But when they cried out to the Lord, He raised up for them a deliverer, Othniel son of Kenaz, Caleb’s younger brother, who saved them.” Judges 3:9
Have you ever heard of a man named Othniel? Probably not. He was Caleb’s nephew. When the people of Israel went into the Promised Land, they were victorious through the courageous efforts of Joshua and Caleb. As this generation grew older, a new generation began to emerge. Israel again fell into sin by worshiping idols and once more they were enslaved by their enemies. However, the people again cried out to the Lord and God heard them.
Whenever God’s people cry out to the Lord, He hears them. When they are truly repentant, He responds. He responds by rising up those whom He has prepared for such a time. Every soldier looks forward to the day he can use the training he has received. God had been preparing a nephew for such a time as this. He had the same Spirit as his uncle, Caleb.
The Spirit of the Lord came upon him, so that he became Israel’s judge and went to war. The Lord gave Cushan-Rishathaim king of Aram into the hands of Othniel, who overpowered him.
Has God been preparing you for a time when you will be called upon to deliver God’s people? Many are enslaved to sin. Has He placed you here to be a deliverer? Pray that you will have the same Spirit as Joshua, Caleb, and Othniel.
#rapture #Church #Jesussaves #reminder #Bible
God forgives us for the times when distractions lull us into complacancy and our spirit falls asleep. Sometimes we lose the passion and desire to pursue You with our whole hearts. Thank You that You touch us and wake us up with Your Words of love. You set us upright again and align us with Your plans for our lives. You love us so much. You won’t let us drift too long when we are facing down disappointment and weariness. You pick us up and shake off the opression and get us going. Thank You, Jesus, for keeping and eye on us and keeping us out of the enemy’s hand. In Jesus name. Amen ❤️
#hope #revival #Bible #Daniel #prayer #loveofGod #Godlovesyou #GodRescues #Godcalls #Jesuslovesyou
#YouVersion #YouVersionBibleApp #YouVersionBibleAppTeam #BecomeLikeJesus #LoveLikeJesus #JesusFollower
#YouVersionBibleApp #YouVersionPrayer #YouVersionInfluencer #Bible #Christmas
“just as the prophet Isaiah had written: “Look, I am sending my messenger ahead of you, and he will prepare your way. He is a voice shouting in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord’s coming! Clear the road for him!’ ” This messenger was John the Baptist. He was in the wilderness and preached that people should be baptized to show that they had repented of their sins and turned to God to be forgiven.”
#youversionbibleinfluencer #youversionbibleapp #youversionbibleteam
Let’s make a trade today, Friends:
Instead of belittling…uplift.
Instead of demolishing…rebuild.
Instead of misleading…light the way so that all of us can stand on higher ground.
The Word is our weapon
Go ahead and talk to God about how big your giants are, but don’t forget to TELL YOUR GIANTS HOW BIG YOUR GOD IS!! Never let the size of your giant determine the size of your God.
And me? I’m singing your prowess, shouting at cockcrow your largesse, For you’ve been a safe place for me, a good place to hide.
Strong God, I’m watching you do it, I can always count on you— God, my dependable love.” Ps 59:16 MSG
“But I will sing of your strength, in the morning I will sing of your love; for you are my fortress, my refuge in times of trouble.” Psalms 59:16 NIV
Success isn’t what we’ve done compared to what others have done. Success is what we’ve done according to what God has called us to do. That’s what walking humbly with our Lord is: claiming, accepting, and serving in the place God has for us. Nothing more. Nothing less.
So, what if, just for today, we resolve to taking up just the space that God has called us to occupy? Nothing more. Nothing less.
Christ follower—whatever political party you are choosing to stand on right now, pause a second with me and pray. Let’s remember why we are here. The battle we fight isn’t with people at all. It’s a spiritual battle. We are here to share Gospel. We are here to lead people to Jesus. We must know, live, stand on, and share God’s truth. May we all stop looking past the faces and souls of people and remember they are people that need Jesus. We have Him. Share Him. Tell them.
As for me, I’m living like the Bible is true, Jesus is alive, people’s eternity is at stake, prayer makes a difference, and life is for living!
There is no other name under heaven by which you can be saved: Jesus Christ.
The fastest way to be used by God is to go love and encourage someone else.
A Day is coming when evil is conquered. Until then we overcome evil with good. Let’s find people we can do some good with/for today. We’re not powerless.
#God #salvation #calling #Bible
I truly am no one without my Jesus. There’s nothing right in my life that I can’t point to and say Jesus brought it to me. Even those bad times because I’ve learned so much through those about myself and about Him and what a mighty, faithful God He is.
I’m just here, no one special. Just someone trying to tell everyone about a Savior named Jesus who saved me and can save you, too.
It’s been a while since you’ve heard from me, but I’m still studying. Still learning. Still sitting at the Lord’s feet. There have been additions to our family through adoption and childbirth that have me just flat out drunk in love. I’ll share more, later, because I can hardly wait to tell you how God brought these stories together. Amazing.
For now, for this post, I just want you to concentrate in this time when fear is so easy to lean toward to instead speak into that and tell you no. Don’t do it. Don’t you dare fall for that. Fear is not a language that God speaks. God has said “Fear Not” so many times in scripture.
Those who trust and abide in Him will (not maybe, not sometimes, but will) find peace (Isaiah 26:3).
Keep your thoughts on God. Remember what He says. Remember His promises. Stay in His Word. He’s got you.
Be the one God created you to be! Be YOU! Don’t hand over your “you” to anyone! We all need you!! We aren’t supposed to be the same, but we can live in unity and purpose with our differences and glorify God
Now the body is not made up of one part but of many. If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? But in fact God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, but one body.
1 Corinthians 12:14-20
Tomorrow is the first Sunday of Advent. The word “advent” means arrival. The Advent we celebrate is not just any arrival. We celebrate THE Arrival: Jesus.
This is the Advent: the coming of hope to the hopeless, the arrival of peace to war-torn exiles, and the long-awaited freedom for generation after generation.
It’s the elaborate yet stunningly simple plan of God to come to His children, to become like them in the most unexpected, unglamorous, fully human way: a Babe in a manger….born of a virgin.
It’s the beginning of a great ransom story. And you’re in it.
Our ransom story begins way back at the beginning. Way back to the fall in the Garden of Eden:
Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’ ” “You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves. Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?” He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.” And he said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?” The man said, “The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.” Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” So the Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, “Cursed are you above all livestock and all wild animals! You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust all the days of your life. And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.” (Genesis 3:1-15 NIV)
“No sooner was the wound given than the remedy was provided and revealed” -Matthew Henry
God’s rescue plan started right then. He couldn’t leave us there. His weapon of choice: Grace. He would use Grace to draw us back to Him in the form of His Son. A Messiah. A Savior. Emmanuel: God With Us.
Yes, the evil one would strike His heel. Jesus would experience real suffering with real blood, sweat and tears. But, Jesus would have the last word. When He cried out, “It is finished!” the serpent’s head would receive the final, fatal blow.
This is how He would become God With Us. Once His work is done….once you and I accept Him as Lord and Savior…..we will never be separated from Him again. God.With.Us.
In this Holiday season, I pray you all are keeping your devotion time going. Often we put them aside when we’re busy, but that’s when we need them the most. When we’re distracted and busy we are a prime target for the enemy. And this Holiday is about Christ anyway, right? Let’s keep our focus and the flame of our love affair with Him burning brightly. Do an Advent study/Devotion this season and worship Him. Grow deeper and closer to our Savior.
You’ll find keeping Christ in Christmas will help your busy Holiday time go much better! Also important: We see a lot of people this time of year that we don’t see regularly….as well as stores packed full of strangers. What a prime opportunity to share Christ and His Gospel. Remember why you’re here in the first place 😊
So many friends and loved ones are going through some very hard things right now. I’m praying so much for them all. And in case any of you are too, I want to pass this prayer on to you:
Dear Lord God,
You are my Shepherd.
You watch over me.
You tend to the needs of my heart and my life.
Help me to trust Your guidance in this time of uncertainty.
It is so hard to look ahead and not see a clear vision for my future.
Please help me to trust in Your timing.
Let me always seek Your will.
Please fill me with Your peace, knowing that You are the one true God and You love me.
…my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.
Thank You for watching over me.
In Jesus’ name I pray,
Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone. Colossians 4: 5-6
Imagine you are getting out the ingredients to bake a batch of cookies, but you have unknowingly mixed up the salt and the sugar. You end up putting in a dash of sugar and a cup of salt.
Now, picture a little child taking a big bite of one of those cookies. How long will it take the child to realize something is wrong? Do you think he or she will ask for another cookie? Of course not!
The art of seasoning is a matter of balance. Just enough salt to notice, but not too much salt to overwhelm. Salt creates a thirst, a desire for more. As Christians, we sprinkle the salt of God’s grace and gospel into our daily conversations. We don’t saturate every conversations in a way that drives others away. The artful seasoning of God’s loving grace into our conversations will create a thirst and a desire in the lives of others. They will long to know more of Jesus. This is how you “make the most of every opportunity.”
In this Holiday season, I pray you all are keeping your devotion time going. Often we put them aside when we’re busy but that’s when we need them the most. We’re distracted and busy…and a prime target for the enemy. And, this Holiday is about Christ anyway, right? Let’s keep our focus and the flame of our love affair with Him burning bright. Do an Advent study/Devotion this season and worship Him. Grow deeper and closer to our Savior.
And I think you’ll find keeping Christ in Christmas will help your busy Holiday time go much better! Also important: We see a lot of people this time of year that we don’t see regularly….as well as stores packed full of strangers. What a prime opportunity to share Christ and His Gospel. Remember why you’re here 😊
Arrival. That is what the word “advent” means. Only the Advent we are celebrating here is not just any arrival. It is THE Arrival.
This is Advent: the coming of hope to the hopeless, the arrival of peace, the long-awaited exhale of freedom for generation after generation gasping for air.
Advent is the elaborate yet stunningly simple plan of God to descend to His children, to become like them in the most unexpected, unglamorous, fully human way….and He’s coming again!
Expect Him. Watch for Him.
This is the beginning of a great ransom story. And you’re in it.
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord….”
We are all in missions. Some are called to foreign lands. Some are called to the jungles of the workplace. Wherever you are called, serve the Lord in that place. Let God demonstrate His power through your life so that others might experience Him through you today. View your vocation as means to worship Him right where He has you.
Don’t play hide n’ seek any more.
#MarketplaceMinistry #StandUp #StepOut
….for you are with me… Psalm 23:4
Your peace is a weapon. There are many opportunities created in this world to rob us of our peace. Your confidence in the God of peace declares that you are not falling for the lies of the devil. The first step in authority is to have peace in spite of our circumstances. When Jesus confronted the enemy, He didn’t confront him with His emotions. Knowing he was a liar, He simply refused to be influenced by any other voice than God’s. His peace overwhelmed the enemy; His authority shattered the lie and sent the enemy fleeing.
This week, that trickster tried to stake a claim. The peace of God overwhelmed and he fled. Praise You Jesus! God is always so very close. mmmm……yes, He is.
There is a place of walking with God where you simply fear no evil. David faced a lion, a bear, and a giant. In this Psalm he stood in the shadow of death itself, yet he feared no evil. Our trust in the Lord is what brings peace, not trusting in our abilities.
“You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies…” Psalm 23:5a
Because God is with you, every adversity you face will unfold in victory and become a meal for you, an experience that will nourish and build you up spiritually.
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.” I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:27
The source of God’s peace is God Himself. If fear has been knocking at your door, begin to face that fear with God’s peace. It’s God’s secret weapon to destroy fear.
For so many reasons, I love having a little one in the house again. I love teaching her all about my Lord. Seeing Him come alive for her is beautiful. I love her sweet questions and her awe in Him. I love the way her eyes shine when she tells me things He is teaching her, and the way she runs to Him in prayer about anything is especially good for my heart. That’s my job….pointing her to Him.
One question she asked is, “Why is this Friday so good when it’s a day Jesus died? We love Him so much, why do we call it good that He died?
Friends, this is why we commemorate Jesus’ death on the cross by calling it Good Friday:
Without His death, we don’t have the Resurrection. And without His Resurrection, we don’t have a Savior. Without our Savior, we don’t have salvation.
Because Jesus died and rose again, we have victory, forgiveness, mercy, grace. We have a home in eternity with Him.
If the Resurrection didn’t happen, then nothing about Jesus is true. Since the Resurrection did happen, everything about Jesus is true. Jesus Christ is our risen Savior, conceived of the Holy Spirit, born on this earth, died on the cross for our sins, rose again, and is alive. He’s alive!
It all —all of this. Here. Now. You. Us. Our purpose. Our reasons. Our why’s, how’s and when’s. Our eternity— hangs on the death and the resurrection of the Son of God.
What appeared at first to be a tragedy was in fact a triumph, because by His death on the cross, Jesus purchased our salvation. We are separated from God because of our sin, and because we are sinners, we have no hope of eternal life.
You see, God is pure and Holy, and even one sin —just one— would be enough to keep us out of Heaven. But Jesus, my dear, sweet Jesus. By His death on the cross He became the perfect and final Sacrifice for our sins. And because of that, Heaven’s door is now flung wide open to all who put their faith and trust in Him.
That’s why we can call the day on which Jesus, the Love of my life, died “Good Friday”. In fact, it was the greatest Friday in the history of the human race because on that day, Jesus won our salvation.
At one time, the Bible says we were “without hope and without God in the world” (Ephesians 2:12). But, now we have hope because Christ died for us.
The nails didn’t hold Him to that cross, love did.
Take a moment and relish in this one fact: death could not hold Him.
They will mock Him, spit on Him, flog Him with a whip, and kill Him, but after three days He will rise again. Mark 10:34 NLT
I am the Resurrection and the Life. Anyone who believes in Me, even if he dies, will still have life ~Jesus, John 11:25
It. Is. Finished.
It’s Palm Sunday!
So, what is Palm Sunday anyway?
Palm Sunday is the day Christians remember and celebrate the triumphal entry of Jesus Christ into Jerusalem, the week before his death and resurrection. Today is also referred to as “Passion Sunday,” and marks the beginning of Holy Week, which concludes on Easter Sunday.
Today, we remember that Jesus was on His way to Jerusalem, riding on a donkey, knowing full well that this trip would end in His sacrificial death for the sin of all humanity – that’s you and me.
In His path, people threw their cloaks on the ground and put palm branches on the road before him. Others waved palm branches in the air. Large Passover crowds surrounded Jesus, shouting “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!” (Matthew 21:9, ESV).
We remember and celebrate His triumphal entry as His beautiful triumph over sin and death. The gift of mercy and grace gifted to us by our sweet, and oh so loving Savior. WE WIN! All because of Jesus. All because of Jesus, sin lost its hold and death lost its sting.
Hosanna means “save now”. Jesus can save you right now by becoming your Savior and Lord. Won’t you ask Him now? Don’t worry, He’ll say yes. But, you have to first accept this gift.
There are two parts in gift giving: the giving, and the accepting.
Jesus has already given His gift of Salvation by the giving of His life for yours, and now it’s your turn to accept His gift of Salvation. It’s free. No strings attached. No way to earn it. No way to lose it.
Thank you Sweet, Sweet Jesus!
Feel free to message me with any questions.
(The Biblical account of Palm Sunday can be found in Matthew 21:1-11; Mark 11:1-11; Luke 19:28-44; and John 12:12-19)
“….there came a lion…” (1 Sam. 17:34.)
Through faith in God David conquered a lion and a bear, and afterwards overthrew the mighty Goliah. When that lion came to despoil that flock, it came as a wondrous opportunity to David. If he had failed or faltered he would have missed God’s opportunity for him and probably would never have come to be God’s chosen king of Israel. This was David’s training ground, and a way for GOD to receive glory in the victory.
We wouldn’t think of a lion being a special blessing. I know there have been lions in my own life that I didn’t think were a blessing at the beginning. Normally, we would only think it a cause for alarm. These “lions” are God’s blessings in disguise.
Every difficulty that presents itself to us, if we receive it in the right way, is God’s opportunity.
When the “lion” comes, recognize it as God’s opportunity no matter how rough the exterior.
I love this quote:
just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly
A storm is coming. Or you’re in a storm right now. We all know they’re a part of life. We don’t have to be told that. It’s no surprise to us. What it does is catch us off guard sometimes. We have to be ready. We have to be on guard and have a battle plan working and ready when it comes.
A boss that just wont get off our backs.
A spouse that doesn’t seem to be lined up with you at the moment.
A friend that isn’t really a friend.
A family member that seems like a stranger to you.
A competing co-worker.
All these things and more can be a battle for us at any given time. We know this. We are warned about this in the Scriptures, so that isn’t the problem. The problem is in our battle plan.
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against rulers, against the authorities and the powers of the unseen dark world, and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. (Ephesians 6:12)
We forget that our battle isn’t with people and get sucked into battling each other. We argue with each other, battle our spouses and divide our own households, families, and work places. In other words, we help the devil carry out his very schemes we want to battle!
You see, there is a battle always going on in the spiritual realm. That’s where the fight is. That’s the battlefield and that’s where we need to fight. The enemy is our accuser. It’s always happening and we need a battle plan.
God is strong and He wants you strong and prepared. You’re up against more than you can handle on your own so take everything God has given you, well-made weapons of the best materials – God’s Word and prayer – and put them to use so you will be able to standup to everything the devil throws your way. This is no afternoon athletic contest that we’ll walk away from and forget about in a couple of hours. This is for keeps, a life-or-death fight to the finish against the devil and all his angels.
God’s Word is an indispensable weapon. In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray first, pray often and about everything. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other’s spirits up that that no one falls behind or drops out.
This is an excellent Battle Plan!
I was invited to a premiere event last week for the movie War Room by the Kendrick Brothers – creators of Courageous, Fireproof, and Facing the Giants. This movie is coming out tomorrow, Friday, August 28, 2015. Priscilla Shirer stars in it and Beth Moore has a role too. These ladies are two of my favorite Bible Teachers. This movie is so inspiring. If you are a Believer, go see it. If you are alive and breathing, go see it. You’ll see the power of prayer played out on the big screen. You’ll be moved to get active and speak out boldly and loudly against the enemy’s schemes in your life. You’ll come away with a battle plan. It’s what inspired me to write this message today. It inspired me to get back to my war room battle plan. I know it will inspire you to do the same.
#WarRoom #KendrickBrothers #PriscilaShirer #BethMoore #Prayer #Bible
My Dad was very talented when it came to creating things. He created everything from beautiful, fine crafted wood workings that were gifts from our government to others and celebrated in city parades, to houses, and everything in between.
He is the Rock, His works are perfect, and all His ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is He. (Deuteronomy 32:4)
I was so blessed to grow up on building sites and in work shops where my Dad would share his wisdom with me as he worked. One thing my Dad taught me was that wise builders know that every house must have a foundation. A foundation is usually made of concrete or stone and steel, and its purpose is to hold the house up from underneath. Wise builders also know that the foundation must be built on very solid ground or rock. If the house is built on sand, the building will fall when the sand under the foundation washes away in a storm, or when it shifts during an earthquake.
For the same reason, our lives must have a strong foundation. Storms are a part of life. We all will face our share of difficulties and disappointments. Therefore wise people build the foundation of their lives on God, whom the Bible calls the Rock:
“For who is God besides the Lord? And who is the Rock except our God?” (2 Samuel 22:32)
[God] alone is my rock and my salvation. (Psalm 62:2)
God is like the solid rock, dependable and durable, on which wise people lay the foundations for their houses. You can always count on God and His Word–the Bible–because they always tell us what is true. Whether building houses or building their lives, wise people will follow a good plan, and there is no plan as good as the one found in God’s word:
24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” (Matthew 7:24-27)
My final tip in my three part series on how to make faith a natural part of everyday life for your family. This is by no means all that you can do. These are just 3 easy tips for you to start with now. See previous posts for the other tips.
3. Third, have fun! Nothing makes faith seem more out-of-place and awkward than when it feels forced, contrived, or boring. After over 25 years in ministry, we’ve learned that uncomfortable, scripted sermons or trite, cheeseball lessons are a drag for everyone.
When you make faith interactive, interesting and imaginative, however, the truths from the Bible really stick. Kids who have fun with faith when they’re young experience rich relationships with Jesus as they get older.
So brainstorm creative ways to retell Bible stories, look for inspiration in the natural world around you, tap into your child’s interests, and have fun!
#Faith #Family #Children #EverydayFaith
I’ve gotten a lot of questions lately on faith and family. Here is my second post in a three part series of a few tips on how to make faith a natural part of everyday life with your family.
2. Second, readjust your expectations of what “making faith a natural part of your everyday” looks like. In other words, you don’t have to be perfect. Faith does not eliminate questions, but faith knows where to take them.
Your kids don’t need the appearance of perfection. What they need is real authenticity, and a genuine desire to chase after God – especially from you.
We all make parenting mistakes. You’re going to make several and so am I. But listen, you don’t drown by falling into the water. You drown by staying there. When you mess up, apologize and grow from it together as a family. If you stumble and fall, fall forward, get back up, and keep running the race God has set before you. Let them see you do this with a genuine love for God and a desire to run after Him.
God didn’t mean for parenting to reflect perfection from us. He meant it to be a clear reflection of His love. Our job as parents is not to put on a perfect show. It’s to point them to the Perfect Savior.
As always, feel free to share away. You never know who is on the other side of the screen waiting on a word of encouragement.
#God #Faith #Family #Parenting #EverydayFaith