Holy Spirit

  • Does Forgiveness Equal Restored Relationship?

    forgiveness restored relationship“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Follow God’s example…”
                                                                                 Ephesians 4:32-5:1 NIV

    Life is so generous to give us lots of opportunities to extend forgiveness to people who hurt us. What’s the proper response to offence? Do we always have to forgive?

    Does forgiveness =equal= restored relationship?

    If we are to follow God’s example, as this verse instructs us, then forgiveness is a must and restored relationships need to be our intent.

    Sadly, I don’t think forgiveness can always lead to restored relationships, and we see that in Jesus’ relationship with the Pharisees.

    Isaiah 59:2 explains that our sin is an offence to God, separating us in our relationship with Him. The more we sin and the longer we continue offending Him, the more distant our relationship with Him becomes. Forgiveness can take place in an instant when a prayer is whispered, but it takes time to rebuild a relationship with God.

    Restoration happens when we take ownership of our offense and change our ways. We have to go through a process to rebuild our closeness with the Father.

    The same principle needs to be applied to our earthly relationships.
    We must forgive others for their offenses towards us. If we don’t, it keeps us bound in bitterness. It’s healthy to learn that a restored relationship is separate from forgiveness and requires a healing process.
    When approaching relationship restoration, we need to consider the whole counsel of scripture.
    Proverbs 4:23 warns,

    “Guard your heart above all else,
    for it determines the course of your life” (NLT).

    Proverbs 22:24 cautions,

    “Do not make friends with a hot-tempered person,
    do not associate with one easily angered...”
    Forgiveness + Ownership + Repentence = Restored Relationship

    Sometimes you’ll need to forgive and protect yourself from unhealthy or even toxic relationships. In the best of times, forgiveness leads to a better, stronger restored relationship.

    Prayer:

    Father, I thank You for Your forgiveness. I ask for the grace to forgive others in my life who have hurt and offended me. I take myself out of the judge’s seat and release them to Your judgement and justice. Please help me to guard my heart, without closing it in the area of relationship restoration. May I walk in Your wholeness. In Jesus’ name, amen.
    Drawing from the well
    1. Ephesians 4:32
    2. Isaiah 59:2
    3. Proverbs 22:24–25
    4. Proverbs 4:23

    Soul H2OThis post was first published on January 19, 2014 and then included in my first Soul H2O Devotional book: 40 Thirst Quenching Devotions for Women.
    Devotion #17 – Forgiveness and Restored Relationship.  The original devotion also inspired a #musicpic post called, The Forgiveness Song

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  • New Clothes

    “You are witnesses of these things. I am going to send the Holy Spirit, just as my Father promised…but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.”
                                             Luke 24:48-49 NLT…NIV

    I love getting new clothes and who doesn’t? I remember when my son was a teen and got a new shirt before camp. I literally had to wash it every other day so people could stand to be near him! Getting a new job often requires buying new clothes to prepare you for the new position; like that first suit, the company uniform, coveralls with your name on them or the tool belt for your trade.

    At the end of Jesus’ life and ministry on earth, he explains to his followers about their new position as witnesses for Christ to the world. Jesus warns them not to start the job without getting some new clothes on! We read in Acts 2 how the Holy Spirit fell on all those who followed Jesus direction by waiting and praying together in the upper room. Immediately, these men and women were turned into powerhouse witnesses for Christ! 3000 people were reached that day!

    Our mission hasn’t changed and Jesus direction applies now more than ever. If we are to reach this world for Christ we need to be clothed in the power of the Holy Spirit!

    Prayer

    Father…It’s my desire to let my friends…my family…those in my sphere of influence and people all around this world know about You! I can’t do it in my own strength. Holy Spirit, please clothe me in Your power, like you did for the disciples, so I can be an effective witness for Christ! I need some new clothes! In Jesus Name…Amen

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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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  • Backing Up Others

    darlene Zschech with back up singers

    “Abram named him Ishmael” (Genesis 16:15)
    Has God ever spoken to you?  Hagar must have told Abram the story of God meeting her in the desert and all that He told her about the child she was going to have.  You know what women can be like.  Women go into great depth of detail recounting meetings like that!  You can hear Hagar telling Abe how broken she was…how afraid for her life she was…how confused she was…how thirsty she was in the desert…How lost she was…how miraculously God spoke to her and told her that she was going to have a son…to name him Ishmael!  Abraham must have believed Hagar as the Bible says, “Abram named him Ishmael”.
    I’m sure Hagar would have known about the promise of God over Abram’s life to have a child and be the father of many nations.  I would assume that Abraham and Hagar thought this was how God was going to fulfill His promise and that is what infuriated Sara towards Hagar, causing her desert run away.   Abraham backed up what God told Hagar by naming their child Ishmael.  He validated the call of God on Hagar and on Ishmael by doing it.  Just as Darlene Zschech needs backup singers, we need people in our lives that by their words and actions, support and validate what God has spoken to us. 
    Joseph and Elizabeth did this for Mary…Paul did this for Timothy…Todd has done this for me!  I have been blessed in my life to have so many people speak and put action behind their words to “back up” what God has spoken to me.  The next time someone shares with you what God has spoken to them, take the time to listen.  Affirm them and “back up” what God has set in motion!  In so, you’ll become part of the miracle! 
    Prayer: 
    Father…I thank-you for the people you put in my life to “Back Me Up”!  Help me to listen to them and not those who try to tear down and distract from what you are doing in me.  Help me to In Jesus name, Amen

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  • Destined To Worship

    “When they saw the star, they were overjoyed…and they bowed down and worshipped him.”             Matthew 2:10-11

    Have you ever been listening to the radio and a song just grabs you?  This Christmas I was asked to make a short video introducing a trio in our church singing Kari Jobe’s song “Adore Him”.  In the song, she writes about the story of the Magi who followed the star to find Jesus.  Using the words and tune for the Christmas Carol  “O Come All Ye Faithful” for the chorus, she compels us to join her in worship as she repeats the phrase “Come Let Us Adore Him” with such passion.

    Music profoundly impacts my life.  I am brought to tears more by songs than anything else.  If only I could sing!  Listening to Kari’s song led me to spend a great deal of time thinking and reading about these men who travelled so far searching for a King.  Men who would have given up so much to make this journey, putting their lives at risk by not going back to King Herod after he sent them to find this King of the Jews.  Herod falsely claimed that his motives were to worship the King, but the Magi, they were pursuing their destiny to worship the King.

    Today my iTunes started playing Avalon’s song “Destined” and I was again moved by music.   This song helped me to realize that Romans 14:11 is true and that we all have the same destiny as the Magi.  We’re all Destined To Worship!  So, be like the Magi and seek after Jesus the bright Morning Star!  When you find Him, humble yourself and lavish Him with your praise!

    Prayer:

    Father…I praise you for who you are because, You are good!  Almighty…Always There, and You Know Everything!  I want my life to be an act of worship to you in the words I say and the meditations of my heart.  Help me fulfill my destiny to worship you!  In Jesus name, Amen

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  • Immanuel–Astounding Christmas

    “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son and they will call him Immanuel—which means, ‘God with us’.”                                                Isaiah 9:6-7

    This verse comes after the record of the angel visiting Joseph.  If I ever wondered before, reading through the Christmas story this year shows me how much God loves to astound people with His presence!

    The Group 4 HIM captured Joseph’s encounter with the angel best in their song “Strange Way To Save The World”.  The chorus is supposed to be Joseph questioning God while holding baby Jesus.  The words say so much:

    “Why me, I’m just a simple man of trade
    Why Him, with all the rulers in the world
    Why here, inside this stable filled with hay
    Why her, she’s just an ordinary girl
    Now I’m not one to second guess what angels have to say,
    But this is such a strange way, to save the World”

    The biblical stories of Christmas are more shocking than putting up your Christmas lights in an electrical storm!  A pregnant virgin rides a donkey to a town far away where she has to give birth to the King of kings in a stable, angels appearing to lowly shepherds, Magi travelling for years looking for a king and worshipping a child, giving him costly gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.  Nothing in the story makes natural sense…but they are the events that supernaturally changed the world!

    This Christmas, open up your heart, giving God room to show up in your life as “Immanuel”.  He wants to be God “with us”.  May His presence overwhelm and astound you with His peace!

    Merry Christmas!

    Prayer: 

    Father…I’m so thankful that you desire to be “God with us”, not “God far away from us”.  May I, along with the world, sense Your presence anew this Christmas in astounding ways!  In Jesus name, Amen

     

     

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  • Do you trust God with your Due Date?

     Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.
    —1 Peter 5:6

    When I was pregnant with my son Brandon, the doctor made me stop working a month and a half before the due date because I was in danger of preterm labor. The doctor knew Brandon’s best chance at a healthy life lay in prolonging his birth.
    I had to go in for weekly checkups, and every week they warned me about the situation. Days went by. Weeks went by. A month passed. Almost two months passed. By the time Brandon’s due date came and went, I felt like I had been pregnant for two years! All this talk of an early delivery for months on end kept me ready for the birth, but it didn’t happen. After the due date came and went, I wondered if he was ever coming out!
    Finally, it happened. Labor pains began, and a baby was born!

    Waiting for God’s due date often involves a lot of waiting. You hear God’s promise. Others confirm the promise and build your expectation of it. You see signs of it being fulfilled, and even a few false starts get your heart pumping!
    Then it seems like it’s never going to happen. It’s taking too long. Will it ever happen?

    The beginning of Proverbs 13:12 says,
    “Hope deferred makes the heart sick…”

    When we’ve been hoping for something to be birthed for a long time and we don’t see it happening, we get heartsick. We can lose hope and give in to discouragement.

    The ending of Proverbs 13:12 explains that
    “a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.”

    Just as surely as my son had a due date, so does your promise from God! Ecclesiastes 3:11 says, “He has made everything beautiful in its time.”
    Your time will come. Your promise will come. God knows what’s best for you and those around you. He knows what needs to take place so you’ll be ready to take care of your promise.
    Trust God with your due date!
    PRAYER:
    Father, today I humble myself before You. I put my life in Your mighty hand. Help me to trust You and believe that Your timing is best! May I know that You will bring to pass all that You have promised—on the perfect due date! In Jesus’ name, amen.
    DRAWING FROM THE WELL

    • 1 Peter 5:6
    • Proverbs 13:12
    • Ecclesiastes 3:11
    • Galatians 6:9

     
    This devotion is being shared on the SEE HOPE LOVE show website:  March 8, 2017

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  • Every Time I Think of You…

    “Come face-to-face with God, and give thanks; with loud and joyful voices, praise Him in songs.”
    Psalm 95:2 (The Voice)

    During this week of thanksgiving our attention is rightly given to God and all the blessings He brings into our lives.  God does so much for us!  With the pace of life we live, we often don’t slow down enough to appreciate all that He has done, so the holiday of Thanksgiving is a great time to slow us down and turn our focus to our great God!
    When Nehemiah was rebuilding the city of Jerusalem he reminded the people of how “long ago, in the days of David and Asaph, there had been directors for the musicians and for the songs of praise and thanksgiving to God.” (Nehemiah12:46-47,NIV)  He reinstituted the positions of Worship Leaders because he recognized the power of putting our focus on God and thanking Him for all He has done.  Nehemiah and all the people knew that only God could have rebuilt Jerusalem.  We need to open our eyes and see where God is at work rebuilding our lives!
    Many of our churches today are blessed with Worship Directors and teams of gifted leaders who by using their words, worship and talents help us to direct our focus on God and how amazing He is.  Everyone knows someone who by their very life encourages others to see how good God is.  Take the time this week to live out I Corinthians 1:4-6 and let your Worship Leaders or others know how their lives direct you to focus on God and thank Him for His goodness and their influence in your life.
    Every time I think of you…I thank God for your lives of free and open access to God, given by Jesus. There’s no end to what has happened in you—it’s beyond speech, beyond knowledge. The evidence of Christ has been clearly verified in your lives.”                                                                        I Corinthians 1:4-6 (The Message)
    Prayer:
    Father…it is with a grateful heart that I come to you today.  You are such a good and wonderful God.  I thank-you for placing people in my life who, by their very lifestyle, direct me to put my focus on you and all your benefits!  Help me to live my life in a way that inspires others to thank-you!          In Jesus name, Amen

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  • 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

     
    #Dare2Share
    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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