Seeking Renewal? ASK!

As we age it seems harder and harder to keep up with those young ones around us. Whether it is little children or teens, their endurance is only a remembrances to us! Today’s favorite verse, from my friend Sharon, is Isaiah 40:30-31 which gives us encouragement no matter what our age.

Even youths grow tired and weary,
    and young men stumble and fall;
31 but those who hope in the Lord
    will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
    they will run and not grow weary,
    they will walk and not be faint.

In these verses, God’s Word is acknowledging our humanness and reminds us that even the young do not have unlimited strength and endurance. To survive in the world, we must rely upon the Lord. He promises to renew our strength when we feel we cannot go on. We do not need to wait until we are spent to call upon the Lord for additional strength. As we learn in walking with Jesus, it is better to call upon Him before we reach the end of our strength as He promises He will lift us up, cause us to soar and be renewed.

I can see how this verse is a favorite as it stands a reminder of God’s strength in all things and our limited resources. When you combine this with Philippian 4:19 “And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.” We can be assured that God does not tire, God has unlimited resources and He wants to provide for us. We just need to ask. John 14:13-15 shows us Jesus’ willingness if we ask with the right heart. “And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.

Where do you need God’s help today? Is your need physical, mental, emotional or spiritual? What obstacles are you facing that you are allowing pride to get in your way of asking God for help? Do you see problems ahead and need God’s strength to overcome? God has the resources to help you soar and not grow faint. He can give you the wings of eagles to cause you to soar above and be renewed.

Thanks Sharon for the reminder of God’s strength and constant provision. Call upon Him and be renewed!

Linda

On the Road with Jesus, He gives exactly what you need when you need it!

As we celebrated on Easter morning, Jesus did not stay in the tomb but rose from the dead. He has Risen INDEED! After his resurrection, he appeared many times to individuals, small groups and to as many as 500 at once. He was alive in their midst as He talked, ate and shared himself with believers confirming his life and assuring them of his victory over death. As we move along the road towards his ascension and return to heaven 40 days after his resurrection, we will come face to face with Jesus’ divinity and power over death. Join me on this journey as I look at each of the appearances over the next 40 days.

One of my favorite post-resurrection appearances is the encounter of the two on the Road to Emmaus.  Overcome with grief because of Jesus’ death and disbelief over what the women said about seeing Him alive,  these two followers of Christ were walking along the Emmaus Road discussing all these recent events and reports.  Jesus joined them on their journey without disclosing his identity.  As they walked they were surprised that he did not know about all the events that had just occurred in Jerusalem. They told him of their hope that Jesus had been the long awaited Messiah.   Then Jesus said to them, “You foolish people! You find it so hard to believe all that the prophets wrote in the Scriptures. 26 Wasn’t it clearly predicted that the Messiah would have to suffer all these things before entering his glory?” 27 Then Jesus took them through the writings of Moses and all the prophets, explaining from all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.”  Luke 24:25-27

Wouldn’t you have loved to have been there and listened to Jesus explain all about Himself?  A little later in the story when they were sitting down to eat, Jesus gave thanks, broke the bread and began to give it to them.  Right then, their eyes were opened  and they recognized Jesus.  He then disappeared from their presence.  Even though it was late they quickly returned to Jerusalem to tell the disciples about their encounter with the risen Lord Jesus.

Jesus came to these two when they were filled with grief, despair and confusion, and He cleared up their thinking, encouraged and enlivened them.  Can you remember a time when Jesus came to you in prayer or through the actions or words of another believer to give you hope and encouragement?  Jesus promises that He will be with us wherever we go.  Just like these two, we need to look and recognize His presence with us and the hope that He brings.

I pray that my Lenten Blogs have brought you hope and encouragement these past 6 weeks.  I have been mightily blessed by being with you and in the scriptures each day.  I am still pondering the magnitude of Christ’s sacrifice and all the truths gleaned from the selected ‘put on’ passages. I pray you will bask in the hope of the empty tomb knowing He has Risen, He has Risen Indeed!

Linda

Trust in Him, God has this!

Today’s favorite verse comes from my friend Mig. Isaiah 41:10

Fear not, for I am with you;
    be not dismayed, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
    I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

This promise of sustaining power and victory over fears was given to the children of Israel because God knew they had hard times ahead and could always look to Him for help. Not many years later they were carried off to Babylon by King Nebuchadnezzar where they were held captive for 70 years. After the 70 years of exile, they we enabled by God return and rebuild Jerusalem and the destroyed temple. We can also claim this ancient promise in our lives as believers. We are His children through faith in Jesus and are members of His family. Romans 8:14 “For all who are led by the spirit of God are sons of God.”

What do you see in this promise today that you need to sustain you? God promises to be with us always. We do not need to fear or be anxious about the situations, people or circumstances of our lives because God is right there with us. He promises He will strengthen, help, and uphold us with His righteous right hand, which is Jesus. All the help, comfort and stamina to continue facing life’s trying situations will be given to us in the name of Jesus. We know we can count on this promises as God keeps Him promises and is always faithful. Exodus 34:6 “The Lord passed before him (Moses) and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness,” We can count upon Jesus’s upholding hand as 2 Corinthians 1:20 reveals “For all the promises of God find their Yes in him. That is why it is through him that we utter our Amen to God for his glory.”

Mediate upon the fact that God is with you wherever you go. God has sufficient strength to enable you to overcome whatever obstacles are in your pathway. God will help you. When God says He will, He always does. God provided Jesus’s righteousness to cover, cleanse and uphold you always.

Be encouraged! God has this. Put your FAITH in Him Ask Him for His sustaining power to fill, help and uplift you today!

Linda

The Circle of Generosity

Have you ever thought that your gifts of love, food, blankets, or money bring back thanks  to God?  The New Testament believers in Corinth were asked to give donations to their suffering fellow believers in Jerusalem.  Paul was headed to Jerusalem and would carry the offerings to them.  Paul explains the benefits of giving to them in 2 Corinthians 9:11-15.   

“Yes, you will be enriched in every way so that you can always be generous. And when we take your gifts to those who need them, they will thank God. 12 So two good things will result from this ministry of giving—the needs of the believers in Jerusalem will be met, and they will joyfully express their thanks to God.”    Paul first tells them 2 good things will come from their generosity.  Their needs will be met and then they will thank God for providing for them. 

Paul then continues, As a result of your ministry, they will give glory to God. For your generosity to them and to all believers will prove that you are obedient to the Good News of Christ. 14 And they will pray for you with deep affection because of the overflowing grace God has given to you. 15 Thank God for this gift  too wonderful for words!”   Your giving and their thanks will bring glory to God and show your obedience to Christ.  Then they will pray for you and give thanks for you and your giving.

Paul is showing us that giving generously to provide for others brings glory to God, and thank-filled prayers for ourselves.  Giving comes back to you in thanks.  Thanks is something that cannot be measured or quantified but received with grace and turned back to God brings Him glory and you good.

ciclre of praiseYour giving causes needs to be met and the receiver to be thankful = glorifies God.

Their thankfulness caused by your giving shows how much you love Jesus =glorifies God.

Their thankfulness spurs them to pray for you = glorifies God.

Consider your own generosity at this time of Thanksgiving.  Do you know someone who is in need that you can help?  Remember your generosity brings glory to God and will result in good for you too.  At the very least, it makes you feel good to help others and pleases God by your actions, but knowing our Good God, it will achieve so much more!

Linda 

Place or person, who is your refuge?

God refugeHow many times have you said, “God is my refuge”?   These are words that David repeatedly spoke about God.  By definition a refuge is a place of shelter or protection from danger or difficulty, or it can be a person who gives shelter, help or comfort.  David spent 14 years running from King Saul after being anointed the future king  by Samuel.  He was hunted, attacked and driven into the wilds away from friends, family and others.

David refers to God as his refuge, a place of safety,  in Psalm 91:1-2 and 91:9-10.                    He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
    will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say  to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress,
    my God, in whom I trust.”                                                                                                             91:9-10  “Because you have made the Lord your dwelling place—
    the Most High, who is my refuge —
10 no evil shall be allowed to befall you,
    no plague come near your tent.”                    Abiding with God in your heart, soul and mind each day gives you a refuge, a safe place where you can depend upon God to shelter and protect you.     

David also saw God as his refuge, a person who brings protection, help or comfort.  In Psalm 62:5-7 David describes his refuge relationship with God.                                          psalm 62For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence,
    for my hope is from him.
He only is my rock and my salvation,
    my fortress; I shall not be shaken.
On God rests my salvation and my glory;
    my mighty rock, my refuge is God.       David sees God as the one who keeps him secure, steadfast and is his provider of salvation.

Psalm 59:16-17 “But I will sing of your strength;
    I will sing aloud of your steadfast love in the morning.
For you have been to me a fortress
    and a refuge in the day of my distress.
17 O my Strength, I will sing praises to you,
    for you, O God, are my fortress,
    the God who shows me steadfast love.     David is so thankful that God is his refuge providing him with protection, steadfast love and comfort.       

Is this the lens through which you see God?  Is He your place and person of protection, safely, love and comfort?  He can be that and more.  Look to Him today and ask Him to draw near to you and He will just as he promised in James 4:7-8. “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, psalm 91 2 NLTand he will draw near to you.”   David repeatedly resisted the desire and opportunity to kill Saul which would have ended his running,  but he did not yield to that temptation and kept drawing nearer to God depending upon Him for refuge.      God can do the same for you.     

Linda                                              

Pleading with God

If you could write down your prayers, what would they look like?  Are they filled with joy, praise, thanksgiving, submission, confession and petitions?  In reality, our prayers are filled with all of these but often vary according to our need or level of distress in life.  The psalmist in Psalm 119:33-40 pleads with God.  Look at the verbs as you read.

He

33 Teach me your decrees, O Lord;
    I will keep them to the end.
34 Give me understanding and I will obey your instructions;
    I will put them into practice with all my heart.
35 Make me walk along the path of your commands,
    for that is where my happiness is found.
36 Give me an eagerness for your laws
    rather than a love for money!
37 Turn my eyes from worthless things,
    and give me life through your word.
38 Reassure me of your promise,
    made to those who fear you.
39 Help me abandon my shameful ways;
    for your regulations are good.
40 I long to obey your commandments!
    Renew my life with your goodness.

psalm 119 37The psalmist is struggling with his daily life and desires God to guide him away from temporal things to a focus on eternal truths that will change and renew his life.  God’s goodness will transform our lives is we submit to His truths and follow Him.  Do you desire God’s help with your life problems?  Seek His wisdom and truth.  Open His Word and bow in prayer.  He will find you, just like He promised.  Hebrews 11:6 challenges us to believe and take that step of faith. “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.”   Does that describe you and your search for God?  Turn to Him in faith today.  He will find you.

Hebrews 11 6Walking with Him is an adventure in faith,

Linda