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!
This morning’s post is dedicated to someone very special to me. She may not realize that I know she is watching and reading, silently, not commenting, simply processing. Ironically, it is her silence that has given her away!
Earlier, I was thinking about what the two of us believe, which isn’t much different from one another. Years and years ago, well, at least is seems that long, she asked me if I thought Creation and evolution could exist together. I’m sure I gave a glib answer that I halfway believed myself. Today I would answer her unequivocally, “no”.
A quick nugget for today! What do these verses have in common?
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8.
But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions–it is by grace you have been saved. Ephesians 2:4-5.
See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! 1 John 3:1a.
God loves you so much. Absolutely NOTHING can separate you from his great love for you. (See Romans 8:35-39). God’s love is ALWAYS with you; God’s love is NEVER ending; God’s love is a part of your IDENTITY!
My Friends, may you feel His love poured out and lavished upon you. May you allow it to seep into your very being and know it is Christ in you…..always.
Recently, I had the opportunity to share a message on behavior and emotions with our weekly Women’s Bible study. We looked at several stories in the Bible that deal with how we can allow our emotions to drive our behavior. Some of the stories we looked at were about negative emotions; fear, anger, resentment and how these emotions can affect our behavior is disastrous ways. It seems easier to understand how we can allow negative emotions to affect our behavior, but what about good emotions? Emotions such has happiness, joy, elation? Can these feelings lead us to behavior that can also be disastrous?
Come along with me and let’s take a peak at just such a story.
There was a man named Jephthah (pronounced Jeff-the) and he was a mighty warrior. He was fighting against a people group called the Ammonites. Jephthah made a vow to God; “If you give the Ammonites into my hands, whatever comes out of the door of my house to meet me when I return in triumph from the Ammonites will be the LORD’s, and I will sacrifice it as a burnt offering.” Judges 11: 30-31. God did as Jephthah asked and gave him victory over the Ammonites. When Jephthah returned home, the “whatever” that came out of his house to meet him was his daughter; his only child. There was no way he could have known his only child would be the first to greet him. At the same time, I sense he was so confident at the prospect of a victory over the Ammonites that he allowed, perhaps, feelings of elation, joy even giddiness to compel him to make his hasty vow to the Lord.
Scripture doesn’t tell us exactly what happened to Jephthah’s daughter. Some theorize she was offered literally as a burnt offering, others believe she was set apart never to marry thus squashing the hope of Jephthah of having any descendants to carry on the family line.
Emotions, they’re not a bad thing. God created us to have emotions and feelings, good and bad. It is how we choose to use them that matters.
This morning I was looking for a nugget; a golden nugget to be exact. Not the type of gold that has monetary value, although, that would be nice as well! No, this morning I was looking for spiritual gold. That certain something that I could reflect upon throughout my day; giving me hope and making me, well, smile.
I began traipsing through the Bible, I like to traipse, and I came upon Psalm 103:17
But from everlasting to everlasting the LORD’S love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children’s children.
As I began to ponder this verse, I felt the Holy Spirit speak its truth to my heart. This verse is a very BIG promise! Everlasting is forever. Never ending; forever to forever; infinity and beyond! To fear Him is to revere and respect him; to be in AWE of him! His righteousness is his standard, his ultimate best, which is better than anything we can begin to imagine!
I found my spiritual gold. God love’s me forever and forever because I revere Him. Not only that, because of my relationship with Him, he extends his ultimate best to my children and grandchildren. That, my dear friends, is definitely something to smile about!
Recently, one of my friends shared an observation she made among some of the young adults in her sphere of influence. That is, some of them feel, should they marry, they don’t want children. One thought is that should the marriage not work out they don’t want any children to be affected by a possible divorce. The other thought is that marriage and raising a family is hard work. Juggling family, work and outside activities doesn’t seem appealing.
As I pondered these thoughts, I struggled with my own thought; “have we possibly raised a generation of young adults and somehow given them a skewed impression of what it means to raise a family and the sanctity of marriage?” I continued to think about these things when I felt the Holy Spirit bring in a parallel thought; The Proverbs 31 Woman.
When I first met her I thought, “Wow, I want to BE like her!” As time went on my thought was, “How can I EVER be like her?” Now some theorize that all the work she does is during different seasons of her life, i.e., buying a field and planting a vineyard, trading and making garments. Perhaps, but the text seems to point to a daily routine and flows as flawlessly as all the things she seems to accomplish in her day. Others might say that she isn’t a real women rather an example of the ideal woman. Well, as many of us, women especially, continue to learn and grow in our identity in Christ, to say she isn’t real but ideal, would give us plenty of fodder to beat ourselves up with. I think it is easier to believe she is real and learn how to become more like her than to say she is an ideal, which automatically puts becoming more like her in the unattainable slot.
I decided to set out and do my own research on this amazing woman. If you’re familiar with the Proverbs 31 woman, then you know she is a wife of noble character, worth more than rubies and cares for her family and servants with their utmost in mind. She even wakes while it is still night to prepare for the day.
Among my searching I found this nugget, Proverbs 8:35, for those who find me find life and receive favor from the LORD. What is being found is wisdom and what is being given is life and favor from God. This Proverb is a corresponding verse to Proverbs 31:10, where we find that the Proverbs 31 woman is a wife of noble character. Then it hit me! This is about her relationship with God. She is a wife of noble character not because she can seemingly do so many wonderful things in the span of one day; she can do all these wonderful things because of God who creates in her a wife of noble character. (see Philippians 4:13). Scripture doesn’t tell us specifically, but I have to believe that she had a deep, intimate, consistent and abiding relationship with God. One that was seeped in prayer, worship and praise. She chose to spend time in His presence, seeking His wisdom, and in return he gave her life and favor throughout her daily routines. It isn’t any wonder then that she could accomplish all she did!
So, what does the Proverbs 31 Woman have to do with my friend’s observation about some of the young adults in her life? My thought is, perhaps we ARE giving the impression that life, marriage and raising a family is a struggle; full of activity, hustle and bustle, be here….no go there. But, are we also giving the impression that we trust God to work out our days, that we are seeking Him for his wisdom and following his guidance and direction, which truly does make each path straight?
Any of us can become like the Proverbs 31 Woman. It all starts with a relationship….
Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28.