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!
Oftentimes, blessings find their birth inside adversity. Life this side of heaven is tough. Many times things go wrong more often than they go right. But when we choose to hang out with God He leads us in the right direction where everything goes right according to his will and we are filled with His peace, joy and comfort regardless of our current situation.
I have the best son! He is an only son in the middle of two terrific sisters. When he was little we use to tell him that he was the best part of the sandwich, the middle! Of course, one can’t have a good sandwich without the two slices of bread to hold it altogether. A simple analogy that let all three of our kids know how special and unique they are.
A few days ago I asked my son if he would run the lawn mower over our wee, er, lawn. Where we live we have been in a drought for several years and we are in the process of making our yards drought resistant. Somehow the lawn has almost died but the weeds are green and hardy and that is with the sprinklers turned off.
Without hesitation, it is so nice as our kids get older and they want to help out without a second thought, he started up our lawn mower. Now, this lawn mower has seen better days. It was new when we bought it and my husband, ever the handy man, has patched and repaired this lawn mower and it still runs great! Except for one thing, once it has been started it doesn’t like to turn off. When my son was done mowing he came to get me to tell me that he couldn’t get the mower to turn off. Having used this machine many, many times throughout the years and knowing most of the idiosyncrasies it has developed, I was sure I could ‘fix’ the problem. As it turned out, I could not figure out how to stop it.
As I am standing with my son thinking to myself, “Are we really going to have to let this run out of gas until it stops?” I heard a voice say, “Ask me.” I immediately asked God to show us what to do and even before I finished asking my son remembered and reached down and broke the connection and even explained to me what he had done!
Many times I believe we forget that we are over comers because Christ has overcome the world. We forget that God wants to take care of every little thing. Maybe we think God can’t be bothered by the small details of our life. That may be the reality but the truth is God works all things together for us.
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33.
As our children have gotten older, especially our young adult children, it is nice to hear and watch them encourage others with the encouragement or advice my husband and I have inspired them with particularly in their earlier years. You may wonder, if you have children of your own, “Are they paying attention, do they hear what I’m saying?” I can tell you, that yes, all these years, they’ve been listening! As they have wandered, looking for their purpose in this world, it is such a blessing to watch them walk back and maintain the values of the foundation they’ve been raised on.
A few days ago I came across some verses in the OT that excited me. Yes, the OT, which I love as much as the NT, especially those verses and passages that make me wrestle and dig deep as to how they ought to be applied to my life in present time. If I believe, which I do, that God’s word is inerrant, then what was true then is also true now in the light of his marvelous love and amazing grace.
The nugget I found is found in Deuteronomy 28:2-7
All these blessings will come upon you and accompany you if you obey the LORD your God:
You will be blessed in the city and blessed in the country.
The fruit of your womb will be blessed, and the crops of your land and the young of your livestock – the calves of your herds and the lambs of your flocks.
Your basket and your kneading trough will be blessed.
You will be blessed when you come in and blessed when you go out.
The LORD will grant that the enemies who rise up against you will be defeated before you. They will come at you from one direction but flee from you in seven.
We read that when we obey God not only will his blessings come upon us they will accompany us! The word obey in its original context in this passage means to listen; listen closely, listen carefully, listen obediently. And, we know we hear God’s voice because he tells us in John 10:27 that we do, its part of our identity in Christ; to hear his voice. When we do we have a choice, we can listen and do what he asks of us or we can ignore his voice. Ignoring him is disobedience because we aren’t listening carefully or closely to what he is saying to us. I often say, “Our choice didn’t end when we first chose Jesus.” Everyday we make a choice to continue to follow him and listen to his voice and do what he asks.
Just as our children have been listening to us it is our responsibility to listen to God. To be faithful listeners to the One Who gave it all so we could hear His voice. When you do the seven blessings in Deuteronomy 28:2-7 will follow you wherever you go.
At this moment it isn’t too late. Start today to listen carefully and closely to the voice of God and be blessed.
My darling daughter, I have known you since before time began. You see, I knew you the moment you were conceived in your mother’s womb. I watched with delight as each part of you began to form. And, I kept shouting, “This is my girl!” “This is my princess!” And then that wonderful day arrived, the day you were born and I marked that date for all eternity, because you my princess, mean more to me that you will ever know.
I shouted to the world, “Come, look at my daughter, look at her beauty.” “Look at her tiny hands and her tiny feet.” Oh the plans I have for your life. Plans of hope, peace and joy. Yes, even during those challenging times in life you can have these things.
I have watched you grow from an infant to a toddler. I was there when you took your first step, you said your first word and your first tooth came in.
I was there when you were a child and those older kids made fun of you or called you names. My heart hurt more than yours and my love for you never faltered.
I was there when you got your first pair of glasses and when you had braces put on your teeth. I chaperoned your first dance looking out for you.
I went with you to high school and went to all your extra curricular events. No one was more proud than me when you scored your first basket, hit your first softball, swam your first lap, gave THE best speech ever! I was with you on those lonely nights when your friends were at a dance or hanging out at a friends house and you couldn’t. You see, my love for you has never faltered and I have always promised to never leave you.
You are adored. When I look at you, your beauty, from the inside out, strikes me. There is a strong family resemblance. You will always be the apple of my eye.
You are my beloved. My daughter there isn’t anything you could ever do to make me stop loving you.
You are worthy. You have grown into a woman of noble character. You are worth far more than rubies – you are priceless to me. In all you do, you work with eager hands.
Yes, I see that you get up early and retire late all for the sake of your family. I see.
You are blessed. Indeed, blessed are you among women simply because you are my daughter and I love you so.
You are chosen, yes, remember, I knew you before you were ever formed in your mother’s womb and I chose you. You my daughter bring me glory.
You are holy. Out of all the people on the earth I have chosen you to be holy. You are my treasured possession.
You are blameless. It is true you live in a distorted and twisted generation but you shine among this generation like stars in the sky.
You are accepted. You can come to me and I will accept you always. I am gentle and I will give you rest for your soul.
My beautiful daughter don’t you know? You are like a beautiful garden and I sing over you always. I nourish you day and night and watch over you non-stop.
I believe there is a misconception about the life of believers in Christ, that we somehow have no struggles in life, that we live a life of the proverbial ‘bed of roses.’ I also believe this care-free persona, may be, in part, because of the joy of the Lord that resides, as our inheritance in Christ, in our hearts.
As believers in Christ we struggle through life the same as those who are yet to know Jesus as their Lord and Savior.
2015 was a difficult year for my family, but not many of you know this. Oh, we didn’t struggle alone. God in his infinite and demonstrative love for us has provided us with an intimate inner circle of friends who pray with and for us and carry our burdens with us as we do for them.
As I was studying this morning I was led to Philippians 3:10.
I want to know Christ-yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death. Philippians 3:10.
I want this for my life in 2016 and every year after, that my sweet and precious Savior allows me to remain on earth, to know the power of his resurrection, which lives in every believer. This also means that I must participate in his sufferings, which are the struggles and challenges of life, becoming like him in his death. How was Jesus in his death? One word. Victorious!
Precious One we don’t know what tomorrow holds but we do know Who holds all our tomorrows.
So, on this first day of the new year choose to live victoriously, today and everyday, in the midst of your challenges and struggles, knowing it is a gift to learn to depend on and trust God more.
You know those times when God chooses to show you where He is working even though he isn’t obligated to? When you realize in the sweetness of the moment it is God? When you are aware you are seeing or hearing the sum of your prayers? When your heart if full and complete with awestruck wonder?
Yep, had me one of those moments this morning! And, while I would love to share this moment with you, which I have partially done, the fullness of the moment is for me, at least for now.
Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know. Jeremiah 33:3.
Precious One go in the peace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the peace only He can provide.
I have uttered many words over the course of my life, and some not so desirable. In high school, back when we use to walk to and from school regardless of the distance, I would stop to pick up one of my friends, who would endure that very long walk with me.
One day this friend decided I needed to pay him a quarter for every swear word that came out of my mouth, because, apparently, I could swear like a sailor. Here was a guy, telling me, a girl, I had a problem. I’m sure you can appreciate the severity of that situation. Unfortunately, the quarter system didn’t last long.
And speaking of sailors, it wasn’t until I met my husband, that I began to clean up my language. He taught me and showed me what respecting myself looked liked simply by his display of respect toward me with his actions and his words. I am truly a blessed woman!
These days I am an encourager. Encouraging others with words that lift spirits and bring smiles to faces is a part of my identity in Christ. It is a very natural thing for me. Many times I don’t even realize I am encouraging until the words have left my lips.
Now, I know there are many people who have a hard time accepting words of encouragement. My encouragement to you is to look at this from the perspective as a blessing from God. He loves you so much he wants you to know through the words he has given another to express to you. Also, I would encourage you to remember that we encouragers really can’t help ourselves. Words of encouragement burn deep inside of us until they are released.
After all, we were born to say those words.
Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them. Ephesians 4:29.
Oh, he is a crafty one isn’t he? He comes slithering in all covert and be like, “I am going to stir up some trouble to mix in with their hot salted caramel mocha” “Happy Holidays vs. Merry Christmas didn’t turn out to well.” “Let’s see if this simple plain planwill work!”
Plain, that’s how the enemy is he has no original idea’s he simply recycles and repackages and many times we fall hook, line and sinker.
As I’ve mentioned before, sometimes I am late to the party! It took me a few days to figure out what all the hoopla was about concerning red cups and a popular coffee joint. As I’ve watched people debate this for a few days, I sit back and giggle just a little bit.
Now, I mean no disrespect to those of you who are offended by the fact that these popular seasonal red cups are void of any decorated theme this year. If you are offended then I pose these questions: How big is your God? Do you think Jesus is offended by a simple plain red cup? Where do you place your hope? Are you praying about it as much as you are talking about it?
Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8.
What exactly would Jesus do in this situation? Here’s what I think he would do; bring out his most colorful Sharpies and start decorating his cup however he wanted! He is after all the Creator of creativity and if you are a Believer in Christ creativity is part of your identity in Him and I would venture to say a part of your inheritance in Him!
Precious One, as one of my best friends always says, “Holy Spirit does His job really well!” Let Him; let Holy Spirit take on any offense of the enemy, and whether you choose to drink your hot beverages from a red cup or not, you place your focus on and your hope in Jesus.
Let’s remember the reason not only for the holiday season but for every season; a Savior who died so we could live for all who believe. A Savior whose love and grace is for all His creation.
And so, Lord, where do I put my hope? My only hope is in you. Psalm 39:7.
This morning one of my sweet friends messaged me a prayer request and I messaged her back with a prayer for her request. This led me to reflect about why I pray. For obvious reasons because God’s word says by prayer and supplication make all your requests known to God and his peace that transcends all understanding will guard your heart and mind. (Philippians 4:6-7).
As I think about these verses I realize I don’t pray because of what I will receive from God, I pray simply because his word tells me too. Yes, I am a bit of a rule follower, hey, every family needs one! But, I don’t look at this in a legalistic rule following kind of way. As I reflect further I also realize that my reasons for praying are quite honestly selfish.
Praying makes me feel close to God. I like the way I feel when I pray. When I pray it’s just me and God, even though many other people could be praying at the same time that I am, but in that moment it is just me and God. It’s as if I am an only child, which I know isn’t the case, but God has a way of doing that with his kids! That I also receive his peace when I pray is a beautiful gift from a good, good Father.
Praying also reminds me Who God Is. Praying reminds me how powerful a weapon God has entrusted to us to do his kingdom work.
I remarked to another friend that many times God will show me things I don’t necessarily need to know and when I ask him why his answer is always the same, “So you’ll pray.” Think about that for a moment. God shows us things not because we are entitled to know but because he trusts us to pray! That adds another skip to my step!!
Precious One it is a privilege and honor to pray for others. Who will you be in prayer for today? Ask God to show you!
Ever since I was a little girl all I ever wanted to be was a mommy and I had a wonderful example in my own mother of what it looked like to be a mom who was devoted to her family. But, I didn’t want to be just a mommy, I wanted to be stay at home mommy, just like my mom. I know now that God placed this dream in my heart even before I was born. He set me apart for the best job I’ve never gotten paid for and the joys along with the sorrows far outweigh any monetary value.
Gratefulness is an attitude. We choose whether we will be grateful for the blessings in our life or simply expect them as something that is due us. I am grateful for God’s blessings and the challenges and struggles he allows because the challenges of life have and are what builds perseverance and shapes my character.
This morning as I dropped my youngest love bug off at school I was especially aware and grateful that I have the ability to do so. Being grateful this morning reminded me that I ought to spend more time everyday being grateful.
Precious One, what is one thing you are grateful for today?
O give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; For His lovingkindness is everlasting. 1 Chronicles 16:34.