Salt Life

SALT

• Adds Flavor to Life,

• Purifies Set apart,

• Preserves  the souls of man for the Kingdom of God

Good Morning,

Today we get a chance to look at Matthew 5:13-16. The Salt Life image that we see on cars or shirts is imprinted my brain. Verse 13 says how we are the salt of the earth. A couple characteristics of salt that can be seen as a parallel to our Christian life includes the ability to make me thirst.   Last week as I battled a cold and went to the good ole’ gargling of salt water,  it made me thirst.  That even as I poured the salt into liquid it never lost its saltiness.  As we are living in this world do we lose our flavor? As we are watered down by worldly pressures do we keep our saltiness  in every part of our life? Colossians 4:6  says Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone. 

Salt also adds seasoning. It makes a better taste. Does the flavor of being a Christian make others come back for seconds? Seasoning brings out the best flavor of our foods.  Do we bring out our best and point it all back to God?

 

I have learned I can’t always control the circumstances I face, but I am the keeper of my “saltiness.” Will I be bitter, broken down or better and making a difference? Less seasoned or more flavorful? When God comes back, what good am I if I’ve lost my flavoring?

 

Light of the World

If we all understand that the light of the world is God we will be able to see. Matthew 5:14-16 what living for Christ is like. That God’s light should be in full display in our hearts, minds, works and actions. That as we let our light shine others will see the reality of God in us.   God’s light will guide us as we speak to Him and for Him. God’s light will shine when we are trying to avoid a situation.  Let’s not let sin dim our light.  Let’s not put our light to the side when others need to see.

Ephesians 5:8 says For you were once darkness, but now you are the light of the world. Live as children of the light.

Have a blessed day being the salt and the light.

Today’s Readings: Matthew 5:13-16, Psalm 59

But I will sing of your strength, in the morning I will sing of your love; you are my fortress , my refuge in times of trouble.

Family Implications

There are many times children imitate their parents.  I remind myself and other parents that in most cases you will be the number one earthly influence on your child’s life.  Children will only do what they know.  Thankfully, there is a Heavenly Father that is always present to have the biggest influence on this earthly life that will leave eternal implications.

Today’s Readings: 2 Samuel 15 and Psalm 47

As we continue to read through 2 Samuel 15 we read about Absalom, the third son of David with wife Maacah. As we continue through 2 Samuel, family troubles were mounting for David, and Absalom had just murdered Anaan. Now he wanted to use his leadership to take over the kingdom of his father, David.  David’s family was falling apart. The beginning of 2 Samuel 15 you see how Absalom uses his qualities of beauty and people skills to exalt himself, and not listen for God.  2 Samuel 15:1-6 shows Absalom selfishly providing for himself, and persuading others to appointed him judge of the land.  In 2 Samuel 15:10 he sends out secret messengers to tell others to say “Absalom reigneth in Hebron“! These actions by Absalom make me reflect on a couple verses.

John 3:30 (ESV) He must increase, but I must decrease.”

Galatians 1:10 (ESV) For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.

In Matthew 23:11-12 Jesus says, ” The greatest among you will be your servant. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

The difference we have read and know is that when we are putting ourselves and the desire for power before a relationship with God,  sooner than later our plans will fail against His. Self-destruction can happen when we listen to the world and do things according to our accord and not His.  There are many times this has happened to me, there are times when I think I have it figured out on my own and make a decision that revolves around myself and what I believe my goals should be; yet, God reminds me in His ways that I need to be walking with Him. Praying, Asking, Trusting.

Our focus should be on Him and not ourselves.  When I’m wrong, which I know can be often, I need to confess to God and ask for forgiveness.  Absalom was on the fast track to success, but he lacked the most important thing in His life and his leadership. That was a loving, trusting, and submissive relationship with God. If you haven’t had a chance to listen to the last few weeks on Leadership 101 by Mike Baker I highly recommend it. Click: Leadership 101.

As we read through Psalm 47 I’m reminded by the theme God is King of the world.  isn’t that awesome news.  That no matter our circumstances, God is in control.

This week as we head into Good Friday and Easter Sunday truly focus on Jesus.  I’m reminded of the movie Passion of the Christ and even though Jesus was letting His disciples know the end was near for Him, they didn’t believe. Jesus made promises, Jesus kept them.   Just like He told them He would die and come back to life,  He did.  Jesus says He will come back again.  He will.  He’s Alive! If there is someone that doesn’t know about Jesus coming back again would you let them know?

Have a wonderful day, have a wonderful week.  God is King of Kings, Lord of Lords, and His plans include us in closeness with Him.  What glorious days!

“These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In this world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

 

References

Picture: Les Très Riches Heures du duc de Berry, Folio 173v – The Entry into Jerusalem the Musée Condé, Chantilly.

David Jeremiah Study Bible

Tyndale Life Application Study Bible

Revenge

Happy Tuesday Bible Journaling Family,

Today’s Readings includes; 2 Samuel 3 and Psalm 35

Last week, I found myself in a middle of a conversation where false accusations where being said about a colleague and myself.  It hurt. After trying to figure out where the misconceptions occurred or what else I could say or do,( even though we hadn’t done anything wrong) I was at a loss.  In my flesh at times,  there are moments a quick witted comment or a snarky attitude can come out.  My revenge…. Not in this case though. This situation made me reflect on the reading in 2 Samuel 3.

In the middle of 2 Samuel 3:26-29 you read the revenge that Joab took on Abner. This revenge was displayed by Joab murdering him because of the loss of his brother. How serious and sad.  I reflected and thought even though our situations are never this extreme, what does my revenge look like? When wronged in any way what is our response? Do I wait and trust in God to have his justice or take it into my own hands.  What are my actions, words, or thoughts? Do they represent God? Prayerfully I try to think of verses like, Romans 12:19. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written….

When we seek revenge in any fashion, doesn’t it impact your heart? Mind? In a quick witted comment I can leave myself remorseful and questioning my flesh like actions. I model my lack of trust. God, I need you in these moments of weakness. When discussing this scenario with a close friend, he reminded me of the book of Ephesians 4.  Ephesians 4:1-32 reminds of points like; To walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which we have been called, with humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love… to speak the truth in love… A new life where we let no corrupting words come out of our mouth, but only words that build others up.  Revenge is not mine, it is His.

Psalm 35:1 Contend O Lord with those who contend with me; fight against those who fight against me.

Dear God,

Thank you for your scripture. That in all parts of our words, there are Your words that remind us of how we should respond, and Who’s we are. God we pray for wisdom, guidance, and a focus on you and your love in the moments we are week.  It’s not about us, it’s about you.  That in this vapor of a life there are many moments that can leave us focusing on our own pride and not on You. God, I pray that we turn our focus on You! Trust you take all situations and make them yours.  We love you!

Leviticus 19:20 You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against the sons of your own people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself.

 

 

Travel Light

Happy Tuesday Biblejournal family, I’m consistently reminded each day when we open up His word how great it is we are doing this together.  Keep it up! God loves you and He has great plans for you!

As I just wrapped up the book Traveling Light by Max Lucado I open up my email to see what I will be writing about this week, and sure enough its Psalm 23.  The same chapter the book Traveling Light is about.  I then proceed to get my verse of the day fro my bible app that says,  The Lord is my shepherd… Psalm 23.  God is always looking to speak to us when we are looking for and willing to listen.  So while you read through the promises of Psalm 23 let go of the burdens you were never meant to hold on to.

1 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. 2  He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. 3 He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. 4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. 6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell[f] in the house of the Lord forever.

the Lord is my Shepherd.   As I have tried to do things on my own and failed, or think I have it right, I can find rest from thinking things have to be my way.

When the commercial comes on or I’m driving along and I think that I need to have it.  I can have rest from the endless wants. Why? Because I shall not want.

He makes me lie down.   When the days are long and my eyes and thoughts are glazed over by our schedules we have to keep.  I can find rest from weariness.

When I’m struggling with a decision, or thinking about the future. I can find rest from the worry. Why? Because He leads me.

He restores my soul.   When I have failed, let others down, or just falling short in a variety of areas. I can find rest from my hopelessness.

When my decisions are poor or I make misguided choices. I can find rest in my guilt. Why? Because He leads me in the paths of righteousness.

His name’s sake.   When I think its all about me. I’m selfish. I can find rest in my arrogance.

When you know someone who has passed or wonder what lies ahead for you. I can find rest from the valley of death. Why? Because He walks me through it.

He guides me.    When I’m afraid of the unknown, when the world says one thing and God tells us something else. I can find rest from my fears. His presence comforts me.

When I’m feeling alone. I can find rest in my loneliness, because He is with me.

He has prepared a place for me in the presence of my enemies.   I can find rest when all I want to do is run and hide.

When I’m disappointed one day and envious the next. When I doubt where I’m going or where I have been. Why? Because He anoints me, my cup will overflow, and He follows me.

When your wondering about a purpose, feeling lost, or wondering where to go next. Have rest from your homesickness. Why? Because You will dwell in the House of Our Lord forever.

Traveling Light, Max Lucado. The Promise of Psalm 23

So set down the extra luggage.  Those burdens that you still cling to. We will never truly enjoy this amazing journey in God’s presence carrying it all.  I know many years of my life I have done just that.  And before I set my brain and heart down that destructive path right now, I’m reminded of Matthew 11:28 ‘Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest”

Let’s take on today with Our God who is right next to our side.  He provides with everything we need to face any circumstance. All those bags from past years or yesterday He is waiting to take them.

God,  Thank you for your encouraging and loving words.  That as we walk through this day and everyday we keep our eyes on You. standing by our side saying come with me.  Help us to come and let go of the things that stand in our way.  We love you.  Amen

 

Today’s readings: Psalm 23, 1 Samuel 22

 

 

 

 

Arrows and Our Battle Plan

My dad was a hunter, so as a young child he would have his bow and arrows around the house. It was often during deer season you would see a deer hanging from one of our trees in the yard. It would always make for some fun bus conversations. For many of my own personal reasons, I never did pick up this love of hunting.  I can say I still truly love being outdoors exploring and taking in the beautiful creation God has made for us.  One of my only true bow and arrow experiences was in high school PE class when we had archery for a unit. I can still remember being sent to the office for some poor choices in aiming(my disclaimer is no people or animals were hurt in my choice).

Did you know that an arrow can travel up to 225 ft. per second? Or, that it can travel up to 300 yards? So why the arrow stories? Besides being one day away from Valentines (hint hint), today, we read Psalm 11 and it hits my heart with a message of trusting God in the face of arrows of pain. In addition, while reading 1 Samuel 10 you will read how God changed Saul’s heart in verse 10.

In the Lord I take refuge; how can you say to my soul, “ Flee like a bird to your mountain, 2 for behold, the wicked bend the bow; they have fitted their arrow to the string to shoot in the dark at the upright in heart; 3 if the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?”

What are the arrows that have been coming at you? Are they still there leaving you in pain? Has any hit today? These are arrows of; pain, abuse, gossip, cheating, addiction, lust, past sin, pornography, loss, selfishness, divorce, insecurity. The list can go on and on.  I’m sorry.  The arrows have come, they hit, and they will continue. They can also leaves scars that can be a daily reminder. God told us trials would come and test our endurance. He sees and knows about them all. Yet, the closer we grow to Him we realize the love God has for us and the internal battle is short compared to the eternal life we will have with Him.

2 Corinthians 4:16-18 says 16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

Still, Praise goes to God that no matter where these arrows come from, how fast they come, or how many come… in our Lord we can take refuge!  We can put on His armor daily and withstand any onslaught.  Ephesians 6:11-18 remember, 10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes…

4 The Lord is in his holy temple; the Lord’s throne is in heaven;
his eyes see, his eyelids test the children of man. 5 The Lord tests the righteous, but his soul hates the wicked and the one who loves violence. 6 Let him rain coals on the wicked; fire and sulfur and a scorching wind shall be the portion of their cup. 7 For the Lord is righteous; he loves righteous deeds; the upright shall behold his face.

Dear God, What a promise! What a love!  Its hard, it hurts, especially when all or any of these arrows have hit and have stuck. Yet, you Lord are faithful, You heal, and provide us with comfort and hope as we face these trials.  We are never alone! We love you and praise you.  Amen

 

The Power of Prayer

Today’s Reading:  Jonah 2; Proverbs 28

Image result for power or prayer

Jonah 1:17: And the Lord appointed a great fish to swallow up Jonah.  And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights. 

Wow!  Have you ever wondered why something has happened to you?  How are you ever going to get out of a predicament?  Being swallowed by a great fish, is some kind of predicament!  Jonah realized he needed to rely back on the Lord.  He was in trouble, even under sin and in God’s displeasure, he still prayed.   Jonah 2:1-2 Then Jonah prayed to the Lord his God from the belly of the fish, saying “I called out to the Lord, out of my distress, and he answered me; out of the belly of Sheol I cried and you heard my voice.”

There are many times within a day, lets be real I’m a mom of a 7 year old and 3 year old boys, a junior high teacher and living in this crazy society.  There are definitely many times within a day I need to pause and PRAY!  I am not perfect, I am trying to live out a life the best I can to be like Jesus, but it is far from perfect.  Take a moment to pause…PRAY and even bring out pain, suffering, or struggles by our sins.  God knows our sins and imperfections.  The Lord will welcome us to the throne of grace, just like He did with Jonah.  It is not easy, we live in the picture-perfect world through social media.  No one wants to admit their imperfections.  It is so easy to get caught up in a world that does not live like Jesus did.  Whether it is your workplace, family, or friends; how are you going to show others the love and grace that Jesus has shown us?  Stop and pray for the mom at the store whose screaming child is throwing a huge fit or a friend who is struggling with a relationship.  No matter the struggle big or small, God is here for us we just need to take the time to pray.  What better way to show Jesus’ love then the power of prayer.  Don’t just say “I’ll pray for you” actually pause and do it!  At the end of the day, Jesus is the judge of us all.

Jonah shows us that no matter where you are, even at the bottom of the ocean in the stomach of a fish, we can too pray because God is always with us.  He walks with us and alongside us in the crazy place we call life.  Pause, take a moment to PRAY, and most of all thank God for all He does for us.  He is a miracle worker and we are so undeserved of everything He has done for us.  Praise be to God!  Jonah 2:10:  And the Lord spoke to the fish, and it vomited Jonah out upon the dry land.  Miracle worker?  I believe so!  Pray and trust in God!

Jennifer LaFrance

Committed Heart

This last Saturday I was blessed to attend an event called Equip with many other brothers and sisters in Christ. This event hosted and lead by Eastview Christian Church staff and members provided a chance for those involved in small groups to join in fellowship. It also provide meaningful spiritual wisdom to prayerfully lead well giving insights that allowed us to walk away more equipped to focus on God.  These insights encourage and support our small groups on their spiritual journeys and remind us of the influence we have day in and day out on others as part of the body of Christ. What an amazing day and I truly appreciate the wisdom, time, and love shared to grow the body of Christ.

One reminder I walked away with is that God is always in earshot of us.  That when we “lean in” and listen to what God has to say.  It will influence our lives.  This influence will then be the nudge we need to influence others. A reminder of this influence can be found in 1 Peter 2:9 that we are chosen by God, that we may proclaim the excellence of Him who called us out of darkness and into His marvelous light.

Today’s Reading is Joshua 14 and Proverbs 14. Digging into these chapters I selected a few verses that captured my heart and literally spoke about the heart. In Joshua 14 Caleb, son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite , shares how Moses had promised him land. Now, we have already seen through Joshua the division of land, but what I reflected on mainly is what Caleb says in verses 8-9.  Caleb says… but my fellow Israelites who went up with me made the hearts of the people melt with fear. I, however, followed the Lord my God whole-heartedly. So on the day Moses swore, ‘The land on which your feet have walked will be your inheritance and that of your children forever, because you have followed the Lord my God wholeheartedly.

Breaking down wholeheartedly requires our school dictionary Merriam-Webster that defines wholeheartedly as; completely and sincerely devoted, marked by complete earnest commitment: free from all reserve or hesitation.

My heart check question to reflect on today was, “Where am I at with a wholehearted following of our Lord?” Can I be completely and sincerely devoted? Marked by complete earnest commitment? A realistic answer is that I fall short many times and influenced by my flesh instincts.  I will follow this realization with specific prayers for our continued growth, resilience, and obedience to Him and His living word. That we continue to journey each day with praise and submission to Him.   In verses 10-11 Caleb says that even from the age of 40, (which is an age I can reflect back to :), until his age of 85, Caleb was still as strong in the Lord, and vigorous to go out to battle.  He wholeheartedly continued to love and serve the Lord.

God, we ask that at whatever beautiful age we are at, give us the wisdom and endurance to exhibit an obedient spirit to consistently grow our faith in You that does not lose strength.

Proverbs 14 has many powerful verses,  this includes verse 30 that made a connection to our heart topic for the day. It says, A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones.

Our heart makes a difference, not only on a physical and medical level, but mainly through our closeness with God.  This closeness is available to you today. He is waiting for us.  Just call out, listen, and trust. This peace provided by our Lord leads to a an earthly time of happiness, and an eternal time of love and fellowship.

Reach out to God today wholeheartedly.  Let Him provide you with the peace we all need!

Grace Through Faith

Happy New Year Everyone,

How is day two of those New Year Resolution’s going? How are we pursuing a closeness to God for 2018? As we reflect on 2017 I think about what an amazing walk we have journeyed together through in bible journal and our lives as we walked through the New Testament and Psalms.  This year as we start in the Old Testament and Proverbs I’m grateful for the message of faith by Rahab in Joshua and the wisdom of the Proverbs in providing instructions and a handbook for living God focused days.

Take notes as you read through today’s reading of Joshua 2 and Proverbs 2

 11 And as soon as we heard it, our hearts melted, and there was no spirit left in any man because of you, for the Lord your God, he is God in the heavens above and on the earth beneath. Joshua 2:11

Rahab was a known prostitute, and God’s perfect plan put the two spies right in her house.  When the king comes in search of the men Rahab tells them they are not there. In these moments Rahab put her life, and the life of her family in the hands of God.  But more importantly, her faith changed. It was her first step from living a life where she made her own worldly choices to a life where you submit to Him and trust your life in His hands. I believe God reaches out for us all through various people and circumstances.

Hebrews 7:25 says Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them.

He has perfect plans to reach us all. In addition, the story of Rahab is an example that at the foot of the cross How is God reaching out to you now? How will God use you to share His story this year? How will you seek Him this year? Where will you look?

My son, if you receive my words and treasure up my commandments with you,
2 making your ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding; 3 yes, if you call out for insight and raise your voice for understanding, 4 if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures,5 then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God. Proverbs 2:1-5

A special thanks to Renee Voltz for sharing this song by Randy Travis and Josh Turner with me that reminded her of the story of Rahab.  Hearing this song was a reminder to me of how God’s people and word can change the trajectory of anyone’s life.  That our words and actions that represent Him can have a ripple effect on so many.  What conversations will you have this year?

Dear Lord,

Thank you for giving us your living word that is always available to us.  For sharing stories of Rahab which show your grace and love for us. That our past is our past, and through our belief in you, our slate is wiped clean.  Thank you for sending your son to lay down His life for us. We are saved by your grace and not what we have, can, or will do.  God we love you and pray that we store up your wisdom and submit ourselves to you in all our days you give to us.  Amen

Proverbs 2:10 for wisdom will come into your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul;

 

Not Alone

“You will fall away,” Jesus told them, “for it is written: I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered.” But after I have risen, I will go ahead of you into Galilee.” – Peter declared, “Even if all fall away, I will not.” – Mark 14:27-30

Today’s Reading: Mark 14, Psalm 138

The struggle is real! How many times do we declare our faith and fall short? Jesus knows our earthly struggles. Peter was told by Jesus that in the very same day he would disown Jesus three times. God has seen humans fall short since the Garden of Eden. As I read through Mark 14 even in the presence of the Lord, the disciples fell short in submitting to God’s will.  There are times when we do as well. But in these stories of the disciples falling short, Jesus leaves hints of how to stay connected to Him. His word is packed with promises for today and tomorrow.

The visual I see of sheep scattering is a perfect image of what I can be like sometimes when trials come my way.  A quick reflex, eyes wide open,  with arms flailing  in an opposite direction, possibly stumbling, trying to get up so I can get away.

Jesus lets us know He goes before us.  That even Peter, who believed he would never deny Him, did so in the same night.  That we can’t rely on ourselves to get through hard circumstances. We have to call on Him and trust.

Jesus provides us some reminders as we read Mark.

Prayer – Mark 14:35 Going a little farther, he fell to the ground and prayed that if possible the hour might pass from him. 36 “Abba, Father,” he said, “everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.”     All things are possible through prayer.  All things can be included in your prayer life.  Most days I will pray to be more prayerful? It’s when I think I have I have it under control the Lord has His way of saying, Why are you not asking me?

Mark 14:38 Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

Psalm 145: 18:19 The Lord is near to all who call upon Him, To all who call upon Him in truth. He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him; He also will hear their cry and save them.

  • Stay Awake – It’s easy to get caught up in schedule that has you looking into the end of the week as we worry about the things to be wrapped, this gift to find, the party you have to attend, or these things at work that need to be done.  It can be the problem that still hasn’t been solved that is now growing and leaving you half-minded. Be aware of God’s presence right now in your life, waiting for you to call Him.

Mark 14:41 Returning the third time, he said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Enough! The hour has come. Look, the Son of Man is delivered into the hands of sinners. 42 Rise! Let us go! Here comes my betrayer!”

1 Thessalonians 5:6 So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be awake and sober.

Hebrews 12:1-2 Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

  • Don’t do it alone –  Having and realizing God is with us all the time is amazing. It  God always being with us, do life with others.  I think of our small group and how many circumstances in our lives we have walked through together. I think of the many brothers and sisters in Christ I have been able to talk with and hear timely words of wisdom from when there was no way at all I was going to figure out that problem. Sharing your struggles with others can provide you with the additional blessings and strength you may need.  Same with you and others, we supply that same blessing and prayer.  Together we provide strength and growth towards Christlikeness.  Thank you to all of you that have made such a difference in my walk with the Lord.  Please always know I’m here for you too.

Romans 15:5 May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, 6 that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. 7 Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.

Hebrews 10:24-25 24 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.

 

God wants us to stay close to Him, instead of falling asleep or denying Him, draw closer. We celebrate and praise the birth of a Savior who came for us, and who loves us.  Merry Christmas and Happy New Year Bible Journal Family and Friends. David, Jennifer, Jackson, Marshall, and…7/11/18:)

Psalm 138:7-8 Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve my life;
you stretch out your hand against the wrath of my enemies, and your right hand delivers me. The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of your hands.

 

 

How He Loves Us

Good Morning Everyone,  Welcome to the first full week of December.  I pray the week has started off well and yesterday you found opportunities Jillian challenged us with to stay attuned and cast your net when opportunities arose.

Today’s Reading: Psalm 124, Intro to Mark

What a perfectly timed way to wrap up the 2017 year. As we prepare for our reading through the gospel of Mark I think it’s a great way to finish up the year. We will read through the many miracles witnessed and recorded.  A young John Mark wasn’t a disciple, but he accompanied Paul on his first mission and had a front row seat to many of miracles Jesus performed.

According to the Tyndale Life Application Bible the four major themes in Mark is the knowing that our Lord Jesus was Real, Focus on Servanthood, Sharing His many Miracles, and our Command to Spreading the Gospel.  I can’t think of a better time of the year to dig back into these themes and not only reflect on them, but live them out.

Our first focus is on Jesus. We know and are thankful for Jesus being born for us.  In a few weeks we will celebrate this birth. We will read in Mark how our true God doesn’t only live in heaven, He came in the person of Jesus.  That will be the true meaning of Christmas that we celebrate.  Jesus is the son of God, Eternal King, King of Glory, Lord of Lords, who rules over all who commit into His care. Luke 1:32-33 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”

Jesus came to serve.  Jesus came and told others about His Father and doing whatever He could to serve others.  He provided for people then, He provides for us now.  The ultimately act of service was shown by giving His life for the sacrifice for our sins. The example of Jesus provides His living word as the example we need to live out ours.  Serve God and serve others. Serving others is not focused on power, money, or positon. It shouldn’t be based on our motives, but based on our of love for our Eternal Father.

Mark will share many miracles as we read, share, and apply these miracles to our lives. We were reminded yesterday how we should step back and think of the miracles God has provided in our lives.  We remember that without these obstacles, we may never see the miracles.  The miracles we read, see, and are part of help us to realize, understand, believe, and have faith that our Jesus is God and He changes lives.  He has changed ours. That in these dark moments He is our light and peace.  Mighty Miracles have happened, they will continue to happen when you trust in the Lord.

Share the Good News of Jesus. His word crosses any barrier and is the hope for us all.  As we enter into Christmas, a perfect window opens to share an amazing story of Joy, Hope, Peace, Miracles, and Love.  That as we serve others and put them in front of ourselves, our only answer is Jesus.  We have this love stronger and greater for a Father that was born for us.  He reigned and set the perfect example of how we should be.  That Jesus was put on this Earth to live and show a perfect love.  That ultimately on His own accord died.  So we could have a eternal life with Him.

Love so amazing.  Have a great Tuesday.  I’m sure you have seen miracles unfold already this week.  Recognize and Praise Him! Each day we get closer to Christmas share this great news of our Lord Jesus.  Let others know about a relationship that will change their life and how it has changed yours. Serve others out of love. Make others wonder why or how is it that Christians can have so much love doing things for others? Jesus showed us a perfect example of how we should treat everyone. Continue to make Jesus your focus and not get caught up in holiday season challenge of trying to do everything.

Keep a focus on what Christmas is all about and Who we celebrate. Remember Proverbs 16:9. In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.

He will provide everything you need this season. Trust God to supply all needs!

Lastly, show Love in all we do. Let’s not have our circumstances or other people influence the love we can show out of our hearts.  If you need a little extra boost write 1 Corinthians 13:1-3 on a notecard and keep it on you for those urgent reminders of this love we should show all.

1 If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 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 do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,[b] but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Have a great day! I love you!

David Crowder – How He Loves Me