Entrusted

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But when envoys were sent by the rulers of Babylon to ask him about the miraculous signs that had occurred in the land… 2 Chronicles 32:31

2 Kings 18:5-7 tells us Hezekiah trusted in the LORD and there was no one like him among the kings of Judah, either before him or after him. The LORD was with him and Hezekiah held fast to Him.  – Hezekiah was a good man which goes to show us none of us are exempt and should always be on guard against the devils schemes….

Hezekiah fell deathly ill and prayed that God heal and extend his life. God answers favorably yet Hezekiah would like a sign to be sure of God’s gracious answer. God gives Hezekiah a sign and makes the shadow caused by the sun to go backwards 15 steps on his front porch! (2 Kings 20)

Now Hezekiah was a man of great wealth and when envoys were sent by rulers of Babylon seeking to know this God of Hezekiah’s that had saved and prolonged his life, what did Hezekiah do?! He showed off all he had in his kingdom he left nothing out (2 Kings 20:15). He showed off himself rather than his God.

Can you think of something you have been entrusted with in order to echo Jesus louder or reflect Him brighter? Hezekiah was given more life yet he used it to show off more of himself. How might we be intentional about entrusting Him to guard that which we have been entrusted with?

That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet I am not ashamed, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him for that day. (14) Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you – guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us. 2 Timothy 1:12, 14

Independent read: Matthew 5:16

Seize The Moment

2018-06-22 13.48.20

But Jehosheba, the daughter of King Jehoram, took Joash son of Ahaziah and stole him away from among the royal princes who were about to be murdered and put him and his nurse in a bedroom. Because Jehosheba, the daughter of King Jehoram and wife of the priest Jehoiada, was Ahaziah’s sister, she hid the child from Athaliah so she could not kill him. 2 Chronicles 22:11

This verse sounds similar to the story of young brave Miriam who saved her own baby brother Moses, from Pharaoh’s decree to kill all baby boys. (Exodus 1:22-2:10) Miriam watched as her baby brother floated down the Nile in a basket. Heart sick she kept watch over him until she saw his tiny basket float right up to Pharaoh’s daughter!! Worst case scenario right!

Can you imagine the desperate prayers Miriam sent up in that moment?! “God please send a big wave to move his basket far away from here!!” but she opened her eyes to find, not a wave, and not a raving mad princess but rather a woman enraptured by her brothers baby sweetness! Hows that for a God surprise!

That answered prayer must have been the faith boost Miriam needed to jump out of the reeds that very moment and offer to go find a nurse (her mother) for the baby! Long story short Moses was saved and cared for by his very own mother! Later to lead the rescue of God’s people out of slavery in Egypt!! Sometimes what seems like the worst case scenario to us is just God setting the stage for a mind blowing miracle!

We see the same bravery, quick-thinking and willingness to step up in the right moment in Jehosheba as she rescues baby Joash; who would later grow to be king of Judah at seven years old and one that would do right in the eyes of the Lord (2 Chronicles 24:1-2).

Jesus, help me to trust you with “worse case scenarios” and to be brave, quick-thinking and willing to step up in the right moment with Your wisdom and discernment just like Miriam and Jehosheba.

Independent read:  Luke 12:11-12, John 14:26

Birds Of Prey

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Then birds of prey came down on the carcasses, but Abram drove them away. Genesis 15:11

How often do we want to ask God straight out, “But God… HOW can I know?!” We know His promises and that He is faithful and true always, and we still say, “Yes God, BUT…” When Abram in Gen. 15:8 asked God the same question, the Lord responds in verse 9, “Bring me…” What is it we are clinging to instead of bringing it to God? We want to know before we step out, before we stay, BEFORE…. But maybe God wants us to bring it to Him first. That’s a sacrifice, that’s humbling, that’s scary, that’s trust.

Abram brought to God all that He asked for… then there was a waiting period, sure enough true to life, that’s when those birds of prey come down! Discouragement takes MANY forms but we can chose who’s voice we listen to, we can choose to stand firm and drive those pesky birds away like Abram did. After all, it’s not their audience we seek, its God’s.

If you stand firm, “know for certain…” just like the Lord said to Abram in Gen. 15:13-14, fulfilling His calling on your life most likely will not be easy, actually down right hard because it will be way beyond you. You will have to rely on Him and His energy every step of the way (Colossians 1:29). But afterward, it says in verse 14, “afterward they will come out with great possessions.” Those possession, the most valuable ones anyway, will be in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy (Matt. 6:20).

So when faced with birds of prey, pray. James 1:5 says, If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.

Independent read: Ephesians 2:10

Glorify Your Name!

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“Now my soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour?’ No, it was for this very reason I came into this hour. Father, glorify your name!” John 12:27-28

Jesus came to earth fully God yet fully man and I wonder if Jesus in His flesh wanted to say I give up, but steels His flesh against that and rather says glorify Your name! God responds from heaven with an audible voice of pleasure toward the Son (John 12:28) but verse 29 says so many had mistaken it for something else like thunder.

I pray to follow Jesus example today in the big and the small things He calls me to because sometimes even those small things have quite a bit of head wind, am I right?! To not say I give up, but instead to steel against my flesh and say, Father glorify Your name in and through this! I know the attitude of a heart fully surrendered is pleasing to Him.

He called us to take up our cross and follow Him however so often I find myself trying to pick up my crown instead, there is no lasting joy in that. Lord rid me of such pride that keeps me from an intimate relationship with You, I don’t want to mistaken Your voice for thunder. Its not about my satisfaction but about salvation, the eternal life. I don’t want to scream, get me out, but rather make me Your access point. A point right in the situation and circumstance You have allowed and say, pour out through me Jesus, I’ll be Your access point, glorify Your name!

Independent read: Matthew 16:24-26, 2 Corinthians 12:9-11, 1 Chronicles 29:10-13

Just Pour It

2018-06-12 13.20.34

Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe.

Proverbs 29:25

Don’t let what you don’t have, keep you from using what you do have. Reading The Widow’s Olive Oil story in 2 Kings 4, we see the widow almost do exactly what the devil wants us all to do. Verse 2 says, Elisha replied to her, “How can I help you? Tell me, what do you have in your house?” “Your servant has nothing there at all,” she said, “except a small jar of olive oil.” Do you see how she almost didn’t even mention the small amount of oil she did have?! Oh how Satan wants us to discredit what we have been given, to make us think it’s so insignificant, not even worth mentioning.

The widow however does mention her little, she does offer the small amount she has and thus witnesses a miracle! She begins to pour out the little that she does have and God continues to fill her with more oil until all the jars collected are filled up!! Don’t let the devil fool you. We have all been given something and even if it seems small, you only have to look in Scripture to find that when little things are placed in God’s hands they can become more  than we ever thought imaginable!

Independent Read: 2 Corinthians 12:9

Take A Stand

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But Phinehas stood up and intervened… Psalm 106:30

Oh how I want to insert my name where courageous Phinehas’ is in that verse don’t you! How often have we regretted stepping back when we had an opportunity to step up?!  God will never present you with an opportunity you can not stand up to in His strength.

The Israelite community had strayed and bowed down to other gods as a result of being lured by the enemy, disguised as friends. This angered and hurt the Lord’s heart deeply. If you have children or loved ones I’m sure you can relate to God’s heart in this on some level. False friends, that just makes one’s skin crawl. Anyway, a plague broke out among the people and was stopped only due to the zeal of young Phinehas for the Lord Almighty!

Numbers 25:11, 13 for he was as zealous as I am for my honor among them.. he and his descendants will be blessed because he was zealous for the honor of his God. Zealous: passionate, devoted, committed, dedicated, intense, energetic, fierce. Phinehas stood up for God against the wrong his people were committing. Easy?! No. Or there would have been more among the hundreds of thousands of Israelites to do so!

Standing up for Truth is rarely easy, everyone knows that. Thus everyone is looking around for the one courageous enough to stand up and take the lead. Be the one courageous enough to stand up and intervene today! But “I’m not strong enough, I’m not that brave, I don’t have that ability.” You’re right. Neither do I. That’s why we go in His strength, because in our weakness He is strong.

Dear Jesus, make me zealous (passionate, devoted, committed, dedicated, intense, energetic, and fierce) for You today so that it might be said of me… (your name) stood up and intervened for Your glory, Your kingdom… Your honor! At the end of today despite every reason to step back, I want to have chosen to step up with You because in all these things I am more than a conqueror through You Jesus, who loves me (Romans 8:37)!

Independent Read: 2 Cor. 12:9, Joshua 1:9, Romans 8:31, 1 Chron. 29:11

 

Day After Day

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We have this rabbit who has chosen to grow up and live out his days in our backyard. He is quite the character truly. He lounges in the summertime all sprawled out on his back like a dog…this morning I find him stretching up to our low hung bird feeder and eating from it like a bird! Each day its something new with him! He even hops right up to our back patio door and literally presses his nose on the glass as if to see what we are all up to! However I do enjoy his faithful presence day after day. As I was reading with God this morning in Gen. 39 the phrase day after day stuck out to me. This was in reference to Joseph who was a man of great integrity and was being pursued by his bosses wife to sleep with her. Gen. 39:9-10 says, My master has withheld nothing from me except you, because you are his wife. How then could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God? And though she spoke to Joseph day after day, he refused to go to bed with her or even be with her. – Quite the upstanding guy…. day after day he was tempted and stood firm on what he knew was right. This day after day phrase reminded me of another time in the bible it was used… in Esther Mordecai refuses to kneel down and pay honor to the evil man Haman even though the king had commanded that everyone do so. Esther 3:4 says, Day after day they spoke to him but he refused to comply. – Again wow! That takes persevering courage to continue to chose the right thing to do especially when the evil thing wears on day after day! In both situations it was clearly not easy to continue to stand firm on what they knew was right.. Gen. 39:19 says Josephs master burned with anger toward Joseph and had him thrown into prison when the masters wife told him a false story to get Joseph in trouble because she could not have her way. When anyone burns with anger toward you its not a good day right! Then in Esther it is says in 3:5 that when the man found out Mordecai was not bowing down to him he was enraged! Having someone enraged at you can’t be a great day either! But when God has your back you cannot be destroyed. Psalm 118:6 The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me? – We may not understand all that goes on around us and the bad we encounter even when we seem to have done all the right things but God help me to know that you have never left my side and one day maybe not till heaven but one day if I can stand firm now day after day in Your strength it will one day all make perfect sense. I know this, give me an unshakable faith to live this. Going back to our story in Gen. 39 Joseph despite the hardship continued to keep faith in his God and it says in Gen. 39 20-21 that even in the prison God was with Joseph and in Esther 6:13 it says, Since Mordecai, before whom your downfall has started, is of Jewish origin, you can not stand against him- you will surely come to ruin! Romans 8:31 If God is for us, who can be against us? – Hallelujah! Psalm 18:1-3 I love you, Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I called to the Lord, who is worthy of praise, and I have been saved form my enemies. 1 Cor. 2:9 No eye has seen no ear has heard and what no human mind can conceive is what God has prepared for those who love Him. – Oh Jesus I pray that day after day You would help me be on my guard; to stand firm in the faith; and be courageous and strong (1 Cor. 16:13). Enjoy toDAY!