kNOw God, kNOw love

2019-11-28 09.26.42

 

…choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve… Joshua 24:15

Love. Isn’t that what we all long for? To be accepted, valued, included, secure… What if I said, we all have it… but the real question is if we’ll choose it.

Joseph could have lashed out at the lack of love he felt from his family but in Genesis 50:19 he responds, Am I God, that I can punish you? and he even goes a step further in saying, I will continue to take care of you… AND he reassures his family by, speaking kindly to them... (vs. 21).

WHAT?! I tell ya what, that is not the worlds way is it! The world is quick to validate a wrong for a wrong. But Joseph, Joseph displayed a higher source of strength within. A source others took notice of. Genesis 41:37 states, Can we find anyone else like this man so obviously filled with the spirit of God?

In Exodus 1 when the Hebrew midwives are ordered by Pharaoh to kill all the baby boys, verse 17 states, But because the midwives feared God, they refused to obey the kings orders.

“Feared God…” hmmm and what does Proverbs 9:10 say that stirs up? The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. If I want to choose well, good golly I could use a fresh stirring up of a reverent Holy Fear of our God, daily!

Joseph in holy fear of his God was given good judgement in his situation.

Romans 12:19 (NIV) Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord.

Proverbs 21:23 (MSG) Watch your words and hold your tongue; you’ll save yourself a lot of grief.

The midwives in Exodus, like Joseph, were blessed by God through their choice to be obedient to Him in the scary, in the unexplainable, in the hurt… they chose to let God rule their hearts and minds, to rest in trust and faith over striving for control in turbulent frustration (Ex. 1:21, Gen. 41:41).

Deuteronomy 28 is a refreshing read as it clearly lists the incredible benefits for trusting and obeying God alongside the curses for disobedience. Just like driving, the lines on the road give us clear expectations for right driving. They are for us to follow in order to keep ourselves and everyone around us on the road safe. If we choose to ignore them… well, it is not going to be pretty is it, talk about some turbulent frustration to say the least!!!

Deut. 28:47 clearly states the choice is ours to make, If you do not serve the LORD your God with joy and enthusiasm for the abundant benefits you have received, you will serve your enemies…

Deut. 28:38 tells me disobedience leads to me working hard but gaining little…for locusts will eat your crops.

But amazing, amazing grace is what set’s belief in Jesus as our personal God and Savior apart from anything else!! Because even though we make mistakes, and sometimes even make ridiculous choices like ignoring “road lines” and end up with locusts eating up all our crops, so to speak… We have Joel 2:25-27!!!! Verse 25 states, The LORD says, I will give you back what you lost to the swarming locusts… Talk about AMAZING GRACE, MERCY, FORGIVENESS AND LOVE!!!

Romans 6 also holds incredible hope for all who would turn from living for self and live for Jesus! But again God leaves that choice to us, He will not force any of us to choose Him.

Romans 6:16 Don’t you realize that you become the slave of whatever you choose to obey? You can be a slave to sin, which leads to death, or you can choose to obey God, which leads to righteous living. (vs. 23) For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.  

Yes, that said FREE GIFT!! Does that not hit home especially around the time everyone is trying to give gifts that so often put us in debt?! Jesus offers eternal life… for FREE, we must only choose to believe in His death on the cross in our place, for our sin, for all our ridiculous choices, in order to be made new and receive eternal life with Him! For Jesus rose from the grave and conquered death for us!

There is no greater love than His. Will you choose to accept it today? Maybe you have… then will we choose to give it away like Joseph did… like Jesus does? Freely.

…Freely you have received; freely give. Matt. 10:8

Independent Read: 1 John 4:7-8 (kNOw God, kNOw love)

kNOw God, kNOw love

2019-11-28 09.26.42

…choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve… Joshua 24:15

Love. Isn’t that what we all long for? To be accepted, valued, included, secure… What if I said, we all have it… but the real question is if we’ll choose it. 

Joseph could have lashed out at the lack of love he felt from his family but in Genesis 50:19 he responds, Am I God, that I can punish you? and he even goes a step further in saying, I will continue to take care of you… AND he reassures his family by, speaking kindly to them... (vs. 21).

WHAT?! I tell ya what, that is not the worlds way is it! The world is quick to validate a wrong for a wrong. But Joseph, Joseph displayed a higher source of strength within. A source others took notice of. Genesis 41:37 states, Can we find anyone else like this man so obviously filled with the spirit of God?

In Exodus 1 when the Hebrew midwives are ordered by Pharaoh to kill all the baby boys, verse 17 states, But because the midwives feared God, they refused to obey the kings orders.

“Feared God…” hmmm and what does Proverbs 9:10 say that stirs up? The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. If I want to choose well, good golly I could use a fresh stirring up of a reverent Holy Fear of our God, daily! 

Joseph in holy fear of his God was given good judgement in his situation. 

Romans 12:19 (NIV) Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord.

Proverbs 21:23 (MSG) Watch your words and hold your tongue; you’ll save yourself a lot of grief.

The midwives in Exodus, like Joseph, were blessed by God through their choice to be obedient to Him in the scary, in the unexplainable, in the hurt… they chose to let God rule their hearts and minds, to rest in trust and faith over striving for control in turbulent frustration (Ex. 1:21, Gen. 41:41). 

Deuteronomy 28 is a refreshing read as it clearly lists the incredible benefits for trusting and obeying God alongside the curses for disobedience. Just like driving, the lines on the road give us clear expectations for right driving. They are for us to follow in order to keep ourselves and everyone around us on the road safe. If we choose to ignore them… well, it is not going to be pretty is it, talk about some turbulent frustration to say the least!!! 

Deut. 28:47 clearly states the choice is ours to make, If you do not serve the LORD your God with joy and enthusiasm for the abundant benefits you have received, you will serve your enemies…

Deut. 28:38 tells me disobedience leads to me working hard but gaining little…for locusts will eat your crops.

But amazing, amazing grace is what set’s belief in Jesus as our personal God and Savior apart from anything else!! Because even though we make mistakes, and sometimes even make ridiculous choices like ignoring “road lines” and end up with locusts eating up all our crops, so to speak… We have Joel 2:25-27!!!! Verse 25 states, The LORD says, I will give you back what you lost to the swarming locusts… Talk about AMAZING GRACE, MERCY, FORGIVENESS AND LOVE!!!

Romans 6 also holds incredible hope for all who would turn from living for self and live for Jesus! But again God leaves that choice to us, He will not force any of us to choose Him.

Romans 6:16 Don’t you realize that you become the slave of whatever you choose to obey? You can be a slave to sin, which leads to death, or you can choose to obey God, which leads to righteous living. (vs. 23) For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.  

Yes, that said FREE GIFT!! Does that not hit home especially around the time everyone is trying to give gifts that so often put us in debt?! Jesus offers eternal life… for FREE, we must only choose to believe in His death on the cross in our place, for our sin, for all our ridiculous choices, in order to be made new and receive eternal life with Him! For Jesus rose from the grave and conquered death for us! 

There is no greater love than His. Will you choose to accept it today? Maybe you have… then will we choose to give it away like Joseph did… like Jesus does? Freely.

…Freely you have received; freely give. Matt. 10:8

Independent Read: 1 John 4:7-8 (kNOw God, kNOw love)

 

 

kNOw God, kNOw love

2019-11-28 09.26.42

…choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve… Joshua 24:15

Love. Isn’t that what we all long for? To be accepted, valued, included, secure… What if I said, we all have it… but the real question is if we’ll choose it. 

Joseph could have lashed out at the lack of love he felt from his family but in Genesis 50:19 he responds, Am I God, that I can punish you? and he even goes a step further in saying, I will continue to take care of you… AND he reassures his family by, speaking kindly to them... (vs. 21).

WHAT?! I tell ya what, that is not the worlds way is it! The world is quick to validate a wrong for a wrong. But Joseph, Joseph displayed a higher source of strength within. A source others took notice of. Genesis 41:37 states, Can we find anyone else like this man so obviously filled with the spirit of God?

In Exodus 1 when the Hebrew midwives are ordered by Pharaoh to kill all the baby boys, verse 17 states, But because the midwives feared God, they refused to obey the kings orders.

“Feared God…” hmmm and what does Proverbs 9:10 say that stirs up? The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. If I want to choose well, good golly I could use a fresh stirring up of a reverent Holy Fear of our God, daily! 

Joseph in holy fear of his God was given good judgement in his situation. 

Romans 12:19 (NIV) Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord.

Proverbs 21:23 (MSG) Watch your words and hold your tongue; you’ll save yourself a lot of grief.

The midwives in Exodus, like Joseph, were blessed by God through their choice to be obedient to Him in the scary, in the unexplainable, in the hurt… they chose to let God rule their hearts and minds, to rest in trust and faith over striving for control in turbulent frustration (Ex. 1:21, Gen. 41:41). 

Deuteronomy 28 is a refreshing read as it clearly lists the incredible benefits for trusting and obeying God alongside the curses for disobedience. Just like driving, the lines on the road give us clear expectations for right driving. They are for us to follow in order to keep ourselves and everyone around us on the road safe. If we choose to ignore them… well, it is not going to be pretty is it, talk about some turbulent frustration to say the least!!! 

Deut. 28:47 clearly states the choice is ours to make, If you do not serve the LORD your God with joy and enthusiasm for the abundant benefits you have received, you will serve your enemies…

Deut. 28:38 tells me disobedience leads to me working hard but gaining little…for locusts will eat your crops.

But amazing, amazing grace is what set’s belief in Jesus as our personal God and Savior apart from anything else!! Because even though we make mistakes, and sometimes even make ridiculous choices like ignoring “road lines” and end up with locusts eating up all our crops, so to speak… We have Joel 2:25-27!!!! Verse 25 states, The LORD says, I will give you back what you lost to the swarming locusts… Talk about AMAZING GRACE, MERCY, FORGIVENESS AND LOVE!!!

Romans 6 also holds incredible hope for all who would turn from living for self and live for Jesus! But again God leaves that choice to us, He will not force any of us to choose Him.

Romans 6:16 Don’t you realize that you become the slave of whatever you choose to obey? You can be a slave to sin, which leads to death, or you can choose to obey God, which leads to righteous living. (vs. 23) For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.  

Yes, that said FREE GIFT!! Does that not hit home especially around the time everyone is trying to give gifts that so often put us in debt?! Jesus offers eternal life… for FREE, we must only choose to believe in His death on the cross in our place, for our sin, for all our ridiculous choices, in order to be made new and receive eternal life with Him! For Jesus rose from the grave and conquered death for us! 

There is no greater love than His. Will you choose to accept it today? Maybe you have… then will we choose to give it away like Joseph did… like Jesus does? Freely.

…Freely you have received; freely give. Matt. 10:8

Independent Read: 1 John 4:7-8 (kNOw God, kNOw love)

 

 

kNOw God, kNOw Love

2019-11-28 09.26.42

…choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve… Joshua 24:15

Love. Isn’t that what we all long for? To be accepted, valued, included, secure… What if I said, we all have it… but the real question is if we’ll choose it.

Joseph could have lashed out at the lack of love he felt from his family but in Genesis 50:19 he responds, Am I God, that I can punish you? and he even goes a step further in saying, I will continue to take care of you… AND he reassures his family by, speaking kindly to them... (vs. 21).

WHAT?! I tell ya what, that is not the worlds way is it! The world is quick to validate a wrong for a wrong. But Joseph, Joseph displayed a higher source of strength within. A source others took notice of. Genesis 41:37 states, Can we find anyone else like this man so obviously filled with the spirit of God?

In Exodus 1 when the Hebrew midwives are ordered by Pharaoh to kill all the baby boys, verse 17 states, But because the midwives feared God, they refused to obey the kings orders.

“Feared God…” hmmm and what does Proverbs 9:10 say that stirs up? The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. If I want to choose well, good golly I could use a fresh stirring up of a reverent Holy Fear of our God, daily!

Joseph in holy fear of his God was given good judgement in his situation.

Romans 12:19 (NIV) Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord.

Proverbs 21:23 (MSG) Watch your words and hold your tongue; you’ll save yourself a lot of grief.

The midwives in Exodus, like Joseph, were blessed by God through their choice to be obedient to Him in the scary, in the unexplainable, in the hurt… they chose to let God rule their hearts and minds, to rest in trust and faith over striving for control in turbulent frustration (Ex. 1:21, Gen. 41:41).

Deuteronomy 28 is a refreshing read as it clearly lists the incredible benefits for trusting and obeying God alongside the curses for disobedience. Just like driving, the lines on the road give us clear expectations for right driving. They are for us to follow in order to keep ourselves and everyone around us on the road safe. If we choose to ignore them… well, it is not going to be pretty is it, talk about some turbulent frustration to say the least!!!

Deut. 28:47 clearly states the choice is ours to make, If you do not serve the LORD your God with joy and enthusiasm for the abundant benefits you have received, you will serve your enemies…

Deut. 28:38 tells me disobedience leads to me working hard but gaining little…for locusts will eat your crops.

But amazing, amazing grace is what set’s belief in Jesus as our personal God and Savior apart from anything else!! Because even though we make mistakes, and sometimes even make ridiculous choices like ignoring “road lines” and end up with locusts eating up all our crops, so to speak… We have Joel 2:25-27!!!! Verse 25 states, The LORD says, I will give you back what you lost to the swarming locusts… Talk about AMAZING GRACE, MERCY, FORGIVENESS AND LOVE!!!

Romans 6 also holds incredible hope for all who would turn from living for self and live for Jesus! But again God leaves that choice to us, He will not force any of us to choose Him.

Romans 6:16 Don’t you realize that you become the slave of whatever you choose to obey? You can be a slave to sin, which leads to death, or you can choose to obey God, which leads to righteous living. (vs. 23) For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.  

Yes, that said FREE GIFT!! Does that not hit home especially around the time everyone is trying to give gifts that so often put us in debt?! Jesus offers eternal life… for FREE, we must only choose to believe in His death on the cross in our place, for our sin, for all our ridiculous choices, in order to be made new and receive eternal life with Him! For Jesus rose from the grave and conquered death for us!

There is no greater love than His. Will you choose to accept it today? Maybe you have… then will we choose to give it away like Joseph did… like Jesus does? Freely.

…Freely you have received; freely give. Matt. 10:8

Independent Read: 1 John 4:7-8 (kNOw God, kNOw love)

 

 

Try Fighting Why With Why

2019-11-27 15.45.49

…he gave his one and only Son… John 3:16

Crazy the difference just one chapter can make! I mean John chapter 11 smells like death and by John chapter 12 it’s smelling like expensive perfume! So don’t give up if your current chapter smells a bit unpleasant. It’s a chapter and in Jesus pages are always turning!

The same scenario in John 12 is depicted in Mark 14:3-9. I see two questions asked in this passage beginning with, “Why…?” The first question is asked by a judgmental audience. They couldn’t believe someone would just spill out such expensive perfume on Jesus’ feet.

I wonder how quickly and wrongly I’ve judged another because I didn’t understand their “why”?

This gal’s offering to Jesus cost her something. Am I willing to offer Jesus something of value? Do I offer Him anything that might actually cost me something? Or do I play it safe, either because of my lack of trust or just plain unwillingness to be made uncomfortable?

This crowd asked this gal, “Why waste such expensive perfume?” (vs. 4) But I see Jesus fight their “Why..?” with His own “Why…?”! He replies in verse 6, Leave her alone. Why criticize her for doing such a good thing to me? 

Anytime we are willing to step out for Him, we can trust Him to stand up for us.

Jesus fought the “why” with a “why”. Maybe the next time we have a “why”… a why does it have to be this way… why did this or that happen or not happen…?! We can fight it with His “why”.

Why did Jesus leave heaven and come to earth? Why did He die on the cross?

…because God is love. 1 John 4:8

Jesus came to earth so we could know God. Jesus came in obedience to the Father’s will. Jesus died for our sin, clearing a debt He didn’t owe because we couldn’t pay. Jesus came to open a way for us to live eternally in His heavenly kingdom.

Why? Because He loves you.

We may not have answers for all of our “whys” on earth (1 Cor. 13:12) but we can choose to fight all our fears, doubts and worries with the facts of His “why”.

And, as it is written: “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived” — the things God has prepared for those who love him — 1 Cor. 2:9

Just before we exit this story, Jesus praises this dear woman. Why? Because, she has done what she could…(verse 8) 

Don’t give up in this chapter because you think all you have is just a little fight left. All that you are, all that you have, no matter how much or little that seems, it’s enough.

You’re enough.

Why?

Because on the cross God said so.

Independent Read: Philippians 2:5-8

What You Really Want…

Man giving present to woman

Our money is gone! they cried. But please give us food… Genesis 47:15

Interesting isn’t it… that the people cried out that their money was gone but what they asked for was NOT more money… but rather food!

So often it takes getting to the end of our resources to figure out our need is NOT more REsources but rather just The Source of all resources.

The Source of life is Jesus Christ. He is the Bread of Life (John 6:35). These people in Genesis offered themselves as slaves to Pharaoh in order to survive. They say, Just give us grain so we may live and not die… (vs. 19) Joseph provides these people with seed to plant their fields (vs. 23).

For God is the one who provides seed for the farmer and then bread to eat. In the same way, he will provide and increase your resources and then produce a great harvest of generosity in you. 2 Cor. 9:10

In Genesis the food produced from the seed was to be for themselves, their households and their little ones (vs. 24).

These commands that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates. Deuteronomy 6:6-9

In Genesis the people exclaim, You have saved us! and they wish to remain as Pharaoh’s servants. (Gen. 47:25)

You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of human beings. 1 Corinthians 7:23

Jesus paid our way to eternity with His life. To all who would believe on Him as their God, their personal Savior will not perish but have eternal life! (John 3:16)

Paul in Romans 1:1 declares himself to be a servant of Jesus, called and set apart for the gospel, the Good News that Jesus came to save us all! That through our belief in His death and resurrection we receive new life in Christ!

We can live forever with the One who knit you together and holds all your tears in a bottle because He cares just that much about you! Jesus is the only filling that will satisfy the deepest crave of our hearts and fill the void in the deepest darkest night.

Jesus is what we really want. Don’t sell yourself short. Don’t wring yourself dry. Don’t waste your purpose on the next empty cause.

Don’t sell yourself.

GIVE yourself.

Give yourself to Jesus. The Bread of True Life, the great I AM all you’ll ever need and the One who truly wants…

YOU.

Independent Read: Romans 8:38-39

 

 

Never Forget The Blessings Of Jesus

2019-11-24 14.29.52

…I couldn’t bear to see the anguish this would cause my father! Genesis 44:34

In the account of Josephs life in the bible I found myself pondering over his brother Judah. Judah and his brothers had made a colossal mistake and at the end of Genesis 38 we see the grief that it caused their father.

By the beginning of chapter 39 we see Judah running off further down the wrong path. I wonder if Judah saw the anguish on his fathers face caused by his mistake and just figured he was no longer lovable. Maybe he thought he had failed too far this time and most certainly God would no longer include him in any blessing. Who then would care where he went or what he did?

Ever felt all hope has been lost?

Take heart dear one! In Jesus you have a hope that will NEVER disappoint!! (Romans 5:5)

Before the end of rouge chapter 39 in Genesis, God’s amazing, mind blowing grace shows up!!! Praise Him, He is faithful even when we are faithless (2 Tim. 2:13)! I believe Judah’s response to the situation in chapter 44 is a result of a complete heart overhaul that occurred right here in chapter 39!

Anyone have a “rouge chapter 39” in life that they just have to get down and thank God for because it’s what brought them to Him?! (Genesis 50:20)

Judah’s heart had been transformed to reflect our Saviors in that he was willing to offer his own life now in order to spare his younger brother Johnathan’s! And what is his explanation for doing so!!!?! Gen. 44:34 …I couldn’t bear to see the anguish this would cause my father!

Judah had seen that look of anguish once before and chose to keep that mind picture only as a reminder of a place he never wanted to be again and to document how deep a pit God Himself had rescued him out of. Psalm 40:2 He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.

What a picture of our Savior’s heart in that Judah was willing to do the hard thing, to live his life out for a higher calling than earthly gain, to live in the transforming work of God rather than give the enemy the satisfaction of remaining under the rock of regret and in the shadow of shame. Judah wanted to please his fathers heart. Jesus in the garden was willing to lay aside His will to accomplish what the Father had sent Him to do. Jesus wanted to please the Father’s heart.

“Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” Luke 22:42 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16

Jesus had wished the Father’s plan could have been carried out differently but when it could not have been, He exuded ultimate strength by laying aside His own. He took the “no” for a greater “yes”. The “yes” that saved our lives as believers in Jesus.

What “no” am I willing to bear in order to spare the look of anguish on my heavenly Fathers face and to allow Him to work out His loftier “yes” with my life?

Let me never forget the blessings of Jesus. In Him I have eternal life and the power of His Spirit that raised Him from the grave within me! He sacrificed Himself so that I could see anything He asks of me not as a sacrifice but rather as an honor! An honor to lay down, to work out, to give back… to the glory of the One through whose death and resurrection redeemed my life from the pit and won me life eternal.

All this blessing is for you too. It’s for all who would recognize themselves as imperfect sinful human beings in need of a Savior (Romans 3:23). A Savior who is Jesus Christ, who laid down His life through death on a cross in place of our’s (Romans 5:8), who rose again defeating death (1 Cor. 15:4) and now through His life offers us new life and extends forgiveness, and amazing grace to all who would just believe (1 Cor. 15:55-57). It’s one simple prayer to receive and believe on Jesus as your God and Savior, to receive life eternal.

Psalm 103:1-5 Let all that I am praise the LORD; with my whole heart, I will praise his holy name. Let all that I am praise the LORD; may I never forget the good things he does for me. He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases. He redeems me from death and crowns me with love and tender mercies. He fills my life with good things. My youth is renewed like the eagle’s!

Don’t wait dear one – today, take up and live in the abundant blessings of Jesus Christ.

Independent Read: Hebrews 10:23