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
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
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.”
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
I’ve gotten a lot of questions lately on faith and family. I’m going to post a tip a day for the next three days on how to make faith a natural part of everyday life with your family.
Here’s the first one:
1. First, as parents we have to model faith. If you’re suddenly picturing someone who can quote the Bible from memory, who prays constantly, and sings in the hills wearing a nun’s habit (a la The Sound of Music), RELAX–faith isn’t always easy, but it can be simple.
You don’t necessarily need to come off like a pastor to your kids. You just need to show them the simple ways you’re practicing your faith. For example, let them see you pray. Let them see you read the Bible. Talk about Jesus. Talk to Jesus, out loud, around them.
Even if your faith hasn’t been a natural part of your family life, start now. No matter how old your kids are. Just start.
As always, feel free to share away. Sharing is caring. You never know who is waiting for a word.
#Faith #Family #EverdayFaith
…In all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to seperate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:37-39)
We are more than conquerors.
God isn’t sending you out on a suicide mission – He’s inviting you to witness His surpassing power. God is on our side. Let your confidence in Him give birth to optimism.
In all these things we are MORE than conquerors. Don’t give up and don’t give in to the fear of defeat or failure. The solution is life on God’s terms.
It’s time for those of us who follow Jesus to occupy the promises of God – in spite of the bleak reports.
We have an expression that says, “She’s the real deal.” What we mean when saying this is the person is really who they are appearing to be. They aren’t trying to convince you that they’re someone they’re not. It’s a compliment. It means you’re aren’t a hypocrit or trying to be someone you’re not.
I had a situation where someone wanted to say something about someone that was out of character for the person being spoken of. I didn’t need to know the details. I knew the person. She’s the real deal.
GOD did extraordinary miracles through Paul…. Acts 19:11
Paul was the real deal. GOD began using Paul in amazing ways and there arose people who saw this power who also wanted to do the same acts as Paul. The problem was they weren’t the real deal. They were trying to be someone they weren’t. They were trying to appropriate the same Power Source as Paul without ever having a relationship with the Power Source, and it nearly killed them.
It is impossible to be the real deal without tapping into the real Power Source. The Holy Spirit is our Power Source. Do you want to experience the extraordinary with GOD? If so, tap into the real Power Source.
As I held out my hands to her, I could see the grip of fear in her eyes. I was asking her to do something she’d never done before. To go to a place she’d never been. To leave her safe place that ironically was a hard place. But it was all she knew.
She’s fighting back. She’s unleashing her warrior chic.
Now, draw a blood line in the sand and don’t go back.Because TODAY.Today we’re fighting back. We’re unleashing our warrior chic
God has created us to be untamed, undomesticated and to be a force to be reckoned with.Jesus died and rose again to make us dangerous to the forces of darkness.This isn’t a dress rehearsal.
Don’t stand in the crowd when you’re supposed to stand out.
My grace is sufficient for you. For my power is made perfect in your weakness. 2 Corinthians 12:9
I am not a patient person. I want to know it all. And, I want to know it NOW! I am the girl who flips to the end of the romance book to see if they end up together. A die hard romantic. I just can’t wait long enough to find out their ending or should I say their beginning with their one true love.
In high school, I decided not to date. To just cool my jets and fall in love with my God. It was a time to focus my attention on God. He said that He would bring the man he had for me in HIS timing, not mine. So that’s what I did.
That time of wait was not always easy. However, I have a best friend who had the same commitment, so the waiting wasn’t nearly as hard as it could have been. During those years, we laughed so hard our sides hurt. Pulled pranks. We went on adventures that would make you cry from laughing so hard. We were (and still are) inseparable! We decided to dance our way through this time of waiting.
In the meantime, she had an older brother who I thought was the bee’s knees! He was everything I was looking for in a guy. When I say everything, I mean e v e r y t h i n g: a Jesus loving musician with a heart for people, level headed, calm, cool, collected, an amazing servant leader. The list goes on and on and on! Except there was one problem: He was my best friend’s older brother!
So I kept it a secret.
I didn’t tell my best friend. I didn’t want her to get mad. And I didn’t want her to think I used her to see her brother, which wouldn’t be anywhere close to the truth.
This went on for years.
In the spring of 2012, I finally told her at a stop light in our small town. It was rather comical. As it turns out, she knew and had been waiting for me to tell her. She wasn’t mad, and it didn’t go as I feared it would. I was so relieved!
I had brought my feelings to God numerous times. With graduation looming, I felt my time of no dating was coming to an end and this guy was no stranger in my prayers! During that Spring, the situation looked bleak. He was interested in someone else! I was devastated to say the least. I prayed and asked God what I should do. I loved Brandon and wanted only the best for him. No matter what or with whom that would be.
The only response I got from God was, “Wait.”
That was not the answer I was wanting. I wanted an immediate answer to the problem! But, I knew God loved me deeply and had a purpose, so I decided to trust him and wait……but this wait was for God to bring someone else. I planned to squash my feelings for Brandon and just see him as a friend. That’s all. I tried. Honestly, I did. I almost believed the lies I told myself too.
Later that fall, I got a text from HIM. Brandon only asked me a simple question. No big deal. But to my amazement, we kept talking. And talking.
This went on for 7 MONTHS people! I was so impatient! He never gave me any clue if he liked me or not. Not a single one! Ugh! I was just getting down right mad at this point. I didn’t care anymore. I just wanted a definite answer! Either ask me to be your girl or stop texting me!
I decided to take matters into my own hands (never a good idea). A couple of people had tried to set me up with their friends and I had always turned them down. This time I decided to just meet them. Why not? Brandon wasn’t going to do anything anyways. I got to know them a little bit. Before I could even finish asking God what he thought, I got a resounding NO! I thought I had heard wrong. Surely, I had. But no. I had not. So I dropped it. Never to be picked up again.
A bunch of us ended up going to a birthday party at the zoo. On April 20th 2013, at the Nashville Zoo by the tiger exhibit, Brandon asked me to be his girl. FINALLY! I was completely surprised. I honestly had no clue if he was interested in me or not. As it turns out, he had had his eye on me for years! He had been praying about me late into the nights and told no one.
I was walking in the clouds that day. And I haven’t come down since. God had a plan and a purpose. Of course He did. One greater than I could have imagined. Those years (and YEARS!) of waiting were worth every second. I wouldn’t trade them. They make our love story especially sweet. God prepared us for each other in HIS timing and not ours. Never have I been so grateful for the word wait.
If you are in a waiting season, take heart! God has not forgotten you, just like he never forgot me. God stretches us the most when we can’t clearly see the way ahead. We may not always understand His ways, but God is God. We have to trust Him to make known to us the paths of life. In my lifetime, God has made me wait. He has taught me so much more in the times of waiting than when I have had everything I wanted. You may be waiting for something different. It may be a job. Or a home. Or maybe it’s your one true love as well. But the waiting is the same. Enjoy the ride! Roll down your windows. Drink in deeply the sweet presence of God. Dance through your times of waiting. You can learn a lesson from my story: Don’t push it. Don’t rush it. Just let God bring it to you in His timing. It works out better that way.
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11 NIV)
Ever since I went to Pharaoh to speak in Your name, he has brought trouble upon this people, and You have not rescued Your people at all. – Exodus 5:23
Have you ever felt like you have been obedient to the Lord for something He called you to do and all you get are more roadblocks?
This is the way Moses felt. When Moses went to tell Pharaoh to release the people because God said so, Pharaoh simply got angry and made the people make bricks without straw. Moses caught the blame for this from the people. Moses was just learning what obedience really means in God’s Kingdom. You see Moses had not even begun to release plagues upon Egypt. He hadn’t even gotten started yet in his calling, and he was complaining about his circumstances. There were many more encounters with Pharaoh to come, and many more plagues with no deliverances in sight.
Why would God tell Moses that He is going to deliver them and not do it?
It was all in timing. God never said when He was going to deliver. He just said He would. In the next chapter, we find Moses arguing with God about not being capable of the job God had called him to:
But Moses said to the Lord, “If the Israelites will not listen to me, why would Pharaoh listen to me, since I speak with faltering lips?” Now the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron about the Israelites and Pharaoh king of Egypt, and He commanded them to bring the Israelites out of Egypt Exodus 6:12-13. (Emphasis mine)
Do you get the feeling God was losing His patience?
God had a good reason for His delays. He said, “And the Egyptians will know that I am the Lord when I stretch out My hand against Egypt and bring the Israelites out of it” (Ex. 7:5). God not only wanted the people of Israel but also the Egyptians to know Him. It would be the greatest show of God’s power on earth.
God often causes delays in our lives that we cannot understand. Sometimes it seems our obedience is not getting rewarded. Jesus said He learned obedience through the things He suffered (see Heb. 5:8). Imagine that – Jesus having to learn obedience. What does that say for you and me?
Sometimes God’s delays are simply because He wants more glory in the situation, more recognition, more Christ-likeness in you and me through greater patience and obedience. Faint not, for the promise may yet come.
Today God Is First (TGIF) devotional message, Copyright by Os Hillman, with added emphasis by Christy
#Hebrews #Exodus #BibleStudy #Devotion #amwriting #Faith #LifeWithChrist #Moses #Jesus #christyrawlsDOTcom
We are constantly influencing those around us. Whether our sphere of influence is a church, a Bible Study group, co-workers, our spouse, children, family, online and social media community, or a class – we owe it to those around us to equip ourselves with great tools to love and lead them well.
Leaders are readers.
I highly recommend that you arm yourself with loads of encouraging, equipping, and empowering books on faith that inspire you to stretch yourself. To help you love and lead like Jesus.
However, we don’t need to read a bunch of books about the Bible instead of actually reading the Bible. I love a quote by Charles Spurgeon: Visit many books, but live in the Bible. There’s nothing, nothing, nothing like reading God’s Word.
There are lots of tools you need to be successful in the new year and save money doing it. Yesterday I told you here about 16 free books by one of my favorite teachers, Beth Moore. There are links in that post for iPhone, iPad, Nook, Kindle, ePub, and more. That offer is only good through January 10, 2014 so be sure and hurry over to that post for all the links to grab those jewels. Don’t forget to pass on my blog link for others to enjoy.
Today I have more goodies for you:
For those of you that do not have a Kindle, don’t fret. There is a free app for Kindle in which you can download all Kindle eBooks just as someone would do on a real Kindle device. And, just because I love you…and I want you to get these books…here’s the link to grab that app
This is 100 FREE eBooks, friends! Even better – it’s 100 FREE BEST SELLERS ON FAITH! What a great big, toe tipping kiss from Daddy! I’m not sure how long this deal will be going on, so run on over with this link and get them while you can.
Don’t worry, we’ll get back to posting devotions and Bible studies here. I just had to tell you about these delicious finds and couldn’t dare keep them for myself!
(FYI: I in no way receive any money for recommending these to you. I haven’t been solicited by Amazon to tell you about it. There are no affiliate links in this post. I just love you all and want to bless you with my finds 🙂 )
#Amazon #Free #ebooks #Kindle #Christian #faith
I love my office. It’s one of my favorite places to be. I’ve learned a lot of lessons in that office. Had many conversations with my Heavenly Daddy there. Met with and comforted lots of people in there.
I have a note pinned on my wall that says write naked. When my oldest daughter came in and saw that note for the first time she teased, “Uh, Mom, whatcha been doing in here?” I told her just to be sure and knock before coming in 🙂
It’s a reminder for writers to be real, release inhibitions, and just let the creative juices flow. Don’t let anything get in the way of it. Including yourself.
We need to do the same in every area of our lives – including and especially the things God has called us to do.
We are by nature comfort seekers. We like to do what feels good and comes easy. But all those heroes of the faith who blazed the way are cheering us on, and we need to get on with it. Let’s strip it down, throw it all off, get naked, start running and never quit.
Jesus began and finished this race we’re in. He never lost sight of where He was headed – that exhilarating finish in and with God – and could put up with anything along the way: the Cross, shame, whatever. And now He’s there. Right there in the place of honor, right alongside of God.
Let go of all insecurities, all fear, all perceived (or real) judgments by others, all sins, whatever. Write like no one is reading. Dance like no one is around. Sing like no one is listening. Go. Do. Be who you were made to be!
And, when you feel yourself flagging in your faith, go over Jesus’ story again, item by item: that long litany of hostility He plowed through, the bloodshed, the Cross. That will shoot adrenaline into your soul!
Anything holding you back is a parasite sucking all the nutrients – the joy, peace, excitement, and closeness that comes from surrendering to Christ – at your expense .
It isn’t helping you. It’s weighing you down.
Odds are….you already know this. You feel it.
RELEASE is a good word for 2014. Let go of everything that binds and RUN!
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. (Hebrews 12:1-3 NIV)
What happens when you run out of something, like milk, at your house? Most of us put it on our grocery list, so we can buy some more at the store. But what if you had no money to buy groceries? And what if you had no hope of earning any money? This was the case for a widow woman in Elisha’s day.
In 2 Kings 4:1-7, a woman came to Elisha. Her husband, one of the prophets, had died. Her husband owed money to someone, and she was unable to pay the debt. The person to whom she owed money to was going to take her children to be slaves in order to pay the debt. This woman was desperate. She came to man of God for help. And, she came to the right place.
The woman told Elisha that the only thing she owned was a little bit of oil, but it was almost gone. Elisha told her to get empty jars from all of her neighbors, and to start pouring her oil into the jars. One by one, the jars would be filled with valuable oil.
Right away, the widow woman went to her neighbors and asked for empty jars. Right away. This action proved that she believed God would perform a miracle for her.
Sure enough, the woman began to pour her last drops of oil into an empty jar, and the oil kept right on pouring! Soon the house was filled with jars that were brimming with oil! The woman could sell the oil, pay the debt, and have money to care for her children. Can you imagine the look on her sons’ faces as the oil poured and poured? God had provided; they would not become slaves!
Only God could do a thing like this. Only God can create something out of nothing (Genesis 1:1), or fill an empty jar with oil. The Lord loves His people, and He is happy to take care of their needs (Matthew 7:11).
Look at the birds of the air. They don’t plant or gather crops. They don’t put away crops in storerooms. But your Father who is in heaven feeds them. Aren’t you worth much more than they are? – Matthew 6:26
Every person is important to God. You are important to God! He delights over you, and He wants to provide everything you need (Zephaniah 3:17)
Our God is a God of miracles! Our God is a God of abundant provisions! Our God is a God of the unimaginable!
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, (Ephesians 3:20 NIV84)
Just like this woman, we had a debt that we couldn’t pay. She was powerless. We were powerless, too. Miraculous provision came from heaven down to earth in Jesus. HE is our miraculous provision.
2 Kings 4:1-7:
The wife of a man from the company of the prophets cried out to Elisha, “Your servant my husband is dead, and you know that he revered the Lord. But now his creditor is coming to take my two boys as his slaves.”
Elisha replied to her, “How can I help you? Tell me, what do you have in your house?” “Your servant has nothing there at all,” she said, “except a small jar of olive oil.” Elisha said, “Go around and ask all your neighbors for empty jars. Don’t ask for just a few. Then go inside and shut the door behind you and your sons. Pour oil into all the jars, and as each is filled, put it to one side.”
She left him and shut the door behind her and her sons. They brought the jars to her and she kept pouring. When all the jars were full, she said to her son, “Bring me another one.”
But he replied, “There is not a jar left.” Then the oil stopped flowing.
She went and told the man of God, and he said, “Go, sell the oil and pay your debts. You and your sons can live on what is left.”
Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13 NASB
The Holy Spirit is always at work in us, making it possible for us to abound in hope.
The achievement of all God’s purposes for the spiritual welfare of His children comes from the power given by the Spirit of God. In short, if God brings you to it, He is what (WHO) brings you through it.
Our God provides hope for and inspires hope in His redeemed ones.
Your choices reflect your hope, trust, and belief in GOD being who He said He is, and that He’ll do what He says He’ll do. This is where the rubber meets the road. This is where we put our proverbial money where our mouth is.
What you fear tells you where you trust God the least.
Stop and take a look around at what He’s done for you in the past, what He’s doing for you now, and what He promises to do for you in the future. Trust Him and let your decisions reflect the hope you have in Him.
May your decisions reflect your HOPE not your fears.
A world gone wrong, earth was no longer the perfect paradise that God had intended when we get to the story of Noah. It’s frightening to see how quickly all of humanity forgot about God. I count 8 short generations from Adam!
The story of Noah’s life involves not one but two great and tragic floods. The world in his day was flooded with evil. The number of those who remembered the God of creation, perfection, and love had dwindled to ONE. Incredibly, in ALL the world, only Noah and his family still worshiped God.
I’ve had times of being alone in taking a stand for God. And, I’ve had times when I just “felt” alone too. But, to really be the ONLY family on the planet who worshiped God!? Whoa.
GOD’s response to the situation was a 120-year-long last chance, during which He had Noah build a graphic illustration of his life. Nothing like a huge boat on dry land to make a point! Because of his faithfulness and obedience, God saved him and his family from a vast flood that destroyed every other human being on earth.
For Noah, obedience meant a long-term commitment to a project. Many of us have trouble sticking to any project, whether or not it’s directed by GOD. It’s interesting that the length of Noah’s obedience was greater than the life span of people today. The only comparable long-term project for us is our very lives. But, perhaps this is the one great challenge Noah’s life gives us—–to live, in acceptance of GOD’s grace, an entire lifetime of obedience and gratitude.
Read the story of Noah, the flood, and the new beginning for humanity starting in Genesis Chapter 6