Living Hope

"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade--kept in heaven for you." ~1 Peter 1:3-4

Psalm 36

“Your love, O LORD, reaches to the heavens,
your faithfulness to the skies.

Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains,
your justice like the great deep.
O LORD, you preserve both man and beast.

How priceless is your unfailing love!
Both high and low among men
find refuge in the shadow of your wings.

They feast on the abundance of your house;
you give them drink from your river of delights.

For with you is the fountain of life;
in your light we see light.”

~Psalm 36:5-9


Great is Thy Faithfulness

“Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed,

Because His compassions fail not.

They are new every morning;

GREAT is YOUR FAITHFULNESS.”

~Lamentations 3:22-23 (NKJV)

If you were to take a tour of my home, there would be one thing you would notice on almost every wall.  The Word of God is pretty prevalent in our home.  There are many good reasons for this!  I love words!  And I truly believe that the power of these words continue to transform my life.  It is so refreshing to walk around our home and be reminded of God’s Word often.

This above vinyl wording is on a wall in our bedroom.  It’s right above the door to our master bathroom.  The great thing about these words is that every morning I get to wake up to them.  I wake up to this reminder, this promise from God.  I wake up remembering that God is Faithful and He always will be.  I celebrate this daily!

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Forever Faithful

Keep walking! God's faithfulness is coming through. You never know what's around the corner!

“Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord his God, the Maker of heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them– the Lord, who remains faithful forever.”

~Psalm 146:5-6 (NIV)

Lately, I have come across a few people who are hurting in many ways.  There are a lot of tough things going on in people’s lives.  One common theme is a desire to see God come through.  A desire to be victorious!  I think it’s so important to stop for a moment and look at God’s record of faithfulness.  I want to explore how faithful He has been and how faithful He will be.  God has a record of being faithful at least a Gazillion times.  More times than we will ever be able to count.  It’s hard to see His faithfulness at work in our lives at times because we see things from our perspective.  We see things unfinished, full of pain, agony, often bewildered by circumstances, and just frustrated by the lack of control we have.  We need to take our eyes off of the circumstances and put our eyes on the One who is in control!  The One who never steps off the throne, never says He’s too busy, never calls it quits, never says He’s having a bad day, so He can’t help us.  He is always there!  We just have to stop and become available.  Stop and listen!  Stop and allow Him to work!  Stop and get a new perspective on the current situation!  Let’s look at God’s record of faithfulness and compare it to our lives.  Let’s see how He has been faithful!

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Hit a Home Run

“Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved,

a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.”

~2 Timothy 2:15 (NIV)

To say that today has been interesting would be an under statement.  I realized that posting a devotional about Jesus Christ being the only way to Heaven would present an open door for people to offer feedback or disagree.  I have had one very interesting conversation take place with a man who is practicing Buddhism.  He feels that Christians are very closed minded and the devotional didn’t sit well with him.  He left a comment for me to find this morning.  This has reminded me of the verse above.

Be ready to hit it out of the park for God!

Be ready to hit it out of the park for God!

I have known that every devotional I prepare needs to be backed up by the life I live and the Truth found in the Word of God.  In the same way, I pray that when you read these devotionals God will challenge you to step up to the plate.  Hit a home run for God.  Don’t be satisfied with sitting in the dugout!  Don’t be okay with walking to first base!  Don’t even be okay with a first base hit!  God wants more, He wants us to live our lives approved by Him.  How do we present ourselves to God as approved?  Well, let’s start with the basics.

“…a workman who does not need to be ashamed…”

Is there anything you are ashamed of?  Is there anything you need to offer to God?  This comes first!

We need to daily give ourselves to God.  Keep the list short of those you need to forgive and those who need to forgive you.  Try your best not to live in the past with thoughts of things that could have or should have been better.  Realize that God is here today and wants to work in You now!  Let go of yesterday, so you can start living out today!  From the time you wake up in the morning, until the moment you lay your head on your pillow at night continue to stay in communication with the Lord.  Let your thoughts be His thoughts, your actions mimic His actions, and your love come from His overflowing love!

For instance, a while ago when I chose an email address I came up with God iz Faithful as the name.  I did this on purpose.  I wanted it to be a constant reminder to everyone I gave it to that God is faithful.  The “s” was taken, so I had to settle for the “z”.  Well, time and time again this email has been the conversation starter for God to come in and show His faithfulness once again.  Today I was able to witness this twice.  I had to give my email address at two different places.  The first one I gave to a lady and she said, “I like that, I like that a lot.”  She said she really needed to hear that.  I asked what had been going on in her life and she started to share her story.  I was able to encourage her and share with her the devotional site.  She said, “you are like an angel for me today.”

In every moment, we have an opportunity to be a witness for God.  Even a small thing like an email can be a witness to someone whose day has gone awry.  Yes, today started with someone whose road is leading in a different direction than my own, but I’m enjoying the opportunity to shine my light for Jesus to him.  It’s an extreme opportunity and at the opposite end of the spectrum are those moments that go unnoticed at times.  Each moment is important to God.  Each moment we need to be prepared for and the only way to be prepared is to constantly be in the Word.

You can only share the Truth of who God is by being in the Word.  When it is all said and done, people want to know the testimony of who God has been to you.  They want to hear what He has done in your life.   They want to feel what it’s been like to live with God as Lord over your life.  They want to get the answers to how, why, when, and where.  They want to touch, see, hear, and experience God like you have.  They don’t want you to lead them to information on the internet, they can do that on their own.  They want the Truth.  They want what you have.  Are you willing to share?  I know that when I talk to someone else about what they believe, I want to know their experience, not the information.  I can find that anywhere.  I want to have a relationship, like Jesus had with people while He was on earth.  Let’s experience God’s faithfulness with people and help them know who God is through the testimony of our lives.

May the Truth of God’s Word be found in the moments we breathe and live for!  The moments that escape with the ticking of time.  The Truth is the only thing that will escape the sand slipping through the hourglass of time!

Dear Father God, I pray that You will teach me how to be an approved worker in the field of writing.  I pray every day that I will live according to Your Word.  May my life follow the Truth I find in Your Word and may I never stray from what I have found in You.

Following Your Truth,

Sarah


Doctors and Sneakers

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”

~2 Corinthians 12:9

Yesterday, I took the time to write about how we need to be faithful to God regardless of the circumstances we are in.  I would like to take the time to expand on this, as this last weekend and even today I have experienced God’s faithfulness in my life once again.  His faithfulness has not come in that nice little package with the bow on top, but it has come with the perfect amount of strength I have needed.

This last week I was struggling with a bad migraine and some severe neck pain from post surgery.  I was praying that God would give me enough strength to get through the weekend for a book signing I had on Saturday.  I knew that I wanted to reach lives and see God do great things.  It’s not enough to just show up and sign books.  I always want to be fully engaged with the people I meet and be able to share words of love that God would have me share with people I meet.

Saturday morning, I woke up with the same old migraine, but I continued to put my faith in God knowing that He was bigger than my pain.  I went to the book signing hoping I would be able to meet someone who I could share God’s love with.  Well, God came through in big ways.  My words were scrambled in my head, but God continued to minister through me to the people that came by the table.  It was incredible.  I continued to watch God work.  He came up with the words that each person needed to hear.  He knew where they were at and what would touch them most.  I was simply His tool to use.

Do you ever get the desire to just run away?!?

Do you ever get the desire to just run away?!?

Then today, I went to the migraine center for a treatment.  God never fails to show up and show me something new.  There I was with my head pounding and my physical strength diminishing as the moments passed by.  My husband waited patiently with me to be called back to the center and I was starting to get to the point where I just wanted to leave.  I couldn’t take it any more.  The light blaring, the sound screaming, everything was too much.  My head in my hands, I cried out to God.  “Lord, please I can’t take this another minute.  I’m going to throw in the towel, get my sneakers on, and run back to my family doctor.”  Not even a few seconds later the nurse came out and called my name.  She led me back to a nice comfortable chair and hooked me up to an IV where I started my treatment for the next 3 hours.  There I heard from the nurses, “this was the best place I could be for my migraines.”

In a few moments, my name had been called and I had been told that I was at the best place I could be for what I had been facing all week.  I sat there for the next three hours thinking about this.  Do you ever feel like you don’t have enough strength to go on?  Do you ever feel like you want to throw in the towel and just go for the “less than best” option?  Do you ever feel like you’ll never make it to the finish line?  Do you ever feel like your name won’t be called and that you’ll be waiting forever?

My realization is that God’s strength is enough yesterday, today, and will be enough for tomorrow.  He will never fail to provide enough strength for me.  His strength will be there to lead me into His arms in eternity.  I don’t really want to throw in the towel for something that’s less than His best.  Nothing can come close to what He is creating for me in Heaven.  And something I know for sure, the day I accepted Jesus into my heart…my name was written down in the Book of Life.  I do not have to worry about when my name will be called.  God is faithful to me.  He has taken the time to write my name down.  He will not erase it and He will not forget me.  I need to live out my days being faithful to Him, even when I feel weak.  For it is in my weakest form, that His power is made perfect in me.

Are you allowing God’s power to be made perfect in you today?

Dear Father God, I’m so grateful that You have more than enough strength for me at all times.  You never run out of strength for me, even when I think I can’t take another moment of life in this physical body.  You are and always will remain faithful to me!  I pray that I can be faithful to all that You have called me to be for Your sake.  May my life be more than just another hum drum, taking up a seat in church, kind of Christian.  I want to be actively involved in Your work.  I pray that I will continue to find Your power made perfect in my weakness.

Trading in my Weakness for Your Strength,

Sarah


Finders Keepers

“…greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.”

~1 John 4:4 (KJV)

May you find God faithful in your life this week.  And even more than that, may you choose to be faithful to God.  Faithfulness to God comes out of a heart that chooses to live daily for Him, despite what the circumstances may be.  Remember, that “He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.”  When you wake up in the morning, declare that this day will be for the Lord.  May you live it out for Him to the best of your ability.  Read this story about a little boy about to go into surgery and examine your heart today!

I Found Jesus There
by: Author Unknown, Source Unknown

“Tomorrow morning,” the surgeon began, “I’ll open up your heart…” “You’ll find Jesus there,” the boy interrupted.

The surgeon looked up, annoyed. “I’ll cut your heart open,” he continued, “to see how much damage has been done…” “But when you open up my heart, you’ll find Jesus in there.”

The surgeon looked to the parents, who sat quietly. “When I see how much damage has been done, I’ll sew your heart and chest back up and I’ll plan what to do next.”

Jesus is Always Waiting for One More!

Jesus is Always Waiting for You with Open Arms!

“But you’ll find Jesus in my heart. The Bible says He lives there. The hymns all say He lives there. You’ll find Him in my heart.”

The surgeon had had enough. “I’ll tell you what I’ll find in your heart. I’ll find damaged muscle, low blood supply, and weakened vessels. And I’ll find out if I can make you well.”

“You’ll find Jesus there too. He lives there.”

The surgeon left. The surgeon sat in his office, recording his notes from the surgery, “…damaged aorta, damaged pulmonary vein, widespread muscle degeneration. No hope for transplant, no hope for cure. Therapy: painkillers and bedrest. Prognosis:, ” here he paused, “death within one year.” He stopped the recorder, but there was more to be said. “Why?” he asked aloud. “Why did You do this? You’ve put him here; You’ve put him in this pain; and You’ve cursed him to an early death. Why?”

The Lord answered and said, “The boy, My lamb, was not meant for your flock for long, for he is a part of My flock, and will forever be. Here, in My flock, he will feel no pain, and will be comforted as you cannot imagine. His parents will one day join him here, and they will know peace, and My flock will continue to grow.”

The surgeon’s tears were hot, but his anger was hotter. “You created that boy, and You created that heart. He’ll be dead in months. Why?”

The Lord answered, “The boy, My lamb, shall return to My flock, for he has done his duty: I did not put My lamb with your flock to lose him, but to retrieve another lost lamb.”

The surgeon wept. The surgeon sat beside the boy’s bed; the boy’s parents sat across from him.

The boy awoke and whispered, “Did you cut open my heart?” “Yes,” said the surgeon. “What did you find?” asked the boy. “I found Jesus there,” said the surgeon.

This little boy believed in a God who was faithful, but not only that he had chosen to be faithful to God despite the fact that his days were already numbered.  When people look at your life, do they see Jesus?  Will they find Jesus in your heart when they open up a conversation with you?  What will people find this week when they interact with you?  Take time to examine your heart and choose to be someone who carries Jesus well!  May God find you faithful in even the smallest details of your life.  Always remember that God is greater than anything you will face this week.  He will not let you down, He will not let you go, and He will not walk away!  Please return the favor.  Be faithful to God this week, not because God is doing something for you.  But because you serve a God who is amazing, loving, and deserving of your faithful devotion each and every day!

What level of faithfulness would you like to be at this week for God?

1.  Oh, I’ll be faithful if God does something for me!

2.  I’ll be faithful for God if He answers my prayer!

3.  I will be faithful for God regardless of how life goes.  I choose to be faithful each and every day because of who God is, not for what He can do!

Lord, I pray You will find me faithful all throughout this week!  I choose to empty out the things that mean nothing in my life.  I pray that the meaning in my life will come from serving You and lifting You up!  You are all that I desire, the One that I want to live my life for.  May You be high and lifted up in my life!

When they open my heart, I pray they find You Jesus!
Sarah


To be or not to be COMPASSIONATE!

“Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.  They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.  I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.”

~Lamentations 3:22-24 (NIV)

 

On this earth we experience many great loves in many different forms, but the truth is the GREATEST LOVE of all comes through God.  Because of His love given to us on a daily basis, we do not have to be consumed by the world’s madness.  God’s love doesn’t fail us.  It never let’s go.  It never gives up on us.  It sees through all our flaws.  His love remains steadfast even through the moments that we are unsteady in our walk with the Lord.

I’m so glad to hear that God’s compassions are new every morning.  I don’t have to live on yesterday’s compassion.  I know if it was me, my compassion would probably run out.  In fact, I definitely know it would.  But God’s compassion never runs out. Just lately, I was reading my A.W. Tozer book on “The Attributes of God” and he talked about God’s compassion.  You see God’s compassion and our’s is completely different.

We see something happen and have a stirring inside to show compassion towards someone for a moment.  But God sees someone in need every moment of every day and His compassion leads Him to be compassionate towards all those He sees, all the time.  He acts on His compassion.  It’s not just a word to Him, it’s something He puts into action.  The next time you see a need in a stranger and feel a sense of compassion for them, will you take the time to be compassionate?  Take action!  It will always be worth it!

The Lord declares that He is faithful each and every day.  When you awake each morning, remember God will be faithful to You. He promises this to you in His Word and He never breaks a promise.  

He will be your portion, He is more than enough!  Continue to put your hope in Him and allow Him to make your days into all that they can be!  He can color them into brilliant pieces of art.  May the colors in your painting be beautiful all throughout your day!

Lord, my prayer today is that you will move me from being a person of compassion to someone who is compassionate towards those who are around me.  Yes, it’s easy to see those who are hurting and say “oh, that poor person.”  But it’s a whole different thing to take action!  I want to act out compassion, to be someone who pumps out the blood of my Father’s heart.  May I continue to show Your faithfulness to the world around me.

Daily learning to be more compassionate,
Sarah 

 



Steps of Faith

FAITH! The Israelites are not strangers to walking by faith.  Sure they had days where their lack of it was more evident, than their dependence on God.  But don’t we all.  

Exodus 12:31, Pharaoh finally gives his approval for the Israelites to be released from their slavery.  Moses leads them from Egypt, a land of bondage, towards the unknown with miracle after miracle to be performed before their very eyes.

Exodus 13:17 – 14:31, God leads the Israelites to the edge of the Red Sea.  Their enemy is coming behind them, their future is beyond the Red Sea, but right now/today ~ they must cross the Red Sea.  They must live by faith, not by sight.  Are you at the edge yet?  Are you ready to see God perform something amazing in your own life?  

Here it is, don’t miss it!  The parting of the sea, the Israelites walking on dry land.  Hebrews 11:27 says, “By faith he (Moses) left Egypt, not fearing the king’s anger; he persevered because he saw him who was invisible.”

Moses went forward in faith, knowing that God would be faithful.  This site will be used to share about God’s faithfulness, His grace, His mercy, His love, the Hope He brings through His Son, etc.  I pray you will enjoy it through the blogs, reading one of the books, the study guide, or the devotional on a daily basis.  I look forward to hearing from you.

In His Grip of Grace,
Sarah 

 



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