories with you so you can see the hope of Christmas, our hope in Christ as we learn from these women and begin to model the character they lived.

    Each of these women were:

    CARRIERS – OF THE PROMISE & PRESENCE OF GOD

    All three of these women carried inside of them the promise of their savior, the Messiah.  The Christmas women all spent time in the presence of God so, when God’s promises were present in their lives they immediately recognized them.  Each woman’s life in the Christmas story affected people around them as they pointed the world to Christ.

    These three believed in the promises of God and trusted in God’s timing.  It’s my greatest desire to be like the Christmas Women, to carry inside of me the promise and the presence of God. I want my life to affect others so they look to Christ, to live out a strong faith, believing in His promises with a confident trust in His timing to fulfill them.

    It’s my prayer, that by the end of this series you want to be like these women too.

    So let’s begin our Christmas Festivities,

    Celebrating the Women of The Christmas Story! 

    The first woman in the Christmas story…Jesus’ Story…is actually: 

    THE MIDDLE-AGED WOMAN 

    Christmas Women - Middle-Aged 

     

    When Zechariah’s week of service in the Temple was over, he returned home.  Soon afterward his wife, Elizabeth, became pregnant and went into seclusion for five months.  “How kind the Lord is!” she exclaimed. “He has taken away my disgrace of having no children.”
                                                                             Luke 1:23-25  NLT

    Luke starts his gospel account starting with the record of a couple named Zechariah and Elizabeth and he tells us this couple was old, that was his way of saying Elizabeth was passed the age of child-bearing. One day while working in the temple, an angel tells Z that Elizabeth his wife is going to have a child, and not just any child.

    Their child would be the one prophesied about in Malachi 4:6.  He wast to be the forerunner for the Messiah.

    “And he will go on before the Lord…to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.” (NIV)

    It’s pretty clear from Z’s reaction that he had long since given up on the dream to have a child before the angel came to meet him at work.  Z didn’t believe and as a sign from God that God could do what He said, Z was unable to speak for 9 months, until the birth of his son.

    ELIZABETH

    On the other hand, Elizabeth immediately believed and because of her faith, Elizabeth carried John the Baptist; the one who would prepare the way for the Christ, in her womb.  Elizabeth protected the promise of God inside of her by staying secluded for 5 months, she took extra precautions to make sure the promise of God inside of her was able to grow and mature.  Elizabeth didn’t let anyone talk her out of her promise from God.  She didn’t allow anything to stop it from being birthed.

    Be like Elizabeth…
    Protect the promise of God in your life. Luke 1:24

    This Christmas, think about the promises God has given you as a believer in His Word and the one’s He’s given to you personally.  Protect those promises.  Give them room to grow in your heart, your mind, and in your life so you can see them birthed like the baby, John The Baptist.

    ELIZABETH CARRIED THE PROMISE & THE PRESENCE OF GOD…I WANT TO DO THE SAME #ChristmasWomen

    Prayer

    Father…I thank You for all the promises in Your Word and for speaking directly to me.  Help me to put a shield around your promises so they will have room grow so I’m able to carry them to full-term; watching Your promises be fulfilled in Your timing.    In Jesus Name…Amen

    Soul H2O Radio & Podcast Christmas Series

    Cheryl Nembhard

    During the Christmas season, were running The Brave Christmas & Christian Women Series.  Episode 48 is Part1 of The Brave Middle-Aged Christmas Woman & Brave Cheryl. In This Series, were Celebrating The Women of The Christmas Story and a few of their contemporary counterparts.  

    Now, I know we’re supposed to focus on Jesus and we will be but I think it’s good to take some time and recognize the impact some of these brave women had in the Christmas narrative and in our world today. I know you’re going to be inspired by my friend, Cheryl Nembhard. She’s a TV & Podcast Host, Speaker, Author, & Social Justice Advocate. 

    Drawing from the well

    You can find the full story of Zechariah and Elizabeth in these portions of scripture:

    Luke 1:5-25             John The Baptist Birth Foretold
    Luke 1:39-56           Mary Visits Elizabeth
    Luke 1:57-66           Elizabeth gives birth to the Promise of God

    Soul H2O bookDid you like the refreshing in this #SoulH2O devotion? Then you’ll love my latest Soul H2O Devotional book: 40 Thirst Quenching Devotions for Women and I hope you’ll Subscribe to receive weekly Soul H2O devotions.

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    This devotion was originally posted on December 5, 2016.

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  • Do You Have ‘Doggie on a Bone’ Tenacity?

    See, the LORD your God has given you the land. Go up and take possession of it as the LORD, the God of your ancestors, told you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”
                                                       Deuteronomy 1:21 NIV

    dog boneMy son Brandon loves dogs so, when we got an Australian Shepherd he spent hours training her. Brandon had this routine with Roxy where he would hold out her rawhide dog bone, have her ‘sit’ and then he would tell her to ‘stay’.  He kept saying stay for different intervals of time and then, with excitement in his voice he would say, “Come get it” and with tenacity she would run at him and grab the rawhide in her mouth.  When Brandon would try to get the bone back so he could go through the routine again he had a hard time, and almost lost a finger on a few occasions!

    Do You Have ‘Doggie on a Bone’ Tenacity?

    As I read this scripture in Deuteronomy I believe that God wants you to have the same tenacity to take possession of all that He has for you as Roxy did for getting her rawhide bone from Brandon.

    womans eyeFirst, you need to open your spiritual eyes and see what God has given you.  It’s not a new age practice to visualize a goal.  Proverbs 29:18 says, “Where there is no vision, the people perish”.  You need to keep God’s promise in front of you, you need to see it with your mind’s eye.

    dog with bone growlingThe next step is to believe that God has given it to you.  If you understand that God has given it to you then you won’t easily let others take it away from you, just like Roxy.

    dog with boneThe last step is to “Go up and TAKE possession of it”.  God doesn’t want weak-willed, soft Christians.  He desires for you to be strong.  He tells you in this verse to not be afraid and not be discouraged.

    There’s no room for excuses, no place for backing down,
    just a command to go get all that God has for you.

    So, take some lessons from Roxy.

    Stay until God gives you the command and then when He says ‘Go’ have that Doggie on a bone tenacity and take possession of all God has for you!

    Prayer

    Father…I know Your plans for me are good and I know they’re going to be exciting.  Open my spiritual eyes to see what you have prepared for me so I don’t question it when times get tough. I will tenaciously chase after all that you have for me and not give in, go back or quit.  I will take possession of every good thing You have for me.  In Jesus Name…Amen

    [tweetthis]Do You Have ‘Doggie on a Bone’ Tenacity?[/tweetthis]

    If you liked the refreshing in this #SoulH2O devotion, you love my latest Soul H2O Devotional book: 40 Thirst Quenching Devotions for Women.

    Lessons From The Family DogAfter I wrote this devotion encouraging you to live with Doggie On A Bone Tenacity I read another verse in the Bible that mentioned dogs and THAT led me to think about another verse in the Bible that reference dogs.  So, in honor of my dog-loving kids I’ve decided to run a short 3 Part Series called LESSONS FROM THE FAMILY DOG.  If you’d like to read them all I’ll add the links once they’re posted.
    Lesson 
    #2 Don’t Be Found Yanking a Dog’s Ears & Lesson #3 Don’t Eat What The Dog’s Eating

     

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    blogger prayerYOU CAN OFTEN FIND ME LINKING UP WITH:
    MONDAY
    Monday MeditationsLaura J. Davis,
    TUESDAY
    Cheerleaders of Faith #RARaLinkup – Kelly Balarie,
    WEDNESDAY
    Coffee For Your HeartHolley Gerth, Word Nerd Wednesdays — Liz Giertz
    THURSDAY
    Heart Encouragement ThursdayCrystal Storms, Chasing Community  Barbara Bradford Ottinger
    FRIDAY
    Dance With Jesus LinkupSusan B. Mead, Grace and Truth LinkupArabah Joy, Counting My Blessings – Deb Wolf, Fresh Market FridayCrystal Twaddell

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  • Change

    https://soul-h2o.com/change/ ‎I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sara your wife will have a son.
                                  Genesis 18:10 NIV

    Todd and I went to Florida for a relaxing vacation.   We stayed in the same resort we had stayed in with two of our kids about a year ago. The amount of new construction was shocking! The property next to our resort that had for a long time been “greenspace”, was now a small city of about 15 half-way completed high rise time-share villas. The Disney Boardwalk was in the midst of a major overhaul with crews working on new buildings, bridges, an overhead tram-system and a massive parking garage! Only Disney can make that kind of structural CHANGE in about a year. It’s amazing to see how quickly your life can CHANGE in about a year!
    Sometimes, you feel that life is never going to CHANGE. Your situation is permanent and without possibility of transformation. That just isn’t so! God is in the CHANGE business. He loves to take a difficult situation and turn it around.   As my pastor says, “God often takes a long time to act suddenly!” Sara laughed when God sent angels to her and Abraham proclaiming they would have a child in about a year. She couldn’t accept that at 89 God could fulfill His promise made so long ago that she would have a child. Post-menopausal women just don’t get pregnant or have babies! True to His Promises, Scripture confirms in Genesis 21:2 that Sara did have a baby “at the very time God had promised him” They even named the boy Isaac which means, “he laughs” because sometimes God finds humor in showing us what He can do!
    So what situation or person have you given up on? Don’t be like Sara and laugh at God’s promises. Trust God with your life and believe that He can bring about CHANGE!
    Prayer
    Father, I’m thankful that you never CHANGE, but that you never stop changing me!   You never CHANGE your mind on the promises you’ve given and fulfill them in your perfect timing. Help me to not doubt and work with you to see real CHANGE in my life this coming year. In Jesus name…Amen.

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  • Is it Too Late?

     “Caleb said, ‘I was 40 years old when Moses sent me to explore the land…I followed the LORD my God wholeheartedly.  On that day, Moses swore to me, “The land on which your feet have walked will be your inheritance and the of your children forever because you have followed the LORD my God wholeheartedly.”  He has kept me alive for forty-five years.  I am today, eighty-five years old! Now give me this hill country that the LORD promised me that day…the LORD helping me, I will drive them out just as he said…Then Joshua blessed Caleb and gave him Hebron as his inheritance since he followed the LORD wholeheartedly…Then the land had rest from war’.”
                                         Joshua 14:6-15 NIV
    not too late
    What an incredible story!  Because Caleb followed God wholeheartedly, God gave him the strength to “take the hill country” that was promised to him through Moses 45 years earlier!  Simply amazing that a man at 85 could fight and win an uphill battle!
    We may feel too old or that the promise is too old, but God’s promises don’t have expiry dates!  We can’t let the lies from the enemy or our feelings keep us from the promises that God has for us!  Philippians 4:13 says, “I can do ALL things through Christ who gives me strength”.  If Caleb wasn’t too old to go fight an uphill battle at 85 and win, then neither are we to do what God has called us to do!
    “Fight the good fight” by living wholeheartedly for God and you will have the strength to take your hill country!  May the Lord bless you as you wholeheartedly live for Him and see His promises fulfilled!
    Prayer
    Father…thank-you for your faithfulness!  Help me to not give up hope on seeing your promises fulfilled in my life.  May I be willing to stand up and fight for what you have for me!  In Jesus Name…Amen.
    too oldnever too late

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