Tag Archives: Encouragement

Faith of a baby robin

Sitting outside before the snow came back last week, I saw an amazing sight more close up than ever before. Newly hatched baby robins were in the nest with their mouths open to the sky, eagerly stretching to eat. A few thoughts came to my mind about how I should be like that baby robin.

What I noticed about the baby robins:

  1. Trust- mom will be back. Do I trust God even when he doesn’t seem immediately present?
  2. Eager- to eat nourishment- do I hunger and thirst after righteousness?
  3. Accepting- of what mom gave. Am I accepting of all that God gives me even if it isn’t what I asked for?
  4. Always hungry- mouths wide open, unashamed. Do I continue to want to grow in Christ and be fed from his Word often?
  5. Still- waiting patiently in the nest, waiting to receive. Have I taken time to be still and know that God is?
  6. The nest shakes as the branch sways but the baby birds don’t run off out of fear of falling. They don’t seem scared at all-only hungry lol. When the circumstances of my life get shaken up and things seem unstable, do I hold on to God?
  7. They don’t fear the hungry cats below- Do I fear my enemies or do I always remember that evil is defeated and God has not given me a spirit of fear?

I love how God speaks through his creation.

Dear Lord, make me more like the baby robin. Help me to fully trust you and seek you always. Amen.

Serve to Refresh

Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. John 13:14

Jesus spoke to his followers after he humbled himself to serve them. The washing of feet was a source of refreshing and relaxation. What had his followers been doing? Sharing the Good News, the Gospel, all around the region as commanded by Jesus. This was hard, physical work, walking from town to town on dusty roads wearing sandals. It was emotionally challenging as many refused to hear the message of truth and grace. The Twelve needed rest and encouragement. What better encouragement than to have your Master and teacher acknowledge your hard work and care for you?

Followers of Jesus today are likewise commanded to share the Gospel and make disciples. It’s still hard work.

Plan how you will intentionally minister to your brothers and sisters in Christ who work hard to teach and preach Jesus.

Won’t you humble yourself and serve, offering refreshing and encouragement to your fellow laborers for the Lord?

Remembered By God- Mothers in the Bible

Mothers were not a focus of special attention in Bible times. Women in general, including mothers, worked hard behind the scenes with little to no recognition. Yet, Mothers are written about in the grand arc of the Bible story, from beginning to end. God chose to use mothers, a marginalized group, to build his Kingdom.  This reveals God’s amazing and surprising love for his people.

It is important to note that by choosing to recognize mothers in his Word, God was going against the prevailing culture. In both the Old and New Testament, there was no celebration of “Mother’s Day”.  Mothers, and women in general, were thought of as lesser people and had few rights and many responsibilities. But the God of the universe, the creator of all life, chose to highlight the importance of this group no one else thought much about, women who were mothers. Here are some thoughts on three mothers in the Bible:

  1. God chose for people to populate the world he created through a mother. In the very beginning of the Bible we learn that “Adam named his wife Eve, because she would become the mother of all the living.” (Genesis 3:20). Of course, God could have chosen any other way to populate the earth but he did so through a mother and ordained the family as the unit of the continuation of life. These events of creation foreshadow the time of Jesus, when we no longer rely on biological families alone but are called to bring all nations into the eternal family of God. We are part of a new covenant when we are born-again spiritually.
  2. In the new covenant, God chose to use a mother to bring salvation to the world through Jesus. Mary was called to give birth to Jesus, our Savior. Jesus could have come down directly from Heaven, risen up from the ground or emerged from a whirlwind. But no. God chose to send his precious Son here to earth through a mother to be born into a family. Though Jesus was with his earthly mother for only a short time before his ascension, he is coming back.
  3. Revelation, the final book in the Bible, gives signs of the world to come when Jesus returns. In Revelation chapter 12, John describes the signs God showed him of a mother. A woman gives birth and fights for her life and the life of her child against a powerful adversary. This imagery in John’s revelation echoes that of Israel often portrayed by the Prophets. Isaiah, for example, wrote of righteous Israel as a mother giving birth to the faithful remnant. (Isaiah 66:7-10) We know the mother, her child and all her descendants were faithful to Jesus and his Word.  This mother will be the source of the faithful remnant.

From beginning to end, the Bible shows us God’s knowledge of and respect for a little-considered group in ancient times, mothers. He chose to preserve in his word, the Bible, examples of these women for future generations to read. The Creator, the God of the Universe, had very different views from the prevailing society. He gave honor and attention when others refused to. So for mothers and other women who feel forgotten or ignored by society on a daily basis, remember there is One who knows you and cares for you. He is Jesus and he is all that matters.

Always Hungry?

And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst. John 6:35

As a mom of growing teens, it seems my job to satisfy their hunger is never­ ending. As soon as one meal is done, it is time to start thinking about the next one. But Jesus satisfies spiritual needs in another way. He gives you the final meal of his body and blood through his sacrifice on the cross so you don’t need to keep searching for and preparing other meals to feed your spirit.

In today’s self-help world of easy answers, even Christians are tempted to seek answers to life’s difficult problems outside of the meaning of Jesus’ sacrifice for us and our sins. So many are struggling to find the answers that are readily available by spending time with God in prayer.

Let us come to Jesus in faith, knowing that he and he alone has the power to redeem, restore, and reconcile. Go to the source of true satisfaction today­ seek Jesus and believe in him for all your needs.

From the “God Is Our Guide” Devotional by Victoria Carrington

God and Your Mountain

God and your mountain
God will choose which is best in your situation.
He will either:
-Move the mountain
-Level and destroy the mountain
-Get you over the mountain
God is a creative God who owns the cattle on a thousand hills and inhabits His place sitting in the circle of the earth. He is not only all-knowing but he is all good. He is your Maker and knows you better than anyone else. He created you to do the good works he has just for you. You can trust him to remove every obstacle and get you over any hurdle. He is your all- powerful God who loves you. Go before God in prayer today. Tell him about your mountains and he will show you what to do. Wait for him to take you over, take you through or go a whole different way. God’s got this! Do not fear. Obey God no matter how unusual his way may seem. God’s creativity knows no limits.

Contentment In Context

Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. Philippians 4:11-12

These powerful and often-quoted verses about contentment are found surrounded by verses that gives us additional instructions about the secret to living a life of contentment.

Let’s take a look at some of these and how they can help us to be content in every situation, a task which is difficult for most of us.

> do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4: 6-7

Earlier in this chapter, Paul talks about the reality of anxiety and offers us an antidote. We are not to be anxious about anything. How do we accomplish such a difficult task? By praying, asking God for what we need and doing so with a grateful heart. To begin, prayer is the foundation of freedom from anxiety and the peace that only God can give. We are to pray without ceasing, in every situation to keep us from anxiety. Praying and then following the direction God gives you in prayer will keep you from anxiety. You will rest in the fact that you are obeying God so whatever happens is in his hands and all things will work together for your good, no matter how difficult the outcome may seem.

Secondly, we are to seek God for what we need. The word “supplication”, used 60 times in the Bible, means more than just ask. It is from a Latin verb meaning to plead humbly. The sense of the word includes both an earnest, heartfelt asking and a sense of humility. Jesus reminds us to seek, ask and knock, knowing that our Heavenly Father wants to provide for our needs. In the Parable of the Unjust Judge in Luke chapter 18, Jesus teaches us that “ that men ought always to pray, and not to faint” by telling of a persistent widow who kept seeking what she needed until she got it. We are to go boldly before the throne of grace to find what we need, knowing that it is the grace of God and the sacrifice of Jesus that makes it possible for us to do so. Our humility is a response to the love and grace of God which amazingly makes us his sons and daughters.

The third part of our safety from anxiety involves an attitude of gratitude. Our prayers for more must be accompanied by gratitude for what the Lord has already given us. Remembering God’s past blessing, care and provision for us as well as his present keeping of us, makes us realize that just as he has done, he will continue to do. We have no need to be anxious having a Father who has already proven himself faithful and true. We see in how he has cared for us a Father who loves us so much and wants the best for us. We can rest in that truth and find peace instead of anxiety. By resisting anxiety in this life, we can find contentment through trust in God and his care for us.

> Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Philippians 4:8
Bad thoughts lead to more bad thoughts and bad behavior. Thoughts are powerful and as children of God, we must be very careful to guard our thoughts from assault by the enemy of our souls. We are to take every thought captive and make it obedient to Christ. As we are being conformed to the image of Christ, our thoughts should reflect his thoughts and his character. Therefore, Paul wants us only to think on praise-worthy topics. When your mind starts to wander elsewhere, stop it by asking God to help you. Keeping your thoughts on what matters to God will keep you in a state of contentment.

> I can do all things through him who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13
Finally, I think we can see that contentment is hard to find in Western culture. So much of the loudest parts of culture flaunt discontent as a way of life. As a Christian, fighting for contentment is a day-to-day or even a moment-to-moment concern. Without Christ, this is impossible to overcome. But with Christ who is our strength, we can do all things. We can be content with what we have right now and where we are right now through the strength of Christ. More than that, we can everything else God asks of us including being free from anxiety, praying with gratitude and keeping our thoughts rightly focused all through the strength of Christ. What reason then could we have to not be content today? We serve a God who loves us and strengthens us in every trial and in every victory. Blessed be the name of the Lord!

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The Lord Gives Us Power to Be Successful

Remember the Lord your God. He is the one who
gives you power to be successful, in order to fulfill the
covenant he confirmed to your ancestors with an oath.
Deuteronomy 8:18
Lord, I need your wisdom. I come to you seeking knowledge and understanding, especially in the difficult parts of my business. There is knowledge I need to grow my business and there are people and situations that I need to understand in order to serve you through my business. I trust you to give me the wisdom that I seek. Thank you for being the gracious God that gives me wisdom.

Remember the Lord your God. He is the one who

gives you power to be successful, in order to fulfill the
covenant he confirmed to your ancestors with an oath.
Deuteronomy 8:18
Lord, I need your wisdom. I come to you seeking knowledge and understanding, especially in the difficult parts of my business. There is knowledge I need to grow my business and there are people and situations that I need to understand in order to serve you through my business. I trust you to give me the wisdom that I seek. Thank you for being the gracious God that gives me wisdom.

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