Delayed Obedience {VOTD}

Occasionally, I get the tremendous opportunity to sit and write with a “Verse-of-the-Day”. Today’s “VOTD” is brought to us by BibleGateway. The blessing is – we are actually walking through Psalm 119 right now, through our Facebook page.

When I read today’s “VOTD,” it just really stood out to me. The Voice uses the word “procrastinate” versus “hesitating (CSB)”. Both involve some kind of delayed obedience, so keep that in mind as you read through this post.

I hurried, not hesitating to keep your commands (Ps. 119:60, CSB).

For one of my phone apps, I have a Bible reading alarm. While I have it set to remind me everyday to read my Bible, I wasn’t expecting its persistence. This alarm will not cease until I have successfully stopped and taken the time to read my Bible. It is deliberate and continues to notify me, unless I get right to the task and responsibility of drawing near to God and Bible reading.

If I was as faithful in living out God’s truths as the alarms on my phone, I would be in a far better place spiritually. I would have the heart’s desire to hurry toward our risen Lord Jesus and living out His truths – rather than dancing around my obedience to God.

We all would be in better spiritual shape, if we practiced immediate obedience.

When we delay in living out God’s Word, we need to look and see what is going on. Why aren’t we obeying God? Is it unwillingness, or the influence of something else – possibly sin?

As I consider my own delayed response, friend, I invite you to consider how you have fallen prey to a “delayed response” heart. Delaying to obey our great God in what He has taught us – which is a big deal, to be absolutely honest with you.

What is God calling you to do, but you have delayed in doing?

Maybe, it is obeying God’s calling you to write a book, write a friend a note, in tithing when you are barely making ends meet, how you view a specific circumstance you are in, or something else entirely.

“As soon as he was sensible of his duty, he immediately complied with it; he consulted not with flesh and blood, but at once yielded a cheerful obedience to the commands of God (John Gill).”

“So what has God told you to do that you haven’t started doing yet? What are you waiting for? God has your best interests at heart. Go ahead and do what he’s told you to do (Rick Warren Devotional).”

I have a writing project on my heart, to which I need to give myself. I need to find moments of wellness, but more importantly the room in my heart to be willing to do this “God thing”. It is a project God obviously has me working on – for a reason. I just need to honor God in this, even when it might be a difficult task. What about you, my friend?

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God-Given Assignments {Inspiring Women}

Hi friends! For the months of May/June, we will be using a reading plan given to us by Sweet to the Soul Ministries. Feel free to stroll through their Facebook page and blog. They even have a journaling kit and Bible study for this month’s plan.

Friends, it’s far too easy to give up. For a lot of us, we can spend our whole lives running from one thing to the next. But, there is also another way. God is working greatly in ours and others’ lives, and He is inviting us to join Him.

So let’s not allow ourselves to get fatigued doing good. At the right time we will harvest a good crop if we don’t give up, or quit. Right now, therefore, every time we get the chance, let us work for the benefit of all, starting with the people closest to us in the community of faith (Galatians 6:8-10, MSG).

Let’s think about where we are in our lives, and see how to stay encouraged in our God-given assignments. In these assignments, we are given the opportunity to obey God and bring the hope found in Jesus Christ to many in need of His love and grace.

God has big things in mind for us. He wants to take our personality, spiritual gifts, talents, heart, and lead us into telling others about the Gospel of Jesus Christ – where the sinner finds peace with God and a brand new life. This is where lives are forever changed!

What does a God-given assignment look like? It is anything we are asked to do by our Most High God. From obeying His Word, to going where He is leading us.

Joshua’s Work

I have been reading a bit of Joshua lately, and am reminded of God’s urging Joshua to “be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people“. Joshua needed to be brave and trust God, in order to do this big thing. It was a big thing, but would be taken one step at a time.

God has assignments for us, too. Sometimes they either seem too big or too small. Each assignment requires us to trust our Lord Jesus to strengthen us and do His good work behind the scenes.

Our Assignment

What is God calling you to do? We have many things that could be labeled an assignment. Here is a small list –

  • Help {or sit with} someone in need.
  • Serve in your church.
  • Talk with someone about Jesus Christ and His saving power.
  • Continue a specific ministry (perhaps even, a blog).
  • Lastly, perhaps your assignment right now is to rest.

We don’t choose our assignments. God chooses them, but we must choose to trust and obey. As the song says, there is no other way to happy in Jesus.

Remember This –

May we remember that we are doing something of significance. This is important work we are doing. While it may be easy to trade where we are for somewhere a bit more fun or less labor intensive, this is where God has placed us and He will strengthen our hearts and hands.

Trust His heart, when you cannot see where He is taking you

In Christ,

Signature

 

Week 7: 2 Thessalonians 1:11

With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may bring to fruition your every desire for goodness and your every deed prompted by faith (2 Thess. 1:11, NIV).

It always stops me in my tracks, when I read “By His power, He may bring to fruition your every desire for goodness and your every deed prompted by faith.” Many of us have unmet desires we are waiting on. God can give us these desires, but it is up to God if they are fulfilled and when that fulfillment happens.

Let’s focus on the Lord, and give Him our heart’s desires!

Truth be told, it is about surrendering our desires to God and keeping our focus on Him. Our focus needs to be on drawing nearer to our King Jesus, not the dreams.

In the waiting and wondering period, we are learning to trust that God is working on our behalf. As we draw nearer, God is changing us from the inside – out. Look at what Philippians 2:13 teaches us – For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him (NLT).

The right kind of desires are given to us by God, and fulfilled by God in His timing!

Keep coming back to Jesus – our Redeemer. When we keep coming back to Jesus as our Redeemer, we will not be disappointed. We will be reminded of the abundant hope we have been given. Jesus Christ came for you and me.

Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst (1 Tim. 1:15).

Called by God

While the God of the Universe gives us other desires, He gave us the ultimate desire for Him. God is the One who calls; what we are called to is God’s own kingdom and glory (Reformation Study Bible). We have been moved from a place of condemnation because of our sins (see John 3:16-17) and ushered into the presence of God (see Hebrews 4:14-16). It is a complete change in our destination.

Not only has He chosen to save us, we can enjoy His sweet presence – today!

Cleansed by Jesus

Through Jesus Christ, we have been saved and made new. His love for us is what made the difference in our lives. Jesus Christ is what matters in our lives, which is why we celebrate our Redeemer. He came for us, and is away. He is worthy of our praise and the One who makes us worthy.

Because of Jesus Christ, we can stand in His presence and enjoy our heavenly Father. We have been reconciled to God and He will make us worthy and cause us to grow in all areas of our lives. Now, that’s worthy celebrating!

Both past election and present growth are crucial. They are already children of God; they are to live lives governed by this reality. Thereby, Jesus’ name will be glorified and they in turn will be glorified in him. All of this is accomplished through grace (Asbury Commentary).

Remain Where You Are

“Just remain where you are.”

I am convinced that is a truth God wants to etch in our hearts, today. See, we become so convinced that we are not enough.

We are unmarried.

We are childless.

We are not dating anyone. 

By definition, we are as single as possible!

Culture can tear us down, in the midst of our singleness – which should be a gift. Yes, that is right. Singleness should be seen as a beautiful gift. But, often, it doesn’t. It can feel like a dreaded task to endure.

Singleness.

It is more than a season of life. It is a place, where God is stirring our hearts and preparing us for what’s next. That “next” might include a bae, in your future. It might mean… a new last name. A change of address. A new, life-long, roommate. But, it is much more than that. We hold up marriage as this sacred gift – which, it is.

Just Remain –

Yet when we put marriage on a pedestal, we view our singleness as the rejected gift. We deem it as, less than God’s best. We begin to allow culture to inflitrate our perspective. As a result, for some, singleness becomes our mark of shame. With this, enters in a myriad of thoughts to the single’s brain. Most of which – can lead us away from God and serve as billboard size distractions in our lives.

Oh, friends, if we could just remain where we are. If we could allow ourselves to be taken by Jesus’ hand and led through the gifts He is lovingly giving us, life would be far better.

There is a much better way, when we choose to center ourselves on the Lord our God and His divine will. We don’t know what God has planned for us, but He does have a plan!

In the world we live in, with social media, we are constantly trying to hold up to the standards of others.

… But, your life is not intended to look like theirs!

But, God!

God has uniquely made you – and for a divine purpose. That may include a spouse. Marriage is a ministry, just like any other. It is an important ministry. But, singleness is a ministry as well. God is going to use our time unattached from another soul, to draw us near to Him.

How are we allowing God to use our singleness, to draw us nearer to Him?

The first step of any good life – is Jesus Christ! Whatever season we find ourselves in, we can experience out-of-this-world intimacy – starting right now. Jesus Christ is the Creator of intimacy and companionship. Let Him soothe your soul, as He soothes my own.

Read Psalm 139; Jeremiah 29:11; 1 Corinthians 7:17-20; James 4:8

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My Calling is a Gift From God!

“I marvel that you so soon are being moved
away from Him who called you into the
grace of Christ, to another gospel… (Gal. 1:6)” 

“who has saved us and called us with a holy
calling, not according to our works, but
according to His own purpose and grace
which was given us in Christ Jesus before
the eternal times (2 Tim. 1:9).”

We have been lovingly called by God. Being called by God is an absolute gift. It is not something we could ever earn. Grace is “undeserved kindness”. Even when we were at our absolute worse, God sent His Son Jesus Christ to pay the price we could never pay. He sent His Son Jesus to take on our sins and burdens, nail them to the cross, crucifying our Savior, and on the third day – He rose again!

Since the very beginning, we have been drawn to Christ by His call of love. See, God loves us. We may not deserve it, but He loves us. That reveals how good our gracious Savior is. That He loved us to such an extent that He would do anything to grant us the gift of standing in His Presence.

The truth is – we have offended a holy God. Sin separates us from God – our Savior. Though God is full of love, He is also a God who desires justice. God wants to set everything right in the world, at its proper time. But, He made a way where we can have a close relationship with Him and to fulfill His standard for justice.

In our own strength, we make mistakes. We sin, offending a holy God. Yet even with our most horrible mistakes and sinful nature, God still loves us. He still calls us up. He still intentionally seeks us out. He continues to love us. God has a wonderful plan and purpose for our lives. And, it is an absolute gift.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares
the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to
harm you, plans to give you hope and a future
(Jer. 29:11).”

The plans God has laid up for us, are not the kind we could ever be deserving of. It is an absolute gift. While we know we may be undeserving of such a gift, that’s what makes Jesus such a treasure. Our relationship with Jesus is the best treasure we could ever have. Just as we might have a safety box to place our treasures in, we need to recognize the treasure we have in Jesus Christ – and guard our relationship with Him. We need to guard our relationship with Jesus, because sin paid a devastating cost.

“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift
of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord
(Rom. 6:23).”

While in our deepest sin, God still calls us up. He knows what we have thought, said, and done, yet He still calls us up. He still loves us. He still pursues us like no other ever would.

“… because he loved us first (1 Jn. 4:19b).”

“Greater love has no one than this: to
lay down one’s life for one’s friends (Jn. 15:13).”

He still invites us to become a part of His spiritual family.

He still invites us to be loved on, by the Author of love.

Lovingly, He draws us out.

He shares His plans for our lives, if we will just hear Him out.

‘Now the LORD said to Abram, “Go from your country
and your kindred and your father’s house to the land
that I will show you (Gen. 12:1).”‘

Hearing God calls us up, is the greatest blessing we could ever have in this life. In our lives, things can get so messy. We can become overwhelmed with what we are not, yet God still calls us up.

He still calls us up to say “I love you. You are worth a lot to me. And, I love you. I just want to be with you. I just want to be your strength. I just want to be your help. I just want to see you live out the endless possibilities when you allow Me to lead in your life.”

God, through His Son Jesus Christ, loudly invites us to step in His Presence blamelessly. He loudly invites us. It is an irresistible offer. Jesus is inviting us to bear His name, and see how He can change our lives – for the better. He is pouring out His life, so we can live a far better life than we could ever think up or imagine.

“Yet now he has reconciled you to himself through
the death of Christ in his physical body. As a result, he has
brought you into his own presence, and you are holy and
blameless as you stand before him without a single fault
(Col. 1:22).”

This is what God’s call is.

It is God knowing we are sinners, yet providing a way out – so we can be invited to dine at His table! We may not have the money or any of the right apparel, but God is calling us up, inviting us to dine with Him, and paying for everything.

“Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters;
and you who have no money,
come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
without money and without cost.
Why spend money on what is not bread,
and your labor on what does not satisfy?
Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good,
and you will delight in the richest of fare.
Give ear and come to me;
listen, that you may live.
I will make an everlasting covenant with you,
my faithful love promised to David (Is. 55:1-3).”

Jesus Christ paid the ultimate price, so we did not have to. He paved the way, so we can be connected to God – forever. It is not for a day or two, but for all eternity.

“Remain in me, as I also remain in you… (Jn. 15:4a)”

We have been called into the grace of God.

For me, I know I need to begin relying on the grace of God all the more. I need to remember just how big God’s grace is. I need to learn what it means to live a grace-filled life. I need to remember again what it is, I have been called to. And, it’s an absolute gift.

The gift of God’s grace is what we are called to. We are being invited to live a life with Him. We are invited to the best life possible. But, it requires us to do something. Come to Jesus. Recognize the gift we are given through Jesus Christ. God is calling us up right now, inviting us to join Him in this new life He has paved out for us. All we have to do is being willing to go.

How are you choosing to answer God’s invitation to sit at His luxurious table? He is calling you.

I am reminded of this parable that speaks volumes. Please visit Luke 14:15-24 to study this passage.