First, I just wanted to say a HUGE, “Thank you”. I cannot tell you with mere words the overflowing love you all gave to my daughter and what it meant to her and to myself.
As many of you know, it can be hard sometimes to put our hearts out there, vulnerable to so many people…online. All you writers out there likely know what I mean. Worse yet, as soon as there is mention of the name of “Jesus”, persecution, critics, those that plead that you “tone down” your belief system, quiet a voice…can all abruptly erupt from the wood work.
But, scripture tells us to declare His praises, to testify of His goodness, to boldly share His gospel…even if fire and fury, critical voices, and lukewarm pacifiers try to silence us.
So again, thank you from the bottom of my heart for supporting my daughter Cidney Mariah. If you haven’t had a chance to read her blog, you can find it at, “The Life of Cidney Mariah”.
Will you pray for her with us? She will be gone until March and we miss her.
Since writing last week’s UNITE, and directing you all to Cidney Mariah’s post….God has been up to what I would call nothing short of, “a miracle”!!
And yes, for all those critics out there….I still believe in miracles, I believe fully in His Spirit, alive in us today, I believe He died and rose from the grave not just so that we could squeeze by into Heaven, but so we could live bold, victorious, and more than conquerors…even on those tough days.
For when Christ died, His Spirit was given to us; as a friend, a comforter, the Spirit of peace. Yes, it’s the same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead…and it’s His Spirit that is in us, friends! Can you believe it?
I will share more about this miracle in the next article I write for Missional Women, a website I contribute at monthly birthed by Laura Krokos who created this place to empower women to by grace, live out missional lives for the glory of God and the good of other people.
And I don’t want to preach to you today. (Or maybe I do! 😉 But, this morning as I was doing my devotions, God reminded me of UNITE, of UNITY, and of YOU ladies. Will you read with me scripture from this mornings devotions??
Romans 15:5-6 “And may the God who gives the power of endurance and who supplies encouragement, grant you to live in such mutual harmony and such full sympathy with one another, in accord with Jesus Christ, that together you may, with UNITED hearts and ONE VOICE, praise and glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Romans 15:3 reminding me…..”Christ didn’t come to please himself”. In fact, the Amplified says, “He had NO THOUGHT to His own interests.”
And I don’t know about you, but all it takes is two seconds to scan the internet, read the paper, or go out into the world to see others writing, talking, watching, advertising, promoting, vocalizing their own interests. See, in this humanistic environment, we can feel entitled to our own rights, our own thoughts, and even our own feelings about not only our circumstance…but sadly and true…everyone else’s too.
And don’t think I am an exclusion to this self-absorption we have to war against daily. I have been guilty of this too….in my marriage, with my kids, in ministry, while sharing these words on the internet.
But, my heart cry today (and tomorrow it may change unintentionally….so, I warn you)…but my heart cry is that I would too be weak, small, insignificant so that Christ would be magnified to His fullness live through me.
As scripture writes…May we excel in love more and more, even more as the day approaches. Cause life is short friends. Life is too short to curl up in our offenses and fall asleep, it is too short to live in regret, turning our eyes to yesterday or some material dream or idea of success we just have to have. This time is too short to focus on others opinions, darkening statistics, our own empty wishes, or this world’s vast suffering. It is too short to even fixate on our own or other people’s injustices.
Because let’s face it, this world is tough, tempting us always to turn away from the Truth that IS Jesus. It’s trying to derail us to secondary, insignificant things…when our God is bigger, greater, higher, lifted up above all of this. And let me just tell you right now….That is not idealism, fantasy, or escapism made up by people who are weak.
My God is real, and He can and will redeem everything that’s been taken from you…but the key is….will you let Him?
We may not see it now, but eventually we will learn..If our eyes are on anything other than Jesus friends, we are going to sink. And often the sinking, isn’t just us, merging in the deep. But like Peter…often there are many people watching how we run this race.
We don’t even have to speak, really, because at the end of the day…our actions will be reflecting who we really serve. And either we are moving forward towards His perfect face and grace that makes us new….or we are just sinking friends. Sinking in our self-righteousness, living in our entitlement, our false truth…drowning in our excuses, confessing….life isn’t fair, so we have some “right” to be bitter, or stagnant, or just plain lukewarm.
And in this roller coaster of living, where nothing is our anchor more than scripture…will you cling with me to the Bible today? To not only the knowledge of God, but His Spirit alive, redeeming, making us new, taking us from glory to glory each and every day? Will we surrender wholeheartedly, deeply, completely…with a full leaping faith? A faith that won’t turn back? Won’t look around? A faith that says, I am “all in” regardless of what I do or don’t get…and yes, even, despite other people’s expectations?
For friends, nothing is more exciting that pressing into Jesus. He takes our suffering and gives us joy, He takes our dead ends, and opens paths we have never seen or known. He turns our sorrow into laughing, our frozen fear into dancing, our bitter hopelessness into a grace that opens up the heavens.
And I want a faith like that…a faith that bubbles over with joy and happiness…a faith that changes lives…a faith that boasts about His greatness in my life…Don’t you?
So friends, I leave you with this today. According to 1 Thessalonians 3:8…
We REALLY LIVE, if we stand firm in the Lord!
I Thess 3:12 tells us, what I declare for each of you today, dearly beloved….
“May the Lord make you to increase, excel, and overflow in love for one another and for all people….so that He may strengthen and confirm and establish your hearts faultlessly pure and unblamable in holiness in the sight of our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all the Saints.”
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