Fear. It can be so crippling.
As a little girl we spent many summer weekends at Santa Cruz Beach in Northern California. I loved splashing and playing in the water right at the shoreline and in view of the watchful eyes of my parents. “Don’t go too far out,” they would call to me every so often. One weekend, not heeding their instructions, I ventured out a little further than normal. Suddenly, I was caught in a small undertow that began to pull me in. I remember being so afraid. To this day I have a very strong respect for the power of the ocean.
Thankfully, my daddy was watching. He was a strong swimmer and he quickly rescued me.
Many times when we hear Holy Spirit warning us we are like a little child, venturing a little further than normal. Suddenly we can find ourselves in a situation where we feel we are about to drown.
But you have a Heavenly Father who wants to rescue you. Call out to Him for help. I promise He is closer than you think. He reaches His hand out to you. Will you grab it?
How do you greet people when you see them? Maybe it’s with a smile or handshake, perhaps with a timid or hearty hug. Do you also verbally express your delight in seeing them with, “It’s good to see you or you look great!”?
To Timothy, my dear son:
Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.
2 Timothy 1:2
Throughout Paul’s writings and teachings his salutation expressed how much he cared for and loved the recipients of his words even when he had to include some hard truths. That is the core of discipleship, guiding each other back to the truth of God’s word and allowing Holy Spirit to convict us toward Christlike living. Because he loved Jesus and others so deeply Paul stepped out in courage and boldness. He was more concerned for the spiritual health of others than what others thought of him. Talk about knowing one’s identity in Jesus!
Paul was a wonderful encourager which led me to think how I could encourage others outside my sphere of influence. Without hesitation Holy Spirit dropped a thought into my mind—to send out cards of encouragement to churches around the world.
And, the Encouragement Project was started. It’s quite simple. I ask Holy Spirit who He wants to encourage and He highlights an area. I look up the churches in that area and He highlights a specific church. I write a short note of encouragement and place that in the mail.
Imagine with me the smiles and goodwill feelings those who read these notes must feel. Knowing God hears and sees them! With that, I challenge and encourage you to become a part of the Encouragement Project. I also encourage you to share this post not because I want traffic to my site but because I would love for others to have the opportunity to join in encouraging others. Imagine with me again how this one small sacrifice of our time could change the space, community and world around us making our living areas just a little bit sweeter. And, I guarantee you will feel joy for having spread some joy.
No, I am not calling you a fool! When I read this verse it brought to mind what I see posted on other social media platforms. It has been my experience that we tend to post mostly about God’s love and encouragement, even prominent Christian influencers, and hardly anything about the uncomfortable and sometimes hard truths. This isn’t a negative thing it is actually wonderful. But it causes me to wonder, if we believe all of God’s Word is the inerrant truth why are we not also posting the uncomfortable and hard truths?
I love God’s Word, all of His Word. My heart’s desire is to disciple others back to His Word where He teaches us about His love and where the truth of His Words convict us to make positive changes in our life so others will desire Jesus too. If our actions and our words don’t line up with our profession of Christ as our Lord and Savior then we miss opportunities to be the light Jesus left us to be.
Time is short, the harvest is overflowing and it isn’t about you. It’s all about Jesus.
Praying you have a beautiful Monday morning and a great start to your week.
Practice peace today by writing your favorite verse on a 3×5 card and carry it with you reading it throughout the day.
Do we step off the path at times? Absolutely! Sometimes a minor course correction is needed and sometimes it can be a major correction.
Living a righteous life takes courage, it takes boldness, it takes wisdom.
You can do anything through the strength of Jesus. He promises. He wants you to do more than keep your head above water. He wants you to walk on the water of any situation in your life in the victory He won at the Cross for you!
Let’s stay tethered to Jesus together. Cheering, encouraging and holding each other accountable along the path of life and restoration.
Out give even yourself.
She is the only one I never corrected even though my husband would gently remind her. My husbands grandmother would always call me Teresa rather than Terese.
Our names are important to us. Our names let others know how to address us. And while our names are not our identity, they are our identifier.
During ancient Israelite culture names were very important. Parents chose names, many times, to coincide with a season of life they may have been in.
In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah. Daniel 1:1a.
Jehoiakim’s name means the LORD raises up. How amazing it must have been for Jehoiakim to go through life with his name as a constant reminder of who he was and Who he belonged too. It get’s better. Jehoiakim’s name is derived from the name YHVH which is the proper name of God.
You and I, we may not have a name that means the LORD raises up and we don’t have to. As a believer in Jesus you are called, His child. He raises you up simply because He loves you. You don’t have to do anything in your own strength. It is the power of Holy Spirit that propels you in the direction He wants you to move. It is YHVH in you and through you.
We do have a responsibility when we are called a child of God. Our responsibility is nurturing a deep and intimate relationship with Him. Stay connected to Him and meet Him in His word daily.
Today I encourage you to read Daniel 1:1-2 and ask God to open your eyes to what He wants to reveal to you and how He wants you to apply this to your life. How will His revelations help you to grow in Christlike behavior?