Thursday Matters- April 8, 2021
Everyday Love Enemies
God will never stop pursing you no matter how far we run and no matter what you do or don’t do. His heart breaks when we choose to do things that hurt ourselves or others. That is why He commands us in Matthew 5:44 to; “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”
What? How does that make sense? Well, God created us in His image and we are His children whom He loves so just because someone is your enemy doesn’t mean they’re God’s. They’re His lost child, and He wants them back. Yes, there are circumstances where we’re called to face the bully, the tyrant and say; “No more,” and fight back. But not out of revenge. God is not willing that any be condemned, but that all come to repentance. His great love says; “Confess to me your sins, turn back to Me. Nothing can separate My love from you.” This earth is temporary and heaven is forever. Choose Love, receive love and follow Him…everyday.
Thursday Matters- April 1, 2021
Everyday Keep On
Often our prayers are ones where we cry about all that is wrong and we list what needs fixing. Just so you know, it’s more than OK to do this. God cares about our pain and all that happens to us. But sometimes we stop praying and give up on God because He didn’t answer the prayer like we thought – our sick friend got sicker and the marriage we prayed would stay together ended in divorce. That’s hard.
I’m sorry if that’s been the outcome for you in a prayer, but please remember this; GOD WILL NEVER GIVE UP ON YOU. Nothing you do or don’t will cause Him to withdraw His love and nothing is too small or too big for Him to take care of. He loves us personally. There is something redeemable in your mess and pain right now and if you can manage to get up and serve someone else who’s having a hard time, you’ll find hope. We all need a cup of it…everyday.
Thursday Matters- March 25, 2021
Everyday Love It
I love Jesus. I would also say that I love ice cream. But did you know that 75 years ago people didn’t say they loved ice cream but instead they’d say they liked it? The word love was so special that it was only used to describe something that was worthy of loving...like another person or God! I mean really, how do we find words anymore to even begin to convey how great and awesome God really is? It’s actually kinda sad that words, like love, which really can only apply to God, get trivialized.
But can I say, “I love the Psalms?” Nothing is more comforting than to read the Psalms aloud like Psalm 116:1; “I love the Lord, for He heard my voice; He heard my cry for mercy. God loves us so much, right where we’re at, not where we should be cuz we’ll never be where we should be. And there’s nothing trivial about that...everyday.
Thursday Matters- March 18, 2021
Everyday Airport Shopping
Walking around the airport waiting for my next flight I became anxious and just negative as I thought about the circumstances and people that were making my life unpleasant. I said some verses but didn’t apply them; all I could think about was the people and circumstances that were making me crazy. So, I started thanking God for what I did have, which is my relationship with HIM, and all the things He is in my life. Then I realized I love to shop.
What I mean is this; when I’m thinking “It’s all about me,” I’m a mess. But when I think about how much God loves me and how much I love people and sharing God’s love then peace sets in. I went shopping at the airport mall hoping I might connect with someone. I did. It was with Jolene the salesgirl where I bought a really cool scarf. I used my receipt to draw an illustration about Jesus being on the throne in the center in our lives because with Him we have peace and without Him we’re “toast.” It was amazing. God is real…. everyday.
Thursday Matters- March 11, 2021
Generally, I don’t think most Christians think of themselves as superior just because they’ve accepted Jesus into their lives. Religious people…well yea…there may be a superiority factor there. Let’s say; before someone becomes a Christian, they’re always eating but never really filling up, they’re always hungry. But one day they taste and see that the Lord is good and they realize they were actually starving (Psalm 34:8). But once Jesus is in their lives they’re completely filled up. So, I’d ask the unbeliever, “If you saw someone that was starving and you had at one time been hungry and starving yourself would you be superior to that person because you’re not starving anymore?”
A big problem lies in the fact that a lot of people think that Christianity is just another religion of judgment. But Jesus didn’t die on the cross so we could have a religion. He died and rose again so we could be saved and have a real and intimate relationship with Him, one that leaves us filled and satisfied…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.
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.
Thursday Matters- February 18, 2021
Everyday Word Power
Lazarus was dead; that was a fact but when Jesus who is the Truth walked up to the tomb and spoke; that truth changed the facts. Throughout the Gospels we repeatedly read of people who were sick and demon possessed who went to Jesus. When He spoke, their facts changed. They were healed, delivered, and set free. We must never magnify the facts of our circumstances above God and the power of His Word. When God speaks things change.
Read Isiah 55:11 and you see that God’s Word does not return to Him empty but always accomplish its purpose. When we learn to speak God’s Word instead of rehearsing how we feel or declaring what we think, we are also releasing God’s power. The Word God spoken in faith from a believer’s mouth can change circumstances. WE may experience negative facts in our lives, but God’s Word is truth, and truth is more powerful than facts. Honestly, it’s gonna help if you say the truth out loud, “I am loved, as I am, right now,” …everyday.
Thursday Matters- February 11, 2021
I don’t want to be like Rebekah who said to Isaac in Genesis 27:46; “What good will my life be to me if Jacob takes wives such as Esau did with these Hittite women (women who didn’t know the living God)?” Once my husband Dan began a relationship with Christ, he didn’t see the point in dating so he prayed very specifically to God for a wife. Three years after this prayer, God answered and Dan got me! Because God knew both our hearts, He matched us together perfectly. I know, without a doubt, that the prayers of my great grandfather and other family members played a significant part in bringing my husband Dan and I together.
When our four sons where young, before school I made it a practice to put my hand on each their heads and pray for their future wives. I wanted them to also have the assurance that God chose someone specifically for them to spend their lives with…everyday.
Thursday Matters- February 4, 2021
Do you know how exciting it is to finally realize that this life on earth is just a shadow of the life and adventure that is yet to come? In the book, The Last Battle, which is the final book in the Narnian Chronicles by C.S. Lewis, he paints a picture of heaven which makes me get why in 2 Corinthians 5; we should all be groaning and longing to be living in our heavenly dwelling.
On the last page of this final book it reads, “And for us this is the end of all the stories, and we can most truly say that they all lived happily ever after. But for them it was only the beginning of the real story. All their life in this world and all their adventures in Narnia had only been the cover and the title page: now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story, which no one on earth has read: which goes on forever: in which every chapter is better than the one before.” Oh my, sign me up for this…everyday!