Posts Tagged With: holy spirit

The Midst of the Fire

Deuteronomy 3:23-6:15

“Then the LORD spoke to you out of the midst of the fire.” Deuteronomy 4:12

“Did any people ever hear the voice of a god speaking out of the midst of the fire as you have heard, and still live?” Deuteronomy 4:33

“The LORD spoke with you face to face at the mountain, out of the midst of the fire, while I stood between the LORD and you at that time, to declare to you the word of the LORD. For you were afraid because of the fire, and you did not go up into the mountain.” Deuteronomy 5:4-5

“For who is there of all flesh, that has heard the voice of the living God speaking out of the midst of fire as we have, and has still lived? Go near and hear all that the LORD our God will say, and speak to us all that the LORD our God will speak to you, and we will hear and do it.” Deuteronomy 5:26-27

It never ceases to amaze me when a theme emerges from the reading that I so “randomly” put together. It always just proves to me how un-random God really is. He is such a God of order and design, guiding us each and every step of the way; even when we’re not paying attention.

Today’s theme is centered on the fire. The LORD is an all consuming fire and He speaks through it to us. What is He saying to you today? Are you avoiding the fire out of fear and allowing someone to stand between you and God allowing them to interpret His words for you?

Look at the story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. Where was God in that fire? Look at the story of Moses and the burning bush? Where was God in that fire?

There are plenty of fiery situations that we go through in life, need we be afraid of them knowing the likelihood that God is in the midst of them waiting for us to draw near to Him and hear what He has to say to us through the fire?

“To you it was shown, that you might know that the LORD is God; there is no other besides Him. Out of heaven He let you hear His voice that He might discipline you. And on earth He let you see His great fire, and you heard His words out of the midst of the fire.” Deuteronomy 4:35-36

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Eyes that SEE


Deuteronomy 1:1-3:22

“Your eyes have seen all that the LORD your God has done” Deuteronomy 3:21

“Your eyes have seen”, it’s such a powerful statement. It’s such a powerful concept, eyes that see. We take them for granted all too often, and yet some have eyes that are shut so tightly that even the brightest light has trouble penetrating.

There is so much that I long to say to you, things that I pray God opens your eyes to, today and every day. “Blessed are the eyes that see what [I] see! For I tell you that many prophets and kings desired to see what [I] see, and did not see it and hear what [I] hear and did not hear it.” (Luke 10:23)

Do you know what I see?

I see the Word of God laid out before me filling my lap every morning. Do you know what I see in that Word?

I see God’s love for me. I see His deliverance from evil for me. I see His unshakable faith in me even when I have proven myself so untrustworthy. I see His willingness to put His good name on the line by attaching it with mine. I see His people coming to church to punch their time card and say they’ve been there only to rush back out the door in order to go do something else. I see His CHILDREN begging for bread at the doorsteps of idols because they’ve never been taught that they are God’s righteous children through Christ. I see the LORD’S Beloved Bride opening herself up to be ravaged time and time again by “lovers” who don’t care a bit for her; all because she doesn’t realize that she’s been bought with an un-payable price that has redeemed her beyond any human ability to pay. His Bride is YOU.

Right now you may be reading this nodding your head in agreement and thinking of someone else, but it’s YOU. I don’t want to see others walking through their lives without opening the gift that God has placed in their laps. There is POWER in the Word of God, a power beyond your wildest imagination. Sure, that sounds good, and you may believe it, but have you experienced it? I have. And I can tell you that even the little nibble I’ve experienced is nothing compared to the power and glory of Jesus that waits just beyond those simple books covers.

As Christians we were created to rule this world, just read the creation story. “Dominion over all the earth” it’s kind of a big deal. Yet how much ruling do you feel like you’re doing right now? God has given you the keys to an eternal kingdom. A place where His power and majesty lives and breathes and bestows upon you the strength and courage to keep moving forward through the sludge of life that we deal with day in and day out. Those keys lay in the palm of your hand in the middle of an open Bible. You need only take them out and USE THEM.

What good is having a car if you never drive it? What’s the point of buying that gorgeous new dress if you never wear it? Why spend time making that gourmet meal if you never eat it? What’s the point of having a Bible if you never read it? What’s the point of having eyes if you never use them or ears that don’t listen to the still soft voice of Jesus whispering through the turning pages of a Bible? If your spouse wrote you a love letter would you never read it? Or would you get it out time and time again to pour over their words of adoration for you?

Jesus loves you. YOU. But unless you’re reading your Bible on your own, it’s next to impossible to feel the full force of His love toward you. If I called you my friend, but never answered your phone calls am I really being your friend? Ring, ring, your Bible is calling…

“Son of man, look with your eyes, and hear with your ears and set your heart upon all that I shall show you, for you were brought here in order that I might show it to you. Declare all that you see to the house of Israel.” (Ezekiel 40:4) God is SHOWING you His love for you each and every day, are you opening your eyes to see it? God has brought you to this place in your life where you HAVE SEEN the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living, are you declaring to the world what you have seen or are you keeping it hidden under a basket?

You have tasted and seen that the Lord is good, are you telling people about His goodness so that they may taste it too? How will they know if someone doesn’t tell them? How do you know that that someone isn’t you? What if God has placed you in this circumstance of life, for such a time as this, so that you can reach that one person who’s planted right next to you in the garden of life?

“Lord, I pray for eyes to see You and ears to hear Your voice loud and clear. In Jesus’ name, Amen!”

Categories: 365 Life, Deuteronomy, Writing Through the Bible in a Year | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Only God

2 Chronicles 35:1-36:23 & Daniel 1:1-21

OK, today I especially loved the “coincidence” that we went from reading about the exile from Jerusalem to Babylon and then followed Daniel into the Babylonian king’s court. How cool was that? That doesn’t happen often when we’re reading alphabetically. Anyway, I feel I need to pull more on Daniel’s story today than on Josiah and Jehoahaz.

Daniel had just been sitting around in Jerusalem, minding his own business, doing his own thing when out of the blue he finds himself exiled to Babylon. Once in Babylon he is told that he has been chosen to “stand in the king’s palace” where he will learn “the literature and language of the Chaldeans”. Intimidating, but exciting none the less. Hey, it’s not slave work right? But then there’s something else. Mealtime rolls around and Daniel sits down to the table, his stomach rumbling and his mouth is watering from the smells that are coming from the palace kitchen. He was probably thinking, “This hasn’t been nearly as bad of a day as I had expected.” I can only imagine how crestfallen he felt when they brought in the trays filled with food that he couldn’t eat. Like a sweet-toothed diabetic in a candy factory, he couldn’t eat a thing. Then he probably thought, “I’m going to starve. I’ll be the smartest dead guy around.” The pressure to eat that steaming food before him had to have been incredible. Yet he stood firm in his faith and refused to eat it.

Sometimes in life God plants us into situations where we are forced to make a choice, his ways or the world’s, God’s food or the Babylonian king’s. We’re placed at a fork in the road where whichever path we choose will change life dramatically and neither really looks to be that fun. But we can’t stand at the fork forever; we have to choose one or the other. The pressure to take the World’s way is incredible, yet the eternal resentment of not taking God’s way is equally unbearable. But there is hope. 1 Corinthians 10:12-13 tells us,

“Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall. No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and He will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.”

Do you remember in yesterday’s reading when the king of Assyria (Sennacherib) had been attacking Judah and “sent his servants to Jerusalem to Hezekiah king of Judah and to all the people of Judah who were in Jerusalem, saying, “Thus says Sennacherib king of Assyria, ‘On what are you trusting, that you endure the siege in Jerusalem?'” (2 Chronicles 32:9-10) The Enemy of Judah was attacking the cities of Judah and putting intense pressure on the people. Yet they were enduring it and that infuriated Sennacherib causing him to turn his cause of frustration into a taunt. “On what are you trusting, that you endure the siege?” I talked about it yesterday and how there is always SOMETHING we are trusting in to save us, whether it’s money, medicine, doctors, or God. But of all these options, and the many more that I didn’t take the time to list, which of them is able to help you endure the siege? Which of them is able to help you withstand the pressure of the World to eat the king’s food? Which of them is able to help you locate the trap door hidden within every single temptation of life?

Only God.

Only God can be our source of salvation from the siege. Jesus is our shield and refuge, our shelter in times of trouble and in times of glee. Only the power of His Holy Spirit can hold us up in our human weakness.

Only God.

Hallelujah!

Categories: 2 Chronicles, 365 Life, Daniel, Writing Through the Bible in a Year | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

Impossible Dream

2 Chronicles 24:20-28:21

“The LORD is able to give you much more than this.” 2 Chronicles 25:9

One day when I was in Kindergarten, or there abouts, my mom said something to me that would stick with me forever. She said, “Honey, I think you’d make a really good teacher someday.” I can’t remember exactly how old I was at the time, but I remember how it made me feel when she said it. It felt like I’d been hit by a lightning bolt of revelation. I certainly wouldn’t have described it that way at the time mind you, I was like, 6. But more than anything I remember that feeling coming from deep inside me that she had said something deep and right. In that moment I knew that I wanted to be a teacher. And from that moment on that’s all I’ve ever wanted to be. But at the time that this dream of teaching was born “I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child.” (1 Corinthians 13:11) I was a child in elementary school, surrounded with women who taught elementary school and seemed to really love me for me. At the time that was all the higher I was able to dream because I didn’t know any differently.

As I grew the dream to be an elementary teacher solidified and become firm in my mind. I was going to be an elementary teacher. Period. When I got to high school all my friends knew that I wanted to teach elementary school. One of my friends went so far as to tease me that I should work with the Kindergarteners because they would be the only ones I could teach that would be shorter than me and take me seriously. (I’m 5 foot 2… on a good day.) I hated his taunt and vowed to *never* teach little kids.

Once I made it to college and I was studying at Purdue to be an elementary teacher, when something interesting started happening. There was this desire birthed inside me that was different from the original dream. I remember the classroom, the teacher, the other students in the room when the revelation started. I realized that I wanted to teach the building blocks of life. I wanted to teach them how to take a good test, how to be a good friend, how to survive in life. I wanted to teach so much more than what they were offering me to teach. I wanted to teach about LIFE more than math or reading or spelling.

So while I was still on my path to be the awesome elementary teacher I had always dreamed of being, there was disquiet in my soul about it now. Without my realizing it, the dream had changed. While I still desperately wanted to teach, I wasn’t exactly sure that elementary school was the right place for me anymore. But I was a semester or two from graduating, and I still wanted to teach so I carried on with my studies and graduated.

Just before graduation September 11th hit and changed our world forever. My husband and I had been married just over a year at that point and were considering having a baby. Then the towers fell and world was suddenly plunged into a darkness we had never experienced before. And the only thought in my head was, “how can we bring a child into a world like this?” But then God countered with, “If people like you never bring children of light into this world it will always be dark.” And by the time I walked across the stage at graduation I was fully pregnant. We moved back home to be close to our parents and I applied for a job at the local elementary school where they all knew and loved me. I got an interview fairly easily. But then the unthinkable happened. I was admitted into the hospital at 33 weeks gestation for pre-ecclampsia (high blood pressure). I was there for about a week before our son Gabriel was born.

He was born the day before my interview. I didn’t get the only job they had available to me. The door to that particular dream had officially shut. And really, I was OK with it. Mostly because at the time I was still battling for my life! But I’ll have to tell you more about that part later.

Gabe was about six months old when a daycare center opened up the next town over. We needed extra income and it was the ONLY thing for a teacher in the area. I applied and the owner thought she had died and gone to heaven. She couldn’t believe I wanted a job there instead of at the elementary school. I explained that there was nothing for me there and she snatched me up like a hot pancake fresh off the griddle. I was promoted to daycare director within a month of working there. And I LOVED it. Here I had been swearing I would NEVER work with little kids and now I was working with toddlers every day and thinking it was the best thing since sliced bread.

Shortly after settling into my role as director we moved again. This time, to Glendale Heights, a suburb of Chicago, so that my husband could go back to school to be a mechanic. While there I tried my best to get a subbing job at the school that was located in our back yard but they weren’t hiring at the time. Imagine that. But I did manage to get a job in a local daycare center as a floating substitute. Except two weeks before I was set to start they had 15 kids enroll, this is absolutely unheard of. So they needed to open up a new classroom and guess who got to teach it. ME! I was in heaven. For the first time I had my own classroom, my own students, I was a real teacher. I was in love.

For the next five years I taught in three different preschool daycares and loved almost every second of it. I didn’t stay at that first one very long though because it was a corporate daycare and I could feel God calling me to a church daycare down the street.

There I was teaching children the true building blocks of life; both the physical ones and the spiritual ones. I was living the dream. But it wasn’t anything like the dream I had first started dreaming. It had grown and changed as I grew and changed and learned more about myself and who God was calling me to be.

Eventually I risked death once more in order to have our baby girl and my husband and I both could feel the Holy Spirit nudging us to take the financial plunge and have me stay home with the kids.

And this is where things really started changing. That first year home with a newborn was one of the hardest in my life. We had a new house, a new baby, I had a new job, it was crazy to say the least. But I had one salvation; our local women’s Bible study. That weekly meeting kept me sane through the chaos. But more than that, it was through that Bible study that God awakened something new in me. While I had always loved the LORD and had a relationship with Him; it was time to kick the teaching dream into real high gear. So He reawakened my dream and love for writing. A dream so dead in my life that I had completely forgotten I had had it in the first place. When I announced on Facebook that I was writing a book about God and sex (True Intimacy) I had a friend from middle school tell me that she still had all my short stories from that time. Stories I didn’t even remember writing she had kept for over ten years!

Even before I met my husband, I had dreamt of being a writer, a good one. It was a dream that I hardly even entertained because at that point it didn’t fit with my larger and longer lived dream of being an elementary teacher. I was still a child thinking like a child at that point. I was literally incapable of thinking any larger than the box I was currently in. Honestly, because I was dreaming up to the sides of the box… but never past what I could see as possibly achievable.

But then I started writing True Intimacy and everything changed. I was still teaching that dream has never died and I doubt it ever will. I was born to teach. I’ve come to the point where I’ve realized that I can teach just about anybody just about anything depending on the circumstance. When I was a child my dream was to be like those teachers I loved when I was in their classrooms. My dream is so different now, and yet completely the same. The Holy Spirit is my teacher; I’m an eternal student in His classroom of Life. And I want to be a teacher like Him in whatever classroom He chooses to place me in. Right now that classroom is my website, my books and my newspaper article. I’m also teaching social media classes at the local library. When I was a child my largest and grandest dream was to have my very own classroom that I could decorate any way that I chose and to teach whatever I felt appropriate. And while I no longer dream of an elementary classroom filled with construction paper decorations that fade in the sunlight, I do dream of souls saved by the Son light. I pray God uses me to bring His marvelous light into their lives. My classroom is the world.

At last count my website has been viewed by people in over seventy countries. My articles are in over a thousand homes in the area weekly with the numbers steadily rising. My deepest desire is no longer to teach children how to take a good test; it’s so much bigger than that. My dream is to teach the children of God how to pass the tests of life when they seem oh so impossible. I want to bring hope to the hopeless through the Word of Christ, because how can they believe if no one ever shares things with them? How will they hear if no one ever tells them? I have a heart for the lost children of God who think they have Him and know Him when in reality all they have is the dry bones of religion and nothing more. How will they know there is more
to the abundant life if someone doesn’t tell them?

Jeremiah 33:3 says, “Call to Me and I will answer you and I will tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.” I have lived this more times in the last thirty-three years than I can count! God is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we could ask or imagine through the power found in Christ Jesus, (Ephesians 3:20) if we would only believe in Him. God has challenged me over the years to “dream big” and I feel like I have. Yet I know that my dreams still pale in comparison to the plans that He has for me.

He has plans for my welfare and not for evil, to give me a future and a hope. (Jeremiah 29:11) “For now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.” (1 Corinthians 13:12) When I was a child, I dreamt a possible dream. Now as an adult I have chosen to dream an impossible dream. It’s a dream that I can’t possibly achieve on my own, not ever. But God has placed it in my heart none-the-less. It’s a dream where I write the books the world reads because they’re hungry for the bread from heaven. It’s a dream where I stand on a stage before thousands of people and lead them through a prayer of salvation followed by a worship and praise that they’ve been holding in their entire lives. I dream for people to KNOW Him like Adam knew Eve, intimately and beyond all shame because they’ve been eternally forgiven and not condemned. None of that is possible without God. Apart from God we can do nothing, but a part of Him we can do everything!

So often I feel like Mary in Luke chapter 1 when the angel Gabriel comes to her and tells her that she has been chosen to birth the Christ child and she says, “how can this be?” And the angel replies, “Nothing is impossible with God”.

Often I find myself praying and thanking God for using me for this or for that and I will say, “Lord, you could have used anybody to do that, but you used me. Thank You!” Do you know what He said the last time I prayed that, “No. I couldn’t have used just anybody. I could only use you.” And I knew that He had a point.

We are all made so uniquely that we all have a unique purpose in this world. We were created to perform certain jobs and functions that only we can do. And if we’re not doing them then who will get them done? If we’re not doing the job that we were created for then that job isn’t getting done correctly.

I was created to be a teacher. A teacher of the Word of God. I know that now. I NEVER in a million years would have known that in Kindergarten. I couldn’t dream that high. I still have trouble dreaming that high. But I know that as long as I keep following the Man with the plans I’ll get there. Somehow. Someday. In His way. Until then, I’ll keep dreaming the impossible dream that the God of all hope gave me to dream. He is a good God who fulfills His promises. No matter how impossible they may seem to us.

What’s your impossible dream?

Categories: 2 Chronicles, 365 Life, Writing Through the Bible in a Year | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Spinach

2 Chronicles 10:1-15:19

“And when Judah looked, behold, the battle was in front of and behind them. And they cried to the LORD, and the priests blew the trumpets. Then the men of Judah raised the battle shout. And when the men of Judah shouted, God defeated Jeroboam and all Israel before Abijah and Judah.” 2 Chronicles 14:14-15

Have you ever been there? I’m sure you have. You know, that place where you look up and the battle isn’t just in front of you, it’s behind you too. You’re surrounded, and trapped and helpless. There is a choice to make in that moment, keep fighting or surrender. And it is in that moment where it is key to know your opponent! Who is it exactly that you’re fighting?

Ephesians 6:12 says, “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.”

We aren’t fighting other people. We’re not in a battle with the attorneys, or against the bank, or against our spouse. We are batting with the spiritual forces behind the attorneys, the bank, our spouse. These people are the hostages held up between us and the true Enemy. And the longer you battle the flesh and blood problem and not the spirit behind it, the longer that Spirit will continue pushing you further back.

Right now, if you’re having trouble with your finances, and it seems like money is running through your fingers faster than sand, you’re not struggling with money. You’re struggling with Greed. Fight Greed not money and you’ll win every time.

If you’re struggling with your weight and it just doesn’t seem to want to come off. You’re not fighting the battle of the bulge; you’re fighting the spirit of Indulgence.

In both instances the world will tell you to tell yourself, “No, I don’t need that new pair of shoes. These work just fine.” Or, “No, a second cupcake is too much.” But you’re not fighting you! The battle isn’t against flesh and blood; it’s against the spirit that has been influencing your flesh and blood. Yes, you still need to say “no” to those things. But you’re not telling you “no”, you’re telling the Spirit-monkey on your back “no”!

Let’s say it, just for fun. Say, “NO!” as loud as you can! In James 4 verses 7 & 8 God reveals to us the secret of victory. “Submit yourselves to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” There’s a formula here that I want you to see:

  1. Submit yourself to God: Submit yourself to His leadership in the battle, to His authority over you (AND the spirits you battle) and to His amazingly abundant love for YOU. He wants to see you saved from this light and momentary trouble even more than you do! Submit to Him and He will be your shelter. Not just a storm shelter, your home shelter. Your place of refuge, comfort and REST from the battle that rages outside that door.

  2. Resist the Devil: He is doing everything he can to cause you to trip and fall and screw things up. Ignore his temptations! God has made the POWER of His Holy Spirit available to all who believe in the name of Jesus and call on Him for salvation (“Jesus save me”) and power to defeat this Enemy (“Holy Spirit of Jesus, I welcome you into my heart. Please guide me into all truth and away from this father of lies! In Jesus Name! Amen!”)*

  3. He will flee from you: This is an ongoing battle. We push the Enemy back, he retaliates. It’s a cycle, but it’s a diminishing cycle! The more ground we win the less ground he has to stand on. The more we resist his temptations the more ground we gain and the less ground he has. Every temptation we cave to is allowing Satan to gain our territory. So every time you stab your fork into a spinach salad instead of cake you can picture yourself piercing the heart of the spirit of Indulgence and gaining lost territory. The longer you do it, the better you will get until it’s not even a battle anymore. He just turns into a pesky fly that you smack and kill.

  4. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you: I have been harping on this a lot this week and I’m going to keep doing it (a) because the Holy Spirit is leading me to and (b) because I know it’s important. You’ve got to read a portion of your Bible daily! God has blessed me with a reading plan that is simple and quick. 30 minutes a day is NOT a lot! There are 1,440 minutes in your day, spending 30 reading your Bible leaves you with 1,410. See, it hardly leaves a dent! But the impact that those 30 concentrated minutes with God can have on your life is immeasurable!

    The words that you read in those 30 minutes will stick with you all day long. God will use them to give you the strength and hope to keep going when all you want to do is quit! Those 2 ½ pages of reading are like spinach to Popeye, they will make you strong to the finish, because you ate your spinach!

    And it will make it possible for you to say, “O Satan, do not fight against the LORD, MY GOD, for you can not succeed!” (adapted from 2 Chronicles 14:12)

    * If you prayed this prayer please email me (tamarknochel at gmail dot com) and let me know so my team and I can pray for you by NAME! We love you and want to do everything we can to support you!

Categories: 2 Chronicles, 365 Life, Writing Through the Bible in a Year | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Solomon’s Temple

061913_1253_Sacrifice1.jpg 1 Chronicles 25:1-29:30

Sorry for the extreme delay! *Someone* didn’t want you to see this! But here it is, and I pray that you are fully able to receive this word today!
Part 1 of the video

Part 2 of the video

Part 3 of the video: Like I said, technical difficulties! Thank God I’m stubborn!

The “puzzle piece” picture

20130620_092134

Video of 1 Chronicles 29:11 Yours, O LORD video:

Categories: 1 Chronicles, 365 Life, Writing Through the Bible in a Year | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Who am I Living to Please?

Word of the Day: Acts 7:1-9:22

So, I had a whole other post half-heartedly written in my head and when I started writing it down and it just didn’t feel right.  I put down my pen, picked up my Bible and said through tears,  “LORD, what is Your message for ME today?”
I have spent so much time taking down and delivering messages for other people lately. And right now I’m the one hurting.  Much more than I expected I would.  My Grandpa just died yesterday and it’s hitting me with more force than I expected.  Every little thing seems to bring me to tears right now. And the people asking me, “how are you doing?” is annoying me. They may not intend it, but they all seem to be asking me if I’m staying strong and holding it all together.  Well, I guess the answer is, “no I’m not”. But really, should I be?  Should I be holding the sadness in so that it can swallow me whole later? Should I stay strong so that others aren’t made uncomfortable?
For so long I’ve lived my life for others, for their pleasure and satisfaction. Why? What good does that do me? And even though I’ve tried living for Christ (in the way others told me I should) that didn’t seem to ever work out either. So I wonder if perhaps I should start living for me instead. Start living to please His Holy Spirit inside me so that when I stand in heaven and look back on my life I can say I loved me. So that I can say I loved seeing Him in me coming out in ways I never expected or could have hoped.
This morning when I asked God what His message for ME was today He pointed to Acts 7:20 “Beautiful in God’s sight”.
Today, right now, when I’m trying so hard to write and be faithful and do His will.  Right now when I’m stinky and frumpy with my trusty Purdue sweatshirt from college, yoga pants,  crazy hair, no make up and even unbrushed teeth. Right now when I’m broken to bits and hurting and weeping constantly. That’s when I am truly beautiful in His sight. When I’m leaning on Him with everything I have because I recognize how weak I really am, how desperately I need His help because I simply can’t do this on my own. That is when I’m the most beautiful to Him.

image

(He made me take and post this picture)

Ok, I shared mine, what was your personal message from God through His Word today? If you’re brave enough, take a picture of your beautiful self and share it with us!

Categories: 365 Life, Acts, Writing Through the Bible in a Year | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

In This Name

Word of the Day: Acts 4:1-6:15
“In this name” Acts 5:28

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I admit that much of today’s reading felt like a haze. But through that haze a pattern began to emerge. A name.

The Sadducees were “greatly annoyed because they were teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection from the dead.” Acts 4:2

“let it be known to all of you and all the people of Israel that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead by him this man is standing before you well.” Acts 4:10

This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone.” Acts 4:11

“And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” Acts 4:12

“But in order that it may spread no farther among the people, let us warn them to speak no more to anyone in this name.” Acts 4:17

I could go on and on, but just by this short passage it is evident that there is tremendous power in the name of Jesus of Nazareth! Power that filled the Sadducees with jealous fear and the disciples with power and boldness through His Holy Spirit. There is power in the name of Jesus because it speaks of the person of Jesus, in whom all power resides. When we have Jesus, we have everything we need. He is the cornerstone the builders rejected. Will you reject him today? Will I? I almost did. But “if this plan or this undertaking is of man, it will fail; but if it is of God, nothing will be able to overthrow it.” Acts 5:38-39
As unfaithful as I have already fully proven myself to be, God still won’t let me fail. You know why? Because of you. Because He cares about you. And it’s my job to remind (myself and) you every day how much He loves you. He loves you enough to send you power and strength through a simple name – JESUS! A name that saves to the fullest and most extreme extent. A name above all names. A name that means everything to me because He gave everything for me while I was yet a sinner. Although I sinned and fell oh so short of the glory of God, He justified me by His grace as a gift through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus whom God put forward as a propitiation for my sins and yours! (Romans 3:23-25)
Hallelujah! We are justified through Grace!

Thank you Jesus!

Categories: 365 Life, Acts, Writing Through the Bible in a Year | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Given a Spirit

1 Kings 15:25 – 18:19

Word of the Day:

“As the LORD of hosts lives, before whom I stand,” 1 Kings 18:15

I can be such a pushover sometimes, I always have been. Honestly, Im amazed that I made it all the way through high school and college without ever being offered drugs, alcohol or a cigarette. My mom must have prayed a lot about that. As an adult, the pressures arent the same, but they’re still there. Now weve got commercials filled with Weight Watchers telling us to “diet”, hair color telling us to “dye it”, fast food restaurants telling us to “eat here”. Its enough to make a girl go absolutely insane trying to figure out the best balance for life! Everything that surrounds us day in and day out pulls at us from every possible side in a constant tug of war where were the rope! We are making decisions from moment to moment and those decisions can affect the course of the rest of our lives! So how can we know what the best decision is in each moment, for ourselves as well as our families?

We trust God. In several of my Bible Study readings this week the Word has spoken of God leading His people. He “teach[es] them the good way in which they should walk” (1 Kings 8:36). “May He not leave us or forsake us, that He may incline our hearts to Him, to walk in all His ways…” (1 Kings 8:57-58) “For it was a turn of affairs brought about by the LORD that He might fulfill His word,” (1 Kings 12:15)

God has directed me to 2 Timothy 1:7 NASB for my memory scripture this week. “For God has not given us a Spirit of timidity [or fear], but of power and love and discipline.” I am going to be holding this one close to the heart, as a shield! Those who are in Christ, those who have chosen Him as their Savior have been made new. They have been born again and given the Holy Spirit of Jesus to live within them. He has promised never to leave us or forsake us. His Spirit leads us and is always there to consult for any decision large or small. He is a personal God that cares about the things you care about… because you care about them. And if you feel God’s Spirit leading you to do something and it’s against the social norms or peer pressures around you; know that you have not been given a timid Spirit that is afraid to do what God leads you to do. You have been given a Spirit that will supply you with the power to stand tall and do what you’re called to do, a love for what you are doing and for whom you are doing it and the discipline to get the job done.

Hallelujah!

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Give a book bible button

I wanted to make you aware of some ministry updates. I am very excited to announce that I have a Mother’s Day speaking engagement scheduled for May 11th. I would LOVE to have books on hand for the women to buy, and even some to give away as gifts. However, the current funds in the ministry account are running drastically low. If you are able, I would love for you to prayerfully consider giving a book or Bible to someone who can’t afford one. If you are able, please click here!

Categories: 1 Kings, 365 Life, Waiting, Writing Through the Bible in a Year | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Reconciled

1 Kings 13:1 – 15:24

Word of the Day

: “…My servant David, who kept My commandments and followed Me with all his heart, doing only that which was right in My eyes,” 1 Kings 14:8

This is a phrase that God has repeated multiple times throughout our reading lately and I’ve wanted to comment on it, but haven’t had the perfect opportunity until today. You see, if we skip ahead to another verse where someone else is talking about David we read:

“because David did what was right in the eyes of the LORD and did not turn aside from anything that He commanded him all the days of his life, except in the matter of Uriah the Hittite.” 1 Kings 15:5

Do you see the stark difference between the way God sees things and the way we see things? Well, let me back up a bit for anyone unfamiliar with Uriah the Hittite. Solomon’s mother was Bathsheba, her first husband was Uriah the Hittite. Uriah was off at war when, one night, Bathsheba was taking a bath. David was out on his roof taking a stroll, saw her bathing and wanted her for his own. So he sent guards to her house to bring her to him. Lo and behold Bathsheba gets pregnant and in order to hide what has happened and in some way make things “right” David orders Uriah to the front lines of battle where he is killed. So now David has adultery and a murder on his hands. The prophet Nathan confronts David with his sin and David confesses “I have sinned against the LORD.” And Nathan said to David, “The LORD also has put away your sin; you shall not die.” (2 Samuel 12:13-14)

God IMMEDIATELY forgave David of adultery and MURDER. And now here we are generations later and God is talking about David’s sins – no more… but his relatives are!

My grandmother gave us a full set of silverware for a wedding present. We hadn’t been back from the honeymoon an entire month when one morning I was making my husband’s breakfast for him. I took a bagel out of the freezer and couldn’t seem to get the two halves apart, so I grabbed one of our brand new serrated table knives out of the drawer and tried piercing the bagel apart. Well, long story short, I ended up slicing the bagel and my thumb open. Three stitches later we stopped buying frozen bagels. Here we are, almost THIRTEEN years later and if I’m at a party with a knife in my hand someone will still say something like “can we trust you with that? You did cut yourself with a butter knife after all.” Ugh!!! Why can’t they just forget it already?

Do you see what I mean? I’m sure you probably have a story just like that too, a tale of unforgotten woe and embarrassment, we all do. Our family and sometimes our friends just love to remind us of our mistakes and shortcomings and even our sins. But Jesus doesn’t. He reminds us of the forgiveness of God in His blood.

“Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” (2 Corinthians 3:17) I don’t know about you my friend, but my spirit gave a leap of joy when I read that!

“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.” (2 Corinthians 5:17-21)

When we receive Jesus as our Savior, and His Holy Spirit who comes and dwells in our hearts we have been made NEW! The old you has died and gone away and the NEW YOU HAS COME! In Christ on the cross God reconciled the whole world (including you) to Himself. And just like God told David, “I have put away your sin”, He tells us that our trespasses (or sins or iniquities) are counted against us no more! For your sake God made Jesus to carry your sins for you. Jesus, “Who knew no sin” was made sin, “so that in Him WE might become the righteousness of God.” Now if that’s not good news then I don’t know what is!

Because Jesus died for us, we all have died to sin and condemnation. Because we are in Him and His Spirit is in us there is freedom!

FREEDOM!!!

Can you imagine being free from those embarrassing stories everyone remembers and tells about you? But even better is being free from the sin that so easily entangles and hinders us from true intimacy with God. Not because He’s holding it against us, but because we’re still remembering it and holding it against ourselves.

Today let’s hit the delete button on our sins! Let’s allow the Holy Spirit to come, cleanse us with the water of the Word and wash away even the memory of those things.

If God doesn’t remember them anymore, should we???

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Give a book bible button

I wanted to make you aware of some ministry updates. I am very excited to announce that I have a Mother’s Day speaking engagement scheduled for May 11th. I would LOVE to have books on hand for the women to buy, and even some to give away as gifts. However, the current funds in the ministry account are running drastically low. If you are able, I would love for you to prayerfully consider giving a book or Bible to someone who can’t afford one. If you are able, please click here!

Categories: 1 Kings, 365 Life, Waiting, Writing Through the Bible in a Year | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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