Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Our Father's Daily Bread

May I encourage you with a scripture that God has brought to my attention lately?

“Give us today our daily bread.” Matthew 6:11

The Lord does not want us to be fearful about our tomorrows but instead He wants us to be confident that daily He will meet ALL of our needs.  

In Matthew 6:9-13, Jesus gave His disciples (and us) a model to keep in mind as we pray:

“This, then is how you should pray:

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your Name,
Your kingdom come,
Your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.”

“When we pray “Give us today our daily bread,” we are acknowledging that God is our sustainer and provider. It is a misconception to think that we provide for our needs ourselves. We must trust God DAILY to provide what He knows we need.” Commentary

Are you fearful about your tomorrows?

Is there a part of you that fears/worries that your daily needs will not be provided for?

Sometimes, we can feel the pressure of life and forget the words of our faithful LORD:

“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Matthew 6:34

“Planning for tomorrow is time well spent; worrying about tomorrow is time wasted. Sometimes it’s difficult to tell the difference. Careful planning is thinking ahead about goals, steps, and schedules, and trusting in God’s guidance. When done well, planning can help alleviate worry. Worriers, by contrast, are consumed by fear and find it difficult to trust God. They let their plans interfere with their relationship with God. Don’t let worries about tomorrow affect your relationship with God today.” Commentary

The Bible says that we have a loving, generous and merciful heavenly Father who knows what we need even before we ask Him! (Matthew 6:32)

Let’s live life today with confidence and peace of mind knowing that all of our needs - physical, financial, emotional, relational and spiritual will be provided for us as we turn our anxious thoughts to thankful prayers!

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Indescribable Gratefulness!

“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 2 Thessalonians 5:16-18

This past weekend, a reoccurring theme kept surfacing – gratefulness. On three different occasions, three different people talked about how important it is to be grateful and thankful in all things. 

At the end of our weekend, I told my husband that I believe God is reminding us of the power of a grateful heart!  In 2 Thessalonians 5:16 it says, “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

As a result, I made a conscience effort to begin every day with a grateful heart. I had forgotten of the gift that keeps giving when we put into practice the discipline of a thankful heart. 

As I began my day, I thanked God for everything that I normally took for granted. I believe the LORD supernaturally opened my eyes to see things in my life in a new way! Things in my life did not change but the way I saw life did. With every thankful expression I made, the LORD filled my heart with an indescribable joy. I saw beauty in my husband, my children, my home, my garden, the purple blossoms in the trees that line our street, the clouds, the birds, the flowers, the skyline, the breeze, my friendships, and the serene lake I walk around everyday. All day I kept saying, “Lord, why do you love me so much, thank you for the good that you give me everyday that I do not always thank you for.”

Don’t let your enemy point out all the wrong and all the things you do not have in your life. Instead, begin today asking God to open up your eyes to see all the good that He has brought into your life! It is impossible to be down trodden, discouraged, cynical, bitter or filled with self-pity when you have a grateful and thankful heart!

“The Bible does not teach that we should thank God for everything that happens to us, but in everything. Evil does not come from God, so we should not thank Him for it. But when evil strikes, we can still be thankful for God’s presence and for the good that He will accomplish through it.” Commentary

Often it goes against our natural inclinations to be thankful, but if we obey God as the scriptures exhort, we will begin to see our life in a brand new perspective. Don’t let another minute go by, begin living life to the fullest as you open up your mouth and give the praise to the God from whom all blessings flow!

"This is the day the LORD has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it." Psalm 118:24

"From His abundance we have all received one gracious blessing after another." John 1:16 NLT

Wednesday, May 14, 2014


“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23

Sometimes in the evening as my family is gathered around the television, flipping through the channels, we will come across the popular reality show that highlights the housewives of a certain city. We do not need to watch the program more than five minutes before we see the spontaneous negative work of human nature in action. The Bible calls it the acts of the flesh. Galatians 5:19 describes it this way, “The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like.”

Unfortunately, as human beings, those "acts" act like magnets to many as it is a form of "entertainment".

I love to point out to my daughters that no matter how much time and money we spend on trying to look youthful and beautiful on the outside, everything is lost when we are controlled by our own sinful human nature and allow it to take its ugly course! 

True beauty begins on the inside. Galatians 5:22 calls the spontaneous work of the Holy Spirit in a person’s life, the fruit of the Spirit.

“The Spirit produces these character traits that are found in the nature of Christ. They are the by-products of Christ’s control-we can’t obtain them by trying to get them without His help. If we want the fruit of the Spirit to grow in us, we must join our lives to His (John 15:4-5). We must know Him, love Him, remember Him, and imitate Him.” Commentary

I love having three daughters. I love celebrating our femininity. We love shopping together and trying new beauty products but there is a beauty that only Christ gives that no cosmetic can compare to.

Which of these qualities do you want the Spirit of the Living God to produce in you?

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control…” Galatians 5:22-23

Not only will God produce in us the fruit of the Holy Spirit, but He will also give us an incorruptible beauty that is of great worth in God's sight and all the beauty products in the world will not be able to duplicate it!

“....let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God." 1 Peter 3:4

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Rock and Roll

Traction moves things forward. Traction is not something we think about every day or even talk about - but it is a vital part of every productive life. Let me explain it this way: Picture a car stuck in the mud. No matter how much pressure you put on the accelerator, the wheels, without traction, will simply spin and the car will go nowhere. 

Sometimes in life, we can feel like that spinning wheel, stuck in the mud, and the more we press on the accelerator, the more we dig ourselves deeper into the same spot.

Maybe you are in a job that feels like no matter what you do, you are not moving ahead.

Maybe you are a mother of young children and it seems like no matter how many sunrises you experience, the mundane tasks are never completed or appreciated.

Maybe you thought by now you would have been further in life - but find yourself in the same spot.

Be encouraged! Turn to God and be reminded of His promises! 

"I waited patiently for the LORD; and He inclined to me, and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; He set my feet on a Rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He has put a new song in my mouth-praise to our God; many will see it and fear, and will trust in the LORD." Psalm 40:2-3

"David writes this Psalm during a period of terrible stress; he feels as if he is stuck in a pit or swamp. No matter how hard he tries, he cannot get out. But David turns his frustration over to the Lord and trusts in His strength." commentary

The Bible says that David waited patiently for the LORD and turned to God in prayer. As David trusts in the Lord's strength and not his own, the Lord lifts him up and out of the mud and places His feet on a Rock and that is when traction begins! David not only begins to move forward but He moves forward singing and praising His God for all to hear!

Are you frustrated? Do you feel like you are spinning your wheels? Turn your frustrations over to the Lord - the Rock of our salvation - He will give you a firm place to stand - He will put a new song in your mouth and when He does...get ready to rock and roll!

"Oh come, let us sing to the LORD! Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation." Psalm 95:1

Monday, May 5, 2014

The Bond Of Perfection!

“Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering, bearing with one another and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection.” Colossians 3:12-14

This morning I read the above scripture and I was so blessed that I wanted you to be blessed too!  I love that it tells us to put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness and longsuffering. As I was reading this scripture from the Bible this morning, a devotion that I had read in a book last week came to mind.  A dear and talented friend, who actually was the composer of the book and who also authored many of the devotions in the book, gave the book to me as a gift. The book is entitled, Joy for the Journey and the devotion that came to mind is below:


     “Throughout history, there have been heroes and warriors of every nation and creed, but no one fought harder for love-and won- than Jesus Christ.
     Even when it became deadly for Him to love rebellious, self-centered, and hateful people, Jesus never quit. He fought, died, and rose again-because of love. But it wasn’t just any love. It was a higher love-an absurd, illogical, crazy love not common to this world.
     It’s that kind of love we’re going for. Bring that love to mind when you are tempted to give up on a difficult person, relationship, job, church, or calling.
     Pursue love. Make love a habit. Fight to see it rise again.”

Wow! No one fought harder for love and won than Jesus Christ! Are you tempted to give up today? Don’t! In His Name pursue love and fight to see it rise again!

Sunday, May 4, 2014

God's Maintenance Program

“If the ax is dull and its edge unsharpened, more strength is needed, but skill will bring success.” Ecclesiastes 10:10

“Trying to do anything without the necessary skills or tools is like chopping wood with a dull ax. If your tool is dull, you should sharpen it to do a better job. Similarly, if you lack skills you should sharpen them through training and practice. In each situation, sharpening the ax means recognizing where a problem exists, acquiring or honing the skills to do the job better, and then going out and doing it. Find the areas of your life where your “ax” is dull, and sharpen your skills so you can be more effective for God’s work.” Commentary

God’s Word provides us guidelines for how we can live wiser.

Just as the commentary said above, sharpening your "ax" can mean recognizing where a problem exists and then going to do it! But sometimes sharpening our “ax” is shutting down.

Companies that manufacture any product, schedule intentional shut down times. They do this as part of their quality control program to make sure that the products they are producing are of the highest quality and to reduce waste.

Every night when the machines are shut down, a new crew comes in and services/maintains the machines that produces hundreds and thousands of products a day. Companies know that if they neglect their machines, not only will they run the risk of recalled products, but they run the risk of forced shut downs that can result in losing thousands of dollars.

God loves us so much that He also scheduled shut down times for us - one of them is at night – it is called sleep/rest :). But rest is more than sleep. Rest is finding the times during the day to rejuvenate our mind and our body so that we can be all that God has designed us to be - body, soul and heart! Having a hopeful outlook is God's will for us!

Are you making sure that your body is serviced and maintained? Or do you attempt to do your work with a discouraged heart, a tired body and a negative outlook?

When Jesus’s disciples gathered around Jesus and reported back to Him all they had done and taught, many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat. Listen to what Jesus said to His disciples, “Come with Me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” Mark 6:31

Jesus recognized that to do His work effectively, they needed periodic rest and renewal – Jesus was not planning for their retirement – the great work for His disciples had just begun!

Sometimes because of all we have to do, we feel we need permission to rest. God has already given it to us! Let’s take it and rest with it for God’s plans for us are to turn this world upside down in His Name and for His glory!

JESUS, thank you for being our Sabbath rest. Thank you for reminding us of the importance of taking care of the bodies that You have given us. May we be gifted with the knowledge of skillful living in every area of our life. We desire to be ready and prepared for every good work You have planned for us!