What God really wants

0501

0501 (Photo credit: kindagetmego)

… and find out what pleases the Lord. – Ephesians 5:10

A friend was planning her son’s birthday, and she wanted it to be fun for her son. She planned going to the mall, visiting the arcade, getting ice cream and anything else she thought her son would enjoy. At the end of the day, she asked her son if he enjoyed his birthday.

“It was fun. But we could have done anything and I would have liked it, because I just wanted to spend time with you. It seems we’re so busy that we don’t do that anymore.”

My friend could have asked her son what he would like to do for his birthday instead of assuming what he would like. We also could ask the Lord what would please him instead of assuming. We think that God would like us to do good works for him, which he does, but which ones? We can’t do them all, and he hasn’t called us to do them all.

It takes spending time with the person we love to know their heart and discover what it is that pleases them. We can’t assume it, or think if we enjoy it, then they certainly would, too. God desires that time with us … that pleases him.

Prayer: Thank you, Lord, that you do desire time with me. That’s hard to believe when you have the whole universe to consider … you want to spend time with me? Wow! Amen

Faith Tip: Find out what pleases the Lord by spending time with him.

Reckless Faith

Delanie praying (Photo credit: fishin widow)

The wolf will live with the lamb,
the leopard will lie down with the goat,
the calf and the lion and the yearling together;
and a little child will lead them. – Isaiah 11:6

There really is something special about the spirituality of children. Their hearts and minds have the ability to believe “recklessly” and while that can be a concern in regards to safety, in the realm of God and his kingdom it is a beautiful thing. They have the capacity to believe that God loves them and will take care of them, just because he’s God. It comes out in their words as they pray as I heard yesterday. Before every drama presentation, we gather as a team and pray. There was an unoccupied spot in the nursery, or so I thought, when a few children came in. I explained to them that we were going to pray and they could join us if they wanted. They enthusiastically wanted to join us, and their heartfelt prayers refresh my soul. It reminds me of how to come to God in prayer.

We do not live in a perfect world where the wolf will live with the lamb, but we will. God has promised that all the tears will be wiped away, there will be no more pain, and it will be eternal. Believing that promise should be the filter our prayers go through … not our doubts or experiences. If we can pray “recklessly” like the children, believing what we pray makes a difference, and then we live out the promise that is to come.

Prayer: Lord, I thank you for your promises to me. I know that you will fulfill them all. I pray that I can believe and surrender like a small child when it comes to you. Amen

Faith Tip: Practice praying “recklessly” with heart and mind wide open.

 

Investing wisely

A Kids Hope mentor and student

A man reaps what he sows.Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers. – Galatians 6:7-10

Today, I have the pleasure of meeting with my new student as a mentor through Kids Hope USA. I have been mentoring for 17 years now and love it. God has done amazing things through these mentoring relationships. I have had opportunity to reconnect with the first student I mentored, which was wonderful. And just last night as I was leaving the Wednesday night activities at church, I heard, “Hi!” I looked and it was the student I mentored this past year who just graduated from the program. He was riding his bike when he saw me. He got off his bike and gave me a big hug and told me all about his summer. As you can see, I am truly blessed by the experience and anything I offer to the students is paid back multiple times. God has blessed my offering in doing good.

There are choices we have to make every day as God’s people in how we are going to spend our time and energy. It may be tempting to sit in front of the TV and snack, but all that happens there is an unhealthy lifestyle. We reap what we sow and every moment counts. Don’t waste the opportunities that come to you from a God who wants to give you a harvest of blessings.

Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for the opportunities to sow your love that you have given me.  I pray that I not neglect the call and miss the harvest. Amen

Faith Tip: Focus today on how you can sow seeds for the kingdom of God. It is an investment well made.

Leaks

Drip

Drip (Photo credit: wasabicube)

I write this, dear children, to guide you out of sin. But if anyone does sin, we have a Priest-Friend in the presence of the Father: Jesus Christ, righteous Jesus. When he served as a sacrifice for our sins, he solved the sin problem for good—not only ours, but the whole world’s. – 1 John 2:1 The Message

Our roof has a leak which can be really maddening whenever it rains. My husband and friend have tried to fix it a couple of times, but it still finds a way to drip. So we will have to pay the big price for replacing the roof on that side of the house. That will take care of the ongoing problem.

The sin in our life is also continual as we try to fix wrong choices made. The patch jobs we apply just don’t work to fix the problem. It still is leaking from us. It took a big price to fix the sin problem in our lives. Jesus was the only way it could be done. The cost of his suffering and death brought a return of redemption that is priceless.

Prayer: Lord, thank you for paying the price for my sin. It’s a price I can never repay, so I will give of myself to you and carry the cross in this life with you. Amen

Faith Tip: God has set you free from your imprisonment … walk in freedom today and share the hope you have with others.

Wisdom may bring sorrow

English: Cute coffee.

English: Cute coffee. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For with much wisdom comes much sorrow;
the more knowledge, the more grief. – Ecclesiastes 1:18

Ahhhh … the comforts of life. We all know what gives us peace and makes us happy. For me, and this will come as a big surprise to many of you, is a fresh-brewed cup of coffee. I love the smell, the warmth in my hands, the taste and the bit of alertness it gives me. It paints a wonderful picture of relaxing and enjoying life to me.

If I look closer, I see there is a lot more behind the coffee that brings me pleasure. There is someone who is picking it. Are they hired or a slave? I have no idea. To tell you the truth, if I find out that the pleasure I am enjoying came as the cost of someone being enslaved and perhaps abused, that brings me grief. In learning the possibility, I have a choice to make. Do I ignore the learning given or do I bring it to light and make a change to my comforts?

God grants wisdom if we ask for it. He wants us to be enlightened … to see what he sees … for our hearts to break when his does.

Prayer: Lord, thank you for the pleasures you give us in life. I pray that what brings me pleasure does not come at a cost for someone else. May the grief of wisdom bring me closer to following you in doing the right thing. Amen

Faith Tip: Ignorance is not bliss. Seek wisdom from God who is so faithful.

Just like Jesus

Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble. – 1 Peter 3:8

 

There’s nothing like bringing the community together to practice the attributes of Jesus. Actually, it gives us opportunity to be Jesus to each other. My church had a community festival that went on for two days. There were representations from many cultures (love salsa music) and sharing of talents. Tae Kwon Do, dance, break dancing, cotton candy, hot dogs, large inflatable slides to play on, farm critters were on display and more. I think everyone had a great time and enjoyed the celebratory spirit of the event.

 

Any time that we are in contact with others is another opportunity to show the difference Jesus makes in our life. We could say it in words, but it wouldn’t make the impact as someone experiencing it when they connect with us. Jesus brings us to a whole new level of the spiritual gifts than we could do for ourselves. We are empowered to be like Christ … if we choose to be.

 

Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for the great plans you have for me today … more than likely it will include relating to someone. I pray for your eyes to see that I can be like your son, Jesus, in all I say and do. Amen

 

Faith Tip: Choose now before you go out how you will relate with others … like Christ or not.

 

Rejoicing rules!

September 11, 2001 attacks in New York City: V...

September 11, 2001 attacks in New York City: View of the World Trade Center and the Statue of Liberty. (Image: US National Park Service ) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! – Philippians 4:4

Yesterday was a difficult day of remembering as the focus on the attacks on September 11 have left a huge impact on all who were alive to see it. I’ve read many blogs and Facebook statuses of where they were that day and how it changed them. So it begs the question, “How do we rejoice when something so devastating has happened in our lives?”

The word “rejoice” has a much deeper meaning than the word “happy.” Happiness is more external in experiences we have had that match our preferences. Rejoice comes from the deepest part of our soul. True rejoicing can only come in connection with God. Bottom line, if it’s only God and us and that’s all there is in our life … Rejoice! We feel through our life that we need other things and people … these are gifts from the Lord because of his love for us. However, if it is all taken away, as Job said, “Blessed be the name of the Lord.”

Prayer: Lord, I thank you for the relationship we have where I can rejoice no matter what. It is my choice though. I pray that my eyes never stray from you so that I can stand strong when life is hard. Amen

Faith Tip: Are you struggling today? Try to take your eyes off your struggle and cement them on to Jesus. His yoke is lighter.