Saturday, September 14, 2019

September 14

The place I grew up has a river running through it, and I romped around that swamp as a kid. There is something special about that river, maybe not to an outsider, because it’s full of tannin which makes it dark in color, even then, it brings a peacefulness to its surroundings. I’ve recognized that I was perfectly placed there for a reason, maybe just to give context to this writing, but I think it may be more than that. Is it purely coincidental that the river flows from Lake Hancock, and that Hancock is my maiden name, or a coincidence that the river’s name is Peace River? Maybe, but my family is a peaceful family.

The verses that touches my soul are about rivers of living water flowing from the heart. Jesus is talking about the Holy Spirit when He speaks of living water, it’s not flat like stagnant water, it’s refreshing. Are you refreshing to be around? Does the Holy Spirit flow through you? If you’ve accepted Jesus as Savior, the Spirit is in you. We all have a family history, and good or bad, it has made us who we are. Some may need to overcome their family’s past and start fresh, and that’s why we need to turn our past over to Jesus, and allow His refreshing water to flow through us, spilling out onto everyone around.

Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’ John 7:38

Friday, September 13, 2019

September 13

You need to seek God for who He is, not what He can do for you. Jesus, God in the flesh, walked the earth, not only to bring salvation to the sinners, but to direct our attention to God the Father. I’ve been chewing on yesterday’s verse, toiling over it continuously, and I can’t get it out of my head! Jesus said “The flesh is no help at all.” We have to provide for our flesh, feed and clothe it in order to keep living, but our ultimate goal should be to focus on the Provider of all things. It is up to us to learn about God, to know His personality, and His attributes. There are two books that I recommend to help you dig into the scriptures and gain knowledge of the Almighty: 1) The Attributes of God, by Arthur W. Pink, and 2) Knowledge of the Holy, by A. W. Tozer. These books will help you learn to focus your attention on God, and to look at life from a different perspective. 

Where will riches get you in the end? Life is not about gaining material wealth, it’s about gaining the riches of the Kingdom, and you will gain that wealth by getting to know God!

So Jesus proclaimed, as he taught in the temple, “You know me, and you know where I come from. But I have not come of my own accord. He who sent me is true, and him you do not know. I know him, for I come from him, and he sent me.” John 7:28-29

Thursday, September 12, 2019

September 12

It takes food and water to power the body, but what gives life to your soul and spirit? It is the words that come from the mouth of God. Jesus told a crowd that they must eat His flesh and drink His blood, because the flesh is nothing without nourishment for the soul. God reveals things to us in many ways; through the word of a friend, a message from a pastor, circumstances, or other ways, but there is a way to hear it more clearly, and that is through the written Word of God. What you hear through other methods will be confirmed by His Word, but if His Word doesn’t confirm it, it didn’t come from Him. How do we eat His flesh and drink His blood? Scripture! If you want to keep living the way you are, and reaching dead-ends, then ignore God’s Word, but if you want to live your best life, true life, not the life of the flesh, but the life of your soul and spirit, then begin feasting on the words that come straight from God, and quench your thirst with the blood of Jesus. 

It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life. John 6:63

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

September 11

Yes, Jesus gave us the commission to go and tell the world, but make no mistake, you are not responsible for the world accepting Jesus. He tells us over and over again that it is the Father who draws them. It is natural for us to feel like we need a purpose, and that there must be something for us to do to prove we are worthy, but this is why believing in Jesus is so different than other religions, all He requires is for us to believe in the Him. I’m going to say this and will probably be blasted by the “Pharisees,” but it’s hard work to truly believe that Jesus is God! We say we believe, but do we trust in that truth? Fretting and worrying over your problem is lack of belief. Remember Jesus saying “And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?’” We want to believe, but we continually question His plan. There is an upside to this, He knows we are weak. His disciples walked with Him daily and still suffered unbelief. The thing you need most is the strengthening of your faith. How do you do that? “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.” Get your nose into the Bible daily, and your faith will be strengthened.

Then they said to him, “What must we do, to be doing the works of God?” Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.” John 6:28-29

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

September 10

They left Jesus on the shore! I’m sure the disciples had good reason; He probably told them He would catch up with them later, but it doesn’t say that. Their source and protection was not with them in the boat. How many times do we try to do things on our own, never consulting the One who holds our lives in His hands? This is not about whether He dwells within you, if you’re saved, He does. This is about inviting Him into the midst of your problem, and allowing Him to be your solution, rather than watching Him walk by while you’re in the deep water, with waves crashing against your boat. When our lives become unstable, Jesus brings us the peace we need to get us through it. He will calm the waves and settle the sea. It’s the turmoil within that reeks the most havoc, so hand your problem over to Jesus, and invite Him into your boat so He can calm your sea.

The sea became rough because a strong wind was blowing. When they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and coming near the boat, and they were frightened. But he said to them, “It is I; do not be afraid.” Then they were glad to take him into the boat, and immediately the boat was at the land to which they were going. John 6:18-21

Monday, September 9, 2019

September 9

Grandparent’s Day comes around every year, and Richard and I are always invited to a few of them. It’s been years since we’ve had to get up early and get our children to school, so it was a bit of a chore to get ourselves out of the house and be at school by 6:45 am. Much has changed, but some things have stayed the same. The building is the same, the elementary school still looks like an elementary school. One thing that has changed is the way a family looks. There were grandparents that had an array of colors of children in tow, and it made me smile. Our families are beginning to look like the Kingdom of Heaven, multi-generational, and multi-colored. I know that our country has a long way to go before we get to the pinnacle of becoming the picture of Heaven, but we are making strides in the right direction. As Christians, we are to be loving of all colors and cultures; when God said to love others, He didn’t put a limit on it. Go now and love all the different shapes, colors, and origins; that’s what will make you like Jesus.

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. Galatians 3:28

Sunday, September 8, 2019

September 8

Oh Lord, why did you allow destruction when we prayed for you to protect? How can we flee when the tempest blows, where can we go that the waves will not overtake us, and the wind will not destroy? Our hearts are broken and overwhelmed with grief as our friends and neighbors suffer without homes, and are missing loved ones because of hurricane destruction. When will you have mercy on those who are suffering? How are they to seek relief when there is nowhere to escape? Father, please rescue those who are grieving their loss, and help them pick up the pieces of what is left, and bless them with your presence. May they see the dawn of a new day as the opportunity to offer you praise, and thanksgiving for those who have gone, and are now dwelling with you in eternity. We ask that you send comfort, and peace, and may they find shelter under your mighty wings. Amen.

For the mountains may depart and the hills be removed, but my steadfast love shall not depart from you, and my covenant of peace shall not be removed,” says the LORD, who has compassion on you. “O afflicted one, storm-tossed and not comforted, behold, I will set your stones in antimony, and lay your foundations with sapphires. Isaiah 54:10-11