Little Things

Isaiah  51 :7 “Hear me, you who know what is right, you people who have my law in your hearts: Do not fear the reproach of men or be terrified by their insults.”

As we walk our day to day lives we are faced with so many oppertunities to stray form God.  We can get frustrated or overwhelmed by the things of this world but this world is not our home.  Demands seem to come in all directions to be better, do better, go this way, go that way, frustration sets in and before you know it we are going down a path we were never meant to walk.  God is asking us, in the midst of life, to stop and hear his voice.  It is difficult for me to remember that God cares so deeply for me that he cares about the smallest details of my life.  If I remember to “hear his voice” throughout my day I will be filled with his presence and with that come a peace that surpasses all understanding.   We all know that in any given day we will be faced with reproach, disapproval, from someone but, if we remain in God we can see them through different eyes, the eyes of Jesus.  Keeping with that same thought we know that there is no way to please everyone we come into contact with and that we will hear or be insulted.  Don’t be scared by this but see it as an opportunity to show God’s grace, mercy and love.  I have found that one of the most difficult things is to see others through Jesus eyes yet this can be the difference between grace and sin.  I don’t know about you but I want to live a life pleasing to my Heavely Father and seek Him in all I do.  He cares about the small things, today I too am challenged to do the little things that can make all the difference in my life and the lives of those around me.

Father in Heaven, thank you for your words of wisdom, grace, and mercy.  Be with me today as I face the challenges of this world.  I want to be your hands and feet to all those who I come across.  Rain down on me this day and bring me your peace.  Protect me as I walk forward in faith focused on pleasing you.   Help me to remember that the little things matter.  In Jesus Name, AMEN

Deceived

James 1:16-17 “Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers (and sisters).  Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights who does not change like shifting shadows.”

Ever feel totally confused as to what to do with your life, problem, struggle, blessing, or frustration? I know, dumb question…we all get confused as to what God would like us to do in certain situations but, how often do we really sit in prayer with things that trouble us?  I know, for me, I tend to skip the praying and try to solve the problem or come up with a solution or “fix it”.  I am a fixer but God is THE WAY.  This reminds me of the street signs that say very clearly WRONG WAY.  It is easy for me to obey that street sight yet I find difficult to obey God’s “wrong way” signs in my life.  I often am deceived by thinking I know what is best or to “fix” it.  I am on a journey to allow God to be the heavenly light of my path.  I like Eve am easily deceived but I am trying to walk in faith. As you go through you day today look for signs of peace, joy, and love for then you know that you are in God’s will.  If you begin to allow frustration or strife into your life surrender to God for He will light your path with peace.

Father, I come before you seeking forgiveness for all the times I have turned my back on you.  I ask for your transformational leading in my life.  Help me to come to you with every concern, struggle, and blessing. I want to hear Your voice today and everyday.  Help me to remember that everything praiseworthy comes from you.  When I become confused or frustrated gently push me back to you.  I want to know you more intimately and rely on You unconditionaly.  Come Holy Spirit come guide me.  In Jesus Name, AMEN

You Have Been Called

Ephesians 1:4-7 “For he chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.  In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons (and daughters) through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will – to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.  In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace…”

You are called chosen and dearly loved.  Those words often are hard for us to wrap our minds around.  It is often easier to see the negative and hurt rather than the love in Christ.  As we walk through our day the devil and him minions  bombard us wth all that is wrong in our lives and purs shuttle thoughts in our heads of, “your not worthy, loved, it is ______ fault that you are in this mess” the list can continue but one thing that remains is God’s love and mercy for those who are called according to His name.  You are called so when negative thoughts or blaming thoughts come into your mind call on the One that can calm the storms of live.  Put your trust in Him because He is trustworthy.

Father, I am sorry for blaming others for what is going on in my life.  I known that no matter what happens you are in control.  Nothing in my life has surprised you.  You know me because you created me.  Help me to trust Your path for my life and to continually look to you as I grow more and more in my faith.  Thank you for protecting me and filling my life with blessings.  In Jesus Name, AMEN

Power of Jesus

2 Corinthians 12:9-10 “But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.  That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties.  For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

Have you ever really thought about the power of the name of Jesus?  I awoke this morning why the line form a song,”what a powerful name it is, the name of Jesus.”  I have spent the last 30 min. or so just playing that line over and over in my head.  Then I read about Samson and how he was born dedicated to God yet he continually walked his own way, toyed with sin, and lacked self-control.  Because of his actions he diminished the power of God and what he wanted to do through him.  Yet in the end when Samson was captured and had his eye carved from his face, he prayed a simple prayer Judges 16:28 (NIV) “Then Samson prayed to the LORD, ‘Sovereign LORD, remember me. Please, God, strengthen me just once more, and let me with one blow get revenge on the Philistines for my two eyes.’”  This simple prayer, calling on the name of our God, was all he needed to do.  I am so reassured today that no matter what path I have chosen in my life, God is with me ready to hold me, continue to work in me and through me.  That is how powerful the name of Jesus is.  NOTHING you do can separate you from the love of Jesus.  No wrong turn, no mistake, no sin is too great for Jesus to redeem, forgive, and use to bring glory.

Father, I am so sorry for all the times I didn’t listen to you.  I am not worthy yet I am called Your child.  As I continue to walk this earth in faith I want to live more and more in your presence.  Lord, I know I have made mistakes and I will continue to make them but I also know that You are a gracious and loving Father who does not condemn but heals.  Help me to see the path You want me to walk and bring glory to You.  I am nothing without you.  I love you Father, In Jesus Name, AMEN

Fix Your Eyes

Hebrew 12:2 “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfected of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God”  Isaiah 40:28 – 31 “Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth.  He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom  He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak  Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.  They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”

Have you ever stoped to think about how many times in a day you have negative thoughts?  About the world? Drivers? Family? Or self?  These are all pits that we can fall into and Satan wants us to go there.  A students the other day kept telling herself that she was dumb.  I looked at her and said,”There are enough people in the world that are going to say negative things to you, so don’t speak negative to yourself.” The interesting thing is that I think that was as much for her as it was for me. I have caught myself thinking negative thoughts and these thoughts at not healthy or, more importantly, they are not in line with God’s will for my life.  When we focus on God and His joy, peace, and love we are free to see and think of the world and the people in it differently.  Another thought, ever think about how we seem to be nicer to strangers than to the people closest to us.  Challenge for the day – carry Christ with you, speak and act as thought everyone you come in contact with is Christ himself (yes everyone).  Now if that is not God working in us I don’t know what is.

Lord, thank you for being such a loving and gracious God.  Help me today to be Your hands and feet to this world.  I know that with out you nothing is impossible. Help me to see you in every person I come in contact with.  I want more of you and less of me.  Fill me with Your Holy Spirit and give me strength that can only come form you.  In Jesus Name, AMEN

Pray Continually

John 16:24 “Until now you have not asked for anything in my name  Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.”  1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 “Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

I use to think that prayers had to be long and full of passion.  I have learned that my prayers can simply be saying the name of Jesus.  His name is so awesome and powerful that all I need to do is say His name and Satan has to leave.  Often in the midst of my day I forget just that.  When we become overwhelmed, agitated, irritated, or anxious all we need to do is call on Jesus and He will fill our hearts and minds with a Peace only He can give.  When we take the second that it takes to call on Him we are aligning ourselves with His love and grace.  Make Jesus central in your day today. Pray continually: simple, shot prayers that flow out of your need for Him.

Father, thank you for being my strength at all times, remind me through your gentle spirit to call on you instead of letting Satan distract me and pull me away from your presence and will in my life.  Guide me today to align with your grace and mercy.  I want to live a life filled with a joy and peace that only comes from knowing you. In Jesus Name, AMEN

Blessings

Colossians 2:6-7 “So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.” 1 Peter 5:7 “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” Psalm 141 8-10 “But my eyes are fixed on you, O Soveregin Lord; in you I take refuge-do not give me over to death .  Keep me from the snares they have laid for me, from the traps set by evil doers.  Let the wicked fall into their own nets, while I pass by in safety.”

I want to encourage you today, sit back for a moment and think about blessings.  What does that word mean to you?  The dictionary defines it in three ways I liked this one: a thing conducive to happiness or welfare.  When I think of blessings God seems to skim the surface because I tend to focus on family and friends, the fact that I have a job, education, home, food on my table, the list could go on and on. I was challenged to think about blessings but not necessarily where those blessings come from.  We have been blessed beyond measure so why do we question our Father when he tries to bless us with challenging situations that cause us to grow not only in our faith but as a person.  God is growing each of us up to become who He wants us to be, He gives us strength when we think we can go no further, words to speak when we need them most, He gives us a heart for people, and most of all He brings peace.  Today instead of counting your blessings thank God for His love and accept His will completely not matter what you face today.  Give God your all today and watch and see how loving your Father is.

Heavenly Father, thank you for your love and mercy that has walked me to the place where I am today.  I know that everything I have faced in my life, to this point, has put me where I am today.  Some of my choices aligned with Your perfect will and others took me down a path of pain.  Either way You will use and have used it all for good because you are a loving and gracious King.  Thank you for never leaving me or forsaking me.  As negative thoughts go through my head today Lord I ask that you gently remind me that I am Your Child who is dearly loved and NOTHING is too big for you to handle.  In Jesus Name, AMEN

Accused and Freed

Colossians 1:27-28 “Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior.  But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation-“. Colossians 3:15-17 “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.  And whatever you do whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”

Ever felt wrongly accused or misunderstood? I think we all have at some point in our lives (some more than others) but, take heart because you are free in Christ.  You and I have been washed clean by the blood of Christ and are free to forgive and love.  As a matter of fact, we are called to do just that love one another as Christ loved you.

Now let’s turn it around: Have you wrongly accused someone? Now that puts a whole new spin on accusations doesn’t it?  Take a moment and think about what it means to be a Christian. According to God’s Word we are to be doers of His word.  What does that mean? “Whatever you do whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus…” I don’t know about you but not all of my actions or words are pleasing to God. Remember that no one is perfect, including you, so find forgiveness for one another and trust God’s word. You hare washed clean and so is everyone else who is in Christ.  If Christ does not accuse them why are you accusing them?  Free yourself and understand the you will not find lasting peace in the world but in  Christ you have a continual Peace that cannot be explained or taken from you.

Father, thank you for the reminder that no human is perfect and it is ok to free ourselves wot forgive as you have forgiven. It does not mean that what was done is of but that forgiveness brings a peace to our souls that only You can bring.  I want to lean to live with You as my center and be in eternal union with your spirit. I am asking for a peace that surpasses all understanding as I go into the world today and face the day.  Lord,  I know that you are with me everywhere I go watching over me and because of this I can find peace.  In Jesus Name, AMEN

Quiet

Isaiah 30:15 “This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel says:  “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it.”  2 Corinthians 12:9-10 “But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.  That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficultties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

Do you ever stop and think about how God answers your prayer?  It does not seem to come naturally but yesterday I stopped and took notice about a simple act that sone one did and it answered a prayer I had been praying.  It was such a simple act that if I was not looking I would have missed it.  Take time today to be still.  It is in those quiet moments where God can move. He will revel the areas in your life where he is working, trust Him, find strength and hope in Him.  I want to encourage you today not to miss the simplicity of life. Worry will not add a single day to your life so, instead of worry fill your time with praise, worship, and stillness.

Father, thank you for the little things that you do everyday to keep me safe and show yourself to me.  I don’t want to rush through life and miss the blessings you have for me.  Help me to be still and know that you are God.  Strengthen me with Your Spirit.  In Jesus Name, AMEN

Let Go

Ephesians 3:20-21 “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen”  Luke 1:37 “For nothing is impossible with God.”

“Let go and let God,” is a phrase I have heard and used throughout my life yet I find it difficult to live by.  God tells us throughout scripture to come to him, not only will he give us rest but he promises to take care of us.  “Come to me all you who are weak and weary and I will give you rest.” The problem is we need to come to him and trust him with everything, releasing our fears, worries, anxieties, and most of all control.  Jesus is our Sheperd which means he is there to guide and protect us; all we need to do is follow him.  Releasing control can be frightening or even dangerous but the safest place we can be is in God’s will which means we are being held in His arms.  Trust your sheperd for he cares for you.

Father we face so much in this broken world that sometimes it is hard to see you.  Forgive me for not trusting you and accepting your will for my life.  I want to follow you,  sheperd and Lord of my life.  Help me to remember that nothing is impossible with You.  Take away my fear and anxieties as I continually learn what it means to truly follow you.  In Jesus Name, AMEN