Lately I’ve been dealing with a faith struggle. I was desperately hanging on to something that God wanted me to hand over – my pride. I realize that all that I am and all that I do is for His glory and His glory only. I am not in the equation at all. Nor should I be. We were created by God and for God. All that we do should bring Him glory. If we are trying to take the credit for a good deed, it is for nothing.
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. Ephesians 3:20-21
There is such power in these two verses. Healing power. Joyful power. Strength power. Faith power.
Picking the verses apart I see that Jesus does far more than we even know to ask or dream. If left to our own power, we would live such limited, empty lives. But we aren’t left to our own power. We have His power at work within us. Meditate on these words. His power is at work within us. HIS awesome POWER is at work WITHIN US. At work within us. For His glory for ever and ever. So be it!
Dear God, thank you for opening my eyes and giving me insight. Your powerful insight. Your wonderful power. Please help me to be ever mindful of this wonderful power at all times and in all places. Even those dark places we often find ourselves. We are not left to deal with life alone. You are so wonderful. You take care of the smallest details in our lives and You take care of the biggest details in our lives. You choose to dwell Your Spirit within us. What wonderful awesome power we have. Thank you! And it’s all for Your glory. All that we are. All that we do. Keep us in the light and the love that can only be found in Your Son Jesus Christ. In His wonderful name, we pray. Amen.
Stay in the Light and the Love always,
How do you feel when you hear the words “outstretched arms”?
Often I will close my eyes and seek Jesus’ face. Sometimes I get an up close view of dazzling eyes that glimmer and sparkle. Eyes like blazing fire (Revelation 1:14) And other times I get an image of Jesus spread out on a cross. This morning during church, I pictured Jesus spread out on the cross. Only this time it was a little bit different. Instead of the vertical beam being the longer of the two supports that make up the cross, this time the horizontal beam was the longest. In fact, I could see no end to either the left or the right sides of the horizontal beams. Nor could I see the end of Jesus’ arms as they stretched out into infinity. It was a fleeting vision but at that moment it spoke to my heart. My heart has been raw lately. Raw with hurt. Raw with rejection. Raw with sadness. However, that one fleeting moment was the healing I needed. The healing for the hurt, the rejection, and the sadness. Can you relate? I’m sure you can. We all have those sad moments. Those moments of raw pain. In those moments, shut your eyes and picture Jesus. His protection has no end. His outstretched arms are all around each of us. They will always be there even when we are not aware of His presence.
I hope each of you are able to see those outstretched arms as clearly as I did. Shut your eyes and speak this verse:
Look to the Lord and his strength. Seek his face always.
1 Chronicles 16:11
As we prepare to start another week, this is my prayer for each of us.
Dear God, Thank you for being all around each of us – even when we do not know You are there. Thank you for your outstretched arms that always protect us. Help each of us see You more clearly. Help each of us hear You more clearly – both in the silence and in the chaos. Give each of us the wonderful opportunity to be a blessing to others throughout our week to bring glory to You – always to bring glory to You. I pray that each of us put the needs of others in front of our own needs. Please keep us in the light that is Your Son Jesus Christ. Let us shine that light into the dark world. In His Holy Name I pray. Amen.
Stay in the Light and the Love Always,
I have a restraining order against someone.
It’s in place and unbreakable. Who is it against, you ask?
Who else? The enemy of all humankind. The tempter (1 Thessalonians 3:5). The prince of this world (John 14:30). Satan. There are lots of names for the enemy. Some you probably never connected with him before now.
We all need to see who our enemy really is. It’s not our neighbor. It’s not those in charge. It’s not politicians. It’s not family members. It’s not exes. Our real enemy is and always has been Satan. Here are just a few descriptive names for Satan that pop into my mind:
Feel free to add to my list. I’m sure every single person can come up with a few more very personal names to write here. This is the way we need to view our enemy.
Satan’s main purpose is to steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10) and he will use any means to accomplish his goal.
And he loves to use Christians most of all.
Because by using us he distracts us from our main purpose – spreading The Gospel and the never-ending love of Jesus Christ. The gift of salvation is so easy. Satan doesn’t want people to know just how easy it truly is. We don’t have to work for it. We can’t earn it. We don’t deserve it. It’s a gift.
Salvation is a gift with no strings attached.
When we allow Satan to become an addiction or distraction in our lives, he’s accomplished his goal of stopping one more believer from going out and spreading the Good News with others.
This is why I took a restraining order out against Satan.
Satan can’t read our thoughts but he sure can hear our words and see our actions. What we do and speak may or may not be inviting him into our very lives and homes. We’ll stay trapped until we realize we have the power to kick him out. We have the power to protect ourselves and our homes. And guess what? This was so very simple as well.
Don’t you just love our Lord Jesus Christ? He doesn’t make us work very hard for anything – He truly did it all for us. All we have to do is believe and have faith. Even small faith. He will then grow that small faith into huge faith if we give Him the reigns in our life.
Let’s begin praying the power of the blood of Jesus Christ over Satan’s power in our lives.
Let’s start speaking out loud that we are righteous not for anything that we’ve done but simply because we’re in the Body of our Lord Jesus Christ. We are protected by that Body. The victory was already won when Jesus uttered His final words on the cross at Cavalry. “It is finished” (John 19:30). So let’s tell Satan IT IS FINISHED and there’s nothing more he can add to it.
Please know Jesus accepts us all as we are.
He acceps us as the broken vessels that we are. He then makes us whole as no one or nothing else in this world can. He doesn’t want you to wait until you are in a “better place” to come to Him. He doesn’t want you to wait until you are a “better person” to come to Him. He wants you right now. Right where you are.
Here’s my prayer for us today:
Thank you for always knowing our hearts. Thank you for the finished work of the cross at Cavalry. Thank you for the ultimate gift of salvation that you gave to each one of us when you gave your Son Jesus Christ over to die for our sins.
Give each of us the wisdom and discernment to know You better. Give each of us that unquenchable desire to seek You out daily.
Let each of us know that You are the only way. You are light. You are love. Plant the seed of faith in each of our hearts. Water and nurture that seed until it grows big and strong.
In Jesus’ powerful name we pray.
Stay in the Light and Love Always,
Have you ever been surrounded by the same message? Words that just keep popping up. You can’t escape from them. They surround you. I’ve had that experience the past couple of weeks. What’s the message? Why is it so important? Let me explain with Scripture:
Whoever of you loves life and desires to see many good days, keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking lies. Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.
There is an extremely powerful message in these words. The message should be the root of who we are. Who we strive to become. But oh how hard it is to put into practice. God knew how hard this one lesson would be which is why His Word is full of similar advice. You can find verse after verse of instruction to be careful of what you say. Guard your tongue. Watch your words. Like I said, this message has been surrounding me for weeks. Through talking with friends, reading devotions, and even our church sermon last week. When I hear things repeatedly, I perk up. I know that God is working at pounding something into my head (and my heart). I desperately want to learn this lesson. I can’t be perfect but I can strive to be the best that I can be. To start, I must memorize these words:
My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.
I was speaking with a friend about this lesson. She told me a wonderful analogy a teacher of small children used in her classroom. The teacher brought many tubes of toothpaste, cream, etc. She invited all the children forward and had each of them grab a tube. She then told them to squeeze the contents out. The children enjoyed this and squeezed the contents out of each tube exuberantly. After they were finished this wise teacher then told the children to put the contents back into the tubes. The children were all puzzled. As you and I know, this is not possible. The teacher explained to her children that words are just like this blob of mess filling the surface in front of them. Once the words are out, they cannot be taken back. They are the messy blob for all to see. I love this analogy. What a lesson for all of us adults as well.
Here is more instruction from the book of James. James is the brother of Jesus. The same James who mocked Jesus while He walked among us. I think James knew a little something about regret. Regret of words he spoke. Words he wished he could put back in the tube. Thankfully, our God is a good God. A merciful God. A God who loves peace. A God who freely gives grace to all who seek it. A God who is Love. He worked wonderfully in James’ life. The five chapters in the Book of James contain great instruction for each of us.
Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, of the devil. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice. But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness.
Let us each strive to live by the words. Let us each learn to tame our tongues (James 3:8-10). Let us each think before we speak. Here’s my prayer for you:
Dear God, Thank You for all that You are. Thank You for the ultimate textbook that is Your Word. Some say it is not relevant for us today but we know better. Let us spread the word about the relevancy and timeless lessons that can be found there. Let us take these words that You’ve written to heart to mold us and shape us into the people You’ve created us to be. All that we do and say should be for Your Glory. Help us to be ever mindful of that truth. Thank You for Your endless grace, mercy and love. Keep each of us in the light and the love that is only found in Your Son Jesus Christ. Protect each of us with the Holy Blood of Your Son Jesus Christ. In His powerful Name we pray. Amen.
Stay in the Light and the Love Always,