Friday Matters-March 5, 2021
Everyday Choose to Forgive
When someone we’ve been hurt by apologies, it is a gift to ourselves, to assume the person is truly sorry and forgive them. When this takes place reconciliation can begin. There are always exceptions not to reconcile, such as the person who apologies continues in wrongful behavior but more often the apology isn’t accepted because the one offended doesn’t trust the person, they want evidence of change and they want the person to be hurt back.
God is bigger than the person who hurt us. Romans 12:19 tell us that it’s God’s place to avenge us. God doesn’t forgive us and say; “I can’t be close to you anymore.” God forgives unconditionally and He chooses not to remember our sin. If we don’t forgive as Christ did, we begin to sinfully judge, become bitter and reject the person. When this attitude is present, our judging has crossed the line and we’re playing God. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, we can choose to forgive just as He does…everyday.
Thursday Matters- March 4, 2021
Everyday Let the Lord Speak
I saw a post on Facebook that made me think about those who call themselves Christians but don’t act like it. Maybe you’ll relate too: The other day, I was hangin' with a friend who calls herself a Christian, but doesn't always act like one. Some days she's on fire for the Lord and some days life's struggles seem to get the best of her. So, as our eyes met, I really wanted to say something to her. But then, I decided to just let the Lord speak. Nothing I could say could have the impact that He could when speaking to her heart. So, I prayed with her and after some time, I winked... and walked away from the mirror.
Isn’t it often true that the one we think that should hear, this great verse or teaching from God, is a family member or a friend we have in mind? But seriously, in actuality it’s our very own selves that need to hear “the teaching? Oh, to believe in Psalm 86:15, “But You, my Lord, are a God of compassion and mercy; You are very patient and full of faithful love,” everyday.
Wednesday Matters- March 3, 2021
Everyday Invisible Shepherd
My friend Pastor Dave has gone to be with Jesus. But when his cancer returned, he told me how he felt a precious sense of the Lord’s presence.
He shared from the book he was reading, “While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks” by Dr. Timothy Laniak who reminds us that many of us have experienced the desperate isolation and cold darkness that Job describes in his memoir. Dr. Laniak and his wife had seasons in their life without the light of understanding or any sense of God's presence which tested their faith in an invisible Shepherd. For several years when their children were young and faced with disabilities and a shift in their life's direction, they entered tsalmavet [deadly darkness]. The light they longed for did not dawn as they expected. But slowly they did reemerge from the valley humbled and sobered because of John 1:5; “The Light shines through the darkness and the darkness can never extinguish it” …everyday.
Tuesday Matters- March 2, 2021
I had a season of depression and anxiety that I walked in for three months and it was such living hell that I actually had thoughts of, “Maybe it would be better if I wasn’t around.” But God brought me through this time and now I can honestly say I’m thankful for that season of darkness. It’s like the words I read by Dr. Timothy Laniak, “This journey through the shadows purges the soul of its pride and earthly attachment. Our challenge in dry and dark times is to respond in simple faith--to believe that the unseen Divine Shepherd is with us in our unlit valley. We grope in hope until rays of light begin to push the night away. Eventually, as Job confessed, 'He reveals mysteries from the darkness, and brings us into the light.’" Job 12:22
Having emerged from the dark valley I now have a more balanced response to the mountain tops. And I’m ready for more valleys, should the come because Jesus will never leave me…everyday.
Monday Matters-March 1, 2021
What does mean to be righteous? Well, it means we are in right standing with God and that means we know who we are in Him…. loved, redeemed, not a mistake. Greater self-effort and determination will never liberate you. Shifting your focus will. This means letting God lead you and not your flesh.
Again, in the Bible, Ephesians 5, tells us not to be drunk with wine but instead to be drunk with the Holy Spirit. When a person is drunk on alcohol, they feel, think and act differently. I’ve been there, done that. But the exact same is true when we are filled with the Holy Spirit, we feel think and act differently. The Christian life is not the result of trying to act like a Christian; that’s only frustrating. The secret is developing our relationship with God empowered by the Holy Spirit. As God's Spirit fills us, we better understand who God really is. Our lives are changed from the inside out and good behavior is the end product…everyday.
Friday Matters-February 26, 2021
Everyday Feelings of ALIVE
It’s so important to remember; feelings are indicators, but don’t let them be dictators. Get it? Feelings are valid and they indicate good and bad things happening in our lives but we shouldn’t let them lead us, especially when we feel afraid.
I read this post on Instagram which said; “And then I realized that to be more alive I had to be less afraid so I did it, I lost my fear and gained my whole life.” We may feel fear but the way to lose “it” is to go forward in courage despite what we feel which I know is insanely difficult but always worth it. The only way we can do that and leave our fears behind is by leaning into the grace and hope God gives us. Think about what God says in Deuteronomy 31:6, “Be strong and courageous.” Don’t give up because of feelings. Don’t let fear immobilize you because God will be the one who keeps on walking with you and He won’t abandon you EVER…everyday.
Thursday Matters- February 25, 2021
Everyday Jesus Did It
How do you know when you’ve given enough to get to God? You don’t. Yet many people believe that there are many roads to God and that true spirituality is just to love your neighbor and help the poor. What about the people that have been taught to hate? Are the poor just virtuous? That sounds right, but it is not what Jesus said.
Jesus said you cannot earn salvation by taking the executioner's cross yourself. We instinctively know this. If a soldier drapes his body over a grenade to save his friends, we recognize it as a sacrifice. Something we honor, but not something we can pay him back for. In fact, to suggest we could pay Him back is an insult to His sacrifice. The same is true with Jesus. He loves us for who we are and not for what we do. The good things we do, like soup kitchens for the poor, are out of our love for Him but no matter what He loves right where we’re at by His grace…everyday.
Wednesday Matters- February 24, 2021
Everyday Prayers Working
Something happens when we pray that doesn’t happen when we don’t. Let me say that again, “Something happens when we pray that doesn’t happen when we don’t.” BUT if we don’t feel or see an answer to what we were asking for then we may start to think that God isn’t listening. BUT He always hears. Sometimes the answer is “no” and sometimes the answer is “yes.” I think the hardest reply is to hear, “wait.”
“I don’t get it. It’s not fair and God I’m starting to wonder if You care or even exist.” We all may have had those thoughts at one time or another but don’t give up. God is always on the move. He’s on “it” whatever “it” may be. Psalm 27:13 I know, “I would’ve despaired unless I’d believed that I’d see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.” There is goodness while on earth even though it’s not our final destination. Waiting is hard but with God it’s worth it…everyday.
Tuesday Matters- February 23, 2021
Everyday God is Bigger
God is bigger. We may know this in our heart but it’s acting it out like we believe it that makes the difference. One of the hardest things to do is to forgive someone who isn’t’ sorry for what they’ve done cuz “it’s so not fair!” And because it’s not fair we want them to know how wrong they are. What does God want? Go to 1 Peter 3:9 and read; “Don’t repay evil for evil. Don’t retaliate. Instead, pay them back with a blessing. That’s what God asks and He’ll bless you for it.”
Do you think God tells us to be good to those who’ve hurt us just because He wants to watch us suffer? No. The enemy works through people to hurt us and if we end up hating that person because they’ve hurt us then Satan’s job has been accomplished two times over. But if we respond with love then we’ve gotten Satan back and he’ll wish he never laid a finger on our lives…everyday.
Monday Matters-February 22, 2021
Everyday His Home in Us
Life is hard. The earth experience is hard. It is not our home. Hard stuff for us all is stuff like forgiving those who never apologize or a health report that is terminal. Yet we can live free because the moment we receive Christ we are filled with the Holy Spirit with the potential to live a life of victory over fear, and struggles like forgiving others. This potential is released by faith as we surrender control of over our lives. Look at 2 Timothy 1:14…. the Holy Spirit makes His home in us and will lead by peace and wisdom as He speaks to our hearts.
In the Old Testament (in Ezekiel), God’s promised the day would come when He would give people a new heart and put His Sprit within them. Under the old covenant, the Holy Spirit only came upon people for special purposes, but He did not live inside them as He does when we know Him personally. Amazing. I’m in for His control in my life, are you…everyday?