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

A Purposeful Encounter with the Risen Lord

On Resurrection Sunday Jesus met the women in the garden, and the two men walking on the Road to Emmaus.  Today’s passage shows what happened after Jesus left the men he had met on the road.

After encountering Jesus and breaking bread with Him, Jesus disappeared and the two on the Road to Emmaus quickly went to find the disciples. “They got up and returned at once to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven and those with them, assembled together 34 and saying, “It is true! The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon.” 35 Then the two told what had happened on the way, and how Jesus was recognized by them when he broke the bread. 36 While they were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” 37 They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost. 38 He said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds? 39 Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.” 40 When he had said this, he showed them his hands and feet. 41 And while they still did not believe it because of joy and amazement, he asked them, “Do you have anything here to eat?” 42 They gave him a piece of broiled fish, 43 and he took it and ate it in their presence.” Luke 24:33-43 NIV

What was their immediate concern?  Is Jesus real or are we experiencing a hallucination?  What was Jesus immediate concern?  Jesus wanted them to Know He was alive and for them to be at peace.  He did not want them anxious or fearful but open and willing to welcome Him into their midst.   What is your reaction when confronted by Jesus?   Do you doubt who Jesus is and question His reaching out to you or do you welcome Him and take the peace he always offers?

Jesus reassured the disciples that He was a real and alive just as He promised.  He proved it to them by calmly showing them His hands and feet- pierced at the cross, and by eating food with them.  

How does Jesus make himself known to you?  Does He come to you in prayer, in the helping hands of others or through His Word?   Jesus can and does reveal himself to us if we are open and willing.  In Matthew 7:7 Jesus tells us, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.”   Be a seeker today and know the joy of His presence.  Be amazed as you encounter the living Lord Jesus, just as the disciples did in the upper room.  Each encounter with Jesus brings new revelation and understanding of who He is!   Be open to Him and He will reveal Himself to you and grace you with His peace.

Linda

upper-room
The disciples encountered Jesus in the upper room, where will you meet Him today?

Advent…a Seeker’s Adventure

After receiving the news of the Savior’s birth, the shepherds immediately went in search of the Christ child. “They hurried to the village and found Mary and Joseph. And there was the baby, lying in the manger. 17 After seeing him, the shepherds told everyone what had happened and what the angel had said to them about this child. 18 All who heard the shepherds’ story were astonished, 19 but Mary kept all these things in her heart and thought about them often. 20 The shepherds went back to their flocks, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen. It was just as the angel had told them.” Luke 2:16-20

How often do you remember exactly what someone tells you? We have selective memories and only remember those things we like best, that which impressed us or scared us most. But in this case, God brought to their minds exactly what the angel had said so that nothing was lost of His truth. God will always see that His truth prevails. Here are the angel’s words again from verses 10-12, “but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. 11 The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! 12 And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.”

The Shepherds told everyone they met how the angels had appeared to them, how they came and found the child just as the angel had told them, how this child was to be their Savior. They were living testimonies to the power and truth of God’s Word and how God keeps His promises.

What about you? Have you encountered the living Savior? Do you trust in the truth of God’s Word and know Him as the God who keeps all His promises? If we believe Him, then like the shepherds we need to tell others of the wonders and power of our God. We need to tell of the truth of His love and forgiveness in sending Jesus to save us. When you have had a ‘God experience’, like the shepherds you will be so filled with amazement over what He has done for you that you will go and seek to know Him more and hurriedly desire to tell others about your amazing God. Does that describe you today? If so, praise Him! If not, seek Him and as He promises He will be found. Matthew 7:7-8 ““Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” Let us all be seekers like the shepherds were and go in search of the Savior, ready to tell everyone we meet about our amazing God and His Son, Jesus.

May you encounter Jesus in a fresh new way this Advent season. Be ready to enjoy the adventure of following Jesus, knowing Him and walking in faith and trust each day. Ready to tell others to tell others excitedly what God means to you.

Linda

What do you need? Your name, a touch…Jesus has it for You!

One of the most touching post-resurrection appearances of Jesus was when He appeared to Mary Magdalene in the garden.  It is recounted in John 20:14-18.  She was at the tomb, had seen the angels and heard them say that Jesus was not there but risen.  However, she was so overcome with grief it had yet to truly register with her brain.    They (the angels) said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.” 14 Having said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing, but she did not know that it was Jesus.  Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” Supposing him to john-20-16be the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.” 16 Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned and said to him in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher). 

This scene touches me as it only took Jesus saying her name for her to recognize Him.  In John 10:27 Jesus told the disciples that the ones who know Him will recognize His voice and follow Him  ” My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.”   Mary knew immediately that it was her Lord saying her name.  She was instantly comforted and wanted to touch Him.  He cautioned her not to touch him, but to go and tell the disciples that she had seen the Lord!  Jesus said to her, “Do not cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to Have-seen-Lord-daffodilmy Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” 18 Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord”—and that he had said these things to her.

Mary needed to have the Savior’s touch.  He touched her with His voice and He gave her the reassurance that all would be well.  Jesus confirmed He had indeed risen, was the Messiah and that  He was alive.  Jesus showed her that there is eternal Hope in Him!  She got all of those reassurances from Jesus saying her name!

Jesus what needWhat do you need Jesus to say to you today?  Do you need Him to call you by name, give you a word of encouragement, a word of guidance, or simply a word of Hope?  He can say and do it all- if you just ask Him.   Seek Him today and He will be found!    

  Linda 

IMG_0465
Today the garden tomb is a very peaceful spot in Jerusalem.

Jesus brought Peace to them and does Now to us!

Jesus appeared to the disciples and others to show them living proof that He was alive.  He did not appear just once but multiple times between His resurrection and Pentecost when He returned to heaven.  Over the period of 40 days He met in various places to reassure them He was alive, had returned from the dead and that their faith in Him was real and true.   On Resurrection Sunday He met the women in the garden, and the two men walking on the Road to Emmaus.  In today’s passage, Jesus appeared to those disciples gathered in the Upper Room.

“While they were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, ‘Peace be with you.’  They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost.  He said to them, ‘Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds?  Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.’  When he had said them he showed them his hands and feet.  And while they still did not believe it because of joy and amazement, he asked them, ‘Do you have anything here to eat?’ They gave him a piece of broiled fish, and he took it and ate it in their presence.”   Luke 24:36-43

What was their immediate concern?  Is Jesus real or are we experiencing hallucinations?  What was Jesus immediate concern?  Jesus wanted them to have and be at peace.  He did not want them anxious or fearful but open and willing to welcome Him into their midst.   What is your reaction when confronted by Jesus?   Do you doubt who Jesus is and question His reaching out to you or do you welcome Him with peace?

Jesus reassured the disciples that He was a real living being just as He promised.  He proved it to them by calmly showing them His hands and feet- pierced at the cross, and eating food with them.   Matt 7 7

How does Jesus make himself known to you?  Does He come to you in prayer, in the helping hands of others or through His Word?   Jesus can and does reveal himself to us if we are open and willing.  In Matthew 7:7 Jesus tells us, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.”   Be a seeker today and know the joy of His presence.  Be amazed as you encounter the living Lord Jesus, just as the disciples did in the upper room.  Each encounter with Jesus brings new revelation and understanding of who He is!   Be open to Him and He will give you His peace.

Linda

upper-room
The disciples encountered Jesus in the upper room, where will you meet Him today?

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