1st Sunday of Lent

Make the Sunday’s during Lent special in some way- pray a bit longer, fast, sing praises, attend worship, gather with friends… Seek to honor God and THANK Him for sending Jesus to save us from our sinful state and restore us to a place of relationship with Him.

Psalm 100  “Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs.  Know that the LORD is God.  It is he who made us, and we are his;   we are his people the sheep of his pasture.  Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.  For the LORD is good and his love endures forever, his faithfulness continues through all generations.”psalm-100

Prayer:  Heavenly Father, thank you for the joy you put in my heart and your tender loving care. You alone are faithful and I can depend upon  you each day.  Amen.

Rejoicing and praising Faithful God,

Linda

The Cross shows Grace to me

During our Lenten journey, we want to look at the cross of Christ and ask what does it show me about God?  I see His Grace right away.  His Grace in giving me what I don’t deserve no matter what I do.  His Grace in providing a way of salvation so that I may be restored to a right relationship with Him.  There is no way to earn God’s grace- it is something He freely gives us through Jesus.   Ephesians 2:7-10 says “in order that in the coming ages He might show the incomparable riches of His grace, expressed in His kindness to us in Christ Jesus.  For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-and this not from yourselves, it is a gift of God-not by works  so that no one can boast.  For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

As you consider God’s Grace today, know that His grace is sufficient, it never runs out. No matter what we do or where we go, God’s grace can and does cover us.  Praise God!  Jesus said, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”  2 Corinthians 12:9  Repent and seek God’s Grace- it will cover you today.

Prayer:   Thank you Father for you unending grace.  Your sacrifice on the cross opened the floodgates of grace for me.  Help me to walk worthy of your calling and strgraceive to do good works in your name.  Amen.

So thankful for His Grace to me,

Linda

Love…only through Jesus’ power

Yesterday I attended a celebration of Life for a dear friend.  He always seemed to reflect Jesus in his actions as he would go out of his way to help others.  He showed love to others by offering a helping hand or a kind word whenever he saw you.  On days that I would see him, I was always encouraged and uplifted by our encounters.  He left a legacy of Jesus’ love in his wake.

Showing Love for others is a command.  “My command is this:  Love each other as I have loved you.”  John 15:12   “A new command I give you: Love one another.  As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples if you love one another.”  John 13:34-35

As we seek to be more like Jesus and think about things that need to be corrected or adjusted in our deeds and attitudes- how about love?  Is it part of your everyday interactions with others?  Do others see Jesus’ love coming through your words and actions?  Only through the power of the Holy Spirit can we follow Jesus’ command.  Ask Him for power to show love to others today.

Prayer:  Father, give me love in my heart for others.  Cause others to see you in my life because of the way I show your love to them.  I desire to be your disciple so through the power of the Holy Spirit let me see your way of love today. Amen.

WebSeeking to reflect God’s love to others,

Linda

A Time of Pruning

vineJesus said, “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener.  He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.”  John 15:1-2

Our Lenten journey is a time when we seek God’s correction (pruning) in our lives.  We seek his direction and correction so that the habits or actions that are offensive to God can be eliminated from our lives.  He promises in these verses that His pruning will help us to produce more fruit for Him.  Submitting to His ways and not ours brings joy, peace, hope and allows us to be used by God in a mighty way.  Isaiah 58:11 describes the one who is bearing fruit this way,  The LORD will guide you always, he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame.  You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.”  

Prayer:  Lord, take my heart and mold me so that I can bear much fruit for you and that my life will be pleasing to you.  Show me the things, ways, habits in my life that need to be cut out so that I can better reflect Jesus in my life.  Create in me a garden that is well-watered and fed by the living water – Jesus.  Amen

Seeking to be well-watered and fed by Jesus.isaiah-58-11

Linda

 

Lent.. a time of beginning and ending

Today as you spend time in prayer, reflect on your state before God without Jesus.

“There is no one righteous, not even one  There is no one who does good, not even one.  There is no fear of God before their eyes.”  Romans 3: 10b,12b, 18

lent-prayer-fasting-giving-works-of-loveFor the next 40 days,  we will be taking stock of our attitudes, actions and our total dependence upon God.  Without Jesus, we would remain in our unrighteous sin-filled state before Righteous Holy God and be condemned for our sin.    Romans 6:23 tells us, “The wages of sin is death.”  Thankfully in this verse there is a BUT and the verse continues “but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  Jesus and His sacrifice on the cross made it possible for me to be clean before God.  What an amazing sacrifice for me!

Here is a verse of praise for today.  “For all have sinned (yes,that is me too) and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified (Jesus made me righteous before God) freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus (His death on the cross).”   Without God’s amazing grace I would be condemned.  BUT  I am redeemed in Jesus and made whole and clean! 

Prayer:    Father, Reveal to me during this time of Lent those things you would have me put away, eliminate, eject from my character.  Show me a better way to act, love, and think as I mediate on your Word and pray.  Help me to begin each day with a new appreciation and thankfulness for your atoning sacrifice.  Amen.

By God’s Grace I stand,

Linda

Waiting with Anticipation

40-daysMarch 1 is quickly approaching.  I am anxious to see what God is going to do in my life as I write each day for 40 days.  It is curious to me that something that will take me at least an hour each day I consider a ‘joy’.  Usually something of that magnitude is considered work and problematic as it is continues day after day for 40 days.  However, I am looking forward to meeting with  God each day on my laptop as I write.  I’ve decided it must be from God or else I’m crazy!

Here’s a little Lenten history I found and a reminder about a few famous 40’s!    The practice of observing Lent has been going on since before 1000 AD.  It is a time of fasting, prayer and penitence beginning on Ash Wednesday and lasting 40 days until Easter.    40 seems to be a significant number in scripture.  Here  are a few famous 40’s you’ll probably remember.  famous-40sIt rained for 40 days and 40 nights while Noah and his family were in the ark.  Moses was on the Mt. Sinai for 40 days getting the 10 Commandments.The children of Israel wandered for 40 years in the wilderness.    Jesus was in the wilderness fasting for 40 days and 40 nights and then Satan came and confronted him with various temptations.  After Christ ascension into heaven, it was 40 days until Pentecost and the arrival of the Holy Spirit.  40 seems to be number that shows a length of time that is not too short or too long but enough to reveal our character and devotion.

I anticipate the development of my character and experiencing greater devotion to God.

Linda

Getting Ready….

season-of-lentI have been thinking and praying about Lent and the call that I find this time of year has on my life.  I never grew up observing Lent so adding this observance into my routine has taken some getting use to.  However, since I have begun blogging each day during Lent I’ve found a new spiritual awareness and awakening as we journey towards the cross.  Lent is a time of reflection and introspection.  We take very little time in our lives to do this.  I pray that each of my blog posts will help to point you to your Savior and challenge your thinking in some way.  Please pray for me as we near this time:  for inspiration from the Holy Spirit as I write and multiplied time- Lent begins March 1.  If you enjoy my Advent blogs- be sure to pass them on to friends so they can join us in our journey.  8 days to go!

micah-6-8Here is a word for today:  “With what shall I come before the LORD and bow down before the exalted God?  Shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old?  Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams, with ten thousand rivers of oil?  Shall I offer my first born for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?  He has showed you, O man, what is good and what does the LORD require of you?  To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your  God.”  Micah 6:6-8

Blessings as you prepare for the coming of Lent and endeavor to walk with God each day.

Linda

Valentine from God?

Valentine’s Day, on the cynical side, is the day for florists, candy and card makers to earn a great deal.  My grandson and I visited a local supermarket yesterday and I was overwhelmed by the amount of flowers, cards and candy that were on display.   On the love side, Valentine’s Day is a day when we can express our love for one another freely and not be thought of as sentimental or mushy.  How about God?  How does God express His love for us?   Here is a familiar verse that gets right to the heart of God.

john-3-16-17_

 

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that who ever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For He did not sent his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.”  John 3:16-17  

How much more love could God show for us than sacrificing His only Son on our behalf? He loved us that much.   He sent Him so that through faith in Jesus we could be saved and not condemned.  Only Jesus could erase our sin and present us whole and perfectly clean before our Holy God.

When you say ‘thank you’ today for a Valentine gift you receive, a card or flowers, think about thanking God too.  Thank Him for sending Jesus.  Thank Him for making a way to salvation and eternal life with Him.   That is the best Valentine I can think of that is filled with all of God’s love for now through eternity.

Blessings on this Valentine’s Day.valentine

Linda

 

Are all your answers ‘Yes’ in Christ?

This morning I came upon the passage in 2 Corinthians 1:20-22.  I was so encouraged I wanted to share these verses with you.

promises“For all the promises of God find their Yes in him.  This is why it is through him that we utter our Amen to God for his glory.  And it is God who establishes us with you in Christ, and has anointed us, and who has also put his seal of us and given us his Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.”

Lessons and Truths:   all the promises in the Old Testament given hundreds and thousands of years before Christ came to earth were fulfilled in Christ, all future promises will be fulfilled just as He said, our testifying to Jesus brings God glory, He gave us His indwelling Holy Spirit to dwell within us,  the Holy Spirit has anointed us with God’s love, mercy and grace, the Spirit of Christ dwelling within me is sealed and guaranteed by the Holy Spirit and His presence in my life assures me from now to eternity that He is with me!

I pray the truth of these verses encourage you today.  Someone said to me a few days ago this simple truth, “You have to know God’s promises to claim them”.  Knowing Jesus is the key to understanding and claiming God’s promises.  Want to learn more specifics about what God’s promises are?  Pick up a copy of my book, Promises for Dynamic Living.  There is a link right here on this website, order one today.  Studying God’s promises leads to a more intimate relationship with Jesus as you learn what Jesus did for you on the cross and how you can access His promises for yourself in His name.

Be encouraged today- all God’s promises are Yes in Christ!

Linda

in-christ-word-collage-2_edited-1I love this visual glimpse of God’s promises that are Yes in Him!

 

What does God want for me? Purity

Since purity is a word that has negative connotations in our present culture, I decided to start with a definition.  Purity is the condition or quality of being pure, free from anything that contaminates or pollutes- physically or spiritually- wrong doing, sin, evil, being innocent or virginal.  The words  found in of James and 1 John lay the foundation for what God has in mind when He says He wants us to be pure.  James 1:27  “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”   1 John 3:2b-3 “But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.  Everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as he is pure.”    God wants us free from the pollution of the world, helping those less fortunate and striving looking to Jesus.  Our walk of faith is one in which we are desiring to be more and more like Jesus as He indwells and empowers us.

purityMy research into purity revealed multiple reasons that we should desire to be pure.  Here are a few that I found:

Psalm 51:10  “Create in me a pure clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.”  A pure heart brings a true, steady, faithful heart into the believer.

Matthew 5:8  “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.”    Purity of heart and actions allows us to see God more clearly.

1 Timothy 1:5  “The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.”  The result of having a pure heart is that we are able to love, act with good conscience and walk in faith.

How can we achieve purity?  Though Jesus’ work on the cross we can receive forgiveness from our sins and through His resurrection we can live in victory.  Hebrews 10:22 “Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.”   Putting your faith in Jesus requires confession as described in 1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”    

How can we keep our lives pure?  Once clean, how do we maintain a pure heart?  The Word gives us some guidelines here too.  Psalm 119:9 “How can a young man keep his way pure?  By living according to your word.”   Studying God’s Word will lead you, guide and train you in God’s ways.  It helps us stay away or apart from the worldly desires so present in our world.  Paul gives us another practical way in Philippians 4:8.  “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable- if anything is excellent or praiseworthy- think about such things.”  Filling our minds with good and honorable things keeps us moving in the right direction towards Jesus and purity.

purity-2Keeping a pure heart that is open to see God more clearly and ready to help others is no easy task in our present world.  Our walk of faith demands our attention each day and persistence to study God’s Word and keep short accounts with God.  We need to confess  daily our sins and keep ourselves clean- pure vessels, ready to do His work.

Blessings as you walk in faith seeking a pure heart before God.

Linda