January 28, 2016

When We Blow It Again

After listening to someone share how they blew it by losing their patience over a very small matter when their sincere intention was to keep calm in a disagreeable situation, I was reminded how recently a similar thing had happened to me. 

Just when I think I am making progress in an area, I turn around and blow it again. I wasn’t looking to lose my control and say things I didn’t mean to say. And yet a simple conversation and small disagreement with my husband spiraled into heated words and I definitely blew it with my tongue. It was so trivial and stupid of me. I blew it again…

I was madder at myself than my husband was. For him it blew over very quickly but I continued to punish myself with the question, why did I do it? I didn’t want to do it! But I did it.

Why am I so prone to sin? Does that sound familiar?

I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. Romans 7:15

Why can’t I do a better job of reigning myself in? Why did I do something I didn’t even want to do?

Do you hear the condemnation ringing loud in this battle raging within me?

There is an answer. There is now no condemnation. 

There– is – now – no-condemnation.

Romans 8:1-2 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.

When I blow it again, there is no condemnation because Jesus took care of that for me. I am so thankful for this truth. I need to accept this beautiful gift of no condemnation. It is part of my inheritance as a born again believer and child of God. 

I don’t want to blow it again. But I probably will. 

January 19, 2016

What If?

When you woke up this morning, what was your first thought? What was your first awareness as the fog of sleep began to lift?

Was it a troubled and worrisome thought, the one you fell asleep with and caused you to toss and turn throughout the night? Was it a to-do list you wish was already done? Was it guilt over what you didn’t finish yesterday?

Were you thinking about the dozens of emails in your inbox, many still unread and far too many still unanswered?

Did a hundred thoughts scramble for your attention before your feet even touched the floor?

What if you pushed all of that aside and as hard as that can be…what if before all of those thoughts take over your morning…

What if you turn your thoughts to the Lord?

What if the next words you utter are, “Good Morning” to Him?

What if you stop and think about His presence ever near you?

What if you remember you are not alone?

Would you thank Him for this day and tell Him you are grateful He is near?

When your feet hit the floor and already you have had this early morning conversation with Him, will you feel His strength surging deep inside your heart?

You will, because this is who He is.

He is the Lord who waits to be invited into your day, and as soon as you awaken He is there waiting for you, holding out His beckoning hand.

What if when you wake up each morning, you reach out your hand to His and call upon His name?

Psalm 5:3
My voice You shall hear in the morning, O LORD;
In the morning I will direct it to You, and I will look up. 

Photo of Galveston Island, Texas courtesy of my good friend, Judy B. Thank you!

January 17, 2016

Coast Or Thrive

If you scroll down to the bottom of this page where you will find the subjects by category for my posts, the biggest ones are Relationship, Spiritual Growth, and Trust. Which means this is what I write about most often. There is a reason for that.

When I write these words:

  ~ Draw near to the Lord

  ~ Make your relationship with Him of utmost importance

  ~ Sit at His feet

  ~ Start your day in conversation with Him

  ~ Have that quiet time

  ~ Read your Bible

They are not cliché platitudes and they are not empty words. They are choices that make the difference between coasting and thriving.

I have learned and it is my experience that as a result of these choices, this is where He daily pours into me…

Strength and Faith

Courage and Hope

Joy and Peace

Patience and

Deep Satisfaction

Grace, Mercy, and Love

He fills me up with all of this and more and I am the grateful recipient of God's abundant blessings every day.

John 10:10b I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. 

January 13, 2016

Hold Fast To Him

Yesterday’s devotion was about God holding onto us. Today, I want to write about us holding onto Him based on verses in Deuteronomy and Joshua.

Deuteronomy 11:22-23
22 “For if you carefully keep all these commandments which I command you to do—to love the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways, and to hold fast to Him—23 then the Lord will drive out all these nations from before you, and you will dispossess greater and mightier nations than yourselves.
I read these two verses above and could not miss the obvious lesson in verse 22–a beautiful outline for how we can build our relationship with God. This is how we can go deeper in our walk with Him. When we go deeper we will find that we will hold fast to Him. This is where we experience victory in our Christian life. For the Israelites that was driving out the other wicked nations, for us it is overcoming difficult circumstances in our lives.

How We Can Go Deeper

There are three progressions: Three Steps

It starts with Love.

Step 1: To love the Lord your God - I cherish this invitation from a High and Holy God who wants us to love Him.

Step 2: To walk in all His ways - This is what scripture teaches us in our Bible, how to live the Christian life. We must be reading His word to learn how to walk in His ways.

Step 3: And to hold fast to Him This is what makes the difference in a close relationship and in difficult times. This is the vital key to going deeper. Hold on and hold on tight.

If we don’t hold fast, we are much more vulnerable to grow cold and/or to stray.

Deuteronomy 11:22 clearly reminds us to start with love. Isn’t that a great place to start? This is why I want to repeat these steps spelled out in verse 22. This is so important to learn, so let’s go through it again.

     1. Start with loving God.
     2. Move forward with walking in His ways.
     3. Go deeper when we hold fast to Him.

Holding fast keeps us close and will prevent us from straying and going after false gods or those things in our lives that take the place He should have, the preeminent place that is rightfully His.

Deuteronomy 13:4 is another verse that calls attention to holding fast and Joshua 22:5 brings this message home in the words of Joshua, chosen by God to be the Israelite leader and commander following the death of Moses.

Deuteronomy 13:4
You shall walk after the Lord your God and fear Him, and keep His commandments and obey His voice; you shall serve Him and hold fast to Him.

Joshua 22:5 
“But take careful heed to do the commandment and the law which Moses the servant of the Lord commanded you, to love the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways, to keep His commandments, to hold fast to Him, and to serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul.”  

Do you love the Lord? Are you walking in His ways? Are you holding fast to Him?

Hold on and hold on tight.