“Never put a question mark, where God has put a period”
“My Friends, listen carefully,
“Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth”
“Before refrigerators, people used ice-houses to preserve their food. Ice-houses had thick walls, no windows, and a tightly fitted door. In winter, when streams and lakes were frozen, large blocks of ice were cut from the frozen waters, hauled to the ice-houses, and covered with sawdust. Often these ice-blocks would last well into the summer.
One man lost a valuable watch while working in an ice-house. He searched diligently for it, carefully raking through the sawdust, but didn’t find it. His fellow workers also looked, but their efforts, too, proved futile. A small boy who heard about the fruitless search slipped into the ice-house during the noon hour and soon emerged with the watch.
Amazed, the men asked him how he found it.
“I closed the door,” the boy replied, “lay down in the sawdust, and kept very still. Soon I heard the watch ticking.” (story taken from “Directions” by James Hamilton)
So often life can become so hectic that it becomes hard to find time to sit still and just listen to what the Lord is saying. But Jesus often secluded himself, so that He could commune intimately with His Father. In these days and in this hour it’s so imperative that we spend time in our own prayer closets, so we can clearly hear what our Father is saying to us, through His still small voice. If we do, we may find some wonderful and valuable things that others have missed.
My Friends, the question isn’t whether God will speak, but whether we will take the time to be quiet and still enough to hear His voice. Let’s be sure to take that time to hear what He’s saying to us!”- From Worthy Devotions
As many of you know, I signed up to receive the Worthy Devotions a number of years ago. There are no words that can adequetely convey how much they have meant in my life. I hope they will bring you inspiration and comfort as well. To sign up to receive Worthy Devotions, simply visit their website: Worthy Devotions
I think if we are honest, most of us will admit that there has been at least one time, or perhaps more, lol. But that’s ok.
Whether we already know Jesus or whether we are thinking about getting to know Jesus, if we want a real friendship that means being honest about how we feel and who we are. Because in real friendships, we share all of our feelings, not just the “good” ones.
So don’t wait to accept Jesus’ great gift until you are “ready”. And don’t wait until it’s the “right time”. just come as you are, and I promise you that Jesus will meet you there 🙂
From Worthy Devotions:
1 Corinthians 4:5 Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God.
“We came across this powerful story and wanted to share it with you.
There was a man who had four sons. He wanted them to learn to not judge things too quickly, so he sent them each on a quest to go and look at a pear tree that was a great distance away. He sent his first son in the winter, his second in the spring, his third in summer and his youngest in the fall. When they had all gone and come back , he called them together to describe what they had seen.
The first son said that the tree was ugly, bent, and twisted. The second son said no – it was covered with green buds and full of promise. The third son disagreed, he said it was laden with blossoms that smelled so sweet and looked so beautiful, it was the most graceful thing he had ever seen. The last son disagreed with all of them; he said it was ripe and drooping with fruit, full of life and fulfillment.
After hearing all his son’s responses, the wise father replied, “Sons, you are all right — because you have each seen only one season in the tree’s life. But you cannot judge a tree, or a person, or anything else by only one season. Most things can only be measured at the end, when all the seasons have come to pass”.
When I read this devotion, I can’t help but think how true it is-and how comforting. I know that I myself have a tendency to worry about those I love. Our husbands, our children, our family and friends. With so many people that we love, there’s always some that are doing great-and there always a few that are struggling.
And when it comes to our children especially, there are simply no words that can really explain just how much we love them. And as they grow up, there are times we can’t help but worry about them. Are they on the right track? Do they have the right friends? Are they truly learning to love the Lord? Have they found the kind of faith that will light their way both here and through eternity? The kind of faith that can never be taken away or torn down? And as they grow, there will be days when we look at them amazed that someone so wonderful could be our child! And there will be times that their love and thoughtfulness will bring tears to our eyes. But there will also be days when we worry and wonder if they will find their way. And there will be days when we are frustrated and angry with them.
And it’s on those days, the hard days, that we need to hold onto this reading, because just as it says above, no man is judged by just one season. And we need to remember that when we are worried about someone we love, whether it’s our child, our husband or someone we love, Jesus loves them even more than we do. And just as we will never give up on them and just as we will always love them-so will He. So if there is someone in your life right now that you are worried about, remember, “With God All Things Are Possible”, and this life is a journey with many seasons. But for those who follow our Lord, regardless of the seasons, our journey will end in one place-in Heaven.
“Blessed are those who have not seen, but believe”.- Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior of our World
A child’s faith is a beautiful, precious gift. It accepts without question the amazing love that God has for us. But as we grow into adults, each one of us will struggle at some time in our life to cross the bridge between a faith that is young and untried to a faith that will withstand any challenge. The question isn’t whether we will ever experience doubts, but rather what we will do when they occur. Perhaps one of the most important things we can do during those times is realize that Jesus does not love us any less on the days where faith does not come easy.
We know that to be true because after Jesus rose, one of his own apostles, Thomas had doubts. In fact, so much so that after the other apostles had seen Jesus, Thomas said that “Unless I see the mark of the nails — in fact, until I touch those marks and put my hand in the wound in his side, I will not believe,”. But Jesus did not stop loving him. For only a short time later, Jesus came and stood among the apostles and said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe. And Thomas believed. And then Jesus told Thomas, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
You see, Jesus loved Thomas, just as He loves us. He forgave him his doubts. Just as He forgives us ours. We can’t help how we feel, nor can we change the fact that we will go through times in our life when we struggle. What we can do though, is choose what we do during those times. We can choose to follow Jesus or we can choose to turn away. We can choose to surround ourselves with those whose faith will help to build our own, or we can choose to spend time with those who would tear down our faith. We can choose to turn to the Word of God or we can choose the word of those who do not believe. The choice, as always is ours.
So if you are struggling with doubts or questions. If you have faith, but sometimes wonder if it’s enough. If you believe, but occasionally wonder and worry. Stop worrying. You have chosen to follow our Lord-and that is enough. For Jesus’ love never changes and it will never falter. So no matter where you are in your walk with the Lord, just keep walking. It’s enough.
“You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.”-Mathew 5:14
In today’s world, being Christian requires great courage. In tomorrow’s world, it will require even more. And yet in Mathew, it’s clear that we were not meant to hide from the storms that life can sometimes bring. Rather, we were meant to shine as a light for all. So that by our love for our Lord, and our love for each other, all might know hope-even in the difficult times. There’s a phrase often used in our faith “for such a time as this”. We were, each one of us, born for such a time as this. This time. This moment. For you see, despite the news headlines and seemingly overwhelming odds, the hope for our world lies where it has always been, it lies in the “power of God working in the hearts of His people-all His people”. And there is nothing more powerful than that. So, while we need to remain informed on all that is occurring in our world and we need to remain involved. We also need to remember that “With God All Things Are Possible.”.
18 The word of the Lord came to me: 2 “What do you people mean by quoting this proverb about the land of Israel:
“‘The parents eat sour grapes,
and the children’s teeth are set on edge’?
3 “As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord, you will no longer quote this proverb in Israel. 4 For everyone belongs to me, the parent as well as the child—both alike belong to me. The one who sins is the one who will die.
5 “Suppose there is a righteous man
who does what is just and right.
6 He does not eat at the mountain shrines
or look to the idols of Israel.
He does not defile his neighbor’s wife
or have sexual relations with a woman during her period.
7 He does not oppress anyone,
but returns what he took in pledge for a loan.
He does not commit robbery
but gives his food to the hungry
and provides clothing for the naked.
8 He does not lend to them at interest
or take a profit from them.
He withholds his hand from doing wrong
and judges fairly between two parties.
9 He follows my decrees
and faithfully keeps my laws.
That man is righteous;
he will surely live,
declares the Sovereign Lord.
10 “Suppose he has a violent son, who sheds blood or does any of these other things[a] 11 (though the father has done none of them):
“He eats at the mountain shrines.
He defiles his neighbor’s wife.
12 He oppresses the poor and needy.
He commits robbery.
He does not return what he took in pledge.
He looks to the idols.
He does detestable things.
13 He lends at interest and takes a profit.
Will such a man live? He will not! Because he has done all these detestable things, he is to be put to death; his blood will be on his own head.
14 “But suppose this son has a son who sees all the sins his father commits, and though he sees them, he does not do such things:
15 “He does not eat at the mountain shrines
or look to the idols of Israel.
He does not defile his neighbor’s wife.
16 He does not oppress anyone
or require a pledge for a loan.
He does not commit robbery
but gives his food to the hungry
and provides clothing for the naked.
17 He withholds his hand from mistreating the poor
and takes no interest or profit from them.
He keeps my laws and follows my decrees.
He will not die for his father’s sin; he will surely live. 18 But his father will die for his own sin, because he practiced extortion, robbed his brother and did what was wrong among his people.
19 “Yet you ask, ‘Why does the son not share the guilt of his father?’ Since the son has done what is just and right and has been careful to keep all my decrees, he will surely live. 20 The one who sins is the one who will die. The child will not share the guilt of the parent, nor will the parent share the guilt of the child. The righteousness of the righteous will be credited to them, and the wickedness of the wicked will be charged against them.
21 “But if a wicked person turns away from all the sins they have committed and keeps all my decrees and does what is just and right, that person will surely live; they will not die. 22 None of the offenses they have committed will be remembered against them. Because of the righteous things they have done, they will live. 23 Do I take any pleasure in the death of the wicked? declares the Sovereign Lord. Rather, am I not pleased when they turn from their ways and live?
24 “But if a righteous person turns from their righteousness and commits sin and does the same detestable things the wicked person does, will they live? None of the righteous things that person has done will be remembered. Because of the unfaithfulness they are guilty of and because of the sins they have committed, they will die.
25 “Yet you say, ‘The way of the Lord is not just.’ Hear, you Israelites: Is my way unjust? Is it not your ways that are unjust? 26 If a righteous person turns from their righteousness and commits sin, they will die for it; because of the sin they have committed they will die. 27 But if a wicked person turns away from the wickedness they have committed and does what is just and right, they will save their life. 28 Because they consider all the offenses they have committed and turn away from them, that person will surely live; they will not die. 29 Yet the Israelites say, ‘The way of the Lord is not just.’ Are my ways unjust, people of Israel? Is it not your ways that are unjust?
30 “Therefore, you Israelites, I will judge each of you according to your own ways, declares the Sovereign Lord. Repent! Turn away from all your offenses; then sin will not be your downfall. 31 Rid yourselves of all the offenses you have committed, and get a new heart and a new spirit. Why will you die, people of Israel? 32 For I take no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Sovereign Lord. Repent and live!
Which of God’s commandments is the most important one? Jesus answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength: this is the first commandment”. And the second is “You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these”. -Jesus
It’s been another week of bad headlines; sometimes it almost seems that it might be easier just “not to know”. And yet as Moms, we need to know; Because keeping our children safe and providing them with all that they will need to grow up in to caring, compassionate and faithful adults who will one day be able to go in pursuit of their dreams is -our job.
On the other hand, once we know all of the bad news-what do we do with it. How do we “fix it”. The answer is-we don’t. “Fixing it” is up to God. For us, as Christians, we simply need to do what we have always done: Love God, and love each other. For that is all that God requires and it is all that Christ commanded. So this week, no matter the news, pledge to find the time to laugh out loud, to love completely and to live at least one day-as it if were the last day before Jesus comes back. Take one day-and be completely happy. No matter what. For with God, “all things are possible”.