September 16, 2018

Start with JOY!


Nehemiah 8:10 Then he said to them, “Go your way, eat the fat, drink the sweet, and send portions to those for whom nothing is prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”

Shortly after waking up this morning, while still rubbing the fog out of my eyes and reaching out to pet our cat that had just jumped on the bed, these words suddenly came to me. The joy of the Lord is your strength!

Words said by Nehemiah to the Israelite people who had returned to their land from captivity to rebuild the walls around the ravaged city of Jerusalem. He declared these words following the reading of the Law (Nehemiah 8:1-11) to the people by Ezra after the wall had been rebuilt under his leadership and God’s guidance.

My waking thoughts were not focused on the totality of detailed events in the book of Nehemiah. My thoughts were focused on the word JOY as it sprung into my heart! When I woke up, my thoughts turned to the Lord and the joy I have in Him!

What a great way to start a day with this focus on the Joy of the Lord! And, this verse also declares this joy equals strength!

Nehemiah had fully experienced firsthand God being his strength for the daunting task of rebuilding the walls. So when he says, “The joy of the Lord is your strength,” he could genuinely attest to this truth for he had just lived it out.

Are you living out this truth? Is God your joy? Is He your strength? May your joy and strength be found in Him today!

BOOK UPDATE: 
Can you believe how close it is until the release date for First Breath of Morning?
 

First Breath of Morning – Where God Waits For You Every Day – A 90 Day Devotional is multi-themed in six chapters that portray a beautiful picture of our walk with God through drawing near, growing our relationship, leaning into His love, strengthening our faith, trusting Him through every circumstance, and exalting Him in worship. First Breath of Morning is an Invitation to the relationship God wants to have with us every day and it starts in the first breath of each new morning where He is already waiting for you.
Published by Elk Lake Publishing and represented by Credo Communications.   

A great choice for small groups, prayer groups, book clubs, or staff, and a beautiful gift for any occasion.

Available October 1st

September 10, 2018

How Are You Living?

As a born again believer who has placed your faith in Jesus Christ, how are you living? There is living that merely coasts, and then there is living for God. When we genuinely live for God, we fully experience His living inside of us.

When we live fully for God, we are wholly trusting and wholly following after Him, surrendering our life to Him, the One who holds the plan for our lives in His perfect hands.

Living for God means we don’t make important decisions without asking for His wisdom and peace to guide us as opposed to making all decisions on our own.

Living for God means we live a holy walk. This means our behavior matters and our standards and convictions matter because they are based on God’s Word.

1 Peter 1:15-16
But as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.”

Living for God means we desire to be a vessel of honor. A vessel of honor is a life God’s presence shines through and shines His light and purpose in a dark world.

2 Timothy 2:19-21  
Nevertheless the solid foundation of God stands, having this seal: “The Lord knows those who are His,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity.” But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay, some for honor and some for dishonor. Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from the latter, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work.

This world is a world in which the Christian believer is a stranger because our ultimate home is in heaven. But God placed us here to be a light, and to live our lives for Him and to see Him glorified through us, drawing the world to Jesus Christ, His Son. We are to be in the world and not of it, but until we live our life fully for Him, the world will have a strong pull on our day to day life. I want the strong pull on my life to be the influence of the Holy Spirit equipping me to live my life for God.

What it comes down to and how I want to live my life is simple, I want to live a life that shines Jesus Christ.

Matthew 5:14-16
“You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven."