Thursday, March 29, 2012

Take My Hand

Even there Your hand shall lead me, And Your right hand shall hold me. (Psalm 139:10, New King James Version)

"I can do it!" Those are often the words we hear from a very determined toddler who wants to do thing by themselves. As adults, we try to get to take our hand so we can help them and make sure they don't hurt themselves. They want that control. It's the same way with God. We want control of the situation. We think we know what's best, and let's face it, each time we try to do it we fall on our face. We want control, but it doesn't work that way. The Lord tells us to give up that control and let Him handle it. Now is it just me or is that hard for us to do? I want to pull God along to show Him that "Lord I really do know what's best!" He shows me quickly that I don't have a clue! Do you need to give up control today? Maybe of a relationship, maybe materal things. Whatever it is, let me encourage you to give God full control. He will never steer you wrong!

Father, help us give our lives fully over to You. Give us the strength to give up that control. In Jesus Name, Amen. 

Monday, March 26, 2012

Broken and Spilled Out

And being in Bethany at the house of Simon the leper, as He sat at the table, a woman came having an alabaster flask of very costly oil of spikenard. Then she broke the flask and poured it on His head. (Mark 14:3, New King James Version)

My mind goes in some strange places at times. But, sometimes the strange places are the beautiful places. Just as Mary poured this very expenseve perfume on her Savior, I have another picture. Picture this in your mind with me. Picture a much more dramatic seen taking place. I picture the cross, and I can see Him hanging there. Just as Mary poured the perfume, I can see the blood pouring-spilling from His body. I think it wasn't coming out in little drops like we dab on ourselves, I think it was probably gushing. That blood was gushing out for you and for me. Do you have goosebumps yet? I know I do. Why did Mary pour out the perfume? She did it to show her love for her Savior. Why did Jesus go to that cross and that blood flowed out of Him? He did it to show His love for us. He did it as a payment that we all should've paid, but He knew we couldn't pay the price. We'll never be able to pay the price. As we come to Easter, let's take time to not only remember the sacrifice He made, but let's take the time to say "thank You Lord" for what He did so willingly. I want to end this week with the words to a song.

"I will remember,
I will remember,
I will remember the works of Your hands,
I will stop, and give You praise,
I will rememberYour faithfullness."

Father, thank You so much for going to the cross so willingly. Thank You for paying the debt that we should've paid but You knew we couldn't pay it. May we never forget or take for granted what you did for us. In Jesus Name, Amen.

*****I have a prize to give away this week! For those that leave a comment beneith this post, (emails don't count) you will be entered into a drawing to win an autographed copy of my friend Edie Melson's new Book, "Fighting Fear: Winning the War At Home When Your Soldier Leaves for Battle." This is a great devotional for the families of our military who have gone to serve our country. The deadline to enter is Saturday, March 31. The winner will be announced next Monday!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

He's Always There

For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you." (Hebrews 13:5, New King James Version)

"I'm not going anywhere. I'm here for you always." Those were the words  that Nan spoke to me in an email for the millionth time. You see, the weekend before we'd been together constantly. When it was time for us to go our separate ways, the enemy started throwing my past up at me. "It's happened before, she's the same way. You'll be treated the same, don't listen to her." In my heart I knew Nan wasn't going anywhere, but my head was a jumble of thoughts and accusations from the enemy. Sometimes, it's the same way with God. Our heart knws He'll never leave nor forsake us, but in our head...well, it's a different story. Our heart says, "Lord I know you're there" but our head says, "I'm all alone." Let me tell you ladies, that's not true. We're not alone. I know Nan isn't going anywhere; I know our friendship is lifelong. More than that though, I know that God isn't leaving my side. Nan may fail me, but He never will! Do you need to be reassured of His nearness to you? Let me encourage you to do what I do. When my head tries to be filled with the thoughts of being left alone, outloud I say "no!!!!!!!"

Father, thank You for your constant reassurance of being there for us. Thank You that we don't have to ever wonder if You're with us, because you will be there for us always. Lord please show my friends that You'll never leave them. Lord, we love You and we praise You. Amen.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Do You Need His Touch?

Now a certain woman had a flow of blood for twelve years, and had suffered many things from many physicians. She had spent all that she had and was no better, but rather grew worse. When she heard about Jesus, she came behind Him in the crowd and touched His garment. For she said, “If only I may touch His clothes, I shall be made well.” Immediately the fountain of her blood was dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed of the affliction. And Jesus, immediately knowing in Himself that power had gone out of Him, turned around in the crowd and said, “Who touched My clothes?” But His disciples said to Him, “You see the multitude thronging You, and You say, ‘Who touched Me?’" And He looked around to see her who had done this thing. But the woman, fearing and trembling, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell down before Him and told Him the whole truth. And He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace, and be healed of your affliction." (Mark 5:25-34, New King James Version)

This woman needed His touch! Ladies, can you imagine having the bloodflow for 12 years and not having any relief from it whatsoever? Not only that, but she wasn't allowed to be with others. She couldn't go into town, she couldn't go to worship. She was completely cast out because she was considered unclean. This lady was so desperate for the touch of Jesus, she was willing to do whatever it took to get to Him. Are you that desperate today? Are you desperate for Jesus to come in, cleanse you and make you new again? He will do that, if we only ask. You may need His touch of comfort. He'll give it. You may need a touch of peace, a touch of grace. He's there to provide whatever you need. Ladies, call out to Him. Ask for the touch. All this lady did was touch the hymn of His garment, and she was never the same! He changed her life forever and He'll do the same for you! When she touched Him, he wanted to set something straight with her. He wanted her to know, it wasn't His garment that healed her. It was her faith and belief that " Jesus can do this for me!" All you need to do today is have faith and belief that, yes Jesus can do whatever you need Him to do !Not only can He do it, He wants to do it. Let me encourag you ladies, just ask. That's all she did, and her life was changed.

Father, whatever my readers need today, I pray You'll touch them right at the point of their need. Your Word says that you'll supply all of our needs. I ask You to supply the need of peace, comfort, and grace to these ladies today. In Jesus name, Amen.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Are You in Need of a New Perspective?

Now it happened as they went that He entered a certain village; and a certain woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus' feet and heard His word. But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me." And Jesus answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her." (Luke 10:38-42, New King James Version)

Ok, to say that Martha needed a new perspective was putting it mildly. When she couldn't get her sister to help her in the kitchen, she commenced to do what children do whenanother child does something to agravate them.   She tattled! There was an aspect here though that she wasn't seeing. With Mary ignoring her not-so-suttle hints to help her prepare the meal, she was missing the more important thing. She was missing the worship. She was missing the worship of the Savior. Mary knew what was important. Nothing, not even her sister's atempts for her assistance compelled in comparrison to the thing that the Lord seeks. He seeks worshipers, not busy little machines. I love what Jesus says in a later verse, "Martha, Martha, you are troubled and worried about many things. But Mary has done the right thing and it will not be taken away from her." I believe that Martha got a new perspective that day. Ladies, the next time you have a guest in your home, think of it as Jesus entering your home. Would you be more interested in preparing just the right meal, or would you bow on your knees in worship? Jesus would've been happy if Martha would've given him a hotdog on a bun, just as long as he could've had her worship. Let me encourage you, worship the Lord instead of making sure every little detail is perfect. He's not interested in a perfectionest,He's interested in a worshiper. So, let's worship before we work.

 Lord, help us to realize the importance of worship and not busyness. Help us get back to the worship of You. In Jesus Name Amen.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Beneath the Cross

A guest post by Edie Melson

Last Easter I found myself huddled beneath the cross where Jesus hung dying.

Now, for those of you that know me, that’s not as strange as it seems. I love the theater; I even majored in costume design for a time in college. But now, my favorite theater is found in the church. I love being involved in church dramas. For me, the Bible comes alive when it’s being portrayed on the stage.

I do have to confess that I don’t like being one of those onstage – hence the major in costume design. I absolutely hate being in front of a large group of people. I’ve found my place, though. I love being part of the stage crew and that’s what I was doing last Easter.

So, last Easter I huddled beneath the cross while Jesus hung suffering. I was dressed all in black, trying to make myself as small as possible so I wouldn’t detract from the actor portraying Christ. But as I crouched there, I heard his groans and watched him writhe in agony. I heard the cry of the crowds and felt my heart chilled by their impassive faces as they observed the drama.

Was this the way it had been 2000 years ago? The question in my mind transported me to ancient Jerusalem as my heart flooded with parallels. It was no longer just a drama on stage, Jesus’ agony and sacrifice became real in a way I could never have imagined.

The black I wore represented my sin and my invisibility to God in my wretchedness.

My silence, while necessary and expected during the performance, stung me with the resemblance of real life. The world expects me to be silent about the cross, or at least tasteful. And so often I comply, remaining quiet instead of speaking out.

Finally my attempt to remain hidden reminded me that while the world might not see me as I really am, Jesus had a perfect view of me while he hung suffering.

Yes, last Easter I found myself huddled at the base of the cross where Jesus hung dying.

And I will never be the same.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Coming Home

And he arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him. (Luke 15:20, New King James Version)

Just a few weeks ago, I received a welcome like this son must've received. Standing outside of a restaurant, I waited to be embraced by a group of friends, who over time have become family. While standing in that parking lot receiving warms hugs of welcome, I could picture the father of that lost son standing in anticipation. Like the group of friends I was embracing, it didn't matter how long the son had strayed. He was still welcomed home. Ladies, that's the Lord's cry for each of us. "my child, come home. Come home...where you belong." Have you strayed away from the Lord? Do you feel like you've went too far for Him to save you? Let me assure you, no place is to far. He stand ready and waiting to embrace you and say, "welcome home my child."

Father, thank you for welcoming us home. Thank You Lord that when we feel we've strayed to far, it's never to far from Your hand of mercy, grace and love. I pray for each reader. Bring her back to You...bring her back closer than she was before. In Jesus Name, amen.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Do You Feel Unloved?

The Lord has appeared of old to me, saying:
“Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love;
Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you. (Jeremiah 31:3, New King James Version)

Laying in bed a few nights ago, the Lord kept bring this thought to my mind: "my people are feeling unloved and abandoned." I had no idea at the time where I would go with it. That is, until this week has progressed.

Ladies, are you at a place where you're feeling unloved, alone, and not sure where to turn? You have a God in Heaven who loves you with an everlasting love. Not only does He love you unconditionally, but He drew you to Himself. Think of it! The one who put the stars in place, the one that hung the moon in the sky, He loves you! That love will never change. Though as humans, so often we put conditions on our love; the Lord never does. My heart's cry is that He loves you. No matter what you've done, no matter how far you think you've strayed, He's there with His arms wide open for you. Oh ladies, run into those outstretched arms. They were outstretched on that cross 2000 years ago to show His love for you, they're still outstretched today. Run, ladies,, run! He's there waiting for you!

Father, thank you so much for Your love. Lord your love is unfathomable and unchanging. Help these ladies to embrace your love without hesitation or reservation. Thank you for those outstretched arms on that cross, and thank you Lord that they're still open and waiting. Lord we love You and we praise You. Amen.