morning study thoughts

Paul the apostle has such a way of putting things in perspective for me.  The way he words things sometimes really kind of puts me in my place.  He also can use those same words to lift me up and give me the greatest of encouragement all the way down to my soul.  Only words infused with the Holy Spirit can change my moment, my heart and my path all at the same time.  So today as felt weak contemplating moments I have no control over, I opened my Bible to 2 Corinthians 12:8-10…

“Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me,  But He said to me, My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weakness, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.  That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties.  For When I am weak, then I am strong.”

I will delight in these moments!  For they make me cling to my Savior!! It is another opportunity for me to see Him work in my life for His Glory!!  Having Jesus is all I need!! His perfect eternal love and goodness I will cleave to and allow HIs plan to be above any other.

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scars

Years ago, I had a snow globe.  Nothing spectacular about the snow globe, but I remember telling my eldest child when she was little, she had to be careful if she wanted to hold it and use two hands.  She could only hold it with mommy present because it could fall and break.  Needless to say she did not listen. She held it.  She dropped it.  She broke it and the glass shards sliced her foot open.  Forevermore she will have a scar.

When I was 6 my dad left.  I saw him maybe once or twice before I turned 8, but that was it.  Was told he left because of me and that he did not even want me.  Nonetheless, true or not, that left a giant scar that runs deep.  It is big and ugly and lead me to some dark paths that proceeded to inflict more damage to my soul with scars that still ache.

Some injuries leave forever marks that can be seen while others are more hidden.  Your brokenness changes you.  There is no doubt that is true.  Through it all our God is good. Jesus looks at these broken moments and if you allow Him, He can wrap your pain in His perfect love.  He will take those broken pieces that have been shattered either by your own actions or that have been crushed by another injured soul and He will hold you in His arms, pouring comfort and truth into your soul, all the while taking shard by shard, grain by grain, and He will rearrange and mold them back into the beauty that you were made to be.  He will use that pain if you allow Him, to make you shine for His glory!!  Do not hide what He has done!!  Use it!!! Help others see how miraculous Jesus is!! Share your testimony of the saving grace our Savior has shared with you.  He makes beautiful what the world sees as destroyed.  He gives value to those who have been made to feel worthless.

Scars are battle wounds.  We fight with a King who took nails for us.  He kept His scars because they tell a story of deep love. His love…and so do yours.

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Photo by Adrianna Calvo on Pexels.com

you are so loved

All hearts REJOICE!!

Oh my sweetness!! Do you know how lucky we are??  We are CRAZY LUCKY!!  WE PERSONALLY KNOW OUR RISEN KING!!! Not only do we know Him but He loves us so deeply!! He is just waiting for us to desire intensely, that spiritual connection with Him.  HE wants to be our everything!!  He wants to bless us abundantly!! Read His words:

“I will make them and the places all around My hill a blessing; and I will cause showers to come down in their season; there shall be showers of blessing.” ~Ezekiel 34:26

Oh my beautiful friend, I pray that God will shower down upon you today in His perfect abundance, His joy, His peace and His unending love.  May your day be filled with the strength and power of our extraordinary and marvelous God.  You are so precious to Him.  Every breath you take may it fill your heart with more of the love Christ has for YOU!!  He has broken your chains!! He has set you free!! He loves you more than you will ever be able to comprehend with the most pure and powerful love!!  I pray you will feel that love fill your soul today, so much that it overflows into every single aspect of your life!! Be blessed my friend, you are so loved!!

Amen

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Good reason to go shopping

I don’t know about you, but I love when I walk into a store and I hear that perky “Hi! Welcome!” from the employees stationed at the front of the stores.  That friendly smile they share, I happily return. Starts my shopping trip on the right foot.  The spunkiest greeters I think are the ones at my local Chick-fil-a and Hobby Lobby. ( Right now I miss them so much!!)  They make me feel like they are genuinely happy to see me specifically come in again! I know it is their job to be nice to me, but I enjoy the thought that they truly are extra chipper when I come into their workplace.

Now my absolute favorite greater is one who gets looked past often.  There is this sweet older lady at Wal-Mart, stationed in the garden department by their back door.  She is pure sunshine. She welcomes you as you enter and says hello to all the littles that pass by.  She gently waves at you as you leave and thanks you for shopping with them today.  She is unobtrusive, always there ready to help you, and if you take the time to stop and chit chat for a moment, you will find she has such a precious soul. Quiet and restrained, she was an observer of people during her walk of life. She spent her days waiting for her love to come back from serving his country…he never did.  They had no children and she never remarried.  Her heart was always just meant for one man. All the love she had to share she would find little moments to dispense among others who might have seemed down or alone.  She served in her church for years, in the background. For example she weekly would making meals and delivering them to shut ins, giving them the needed moments of personal interaction that let them know that they are important to someone. She wrote letters to lonely soldiers. She would read about Jesus to the tiny church members on Sundays. Is that not precious? Don’t you just want to hug her? You would never know how darling she is unless you stopped and took a moment of your day to really get to know her.  She has changed my shopping experiences for the better! I look forward to going just so I can bump into her and hopefully have a moment to get to know a little bit more about her.

I think this is how Jesus is looked at.  There are some people who just enjoy that weekly nod  at Him as they enter and leave church Sunday morning.  Then there are those who have more cheery Jesus moments because they speak “Christian” and go to church.  They profess but they really don’t come to “shop” with Him.  Then there are those who hear His voice as He welcomes them and are drawn to know more about Him.  It changes them.  They begin to shine. These Christians stop and honestly take the time to get to know the REAL JESUS.  He is more than an icon to them. More than something to throw into conversations to make you look like a good person. Jesus is so precious to them.  He makes them want to come to see Him everyday.

The Lord is greeting us every single day.  “Hello my beloved child!! Welcome!!”

Are we going to just nod and smile at Him and keep on walking? Or are we going to sit down, spend some quality time and really get to know the One who took the nails that were meant for us?

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This verse…

“So is My word that goes out from my mouth; it will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” Isaiah 55:11

It calls to those who are searching. Those who are looking for something, that open door that will invite them in, to where they do not know.  There is something missing. They can feel it. What is it? They can almost touch it, know that it is missing, just can’t quite grasp what it is. Like trying to catch water with a fishing net.

Friend, you have what they are searching for.

You have His word on your heart. Let it flow from your lips. The Holy Spirit will guide what needs to be. Heal those who need Him. Bring Him close. Now is the perfect season to bring Jesus and His words of peace, joy, contentment, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, self control and love to others who may be alone, scared, anxious or lost.

Look for them. Please share the Good News of our Messiah!! He has come to save those who choose Him. We may be limited in how to get together as a group or still keeping social distancing in practice, at least here in this state, but we are smart! We can still text, zoom, an actual phone call, or even (insert gasp) write some happy mail to those who might not be in a good place.  Let others know you and God are thinking of them. Let them know how much God loves them. Remind them of how blessed we are to be children of God!! Share His Love with believers and non believers alike! Open your heart by sharing His!! Change lives by telling of His miracles!! Consider even just starting with one person who God puts on your heart.  Greet them at the open door and lead them into His glorious presence. He is waiting to heal them, to hear them call His name. Start small if its easier. Send a smile…full of love…send them Jesus.

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It is all from Jesus

Yes, every good thing ever seen in me, little or big, is all the Eternal Father!!  I know that all glory belongs to God.  I am simply the vessel.  He is the master.  I am honored that He has chosen to use me.  I love being His hands and feet whenever asked.

I agree with what Corrie Ten Boom said “Trying to do the Lord’s work in your own strength is the most confusing, exhausting, and tedious of all work.  But when you are filled with the Holy Spirit, then the ministry of Jesus just flows out of you.”  Yes! Yes!! Yes!!!

Lord Jesus give me the strength and drive to accomplish your plans for me today.  Help me to stay focused and let me SHINE FOR JESUS in my works.  2 Corinthians 3:18 in the NIV says “So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord–who is the Spirit–makes us more and more like Him as we are changed into His glorious image.”

Praise hands lifted! Love this!! Yes!! This is why I KNOW that if I have done anything worthy of praise, at all, it has been by the grace of God and the Holy Spirit working through me!!  All Glory for anything good belongs to God.

Isaiah 42:8 in the NIV says “I am the Lord; that is my name! I will not yield my glory to another or my praise to idols.”  Exactly as it should be.  To God be the Glory.  For  ONLY  He is worthy.

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Please accept my prayer over you today.

May the Lord bless you and keep you; The Lord make His face shine upon you, and be gracious to you; The Lord lift up His countenance upon you, and give you peace.

 

Follow Him

I knew who Jesus was.

I went to church.

I prayed.

I followed the rules.

I knew the story of the murder of God’s son.

My life literally changed forever when it finally clicked what it meant that I needed to SURRENDER MY WHOLE LIFE TO CHRIST!!  Only when I put Him above everything, could I ever truly see all the beautiful blessings God had for me.  My life had changed.  I was undisputably reborn. The world had a new perspective for me.  I could finally begin healing from all may hurts and pains that my past was abundant with.  My Savior, who died violently on the cross for all my wrong doings, forgave me and remembered them no more.  I could forgive others now, because of His grace and mercy, I had the strength to do the same.  I left it all at the cross.  I now focus on serving Him.  I have no greater love than that of the love I have for Jesus. There is nothing on this earth that means more to me than Him. He has shown me a love deeper than I could ever imagine and it is only just a tiny fraction of how great His love is for me.

I pray that when He looks at me, He sees my faith as beautiful.

So in the morning when I rise, He is my first thought. His direction is what I crave. What is it He would like for me to do today?

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Here is video that is about the original followers of Christ who did leave everything to follow Jesus.  I highly recommend it. If you are into binge watching during this quarantine, this is such a good choice.  After watching ask yourself, if He called you, would you leave everything just to follow the Messiah? Could you leave all your comfort to purposefully choose a life of difficulty just to be in His presence and continue His work?

Have you ever gotten a new lipstick that is just over the top fabulous? You know, the one that does not get on your teeth, stay on your cup or rub off? I got one not that long ago and I had to TELL EVERYONE just how awesome it was!! They had to try it!! It would change there life!!

It is human nature.  We have found something amazing and we want to share about it. Right? Well what about our faith?  Are you just as excited to share how incredible it is to have a Savior who died to save us from our sins?  Don’t be comfortable in your faith.  It is not a comfy pair of yoga pants that you put on when you are home for the day.  Your faith needs to stand out and shine like a bright red lipstick!!

We need to remember what God has done for us.  Tell people about Father God!! What an incredible love He must have for us.  He sent His beloved Son to earth and lower Himself into flesh to walk among those who He created!! Then He allows Himself, the Great I Am, to have His only Son’s precious blood spilt in a horrific way to take the punishment that we deserve.  He washed us clean!!  By the blood of the Lamb we are SAVED!! He could not be held down by death, nope! Our magnificent Savior then rose from the dead after three days only to come and share more of the gospel with His people before ascending into heaven to sit at the right hand of God the Father.

WOW!! How great is our God!?! We SHOULD boast!! Be excited!! He has done great things for us because He loves us!! We need to TALK MUCH ABOUT GOD!! He is the ULTIMATE GOOD THING!!

If your to embarrassed or timid and feel that you cant share…well then maybe you don’t feel He is all that good…think hard about that.

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He is my why

I WANT TO LIVE ONLY FOR JESUS.

In all things, I want to put Him first, everyday, in every way.

Lord, use me as a pioneer for Christ.  Help me to remember that it should always be Your will be done, not mine.  Let others perpetually hear me speak heavenly truth.  I want others to read my words of worship and praise, knowing beyond a shadow of doubt, that there is One Mighty True King!!  I want people to observe my actions and witness Jesus through my hands and feet serving others.  As I am walking my path in this life, may I be obedient in bestowing the sweetness of Your grace to anyone I might meet.

For I have been blessed beyond measure with all that has been shared with me from above. You have taken my hand and led me out of the darkness of this world, bringing me to a place that has filled my heart with a joy there are no words to explain. You have taken my burden of pain, regret, heartache…so many things, horrible things that found their way to slowly and methodically mutilate my soul till it was unrecognizable. Yet You still heard my cry. When this world had condemned me to hell and death, You still came, pulled me from the suffocating darkness I was trapped in, and then held me close while I cried. You dried my tears, healed my wounds then looked at me with nothing but love. You called me beautiful.

I love You Lord.

Thank You for choosing me as Your daughter.

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joy

The fullness of joy!!

Doesn’t that just fill your heart thinking about it?  The fullness of JOY!! John 15:11 quotes Jesus as saying ” These things I have spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.”

Only true believers in Christ can really experience the fullness of joy.  It is a mindset.  It is the Christian attitude. We are no longer of this world!! We are set apart!!  We live for Jesus!!  We find joy in all situations, no matter the people or circumstances we may find ourselves surrounded by.  God is so good!!

He defeats any and every doubt or worry you might have and replaces it with His peace.

Holy Spirit fill our hearts with Your love and peace.  Help us grow abundantly in our walk with You.  May the fullness of joy be woven into our daily lives, welling up so much in our hearts that is completely spills over into the world around us. May we be a reflection of Christ in all we do. Amen

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Share joy today my friends.

It will return tenfold.