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

Still Calls Me Son

“…But while he was still a long way off,

his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him;

he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.”

~Luke 15:20


Righteous Reset Button

Do you ever wish you could go back in your life and take back a moment?  Maybe you wish you could press the “Reset” button and just start over.  Have you ever wished you could just click your heels together like Dorothy did in the Wizard of Oz and just wake up out of your dream?  Do you look back on life and see places where you could have, should have, or would have done better?  Unfortunately, the answer to these questions is all too often yes.  Many people want to take back a moment.  Many want to press the “Reset” button.  Some just want to click there heels and wake up out of a dream.  Then there are others who live on the coulda, shoulda, woulda philosophy!

There is good and bad news for you!  I’ll give you the bad news first.  Yesterday is gone!  There is nothing you can do about it.  You can’t take back what happened and you can’t change it.  However, the good news is, today is a new day.  And just like the passage above says, “…new every morning…”, so also we should not be living on yesterday’s mistakes.  God has something new for us today.  Take what came from yesterday and learn from it, let it mold your character and shape who you will become for tomorrow.

Read the rest of this entry »


Worthy of Praise

I love this verse!  I daily enjoy taking time to thank God for His abundant work in my life.  I love taking notice of every little thing that He has done for me.  Have you thanked Him lately?  If you were to tell someone about the kindnesses of the Lord, what would your list look like?  How many things would you be able to share?  

Read the rest of this entry »


Wardrobe Plan

“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with

compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.

Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another.

Forgive as the Lord forgave you.

And over all these virtues put on love, which binds all together in perfect unity.”

~Colossians 3:12-14 (NIV)


Do you know what an honor it is to be loved by God?  It’s a privilege beyond any this world can offer you.  I pray you are experiencing His love daily, as you read His Word and enjoy His creation all around you.  We must clothe ourselves with five things:  compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.

Clothe yourself with the fruit of the Holy Spirit!

Clothe yourself with the fruit of the Spirit!

The Greek word for “to clothe” is enduo, which means to sink into, to put on, to wear, or be dressed in.  In the context of this scripture it simply means to sink oneself into the very characteristics of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.  The Scripture passage is telling us that we must actually put on these qualities in our lives.  We must let Christ wrap us up with the qualities that are found in this verse.  Our identity in Christ becomes stronger every day, as we live our lives out for God.  We can’t believe that these qualities will simply exist just because we call ourselves Christians.  No, they are a product of being in the Word daily and spending time with God in various ways.

Here is the break down of all five characteristics and how we can apply them to our own lives!  Your daily wardrobe should look a little like this:

1.  Compassion

*Basic definition – caring empathy of another person outside of basic selfish nature.

*Are you conscious of the pain others are going through around you?  Have you been paying attention to the stress signals, the flares shooting off, and the white flags raised in surrender?  If so, then you can be there to help alleviate the pain that often shows up in the lives of those around you.  When you are aware of the pain that shows up in the lives of those around you, you are able to be compassionate.  It’s not enough to just take pity on someone, as the whole world can do that.   God wants us to do more than that.  He wants us to show His love by being compassionate towards others, seeing the signs of their distress, and responding with His love towards it.

2.  Kindness

*Basic definition – a readiness to respond with righteousness and thoughtful consideration beyond how people treat us or how they may or may not deserve it.

*Have you shown someone kindness lately by doing something for them without any strings attached?  Have you reached out with the time, resources, and love that you have from God?  The loving-kindness that God shows you every day should be returned to Him by giving it to others on a daily basis.  A kind word, a kind gesture, and a moment of your time will all go a long way when used for God.

3.  Humility

*Basic definition – It is so important to remember that Christ is first in our lives.  He will always reign supreme, if we let Him.

*We are to be servants with loving attitudes.  Jesus was very forward about the meek.  He made it very clear that the meek would be the ones to inherit the earth.  He wanted us to remember that first would be last and the last would be first.  Jesus, Himself was One who came to serve; should we not do the same?

“Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.”

Matthew 5:5

4.  Meekness/Gentleness

*Basic definition – This indicates strength under control so we are Christians who encourage others and place others first with action and encouragement.

*The best kind of strength is a strength that can come under the control of God.  God wants us to operate under His sovereignty.  He alone knows how to direct our steps and make our ways gentle.  Are you encouraging those around you?  Are you being gentle?  Have you surrendered yourself to the Lord?

5.  Patience

*Basic definition - Bearing pains or trials calmly or without complaint; steadfast despite opposition, difficulty, or adversity.

*I know it’s difficult to watch others fail, especially when you think you know what’s best for them.  But are you willing to be patient for God to do His work in your life.  Will you allow people to fail?  Will you allow people to seek God and find Him while He can be found?  (Isaiah 55:6 & Acts 17:26-28)  Sometimes we have to let go and let God do the work.  This doesn’t mean that we stop praying, no, it simply means we stop trying to have control over the situation.  We go from having our hands over the situation and put them in an open position, up towards God, in pure surrender.  God knows the hearts of His people and through the Holy Spirit, He can change the ones you love.  Have patience!

“…Forgive as the Lord forgave you.”

Please don’t forget to do what is so important every day!  Don’t forget to forgive!  Be quick to forgive and slow to hold back in anger.  The Lord does not hold your sin against you.  Jesus forgives you when you ask Him into your heart.  The debt is paid.  How long before you forgive those who have hurt you?  How long before you choose to love?  It is an insult to God to hold anything against someone, after God has so freely forgiven you.  Maybe it’s time to go back and read the stories of Truth (Matthew 18:23-35, Luke 15:11-31).

LOVE

God’s love brings all of this together.  It started with forgiveness on the cross.  Jesus died to pay for your sins and mine, now we have an opportunity to live great lives for God through His love.  His love binds together the qualities that we long for:  Compassion, Kindness, Humility, Gentleness, and Patience.  May God continue to work in you, so that all these qualities appear in your life.  Please forgive anyone who has hurt you and let God’s love truly reign in your heart this day and every day!

Dear Father God, I pray that my life will be a living testimony of the qualities found in this passage of scripture.  May I continue to grow in compassion for those who are hurting, may I be kind to all those around me, may I be humble, may I be gentle in my words, and patient in my actions.  Help me to forgive those who have hurt me and keep my list short on grievances when it comes to others.  Also, I pray that Your deep love would continue to grow inside of me and I may serve You more completely each day that I live!

Living Out Your Wardrobe Plan,

Sarah





Righteous Reset Button

“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.”

~Lamentations 3:22-23 (NIV)


Is it time to press the Righteous Reset Button?

Is it time to press the Righteous "Reset" Button?

Do you ever wish you could go back in your life and take back a moment?  Maybe you wish you could press the “Reset” button and just start over.  Have you ever wished you could just click your heels together like Dorothy did in the Wizard of Oz and just wake up out of your dream?  Do you look back on life and see places where you could have, should have, or would have done better?  Unfortunately, the answer to these questions is all too often yes.  Many people want to take back a moment.  Many want to press the “Reset” button.  Some just want to click there heels and wake up out of dream.  Then there are others who live on the coulda, shoulda, woulda philosophy!

There is good and bad news for you!  I’ll give you the bad news first.  Yesterday is gone!  There is nothing you can do about it.  You can’t take back what happened and you can’t change it.  However, the good news is, today is a new day.  And just like the passage above says, “…new every morning…”, so also we should not be living on yesterday’s mistakes.  God has something new for today.  Take what came from yesterday and learn from it, let it mold your character and shape who you will become for tomorrow.

Here is a sure founded recipe, straight from the Word of God to help get life back on track!

Righteous RESET Button

*2 tons of the Lord’s GREAT LOVE!

*1 press of the Reject button on things that want to consume you!

*3 heaping Tablespoons of God’s COMPASSION that never fails!

*365 opportunities to start over with each new morning that the Lord gives you!

*7 gallons of God’s FAITHFULNESS, one for each day of the week!

This recipe needs to be practiced daily.  The Lord’s great love is yours.  You do not have to be consumed by thoughts of what you could have done better in the years that have passed.  The Lord loves you today and He wants to see how you will use this day to glorify Him.  How will you make a difference today?  You don’t have to be the next big rocket scientist, the next Billy Graham, or even the next big Christian music artist.  God is calling you to be YOU!  The best you that YOU can be!  What does that mean for you?  How will you determine to put your best foot forward starting today?  Do you have a dream in your heart, a desire to do something for God, or maybe something lingering from your days that have passed?  It’s not too late to get started!  God has given you today!  Press the “Reset” button.  Use the recipe to start fresh in the Lord and know that He will lead you forward in the dreams He has for your life!

A huge thing to remember is never be afraid to press the Reject button!  There are so many people in life who want to come in and speak lies into your life.  People who want to be negative or cause you pain.  When that happens it’s time to press the “Reject” button.  Just as easily as you can press the “Reset” button to start over, so also you can press the “Reject” button for those things you do not have to accept about yourself.  The next time someone tells you that “You’re not good enough, You don’t have what it takes, You can’t possibly make it, You’re not a good enough Christian, You should have done things better, etc.”  Press the “Reject” button.  Don’t even allow your mind to accept the falsehood of these sayings.  You are a child of God!  Take ownership of that!  Rise up!  Listen to the Truth, accept the Truth and reject the lies!  Reject the guilt and condemnation.

“Therefore, there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”

~Romans 8:1

God’s compassion comes in three forms for you.  He is a Father to you.  His arms are open wide to love you unconditionally.  He sent His Son for you to die and take the place of your sins.  So that you could reconnect with Him in a relationship.  Also, when Jesus left this earth He said He would send a comforter.  The comforter is in the form of the Holy Spirit.  Here are Jesus words written by John,

“All this I have spoken while still with you.  But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.”

~John 14:25-26

God has got it all covered.  He has covered you with His compassion and it will not fail you.  Because God does not know how to fail you.  Try to find a day that He has and God will show you when HE came through for you!

You do have 365 days to reset yourself.  I pray for you that it doesn’t take that many days to reprogram yourself, but remember God will be there.  He will be there every morning that you wake up and He will be ready to start fresh.  He will give you a clean slate and He will want you to make the best of your new day.  His mercies will be new for you when you begin your day, so choose to use them wisely.

I chose 7 gallons of God’s faithfulness for the recipe, but honestly there is no number to His faithfulness.  Seven is the perfect number and God is perfect.  So remember this and know that His faithfulness has a perfect record.  He will not break that perfect record.  Continue to live out your life for Him in the waters that flow freely from Heaven itself.  His living water has no end.  It flows infinitely, as well as His faithfulness!

Are you ready to press the “Reset” Button?  Keep the recipe handy and don’t forget how faithful God is and always will be!

Dear Father God, I pray that I will live every day to the most that it can be in You.  I’m so thankful that Your mercies are new every day and I always want to live in those new mercies.  May I continue to live a life that is righteous before You and press the “Reset” button when need be!

Pressing the Righteous Reset Button,

Sarah


Because I Said So


“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.’

The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him;

it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD.”

~Lamentations 3:22-26 (NIV)

Time to take a break from Psalm 119.  The website I have been talking about will be going live today and I want to talk about God’s faithfulness.  I will return to Psalm 119 when the Lord leads me to.  For now, please enjoy the many different passages of scripture that God wants us to explore together.

1. Because I said so

The famous line used by so many parents.  The one line that most people grow up saying they will never use on their children, but end up using it.  We like simple answers.  Well, right here in Lamentations Jeremiah (many scholars believe it’s Jeremiah) is going through a very difficult time.  He has just seen Jerusalem and the Temple destroyed.  He is spending time with the Lord crying over this destruction.  God comes in this time of sorrow to comfort Jeremiah with words that start out with “Because.”  When life is filled with nothing but questions, God comes in and has nothing but answers!  Because of God’s love we do not have to be consumed by the circumstances that surround us.  No matter how gloomy it might get or how difficult things may seem.  God wants us to know that His love is the ANSWER to the question.  His compassion will not fail us!  He will come through even in our most difficult times to show us what real LOVE is!

2.  Faithfulness

God is consistently faithful.  He was faithful to David when David faced Goliath (1 Samuel 17:32-50).  He was faithful to Moses when He called Moses to lead the Israelites out of Egypt (Exodus 13:3).  He was faithful to Rahab when Jericho’s walls fell to the ground (Joshua 6:25).  He was faithful to the woman caught in adultery (John 8:3-11).  God never changes, He continues to be faithful time and time again.  Have you ever faced a giant in your life?  Don’t worry, God is there ~ remember to bring the stones!  Have you ever been called to lead?  It’s a scary thing, but even in that God is there.  God will not call you forward without giving you the tools to do what He has called you to do.  Have you ever felt like the only one who believes in the Truth, like Rahab?  She was rescued because of her faith and her courage to help the spies.  Has your sin ever been exposed like the woman caught in adultery?  It’s okay, God sees it and He will not throw a stone.  He wants you to lay your sin at His feet and fall into His arms of love.

3.  The Lord IS my PORTION

The world offers us plenty of toys.  A new car, new house, great music, television, movies, books, sports, video games, things to fill our homes with, etc.  But only one thing can truly fill us up.  That one thing is Jesus.  He came to die for us, so that we might experience life.  He is life.  Full life in Him means that we experience His true love.  1 John 4:7-11 says,

“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.  Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.  This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.  Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.”

4.  Hope in Him

The Lord desires to be good to those who put their hope in Him.  This often means waiting for His timing and not our own.  God knows when best to do things in our lives.  We need to step away from the control panel and let God do things the way He would like to do things.  He has a much better plan.  Trust Him!  Seek Him in all things.  Don’t waste a moment of life seeking things that won’t fulfill you and won’t give you a meaningful life.  May you seek the richness of God and desire the things of Him every day!  Sometimes you will find yourself waiting quietly for an answer from God.  It’s okay!  God wants to speak to you in the quiet moments of your life.  He wants to guide you and provide for you!  May you never lose your sense of desire to seek after Him with all of your heart.  And may you always find Him faithful in every detail of your life!  Look for His faithfulness and you will find it!

Lord, I pray that my heart will declare your mercies to be new every day and that I will be able to express the joy of your unending faithfulness!  You are the One who has given me life and I desire to seek You with my whole being!  May You continue to be the song that I sing, the air that I breathe, the words that I say, and the love that fills my heart.  All glory to Your name!

Enjoying Your FAITHFULNESS,
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 

 



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