Monday, April 7, 2014

The Answer!

I've been doing this devotional on the book of Daniel. And also just finished a book and small group study on the book the Circle Maker by Mark Batterson (it's about prayer).  I love how God puts the same message in my midst multiple times and from many different places. I guess he really wants me to get it!

Anyway as we finished up this study we as individuals and as a group prayed for many things, some we've seen answer right away (jobs, healing, etc...) some we may never see the answers but we won't stop circling these things in prayer, things like loved ones who've turned away from God, missions opportunities, unity in our church etc...

There are times when we pray that we want, or hope to see answers right away, but that doesn't always happen. In fact it rarely happens. I have been a follower of Christ long enough to know that! But I also know and believe that as soon as we think the thought, speak the words, or even mumble in distress God begins to work!

Daniel 9:23 AMP
At the beginning of your prayers, the word [giving an answer] went forth, and I have come to tell you, for you are greatly beloved. Therefore consider the matter and understand the vision.

Oh, how I wish I had a visit from Gabriel!
I am always Praying for the neon sign, bonk on the head, whatever it takes to know without a doubt God is answering. Who doesn't want to know that God is there interceeding for you or would like to know why something did or didn't happen. Why do bad things happen to good people? Why is there death, and pain? Abuse? And hundreds of other questions.

When Daniel prayed God sent Gabriel.

When Gabriel visits Daniel, it's not by accident. Daniel brought him there. Daniel was praying. He was confessing his sin. He was seeking the Lord. And that's when the answers came.

I know that's the same for us, when pray seeking God he sends His messengers. He has all along, sometimes we (Me) need to quiet ourselves long enough to hear.

Jesus was sent to be a messenger  to us, and through His word we can find that message, of redemption, freedom, love,forgiveness, sacrifice! We need His message! We need Him!

We need Him when we're grieving, when the world hurts us, amidst the confusion the chaos, the pain, the joy and the situations that seem to have no answer. The situations that seem hopeless.

We need this Heavenly Visitor daily. And like Daniel, He comes to us when we pray. He pulls us closer when we confess our sin. He gives us rest from answer-seeking when we seek Him and love Him with all our heart, with all our soul, with all our mind and all our strength.

Whatever you are walking through today, whatever you are fighting to understand, make sense of or see- I hope you know Jesus is the answer! 

He is the Answer!

So don't give up! Know He hasn't left you alone!  He is with you!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

You may be the only Jesus they see!

I was reminded this week, how important your actions are. Words count don't get me wrong. However if what you say doesn't match up with what you do people will notice! 

I struggle a lot with people pleasing. God gave me a tender heart for others and sometimes, a lot of times it seems more important to me what people think of me then what God thinks of me. So I will say yes, way more often than no. I don't necessarily think this is all bad, but I have begun to recognize that you can do good things, and still not be doing what God is requiring of you.

Terry used a great example in his sermon Sunday.  If we need to forgive our brother, and don't right away but instead read scripture, do bible study etc... (which are good thing!) And put off the forgiveness, then you are not being obedient.  

All to often we will bypass what we need to do because it is hard, or boring, or whatever excuse we come up with, to do something that's more enjoyable, easier, etc..  or maybe we allow fear of not pleasing others, not fitting in, not stirring others up. 

This week two boys reminded me it okay to show, and share my faith everyday and everywhere!  The first boy is wearing his drama camp shirt that has this scripture on it:

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with alll your mind and with all your strength.  Mark 12:30 

While enjoying some ice cream at DQ an older gentleman approached him, commented on his shirt and asked if he wore it to school. He replied yes. The older gentleman then asked if he went to christian school or public, the boy replied with public school. The older gentleman thanked him went on his way, as he was leaving he dropped something on the boys table.  
After opening the paper he realized it was $10.   Rather than blow it on more ice cream or something for himself, this young man gave it as an offering that night at his church.  God had blessed him and he was blessing others. His actions were way more powerful than his words.  

The next young man attends the school I work at.  He wore this shirt last week .  When I asked if i could take a picture of his shirt he was proud to show me and even proceeded to talk to me about the movie, and music that goes right along with it.  What a great way to get others talking and sharing about Gods love.  
These two boys showed me by example what it means to walk the talk.  They not only show it with their words but their actions as well. 

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with alll your mind and with all your strength.  
Mark 12:30 

They do this, even more they exemplify the next verse 
Mark 12:31
The second is this: Love your neighbor as yourself.  There is no commandment greater than these.

We can all learn a lot from these two scriptures and these two boys. Just remember  you may be the only Jesus some one else sees!  

Have a Beautiful Day! 

(I had permission from both boy's parents to post their pictures)