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!
Continuing their journey, the midday heat has dissipated and the cool of the desert evening is beginning to surround them. He and His disciples approach a large crowd holding torches to light the quickly advancing darkness. A donkey brays somewhere in the distance and the birds chirping begins to quiet as the desert settles for the night
He invites the crowd to come closer along with His disciples as He prepares to teach.
The crowd is stunned by His words. His disciples, well, can you hear their thoughts? Deny ourselves…take up our cross…saving our life means losing it…losing our life means saving it?This is not opposite day or is it? The disciples have heard Jesus teach many things but this has them scratching their heads.
Deny is the Greek word aparneomai and means to utterly refuse to recognize the original source involved (Biblehub.com).
Cross is the Greek word stauros and represents unspeakable pain, humiliation and suffering – and ironically is also the symbol of infinite love! At the cross, Jesus won our salvation – which is free but certainly not cheap! (Biblehub.com).
Be encouraged! The Cross is not a symbol for suffering in general. It represents the trials, challenges and hardships we experience in life and are able to endure because of the power of Holy Spirit in us.
Lose is the Greek word apollumi meaning to be lost or utterly perish.
Save (my favorite of today’s words) is the Greek word sózó meaning to heal, preserve, rescue. Rescued from the former version of ourself and delivered into divine safety.
This is all fine and dandy but what does this actually look like for us? When we deny ourselves we are refusing to recognize the version of ourself prior to Jesus. This reminds me of Lot’s wife that turned into a pillar of salt because she looked back. I am not suggesting that we will turn into a pillar of salt for looking back at our former self, in fact, many of us are still working through area’s of our life that have to do with who we use to be, reconciling those area’s and receiving God’s abundant healing. Once we have both feet on the ground and can move forward, then, looking back is useless. I pray the power of Holy Spirit in you to see you successfully through any healing He is doing in you from your past. You’ve got this!
The Cross, oh the blessed Cross. Thank you Jesus for the Cross. Because of His death on the Cross you and I don’t have to endure that torture. We don’t have to live apart from the light and love of God. We don’t have to continue in sin because we have been set free! However, we all have, will and will continue to have struggles, trials, hardship, muck and yuck in our life this side of heaven.
Because of Jesus we aren’t lost and won’t utterly perish. We are rescued, healed and preserved by Him. We are saved.
Denying ourself for the sake of the gospel is the least we can do for what He did for us. With His help explore the area’s of the old version of yourself and ask Him what needs to go. Ask Him to help you let go. Ask Him for His help to endure the cross you are bearing. He is faithful to always help.
Jesus invited the crowd to come closer. He invites you too.
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Don’t judge me by the clothes I wear you know nothing of my story. Rather walk beside me and share your love for Christ with me; share His glory.
You say that you are a follower of Christ; a born again believer. If this is so, why then, would you ever say, “I can’t believe her parents let her out of the house dressed like that”? You think I don’t know what you’re whispering to your friends as you glance my way with that look on your face. I thought grace and love were your compass.
You see, I grew up in a Christian home and you know nothing of my story. There was a time I was strong and confident but then I started to believe the lies the enemy whispers my way. Some days it’s a struggle just to hear the voice of God, though I try.
And, if you are a parent of a son teach him to respect me regardless of what I wear. Teach him self-control, you know nothing of my story.
It is your love, it is the grace that God freely gives to you to give to others and it is your prayers that will make a difference in my life. Won’t you be a part of my story?
Precious One, it is the season of Homecoming dances, Sadie Hawkins and the Christmas Ball. Many pictures will be posted online. Please be mindful of the words that come out of your mouth, especially before you hit the send button. While comments can be deleted, once they’ve been seen the damage has already been done. May your words and thoughts only be gracious and kind. May the ‘clothes’ you wear be those that others desire. You know nothing of ‘their’ story.
“I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.” Luke 24:49 emphasis added.
When I was a little girl I would spend hours playing with paper dolls. The dolls came in a book similar to current day sticker books. Some had perforations around the dolls and their clothes making it easier to take them from the book and some had to be cut around and along the dotted lines, causing the anticipation of playing with them to grow and grow, until finally, they were free from the book and ready to be dressed and played with! The clothes had paper tabs on them that were folded over and that is how they hung or clung to the paper dolls.
I had a clique of paper dolls, they all hung out together and were nice to each other. I was the mom, I led by example even at that early age. Sometimes I would line up my paper dolls as if the were holding hands, something like this picture.
What do you suppose it would look like if, spiritually, I held your hand and you held another’s hand and they held another’s hand and so and so on, until all around the world the hands of believers in Christ were held by each other and we began to pray for the lost of the world? I believe fear would be afraid and run and hide. The eyes of fear would be opened to the heavenly host and chariots of fire surrounding it on the mountain ridge! I believe millions will be saved, having heard the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
A few weeks ago, as I sat praying, I asked Papa to show me who around the world was praying the same thing that I was praying. Every afternoon my husband calls me, while on his long commute back home from work, and we talk about our day with each other. On this day that I asked God to show me who was praying like I was, my husband told me he was praying for a certain group of people who were persecuting others in another country and it was exactly what I had been praying for that morning and neither of us knew it until that moment of conversation. What makes the moment even sweeter is that my husband is a private person and doesn’t usually share what he is praying for or about.
Do you believe that God is omnipotent? If you do then you have to believe He is capable of doing anything, even linking the hands of his children offering up the sweet sacrifice of prayer together, united by Holy Spirit, throughout the entire Bride around the world.
Doubting Thomas was one of Jesus’ apostles. He refused to believe that Jesus had risen and was no longer dead. He needed visible proof that Jesus was who he said. He wanted to see the wounds on Jesus’ body that he sustained from hanging on the cross.
If you’ve ever experienced doubt you know that it can be debilitating at various levels. To doubt is to be uncertain about something or believe something isn’t true, even though you know that you know. Doubt is tied to fear and the enemy will use this tactic to pervert the glory of God. He will laugh at you and mock you and attempt to cause you to gaze at doubt instead of keeping your focus on the one true God, Jesus Christ. Why? Because he despises the advancement of God’s kingdom here on earth and he gets fired up, literally and figuratively, when the scoreboard reads Jesus 1 Satan 0.
But the truth is that Jesus goes before us and is our rear guard. He commands and brings with him an army of horses and chariots of fire! We may think we need ‘physical’ proof but we don’t because our soul resonates with the Spirit that lives inside us and he speaks the truth of God’s word throughout our entire being because He is the truth.
As a sweet friend reminded me, “It is the Lord Christ whom you serve.”
Sometimes, when we’re very still and quiet, we see the distractions in our life, that the world calls inconveniences, an opportunity to be ambassadors to the kingdom of God, our rightful inheritance in Christ. While the world says,” Dont get involved that’s none of your business,” the Spirit says “Come! Join me in what I am about to do!”
Before you know it and right before your eyes God unwrap’s a beautiful miracle and invites you in. And, right there in that miracle God meets you. He says, “Here I Am, open the eyes of your heart and see Me!” You step into the miracle, carrying the gifts God has given you, not expecting anything from God, only wanting to help because he called to you. All too soon the miracle is complete, never over, for His miracles last for eternity, and you long for more. More of Him.
You are overcome and there are no words to describe this wondrous time with God, knowing that you can’t keep his grace and love from the experience all to yourself. But, for now, you’ll treasure these things in your heart for just a little while.
Well, good morning blogosphere and Friends! I may be late to the party and that’s okay, better late than never, I say! Yesterday I discovered this song and I can’t get enough of it!
Theoretically, I’ve been late to another party and I am so glad I finally found my way there. For months one of the prayers of my heart has been for God to show me how to be the me he created me to be in my family. He answered that prayer last night at church. Our Pastor gave a wonderful sermon on leadership. Specifically about leadership in the home and the different aspects of what that may look like depending on one’s home situation. After the sermon there was a question and answer time. Well, let me back up. During the summer months we have a series titled, “Real Questions Means Real Faith.” During the message we are invited to text in questions, confidentially, and after the message we have a question and answer time where we can all participate.
Last night one question was asked about the wife’s role in leadership within the house. Oh, man, each answer was so sweet to hear. There was so much wisdom and knowledge and I was touched to the very core of my soul. Seriously! You see, leadership within the Body is natural for me, but for a very long time, my position within our home has been obscured. Both my husband and I are strong leaders but in different ways and that’s really cool. God brought two halves and fit them together as whole – in Him! I feel like a veil, a cloud, a something has been lifted from my entire body. I feel new, I feel like I did the morning after I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior. Everything looks clearer, brighter, richer.
As I was thinking about all this last night I asked God, “why now?” Before he could answer I decided it doesn’t matter. It is what it is and it is glorious!
I told one of the prayer circles that I travel in to please pray for my family, there’s a new leader in town and she is free to be who God created her to be and that is ME!!
Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” Matthew 17:20a emphasis added.
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.