Last week I went to one of my favorite stores to browse around. Of course I found a treasure I couldn’t pass up. A little sign with a few words on it grabbed my attention.
As I reflect on these words I am reminded of the undeniable goodness of God in my own life. God has always been great in His faithfulness towards me. He wants me to remember and for others to hear of the great things He has already done for me.
In the book of Joshua the Lord said, Take twelve stones from here out of the midst of the Jordan, from the very place where the priests’ feet stood firmly, and bring them over with you and lay them down in the place where you lodge tonight.’”
And those twelve stones, which they took out of the Jordan, Joshua set up at Gilgal. And he said to the people of Israel, “When your children ask their fathers in times to come, ‘What do these stones mean?’ then you shall let your children know, ‘Israel passed over this Jordan on dry ground.’ For the Lord your God dried up the waters of the Jordan for you until you passed over, as the Lord your God did to the Red Sea, which he dried up for us until we passed over, so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the hand of the Lord is mighty, that you may fear the Lord your God forever.”
Like the Israelites we also have struggled through some tough places. Most of us have a history of trials that we have prayed over with much persistence and lots of tears. Hard things that because of God’s great faithfulness and mighty hand are now behind us.
I encourage you to every once in a while go back and reflect. Remember the days that you prayed for what you have now. Pass by some of your memorial stones. Tell people of the mighty hand of God in your own life. Proclaim His greatness and then trust Him with the things you are praying for today.
I will never forget this memory as a little girl. Every summer I witnessed the best cannonball one could ever imagine, as warm rays sun-kissed my skin in a backyard pool. The entire event of this cannonball amazed me. Everything about it was so BIG compared to my little frame and young mind. It was awe-inspiring!
My grandfather was not a small man. Excitement filled all of us kids when he came home after a hard day’s work. We giggled and anticipated riding the waves from his fearless cannonball. Grandpa never tested the waters first.
No matter what, he jumped. All in. Every time.
This is who I want to be as a Christ follower. But so often, I find I need to stick a toe in first. What is the temperature of the water with this decision? What if I do not like it?
Fear can trip us up from the joy Jesus has for us. If we unabashedly followed Jesus, I wonder who around us would ride the waves with us? If we dared to take the plunge, then we can anticipate the joy in it for others!
Deuteronomy 31:6 says,
“Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them, for the Lord your God is the one who goes with you. He will not fail you or forsake you.”
Ladies, it is time to cannonball. Every day the world is getting closer to Jesus’ return just as God has told us in His Word. Be brave, stop testing the waters and jump! Just like Grandpa.
I spent much of my young adult life trying to find myself in the world around me. I thought if I was pretty enough, had the right clothes and the right friends, that I would find happiness and maybe even purpose. My only real motivation was to find a boy who would love me forever. Sounds like a pretty typical teenager if you ask me. I didn’t know who I was but only who I wanted people to see me as. I wanted to be just like everyone else. I didn’t want to stand out or make a big difference in the world. I just wanted to live my life the way I wanted to live it and be loved. Sound familiar?
I think where I was is a place many of us walk through in our journey’s towards finding God. It doesn’t take much imagination to find the flaws of my thinking in those earlier years nor would it come as much of a surprise that God did not allow me to continue in my foolishness forever. I came to realize as friends, looks, and loves changed, only one thing remained the same. That thing being the One who had been calling me from the beginning. Jesus. And be it from folly or utter arrogance it took me a very long time to completely surrender my whole self and cast off my ideas of what I thought I was suppose to be. Old habits of thought die hard but die they did as I slowly learned who I was in Christ and grew to know that my worth was not wrapped up in people but in Jesus and what He did for me.
Scripture teaches us that we are not suppose to blend in with everyone around us. But, rather we are to be the light in darkness and the salt in the bland. Our lives are meant to be so full of Christ’s love that the world can’t help but look to us. We are meant to be attractive but not because of our complexions or instragram followers. It’s God’s love that draws all of the attention. In a world full of people who want to blend in, we are meant to stick out.
In 2 Corinthians 3:18 we are told that through us coming to know Christ intimately, we reflect Him like a mirror and are being transformed daily into the likeness of Jesus. And it goes on to say in 2 Corinthians 5:20 that not only do we reflect Christ’s likeness, but we are in fact ambassadors of Him. We represent who Jesus is through our lives. So today I want to encourage you to be different. Embrace who you are in Jesus. Love others like He loves you. It is only by being different that we can truly make a difference. The world doesn’t need us to sink into the background. It needs us to shine Christ and share the hope of His gospel wherever our lights touch.
I wonder whether I talk openly with everyone I know just how much my Lord Jesus means to me. I love my Lord Jesus and want to share him with everyone I know and love. Also, perhaps reluctantly, as my flesh sometimes wins, but I want to share him with those who hate and despise me too.
My Lord Jesus has saved me from a fate worse than death, from Hell itself. I no longer have to fear death. He died and took the punishment of sin so that we do not have to.
1 Corinthians 15:55
“O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?”
My Lord Jesus is forgiving, he forgives even the worst sins, he forgave even those who nailed him to a cross.
And Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”
He died for me but not just for me but for everyone, for those who believe and trust in him, but also for those who do not.
And he longs for us all to accept him. He does not want anyone to go to Hell, but for everyone to have eternal life with him in Paradise.
2 Peter 3:9
The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.
Let me introduce you to my Saviour, my Lord and my friend, I want him to be that for you too. I love you Lord Jesus.
Our little Kezia said her first sentence this week. On my birthday, my hubby and I took her to a nearby mall. We walked passed the brightly colored Build-a-Bear Workshop with all the pretty stuffed animals tucked inside and Kezia pointed at a sparkly bear and said, “I want one.” It melted our hearts to hear her sweet little voice!
Looking in that store is quite the sight, it draws you in with all the pretty colors and glitter. I hope that our lives, following Jesus draws people in! I hope they see Him in us, a bubbling over of love, peace and joy.
One way we can show others Jesus is by our genuine love for other Believers.
“By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:35).
When I see this genuine love Believers have for each other, it gives me so much joy. It is sweet, kind, and gentle. It is not fake, which is so contrary to what the world is like. It is putting others first, looking out for each other, and truly being there to lift each other up. It treasures, embraces, and celebrates.
There is a bubbling over of love, walking together through this life. It is a picture of our friendship with Jesus! I hope when others see our love for each other, they think, “I want one. I want a relationship with the God Who wants to be my friend.”
In His presence, I find fullness of joy, and yet so often I search for joy in everything but His presence. This week, I have been enjoying listening to a series that looks at the book, Songs of Solomon. I have thought before about God’s love for us as an allegory of how a husband ought to love his wife, but I think doing this study has opened my eyes much more to His great love for me! In return, I have discovered healing, clarity, and affirmation. I only wish I had searched to study this book of the bible sooner!
Our culture today throws false views at us left and right, day in and day out. If we know that God’s truths set us free, why do we not search for it desperately? Being bombarded by false conceptions continually, with no filling up of God’s truths to counteract them, is not only living dangerously, but also taking away the fullness of joy God has for us.
We aren’t doing ourselves any favors by skipping through life without digging into God’s Word and seeking Him and His best for us. We are only being complacent and allowing satan to steal from us. There are countless things he wants to steal… time, peace, freedom, and blessings.
Let’s put on the full armor of God, take a stand against the devil’s schemes, and refuse to let him steal from us.
“You will make known to me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forever” (Psalm 16:11).
God knocks my socks off. When we have taken steps of faith, there have also been periods of doubt. It is overwhelmingly awesome when God reassures us that we are doing His will. It stops the fear in it’s tracks.
“The Lord makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him; though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with his hand.” (Psalm 37:23-24)
A friend was recently sharing with me that God often has given her a song when she has needed it. She hears it everywhere in that season of life and it really encourages her. God uses it to uphold her.
That day, “Voice of Truth” by Casting Crowns rang true to my heart. “This totally is my song right now. I can relate to this completely,” I thought. When fear sets in, who am I going to believe? Will I succumb to it or will I listen to the Voice of Truth?
The next day, I had some hurdles to get over. Will I get riled up or will I have peace in knowing that God has control over this? I went outside and got into my car to move it out of the way in our driveway. As soon as the ignition started, the speakers sang,
“The voice of truth says, “Do not be afraid!” The voice of truth says, “This is for My glory”…
There it was, the same song ringing true to my heart and situation. No coincidence. God does this. He reassures His children and then the fear vanishes.