June 28, 2017

I Know He Lives

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I know that my Redeemer lives,
and that in the end He will stand upon the earth.
And after my skin has been destroyed,
yet in my flesh I will see God;

I, myself, will see Him with my own eyes.
Job 19:25-27

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This has been a hard week. Tears have been shed by all of us as our family has had to say goodbye to our sweet cats that have been with us for almost twelve years.  And it has me thinking of the awesome place that we will go when we leave this earth…Heaven.

Every one of the characters in the Bible couldn’t wait to see God and Job was no different.  He was in such anguish when He said those words in the verse above.  He knew that one day his body would grow old and die but that He would see God face to face.  And so will we.

As human beings, we will be resurrected, standing, kneeling, walking and talking people. Doesn’t that bring you hope? God is our greatest gift and His presence brings satisfaction.

As a deer pants for water, so my soul pants for You, o God.
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
When can I go and meet with God?
Psalms 42:1-2

What do you long for when you have a hard week?  When you think that you cannot do this one more day, what keeps you going? Here’s a story you might relate to….

In 1952, Florence Chadwick stepped into the waters of the Pacific Ocean off Catalina Island, California. She wanted to swim to the mainland. She was an experienced swimmer and had already swam the English Channel. The weather that day was foggy and chilly, and she could hardly see the boats that were along side of her. Still, she continued to swim for 15 hours. When she began to beg to be taken out, her mother encouraged her and told her that she was close and that she could make it. Finally, physically and emotionally exhausted, Florence stopped swimming and was pulled out. It wasn’t until she was aboard the boat that she discovered the shore was less than half a mile away. The next day, at a news conference, she said, “All I could see was the fog…I think if I could have seen the shore, I would have made it.”

What if you could ‘see the shore’ on your hard days? What if you could take your eyes off the fog in front of you and strain to see the place where God is. I am pretty sure that we could make it a bit longer, right? We have God cheering us on, all the way, He is in the boat alongside you, telling you that you are almost there. And one day, He will say “Well done!”.  And we will be with Him for all eternity!

I end with an amazing verse…

One thing I do: Forgetting what is behind
and straining toward what is ahead,
I press on toward the goal to win the prize
for which God has called me Heavenward in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 3:13-14

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Let us pray: Dear God, thank You for giving us the hope of being in Heaven with You.  And for all the promises in Your Word that daily get us through the hard stuff.  Lord, sometimes we get our eyes stuck on the fog that is ahead and take our eyes off of You.  Please guide us back to the path that leads to You.  Remind us that there is a beautiful prize at the end of this hard life—and it is You.  We love You and praise You. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Have Thine Own Way

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Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way
Thou art the Potter, I am the clay
Mold me and make me after Thy will
While I am waiting, yielded and still

Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way
Search me and try me, Savior today
Wash me just now, Lord, wash me just now
As in Thy presence, humbly I bow

Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way
Wounded and weary, help me I pray
Power, all power, surely is Thine
Touch me and heal me, Savior divine

Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way
Hold o’er my being absolute sway
Fill with Thy Spirit ’til all shall see
Christ only, always, living in me

Deborah P. Kim
Text: Adelaide A. Pollard, 1862-1934
Music: George C. Stebbins, 1846-1945

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Ms. Adelaide Pollard was a Jesus follower and she knew in her heart that God wanted her to go to Africa and be a missionary. However, she had not been able to raise the funds to go. At a prayer meeting, she had heard a woman praying to God saying that no matter what He brought into their lives, that it was alright  and that she trusted Him. Adelaide went home and wrote this hymn that night.

I don’t know about you but sometimes nothing makes me feel better than a good hymn from my childhood. God loves to speak to me through music and His message is always loud and clear. And lately, I have been trying to run this life of mine and it hasn’t worked out so well. In fact, I truly cannot do it. So as I was praying to Him, these words came flooding back to me and I prayed them to Him. Maybe you need to pray these same words today too.

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Dear God, have Your own way with my life.  You created me and You know what is best in my life.  Oh Lord, You are the Potter and I am the clay and whatever You mold my life to be, may it be all for You…

Yet LORD, You are our Father;
we are the clay, and You are our Potter;
we all are the work of Your hands.
Isaiah 64:8

Oh Lord, search my heart and bring to my attention all the things that I need to repent.  Wash me white as snow, oh Lord.  I bow to You, my awesome Father…

Wash away my guilt and cleanse me from my sin.
Psalm 51:2

Father God, I am so tired of trying and trudging on my own.  Please take over and heal me from my tendency to control.  For You do it so much better than me and I can actually rest in You…

Heal me, O LORD, and I will be healed;
Save me and I will be saved,
For You are my praise.
Jeremiah 17:4

And last, Lord, may all who know me and all who may meet me, see Jesus in me. Fill me with Your Spirit and continue to bring me joy. You alone are all I need. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Where Are You?

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Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”

The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’”

“You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman.  “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.  Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.

Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as He was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden.  But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?”

Genesis 3:1-9

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We have heard this story over and over; I think we become numb to it…sometimes.  The serpent, the tree, and the apple are all part of a story we have heard if ever  we have walked in the door of a Sunday School classroom.  But as I re-read it tonight, God spoke to me and asked this question,

Where are you?

Remember, God had made every inch of that Garden and He knew exactly where His people were that day.  See, the serpent—the slithering enemy who still spews lies—had just changed the course of the lives of Adam and Eve by tempting them with fruit.  It was fruit off  of a tree that God had specifically told them they must not eat. God didn’t give them a reason (and He really didn’t owe them one).  His Word was enough.  But Adam and Eve took the fruit and they ate it. After they did, their eyes were opened and they realized they were naked and for the first time the word “shame” came to mind.  And then they hid from God.  Can you even imagine what they felt when they heard His voice asking, “Where are you?”

The enemy, that slithering serpent, still lies to us today. Perhaps you might be right in the middle of believing him.  Like Adam and Eve, you might have just realized what you have done…and the word ‘shame’ fits like a glove.  And perhaps you may be hiding from God, too.  But He sees you.  When He asked Adam and Eve that same question, He knew where they were…He just wanted them to know and see for themselves.  They had to admit to Him that they had messed up and they needed Him still.  God may have banished them from the perfect garden but there was still life outside those gates.  He still loved them and longed to spend time with them.  And, He loves you, too, and wants to help you reclaim your life.  But first you have to know where you are.  Because He knows!

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Dear Lord, You are awesome and wonderful.  Your love for us is never-ending and we are so grateful.  Lord, You have given us a garden here on earth, with beautiful sand and oceans and flowers…beautiful places to spend time with You.  Oh Lord, there are times when we are so far away and we struggle to find our way. I pray today for those who have lost their way and the voice of the enemy has been too loud. Silence it today in Your name and may they hear Your voice asking…’Where are you?’  We love You and praise You.  In Jesus’ name, amen.

You Love Me Anyway

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The question was raised
As my conscience fell
A silly, little lie
It didn’t mean much
But it lingers still
In the corners of my mind

Still You call me to walk
On the edge of this world
To spread my dreams and fly
But the future’s so far
My heart is so frail
I think I’d rather stay inside

But You love me anyway
It’s like nothing in life that I’ve ever known
Yes, You love me anyway
Oh Lord, how You love me
How You love me

It took more than my strength
To simply be still
To seek but never find
All the reasons we change
The reasons I doubt
And why do loved ones have to die

I am the thorn in Your crown
But You love me anyway
I am the sweat from Your brow
But You love me anyway
I am the nail in Your wrist
But You love me anyway
I am Judas’ kiss
But You love me anyway

See now, I am the man who yelled out from the crowd
For Your blood to be spilled on this earth shaking ground
Yes then, I turned away with a smile on my face
With this sin in my heart tried to bury Your grace
And then alone in the night, I still called out for You
So ashamed of my life, my life, my life

You love me, yes You love me
How You love me
How You love me
How You love me

Sidewalk Prophets
written by Ben McDonald, Dave Frey, Mark DeLavergne

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Some days are so hard that you can barely put one foot in front of the other. You really want to stay in bed and pull the covers over your head and let the world pass you by.  But even on these darkest days, there is a Father Who loves you so very much and He created you, just to spend time with you.  In fact, He knew that you wouldn’t be perfect and that you would have these days.  He even sent His only Son to die in your place so that you could spend eternity with Him.

Every sin that we would ever commit has already been paid for…with love. Every lie that had ever been told has been forgiven…by love. Every wrong has been redeemed…by love. When you think that all is hopeless, God whispers to you, “Beloved, you are Mine and I love you…”

The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying:
“I have loved you with an everlasting love;
I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.”
Jeremiah 31:3

So as you listen to this song today, I pray that you feel loved and adored by your Heavenly Father!

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Let us pray: Dear Lord, thank You for loving us and for wanting to spend time with us.  Thank You that no matter what we do or think or say that there is no end to Your forgiveness for us.  Your grace is sufficient and free and when Jesus came to take our place, Heaven became our home…and, oh, how grateful we are.  Lord, wrap Your arms around those who are hurting today, whose hearts have been broken.  Give them comfort and joy and peace in the midst of their circumstances. We love You and praise You.  In Jesus’ name, amen.

A Cord Of Three Strands

“God does not intend that you experience mediocre relationships. He created you for far greater things. Building lasting relationships requires compassion, wisdom, empathy, kindness, courtesy, perseverance, and forgiveness. If it sounds like a lot of work, it is – which is perfectly fine with God. Why? Because He knows you are capable of doing that work and because He knows that the fruits of your labours will enrich the lives of your loved ones and the lives of generations unborn.”

 “30 Essential Lessons from Women of the Bible
Freeman-Smith Publishing

It’s Friday morning…the coffee is brewing, and the front door is open, and women gather together in my home.  We do life together and it truly is so much better.  I have to pinch myself sometimes because of how blessed I am to lead this community group. All of us have different stories and we all come from different places BUT we all have met Jesus and we have been changed.  And what better way to help each other than to share our stories of forgiveness and redemption.  Stories of hope that may lift another up from the pit of hopelessness. Taking someone else’s hand and walking them through the same things you have walked through.  Reminds me of the story of Ruth and Naomi. Here’s part of their story. I encourage you to read their whole story in your Bible.

But Ruth replied: Do not persuade me
to leave you or go back and not follow you.

For wherever you go, I will go,
and wherever you live, I will live;
your people will be my people,
and your God will be my God.
Where you die, I will die,
and there I will be buried.
May Yahweh punish me, and do so severely,
if anything but death separates you and me.
When Naomi saw that Ruth was determined to go with her,
she stopped trying to persuade her.
Ruth 1:16-18

Have you ever been in such a deep pit that you really didn’t want anyone to save you?  Maybe you are so tired of the way your life is going and it seems like everyone else’s lives are moving forward…But not yours.  You are so down that all you want to do it sit alone and cry.  Well, my friend, that is exactly where the enemy wants you. He can speak so loudly to you there and you might start believing his lies. But God wants so much more for you.

See, He didn’t create us to be alone. He intended for us to walk this life together sharing each other’s burdens.  The reason that we go through some of the hard things is so we can give someone else hope that it will be okay and they will get though it…just like you did.  It’s time for us to step out of ourselves and start being available to others.  Pray earnestly for God to bring you a woman who you can guide and mentor. Someone who needs to hear what you have to share.  For there is freedom is sharing your story and the enemy loses his grip when we are open and honest.  Walls come down and we become a force for Jesus. This world can’t hold us back from sharing His good news!

So which one are you today? Are you the one sitting at home alone, isolating from the rest of the world? I encourage you to pray right now that God will guide you to a group of women or even one special one to share with you. Or are you a woman who has been a Jesus follower for some time and you have so much to share. You have really seen Jesus’s hand in your life and you need to share it with someone else. I join you today in prayer that God will bring you someone to mentor. Friends, let’s do this together!

A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated,
but two can stand back-to-back and conquer.
Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.
Ecclesiastes 4:12

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Let us pray: Dear Lord, You are so amazing and so full of love for us.  You are worthy to be praised.  We love You so much and we want to share the hope that You have given us so freely.  Lord, thank You that You have given each one of us a story to share and You have never left us in one place for too long. Give us the courage to step out and help another one of Your daughters who is hurting.  Give those who are hurting today the strength to keep putting one foot in front of the other and the courage to share their burdens. Bring us together, Lord.  In Jesus’ name, amen.

Hello My Name Is

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Hello, my name is regret
I’m pretty sure we have met
Every single day of your life
I’m the whisper inside
That won’t let you forget

Hello, my name is defeat
I know you recognize me
Just when you think you can win
I’ll drag you right back down again
‘Til you’ve lost all belief

Oh, these are the voices. Oh, these are the lies
And I have believed them for the very last time

Hello, my name is child of the one true King
I’ve been saved, I’ve been changed, I have been set free
“Amazing Grace” is the song I sing
Hello, my name is child of the one true King

I am no longer defined
By all the wreckage behind
The one who makes all things new
Has proven it’s true
Just take a look at my life

What love the Father has lavished upon us
That we should be called His children
I am a child of the one true King

Matthew West

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When you look in the mirror…what do you see?  When you talk to yourself…what names do you call yourself?

In the morning, when the alarm clock goes off late and the lunches aren’t made and that pair of shorts that she just had to wear…well, they aren’t quite dry….  Your name becomes ‘failure’.  You say things like, “I ALWAYS mess up everything.”  “I will NEVER succeed at this mom thing.”  But God says: “You are My child and I love You”

The LORD appeared to him from far away.
I have loved you with an everlasting love;
therefore, I have continued to extend faithful love to you.
Jeremiah 31:3

Perhaps you have been struggling with a habit, and you have been so good; and then you have a hard week and you mess up.  You call yourself…”mistake.”  But God calls you “beloved.”  He loves you so much that He sent His own Son to die in your place!

For God loved the world in this way:
He gave His One and Only Son,
so that everyone who believes in Him
will not perish but have eternal life.
John 3:16

Perhaps your marriage isn’t what you thought it would be…and everywhere you look, you see everyone else succeeding at their marriage.  Maybe you have been previously married.  You label yourself a “mess-up.”  But God sees you as His beautiful child that just needs to lean on Him a little bit more.  He wants you to know that nothing is impossible when He is involved!

For nothing is impossible with God.
Luke 1:37

Next time that you are tempted to call yourself names, make sure to use the ones that your Father gave you!  And if you don’t know any, please read His love letters to you in His Word.

Because you are…

  • loved
  • wanted
  • redeemed
  • forgiven
  • free
  • embraced
  • beloved
  • white as snow…and so much more!

And most of all, you are HIS!

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Let us pray: Dear God, Your voice is the only one that matters.  Thank You for loving us so much and for sending Jesus to die in our place. Lord, some days we believe those lies that the enemy whispers in our ear and we get so discouraged.  Please forgive us for allowing these words to define us for You have already named us and claimed us as Yours.  I pray today that Your voice is the only one that we hear and that the names we call ourselves from now on only come from You!  Oh Lord, You are our Fortress and our Provider.  You are the only constant in our lives and we trust in You!  We love You and praise You.  In Jesus’ name, amen.

Don’t Miss His Presence

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So Lot went out and spoke to his sons-in-law, who were pledged to marry his daughters.  He said, “Hurry and get out of this place, because the Lord is about to destroy the city!” But his sons-in-law thought he was joking.

With the coming of dawn, the angels urged Lot, saying, “Hurry! Take your wife and your two daughters who are here, or you will be swept away when the city is punished.”

When he hesitated, the men grasped his hand and the hands of his wife and of his two daughters and led them safely out of the city, for the Lord was merciful to them.  As soon as they had brought them out, one of them said, “Flee for your lives!  Don’t look back, and don’t stop anywhere in the plain!  Flee to the mountains or you will be swept away!”

But Lot said to them, “No, my lords, please!  Your servant has found favor in your eyes, and you have shown great kindness to me in sparing my life. But I can’t flee to the mountains; this disaster will overtake me, and I’ll die.  Look, here is a town near enough to run to, and it is small. Let me flee to it—it is very small, isn’t it? Then my life will be spared.”

He said to him, “Very well, I will grant this request too; I will not overthrow the town you speak of.  But flee there quickly, because I cannot do anything until you reach it.” (That is why the town was called Zoar.)

By the time Lot reached Zoar, the sun had risen over the land.  Then the Lord rained down burning sulfur on Sodom and Gomorrah—from the Lord out of the heavens.  Thus he overthrew those cities and the entire plain, destroying all those living in the cities—and also the vegetation in the land. But Lot’s wife looked back, and she became a pillar of salt.”

Genesis 19:14-26

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Lot’s wife is unnamed. Her only crime, that we know of, is that she looked back…she died for her disobedience.  I wonder…how many of us would be pillars of salt today (if we are being honest!)

Why can’t we just be satisfied and grateful for exactly where we are?  When God asks us to stay in the present, He doesn’t always mean that the past necessarily is bad.  It doesn’t have to be a time of struggle or pain that doesn’t need to be revisited.  God is in the present, meaning He is here now!  The way to spend time with the Father is to stay in constant contact with prayer and to read His Word.  To remain in the past is to miss His presence.

For me, my biggest temptation is desiring to stay in the extremely good parts of my past.  I loved being a mother of littles.  The small hand in mine, the walks in the parks and feeding the ducks with pieces of bread.  We read bedtime stories and said little prayers.  Oh, and the hugs from their little arms, I miss them so much!  But even so, it is wrong for me to want to stay there.  Any time things are hard, trials hit me head on and I want to retreat back to a time when life was easy and days were long and the biggest issue was a child who wouldn’t sleep.

God has so much for us!  But we will miss it if we keep looking back. Lot’s wife could have had a great life and who knows where they might have gotten to go.  The land might have been full of milk and honey and their family might have had the best life ever!  But she will never know—she looked back one time too many.

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Do you need God to help you in this area?

Let’s pray: Dear Lord, I come to You today to praise You. You are the most amazing Father and Provider. You are always the same even when everything else keeps changing.  Lord, today I ask that You help those who are having a hard time leaving the past and stepping into the future that You have planned.  I pray that You give us courage too, to move forward and to keep our faith in You. Thank You for this amazing life that You have given each one of us.  Keep us focused and our eyes on You.  In Jesus’ name, amen!

He Always Keeps His Promises

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The Lord brought His people out of Egypt, loaded with silver and gold;  and not one among the tribes of Israel even stumbled.  Egypt was glad when they were gone, for they feared them greatly.  The Lord spread a cloud above them as a covering and gave them a great fire to light the darkness.  They asked for meat, and He sent them quail; He satisfied their hunger with manna—bread from Heaven.  He split open a rock, and water gushed out to form a river through the dry wasteland.  For He remembered His sacred promise to His servant Abraham.

So He brought His people out of Egypt with joy, H
is chosen ones with rejoicing.  He gave His people the lands of pagan nations, and they harvested crops that others had planted.  All this happened so they would follow His decrees and obey His instructions.  Praise the Lord!

Psalms 105:37-45 NLT

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Praise the Lord!  He is so worthy of all our praise.  Here the psalmist is reminding us of all that God had done for His people then and now.  If you go back and read the whole chapter, you will see that some of God’s heroes are mentioned and what they had done to rescue God’s people from hardship.  He still rescues today, my friend.

We may be walking through a season of little and it might feel like we are in the middle of a desert.  And God reminds us that He was with His children in the desert with Moses.  He met their every need, every time they asked. Even when they complained, He kept on providing. Eventually, they were led into a land of milk and honey.  But there were many adventures along the way.  Oh, and don’t forget the parting of the Red Sea! Could you use something like that about now?

When His children were thirsty, He split a rock and gave them water in a dry land.  Only God, the Creator, could do that!  They had no idea where their relief would come from and couldn’t see any way with their own eyes.  But God could—and suddenly, right in front of them, was water!  How amazing is He?

He brought them out of slavery and into freedom.  He gave them lands filled with plenty.  His people rejoiced and gave thanks to Him for all He had done for them.

Where are you right now?  If you have been delivered, then it is easy to rejoice and sing praises to Him.  Thanking Him for all your many, many blessings isn’t a struggle when you can see His provision all around you.

But what if you’re still in the desert?  You may be asking for provision and He might be sending you just what you need, just enough.  Nothing more and nothing less.  Just manna (literally means “what is this?”).  You may be thirsty for more of His Living Water.  If that’s the case, then He will send a river flowing with plenty of what you need.  All He asks is that you remember to praise Him and thank Him.  Even if your miracle hasn’t happened yet, praise Him because you believe that it will.  He is trustworthy and His promises are always true.

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Do you need encouragement? You have come to the right place. Let us pray over you today! It is an honor to do so. And if you will, leave a comment letting us know that you prayed with us.

Dear God, I am in a desert and I need some relief. I need to be rescued and taken to the land of plenty. Lord, I know that you have a plan for me and it includes many blessings. I am trusting You in this and believing in You. Give me the courage and energy to keep on moving forward. This life is hard, but I am keeping my eyes on You. I love You and praise You for what You are about to do in my life. n Jesus’ name, amen.

Be One

psalmshymnsspiritualsongskjv

We don’t feel ready, we don’t feel steady
Question what we really have to give

Stay where it’s safer, claim faith but waiver
Is this how we’re really meant to live

We pray but never move
We say but never do

It’s time to get our hands dirty
oh oh, oh oh
Be love – there’s a whole lot of hurting
oh oh, oh oh
Calling all hearts, calling all hands
Calling all feet to take a stand
Why sit around and wait for a miracle to come
When we can be one, when we can be one, when we can be one

A little somethin’ might feel like nothin’
But in His hands it’s all we’ll ever need

To speak life to the broken
Watch the blind eyes open
It’s who He’s calling you and me to be

We can be the change – be the hope
We can be the arms that don’t let go
We can be a light in the dark
We are, we are, where it starts

Natalie Grant

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A lukewarm Christian is not something that I want to be. Oh…I definitely have been. But I much prefer to be in the game; and when you’re in the game, you get dirty.  Jesus did.  He didn’t play it safe and protect himself and just associate with His disciples and followers.  No, He ate with the hated and He got close to the sick to heal them and He walked with prostitutes.  His main objective was to make sure that everyone knew His Father and that they would go to Heaven when they died.

This is exactly how we should be.  I am sure that around your area, there are homeless people who have needs to be met before they can even think about making a decision to know Him.  Hungry families live on streets near you.  There are women in your circle who may be fighting an addiction of some kind and need to know Jesus still loves them. There are marriages on the brink of divorce.  You are someones hope today!

So as you listen to this song, pray to God that He will reveal to you where to go and who needs to hear hope from you.  Ask Him to lead you to them and He will guide you and speak through you.  How awesome is it to actually be His hands and feet?!!!  There are so many changes that this world needs and it can start here with us….

Declare His glory among the nations, His wonders among all peoples.
Psalms 96:3 NKJV

Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations,
baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you;
and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.
Matthew 28:19-20 NKJV

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Dear God, thank You so much for sending Jesus to earth as a man, to walk among sinners.  He showed us what we should be like.  He was a Friend of sinners and loved  the ones who are hardest to love.  Lord, You created everyone and You love us all. Please plant in us that same love for our neighbor and give us the desire to walk through their hard with them.  Reveal to us who we are to share with and direct our steps and send us where we are to go.  You have blessed each one of us by living in us and granting us grace for each moment.  I pray that no one has to go one more day without knowing how much You love them.  Help us to get in the game and not be afraid to get our hands dirty.  We love You. In Jesus’ name, we pray.  Amen.

 

If We Keep Quiet

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Hathach came back and related Mordecai’s words to Esther.  Then Esther spoke to Hathach and ordered him to reply to Mordecai:  “All the king’s officials and even the people in the provinces know that anyone who appears before the king in his inner court without being invited is doomed to die unless the king holds out his gold scepter. And the king has not called for me to come to him for thirty days.”  

So Hathach gave Esther’s message to Mordecai.  Mordecai sent this reply to Esther: “Don’t think for a moment that because you’re in the palace you will escape when all other Jews are killed.  If you keep quiet at a time like this, deliverance and relief for the Jews will arise from some other place, but you and your relatives will die.  Who knows if perhaps you were made queen for just such a time as this?”  

Then Esther sent this reply to Mordecai: “Go and gather together all the Jews of Susa and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. My maids and I will do the same. And then, though it is against the law, I will go in to see the king. If I must die, I must die.”

So Mordecai went away and did everything as Esther had ordered him.

Esther 4:9-17 NLT

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Esther is one of my favorite books of the bible.  I love the story line and how it reads like a romance novel.  In this chapter of the book, there has been an evil plan that will end in the Jews losing their lives.  Mordecai is Esther’s uncle and he has begged her to save them by going to the king and telling him of the plan.  However Esther knows that if she dares go before the king, without being summoned, she is likely to be killed.  Big risk!

Can you imagine not being able to go to your husband that you have grown to love dearly unless he calls you?  And, in this passage, the king hasn’t summoned her in about 30 days.  She is a little afraid, really.  (Wouldn’t you be?)  She sends a message back to Mordecai saying that it’s too dangerous.  After hearing his reply and thinking more about it, she comes to the conclusion that either way she could die…so why not choose the role of hero.  She also knows that her God is bigger than all of this and she would rather trust Him and obey what she feels He would ask of her.

We all have fears and anxiety.  If we let them, they can consume us and actually keep us from the calling that God has placed on our lives.  And what if we, like Esther, are called to do something big, too.  For this season, in this time, you could be changing lives for the kingdom.  Saving people simply by sharing the good news of Jesus!  And if there is any question in your mind about “if” you are called to tell all who will listen,  then, may you be reminded that Jesus calls everyone to go into the world and tell of Him.  This decision to follow Him is life.

And then He told them,
“Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone.”
Mark 16:15

So today, I pray that God will show us those who need to hear the hope of Him.  And that He will give us all the courage to step out and share all that He has done for us.  I celebrate with you today that we have Him as our Father!

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Let us pray: Dear God, we thank You for giving us the opportunity to live in a free country where speaking Your name is not met with punishment but well received.  Thank You for continuing to bless us and for the free gift of grace that is free.  We don’t deserve it; yet You forgive our every sin.  Lord, today, I pray that You will reveal to each one of us those around us who need to hear Your name and the hope that we have in You.  Give us the wisdom and the courage to share this good news so that when You do come back to get us, Lord, we will all be ready!  We love You.  In Jesus’ name, amen.