Day 36 ~ Luke 23:32-43

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The account of the crucifixion in scripture can never get old for me. The Easter story is my favorite one of all. It elicits every emotion I have in my soul and brings forth more joy than I can ever describe. One minute I’m aching with grief over the abuse and torture of my Savior. The next I’m angry with those who nailed Him to that cross. And then again I’m grieving with Mary as she watches her son in agony and in death. Then I’m dumbfounded (is that an emotion?) and heartbroken when one of the criminals, on his deathbed, refuses God’s love. And then elated when the other humbly admits his guilt and asks for salvation – and it is granted! What a beautiful ending to these passages. And my heart is filled with love and joy, even as scripture recounts the last moments of my Jesus.

Do you feel this roller coaster ride as you approach Easter? Are you grieved and joyful at the same time? Join us today as we visit these emotions and the heart from which they come!

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Day 36

The passage for today begins with “two other men, both criminals, were led out with him to die”. Of the three, Jesus was the only one pure and blameless. In verse 41, one of the criminals humbly states “this man has done nothing wrong”.  These three men were led to a place called Golgotha (The Skull) and each placed on a cross, with Jesus in the middle of them.

We are those criminals.

Born sinners, we are all guilty of breaking God’s rules. 

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.  Romans 3:23

None is righteous, no, not one.  Romans 3:10

We are all dying and are in need of saving.

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.  Romans 6:23

He Himself bore our sins so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by His wounds you have been healed.  1 Peter 2:24

We all have the choice to receive salvation. Which man can you identify with? The one on the right or on the left of Jesus on the cross? The one with a soft heart or the one with a hard heart? The one who wanted to be rescued or the one who refused?

Jesus prayed to His father to forgive those who were ignorant and unknowing. Those who didn’t understand that they were crucifying the Savior of the World.

As he died, He cried out on our behalf.

Jesus said, “Father forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”

He could have saved himself, but then there would be no perfect sacrifice for me and you – so it was a choice between laying down His life or requiring our blood to pay the price.

He had a choice. He did it willingly.

John 3:16  For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

Romans 5:8  But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Galatians 2:20  I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave himself for me.

Ephesians 2:4-5  But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, evenwhen we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ— by grace you have been saved—

1 John 4:9-11  In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

He did it….

Because He loves us.

Not an ordinary love, but an extraordinary love. The kind of love that cannot be explained and is hard to understand.

The primary meaning of the word “love” in Scripture is a “purposeful commitment to sacrificial action for another.” The Greek word for this kind of sacrificial love is “agape”.

Agape love is the highest form of love, which is the love of God for mankind. It is not based on any merit of the individual. It is totally selfless and expects nothing in return.

This kind of love cries out from a cross and begs for forgiveness for someone else!  Christ was in terrible agony, and He cried out for you. And me.

This is love.

Even before He rose from the grave, Christ proved He was Messiah by this kind of sacrificial love.

“Where is God?  Where is He in the midst of human raggedness and suffering and pain?  Somehow it is in the cross that the glory of God and His love are finally revealed.”

~John Ortberg

In Him,

Lisa

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Day 27 ~ John 13:31-38

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In John 13, Jesus is introducing a NEW and DIFFERENT kind of love. A kind of love the world has never seen or experienced.

Through the sacrifice of His own son, God gives us a new motive for love. A new power with which to love.

The bedrock of our Christian faith is the unmerited, fathomless marvel of the love of God exhibited on the Cross of Calvary, a love we never can and never shall merit.

Oswald Chambers

The perfect example of love is none other than Christ Himself. Love is not a feeling or just an emotion. Love is a person. Love came down from heaven, in the form of a human infant, to bear it ALL so that we might LIVE.  This is love.

So then, how do we love well? Our goal is to love like Jesus.

In 1 Corinthians, Chapter 13, God tells us what that love looks like. By replacing the word love with Jesus’ name, I just beam at the thought of the love that the Father lavishes upon us!

  • Jesus is patient
  • Jesus is kind
  • Jesus does not envy or boast
  • Jesus is not proud
  • Jesus is not rude or self-seeking
  • Jesus is not easily angered
  • Jesus keeps no record of wrongs
  • Jesus does not delight in evil
  • Jesus rejoices with the truth
  • Jesus always protects, trusts, hopes and perseveres

Jesus’ love is perfect. My love toward man will never be perfect. But through the strength of the Holy Spirit within me, I can offer love when it seems as if there is no love within me. When I can’t muster up the strength to love someone well, He can give it to me. The love that I then offer is not of my own making, but comes directly from the well of life and living water that has been extended to me.

Day 27

So, if there is someone who has hurt you or betrayed you, someone you don’t understand or connect with, someone you don’t think deserves your outpouring of love, or maybe someone who just rubs you the wrong way or has overstepped boundaries, do you find it hard to show love? I find it helpful to imagine an innocent man dying on a cross for those who hurt Him, betrayed Him, mocked Him, misunderstood Him, and did not deserve His grace. I am that person who did not deserve the love He gave.

I have experienced deep hurt at the hands of others. The pain is hard to describe. After the wounds started to heal, God revealed to me a hardness in my heart that could not be described as loving. It looked more like hate. As I faced the reality that as a Christian I could still harbor hate and resentment in my heart, I also had to grapple with the fact that only God could change it. I had the choice to ask God to change me or to let a wall build up around me that would eventually turn hate into so much more.  It is in those times that I can only pray things like:

  • God help me to love with Your heart
  • God help me to see them through Your eyes
  • God remind me of the compassion and grace that You give me
  • God fill me with Your Spirit so that it would overflow to others
  • God remove the part of me that is getting in the way of loving them

Paul’s message to the church at Corinth applies to us today. In it he says:

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but don’t have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.

If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but not have love, I am nothing.

If I give all I possess to the poor and and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t have love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.

1 Corinthians 13:1-3

Love is not a feeling. It is a person. It is a choice.

It is impossible for us to love like Christ without letting Him permeate our lives so that His love overflows to others. It is a choice to ask Him to give us the power to love.  A love we never can, and never shall, merit.

In Him,

Lisa

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Day 26 ~ John 13:12-17

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The symbolic washing of feet in these verses exemplifies the servant-leader posture that Jesus maintained the entire time He walked this earth. Jesus came to earth in the form of an infant, born to a common (and unwed) girl, and never took anything for Himself. He healed the sick, fed the hungry, and preached to the masses. He also sought out the prostitute, the tax collector, and the persecutor and offered them grace and salvation. Right before He is to be flogged and mocked and nailed to a cross, He bends down and takes the dirty feet of His disciples in His own hands to wash them.

And this is our God. 

But then, in verse 12, He asks if the disciples know what He has done for them.  Did they understand?

Do we understand that He can wash us completely clean? Do we understand that we don’t have to walk around with the filth of the earth attached to us and imbedded in our skin?

 Our God, our Creator and King, is bending down and extending His hands to touch our filthy bodies and make us pure and new.

Two questions for you today:

1 )  Are you extending your foot?

When I first accepted Jesus as my Savior, I was a young child. I had the eyes of a child and the heart of a child. I was willing to take whatever Jesus had to offer me. Desperately wanting a perfect Father, I trusted Him with my feet. I trusted Him with my life.

As I grew up, I learned how to take care of my own life. I could take care of myself. And I could wash my feet quite fine, thank you!  Self-sufficient was my middle name.

I was a classic first-born child. I was pretty, smart, and popular. Honor Roll. Cheerleader. President of many organizations. Didn’t need too much that I didn’t have or couldn’t get. And I was a rule-follower. So I don’t know if I was extending my foot to be washed as much as I was trying to clean myself up in my own strength.

It looked good on the outside. And it wasn’t difficult to maintain because there was no outside pressure and I was not letting God truly speak into the dirty, sinful parts of my life.

But then the outside pressure came and I had to surrender control of a life I thought I could manage on my own. I extended my foot. I got to hand over my husband, my marriage, my children, my thoughts, my ideals, and my perfectionism over to a perfect God. And He washed me with great care.

But God wasn’t finsisted washing me. As I have continued to humble myself to hear Him and put my foot out, He has revealed to me so much more filth that I am carrying around. I am selfish. I can get angry and resentful when I’ve poured out all day for my children and they don’t appreciate it. I don’t like when my schedule gets interrupted and I don’t get to do what I want to do. I can take and not give back. I can think things I would never want to come out. I can want to hit my child back when he hits me. I can say words to hurt those I love. I can want to get even. I can withhold love. I can refuse to offer forgiveness. I can refuse to humble myself. I can hold on to the past. I can harbor resentment. I can try to play God and all-the-while keep my feet firmly tucked beneath me.

God wants to free me from those things that entangle me and choke the life out of me and those around me. He wants to wash me, and you, of every dark and dirty piece of filth that wants to cling to us. The filth that Satan wants to weigh us down with.

God can and will wash it off. Will you extend your foot?

Day 26

2)  Are you extending your hands?

Jesus extended His hands to serve in an act of humility. He washed the feet of the disciples knowing that He would be betrayed and denied.  He asked nothing in return.

Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. Philippians 2:5-7

In John 13, Jesus sets an example for us to follow. And He gives us a direct commandment to do so. He repeats this command throughout scripture.

Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.             1 Peter 4:10

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I find it easy and fun to serve.  Especially to serve those who are in desperate need or whose situation I can relate to. My heart aches for helpless children, and those who are starving or homeless. I can relate to people who need help with childcare, meals, or housecleaning. Those things speak to me and touch my heart. Even when I am busy with my own life, I enjoy helping others in those ways.

Recently, God has been convicting me and stretching my definition of service as He commands. He is asking me to serve in areas that I might not get excited about.  He is reminding me that sacrificial service:

  • Isn’t always convenient
  • Isn’t always “fun”
  • Requires sacrifice
  • May be messy
  • Should be a result of overflow
  • Is an act of worship

For God so LOVED the world that He GAVE His only begotten son, that whosoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life.     John 3:16

God’s love compels us to love, and to serve others out of that love. If we love, then we will GIVE.

For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.    Mark 10:45

Jesus washed the disciples’ feet and then emptied Himself in the ultimate act of service – His death on the cross. This example should compel us to allow Him to wash our feet clean and then extend our hands in humble service to those around us.

In Him,

Lisa

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Day 22 ~ John 6:43-51

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As we have seen, John Chapter 6 began with the feeding of the five thousand – a miracle in which Jesus met the physical needs of the people by multiplying a few loaves and a few fish.

The multitude failed to grasp the significance of this sign as more than just physical provision. So Jesus declared it AGAIN in verse 48, “I am the bread of life.”

I AM ALL YOU NEED

TODAY, TOMORROW, AND INTO ETERNITY!

I DON’T JUST BRING PROVISION

I AM YOUR PROVISION!

Contrast this with verse 49, “Your forefathers ate the manna in the desert, yet they died.”

Our mortality is a given. Our life here on earth will be full of human experiences. Loss, disappointment, sickness, and ultimately, physical death.

As a young believer, I believed that my love for and commitment to Jesus meant a happy and prosperous life without too many bumps in the road. I believed that if I went to church, prayed, sought His will for my life, and tried not to sin, then I was guaranteed success and earthly blessings.

I was genuinely confused when I sought a Godly man to marry and ended up in a painful marriage. I was frustrated when I prayed for guidance in parenting and my children rebelled. I was devastated when I loved wholeheartedly and was betrayed by friends and family. I remember asking God what I did wrong. What did I do to deserve the outcomes that were playing out in my life?

And God reminded me that as an inhabitant of this fallen world, I will experience the consequences of the fall. I am no different than those who have gone before me.

Some of God’s precious servants came to mind:

Job – lost nearly everything, including his children (book of Job)

Joseph – mistreated, sold into slavery, imprisoned (Genesis)

King Saul – depression (1 Samuel 16:14-23)

David – pursued by enemies, trials in leadership (book of Psalms)

Jeremiah – rebellious and sinful followers, which broke his heart (book of Jeremiah)

Paul – imprisoned, beaten, stoned, hungry, “thorn in the flesh” (2 Corinthians 11:23-28)

Moses – speech impediment, difficult “children” (Exodus, Numbers)

Naomi – death of her husband and sons (book of Ruth)

Day 22

Sometimes our affliction is a result of our own sin or choices, and other times it is totally out of our control. Regardless, we must give up the notion that God owes us anything. The only thing we deserve is His wrath, YET He tells us in verses 50-51 that He will give us ETERNAL LIFE.

cross for lent

Regardless of our circumstances, afflictions, or earthly pain, God is saying in today’s text,

I will sustain you now

AND 

I will sustain you FOREVER 

What a beautiful gift and comfort from our Lord and Savior. Our daily manna is free and our eternal manna is free. It will never run out. We don’t have to run around in exhaustion to store it up or earn it.  It is given every day. The most beautiful part of our earthly provision is HIS PRESENCE. It will give us life TODAY and give us life INTO ETERNITY!

In Him,

Lisa

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Day 14 ~ Luke 13:31-35

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As I reflect upon this scripture and Jesus’ willingness to die for me, I am overwhelmed by His unending love and grace towards me.

The Israelites of Jerusalem were knee-deep in sin and God sent prophets to warn them of His displeasure. His people were not unaware of their sin, nor did they misunderstand the consequences. The people knowingly rebelled against God and chose to continue in sin. They desecrated the temple and even stoned the prophets!

Jesus knew all of this, and yet, even facing His own death, He lamented over the fate of Jerusalem.

You see, when we rebel against God, we are choosing destruction. One way or another, we will die.

Jesus yearns to shelter us from ourselves! We are often like baby chicks wandering unaware around the yard, while predators surround us. But those who trust in the Lord are completely hidden underneath His wings and covered by His power and His righteousness. What a thought! We are hidden from the evil one and covered with His protection, even while we are also unaware of what evil lurks around us.

No matter what we do or how hard we resist God’s love, He will never stop loving us. This was true for the people of Jerusalem, who, generation after generation, continued to rebel. Yet, God never stopped loving them or pursuing them.

Day 14

A hen pulls her chicks close to her, covering them with her wings, to protect them from harm. If a predator approaches, the mother serves as a shield to cover the chicks, even if it means she will die.

The mother hen is willing to sacrifice her life for the sake of her children. So much more has your Father already done for you and is willing to do for you.

You cannot make God stop loving you. He will always be merciful. Nothing you do will change His character or His heart. God IS love. The perseverance of our Savior demonstrates His love for us. His death on a cross is the measure of His love.  May this Easter season bring a renewed sense of joy that you are cherished and loved. Love seeks to have the loved one near. Draw near to your Savior today.

Lisa

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Day 10 ~ Matthew 7:15-23

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The words of Jesus in Matthew 7:13-23 contain such deep theology that we could camp out on them for days. At first glance, one might think the passage is referring to works being the vehicle by which we receive salvation.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

We are going to focus on verses 21-23 today, but please take time to reflect upon the entire passage, as it adds depth and dimension to what Jesus is saying to us.

In Matthew 7, Jesus is wrapping up the Sermon on the Mount. He is delineating between two types of people who will come to Him on “that day”. The last day. Judgement Day. He is speaking a warning to all of us that simply doing things “in His name”, does not mean that we are saved.

Jesus differentiates between those who rely on their own strength to do their own will versus those who depend on the power of Jesus and seek to do His will.

He is contrasting those who base their salvation on their own deeds done in the name of Jesus and those who base their salvation on Jesus and the finished work of the cross.

Essentially, he is pointing out the separation between those who are lost and those who are saved.

When examining our lives, the table below can provide some insight into how we can distinguish exactly who is producing the righteousness we see.

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Jesus is totally outing Satan and religion with a warning to everyone who will listen. We should not be deceived into thinking we can label ourselves Christian, step up our community service and good deeds, and expect in return a ticket into heaven WITHOUT admitting our need for a Savior and pursuing a genuine relationship with and love for Jesus Christ.

Some of us can talk about Jesus as Lord,
and not really know Jesus at all

Day10

Do you KNOW Jesus? Have you admitted that you are a sinner in need of saving? Have you been brought from death to life as a new creation in Christ?

I want to be clear here and reiterate that once you receive Jesus as Lord and Savior of your life, you cannot lose your salvation. True salvation (again, based on the cross, not works) cannot be taken from you.

I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand.
John 10:28-29

As believers, our motivation to do good deeds should arise from the overflow of love and the fruits of the Spirit we receive in Christ. When we reflect on our good works and the motivation behind them, it sheds light on our understanding, belief, and practice of this basic truth.

It is important to periodically evaluate whether we are pouring out in order to GET something or if we are pouring out because we have already been GIVEN something.

In Him,

Lisa

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Day 7 ~ Matthew 6:25-34

 

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Many a night, while lying in my cozy bed, in my warm home, with my children and family asleep all around me, I have let worry consume my mind. Knowing I am a child of God, secure in all eternity, believing that God loves me and will provide for me, I can still fall prey to the schemes of Satan to rob me with worry.

When I looked up the meaning of worry, I was shocked to realize that worry (by definition) is self-destructive.

One definition of worry is:

  1. To torment oneself with or suffer from disturbing thoughts
  2. to seize, especially by the throat, with the teeth AND shake or mangle
  3. to harass by repeated biting

So what I’m doing when I worry about things is actually inflicting pain upon myself. Wow. Worry is self-sabotage.

Nothing saps my joy and energy faster than worrying about the future and things that are out of my control. Worry is always a debit from my spiritual, emotional or physical bank account. The only deposits that are made are negative ones.

Worry has deposited in my life:

  • stress
  • physical pain (headaches, tension, muscle pain)
  • physical illness (lowered immune system)
  • distraction from good things and God things

Worry has taken from me:

  • energy
  • time
  • joy
  • sleep
  • closeness with God (because sin separates)

Satan wants us to worry. He enjoys the crippling effect worry has on our lives and how it hinders our witness. Satan is the enemy who takes any opportunity to seize us by the throat and torment us!

Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil.  He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.

1 Peter 5:8

Day 7

Cognitively, I know that worry is self-destructive and fruitless, yet I can go there in a skinny minute. Not always down to the pit, but maybe just a sick feeling in my stomach, or a little less pep in my step, or bad dreams that sneak in at night to reveal my underlying fear. And sometimes I DO fall into the pit of worry, letting my circumstances and feelings take over, seemingly unable to make that decision to just…. not…. worry!!

I’ve found that the only way to stay out of that pit or CLIMB OUT of that pit, is to cling to Jesus. It’s not a one-time decision, but it’s a constant decision to trust. And not only trust, but a constant decision to depend on Him and commune with Him. Without hardship, I wouldn’t need to trust. I wouldn’t need to be dependent. I might not yearn for His presence. With hardship comes the temptation to worry and the opportunity to draw closer to my Savior.

I am a 43 year old mother of five children under the age of 14, and this past spring I was diagnosed with a smoldering cancer that threatens to emerge at any time. It is a chronic condition without a cure.  I could spend each and every day worrying about what tomorrow might hold. I could let Satan steal my joy, taunt me with my circumstances, and harass me with lies.  Instead, this year has been one of the absolutely most beautiful seasons of my life.

My sadness and fear drove me further into the loving arms of my Father. When I would wake up from nightmares, I could only reach for my Bible for comfort. When I wanted to be angry with God and tell Him how unfair my circumstances were, I found myself conversing with a very real and present God who just wanted me to talk to Him.  To need Him.  Out of that need for Him I was propelled to cry out to Him more, converse with Him more, and, as He is becoming more and more personal to me, to love Him more. Simply for who He is.

And He gives me peace in place of worry.

I believe that God loves me, is for me, and holds my future in His hands. I choose to trust in these promises and the truth that I am more valuable than the birds in the air. It is a daily choice. A DAILY surrender. Going to God with it ALL and resting in His perfect provision.

Do not worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need and thank Him for all He has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you LIVE IN Christ Jesus. 

Philippians 4:6-7

In Him,

Lisa

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Day 6 ~ Matthew 6:19-21

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In Matthew 6, Jesus continues addressing the Jews of His day in the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus redirects their focus from what they presently have on earth to what they will have in the future in heaven.  Jesus is warning us that the world will try to pull us in another direction and distract us from the one true treasure. Our worldly possessions and selfish habits can only give us temporary security and happiness. He plainly tells us that no one or no thing could ever take away the security and joy we have in Christ.  

In verse 19, God is telling us that we will lose thints in this life. It is inevitable. It should be anticipated. This is not our home. In our lifetime, we will lose loved ones and our health will deteriorate. We can lose jobs, financial investments or items we value. Homes burn down, cars break down, and people we trust will betray us. Dreams are lost. Marriages are broken. Friendships are severed… and so on, and so on.

Our life is but a breath. We are only on this earth a short time. So how do we spend our time, money, and resources? Do we over-invest in things that we can’t take with us and have no eternal value?

When I was in college, I lived in a dorm room. And after college, I rented a cute little duplex in the quaint area of Shandon in Columbia, South Carolina.  My roommate and I enjoyed making it homey and cute, but we didn’t think it wise to spend an inordinate amount of time decorating with expensive goods because it was only temporary. We would only be there a short while until I got married and until my roommate graduated from Law School.

We are only on this earth for a very short while. This is our temporary housing!

When our treasure is Jesus Christ himself, we commit our finances, time, talents, and resources to things that will benefit His Kingdom.

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving (Colossians 3:23-24).

Day 6

When my heart is fully devoted to Him, I am motivated to pursue a deeper relationship with Him and join Him in His work. Those will be the treasures of my heart.

Our hope in the Lord is unfailing and our security in Him cannot be lost.

We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. Hebrews 6:19

This means I can relax, hold my hands out loosely, and simply enjoy what God gives me today! In Him, our hope, security, and joy is built upon a rock that is immovable and permanent. If we treasure what God pleasures, our hearts are His.

In Him,

Lisa

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Light of the World

 

 

light of the world

*Reflections:

The Gospel of John was written for an early church just beginning to understand what it meant to follow Jesus. These early believers sought to understand Jesus and His relationship to the Father God. In the book of John, the scripture from Chapter 8 explains that to know Jesus is to know God. God is light. God is life.  JESUS IS GOD. 

 

AND JESUS SAID:

  I am the light of the world. Whoever believes in me will never walk in darkness,

but will have the light of life.

John 8:12

 

Life is more than just living and breathing. It is more than maintaining our homes, job responsibilities, and checking off our to-do list.  Life is meaningful relationships and connectedness with ourselves and others. Full life only comes from an intimate relationship with God, the Creator of Life, through His son Jesus.

 

Jesus is light in flesh, permeating through the darkness of this sinful world. When Jesus came to us as an infant, on a cold dark night in Bethlehem, His purpose was to point us to God.

 

Light illuminates our path to the Father. It helps us to see where we are going and exposes areas in which we may falter.

 

In nature, light promotes growth and life, paralleling our spiritual growth if we remain in the light and stay focused on God.

 

Darkness can not eliminate light! No amount of darkness can put out the flame of a single match. The light, no matter how small, dispels darkness (evil) and reveals the glory of God.

 

Light also warms us and comforts us. God our Comforter will never leave us, nor forsake us.

 

Jesus pierced the darkness of sin and death when he gave His own life as a sacrifice for us.  Death has no victory for those who believe in Him. His light and life are eternal.

 *Response:

This Christmas, notice the bright stars on top of the Christmas trees and hanging as decorations to signify that the Light of the World has come!

 

What purposes of light were you reminded of that illuminate how God is working in your life or circumstances around you?

 

How can darkness serve a purpose to glorify God?

 

Write a prayer out to God based on today’s name.

 

 

Living in His Grace,

Lisa

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Prayer Warriors Unite!

praying hands

Well ladies. This is gonna be rough. This post isn’t about telling you what I’ve learned and making it sound good and look pretty. Probably no fancy script. It will be only God who makes it cohesive.  There are so many thoughts running through my head.

Before sitting down to write, I assessed my needs. What do I need right now? This is what I came up with:

  1. a quiet place to sit
  2. somewhere to enjoy nature
  3. somewhere to get away from the mess (and smells). yeah smells.
  4. something cold to drink
  5. something to eat
  6. God’s presence
  7. someone to pray for me and with me

I am so stirred up. My anxiety is sky high. And I have 30 minutes before I pick up two beautiful, active, messy, needy preschoolers.

And let me just say, there is nothing in my immediate circumstances that is causing me discomfort. I am rested, fed, kids are taken care of, and there is no immediate crisis.

And just hours ago I emailed the CFSAT team to let them know that I had no new post for this week. It wasn’t gonna happen.

I admitted to them that I haven’t been able to focus. I’ve not been able to keep up with dishes, laundry, or housework.

I feel alive and encouraged, yet I also feel discouragement and fear rising up.

As a team, we (Called for Such a Time) are busily preparing for what God has called us to do on October 3rd.

The more I search God’s Word and ask Him to direct my steps, the more I feel the opposition. I have pages and pages and pages of insight from the Lord as to what He wants me to say on October 3rd. The words have been flowing on paper so easily. God is equipping me for what He has called me to do. Because let me tell you, public speaking is not one of my favorite past times.

Friends, Satan is directly opposed to us speaking God’s truth.

AND CAN I JUST TELL YOU: AS I JUST TYPED THAT LAST SENTENCE, A TRUCK PULLED UP IN MY NEIGHBORS DRIVEWAY AND UNLOADED TWO LAWNMOWERS AND MY SERENE FRONT PORCH IS NOW A BATTLE GROUND.

It’s actually quite hilarious. Like I’m gonna stop typing because of the grinding noise in my ears.

Plan B: Move inside to nice comfy couch, far away from diaper pail.

Carrots and cold drink in tow.

So…where was I?

Ah yes: SPIRITUAL WARFARE

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So friends, we know that God is directing our steps. We anticipated Satan’s attacks and attempts to render us less effective. We have seen families and marriages be thrown off. We’ve been praying against all of that.

And today, I feel God telling us that Satan has NO power over us. God will be glorified. And I ask you to please join in praying for us, fortifying us, in the power of His name.

Will you please pray for us?

  • Will you ask the Lord to speak to our hearts as we prepare our talks?
  • Will you ask the Lord to help us find time and focus to prepare?
  • Will you pray against discouragement and fear?
  • Will you pray for unity and peace in our homes?
  • Will you pray for physical health for our team and our families?
  • Will you ask for unity among our team and the event staff?
  • Will you pray for clear delivery of the gospel and that the Holy Spirit will move in the hearts of each and every woman attending, including our team?

For each of you praying for us, we are grateful. Know that God will answer all of our prayers according to His will. We give Him all of the glory.

In His Grace,

Lisa

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