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!
Salt. There is so much controversy around this flavorful mineral. There are even many different colors of salt; pink, orange, red, mauve, purple and blue just to name a few. The debate continues, should we use light salt or regular salt; less salt or no salt? One thing remains true about salt, it has been used since the Old Testament times as a preservative for food.
Salt also played a significant role in Hebrew worship and was included in:
The grain offering. (Leviticus 2:13).
The burnt offering (Ezekiel 43:24).
The incense (Exodus 30:35).
Part of the Temple offering (Ezra 6:9)
Newborn babies were rubbed in salt, ( Ezekiel 16:4), some theorize because the Hebrews believed it would promote good health, still others surmise it was an indication that the child would be raised to have integrity and to always be truthful.
Certainly as Believers in Christ we are called to be the salt of the earth. But, look at this nugget of Truth I found today!
“All the offerings of the holy gifts, which the sons of Israel offer to the LORD, I have given to you and your sons and your daughters with you, as a perpetual allotment. It is an everlasting covenant of salt before the LORD to you and your descendants with you.” Number 18:19.
In the ancient Mid East salt was given as a gift to seal an agreement. It showed the strength and permanence and represented the truth of the agreement. As part of God’s everlasting salt covenant, we have been empowered by Holy Spirit in us to help purify and preserve the world!
Who will you reach out to today to flavor their life with the love of Christ? Who will you bring Yahweh too?
The more I read through the Old Testament the more I fall in love with the history of God’s story. The more I understand the covenant of grace of the New Testament the less I see the laws and commands of the Old Testament as harsh or impossible. Instead I begin to see the love and compassion of God for his children and his deep desire to keep them safe.
Any Israelite or foreigner residing among you who hunts any animal or bird that may be eaten must drain out the blood and cover it with earth, because the life of every creature is in its blood. That is why I have said to the Israelites, “You must not eat the blood of any creature, because the life of every creature is in its blood; anyone who eats it must be cut off.” (from the community). Leviticus 17:13,14. emphasis added.
Contrast this with the blood of Christ, which we symbolically drink in remembrance of what He did on the cross for each of us; died so we could live and live life to the fullest.
Does anyone else feel Fall allergies are exceptionally wretched this year?! Unfortunately, I have been afflicted with year round allergies and allergy induced asthma for many years. I never asked for allergies/asthma, who would or does?!!! And, I don’t refer to them as my allergies or my asthma because I don’t own them. In fact, they have overstayed their welcome and I hereby declare an eviction notice to them! That is my new prayer battle cry, “eviction served!”
I believe God chooses different ways to heal us. Maybe its a miraculous healing, well any healing is miraculous, I’m thinking of Divine touch here; He has given us doctors and treatments and natural remedies and the ultimate healing is when we are Home with Him! While we are still here on earth it is our responsibility to follow his lead in whatever that looks like.
Those of you who know me, know that I don’t like, despise actually, taking prescription medication. Hold on, don’t get your feathers ruffled. There are many prescription medications that work wonders for those who must take them, myself included and especially during times like Fall allergies. However, I continue to research natural and homeopathic remedies that I supplement with in addition too and until I can completely come off prescription medication. Yes, I am holding out for my miraculous healing from the afflictions of allergies and asthma here on earth as it already is in heaven. In the meantime I found some natural remedies that I thought I would share with you. As with all things medicinal please check with your doctor first before taking.
Read about the benefits of Grapefruit seed extract here.
Xylitol is a sweet crystalline carbohydrate that occurs naturally in virtually all fruits and vegetables. Our bodies even produce small amounts of it each day. Xylitol’s powerful oral and upper respiratory health benefits come from its unique five-carbon structure.
You can find Xclear Nasal Spray with xylitol and grapefruit seed extract here.
Check out the benefits of Garden of Life Immune Balance Sinus for sinus and upper respiratory health here.
Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.
Here are my verses for today. What is/are yours and what does it speak to your heart?
So we continued the work with half the men holding spears, from the first light of dawn till the stars came out. At that time I also said to the people, “Have every man and his helper stay inside Jerusalem at night, so they can serve us as guards by night and as workers by day.” Neither I nor my brothers nor my men nor the guards with me took off our clothes; each had his weapon, even when he went for water. Nehemiah 4:21-23.
Nehemiah and the Israelites never put their weapons down not even for a drink of water, they didn’t change their clothes and they worked by day and guarded by night. What work ethic! The Holy Spirit is always reminding me not to put my weapon down and not to take off His protective armor. What does this look like in the earthly realm? Our weapon is the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, simply put, NEVER stop fighting through prayer. What about his protective armor? I’ll let you look that up in Ephesians 6:10-17.
I declare God’s blessing on each of you today, according to His perfect will!
Not long ago, I had an ‘aha’ moment. Actually, I have many ‘aha’ moments, but this particular moment came while I was reading Luke 10:41-42. I was working on a teaching and the Holy Spirit reminded me of these verses, and He guided me to the version in The Message. I don’t study from The Message but sometimes the Holy Spirit brings me there to further illuminate his word for me. Like the light from a lamp that is switched on; its brilliance fills the space it encompasses.
“The Master said, “Martha, dear Martha, you’re fussing far too much and getting yourself worked up over nothing. One thing only is essential, and Mary has chosen it—it’s the main course, and won’t be taken from her.” Luke 10: 41-42 The Message.
I have always felt that as Mary sat at the feet of Jesus it was to learn from Him. To hang on every word he said gaining his knowledge and wisdom, and while this may be true, during this ‘aha’ moment I sensed the Holy Spirit saying to me, “she sat at My feet to receive from me.” Mary was modeling solitude. Simply being in the presence of God with no agenda, no prayer requests, no thoughts, no words, just quietness. Simply receiving his love. Do you love how Jesus describes himself? As the main course! And, don’t miss his promise to Mary, He won’t be taken from her! This promise is ours also, it is part of our inheritance in Him. For those who believe in Jesus as their Lord and Savior, He will never be taken from us. Hallelujah!
A few days after this ‘aha’ moment a friend asked me to preview a teaching she is giving later this year. Wouldn’t you know, this verse is part of her teaching?! Oh, but it gets better, as we discussed this teaching she commented that her sense was that there wasn’t any knowledge transfer from Jesus to Mary going on. Mary sat and freely received the love of Jesus, which he freely gave! It always amazes me when the Holy Spirit confirms for us what he is speaking to us. He doesn’t have to but chooses to do so. I hope that I am always amazed by this aspect of our relationship!
Here is what I believe the Holy Spirit wants us to feel deep in our soul:
“Solitude is sitting at the feet of Jesus receiving his lavish love. Being refilled and replenished by the Holy Spirit. Being at home with Jesus.” T.B.
Precious One, I bless you with the lavish love of Christ.
I was awakened this morning by a phone call. It was my husband, he was already at work. He called to tell me that our house had been egged, again. This is the second egging in three weeks. This time the eggers got a bit creative, using kid’s paint daubers to write on the windows of our cars. Apparently, they must have thought we would be hungry in the morning because they left us an empty box of baby cereal on the lawn. Unfortunately, they had sprinkled the cereal on our sidewalk and driveway. I am disappointed. The last time they left half a carton of eggs in the grass, which I promptly made hard-boiled eggs with AND they were organic. Score!
The first egging upset me but it was fleeting, maybe because I had already eaten before I went out to clean up the mess. I also learned how to set up and use my husband’s pressure washer without his assistance. Another score! The pressure washer is one of my new favorite toys, along with the electric garden trimmer. I asked my husband if I could have a matching pink pressure washer to sit by his red one in the garage. He offered to buy me a motorized one that I can sit in. I know, I was shocked there is such a thing!
This time, however, as I am outside setting up the pressure washer, realizing it isn’t starting because it is out of gas and that requires a trip to the gas station, I am telling God how ticked off I am, how ridiculous this is and if I was in the habit of swearing, I would probably have a few choice words to utter. All the while, I am doing all the talking, ranting really, and not much listening. Oh, I heard what the Holy Spirit was whispering to me, “It could have been worse.” “They used washable paint.” “They didn’t egg the cars.” In the moment, I chose not to acknowledge what He was saying.
When I finished my chore and came in the house I asked God, “What are you going to do about this?” “You go ahead of me in all circumstances, You are my rear guard.” As plainly as I can hear the song birds in our backyard, I heard Him say, “What I did was send them to you.” “I want you to pray for them.” Ah, here is where practice what you teach comes in.
A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to teach at our third service at church. Part of the teaching was how it is sometimes hard to pray for what God is asking us to pray about. Sometimes God allows unfortunate circumstances, like one’s house being egged, because he has a job for us to do, and he chooses and trusts us to get the job done and he has already equipped us for what we need to do battle.
God has given each of us the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, which is alive and active and sharper than any double-edged sword. God’s word is sharper than any human sword will ever be, even when that sword is a carton of eggs and a box of baby cereal.
As the Holy Spirit gently brings me to a place of correction and repentance, I can see God’s heart more clearly. It saddens him to think about the many hungry children that could have been fed by the eggs and cereal that were wasted. How many meals could have been purchased with the money spent on the paint daubers? His heart is breaking and I can feel that in my own heart. I feel his sadness and the physical expression of that is my own tears.
There is one small bit of humor in all of this. It is the box of baby cereal. As I sat down to write this blog the Holy Spirit reminded me of 1 Corinthians 3:1-4a
“But for right now, friends, I’m completely frustrated by your unspiritual dealings with each other and with God. You’re acting like infants in relation to Christ, capable of nothing much more than nursing at the breast. Well, then, I’ll nurse you since you don’t seem capable of anything more. As long as you grab for what makes you feel good or makes you look important, are you really much different than a babe at the breast, content only when everything’s going your way?” 1 Corinthians 3:1-4a The Message.
Thank you Holy Spirit for reminding me I was acting like a baby, not content because things weren’t going my way. Indeed, thank you for the blessing of knowing your heart, for choosing our family and giving us your sword.
So, if you’re reading this and you are the culprit(s), you can run but you can’t hide, God knows exactly where you are. I thank the Holy Spirit for dropping his seed of salvation deep into your heart, where it takes deep root in fertile soil. I thank Jesus that you choose Him!
How many conversations do you have throughout the day? Who are you conversing with? Is it your spouse, your children, co-workers? Or maybe you enjoy talking on the phone with friends. Does your day include talking with God?
Prayer is talking with God, having a conversation with him, bringing to him your cares and concerns, your needs and desires, asking Him his guidance for your life, lifting the needs of others up to Him.
What causes you to pray? Is it part of nurturing your deep and intimate relationship with God, the love language you share with him? Or, do you pray when things are not going so well?
I began a life of prayer with God when I was about 7 or 8 years old. I grew up in a religion knowing God and Jesus but not knowing that I had a choice to accept Jesus as my Lord and Savior. I have prayed every day since I was 7 or 8, except for one night. It was 12 years ago and just before I gave my life to Jesus. I was laying in bed saying my nightly prayers and I asked God, “Do I really need to pray to you every night?” “What would happen if I stopped?” Immediately, I saw a picture of an open shutter of a camera and it snapped closed and I saw total darkness. Needless to say, I have continued in prayer! As I reflect back I wonder why God used the shutter of a camera to make his point? I am not much of a picture taker, oh, I like to take pictures, but I don’t have the gift of taking amazingly good pictures like some of you! The thought occurs to me that perhaps that is precisely why God used this picture, because it wasn’t something like “an old familiar coat”. He used something slightly obscure so that it would stand out.
The inspiration for today’s blog came after studying Jonah 2, particularly Jonah 2:1-3.
Then Jonah prayed to the Lord his God from the stomach of the fish,2 and he said,
“I called out of my distress to the Lord, And He answered me. I cried for help from the depth of Sheol; You heard my voice. “For You had cast me into the deep, Into the heart of the seas, And the current engulfed me. All Your breakers and billows passed over me. Jonah 2: 1-3
Jonah was a prophet, someone whose life, I would think, was steeped in constant prayer. God had asked him to do something and, being the human that he was and exercising his free will, he chose disobedience over God’s will and ended up in the belly of a very large fish. After three, mostly likely, terrifying days, Jonah admits his disobedience, finally calls out to God in prayer, and God causes the fish to deposit Jonah back onto dry land.
Beloved, please don’t wait until you are “in the belly of a fish” to spend time talking with God. Start or continue today to nourish your relationship with God through prayer. Ask Him what he wants to talk about, I am confident he will share his heart with you.
“As women, many of us have been given the gift of seeing the big picture; we are vision casters. This is a great gift to possess, however we can get so busy whipping our vision paint around with broad and nonspecific strokes that we forget to fill in all the details. While we have an image of the completed picture in our mind’s eye, the details of how to achieve the end product are a little fuzzy. We have the vision without necessarily the skills and patience to bring it to fruition and it’s sometimes a surprise that is it far more difficult to complete the picture than to conceive it.” Amy E. Spiegel “Letting Go of Perfect”
I read these words and then read them again, staring at them as if doing so would somehow make them change or rearrange themselves on the page. I was struck by the reality that just a few hours before I was having a similar conversation with a sweet friend of mine. I was telling my friend that I had been so focused on the big picture of what God was showing me, that I allowed myself to become blindsided by the actual work it will take to get there. I was digging my heels in until I realized the Holy Spirit was showing me this is the path I need to take to get to where he was leading me…The Big Picture!
It seems that God began showing me big pictures from the very beginning of my relationship with Jesus, many years ago. I use to get so excited by the end result and then quickly become so discouraged because I would realize we would be at square one, the beginning, the place where the hard work, sweat and, yes, sometimes, many tears were. I began saying, “If God were to show me the big picture I would say no choose someone else because I’m not going there.” But, this is a lie, because God hasn’t stopped showing me big pictures. And, lying and my catchall phrase are sin, plain and simple. You know, every night I try to remember to ask God to show me the sin in my life so I can confess and repent. He is always so faithful!
The same night I had been talking with my sweet friend, our Pastor had given a sermon on being all in for Christ. Hmmm, I don’t know about you, but I love when God brings all the pieces together and they fit snugly with one another like a really good puzzle! What I took away from our Pastor’s sermon was this; are you all in because of the benefit to you of the end result, or are you all in for Christ and you will do whatever it takes and wherever He takes you simply because you love Him? Such a great question to ponder!
I am learning that vision casters have also been given the gift of being door openers. And, if doors that are meant to be opened are left closed then we all miss out on the blessings. So, during this season of revealing, I choose to be transparent, I choose to work hard, I choose to open the doors the Holy Spirit leads me to open and I choose to be all in simply because I love Jesus!
“Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. Matthew 7:7
Recently, I was cautioned, by another believer and I’m sure, out of love, not to use individual Scripture to make a point. I agree that Scripture should not be taken out of context and that individual Scripture flows with the passage it is a part of. At the same time individual Scripture might be exactly what someone may need to hear at a particular time.
My spiritual calling is to teach God’s word. If I could sit and traipse through God’s word all day every day, following the Holy Spirit’s lead, I would! My passion is digging deeper and sharing with others what I believe the Holy Spirit is showing me. So this caution leaves me in a bit of a quandary. If I restrict myself from using any part of God’s word to influence the lives of others for Christ, then what do I use? Believe me, I take the words of James very seriously.
Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly. James 3:1
In comparison, a friend shared with me that someone told them that it is not our responsibility to influence others for Christ. The Scripture that immediately came to mind was Matthew 28:19
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Matthew 28:19
If we’re not meant to influence others for Christ then why did Jesus give us this command? Grant it, we do not influence others by our own volition. Rather, it is the power of the Holy Spirit that lives in us that empowers us to do so. If it isn’t our job to influence others for Christ then what is so good about the Good News and all that it contains?!
How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, Who proclaims peace, Who brings glad tidings of good things, Who proclaims salvation, Who says to Zion “Your God reigns!” Isaiah 52:7
“It is a wonderful privilege to be able to share God’s Good News with others, his news of redemption, salvation, and peace.” Study notes Isaiah 52:7 NIV Life Application Study Bible. Sharing the Good News is sharing God’s word, whether it is a complete passage or single verse.
Are these two instances coincidental? Maybe, but I don’t think so. Why, as brothers and sisters in Christ, do we sometimes spend so much time discouraging each other instead of encouraging one another in our efforts to influence others with the Good News of Jesus Christ?!!
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved
you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples,if you love one another.” John 13: 34-35.
There is always the possibility that I misunderstood the caution given me, at the same time, using individual verses to make a point is how I am wired; how God created me. He speaks to me in single verses. When I’m ministering to others individual verses come to mind that I believe the Holy Spirit wants me to share. If I trust God then I have to trust that he has already opened the ears of the hearer and softened their heart to hear His words. His words of truth.
And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. John 8:32.
Recently I saw something. It wasn’t anything bad more of an implication. To describe it to you further would not bless you nor would it honor God. Immediately what came to mind is Philippians 4:8
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things.
If anything is excellent or praiseworthy really resonates with me. If what we think and talk about or look at and share is excellent or worthy of praise, it can only come from God. Everything else is from the world and the enemy of our souls. Oh, you know, he wraps it up in a sweet little package. Dolls it up with appealing wrapping paper and bows. And then, I can hear him saying, similarly, like he did to Eve; “Did God really say not to do that, say that, look at that, think that?” He is so sly and subtle that many times he catches us hook line and sinker and before we know it we are not honoring God.
I encourage and challenge you today to hold ALL things captive to Christ and ask the Holy Spirit to convict you to the very depth of your spirit when something is not from him. I believe this is so important, especially since the World Wide Web grants complete access into our lives by others. Before you hit the send button ask yourself, “Does this glorify God?” And, “Will others see Christ through me, my actions, my words?”
Be the person you want those in your sphere of influence to be.
Peace and grace in the Name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.