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

Picking up Stones

Today’s Reading: John 8 and Psalm 110

Imagine sitting somewhere in these temple courts in this image of Mount of Olives above. A group is gathered to listen to Jesus share story, probably a lesson on how we should be living. Not to far into this lesson, voices and sounds of mockery, crying, and unwanted insults are being hurled at a person as they are brought closer and closer eventually, right in front of the group.  There are scribes and Pharisees who have brought a woman caught in an adulterous act and taken, in that moment, to go face to face with Jesus. While we sit there, the questions being pondered in our heads include, “Who is this?, What have they done? How long have they been doing this? or Who have they impacted by their actions?” We watch this public judgment brought by the teachers of the law and Pharisees. I imagine her outfit, the sweat, tears, dirt, and blood that is present from being dragged, manhandled, and throw down on the ground at the feet of Jesus. On the inside I can feel her pain, for her it is probably embarrassment, guilt, a helpless feeling that death could be on the way. Her face is looking down with shame that won’t allow anyone to read it on her eyes.  The last sounds we hear is sobbing as she gasps for air waiting for her fate to be decided. Others keep asking what should we do with her?  Can you picture it?

Now, think in our current lives, have you been in a similar spot? Maybe not the same situation but the same level of pain, same level of embarrassment, same level of struggle. Are you here today? Have you been here ever? Do you know anyone who is going through a hard situation?

Jesus said in  John 8:7“Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.”

I think about being there, seeing, hearing, and witnessing Jesus’s grace. Watching as one by one, those present start to leave. Verse 9 says that when they heard this, one by one they started to leave.  Older ones first until Jesus and the women were left alone.  The mention of the older ones makes me reflect on why they put and order on this event. For me,  I’m left with the thought, “I get it, who hasn’t messed up?” Our earthly lives can bring about desires that can leave you at times helpless until you lift up your head, open your heart, repent, allowing God’s grace to fill your heart.

Who am I to judge if I were to look at my own life?  

Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn, you; go, and from now on sin no more”

My study bible emphasizes the word order of this statement pointing out the significance of, “go now and sin no more”. That, in Christ, the pardon is given first, Jesus is quick to forgive, but we as individuals are accountable to stop sinning. (Jeremiah Study Bible)

I also looked back at some of my notes on a sermon that was preached on these verse once at Eastview Cristian Church where pastor Baker said,  All of us are guilty. Why do we condemn?

So I ask myself, Am I quick to pick up stones?     We have all been given God’s grace. It’s not too late.  Share this with someone today.  As you head into Thanksgiving show God’s love with grace.  Let’s not condemn or pass judgement.

Ephesians 4:32 Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, As God in Christ forgave you.

Dear God,

Thank you for your grace you have given to all of us even though we don’t deserve it.  You love us and shown us by sending your son to die for all of us. This story of your love, compassion, and grace fills our hearts and is an example of the love you have for us all.

John 8:12 “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

Go share that light of life with others! Happy Thanksgiving.

For more on this chapter read Throwing Stones by Jon Harris     

This Is Amazing Grace   – Phil Wickham

 

 

Do as I say, not as I do

Good Morning Bible Journal Family!

Keep reading daily and living out God’s word.   Developing yourself and others requires time in His word.  Ephesians 4:11-12 says So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up.

Today’s Reading Matthew 23 and Psalm 96

Matthew 23:4-5 So you must be careful to do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach. They tie up heavy, cumbersome loads and put them on other people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them.

I  heard growing up the phrase, “Do as I say, not as I do” many times at different occasions.  So in most cases what did I do? I didn’t listen and did it anyway, often learning the hard way. So in fast forwarding time, now there are times when I have say to my own children, students, family, friends, and others,  “Do as I say, not as I did.”  Mostly because I learned the hard way and trying to spare some pain.

Some of us learn by listening, while others learn by doing and failing or succeeding. God has provided us His perfect living word and provided us a perfect model of these words in His son, Jesus.  There are other places in the bible where we find those who didn’t follow, or made up their own version of the law. As we continue to read through Matthew we get to Matthew 23 where Jesus warns us about the hypocrisy in the Pharisees.  It’s hard to believe that those who were so familiar with the word and could probably reference and quote whole books of the bible would lose sight of God. Not even  realizing they were in the presence of His son Jesus. To the point of trying to disprove Him or get Him to say something wrong(which He never did). The Pharisees had such wonderful knowledge of the law but lacked the true relationship needed. There are so many times where I wish I could just remember that “just right” verse for that moment to share with someone.   But I realize that wasn’t the only thing that was holding back these teachers of the law. Often they could put made laws above Gods.  They told the rules to everyone but when it came down to them it wasn’t happening. Rules that were followed were to make them look better and not about the focus being on God.

When I think about the Pharisees I wonder why they couldn’t take off blinders and realize they were in the presence of our Lord. Honestly, I wonder why at times my blinders can be on too.  Do I practice what I preach? Is there times I don’t even say anything? In my humble reflection, I think about sharing of God’s living word. Am I focusing and Him or myself.  God has already promised you a place in heaven with Him and it won’t be based on what we do or don’t do. Am I  acting out of convenience for myself or my present circumstance. am I dropping the ball just like a Pharisee.  Do I put things on others and not willing to help out of selfishness? As we read through these living stories I’m given a daily reminder of making sure it’s not about me, it’s about God.  It’s not about me, it’s about others.  It our earthly lives it can be easy to get caught up in the

In our earthly life we have to be careful to what people ask us to do.  Is it what they want? Is it what we want? Ultimately,  is it what God wants? As I reflect on these words I try to remind myself of the true meaning of why we do things.  Is it for myself or for others. If we go back to the acronym JOY (Jesus, Others, Yourself) are we talking in our homes and workplaces about Jesus=1st, Others = 2nd, Yourself= 3rd  Oh how I can mess up this order sometimes.  Are we acting these characteristics of Jesus out in lives? You may be the only Christian that person runs into today.  One additional reminder question to reflect on says Matthew 23:28 “In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside…

Psalm 96:3 Declare His glory among the nations, His marvelous deeds among all peoples.

 

Dear God,

Thank you for your truth.  Thank you for washing us clean. Your word continues to shape and form our lives. Our prayer is to not make anything about us, but about You and your word.  That as we go about our days with the true meaning of what we do, how we do it, and who we do it for, leading us all back to you and your love.  Keep our communion in you close so we know who we live our life for.  I pray our words match our actions and always represent you, in which we give you all the glory.

Amen

The only example we should follow is His.  John 13:15 I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.

Get Up and Walk

We all have things going on in our lives.  Some we share, some we don’t.  Maybe we are afraid of what others will say or think of you or the situation?  Maybe you just don’t want others to know? When we allow moments like this to linger it hurts. As I read through Matthew 9 I’m reminded Jesus heals.  To be honest, we all need healing. As I write this post, I think of my family dealing with addictions, physical pain, diagnoses , and even conversations of divorce. With some friends we have talked about recent losses, a future loss that is down to hours, addictions, abuse, anxiety and fears. I have also talked with others who have recently shared numerous things that are going on in their lives.  From loss of life, drug addictions, alcohol abuse, physical and verbal abuse, conversations of divorce, cancer, sickness, and everything in between.  It hurts to live out these situations, it hurts to hear them.  I take a deep breath, look up, and ask for Jesus to have his perfect love to be part of it all.  When I hear these stories my heart hurts and then I remember Jesus heals. Matthew 8 and Matthew 9 reminds us of the many ways in which Jesus healed so many people. The same Jesus that healed so many then is for us now. I think of a great friend who had his mother be diagnosed with a condition where she couldn’t walk. Through prayers, and Jesus’s grace and love she is now walking up to get communion. Jesus heals, and even though it may not always be by our timing.  He is faithful. . No matter where you at, Jesus can heal, taking away the pain that seems to linger, that leaves you most days half minded, or the pain that causes you to make choice to self medicate in a fashion that puts pain, fear, and worries to the side only to have them right back in front of you and probably worse next time.

No matter what you have going on, God has compassion.  God loves you!  There is nothing you have done, doing, or will do that will take His love away. In Matthew 9:2 Jesus heals a man who is paralyzed. So if you are spiritually blind, mute, paralyzed, sick, or even dead.  Jesus can heal.  He has already proven it.

So, in Matthew 9:28 Jesus asks, “Do you believe that I am able to do this? ” Do you? I do! He has proven it time and time again.  He can prove it with you.  He can prove it anyone! No matter what is going on with you, your spouse, a friend, a daughter, son, mother, father, whoever it may be, Jesus heals. You have to believe.

In the moments when things are hard and can take over your body, heart, mind, and souls.  Jesus says, “Get up and walk!”,  “Follow Me!” Matthew 9:5

“Take heart daughter or son, your faith has healed you.” Matthew 9:22

I Believe You Are My Healer – Hillsong

Today’s Reading Matthew 9 & Psalm 82

 

 

 

Cornerstone of Christ

Our Cornerstone

Today’s Reading: Luke 20 Psalm 68

God’s living word is filled with truths of How we should live our lives…, When we should call on Him…, Where you can find hope…, Why a relationship with God is necessary…,and Who we should live for.  The answer to all these questions point directly to Christ Alone and the timing is now and always! So as we reflected on how to live this earthly life,we land on a verse that reminds us of our essential Cornerstone.

Luke 20:17 Jesus looked directly at them and asked, ” Then what is the meaning of that which is written: “The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone?”

This verse is a reminder that all our lives are built on this cornerstone? That in our broken lives God is in perfect control. The cornerstone breaks us down to make it not about me or you, but about Him.  This brokenness is necessary to draw us to the realization that we need God. That building our life on the Cornerstone of Christ gives Him full authority.  Do I remember that all the time? This cornerstone mentioned throughout the bible in various places represents our crucial stone, the cornerstone that holds up our whole structure. (Psalm 118:22, Matthew 16:18, Acts 4:11, Eph. 2:19-21) I love this use of cornerstone in these verses.

Here in verse 18 we are reminded that;

Luke 20:18 “Everyone who falls on that stone will be broken to pieces; anyone on whom it falls will be crushed.”

We are all broken. We have been broken to pieces. But God has provided us with this cornerstone that in our broken state we can submit to Him.  When we admit to our brokenness, repent, and give our lives to God, He makes us new.  We make it not about self-centeredness but giving it all to Him. The foundation is already at our feet.  Those who deny this cornerstone and don’t submit to God are described as “crushed”.

Dear Lord,

You are our cornerstone we put all our trust in.  We know we are broken and that in our weakness you are strong.  God we pray that in this earthly world we focus less on us and more on you.  We love you and give praise to you.  The victory is yours. Amen

 

In Psalm 68:4 David tells us to sing praise in His name, extol Him, rejoice before Him – His name is the Lord! Our Cornerstone!

Cornerstone – Hillsong

Resources:

The Jeremiah Study Bible

Tysdale Study Bible

Questions Jesus Asked

Then Jesus said to them, “I ask you which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or to do evil, to serve life or destroy it?”

In schools, work, or home we can talk about the importance of questions. The importance of communication. Questions can drive learning.  We understand that in our questions we can connect with a person and get to know that persons thoughts, feelings, and experiences based on an answer.  Paul and Elder (2000) state that ‘Thinking is not driven by answers but by questions. Had no questions been asked by those who laid the foundation for a field…the field would never have developed in the first place’. In order to keep a field of thought (or a concept/topic) alive teachers have to constantly ask questions of it, rather than simply allowing that field to close down. Teachers are then able to challenge existing or established answers through questioning to challenge students’ (people’s) thinking. Jesus asks great questions! He made people question their prior beliefs. Even better, Jesus modeled and shares even better answers!

I was once given a document back on 2015 from Dr. J.K. Jones (I believe) that shared 176 questions Jesus asked. I often look at this list and think of the stories behind each question. The lives transformed from a question asked. I’ve attached it to the bottom to reflect on.  Jesus our greatest teacher asks many questions that connect with us all the time. Luke chapter 6 has a few questions and a few answers that can help guide us not only today but for our earthly lifetime until we are called back home with Him.  So if we were to do a short Q & A from this today’s reading here’s how it may go.

Q: Should we do good or evil? Serve life or destroy it?

A: Jesus heals a persons hand on the Sabbath, He changed the minds of others who focused only on the law. (verse 3-5 & 9-10)

Q: Who does Jesus call to be disciples?

A: Jesus calls everyone. From all walks of life. All Twelve apostles had a story.  They each had different backgrounds and when Jesus called them,  they listened.  Ordinary people with an extra-ordinary calling. (verse 12-16, Isaiah 45:22)

Q:  Who should we love as we align ourselves with Jesus?

A: Jesus tells us to love everyone. Our neighbor, our enemies. (verse 27-28, 35 Matthew 5:43, Romans 12:10)

Q: Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brothers eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?

A: Jesus says do not judge, do not condemn, and forgive. (verse 37, Matthew 7:1-5)

 

The best part about our reading today and talking about the importance of questions is the knowledge that in every answer, we can say Jesus!

Dear Lord, We thank you and praise you for your love and grace. We ask for continued love and guidance always and that in the questions that are asked of us daily, we can answer Jesus.  You fill us with joy and love and you ask us to show and share this love with others. Jesus help us to understand the answer to our questions is you. We love you! Amen

 

Questions Jesus Asked (with commentary)

My Dear Children…

I don’t get too many handwritten letters anymore but, when I do I think about the time, effort, love, and focus that was put into crafting a letter to speak to someone. When I first read 1 John 2 I sit back and imagine reading such a letter as John starts out, “My dear children…”

Today’s Reading 1 John 2 and Psalm 40

John was an older (experienced) and wise man when this letter was written.  Reflecting on the remarkable life of John I think of the opportunity he had to follow Jesus from his youth. He was our last living apostle and he wrote some beautiful letters to reassure our faith and to remind us to trust God’s word and watch out for false teachings.  This whole letter is full of so may amazing truths about our Father but I selected a few takeaways for today.  1) Know who is on our side 2) Remember how to live out our daily lives 3) Remember the importance of our spiritual growth.

  1. Know who is on our side.

My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father – Jesus Christ, the Righteous One.  He is atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only ours but also for the sins of the whole world.    1 John 2:1-2

We can be reassured that though we are broken and sinners, we can find hope that our advocate Jesus has already paid the ultimate price and will stand with us at time of judgment. Hebrews 7:25 says “Therefore He is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because He always lives to intercede for them.”

2.  Live out the life God calls us to.

We are then reminded to know and keep His commands.  1 John 2:3 “We know that we have come to know Him if we keep His commands.”  and 1 John 2:6 “Whoever claims to live in Him must live as Jesus did.” What joy we encounter when our day is filled with serving Him and submitting to His will.  I pray to have more of these days living in a servant, kind, forgiving, selfless, gracious, and loving way like Jesus did. Anyone who loves their brother and sister lives in the light, and there is nothing in them to make them stumble.  1 John 2:10

3. Importance of Spiritual Growth

I am writing to you, dear children, because your sins have been forgiven on the account of His name.

I am writing to you, fathers (mothers), because you know Him who is from the beginning.

I am writing to you, young men (women), because you have overcome the evil one.

I write to you, dear children, because you know the Father. I write to you, Fathers (mothers), because you know Him who is from the beginning. I write to you, young men (women), because you are strong, and the word of God lives in you, and you have overcome the evil one. 1 John 2:12-14

To all believers of all ages.  continue to walk and search for Him each day.  Stay in His word and take each step with it guarding you in your heart and mind.   Men, women, young and old all have different spiritual walks.  Don’t let this journey get static. Grow, develop, and share His wisdom to not only build you up but to share this glory with others.  Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. 2 Timothy 2:22  or Ephesians 6:10-18.  

 

17 The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever. 

“I desire to do your will, My God; your law is within my heart.” Psalm 40:8

 

Remain in Him and He has promised us eternal life.

 

Elevation Worship – Your Promises

References: Tyndale & David Jeremiah Study Bibles

Among Us

Today’s Reading; James 4 and Psalm 26

What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? (James 4:1)

Among you” is translated by some scholars as “in you“. When I reflect on the many battles in my life this would be a consistent one. I understand that some of the many struggles we can face are not always visually seen by others. These struggles are faced “in you” and can internally impact your mind and heart.  These struggles can take away the joy you can fill into others. Our earthly desires, worries, and fears are tucked back in our mind and the wrestling match of external, desires are grappling with our internal thoughts and heart. Leaving us questioning within our heads and walking through this earthly life half-minded.

James pastoral counsel can lead us back to place of love, grace, and peace.  Personally, as I start back to the school year with much excitement. In my mind, my earthly demands, desires, and fixed mindset moments can make room for questioning thoughts and actions. My thoughts can be like a thief that robs me of being truly “in the moment” by wondering what is to come. It can be hard to be at peace with anyone else when you are not at peace with yourself. That’s what makes being in the word so valuable.   I’m reminded, we need to turn to our Father who provides all the peace we need. That God is with us all the time and I need to stop trying to do things my way.  Jesus said,

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid” (John 14:27).

As we continue to read through James we are reminded to simply ask. Call on Him at any and all times. In addition, when we pray we are to pray with the right motives.  James 4:3 We pray with faith and according to God’s will not ours.  This will detangle the internal mess that can leave you walking through our day with this internal struggle.  Here are a couple complimenting verses that God’s living word provides for us to pray through.

This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us” (1John 5:14).

But when we ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind” (James 1:6).

It’s easy to get caught up in everything going on day by day, minute by minute. My prayer is that we not let our external worldly desires distract our internal mind and heart knowing that God has an eternal place waiting for us.  Be encouraged and don’t rob yourself of who we belong to. Steal back the moments God desires us to enjoy. James reminds us that the time is now to let go of these worries and fears.

“Why you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes”    (James 4:14).

Today as I read one of daily devotionals Jesus Calling had this perfect reminder.

Trust Me in the midst of a messy day. Your inner calm- your Peace in My Presence- need not be shaken by what is going on around you. Though you live in this temporal world, your innermost being is rooted and grounded in eternity. When you start feeling stressed, detach yourself from the disturbances around you. Instead of desperately striving to maintain order and control in your little world, relax and remember that circumstances cannot touch My Peace.

Seek God’s Face, and He will share His mind with you, open your eyes to see things from His perspective. The peace I give is sufficient for you.  

Dear God,

Thank you for all our writers and readers. We celebrate and praise your living word and understand how your words breathe through us. Please continue to encourage us to look to you at all times and not fall into the half-minded living of the world. You call us son and daughter, salt and light.  Help us to trust your word always and share this good news with everyone. God we ask you to help us break the chains of  inner struggles and help us to know we can walk in victory with you always. Amen

Resources

Jesus Calling August 26th ~ Sarah Young

David Jeremiah Study Bible

The Village Church App August 2017 ~ Marked by Matt Chandler

Logos Bible ~ James 4

 

 

Protection and Rest

Today’s Readings Hebrews 4 and Psalm 12

I write this summary not feeling happy like I usually do. I hope that its ok… I’d rather be real and give you the truth. I do write this feeling comforted, and a little more at peace than usual. I started reflecting on Psalm 12 first. I was feeling the first few verses so much over the past few weeks, maybe even months.

Psalm 12: 1-2, “Help Lord, for no one is faithful anymore; those who are loyal have vanished from the human race. Everyone lies to their neighbor; they flatter with their lips but harbor deception in their hearts”

I’ve felt lied to and misguided, treated dishonestly, and taken advantage of. I don’t say any of this for sympathy, actually, I just wish I had read this so much sooner. If I would have, I would have read that I will be taken care of eventually. I have the ability to ask our father for help. I wasn’t doing that. I was letting all of this bother me. I wish I had read verses 5 and 6!

“Because the poor are plundered and the needy groan, I will now arise”, says the Lord. “I will protect them from those who malign them” And, the words of the Lord are flawless, like silver purified in a crucible, like gold refined seven times.

I feel silly when I put God in a box, and forget that he is really the one who can make things better for me. I shouldn’t be surprised at the dishonesty and poor treatment from humans. I should know that we are all a bunch of dishonest, mean people. Myself included! I’m just bummed out because it is happening to me. That doesn’t make it feel any better, but it at least gives me some perspective.
And, that’s when it hit me. These 2 readings are intertwined! I wasn’t letting God be my rest either! Hebrews is about the Sabbath rules and laws. Psalms is completely about rest. God wants us to rest! he doesn’t want us to be lazy, but I really took this as saying, “Trust in me! stop fretting, read about how I want you to rest!” It just put me at peace. I know, it may not even come now, tomorrow, or next week. But, God’s got my back in this! I don’t need to worry about all the negative talk, the unfair treatment. Any of it!

“Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts.”

For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken later about another day. There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; For anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works, just as Good did from His.
So, I guess, my whole point is, no matter who, or what is getting you down. Take a Sabbath, Let our God protect you. Let God give you rest! Amen

Today’s post is written by my friend and brother in Christ Kris Walker. Continued prayers for us all to Trust God, stay in His word, and pray! God holds it all in His hand.

Legacy Living

Who are some of your family or friends that have left a legacy with you?  Who are you leaving one with now?

We have had many beautiful, inspiring, God-centered posts on legacies. As I look back at some of these timely pieces I wanted to highlight a few allowing us to reflect and use for future encouragement.  Here they are:  Nothing New Under the Sun But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord ,  Penalty Power and Promise, Ordinary People, Chasing the Wind, Foundation in Christ, Heart Right with God, Influence,  and My Father, a Glimpse into Our Heavenly Father.

These heart-touching, faith inspired posts encourage, fill you with joy, and give you a reminder of the opportunity we have everyday to leave a legacy. Paul leaves a legacy of a person who was transformed by God’s grace. Paul models actions instructed by God, he shares His words of wisdom, love, and faith instructing Timothy and us through God’s word.

While reading today’s reading of  2 Timothy 1 I think about the legacy being made by Paul and Timothy. I also reflect on the legacy left by Timothy’s family that filled into him. 2 Timothy 1:3-5.  Where some of us may have testimonies of coming to faith based on extraordinary circumstances like Paul. Others may have been filled into at a young age in believing homes like Timothy. Either way it is all good.  God is good!

3 I thank God, whom I serve, as my ancestors did, with a clear conscience, as night and day I constantly remember you in my prayers. 4 Recalling your tears, I long to see you, so that I may be filled with joy. 5 I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also.

These verses bring me to a personal examination, What kind of faith am I leaving for our succeeding generations I’m around daily? What do my actions, words, and character show?  Keep the Faith! Our consistent, sincere, Jesus modeled focused faith leaves imprints on others.  These reminders and influences can be read in all the posts listed above.  Despite our imperfections, live out the faith we believe in God.

8 So do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord or of me his prisoner. Rather, join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God. 9 He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time,

So some reminders as we listen to Paul’s final letter. Abide in our faith at all times.  Like BJ said on Sunday, put on Gods armor so when good and bad circumstances happen we know how to respond. Ephesians 6:10-18 Remember the promised faith that is centered on God. James 3:17 He holds our yesterday, today, and tomorrow in His hands. Now, I know there’s no guarantees in parenting, we can model, love on, and try to do all the things we can to influence our children.  It may not work.  But, I know there is a guarantee in God.  Titus 1:2 He has a perfectly designed plan through it all.  Keep the faith! Lead, Learn, and Live out a legacy of Love for all those around you.  Your legacy is a life that is telling itself in the living.

 1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, in keeping with the promise of life that is in Christ Jesus,

Keep and share the promise of life in Jesus Christ today.

Pray through Psalm 121 as you enter into your day.