Week Three: Who Do You Trust?

25 Nov

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.

Proverbs 3:5-6

I am going to be honest; I am not an exceedingly trusting person. I do of course have expectations of people and will extend the opportunity for my trust to be earned, but I always have a back up plan ready just in case someone doesn’t follow through because at one point or the other things wont pan out. Maybe this makes me a bit pessimistic but at least I can say that I am realistic. I know that we are all fallen people who make mistakes and can be forgetful; I am guilty of the same condition, which is probably why it takes so much for me to extend trust to others. In many areas of my life I cannot trust myself to follow through or do what is correct and I stumble a lot, so why should I expect something from others that I cannot attain myself? But the things that I struggle with are things that aren’t meant to the carried by myself or really at all. God does not intend for us to live our lives alone, he wants to take our burdens. Only He can see where we are heading, and I know that it’s counterintuitive to take the back seat in life but we must. The minute we stop fighting His will and start living it, is the moment we get to experience the abundant lives we were meant to live from the start. So let go and trust God.

Pray: Jesus, please help me to just let go. To put my trust in you and not in myself. Give me the power to submit my heart and mind to you so that I may follow Your perfect will for my life.

Ask Yourself: Who am I trusting? Myself or the Lord? Am I submitting every aspect of my life to Him or am I still caught in the middle of a power struggle between my flesh and my savior?

Apply: Just let it go. Whatever the struggle is you are having, just hand it over to the Lord. Trust that He has your best interest at heart and let Him move. He truly is the only constant in life and He wants to carry your burdens so let Him.

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Week Two: Killer Commitments

18 Nov

“Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this.”

Psalm 37:4-5


We have a lot of commitments to keep up with these days. Commitments to our family, friends, health, school, work, church. We tend to overburden ourselves with so many tasks that the things we once loved we grow tired of. We don’t rest anymore, physically or spiritually. When is the last time that you sat down in silence just to breathe and think and pray? No to-do lists, schedules, or plans, but just time to actually rest in the presence of the Lord. In Psalm 37 we are told to delight in the Lord, to have great pleasure, satisfaction, and enjoyment in Him. I fear that we add and add and add to our lives because we aren’t content with God. We need to spend more time with Him so that He can reveal Himself to us more deeply. Because He truly is more than enough if we just slow down enough to let Him show us. Be committed not only to His will but also to seeking His face and trust that He will bless you for it. He really wants to bless you! And if there is something that you desire in your life whether it be a house, a promotion, or a spouse, God will provide according to His will and in His time. So seek first God and His kingdom and the rest will be provided.

Pray: Lord I pray that my heart would delight in You. That my desires would be Your desires and that I would be committed to You, Your Gospel, and Your will.  Help me to trust in You alone. In Jesus name, amen.

Ask Yourself: Where is my heart right now? Am I feeling delighted in the Lord? Am I really committed to Him or am I just committed to myself?

Apply: Rest in the joy of the Lord. Trust that He is abounding in love and wants to bless you. Commit to seeking the Lord in prayer and in the reading of Scripture. God made you and knows the desires that you have. If they are sinful, pray that He would remove them and if they are of God, pray that they would come to pass in His perfect timing.

Week One: Proper Eyesight

11 Nov

“So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” 

2 Corinthians 4:18

Having good eyesight is important. It’s the difference between seeing a beautiful oak tree verses a giant green and brown blob. Or even going through an open door instead of running into a wall. I know that I am really bad about getting caught up in the temporary. Whether it be an issue at work, a financial burden, or even just having a lack of contentment, I am a master of getting discouraged at the slightest problem. I get blinded by my circumstances and instead of trying to find the door I keep running into the wall. But God has better things for us then just a wall or a big green blob. He has beauty ready for us, we just need to have the eyes to see it. We  need to look at life through the Bible to truly see. Christian, this world is not your home, heaven is. The trick is to see past the now and to look toward eternity, to look toward Jesus.

Pray: Jesus I want to focus on You with everything that I have. Not getting caught up in the worries of this life and on the temporary, but setting my heart on You. Help me to seek Your face and to do Your will.

Ask Yourself: During this week focus on your priorities. Are they of the world or of the Lord? Am I focused on my circumstances or on God’s will and plans?

Apply: If your heart is burdened by the temporary give it to the Lord, repent, and remember that we serve a God bigger than our circumstances and who loves you unconditionally. Strive to see God in everything not just in your devo time or at church. Give Him your undivided attention and truly seek after Him and allow Him to transform your heart, mind, and eyes.

Verse of the Week

11 Nov

Something that has been heavy on my heart lately is living the crucified life. Living a life worthy of Christ and His gospel. A life that shines His glory as my fleshly self disappears. I will readily admit that I have not been allowing God to totally take control of certain areas of my life and my disobedience in that has caused a hinderance in my walk that I am simply not ok with. He has been showing me a lot of things that I need to let go of and He is giving me the strength to do it. Praise the Lord for His patience because I am unbelievably stubborn.

God’s Word has given us a clear picture of how we should live. His heart toward us is laid out for all to see. His will is not that we should perish or live in fear or  in disconnect. He wants us to experience His indescribable peace which knows no bounds. He not only died for us and atoned for our sins but wants  to be in an intimate relationship with us. But we just don’t want to let go of some areas of our lives whether it be money or contentment  or anxiety. We don’t want to fully release the control over our own lives but we must. We have to give ourselves to Him in absolute totality so that He may truly be our all in all.  I share this today because I know that I am not the only Christian in the world who has this issue, even Paul speaks about this in Romans 7:14-24.

“We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature.For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it. So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death?”
I know that I have felt like Paul does in this passage of scripture many times over. I want to take hold of God’s will for my life and start doing the good that I want to do instead of the evil that I do not. The Lord has been showing me that my heart and mind need to be renewed. I need to let go and let Him change me and be proactive in seeking His face.
With all this being said, I have decided to spend a few weeks working on Scripture memorization sharing a few of my thoughts along the way. My goal is to make Scripture memorization a priority and to allow the daily application of these passages to open the door so that God may do a work in me. I want to be obedient to Him and applying His Word to my life is a huge part of that obedience.
I feel that Scripture memorization is huge as a Christian for several reasons and is a part of the Christian life that seems to be a bit neglected these days. I’ll post some verses that you don’t know and a few that you most likely will already know. This is intentional. I want the promises of the Lord to be renewed in our hearts and minds. The Word should never become stale to us nor should it be skimmed over, but meditated on day and night. For those of you who don’t know why it’s important to take hold of the Word let me give a few reasons why I feel that it is an absolute necessity.
1. Jesus did it (this should be reason enough). He quotes Scripture about 180 times through out the New Testament.
2. We  are called to. In Colossians 3:16 we are told the Word of Christ is to dwell in us richly.
3. Helps keep us from temptation. “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” Psalm 119:11
4.Helps you to know God. You learn about His character and attributes.
5.Helps you to live in obedience. “How can a young person stay on the path of purity? By living according to your word.” Psalm 119:9
6. Helps you to encourage fellow believers. “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness” 2 Timothy 3:16
I pray that the Lord will renew my heart and mind with His Word in this time and reveal Himself in a deeper way. I am so excited and hope that if anyone is joining me in this that the Lord will bless this endeavor as we seek His face!

Jesus

23 Oct

“When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly. “He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.” 1 Peter 2:23-24

This is my God whose love is perfect. This is who wants relationship and fellowship with me. This is who I have the privilege of serving and who allows me to boldly approach Him even after all He has already done. This is the God who forgives my past, present, and future sins by nailing them to the cross and allowing me to be a child of God.

This is my God.

This is the one true God.

This is Jesus.

14 Jan

“I want the presence of God Himself, or I don’t want anything at all to do with religion… I want all that God has or I don’t want any.”
― A.W. Tozer

Pushing Forward

31 Dec

So it’ almost 2012 and I have been racking my brain trying to figure out what to say, so here goes. 2011 is a year of my life that I will never forget. I started this blog, which has definitely been a new experience. I have learned a lot and am excited to see where it goes this next year! I finished my second semester of college at the University of New Mexico and recorded a choral CD with Las Cantantes. And I committed to reading through the Bible this year! All of these amazing things are a part of my life that have influenced me greatly, but none of these experiences are what has defined 2011 as life changing.

The change came on July 30th when I packed up a U-Haul and moved my life out to Phoenix Arizona to serve at The Anthem. I moved with no job lined up and a very limited amount of money but I knew that the Lord would provide. And guess what? He did. I got a job within two weeks of living there. He then provided a place for me to live in Tempe.

God throws us curve balls and you just have to work with them. I love seeing God move in Arizona. And don’t get me wrong; there are days when I miss Albuquerque. I would be lying if I didn’t say that I sometimes think of how my life would be if I wouldn’t have followed His calling to Arizona. I have no idea how this change is going to truly effect my life in the long run but that is the beauty of following Jesus. I don’t have to know (Jeremiah 33:3), I don’t have to worry (Matthew 6:34). I just have to stay focused on Jesus and commit to following Him with my whole heart.

Because it’s is the start of a new year tomorrow, I sure that everyone is making resolutions but I would challenge you to not make any resolutions. Only make commitments to the Lord for this next year. If you want to lose weight, which tends to be the number one resolution, have proper motives. Lose weight because are bodies are to be living sacrifices, because gluttony is a sin, and because our bodies are his temple. Not because you want to run around in  a bikini on the beach. If you make a commitment to study His word more faithfully, do it. It’s the most rewarding thing that you can do.

So there are three commitments that I suggest you make:

  1. Try to lead at least one person to Christ this year. We are commissioned to do so in Matthew 28:19-20.
  2. Bury yourself in the word of God this year. If your quiet time consists of 30 minutes, strive for 45! Or just establish a consistent time each day to study.
  3. Pray more. Approach the Lord on your knees and do not limit the all mighty God to only the small things. Pray audaciously!

I am looking forward to what the Lord is going to do in this next year. He is moving, He is amazing, and He has an ultimate plan. Enter this year worshiping the Lord in all that you do and love Him with all of your heart, soul, mind, and strength!

Week Fifty-Two

23 Dec

12/24: Zephaniah and Revelation 15

12/25: Haggai and Revelation 16

12/26: Zechariah 1,2,3 and Revelation 17

12/27: Zechariah 4,5,6 and Revelation 18

12/28: Zechariah 7,8,9 and Revelation 19

12/29: Zechariah 10,11,12 and Revelation 20

12/30: Zechariah 13,14 and Revelation 21

12/31: Malachi and Revelation 22

It’s hard for me to believe that it has already been a year since the “Through the Bible” journey began. Hopefully, those of you that have followed through this commitment with me have grown in the Lord and feel more comfortable in His word!

 

Reality Check

16 Dec

Psalm 139

1 O Lord, You have searched me and known me.

2 You know my sitting down and my rising up;You understand my thought afar off.

3 You comprehend my path and my lying down, And are acquainted with all my ways.

4 For there is not a word on my tongue, But behold, O Lord, You know it altogether.

5 You have hedged me behind and before, And laid Your hand upon me.

6  Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; It is high, I cannot attain it.

7 Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence?

8 If I ascend into heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are  there. 

9 If I take the wings of the morning, And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,

10 Even there Your hand shall lead me, And Your right hand shall hold me.

11 If I say, Surely the darkness shall fall on me, Even the night shall be light about me;

12 Indeed, the darkness shall not hide from You, But the night shines as the day; The darkness and the light are both aliketo You.

13 For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mothers womb.

14 I will praise You, for I am fearfully andwonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well.

15 My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.

16 Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, The days fashioned for me, When as yet there were none of them.

17 How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them!

18  If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand; When I awake, I am still with You.

19 Oh, that You would slay the wicked, O God! Depart from me, therefore, you bloodthirsty men.

20 For they speak against You wickedly; Your enemies take Your name in vain.

21 Do I not hate them, O Lord, who hate You? And do I not loathe those who rise up against You?

22 I hate them with perfect hatred; I count them my enemies.

23 Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me, and know my anxieties;

24 And see if there is any wicked way in me, And lead me in the way everlasting.

The Omniscient Creator of the universe not only knit us together, but knows us by name. He knows everything about us; even more than we know about ourselves. He  knows who we were, who we are, and who we will be. He knows where we were, where we are, and where we will be. The LORD is our stronghold and our refuge in times and trouble and in peace. He loves us unconditionally and indescribably.

Christmas is right around the corner and putting aside the actual birth date of Jesus Christ our Messiah, we celebrate the sacrifice that He made and the even greater sacrifice that He was going to make.

In the book of Revelation, we are given a description of the perfect eternity that Jesus stepped out of to be our savior. Sitting at the right hand of the Father, surrounded by the heavenly host proclaiming “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!” Jesus left all of the majesty and glory of eternity to put on human flesh and to become the theanthropos; the God-Man. Jesus was fully God and fully man.He lived a perfect life and died the gruesome death of a criminal. The death that we deserved was the death the He received. And do you know what else the book of Revelation says? In Revelation 5 John tells us that when the seven seals needed to be broken, the Lion of the Tribe of Judah, the Root of David, our Savior, approached. He approached as a lamb that had been slain.Jesus remains marked by our transgressions.

We killed God but death could not hold Him. We are redeemed by the blood of the Lamb that was slain before the foundation of the world.

All of this to say: Live the life that He died for us to live.

Unbelievers: Don’t  be deceived by the lies of the world and the empty pleasures that are gone almost as soon as they come. Be fulfilled by Jesus. Live for Jesus. Drink from the fountain of living water and never thirst again. Jesus is the Way the Truth and the Life. He is the only constant in this temporary world.

Believer: You have been redeemed! Live to glorify His Name and love Him with everything! Stop trying to handle life on your own, when you accepted Christ you surrendered your life. Jesus died and rose Himself from death…I think He can handle your rent and electricity bill. Focus on Jesus first and the rest will fall into place. You have a specific purpose for His kingdom, let Him reveal it to you!

“Lord, you are my God; I will exalt you and praise your name,

 for in perfect faithfulness you have done wonderful things,things planned long ago.”

Isaiah 25:1

Week Fifty-One

15 Dec

12/17: Obadiah and Revelation 8

12/18: Jonah and Revelation 9

12/19: Micah 1,2,3 and Revelation 10

12/20: Micah 4,5 and Revelation 11

12/21: Micah 6,7 and Revelation 12

12/22: Nahum and Revelation 13

12/23: Habakkuk and Revelation 14