The reality is, my husband would give me the shirt off his back. He also would lay down what is good for him for the betterment of me. He has sacrificed much so that I can write and pursue ministry work. He gives up things for me. He thinks of me. He helps when I don’t know what to do. He shares wisdom and tips and ideas. He is there when my head gets droopy; he picks up my chin. He shares his heart with me too. He tells me things he wouldn’t tell others.
My husband is my friend. I call him, “my best friend.”
Some of you may be thinking, “I don’t have a friend like this.”
To you, I want to explain, “Jesus is your friend like this…”
He says, “I no longer call you servants because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. This is my command: Love each other.” (Jo. 15:15-17)
Note: everything Jesus learned from the Father he made known. Even today, by the Spirit, He continues to make all things known: “But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” (Jo. 14:26)
Friends share deep things with friends. They share hidden truths. They bring to light what is true. They walk together. They talk together. They laugh together. They cry together. They dream together.
Friends love to take care of their friends. When I see a friend in need, I do my best to — show up. I want to know how they are. I check-in.
You have a friend in Jesus. He is teaching and reminding you of important things through the Holy Spirit. He is there for you. If you can’t remember the last time you felt close to God, maybe you’ve forgotten that He not only is your Lord but that He also is your friend.
Oh, what a friend you have in Jesus! Lean your heart close to Him and ask Him to share some of the deep treasures. Connect with Him in Spirit and in truth.
Prayer: Father God, I thank you for your Son, Jesus. Oh, what a friend I have in Jesus. I also thank you for the Holy Spirit who leads, teaches, and comforts. Fill me afresh today with your Holy Spirit so that I might be full of you and your love (Eph. 5:18). Fill me afresh so that I might be led by you. Fill me so that I may worship and love you, with all my heart. Fill me so that I may know you more.
We make things far more complex — when, in so many ways, the Kingdom of God is simple.
My kids ran around my car last night like kids. It was simple. They had fun chasing each other down. The driveway was a playground. They were not worried about what dinner would be. They were not thinking about what they needed to do next, for bedtime. They were present in the fun, in the joy, in the moment. Complexities did not weigh them down.
“Truly I tell you anyone who does not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” (Lu. 18:17)
The practice of receiving the Kingdom of God is not a heavy task; it is light. Childlike.
“My yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Mt. 11:30)
Some of us love to weigh down the Christian walk. It’s so hard. I have to do this…. I’ve gotta wake up and spend time with Jesus. I don’t know how to obey. I’m always…(doing such and such).
With such a heavy burden on oneself to accomplish and figure out God’s work, one almost — can’t…
Kids, with good parents, don’t fixate on self-issues. They know dinner comes. There’s an excitement about what’s to come. Worry isn’t necessary; they’ll be taken care of. Children believe God on face-value. Faith is easy.
Are you a child or do you feel weighed down by religious expectations that feel impossible to meet?
“For it is God who works in you to will and to act on behalf of His good pleasure.” (Phil. 2:13)
“For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things….” (Ro. 11:36)
“(Now the God of peace)…make you perfect in every good work to do his will…” (Heb. 13:21)
Somewhere along the lines, we picked up a bag of “self-effort” and began to think the work was up to us. But, every work of God belongs to the Lord. It starts from Him, it is by Him, and then, it is back to Him.
Let’s not get confused, lest a yoke of heaviness weigh us down.
Prayer of Repentance: Father, forgive me for carrying a heavy burden that is not mine to carry. This is pride. I repent of thinking that I have to do more or be more to be loved more by you. Jesus, you died for me while I was yet a sinner. I receive your grace today. Equip me and Empower me to be like a child. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
I stood looking over a box filled with cash. Should I give her two dollars or should I give her five?
Earlier in the day, my daughter said, “Mommy, mommy, please give me a five-dollar bill tonight — for the tooth under my pillow.”
I replied, “Madison, this is your third tooth you’ve lost. For the first tooth, you get a lot but for ones after, you get a little less. Don’t expect a five-dollar bill, you’ll maybe get a couple dollars.”
She asked me again for the $5 bill and then I shuffled her off to do other things…
Yet, when night came, and I stood looking over the cash box…I realized how badly I — wanted — to give her more. I wanted to delight her. I wanted my daughter to have the very best. I just love her so much.
I grabbed the $5 bill, snuck up to her room, and tucked it under her pillow, with joy.
“If you then, evil (sinful by nature) as you are, know how to give good and advantageous gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven [perfect as He is] give what is good and advantageous to those who keep on asking Him.” (Mt. 11:7 AMP)
If I love to give what is good, how much more does my Father in heaven want to give good, to me? If I want what is advantageous for my little one — and I’m not even nearly half as amazing as God is — how much more does God give what is advantageous?
Sometimes I long to do the most amazing things for my kids… I desire so deeply that hard situations change… I want, absolutely, their best…
This makes me see, the enemy has been telling me lies. Namely that: God doesn’t give me good things, God doesn’t want to give, and that He won’t help me. He might be busy with other people. I’m last on the list.
What lies have you been hearing?
The truth is that God has a heart to give: He gave His son. He gave us eternal life. He gave us the flowers, the birds, and the stars out of kindness.
He gave everything for us. He loves us, incredibly, absolutely, and eternally.
Believing we have a Father who gives is important.
If we don’t believe God is good and that He gives, we will keep our head down and miss all the goodness He has set before us. We may even develop a victim-mindset. I think I’ve missed God’s good gifts before. I’ve likely walked right by them, but I am determined on lifting my head and seeing what He has for me now!
A must-act-now email popped up in my inbox demanding my immediate attention… I got flustered because of what it was requiring me to do. My son was demanding that I play chess with him now. The world needed everything I had in that very milli-second. I couldn’t take it.
Can’t you just wait a second, son?! Give me a break!
I was so aggravated, both at what was coming at me, and because of this needy child, I lost my composure. Then, I felt guilty about it.
Grr… A stupid email set my house on fire.
Small things cause big damage just as little foxes spoil whole vineyards…
“Catch the foxes for us, the little foxes that spoil the vineyards, for our vineyards are in blossom.” (SOS 2:15)
What little fox tries to attack you? Is it a mistimed word from a family member? Is it your boss’ critiques? Is it a house out of order? Is it people with different political points of view.
The enemy desires to use small things to create big havoc. If we let him… But, we don’t have to.
““Blessed [spiritually calm with life-joy in God’s favor] are the makers and maintainers of peace, for they will [express His character and] be called the sons of God.” (Mt. 5:9 AMP)
When I keep the peace I literally express God’s character. When I maintain calm, I am blessed with life and joy and God’s favor. When I remain calm, I am a child who trusts God.
I want all to see the character of God being expressed through me. For then, He will calm them. He will heal the situation. He will add himself to my situation, whereas before my anger and frustration would have stopped me from seeing Him. This is favor.
Noah built without reason…
Abraham went without knowing where he was going…
Sarah trusted without the physical ability to birth…
Isaac believed without crippling doubts about what God would do…
Joseph spoke without reservations that death could separate Him from God’s promise…
The faith of these Hebrews 11 biblical-greats convict my insides. Think of Sarah…it must have felt ridiculous to think that she, as a 90-year-old, could have a baby. Or, that Noah — on all those sunny days — needed to build a huge ark because of a “purported flood by God”.
These people did not allow feelings of doubt to overpower faith in their God. They saw what things looked like on face-value…and believed anyway. They heard what people were saying…and held on to God’s truth, even though. They understood that the issue was beyond their means…and trusted despite the fact.
So, impossible feats were accomplished, to the glory of God, despite the weakness of these men.
Against all odds, God showed up.
And, He still does. He still comes through. He still parts seas. He still makes walls fall down. He still heals. He still resurrects marriages. He still saves people who need saving.
God is not dead; He is very much alive and working, moving and healing, helping and leading us into the best paths for our life.
“Even when there was no reason for hope, Abraham kept hoping…” (Romans 4:18)
You may have no good reason to hope anymore. But, even in the face of your no-hope situations, I remind you: “There is still glimmers of great hope.” You may not be able to see them right now, but so what??!
Hope is not necessarily something you see; it is your God.
Invite God right now to resurrect hope in your life. Jesus is Resurrector! Ask God to give you faith. He is the giver of good gifts. Then, choose to believe despite how you feel and watch God show up!
She was sharing her heart, but for some reason I felt like I had to have her “fixed” by the time the call ended. She phoned me because she needed help. And, I wanted to really be there for her. To leave her where she was — didn’t feel right.
I offered some advice. I gave her some strategies. Yet, after hanging up — I had a sinking feeling that I said too much. That my words were — input-overload.
In retrospect, she didn’t need my lofty words, but just my care. My heart. My presence with her in the heat of a hard moment.
She didn’t need an answer as much as she needed an ear.
I noticed when I did stay quiet on the call, she had room to pray. I also remember how she seemed to pray her way out of her own hole.
It was my pride that made me want to be a savior. It is also my pride that makes me unload harsh words on others because of my inflamed emotions. It is pride that feels like it has to have an answer to everybody’s every question.
Humility does the opposite, though. It says less so that God can move more.
“A truly wise person uses few words…” (Prov. 17:27)
Wise people say less and listen more. They weigh words carefully before blasting them like a water gun. They intentionally think about restoring the other person, rather than ripping them apart or giving too much advice. They don’t let their emotions get the best of them.
Wise communicators know they don’t have to respond. They are okay with silence. They give space for others to help themselves. They allow ‘no response’ answers or ‘let me think about it’ approaches so they can release life-giving, redeeming words.
Using less words provides more impact. Where, in your life, might God be calling you to use less words? What would this look like practically?
God is Provider. He shows up just on time. He provided His Son, at just the right moment, to literally save our souls. He knows what He is doing. He has a pulse on every detail that we need. He knows everything He is working together. He has us in the palm of His hand.
“Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are continually before me.” (Is. 49:16)
God has us so much so — that we are engraved in the palm of His hand. We are ever-before our Maker. He thinks of us. He has a mind — to mind us.
He also has a plan to provide.
If you’ve lost hope around God providing a way, a means, a hope, finances, or a great rescue for a need, allow Him to renew your hope…
28 Verses Showing: God Provides
And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. (Phil. 4:19)
And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. (Heb. 11:6)
I am the LORD your God, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt. Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it. (Psalms 81:10)
For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly. (Ps. 84:11)
But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. (Mt. 6:33)
The Lord does not let the righteous go hungry, but he thwarts the craving of the wicked. (Prov. 10:3)
He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? (Ro. 8:32)
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! (Eph. 3:20)
The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. (Ps. 18:2)
Abraham said, “God will provide for himself the lamb for a burnt offering, my son.” So they went both of them together. (Gen. 22:8)
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. (2 Cor. 12:9)
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. (Jer. 29:11)
Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. And as I gave you the green plants, I give you everything. (Gen. 9:3)
The young lions suffer want and hunger; but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing. (Ps. 34:10)
And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.” (Mt. 21:22)
You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. (Jo. 15:6)
Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby put me to the test, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need. (Mal. 3:10)
Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. … (Mt. 6:25-34)
Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. (Mt. 7:7-8)
I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. (Eph. 3:16-17)
Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it. (Jo. 14:13-14)
If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. (John 15:7)
And whatever we ask we receive from him, because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him. (1 John 3:22)
But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. (Jo. 14:26)
But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. (2 Pet. 3:13)
The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food in due season. You open your hand; you satisfy the desire of every living thing. (Ps. 145:15-16)
And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work. (2 Cor. 9:8)
For he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things. (Psalm 107:9)
There’s nothing worse than believing God for victory, only to experience defeat.
Has that ever happened to you?
Recently, I prayed and prayed, without change. I praised, without a breakthrough. I hoped, but I didn’t feel like I was getting anywhere.
Even now, I need God for everything, yet I wonder how he can possibly show up — in this situation. What if I am left with nothing?
Fear wants to grip me. It tries to make me focus on the natural over God’s supernatural power.
God, will you really provide? Show up? Help? Can I trust You, God?
The Israelites are a bit like me: They saw the Egyptian troops chasing them down. They got overwhelmingly terrified. They must have figured they were incapable.. They were seemingly angry at their leader, Moses.
Upset with themselves and unable to hold-it-in they even griped, “What have you done to us by bringing us out of Egypt? Didn’t we say to you in Egypt, ‘Leave us alone; let us serve the Egyptians’? It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the desert!” (Exodus 14:11-12, NIV)
Slavery was more appealing than trusting God for victory.
I’m like them when I say:
Why am I here, God? Where are you, God? Why haven’t you ____, God? This doesn’t make any sense, God!
Moses replied to the Israelites, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” (Exodus 14:13-14, NIV)
As I’m still, God fights. Wow. This is incredible. Beyond natural sight is God’s greater fight. Far more effective than worry is my Warrior, God. He is bigger than any big issue I face. And stronger than the very definition of the word — strong, as I understand it.
God can accomplish more in a split-second than I can produce in my whole life. I want the work to be His, not mine. He can do anything at any time.
Our God, while we are still — fights on our behalf. Are we letting Him fight for us or are we griping, opining, complaining, and doubting?
God is working, even when you can’t see it.
It doesn’t matter if it looks like God is late. Or, if you would have done it another way. Or, if you can’t really understand. Still, God’s way is the best way.
A kid can’t understand why he gets a novocaine shot at the dentist, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t good reason.
You know, when the Israelites lost faith, God instructed Moses to tell them something. He said to Moses, “Tell the Israelites to move on.” (Exodus 14:15) I believe God is saying the same today:
Move on from unbelief. Move on from fearing your battle. Move on from counting everything as a deterrent. Move on from your old outlooks. Move on from your self-limiting beliefs. Move on from the idea there is no good plan.
And, trust God to fight your battle. You do this by: making space for God, listening to His heartbeat through His Words, and through ‘saying yes’.
God’s plan is good. Even here, in this instance, He had good reason for doing what He did. It was so He could gain glory.
“Raise your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea to divide the water so that the Israelites can go through the sea on dry ground…And I will gain glory through…The Egyptians will know that I am the Lord when I gain glory through Pharaoh, his chariots and his horsemen.” (Exodus 14:16-18, NIV)
And so the Israelites moved. The miracle happened. The sea parted. And God got all His glory. The Egyptians knew who was God.
Friend, don’t lose hope; there is a good plan in motion.
We tend to either think, “I am so bad”, or “God is so good”.
It can be easy to go down the “I am so bad” track. I am sinful. I make mistakes. I am not perfect. I don’t have great relationships. I am not ___ enough. I ____ (fill in your own despicable blank). We’ve all thought this way one time or another. Here, we allow the crushing weight of how things seem, overpower the great price Jesus paid for us. We get focused on us when it is all about — HIM!
When this happens, we don’t have to stay here. We can consciously break through the static of mind and thoughts — and return back to “God is so good” land — by remembering two words: But God.
But God is greater than my emotions. But God still loves me. But God sent Jesus and this changes everything.
“But God showed His great love for (me) by sending Christ to die (for me and to save me) while (I) was still a sinner.” (Ro. 5:8)
But God, despite all of my flaws, still wants me.
But God, eternally and faithfully says, “She’s still mine…”
But God shows us He still wants us.
Nothing. No power, no scheme, no circumstance, no condition, no angel, no demon, no height, no depth, no worry, no fear, nothing — can separate us from Christ’s love. (see Ro. 8:38) Nothing.
God is faithful to love me, always. To keep me, eternally. To help me, continually. To want me, entirely.
I am not disowned, dismissed, dejected or denied.
I am His. He is mine.
You are His, child of God. He is yours.
Forever. Completely. Entirely.
Wanted. Loved. Cherished. Chosen.
These words are not just words; they are absolute ownable truth for sons and daughters of the Highest Ruling King. King Jesus.
This changes everything. To know God more than a hypothesis, beyond theology, deeper than words…allows the very heartbeat of Christ to resound within you. It beats like unconditional, incredible love that never ends. It brings both security and significance that cannot be altered by men or circumstances. Because you own it, it can’t be sold away, taken or stolen.
And, if you don’t yet know Jesus? He wants to love you like this… Give Him your heart today. Tell him, “God, I want to know your love. The truth is: I sin. I mess up. I haven’t always done the best things. But, today, I ask for your forgiveness for all these things. Thank you that you freely forgive because Jesus freely gave His life on the cross, for me. With this, I am now free to receive all of your love. With this, I accept Jesus into my heart as my Lord, My Savior, My King, and The Lover of My Soul. I want you, above all! I surrender all of me, to all of you, so I can receive your best for my life and so I can live-out your most incredible plans. Thank you that your saving-grace now allows me to know your unconditional and unwavering love, forever…”
Friend? If you prayed this…please comment on this post and let me know. All of heaven and all of us — celebrate with all of you. May the rich and lavish love of Christ so flood your heart that nothing is ever left the same!
I love you all.
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Today, I completely missed my turn. I took a new route to the supermarket and, because I thought the entrance would look the same as before, I drove right past it. I knew the store would be on the left. However, because I came from a different direction, it was on the right.
Because I expected an old thing, I missed the new. Likewise, many of us — looking for an old thing — miss God’s new. We expect people to hurt us like yesterday, so we stay in our house, away from relationship and, yet again — we are hurt. We expect our finances to never change, so we don’t bother changing anything and live continually strapped. We expect our kids to never change so we dismiss them because they’ve hurt us and God’s love doesn’t reach them.
We go our way, yet God has — His way. One we may not even be able to perceive.
Today, what if we were to open our eyes up to perceive that God may have for us — a new way?
“See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” (Is. 43:19)
Be it yesterday or today, Isaiah or Romans, Moses or Paul, God continually does new things. He breaks through. He restores. He transforms. He offers new life. New opportunities. Healing. Help.
The question is not — “Is God Healer, Helper, and Restorer?” The question is — “Do we believe Him to be these things?”
Where might God want you to perceive His new? If you have been banging your head in one particular area, this is a sign that God may be calling you to do things a new way. If you feel constantly stuck, look out for His new way. If you feel like there must be more, expect Him to show you something new.
All His ways are good.
God, help me to perceive your leading and direction. I don’t want to be so stuck in an old thing that I can’t walk into your new thing for me. I thank you that transition and change are part of your heart. I thank you that as I wait on you that you will renew my strength. Today, I choose to trust your leading and guidance. I trust you to provide and to help me. I ask that all I do, think and say might bring glory to you. Help me to trust and love you even more. Thank you that I can do this by laying down my ways and by trusting yours. In Jesus’ mighty name I pray. Amen
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