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Wednesday, September 19, 2018

The king held out . . . the golden scepter. Then Esther went near and touched the top of the scepter. Esther 5:2
Many of us would have difficulty coming into our husband or bosses presence and waiting for them to acknowledge us before we approach. Yet this deference is still widely practiced in many parts of the world today. 

Unlike earthly kings, the Creator of the Universe welcomes us into His presence without condemnation or judgment. He is eager to give grace and mercy whenever we have need.
Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Heb 4:16
Yet, I wonder, are we coming boldly or are with approaching with impertinence? How often do we "kneel" before Him as master, rather than as servants; directing Him to give us this or to fix that. How often do we pray for His will with faith and a sincere heart?

Yet, still, He is always gracious to us; withholding punishment and giving blessing upon blessing.

Always more than we deserve.


Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Inspired by . . . love casts out fear

No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, Who will no allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it. 1 Cor 10:13

It's such a comfort to know that even in our failings, God has set limits. He will provide a way of escape. Jesus.

Yes, Jesus is the answer. Not only as a means of escape for ALL humankind but a daily, minute-by-minute escape for those who trust in Him and follow His commands.
When the enemy comes in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard against him. Isa 59:19
We never stand alone. God is always with us - going before, preparing the way of safety, coming behind us as our rearguard.

Never fear.


Rom 8:31 * Ps 118:6 * Dan 3:17

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Whoever trust in the Lord, happy is he. Prov 16:20
[Abraham] did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform. Rom 4:20-21
Pondering the faith of Abraham today and wondering at a faith so big, so sure, that it was counted to him as righteousness. The author of Hebrews tells us that without faith it is impossible to please God.

Feeling a little short on faith today? James tells us to pray for whatever we need, with a firm mind, and God will give it.

The centurion prayed for increased faith and so can we. God is faithful. He will provide what we need.

Psalm 46:1-2; Psalm 37:23-24


Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. Psalm 119:105
Wondering which way to go? what step to take next? where to begin? or end?
By the word of Your lips, I have kept away from the paths of the destroyer. Uphold my steps in Your paths, that my footsteps may not slip. Psalm 17:4-5
Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, "This is the way, walk in it," whenever you turn to the right hand or whenever you turn to the left. Isa 30:21
If the path is shadowed or unclear- - if His answer has not yet come. . .


Sometimes His best work is done and the greatest blessing received during the pit stops of life.


Monday, September 3, 2018

I know their sorrows. Exod 3:7
What comforting words to any of us who are suffering.  To know that we are not alone in our grief. We are never alone in our affliction, whatever it might be. God is here. He is present.

A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. Isa 53:3

Not only can He empathize and sympathize, He can forgive, heal, and restore.  Heb 4:15; Matt 8:17


Thursday, August 30, 2018

In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 1John 4:10
There is no "which came first, the chicken or the egg" when it comes to God.

He loved us, while we were yet His enemies, persisting and reveling in our sin. (Rom 5:8, 10)

Out of that great love, He made a path for us to return to Him. (John 3:16) Even now, as we set up idols and seek to topple Him, He loves us. He loved us first - He loves us still.

His love is unconditional and complete.

How should we respond to so great a love?

How will you?
I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you. Jer 31:3


Wednesday, August 29, 2018

God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should repent. Num 23:19
How important is truth to you?

Truth, like integrity and respect, seems to have fallen on hard times lately. Sadly, many people no longer care what is truth. They want only to hear what meets with the personal agenda. If it meets their needs and desires, it doesn't matter if it is true. History has proven; if you speak a lie long enough people will begin to believe it as true. In so doing, the enemy has persuaded us to believe some remarkable lies.

No matter how widely accepted by our culture today - the enemies lies fall hard and fast when confronted with God's truth!

  • God cannot lie. Num 23:19
  • God's truth protects and defends. Ps 9:14
  • God does not change. James 1:17 / Heb 13:8
  • Truth brings a life of blessing. Ps 146:5-6

Do you long for solid ground in an ever-shifting and changing world?

God is the Rock you can depend on. He will never lie or deceive you. He will never forsake you.

Though all things may fall away, God's truth remains.


Friday, August 24, 2018

The house that is to be built for the Lord must be exceedingly magnificent. 1 Chr 22:5
Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? 1Pet 2:5

The world would have us believe that we are entitled, deserving and in control of our own destinies. The world insists, sometimes violently, that our bodies are our own to use or abuse.

God had something very different in mind when He knit you together in your mother's womb. Yet, He gave us free will. We can make the choice to reject the beautiful plan and purpose He has for our lives.

How often do we reject the gift because it comes to us wrapped, not in glitter and gold but with nails and thorns?


Thursday, August 23, 2018

Summer Tanager (female)

The joy of the Lord is your strength. Neh 8:10
What is the joy of the Lord? The one thing that the Lord rejoices in above all else?

Not a what, but a Who - Jesus Christ, His Son!

Our strength comes from Jesus and from Him alone. Diluting it from any other source diminishes the power of that strength. Not from any lack on His part but because Christ is pure and holy, perfect and complete. Trying to add anything, however small, defiles and takes away from this perfection.

Nothing need be added - He is perfect - complete.

Are you resting in this Truth today? or are we still trying to "help"?

Are we believing this Truth today? or are we still waiting for a Savior?

It is finished.

How might embracing this Truth change how you live your life?


Tuesday, August 14, 2018

I do not pray that You should take them out of the world but that You should keep them from the evil one. John 17:15
Blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world. Phil 2:15

How often have we prayed for Jesus to return - quickly! Maybe even "Now would be a good time, Lord!"

Depending on your view of heaven, the existence or absence of suffering in this life - you may or may not be anxious for His return.

Regardless of our motivation or desires, as long as we are alive, we have a purpose here. The world has always been "crooked and perverse" and the darker it becomes, the brighter we are to shine! It's not about winning the argument, or even conquering evil - Jesus has already won the Victory!

It's about bringing honor and glory to our heavenly Father.
Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. Mat 5:16


Saturday, August 11, 2018

The whole head is sick, and the whole heart faints. From the sole of the foot even to the head, there is no soundness in it, but wounds and bruises and putrefying sores; they have not been closed or bound up, or soothed with ointment. Isa 1:5-6
We are all like an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags. Isa 64:6

Would we appreciate these perfect, glorious days of summer half as much if we didn't experience the dark days of winter? Would the refreshing rains mean as much to unparched lands?

As believers there is no shame when we sin for there is now no condemnation in Christ Jesus, yet, our sin should cut us to the heart - hurt us as it hurts our heavenly Father. It should bring us to our knees - not in shame - but in thanksgiving and gratitude to the One Who bore our shame - the One Who set us free!
You were washed, . . . you were sanctified, . . . you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God. ★ The royal daughter is all glorious within. ★ "Your beauty . . . was perfect through My splendor which I had bestowed on you," says the Lord God.


Friday, August 10, 2018

May God be gracious to us and bless us and make His face to shine upon us, Selah
that Your way may be known on earth, Your saving power among all nations.

Let the peoples praise You, O God; let all the peoples praise You! Let the nations be glad and sing for joy, for You judge the peoples with equity and guide the nations upon earth. Selah

Let the peoples praise You, O God; let all the peoples praise You! The earth has yielded its increase; God, our God, shall bless us. God shall bless us; let all the ends of the earth fear Him! Psalms 67:1‭-‬7 ESV


Thursday, August 9, 2018

Inspired by . . . ever brighter

The path of the just is like the shining sun, that shines ever brighter unto the perfect day. Prov 4:18
This is one of my all-time favorite scriptures - - so filled with light and hope. As believers, we have experienced the miracle of change. Like the butterfly; we went from ugly, sinful creatures, to beautiful, righteous-winged creatures. Yet, unlike the butterfly, our change does not stop there.
Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed we shall be like Him for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure. 1John 3:2-3


Wednesday, August 8, 2018

The bread that God provides may not have a fancy name like ciabatta or focaccia but it is the only bread that satisfies the hunger of our soul.

In very truth I tell you, it is not because you saw signs that you came looking for Me but because you ate the bread and your hunger was satisfied. You should work, not for this perishable food, but for the food that lasts, the food of eternal life.
This food the Son of Man will give you, for on Him God the Father has set the seal of His authority. 'Then what must we do,' they asked Him, 'if our work is to be the work of God?' Jesus replied, this is the work that God requires: to believe in the One Whom He has sent. John 6:26-29


Saturday, August 4, 2018

Inspired by . . . focus

Therefore, since Christ suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind, for he who has suffered In the flesh has ceased from sin, that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh for the lusts of men but for the will of God. 1Pet 4:1-2
What might happen if we focused our frustrations and anger toward crucifying our sin rather than toward the God Who is so ready, able, and willing to forgive it?


Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Inspired by . . . Enduring Hardship

Endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. 2 Tim 2:3
Do you ever wonder why Jesus had to suffer so much? Why couldn't God make a different, less painful way? Why is there so much suffering? Why can't God just make life our version of heaven on earth?

Lord, open our eyes to the reality of our personal SIN - for only then can we truly be SAVED, truly be FREE. In Jesus' holy name, Amen.
It was fitting for Him, for Whom are all things and by Whom are all things, in bringing may sons to glory, to make the Captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. Heb 2:10


Sunday, July 29, 2018

"We ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body."
Perhaps this has been a week of groaning for you. Even if all you can scrape together is five minutes, take time today to rest and reset.
"Behold, this is our God; we have waited for him, and He will save us. This is the Lord; we have waited for Him; we will be glad and rejoice in His salvation."
Our hope remains.


Saturday, July 28, 2018

"Love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return."
Love, love, all you need is love. Well, yes. But the love we are called to is not the ingratiating, self-satisfying love of the '70's but rather the selfless, self-sacrificing, fiercely determined love of Christ.
"Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, and do not let your heart be glad when he stumbles."
►Difficult words to live out but we must, Beloved. We must.
"If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. ● Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you. ● My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth."


Tuesday, July 24, 2018

"Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity?" Job 2:10
Jesus' entire earthly life was marked by adversity. He was presumed upon, used, rejected, beaten, falsely accused and convicted. And, finally, murdered.
"A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief." Isa 53:3-4
We may face similar trials in our lifetime. But for the Believer, God promises to use these things to make us better, more like Him. Because Jesus paid the debt for our sin, we can identify with Him in our suffering and still live in freedom.

Yet there is one adversity Jesus faced that, as Believers, we never will: separation from God the Father. He bore that awful fate alone. For us.
"In the world, you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world." John 16:33
Because of Jesus, nothing can separate us from the love of our Heavenly Father. Thank you, Jesus.


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Monday, July 23, 2018

Inspired by . . . dancing for the King

"Of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Take heed, watch and pray; for you do not know when the time is. And what I say to you, I say to all -Watch!" Mark 13:32-33, 37

They say to live like there's no tomorrow and dance like no one is watching. 

But Someone is watching. 

Your Heavenly Father sees every word and deed, every thought and emotion.

But don't think He is waiting to catch you out, to rap your knuckles like a disgruntled nun. Rather He is watching with a love that is fierce and just. Always ready to extend His mercy and grace.

What should our response be to such a love? 

To live lives worthy, as sons and daughters of the King. And dance for the favor of the One Who loves us completely and forevermore. [click to tweet]


Tuesday, July 10, 2018

"No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it." 1Cor10:13

"My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness." 2Cor12:9

God is always fair and just in His dealings with us. In fact, He goes far beyond "fairness," showering us with His mercy (withholding the judgment we deserve) and grace (giving us that which we do not deserve).

Don't be like Eve, believing the lie that God is holding out on you.

His love is complete. He could not love you more and He will never love you less.


Saturday, July 7, 2018

Let your speech always be with grace.

A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver. Like an earring of gold and an ornament of fine gold is a wise rebuker to an obedient ear.
Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.

A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things.

By your words you will be justified.

The tongue of the wise promotes health.

If you take out the precious from the vile, you shall be as My mouth.

But as you abound in everything - in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in all diligence, . . . see that you abound in this grace also.

Lord, our country is being torn apart by words unfitly spoken. May those who know You speak wisely and with grace.


Thursday, July 5, 2018

Inspired by . . . the True Light

"There appeared a man named John. He was sent from God, and came as a witness to testify to the light, so that through Him all might become believers. He was not himself the light; he came to bear witness to the light. The true light which gives light to everyone was even then coming into the world." John 1:6-9

In this passage, John calls Jesus the "true light."  Without even mentioning it, John warns us against the darkness. There is One True Light in this world but there are many false lights.  Paul warns us in 2Co11 about the enemy who disguises himself as an angel of light. The enemy loves to take the good things that God has made and pervert them for his own evil uses.

Be on guard against the things of this world that glitter and shine. Test the spirits. Hold your decisions, your relationships, your circumstances up against the light of scripture. Step cautiously upon the path, never straying from the lamplight of His word.


Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Inspired by . . . what makes you free

The proud boast:
"We are Abraham's descendants, they replied; we have never been in slavery to anyone. What do you mean by saying, "You will become free"?

The Truth:
"In very truth, I tell you', said Jesus, 'that everyone who commits sin is a slave. The slave has no permanent standing in the household, but the son belongs to it for ever. If then the Son sets you free, you will indeed be free.' "

Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. We enjoy more freedoms in this country than in any other country in the world. More so than the Jews, who were under Roman rule at the time, we have much about which to boast and celebrate. And we should celebrate. And we should remember the cost of our freedom. For freedom isn't free. Neither our personal freedom nor our freedom from sin. Both were paid for in blood.

Wishing you all a happy and safe Independence Day!

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Inspired by . . . the prevailing Light

"In the beginning the Word already was. The Word was in God's presence and what God was the Word was. He was with God at the beginning and through Him, all things came to be; without Him, no created thing came into being. In Him was life and that life was the light of mankind. The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has never mastered it." John 1:1-5

There is evil in this world and at times it may appear that those instruments of evil are prevailing. They are not. Darkness can not and will not ever master the Light.

We all have a choice; we can increase the light or cast a shadow.  May we go forth today shining brightly.