Friday Matters-January 15, 2021
Everyday God Comes Through
“I honestly don’t think I can make it through another day. I just don’t.” Ever feel like that? So, the storm in your life is of hurricane proportions because maybe its finances, or failed marriage. You FEEL overwhelmed, like you might drown. Perhaps you have a burning pain in your heart because your child is addicted to drugs or maybe it’s an aging parent who can’t remember who you are. You may FEEL consumed by these fiery trials. Your feelings are valid. BUT the truth is you'll come through. He sees. He knows. He cares.
He speaks a promise from Isaiah 43:2, "When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you." And perhaps what you’re going through is not about breaking you but about the breakthrough you’ve been waiting for. God often uses bad things for a later good…everyday.
Thursday Matters- January 14, 2021
Everyday What is God doing?
I imagine when the future King David is dodging Saul, who’s hot on his trail to destroy him; he’s just like, “Really, can I just get a break here God?” God is on David’s side and no longer on Saul’s because Saul has walked away from God. David gets wind of Saul’s plans to kill him, his men and others in a town if David plans on going there. And I’m thinking as I read the story in 1 Samuel that David can certainly go to the town and then ask God for protection. BUT instead, David FIRST prays and asks God; “Will Saul destroy the town and will the people hand me over to Saul?” The Lord simply replies; “He will and they will,” so David goes back into hiding.
I was really struck by this thinking how often I do the opposite. I decide on my plans and then ask God to bless me rather than asking for God’s direction first. Wisdom is going to God first because He always knows the best plan…everyday.
Wednesday Matters- January 13, 2021
“Dan, c’mon, please pay the bill. My allowance won’t cover it.” I was at my husband’s office asking for grace as I handed him the bill from spending too much at J. Crew Catalog. Whew…he forgave and paid the bill. I was relieved. But when I went home, I discovered that a stick of butter, my special cake plate and a container of frosting was missing. I knew my nephew had baked a cake while I was away so I called and scolded him for not replacing my supplies.
When I hung up the phone, I realized I was acting like the ungrateful servant in Matthew 18. A king was about to punish this servant for a debt of millions but instead had pity and forgave. But was this servant grateful? No, he instantly found his friend who owed him a few thousand and when instant payment wasn’t given, he had the man thrown in prison. Okay, so I got the memo. God gives fresh mercy to us each day so how can we afford to withhold mercy from others who need it too…everyday.
Tuesday Matters- January 12, 2021
Everyday Real Life
In one simple month all of life seemed to fall apart. Brandon had lost his job; the family’s golden retriever had died and Brandon’s wife was back at the clinic again to try new antibiotics to combat her bronchitis. God, where are you? If He loves us won’t He take the pain away or at least some of it? Remember God is always with us and He isn’t surprised by what’s happening. Everything must pass through His hands first. Sometimes a tragedy is where we meet God for the first time. We must lose religion, where it’s all about rules and proving ourselves, and instead rest in a personal relationship with God who knows exactly what we’re going through and how to take care us.
Jesus working through us and not focusing on our own works or man’s laws is what’s important. God always loves us. He will not fail us. Grasp hold of His grace and mercy with both hands to find hope…everyday.
Monday Matters-January 11, 2021
Everyday My Heart
Take comfort in knowing only God knows your heart yet I know it stings when someone judges you harshly because they can’t see your heart. The human heart is arrogant, and often cares for itself above all, prone to judge others, prone to make demands of others. The heart is also needy and incomplete with holes that can only be repaired by God’s perfect love.
Where’s the healing for it all? Jesus. He is it, His Word which is both justice and mercy. First, we must deeply understand and truly own our brokenness. 1 John 1:8 people, “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” The Bible doesn’t call us to judge others but it calls us to always be mindful and humbly recognize our own weakness. Whatever righteousness we possess was given to us by the victory of Christ’s death and resurrection. God is grieved when we use the Bible on others as a weapon. Humility. Ask God to give you the grace to love others as He does…everyday.
Friday Matters-January 8, 2021
Everyday Bless You
Jan wrote; “I try to be compassionate and kind with a sense of humor but today I was feeling small-minded, hurt and mean spirited. Jan had commented on my Facebook post about loving others, “When people are less than kind it’s then that I have a hard time 'loving' them.... mostly at work. The office can bring out the worst in people…including me.” Oh, my goodness, I get it. SOOO when someone hurts me I try and pretend their “nasty” aimed at me was only a sneeze and I respond (mostly under my breath) with “Bless you!” and guess what? It works!
God tells us in Luke 6:28 to bless those who curse us. Because if Satan works through a person to hurt us and we end up hating that person back because we’re hurt than the enemy’s job has been accomplished two times over. But if we respond to another’s curse with a blessing then we’ve gotten Satan back and he’ll wish he never laid a finger on us. God bless you…everyday.
Thursday Matters- January 7, 2021
Everyday Real Self
I’m pretty sure we’ve all done this; “I’m good. I’ve got this under control,” and performed to some degree. I read that the pursuit of truth is not about us making a moral resolution to avoid petty lying and to stop deceiving others; it’s the decision to stop deceiving ourselves. Rather than admit my own issues I find it easier to find fault with others and compare myself with them. To a certain degree we’ve all tried to cover, avoid, or perform as if there is nothing wrong and we’re certainly not as bad as that other person.
Self-deception is the enemy of wholeness because it prevents us from seeing ourselves as we really are. Ask God to show you what you need to see about your real self. He will show you lovingly and give you His grace and strength to face your issues and walk forward in wholeness so you can love yourself. It’s that kind of self-acceptance and coming to terms with our real personalities which helps us to love others authentically too…everyday.
Wednesday Matters- January 6, 2021
Everyday Jesus is Lord
Okay so you’re talking to a person who says they know and love Jesus. Great. But the more you talk the more you realize that you’re kinda saying the same thing but you’re not. I love to talk about the love of Jesus but also about His holiness too. And now I realize that not everyone who agrees Jesus is love understands that He is holy.
I’m on the same page as pastor and theologian Warren Wiersbe. “False teachers deny the inspiration of the Bible, the sinfulness of man, the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ on the cross, salvation by faith alone, and even the reality of eternal judgment. They deny the deity of Jesus Christ, for they know that if they do away with His deity, they can ignore the entire body of Christian truth. Christianity is Christ, and if He is not who He claims to be, there is no Christian faith.” Christ is our Savior and only through faith in Him can we have eternal life…everyday.
Tuesday Matters- January 5, 2021
Everyday Free to Choose
It all comes down to free will. We have a choice to choose good and evil actions. I have made bad choices whether it was telling a lie or stealing but I have also had the same bad happen to me, someone lying and stealing from me.
C.S. Lewis said, “If a thing is free to be good it is also free to be bad. And free will is what has made evil possible. Why, then, did God give them free will? Because free will, though it makes evil possible, is also the only thing that makes possible any love or goodness or joy worth having.” I have to really stop and think about that but it’s true. It’s the freedom of choice that makes love real. Being forced to love God is not real love at all. It goes back to the basics of what being a Christian is. Accept God’s love, His grace and HIS work on the cross. It’s not about our good works. When we understand His grace, we can really start loving others freely…everyday.
Monday Matters-January 4, 2021
Everyday Roll-it Up
My nephew playing D1 hockey and enrolled in a tough Ivy League School need encouragement. So, each week I’d encourage him with scripture and help with how to apply and persevere. Proverbs Week was good like with Proverbs 16:3; "Roll up your works upon the Lord, commit and trust them wholly to Him; and He will cause your thoughts to become agreeable to His will, and so shall your plans be established and succeed." Here's what I told him I pictured with the verse.
I lay a sleeping bag out on the floor and I put all the things that are weighing me, frustrating me, and making me anxious or depressed. I lay down my issues and then I roll up the sleeping and put it on the shoulders of Jesus. And as I really do this, I mean really surrender, He begins to put in my heart & head the purpose and the plan He has for me. He gives me grace and strength to "let go" so that my thoughts become agreeable to His will. God’s way works as long as I let Him in…everyday.