Preserving Because Jesus Christ {VOTD}

One of my favorite ways to read, study, and blog is using the Verse of the Day feature on many “Bible sharing” websites I frequent. On Bible Gateway, our daily verse is the same as our VOTD from earlier. So, I hopped over to YouVersion, and it is one we desperately need.

Are Trials Bringing You Authentic Joy?

Consider it a great joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you experience various trials because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its full effect, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing (James 1:2-4, CSB).

On Netflix, I have been watching “In Lawfully Yours” lately. In the movie, there is a scene where a recently divorced young woman finds herself in church for the very first time and stands up to question the pastor’s message. She finds herself confronted with a biblical truth that we should consider trials pure joy. Many of us, like this main character, might want to question or argue through this scriptural truth.

Have you ever found yourself at odds with God’s truth considering trials pure joy?

Remembering This Eternal Reward?

Through trials God continues to produce His good work inside of us; our great God offers us His abundant, amazing, eternal life. Our faith in Him can stand strong, despite the winds of life’s trials. We don’t have to sacrifice our faith, in order to survive our trials. Instead, our great God wants to reveal Himself to us during these dark moments in life.

Blessed is the one who endures trials, because when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him (James 1:12, CSB).

This truth is exactly why we can consider trials to be something worthy of joy.

Pain in trials will not thrill our soul, but the joy is in experiencing God continuing His good work.

As we continue to willfully choose and prize our Lord Jesus Christ over everything else, the Lord is the reason why we can endure through all of the hard things.

It is entirely possible that the Lord has asked you to walk through fiery circumstances that no one around you – can fathom living through, and you can fully endure

. . . because of the One who goes before you and gives you every ounce of strength you will need.

Now this is what the Lord says— the one who created you, Jacob, and the one who formed you, Israel—’Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; you are mine.  I will be with you when you pass through the waters, and when you pass through the rivers, they will not overwhelm you. You will not be scorched when you walk through the fire, and the flame will not burn you.’ (Isaiah 43:1-2, emphasis mine)

This same God who raised our Lord Jesus Christ from the dead, is the very God who is going to help you with whatever you are facing.

Friends you can walk through this hard thing, because of this God you serve who has shown Himself to be all powerful! He has charted our life’s course, and gives us the victory to run this race.

Featured image by Cezanne Ali from Unsplash.

Seeking Him,






Noticing the Change {{POTF}}


I give thanks to Christ Jesus our Lord who has strengthened me, because he considered me faithful, appointing me to the ministry— even though I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an arrogant man. But I received mercy because I acted out of ignorance in unbelief, and the grace of our Lord overflowed, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus (1 Tim. 1:12-14, CSB).

I needed this truth: our Lord Jesus is the One strengthening us!

While I am a person who struggles with sin, I am absolutely saved by His grace alone. God has shown me His mercy. He has purposely loved me, despite the person I used to be. When my sin nature is in charge, I have the ability to crave being unkind. Yet, the Lord, through the gift of the Holy Spirit, is showing me how I can live a brand new way of life! He continues to deliver me from my old self on a daily, even hourly, basis.

My sin shows me my desperate need for our Lord Jesus who rose from the grave! In Scripture we are given the opportunity to see the difference between drawing nearer to Christ and living for ourselves. Galatians 5 is the number one Scripture that comes to mind on this subject. It shows us the absolute different in our lives when we focus on this relationship with God through our Savior.

For myself, I know our Lord Jesus is the One making the difference! He is doing the work that only He can. Routines, diets, and other things cannot ever change the “inside me.” This is something only our Lord Jesus can do.

The grace of our Lord has been abundantly poured out on me, along with faith and love found in Jesus Christ. The change I need in my personal life is something only Jesus can do. I need the Lord to take my life fully. I need to keep my words and attitude in check, because honestly it is easy to slip up. When life happens, it is easy to fall into the hard place of old ways. Take a look at this encouragement.

take off your former way of life, the old self that is corrupted by deceitful desires, to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, the one created according to God’s likeness in righteousness and purity of the truth (Eph. 4:22-24).”

Friends, let us keep daily putting on Christ.
Let us choose the things of God over this world.
We are given the Holy Spirit to help us in our journey.

How are you making sure you don’t “sober up” from the Holy Spirit?

Just that statement alone, takes a bit to digest – Reading our Bible’s, prayer, and Christian fellowship are all ways to get “drunk on the Spirit”.

Friend, keep drinking in the Lord through coming nearer. We need our Living Water, and drawing nearer is the best way to govern our lives. The Holy Spirit is our tool for every day living, so let us allow Him to strengthen our lives!

Image is by Matt Botsford.

Seeking Him,


Seeking God in Difficulties {Summer ’17}

In Psalm 70, we are reminded of our need to seek God – especially in the midst of the most difficult things.

God, hurry to rescue me. Lord, hurry to help me! (Ps. 70:1, CSB)

Therefore, let us approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in time of need (Heb. 4:16).

As followers of Jesus Christ, we have been gifted with this incredible relationship with God through Jesus Christ. Where we can boldly come to His throne, and receive all the help we could ever need.

Let all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you; let those who love your salvation continually say, “God is great!” I am oppressed and needy; hurry to me, God. You are my help and my deliverer; Lord, do not delay (Ps. 70:4-5).

The outcome of seeking our Lord Jesus in the midst of hard times is – life changing. God can give us a joy like nothing we could ever experience. The secret to joy isn’t necessarily in the removal of bad circumstances. It is found in spending time in God’s presence and trusting Him no matter the outcome. Now God could change our situations, but He might choose to change our hearts and walk us through the difficulties of life.

Friends, let’s bring our needs before our gracious God. We boldly come and share with God all we are going through.

This is a message I need for myself, because life can get hard. While I might force myself to carry the full weight of the burden, I will progress at a much slower pace than if I had accepted King Jesus’ help.

Come to me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take up my yoke and learn from me, because I am lowly and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light (Matt. 11:28-30).

God wants to be involved in our lives. He doesn’t want to be merely an observer, but He wants to be actively involved in our lives. While it can seem like our “normal” to go at it alone, it is not part of the way we have been called toward.

Some believe we have to make our own prayers come true. Basically we need to lean not on God, but ourselves.

Proverbs 3:5-6 reminds us of our need to allow God to be the sufficiency we need. God is God for a very good reason. Our strength cannot begin to compare with our great God’s!

As we walk with Jesus, we are invited to lay down our old ways and allow our great God to show us His love, grace, and power!

Friend, I have absolutely no idea what you are personally going through. What I do know is – the God I serve. God sent His Son Jesus Christ to pay the debt for our sin. He came and endured the most unimaginable pain, so we can have a relationship with our heavenly Father. A relationship, where we are His friend versus His enemy.

Image by Jason Blackeye.


My Pursuit of Forgiveness {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.

In Colossians 3, we are reminded of the glorious hope found in Jesus Christ. We are made spiritually alive, through our Risen Savior. There is excitement in our new life, but we can become hesitant on topics like “forgiving others”. We are kind of like the Israelites in that sense, learning we can’t take our old life habits with us.

Be gentle and ready to forgive; never hold grudges. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others (vv. 13, TLB).

Why We Forgive

This isn’t something we can dance around. Forgiving others is an important struggle to endure, especially as we look to Christ who is our Source of hope. God has forgiven us of so much. He has gone through unimaginable pain to fix the relationship we have with Him. This is such a gift, friends.

We are given the opportunity to experience God’s power as we trust and obey Him in forgiving others.

While the world teaches us to hold a grudge, God has a very different take on forgiveness. We are commanded to forgive others, even when they have badly hurt us. God’s way is much different than how we likely used to think. God urges us to forgive and even tells us that “our heavenly Father won’t forgive us, if we don’t forgive others.”

The forgiveness we have received through Christ, should prompt us to forgive others. How can we experience the tender mercy of God, but not share it with others? A changed heart is what happens, as we experience the Gospel.

Friends: Keep fighting to honor God in your relationships. As we obey God by forgiving those who hurt us, we are choosing to put our faith in Jesus Christ before our pride (or emotions). In the Bible, God teaches us how to handle difficult relationships – which brings many blessings with it.

My Story

As I look back at relational conflicts, I am reminded of the heartache and pressing need to obey God by choosing forgiveness.

If we want God’s blessing and protection over our relationships, we have to be willing to obey His Word.

Partnership with God is what made the difference in my life. Things can get so messed up, but God is the One who restores as we continue following Jesus in the hard things. Forgiving others isn’t something I can do, but is made possible with Jesus Christ. He is the One who forgives and shows us how to really love others – with His strength.

God has responded to me in forgiveness – at the moment when I needed it the most. God’s grace isn’t based on our actions, but the heart of God that lovingly pursues us no matter how far we run. This is why we can forgive, with the help of the Holy Spirit.


The Shepherd Who Protects {Summer Psalms ’17}

I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me— just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep  (John 10:14-15)

We are reminded in Psalm 23, that the Lord is our Shepherd. More than told, we are given specific ways God reveals Himself as our very good Shepherd.

For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless (Ps. 84:11).

Through our Lord Jesus Christ, we are protected and have every need met. He is the One who faithfully cares for us no matter what is going on in our lives.

He gives us everything we need (vv. 1). I heart the “God verbs” as I call them, where we are able to see how God, our Shepherd, moves for our benefit.

He gives us rest (vv. 2). Not only does He provide physical rest for us, He gives us all the rest we need. He rejuvenates and offers peaceful rest we need to thrive. He is our God and makes sure we lack no good thing (see Ps. 84:11).

He leads us (vv. 2). God makes sure we get to the right place. He is the One who goes before us. He isn’t going to abandon us, half way through His leading us. Our great God leads us the whole way!

He gives us new strength (vv. 3). God is faithful to supply us with strength. Remember Isaiah 40:30-31, where we are taught that God renews our strength. Let’s pray for God to do this for us.

He guides us along the right path (vv. 3). He will lead us on the right path, where we are exactly where we need to be. One way He guides us, is through the Bible. As we seek Him, He will show us which way to go.

He is with us (vv. 4). Take heart in this promise that we find throughout the Bible. When we choose to follow Jesus Christ and diligently seek to obey His commands, He promises to be with us (see Mt. 28:18-20).

He prepares a feast for us in front of our enemies (vv. 5). We aren’t given mere leftovers, but God has thoroughly prepared a table for us. Knowing God’s protection and provision, we can sit down and enjoy our great God – even in the midst of the battle.

He pours oil on our head, giving us an abundance – which includes His favor and rejoicing (vv. 5). We see this lived throughout the New Testament. Despite all we have done, Jesus Christ came, has saved us and restored our relationship with God. In this new life, we are given much favor poured into our lives.

His goodness and love follow us (vv. 6). In whatever we are facing, God’s goodness and love is following those who are genuinely seeking Jesus Christ. Let’s put away the sin, seek His forgiveness, and allow Him to be the One whose love and goodness we are chasing.