YHVH

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?

Shalom!

#discipleship

Sold Out

Are you sold out for Jesus? What does that even mean and what does that look like?

I have heard the expression ‘sold out for Jesus’ often in my faith journey with Him and I’ve often wondered where the term came from. This verse could quite possibly be the origin.

To be a disciple of Jesus includes persecution and promise and suffering and blessing.

Are you willing to leave your family, your home, your job and your lifestyle for Jesus and the gospel? Am I? If you and I are willing Jesus promises we will not fail to receive a hundredfold in return in this present age. But it shouldn’t be the promise that causes us to be sold out. It should be Jesus and only Jesus.

And still I wonder, why isn’t this being taught?

#knowgodknowhisword

#knowhiswordknowgod

#discipleship

#belikejesus

Laced with Grace

I am a former rah-rah. Actually, once a rah-rah always a rah-rah. Cheerleading, which is the gift of encouragement, lives in my heart.

Coming from a large Italian family where we spoke loud and with our hands…the epiphany just occurred to me… For such a small part of our body our mouths can utter words that cause even bigger trouble.

I’ve been there and maybe you have too.

But, here’s the encouragement, when we choose to stay connected to Jesus consistently, He reminds us to ask for His help before we even enter into a conversation.

Try this: start your day asking Holy Spirit to cause all your conversations to be full of grace. I promise He will. It may be difficult at first but with practice it will become a habit.

Before you realize you’ll be looking for reasons to encourage others.

#discipleship #belikejesus #21daysformsahabit

Accountability

Perhaps Paul ought to have put a disclaimer in this part of his letter. But, he didn’t. He simply expected the Colossians to be so securely tethered to Jesus that what they said and how they conducted themselves would be like Jesus. He expected the Colossians to act with integrity.

Has the Church lost its ability to hold one another accountable? Perhaps a more pertinent question would be, has the Church forgotten how to disciple?

When we choose to be discipled and to disciple we build relationships that give us the freedom of accountability because we have taken the time to be transparent with one another and to build trust. There isn’t any room for feeling offended.

Then we can go and make disciples of all the nations. Because that’s what Jesus expects us to do.

#belikeJesus #wwjd #discipleship

Forgiveness

I dreamed our phone was ringing but each time I answered it continued to ring until I realized it wasn’t a dream. I would soon wish that it were.

The call was about the passing of a loved and cherished family member and completely unexpected.

In the days and weeks that followed I struggled to understand why. And while I didn’t understand why this happened to our family I knew deep within me I needed to extend forgiveness to the one responsible.

As I read this passage this verse is nestled in Holy Spirit reminded me of this life event so many years ago.

Forgiveness can often be a hard act of kindness to offer toward the person(s) who have hurt or betrayed us.

But not forgiving has many spiritual and physical ramifications.

I think about Jesus who died a horrific death because of my sins and yet He still forgives me.

If you are having a hard time forgiving someone please take a first step and ask Holy Spirit to help you. You’re not betraying yourself by letting go and asking for help. It’s quite the opposite. He’ll set you free.

#discipleship #befree

Fresh Fruit

There is something about fresh fruit. Not the ‘fresh’ grocery store fruit but fruit picked from the source. Each bite brings a flavorful, juicy mouthful leaving the desire for more.

We live in an area where we’re known for our corn but it’s our fruit that others travel for. It is cherry picking season right now and soon the stone fruit will be ready. Every year people from out of town converge on our community and strip our orchards clean like a swarm of locust. It’s a good thing especially for our farmers. It’s a process of renewal.

Being renewed in the knowledge of God isn’t always easy even though it is perfect for us. We battle against old thought patterns, old ways of action and old ways of speaking.

But Jesus wants to heal us of these ‘old life’ traits. He wants us to stay so tightly connected to Him that we continually remind ourselves who He says we are.

Reminding ourselves of our identity in Christ helps us stop battling against the old life and we begin to allow the work of the Cross to work in us.

You are being renewed to bear fruit. Let it be fruit that is as fresh as that which is picked from the Source.

#discipleship

Diamond in the Rough

Diamonds are considered one of the most valuable natural gemstones. They are formed by heat and pressure from deep volcanic eruptions. Once ‘birthed’ they are transformed from their rough state by cutting, shaping and polishing.

As we stay tethered to Jesus a similar process begins to take place in us. We are transformed from a rough interior and exterior by the work of Holy Spirit in us.

We are encouraged to teach and admonish one another.

Admonish. Maybe this word is a negative to you. By Biblical definition admonish is to reason with another by warning through instruction in the truth of God’s word. Applying positive pressure to one’s thinking and encouraging the choice for God’s best. His good and perfect will.

We accomplish this by meeting Jesus daily in His word and asking Him to shower us with His wisdom. We encourage one another with psalms, hymns and songs of the Spirit. We sing to God with gratitude in our hearts.

YOU, are so precious to God that your value cannot be fathomed. You are priceless.

Transformation can be hot and pressure filled. It is an ongoing process and the responsibility of Holy Spirit to renew you to be more and more like Jesus. How He thinks, how He speaks, how He acts.

He’s making a diamond out of the rough. Will you let Him?

#knowgodknowhisword #knowhiswordknowgod #discipleshipstartswithJesus