Heads Up!

Who doesn’t like it when a friend or other loved one gives you a “heads up!”? A “heads up!” could be to warn you of a conflict coming your way or perhaps of an opportunity for you to seize.  Virtually every time, a “heads up!” is welcome and sought after. God gives us a “heads up!” as we remain in touch with Him.  The challenge with receiving a “heads up!” in a timely manner is that you have to be in tune with your surroundings.  Mostly, we just need to be in tune with God’s voice- singing through life with His joy, His truth as our way of life, and His love as our impetus for our every action.  The question now comes to bear: how close are you to God? Have you cultivated a spirituality that enables you to maintain maximum closeness to Jesus Christ? 

 

Take a moment to read Psalm 3 below.  Note the Hebrew word, “selah,” appears three times.  “Selah” is generally accepted to mean to pause and reflect over what has just been said.  As you read Psalm 3, pause whenever the word “selah” appears and re-read what came before it.  “Selah” is almost functioning as a “heads up!” to what God is speaking to you. Ask God to “lift up your head” as stated in verse three, and to speak to you.  He will.

 

Psalm 3 (NRSV)

 

1 O Lord, how many are my foes! Many are rising against me; 2 many are saying to me, “There is no help for you in God.” (Selah) 3 But you, O Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, and the one who lifts up my head. 4 I cry aloud to the Lord, and he answers me from his holy hill. (Selah) 5 I lie down and sleep; I wake again, for the Lord sustains me. 6 I am not afraid of ten thousands of people who have set themselves against me all around. 7 Rise up, O Lord! Deliver me, O my God! For you strike all my enemies on the cheek; you break the teeth of the wicked. 8 Deliverance belongs to the Lord; may your blessing be on your people! (Selah)

 

Now ponder these three questions:

  1. Are you allowing God to be your only help in the middle of a struggle you are having? (Selah)
  2. What could you see in your life if God lifted up your head? (Selah)
  3. Do you believe that God is always fighting for you? (Selah)

 

Heads up!  God is speaking to you!

 

At Times…

At times, it feels as though God’s hand is heavy upon you.  

At times, it feels as though your prayers fall back to the ground.

At times, it feels as though time is standing still in the middle of your struggles.

At times, it feels as though Jesus has turned His back on you.

 

The reality is that Jesus Christ came to embrace you through the proverbial “thick and thin.”  Jesus promises that He will never leave you. Jesus promises that He will never close His door on you.  Where are you today in your life struggles? Are you believing the truth that Jesus will be at your side to guide and comfort you every single time you experience hardships?  Or are you indignant towards Jesus, questioning His faithfulness to you because of your circumstances?

 

Whatever you are experiencing, God is absolutely with you.

God is being good to you.

God is actually holding you up and helping you make it every step of the way.

God is not withholding any good thing from you.

God is cheering you on, believing in you, empowering you by the Holy Spirit to be victorious!

The challenge is that the victories often come in unrecognizable packaging.

Pain- whether emotional or physical- often precludes the greatest of victories.

 

So what is your struggle right now?

Are you believing the truth that Jesus will be at your side to guide and comfort you every single time you experience hardships?  

Or are you indignant towards Jesus, questioning His faithfulness to you?

 

Look now at an excerpt from a man named Job in the Holy Bible, from the Book of Job, chapter 23, verses 2 through 10.  Job knew what it meant to wrestle with bitterness.  He also knew that even after losing everything he loved, that God is always working for our good and that God will absolutely always be at our side, fighting for us.  This was Job’s superpower- his faith in God.  It’s what carried him through his life with confidence and peace.  Listen in on Job’s thoughts. Notice that Job trusted God at all times with everything.

 

2 “Today also my complaint is bitter; his hand is heavy despite my groaning. 3 Oh, that I knew where I might find him, that I might come even to his dwelling! 4 I would lay my case before him, and fill my mouth with arguments 5 I would learn what he would answer me, and understand what he would say to me. 6 Would he contend with me in the greatness of his power? No; but he would give heed to me. 7 There an upright person could reason with him, and I should be acquitted forever by my judge. 8 “If I go forward, he is not there; or backward, I cannot perceive him; 9 on the left he hides, and I cannot behold him; I turn to the right, but I cannot see him. 10 But he knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I shall come out like gold.

 

At times, are you bitter like Job was?

At times, do you feel as if God is ignoring your groans?

At times, do you strive fruitlessly to find God?  Do you talk to Him? Do you believe that God is listening to you?

At times, do you feel as if God has left you?

Will you, in the final analysis of your struggle, believe, like Job did, that God does know the struggles you are experiencing and that you will beyond a shadow of a doubt, “come out like gold”?

 

At all times, whatever you are experiencing, God is absolutely with you.

God is being good to you.

God is actually holding you up and helping you make it every step of the way.

God is not withholding any good thing from you.

God is cheering you on, believing in you, empowering you by the Holy Spirit to be victorious!

So make the decision today to trust God, at all times.

JOY:  Available 24/7

Joy is not an elusive emotion.  Rather, joy is a presence of mind and spirit which is without question a gift from God Himself.  Throughout the Holy Bible, we are witnesses to joy expressed, joy promised, joy growing and joy completed in individuals within our spiritual heritage- especially, the JOY within Jesus Christ.  Are you in need of joy at this moment? It is as clear cut as pausing and praying with all of your might, asking Jesus for His joy to flow within you. Will you stop amid your day’s tasks and ask Jesus to transform you into a joy-filled person?  Will you do this as often as you need to?  

JOY is available 24/7!

 

Be encouraged!  Be filled with the joy of the Lord Jesus Christ!

 

2 Samuel 6:14 

“David danced before the Lord with all his might;…”

 

Nehemiah 8:10 

“Then he said to them, ‘Go your way, eat the fat and drink sweet wine and send portions of them to those for whom nothing is prepared, for this day is holy to our Lord; and do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.’”

 

Job 8:21

He will yet fill your mouth with laughter, and your lips with shouts of joy.

 

Psalm 16:11

“You show me the path of life. In your presence there is fullness of joy; in your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”

 

Psalm 71:23 

My lips will shout for joy when I sing praises to you; my soul also, which you have rescued.”

 

Proverbs 12:20 

“Deceit is in the mind of those who plan evil, but those who counsel peace have joy.”

 

Isaiah 55:12 

For you shall go out in joy, and be led back in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall burst into song, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.”

 

John 15:11 

“I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete.”

 

Philippians 2:2

“…make my joy complete: be of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind.”

 

Hebrews 12:2 

“…looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the sake of the joy that was set before him endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God.”

 

Will you dance with JOY today?

Will you make the conscious decision to set your grief aside and move through your days strengthened by Jesus’ JOY?

Will you let God’s JOY flow in you to the point where you are bursting with laughter?

Will you shout with JOY?

Will you choose peace over conflict and feel the Lord Jesus’ JOY as a reward?

Will you gaze into nature and see Jesus’ JOY in it?

Do you believe that Jesus makes your JOY complete as you follow Him at all cost?

Do you see that even in terrible pain there is JOY in Jesus to be grasped as He empowers you to press on?

 

Joy is not an elusive emotion.  Rather, joy is a presence of mind and spirit which is without question a gift from God Himself.  Throughout the Holy Bible, we are witnesses to joy expressed, joy promised, joy growing and joy completed in individuals within our spiritual heritage- especially, the JOY within Jesus Christ.  Are you in need of joy at this moment? It is as clear cut as pausing and praying with all of your might, asking Jesus for His joy to flow within you. Will you stop amid your day’s tasks and ask Jesus to transform you into a joy-filled person?  Will you do this as often as you need to?  

JOY is available 24/7!

 

Be encouraged!  Be filled with the joy of the Lord Jesus Christ!

Hope Overflows

A prayer:

My God of hope, fill me with all joy and peace as I trust in You, so that I may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. — (Romans 15:13, personalized)

 

Striving to get the Romans to pay attention to Jesus as the One True God and Savior of all the world, as opposed to the Roman pantheon of gods, must have certainly discouraged the Apostle Paul many times over.  The trouble with discouragement is that it takes your eye off of the “prize”- that is Jesus Himself. Discouragement leaves you in self-pity and derails your efforts to be an overcomer.  Paul expresses his frustrations with the challenges of being not just a Christian, but a Christian leader distinctly throughout the New Testament.  Nonetheless, Paul always pressed on, understanding that if he placed all of his trust in God, that God would fill him with joy and peace for every single day, for every challenge that towered over him.  Paul always pressed on, understanding that as God filled him with joy and peace, his hope for the mission at hand would overflow by the power of the Holy Spirit. There is no room for discouragement while you are asking God to fill you with joy and peace as you trust in Him.  You will overflow with HOPE!  The beauty of this hope is that it is not of human origin.  It does not depend on a flawed human effort. THIS HOPE comes by the power of God the Holy Spirit, and it will consequently overflow beyond measure!

 

What situation is discouraging you at present?

Succumbing to discouragement is lack of trust in God.

Rather than wrestling with what to do about the situation you are facing, wrestle with Jesus in prayer until you are only listening to His voice of truth, love, and encouragement.  This is how we trust in God. Listen. Surrender. Then, receive God’s joy and peace. Hope will overflow!

 

Pray:

My God of hope, fill me with all joy and peace as I trust in You, so that I may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

 

Make the Choice:

I will not fixate on decisions and challenges; this is how I will demonstrate my trust in You, Jesus.  I will only focus my mind on asking You over and over again, to fill me with Yourself, Jesus, with Your mind, the mind of the Holy Spirit, directed by Your joy and peace.

 

Pray again:

My God of hope, fill me with all joy and peace as I trust in You, so that I may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

 

Make the Choice again:

I will not fixate on decisions and challenges; this is how I will demonstrate my trust in You, Jesus.  I will only focus my mind on asking You over and over again, to fill me with Yourself, Jesus, with Your mind, the mind of the Holy Spirit, directed by Your joy and peace.

 

Blessing Jesus

What if your life’s mission for 2019 was fixed on blessing the Lord Jesus?

 

Have you ever pondered the reality that you could actually BLESS Jesus?

What are the possible outcomes of such a New Year’s Resolution?

How could you BLESS Jesus?

Take a little break from the tasks of your day and allow your mind to soak in the words of Psalm 103.

Lean in and catch a glimpse of how you could BLESS Jesus.

 

Psalm 103 (NRSV), from the Holy Bible- a song with life-enhancing lyrics:

 

1 Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name. 2 Bless the Lord, O my soul, and do not forget all his benefits— 3 who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, 4 who redeems your life from the Pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, 5 who satisfies you with good as long as you live so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. 6 The Lord works vindication and justice for all who are oppressed. 7 He made known his ways to Moses, his acts to the people of Israel. 8 The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. 9 He will not always accuse, nor will he keep his anger forever. 10 He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities. 11 For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; 12 as far as the east is from the west, so far he removes our transgressions from us. 13 As a father has compassion for his children, so the Lord has compassion for those who fear him. 14 For he knows how we were made; he remembers that we are dust. 15 As for mortals, their days are like grass; they flourish like a flower of the field; 16 for the wind passes over it, and it is gone, and its place knows it no more. 17 But the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him, and his righteousness to children’s children, 18 to those who keep his covenant and remember to do his commandments. 19 The Lord has established his throne in the heavens, and his kingdom rules over all. 20 Bless the Lord, O you his angels, you mighty ones who do his bidding, obedient to his spoken word. 21 Bless the Lord, all his hosts, his ministers that do his will. 22 Bless the Lord, all his works, in all places of his dominion. Bless the Lord, O my soul.

 

Most of the time we envision God blessing us.  We ask God to bless our meals and the hands that prepare them when we sit with family and friends for a meal.  We ask God to bless friends that are having health troubles or who need peace in their lives. Nonetheless, God is clear.  In Psalm 103 above, we see that we are not only supposed to ask God to bring blessing into our lives as well as into the lives of those we love, but we are called upon to “bless” God.  What a paradigm shift! Giving blessing to the Great Giver! How do we do this? Go back.  Take time now. Read Psalm 103 again with this question in view:

 

How am I supposed to bless God?

 

  1. Remember the countless ways your relationship with God benefits you.
  2. Ask God to forgive you for anything and everything that you know has distanced you from Him.
  3. Recognize the healing that God has brought into your life- both physical and emotional.
  4. Rejoice that God has guaranteed you a place in Heaven in eternal friendship with Him!
  5. Make note of the steady love God pours over your life, of His never ending mercy to you.  Grab a little notebook and jot it all down, or perhaps keep a running doc on your phone that lists it all out.
  6. Focus on the good God has gifted you and allow it to fuel you, so that you can live a free and abundant life rather than being limited by a negative perspective.
  7. Show compassion to all, period.
  8. Do the right thing according to God’s Word in the Holy Bible, not according to what seems right in your own eyes.

 

What if your life’s mission for 2019 was fixed on blessing the Lord Jesus?

 

Jesus is waiting.

Get going.

Bless Jesus and be BLESSED.

Bless Jesus.

Bless others.

Get going.

Live a life of love, with Jesus as Your Center.

 

Needing to Know

“Whatever you need to know, God will tell you.”

 

This phrase, meant to be given as a note of encouragement from one person to another, is often highly frustrating.  The primary challenge is that there is no “canned” formula for discerning God’s will. Unearthing what God desires for your very best- since the Holy Spirit proclaims in the Holy Bible via the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Ephesian Church that God works for the good of those who love Him- is a Mount Everest of an exercise for a human being.  We are God’s creation. We are loved by God the Father as evidenced by His one-time sacrifice of His One and Only Son, Jesus Christ- God-in-the-flesh. As valued as we are by our Heavenly Father, we are limited by our humanity. Often, we feel the need to know what is happening to us or why. We ponder what might be next. We fret because we feel the need to know.  

 

God the Son, Jesus, addresses this practice of anticipation that we find hard to resist, in the Book of Matthew, chapter 6 (NRSV), while sitting before countless people on a mountain top and teaching them what God wants from us in this life:

 

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life? 28 And why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 Therefore do not worry, saying, “What will we eat?’ or “What will we drink?’ or “What will we wear?’ 32 For it is the Gentiles who strive for all these things; and indeed your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 “So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today’s trouble is enough for today.

 

God knows what you need.

Live first for Him, doing all things His way, and then the answers will come.

Your needs will be met.

Your need to know will be satisfied by the One and Only generous, loving and faithful God.

 

Just wait, in faith, in Jesus.

Meditate on the words of the Holy Bible.

Ask Jesus.

Pray…talk to God simply and from the heart.

Your flood of needs will absolutely be met.

God never disappoints.

 

You do not need to know.

You only need to look to Jesus, in faith.

 

Empty, but Full

An empty refrigerator

An empty checking account

An empty house

An empty water bottle

 

The concept of emptiness is dreary more often than not when we examine it under the lens of popular thought.  We prefer to have a full refrigerator, a checking account with money for a rainy day and then some, a house filled with all that we cherish, a water bottle that is full to quench our thirst…  In some religious traditions in eastern thought, emptying oneself of worries and the proverbial to-do list appears attractive at first glance. The caveat comes when you work through in your mind:  “Okay, now what?” Christianity in its most sincere form, practices a “emptying of oneself” that is instantaneously coupled with a “filling of one’s being” that is completed by God Himself, by the Holy Spirit.  The goal when you meditate with Jesus is that He gives you His mind- an infinite supply of renewing power for each moment of each day.  So we come to Jesus asking to be emptied of all worry, the “to-do list,” and even more so of deeper agents of distress such as fear, anger, hurt, and insecurity.  Emptying oneself is then an actual surrender to Jesus and calling on Him to fill you with His mind, His peace, His holy passion for doing what is right, His calm, His resurrection power which yields an endurance of heavenly magnitude.  Being “empty” is good. Being “empty” is good if you conduct the exercise of emptying in concert with Jesus Christ.  “Holy Lord Jesus, I will be the instrument through which you play your melody!”  It is distinctively in this synergy that one experiences an emptying of oneself that births a sense of heavenly fullness.  Life becomes a beautiful road of your depending on the Holy Spirit to infuse you with Christ’s Mind and Christ’s Power, so that you may accomplish all that God has designed as the absolute best for you precisely where you are at any given moment.

 

A heart filled with peace and emptied of hurt and anger

A mind capable of great things according to the ways in which God has gifted you

A soul that is never empty because the Holy Spirit dwells within you forever

A thirst that is always quenched with God’s goodness, finding satisfaction in doing what God has called holy

“Empty, but full”

 

From the Apostle Paul’s Letter in the Holy Bible to the Philippian Church, we learn from Jesus’ life how to engage in this synergistic life with God- “Empty, but full”:

 

3 Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves. 4 Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others. 5 Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, 7 but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness. And being found in human form, 8 he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death— even death on a cross. 9 Therefore God also highly exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. 12 Therefore, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed me, not only in my presence, but much more now in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; 13 for it is God who is at work in you, enabling you both to will and to work for his good pleasure.  (Philippians 2:3-13, NRSV)

 

Will you ask Jesus to empty you to the point where you have become a genuinely humble person?

Will you ask Jesus as often as is required for you, to give you His mind?

Will you ask Jesus to teach you the beautiful exercise of emptying yourself through obeying His Holy Word, His Holy Voice?

Will you bend the knee of your will to the influx of Jesus’ holy passion for serving others at all cost?

Will you tremble if necessary to complete the exercise of allowing the Mind of Jesus Christ to fill you?  Will you do this again and again until you are continuously cognizant that it is God who is at work in you for a holy good?

 

Set aside the refrigerator, the checking account, the house and the water bottle…

 

Seek out in concert with Jesus:

 

A heart filled with peace and emptied of hurt and anger

A mind capable of great things according to the ways in which God has gifted you

A soul that is never empty because the Holy Spirit dwells within you forever

A thirst that is always quenched with God’s goodness, finding satisfaction in doing what God has called holy

“Empty, but full”

 

Press On.

Often the hardest thing to do in this life is to press on.  

 

Many questions bubble upwards in our minds as we seek to press on:

 

Why is it so hard to press on?

How am I going to press on?

When will I feel that God is helping me to press on?

What precisely am I pressing on towards?

 

Children endure mockery while at school.

Adults navigate financial challenges.

Athletes work through injuries.

Young adults plunge headlong into self-discovery.

Those who are ill persevere through tests and treatments.

 

Oh Lord Jesus, how did You press on?

Help us, Jesus, to press on.

Give each one of us Your mind, Holy Christ.

Strengthen the weary who are seeking You, Jesus.

Heal this world, Jesus.

Heal the world, that all may embrace what it entails to press on in Your resurrection power, Holy Christ.

We love You and trust You, Jesus…

With every heartache

With every unknown

With every breath

We love You and trust You, Jesus…

Truly

Madly

Deeply

We pray in faith, in You, Jesus,

Amen.

Amen.

Amen.

 

The Book of Hebrews in the Holy Bible, chapter 12, verses 1-4 (NRSV), sheds some light into the framework of “pressing on”:

 

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the sake of the joy that was set before him endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such hostility against himself from sinners, so that you may not grow weary or lose heart. In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.

 

What does the Holy Spirit teach each one of us from these precious words in the Holy Bible?

 

  1. You are not alone as you press on.  We live in community, with one another as a resource for pressing on.
  2. Press on without all the extra emotional and psychological weight.  Leave those things at the foot of the Cross. Leave those things in Jesus’ Hands.
  3. Without pause, look to Jesus for help with enduring the “cross” that God has called upon you to bear.  Press on in your anguish, seeking Jesus’ empowerment.
  4. At some point, there will be full joy, though it may appear to only stream in at moments in the here and now.  The struggle you are pressing on to overcome will not last forever.

 

Oh Lord Jesus, how did You press on?

Help us, Jesus, to press on.

Give each one of us Your mind, Holy Christ.

Strengthen the weary who are seeking You, Jesus.

Heal this world, Jesus.

Heal the world, that all may embrace what it entails to press on in Your resurrection power, Holy Christ.

We love You and trust You, Jesus…

With every heartache

With every unknown

With every breath

We love You and trust You, Jesus…

Truly

Madly

Deeply

We pray in faith, in You, Jesus,

Amen.

Amen.

Amen.

 

(You) can do all things through Jesus Christ who strengthens (you). (Philippians 4:13, NRSV)

Yes. You can.

Press on.

 

Renew

The appeal of being new…

Perhaps shiny or brightly colored…

These attributes tend to draw us in to an item we might purchase.

What if we were to apply these qualities to an individual we are considering spending time with?

What if someone were to hold us up to such standards?

 

The truth is that we are not often “shiny” or “brightly colored” in our demeanor.  Some days it is considerably easier to be so appealing to others. More often than not, in the quiet part of your day, it might seem insurmountable to view yourself in such a positive light. We struggle with viewing life through an optimistic lens.  Pain and sorrow have shored up negative emotions within our minds that block us from living in consistent joy.

 

What would it take on a day-to-day basis for you to feel “renewed”?

What would it take for the best version of yourself to show up for life’s moments in increasing frequency?

 

I consider the Apostle Paul to be a close friend, a fellow traveler in the walk of faith, as I read the words of his letter to the church in Rome back in the early century following our Lord Jesus Christ’s time on earth.  In the Book of Romans, chapter 12, verses 1-2 (NRSV), Paul writes what only a best friend would tell you- tough words that are necessary:

 

1 I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. 2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect.

 

The path of transformation to becoming a person of consistent joy:

 

1-  Your relationship with God comes first.  In the first breath that you take each day, you speak to God.  You offer yourself to be an agent of change and blessing within your home life and in every sphere in which you dwell.

2-  You open yourself up to the teachings of the Holy Bible that always revolutionize an individual with a willing heart.  Jesus says to help the oppressed and so you help them. Jesus says to have faith like a child and so you ask Him to help you be more childlike in your spirituality…trusting of Jesus…wanting to be in Jesus’ presence way more.

3-  Stand firm in your resolve to seek renewal of your mind through the life principles of the Holy Bible and especially through the example of the life that Jesus Christ lived on earth.

4-  Insist on discerning what God wants- rather than what you want- as the most important goal of your life.

 

Peace will come.

Your mind will be renewed.

You will be like new in your heart and in your thinking…fresh in perspective and great in your impact for good in this world.

 

As you seek to be holy as Jesus demonstrated holiness to us, you will become holy- a beautiful sacred creation of God.  This beauty of course requires embracing the concept of becoming a “living sacrifice.” Sacrifice is no longer a negative concept, but rather a life-giving one.  As you reduce the things outside of Jesus’ words from your mindset, you will sacrifice, but you will be so joy-filled!  It is often in the times of material scarcity and sincere humility, that our hearts and minds are the most joyful, the most free, renewed.

 

Will you ask Jesus Christ to renew you, now?

Little Awakenings

An Alzheimer’s patient can have moments of lucidity, “little awakenings” that come unexpectedly and suddenly.  The loved ones of the patient are instantly overwhelmed, flooded with an array of emotions, one of the most prevalent ones being hope.  We hope that our loved ones “awakening” will be permanent, that it is a miracle from God. Yet for some reason, in God’s loving sovereignty, there is no cure as of now for Alzheimer’s disease.  So we wait. We pray. We rejoice in what few moments of “awakening” that we receive from the Lord as a heavenly gift with our loved one. Of course, this is not limited in scope to Alzheimer’s.  Often it is in striving with someone who is under the spell of a certain addiction, or struggling with someone’s extreme depression.

 

We pray.  

We wait.  

We hope.  

God is our only hope.  

With God nothing is impossible.  

 

We pray.  

We wait.  

We love.  

God is our only hope.

With God nothing is impossible.

 

Around 586 B.C., Old Testament prophet Habakkuk was serving the Lord and wrote just before the total destruction of Jerusalem with faith in God and His every purpose.  Habakkuk was determined to have faith in God.  He wrote:  

 

Though the fig tree does not blossom, and no fruit is on the vines; though the produce of the olive fails, and the fields yield no food; though the flock is cut off from the fold, and there is no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will exult in the God of my salvation. God, the Lord, is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, and makes me tread upon the heights.  

(Habakkuk 3:17-19, Holy Bible, NRSV)

 

In your circumstance with your love one, what will you do even though you do not see any new “blossoms on the tree”?

Even though the “fields are barren” in your situation…

Even though there is no livestock left…

Will you determine to rejoice in the Lord?

Are you perhaps needing to press on as you wait for yourself to overcome a period of spiritual famine?

Could it be you who needs a “little awakening”?

Pray as the prophet Habakkuk did- whether it is for someone you love or for yourself:

 

Though the fig tree does not blossom, and no fruit is on the vines; though the produce of the olive fails, and the fields yield no food; though the flock is cut off from the fold, and there is no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will exult in the God of my salvation. God, the Lord, is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, and makes me tread upon the heights.  

(Habakkuk 3:17-19, Holy Bible, NRSV)

 

Rejoice in Jesus Christ and what He has done for you.

Glow with gratitude for your salvation.

Draw from Jesus, the Living Water, as Your Strength.

Live with a heart and mind that seek out the heights, like a deer.

 

Together….

We pray.  

We wait.  

We love.  

God is our only hope.

With God nothing is impossible.

Our “little awakenings” are here for the taking if we ask the Lord to open the eyes of our hearts.