I have previously shared a global prayer request for victims of human trafficking. Today I am requesting prayer for myself. Yesterday, for the third time in the past four weeks I have injured my right shoulder while working, I am going to be seeing a doctor today thanks to workman’s comp. Something I would not be able to do if they were not providing the medical care. My request is not only for physical healing and for the extreme pain shooting through my right side which is now effecting my left arm as well, but for my mental state. Pain is a trigger for anger in me. When I am in consistent pain for long enough my thoughts and then my words go to a bad place that I do not like and the I repent a lot! As the saying goes ‘hurt people, hurt people’. Thankfully I am usually alone when I have one of these episodes, but I do not forget what Jesus taught about even thinking of a sin, is to have committed the sin, like hatred being equal to murder. I also think about what Paul said about doing what he knows is wrong and wanting to do what is right. I want to do what is right and not lash out because of my pain. As a woman who God saved from abuse and the long term physical effects that abuse left both my body and mind to heal from I do not want to go back to being the person I was before I let Jesus into my life.
Many these days are anxious because of the pandemic of Covid19, that is world wide. It is effecting people of all nationalities and classes. Social media has become the main way people are keeping connected. Unless you have a job that is deemed necessary, you are basically grounded. When the stay at home orders were first being issued, one of my first thoughts were about the parallel of Passover and the Exodus. One of the things Moses had told the people to do before Pharaoh would finally release the Hebrews, was that they were to put blood on their doorposts and were to remain inside. The reason for this was to keep their first born alive. For the plague of death of every first born was coming. yet those under the blood would be safe.
Exodus 12:22-23 22 Take a cluster of hyssop, dip it into the blood in the basin, and brush the top and the two side posts of the doorframe with some of the blood. None of you shall go out of the door of his house until morning. 23 When the LORD passes through to strike down the Egyptians, He will see the blood on the top and the two sideposts and pass over the door; so He will not allow the destroyer to enter your houses and strike you down.
We are all going through a terrible time right now and the treat to life is real, so I understand why so many are afraid. This virus does not care if you are a first born, what your religion is,what color your skin is, or if you are wealthy or poor. Any one of us could get sick from this virus. If we take the necessary precautions we should be okay. Looking at the story of Exodus I do see the reason to have hope. If you are stuck staying home you could very well have cabin fever by now, and are itching to get out. If you have a full house you may want to get away just to find some peace and quiet, if you live alone the desire for company can make you want to leave the safety of your home. As much as I do not like feeling like I have been grounded, I do see the importance of staying home unless I have an important reason to go somewhere.
We need to remember these is temporary and that we will get through this. There is hope. I turn to the Word for this hope and it never lies.
Art by Julie Sheppard
Light at the end of the tunnel is not a train but the Light of Jesus Christ!
When I started writing about taking control of my thoughts in my post A thought and a question ( https://emotionalpeace.wordpress.com/2017/09/15/a-thought-and-a-question-9142017/) I was faced with a challenge. Taking your thoughts captive and submitting them to God is not as easy as it may sound. We face many obstacles.
Here are two of the first things I heard when I told others that I would be not speaking anything negative.
- Are you going to walk around blind, pretending everything is perfect and that nothing is wrong?
- You are never going to be able to talk.
The answer to the question is no, I am not going to pretend that there is nothing wrong. We live in a world that has garbage in it I am not denying that. I can look only at the garbage and the destruction or I can change my focus and look to the One who loved us enough to die for our sin, our garbage.
2 Corinthians 5:21 (NKJV) For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
Romans 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
Now for the second which was not really a question but a statement. I told them that yes I can speak. There are plenty of good things to talk about, like the Love of God and all the wonderful things He does for each of us, and the list goes on. This way of speaking keeps my focus on Him, which keeps my thoughts in check.
Proverbs 18:21(NKJV) 1 Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit.
How am I doing on this journey?
To be honest with myself I feel like I am failing miserably. I am not giving up though. Each day I am choosing to push forward, and when I stumble I will get back up again. This journey is far from over. I am not perfect and will not claim to be, but the One who died to save me from my sins, Jesus is perfect and His love is perfect.
PHILIPPIANS 3:12 Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me.
Is joy your choice?
3 And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; 4 and perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
Meditate on God’s Word
Where Was God?
“Where was God?’ is a question you hear when tragedy strikes. Tornadoes, earthquakes, tsunamis, and other natural disasters happen and God is blamed. Abuse, rape, and murder happen and once again the question is asked. It is as if people like to use God as an escape goat for anything bad that happens and forget everything He has done. Jesus when falsely accused and put on trial He did not offer up words in His own defense and He doesn’t need me to defend Him now. Yet I am going to take a crack at answering the question.
“He was crying for us. He was being beaten for our transgressions. He was nailed to a cross paying for our sins. He was in the grave fighting death for the keys for your life.”
He will never abandon or reject you. He suffers when you suffer, and cries when you cry. He feels your pain and your loss. He is a Father who watched His own child suffer and die.
There was a song by John Michael Montgomery that when I first hear it many years ago I had to pull off the freeway because it cause me to cry so hard I could not see. It is about a little girl and if you listen to it you will hear how even during a tragic event Jesus was with her.
We live in a fallen world filled with sin and violence but we are not alone God is with us. Even if He has to stand outside your door, and wait for you, He is there. He will always be there, in both good times, and bad.
Bible verses related to I Will Never Leave You Nor Forsake You from the King James Version (KJV) by Relevance
Deuteronomy 31:8 – And the LORD, he [it is] that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed.
Deuteronomy 31:6 – Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, he [it is] that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.
Hebrews 13:5 – [Let your] conversation [be] without covetousness; [and be] content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.
Joshua 1:9 – Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God [is] with thee whithersoever thou goest.
1 Peter 5:7 – Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.
Matthew 28:20 – Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, [even] unto the end of the world. Amen.
Hebrews 13:6 – So that we may boldly say, The Lord [is] my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.
Isaiah 41:10-13 – Fear thou not; for I [am] with thee: be not dismayed; for I [am] thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. (Read More…)
Psalms 55:22 – Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.
Romans 8:28 – And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to [his] purpose.
Joshua 1:5 – There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, [so] I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.
2 Timothy 1:7 – For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
1 Chronicles 28:20 – And David said to Solomon his son, Be strong and of good courage, and do [it]: fear not, nor be dismayed: for the LORD God, [even] my God, [will be] with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee, until thou hast finished all the work for the service of the house of the LORD.
Hebrews 4:16 – Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
As I was watching the end of a movie, and listened to what some of the people were saying about those who had saved their lives I thought how ungrateful these people were behaving. Yes, I do know that it was just a movie but as I watched the end after the battle was over and how the heroes of the movie were being turned against by those who they fought to protect. These people that were saved were blaming them for the attack and the damage that was done. Their lives were saved yet they still had to complain and reject the ones who risked their lives to save the lives of these ungrateful people.
This made me think of how people treat God. They blame Him for all the tragedy and destruction that happens in this world. ‘Where was God?’, ‘Why didn’t God do something?’, and the list of things you may hear after an act of violence committed by a person (or group of people), or a natural disaster, and lives are lost and people are injured. Well the first thing I will say is God has done something. He sent His Son to pay the price for the sins of all men. He did this before most of us were even conceived. So He paid the price in advance for a large number of us, meaning that He didn’t wait for us to live righteous and pure lives, or even love Him in return. He loved us first as we are. Jesus proved His love by laying down His life for us while we were still sinners. Think about how Jesus was mocked while being crucified. They hung a sign above His head, ‘THIS IS JESUS, THE KING OF THE JEWS.’ Matthew 27:41-43 41Likewise, the chief priests, scribes, and elders mocked Him, saying, 42“He saved others, but He cannot save Himself. He is the King of Israel! Let Him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in Him. 43He trusts in God. Let God deliver Him now if He wants Him. For He said, ‘I am the Son of God.’” Yet still Jesus let Himself be crucified so that we may be saved. All we must do is repent and receive Jesus as Lord and Savior.
The next thing I would like to say is that He gave us free will. We choose what we will do. Yes God gave Moses the Ten Commandments to give to us. The choice is ours if we are to obey those commands. Since all have sinned that means we have all broken at least a commandment or more. God did not want puppets or robots when He created man. He created man to love, not to control. The first gift is free will. Unfortunately people do not always choose to do what is right and cause harm and even death. The second gift is redemption. Not all choose to receive this gift. He gives us life and saves us, but are we grateful? For too many we are not. We blame God for all the misery, illness, destruction, violence and death etc… while we choose to do as we please without care of the harm we may do. We cause the problem then blame God. I know not everyone blames God and there are believers who are grateful and they do not blame God, but we know that even in the darkest and most tragic times He is with us.
Blame comes with judgment, and turns one against another. There is no accountability and it is always someone else’s fault. This strife causes division. This only brings destruction. Life will not grow with hatred. Ungrateful hearts wither and die.
So what do we do then? Acknowledge our sin and repent. Receive Jesus as Lord and Savior. Forgive as we have been forgiven. Be grateful and give thanks. Love because we ARE loved.
Father, please forgive me for all the harm I have done and for any pain I have caused. Help me to forgive those who have hurt me and love those who have hated me. Thank you for Your love and mercy. May I walk in love and peace. Let there be less of me and more of you, in Jesus name. Amen.
Do you ever feel that you have been drained of every once of life and that you have nothing left? I get this way more often than I care to admit. I feel like a barren desert, and that I am beyond exhausted. Even words escape me and I can not even think of anything to say. I have given all that I have and done everything that I could and I have nothing left. How terrible you think. It may seem to be that way but it isn’t. How can be exhausted, drained and basically all dried up be good? I seem to be contradicting myself but I am not. Okay then I must be crazy, right? Well I do have a crazy side but craziness has nothing to do with why I feel that being dried up and empty is good. It means that there is nothing left of me and now Jesus can fill me with His newness. I like the scripture where He is talking to the woman at the well. She is drawing water out of a well and they talk and He tells her that He can give her living water and she will never thirst again.
John 4:4-15 (NKJV)
A Samaritan Woman Meets Her Messiah
4 Therefore, when the Lord knew that the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John 2 (though Jesus Himself did not baptize, but His disciples), 3 He left Judea and departed again to Galilee. 4 But He needed to go through Samaria.
5 So He came to a city of Samaria which is called Sychar, near the plot of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. 6 Now Jacob’s well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied from His journey, sat thus by the well. It was about the sixth hour.
7 A woman of Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give Me a drink.” 8 For His disciples had gone away into the city to buy food.
9 Then the woman of Samaria said to Him, “How is it that You, being a Jew, ask a drink from me, a Samaritan woman?” For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.
10 Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.”
11 The woman said to Him, “Sir, You have nothing to draw with, and the well is deep. Where then do You get that living water? 12 Are You greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well, and drank from it himself, as well as his sons and his livestock?”
13 Jesus answered and said to her, “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.”
15 The woman said to Him, “Sir, give me this water, that I may not thirst, nor come here to draw.”
If are are full of ourself and worldly concerns where is the room for Jesus? He may get a small part of us, but He wants to fill us completely. To do this we need to empty ourselves out and get rid of all the old junk. Then open ourselves up to receive all the goodness He has in store for us. His storehouse never runs out. His love never dies. He is forever faithful. Isn’t this wonderful news? I just have to empty myself completely and then go to Him to receive all the wonderful blessings He has for me. So this is why I can say with confidence and even a smile that being all dried up is good because thats when He really sends the rain on me and refreshes me and then i will not grow weary but soar with eagles.
Isaiah 40:31 (NKJV)
But those who wait on the Lord
Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint.
Check out this blog and what the author wrote about being empty, she really has some good insight. http://rachelwojo.com/bible-verses-feel-empty/
I am the LORD your God, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt. Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it. Psalm 81:10
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. Rom. 15:13
Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with shouts of joy; then they said among the nations, “The LORD has done great things for them.” Psalm 126:2
When you feel empty God can and will fill you with what you need and even more. I hope the next time you feel exhausted, drained and that you have nothing left that you are encouraged.
God bless you, I know He loves you.
Many people criticized the blind man. They told him not to speak. But the blind man shouted more and more, “Son of David, please help me!” — Mark 10:48 (ERV)
Has the criticism and fear of judgment from other believers caused you to be silent when you were hurting and in need of comfort? Have you suffered because of this fear? Christians can be harsh with one another without meaning to be. We can be judgmental and critical of our brothers and sisters in Christ and become stumbling blocks without realizing the harm we are causing. They hear words like, ‘Now is not the time you are being disruptive’ or “‘You must not have enough faith’. I can list or things that are said that can cause a person to keep quiet, but instead I am going to focus on this man’s faith in Jesus that he would not be silent but call out until he was not only heard but answered. If you continue to read this story of this blind man, you will find that Jesus heals him and he is able to see. I have been on both sides of judgment and criticism I am sad to say. I have had to do a lot of repenting for being harsh with others. Just because others have been so with me did not give me an excuse to behave in the same manner. I have since learned to take my bad experiences and used them to make me more compassionate to others who are lost and hurting. Who just need to be heard. In our judgment we are not listening to the cries of pain and suffering these people are going through. One way to show the love of Jesus is to just listen and be there to hold them up when they are down. Most already know what is wrong in their life and they are only wanting someone to throw them a life line to pull them up. You don’t tell a drowning man,”Hey! You are drowning!” or “You are in too deep!” You throw them a life preserver, or jump in and bring them to safety. The life preserver I am speaking of hear is Jesus and the love He has for all of us. I have heard the excuse, “I had to be tough of them, the truth hurts’, and the list goes on. Jesus is the Truth, the Light and the Way. I often fail in being the right example but I am learning to change my ways to His, and follow in His steps. So I try to remember all the times He has to pick me up out of my mess when I have stumbled, I should be merciful to any I that I come across who are down and hurting. To share His love and remember a saying from the military, “Leave no man behind”. Which we know reflects the scripture about God not being slow. 2 Peter 3:9 (NKJV) The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. I am choosing to live my life in a way that is grateful for what Jesus has done for me by being His vessel carrying His love and mercy to anyone who is in need.
A while back I wrote How do you love a sinner inspired by a conversation I had had. Today I want to talk more about loving those who we cannot see as deserving of our love. My thoughts immediately go to Jesus and what He did on that cross. He took on the punishment for sin for every man, woman and child that would ever live. People who would hate and reject Him. Why did He do this knowing who we are and what we will do? He died loving us the way we are. He didn’t wait till we got the answer right or did what is right. He loved us and still loves us. He was asked what commandment was the greatest this is what He answered.
Matthew 22:36-40 (NKJV) 36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?” 37 Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”
It is all about His love. Love does not mean you agree with what one says or does. You love them because of who you are and who rules your heart. If you truly love Jesus nothing anyone says or does will ever diminish your relationship with Him. If you love others as He loves you they will come to know His love. By this love they can be made new as His love when you received it made you new. I am far from perfect and do not love any where close to the perfect love of Christ but it is what I am striving for. I want to love as He loves me. Many say I am wrong to involve myself with people who are living sinful lives, but guess what we all sin. Jesus said to look upon a woman with lust in your eyes was to commit the sin of adultery. Then in 1 John and in Matthew hate is equal to murder
Matthew 5:21-26 (NKJV)
Murder Begins in the Heart
21 “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder,[a] and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment.’ 22 But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause[b] shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, ‘Raca!’ shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, ‘You fool!’ shall be in danger of hell fire. 23 Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. 25 Agree with your adversary quickly, while you are on the way with him, lest your adversary deliver you to the judge, the judge hand you over to the officer, and you be thrown into prison. 26 Assuredly, I say to you, you will by no means get out of there till you have paid the last penny.
Jesus was often criticized by the Pharisees because they din’t like who he spoke and ate with. Tax collectors and prostitutes being a couple of groups of people that were considered unacceptable (unlovable by our current way of thinking). To have anything to do with them was wrong and made you unclean. Yet Jesus loved these people and because they knew He loved them they left their former lives and followed Him.
People don’t change because you tell them to. They do not change because of fear or hate. All; these things do is drive them away from love. They change when they know they are accepted and loved as they are. When you fall in love you want to do everything you possibly can to please and make happy the one you fell in love with. This is what happens to a person who experiences the love of Jesus.
I am not perfect and do not love as He loves but I am His vessel and submit myself to be used by Him. Asking daily for His love to flow through me and touch the lives I come in contact with each day. Thats my purpose. I won’t say it is easy. Everyday I come across at least one person who is so hateful that it is hard to show even the smallest kindness to, and sometimes I fail, but I do my best to allow Him to love through me. This is when the battle isn’t in the words or actions but in my mind, but thats a topic for another day.
God bless you and your loved ones always.