Our Kind Father {VOTD}

Praise the Lord, my soul! All my being, praise his holy name! Praise the Lord, my soul, and do not forget how kind he is (Ps. 103:1-2, GNT).

The past 24 hours was somewhat enveloped in chaos. Things were crazy. Even so there were plenty of moments, where I was reminded of the Holy Spirit. You know, it’s enjoyable to see the Holy Spirit and His fruits (like self control) in action. My faith is not empty, because I could see the result of trusting Jesus and the way He changes how I respond to a tense situation.

In today’s verse, we are reminded to praise the Lord with all our soul and to remember His kindness. The Lord has been abundantly kind toward me. No matter how I have acted, the Lord has chosen to love me through every bit of it. He has shown me what patience and kindness really looks like!

The Lord has been kind to me and allowed me to experience His grace. There have many times in my life where I have acted foolishly, but the Lord protected me in those moments. He has protected me in many ways and displayed His costly love.

The Reminder

While He has taught us through the Bible that He loves us, we can know these aren’t empty words. The Lord has lived out His love for us every moment of our lives. He has chosen to love us and intimately walk with us – even when we make bad decisions.

That’s where my mindset needs to be.
I need to remind myself of the Lord’s love and amazing grace.
The kind of grace that saves, regardless of what we have done.

The Lord Jesus loves and has handpicked us to be His forever treasure. Let’s fix our eyes on Him, and continue to offer Him our praise as worship. His kindness is far greater than we could ever imagine!

Run to the Father

Even when you are going through a tough situation, remind yourself of how the Lord has been faithful to you in the past. The Lord is our loving Shepherd, our Father, and Mighty One. He will lovingly act. As hard as it is, we need to remind ourselves of these truths.

God is described in the Bible as our Father. I know many of us have a rocky history when it comes to fathers, but He is our good good Father who takes thorough care of us. Our heavenly Father won’t leave our side for a moment.

He is the One who is always available and is actually waiting for us to come. He is waiting for us to draw near and be reconciled through His Son Jesus Christ. He is inviting us to come and see who He truly is!

If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him! (Luke 11:13, ESV)

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The Man I Met {You Can Meet Him Too}

Today, I am met with a man. A man who probably isn’t that much different from me. In Luke 5, we meet a man who is covered with leprosy. The disease has ran its course, and reached its capacity.

. . . And, he is sicker than he has ever been.

The Emotions

 It so happened that, as Jesus was in one particular town, there was a man whose body was riddled with a virulent skin disease. When he saw Jesus, he fell on his face. ‘Lord,’ he begged, ‘if you want, you can make me clean.’ – Luke 5:12

Illness brings heavy emotions, difficulty thinking, and crazy sleeping patterns, which admittedly is on top of the “typical” symptoms of our health issue.

While emotions can be beautiful and exhilarating, it can be a heavy burden to carry as well.

The emotions might be worse than the actual medical condition. It sticks to our side like glue, and reminds us of what we do not have. It reminds us of the past we cannot go back to, where we once had our family/friends and a place to call home.

. . . This is what this leper faced, and the reality for many of us on a daily basis. 

The life we once knew is – dissolved. Our new life is confusing. And, rarely understood by those nearest to us. They know not the debilitating emotions we struggle with. Even if it is suffocating, others often do not see the enormous burden we carry.

. . . But there is One who knows exactly what we face, as He is the only One who can carry us through this mess!

The Jesus I Know

I appreciate this man who is known only by his debilitating condition, because he knew the struggle, experienced the heavy emotions, and went running to King Jesus! He ran until he reached Jesus, because he knew Jesus is the answer.

. . . Jesus loved him {and us} and delights in taking care of us {just as He delighted in caring for this broken man}.

This Jesus is the same one who holds my heart. Jesus came, went to the cross, died and rose again to be with me. So, I may have peace with my Father.

My heart is safely held by Jesus, even on my worst day.

. . . He is my Protector, Comforter, and Friend.


This man encountered Jesus, and was changed.

Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him. ‘I do want to,’ he said. ‘Be clean.’ And the skin disease disappeared immediately. – Luke 5:13

Honestly, this is enough to bring me to my knees. The man ran to Jesus, and was wholly welcomed as he was. We are, too.


Our Invitation

Just as Jesus welcomed this man, we are welcomed and invited to come running to Him right now. We don’t have to wait until x, y, and z resolves itself. We can come to Jesus right now.

. . . Jesus invites us to come to Him. Weariness, heavy circumstances, and all, we are invited to simply come to Him.

Finding Captivating Love {Devotion}

While this post is over a year old, it is worth making sure its contents are shared with all of you – my lovely readers who are dearly loved by our heavenly Father. Allow it to soak into your spirit, help you draw nearer to Jesus Christ, our King, and ponder the truths of our great God and His Word!


Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To God’s elect, exiles scattered throughout the provinces of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia, who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to be obedient to Jesus Christ and sprinkled with his blood: Grace and peace be yours in abundance (1 Peter 1:1-2).

In 1 Peter 1:2, we learn a few interesting things.

  • God has a purpose regarding us.
  • We are chosen.
  • We have been made holy.
  • We have been cleansed by the blood of the Lamb (that is, Jesus Christ).
  • Grace and peace are ours in full measure.

The question I want us to answer today is….

How are you at living out these basic precepts that make up the Christian faith? It can take some of us many years to finally grasp the fact that we are –

  • on God’s mind (that He has a purpose for us!)
  • chosen by God alone (and it has nothing to do with our works)
  • cleansed (really cleansed) by the blood of the Lamb (Jesus, the Messiah!)
  • God’s grace and peace are completely poured onto every aspect of our lives, if we will allow God to do it!

What would our lives look like if we really grasped these truths? What would my life look like, if I really knew that I was loved by my Savior? Not a conditional kind of love that is based on what I do or don’t do, what expectations I completely miss by a long-shot, and any other human measure I can concoct in my mind.

Jesus loves, really loves, me and you. To such an extent that He came to earth.

Think about what kind of longing that would take.

“I am going to earth, to redeem them.”

“I will be forsaken, unloved, hated in fact, punished for what THEY did (for our sin, and He did it with such amazing love), and I am going to BRING them back. I am going to FIX our broken relationship, because I dearly love them and created them.”

This is true, friends.
Our reality.

God’s love is passionate. He is absolutely for us! And, this is the kind of love that God has for each one of us.

There is this song I reheard at a conference, but it took on a whole new meaning while there. “Live Like You’re Loved (Hawk Nelson)”. What would it take for me to live like God loves me? Not on some mini-level. We are talking about a football stadium, out of this world, full blown confidence, kind of love that God has for each of us.

The love of God is beyond anything we could ever comprehend.

We could take all of the oceans of the world, line them up next to each other, and it still wouldn’t even come close to the greatness of God’s love for us. All He wants is to be with us. To spend time with us. It’s a relationship!

Announcement: August/Sept SW Challenge

Hey friends!

Yesterday, I shared a couple pretty big blog announcements. The first was concerning a new Scripture Writing challenge, that I am excited to begin with you (more on that, in a moment).

Also, I shared a brand new opportunity I have been given – to write for Servants of Grace. My first article is now available on SOG’s website, so you will want to check it out. It is appropriately titled “The Gospel and Community”. We know, in Scripture, community is an influential part of the Christian life. So, join me – as we begin to talk some about God’s design for our relationships (and why we need the Church).

Scripture Writing Challenge – The Chapter –

With that said, let’s get back to our Scripture Writing Challenge. I promised you, details. And, I am here to deliver those precious details.

Over the next 4 weeks, we are studying Isaiah 40. Inside this one chapter, we learn a great deal about God and His character. This is a chapter, which God can use to radically alter our perception of God and who He truly is. We don’t have to settle for what God might be like.

But, we can truly know God – and walk in a relationship with Him. Because of His Son Jesus Christ. Jesus came, to die on the cross for our sins and rose again. When Jesus resurrected, He did many amazing things – including giving us new life. I want us to explore what this new life can look like, for us, as followers of Jesus Christ.

The Details

Unlike our Ephesians’ study (Walking into the Light), this study is written a bit differently. The biggest difference is the timing. Ephesians was a daily, six week, study. This study is a four week study, but each week has five lessons. Additional Scriptures are shared, to help us “go deeper” in our study of knowing God.

This might throw us off a bit, because our Sept/Oct study is written exactly like Walking into the Light.

The study will begin on the 8th of August. For the blog and social media, each week will go from Monday to Friday. My hope is to blog some through this experience, so I can soak up all God is showing me through this Spirit-filled chapter!

Resources

Below, you will find two resources you might want to grab to help you in your study time: The schedule and journal. I am very much looking forward to our study together, and I hope you will join us on the blog and social media!

Reading Schedule

Study Guide

Social Media Links

Instagram

Facebook

Twitter

I mentioned our new study, Gleaning from the Heart of Jesus. It begins in September, and will run for nine weeks covering Matthew 4-7. You will equally love this study as well. I invite you to join us, as we prepare for it – as well… As an Amazon affiliate, using this link allows you to help support my blog with any Amazon purchase you make.

Holding Onto His Teachings {& Our Faith}

I am not one who typically has dreams. Or at least, not that I can remember. Yet in today’s, the heart of God is churning my spirit.

I met Jesus in my dream today. He was carrying my cross and crown of thorns pressed into His skull. Yet as He did this, life was going on all around him in a marketplace type setting.  With the image in my head, I must ask ~ How can we go on in life, without recognizing Jesus Christ, His gift of salvation, and His intense pursuit for us? Then a second time, when I woke up, I was reminded of my loving Savior, who fights for me and ushers me into His presence… and the Holy Spirit whispered “hold onto My teachings”.

Essential Truth

In the book of John, we are reminded that Jesus’ teachings are extremely important. Jesus is God in the flesh. His teachings determine the course of our lives (see Prov. 4:23, 16:9). That’s why those who obey Jesus’ teachings by faith are called His disciples.

“So Jesus was saying to the Jews who had believed Him, “If you abide in My word [continually obeying My teachings and living in accordance with them, then] you are truly My disciples. (John 8:31, emphasis mine, AMP).”

It isn’t enough to believe Jesus once, and move on to whatever “thing” is going on in our lives. We are taught right here, that we need to keep believing. We need to keep holding onto Jesus and His perfect teachings.

His Authority

Jesus holds all authority over heaven and earth (see Mt. 28:18). He is our great Savior who came for us (see Jn. 1:14). Spending time with Jesus Christ is the most significant thing we could do.

Jesus is the One with the ability to transform us and our circumstances! But, He wants to start with our hearts.

Knowing Jesus Takes Effort

We need to keep allowing Christ to pursue us, and take Him at His Word. We have the blessing of spending time in the Word of God, His Presence, and in prayer – to cause our relationship with Him to absolutely flourish (see Ps. 1).

As we continue to trust in Jesus Christ, our Risen Savior, holding onto His teachings reveals that we are His. It is showing the world that we belong to Jesus Christ – the Eternal One. It shows the world that our faith is not in circumstances, rather it is in the Author of life itself – God, through His Son Jesus Christ!

In the midst of life and circumstances, I think it is easy to forget what is at stake.

God wants to speaks to us.

He wants us to see His Word is alive and well.

He wants us to know that He is far greater!

We cannot forget the cross that was carried on our behalf, despite its shame (see Heb. 12:2). Friends, the temptation to get caught up in today – is very present. But, let your relationship with Jesus Christ stand as the most important thing in your life!