Tag Archives: faith

The hands of a child

Matthew 18:1-5NKJV — At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” Then Jesus called a little child to Him, set him in the midst of them, and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Whoever receives one little child like this in My name receives Me.”

To fully grasp the point of these words one needs to understand children, little children specifically.

Watching a young child speaks volumes.

A child’s hands is how they explore their world and how they express themselves.

Those hands can say: cherished.

They will clutch tightly to a favorite toy with one hand while busy about life with the other.

Those hands can say: ignorant.

Because of their very limited understanding, they often grasp things which are dangerous to them, not realizing what hurt truly is.

Those hands can say: emotion.

A child might softly stroke another, showing their love, or strike out, showing their frustration.

Those hands can say: learning.

When they’ve industriously unrolled a new round to t.p. or filled the CD slot with coins.

Those hands can say: joy.

While splashing and scooping and pouring bath water from one receptacle to another, everything about them tells of their enjoyment.

Those hands can say: secure.

By willingly throwing aside whatever to reach both up to their father.

Before their pink lips can form the words, “hold me!” their hands speak.

It’s not a half-hearted request, but an earnest plea.

Those fingers and arms are at their fullest extent, the longing of the heart is so evident in those wee hands.

For there is such innocence and trust in a little child who is loved and cherished.

Their small countenance is completely altered when the plea is heard and they snuggle safely into the neck and shoulder of their adored father.

That is how we should love our Heavenly Father.

The faith, trust, and security of a little child in their earthly father is what our hearts need to learn to find in God.

Jesus showed us what that looked like.

He spoke of it clearly and then lived it out daily.

We have so much to learn from a little child.

Matthew 18:10 NKJV — “Take heed that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that in heaven their angels always see the face of My Father who is in heaven.”

Let us, each one, find inspiration in the faith of a little child.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for Your showing us what love and trust in God looks like. Thank You that we have Your Word to learn from and Your example to follow. Lord, thank You that no matter what kind of earthly father we have, You show us what we have in our Heavenly Father. Lord, please continue to help me to have child-like faith. To throw aside everythingy, that I might cling to You alone. Lord, especially when I’m struggling, remind me of the security I have in Your salvation and the love of my Heavenly Father. Thank You so much for all You have done on my behalf. I love You, Jesus. Amen.

“Now faith…”

Hebrews 11:1-2 NKJV — Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good testimony.

Thus begins the list of Heroes of the faith.

Their lives are used as an example of these two verses lived out.

Faith is placing confident explanation in the LORD and living in such a way as to obtain a good testimony.

Because faith isn’t about understanding how things are going to happen,

It’s understanding Who is working through all things.

Hebrews 11:6 NKJV — But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

People of faith are far more focused upon the Lord, than any other thing.

Yes, these lives listed have moments of sin, error, but they return to the Lord.

Yes, these people experienced pain and tragedy.

The very first name, Able, was the first person to ever be murdered, yet his faith in God is not overshadowed by the sins of another.

Enoch, the next name on the list, lived a shorter life on Earth than any in his generation, but it wasn’t because of his sin, rather it was because of his faith.

Hebrews 11:5 NKJV — By faith Enoch was taken away so that he did not see death, “and was not found, because God had taken him”; for before he was taken he had this testimony, that he pleased God.

Thus from the very beginning, we can see that the life of faith isn’t immune from the pain of sin.

But those who put their faith in God, not wavering from their trust in Him find comfort throughout life and an imperishable reward in their forever home.

Hebrews 11:8-10 NKJV — By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he dwelt in the land of promise as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise; for he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God.

The application is rich and the encouragement deep.

We too can be people of faith, focusing on God rather than our circumstances.

He alone can see the full picture of our lives and the fabric of generations.

Not only that, but He sacrificed Himself to save us from sin and death.

What more reason do we need to put our trust in Him?

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for Your Word. How great a blessing it is. How wonderous are Your works. Your truth, Your love, Your goodness are all beyond our comprehension, but just a taste of You is enough to prove Your goodness. Lord Jesus, there are so many who are hurting. So many who are struggling. Lord, my heart hurts for the helpless, the persecuted, the orphan, the abused. I know You are not pleased by wickedness. Your Word makes it clear, You are just and righteous. Please shine Your light of truth into the darkness. Let those who know You be steadfast and walk in Your ways. Please help us to put off anything which would hinder our walk with You and be people of faith, people who please You. Thank You, Jesus, for all You are doing, each day. May Your name be glorified throughout the whole Earth.

A chance to praise the Lord

It was in the middle of the night.

The Lord had spoken to my heart, I needed to take my medicine.

I’m so thankful for migraine medicine which helps.

So, I got up and took it.

I’ll be honest, I was feeling rather discouraged.

Today we have big plans for working on our new house.

“Lord, I won’t be able to do anything if I have I migraine.”

Silence.

Then I realized my error.

“Lord, I’m sorry.”

Deep breath.

“Lord, thank You for this migraine, because I know You are going to work through the circumstances and bring out something good. I know it is in my weakness You are strong.”

(Just to clarify, I don’t think God “made me” have a migraine and I wasn’t thanking Him for it as an acknowledgement that He gave it. The migraine was the consequence of doing so much this week. Rather, I was thanking God in advance for what I knew would be Him working through my restrictions.)

And I was able to go back to sleep.

Which in itself is a miracle.

Normally, when I’m hurting like that I can’t sleep at all and if it continues I become very sick.

God answered my concerns within a few moments and I am so thankful!

When I woke this morning my headache was much better.

Handsome and I discussed our plans and he decided it would be best for me to remain in bed today.

He and Jase are going to work on the new house.

But before they left he brought me breakfast.

What a wonderful blessing!

I’m so thankful to God for His provision.

I know He’s going to supply all our needs and work through each circumstance, and I praise God for the ability to support my husband and son in prayer throughout the day.

2 Corinthians 12:9 KJV — And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for Your faithfulness. In You are we sustained. In You we have life abundantly. Lord, thank You so much for teaching us how to rest in You and not to lean on our own understanding. Lord, please supply all my husband and son need today and provide a way through each detail. Lord, You know what is required and we look to You with expectation, not to fulfill our ideas of how to do all, but rather to be the One who tells us what Your plans are. Thank You for Your faithfulness, Your salvation, and Your strength. I love You, Jesus! Amen.

October 13

Though the fig tree may not blossom, Nor fruit be on the vines; Though the labor of the olive may fail, And the fields yield no food; Though the flock may be cut off from the fold, And there be no herd in the stalls— Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation. Habakkuk 3:17‭-‬18 NKJV

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for the faith of these verses. Lord, thank You for the truth so clearly spoken. No matter the circumstances, no matter the lack of what is “necessary”, You are worthy of all our praise. For if we have little or much, it is from You. If we are sick or well, our lives belong to You and we can praise You. If we live or die, our days belong to You. You are the Author of every single one, and we can praise You for each. Then, because of Your salvation, we can praise You in heaven for eternity! Lord, thank You for the truth of these words: “Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation.” Lord, please help us to realize the depth of their meaning and teach us how to live by faith. Lord, my life is Yours. My family is Yours. My friends are Yours. Do with each of us as seems best to You and help us to praise You throughout. Thank You, Jesus. Amen.

The snare of doubt

Matthew 14:31 NKJV — And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”

This story of Peter walking on the water to Jesus is rich with applicable lessons.

The disciples are crossing the sea, because Jesus had sent them.

Things get difficult.

Matthew 14:24 NKJV — But the boat was now in the middle of the sea, tossed by the waves, for the wind was contrary.

As they are struggling, Jesus is walking towards them.

Matthew 14:25 NKJV — Now in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went to them, walking on the sea.

Their reaction is understandable.

Matthew 14:26 NKJV — And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out for fear.

Walking on water isn’t a thing anyone does.

Jesus understands, he’s not laughing at them, nor does he downplay their fear, but compassionately calls to them.

Matthew 14:27 NKJV — But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.”

Peter’s response is surprising, but his faith is incredible.

Matthew 14:28 NKJV — And Peter answered Him and said, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.”

Jesus is always desiring for us to come to him.

Matthew 14:29 NKJV — So He said, “Come.” And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus.

Peter’s faith is seen in his actions.

But when he takes his eyes off Jesus doubt snares him.

Matthew 14:30 NKJV — But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!”

Although, doubt began to sink him, Peter’s focus returns to Jesus.

Matthew 14:31 NKJV — And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”

Jesus catches him, saves him, and admonished him.

Doubt is flung at the believer in a million different ways, but we must keep our eyes focused on Christ.

Matthew 14:32 NKJV — And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased.

Because Jesus is capable of calming any storm.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for this story. Lord, I want to have faith like Peter, to willingly step out of those things I see as “safe” or “comfort” to draw nearer to You. Lord, I see the dangers of doubt. Please guard my heart and mind. Help me to recognize the snares of doubt and to avoid them. Lord, please continue to teach me wisdom. I know there’s a difference from following You and going my own way. Lord, I know I’ve stepped out of Your will while believing I was doing it “for You”, when in reality I was doing what I thought was best. Lord, I don’t want to do that anymore. I want to be 100% Your servant, surrendered to Your will each day. Thank You for Your patience. Thank You for Your faithfulness and salvation. Thank You for Your peace. I love You, Jesus. Amen.

A lesson in humility

Lately, God has been using our furniture business to teach me faith in a new way and I had a large dose of humility to wash it down.

I had been praying for my husband.

Specifically, to have direction with the business.

I felt like God wanted me to pray for my husband to hear Him and then to act upon what he heard.

I also felt God warning me.

I was to trust my husband to hear from God and not to get in his way by having a crummy attitude.

Which surprised me, I thought I had a good attitude about the business, but I prayed for my husband to hear and for my heart to be obedient.

The same day, just a bit later my husband calls me.

He had purchased the contents of a storage unit.

He hasn’t done that in months and we had an agreement from a previous experience to not purchase anything without running it by the other.

At first I felt bewildered and slightly offended that he hadn’t asked my opinion about it before purchasing.

My mind started down the, “but what about.. !?”

Thankfully, the Lord reminded me of the prayer before I said anything.

So, I began to pray for God to help me get my attitude sorted out.

When I received the pictures of the unit, it became more difficult.

It wasn’t a dirty unit, as some are really gross.

But I honestly couldn’t see much in the way of furniture.

There were two nightstands, but those don’t sell well.

There was a cute metal outdoor table and chair set.

It was weathered and would need paint.

Other than that, I couldn’t see anything we could turn.

There was a bike, a plastic and pressed board shelving unit, and what looked like two flat panel doors, all of this would cost us a fee at the dump.

But God had spoken and I kept praying.

The next day we went to get the stuff.

Imagine my emotion as we pull in with our truck and trailer only to discover it had 6 parking spaces (all full) and a drive, no place for us to be save the side of the drive.

When my husband came back from the office, he also told us the unit was on the third floor of a very clean building.

I would have to stay in the truck, because I can’t handle the odor from cleaning products.

I did a lot of praying.

As we loaded things into the truck, my struggle increased.

Since I was stuck at the truck, I got to start going through the boxes.

I really don’t like going through boxes.

The Lord was so faithful, and continued to remind me to trust Him.

Thankfully, nothing awful had been boxed up, although there wasn’t anything of value either.

When the table and chairs came down, I knew we would be able to make our money back.

They were nice and wouldn’t require much work, we hadn’t wasted our money or time.

It was the proof I needed, God was in this.

Which was perfect timing because the black plastic and pressed board shelving unit was less than exciting, then there was a bunch of weird shaped metal pieces, and the “doors” turned out to be heavy and difficult to load.

By the last load I wasn’t struggling anymore, and God was just beginning my lesson in humility.

It began with a surprise.

A large sleigh bed which matched the nightstands.

“Well, praise God! What a blessing!”

My husband was happy too.

He told me until it had gotten uncovered he was questioning if he’d heard the Lord correctly.

I felt badly, because I hadn’t been as supportive as I should have.

In fact, I was sure my attitude was what had caused his doubt.

I asked him to forgive me and told him about my prayer and how God was teaching me.

In my heart I again repented for my struggles with distrust and thanked God for His faithfulness.

The next day my husband came from looking everything over.

“You know those two heavy pieces? The ones that look a bit like doors? They are tables and we have all the pieces for them, that’s what those weird hunks of metal are. I’m really glad, we can sell both of them. It means we don’t have to sell the outdoor table and chairs.”

“Babe, why wouldn’t we sell them? They will look really nice once we paint them.”

“They match your chase lounge.”

I just started at him, not really sure what was happening.

“Honey, I know how much you miss having a table and chairs outside, that’s why I wanted that unit in the first place. They will look so nice with your chair once we paint them to match.”

I hadn’t even told my husband how much I was missing having outdoor dining!

I’d prayed about my desire more than once, turning it over to the Lord and asking Him to help me be content with what He has provided.

Talk about a lesson in walking with the Lord!

Here my hubby and the Lord were simply trying to bless me and I’m having an attitude, because I completely miss what’s actually occurring.

I thanked my husband and the Lord.

And I prayed again that my heart would learn to trust.

I can only imagine the mess I would have made if God had not already been working.

Instead of shame and regret, my heart was and is full.

Full of peace, that God is guiding us, full of love I don’t deserve, and so thankful for His patience.

I’m so blessed.

And by God’s grace I’m learning to walk in humility.

Proverbs 29:23 KJV — A man’s pride shall bring him low: but honour shall uphold the humble in spirit.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You so much for Your faithfulness, patience, and guidance. Lord, thank You for speaking to my husband and leading our family through him. Lord, please continue to teach me to put off pride, fear, doubt, and distrust. Lord, continue to draw me back to Your ways of love, trust, truth, humility, and peace. I know You are so good and there’s nothing I need besides You. Thank You for this lesson in humility. Thank You for showing me my pride and distrust. Please continue to”remove the dross”. Thank You, Jesus. Amen.

“Whom shall I fear?”

Psalm 27:1 NKJV — A Psalm of David. The LORD is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The LORD is the strength of my life; Of whom shall I be afraid?

It’s a slick, crafty, sneaking kind, the voice of fear which piggybacks upon “reason”, “caution”, and “sense”.

Too often its poison has seeped into thoughts and begun to sway actions before those influenced by it are even aware of the change.

It takes God’s Spirit and His Word to reveal the truth of fear.

Because if we succumb to fear, our very existence becomes tainted and our love dies.

Fear is a cruel and unjust Master.

Fear is the direct enemy of love.

It often leads the heart to hate.

But God has defeated fear by crushing sin and death.

Without the fear of eternal death, what is there to fear?

King David, of all people, understood what it was to live through extremely frightening circumstances.

He was on the “hit list” of both his own king, his own son, and from enemy countries.

He had literally run for his life many times.

Yet, he penned these words:

Psalm 27:1 NKJV — A Psalm of David. The LORD is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The LORD is the strength of my life; Of whom shall I be afraid?

His trust was solid.

His love of God was unwavering.

His heart knew he need not fear.

And ours should know this as well.

For Christ died and rose again, and His sacrifice is our salvation.

With this security, we need not fear, but trust and love our Lord Jesus.

We do this by putting our lives in His hands, surrendering ourselves into His perfect plan, and living obediently unto His Word.

Psalm 56:11 KJV — In God have I put my trust: I will not be afraid what man can do unto me.

Proverbs 29:25 KJV — The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the LORD shall be safe.

For the redeemed, God’s love is our security, our sanctuary, our safe place.

1 John 4:18 KJV — There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for Your promises. Lord, thank You for being life, truth, and the way. Lord, You reach us exactly where we are. Your Word is truth in every generation. Please continue to help me to walk in Your love and to be on guard against fear. Lord, help me remember that fear kills faith and strangles love. Lord Jesus, I want to walk with You in all things; to be loving, faithful, kind, honest, honorable, and wise. Please help me to do so. Please walk with me in today. Thank You for showing me where I was afraid and teaching me to trust. I love You, Jesus. Amen.

Ice storm

The weekend before last was a new experience for me.

The weather warning was freezing rain and I thought I had a general idea of what to expect.

Of course, I should have known better.

The freezing rain began Thursday night.

It didn’t seem like a big deal until I walked out to the car Friday morning.

It was like someone had poured a coating of ice over the entire thing.

Hmm… freezing rain means it freezes as it’s raining!

(Don’t ask me why I hadn’t figured that out before.)

It took some effort, but we got it cleaned off and the steady rain helped since the temperature was no longer low.

We cleared off the ice enough to see, get into the car, and start the engine.

But I had no idea what the following night was going to be like.

My poor husband was up throughout, listening to the trees all around the neighborhood crack, break, or fall over.

I asked him to get some pictures the next morning since he was going out to assess the damage.

It was a sad and amazing landscape.

I can’t express to you the beauty!

The trees which could handle the extreme weight of every branch encased in ice was extraordinary.

But right along side these beautiful unique artwork were the broken limbs and fallen trunks of those which could not handle the weight.

The only other time I’ve seen so many trees uprooted and laying on their sides was many years ago when a child.

A severe wind and dust storm came through the city I lived in and trees all over were knocked down, roots still cling to bits of sod combing the air, unable to withstand the force of the wind.

It seems an age since I thought about that and here I am, living in a different state, realizing that weather can make an incredible mess.

But, the beauty was apparent as well.

Ice encased trees was brief, but the landscape will never be the same.

Our backyard will take many hours.

The positive side of things is the opportunity for new.

New growth in plants and trees will happen.

New trees will replace the old.

We are replacing the cedar with an apple tree.

New opportunities will be available once the clean up is finished.

It’s like our lives.

Things change, we experience loss, grief, trials, but there’s always something beautiful in it and God is always working through it.

Lamentations 3:25 NLT — The LORD is good to those who depend on him, to those who search for him.

Psalm 27:14 NKJV — Wait on the LORD; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the LORD!

Lamentations 3:26 NKJV — It is good that one should hope and wait quietly For the salvation of the LORD.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for all Your wonderous ways. How great and awesome are Your works! Lord, oftentimes I get shortsighted, and can not see beyond myself. Please help me to live and love on a much broader scale. To walk with You in all things and to trust You in all ways. Lord Jesus, You know what today holds and I know You are holding me in today. Thank You. May those who are called by Your name live our lives understanding Your truths. I love You, Jesus. Amen.

The foolish

“The fool has said in his heart, ‘ There  is no God.’ They are corrupt, They have done abominable works, There is none who does good.”
Psalms 14:1 NKJV

Denying the existence of God is foolish.

Yet, there’s so much more than a statement here.

When dealing with the heart one can easily see it’s a far more complex idea.

If the fool says in his heart there is no God, he is choosing to limit the Almighty to his own understanding.

But before we pass by this with a self satisfied, “that’s not me”, “I believe in God”, let’s turn the tables a bit.

To be foolish is to doubt God, it’s the opposite of faith.

Thus no one is immune to folly.

All it requires to be foolish is to allow doubt to enter our hearts.

Who else besides Eve has heard the enemy’s cunning: “Has God indeed said…?”

And doubt is always wrapped in veneer of something else, thus we need to be careful.

“Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life.”
Proverbs 4:23 NKJV

The enemy of our souls has used the message of doubt and fear most effectively throughout history.

1 Peter 5:8 NKJV — Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.

On top of this our own sinful nature is constantly warring against the truth of God.

Galatians 5:17 NKJV — For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.

But all have hope through Christ Jesus for good, for salvation, for wisdom.

John 10:10 NKJV — “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”

Therefore Jesus, Himself, saves us from folly.

When we put or faith in Him we are saved.

“But now I come to You, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have My joy fulfilled in themselves.  I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.”
John 17:13‭-‬14 NKJV

Fight the foolishness of doubt with faith in Christ.

It’s not a “once and done” choice, but a diligent daily effort.

“O Lord , how great are Your works! Your thoughts are very deep. A senseless man does not know, Nor does a fool understand this.”
Psalms 92:5‭-‬6 NKJV

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You so much for Your faithfulness. Thank You for saving us from folly through Your Word. Please help each one of us to be on guard for the tricks and snares of the enemy. Please show us where we have allowed doubt to cloud our belief. Lord Jesus teach us, that our hearts might be steadfast and our choices good. Please do not allow us to be double-minded, unstable in all our ways. For Your way is right, Your Word is true, and in You we find all that we need. Thank You. Amen.

November 10

Today’s prayer:

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
Hebrews 11:1 KJV

Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for truth. Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for salvation and Your amazing love. Lord, it is through Your Word I find hope, confident expectation. It is in You my faith grows daily, by knowing You and learning how to trust more and more. Lord, thank You for this journey of life. Thank You for the blessings and the trials, for all of it is used by You to hone my heart, to teach me Your ways that I might walk in them. Lord Jesus, You are incredible. The peace and comfort I find in You are beyond anything the world has to offer. The joy in daily placing my life in Your hand is beyond anything I could ever attain elsewhere. Lord, You are good. You are faithful. You are God Almighty. I trust You with all things. Lord Jesus, I humbly bring to You my family, please provide and protect them. Please bring them into a closer walk with You each day. Lord Jesus, I lift up my husband, please place Your hand upon him. Let his heart not grow faint in service to You and those You have called him to serve. Please give him ability and wisdom to do all he does to Your glory. Lord, the innocent, please protect them. Please return the prodigal and save those who have yet to know You. I know You are always seeking the lost, calling their names, offering them life eternal. Please let hearts be softened, ears unstopped, and eyes opened to Your truth. Thank You, Lord. Amen.