July 27, 2017

Mark 5:24-34 ~ Jesus’ Words on Faith

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{This final week of 2015 we will be re-visiting some of my personal favorite themes on which our wonderful writers have shared with us throughout this past year.  I hope that you (as I was, too!) will be encouraged and reminded of God’s faithfulness and loving care through their inspired words.} 

…And there was a woman who had had a flow of blood for twelve years, and who had endured much suffering under [the hands of] many physicians and had spent all that she had, and was no better but instead grew worse.
She had heard the reports concerning Jesus, and she came up behind Him in the throng and touched His garment, for she kept saying, If I only touch His garments, I shall be restored to health. And immediately her flow of blood was dried up at the source, and [suddenly] she felt in her body that she was healed of her [distressing] ailment.
And Jesus, recognizing in Himself that the power proceeding from Him had gone forth, turned around immediately in the crowd and said, Who touched My clothes?  And the disciples kept saying to Him, You see the crowd pressing hard around You from all sides, and You ask, Who touched Me? Still He kept looking around to see her who had done it. But the woman, knowing what had been done for her, though alarmed and frightened and trembling, fell down before Him and told Him the whole truth.
And He said to her, Daughter, your faith (your trust and confidence in Me, springing from faith in God) has restored you to health. Go in (into) peace and be continually healed and freed from your [distressing bodily] disease.

Mark 5:24–34 AMP

*  ~  ♥  ~  ✞  ~  ♥  ~  *

This week here on the Seeking Him daily devotional blog, our sisters have focused on Jesus’ words on faith from this record in the Gospel of Mark…  Oh! So much to glean and to learn here! Whenever I read or hear this passage, I am immediately drawn to the thoughts and the actions of this woman.  She had FAITHand she acted upon it!

Listen to what Tina, Laura, Cynda, Ann, and Ahmee had to share earlier this week….

In Your Faith, Cynda wrote,

“I got to thinking…if Jesus came to give us an abundant, overflowing life, why aren’t we experiencing that kind of life?  I think Mark 5:34a (NLT) holds the key:

And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well.

Our faith must be exercised to have an abundant, overflowing life.  Faith is based on knowing God & studying His words.  Joyce Meyer says “God’s Word is like medicine for the spirit, soul, and body.”  We must apply God’s Word and put our faith into action.  That’s what this woman did.”

Tina reminded us, in Your Faith Has Made You Free, of the courage of this woman who had faith to approach Jesus for healing.

And He said to her, Daughter, your faith
(your trust and confidence in Me,
springing from faith in God) has restored you to health.
Go in (into) peace and be continually healed and freed
from your [distressing bodily] disease.
Mark 5:34

“The woman had heard of Jesus’ miraculous healing power and out of her desperation, she knew she would probably die if she did not find someone to cure her…Getting the courage to touch His robe in the crowd, she knew she could get into trouble if found out.  Women were and are still thought of as property.  But Jesus did not rebuff her…He wanted her to have faith in telling her story to everyone that she was healed just by touching His robe.”

Ahmee reminded us in A Single Choiceof the importance of making choices based upon the guidance of God and God’s Word.

“A single choice can change your life for better or for worse.  Big decisions and small decisions can have catastrophic results.  The choices we make today form our habits for our tomorrows.  The choices we make today influence who will be in our tomorrows.  The choice this woman made (in this passage from Mark chapter 5) changed her life!  For twelve years—everyday—she bled.  She’d tried getting help from doctors, but to no avail.  And she had spent everything she had.   As I read this I wondered if she went to Jesus only because she had run out of other options.  Was it desperation that pulled her to Him?  Is this not so often the case, though? Regardless of why… she still made the choice and that’s the part that matters.

Choose. And make sure they are wise choices.

In Faith That Brings Peace, Ann posed some important questions regarding making good decisions to step out in faith.

“This lady knew that ‘if only I can touch Jesus’ hem of His garments…all will be well for me.’  She took a step of faith and broke protocols of that time by maneuvering through the crowd and found herself amidst the disciples (men) and touched Jesus.

On its own, it was not proper for a woman to be brushing shoulders with men; she didn’t mind what people would say about her.  All she was concerned with was that she would be healed.  I therefore urge each one of us to be a people of vision.  Let us also ask ourselves these questions below:

  • What is it that we want God to do for us?

  • How are we drawing near to Him for Him to help us?

  • How much time do we have for God?

  • Do we believe He can do it?

  • How great is He to heal us and free us from suffering?!?”

And  in Healing Power, Laura shared with us the faith in action of some folks from her home church who are endeavoring to have faith as they go through some hard times.

“One of our church members was involved in a bad car accident this week.  He was in very bad shape.  He was paralyzed from the neck down and was having trouble breathing.  The family asked for prayers….

The power of prayer and faith in God has helped this follower of Jesus to improve.  Faith and prayer is hopefully going to bring this family through this season in their life.  …However, I believe that they have faith like the woman in this record in the Gospel of Mark.  They have been praying, and he is slowly starting to improve (at last update).

To have faith strong as this is a blessing to any family.  Faith this strong can bring the healing power of God to anybody.  This is what Jesus wants from us—full faith in Him.  He wants us to rely on Him.  He died for us…we should all be able to rely on Him no matter the season or the trial ahead of us.”

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.

I Refuse

Sometimes I, I just want to close my eyes
And act like everyone’s alright, when I know they’re not
This world needs God, but it’s easier to stand and watch
I could say a prayer and just move on, like nothing’s wrong
But I refuse
‘Cause I don’t want to live like I don’t care
I don’t want to say another empty prayer
Oh, I refuse to
Sit around and wait for someone else
To do what God has called me to do myself
Oh, I could choose not to move
But I refuse

I can hear the least of these, crying out so desperately
And I know we are the hands and feet of You, oh God
So if You say move, it’s time for me to follow through
And do what I was made to do, and show them who You are

To stand and watch the weary and lost
Cry out for help
I refuse to turn my back and try and act
Like all is well
I refuse to stay unchanged, to wait another day
To die to myself
I refuse to make one more excuse

Josh Wilson
Singer/Songwriter

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It is so easy to sit around and not do anything.  It is much harder to do something about our problems or the issues we see around us.  All we need to do is ask God to help us be strong and give us the courage to do what is right. There are some who do not have to pray about it. They already know what they need to do…and they embrace the challenge.

We can all find this kind of courage, especially when we read the Psalms. Who much more can we follow than David?  Through his ups and downs, David always praised God.  As David went through his struggles and victories, it is also a reminder of our future Savior and King—Jesus.

Jesus, when he was in the garden of Gethsemane, prayed for God to take away what was going to happen. But, because it was not God’s plan, Jesus accepted His fate and completed His journey for His Father.

*   ~   ♥   ~   ✞   ~  ♥   ~   *

Heavenly Father, we love You and thank You for sending us great examples for us to follow.  We want to be a light for You in this confused world.  Forgive us for being complacent and lazy.  Light a fire under us to share your awesome truths.  In Jesus’ name, amen.

 

Don’t Miss His Majesty

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Immediately He made the disciples get into the boat and go ahead of Him to the other side, while He dismissed the crowds.  After dismissing the crowds, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray.  When evening came, He was there alone.  But the boat was already over a mile from land, battered by the waves, because the wind was against them.  Around three in the morning, He came toward them walking on the sea.  When the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost!” they said, and cried out in fear.  

Immediately Jesus spoke to them. “Have courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”  
“Lord, if it’s You,” Peter answered Him, “command me to come to You on the water.”  
“Come!” He said.

And climbing out of the boat, Peter started walking on the water and came toward Jesus.  But when he saw the strength of the wind, he was afraid. And beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me!”

Immediately Jesus reached out His hand, caught hold of him, and said to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?”  When they got into the boat, the wind ceased.  Then those in the boat worshiped Him and said, “Truly You are the Son of God!”

Matthew 14:22-31 HCSB

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Sometimes I question if I am in God’s will…especially when storms seem to linger.  You know, those weeks and months when nothing goes the right way, (or, should I say, the way that is most comfortable!) and it feels like you just might be one of those Israelites stuck in the desert?  It is so tempting to say to God, “Please, can’t You just do something to stop all this?!?”  Of course, the answer if yes…He can.  But what if He doesn’t choose to stop it just yet?  Will you still have peace?  Or is yours a superficial peace that you only have if your checkbook is positive, or that job you wanted so badly is yours, or your husband is really being his nicest?  Hard questions, I know…because He has really been working on me lately with this.

Look at the Scripture passage above.  The disciples had just been with Jesus while He fed the 5000.  They had been with Him as He spoke and they probably were on a spiritual high.  And Jesus had actually made them get into the boat and go ahead of Him so they were exactly where He told them to be…and a storm still came.  I’m sure this was no surprise to Jesus.  And neither is the one that you’re in right now.  Sometimes these ‘waves’ happen just to rock our boat.  Not all are a result of sin or disobedience in your life! But know this: If Jesus has appointed us a place in the storm—you can be absolutely sure that it’s for a purpose and He will show up.  But we must be looking beyond our own boat to actually see Him.

One of the biggest storms for me happened when Kyle couldn’t find work a few years back.  Yet I knew that we were exactly where He wanted us.  I heard the words spiritual warfare a few times because that seems to be the easiest answer to understand…but I knew this wasn’t the case.  I knew that God had a purpose, and that this was His doing, and we were to learn how to totally depend on Him for our joy and peace.  We had a lot of healing to do and this was when God worked the hardest.  Looking back on that painful time, I can actually smile because I have never felt so close to God as I did then.

Jesus calls us to walk by faith as we try to make our way through the rough storms.  Don’t you think we owe Him that?  Especially when He does way more than that…He walks on water during the storms.  See, God the Father put all things under Jesus feet, even the waves that seem to wash over us constantly. He is there and He is in control.  He doesn’t want you to miss the important lesson of this story, my friend:

Jesus walked on the water before He calmed the storm.

If He had just stopped the storm, the disciples would have missed seeing His majesty…and isn’t that the best part?  So don’t hurry Him to stop the waves and calm the storms….look for Him in the midst of it first!

*   ~   ♥   ~   ✞   ~  ♥   ~   *

Let us pray: Dearest Lord, You are the calmer of storms, the Lover of our souls.  You are so worthy of praise and honor.  We thank You for being so intentional in each one of our lives.  And that You have a plan that is so detailed and so full of You!  We pray to trust You.  Lord, I know that there are many going through different storms right now and I ask that they can see You walking toward them.  Comfort Your children today and let them know that You are there and in control.  Thank You, again, for loving us and for giving us grace and mercy for each new day.  In Jesus name, amen.

Week Two…Jesus’ Words on Faith (Mark 5:24-34)

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 …And there was a woman who had had a flow of blood for twelve years,
And who had endured much suffering under [the hands of] many physicians and had spent all that she had, and was no better but instead grew worse.
She had heard the reports concerning Jesus, and she came up behind Him in the throng and touched His garment,
For she kept saying, If I only touch His garments, I shall be restored to health.
And immediately her flow of blood was dried up at the source, and [suddenly] she felt in her body that she was healed of her [distressing] ailment.
And Jesus, recognizing in Himself that the power proceeding from Him had gone forth, turned around immediately in the crowd and said, Who touched My clothes?
And the disciples kept saying to Him, You see the crowd pressing hard around You from all sides, and You ask, Who touched Me?
Still He kept looking around to see her who had done it.
But the woman, knowing what had been done for her, though alarmed and frightened and trembling, fell down before Him and told Him the whole truth.
And He said to her, Daughter, your faith (your trust and confidence in Me, springing from faith in God) has restored you to health. Go in (into) peace and be continually healed and freed from your [distressing bodily] disease.

Mark 5:24–34 AMP

This week the daily devotions here on the Seeking Him daily devotional blog have focused on Jesus’ words on faith from this record in the Gospel of Mark…

So much to glean and to learn here! Whenever I read or hear this passage, I am immediately drawn to the thoughts and the actions of this woman. She had FAITHand she acted upon it!

Listen to what Tina, Laura, Cynda, Ann, and Ahmee had to share earlier this week….

In Your Faith, Cynda wrote,

“I got to thinking…if Jesus came
to give us an abundant, overflowing life,
why aren’t we experiencing that kind of life?

I think Mark 5:34a (NLT) holds the key:

And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well.

Our faith must be exercised to have an abundant, overflowing life.  Faith is based on knowing God & studying His words.  Joyce Meyer says “God’s Word is like medicine for the spirit, soul, and body.”  We must apply God’s Word and put our faith into action.  That’s what this woman did.”

Tina reminded us, in Your Faith Has Made You Free, of the courage of this woman who had faith to approach Jesus for healing.

And He said to her, Daughter, your faith (your trust and confidence in Me,
springing from faith in God) has restored you to health.
Go in (into) peace and be continually healed and freed
from your [distressing bodily] disease.
Mark 5:34

“The woman had heard of Jesus’ miraculous healing power and out of her desperation, she knew she would probably die if she did not find someone to cure her…Getting the courage to touch His robe in the crowd, she knew she could get into trouble if found out.  Women were and are still thought of as property.  But Jesus did not rebuff her.  He wanted her to have faith in telling her story to everyone that she was healed just by touching His robe.”

Ahmee reminded us in A Single Choice, of the importance of making choices based upon the guidance of God and God’s Word.

“A single choice can change your life for better or for worse.  Big decisions and small decisions can have catastrophic results.  The choices we make today form our habits for our tomorrows.  The choices we make today influence who will be in our tomorrows.  The choice this woman made (in this passage from Mark chapter 5) changed her life!  For twelve years—everyday—she bled.  She’d tried getting help from doctors, but to no avail.  And she had spent everything she had.   As I read this I wondered if she went to Jesus only because she had run out of other options.  Was it desperation that pulled her to Him?  Is this not so often the case, though? Regardless of why… she still made the choice and that’s the part that matters.

Choose. And make sure they are wise choices.

In Faith That Brings Peace, Ann posed some important questions regarding making good decisions to step out in faith.

“This lady knew that ‘if only I can touch Jesus’ hem of His garments…all will be well for me.’  She took a step of faith and broke protocols of that time by maneuvering through the crowd and found herself amidst the disciples (men) and touched Jesus.

On its own, it was not proper for a woman to be brushing shoulders with men; she didn’t mind what people would say about her.  All she was concerned with was that she would be healed.  I therefore urge each one of us to be a people of vision.  Let us also ask ourselves these questions below:

  • What is it that we want God to do for us
  • How are we drawing near to Him for Him to help us
  • How much time do we have for God
  • Do we believe He can do it
  • How great is He to heal us and free us from suffering”

And  in Healing Power, Laura shared with us the faith in action of some folks from her home church who are endeavoring to have faith as they go through some hard times.

“One of our church members was involved in a bad car accident this week.  He was in very bad shape.  He was paralyzed from the neck down and was having trouble breathing.  The family asked for prayers….

The power of prayer and faith in God has helped this follower of Jesus to improve.  Faith and prayer is hopefully going to bring this family through this season in their life.  …However, I believe that they have faith like the woman in this record in the Gospel of Mark.  They have been praying, and he is slowly starting to improve (at last update).

To have faith strong as this is a blessing to any family.  Faith this strong can bring the healing power of God to anybody.  This is what Jesus wants from us—full faith in Him.  He wants us to rely on Him.  He died for us…we should all be able to rely on Him no matter the season or the trial ahead of us.”

Beauty Will Rise

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It was the day the world went wrong
I screamed ’til my voice was gone
And watched through the tears as everything
Came crashing down
Slowly panic turns to pain
As we awake to what remains
And sift through the ashes that are left behind

But buried deep beneath
All our broken dreams
We have this hope:

Out of these ashes…beauty will rise
And we will dance among the ruins
We will see Him with our own eyes
Out of these ashes…beauty will rise
For we know, joy is coming in the morning
in the morning, beauty will rise

So take another breath for now,
And let the tears come washing down
And if you can’t believe I will believe for you

Cause I have seen
the signs of spring!
Just watch and see:

Out of these ashes…beauty will rise
And we will dance among the ruins
We will see Him with our own eyes
Out of these ashes…beauty will rise
For we know, joy is coming in the morning
In the morning

I can hear it in the distance
And it’s not too far away
It’s the music and the laughter
Of a wedding and a feast
I can almost feel the hand of God
Reaching for my face
To wipe the tears away, and say
“It’s time to make everything new”

“Make it all new”

This is our hope
This is the promise
This is our hope
This is the promise
That it would take our breath away
To see the beauty that’s been made
Out of the ashes
Out of the ashes
That it would take our breath away
To see the beauty that He’s made
Out of the ashes…
Out of the ashes…

Out of these ashes… beauty will rise
And we will dance among the ruins
We will see Him with our own eyes
Out of this darkness…new life will shine
And we’ll know the joy is coming in the morning
In the morning…beauty will rise

Oh, Beauty will rise
Oh, Beauty will rise
Oh, oh, oh, Beauty will rise
Oh, oh, oh, Beauty will rise
Oh, oh, oh, Beauty will rise

~  Steven Curtis Chapman, songwriter and singer  ~

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Steven Curtis Chapman is no stranger to tragedy.  Of all people, he knows ashes and he knows the beauty that God can make out of the ashes of tragedy and loss and suffering.  On May 21, 2008, Steven’s youngest daughter, Maria, was killed in their front yard, by a vehicle driven by their son. She was the youngest of the three girls the Chapmans had adopted from China; she was a vital part of the family, loved and adored by all.

In the days and week to come, Steven thought about leaving the music industry altogether.  Then God came to him, and inspired him to make music out of his pain.  That just maybe his mess that became his ministry would help others see that there is hope and healing in His name. And it became his mission to SEE God in the details of this.

Since Maria was from China, they traveled there and opened a home for special needs orphans called “Maria’s Big House of Hope” where children can live and be ministered to and loved.  Because of the tragedy of losing her, tens of thousands of children will be saved from life-threatening illnesses and have a place to call home, with loving nannies and nurses and doctors to care for them. Beauty from ashes, right?  And, while they were there, the whole family went to visit the site of that terrible earthquake of 2008, where over 70,000 people lost their lives. and left 5,000,000 homeless.  The Chapman family knew loss and they were able to relate to these people who had lost their sons and daughters, their mothers and fathers.  And the only comfort that they knew to share was God’s comfort through Scripture.  So they shared with the people of  China God’s unconditional love—that even in earthquakes, He never left them.

Through the ashes, like those left behind in the earthquake, beauty will rise.  New buildings are built; new homes, beautiful new streets and sidewalks.  And also new life with God.  After every tragedy, our relationship with God gets stronger because He is our Comforter and He never leaves us.  He can make beautiful out of ugly.  I know this and believe this…He is able!

Isn’t this like the Cross?  It was painful, hurtful, unfair and i’m sure the crown of thorns hurt and the day was dark.  But then Hope was raised from the dead, and new life…eternal life was birthed! And now we will live in eternity with Him forever!  Because Jesus died, we will live.  Because of the darkness, we see light and God will alway make something beautiful out of our ashes.

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Let us pray: Dear Lord Jesus, thank You so much for taking our tragedies and turning them into triumphs!  Out of the ugly messes we get ourselves in, Lord, You can use them to reach others for the Kingdom.  Sometimes our messes become our ministries ;and we are better equipped to help our fellow-travelers who may also be struggling. Beauty from Ashes…only You have the ability and only You know what we need.  In loss, You never leave us, and as we put one foot in front of the other, You fill us with Your strength and courage.  Thank You for not leaving us the way we are. And thank You for the ultimate beautiful Redeemer and Savior You sent to die in our place so that we can live a full life and live forever with You.  In Jesus’ name, amen.

CHRISTLife — ThirtyEight: Bold and Confident

cl bold and confidentGod chose us.  He also chose us to do His good works here on earth, as we await His return.  And the most amazing thing about this is He seems to choose the most unlikely and unqualified people to carry out His most important works.

Do you know this to be true? And often the response to His calling is, “Are You sure, God? Me? Why?”  Unintentionally we limit Him by what we think we can and cannot do.  For what’s impossible to us is possible with God.  We just have to believe that He has called us and He has a mission for us to spread His Word to the world.

Feeling unqualified?  When He calls, He equips and qualifies us to do that which we so feel we aren’t qualified to do.  Let’s go to His Word and look at some of those He called…and their response to Him.  And how different the world would be if they had felt they couldn’t do it!

God calls Moses:

Moses was 80 years old when he was sent to free the Israelites from Pharaoh.  His response was something like, “Me? I can’t even speak well. Do You really think anyone would even listen to me?”  When Moses finally quit making excuses and obeyed, the way was paved by God through the Red Sea, across a desert and, finally, to the entrance of the Promised Land.  All along the way, God was providing food and shelter and water for these people who trusted Moses with their lives.

Have you ever thought about what could have happened if Moses has said no?

God calls Jeremiah:

Jeremiah was a teenager at the time that God sent him to deliver news to the Jewish people.  Because He was so young, he thought that no one would take him seriously.  But God did.  He said in Jeremiah 1:5,”Before you were born I set you apart.”  For 24 years, Jeremiah was at God’s call, and all he did was write books filled with God’s words. The first one was destroyed and Jeremiah was imprisoned. His feet were in chains and he was thrown into a pit. But God sent rescuers and made a way for all His messages to be delivered.

God calls Gideon:

Last one on my list today is Gideon—and my favorite, I will have to say!  God called him His mighty warrior!  He told him to save His people who were being attacked constantly by their enemies.  He also wanted Gideon to destroy the idol, Baal.  But Gideon, who was working in a wine press, hiding in fear from his enemies, had many excuses as to why he wasn’t God’s man.  He said that he was a coward and how could God use him to fight for His people?  Fast forward…God fully equipped Gideon to do so much more.  He used his weakness to prove God’s strength.

See?  You are ready for any task that God has laid in front of you.  You may not even know what you are called to do but know this—you are called to do great things!  And He will make sure you have everything you need to complete His will.  God calls you to serve with what you have and just as you are.  All you have to do is trust and believe Him,  and love Him enough to do what He says.

  • Matthew 14:22  If you love Me, then look at me. Keep your eyes on me.
  • Matthew 16:4     If you love Me, follow me.
  • Luke 10:37          If you love Me, go and do likewise.
  • John 21:15-17    If you love Me, feed My sheep…tend My lambs.

And remember, there is only one that wants to see you fail. There is an enemy who wants to fill you with fear and lies and keep you silent so you won’t do the Lord’s work. But God did not give you a spirit of fear, “…but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7 NKJV).

He gives you courage.  Courage is what will help you persevere.  And it’s God’s power that resides in you and gives you the confidence you need to go on and accomplish with victory the will of your Father in Heaven.  The Lord is your Shepherd, you shall not want for…anything!

Esther – Chapter 5:6-8

Wk5_Esther_Caddell

Waiting.  I’m going to admit something that probably only my family and closest friends know – I’m not the most patient person.  In fact, I quit praying for patience, because God answered my prayers by putting me in positions that required me to be patient.  (You understand that is how it works, right?  If you pray for something like patience – you will not wake up with an unbelievable measure of patience – you will be placed in situations where your patience is going to be developed.  God is concerned with your character, not your convenience.)  God, however, is not fooled – He continues to place me in situations to develop my patience, because it is in my best interest.   If I appear patient, it’s because I work on it every day.

Is it hard for you to wait? More importantly – did you know that you will often have to wait for the Lord?  Did you also know waiting would test your strength and courage?

We often have a “microwave mentality.”  We want our food…and we want it now.  I don’t want to wait an hour for a baked potato – I want it in 5 minutes. My popcorn package says 2:30, but at 2:10 the bag is out of there – I’m ready to eat!  How often are we like that with God? ” God – give me patience – and give it to me right now!”  We want to see evidence of God working in our lives immediately. We want proof our prayers are answered today.  But if we believe Romans 8:28, “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose” then we must believe that in God’s timing we will see the proof that He is working in our lives.

In Esther 5:6-8 we see the setup that will be evidenced in the coming verses and chapters.  Esther has a plan to present her request before the King, but postpones her request until the banquet the next day.  We will see how the delay in her request is then timed perfectly with God’s plan for honoring Mordecai and saving the Jews.  If you look through the Bible you will see many more examples of God’s timing.  Think about Abraham: God called him to leave his country and follow him. He told Abraham that He would make him a father of many nations.  Do you know how long Abraham had to wait for God to fulfill that promise and send him Isaac?  Over 40 years!   What about David?  He was anointed King of Israel as a boy, yet he had to wait over 30 years to be crowned King – and many of those years were filled with despair and fear for his life from the reigning King of Israel!

Ladies, if you will allow me, I want to share something personal with you.  About two years ago I went through a fairly challenging year spiritually.  You see, I have felt the call of God very strongly on my life for several years, but I couldn’t quite figure out what He wanted of me. I began the year by again surrendering everything to God, and said that He could use me any way He wanted.  I prayed.  I fasted.  I studied the Scripture.  And I felt…nothing.  No urging.  No assignment.  There were things that I felt He laid on my heart to study, however, and so I did.  I poured myself into the Scriptures daily.  I was faithful to what He put in my path.

As the year progressed, I became discouraged – did God not want anything from me?   Was I not strong enough?  Did I not know enough?  Was I always going to be mediocre?  I felt as if I was in God’s classroom and He was calling for helpers – and no matter how often I raised my hand He picked someone else.  I felt this way for an entire year.  But then, one day, two women came into my small group who had serious issues: addictions, chaos in the home, doubt as to their worth in God’s eyes (one had in the past been suicidal).  And, through the Holy Spirit, I knew how to speak to them.  (They are still active friends in my life, by the way, and God is working MIGHTILY in their lives – praise God!)  I was amazed at how I responded!  And on my way home from church, God revealed Himself to me so strongly it felt like a punch in the chest – THIS is what He prepared me for.  I am an encourager – this is my primary gifting.  This is why He spent a year preparing me (and continues to prepare me) – “to know the word that sustains the weary” (Isaiah 50:4, NIV).  I learned about spiritual warfare and strengthened my prayer life so that I would be an intercessor, a watchman on the wall.   God sends me broken people – and it’s my job (and privilege) to care for them.

What is God preparing YOU for?  Will you reject this time of waiting because you need immediate proof?  Or will you ask God to strengthen you, to teach you, to grow you, to prepare you while you are waiting for His promises in your life to be fulfilled?

 

Let’s pray:

Lord, how great are Your promises, how great is Your patience!  Your timing is perfect and Your will is amazing.  Teach me, Lord, to wait for you!  Help me to see the waiting time as productive time.  Help me to see Your hand in my life.  Help me to be faithful to the small things You place before me, as You are faithful to even the smallest detail in my life.  Thank You, Lord, for Your incredible love for me, and thank You for allowing me to be used in Your service and for Your glory!  In the name of Your Son we pray.

Amen.

Girls with Swords: Chapter 6 – “Hear the Call” – “A Tale of Two Kings” (pgs 98-104)

Have you opened your ears and heard the Lord call your name?  Are you covering your ears with fear of the unknown after you hear Our Mighty King whisper His warrior-princess’s name?  Whether you embrace it or not, we all have warrior potential traced throughout the perfect will God has for us.  Whether you choose to hear it or not, the King of Kings is calling your name.  He is calling you to a life in which you bring glory to His name through your very own.

Fear will always be a part of our lives, but it does not have to be the driving force behind our actions or lack thereof.  Fear, when placed in the right manner, will only drive us closer to God Himself.  We must fear God and keep His commandments.  We do this by coming to a revelation of Who God truly is and what He has truly done for us.  This revelation drives us to be obedient because of the deep love we possess for our One and Only King.  When we let Satan get in the middle he uses fear to paralyze us when indeed it was intended to help run the race that is marked ahead for us!

All of us have a perfect will for our lives, and we also have a perfect love that drives out any fear that tries to prevent us from living out God’s perfect will for us.

1 John 4:18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

As warrior-princesses-in-training we all possess God’s perfect love in our hearts.  Where God’s love is, fear doesn’t stand a chance.  Remember why you are able to take your stand against fear: because of Jesus’ sacrifice on the Cross, and let all that you do be a testament of His surrendered life.  This is how we are able to bring God glory—we surrender our lives to His.  When I picture God receiving glory, I picture a beautiful song playing throughout Heaven for Him to enjoy.  I desire God to hear that song always.  In order to hit the play button I must stop muting His song, start giving Him glory for all He does through my life, and let the praises be a sweet, sweet sound in His ear!

Let’s all surrender our lives to being a princess-warrior for Christ and live for the day we can dance in Heaven with His glorious song playing in the background!

 *****

Let’s all get excited together for Chapter 7!

“Lovely One, you are the daughter of a triumphant Warrior-King.  The warrior’s sword you carry represents honor, virtue, courage, beauty, loyalty, and freedom from fear.  In the next section we will learn how to wield these with purpose”  (page 104).

 

Let’s Pray: 

Thank You, Lord, for sending Your Son to surrender His life for ours.  Please let us learn to surrender our lives to Your perfect will.  Give us the strength to carry on in this life as a warrior-princess.  Let all of the glory go to You alone.  We praise You and thank You for empowering us to live for You.  Amen.