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!
How do you and your Faith Family do community together? Is it attending small group, sharing meals, going on an all girls/guys outing. Or, is it giving of yourself? Sharing your gifts, talents, time or resources?
As I reflect on the Season, I am reminded that the stress and busyness of this time of year is man-made. God doesn’t intend for us to experience stress and busyness during the Christmas season or any time of year. In fact, Jesus, knowing that the busyness of life would distract us from Him gives us an open invitation in Matthew 11:28-29 “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.”Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS. (NASB).
The giving of gifts, wrapped in festive paper and embellished with beautiful bows and ribbons, has become customary for many. I love to receive gifts; I love to give gifts even more. Shopping online or going to the local mall or free-standing store is easy; a no brainer. The package arrives in the mail or you bring it home with you, wrap it, tag it and deliver.
But, what about the gifts that cannot be purchased; the gifts that require one to give of themselves? Why, I wonder, is this a struggle for so many of us? Here are some of the excuses that run through my mind, “I’m too busy.” “Someone else will do it this time.” “I helped out last time.” There are more, but I’m sure you get the picture.
The point is, when we choose to practice selfless giving throughout the year, it becomes second nature to say yes rather than give an excuse; even during the time of year many of us choose to make the busiest.
So, it all comes back to having a relationship with Jesus. We truly can do all things through Christ who gives us strength. When we choose to make our home in Him, he will show us the needs that are on His heart and give us everything we require to fill those needs.
Are you stressed and busy? Beloved, choose Jesus and he will give you rest for your soul.
I was traipsing through my day, enjoying the blessing of a mini family vacation before my kids had to head back to school from their Fall break. We were in an area where we had spent many Fall’s. This year was different. The colors were spectacular! The red’s were screaming loud and vibrant. The orange’s were saying, “hey, over here, look at me!” The burgundy’s were deep and rich, like a well aged bottle of wine. The yellow’s were subtly; confident in their own contribution. I was surrounded by a bevy of color and I wasn’t even on the East coast. In a moment I realized I didn’t need to be. The West coast has it’s own display of Fall splendor and this time I took notice and lived and experienced this wondrous sight.
Reading God’s word, many times, can be the same way. We’ve read certain Scripture numerous times not stopping to drink in the beautiful picture painted for us. As I was traipsing along throughout my day, I came across 1 Corinthians 3:16. Here, let me share with.
“Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst?”
When I first came across this verse, the Holy Spirit shone on it like a stage light upon its actors, and I knew God was up to something. The second time I came across this verse was much later in the day. This time I asked God to begin showing me what he wanted me to know about this verse. My answer came at 3:00am. I was awakened, not because I heard a noise or had a scary dream, not even because someone was feeling sick and needed my attention. I was Simply. Wide. Awake. I did what I normally do when I’m wide awake at 3:00am. I prayed. My prayers weren’t general in nature, instead the Holy Spirit guided me very specifically toward prayers for those I knew were seeking healing spiritually and physically. As I prayed, 1 Corinthians 3:16 came to mind for a third time and I felt led to pray this verse for those I was praying for.
Now, I’m a researcher by nature AND a black and white thinker. When I study God’s word I like all the pieces to fit together. Especially so that I don’t take any of His word out of context. I am learning, however, that many times, theology aside, the Holy Spirit will illuminate Scripture at a face value concept.
What I sense the Holy Spirit telling me is that many times, perhaps we lose sight of the truth that we are God’s temple and the very Spirit of God dwells within us; that this truth is part of our inheritance here on earth as it already is in heaven. This truth is one of the many spiritual blessings that belong to us because of our faith in Christ and His atoning work on the cross. That the healing we seek we can ask for in prayer and continue asking for and that it lies within us because the Holy Spirit embodies us. I have found through personal experience with prayers of healing that most times there is a heart issue that God wants us to see; forgiveness towards others or ourselves, releasing resentment, anger, hurt or any other negative emotion. This is where and when, I believe, true healing begins. Sometimes it is immediate and I would add miraculous, but all God’s healing’s are miraculous! Sometimes it takes time, peeling away layer by layer of stuffed emotions that have become a belief system of bondage. That is why it is so important to continue to delight in an abiding relationship with Jesus; so we don’t miss any of the moments of his wisdom and guidance. Yes, His very Spirit lives within us, but we have to choose to ask, to listen, to see and to follow.
Beloved, sometimes the work in you is hard and dirty and even painful, but He is always with you. Taking you from those dark and secret places to the beautiful and spectacular array of colors just waiting to be lived and experienced by you! Are you willing to ask and have it given to you; to seek and find, find Him and his will for your life; to knock and have to the door of His heart opened to you? My prayer is that your desire is for Him and Him alone.
If you have never given your life to Jesus and are ready to do so, please contact me via email or find a trusted friend who trusts Jesus or a local church.
To view the remainder of the photos in this album visit the link below.
She was very determined. She wasn’t going to leave with a no answer. Her daughter was in great pain and after all, he was helping others, why not her? Oh, she knew she wasn’t from his group of people; his kind, but that didn’t stop her.
She approached him, calling him by one of his rightful names, kneeling before him and asking for his help. He challenges her with a statement, telling her he was sent only for a select group of people, and she knew she did not belong.
He was with some of his friends, teaching them to do what he was doing; it was on the job training. Perhaps he was hoping they would grab the opportunity at hand. Instead, his friends urged him to send her on her way because she kept calling out to them. Somehow they couldn’t be bothered by her plea’s for help. What were they thinking?
She calls to him again, and again, he challenges her with a statement. He tells her it isn’t right to take the children’s bread and feed it to the dogs. “Wait, did he just call her a dog?!” She doesn’t back down telling him even dogs eat the crumbs from their masters table. Essentially she is telling him “I don’t want the bread on the children’s table, I can get what I need in the crumbs”, because the crumbs held the same for her as the bread did for the children.
Seeing her great faith, He immediately helps her daughter.
The mom in this story is the Canaanite woman from Matthew 15:21-28. Undoubtedly, she has heard of the miracles Jesus had been performing. Beyond her great faith that Jesus would heal her daughter, we are not told anything else about her faith. Yet, when she first addresses him she says, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me!”
When Jesus implies she is a dog, He isn’t being mean to her. During that time and culture Gentiles were referred to as dogs because others felt they did not deserve the blessings of God. I think about her noble character; she doesn’t defend herself at this reference she actually goes with it! The core issue for her is the healing of her daughter who was demon possessed and suffering greatly.
As for the disciples, well, their reaction, even their place in the story is a treasure. It is a great reminder not to miss an opportunity to share the love and the healing of the Lord Jesus Christ!