Monday, April 20, 2015

The heavens declare God's glory and majesty...
what am I doing today to declare His glory and majesty? 

Almost 3 years ago, my husband and I and six kids uprooted our life in the city and transplanted it into the country. Some looked at us and figured we were crazy, and there probably was a little truth to that if we want to be really honest! We looked at it as God's hand leading us to a "new country" and "new ministry." As I look back over the past 3 years and all God has done in our lives, I marvel at how much we have grown closer to Him and how our ministry for Him has grown. For our family, it was a huge step of faith to uproot and transplant in a "new country" but God has always been faithful to lead and guide and declare to us His faithfulness in leading us each step of the way.
Currently, I am involved with an online Bible study group and we are working through Lysa TerKeurst's book "What Happens When Women Walk in Faith." As I was reading and studying this morning, I was reminded once again that for a long time. I mistakenly believed that I had to be "perfect" in order to serve God effectively. I had to read my Bible for so long each day, memorize so many verses per week, keep up a spotless image for God, and the list goes on. Now are all those things bad things? Absolutely not! But do I have to "be perfect" in all of them for God to use me? NO! It took me a long time to realize that I don't have to be perfect and live perfect to serve a perfect God. In fact, He loves to use my imperfections and my willingness to share my imperfections to reach others who are seeking Him. Sometimes God has to show us that we have to leave the past in the past and move forward with Him. With Abraham, God asked him to leave behind all he knew and move forward with Him into a new country. Daniel was taken from all he grew up with and thrust into a life he probably wouldn't have chosen. Noah was asked to leave his every day life and move forward in faith and build an ark. In my reading this morning, I came across this statement by Lysa that hit my heart and warmed my insides and confirmed to me once again that God takes us though mountains and valleys to prepare us to do His work in His time. Her statement was this..."Blessed are the transparent, for they shall be used by God in a mighty way!"
What does it mean to be transparent? I looked up that word in the dictionary and found it to be so convicting! Transparent- having the property of transmitting rays of light through its substance so that bodies situated
 beyond or behind can be distinctly seen.
That is exactly what God desires us to be...transparent...letting HIS light transmit thru us,
so that those behind or ahead of us can distinctly see Him! He longs for us to be like His Son,
Jesus, and let His light shine in us. Will we be perfect? NO! Can we use our failures to still 
transmit His light? Absolutely! He is faithful and just to forgive our shortcomings and is still 
there to walk with us and help us learn, change, and grow!
Abraham, Noah, Daniel, you, me - none of us are perfect while living in this sin filled world. BUT just as these men shined for the Lord where He put them, so can we!
Walk with the King today....and Be a Blessing!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

"Therefore do not throw away your confidence
which has a great reward. 

For you have need of endurance
so that when you have done the will of God 
you may receive what is promised."
Hebrews 10:35-36

Confidence full trust; belief in the powers, trustworthiness, 
or reliability of a person or thing.

Endurance the ability or strength to continue or last,
especially despite fatigue, 
stress, or other adverse conditions; stamina.

Promised - something that has the effect of an express assurance. To assure (used in emphatic declarations).

Hebrews 10:35-36 are some verses that I have been pondering as I seek to deep my faith walk with God this week. I specifically underlined some words that we probably know in our mind what they mean but often I find, from my own experience, don't truly take to our hearts the full meaning of each word. 

I want to pull this verse apart this week and see how it can be personally applied to our daily walk with God.
The first part, "Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has great reward..." I remember a long time ago, my dad would say, "When you see the word 'therefore', you need to find out what it is 'there for'!" So, I took that advice and looked into the previous verses to find out what it was 'there for' and this is some of the observation I found. In verse 32, the write commands the reader to recall previous days of when you endured struggles and hardships and faced public exposure. He then reminds them that they had compassion on those who were in prison because of the gospel. He reminded them too that they held things on earth loosely knowing their where their true reward Heaven. Now that we have looked at previous verses, we need to see the command of the writer, "Therefore, DO NOT throw away your confidence, which has a great reward..." In my reading of these verses, here is what I see....Look at where you have been and what you have learned. Now look to today and its struggles and disappointments. DO NOT let today's struggles take away your confidence in who God says He is. Reminds me of the song, Count Your Many Blessings....GO AHEAD!!! Name them one by one...and it will surprise you what the Lord has done!
I purposely chose the picture at the top as it reminded me of the fact that even in life's storms of fear and doubt, God's light and direction and promise remain the same. The sun shining through the storm is like God shining through my life storm and your life storm. 
"Therefore, DO NOT throw away your confidence...." Satan the deceiver wants you to and will test you at every point to see whether or not you will obey this command....
 Confidence full trust; belief in the powers, 
trustworthiness, or reliability of person or thing. 
Put your confidence in God that He does hold your hand in whatever you face today!