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!
The day I came home from the grocery store and witnessed her pure delight when I handed her that package of gum…
Even if it was only a pack of gum given to her ‘just because,’ our oldest daughter’s love language continues to be gifts. When she was younger it was challenging to fill her love language while raising a young family on one income. The day I came home from the grocery store and witnessed her pure delight when I handed her that package of gum will always remain imprinted on my mind. That is when I realized that gifts didn’t and don’t have to be the latest and greatest. For someone whose heart is filled to overflowing with a thoughtful gift, it really is the thought that counts.
For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord or of me His prisoner, but join with me in suffering for the gospel according to the power of God.(NIV 1984).
2 Timothy 1:6-8
While gifts is not my love language I do love to give gifts and watch the surprise erupt into joy on the face of the person receiving my gift. God works through us to bless others and ultimately display His love for us with His knowledge that He knows exactly what we need. HOW gracious is He?!! Can I get an Amen?!
In today’s verse we find Paul encouraging Timothy to fan into flame the gift of God. Paul is suggesting Timothy take action. God has given the gift and now it is Timothy’s responsibility to learn to use this gift wisely for God’s glory and His kingdom and the saving of many lives. Because truly when we think about spiritual gifts, like gifts in the physical, they aren’t meant for us but for giving! For sharing Jesus with others by giving them hope that the sun really will come out again.
Laying on of hands can seem spooky, hocus pocus or downright uncomfortable to some. But it is Biblical. Perhaps we are not learning about this aspect of discipleship in our churches or through our own studying of God’s word and guidance from Holy Spirit or maybe it has been practiced out of context and abused and church leaders have put up their fingers in the sign of the cross attempting to ward off some sort of evil.
It is important to remember that the gift(s) is not given by the one who lays hands on the receiver the gift(s) it is given by God and God alone. To lay hands on another is God’s instrument of conveying His supernatural encouragement and revelation. When we pray for the one we are laying hands on we are seeking God’s guidance and confirmation of God’s will for that person. Some theologians believe it ought to be a regular practice in church for others to discover God’s will.
Do you ever wonder about the power you wield through your faith in Jesus by His Spirit. It may not be physical power and it certainly isn’t an abusive power. It is the same power that raised Christ from the dead and you, as a believer, have access to this 24/7/365. Doesn’t that leave you awestruck in wonder?! Power, love and self-discipline are all a part of your identity in Jesus. These identity characteristics, like gifts, are also meant to be used wisely.
And lest we think we can do anything in our own power, Paul reminds us that we cannot even suffer on our own. We need the power of God to push through and remain focused on Him.
I bless you with choosing to be a good gift giver through Jesus and the gifts He has given you and to be open to the gifts He has for you through the giving of others.
Have you ever gotten into your car turned the key and nothing? No click, no sound, only silence. You realize you most likely have a dead battery. The solution is a new battery. In the meantime a jump start may bring the dead battery back to life.
Over the last several months my time with Jesus has not been the vibrant, exciting, can’t wait to meet with Him time it has been in seasons past. I have known for quite some time that I needed a jump start, something to propel me into new territory with Him.
Today I had the amazing opportunity to attend a small intimate gathering of women and learn some new and valuable ways to enter into some very sweet time with Him. I experienced Jesus on a new glory plane. As is His nature, he went above and beyond anything I can ever ask or imagine. He showed me wounds from my childhood that I didn’t realize were within me. He walked me through healing and reminded me of my identity and authority in Him.
He increased my freedom!
My prayer for you is that you would ask Jesus to meet you in new and unexpected ways and teach you to simply sit in His presence, listen for His voice and draw you ever closer through His word.
I’m reading the devotional, “Draw the Circle,” by Mark Betterson. Today’s reading is about prevailing in prayer according to Luke 11:8. As I was reading, I kept asking myself, “Does God’s word really say shameless audacity?” Sure enough, right there in the NIV translation….shameless audacity. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read this parable and those words have not stood out to me until today.
The Greek word isἀναίδεια and literally means shamelessness as it relates to carrying out God’s plan with unembarrassed boldness, in dignity of faith. It is the faith-led believer who isn’t concerned with human fears even when they are being accused of being extreme or excessive.
I want to live everyday in shameless audacity. So strongly connected to my Lord and Savior Jesus that I am the bold ambassador to His kingdom that he has called me to be. Throwing human fears to the pit because Jesus is my strong shelter and His banner over me and mine is love.
Shameless and dignified because of Jesus. Persistent in prayer and he will surely give you all that you need.
Restoration. The word holds hope and joy and of things yet to come.
When my husband was a teenager his stepdad bought this 1960 356B Porsche Cabriolet. At the time it was in perfect working condition, or so we thought. My husband has always wanted this car and his stepdad told him one day it would be his. A few years ago, after we had comfortably settled my father-in-law into assisted living, we brought the car home. The car had sat garaged for many years and began to fall into disrepair. My husband’s intention was to always restore the 356 to its former beauty.
Here are some things we’ve discovered in the process. It is by the grace of God alone that whenever my father-in-law drove this car he was safe. The ‘mechanic’ that had originally restored the car had done so in such a way that if it weren’t for Providence, driving this car could have resulted in a catastrophe.
The other thing we have learned is restoration takes time. A.LOT.OF.TIME. My husband completely gutted the inside of the car, has taken apart all mechanical and moving parts and has spent countless hours cataloguing all parts, researching and locating original or close to original parts as possible, networking with other Porsche restorers and finally coming to the point of putting it all back together. Please don’t misunderstand me, even though many times this task can be frustrating and seem daunting, it brings my husband joy. He loves working with his hands and God has uniquely gifted him with knowledge, wisdom and passion for this type of work. By trade he is an aircraft system engineer and aircraft mechanic.
Restoration. It can be the same in our own life can’t it? Allowing Holy Spirit to completely empty us of who we thought we were in Christ. Taking apart all the working pieces only to make room for the putting back together with a newness in our minds. It isn’t easy and it most definitely can be messy, it can take countless hours of prayer and crying out to God and may even require godly counsel for spiritual and emotional healing.
But, God promises that after suffering for a little while HE will RESTORE you. He will make you stronger, firmer AND more steadfast.
Earlier this morning as I was praying I was thinking about an encouragement that I see often across social media in various forms. The thought is if we are meeting with resistance or experiencing push back then surely God is getting ready to bless us. I’m still looking for where that is specifically in Scripture and if you have any verse references please leave them in the comments.
Resistance and push back are simply part of the enemy’s plan to lie, cheat, steal and destroy. Especially when we begin to choose to go deeper into an intimate relationship with God. Satan doesn’t want us to know one iota more about our identity, authority or inheritance in Christ than we currently do because he knows what that will look like for him and glory to God it isn’t pretty!
As I continued to pray this morning I heard Holy Spirit gently whisper, “You push back, you resist.” In a moment’s notice my prayers did an about face and I began to fight back in prayer like the mighty warrior that I am.
Spiritual warfare is so real that is why it is so important to be in God’s word everyday. Holy Spirit infuses you with Scripture that he imprints on your heart and in your soul and when the moment is called for He brings the right verse to mind. He gives us His words for the battle.
Precious One, as the old saying goes, “Them’s fightin’ words!”
This morning I woke up singing the song “Same Power” by Jeremy Camp. Specifically, these words.
The same power that rose Jesus from the grave
The same power that commands the dead to wake
Lives in us, lives in us
The same power that moves mountains when He speaks
The same power that can calm a raging sea
Lives in us, lives in us
He lives in us, lives in us
These words remind me of Romans 8:11. If you are a believer in Christ Jesus as your Lord and Savior then HIS Spirit lives in you! The same Spirit Who raised Jesus from the grave. If you grab a hold of nothing else today, may it be the truth that the Supernatural power of Christ lives in you and you can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens you. Not some things but all things.
Precious One, dig deep into God’s word, He’s waiting there for you.
When our son was a little guy he was quite the curious boy. I spent a lot of time telling him not to do certain things. Not because I didn’t want him to explore, his curiosity is one of the things I love about him, but because his curiosity was usually about things that could hurt him.
There was the time we were getting out of the SUV and before I could tell him, “Don’t touch that!” He stuck his sweet chubby hand in the exhaust, yep, still has a scar on his pinky from that one. Or, the time when we were at the happiest place on earth and he decided to see if he could fit his head through the slats in the metal gate as we were waiting in line for a ride. Thankfully, another dad was there to gently help my husband extract our son from that predicament!
We teach and encourage our children about the things they should and shouldn’t do, hoping they are listening and will eventually pass down to their children these nuggets of wisdom. In the same way the prophet Joel was admonishing the children of Israel to remind all future generations of what turning away from God looks like.
This reminds me of God’s promise to bless a thousand generations of those who love Him and keep his commandments (Exodus 20:6). When we choose to love and obey Him, to seek out his will for our life and live accordingly, he promises to bless a thousand generations. PROMISES. Wouldn’t you love for a thousand generations of your family to be blessed simply because you love and obey him?
Pray in faith, thanking God for showing and helping you to love Him and obey his commandments. Thanking Him for the gifts of confession, repentance and forgiveness, thanking Jesus for showing you the sin and unforgiveness in your life and thanking Holy Spirit for always helping you to confess, repent and forgive.
Precious One, you have the ability to bless the generations. Will you?