When we give or think of giving, we, or at least I, often think of giving out of excess. This morning I realized that my idea of “excess” and God’s ideas are very different. God says if we have just 2 coats that we should give one to the person who has no coat. If we have food, we should give food to the one who also has none. What a world changing concept. We could end so many struggles if we saw our excess as God does.
In such a day of connectivity, we hate to feel disconnected. Leaving our cell phones at home is a major issue. Lack of internet connectivity is unfathomable. It can be the same with God. For months, I have felt like my connection to Christ was going in and out. It was like I was signing in and it felt like my signal was weak – my connection “felt” weak. His connection to me has always been there but the issue was on my end. I wanted to fix it but overtime felt discouraged by the inability to tap into the powerful connection I was feeling in months passed. As I read, I was just reading. As I prayed, I felt like I was just speaking. My connection felt different; like it was lacking something.
Weeks ago I read Psalm 51. As I read create in me a clean heart and renew a right spirit within me I had a light bulb moment or as Oprah calls it, an “aha moment”. My heart and my spirit needed a reset. The exhaustion, the busyness, the running, the emotional highs had overwhelmed me and my spirit. I began to ask God to restore the joy of my salvation. Jesus asked the blind man “what do you want me to do for you?” The blind man asked for restoration of his sight. That day I asked for restoration of my joy (my connection). As I started to not only read and pray but to truly delight (take great pleasure) in my time with God my signal has gotten stronger, and my connection (my joy) have been restored.
This morning I am not just joyful but elated to have my connection back.
Today, Independence Day, the 4th of July, the great U.S. day of celebration. This is the day that marks our country’s independence from Great Britain. No more is the U.S. governed by British law. The nation rejoices with parties, and great food and fireworks — we are independent. We are free — We are self-governing.
This morning I rejoice over tea and internal heart-sparked fireworks that I am no longer self-governing. No, I am not bound by British law, correct, but the last thing I am or desire to be is self-governing. I am under the reign of something higher. In fact, someone higher. This morning my fireworks are set off because I decided about four years ago that Christ would be my governing authority. Not my religion, not a weekly worship experience but my total governing body in all things. Today I am all on fire because each day is my Dependence Day. It is a new day to be totally dependent on Him.
Happy 4th of July!
This morning as I peer outside on my deck and I see the fog, the wet ground, and the amazing growth of me and my son’s flowers garden, I am thankful for the rain. One week away from my outdoor wedding I see rain as just another preparation for that big day. While we scurry to complete programs, place cards, and favors, God is doing the real preparation. God is preparing our hearts, our minds, our spirits, and even the the beautiful outdoor ceremony garden for what is to come. This morning I wake up thankful for the rain. I wake up thankful for how rain washes away the old, cleanses all it touches, and prepares the ground for all the beautiful newness yet to spring up. This morning I wake up thankful that while I am checking off the little things; God is doing the real preparation. #7moredays:)
Genesis 12:2 “And I will make of you a great nation and I will bless you and I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing.”
We all want to be great don’t we? We all want to do great things, have great things, and fulfill our dreams. We have aspirations and countless goals and we ask God to be with us in the pursuit of those. But why? Is it for our personal satisfaction and enjoyment;for our personal and family gain? Does anyone else benefit from our greatness besides us? Do you want a great house so that you can marvel in its beauty or so that you have some private time away from the kids or are you willing to open up your home to fellowship with others? Is the promotion at work simply so that you can continue to stock your savings and investment accounts for the what if that may never happen or do you desire to be able to do more good in the world. Are you so consumed with having that you have forgotten to command to help?
The Lord came to Abraham and told him that He would make Abraham great and God fulfilled that promise, but God always has a purpose. He would make Abraham’s name and his family great so that he would be a blessing to so many others. His life would be a blessing not just for himself or his family but for countless others.
God desires to bless us as well and make us great. But just like the blessing he placed upon Abraham, he wants us to be great, so that we might be a blessing to others and so that we might use those blessings to serve and help others. Let’s use our blessings, to be a blessing!
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It’s funny, some of the things that I desire most to do, I am most fearful of. Literally, I will do those things by myself and enjoy them like I can never explain, yet I am too afraid to share that with those I most desire. I had to ask myself, is there something that this fear has me missing is it robbing me of some great joy or an avenue where I can continue to grow in God’s purpose for my life and ability to bless others. Then I remembered who fear is and where fear comes from. Faith comes from God but fear is just a trick of Satan. Fear is a friend of Satan. Satan may be the thief that we are on the look out for, but what about the thief that he recruited called fear. Fear is the biggest thief out there and like Satan, fear only comes to steal our ability to step out in God, kill our unlimited potential to be what God called us to be, and destroy avenues where we could be a blessing for ourselves, our families and others.
Think about what you really want to do, wish you could do, and think maybe you could do but you will not even dare give it a chance due to fear. You may have a tugging on your heart to write but out of fear you don’t, or worse you do but out of fear you never share it. If so, the thief called fear has just robbed so many of the witness and testimony that you have for others. Perhaps you love music and yet will not sing out loud in front of others. If so, just maybe Satan has stolen an avenue of your praise. Maybe you want to be more fit but fear of what others may think of you or because you don’t think you can stick with it keeps you from going. If so, fear has just destroyed your ability to live a long healthy life. Fear has caused you to go against God’s desire to maintain your temple that he blessed you with. Fear is robbing us from businesses, relationships, service, worship, and growth every minute.
Every night we lock our doors, we put on our alarms, and do all these things to keep thieves out of our homes and our lives, yet we are walking with, hanging out with, and being controlled by the biggest thief of all. How much has the thief called fear already robbed you of? How much more will you allow? Theft is an awful thing and oftentimes recovering what you lost is nearly impossible — but this is one instance where you can always recover what fear has stolen. Choose today to safeguard your mind, your heart, your life, and your gifts from the thief called fear.
Jesus asked, “What do you want me to do for you? ”The blind man answered, “Master, I want to see!” Jesus told him, “You may go. Your eyes are healed because of your faith.”
In the story of Blind Bartimaeus, Jesus meets a beggar who cried out to God to have pity on him. People told the man to stop shouting but he shouted even louder to Jesus. When Jesus stopped, he asked the man, “what do you want me to do for you” and the blind man told Jesus that greatest desire that he had for himself. Blind Bartimaeus, while he was unable to see, he knew exactly who was before him. He knew the power of God and when God asked him what he wanted, he held nothing back. Blind Bartimaeus needed to see. He did not ask for a guide to help him get around, he asked for the ultimate thing he needed – which was his sight.
Jesus asks each one of us that calls out to him, “what do you want me to do for you?” Unfortunately, we tell Jesus a lot of stuff but we do not often tell him what we want from him – specifically. When we do, we sometimes give the watered down version. We ask Jesus to give us that which will help us cope or function in our current state. In God we have a Father who desires to bless us abundantly; he just wants you to tell him what you truly need; what you truly desire. As your desires line up with God’s word and plan he will bless you in those areas.
If you need to be healed of an illness, tell God. If you need your husband to make better money, tell God. If you need your spouse to follow God, tell God. If you desire to spend more time in ministry (and less time working) and want your husband to be able to support your family, tell God. There is nothing you need that is too big for God so go hard in your expectations and faith in what God can do – or go home!
Dear God we thank you for this awesome example. God, as we have needs, let us trust you to be able to change complete situations. God, today we release our fear and doubt that keeps us from specifically telling you what we want you to do for us. God, we thank you for your power to do BIG things in our lives. Today, we stop doubting you and we trust you with every want and need we have in our life at the highest level. We recognize that we have not because we ask not. Today, we live following the example of the old beggar man Bartimaeus and we shout out to you and submit our requests to you. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
For the past few Sundays, I have watched the series, “The Bible” on the History Channel. As I started watching the series, I marveled at the great feats accomplished by God for his people and using his people. In watching I could not help but think about how I would love to experience God in the way of people like Abraham who left his home and traveled without a clue to where he was going with complete faith in God believing that he would father more descendants than the stars knowing how old he and his wife were in age. Or Moses who came so boldly challenging a man who could have him killed with the bat of his false eyelash mandating with all confidence the he would let God’s people go with no more than a wooden staff and a faith that many today would call absolute craziness.
Is God the same today as he was when he was walking with Abraham, Moses, Noah, Sampson, Joshua, and so many others? Absolutely! So then why are so many of us not seeing the power of God exhibited in our lives like the old Bible greats. Where have the multitude of indescribable miracles gone? Actually, I would dare to say that the miracles have not gone anywhere. The more I asked myself this question, the more I started to look at Abraham and Moses and then back at myself .It was not difficult to see the difference. The measure of faith that these guys had is amazing. They didn’t just know and expect that God was going to do something but their zeal for what was about to happen seemed just as strong. I would even go so far as to say that they had a relentless type of faith. There was no other option in their minds — they knew what God told them and they KNEW he would deliver.
I want to be like those old Bible greats – living out and experiencing God’s miracles, not just in my life but in the life of others. I want the faith that never dies, never wanes, and doesn’t get anxious when circumstances do not instantly change. If I increase the measure of faith in my life, I am sure that God will increase the measure of his power in my life and those around me.
Most wonderful God, I thank you! I thank you for yet another ah-ha moment that propels my life in the right direction. God, increase the measure of my faith and the strength of my zeal for what you can, will, and are about to do in my life. God make me over more and more in your image and less in the image of myself. God I thank you for the miracles that I will see, experience, and participate in simply because I am relentless in my faith.
Blessed are those persecuted for righteousness for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven (Matthew 5:10)
Have you even been uncomfortable with what you are asked to do or say at work, to your clients, or to your team? Are you ever asked to mislead, be less than transparent, or flat out lie? If you have, you know that it is a very uncomfortable situation. It is the type of situation that causes dread on Monday morning (every morning for that matter) as you prepare to start the day.
While your heart is heavy and your soul feels persecuted, know that God will bless you for yours is the Kingdom of Heaven. God desires us to deal with others righteously. He desires that we are honest, that we are transparent, and that we walk in integrity in all areas of our lives. Patiently wait on God and He will bring you out that situation and into something better. You may seem mentally, emotionally, and spiritually persecuted but God promised that you will be blessed when you are persecuted for righteousness.
Dear God, thank you for peace that passes all understanding as I prepare to go into spiritual conflict in my office. God protect me today from the mandate to be dishonest or unrighteous in my dealings. God bless me as I desire to be only what you called me to be in every area of my life — Righteous.
Last night, I went to bed with a somber spirit. Drained of work, my profession, my office, all I could think of was wanting to see a professional change but at a minimum a new job change. The most draining part was that I could not “see” it. This morning just as I was beginning to open my eyes, I could feel an involuntary smile forming as I heard the words in my mind, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen.”
It is very easy for us to get down at times about various situations. Sometimes things in life are overwhelming and it does not seem like the possibility of change is real but it is. It becomes real the moment we take our eyes off of the impossibility, and place them on the ability of God. And He said to them, “Because of the littleness of your faith; for truly I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you shall say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it shall move; and nothing shall be impossible to you. (Matthew 17:20) Now, this morning as I prepare to log in for work, I have been reminded that my faith changes my situation. I can now see it!
Dear God, thank you for seeing our life through your eyes. Thank you for seeing possibility. Thank you for seeing a new reality even before it comes to fruition. God today, we thank you for newness of situations, change in circumstances but mostly we thank you for the reminder of the importance of our faith. This morning God, I can see all that I hope for. Amen.