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You Are Not Forgotten

11 Jun

Image result for free picture of person in the dark

So much is happening today. Corruption within the political system, terror attacks, nuclear threats, global warming, and the list goes on. Yet, in the midst of it all, God sees you and cares about your circumstance. Yes, in spite of all that you see happening around you, God sees you.

Long ago, a barren woman named Hannah felt forgotten by God, as you might be feeling right now. She went before God and poured out her heart. Eli – the priest, who was nearby, thought Hannah was drunk. Once Hannah explained, Eli agreed with Hannah’s prayer.

Hannah prayed. “Then she made a vow and said, “O LORD of hosts, if You will indeed look on the affliction of Your maidservant and remember me, and not forget Your maidservant,  but will give Your maidservant a male child, then I will give him to the LORD all the days of his life, and no razor shall come upon his head.”” ‭‭(l Samuel‬ ‭1:11‬ ‭NKJV‬‬).

Although Hannah felt as though she was forgotten by God, she allowed her faith to rise above her circumstance and prayed. Not only did Hannah pray, she completely trusted the Lord to answer her prayer. She left the temple relieved of her burden, no longer feeling forgotten. Later Hannah gave birth to a son, and gave this son to back to God. Eventually she had more children.

Just as God saw Hannah, He sees you. God sees your hurt, senses your despair and hears your cry. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. You are inscribed in the palm of Gods’s hand. God saw you and knew you before you were born. And He cares about every aspect of your life. (Malachi 3:6, Hebrews 13:8,Isaiah 49:16 Psalm 139, Jeremiah 1:5)

What are you trying to give birth to? Do you feel forgotten by God? Know that this is just a feeling and not a fact. God sees and knows everything. Focus on God and pray. Don’t focus on what you see or feel.

Remember Hannah. She prayed and believed that her prayers were answered even before she gave birth to her first child, and later gave him back to God. It’s your turn now. Allow your faith to rise. Pray to God. Believe that He’s working it out together for your good. Thank Him because you believe that He will answer you. Take the limits off God and allow Him to be Lord of your circumstance as Hannah did. Give the situation totally to Him.( Psalm 78:41)

God sees you, and He cares. Look to Him and trust Him now more than ever. Yes God sees you. You are not forgotten. (Hebrews 4:13, Philippians 4:6, lPeter 5:7,

Casting Stones Through A Different Lens

22 Apr

pebbles, rocks, shapes

You’ve heard the story of the adulterous woman before. But for just a moment, take a second look. You’ll see stone casting through a different lens.

It was early morning. People gathered in the temple to hear Jesus teach. The lesson began. In came scribes and Pharisees with a woman taken in the act of adultery. The men had a plan and probably thought to themselves, we’ll stone two people in one setting. We can trap Jesus with His own words, stoning His character, and simultaneously publicly stone this adulterous woman because of her sin.

Let’s focus on hitting Jesus first. “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do You say? (John 8:4-5 NIV). They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing Him(6).”

Instead of throwing the stone back at the scribes and the Pharisees, Jesus caught the stone and was probably thrilled. This was great timing! What might have been seen as an interruption during a teaching session had actually provided an awesome opportunity to demonstrate a lesson to the students using these men, this woman, and stones.

Jesus began to write on the ground, ignoring the men’s question. What do you have to say about this Jesus? The accusers wanted an answer and repeated the question until Jesus spoke. Jesus invited the accusers to now stone the woman. “Let anyone of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her”. Again, Jesus stooped down to write.

““And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee? She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.”‭‭(John‬ ‭8:9-11‬ ‭KJV‬‬)

Here’s the new angle! Think of the stones that have been coming your way lately. What are the hard things being thrown at you? Follow the Leader. Jesus was not moved by the accusers. He used the stones to demonstrate love, kindness and forgiveness. How can you use the stones that have been coming your way? Instead of retaliating or becoming fearful, seize the stones. Demonstrate great love, great faith, great forgiveness, and that you serve a Great Lord who fights for you!
“For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds. ”‭(2 Corinthians‬ ‭10:4‬ ‭KJV‬‬)

Educate Yourself!

11 Apr

Available as a PRINT

A very wise woman told me about a conversation she had with someone from another country who constantly sought higher education. The woman asked the man about his ongoing pursuit of learning.

The man’s answer was profound. He said, “if I don’t continuously educate myself, someone else will tell me who I am.”

Like that man, we who follow Jesus are from another country (Philippians 3:20). We are citizens of the kingdom of God. If we don’t continuously educate ourselves ( Bible study, prayer, worship, fellowship/church attendance), someone else, Satan to be exact, will tell us who we are. (Hebrews 10:25). He even attempted to cause Jesus to doubt His deity (Matthew 4:3,6).

Satan will tell us that we have not been redeemed. He will tell us that we haven’t changed and change is impossible. He tells us that we will never get over our past failures. He tells us that surely God is not concerned with the minor details of our lives and there are things that we should try to fix ourselves. But there is one thing he will never say. Satan won’t tell you that he’s the father of lies, because that is the truth!

You have been redeemed (Galatians 3:13, Psalm 107:2). You are a new creation in Christ, old things are passed away, all things have become new (II Corinthians 5:17). Jesus has set you free (John 8:32,36). “Cast your cares upon the Lord, for He cares for you”. (I Peter 5:7, Psalm 55:22). “Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.”(‭‭Philippians‬ ‭4:6-7‬ ‭Message Bible)

Child of the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords, don’t allow Satan to tell you who you are. Believe God’s truth and reject Satan’s lies. Educate yourself. Do you know who you are?

Don’t Let Them In!

22 Jan

Discouragement knocks on everyone’s door from time to time. The problem is, he’s usually accompanied by his best friend, Doubt.

Once Doubt is on the scene, he’s very likely to invite Defeat over. Doing your best not to be rude, you find yourself entertaining Discouragement, Doubt and Defeat. The party is on. But it’s a pity party!

It all began with Discouragement. You forgot that he’ s usually accompanied by Doubt who often invites Defeat.

The next time Discouragement knocks on your door, be rude. Tell him point blank that Faith and Victory have moved in and there’s no sitting room for him and his friends, not even for a quick visit. Don’t let them in!

The Bible cautions us to be alert because Satan goes about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour (1 Peter 5:8). But sometimes he comes in subtly, gently as an angel of light (II Corinthians 11:14). When he comes in the form of discouragement, he charms us into thinking that this feeling is normal. When we are discouraged, defeat and doubt can easily slither on in.

We would do well to remember who we are, and more importantly Whose we are (Galatians 3:26, Romans 8:31-39). We belong to the Creator who makes all things possible if we would by faith, believe (Mark 9:23). What does God say about our situation? Let’s connect our faith with the word of God in the Bible and experience certain victory.

It Ain’t What It Is!

4 Jul

Lately I’ve noticed the phrase, “it is what it is” being constantly used among people from all walks of life. Within that toxic phrase lies another statement that says, this situation will not and can not get better; therefore I accept it for what it is.

I can almost hear Jesus interrupting those conversations with the question “where is YOUR faith?” Jesus actually sacrificed His life on the cross, redeeming us from an “it is what it is lifestyle”.

“Now” our faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1). Yes, everyone experiences trying circumstances, but we who believe in Jesus don’t allow the circumstances to overtake us as the end all and be all. Our faith in our sovereign Lord always keeps us only a prayer away from divine intervention in every situation.

We have an enemy of our souls, who is also known as Satan. His intention is to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10). One of his basic tactics simply involves helping us to focus upon what we see and accepting that as our final reality. We buy into his plan when we go with our natural senses, accepting things as they appear to be.

Jesus came that we might have life more abundantly (John 10:10). We access that abundant life as we trust in Jesus despite what we see.

Instead of saying “it’ is what it is” let’s keep in mind that Jesus Christ is Lord of all, and expect miracles. May we exercise our faith by praying and also doing our part to bring about positive change in our own situations and in the lives of others. “The just shall live by faith” (Hebrews 10:38). With faith, it ain’t what it is!

Further reading: II Corinthians 4:18, Romans 8:24, Hebrews 3:6

All or Nothing

18 Jun

Today we are bombarded with countless choices. This constant decision-making keeps our minds actively planning, anticipating, and, worst of all, stressed.

 

This stress impacts us beyond what we might have imagined. According to Mayo Clinic.org, “stress that is left unchecked can contribute to many health problems, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, and diabetes.”

 

Yet the remedy that combats stress is freely available to all who will receive it. The cure, which is found in God’s word, instructs us simply to be anxious or stressed about…NOTHING. Not our families, not our finances, not the future, not our health, NOTHING.

 

Instead, in everything…in everything… in EVERYTHING— our families, our finances, the future, even our health—in everything: “Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns.” (Philippians 4:6 MSG).

 

Maybe you’re saying to yourself, “doesn’t God already know my concerns?” Yes, He does. However, as you release your worries to Him, He works everything, everything…everything, out for your good.

 

“Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.” (Philippians 4:7 MSG).

 

So, it’s all or nothing. We can either choose to worry about EVERYTHING, or release it, in thanks and trust to God, and worry about…NOTHING.

Which Voice?

24 Apr

Today, everyone has something to say. Whether the words are through pictures on Instagram, music on YouTube, rants on Facebook, or phone texts, people are speaking like never before.

Social media has opened a door of personal reveals that even provides the introvert with an opportunity to let it all out. Amidst all the messages coming your way, which voice are you listening to? Which voice captures your attention most?

There is another voice whispering in the midst of it all. This voice tells us which way to go, brings strength when we’re weak, and peace during the storms. (Isaiah 30:21, Isaiah 32:8, Isaiah 40:31, Mark 4:39). But can we hear it in the mix of all the noise? The main way God speaks is through His word, the Bible, although He does speak through people as well. ( II Timothy 3:16,17 II Samuel 23:2).

In 1 Kings 19:9, Elijah heard the voice of God while he was in a cave. God asked “what are you doing here Elijah?” In verse 13, God asked the same question, “What are you doing here Elijah?” In Genesis 3:9, God asked Adam a similar question, “Where are you?”

Both Elijah and Adam had listened to the wrong voice. Elijah falsely believed that Jezebel was more powerful than God, and Adam believed that it was okay to follow Eve’s directions instead of God’s.

If God were to ask today “Where are you”, what would your response be? Hopefully it would be, Im right here listening to You as I trust and obey Your word.

May we be captivated by Your word God, not by the world of busyness that surrounds us. It’s Your word that brings direction, strength, and hope. Other voices tend to lead us away from You. Speak Lord. Your servants are listening.