Hope for Today will inspire you to live a life connected to Christ by empowering you to fall in love with Jesus through personal spiritual growth. Teaching you the power of your identity and authority in Christ. Encouraging you in your inheritance as an ambassador for the kingdom of God!
Pulling one from the archives with a little make over. Originally posted July 2013.
I’m old school when it comes to reading. Whenever possible I like holding a book in my hands, feeling its weight and turning the page with a sense of satisfaction as I read on. And I must admit the cover will either draw me in and captivate me into reading more or cause me to not give the book a second glance. Yes, in some instances I do judge a book by its cover.
Many times we can look at situations in our life and see only the negative. Somehow we’ve taken our eyes off of God above and placed our vision firmly in front of us. We fall into the trap of judging our circumstance by its prickly, misshapen and unappealing exterior. On the outside perhaps this ‘book’ has been passed over many times seemingly discarded and worthless.
Let me ask you, what if this time God has chosen you to read this ‘book’ acquainting yourself with the characters and their story and sharing His love with them? This ‘book’ is most likely not your normal genre of choice. But what if you choose not to read and you miss a plethora of blessings and opportunities? What if you were chosen for such a time as this?
Wherever you find yourself today I encourage you to choose the better part. Choose Jesus and He promises any time spent with Him will not be taken from you. He invites you in to lay all your cares and burdens at His feet.
So many times we are quick to quote John 3:16 and many times we forget to add the verse that holds its hand. John 3:17 tells us Jesus didn’t come to condemn the world, He came to save the world through His actions on the Cross.
I understand that many of you believe the Bible is only a group of stories written over two thousand years ago by men not God. I get it. Before I became a believer I couldn’t get past the first sentence on the first page. I understand that some of you who are believers struggle to understand this Book as well. All of this is okay. God knows, He sees and He understands. Most importantly He loves you and I pray He blesses you with the faith to believe in Him and understand these words written over centuries ago.
A friend recently shared the exciting news that one of her family members was water baptized. Yay Jesus! She explained that she had been praying a really long time and that she asked one of her prayer groups to pray with her. And then she told me that her prayer group told her not to get her hopes up.
I stopped her mid-sentence and asked her, “They told you not to get your hopes up? Why would they say that to you?”
Stop right here and think about some of your responses in conversations that you have. What are some of the things you say that are rote, off the cuff, or an automatic response? If we believe one way (in hope and expectancy that God is going to answer our prayers), why would we answer another way?
When we delight in the Lord by staying tethered to Him consistently (daily), offering up praise and worship simply for Who He is He gives us the desires of our heart. Why? Because He begins to lay His heart over our heart and His desires become our desires.
If Jesus Himself set the example and was water baptized why wouldn’t He answer our prayers concerning those we are praying to take the step of water baptism? I can guarantee you He will answer this prayer every time because it is the desire of His heart!
Precious One, choose your words wisely. Words are so very powerful. Our responsibility to one another is to speak truth and encouragement no breathe doubt. I don’t think my friend’s prayer group intentional or purposely told her not to get her hopes up but I do believe they didn’t think before they spoke.
Know God’s word, know His truth, know His promises.
I am thankful for the storms of life because they cause my wayward heart to turn toward Jesus with an opportunity to trust Him more. Storms whip up my faith and remind me of God’s promises. Jesus rebukes the wind and tells the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Are you telling God how big the storms are in your life or are you telling the storms how big, mighty and powerful your God is? #peacebestill#omnipotentGod#tetheredtoJesus#seekHimfirst
Whatever your situation is right now at this moment, God sees you. He promises after a little while He WILL restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. #standandresist with #firmfaith and on the #promises of a Mighty Warrior God who fights for you.
In June I attended the SoCal Christian Writers Conference. I had planned three full days of mostly non-fiction writing workshops. During one workshop, which was actually on website building etiquette, I overheard another instructor mention her workshop was next and that it was on magazine writing. I felt God nudge me to change my plans and attend this particular workshop, so I did.
As soon as the instructor started speaking God began showing me an article He wanted me to write. The information was coming so quickly I had to ask Him to slow down! I ended up pitching God’s idea, quite informally, to the instructor who happens to be the editor for SoCal Christian Voice. She loved the idea and encouraged me to write the article.
Then the doubt set in. “You’ve never written a magazine article before” “You don’t even know how to write a magazine article.” “What does writing a magazine article have to do with writing Bible studies?” Lies, lies, lies, because my God knows all about writing magazine articles.
Throughout the remainder of the conference God kept creating opportunities for me to talk with this editor, to the point it was becoming a bit awkward for me. One of the last conversations I had with her was when I noticed one of her latest books (it was hot off the press!) she had written with three other authors, one of the authors was there with her. I exclaimed that this was my passion and her colleague handed me her business card and told me if I ever needed help to contact her.
And that is what magazine writing has to do with Bible study writing. You see, their latest book was a Bible study.
Here is my third published piece (first of many with SoCal Christian Voice) and I am as giddy as if it were my first and I hope I ALWAYS feel that way! I encourage you to subscribe to SoCal Christian Voice (its free) as well as their national site One Christian Voice.
All praise, glory and honor to my Savior Jesus and you know, BUT GOD!!!
For as much as the Old Testament is filled with violence, rules and regulations, it is also filled with the sweetness of His love. He is with you, He saves you, He takes delight in you and He rejoices over you with singing. Imagine that, God sings!
Twice this morning I had conversations about the Israelites leaving Egypt. About their grumbling after their deliverance and their desire to have been left in Egypt even though Egypt meant slavery to them that was better than stepping out into the unknown where God called them by faith. In the unknown they had to completely rely on God to provide food and water for them, which He did and yet they grumbled.
The poignant point of the story Don’t Go Back To Egypt, regardless of how familiar and ‘comfortable’ that may be. I wonder if you might take a look at a different perspective?
When the Israelites left Egypt God caused them to plunder the Egyptians right before their eyes, a miracle in itself, by asking for the Egyptians gold, silver and clothes, which they gave to the Israelites without question.
Perspective shift – God blessed the Israelites as they walked out of Egypt. He BLESSED them. He blessed them as the left a place of slavery and walked into a place of faith.
Precious One, God longs to bless you in ways unimaginable. The only thing required by you is to take that first step in faith into what may be unknown to you but completely known to God and His will for you. And by all means remember to praise, thank and worship God.
“In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18.