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!
Two young women sat at the bar sharing their day with each other over hors d’oeuvres. They wore their game day best and were ready for some football! My husband and I and our friend sat at a table directly behind them. We too were wearing our game day best, however, we were cheering for the opposing team. We were in the land of the frozen tundra. Not the arctic but the state that is home to the football field known for that name. With the exception of the sweet older woman who wore all purple to rep her favorite team, we were the only ones not dressed in the hometown color.
The game started and as it progressed the hometown fans were loud and shouted in unison as their team made good plays. The place was eerily quiet except for my husband’s and my whoops when our team was doing well. Soon we noticed that every time we would cheer the two women at the bar would turn slightly and give us the stink eye [I guess they take their football seriously in the frozen tundra]. I mean, I like our team and I would have been disappointed if they would have lost but I wouldn’t have been giving the opposing fans a sidewards stink eye glance.
Soon one woman left leaving her friend to watch the rest of the game by herself. When it was clear that her team would not be the victors she abruptly got up, firmly pushed her chair in and left the establishment. Her body language spoke louder than any words she would have spoken. She was downright mad.
“My grace is sufficient for you…”
2 Corinthians 12:9
What caused her to be so mad? Is it simply because her favorite team had lost or is there a deeper issue? I don’t know the answer but it caused me to think about empty love tanks and the places we look to fill our love tank. I use to use food of the simple carbohydrate kind to comfort myself whenever I was stressed or upset [I also use to have a terrible anger issue that was a learned behavior as well as a spiritual stronghold. Praise God He delivered and healed me!].
So how do we ensure that our love tank is full and where ought we turn when we feel it beginning to deplete? God’s grace. His grace which He extends to anyone who believes in His Son Jesus is free. Like any relationship this takes practice. It takes a commitment by you to carve out time for Him daily.
When you allow yourself to accept His grace you become content and you acknowledge that God is enough. He is sufficient for anything you face in life. Even your favorite team losing.
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“Hey!,” was the text I sent to my best friend recently. She responded, “Hey, how are you? Do you have a few minutes to chat?” And this started an actual verbal conversation about life and catching up with each other.
Since my best friend and I are, well, best friends, we use a casual form of greeting one another. But, how would you feel if you knew that the way others greet you or you them carried more than simply the words of the greeting?
Paul was in the habit of greeting others with, “The grace of the Lord be with you, or the grace and peace of God be with you.” Whenever I read Paul’s greeting there is a certain amount of joy found in his words. I often wonder did all ancient Israelites greet one another this way? Was it a cultural thing at the time? Or, was this something Paul and a few others practiced?
Paul spoke the truth of God’s word and actually delivered the gift of a blessing through his greeting. The Greek word for grace is Charis and it is God’s favor and kindness brought to us through Jesus. It is God extending Himself and bestowing a blessing on His creation by the nearness of His presence.
Peace is God’s gift of wholeness when all essential parts are joined together. This reminds me of our wholeness in mind, body and spirit joined together in harmony with Holy Spirit as we continue to seek Him, read Him, learn about and from Him.
Could it be God’s gift of wholeness through His peace contains healing? That these two words that are not oft spoken in greeting in our current culture could be the beginning of healing?
What would our world, our spheres of influence, our communities look like if we chose to greet others in peace and grace? Would colors seem a bit brighter? Would traffic seem a bit lighter? Would our days seem a bit less laden because we speak the truth of God’s favor, kindness, blessing and wholeness to each other.
Today I say to you grace and peace in the name of Jesus. May you experience His wholeness in all that you are and all that you do. May the blessing of the nearness of His presence cause you to want to be even closer to Him.
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A huge shout out and thank you to my friend Jonathan Caswell over at By The Mighty Mumford. He continues to bless me with reposts of my articles. He also writes poems about everyday life that are a treasure to read. I highly encourage you to check out his blog!
Are you sold out for Jesus? What does that even mean and what does that look like?
I have heard the expression ‘sold out for Jesus’ often in my faith journey with Him and I’ve often wondered where the term came from. This verse could quite possibly be the origin.
To be a disciple of Jesus includes persecution and promise and suffering and blessing.
Are you willing to leave your family, your home, your job and your lifestyle for Jesus and the gospel? Am I? If you and I are willing Jesus promises we will not fail to receive a hundredfold in return in this present age. But it shouldn’t be the promise that causes us to be sold out. It should be Jesus and only Jesus.
“If you have a church related hurt, you are not alone. You are not silly or petty. You are not spiritually inferior. You are not being overly sensitive or exorbitantly critical. You do not lack faith. You have a wound and it hurts.”
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
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!