Jesus

  • 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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  • Discerning the Best from the Good

    worn outThe next morning, Jesus sneaks away. He finds a place away from the crowds, but soon they find Him. The crowd tries their best to keep Him from leaving. Jesus: No, I cannot stay. I need to preach the kingdom of God to other cities too. This is the purpose I was sent to fulfill..”
    Luke 4:42-43 The Voice

    In this day and age you could be going 24 hours a day, 7 days a week following the demands of people around you. I admire Jesus discernment of the best from the good. I desire to be this discerning but often lack the discipline He had and end up tired and burned out from doing too much.

    There are so many good things we can do. Helping a friend or family member…volunteering at church, in the schools, our community..working, cleaning, exercising…The trouble is we simply can’t do them all. When we do, we stop following Jesus’ example, ending up exhausted. When Mark records his account of this event we see what Jesus was doing when he hid away from the crowds. He was praying (Mk 1:37). Jesus made the discipline in His life to take time away from people and pray. It was out of this pulling back and allowing for rest that He was re-energized to fulfill the purpose that the Father had for His life. It was during these times of rest and prayer that brought about discernment for what the Father wanted Him to do next. Jesus refused to be controlled by guilt and sought after purpose.

    Check yourself. Are you feeling tired and weary? If so, you’ve been doing too much. Find some time away, lock the bathroom door if you have to! Rest from all those that would try and keep pulling you to help them. Pray and ask God so you can discern the best from the good that your life can make the greatest impact for Him!

    Prayer:

    Father…Forgive me for not taking the time I should to rest and spend time with you. Help me to prioritize my time with you over anything here on earth. I ask you to provide me with the discernment to know the best from the good and give me boldness to follow through. In Jesus Name…Amen.

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  • The Closeness Of God

    closenessThey will be my people, and I will be their God.”  

    Jeremiah32:38 (NIV)
    Isn’t it amazing how the more you love someone the closer you want to get to them?  From the beginning of the Bible in Genesis 3 we can read how God would come down and hang out with Adam and Eve in the garden.  God originally created us to have fellowship with Him and even went so far as to create the perfect place to fellowship with us.  Sin messed that all up.
    In the Old Testament, it tells us that God dwelt “among” His people.  There are so many scriptures that talk about it.  All of them say the same thing.  God came to dwell “among” us.  Exodus 25:8 affirms this and then the following section of scripture gives instructions on how to build the Ark of The Covenant.  The Ark was a symbol of God’s presence amongst the people.  The priests were to put the Testimony—the record of God’s laws and promises inside the Ark.
    As time passed God desired to come closer in relationship with us.  Jesus came down to earth to live “among” us full-time.  Even that no longer satisfied God’s desire for relationship with us.  He wanted more.  He wanted closer.  In John 16:7 Jesus tells the people that it is better that He goes so that the Counselor, the Holy Spirit could come.  The Holy Spirit came so that God could dwell “in” us!  1 Corinthians 3:16 tells us that we are God’s ‘temple’, His place of fellowship with others and that God’s spirit dwells “in” us.
    God desires to grow closer in relationship with you!  Open your heart today.  Spend time with Him reading His Word and listening to His Voice.  Allow the spirit within you to fellowship with Him, and He with YOU!
    Father…May you enable us “Through the power of the Holy Spirit who lives within us” to “carefully guard the precious truth that has been entrusted to” us (2 Tm 1:14 NLT).  May we move closer to You as you draw closer to us.  In Jesus Name…Amen.
    OT—God dwelt “among” His people
    (Genesis 3:8; Exodus 25:8,29:45-46; Leviticus 26:11-12; 1Kings 6:13)
    NT—God dwells “in” His people
    (2 Timothy 1:14; Romans 8:11; 1 Corinthians 3:16; Ephesians 2:22,3:17)

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  • Follow Me

    follow me scripture
    “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
    Does the idiom, “Do as I say, not as I do” annoy anyone else?  It bothers me when I hear parents repeating it to their kids.  They say it as if it’s a joke, when really it’s backed up by their actions.  The Free Dictionary describes this phrase as: “Take my advice, even though I am acting contrary to it”.1   I’m so thankful that we serve a heavenly father who parents nothing like this!  God never requires something of us that He has not modeled for us.   He tells us to take a Sabbath rest, following His example.
    Good Leaders lead by example, not by rule.
    “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.”  In Matthew 4:19 NIV.  Jesus had every right to say, “follow me” because that is exactly what He was doing, fishing for people.  Paul encouraged believers many times to follow his example, even saying twice that people should “imitate” him.  In Philippians 3:17, Paul said “Join together in following my example, brothers and sisters, and just as you have us as a model, keep your eyes on those who live as we do.” NIV   We need to be Christians who lead by example, so that we can say, “Do as I say, and as I do!”
     Prayer:
    Father…I thank-you for modeling good things before me.  Help me to follow your example to rest and to model what I say, in what I do.  May I live a life that others will be better to follow after.  In Jesus name, Amen
    1 https://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/Do+as+I+say,+not+as+I+do

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  • Finding Christ

    cross-and-water1

    “Then Moses cried out to the LORD, and the LORD showed him a piece of wood.  He threw it into the water, and the water became sweet.”
                                                               Exodus 15:25 NIV

    Have you ever been going through a trying time and wondered where God was?  Well, I have and so have the Israelites. This scripture comes in the middle of the story when the Israelites had just gone through the Red Sea.  They had just broken free of bondage in Victory…only to wander for 3 days without water!   They finally find water and run to drink it, but the water is bitter and undrinkable.  That was enough suffering to make the people forget the miracle of the water parting and want to go back to their old life.  They grumble and complain to Moses.  Moses does the right thing and cries out to the Lord.  Oh, if we always took the time to cry out to the Lord like Moses did—and—wait for Him to speak!  Oh, how different our lives would be!
    God showed Moses a piece of wood.  Moses throws it into the water and it creates a chemical reaction to change the whole body of water.  Seriously?  A piece of wood?  This doesn’t make sense, if you don’t see the cross symbolism.  A piece of wood couldn’t change water in the natural.  God supernaturally used a piece of wood to be a type or foreshadowing of the cross.  Only Jesus can take the bitter sufferings that we face and bring something sweet out of them.  We need God to open our spiritual eyes so we can see how Christ is there, just like the wood was, mighty to save.
    Moses took the time to cry out to God and ask Him to be involved in his problem.  He expected God to show up, and show up He did, providing water in the desert.  Take time today to bring your needs before God.  Open up your spiritual eyes to see Christ in your bitter circumstances and allow Him to give you water!

    open your eyes

    Prayer:
    Father…You see the bitterness of life on this earth and you stand along the sidelines waiting for me to tag you in.  Please open my eyes today to see you working on my behalf!  May I never doubt that you are there, because you are!  You are Mighty to Save!  Thank-you!  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

     
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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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