You’re Never as Alone as You Feel

Isaiah 60:1-63:14

“The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and the opening of the prison to those who are bound, to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn; to grant to those who mourn in Zion – to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit; that they may be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified.” Isaiah 61:1-3

Yesterday I spent the morning standing out in the rain cheering on my husband and son as they ran from zombies for three miles straight (in the rain).

Now, I’m not a huge fan of zombies in general. However, somebody’s got to play the bad guy so that the good guys have someone to fight and win against, right? I mean what good author worth their salt would write a story without an enemy of some sort? No one would read it!

By the end of the 5k yesterday my boys were cold, wet and tired with smiles plastered all over their faces. They had the time of their lives ducking and dodging those ghoulish creations together. And I think that’s the key factor right there, they did it together. As father and son they survived the zombie apocalypse together, side by side, running the race of life. As a mother and wife, I couldn’t have been prouder. I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I heard, “That was so much FUN!” yesterday afternoon.

Last night I thanked God for the memories we made and I wept in pure gratitude. In the end, that’s what we take with us to heaven. We don’t take money or possessions. We don’t take our house or our cars. We take memories and people, that’s it.

Right now, there is something in your life that feels like it’s chasing you down and trying to devour you; and you’re not just running to finish the race, you’re running to get away from that “thing” too. But you’re not running alone. You’re never as alone as you feel. Your Father is running right there next to you, step by agonizing step. He’s cheering you on and pulling you through. But it’s not just Him either. You see we also have this great cloud of witnesses, as Paul calls it. They’re the ones that have gone on before us and are watching our race from heaven. They’re up there cheering harder and louder than we could ever imagine. Just like spectators at a race, they’re straining their necks to see the first glimpse of your face as you come around the corner into the home stretch.

You may be tired and dirty, but you’re still there, still running, still working your way toward the finish line. You haven’t given up, and that’s what counts. It’s not about how many times you fall; it’s about how many times you get up. It’s not about where you finish, it’s THAT you finish. And every single step of the way, your Father is there, running with you, keeping pace right beside you, helping you finish with your head held high and a smile on your face.

Keep running the race marked out for you my friend. You’re not alone as you feel. We’re with you all the way.

“Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD has risen upon you. For behold, darkness shall cover the earth, and thick darkness the people; but the LORD will arise upon you. And nations shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising.” Isaiah 60:1-3

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I’ll Tell Ya About it Later

Isaiah 56:9-59:21

Sometimes life just has to be lived and written down later. I’ll get back with you tomorrow.

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Gloriously NEW

Isaiah 52:1-56:8

“For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall My word be that goes out from My mouth; it shall not return to Me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it. For you shall go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall break forth in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall break forth into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress; instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle; and it shall make a name for the LORD, an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.” Isaiah 55:10-13

The Word of the Day today is so filled with amazing things to talk about I can hardly stand it. But the only thing I can talk about today is the rain. (So you’ll just have to read the Word of the Day on your own.)

There has been such an amazing absence of rain this year! When spring came I was so excited to hear the thunder roll and the pounding of the rain on our roof. And we’ve gone most of the summer with hardly a storm at all. Yet this morning I awoke to that glorious sound of the soft rain running down the shingles above and I smiled. I lay there with my head snuggled on my pillow soaking in that glorious sound of the rain falling mingling with the sound of my husband’s steady heavy breath mixed with a background note of the distant thunder. It was the Holy Spirit calling my name, awakening my ear to life, beaconing to join the song of creation.

The world always looks so different after the rain. Everything that has gathered dust is washed clean and is shiny.

The grass is ALWAYS greener after the rain. And it seems instantaneous. It’s nothing short of a miracle.

“O God, when You lead Your people into battle, when You march through the desert, (Selah) the earth shakes, yes, the heavens pour down rain before God, the God of Sinai, before God, the God of Israel. O God, You cause abundant showers to fall on Your chosen people. When they are tired, You sustain them, for You live among them.” (Psalm 68:7-10a)

Like diamonds shining through the darkness of night the rain glistens on the thirsty earth; the same earth from which we were created. His showers of goodness and mercy shall follow us all the days of our lives. He anoints our heads with oil and our cups will overflow, even in the presence of our enemies.

The thunder may be rolling, the lighting may be flashing but the water is collecting in refreshing pools and soaking into a thirsty soul nourishing it along the way, making it fresh and clean and new; radiant in every way.

“This is like the days of Noah to Me; as I swore that the waters of Noah should no more go over the earth, so I have sworn that I will not be angry with you, and will not rebuke you. For the mountains may depart and the hills be removed, but My steadfast love shall not depart from you, and My covenant of peace shall not be removed,” Isaiah 54:9-10

Categories: 365 Life, Isaiah, Jesus Loves YOU, Writing Through the Bible in a Year | 5 Comments

The LORD, Our Redeemer

Isaiah 49:1-51:23

Throughout this entire book of Isaiah there has been a running theme. When God speaks, He refers to Himself as “the Redeemer”. Over and over and over again we’ve read it; it’s almost like He’s trying to make a point or something. J

The LORD God is our Redeemer. While a woman may “forget her nursing child” and “have no compassion on the son of her womb”, Yet, He “will not forget you. Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of My hands”. (Isaiah 49:15-16) The hands of Jesus bear PERMANENT marks from the nails that held Him to the cross, our cross. It is absolutely impossible for Him to forget YOU. He loves you too much.

“Kings shall see and arise; princes, and they shall prostrate themselves; because of the LORD, who is faithful, the Holy One of Israel, who has chosen you.” (Isaiah 49:7) The LORD is faithful, and He has chosen YOU. That’s no small appointment my friend. He chose YOU to have an intimate and personal relationship with Him. That’s huge! Why? Because He loves YOU!

“Thus says the LORD GOD: ‘Behold, I will lift up My hand to the nations, and raise My signal to the peoples; and they shall bring your sons in their arms, and your daughters shall be carried on their shoulders. Kings shall be your foster fathers, and their queens your nursing mothers. With their faces to the ground they shall bow down to you, and lick the dust of your feet. Then you will know that I am the LORD; those who wait for Me shall not be put to shame.'” (Isaiah 49:22-23)

My friend, the time has come. Trouble has hit the streets hard lately. It’s time to unite and fight as only Christians can. We’ve GOT to drop the denominational lines that separate us and cause turmoil between us. We worship the same God, we’re on the same side. We’ve got to stop fighting against each other and start fighting WITH each other! We have a common enemy and it’s not the government or the person across the aisle from us. The enemy isn’t a Republican, a Democrat or a Tea Party member. Our Enemy is SATAN! We do not wage war against flesh and blood, we wage war against Satan. And until we get that straight in our brains the battle will continue to rage around us.

Yes, there is trouble in our world today, but it is NOTHING that we can’t handle when God is on our side! I mean, I don’t know about you all, but I’ve read the end of the book, I know how this story ends. And it isn’t with the good guys losing! Those who wait on the LORD shall not be put to shame! It’s right there in black and white, so let’s read it all over.

“The LORD GOD has given [YOU] the tongue of those who are taught, that [YOU] may know how to sustain with a word him who is weary. Morning by morning He awakens; He awakens [YOUR] ear to hear as those who are taught. The LORD GOD has opened [YOUR] ear” (Isaiah 50:4-5) “The LORD GOD helps [YOU]; therefore [you] have not been disgraced; therefore set your face like a flint, and know that [you] shall not be put to shame. He who vindicates [you] is near. Who will contend with [you] Stand up together. Who is [your] adversary? Let him come near to [you]. Behold, the Lord GOD helps [you]; who will declare [you] guilty?” (Isaiah 50:7-9)

“From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard Him thus no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to Himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making His appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake He made Him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God. Working together with Him, then, we appeal to you not to receive the grace of God in vain. For He says, ‘In a favorable time I listened to you, and in a day of salvation I have helped you.’ Behold, NOW is the favorable time, behold, NOW is the day of salvation. We put no obstacle in anyone’s way, so that no fault may be found with our ministry, but as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way; by great endurance, in afflictions, hardships, calamities, beatings, imprisonments, riots, labors, sleepless nights, hunger; by purity, knowledge, patience, kindness, the Holy Spirit, genuine love; by truthful speech, and the power of God; with the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and for the left; through honor and dishonor, through slander and praise. We are treated as impostors, and yet are true; as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and behold, we live; as punished, and yet not killed; as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, yet possessing everything. We have spoken freely to you, our heart is wide open. You are not restricted by us, but you are restricted in your own affection. In return (I speak as to children) widen your hearts also.” (2 Corinthians 5:16-6:13)

“Listen to Me, you who know righteousness, the people in whose heart is My law; fear not the reproach of man, nor be dismayed at their reviling. For the moth will eat them up like a garment, and the worm will eat them like wool; but My righteousness will be forever, and My salvation to all generations.” (Isaiah 51:7-8) “I, I am He who comforts you; who are you that you are afraid of man who dies, of the son of man who is made like grass and have forgotten the LORD, you Maker, who stretched out the heavens and laid the foundations of the earth, and you fear continually all the day because of the wrath of the oppressor, when he set himself to destroy? And where is the wrath of the oppressor? He who is bowed down shall speedily be released; he shall not die and go down to the pit, neither shall his bread be lacking. I am the LORD your God, who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar – the LORD of hosts is His name. And I have put My words in your mouth and covered you in the shadow of My hand, establishing the heavens and laying the foundations of the earth, and saying to Zion, ‘You are My people’. Wake yourself, wake yourself, stand up, O Jerusalem, you who have drunk from the hand of the LORD the cup of His wrath, who have drunk to the dregs the bowl, the cup of staggering.” (Isaiah 51:12-17)

“Therefore hear this, you who are afflicted, who are drunk, but not with wine; Thus says your Lord, the LORD, your God who pleads the cause of His people; ‘Behold, I have taken from your hand the cup of staggering; the bowl of my wrath you shall drink no more; and I will put it into the hand of your tormentors, who have said to you, ‘Bow down, that we may pass over’: and you have made your back like the ground and like the street for them to pass over.” (Isaiah 51:21-23)

“Listen to Me, you who pursue righteousness, you who seek the LORD; look to the rock from which you were hewn and to the quarry from which you were dug. Look to Abraham your father and to Sarah who bore you; for he was but one when I called him, that I might bless him and multiply him. For the LORD comforts Zion; He comforts all her waste places and makes her wilderness like Eden, her desert, like the garden of the LORD; joy and gladness will be found in her, thanksgiving and the voice of song.” Isaiah 51:1-3)

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Something New

Isaiah 45:14-48:22

“You have heard; now see all this; and will you not declare it? From this time forth I announce to you new things, hidden things that you have not known.” Isaiah 48:6

For the last four Tuesday night’s I have traveled twenty minutes south to a church I don’t attend where I have been taking a New Testament Greek class. I’m there for two hours that feel like twenty minutes! While I sit and listen to my brilliant teacher I can hardly wipe the silly grin off my face because I can hardly believe that I’m even there. Last night when we opened our Bibles to John chapter one to begin translating I looked down and saw a word that I actually recognized and could read!!!!! I was so excited I could hardly stand it! I was actually reading the original Greek text of the Bible and understanding what I was reading.

Last week when I walked out of class, high as a kite I said, “Lord, it’s so HARD! But it’s so GOOD!!!” I started the class a week after everyone else did, so I’ve been struggling to keep up with everything, but to me the struggle is totally worth it because in the end I’m going to KNOW GREEK!

In these last four weeks we’ve translated the first twelve verses of John chapter one. And in those twelve short verses I’ve learned so much more than I ever expected. English as a language is so devastatingly lacking when it comes to translating the original Greek. There is so much more there than what any translator would possibly be able to convey in English. And that’s why I picked the verse that I did today, because God has already told me so much about Himself. I’ve seen so much, enough that I can’t help but declare it. But this is just the beginning. He’s opening up a whole new realm of reality to me right now, Greek being one of them, where He is announcing NEW things. Things that have been hidden that no one has known before now. And I’m not the only one entering into this new realm. Many of you out there are facing the same circumstances. Many of us are standing on the threshold of something big; bigger than we ever could have imagined or dreamed of. Bigger than anything we ever could have asked or hoped for, and it’s just waiting for us to discover it.

In 1 Corinthians chapter two Paul tells us, “We impart a secret and hidden wisdom of God, which God decreed before the ages for our glory. None of the rulers of this age understood this, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. But, as it is written, ‘What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him’ these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God.” (verses 7-10)

Although this isn’t the Earth’s first trip around the sun, there are STILL things that have been hidden just waiting for us to discover them. Sure, it’s probably going to be hard and possibly quite time consuming, but it will be GOOD! We’re on the cusp of something no one else on earth has ever seen or experienced before, and while ultimately there will be an inevitable turmoil involved in the process; the turmoil will be worth it. In the end, we will have achieved something NEW! Heaven and Earth have not passed away and that tells me that God is still working out His plans for us here. They’re plans for our good and not our harm, plans for a hope and a future.

My friend, things may look desperate right now. They may look desolate and hopeless, but take heart because Jesus has overcome this world and so can you.

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Thirty Minutes

Isaiah 43:1-45:13

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and I tend to agree with them… whoever “they” are.

Yesterday I told you that if you hadn’t read the Word of the Day yet then you should. Today I’m going to be telling you the same thing. Just look at all the red I put on those pages this morning!!! This is good stuff and you’re missing it if you’re not reading it for yourself!

Most of the time I spend my words on you regurgitating what I’ve just read back up to you, and that’s OK because it’s good for us to share with each other. But I would be a horrible teacher if I were just giving you your daily fish instead of teaching you how to catch it yourself.

This Sunday Pastor Josh mentioned a statistic that literally took my breath away. Less than 30% of people in church read their Bibles on a weekly basis. I was literally stunned. It’s no wonder the church is in the state that it’s in today!!!

There is TREMENDOUS power in the word of God and many of us are forsaking that power and opting to go it alone all day. And for what? So we can go out there and fail?

Don’t get me wrong, I was certainly one of those people who rarely picked up my Bible to read it. You know, sure, I’d read it occasionally, when things were really going badly or I was really upset about something, but never on a regular basis and certainly never with the sole purpose of just sitting down to hang out with God every day.

But I can tell you from experience that getting into a measured amount of reading every day has completely changed my life! I’d love to say that I can’t imagine my life without His Word in it every day, but sadly I can imagine it; because I’ve done it. Some of you may remember that time in fact. I went for what, maybe half a year without reading and writing daily. And while things didn’t go horribly horribly wrong or anything, I can tell you that when I started back up again…. WOOOO! Was I ever down on that carpet begging God, with every fiber of my being, to never let me do that again. I didn’t don’t want to go another single day in my life where I’m not spending those thirty minutes with Him in the Bible. The spotlight that His word shines onto my life is so bright that when it’s removed, the light that is left is just plain old dim in comparison. And I don’t want to live in that dim place ever again.

There’s something magical and special about the way that His Holy Spirit can make the words on those pages literally jump off and smack you in the face. They shine into the dark places of your life and bring hope and love and redemption. But the really amazing part is how the reading seems to ALWAYS FIT what’s going on in your life. There are days I just sit there and shake my head in amazement at how in the world that particular phrase could “happen” to be in that particular day’s reading. The best example I can think of is the day my daughter brought home a scarecrow she had made at school and then made a huge deal about it for the rest of the evening. The next morning I read about a scarecrow in the scripture! I can’t seem to find where I wrote that down, so I can share the whole story with you, but I’ll look for it and try to share it with you tomorrow if I can. It’s an awesome story.

Let me leave you with this today; the Spirit of God hovers over the Living Water of the Word in the Bible. If you’re not reading it on a regular basis you’re truly missing something. We Christians today have a blessing that hardly anyone in all of history has had. A personal Bible.

We can reach into our back pocket, pull out our phone and look up any scripture in any translation or language that we want with just a couple of taps on a screen. Nobody has ever been able to do that before. And honestly, it’s pretty foolish of us not to take full advantage of that opportunity God has given us. And considering the times and how they are a changin’ it very well could save our very lives to know His Word just a little better than we already do.

Normally I don’t write posts like this, but I’m feeling pretty strongly on this one. Jesus died to bring you the Great news that came along with His death. The apostles died to carry this message to as many people as possible so that they too could drink from the streams of Living Water flowing from the well of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Many men have literally lost their lives in order to translate the Bible into English for us. Obviously, these people found great worth in the words that can be found between those book covers, or behind that phone app. If they thought those words were worth dying for, shouldn’t we at least consider spending a measly 30 minutes a day reading them?

If you can watch an episode of the Big Bang Theory for thirty minutes, or play a video game for thirty minutes, then you can certainly spend thirty minutes reading the Bible. It’s really not that much time when you think about it.

Trust me, I speak from experience (an experience that has inspired me to write about it every day), those thirty minutes will turn into the best thirty minutes of your entire day, every day. How? Because in those thirty minutes you will learn more about how awesome God is and how desperately He loves YOU. Isn’t that worth thirty short minutes a day?

Categories: 365 Life, Isaiah, Jesus Loves YOU, Writing Through the Bible in a Year | 3 Comments

He Calls YOUR Name

Isaiah 40:9-42:25

My dear ones, if you have not read the Word of the Day today, please take the time to do so. It is one of the most uplifting readings we’ve had in quite a while. There are so many commonly quoted and memorized verses in this section that I came very close to typing them all out for you, but then realized that if I did, I might as well type out the entire reading and that would just be silly. So I am suggesting that if you’re having a rough day today, make sure you click on the link above, and take the 20-30 minutes to read it in its entirety. It’s worth it.

With that being said, I do want to draw out something that the Holy Spirit revealed to me when I came back to the reading. Our God is so awesome and such a fantastic teacher. If I can grow up to be half the teacher He is I’ll be the best teacher the world has ever seen.

One of the many many passages that I underlined this morning was Isaiah 40:26,

“Lift up your eyes on high and see: who created these? He who brings out their host by number, calling them all by name, by the greatness of His might, and because He is strong in power not one is missing.”

It’s such a strong and powerful image isn’t it? God the Father sitting there on His throne night after night calling out the names of the stars as they appear in our night sky. But the thing I find interesting is that at ANY given point during our day, on the other side of the world those stars are starting to come out. Therefore, calling out the stars isn’t a once daily thing for Him, it’s a constant. He is constantly calling out their names.

What’s even more intriguing to me is when we consider the vision of “The Stars” I told you about back in “Jesus Loves YOU: Book 4“. I think that it is safe to say that the stars to which God is calling out to by name are the stars that have been placed within YOU. That each and every morning as you wake it is because He has called out your name beaconing you to come out into the darkness of the world once again and shine the glorious light that He has placed inside of YOU.

In Acts 17:26-28 we read, “And He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward Him and find Him. Yet He is actually not far from each one of us, for ‘In Him we live and move and have our being’:”

I am so blessed to be studying Greek right now so I was able to go through and do a little of my homework with this verse today. I translated the phrase: “having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place”, and while it is a completely accurate translation, it leaves a little to be desired. When you read these phrases in the Greek you can feel an authority behind the words that the English just can’t hold up. There are specific times and specific places that God has determined for you from the beginning of the world. With the intent that in those times and those places you will feel your way toward God and find Him. But that’s the beauty of this blessed relationship that we have with our creator. We don’t have to go searching through the darkness to find Him, because He’s not far off at all! He’s INSIDE us, He’s around us, He’s through us and for us and to us and any other preposition you want to throw in there, He’s that too!

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling.

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy habitation of the Most High. God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved; God will help her when morning dawns. The nations rage, the kingdoms totter; he utters his voice, the earth melts. The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.

Come, behold the works of the LORD, how he has brought desolations on the earth. He makes wars cease to the end of the earth; he breaks the bow and shatters the spear; he burns the chariots with fire. Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth! The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.” (Psalm 46)

In the New International Version verse 5 is translated a little differently, “God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day.” And the Holman Christian Standard Bible translates it, “God is within her; she will not be toppled”.

There’s something here I want you to see, but more than that I want for you to feel it. God is in YOU. And because He is in you, the world around you may crumble, but you will not be moved. The earth may shake, but you will not fall. Those around you may cave but you will stand firm in your beliefs, because you have the cornerstone in you. You have the creator of the heavens in you. And morning by morning He calls you out BY NAME.

Beloved, He not only knows your name, He gave you your name. It means something to Him. You’re not a number; you’re not another face in the crowd, YOU ARE HIS BELOVED. You have the stars in your bosom and nothing in all of creation can compare to the beauty that is within you.

Categories: 365 Life, Isaiah, Jesus Loves YOU, Writing Through the Bible in a Year | Leave a comment

Because YOU Prayed…

Isaiah 37:1-40:8

“Because you have prayed to Me concerning Sennacherib king of Assyria,” Isaiah 37:21

I know from experience that there are many times in life when we pray and it feels like they’re just bouncing back off the walls and coming straight back to us. But even if that’s how it feels, that’s not the truth. Twice in today’s reading God mentions how the prayers of His people have reached Him and He is acting accordingly to save them from their troubles.

“I have heard your prayer; I have seen your tears.” Isaiah 38:5

God inhabits the praises of His people. He is with us and not against us, even if it may *feel* like He is against us. God is here and present and active in our lives no matter what the circumstances may look like. He works all things for the good of those who love the Lord and are called according to His purpose. Don’t give up your prayers. Don’t give up seeking His purposes for your life. Don’t give up in looking for His activity in your life, He’s there, He is listening and He IS acting on your behalf, even when, no especially when you don’t realize it. J

If God is for us then who can be against us; right? If God is for us then who can be against us? My friend, God is for you and is not against you. The blood of Jesus has paid the bounty against your head. You have been redeemed from the pit and no one can take you back there. No matter how hard Satan tries he can’t steal you out of God’s hand. No matter what, you are saved. There is NOTHING more powerful than the redeeming blood of Christ. Nothing.

Nothing you do can counteract its power. Nothing that Satan does can render the blood of Jesus in your life powerless. Nothing. He can only make you THINK that it is powerless, that you’re powerless. But he’s a liar.

Just like Sennacherib bragging big words against the nation of Israel and their God, Satan touts big statements that, while based in fact, have been twisted around in such extreme measures that they are no longer truth but plain old lies. And I think it’s extremely important that we inspect what Hezekiah did with those lies.

“Hezekiah received the letter from the hand of the messengers, and read it; and Hezekiah went up to the house of the LORD, and spread it before the LORD. And Hezekiah prayed to the LORD;” Isaiah 37:14-15

After receiving this news of the coming destruction from the hands of his enemy Hezekiah goes straight to God and literally “spread it before the LORD” and prayed. This is such a perfect example for us today of what we need to be doing when we receive news of coming devastation. We need to spread it out before the LORD and ask Him what’s going on. When it looks like our world is coming to an end, we too need to pray like Hezekiah, “So now, O LORD our God, save us from his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that You alone are the LORD.”

We need to keep in mind that even when we’re not telling other people about what’s going on, someone out there is still watching what God is doing in your situation. Whether it’s the doctor with the negative test results, or the bankers with the negative account balance, you name it, there are faceless people out there involved in your situation that will notice when there has been a change. It might even be the “enemy” himself. The king Nebuchanezzar comes to my mind. He was the one who condemned Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego to the furnace yet it was as they were in the furnace that he noticed that their God was WITH THEM IN THE FURNACE. So that when they emerged from the fire and their clothes weren’t burned and didn’t even smell like smoke it was the very one who had thrown them into the fire who praised their God and placed them then in very high government positions of authority and honor.

Who knows that your current fiery furnace isn’t the very circumstance that someone will see you going through it, praise God and promote you to a higher position of authority and honor. Don’t give up my friend. This too shall pass, it always does. And when it does you will be better for having gone through it. You will be stronger and God will be more amazing to you than He was before. Not that He will have changed, but your opinion and knowledge of Him will have.

He’s on your side; don’t doubt that for a single moment. He loves you more than you could ever imagine and nothing could ever change His opinion of you. Nothing. You never know what you could happen all because YOU prayed….

Be Still by StorySide: B

Don’t Give Up by Calling Glory

Finally Free by Nichole Nordman

Categories: 365 Life, Isaiah, Jesus Loves YOU, Writing Through the Bible in a Year | 2 Comments

The Way

Isaiah 33:1-36:22

“And a highway shall be there, and it shall be called the Way of Holiness, the unclean shall not pass over it. It shall belong to those who walk on the way; even if they are fools, they shall not go astray. No lion shall be there, nor shall any ravenous beast come up on it; they shall not be found there but the redeemed of the LORD shall return and come to Zion with singing; everlasting joy shall be upon their heads; they shall obtain gladness and joy, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.” Isaiah 35:8-10

In Luke 14:1-6 we hear Jesus say, “”Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to Myself, that where I am you may be also. And you know the way to where I am going.” Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”

Jesus is the highway to heaven, paved with His blood and His Holiness (not yours). The unclean shall not pass over it, because the moment you step onto it you are made clean, holy, pure. Those are the effects of His blood; you can not touch it and not be made clean. Even if they are fools, they shall not go astray because He is the good shepherd who tends His flocks and keeps them in safe pastures. He leads them beside still waters and makes them to lie down in green pastures. His rod and His staff they comfort us because He uses them to direct our steps, even when we think we are the ones making the plans. No lion or ravenous beast can come up on it because no one can separate us from the love that is in Christ Jesus. The redeemed of the LORD shall return and come to Zion with singing, everlasting joy shall be upon their heads, they shall obtain gladness and joy, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.

Those who have chosen to follow the Way have been made holy, they know the Father, they have access to His Holy Spirit, they know the Truth and have Life. Those who have chosen to follow the Way have been made clean through the blood of Jesus which declares you righteous through faith in Him. For those who have chosen to follow Jesus, even when we make foolish choices God somehow makes them work out in our favor in the end. “All things work for the good of those who love the LORD and are called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28 Those who follow the Way are held safe in the palm of His hand away from the clutches of Satan and His minions. Those who follow the Way are redeemed by His blood and will return to heaven singing all the way causing the darkness to flee from their path.

Categories: 365 Life, Isaiah, Jesus Loves YOU, Writing Through the Bible in a Year | Leave a comment

THREE Hour Nap

Isaiah 29:11-32:20

“In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.” Isaiah 30:15

So this morning, as I was driving back home from dropping the kids off at school I was thinking about what to write today. And I thought about what I wrote yesterday, taking a break. Then it occurred to me that the last time I wrote about taking a break, God was actually talking to me too! Duh…

So this morning I gave myself permission to skip the coffee (I had decaf instead at least) and take a nap. THREE HOURS LATER my husband walked in ready for lunch and I was still in bed!!! When I got up I was so groggy I was actually stumbling around a bit. I slept so hard and had the weirdest dream which included the cast of the Big Bang Theory and flying snakes chasing me while I was flying (never caught me either I was way too fast). Woo! Needless to say I slept REALLY well! And I feel a million times better now too.

In returning to God and rest you shall be saved, in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.

May your strength be renewed like the eagles my friend, you need it too. We all do.

Fun fact about the eagle, did you know that when an eagle is sick or getting older it will go to the top of a very high cliff or mountain and lay itself out in the sun to allow the sun to rejuvenate it? The eagle’s way of renewing its strength is rest. God’s mercies are new morning by morning, after a good night’s sleep I’m sure. It’s incredible the role that sleep plays in our lives. Things really do seem a lot better after a good night’s (or day’s) sleep don’t they? Perhaps it is because in sleep our brain spends the time defragging; or sorting things out into manageable organized groups so that it can process them easier. During sleep your body turns its energy, normally used to keep you upright and moving, toward healing your body. While you sleep, your body is literally mending itself, purging itself from waste products, etc. Sleep is a VERY powerful thing and we take it all too lightly.

Lord, right now I pray for deep restful sleep for anyone and everyone who ever reads this. I pray that they will lie down and sleep in peace because You alone O Lord make us dwell in safety. I pray that during that time of rest they will hide in the shadow of Your wings and find refuge from the fray of their current battle against the Enemy. Father I thank You that You never sleep so that we can, resting assured that You’ve got the night watch. Your word says that “unless the LORD guards a city the watchmen stay awake in vain.” Psalm 127:1 I thank You for Your Word Lord, it is comfort in times of stress and trouble and frustration. Your word gives us busy, crazy, frenzied moms permission to fail, to be frail and weak and imperfect and to rest when we really need it. Thank You for loving us enough to encourage us to take care of ourselves so that we can continue to take excellent care of those placed into our circles of influence. God you are so good to us, help us to be better to ourselves. Help us to better love ourselves so that we can love others fully. In Jesus’ name, AMEN!

Categories: 365 Life, Isaiah, Jesus Loves YOU, Writing Through the Bible in a Year | Leave a comment

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