February 22, 2018

Cast My Cares

psalmshymnsspiritualsongskjv

When fear feels bigger than my faith
And struggles steal my breath away

When my back’s pressed up against the wall
With the weight of my worries stacked up tall
You’re strong enough to hold it all

I will cast my cares on You
You’re the Anchor of my hope
The only One Who’s in control
I will cast my cares on You
I’ll trade the troubles of this world
For Your peace inside my soul

This war’s not what I would’ve chosen
But You see the future no one knows yet

And You’re still good when I can’t
See the working of Your hands
You’re holding it all

I’m finding there’s freedom
When I lay it all on Your shoulders

Cast my cares, I will
Cast my cares, I will
Cast my cares on You

Finding Favour
Writers: Blake NeeSmith, Casy Brown & Sam Tinnesz

*   ~   ♥   ~   ✞   ~  ♥   ~   * 

Cast your cares on the LORD and He will sustain you;
He will never let the righteous be shaken.
Psalm 52:22

Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.
1 Peter 1:7

Why is it that we still worry and doubt, even when He has proven to us over and over again that He will always come through for us and that all the resources that are our Father’s are ours, too?  I can look back, week after week, and see His hand in my life and His provision; yet I can still get myself all worked up and anxious.

I have areas in my life that are so easy to hand over to God…

  • my children’s safety
  • protection over us
  • my parents well-being
  • …and the list goes on.

But there is one that I continue to give Him…and then take back (and it is on-going).  But God is always faithful and He reminds me over and over again in His Word that His promises always come true (Deuteronomy 7:9, 2 Corinthians 1:20) and that if He cares about the birds in the air, how much more does He care about us (Matthew 6:25-34)?

What are you holding onto today that is keeping you from the joy that is yours?  Our God is so capable of handling all of our problems all at once. He is everywhere and He is so close to you.  His love reaches to the ends of the earth and knows no end.  Today I challenge us all to make a list of three things that we need to give to Him and let Him handle.  Journal them and see if your load is a little lighter and your smile is a little brighter!  And look in the Bible and seek those verses on just this topic, casting it all on God!

 *   ~   ♥   ~   ✞   ~  ♥   ~   * 

Let us pray: Dear God, You are so loving and so true.  You are always the same even when everything around us is changing.  You are so capable of holding all of our burdens on Your shoulders.  Oh Lord, we are Your children and we need You.  Help us to love You more each day and to remember to give You all our problems, believing that You will take care of it.  We love You and we trust You.  In Jesus’ name, amen.

 

Esther – Chapter 3 Recap

Wk3_Recap_Spring

I have found the story of Esther to be a story of your life and mine.  You are the king and you have an influence on all who know you and all who come in contact with you.  You, too, have found a new queen when your spirit was made new and alive in the Lord Jesus Christ.  In this place of communion, have you sensed the Holy Spirit’s influence on your life?  He’s always at battle for you against the enemy who has an evil plan for your life.  Esther’s story retraces the story of our lives.

In chapter 3, we will see the process of evil unveiling in a humans life along with the way God can and will deliver us from it.  Read Esther 3:1-5. Verse 5 says,”When Haman saw that Mordecai would not kneel down or pay him honor, he was enraged.” W ho is Haman?  What’s behind the conflict between these two—Mordecai and Haman?  Haman is an Agagite, which means he is a descendant of a man named Agag.

Haman represents the evil that is at work in all of our hearts.  Mordecai represents the Holy Spirit.  In Galatians 5:17, we read: “The flesh lusts against the Spirit and the Spirit against the flesh and these are contrary one to the other.  This story of Haman, Mordecai and Ahasuerus is clearly representative of this battle we have as Christians.  We constantly mess up and try to justify our sins.  This is where the Holy Spirit comes in and opposes this influence in us that has come to destroy us.  He came to deliver us as we will see in this story.

Have you found that when you became a Christian, you had more trouble than you had before?  You were cruising through life pretty smoothly until you accepted Jesus.  Then you find yourself being attacked sometimes from all sides.  The enemy realized just how much you mean to the Kingdom of Heaven and he felt threatened.  So he comes at you to catch you off guard, to see if he can possibly knock down one of God’s warriors.  The enemy is threatened, just as Haman is threatened by Mordecai.  The king doesn’t recognize Haman as the enemy. Friends, we must recognize the enemy and how he works, and then wage war against him.  We have Jesus on our side and we will overpower the enemy!!!

Haman, the enemy in this story, comes up with a plan to kill the Jews.  Apparently his anger, bitterness, and resentment has gotten the best of him.  It has manifested itself in him and given him the desire to actually kill God’s people.  In Esther 3:6-7, notice that Haman begins with Mordecai’s people and not Mordecai.  How many times does the enemy start in areas of our lives that we are unaware of, such as our attitudes rather than our convictions.  We are to live a life that shows God’s work in our lives.  Our kingdom should see the fruit of the Spirit in our lives.  Galatians 5:22-23 tells us, “ But the fruit of the spirit is love,  joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.”  These are “the people of Mordecai” in our lives.  This is where the enemy attacks.

Verse 7:  Haman wants to cast lots to decide when the Jews will actually be killed. He’s bringing in black magic to the kingdom Finding a “lucky” day in which to actually murder them.

Verses 8-11:  Haman openly suggests that Mordecai’s people are really unprofitable to the king but he is going to make him rich by paying $10,000,000 to the kings treasury.

Has Haman been talking to you lately?  Has he suggested that maybe honesty isn’t always best or that speed limits are only good if you’re not running late?  God allows us to be tempted but not past a certain point.  Ultimately the decision is ours and in these verses, the king decides to side with Haman.  He decided!  As we decide in our own lives sometimes.  The enemy is just like Haman and he puts things in our paths.  Darlene mentions 1 Peter 1:7 as a truth to cling to. It says, “That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ….”

Have you ever thought about how your decisions affect others in your life?  Your decisions will touch all who know you in some way.  Even if you don’t share your decisions, your actions will eventually represent them.  The king decided….peoples lives were about to be changed.

Have you lost your sense of direction lately?  Maybe you started out good and strong but somehow you’ve gotten distracted and you don’t know what to do next.  Good news: Jesus does!  He says in Matthew 6:22-23, “If your eye be single, your whole body will be filled with light…but if the light which is in you be darkness, how great is that darkness.”  There is a way out and the Holy Spirit will show you.  When you believe what He tells you about the enemy, then you will begin to discover what that way out is!

Remember, He overcame the world!!

Let’s Pray:

Dear Lord God, our Father, we praise Your Holy name.  You alone are our stronghold and our Fortress forever.  Thank You for loving us unconditionally and for grace when we make decisions that aren’t in our best interest or for the best interest of Your Kingdom.  Lord, we give in to temptation sometimes, whether we are aware of it or not; and the Holy Spirit is always there to guide us and deliver us from the wrong choices we have made.  We always have You to forgive us and cleanse our hearts of all unrighteousness.  Help us to be the example that You would have us to be so that we may win others for Your Kingdom.  We love You.  In Jesus’ name.

Amen.