Monthly Archives: March 2020
Since we are apart from each other, what are we talking about in our daily lives? Are we allowing our minds to run amuck? Are we blaming others for the state of the world? Are we complaining about our circumstances? Are we practicing our faith?
In the midst of uncertainty we are called to be certain in our belief of Jesus . . . and not only certain about our belief, but actually believe what He told us. Remember . . .
“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.a
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called sons of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets before you. Matthew 5:3-12 NIV
Or said another way:
“You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule.
“You’re blessed when you feel you’ve lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you.
“You’re blessed when you’re content with just who you are—no more, no less. That’s the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can’t be bought.
“You’re blessed when you’ve worked up a good appetite for God. He’s food and drink in the best meal you’ll ever eat.
“You’re blessed when you care. At the moment of being ‘care-full,’ you find yourselves cared for.
“You’re blessed when you get your inside world—your mind and heart—put right. Then you can see God in the outside world.
“You’re blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight. That’s when you discover who you really are, and your place in God’s family.
“You’re blessed when your commitment to God provokes persecution. The persecution drives you even deeper into God’s kingdom.
“Not only that—count yourselves blessed every time people put you down or throw you out or speak lies about you to discredit me. What it means is that the truth is too close for comfort and they are uncomfortable. You can be glad when that happens—give a cheer, even!—for though they don’t like it, I do! And all heaven applauds. And know that you are in good company. My prophets and witnesses have always gotten into this kind of trouble. Matthew 5:1-12 The MSG*
So instead of asking questions like “How are you surviving this isolation?” or commenting on what our government officials are doing wrong, why don’t we try asking each other “how is it with your soul?”
And then . . . be prepared to give love, hope, peace and joy in response . . . even if there is uncomfortable fallout . . . for you are, at that point, in the company of greatness.
Be Still and Know that I am God. Psalm 46:10 NIV
Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him. Psalm 37:7 NIV
Many times God calls us to rest before arising. Why? Because we can’t arise when we are not rested. Many of us do not take the time to rest – it’s just not in our schedule. But now . . . is a very good time to rest . . . and while resting refocus.
When I call, give me answers. God, take my side!
Once, in a tight place, you gave me room;
Now I’m in trouble again: grace me! hear me!
You rabble—how long do I put up with your scorn?
How long will you lust after lies?
How long will you live crazed by illusion?
Look at this: look
Who got picked by God!
He listens the split second I call to him. Psalm 4:1-3 MSG*
Are you listening? Really listening?
Complain if you must, but don’t lash out.
Keep your mouth shut, and let your heart do the talking.
Build your case before God and wait for his verdict.
Why is everyone hungry for more? “More, more,” they say.
I have God’s more-than-enough,
More joy in one ordinary day
Than they get in all their shopping sprees.
At day’s end I’m ready for sound sleep,
For you, God, have put my life back together. Psalm 4:4-8 MSG*
Remember . . . refocus on God . . . stop complaining . . . shut your mouth and let your heart do the talking. Be still. Wait patiently. Practice resting in the Lord. For soon, He will ask you to arise.
And remember . . . who should we look to for answers?
God and God alone.
A friend of mine recently shared with me a quote from a devotion she was reading. In essence the writer was asking – Do we believe “in God” or do we “believe God”?
The significance of this question cannot be more relevant than today. As we face this global challenge, we are called to fix our eyes upon Jesus – the same thing we were called to do yesterday and the day before that. Listen to what Jesus told his disciples. Then ask yourself “Do I believe GOD?”
12-15 “I still have many things to tell you, but you can’t handle them now. But when the Friend comes, the Spirit of the Truth, he will take you by the hand and guide you into all the truth there is. He won’t draw attention to himself, but will make sense out of what is about to happen and, indeed, out of all that I have done and said. He will honor me; he will take from me and deliver it to you. Everything the Father has is also mine. That is why I’ve said, ‘He takes from me and delivers to you.’
Do you believe God? Do you believe you are being guided by the Holy Spirit? Do you believe the Spirit is delivering to you directly from Jesus?
16 “In a day or so you’re not going to see me, but then in another day or so you will see me.”
17-18 That stirred up a hornet’s nest of questions among the disciples: “What’s he talking about: ‘In a day or so you’re not going to see me, but then in another day or so you will see me’? And, ‘Because I’m on my way to the Father’? What is this ‘day or so’? We don’t know what he’s talking about.”
19-20 Jesus knew they were dying to ask him what he meant, so he said, “Are you trying to figure out among yourselves what I meant when I said, ‘In a day or so you’re not going to see me, but then in another day or so you will see me’? Then fix this firmly in your minds: You’re going to be in deep mourning while the godless world throws a party. You’ll be sad, very sad, but your sadness will develop into gladness.
21-23 “When a woman gives birth, she has a hard time, there’s no getting around it. But when the baby is born, there is joy in the birth. This new life in the world wipes out memory of the pain. The sadness you have right now is similar to that pain, but the coming joy is also similar. When I see you again, you’ll be full of joy, and it will be a joy no one can rob from you. You’ll no longer be so full of questions.
23-24 “This is what I want you to do: Ask the Father for whatever is in keeping with the things I’ve revealed to you. Ask in my name, according to my will, and he’ll most certainly give it to you. Your joy will be a river overflowing its banks!
Do you believe God? Then PRAY! You know what is in God’s Will! Pray that . . . and if you don’t know what is in His Will pray for Him to tell you! And believe that He will!
25-28 “I’ve used figures of speech in telling you these things. Soon I’ll drop the figures and tell you about the Father in plain language. Then you can make your requests directly to him in relation to this life I’ve revealed to you. I won’t continue making requests of the Father on your behalf. I won’t need to. Because you’ve gone out on a limb, committed yourselves to love and trust in me, believing I came directly from the Father, the Father loves you directly. First, I left the Father and arrived in the world; now I leave the world and travel to the Father.”
29-30 His disciples said, “Finally! You’re giving it to us straight, in plain talk—no more figures of speech. Now we know that you know everything—it all comes together in you. You won’t have to put up with our questions anymore. We’re convinced you came from God.”
31-33 Jesus answered them, “Do you finally believe? In fact, you’re about to make a run for it—saving your own skins and abandoning me. But I’m not abandoned. The Father is with me. I’ve told you all this so that trusting me, you will be unshakable and assured, deeply at peace. In this godless world you will continue to experience difficulties. But take heart! I’ve conquered the world.” John 16:12-33 The Message*
Do you believe God? Are you unshakeable and assured? Are you deeply at peace? Then share that today with others who need reassurance.
And remember . . . Take heart. God wins!
Sometimes it is good to return to the basics . . . to reset where you are . . . to take stock . . . to refocus so you can build anew . . . to remember whose you are, where you are going and what you are called to do.
Dear friend, guard Clear Thinking and Common Sense with your life;
don’t for a minute lose sight of them.
They’ll keep your soul alive and well,
they’ll keep you fit and attractive.
You’ll travel safely,
you’ll neither tire nor trip.
You’ll take afternoon naps without a worry,
you’ll enjoy a good night’s sleep.
No need to panic over alarms or surprises,
or predictions that doomsday’s just around the corner,
Reset your mind. It is a choice to turn your “thinking” away from disastrous temptations and towards God. If you are having trouble, turn to praise, ask (pray) for a song in your heart, listen to worship music, give thanks, count your blessings or focus on someone in need of help.
Because God will be right there with you;
he’ll keep you safe and sound.
Never walk away from someone who deserves help;
your hand is God’s hand for that person.
Don’t tell your neighbor “Maybe some other time”
or “Try me tomorrow”
when the money’s right there in your pocket.
Don’t figure ways of taking advantage of your neighbor
when he’s sitting there trusting and unsuspecting.
Don’t walk around with a chip on your shoulder,
always spoiling for a fight.
Don’t try to be like those who shoulder their way through life.
Why be a bully?
“Why not?” you say. Because God can’t stand twisted souls.
It’s the straightforward who get his respect.
God’s curse blights the house of the wicked,
but he blesses the home of the righteous.
He gives proud skeptics a cold shoulder,
but if you’re down on your luck, he’s right there to help.
Wise living gets rewarded with honor;
stupid living gets the booby prize. Proverbs 3:21-35 MSG*
Remember . . . today is a new day . . . a day to reset . . . a day to give thanks and praise . . . a day to set the past behind us . . . a day to restart . . . a day to remember that eternity meets us in this moment.