Monthly Archives: May 2018

Don’t you give up!

We must trust that God’s Plan for us is being worked out even if we don’t understand and even if it is difficult. For we know His Plans are to prosper us and not to harm us, to give us hope and a future. See Jeremiah 29:11.

If you are in a place of turmoil – a place where you do not understand His plan – then ask God for His Word to fill your being, for His Spirit to comfort your emotions, and for a song in your heart to help your thoughts from turning negative.

Natalie Grant sings of this in her song, More than Anything:

I know if You wanted to You could wave Your hand
Spare me this heartache, and change Your plan
And I know any second You could take my pain away
But even if You don’t, I pray

Help me want the Healer
More than the healing
Help me want the Savior
More than the saving
Help me want the Giver
More than the giving
Oh help me want You Jesus
More than anything

You know more than anyone that my flesh is weak
And You know I’d give anything for a remedy
And I’ll ask a thousand more times to set me free today
Oh but even if You don’t, I pray

When we focus on Jesus, instead of what we can get from Him, we are able to walk in God’s Plan even when it is difficult and we don’t understand. Why? – Because we have Resurrection Power living on the inside of us through Jesus’ gift of the Holy Spirit.

Chris Tomlin sings of the mighty power of the Holy Spirit in the song entitled Resurrection Power:

You called me from the grave by name
You called me out of all my shame
I see the old has passed away
The new has come

Now I have resurrection power
Living on the inside
Jesus, You have given us freedom
No longer bound by sin and darkness
Living in the light of Your goodness
You have given us freedom

I’m dressed in Your royalty
Your holy spirit lives in me
I see my past has been redeemed
The new has come

Freedom
You have given us freedom
You have given us freedom
My chains are gone

When we grasp the freedom given to us by Christ through the Holy Spirit, we can live expectantly – looking for His Miracles – each and every day – knowing that through our faith and trust, His plans will prevail.

So don’t you give up! Expect that in each and every day, God’s miraculous power is at work through the Holy Spirit for our good. Expect a miracle. Look for them. Do not give up. Do not worry – worry means you are not trusting in Him and the resurrection power living on the inside of you.

Unspoken reminds us to never give up in their song Miracle:

Have you stopped reaching
No longer seeking greater things
Have you forgotten
You have a Father listening

He tells the sun when to rise
Gives the wind it’s breath
Swings a door wide open and
Moves in the moment you least expect

Don’t you give up on a miracle
You’ve got to speak to the impossible
You gotta
Pray till your breakthrough breaks through the ceiling
Keep on believing
Don’t you give up
Don’t you give up
On a miracle

How many chances
How many answers
Pass us by
You know it takes faith
To step on the waves
When you’re terrified
When you’re backed in a corner
And you can’t wait any longer

Don’t you give up on a miracle
You’ve got to speak to the impossible
You gotta
Pray till your breakthrough breaks through the ceiling
Keep on believing
Don’t you give up
Don’t you give up
On a miracle

Feels like the prayers and the words you have spoken
They go unnoticed
Like drops in the ocean
Just beyond the veil of your vision
You’re mountains are moving, moving on
Remember the works his hands have done
Where you once were and how far you’ve come

Don’t you give up on a miracle
You’ve got to speak to the impossible
You gotta
Pray till your breakthrough breaks through the ceiling
Keep on believing
Don’t you give up
Don’t you give up
On a miracle

So in this day, focus on making each moment Holy. . . Remember eternity meets us in this moment.

Life Lines

As she careened down the flooded creek in a canoe, she began to wonder about her decision to join her friends in what appeared now to be a foolish adventure. It was March and it had rained for days. The water was cold – very cold. Wasn’t this the type of situation that her parents had warned her about? Had she assessed the risks correctly? Was she properly prepared for this?

She heard a yell followed by a splash. Turning, she saw two friends in the water. Her boyfriend said, “They will be alright. We’ll pull off.” But, she couldn’t leave them and pleaded with him to turn around and help.

As they maneuvered their canoe towards their friends, they were sucked up against some trees. She leaned trying to stay upright as her boyfriend yelled, “Don’t lean!!” It was too late. Water started filling the canoe. Her boyfriend yelled, “Get out!!!”   She did. She whirled downstream until her feet hit solid ground. Thankful, she stood in the middle of the raging creek, life vest on, calm and satisfied that she was safe.

Her boyfriend had made it to the side of the creek and started yelling at her to swim. She simply replied, “No”.   Others joined him directing her to swim, but why would she. She was safe – she felt secure. Her mind was not registering that she was freezing or that water raged around her shoulders. She did not think about the trees and debris that were shooting down the river towards her. She just knew that she was very safe with two feet on solid ground.

They all continued to yell but she heard none of it – it seemed serene where she was and very quiet. But something caught her attention. Her boyfriend was staring at her. Their eyes locked. She noticed that he had never looked at her that way – what was it? Love? Genuine concern?

She wondered why. She opened her ears to hear what he was saying. He was pleading with her – “You have to get out of the water; you are going to freeze.” He started into the water and it was as if his soul reached out to her and in that split second she believed that she should do what he told her because she believed in him – not in what he was telling her to do – but in him. Why would he look at her that way and encourage her to do something that would hurt her? Why would he not want her to be ok? Why would he come back into the raging water towards her if everything was alright?

She launched herself into the raging waters again, swimming across the rapids. She was panicking – why had she listened to him. She was safe in the middle where her feet could touch. She should have stayed. She would have been safe there. But now that she was in the water she had to swim and swim hard.

As she was dragged up from the waters, she heard his voice, taking charge of her, telling her to get up and walk. She did not want to walk. She just swam through a raging creek. She was exhausted. She just wanted to sit. What was he yelling at her about when she just did what he told her to do!! Didn’t she deserve to just rest – but he was pulling her up, practically dragging her towards the road. The others were going too – quickly as if they were late for something.

She allowed herself to be led along the side of the creek, but her strength started to slip away. Her boyfriend was practically carrying her. She was cold – very, very cold. Her mind was not working as it should – she had just come through a near tragedy and she was not able to focus. Things seemed to be happening in slow motion. From her daze, she saw them knocking on someone’s door. They were welcomed into warmth and the hospitality of new friends.

Reflection

This is a life moment – one that happens every moment of every day somewhere in this world. A moment when a person helps someone else through a sheer desire to save them. A moment born out of love for someone else who is in a terrible situation. A moment when a life line is thrown and when someone realizes they need help or when the life line is accepted even if the person does not believe they need help. It is a moment when a person in trouble takes a step towards freedom because they believe someone else has the answer. It is a moment when belief is born not out of a person’s own knowledge but because that person is confident in someone else’s knowledge.

The following Scripture is a challenge to all of us. Where are you in God’s story?

Scripture – John 14:5-14 Jesus the Way to the Father

Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”

Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.”

Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?

Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work.  

Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves.  

Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.  And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.  You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.

Challenge

Do we believe in Jesus because he is living in us or do we believe because someone we trust believes?

Are we in the middle of a raging creek unable to hear the people shouting from the bank? Are we under a delusion that we are safe in the middle of the raging waters because it is easier to continue in our perceived safety than cross the raging waters to freedom? Have we focused in on someone who has earned our trust and asked Jesus to open our ears to hear? Do we believe because the evidence of Jesus is exhibited in the person we trust?

Are we a life line for someone to begin to believe? If we are a life line, have we taken the additional steps to bring our friend into safety? Have we stood on the bank and called to them? Have we stepped into the raging waters and held out our hand? Have we brought them into the warmth, clothing them in love and feeding them with the knowledge of Jesus so that they too can become life lines for others?

 

Resurrection Power

I can do all this through him who gives me strength. Phillipians 4:10

 

Reflection

 

Do you know what power you have through the Holy Spirit who was sent to us by Jesus Christ? Do you grasp the enormity of this Truth?  The verses that follow verse 10 give us the answers but the answer is worked out differently in each of us.

 

Scripture

I rejoiced greatly in the Lord that at last you renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you were concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it.  I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.  I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.  I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

Phillipians 4:10-13 NIV

 

Or The Message translates it this way:

 

I’m glad in God, far happier than you would ever guess—happy that you’re again showing such strong concern for me. Not that you ever quit praying and thinking about me. You just had no chance to show it. Actually, I don’t have a sense of needing anything personally. I’ve learned by now to be quite content whatever my circumstances. I’m just as happy with little as with much, with much as with little. I’ve found the recipe for being happy whether full or hungry, hands full or hands empty. Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am. I don’t mean that your help didn’t mean a lot to me—it did. It was a beautiful thing that you came alongside me in my troubles.

 

Challenge

 

How The Spirit works the power of Christ out in each of us is miraculous and beautiful. Think about how this occurs in your life. Write your Resurrection Power list knowing that each day God will add to it. What follows is a generalized beginning list. Make yours to include the situations and circumstances that have transformed or are transforming you.

 

Resurrection Power is believing today that we became and are a new creation in Christ when we first believed that He is the Son of God.

 

Resurrection Power is believing that we can do all things through Christ who set us free from our past.

 

Resurrection Power is focusing on today (tomorrow has enough worries of its own) and acting upon what God has promised us in this day.

 

Resurrection Power is being content in our circumstance of today because we believe God is moving us past it or through it or around it or over it.

 

Resurrection Power is being content knowing that no matter what the circumstance I have all in need in Jesus.

 

Resurrection Power is the certainty of impossibility.

 

Resurrection Power is unconditional love at its finest.

 

Resurrection Power is the belief that the Holy Spirit is working is us today.

 

Resurrection Power is the joy of the mundane.

 

Resurrection Power is trusting that God has healed our soul wounds.

 

Resurrection Power is confidence that Jesus is alive in us in each and every moment.

 

Resurrection Power is the confidence that the Holy Spirit is moving through the unexpected “feeling” of deep confidence in a decision or a “catch in our Spirit” which makes us pause before acting.

 

 

Weathering the Storms

Reflection:

We anticipate a hard day filled with many activities, work decisions, deadlines or interactions with people that sap our strength. We run quickly into the fray – never stopping to breath or assess our state of being – no time to think about God let alone seek His counsel or be thankful for His Blessings.  And yet, we yearn for His wisdom. We ask for it in our off-handed way. When we arrive home after our event filled day, we are too tired to do anything but finish our day with our favorite “zone out” activity – you know what yours is – watching television, withdrawing into social media, computer surfing or gaming, shopping, excessive drinking, exercising, reading – escaping because you “deserve” it after the hard day you’ve put in! We fall asleep exhausted having taken no time to be still with God.

What just happened to your day? Where was God in it? How are we to gain wisdom from the storms and happenings of our day if we don’t take time to assess what just happened! God is providing us with Truth if only we will take time to sit, be still, and commune with our Creator and the One sent to redeem us.

Scripture – Jesus Calms the Storm – Mark 4:35-41

That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.” Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him.  A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped.  Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?”

He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.

He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”

They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!”

Challenge:

Faith is gained by exercising it. Exercising faith means relying on the Truth. Relying on the Truth means trusting the One from whom the Truth comes. Trust overcomes fear. In order to overcome fear and trust Jesus, we need to spend time with Him.

What storm are you in the midst of that needs to be “Quiet! Be still!”?

What fear do you need to set aside in favor of faith?

Will you claim the “Resurrection Power” that is in you through the Holy Spirit, to speak to your current storm?

What one thing can you give up in order to spend daily time with Jesus?

Return -Refocus - Rebuild - Remember

Connect With Us 

NEKODA UNLIMITED
PO BOX 97 New Bloomfield PA 17068