God Wants To Include You

At least once a week we hop in one of our cars and drive around. We might consider going into a store with the right protection, but the stores in our town are pretty full. It looks like people are on assignment and it’s life as usual. Some of us are in the crowds and some of us are secluded away. Wherever you are God has a plan and He wants to include you in it.

Oh beloved, did you know? Have you heard? You are on assignment. Whether you are secluded at home or you still travel for work, you have a job to do. God puts all His people on assignment in every season and in any circumstances, especially unusual ones like now.

God is calling His own up. He wants you to know this morning that prayer isn’t the last resort. It’s your first line of defense. He wants you to know that putting the Word into action for your situation is your calling. Yes, people are sick. Yes, terrible things are happening. But God has not abdicated His authority. And neither should you and I. We’ve been left on the planet after being born again to occupy. We take up the shield of faith rather than cower in fear. It truly is life as usual for believers – because we are born again to lift up the standard of the Word of God and to raise the flag of victory in the midst of whatever comes against us. We may listen to the news but we don’t take it in as our necessary food. We may observe the times, but we don’t say this is our new normal. You and I are chosen, royal, holy, and very different. Our job in this season is to show forth the praises of God who brought us out of darkness into His light.

You may ask, will it ever return to normal? Your prayer life won’t. Mine won’t. Something about contending for the lives of our people makes us change our outlook on the power of prayer. But God says to you this morning, you are precious in His sight. You were born for this. And you will walk this walk of faith, shaking off the lies of the enemy as you take back territory of faith. You are an amazing, spiritual, enlightened, God fearing, Word praying, Jesus loving catalyst of wisdom, power and love!

God, the King of the Universe, the Only Living God, loves you and He is for you. As you wake up this morning remember that you are assigned to win battles in the unseen realm. Lay your struggles at the feet of Jesus and ask Him for insight for living in these unusual days. And then pray without ceasing in the light of your fear of only your God!

I Corinthians 16:13 Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous. Be strong.

Hebrews 10:36 Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that he has promised.

I Timothy 2:1 I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them.

Ephesians 6:18 Pray in the Spirit at all times, with every kind of prayer and petition. To this end, stay alert with all perseverance in your prayers for all the saints.

I Peter 2:9 But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light

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Lay It Aside And Rest

bedside_table_x2This morning I am reminded that although I wear glasses, I don’t keep them on at night. I don’t sleep with them. I remove them and lay them aside.

God speaks to my heart. Just as I lay aside my glasses at night so that I can sleep comfortably, so too He wants me to lay aside the troubles, the questions, the concerns of the day. He wants me to sleep well at night and I can’t if I don’t lay it all down.

Oh beloved, what have you been wrangling with? What are you carrying to bed with you? Did you know that you need sleep and as a child of God it is your privilege to rest? These are tough times, but worrying and wrangling things all night won’t make the times better. You are precious to the Lord and He promises you rest as one of His gifts to you. You can’t earn rest by overwork, over-worry or over-thinking. Yes God knows you are grieving over the changes in your life. But nothing is better handled than with a good night’s sleep. It sounds simplistic, but you are worth it.

God also knows your needs. As you lay your burdens aside, you are really laying them on Him. And when you lay everything on Him you find what you’ve been looking for – Peace. It’s not the peace that the world gives. In fact the world is not giving any peace right now. It is the peace that surpasses all your thinking. And it will guard your heart and mind. God wants you to know that rest is one of your weapons. It keeps you protected all through the night.

God loves you and He’s for you. He is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. He alone is in charge of the universe. He alone is your reason to wake up and your opportunity to rest. Run to Him this morning and ask Him for rest. Ask Him for relief from the things that keep you awake at night. Learn to practice His peace, His rest and His Sovereignty. And live in the light of His protective, never ending tender loving care.

Psalm 127:2 It is vain for you to rise up early, To retire late, To eat the bread of anxious toil; For He gives to His beloved even in his sleep.

Psalm 4:8 In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety.

Philippians 4:6-7 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Jeremiah 31:25 I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint.

Psalm 62:1-2 My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken.

1 Peter 5:7 Casting all your anxieties on Him, because He cares for you.

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Recovering The Right Things

A couple of days ago I was looking at my mother’s bible and I found a couple of treasures inside it. One was a church bulletin from August 2003. Listed as pastor was our precious Gary Turner. Oh how we miss him. I kept looking at the papers and wonders of wonders there, folded neatly, was a copy of one of my first devotionals written. This was especially wonderful since I had looked for it on the computers we’ve had and could not find it. I figured it was long gone and had given up looking.

Oh beloved, what have you lost that you wish you could recover? A photo, a letter, a gift? Or maybe it’s something even more precious – your hope, your plans, your joy.
God speaks this morning and He says to each and every one of His children with no exception – you are Mine. And because you are Mine I have given you rich and precious promises that no one can take from you. The problem comes when you focus on things that are going on and you lay the promises aside. In this season of grief, worry, fear, uncertainty – you can always find those promises. For they are within Me and because of Jesus they are within you. It’s not a matter of going back to try to find them so much as it is taking time to refocus on Truth over troubles.

God also wants you to know that your times are in His hands. Will troubles happen? Obviously. Are you immune from them? No. But now is your best time to do exactly what God instructs you to do. My hubby had a dream last week and woke up with instructions that He carried out when it was barely daylight. Now is the time when God is speaking – and now is the time for you to ask for more sensitive wisdom to Holy Spirit. Be prepared to hear from God even more surely in these uncertain times. Be prepared to find no help in people, places or things. But rejoice! Your help comes solely from God and since He made heaven and earth and all you see and beyond – you can entrust your whole life to Him.

God loves you and He’s for you. Rest your heart in His presence this morning, knowing that your life is In His hands. Ask Him for fresh fire, sound wisdom and glorious understanding. And then live the fearless life of a believer, for that’s where you will recover what you thought was surely lost.

Colossians 2:9-10 For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and in Christ you have been brought to fullness. He is the head over every power and authority.

I Corinthians 6:17 But the one who joins himself to the Lord is one spirit with Him.

Colossians 3:1 Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.

Colossians 2:2-3 My goal is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

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New Normal

Guest post from Diona Davis, lover of Jesus, wife, mother and one of our two precious daughters

I’m remembering when Stella was born. Her Birthday is actually coming up. April 24th, 2011. A “new” way of living…. I remember how careful we were during her 4 month stay in the NICU. Careful with what we washed our clothes in. Careful with making 100% sure our hands were super clean. Careful. I never, ever remember being afraid though. There was not one iota of a thought that she wasn’t going to make it home… eventually. Thats not to say there weren’t good and bad days. The ups and downs in her stay. But God had given me much peace about it all. He is such a good God. And yes, ALL the time.

She came home a week after her original due date. It was August 15th, 2011. We were so excited! So happy to have her home with us!! But now began another “new” way of living. Entailed in this “new” way of living was staying home and away from the public. Doctors orders. Germs were our enemy and we needed to ensure she stay clear until she became old enough and her body became strong enough to fight them. We didn’t congregate with large groups. We didn’t go to Walmart. Or to the grocery store. We didn’t go to church. Doctors visits were the only thing on our agenda. And then it was straight there and straight back.

I remember getting the word she could finally “meet her public” as I called it. Hearing the doctors say that she was clear to venture out. It was February 28th, 2012. A little over 6 months after her coming home. She’s a beautiful little girl. Inside and out. But this post isn’t about her. It’s about our God and how He takes care of us. It’s about how that time spent “alone” was not alone at all. And the time we weren’t able to be in church, certainly didn’t mean we weren’t spending time with Jesus.

That doesn’t mean to say our time went by with out pain or loss. But we do have a hope and a promise that we will see our Lucy again one day. God truly provides everything we need. He takes care of us. That time spent, only seems like a blip now. It was only a season. A season we walked thru not by our own strength. But by the upholding of our Father. Our loving, peace giving Father. He is with us. He’ll never leave us. Lean into Him. He’ll hold you up better than you can hold yourself up (or together 😉)

HEBREWS 13:5 Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”
MATTHEW 6:33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

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Worn To A Frazzle?

Well I had a long conversation yesterday with someone very close to me. They have morphed into a doomsday prepper of sorts. This dear one can stay in their “bunker” for about six months without having a problem or needing a thing. There’s more to the story but suffice it to say that by the time I got off the phone with them I was worn to a frazzle and unnerved just a bit.

Oh beloved, are you worn to a frazzle yet? Are you reading the headlines or the latest information on how to prepare for apocalypse? Are you wondering if this is it? Is this the end? Is this the Tribulation? Are we doomed?

God wants you and I to know not just this morning but all day long, every day of the week – He is with us through all this. Whether we ascribe to the return of Christ before the worst happens, during the worst of it all or at the end – He will be with us. You and I have not been left behind. Those who put their trust in Christ have absolutely nothing to worry about. Worry doesn’t belong in the vocabulary of any believer.

Just as I wanted to find someone to talk faith with after my phone call, you will need to find people to talk faith with during these trying times and any uncomfortable season you might be in. People without Jesus will have to talk about self reliance. But people of faith talk about relying on Jesus who is the Author and Finisher of the faith of all Christians. Don’t hesitate to reach out to faith runners – those who run alongside others to lift up the fallen, encourage the downhearted and bless the weary. And if you are discouraged this morning, you can know that Jesus Himself is with you, Holy Spirit is in you and you can walk through this without surrendering to fear, panic or self-reliance. You don’t just barely make it through this life anyway – you are carried through by The All Sufficient God!

God loves you and He’s for you. Quit worrying about things you can do nothing about. Use this season to draw closer to God for He is right here with you. Remember that God’s love means He never fails you, never gives up on you and never will He leave you to fend for yourself. Run to Him, seek His face, read his Word, encourage one another and live in the Light of the Greatest Story ever told!

2 Corinthians 3:5 Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God

Philippians 2:1-2 Therefore if there is any encouragement and comfort in Christ [as there certainly is in abundance], if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship [that we share] in the Spirit, if [there is] any [great depth of] affection and compassion, make my joy complete by being of the same mind, having the same love [toward one another], knit together in spirit, intent on one purpose [and living a life that reflects your faith and spreads the gospel—the good news regarding salvation through faith in Christ].

Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

Colossians 3:4 When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.

Deuteronomy 31:6 Be strong and courageous; do not be afraid or terrified of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you.”

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