Christianity · Devotional · encouragement · free · guidance · Jesus · Love

He cares

He cares.

I shouldn’t be as surprised as I am at how amazing God is. There are so many moments when I don’t ask God for help because I don’t even know that the thing that could have been disastrous without God’s intervention happened. There are small things, like coming home and realizing the hair straightener was left on all day but did not burn the house down. Then there are big things, like me letting my dog out and having him chase the six big deer in our yard, yet by some miracle they didn’t kill him. Or having a driver who is high on who knows what, swerve into my lane, I hit my breaks and head for the ditch and the person swerves back into their lane seconds before I am killed annnnnnd the guy behind me doesn’t hit me as I try to avoid a head on.
These things you didn’t know you needed to pray for so you didn’t, yet God stopped you from being hurt. The words lucky and coincidence come up so often when these things happen, but if you know God, then you know it was Him who saved you. They have an old saying about magic, if you don’t look for it you will never see it. The same could be said about God, if you don’t look for him you will never see him. It is too easy to throw aside God’s goodness and try to explain away his truth, but he is there just open your eyes. And. One more thing we forget. God cares more about us and more about the people, the animals, and the things we care about then we ever possibly could, they’re his creation after all. We forget that he cares because we can explain away his goodness, but if we give the credit where credit is due we will realize that God is always watching over us and that He truly cares about us. As my Poppa sings, “Jesus loves even me.” Don’t forget that.

Christianity · Devotional · encouragement · free · guidance · Jesus · Love

Carried in His arms

I will bear; even I will carry, and will deliver you.
Isaiah 46:4


Isn’t it wonderful? He even carries us. He doesn’t have to. He could simply show us where to go and wait paitently through our weak moments until we get there ourselves, but instead He carries us.
You might say, “um, I have never noticed God lift me into His arms and carry me.”
That’s because you thinking of a physical sensation of being picked up. He doesn’t carry us like we would carry eachother, He carries us in spirit. When our spirit has fallen and is weak God picks up and carries us in spirit. When we are tired in body, He helps us in our spirit. Even if you are exhausted and injured an unbroken spirit will keep you moving forward. God binds up and strengthens our powerhouse, our soul, our mind. When your mind claims it can’t go on and can’t do it, then you really do have a struggle. But when your body says ‘I can’t do it’ and your soul and mind says ‘oh yes we can!’ Then you have a fighting chance.
God carries our spirit. God. The creater of the universe. Carries us.
Don’t ever forget that.

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All wet

Lent devotional 38

All wet

Today I was shoveling our steps to our house of the knee deep snowfall we had last night. Suddenly my shovel his something metal and I had a moment of that ‘I found treasure’ rush before fishing it out of the snow and finding it be the cross we have hanging on our door. The wind had blown it down in the storm. I put it aside, finished what I was doing and then took it around to the back of the house where I could leave it in a shelter to dry. I noticed that something was wrong with it as I inspected it for damage and soon realized that the ‘faith’ on the front of it was covered with snow, so I brushed it off and went inside.
Isn’t that so like life? We dig for something of value in this world and find a treasure of faith. Then a big storm hits and our faith gets blown around and beaten until it falls and becomes buried by the crushing weight of our problem. Then we start to clean up from our pain and problems little by litte, knowing that we need help, and there we find our faith waiting for us, just a little wet and a little buried by the snow. we pick it back up, dust it off, and place it back in our lives where it belongs. Storms are supposed to be conquered through faith, they aren’t supposed to win and knock our faith down. They aren’t supposed to, but sometimes they still do. But God is faithful to us and is ready to help us even when we lose our faith, even when we can’t take anymore, even when we fall asleep in the garden. It breaks His heart, but He gets it and doesn’t give up on us.
“Thank you Jesus for getting me even on days when my faith has taken a beating, I know you are always there and that though you may rebuke me, you will never stop loving me.”
Don’t be ashamed to face God and ask for forgiveness for falling asleep on watch, go to Him and reach for Him, He will hold you close and restore you, because even if you fail Him, He never fails you.

Devotional · encouragement · guidance · Jesus · lent · Love · The Bible · True Joy

Jesus as king

Lent devotional 33


Jesus as king

Jesus wasn’t just a man, He was a king.

Who is he, this King of glory? The Lord Almighty— he is the King of glory.
Psalm 24:10 NIV

Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey, because riding in on a donkey was a symbol of peace and unity with the people under God, but it was also a symbol of kingship. People of Royal birth from David’s line Road on mules or donkeys when riding through the city, far as We Know.
The Cutting and laying of branches shows that the people accepted Jesus as king.


As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and at once you will find a donkey tied there, with her colt by her. Untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, say that the Lord needs them, and he will send them right away.” This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet: “Say to Daughter Zion, ‘See, your king comes to you, gentle and riding on a donkey, and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.’ ” The disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them. They brought the donkey and the colt and placed their cloaks on them for Jesus to sit on. A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Hosanna in the highest heaven!”
Matt. 21:1-9 NIV
I saw on facebook the other day an image of two donkeys speaking with eachother, the one donkey was distressed and complained, “yesterday I carried Jesus into the city. People cheered and layed palm branches on the road for us, now today it’s like they don’t care about me at all.”
The other donkey stated in a tone of depression, ” that’s the way it is, without Jesus you’re nothing.”
Without Jesus we truly are nothing. We have no purpose or drive. Oh sure, we can pick a career and raise a family without God, but it will always lack the wonder and passion of being led by His hand. Like the donkey colt who carried Jesus into Jerusulem, without the guiding hand of the savior the little creature would have gone where it wanted to go and gotten into all sorts of trouble, I know, I’ve worked with colts, both horse and donkey, if you aren’t guiding them they get into trouble easily. Much like us, without the constant hand of God’s guidance we get into trouble easily that we cannot get ourselves out of.

Jesus didn’t cling to being God, he emptied himself. Don’t think too highly of yourself as you are now, allow yourself to be what God wants you to be to do his work. If Jesus was willing to empty himself of all the benefits of being a king so we would not be condemed then shouldn’t we be just as willing to empty ourselves of our own will and be willing to be filled with God’s purpose?

Rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross!
Phil. 2:7-8

Kenosis means to make yourself nothing, to empty yourself and that is what Jesus was doing, he was emptying himself so we could be made whole. He confined himself to a human body, Jesus was God but permitted himself to also be man. He is trying to lead us into safety, He became one of us so we would trust Him and follow Him into heaven and away from death. Jesus died on a cross and God is exalted Him and someday we will all bow before Him.

Prayer:
Dearest Jesus, come into our presents and guide is into drawing into yours, help us to not be stubborn weld would you be willing to follow your lead and guiding in all things. Thank you for emptying yourself all you were so that we would be made whole in you. Amen

Blog · Christianity · Devotional · guidance · Jesus · lent

Respect

Lent devotional 31

Respect

The word respect has lost it’s meaning in the world. When I was a kid respect was something show to adults by defult, but was earned on the playground. You didn’t simply walk up to another kid in a strange hat and go ‘I respect you for wearing that hat.’ It’s rediculous. Yet that is what we hear. Someone once posted to someone else that they respected them because they made their dog wear clothes. That’s silly people. You don’t respect someone for that. I can tell you that I respect other people’s pets, whether they be dogs, cats or horses, I have learned from pain that you treat them appropriately because your friend’s german shepherd might not be a hug lover like your poodle mix back home is. That again is a different type of respect. That is a respect of boundries and to caution until you know where you stand. You can see a person in full cosplay in the mall and feel a sense pleasure at the fact that they chose to be themselves and stand out, but you don’t respect them for it. Respect is a feeling toward someone’s achievements not their choices. You can respect a doctor for being good at his job, you don’t respect him for wearing pink flamingo socks, you can smile at that and appreciate it, but it’s not something to respect. In this disillusion of respect we have lost the true ability to respect God. We flash a peace sign and say we respect someone but do we understand the awe behind true respect? Do we understand why we respect our God?
Ask yourself what causes you to respect God?
Is it like respecting the boundries of a wild animal? No because God wants us close to Him.
Is it like respecting a soldier for fighting for their country? That can definiately be an aspect of it. God does fight for us. But let’s go deeper, more personal.
Is it like respecting your father? There we go. We respect God for His strong loving protection, we respect Him for His sacrificial attitude towards us as His people, we respect Him for His goodness, for His wonders, for who He is. We respect Him because He is so much greater then we are, yet He comes down to our level and cares for us. We respect because He is God our Father. Father’s should be men you can look up to and respect, they should be there for us when we need them, they should care for us and provide for us. God does all of that. And He is infinate God, His position warrants Him respect. Ultimately, He is God and He is good and for that I will always respect Him.

Christianity · Devotional · encouragement · free · guidance · Jesus · lent

Freedom

Lent devotional 27

Freedom

When Jesus died on the cross He didn’t just take away our fear and pain, but He gave us complete freedom from it. Fear is not from God, He says that His perfect love casts out all fear. That does not mean that you will never feel fear again, it means that Jesus’ power gives you the authority to pray against your fear and have it cast away. In Jesus name I stand against this fear I am feeling! Then if the fear comes back ask Jesus to cast it out again. The devil uses fear to drive us down and keep us from God’s goals in our lives. We must stand against this fear in the name of Jesus and refuse to permit it to overwhelm us. Jesus is there, standing guard, call on His name and believe that your fear will be cast out by His holy and glorious power!
In Jesus name I stand against fear and trembling of anything earthly. I stand in the power of almighty God! Fear has no hold on me because Jesus is the one who holds me. Amen!

Christianity · encouragement · free · guidance · Jesus · lent · Love · Prayer · searching

Spinning out of control

Lent devotional 26

I’m not faithless, just paranoid of being lost- Flyleaf

We become afraid, even paraniod of being left behind or lost.
But the Jesus who mourned in the garden, suffered in the flogger’s hands and died on the cross will never leave us behind. He died so we would never be lost. Jesus came for us, He found us, He goes after the one and never gives up until you are found. Feeling lost does not make you faithless, it makes you human. It’s easy to feel like you have lost your way when things are spinning and you can’t focus. They say you should work on you and that will help you help others, I’m not sure that that is true, but how do you work on you when you can’t find you? Life gets messy. The world is crazy and it get’s inside your head and causes stress. Things fall apart, people fail you, things pack on top of themselves and you feel like Atlas holding up the world. But the world is not yours to hold, that’s God’s job. The mess and crazy all around you is not your’s to deal with. The pile of things for you to do is not yours to bear alone. God arms me with strength, and He makes my path perfect Psalm 18:34
You are not lost just because you are spinning, God always knows where you are. He doesn’t need to find you again because He never lost you even if you have lost focus of Him.

Christianity · Devotional · encouragement · free · guidance · Jesus

Chasing skunks

There are days when I picture the angel taking care of my dog. I know he’s there because of the times I pray, ‘God protect my pal from himself,’ and then later that day see him do something that causes me to hold my breath in horror as I wait to see if he survives. Only a loving God would bother to protect my unstable Jack Russell because He knows how much he means to me.
Today I imagined Pal’s angel sitting him down for a talk that went like this:

Angel: “okay, let’s do this one more time. You do not chase the skunks.’
Pal: “okay! I chase skunks!”
Angel: “no, you do not chase the skunks.”
Pal: “yep, chase skunks. Got it.”
Angel rubs his forehead: “no, you do NOT chase the skunks! You leave the skunks alone! Skunks carry disease.”
Pal, horrified: “I can’t leave the skunks alone! Then they will be lonely!”
Angel groans but refuses to give up and tries again. This could go on forever so we’ll move on.
How like my crazy little dog are we at times?
God sits us down and says that there is something we are about to do or are presently doing that we should avoid because it’s dangerous. Maybe not physically, but it might be spiritually dangerous. Then we miss what He is saying and keep going, we keep chasing whatever it is that we are after no matter how bad it might be. He tries again to stop us and save us from ourselves, and again we miss it and keep going. Then when we finally understand that God is saying to stay away from that thing we are chasing we become defensive and argue with Him that we know best. But our loving God refuses to give up on us, even if that means He has to step in and save us last minute because we wouldn’t listen to Him. He is such a loving Father. He always strives to keep us from harm, and then we chase the skunk and get sprayed He loves us enough to clean us up and heal our injuries and to continue to protect us, even from ourselves.

Blog · Christianity · Devotional · encouragement · free · guidance · Jesus · lent

Where do you turn

Lent devotional 24

What do you do my friends when you are afraid?

Brother Andrew has said, ‘you have been spiritually mature in faith for a long time, act like it.’
Do we trust God when something that brings us fear takes ahold of us? Or do we try to fix it ourselves?
When we are afraid or something goes wrong we need to give it to God, then we need to trust Him with it. I feel like we are in a tug-of-war with God and our lives are the ropes. We let God have one end and then we yank as hard as we can from the other end and try to pull God over to our side or else to simply pull the rope itself out of God’s hands. Then we dance around like we have won something because we have done it all on our own.
But to have true peace we must hand our fears and troubles over to God and then let GO. Only once we have let go can we experience the rewards of faith and can see what happens when thungs are done the King’s way.

Christianity · Devotional · encouragement · free · guidance · Jesus · lent · Love · Prayer · searching

Chains be gone!

Lent devotional 23

To love them with your whole heart.
We feel these days that to love them is to accept them, all of them, as they are in that moment. That is true in a sense but not in a whole. As Christians it is always a struggle to accept the whole of the person but to also fight against their sin. We forget that if we accept the sin and not simply the sinner then we aren’t truly loving them. To accept our whole selves and to accept our own sin is not truly loving ourselves either. There is the great truth that we all have a darkness to us, but when we claim that we love our darkness as part of ourselves we are hurting ourselves. When we claim that we love someone else’s darkness as part of themselves then we are condeming them to forever be trapped by that darkness. Our sin is not who we are, it is not part of us. Like a big chain holding down a wolf, that chain is not part of that animal, that free spirit, it is simply attached to him or her. Once someone loves the wolf enough to say, ‘that doesn’t belong on you, let me help you take it off,’ and the wolf is set free from it’s bonds it can finally return to the trees and run the way it was meant to run. These chains are not part of us, our sins are not part of us, we cannot lie down and simply accept them in ourselves and in others, we must stand up against sin and scream ‘no more!’ ‘No longer will this sin hold me down!’ ‘I want to be free!’
You are not defined by your chains. You are meant to be free.
Seek a good Church with a pastor you trust and can come to with your sin, seek good Christian people who will help you. I don’t mean as someone to confess to, I mean as people to pray with you. Trust me, they have sins too that they are fighting, you are not alone.
Pray
Jesus I love you, I love that you love me and fight against my sin becasue you want me to be free. Thank you that you are not condeming me when you condem my sin, but that you are saving me. Let me trust in you and your truth. Guide me to fellow Christ followers so that I might find people who will pray with me and fight with me.
Amen