Lent Week 7 Day 39

Today’s reading is a poem about thanksgiving for God’s love and goodness. Jesus comes from the tomb alive with hope and promise for us. He will come into your life when you accept His invitation. He will change you and give you new vision if you allow Him to. He gives us a sound mind, love and courage to face our days. He feeds our spirit and gives us joy. Thank you Jesus for all You have done and are doing and will do in the days to come.

Lent to Repent

Day 39

Scripture for today is Ezekiel 36:26 and Psalm 51:10. These verses refer to the heart. Praying to keep a clean heart and God promising to give us a heart of flesh.

Ann says: Today I will fast from a cold heart. Let myself be broken by the saving love of Jesus.

 

Lately I am learning that when I’m sick my patience are short and being irritable is so easy! I have been sick for a week and I have had some moments with people I wish hadn’t happened. Things I’ve said or the way I acted, wasn’t really me. Being sick has caused me to look at myself and not others. This is what sin does too. The sickness of sin causes us to focus on ourselves. You can look around and see everything is geared toward self. Everyone wanting attention about what they are doing. We are all infected with this sickness. Jesus came to cure us of our disease and change our focus. He taught us to be servants, not be served. When we only focus on ourselves it leads to a hard heart. When we realize what Jesus has done for us and how He looks at the world our heart begins to melt. When we ask Jesus to let us see things the way He does we are overwhelmed with His love. We can then give His love to other people. Sickness of sin leads to death but the healing love of Jesus brings life!

 

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

Day 33- Live the shape of the cross

Day 34- Stay humble and pray

Day- 35 Don’t be afraid, watch what I say

Day 36- We have a new beginning every morning, give from the heart

Day 37- Rejoice over and over, be at peace

Day 38- Be saved and live it out

Day 39- Give thanks for all God’s gifts and pray for a heart of flesh

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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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Lent Week One Day 3

Today is about reverence, worship and praise toward God for who He is and toward Jesus for what He has done. I wrote an article about reverence, worship and praise here . What I read today brought these scriptures to mind. Romans 5:8, But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 1 John 4:19,  We love because he first loved us.

My reading was a poem and a quote. The quote is about how the blood of Jesus is forgiveness of sins and the cross represents the sinners that we are. He bled forgiveness on each one of us. We all have a cross to bear, our own sinfulness, but Jesus’ shed blood washes it away. Picture yourself carrying this heavy, burdensome cross across a river and a big gush of water like in the wild rapids comes along and takes the cross from your back and washes it down river. Jesus can do this for us.

The poem was about seeing God for who He really is. Having reverential fear and awe towards Him. We shouldn’t take His presence lightly. It is an honor to be in His presence. We should remember that we need God to survive and thrive. We take His Holy Spirit for granted these days. The Israelites didn’t have His Holy Spirit. We need to take God’s presence seriously and be thankful Jesus made a way for us to be with Him.

Trail to the Tree was about the gift of rescue. Ann wrote:” Father, we paint ourselves red with Jesus’ blood so that satan can not enter into this soul place to wrack ruin and death, but that You would come through the door of our hearts…that we would come through Jesus, the door, and into Your Presence.”

We are rescued just as the Israelites were on the first Passover. They painted crosses with blood of a lamb on their door posts so no death would come inside. So by faith I paint with Jesus’ blood a cross on the door of my heart so no evil can come into my thinking, my attitude, my love, my peace, my joy. Jesus rescues me and also protects me.

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.

Thank you God for loving me even as a sinner. Thank you for Your mercy and lovingkindness and for sending Jesus to save me. Thank you Jesus that You saw Your mission through to the end to save us all from death. Thank you that You loved us first and died for us to live.

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The Greatest Gift Is A Wonderful Life!

I have never participated in Advent until 2015. I decided I would experience Advent with Ann Voskamp’s devotional book called The Greatest Gift. It really was an experience like never before at Christmas. I never felt closer to God and Jesus during this season than in 2015. Her title refers to Jesus being the greatest gift. He is the only true gift of Christmas. One night after Christmas was over I woke up from being sick and felt drawn to go in the living room to take medicine and to open my Bible. I opened the Bible to Ephesians 5: 15-20. It talks about time and spending it wisely and also about praising God with songs and hymns. Giving thanks is included as well. It says we should be filled with the Holy Spirit.  Joyce Meyer sums it up in her life point as this: To stay filled with the Holy Spirit we have to speak to ourselves and others with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. We need to keep our thoughts and words full of God’s Word by continuously offering praise and giving thanks to Him.

As I was reading this in the still of the night, a bell on my Christmas tree rang. I knew it was a sign from God. Then a couple nights later I had a dream about a man who I was trying to get directions from cause I was lost. I told him I wasn’t spiritually lost just physically. I asked him his name and he told me Clarence. I said you must be an angel! I remembered the angel in the movie It’s A Wonderful Life. Then I woke up. I decided God wanted me to watch the movie so I did.  In the movie I noticed a saying on the wall, it said, ” You only take with you what you have given away.”  I saw in the movie that people let money rule their happiness. The lack of money tries to steal our joy. George said to Clarence that money comes in pretty handy down here! But when Clarence shows George what the town would have been like with out him, he changes inside. He sees where money isn’t the answer to joy or happiness. It’s our presence in the lives of others that really matters. This is what makes a difference. Not the money you give but time, words of encouragement, thanking God and praising Him together. This is what counts in God’s eyes.

After watching the movie I decided to research how it came about. This movie was based off a story of 72 pages written in 1943 by Philip Van Doren Stern. Guess what the name of his book was? The Greatest Gift! Frank Capra took the short story and made it a little different and then called it what we know as “It’s A Wonderful Life”. Here is a link to the history of it, http://www.todayifoundout.com/index.php/2011/12/its-a-wonderful-life-was-based-on-a-christmas-card-short-story-by-philip-van-doren-stern/

This was very interesting to me. I sat and wondered what message God had in all this for me and yesterday it came to me the title of this post, The Greatest Gift Is A Wonderful Life! Have you ever heard people say God gave us life as a gift and our gift to Him is a life well lived? Our greatest gift is a life filled with Jesus which produces a wonderful life! And it tells us in Ephesians 5:15-20 how to have that wonderful life! If we can get our focus off of money, which we can’t take with us by the way, then we can truly live a wonderful life. If we put into practice praising, thanking and learning God’s Word and encouraging others to do the same the Holy Spirit will reside in us and make all blessings flow. I watched Steven Furtick today and he said something very important. He said as children of God we already have the promises and blessings of God. Some may say that they don’t experience any and Steven says why that is. He said it’s because your heart is stopped up. There are foreign objects in your heart preventing you from receiving God’s blessings. He named things like complaining, grumbling, addictions. When we dig out these things that are from Satan to hinder us then the water can flow. In John 4:13-14 it says,  Jesus answered her, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again.14 But whoever drinks the water that I give him will never be thirsty again. But the water that I give him will become in him a spring of water [satisfying his thirst for God] welling up [continually flowing, bubbling within him] to eternal life.” This verse comes from the story of the woman at the well. He told her the water from the well is temporary relief but the water He can give is eternal relief! Faith in Jesus brings blessings and promises but they can’t be received if we are blocking them with other stuff.  Yesterday Steven Furtick talked about practice. He used a football player catching the ball as an example. In the video it looks effortless and lucky. But Steven shows footage of the player in practice and also before the game doing this catch over and over and over again which proves it wasn’t “lucky” but the result of hard work! So, we have to practice these things in Ephesians over and over to see results. 

In the link above it talks about the real people who inspired the story.  The character of George Bailey was actually based partly on the founder of Bank of America, A.P. Giannini.  If you read the article you see that he wasn’t money oriented but people oriented. Because of this, God blessed him. He had it right. He was the inspiration to the movie and he should be an inspiration to us all that it really can be a wonderful life!

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