Friday Matters- December 30, 2022
Everyday Strong Will
I have a strong will. I’m sure someone listening right now can totally relate to the fact that while our spirits may be strong and willing our flesh fails us time and time again. Jesus tells us we do not "watch and pray". The flesh does not conquer the spirit. The flesh is weak - as Jesus said - and the flesh is a stumbling block to our spirit. I want to go to church on Sunday mornings but I’m tired, so my flesh gets its way and later I have regrets. I have to pray and set my mind and will the night before to get up in the morning.
My prayer is often this simple, “God You’re stronger and You live in me. Help. Amen.” Sharing areas of weaknesses, with someone, also helps for accountability and strength too. You can overcome with Christ. Jesus is there. He’s never mad at you and when you do fall, He will help you get back up. He loves you and He’ll never give up on you. Don’t give up on yourself…everyday.
Thursday Matters- December 29, 2022
Everyday Bumper Stickers
A guy and his car are standing at the pearly gates. The car is covered with Christian bumper stickers. The guy is trying to talk his way into heaven, but Peter won't budge. The guy says, "But look at my car!" Peter finally compromises and says, "OK, your car can come in..."
Much of the time people don't realize what forgiveness truly means in their lives. They really believe the sin that separates them from God in the first place, is worth it. And sometimes they look at forgiveness as a license to keep on living in the flesh while expecting God to jump through hoops they’ve set up. When we have a relationship with God, we get the Holy Spirit living in us and THAT is what keeps us from staying comfortable in our sins. You look at Paul talking to the Romans, and he says, “I sometimes fall and do what I don’t want but with Jesus I don’t have to stay down.” We can walk and drive in freedom when we let God’s forgiveness change us…everyday.
Wednesday Matters- December 28, 2022
Everyday Roll Up Problems
My friend Tami was really struggling so twice a week I’d send her a scripture was helping me to persevere. Proverbs 16:3 was one that was impacting, "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 her 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.
Tuesday Matters- December 27, 2022
Everyday Your 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.
Monday Matters-December 26, 2022
Everyday Through Storms
“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.
Friday Matters- December 23, 2022
Everyday Ask God
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, and his men where they plan on going. 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.
Thursday Matters- December 22, 2022
Everyday Have Mercy
“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. Dan forgave me 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 grace to us each day so how can we afford to withhold grace from others …everyday?!
Wednesday Matters- December 21, 2022
Everyday Emotion Sick
Ya know, how sometimes you get physically sick, like the flu and it's not because you're not reading the Bible enough or doing enough acts of service, you just get sick. Well sometimes you get emotionally sick and it’s not because you’re a “bad Christian.” There can be all kinds of factors that play into all kindness of sicknesses like lack of sleep, an infection, a damaged relationship and sometimes we need medication to get well. It’s okay.
Remember that no matter what emotional or physical state you’re in, God loves you as you are. We’ll go through challenging seasons where it doesn't make sense but it’s in the hard places where we grow. God tells us in 2 Corinthians 12:9, “that His strength is perfected in our weakness. “Sometimes the hardest thing to do is just let go and let God take care of us or by asking someone for help or taking medication. He works in many different ways and through many different people. In every place and time, He wants you to know how much He loves and values you…everyday.
Tuesday Matters- December 20, 2022
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-December 19, 2022
Everyday God’s Love
The earth experience is hard but it’s not our home. And while we are here in hard places let’s be honesty and real with one another.
It’s only by admitting our weakness and humbly changing direction toward God that we are repaired by God’s generous love. In His holiness He must punish sin because sin separates us from God but in His love He cannot punish us. Christ proclaims our infinite worth and His eternal love for us aside from any human standard, even our own. Remember Romans 8:1, “There is therefore now no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus.” Our temporary imperfection is a quality which actually connects us to others rather than a secret shame which sets us apart. Becoming transparent and vulnerable will set you free and change you as well as other lives around you…everyday.