Lent Week 6 Day 32

My reading today speaks in reference to the dark period we face before our salvation. I can relate to this! The writer says God waits for us to realize that we need Him. We go through painful dark times to bring us to the end of ourselves and begin to hope in God. When we begin searching for Him, we find Him and all darkness that was before is forgotten and is put out by God’s magnificent light!

 

Lent to Repent

Day 32

Scripture today is 1 Peter 4:1-10 and it’s talking about now that you are saved live like you are saved. Don’t partake in what the world does. Stand out in the crowd and live by spirit like God does.

Ann says: Today I will fast from serving me most and serve others first.

In 1 Peter 4:1-10 it tells specifically of how to live like a christian. Be hospitable, live by the spirit, love one another, keep a sound mind, have self control and use the gifts God gave you to serve others. This is how we live in God’s light. We follow Jesus by doing these things. 1 John 1:7, But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.

Ephesians 5:1-20,

Living in the Light

Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children. Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us[a] and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God.

Let there be no sexual immorality, impurity, or greed among you. Such sins have no place among God’s people. Obscene stories, foolish talk, and coarse jokes—these are not for you. Instead, let there be thankfulness to God. You can be sure that no immoral, impure, or greedy person will inherit the Kingdom of Christ and of God. For a greedy person is an idolater, worshiping the things of this world.

Don’t be fooled by those who try to excuse these sins, for the anger of God will fall on all who disobey him. Don’t participate in the things these people do. For once you were full of darkness, but now you have light from the Lord. So live as people of light! For this light within you produces only what is good and right and true.

10 Carefully determine what pleases the Lord. 11 Take no part in the worthless deeds of evil and darkness; instead, expose them. 12 It is shameful even to talk about the things that ungodly people do in secret.13 But their evil intentions will be exposed when the light shines on them,14 for the light makes everything visible. This is why it is said,

“Awake, O sleeper,
    rise up from the dead,
    and Christ will give you light.”

Living by the Spirit’s Power

15 So be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise. 16 Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days. 17 Don’t act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do.18 Don’t be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit, 19 singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, and making music to the Lord in your hearts.20 And give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Scriptures taken from Bible Gateway

Day 21- Go about doing good as Jesus did.

Day 22- It’s the sin God hates!

Day 23- True beauty comes from a clean heart that sees God

Day 24- Have faith Jesus is the Truth

Day 25- Fast from your sinful nature

Day 26- Believe Jesus, deny self, walk in the Kingdom

Day 27- Follow the Holy Spirit, return to God

Day 28- True worship connects you to God’s grace

Day 29- You have to follow the Holy Spirit continually to keep fear out

Day 30- Fear is flesh, Faith is spirit

Day 31- Thirst for God and put your hope in Him alone

Day 32- Find God’s light then live in it

 

There is no shadow in the light!

There is no shadow in the light!

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Lent Week 6 Hope Day 31

Hope is described as an expectation, a desire for fulfillment. Our hope should only be in God because God is the only one who can fulfill our desires and meet our expectations. Nothing can compare to being with God and with God all things are possible!

Lent to Repent

Day 31

The scripture reading for today is Colossians 3: 1-5, and it’s talking about being made new in Jesus Christ and living the resurrected life. He says to keep your thoughts on things above. Your real life is hidden in Christ.

Ann says: Today I will hunger for less good things so that I do not ruin my appetite for God.

 

When our hope is really in God and not in ourselves or others we are never disappointed. As I read further in Colossians it says that to have sensual appetites, unholy desires, greed and covetousness is idolatry. If we get more pleasure from these things instead of God, He considers this sin and its living in opposition to His will. We should be looking to renew our minds to His will, have hope in Him, the Creator, and He will take care of everything as we live out our salvation. God is faithful  to help us be the way He created us to be. The Holy Spirit will work inside of us.

 

Day 21- Go about doing good as Jesus did.

Day 22- It’s the sin God hates!

Day 23- True beauty comes from a clean heart that sees God

Day 24- Have faith Jesus is the Truth

Day 25- Fast from your sinful nature

Day 26- Believe Jesus, deny self, walk in the Kingdom

Day 27- Follow the Holy Spirit, return to God

Day 28- True worship connects you to God’s grace

Day 29- You have to follow the Holy Spirit continually to keep fear out

Day 30- Fear is flesh, Faith is spirit

Day 31- Thirst for God and put your hope in Him alone

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Lent Week 3 Day 18

My reading today in the Mosaic Bible, she is contrasting the difference in character between us and God. She points out God is merciful, gracious and loving, on the other hand we are rebellious and disobedient and I will add discontent. Although our character doesn’t look promising, still there is hope. The Bible gives us some guidelines to follow so we may become more like Jesus. The fruits of the Spirit are some examples, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self control. If we put our trust in Jesus and the Holy Spirit to do a work on the inside of us we can become better people. Galatians 5:22-23,  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Romans 5:3-5, Not only so, but we[a] also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. So God doesn’t leave us in our misery. If we choose Him we can overcome our rebellion, disobedience and discontent. We can be true children of God transforming into the likeness of Christ until we see Him face to face. 2nd Corinthians 3:18, 

And we all, with unveiled face, continually seeing as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are progressively being transformed into His image from [one degree of] glory to [even more] glory, which comes from the Lord, [who is] the Spirit.

Colossians 3:2-5,

Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died,and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your[a] life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature:sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.

Colossians 3:12-15,

 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.

 Lent to Repent
Day 18
Scripture reading Psalm 119:33-40, the psalmist is asking God to teach him and help him stay in the statues and laws of God. He wants anything that is an idol to be taken away. He acknowledges that God’s way brings renewed life.
Ann says: Repent of a heart that is an idol maker instead of making God the sole King of our hearts. Repent of stealing His glory and focusing on self. Lets be relentlessly focused on God and not on ourselves.
This word “focus” brings back to my mind the time just before I was saved. I was at my sister’s house and it came to me I needed to focus on God to be able to deal with my kids and all the stress and struggles of life. In my beginning of focusing on God I bought little trinkets that I placed around the house to help me remember God. When I looked at one passing by, I was reminded to focus on God. I would write one affirmation a day in a notebook also. I said it over my life. This was the beginning of renewing my mind to focusing on God and not my problems. As this practice went on I have progressed since August 2010. I didn’t realize it until now that I’m writing this, that there are always humble beginnings. I don’t need trinkets anymore to remind me of God. He is on my mind when I wake up and I keep Him in my mind through the day with devotions, music, writing, reading and this new practice of writing down His graces toward me. Paying attention to my life is sort of putting a refined focus on God and it makes Him even more present in my moment to moment life. Like Ann Voskamp says: Gratitude is medicine.

Day 1- Get your thinking straight and be in God’s presence

Day 2- Be reading the Bible and trust God

Day 3- Reverence, worship and praise God and Jesus for who God is and what Jesus has done.

Day 4- Be faithful to Him and He will be faithful to fill you. Look to Jesus with gratitude and prayer.

Day 5- Notice the miserable and suffering, ask God to reveal them so I can tell them the Good News that there is hope and there is a Savior, His name is Jesus!

Day 6- Stay close to God with a repented heart. He will bring life out of the mundane if I trust Him to do it.

Day 7- Relationship means dependence. Depend on your relationship with Jesus to do God’s will and bring Him joy and joy to yourself.

Day 8- Don’t hesitate to ask God for help out of all temptations, trials, distresses and troubles. Keep God on your mind, always.

Day 9- Being thankful and having faith for the presence of God in my life will prompt miracles.

Day 10- Let my heart stay vulnerable so God can multiply His love through me.

Day 11- God helps us through the words of Jesus.

Day 12- Surrender and live a new life

Day 13- Receive and give thanks for God’s grace and live holy

Day 14- Remember grace through Jesus to stay awake

Day 15- Pray for the Holy Spirit’s presence to stay out of darkness, repent when necessary

Day 16- Praise, Honor and Glorify God and Jesus and wait to see what He does!

Day 17- The time is Now, receive Jesus today and go tell the world!

Day 18- Focus on Jesus and He will change you from the inside out

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Lent Week 3 Day 16

Psalm 34:3, O magnify the Lord with me,
And let us lift up His name together.

Let’s praise God and honor Him. Speak of all the ways God is good and holy. And even though we are sinful God made a way for us to fellowship through Jesus. We should be praising and raising His name up everyday, everywhere. God, help me remember everyday Your grace toward me. Help me share with others the wonderous things you are doing in my life.

Trail to the Tree

Day 16 Waiting

The scripture is about when Jesus was buried in a borrowed tomb and the two Mary’s were waiting outside the tomb.

Ann says: Today, wait. Sit at the tomb and wait on the Lord. Trust when all is dark. Believe when the stone is rolled in and sealed. Carry a stone in your pocket and remember: there is hope. Wait and have faith in the coming Resurrection, glorious light erupting on black horizon.

When our sins are ever before us, meaning when we come to realize we are sinners then we find ourselves waiting to see what will happen next. Where do we go from here? We need God to rescue us. I experienced this but at the time I didn’t realize what was happening. Before my salvation experience I was aware of my sinfulness and I knew I didn’t deserve anything that I had. I thanked God for everything and this was the beginning of my salvation. It was over a period of a month or two that this happened. I was led to read the Bible and then had an urge to know more about Jesus. I watched The Gospel of John and realized Jesus was choosing me to follow Him. I repented and asked for forgiveness and fell in love with Him. He made His presence known to me in this moment. I had new life! Salvation isn’t something we can “make” happen, it’s the power of the Holy Spirit that raises us from “the dead” in spirit to new life. The same power that raised Jesus is the same power that raises us. When things look dark just wait and the light will come bursting through!

Day 1- Get your thinking straight and be in God’s presence

Day 2- Be reading the Bible and trust God

Day 3- Reverence, worship and praise God and Jesus for who God is and what Jesus has done.

Day 4- Be faithful to Him and He will be faithful to fill you. Look to Jesus with gratitude and prayer.

Day 5- Notice the miserable and suffering, ask God to reveal them so I can tell them the Good News that there is hope and there is a Savior, His name is Jesus!

Day 6- Stay close to God with a repented heart. He will bring life out of the mundane if I trust Him to do it.

Day 7- Relationship means dependence. Depend on your relationship with Jesus to do God’s will and bring Him joy and joy to yourself.

Day 8- Don’t hesitate to ask God for help out of all temptations, trials, distresses and troubles. Keep God on your mind, always.

Day 9- Being thankful and having faith for the presence of God in my life will prompt miracles.

Day 10- Let my heart stay vulnerable so God can multiply His love through me.

Day 11- God helps us through the words of Jesus.

Day 12- Surrender and live a new life

Day 13- Receive and give thanks for God’s grace and live holy

Day 14- Remember grace through Jesus to stay awake

Day 15- Pray for the Holy Spirit’s presence to stay out of darkness, repent when necessary

Day 16- Praise, Honor and Glorify God and Jesus and wait to see what He does!

I-will-wait-for-the-Lord-my-sould-waits

 

 

Lent Week 2 Day 9

The poem I read today in my Mosaic Bible devotion is about recognizing our need for God’s presence in our lives. We weren’t meant to live this life without Him or alone. Only with His leading can we have true peace, true freedom and a sure path. I will praise and thank God all the day long for His everlasting presence and guidance.

Trail to the Tree

Day 9 Everyday Miracles

The scripture reading is about when Jesus turned the water into wine at the wedding. His mother’s faith caused this miracle. Jesus said it wasn’t His time to her but she told the servants to do as He says. Our faith prompts miracles.

Ann says: Today think of one way our Lord has turned your water into wine. What has He made surprisingly sweet, rich in your life?

I would have to say the practice of eucharisteo from Ann Voskamp’s book 1000 Gifts has been making my days sweet.

Day 1- Get your thinking straight and be in God’s presence

Day 2- Be reading the Bible and trust God

Day 3- Reverence, worship and praise God and Jesus for who God is and what Jesus has done.

Day 4- Be faithful to Him and He will be faithful to fill you. Look to Jesus with gratitude and prayer.

Day 5- Notice the miserable and suffering, ask God to reveal them so I can tell them the Good News that there is hope and there is a Savior, His name is Jesus!

Day 6- Stay close to God with a repented heart. He will bring life out of the mundane if I trust Him to do it.

Day 7- Relationship means dependence. Depend on your relationship with Jesus to do God’s will and bring Him joy and joy to yourself.

Day 8- Don’t hesitate to ask God for help out of all temptations, trials, distresses and troubles. Keep God on your mind, always.

Day 9- Being thankful and having faith for the presence of God in my life will prompt miracles.

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My Salvation Story Backed By Scripture

This is my  story of how I was found by Jesus. It’s been five years ago, but I want to say I was brought up Catholic and I said the salvation prayer when I was in 9th grade at a friends church that was Baptist. I believe God had His hand on me all along but I just didn’t know it. Like some of you that may be reading this, I was lost, but God sees us even when we don’t see Him. It is God who draws us to Himself.  Even when we are singing the songs, going to church and think we are serving God, we are absent from His true presence until our heart is changed. It’s our heart that God looks at. What our motives are. Even though I thought I was with God, in reality I wasn’t.

Five years ago I was in a dark place in my mind. At the time I knew it was Hell. I wrote a prayer in my journal that said, “I pray that God can show me the way out of this long dark tunnel. I have had glimmers of light but they soon fade away as fast as they came. How can I make it stay? I’m asking you, God,  to please show me the way.”  This prayer was in March 2007. It wasn’t until August 2010 that I had an encounter with Jesus. When He became REAL to me and began my eternal life with Him. Psalm 40:2-3, 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.
He put a new song in my mouth,
    a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear the Lord
    and put their trust in him.

I was sidetracked with all the new age spirituality stuff that’s out there. One book in particular was Conversations With God by Neale Donald Walsh. I actually believed I received salvation after reading this book. I learned that new age spirituality really isn’t “new”, it’s Satan’s old ways of deceiving us to get us into Hell. In these types of books they get you to think that it’s your own truth that gets you to Heaven. It’s a lie that is so far from the REAL TRUTH! In this book I was made to believe that there is no such thing as sin. Kinda like when Eve was convinced to eat of the tree God said not to. Sin is what separates us from God because He is holy.  Sin is missing the mark, which means doing things our way instead of God’s way. I was living in sin and Satan had me fooled into thinking that it didn’t exist. That is the big lie Satan is telling us today, that he doesn’t exist. When he has you in that place of denial then he can do his dirty work.

That’s what he did to me, I ended up away from my family, paralyzed in my thinking, confused and all I saw for the future was blackness. I stayed there for 3 months. In this state of being I felt the most lonely I ever felt in my life. I had no hope and didn’t know what was going to happen. Proverbs 14:1, The wise woman builds her house,
    but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.  One day I had a change in my heart towards my husband after he had prayed for me. I knew I was going back home but I told people ,” I am back because of God.” As it says in Jeremiah 29:14, I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity.[a] I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.”  I saw the old me , the old mindset, walking around the house and I had a knowing, she is dead. II Corinthians 5:17, Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:[a] The old has gone, the new is here!

My husband even told me I had been touched by God. He could see it in me. So, I began reading the Bible.  A Bible my sister gave me years before called The Everyday Bible with Joyce Meyer. She has confessions in this Bible to say over your life. I started doing it. One day I felt in my heart that I was believing what it said for my own life. Proverbs 14:9, Fools mock at making amends for sin,
    but goodwill is found among the upright. I felt Satan say to me,” Do you really think you can keep this up?” I ignored it and kept going. 1 Peter 5:8, Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. I realized the Bible was written for Me. Deuteronomy 8:3 says,  He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna,which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord. Soon I had an urgency to know about Jesus. Isaiah 1:18, Come now, let us settle the matter,”
    says the Lord.
“Though your sins are like scarlet,
    they shall be as white as snow;
though they are red as crimson,
    they shall be like wool. I watched Jesus of Nazareth and found out that He rose from the dead and appeared to 500 people and the disciples. I never knew that. And that He ascended into Heaven, which means He is ALIVE! John 10:10, The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. Then my sister told me to watch The Gospel of John.  As Jesus talked to the disciples about following Him, I felt like He was talking to me personally. I even said out loud,” What do I do, how do I follow You?” Then it came to the part where Jesus says,” You didn’t choose me, I chose you.” I was blown away because of what I had been saying, that God brought me home, not me. So, in this moment I knew Jesus was talking to me personally and I felt His presence in the room. I had tears streaming down my face and for the first time in my life, I raised my hands to Him and said,” I love you, Jesus! Please forgive me, I’m sorry, sorry for my sin that put You on the cross. It became real to me that He did it for me.  God requires sacrifice for sin. That’s why Jesus came. God is just and holy. We can’t be with God without being cleansed of sin. He sent Jesus to be the sacrifice for our sin, if we will just believe it and receive it in our heart. This is what I did in this moment. I suddenly saw that obeying God is not out of duty, it’s because you love Him! I love Jesus and can’t thank Him enough for what He did on the cross. He invites EVERYONE to come. Follow Him. Revelation 3:20,

Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.

Without Him we would all be in darkness and never have eternal life. But it’s a choice, God gives us free will. He comes after us but it’s our choice to follow. Will you choose Him today? We are never satisfied until we encounter Jesus. He said, ” I am the Way and the Truth and the Life; no one comes to the Father except by  (through) Me.” John 14:6

My prayer for you is in Ephesians 3:19, and [that you may come] to know [practically, through personal experience] the love of Christ which far surpasses [mere] knowledge [without experience], that you may be filled up [throughout your being] to all the fullness of God [so that you may have the richest experience of God’s presence in your lives, completely filled and flooded with God Himself].

True salvation is Ephesians 2:8, For it is by grace [God’s remarkable compassion and favor drawing you to Christ] that you have been saved [actually delivered from judgment and given eternal life] through faith. And this [salvation] is not of yourselves [not through your own effort], but it is the [undeserved, gracious] gift of God; AND Matthew 16:16-17,  Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed), the Son of the living God.” 17 Then Jesus answered him, “Blessed [happy, spiritually secure, favored by God] are you, Simon son of Jonah, because flesh and blood (mortal man) did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.

Salvation is a free gift from God you receive through faith. It is His working of the Holy Spirit in you that brings you to life. No person on earth can do this except Jesus Christ.The Holy Spirit reveals Jesus to us and we choose to receive Him.

My plea to God, Psalms 40:10, I have not concealed Your righteousness within my heart;
I have proclaimed Your faithfulness and Your salvation.
I have not concealed Your loving kindness and Your truth from the great assembly.

The Great Gardener by Regina Gibson

The gardener is coming to tend to us now!
He prunes and cuts as he sees fit,
to bring us to beauty from each of our pits.
As we are molded and shaped,
he creates with us a beautiful landscape.
Although the sun and rain will come,
to help speed our growth along,
without the gardener’s tender care
we would be lost, forgotten and in despair.

My Jesus Knows Me by Regina Gibson

I was at my table when you told me your able,
to forgive and forget all my shames.
But not only that, you said you know me and love me,
in spite of these blames.
You made it known to me,
that it’s You and I for eternity.
I am overwhelmed by your presence and gifts.
I cry out to You, Jesus I love you, I love you!
What can I do to show my love?
You respond, “Be my disciple and follow me.”
Here I am speaking for Jesus,
in hopes of saving the lost and defeated.
There is hope.
There is future.
There is love.
It’s all found in Him…..
Jesus!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fcST07H8-y0

Aspirations

Last January 2015 I came across this word aspiration in a book called Simple Abundance by Sarah Ban Breathnach. She suggested instead of making resolutions to make aspirations. Resolutions are like making rules for yourself, eventually they will be broken. Aspirations are something more, an acknowledgement from the soul. As in the definition I gave above, it’s a hope, desire, goal, longing, yearning to achieve something. It also gave the definition , the action or process of drawing breath. So in making aspirations I am giving breath to my soul. Because God is giving me these revelations to write about I have to express them in this blog because if I don’t it would be like holding my breath. Eventually I will die inside because I didn’t share what God breathed into me. I pray His breath is felt by you when you read anything on this blog. It says in Job 32:8, But it is a spirit in man, And the breath of the Almighty gives them understanding.  And as Joyce Meyer says in my Everyday Bible Amplified version,the most important and final aspiration is this: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead. This was taken from scripture Philippians 3:13, Brothers and sisters, I do not consider that I have made it my own yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead,  I recently heard a sermon by Steven Furtick about goals and he cited this scripture after I already had come across it and gave me a deeper meaning. Not only is my final aspiration to go forward but he also pointed out that reaching forward is also my aspiration. To keep reaching toward the prize, Jesus. This is all I have to do.