Praised for my strength, I internalized:
Maybe you have experienced darkness, too? I must admit, there were times the darkness was so strong, I felt like I was back in that sleeping bag, suffocating with no one coming to help. I think that is why, out of all the wonderful truths and beautiful pictures in Revelation, what stands out to me most, is that there will be no darkness.
Not even any shadows. God’s glory will radiate so strongly, no place will be devoid of light. What a glorious promise eternal life holds! This thought used to be only mildly comforting for me, because eternity is for later, not now. But, as citizens of God’s kingdom, we can walk bathed in light today.
Though we will have to wait to experience the full splendor of Heaven, John records Jesus’s prayer to God the Father where He identifies eternal life as knowing God and believing Jesus as Christ.
Friends! This is great news. We can and do know Him now.
We have access to the Light now.
How? During my struggles, I had to choose beyond accepting Jesus as Redeemer. I had to give Him all access. Intentional thinking and remembering the goodness of God and how He gave it all so I could know Him was finally how my darkness began to break. Knowing God and being known by Him.
A simple concept, hard to implement, but possible. By being relational with God, beginning with belief in Jesus, we can allow the Holy Spirit to radiate light in our lives. And though the enemy may strike at our heels we can crush his head every time.
This is after all, what God wanted from the moment of creation: for us to walk with Him, warmed by His light. Unhindered, unashamed, and unrestrained. To know His love for us, and to return it to Him, fully available to His blessings.
The Biblical account comes full circle, the curse broken, our debt paid in full, and creation restored to its original design. The “Light” once again returns to earth. Knowing this, we can live victoriously in that light even while we await the day when once again mankind will dwell with our Victor. Fully restored and full of promise, for the future and the present.
Will you make a choice to let go of darkness and live in His light today?
Memory Verse: “Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.” John 17:3 NIV
Every time I read Revelation now, all I’m reminded of is how worthy He really is. He is worth the discomfort or the ridicule. He is worthy of lifting His name, even, and especially, in the midst of the valleys.
In reading Revelation, John speaks of Jesus’ worthiness. He writes, “He is worthy to take the scroll and open that seal” (Rev. 5:9, 12). When John attests to Jesus being worthy to open the seal, think of it as the scroll being a Holy letter addressed to Jesus alone, being the only One worthy of opening it. He alone was worthy of opening this Holy scroll because He alone died on the cross so that you and I might live! He alone is so worthy that every creature in heaven, on earth, under the earth, and on the sea will proclaim, “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever!” (Rev. 5:13).
How appropriate that worth is such a hot topic these days: how much is land worth? A home? Fuel? Milk and eggs? How much is my career worth in comparison to my family, even my faith? What is it that made Jesus worthy? With worth, there's usually a cost and Jesus’s cost for worthiness was death:
Friends, be encouraged in that when you come face to face with the nature of this world, praise Him anyway. When you find persecution in the workplace, or discomfort in standing alone in your faith, be reminded of His worth. Be reminded that He faced not only ridicule, slander and persecution, but death, and was victorious. The victory that made a way for you and I to know what it is to openly step into that secret place found in unhindered, genuine worship, and find that same victory. Praise Him for paying the price of being our worthy sacrifice, even while we were still in the valley. Praising Him anyway because we can know that perseverance breeds faithfulness and “...faithfulness breeds righteousness” (Rom. 1:17).
He paid it all with His Blood, so be heartened to return that sacrifice with praise, no matter what the valley looks like, because HE is worthy, because He is always faithful in our faithfulness, bringing us, every time, from the valley to the mountain top.
Memory Verse: “And they sang a new song, saying: “You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased for God persons from every tribe and language and people and nation.” Revelation 5:9
My sin was like an oil that does not mix with the living water that is God. This metaphor is true for sin of any size or stature, sin simply is not of God. We cannot carelessly let sin rule our lives and claim to be in fellowship with Christ, we must align our lives to His.
As I read this week’s scriptures, I couldn’t help but feel convicted. John is addressing heretical teachers that were within the church making false claims regarding Christianity. They claimed to be in step with God, even partnering with Him, but they lived immorally. They rejected the notion that they were sinful by nature and they denied that their sin was displeasing to God! My jaw dropped over the simple truths such “Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness” (1 John 3:4) and “If we claim to have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth” (1 John 1:6).
In 1 John 1:9, John writes “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” Confession in its simplest terms is to agree with God. Confession is the cure for sinfulness.
The first change I enacted in my life was that of confession to God and to those I had wronged or led astray. I encourage you today to confess your sins to our Father who is faithful and just to forgive so that He could cleanse you from all your unrighteousness that you could become a new creation in Him (2 Cor. 5:17). Your first prayer of confession can be as simple as, “Lord, I agree I have lived sinfully.” May the words cross your heart before they cross your lips.
Take every new day and each new endeavor with one foot in front of the other, fully relying on God’s strength. With every step in the right direction aligned with Christ, you will become the woman and new creation God destined you to be!
Memory Verse: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” 2 Corinthians 5:17
As I grew in faith by feasting on God’s Word, I was drawn closer to Christ. Victory over sin is a testimony I could share. It is not the ‘accepting Jesus Christ as my savior’ testimony, but it's a testimony of what He is doing in our lives today; our ‘Today Testimony’ is the evidence of Godly living.
In 1 Peter 3, the apostle is writing to Christians about Godly living. He tells wives to submit to their husbands and husbands to love their wives, according to their God-given roles. Wives are to obey because God commands them to, and husbands will find their prayers hindered if they dishonor their wives. Peter encourages his brethren to love each other, be compassionate, humble, and to turn from evil and do good. Verse 17 of 1 Peter 3 tells us, “It is better, if it is God's will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.” The challenge for these believers was to respond in love, even if they should suffer for doing what was right. Living in exile, as aliens in a foreign land, they were facing daily persecution because of their faith in Christ. Despite the hardships they were facing, the way they lived their lives was a testimony to those around them. Each day, they could share a testimony with others of how and why they lived as they did, a ‘Today Testimony.’ Their ‘Today Testimony’ could lead to sharing their saving testimony.
Jesus hung on the cross to save us all, but He, too, began with a ‘Today Testimony’ as He prayed, ‘Father forgive them for they do not know what they are doing’ (Luke 23:34). This led to one of the criminals who hung beside Him being saved that day (Luke 23:40-43). Because of Jesus’ example, we can share our ‘Today Testimony’ with others.
A Today Testimony is built on a Saving Testimony.
Have you ever struggled with sharing your testimony? Does telling your whole story seem too daunting? Then, how about sharing your ‘Today Testimony’? God is at work in your life every day, in small ways and in great ways. When your little one has a meltdown at the playground and you are able to hug him despite your anger and embarrassment, credit God for giving you patience. When you can joyfully celebrate the birth of your best friend’s fifth child, despite your fourth miscarriage and your ‘still empty arms,’ credit the joy to your growing faith and trust in a sovereign God. Your ‘Today Testimony’ could lead someone to accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior. What an awesome privilege that would be!
Memory Verse: “...Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have….” 1 Peter 3:15
Don’t ask me why I do these things. (My therapist would probably have an explanation). And when it comes to my history of overcomplicating things, parenting is no exception.
I remember, when my kids were little, being so anxious about getting everything just right. I wanted (and still want) them to walk with Christ more than anything, so I got busy overcomplicating….
I read a plethora of Christian parenting books… which left me feeling like a failure.
I started daily devotionals with my toddlers… which left me frustrated.
I tried to monitor everything they watched and did with perfect precision… and it left me fatigued.
My Bible told me that Jesus’ yoke was easy and His burden was light (Mt. 11:30), but that truth didn’t line up with my experience of feeling like a chronically frustrated, fatigued, failing Christian parent.
Maybe, under the surface, you’ve been feeling the same tension. Maybe you, too, are exhausted from constant striving and overcomplicating.
How do we raise children who grow to love and follow Christ organically, without all the fuss?
In Paul’s latter letters, we meet Timothy, a young faith-filled minister. While we don’t learn much about his personal life, we do get a glimpse of how Timothy came to a personal relationship with God. Paul writes, “I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also” (2 Tim. 1:5).
At some point (possibly on one of Paul’s earlier journeys to Lystra) Lois and Eunice had put their faith in Christ. But they didn’t just relegate Jesus to Sundays, or their quiet times— their faith was deep and genuine, so much so that the outer working of it infiltrated every area of their lives.
The power of a mom’s or grandmother’s influence cannot be overstated. Their example had such an impact on the young man that Timothy grew to know and follow Jesus himself. Their living faith lived on in him.
While there’s no way to guarantee salvation for our own children, we can be “salt and light” to them by living out a genuine (unfeigned) faith. The pressure is off, friends— we don’t have to be anxious, strive, and overcomplicate.
As moms, our job is to remain rooted in Christ, and let the fruit attract others. A life overflowing with the presence and goodness of God is simply irresistible.
How do we live out sincere faith? Here are a few examples of what that looks like in my life:
Today, ask God to reveal any anxiety you’re carrying about your children, and any ways you may be overcomplicating. Release your kids to the Lord, knowing He loves them and has good plans for them.
While devotionals and parenting books are good tools, we don’t have to stress and strive. Our kids don’t need our perfection, they need us to show them what living faith looks like.
Memory Verse: “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Galatians 2:20
The test was given at a testing center a couple of hours from my home. So I made a hotel reservation, packed my suitcase, and headed out with excitement and anticipation. I arrived at the hotel, settled into the room, and went out to treat myself to a steak dinner. When I returned from the restaurant, I thought, “Let me do a little refresher.” I opened my study guide, pulled out my flashcards, and started cramming. Minutes turned into hours, and the daylight faded into night. Nevertheless, I kept on cramming. I did not believe that my careful, methodical preparation was enough to help me pass the test. My unbelief robbed me of adequate rest.
Have you ever spent a sleepless night tossing and turning because swirling, anxious thoughts keep you from drifting off? Maybe you can think of a similar time when your unbelief or lack of faith kept you from getting the rest you needed.
Hebrews 4:1 explains, “Therefore, since the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us be careful that none of you be found to have fallen short of it.” This good news comes with a sober warning: God’s rest is available! But you can miss it too. The type of rest that the writer of Hebrews is talking about is a literal repose. It is not a euphemism for death or the afterlife; according to Strong’s Concordance its literal Greek translation (katapausis)indicates a cessation from work (The Interlinear Bible).
Hebrews 4:2 repeats the promise and warning, “For we also have had the good news proclaimed to us, just as they did; but the message they heard was of no value to them, because they did not share the faith of those who obeyed.” Whenever a principle in Scripture repeats, it is important! Back-to-back these verses teach that the same promise of rest was made, yet one group did not combine what they heard with faith. Faith in God’s promises produces rest.
A few hours into my evening cramming, I realized that I needed to stop studying and rest. Even though I finished the exam exhausted, I passed the test the next day! My one regret from that situation is that I should have activated my faith in the careful preparation I made for the test. My unbelief and self-doubt robbed me of the rest I needed. I learned that rest is necessary to do my best at whatever task I face.
The author reminds us in Hebrews 4:4 that after a busy week of creation, God himself rested on the seventh day. If God instituted the pattern for regular rest periods, shouldn’t we as women take his lead? What keeps women from entering into rest? Could it be unbelief or self-doubt? Do you believe that if you stopped serving, cleaning, teaching, cooking, and working, your household would crash down around you? Is your constant busyness a symptom of unbelief? If it is, Hebrews has good news. Mix a little faith with the promise God has extended to you. Rest for a minute. God has offered you rest; take him up on it!
Reference: The Interlinear Bible: Hebrew - Greek - English. Jay P. Green, translator, Hendrickson. 2011.
Memory Verse: “There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works, just as God did from his.” Hebrews 4:9-10
In Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, he explains to them to “live worthy of the calling they have received” (Eph. 4:1) and to do so with humility, making every effort to stay peacefully unified. Paul later relates this concept to marriage: that as man and wife you should be unified “as one flesh” (Eph. 5:31).
After reading this, I felt called out, rightfully so. In the struggle, I was looking to myself to do everything when I should have been looking to God who would have pointed me to my husband. I was trying my best to live out my calling of being a mother, but I wasn’t putting the same effort into my calling of being a wife. I wasn’t humbling myself or submitting myself to my husband, so how could I expect any sort of peace?
I was sitting in that chair at night wishing my daughter would sleep better or that my husband would read my mind. Instead, I should have been communicating with God on how I could communicate better to my husband. It was easier for the enemy to attack me in my sleep deprived state, feeling alone and upset, because I was cutting myself off from God’s guidance and my husband's support.
God doesn’t want us to do everything ourselves. The Bible explains that we are all part of the body of Christ with different functions and to be able to function properly, we have to work together (1 Cor. 12:12-28). We need our brain to tell our feet to move forward so we can walk. In this way, we need our communication to help our families work as a cohesive unit. When we fail to communicate, it is easier for negativity and resentment to bubble to the surface. The doubts and anger from the enemy start to seep in. Paul encourages the Ephesians to “speak the truth” and not to “give the devil an opportunity” (Eph. 4:25-27).
If you’re feeling alone and unsupported, maybe it’s because you’ve cut yourself off from the other parts of the body within your support system. By not communicating the truth of your feelings and needs, you rob your support system of living within the calling that God has given them. Live worthy of your calling and humble yourself to allow others to live worthy of theirs.
In the quiet moments (and the loud ones), I encourage you to pray fervently. After all, communication is key. Let God’s grace and gentle guidance lead you to those around you when you need help and encouragement. Submit to your spouse in love and respect and feel the peaceful unity God has graced upon both of you.
Memory Verse: “As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love, making every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” Ephesians 4:1-3
We see this mix of both truth and love in Paul’s letter to the Colossians. He extended words of deep and meaningful praise and encouragement, but Paul also exhorted the Colossians toward truth, with the expressed goal that “they might be encouraged in heart and united in love” (Col. 2:2a). When Paul loved, he fought for people to have all the richness offered by a life with the Lord. He reminded them of the truth, warned against things that would draw them away, and pointed them toward Christ and unity. Paul’s love wasn’t fluff, and ours shouldn’t be either.
The Colossians were a group of faithful believers that still had some kinks to work out, just like us. As part of the body of Christ, we have the same ability as Paul to strengthen one another and our relationships. If the truth will set us free, then we must be willing to share it with one another. Love does not exist without truth. While this “truth in love” style of living isn’t common in our culture, the Father has given us the truest definition of love through His Son, Jesus, and it is by this uncommon love that we will be recognized as His.
When we love others, sometimes we have to tell people hard things so that we can grow together. I have wasted a lot of time storing up hurts that were never intended. Maybe you can relate. I can know intent but still hold onto the hurt I felt over some issue like little bricks to make a wall between us. As I’ve sought the Lord in how to handle my relationships, He challenged me to get honest with the people around me and stop trying to cover over things out of love and let love truly cover over all. The world tells us that we should forgive and move on, but that can lead us down a path of further struggle and pain if we never actually address our hurts. The Father, however, shows us a better way, combining grace and truth.
So next time you face a sticky situation with a friend or loved one, seek to handle it immediately so anger doesn’t build and the relationship doesn’t break, because one of the greatest acts of love is telling the truth.
Memory Verse: “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:35
But can’t we say the same?
Our culture and our world encourages us to focus on ourselves. We are bombarded with messages around self-care, growing ourselves, improving ourselves, and becoming our very best self. While these things are not necessarily bad, they can quickly replace the thing that is to be center - the person we were created to worship.
In the letter to the Romans, Paul shares what the life of a Christian should look like, and it is the opposite of what the world around us teaches. In Romans 13:14, Paul says, “Clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh.”
In the Christian life, we are to love our neighbor and consider them above ourselves. They may not do as we do, worship God as we worship God, or hold the same expectations that we hold, yet we are to respect our neighbors. Our goal as Christ-followers is not to please ourselves. It is to glorify God and love our neighbor well.
We can easily fall into the trap of self-glorification, especially in our social media driven world. I can quickly think that I deserve more, that I come first, and that my needs are the most important. However, God calls us to so much more. He calls us to crucify our own desires so we can make room for His desires. When we let go of the things of our flesh, we can be filled with His Spirit, used for His kingdom, and shine His light for others to see.
Jesus calls us to a countercultural life. He made it clear in His ministry that choosing to follow Him requires sacrificing the things that we want and desire. Yet following Him is filled with promise and reward.
So how do we let go of these things of the flesh?
For me, it is coming to Jesus daily. When I spend regular time learning from His words and actions, the Holy Spirit brings them to mind just when I need them the most. Our flesh-pleasing desires come so naturally and easily, so I have found that I need to come before Jesus in prayer all throughout the day. When I am tempted to put me first, when my jealousy rears its head, or when I am tempted to act rashly out of my own desires, I find that if I can pause and come to God in prayer, even for just a quick second, it realigns my heart and mind with His.
To live the countercultural life that Christ calls you to, devote yourself to learning more about Him, spending quality time with Him in prayer, and joining Him in His work around you. He will meet you where you are and align your heart and mind to His.
Memory Verse: “Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.” Galatians 5:24-25
Notice, Paul speaks about a mindset. He doesn’t talk about actions that please God.
When we use only our actions to please God, but don’t let Him in to renew our minds, we boil ourselves down to nothing but a religion. When you review your reflection on a surface level, you will easily be fooled. It is easy to appear clean on the outside, but it is far more complicated to have a well kept heart. For example:
On the flip side, when we rest our eyes on the temptations of the world, we disregard God all together, finding no rest at all. You can’t avoid the mirror and expect to avoid problems :
Any of these thoughts sound familiar to you? Me too.
The religious person looks in the mirror and likes what they see because they can’t see any further. The procrastinator avoids the mirror afraid of what they might discover or have to change. What they both fail to realize is that no matter what person stands in front of the mirror, their reflections will always have one thing in common: sin.
We have a flesh mindset because we are sinful, but when we put our faith in God we can see through God's eyes.
So what is the point of the mirror? The point of the mirror is that it shows us where and how we need Jesus in our lives. The mirror can be used as a tool instead of a judge.
I abused the girl in the mirror for far too long. I had failed to mention how loved she was. It was when she stopped acknowledging me and turned to God, her confidence was resurrected.
“You are more than just a body.” He said to her, “Your stretch marks are reminders of the two miracles I have given you and where you see wrinkles, I see growth.” She felt alive again.
Who are you listening to when you look in the mirror? Today, dig into God’s word without hesitation. Look at it with new eyes and ask God to search your heart. Remind yourself of the Holy Spirit that lives within you and draw near to Jesus for it is by Him we are saved.
Memory Verse: “Therefore no one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by the works of the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of our sin.” Romans 3:20
Spiritual warfare is very real and we are up against it every single day as Christ followers. For me personally, I had never felt the fight so strongly. I sat night after night, tear after tear, trying to control the thoughts overwhelming my mind. So as I read, I was encouraged and felt seen by this timely message Paul shared about the war that we would not win with mere earthly weapons.
He writes in 2 Corinthians, to the church in Corinth for a second time. They were slandering his name and questioning his character, as Satan was doing to me. Paul reminded them to seek God’s word and truth before they were deceived by all the lies. He states, “For though we live in this world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of this world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” (2 Cor. 10:3-5).
I needed this reminder, just as the Corinthians did. As I sat there and argued with Satan, I felt crazy but I could not give into the lies. Lies that I was not good enough, that something was wrong with me, and the flood of guilt for feeling the way I did when I should be standing confident on God’s truths.
I knew what I had to do, suit up in the armor of God by “putting on the belt of truth, breastplate of righteousness, sandals with the gospel of peace, shield of faith, helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God (Eph. 6:14-17). I started praying, reciting scripture, blasting worship music and praying even more.
God’s truths embedded in our hearts prepares us for the battle!
God comforted me during my time of need and reminded me that I was prepared for battle and He will do the same for you!
So, friend, no matter what you are going through, be ready when Satan comes to attack. Pray without ceasing and replace the lies with truth. Worship your way through it and seek your community that will help bear your burdens.
Put on the armor of God daily and He will prepare you for when the battles come. And take heart; He has already won the war!
Memory Verse: “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.” Ephesians 6:10-11
1 Corinthians 13 is the famous love chapter in the Bible. In verse five we read that love is patient, kind, does not envy, or boast. But if we keep reading into verse six and seven, we notice more characteristics of love. In Charles Spurgeon’s sermon titled “Love’s Labours,” he notes that there are four labors of love: love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things. In verse seven, we read that ‘Love always protects, always trusts, always hopes, and always perseveres.” These characteristics give us tangible ways to love the ones around us.
I remember the intense feeling of love when I held my baby for the first time. I also remember the pregnancy pains, non-stop nursing sessions, caring for my colicky infant, potty training, toddler tantrums, terrible twos, and all the work that goes into taking care of my children each day-the labors of love. After reading the passages in 1 Corinthians it made me stop and think. I labor all day long in taking care of my children’s needs, but do I labor well? Do I labor in love?
At first glance I would tally up my imperfections and say, “No.” I don’t feel like I labor in love most days. I lose my temper. I feel frustrated with the limitations of my little ones. And there are days that I feel like I’ve failed. Maybe I was too distracted by my phone to join in a game of cards, or maybe I yelled out of frustration. There are plenty of examples I can come up with when I didn’t respond to my family with love.
I will never be a perfect mother, but I do have a perfect Heavenly Father who will give me help when I ask. Maybe instead of focusing on all my shortcomings as a mother, I should be focusing on asking for more help from God. Praying and asking God to direct my thoughts and actions takes the burden off my shoulders. Because sometimes I don’t understand what’s going on with my children, but God does. And I can ask him for wisdom. I am so glad I am not alone, and neither are you.
Maybe you feel the same way. Perhaps you feel like you’ve let your children down today and made some mistakes. Let me encourage you that we can turn to God’s word and find the truth and encouragement our hearts desperately need. Instead of focusing on perfection, we can rely on the Lord to help us endure all the things we face each day. And in protecting our children’s hearts, trusting in God’s promises for our families, hoping for the best for our kids, and persevering in the hard mothering moments, we are truly loving well.
With God’s love in our hearts, and scripture as our guide, we can know how to love our families well. We are not alone in the daily demands of motherhood. Our Heavenly Father wants to help us labor in love and run the race of motherhood with endurance. And in the persevering we can allow God to shape our hearts and draw us nearer to himself.
So the next time you feel discouraged or tired in the daily labor of love, remind yourself that God wants perseverance over perfection. When you are overwhelmed in the labor and stretched to your limits, remember to ask God for his divine intervention and help. He is our ever present help in time of need and his love endures forever.
Memory Verse: “Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, and always perseveres.” 1 Corinthians 13:6-7
Desperately (and frustratingly), I attempted to keep each student on the straight and narrow. At the same time, Iwas also trying to be their mentor, counselor, and friend. The students looked to me for everything and to be honest, it made me feel special. When the burnout set in, I could no longer sustain it and had to step back from doing what I once loved. By looking back, I recognize that the burnout stemmed from pointing the students to myself as their leader, when I should have been pointing them to Christ.
In my struggle to find my place as leader, I wish I took a deeper dive into this week's reading. In 1 Corinthians, we find the Corinthian church struggling with a series of issues from division to sexual immorality. Paul, being the spiritual father and leader he was to the Corinthians, found it imperative to write a letter warning them. One thing he addressed was how leaders should be viewed within the church. At the time, the Corinthians exalted Paul and Apollos as their leaders. So much so, that it caused division between them. They would pride themselves on who they were most loyal to. In 1 Corinthians 3:4, we see some would boastfully profess, “I follow Paul” while others would proudly declare, “I follow Apollos.”
Paul did not take pride in them fighting in such a way. He recognized that without God he and Apollos were nothing. In 1 Corinthians 3:5, Paul states, “What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe—as the Lord has assigned to each his task.” He made it very clear that he and Apollos were merely vessels used by God. He further reiterated this by using a planting metaphor. While Paul planted the seed of the gospel and Apollos watered it, it is only through God that there is growth. In 1 Corinthians 3:7 Paul continues by saying, “so neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God who makes things grow.”
Paul’s response to the Corinthians is humbling and unfortunately lost on society today. It is so easy to exalt others and oneself in the name of God. Social media has only highlighted this issue further. How often is it that we see pastors or Bible teachers with multitudes of followers hanging on to their every word? Instead of looking to God’s word in times of trouble, we find ourselves looking to our favorite pastor.
Not only do we see this on social media, but we can also see this in our very own lives. Has there ever been a time where you desperately wanted to lead someone to Christ, but found yourself leading in your own strength or capacity? Have you ever found yourself leading from a place of your own selfish ambition? While serving others is a wonderful thing, we must not forget our purpose in it all. Our purpose in everything we do is to point the lost and hurting back to Jesus, and Jesus alone.
What does this look like? Now as I serve, my prayer specifically is, “God thank you for giving me the ability to be a vessel used by you. As I serve, help me be obedient to you alone. I ask that you go before me, giving me the words to say and the steps to take as I serve my brothers and sisters in Christ.” I also examine my motives. Am I acting in obedience to God, or my own selfish ambition?
When searching for answers, are you looking to God or your favorite Bible teacher? More importantly, when leading others are you pointing them to Christ or yourself? Like Paul, let us humble ourselves by realizing that neither we nor our favorite pastor is God. We never can be. However, He has given us the wonderful privilege as believers to be used by Him for His good works!
Memory Verse: “So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow.” 1 Corinthians 3:7
In 1 Corinthians chapter 2, Paul proclaims he did not use tactics to gain the attention of his hearers. He came with no persuasive words, no brilliant speech, no pizazz of any kind. It wasn’t because he couldn’t, rather it was because his message was so powerful he dared not hinder it by getting in the way:
“And so it was with me, brothers and sisters. When I came to you, I did not come with eloquence or human wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. I came to you in weakness with great fear and trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power.” 1 Corinthians 2:1-5
Paul was known for his oratory skills. He was powerfully persuasive. But he didn’t want people to be drawn to him because of his ability to wow them with his words. Paul wanted to make men followers of Jesus by the power of the Spirit rather than the giftedness of Paul.
With the gospel, the power is in the message not the deliverer or delivery.
The secret is in simplicity. Simple leaves room for the message to marinate in the hearts of the hearers. The simple message and truth allows space to think and respond.
Each of us carries the message of the gospel everywhere we go. We are all ambassadors for Christ, sent to tell the world of His good news (2 Cor. 5:20).
Do you feel ill-equipped to share the good news of Jesus? Maybe you see the endless creativity online when others share their messages. You have a message to share too, but it can feel daunting when we feel we have to resort to creative tactics to draw people in. Remember Paul’s example; he carried the simple gospel so as not to distract. We can rest in the simple gospel knowing it’s all we need to share the good news of Jesus. A simple message faithfully shared is better than an eloquent speech never delivered.
Remember the acronym KISS: Keep it simple, sweetie.
Christ, in and through us, will spread a pleasing aroma (2 Cor. 2:14-15) and draw people toward us. They will be ready to hear the good news we have to share because they will want to know the secret for the joy inside. Remember Christ is working in and through you; all you have to do is spread His sweet aroma and share the simple, powerful message of the cross.
Memory Verse: “We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.” 2 Corinthians 5:20
Don’t get me wrong! I believe spiritual disciplines help us connect with God and grow in maturity. Oddly enough as I read our passages for this week, I find living in a sacred space and walking by The Spirit is so much deeper and yet, much simpler than I could ever maintain on my own.
In Galatians, Paul cautions Gentile believers about getting bogged down by Jewish law. They had been saved by their faith in Jesus as Messiah. Now, they were allowing themselves to be confused and trapped by others’ ideas of what it would take to maintain their salvation and grow. Paul reminds his readers to stand firm in the freedom that comes from God’s grace (Gal. 5:1).
In a nutshell, Paul teaches us: In order to yield the fruit of the Holy Spirit in our lives, we must yield to the Holy Spirit!
The Holy Spirit - not rule-following or checklist-checking - maintains the ground of hearts in order to produce good fruit. That fruit may or may not include miracles, signs and wonders on a daily basis. (This feels like a bummer for me).
The fruit the Spirit produces is seen in the daily grind and grit of toilet scrubbing. Where childrearing gets rough and where preteen attitudes abound, patience and kindness can be found in a life yielded to the Holy Spirit. Our roots can go down deep into the sacred ground and we can soak up water from the Living well. The Spirit of Jesus within us makes this possible. When we walk close enough to step in rhythm with His heartbeat, near enough to hear His whisper, we can’t help but produce His fruit.
Oh, how my heart longs to truly live this way - free from the rules and checklists, simply saying, “Yes!” to the Holy Spirit. If you feel the same way, consider doing a heart check today. What is one area you are yielding fruit? What is one area you can yield more fully to the work of the Holy Spirit?
Memory Verse: “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” Galatians 5:1
The message, with smiley faces I taped to each bag of chocolate chip cookies, was simple. It stated that the little bag of cookies was a reminder that Jesus loves them along with this verse, “...the joy of the Lord is your strength” (Neh. 8:10). I included our names and phone number for prayer. My husband and teenage son passed out dozens of bags to people standing in the lines for assistance all over our city.
A few weeks later this message was on our home answering machine, “I found a bag with your phone number on the floor of a hotel here in New Orleans. I checked into this hotel to commit suicide. I had forgotten that Jesus loved me until I read the message on your bag. I am going to find Jesus again and go on with life, but I wouldn’t have if I hadn’t found your message. I just want to thank you.”
In James chapter 2, the connection between faith and actions is clear. James mentioned that both Abraham and Rahab were considered righteous by God because of their faith and actions. Abraham’s faith and actions worked together when he willingly brought his son Isaac to the altar, “His actions made his faith complete” (Jas. 2:22). Rahab’s faith and actions worked together when she hid the Israelite spies in Jericho (Jas. 2:25). The results of the faith and actions of Abraham and Rahab were amazing, too. Not only did Abraham become the father of the entire Jewish people, but he was also considered a friend of God. Not only was Rahab and her entire household saved when the walls of Jericho fell, but she was mentioned in the lineage of Jesus Christ in Matthew 1:5.
Faith and action work together as James explains,“You see that a person is considered righteous by what they do and not by faith alone” (Jas. 2:24). True faith ignites a passion for action. Those actions are the fruit of our faith. I consider my act of faith small when compared to the size of the need by the hurricane victims, but it was done for God’s glory. God is the one who orchestrated the amazing result. Honestly, we may never see the results of acting on our faith that does not mean the results were any less amazing.
Let your faith ignite your passion for action. Acting on my faith had an amazing result. Do what God drops into your heart to do. It could be as big as starting a business or moving to another country as a missionary. It could be unimpressively ordinary like stopping to talk to someone who crosses your path. It could be helpful like babysitting or planting flowers. It could be baking chocolate chip cookies. No action that is done for God’s glory is too small. After all, faith as small as a mustard seed can move mountains!
Memory Verse: “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” James 1:22
In the book of Acts, written by Luke, we learn some of the history of the early church. There is a Greek word that we see 22 times in the Book of Acts and that word is “dei.” “Dei” is translated as “it is necessary” (Strong). Which means that Luke is driving home the point that things are necessary throughout history because it is in God’s plan. In the very first chapter of the book, Luke hits us with the hard truth: “it is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority” (Acts 1:7).
We see some amazing works done by God in the first ten chapters of the Book of Acts:
A commonality can be found amongst all these things, God is in control even when He is working through people. Knowing all this gave me confidence in two things: 1) I do not get to know the why for everything that happens, and 2) God is still in control.
It can be hard to fully trust that God is in control when things feel uncertain, messy, and painful. We live in a broken world. As humans, we often feel like we need to know who, what, when, where, and why to be confident that things are going smoothly and there’s no need for panic. However, Jeremiah 17:7 tells us, “...blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him.”
So I ask, what matters more, knowing everything and constantly worrying when things don’t go according to your plan? Or being blessed greatly and trusting in God’s most perfect plan for you?
Sweet friend, God is in control always. Jesus dying on the cross? He knew. Christians being persecuted? He knew. God is sovereign through it all. Luke gives us a glimpse of this truth stating, “this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God” (Acts. 2:23). While there were many sins committed around the crucifixion of Jesus, God’s plan was always to send His son down to die on the cross for our sins. His perfect plan was still brought to completion even amidst the brokenness of the world.
So the next time a door closes, take a moment to thank God for always being with you. For creating a most perfect plan for you that might not be what you envisioned but will bear so much fruit to you and those around you.
Reference: Strong, James. “The Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible.” Hendrickson Publication, 2021. https://biblehub.com/greek/1163.htm
Memory Verse: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,' declares the Lord. 'As far as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.’”Isaiah 55:8-9
To say that Jesus brought change into the world is an understatement. He wasn’t what people expected, yet He fulfilled over 300 prophecies from the Old Testament. The Gospels record various responses that people had to Jesus:
Today, almost 2,000 years later, people still respond to Jesus in a multitude of different ways. You, friend, have a choice of how you will respond to Him, too.
Here’s the amazing part.
Jesus has only ever had ONE response to us: love and forgiveness.
No matter how many ways we see ourselves and those around us responding to Jesus, He never wavers. He only sees us through eyes of perfect love. He unendingly offers forgiveness.
How have you found yourself responding to Jesus? Have you washed your hands of Him like Pilate did? Have you insulted Him like the criminals on the cross? Maybe you’ve found yourself praising Him one day and cursing Him the next, like the crowd did.
Whatever your past responses may have been, it is your response to Him today that matters. Accept His love and forgiveness with a humble, “Thank you, Jesus!”
Memory Verse: “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” Acts 2:38
The scribes and Pharisees wanted to be noticed, honored and praised for their knowledge of the Torah and interpretation of the Law of Moses. Their traditions became so over the top that they were described in Matthew 23:4 by Jesus as laying heavy burdens on people’s shoulders that were hard to bear. Jesus also talked about how, “They do all their deeds to be seen by others…[and]… love the place of honor at feasts and the best seats in the synagogues” (Matt. 23:5-6). They wanted their names to be made known above all and their obsession for standing, status and self-indulgence became a presence of oppression.
Jesus warned against their ways and provided an opposite alternative to greatness during the last supper. As the disciples sat with Jesus, they began to argue about who was the greatest among them. It appears that even they were not immune to the allure of status, honor and power the world had to offer. Jesus demonstrated true humility and taught them that greater is the one who serves rather than the one that is served (Luke 22:26). Then as an act of love for his disciples, he gets up from the table and prepares to wash their feet (John 13: 4-5).
Jesus humbled himself to the status of servant as he removed his outer garments, poured water in the basin, kneeled and washed the miles of filth off of his disciples feet. The highest became the lowest and the master became the servant. Their eyes were opened to the greatness of God as Jesus fulfilled their need for love and forgiveness through a humble act of service.
The cure for self-concern is to focus on Christ’s greatness rather than our own.
When are you tempted by the allure of status, honor and power? Like me, do you try to establish your own greatness through parenting outcomes, job performance and accomplishments? Does it feel like your desire for greatness becomes a weight too heavy to bear?
Dear friend, Jesus loves you. He died on the cross and bore the weight of your self-serving sin, and mine, so that we could be free from the pressures of this world. Unlike our wants and desires that we so desperately pursue, Jesus is near; He is attainable and He wants to work in and through you.
When you notice your motives are self-serving, cry out to God saying, “Lord, will you please open my eyes to the ways in which I have sought my own greatness instead of yours. I thank you that I am forgiven for these things because of your death on the cross and victory over sin. Give me a heart to see the pain of others and enter into it with humility and love so that I may serve them, just like you serve me. Amen.”
Memory Verse: “Even as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Matthew 20:28
I wasn’t alone, but I had a friend who was with me. She didn’t allow me to suffer alone. She didn’t stand outside my grief and talk to me from without, but came near enough to allow the rawness to touch her. She cried; she wondered; she listened and she sat. She was like a shadow on a sunny day. She kept showing up. She was fiercely persistent.
In our grief, we remember the ones who show up. Jesus shows us how to be one who does.
In John 11, there is a story I have always been fascinated by. Jesus’ good friend Lazarus died and friends and family were grief-stricken. The One who raised the dead had a close friend who died. No wonder Mary and Martha, Lazarus’s sisters, were perplexed. Surely Jesus could have prevented the heartache. Had He come earlier, there would have been no grief, no tears and no funeral. He could have just showed up, marched up to that closed up tomb and called Lazarus out, but that’s not what He did. First, He allowed grief to touch Him and then John 11:35 says, “Jesus wept“ (emphasis added). He chose to feel the grief. He took a moment to sit in their space and feel what they felt. He felt the pain and allowed Himself to be moved by it. There is profound power when grief is shared by another. Entering another’s grief allows us to partner with God to bring healing to a hurting heart.
Jesus was the exact representation of who God is and the story of Lazarus reveals God’s heart towards us. God comes to us with compassion in our hard spaces. He doesn’t watch us from afar, but comes near. He is not distant, but sits with us in our difficult moments. He is not unfeeling or uncaring, but chooses to feel deeply when we are in pain. He is not a God who does not allow emotion to touch Him but voluntarily moves into those places with us. We can come to Him no matter what it is we are carrying and be sure of His tender compassion and care. We are never alone. He is with us. Sometimes He comes near us through another, just as my friend did for me.
We, too, can learn to be near others as Jesus was. We can choose to enter into other’s places of grief and offer our tears. Through shared tears, healing eventually comes.
Memory Verse: “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-4
Truly knowing someone takes time and intention; it doesn’t happen overnight with the snap of a finger. We experience this not only in our marriages but also in our everyday lives. I don’t meet someone on the street and instantly know their whole story and what makes them the person they are. However, when I was younger, I thought because I went to church every Sunday, I knew everything there was to know about Jesus. But here I am at 32 still learning new things about Him everyday. For that, I am so grateful and it never ceases to amaze me when God reveals something new to me.
In Mark 9, we see Jesus and his disciples leave where they were. Verse 30 says that “Jesus did not want anyone to know where they were because he was teaching his disciples.” Jesus took the time to train his disciples in depth. He spent intentional time with them and they with Him. Deep spiritual growth isn’t instant, regardless of the quality of experience or teaching. The disciples lived, ate and traveled with Jesus every day. If they needed to lay everything aside periodically in order to learn from the Master, how much more do we need to set aside time to spend with God to get to know Him better?
As I write this, my husband and I have been married almost ten years. In order for us to have a healthy marriage, we have to continue being intentional about pouring into our relationship and spending time together. The same is true of our relationship with Christ. No matter where we are in our spiritual journey, no matter how mature we are in our faith, we still have room for growth.
Friend, if you want to know more about Jesus, find a way to draw closer to Him today. For you, maybe that is reading a chapter in Proverbs, listening to a new worship song in the car, or spending an extra five minutes in prayer today. To know Jesus better, return to Him day after day. He will continue to meet you and align your spirit with His truth. Rest in the comfort of knowing that the longer you walk with him, the better you will understand who He is. Ask Him to meet you where you are and reveal more of himself to you.
Memory Verse: “But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.” 2 Peter 3:18
“I may not be able to buy any toys, but at least I get to help tell people about God.” As she spoke those words, my heart melted. To many it may seem like just a bag of change, but to her it was everything she had. She gave it all to share God’s word. That day God used my daughter to remind me of the cost of following Jesus.
In Matthew 8, a man is telling Jesus he will follow Him wherever He goes. Well, surely Jesus gave him some comforting words and invited him along for their new journey, right? Not so much. Jesus was not interested in selling people on following Him; He was more of a straight shooter. Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head” (Matt. 8:20).
Jesus, Messiah, God’s one and only Son, homeless. Think of all the places he traveled with dirt lingering on his hands and feet. Imagine the holes in His clothes, stained with sweat and tears. Jesus didn’t just tell this man He had to give up his life to follow Him; He taught by example. Jesus gave up everything to do what God called Him to do. People wanted to learn from and be like Jesus, yet they weren’t willing to make sacrifices. They wanted Jesus in their life but they didn’t want to give their whole life to Jesus. Isn’t that like us sometimes?
If we are honest with ourselves, we may find there is a lot of ‘loose change’ in our lives we hang onto. We want to spend our time, talents, money, mind, or bodies on things that serve us instead of God. But He wants us to serve Him with everything in our being down to the last brain cell, word, or penny. He is the one and only Holy God and He is selfish. Not in the way we are selfish. He is selfish because He knows when we give ourselves to anything but Him, we short change ourselves because He is better than anything this world has to offer. Our God deserves all we have including our ‘loose change.’
Sister, we are called to dedicate our life to Him. Even if it's all we feel we have left, we give it all to Him for He is worthy.
Do you have some ‘loose change’ you're holding onto? Where is your mind, body, and soul? Is it aligned with God's glory or your own? Pray and ask the Lord to reveal to you what you are keeping from him and what you need to let go of. Ask Him to help and guide you to give your whole self to Him today, even your ‘loose change.’
Memory Verse: "Whoever tries to keep their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life will preserve it." Luke 17:33
The problem with this method was that they were so intent on enforcing the rules, they lost track of the heart of the matter. God hadn’t just given rules and commandments to govern His people, but to teach them how to love His way. Imagine how exasperated Jesus as “Lord of the Sabbath” must have been to need to remind the Pharisees that it was in fact good to do good on the Sabbath (Matt. 12:12).
While it is easy to regard the Pharisees with a smirk and eye roll, I think we all, in one way or the other, have been guilty of the same offense.
It can be so easy to get caught up in societal rules which are often selfish (move your feet, lose your seat) and forget that we are called to humility (think of others before ourselves). Our popular rules often glorify a culture that caters to ourselves and shrouds the humility of Heaven.
Jesus spent a lot of time teaching His disciples God’s ways over the world's ways. Most of what He said must have sounded a bit crazy:
Admittingly counter-cultural, these new commands were to teach His followers to live a life that stands out from the world in a culture that valued religion over relationships. Although they may read like just a new list of rules to follow, Jesus’s teachings weren’t about trading in one list for another.
Jesus taught how to love each other as His Father loves us.
Being a Christ follower was never intended to be about upholding rules. It was always about being in right relationship foremost with our Heavenly Father but also with others.
And, when religion’s rules called for blood, Jesus answered, fulfilling all the requirements of the law, He shed His blood so we could live by, in and from love (Matt. 5:17; John 13:34).
Sometimes the “rules” that govern us are ingrained so deeply within that they are hard to recognize. Spend some time in prayer asking God if you are, even unknowingly, governing your life by familial, cultural or religious rules instead of God’s love.
If you struggle sometimes, like me, to live from God’s love, and find yourself instead living by the rules of our culture and popular society, I challenge you, like Jesus, to be a rule-breaker! Break away from legalistic rules and love others as Jesus did, with reckless abandon.
Memory Verse: “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” John 13:3
Jesus’ birth was a promise delivered. The prophets foretold his coming. The chief priests and teachers of the law knew well where the Messiah would be born. When asked by Herod, they immediately answered, with “In Bethlehem in Judea” (Mt. 2:5).
God chose to step into the middle of a dark world as a baby and become a light for us to follow. Roman rule had become oppressive and even the temple priests were not caring for their people. When the Magi told of a star, a light they were following, the very teachers who knew the promises chose to stay in Jerusalem.
The priests could recite the prophets' words. They knew. Yet, when the light came, when the Creator of everything showed up, they stayed home. They were comfortable in the dark. The priests knew the promise. They quoted the prophet, Micah, “for out of you will come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel” (Mt. 2:6). They expected a savior that would ride in on a warhorse. They thought peace would come at the end of a sword. However, Jesus’ peace comes through sacrifice, through love.
Like me, they had already defined how God would deliver his promise. They missed the miracle of Jesus because they weren’t able to see past their own expectations. Follow Jesus’ light out of your comfort zone to fully embrace His promises.
God promised me a miracle that day. There wasn’t a magic wand, sigh. I had to keep showing up. Every day for three years. I kept holding on. Even when it was still dark. The promise was still there. The creator of the universe made a promise but I had to show up. I had to move out of the comfortable and into the hard.
Mary and Joseph had to push through their own fears to hold the promise, Immanuel, God with us. The shepherds, these uneducated shepherds, rushed to Bethlehem to see what the angel of the Lord had told them about. The Magi followed a light out of their world to worship a King they did not know.
Friend, I don’t know what fear may be holding you captive. Or, the darkness that surrounds you. I do know he heard my cries and he promised to be with me. Have you been trying to define how God should deliver your miracle? God won’t give you a roadmap but if you step out in faith, He will light your way one step at a time.
Memory Verse: “In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” John 1:4-5
In the latter portions of Nehemiah, we get to see the newly restored Israelites studying scripture together. All of a sudden they are smacked with the truth about who God is and who they are. Their response? Mourning. Weeping. Sackcloth and ashes.
Chapter nine contains the longest prayer in the Bible. It is a confession that sums up the biblical narrative to this point. It contrasts God’s faithfulness to Israel’s rebellion. Time and again Israel fails but God shows up in steadfast love and mercy. The Israelites praying here did not cross the Red Sea. They didn’t witness the plagues, the pillars of cloud and fire, or the miracles in the wilderness. They did not lift up the golden calf or kill the prophets. Yet, in verse 33 their prayer changes from “they” to “we.” They say “for you have dealt faithfully and we have acted wickedly” (emphasis added).
The restored Israelites are counting themselves equal with their ancestors in failure, humbly taking responsibility for their sin, confessing that God is right and they are wrong. These men and women could have tried to shift the blame. After all, they were in exile, raised in a foreign land around foreign gods, born to people who had disobeyed God. But no, they added themselves to the narrative.
When we truly understand God’s Word, it brings us to our knees in awe and repentance. The Israelites left their time of study convicted to the point of grief, recognizing that there was no good in them. They set aside their pride, took responsibility for their sin, and confessed their failure. This in turn led them to renew their covenant with the Lord who had proved himself faithful time and again. As we read and study God’s very words, the Holy Spirit shines a revealing light on the deepest, darkest corners of our soul, revealing sin we often had no idea was lurking there. Then we get the wonderful opportunity to repent and confess our sin, allowing God to remove it from us and replace it with his unending, amazing grace day by day.
As you read this week, ask the Holy Spirit to open your eyes and penetrate your heart with the truth of who you are in your sinfulness and who God is in his holiness and goodness. Let it sink down deep into your soul. Spend time on your knees in honest confession, taking responsibility for your sin and adding your name to the sorry tale of humanity rebelling against their wonderful Creator. Repent and turn to the arms of the Lord who is steadfast in his love and mercy.
After all, naturally there is no good thing in you. But bless the Lord! Through the cross, you can now walk under daily grace. Wham! Covered by the blood of Jesus. Boom! Forgiven by the Father. Bam! Empowered by the Holy Spirit.
Memory Verse: “Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.” Psalm 51:1-2
Devotionals by Author
All Abby McDonald Angi Morrison Anne Say Audra Powers Breanna Faith Spearman Brenna Kurz Brittany Marlow Caroline Hultgren Courtney Filippin Dana Schaefer Danielle Biddy Debbie Burns Heather Kenny Jannetta Cox Jessica Parker Jess Ridgeway Joan Lavori Katelyn Wilson Katie Gibson Kelly Orlowski Kerri Barfield Keryn Stokes Kristen Williamson Laura Pendley Lindsay McNeely Lonette Baity Martha Rudolph Nancy Ehlinger Renee Robinson Saretta Wells Tara McGill Taylor Watkins Tierney Nashleanas Wendy Gerdes