Saved

God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. – Ephesians 2:8-9 NLT

http://bible.com/116/eph.2.8-9.nlt

To me, this is a portion of Scripture that I like to keep close to my heart. A reminder of where my salvation b comes from. A reminder that it will never be about my good works. I long to serve the Living God and to walk in His ways for He is all powerful,  all knowing and more loving then I could ever imagine.

Let all praise and glory be to Jesus.

God speaks

Often times I will hear people say that God does not answer them when they need Him to. That is not how our loving Father works. I find that He can be quieter than I would like at times, but that is usually because I am being too loud at the time and can’t hear Him over my own thoughts. if you stay still and silent before Him, He will speak.

Over the last few weeks I have been praying about and planning a change. I have been uncertain if it was a good move logically, but my heart has been guided towards this for some time. After a series of events that seemed to really point in the direction I have been contemplating, I decided to make some small steps. As I sat in my office, wondering if I should really make this next move, several birds few so close to the window that I thought they were going to fly into it. As I allowed my attention to drift towards the large number of birds on the ground and in the trees, a Bible verse came to mind and I knew that God was telling me to be at ease.

Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? – Matthew 6:26 NLT

Has my Lord not shown me over and over again that He will provide for me and for my family? Has He not worked miracles in a budget that should not have worked in theory? Has He not guided my path to places of healing and growth? Every single time I have stopped putting faith in my own abilities and have handed it over to God, He has come through. Why would this be any different?

God is faithful. Jesus loves me more than I could even begin to understand. I can rest in the fact that no matter how I may doubt my abilities and my own worth, God will provide a way for me and had great plans for this life. So long as He is at the center, nothing can touch me. I can’t go wrong when He is leading the way. Holy Spirit, fill me up and cleans me from the worries of this world!

Today I was reminded to push past the self-doubts that can be suffocating at times. He whispered to me in a moment of stillness. I know that I am moving in the right direction. I have learned to move slowly, purposely and to not allow myself to move ahead of His plans.

Once, not all that long ago, I would have heard a piece of His plan and I would have ran as fast as I could have with it. Lately, I have been able to step back, wait on Him to guide my steps, step out in faith and see where He leads me. It has been a beautiful process and I never want to forget this. Wait on the Lord and be sure to respond when the Spirit tells me to. I need to stop listening to the lies that try to keep me from moving in any direction. It can be paralyzing. I must step boldly in the direction my God has shown me.

Learning to speak less, listen more and to be still more often has been challenging. With such small progress, I feel such powerful responses from the Holy Spirit. I wonder how much more He could accomplish in this life if I could just learn to give Him more room to work!

Today I pray that we all take time to stop and listen. Be still before Jesus and ask Him to free you from the lies that keep you from stepping out in faith. Ask Him to show you what plans He has for you. Let Him guide your steps. Let Him be a beacon in the wilderness. Do not allow us to lean on our own understanding!

In the precious name of Jesus I pray these things. Amen.

Your Vision

Lord, I pray that You open my eyes so that I may truly see. I know that my vision is blurred by my own selfishness and self-centeredness. I try so hard to broaden my perspective, but I am still only seeing from a human perspective. Show my how You see me. Show me how You see the world, even if only a glimmer.

I try to imagine how You look upon this world with great sadness. This beautiful creation being destroyed by those you long to have a relationship with. Your people turning away from You and causing such pain while claiming that it is in Your name. I wonder how You can look upon such defiance and darkness in this world and love us all anyway.

I want to walk this land with Your eyes and Your heart. I pray that You break my stone heart and replace it with a heart of flesh. I pray that You lift the veil that blinds me to the eternal and let me see You in all things.

You are the only thing in me that is good.

I am sorry for the error of my ways. I am sorry for my moments of weakness and deceit. I truly am and I know that You can see that in my heart. I know You hear my cries, both spoken and silent.

Thank You for not giving up on us. I know that we have deserved it for centuries. Thank You for allowing me to walk upon this earth with my free will to choose You. Thank You for the people You have given to walk by my side in all this. I thank You for entrusting me with all that You have, despite my ignorance at times.

You are good and I will never forget that. You are mighty and I will never say otherwise. You are the way, the truth and the light. I will always walk in You my Lord.

Clear my vision, soften my heart, cleanse my thoughts and feed my soul. Let me see You always and in all things. Show me Your plan for this life You have so graciously given. Guide my steps and hold me close to You.

I alone can accomplish nothing, but all things are possible through You. You are my strength and my refuge. Thank You Jesus.

Your face

When I left go of the worldly distractions, I can almost see Your face. I know You are always close by, I just need to slow down long enough to see and feel You.

When I open my heart in praise and worship I can feel Your face right before mine and it brings such joy. I want to stay there.

Family, work, daily living demands that I focus on them but I remember to stop and feel Your beautiful gaze upon me.

You are loving, You are ever near, I need not wonder where You are. If I can’t feel You, then it’s time to wonder where I am. Am I wrapped up in self and sin? Am I distracted by stressors out of my control? Am I battling the lies of inadequacy and defeat that are whispered in my ear? Only I can get in the way of You.

Tear down the walls I build all around me. Break my heart open and let me feel. This world around us is broken and there is pain all around. Let me be Your light in the midst of the dark. Let me bring peace to those You bring into my life, even if only for a brief moment. Let others see Your face when they see me.

Thank You for your kind heart, Your mercy, Your renewal. The words, thank You, can’t even touch the depth of my thanks. Help me to stay focused, to be still, to wait for Your prompting and Your will to be shown. When I fall in line with Your plan I get to experience miracles.

When I am broken, tired and lost, I will turn to You. I will rest in Your mighty arms and stop trying to fight. There are moments when I just need to stop, rest and give You the space to work. Help me to remember this in those moments.
I pray these things in the precious name of Jesus.

Fulfillment

Aren’t we all looking for some kind of fulfillment in this life? Where do you go for it? The TV? Relationships? Food? Alcohol? Our society inundates us with these empty promises. False fulfillment. Temporary satisfaction that leaves us feeling the emptiness deepening. Our very foundations begin to crack when we rely on the things of this world.

Take a moment to stop right where you are and think about where you look to for relief in the midst of the storms.

How do we handle the unknown, the pain, the suffering, the injustices that are all around us? Who do we look to? Where can we find true peace?

Psalm 29

1 A psalm of David. Give honor to the LORD, you angels; give honor to the LORD for his glory and strength. 2 Give honor to the LORD for the glory of his name. Worship the LORD in the splendor of his holiness. 3 The voice of the LORD echoes above the sea. The God of glory thunders. The LORD thunders over the mighty sea. 4 The voice of the LORD is powerful; the voice of the LORD is full of majesty. 5 The voice of the LORD splits the mighty cedars; the LORD shatters the cedars of Lebanon. 6 He makes Lebanon’s mountains skip like a calf and Mount Hermon to leap like a young bull. 7 The voice of the LORD strikes with lightning bolts. 8 The voice of the LORD makes the desert quake; the LORD shakes the desert of Kadesh. 9 The voice of the LORD twists mighty oaks and strips the forests bare. In his Temple everyone shouts, “Glory!” 10 The LORD rules over the floodwaters. The LORD reigns as king forever. 11 The LORD gives his people strength. The LORD blesses them with peace.   

 

The voice of the Lord is mightier than anything this world brings to us. He created this world, why would I think anything could be bigger than Him? How easily we forget who watches over us, who created the very air we breathe. Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, is mightier than the circumstances we face.

Today I choose to pause in my stressors and anxieties and bring them before my God. I choose to smile in the face of adversity, knowing that I have a mighty force before me, behind me and within me. All of this will pass, all will come to an end, but I have an eternity before me that I can look forward to. I will be in the very presence of our great Creator and will bow before Him full of joy.

All of this is temporary, I cannot stress that enough. We all know our time here is short and that we need to make the most of it, but what does that mean exactly? What am I to make the most of? Simple pleasures? Physical fulfillment? Drowning away my sorrows and numbing myself? What does God say? What is the meaning of life?

Romans 12 New Living Translation (NLT)

A Living Sacrifice to God

12 And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.

Because of the privilege and authority God has given me, I give each of you this warning: Don’t think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us. Just as our bodies have many parts and each part has a special function, so it is with Christ’s body. We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other.

In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you. If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well. If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly.

Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. 10 Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other. 11 Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically. 12 Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying. 13 When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality.

14 Bless those who persecute you. Don’t curse them; pray that God will bless them. 15 Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep. 16 Live in harmony with each other. Don’t be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don’t think you know it all!

17 Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable. 18 Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone.

19 Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say,

“I will take revenge; I will pay them back,” says the Lord.

20 Instead, “If your enemies are hungry, feed them. If they are thirsty, give them something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals of shame on their heads.”

21 Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good.

 

Read this, study this and apply it to your lives. Let the Lord work through you and you will truly be amazed at what comes out it. Stop searching and look to the Creator of all things. He will always lead you to a place of true fulfillment.

May God bless you today.

A prayer for my sisters

I just wanted to take a moment to tell you all just how amazing you all are.

I know that I can get wrapped up in feeling inadequate and beat up, a lot.

You are beautiful, you are purposely made, this world is only temporary and we serve a higher calling. It’s hard, it’s messy and it can feel like we’re spinning in place at times. The ideas of giving up, running away or hiding in a dark corner can all seem quite attractive.

You are not alone. God loves you, I love you. I  thankful for each of you and couldn’t imagine walking this walk without you.

Be kind to yourself, be patient, rest in Jesus when you feel like you can’t possibly go on. Sometimes we need to just be still and let the busy world fade. We are powerful in Christ.

Our roles are really hard at times, we coordinate, cook, clean, love, carry, teach, give and give and give. Allow the Holy Spirit to give to you.

We are exactly where we are meant to be. There are no accidents in God’s plan.

I pray you all have a day blessed beyond belief. I pray that we all trust and rest in our Lord in all things. I pray that we bring our stress, doubts and pains before Him and let Him work in those places. I pray that you are all lifted up by these words. I pray for healing, peace and strength for you all. In the precious name of Jesus I pray these things. Amen.

Rejoice

Psalm 31:7

I will be glad and rejoice in your unfailing love, for you have seen my troubles, and you care about the anguish of my soul.

You truly care for me and I will not succumb to the lies that surround me. I will not loose focus on the rejoicing in my heart. I will step back and let You shine through. You are good and in all things true. No matter what may happen here in the temporal place, I have an eternity with You and that is truly unfailing.

When I feel like no one cares, please remind me that You do. Not only do You care but You truly understand all that I go through, even better than I know it myself.

Thank You. These words don’t even begin to express the depths of my gratitude. You amaze me. I pray that I make Your heart smile.

In the precious name of Jesus I pray these things. Amen.