The book of Proverbs is often said to be an instruction manual for life. The central theme and the first bit of wisdom taught within its pages is to fear the Lord. That doesn’t mean to hide or tremble in fear, but rather to fully understand who God is. To be in awe of Him and His power. Once we understand the enormity of God, we are His children and He is our Father. Just like a father here on earth is obligated to love and protect his children, God promises us His love and protection. We have a safe home in Him and a place of refuge when life becomes too much. To fear the Lord is a wonderful thing because once you know Him you will never be the same!
Does it seem like no matter how hard you work nothing ever changes? Are you worn out from the demands of daily life? Believe me, I feel your pain. We’ve all been there and sometimes we just need a little inspiration to get through it.
No matter how weary or exhausted you feel right now, God doesn’t want you to remain there. He wants you to be energized and ready to take on the world. So, He gave us some much needed inspiration for a time such as this. Here’s His promise for a worn out, down-right tired heart.
Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.
1 Corinthians 15:58
Let’s break this down into bite sized pieces and find out exactly what Paul meant when he wrote these words.
My beloved brethren…
Like many of the promises within the Bible this one is meant for us, the body of Christ and not the whole world. God has so much that He wants to give us, but we must be a believer first in order to be partakers of His promises.
as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
2 Peter 1:3-4
We are to be focused on Jesus, and to continue focusing on Him even when life throws us a curveball. At times, it can seem to be a hard task, but if we remain steadfast we will see a real change happening. Instead of the daily chaos of life, that steadfast attitude will turn into a peace that stays with us.
And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Many people have called me stubborn over the years and I’m sure they didn’t mean it as a compliment. 😉 While being stubborn about silly things that don’t matter is not the right way to be, stubbornness in Godly things is always good. The Apostle Paul is calling on us to not be wishy washy, but instead to stand our ground and keep the faith when it really does matter. We know that God does not change, His ways are always the same. Likewise, we are to be, stubborn, single-minded and immovable in the ways of Christ.
God is in the midst of her, she shall not be moved.
As I read this verse, the catchphrase, “under promise and over deliver comes to mind”. It’s about an abundance of love for our fellow man that flows out of us and covers them with the love of Christ. And it’s about going that extra mile even when we’re tired and exhausted because we want them to understand exactly who Jesus is and what He means in their life.
But do not forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.
Work of the Lord…
The work of the Lord is wide and varied. It can mean different things to each one of us. So the question becomes, what has God asked of you specifically? At home? At work? At church? And in any other area of your life? If you are unsure of God’s plan for you, simply ask Him. He will tell you. Then when you have the answer, you can put it into practice in a way that is pleasing to Him.
equip you in every good thing to do His will, working in us that which is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever and ever, Amen.
Not in vain…
Whatever we do for the kingdom of God, it will not be in vain. God has promised to reward us for our efforts. That reward may come in this life, and wouldn’t that be great? But if not in this life, our reward will definitely be waiting for us in the next.
And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work.
When we labor for the Lord we lose nothing and gain everything. He has promised to equip us with what we need for the work He has given us. And He has promised to repay us a hundredfold for our sacrifice. So, my dear friend and fellow laborer, my prayer for you today is that you will not lose heart when fatigue sets in and that God will energize you for the work ahead. May God bless you and give you rest!
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Waiting on God and His plan can seem like an impossible task. But this verse about waiting on God gives us the promise we need to keep moving forward.
First, God has a plan for your life. Second, His plan is good. And last, whatever God has for you, it will come. Wait for it, even when it feels like it will never happen, wait. God hasn’t forgotten you or His promise to you. He has you exactly where you should be. No matter what… nothing can stop God’s plan. It will not delay!
More Wisdom from Habakkuk!
We like to compare ourselves to the people from the Bible. But it’s usually the strong, noble ones that we look to for inspiration. Like Esther and her unwavering faith in the face of adversity, or Paul’s resolute attitude about his imprisonment. They did amazing things for the kingdom of God. And sometimes we are like them, empowered and ready to fight the good fight. But other times we are more like the paralyzed man in Matthew 9 who had to be carried to Jesus. At first glance his story seems like a sad one and not someone we would want to be like. But God’s word is clear that this man and his friends had faith in Jesus and what He could do.
And at once some of the scribes said within themselves, “This Man blasphemes!”
But Jesus, knowing what was in their thoughts, said, “Why do think evil in your hearts? For which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say ‘Arise and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins”- then He said to the paralytic, “Arise, take up your bed, and go to your house.” And he arose and departed to his house.
Now when the multitudes saw it, they marveled and glorified God, who had given such power to men.
Matthew 9:2-8#Jesus is the goal of every believer. And to experience His healing touch when we are weak is what we need most.Click To Tweet
Jesus is the goal of every believer. And to experience His healing touch when we are weak is what we need most. Within this story, I see two ways for us to get to Him.
First, we are like the paralytic man who needed to be carried to Jesus. He had faith that Jesus could heal him if only he could find a way to get to Him. But he couldn’t do it on his own, so his friends carried him to Jesus. Just like this man, we all have times of weakness. It may be a physical, emotional, mental or spiritual pain. Whatever the cause, we need a friend to carry us to the Savior, because we are not strong enough to get to Jesus on our own. In our pain, they are the light that leads us to Jesus, the only One who can heal us of our hurt.
Second, we are like the friends of the paralytic man. They too had faith that Jesus could heal their friend. So, they made a plan, put their friend on a bed and carried him to Jesus to be healed. Sometimes, the roles are reversed and our loved ones are weak and need us to carry them to Jesus. It’s our turn to be the light pointing the way to Jesus. As much as we may want to fix whatever is hurting them, the best thing we can do, is to be a friend who will take them to Jesus so that He can heal their pain.We are not always strong, sometimes we’re weak. But that’s okay. Because #Jesus said, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9Click To Tweet
We are not always strong, sometimes we’re weak. But that’s okay. Because Jesus said, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9 If we are willing to accept that God can use us even in our weakness, then a whole new world of opportunity opens up for us to serve in God’s kingdom. We can display the same kind of faith that the paralytic man and his friends showed by taking our hurts to Jesus. Then, when we allow Jesus to work through us, even when we are weak, we are strong. The next time we find that we are weak or that a friend is in need, let’s remember that Jesus is the only One who can truly heal us. Carry or be carried, either way, just get to Jesus and be healed by His grace and power!
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May God bless you greatly!
Picked Just For You…
Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love;
Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you.
Again I will build you, and you shall be rebuilt.
Tough times will come, they always do. If you’re not in a crisis right now, you can bet your bottom dollar you will be soon. That’s just life.
This is where we find Jeremiah, in the middle of a crisis. In fact, Jeremiah was in a pretty big pickle. God had given him the unenviable task of telling the people that they had failed God and He was about to unleash His wrath upon them. Ouch!
Judah was in a covenant relationship with God. They were His chosen people, yet they chose to worship the pagan god Baal. The king of Judah had been defeated in battle and now the people were the subject of Egypt. Soon, God would allow brutal Babylon to rule over them for seventy years. Yes, tough times were on the horizon for the people of Judah. But instead of turning to God for help, they chose to continue worshiping their false gods and idols.
So, God sent Jeremiah to call Judah out on their wicked ways and tell them to turn back to Him before it was too late. But they ignored Jeremiah’s warning of God’s coming judgment.
Faced with the people’s indifference to his message, Jeremiah had his own choice to make. He could go with the flow and follow the people’s lead, or he could remain faithful to God and His will. In the face of adversity and a growing defiance from the people, Jeremiah chose faith over popularity.
God remained faithful to Judah, in spite of their disobedience. He remembered His promise to restore His blessing. And because of His everlasting love, God showed His mercy on a faithless people and gave them a new covenant.
This story from Jeremiah isn’t just a piece of history from long ago. It is meant for us right here, right now! Just like Judah, sometimes we find ourselves facing tough times. And just like Jeremiah we might be in a pickle.
When tragedy strikes us close to home, it can be hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel. The pain is too close and the struggle is too difficult. It’s almost impossible to see how anything in our lives can ever be right again. We’re at the crossroads and we have a choice to make. We can decide to turn our backs on God like the people of Judah. Or we can turn to God for help and rely on His promises during the tough times to come.
The Bible is filled with so many blessings and promises from God! Each one of them meant to give us hope for a better tomorrow. Within Jeremiah 31:3-4, there are three promises from God to help us in our time of need. Once we understand them, we can face any hardship with a new perspective and resolve.
#1 An everlasting love…
God loved us before time began and He still loves us now in the midst of the storm we are facing. God’s love for us is an everlasting love. It has no beginning and it has no end.
But God who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ…
God showed His mercy and demonstrated His great love for us by sending His Son to save us and give us everlasting life. Through the sacrifice of Jesus, we have the ability to experience this everlasting and unending love of God.#God loved us before time began and He still loves us now in the midst of the storm we are facing. Click To Tweet
#2 I have drawn you…
Because of God’s lovingkindness, He stretches out His hand to us and draws us to Himself. Even when trouble surrounds us and all seems lost, God has not forgotten us. He draws close to us in our need.
Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.
#3 Again I will build you…
Whatever hardship we have endured, whatever sin we have committed, God has promised to rebuild our relationship with Him.
You also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God through Christ Jesus. Therefore it is also contained in the Scripture,
Behold, I lay in Zion
A chief cornerstone, elect, precious,
And he who believes on Him will by no
means be put to shame.
1 Peter 2:5-6
As Christians, we are the building project of God. He is the contractor, building a spiritual house for us to dwell in. Jesus is the chief cornerstone of the building, keeping our spiritual house from crumbling and falling to pieces. God has formed us into “living stones” to be set upon the cornerstone of Christ. Each stone is carefully and deliberately placed, making us the walls of the house firmly set on the foundation of our faith. But our sin tears down the house God is building for us. So, He forgives our sins and builds the house back up again. We are imperfect so, the building goes on and on. It is a continually building and rebuilding of our lives. And it will only be completed once we are in heaven with Him.
Jeremiah’s story is a testament of a faithful servant who endured many hardships yet followed God anyway. Today, his story stands as a reminder to us that tough times will come, but we have a loving Heavenly Father who is always faithful to the end. We may make bad choices or get knocked down, but when we make Jesus the cornerstone and main focus of our lives, we will never fail. God will honor His promises to us. He will show us everlasting love, draw us with lovingkindness and pick us up and build us again.
If you are facing tough times, I pray that you will turn to God and be encouraged by these promises. God loves you, He will draw you to Himself and He will build you again.
Picked Just for You…
I created Master’s Hand Collection to inspire and encourage you in your daily walk with Jesus. And I am excited to bring you products featuring the art I have worked for so long to create. I pray that they will be a source of encouragement in your life.
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Amen! So awesome to find your blog via #FaithFilledFridays! I love this! Tweeting and pinning!
Hi Bonnie! Thank you so much for your kind comment. I’m glad we could connect through #FaithFilledFridays . And I’m looking forward to checking out your blog. God bless!
It’s hard to comprehend the power of the Holy Spirit. So, we draw a line in the sand around what we think He is capable of. But as this Bible Verse about the power of the Holy Spirit attests to, our limited imagination doesn’t confine His power.
Jesus said in this verse from Acts 1:8 that we will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon us. This is our promise from the Savior, that we would receive the gift of the Holy Spirit and all that He brings. Wise counsel for the days ahead. Comfort in times of need. And power to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ to the rest of the world.
May you be blessed with the gift of the Holy Spirit!
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Do you ever ask yourself “how did my life turn out this way”?
When we graduate from high school or college we’re just fresh faced kids ready to conquer the world. We decide on the path we want our lives to take and start down it thinking only good things will come our way. Then, somewhere along that path, life takes an unexpected turn. The next thing we know, we’ve ended up in no man’s land and we’re left wondering what the heck happened. All of those plans we made for ourselves seem so far away and that fresh faced kid is just a distant memory. We’ve veered off the path.
David had one of these “how did my life turn out this way?” moments too.
You will show me the path of life;
In Your presence is fullness of joy;
At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
When this psalm was written, David found himself in a precarious situation. His life had taken an unexpected turn for the worst. The young kid who started out as a meek shepherd and then became a celebrated hero when he defeated Goliath was on the run. David was hiding out in the wilderness because King Saul and his army were looking to kill him. They had caught up with David and had encircled around him. Death seemed imminent.
Many of David’s psalms talk about the feeling of enemies surrounding him and he must have been scared knowing that they were out there. But instead of sitting around being scared and wondering what happened, David trusted God to show him the path of life. He had experienced both the highs and lows of living a life for God. And he believed that God would take care of him at this critical time. Even at his lowest David could still praise God and experience the joy of being in His presence because he understood that joy, real joy comes from knowing God.Even at his lowest David could still praise God and experience the joy of being in His presence. #Joy #BibleStudy Click To Tweet
But David’s psalm is more than just a lament about his own circumstances, he was pointing the way for us to the coming Messiah, the true path of life.
Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.
It doesn’t matter what our previous plans were, or the disappointment we felt when they didn’t work out. That path we chose for ourselves when we were young was about this life and what we would become in it. But God is more concerned with what will become of us in the next life. So He gave us a path of life. Jesus is that path, a path to eternal life. And this verse is our roadmap to Him.
You may have noticed that Jesus only gave us two choices on the path. We’ve reached that critical point in the journey where the road forks off and only goes in two directions. We must turn one way or the other to continue on and it’s an important decision worthy of serious consideration. We can either, turn left and enter through the wide and easy path. This is the worldly path that offers pleasure in this life but ultimately leads to hell and eternal destruction. Or, we can turn right and enter through the narrow and difficult path that leads to eternal life in heaven with Jesus.
Jesus said that most people will choose the wide and easy path. These people are just going through life and don’t give this decision much thought. Or they think that the choice can be put off for another time. But tomorrow isn’t promised to any of us and death may come when you least expect it. By then the choice has already been made and it’s too late.
That’s why Jesus urges us to choose the narrow gate. He loves every one of us and He died to save us. And He wants each one of us to be the few who find the narrow gate. Yes, the narrow gate is a harder, more difficult path to take and Jesus said that we will be persecuted for our faith. But our reward is in knowing our Savior and spending eternity with Him.
Most people don’t want to hear this hard truth. Because when they do, they are forced to choose which path they will take. And just to be clear, not choosing is a choice in itself, and not a pleasant one.
The decision to follow Jesus is life changing. And sometimes change is hard. So, if this life changing decision is hard to make, Jesus put it another way…
I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.
This is a bold and clear statement. Jesus is the only way, the only truth and the only eternal life. If we want to see the Father and end up in heaven when we die, then Jesus is the one and only way to get there. And we don’t do ourselves or anyone else any favors by saying otherwise. This is our God given promise, if we believe in Jesus, that He is the Son of God and the Savior of the world, then we will have eternal life with Him.
For most of us, we made the choice a long time ago to follow Jesus and enter through the narrow gate. But sometimes it’s good to look back on where we’ve been and how we got here. The path behind us, reminds us of everything Jesus has done for us and how far we’ve come. And the path stretched out in front of us leading the way to the Savior gives us something to look forward to.
Like David, we can experience the joy of being in God’s presence. And we can see the joy waiting for us up ahead when we’ve reached the end. This is the joy we can only find in knowing Jesus. It is a joy that fills us completely and gives us confidence in our faith. The path of life may be long and winding but with Jesus we will get there.
Is there an event in your life that has brought you to where you are right now? Are you asking yourself “How did my life turn out this way”? If you’ve veered off the path a little bit, it’s okay. The roadmap hasn’t changed and you can still get back on the path. Jesus is waiting for you with open arms. Today, I pray that you will remember all of the reasons you gave your life to Christ and be strengthened by that decision. And I pray that you will stay firmly on the path of life and see the joy waiting for you up ahead.
If you have not made the decision to take the narrow path, then I pray that you will understand the love Jesus has for you and choose to follow Him. To find out more about making this crucial decision please read “Accepting Jesus” by clicking here or on the tab at the top of the page.