April 29, 2017

Take Heed

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As for God, His way is perfect:
The Lord’s Word is flawless;
He shields all who take refuge in Him.
Psalm 18:30 NIV

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Here we have David, in the midst of singing praises to God for delivering him from his enemies.  I believe David stated the most important reason for that victory—!

God’s way, as the following Scriptures state, is His very own method and style.  God’s way of doing something has no comparison.

LORD, there is no one like You!
For You are great, and Your name is full of power.
Jeremiah 10:6 NLT

Among the gods there is none like You, Lord;
no deeds can compare with Yours.
Psalm 86:8

He is the Rock, His works are perfect,
and all His ways are just.
A faithful God who does no wrong,
upright and just is He.
Deuteronomy 32:4

“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord.
“And My ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.
For just as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so My ways are higher than your ways
and My thoughts higher than your thoughts.
Isaiah 55:8-9

God’s Word is flawless, unbroken, unimpaired, and whole.  It is beneficial to us.  This is in sharp contrast to the lies of the enemy.

God is not man, that He should lie, or a son of man,
that He should change His mind.
Has He said, and will He not do it?
Or has He spoken, and will He not fulfill it?
Numbers 23:19

All Scripture is breathed out by God
and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction,
and for training in righteousness,
that the man of God may be competent,
equipped for every good work.
2 Timothy 3:16-17

God is our Shield.  Just as a king is trusted as the protector of his people, so we who put our faith in God are to trust Him as our Protector.

But You, Lord, are a Shield around me,
my glory, the One who lifts my head high.
Psalm 3:3

Lord Almighty, blessed is the one who trusts in You.
Psalm 84:12

But let all who take refuge in You be glad;
let them ever sing for joy.
Spread Your protection over them,
that those who love Your name may rejoice in You.
Psalm 5:11

Because God’s way is perfect, and His word is flawless, and He has promised to protect His children, we need to take heed.  Yes, like David, we have enemies—whether in the physical or in the spiritual—who try to “entangle us with cords of death” (Psalms 18:4-5).  But if we take heed of God and His Word, He will ”avenge us, and save us from our enemies” (Psalms 18:47-48).  When we are faithfully in God’s Word, then we will know God and experience His deliverance.

It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone,
but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.”
Matthew 4:4

Joyful are people of integrity, who follow the instructions of the Lord.
Joyful are those who obey His laws and search for Him with all their hearts.
They do not compromise with evil, and they walk only in His paths.
You have charged us to keep Your commandments carefully.
Oh, that my actions would consistently reflect Your decrees!
Psalms 119:1-4

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Dear God, our Father and Protector, we come before You with humble and grateful hearts.  There is no way that is more perfect than Your Ways.  There is no word that is more flawless than Your Words.  We are Your children, and You desire nothing more than for us to trust You wholeheartedly so that You can be our Protector.  Help us by Your Holy Spirit to “take heed” of Your Word for us, so that we will know You better and follow You more closely.  We want to be joyful daughters of integrity “…who obey Your laws, and search for You with all our hearts.”  Thank You for Your Word and Your Holy Spirit, so that we can know You better.  In Jesus’ Precious Name, we pray, Amen.

Captivating: An Adventure to Share – Why Beauty Matters

An Adventure to Share:

Healer, Protector, Provider, Savior, Defender – BEAUTY.  So that last one isn’t typically in my vocabulary when I describe our God.  Before I read this part of Captivating, that may have been one of the last words I used to describe Him.  In fact, most of the words I typically use are associated with the heart of man – a strong leader.  But wait!  Women are strong too…in the most beautiful way!

Ezer Kenegdo.  I’m not sure I can even pronounce that right, so I’m glad this is an online study.  BUT how awesome is this concept! To be someone’s Ezer, to be someone’s “lifesaver,” to be someone’s only hope.  Wow.  WOW!  And that’s the role and the responsibility God has placed on the heart of every woman.

“Women are endowed with fierce devotion, an ability to suffer great hardships, a vision to make the world a better place.”

We can be someone’s “Ezer” with just a smile, a positive comment, a loving remark.  I have to constantly remind myself that every day!  God gives us the opportunity to be someone’s Ezer with friends, co-workers, family, and even strangers.  You never know what just a little smile can do – you may have saved someone’s life! And that’s the beauty in you! That’s you, acting in God’s image, and loving a hurting world.  To be an everyday Ezer Kenegdos…that’s our mission!

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After I graduated college, I moved to Philadelphia, a humongous city where I knew absolutely no one.  The year and a half that I lived there was the most trying time I may have ever been through.  Many times, I found myself so incredibly exhausted – in every way.  Mentally, spiritually, emotionally, physically.

Fortunately for me, I only lived an hour away from the shore of the Atlantic Ocean.  One lonely Friday night, I decided to escape.  Escape people, my exhausting life and situation, and run away…to the beach.  So I threw some PJs, a beach towel, and my bathing suit in a bag, hopped in my old, rusted car and headed straight for the shore.  Did I have hotel reservations? No.  A plan for the weekend? Not at all.  But what did I find? As the sun was setting over the ocean, I found God.  As I walked through a local flower show, I found God.  As I listened to the crashing waves, I found God.  I found God because I found beauty.

When was the last time you stopped your life and found God like that? Have you realized yet that this beauty that we find in nature – we are that beauty?  We, as women, are beauty incarnate.

Does your life exemplify the beauty within you?  Set aside the make-up and jewelry, your career goals, your obligations, society’s pressures…I want you to take a big breath.  Come on, one big one!  And exhale.  Good!  Now surrender all of those things to God and ask Him to help you reveal your true beauty.  Ask Him to reveal it in your attitude, your thoughts about yourself and others, and your actions.

You are beautiful.  You are created in the image of God.  You are essential.  You matter.

Praise Him,
Carissa


Let’s Pray
Father, thank You for who You are and who You have created us as women to be: a living example of true beauty.  Lord, I pray that all doubts or thoughts of insecurity be surrendered to You.  We know, Father, that when we rest in Your beauty, all is well.  Lord, help us to be that example of beauty to those around us, that beauty that we were created to be.  We love You, beautiful Savior. In Your Holy Name we pray, Amen.

Your Assignment
Find beauty today.  Meditate on the fact that YOU ARE THE BEAUTY YOU FOUND – and so much more!  Being with a woman who is at rest, a woman comfortable within her own beauty, is an enjoyable experience. She is trusting God, not striving to become beautiful, but allowing His beauty to more fully inhabit her.  Have you had the experience of being with a woman who was stressed, striving, worried? And how did you feel around her?

Which woman do you want to be?



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If you would like to send a personal message to Carissa in regards to this blog, you may email her at: Carissa@girlfriendscoffeehour.com.