I Surrender

There is a beautiful hymn with these words: All to Jesus I surrender, all to Thee I freely give. As I listened to them I wondered, is that even possible? Don’t get me wrong. I want to. I really want to! I want to put every one of my shortcomings on the altar, at the foot of the cross, and leave them there, permanently. The problem is I give the junk of my life and my thoughts to Him, and then take them right back. Don’t you? I’ll bet you do. You just may not be able or want to admit it.

So, then, how can we get past this. Are we able to? Certainly not on our own. Here’s the thing. There is One who really wants to take our stuff, our negative thoughts and ideas, our falling short, our ‘I disease’. Not only does He want it, He died for it. He stretched out his arms on the cross, gathered every sin that ever was, and said, “IT IS FINISHED”!

At this point, I’ll bet you’re saying, OK, I get it! But how? Pray! Go to Him! Talk to Him!

He knows! He hears! He will listen! And, He will give the answers you and I need. He will give you the strength, wisdom, understanding, and courage to get through the day.

Take my life and let it be…

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

This post is in response to Deb Wolf’s 52-Week Devotional Journal For Women Week 7

God’s Plan Works

Hands_of_God_and_Adam

“I’m convinced: You can do anything and everything.  Nothing and No one can upset Your plans.  Job 42:2

Are you as convinced as Job that God can do what He says He can do?  I wonder then, why do so many of us who say we believe not trust Him on this?

God had just taken Job to task for trying to explain His motives and actions.  Now, I don’t know about you, but if God appeared to me in a whirlwind or tornado or giant storm I would be listening closely.  Job and his friends were trying to explain the catastrophe of Job’s current life.  God simply  set them straight by asking if they really thought they knew what they were talking about.

Jeremiah gives the same message to the Exiles in 29:11.  I know you know that verse.   God is telling them that He has a plan and it is not to harm them.  In Job’s case God was not causing the harm, the evil one was.  God’s plan was still in place.  He restored Job’s fortune and gave him more children.  He will do the same for everyone if we ask.  Job had to ask for forgiveness because he was trying to say he knew more than God.  The Israelites had to ask for for forgiveness before they were allowed to return to their homeland. (Check out Jeremiah 29:12-13)

All we need to do is trust God to do what He has already planned for us.

Almightly God, help us see that we are not always right in our thoughts of what You are doing.  Help us know that Your plan is already in motion, that it is perfect in every way, and that You know what You are doing.  Open our minds to Your leading.  Make it so in Jesus Name.

This post can also be found in Pondering and Prayer.

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

Teach Me To See

WHO WHAT WHEN WHERE

Why did this happen? What is going on?  When will it stop? Who is responsible?

We all get trapped in asking these questions when life is closing in and we simply have no answer for what is going on.  We just don’t know yet we know we want to know.

Hidden deep in the Book of Job is a simple answer.   A simple prayer, “Teach me to see what I still don’t see…”  (Job 34:32 MSG)

“God always answers one way or another.” (Job 33:14 MSG) Henry Blackaby in Experiencing  God says God can be ‘heard’ through prayer, Bible study, other Christians, life circumstances, and/or worship.  We must learn to listen.

Abba, Father, open the eyes of my heart.  Help me ‘see’ what you are saying.  Incline Your ear and grant me your peace.  Make it so in Jesus’ Name.

This post can also be found with others like it on the Pondering and Prayer page.

 

Quit Gloating

Have you heard this? “I knew that would happen!” “S/he got what s/he deserved!” “Told ya!” There’s a word for enjoying another person’s consequences.  Epicaricacy means ‘delight in another person’s misfortune’.

God has plenty to say about this and when that happens we can know where He stands on the issue and what He wants us to do about it.  So let’s dig in…

Do not gloat when your enemy falls

God knows everything, every thought, every moment of our lives.  He knows what we’ve done, said, or thought.  You cannot hide from Him.  Sure, we know when someone has failed or worse, sinned.  God says, “Let Me handle it!”  The writer, Solomon, is saying that if we dish out disapproval  He will turn toward us instead of the person it’s aimed at.  Trust me, I’d rather have someone fail miserably than have God point His finger at me.

If I have rejoiced at my enemy's misfortune...

Job 31 is a list of the ways Job could have sinned and hidden in it is the verse above.  Read the whole chapter and you’ll discover that Job understood, totally, what God wanted him to do and he practised it.  He was not a gloating, self-centered person.  He had a very clear picture of what God wanted and he followed through.

Since God chose you to be the holy people whom He loves

And so, what does God want of us?  We are to be merciful.  We are to choose kindness and gentleness.  We are to model patience.  We are to forgive like God has.

Marie

I Needed The Quiet

I NEEDED THE QUIET

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God says on the seventh day He rested from His work(Genesis 2:2) and since we are created in His image we need rest too.  In the 23rd Psalm David said, “He makes me lie down…”  Job’s friend Jophar gives him a crumb of reassurance saying, “You will lie down without fear…” (Job 11:19).  With great wisdom Solomon wrote these words, “…when you lie down your sleep will be sweet” (Proverbs 3:24b).  Jesus recognized the need for quiet rest when he said to the disciples, “Come with Me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” (Mark 6:31)

In my career as a teacher and principal I learned just how important rest was.  Long hours and a great deal of stress do not help anyone’s health.  Burning the candle at both ends, ends up with nothing when the flames have consumed all the wax.  I finally came to my senses and retired early.  The job was consuming me and I heard the Spirit clearly say this is NOT what I want for you.  You see, even though I prayed every morning that I would keep Him close all day, when I walked through the school doors I quit focusing on Him and started focusing on kids, teachers, parents and all the issues and stress a high poverty, inner city, school brings.  I ended up quite ill from lack of rest, poor diet, and high stress.  When my awesome husband was hospitalized and in a chemically induced coma for 20 days from a Traumatic Brain Injury I had much time to pray, think, and reflect. The conclusion–my career was killing me.  Once the decision was made, a calmness came over me that I had not known before.  I knew without question this was exactly what God wanted.  I needed adequate rest and He already knew this was the only way I was going to get it.  Praise God! I listened! and rested!

Heavenly Father, thank You! for making me aware.  You deserve my total, rested attention.  I want to do that.  Make my life more and more about You.  In Jesus Name make it so!