Remember to let God lead you today. He desires good for you even in the midst of your trials. Hold onto God’s hand, listen to His voice, and depend upon His grace. As you go throughout your day, spread the fragrance of God’s love and mercy to those you encounter. Be stinky for JESUS.

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Overindulge Consistently!!! You’ll be glad you did!

  
 The key to a thriving relationship with God and others involves…consistency. If we truly want to see change in our lives, we are required to put in the work to create that change. If we want to change our bodies physically, we must make a conscious choice to eat healthy and exercise consistently. If we want a stronger relationship with our kids, we must actively choose to be a part of what they are doing. We must listen to them and lovingly guide them through life. If we want a closer relationship with our spouse, we must listen to them more and compromise our desires for the good of our relationship. With God the principles of growth are similar. We must consistently refocus on God’s ways. Many people call this act meditation. Constantly throughout the day, we need to refocus or meditate on God’s word if we want to see change. This constant refocusing results in the transformation of our mind, which is necessary to break old habits and create new ones that are Christ centered. It is consistency that helps to build habits. It is God’s Word that transforms us. Therefore, we need to start to view God’s word as necessary for survival. We need to stop making excuses for not consuming His Word. God’s word is our bread of life, yet we are satisfied to be malnourished spiritually. If you’re tired of starving yourself, decide today to gorge yourself on His Word for the next thirty days. This is one area of your life you’ll be grateful you chose to overindulge.
For the next thirty days, record what God is doing in your life in the comments sections below.

Bear with Me

  
Are you ready to give up on your friends? Your church? Your marriage? Your own life?  Well, bear with me and consider the instructions of God. Often we get overwhelmed and want to give up; however, God commands us to pursue Him and to let Him carry our burdens.  In turn, we are to extend this blessing to each other.  When our friends are hurting, we need to step up to the plate and encourage them.  We need to carry one another’s burdens.  I know what you’re thinking, “I can barely handle my own burdens and now I need to carry another person’s burdens as well?”  The answer is, “Yes!!!”  God calls us to reach out to each other. In reaching out, we are empowered by God to reach beyond ourselves. By doing this, God helps us to fix our eyes upon Him, which in turn refocuses our eyes off of our burdens and onto another’s. This is what God calls us to each day.  This is dependency! This is fellowship! This is our calling!  So get on it! #bearwitheach #dontgiveup #chaseafterjesus

What if_____?

  
What if ________? This is the question that fills us with fear and paralyzes our future. To often we live in the land of what if and we never move forward. What keeps us trapped in the land of what if? That’s right a lack of trust! We like Moses don’t trust that God can overcome our weaknesses and transform us. We don’t trust that when He calls us He will also equip us. In order to move forward, we must take the steps necessary. We must cling to God daily, depend upon Him, and trust His leading. We must dive in and stop telling God all the ways that He must be mistaken. We need to learn to trust Him. Stop questioning God and just obey!!!! #leanintochrist #proclaimmuchofhimandlessofyou #hisglory #reflectjesus

Stop Wandering and Return

  Have you ever thought, “I have sinned too badly and too frequently to return to God.”  If you have, you are probably in the majority.  Too often we get so wrapped up in the sin and guilt cycle that we forget it has all been forgiven.  We no longer need to hide from God; instead we need to run back to Him and stay close to Him.  When we emerse ourselves in God’s presence it is difficult to continue in the direction of sin.  No matter how much and how often we fail; He is there ready to correct us, pursue us, and restore us. 

    God’s greatest desire is not just that we obey Him.  Instead His greatest desire is that we are following Him so closely that we do nothing else other than obey Him.  The most beautiful example of this is the child that walks so closely to her parent that she is constantly running in to her mom.  She hovers and clings to her mom when she stops and pauses.  She waits for her mother’s next move and doesn’t dare venture from her side. As a mother I used to think this was annoying, because my daughters were never going to be independent of me.  However now I realize they don’t need to be independent; instead, they need to be dependent.  In fact we all need to be dependent, not on each other but on Christ.  We need to be holding on to Christ like a child holds on to her mother.  We need to follow and imitate God like children.  This is especially true when our children are clinging to us.  As our kids get older we need to shift their dependence from us to the one we depend on, Jesus Christ.  

So today when you find yourself where you shouldn’t be, run back to Christ, cling to His leg, and follow His lead.  When you realize your kids are still holding on to you, take the time to make sure you’re still holding on to Christ. Be dependent on the only one who is dependable. 

Jealous?

  

  
Jealousy clouds our vision every time. Jesus has just healed a man who has been seen as unclean and broken. However, the only emotion the Pharisees have is rage. Why? Two reasons: 1. They were more about the laws than the people. 2. They saw Jesus as competition rather than a follow servant of God. Do we sometimes make these same mistakes? Do we focus more on the rules than the “Rule Maker”? Do we compete with our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ rather than being excited for how God is working in each of our lives? Food for thought. #leanintochrist #trusthisways👍 #godsways #devotionals

WHAT ARE YOU REALLY HUNGRY FOR?

  
Over the last couple of weeks, I have learned what it is truly like to be physically hungry.  However, I have also learned that being spiritually hungry is much more painful and has a more lasting effect.   Physical hunger hurts for awhile, but then your body releases stored energy, fat, and you start to feel better.  Spiritual hunger however, doesnt subside until time is spent soaking up the morsels of God’s word.  Deuteronomy 8:3 says,”…people need more than bread for their life, real life comes by feeding on every word of the Lord!”  We must learn to come to Him to be fed. Satisfaction, success, peace, and fulfillment do not come from physical food; instead, they come from the Word of the Lord.  So the next time you are physically hungry, ask yourself am I hungry spiritually as well?  If so, feed yourself from God’s word first and remember real life and satisfaction come from God alone.  God’s word is what we are REALLY hungry for; so come and feast.

Passing the Test

Proverbs 17:3 “The crucible is for silver, and the furnace is for the gold, and the Lord tests hearts.” ESV

Being a teacher, I give many tests each year; and every year students ask me, “Why do you have to test us?”I am sure they speculate:  Is it to torture us?  Is it to make us memorize useless information? Is it because you want to see if you can trick us, Mrs. Stiles? Many students believe the answer to the questions above are all…yes.  They believe I want to see if I can fail them or deprive them of their sleep.   Others of them think, tests are a necessary evil; or a way to gain status above others. I on the other hand, I see tests as an objective way to see how students have grown and improved.  I also see tests as a way to show students how they have grown and improved.  In my devotional time this morning, God pointed out to me that He is in the business of testing as well.  His tests are not about Math, History, …, but His tests are about showing us how far we have come and about pointing out our continued areas of weakness.  He, like a teacher, is constantly testing our hearts to show us what He has instilled in us. He isn’t tempting us, He is just rigorously testing us to make sure we are the best we can be.  Think of it this way: Would you want to drive a car that hasn’t been rigorously tested?  Would you want to get prescriptions from a pharmacist that hasn’t been rigorously questioned and proven to have the acquired knowledge to dispense drugs? Would you want to protected by a policeman that hasn’t been trained to shoot a gun?  The answer to all of these questions is obliviously…no!  So then why are we shocked that the God of the universe wants to test and approve the messengers of the most important message of all time?  Why are we amazed when God wants us to learn to hear His voice and sit at His feet for instruction?

So how do we pass the test? We sit at God’s feet each morning and as tests come we depend upon the instruction we have been given.  We take the tests we have failed and we review them and get further instruction.  Bottom line we become good students, students who study and apply the knowledge we have learned.  We love and respect our instructor, God, and receive every word with anticipation.

Wandering in the Wilderness….Why?

  I have often wondered why God allows us to go to the wilderness and wander. Isn’t wandering bad for us? To wander means to move about without purpose or direction. However today I realized God didn’t allow the Israelites to wander in the wilderness. He led them through the wilderness for 40 days and He will lead us too. We may feel like we are wondering, but God knows He is leading us. 

 Why the wilderness though? Four reasons are given in Scripture: to humble us; to test us; to prove our character; and to find out whether or not we will really obey His commands. There are many times I have needed to be humbled.  I often fall into the trap that I am more important than I am. Because of this narsistic attitude, God leads me to the desert, so I will remember it is God who sustains me. These last 18 days have been an example of humbling me and teaching me to trust Him more.  They have been moments of developing my character and testing me to make sure I will truly obey the things He asks me to do. Fasting is always hard, but if your purpose is to fall deeper in love with Jesus, it is worth it. You will develop trust and dependence on Him.  You will learn to obey when you are tempted and you will know Him better.  So if your in the desert, look to God to lead you, He is just humbling you and refining your character.  Will you follow what He is asking you to do in the desert? Or will  you  choose to “wander” and resist His leading? The choice is yours. #godisgood #godswisdom #trusthisways👍 #godsglory #leanintochrist