Job 37:14: “Listen to this, Job; stop and consider God’s wonders.”
I know “stop and smell the roses” is such a cliche, but it’s something we all need to do. Today I encourage you to stop and take in the wonders of nature (God’s hand) all around you no matter in a big city or a small town, forest or sea, mountains or prairie. God is everywhere in everything and we often miss Him in all of our busy-ness. He created this world for us and we miss Him when we ignore the animals and trees and sky around us.
Pet a cat or dog. Look up in the sky and enjoy the hawk or the gull. Visit a park and sit and watch the grass and trees sway in the wind. Go on a hike. Or a run. Take a walk with friends. And stop when you see a blooming flower in bright orange or red or yellow or purple. Then thank Him. For all He’s given and all He’s done. You’ll be amazed at the change in your outlook if you do.
Matthew 7:7: Jesus says, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find, knock and the door will be opened to you.”
I know this is probably a bible verse many of you have memorized but I wanted to emphasize the importance of ASK. If you don’t ASK, odds are you won’t receive. That’s why we ask for Christmas presents. How else are others supposed to know what we want?
God knows. He knows what He’s going to give you as well. But He wants to hear it from you. He wants to give. He wants you to know He is the one doing the giving.
ASK, ASK, ASK, AND ASK SOME MORE. TRUST, TRUST, TRUST, AND TRUST SOME MORE.
Galatians 5:13: “You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love.”
On this day of celebration of Independence, let’s not forget who grants us independence: God. With our freedoms we are to do good, not harm. We are to remember others and remember those who sacrificed for our freedoms. Christ gives us the ultimate freedom in him. On this side of heaven, God grants us individual freedoms to be used for His good. Don’t take those (or Him) for granted.
Luke 1:31-32: “You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David.”
One of the greatest joys in life is finding out you will have a baby. From that moment on, all mothers envision their baby as perfect and growing up to do great things. Imagine having God confirm this. Imagine birthing the Savior of the World. Imagine raising Jesus. Imagine the overwhelming happiness, awe, and fear all at the same time. None of us what to screw up our kids. Especially Mary! Thought I’d end the week on a happy note: Parents, God has your child. All you have to do is follow Him. He does the rest.
1 Corinthians 9:24: “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.”
A reminder as we head into the weekend of summer busy-ness to keep working for the Lord. Keep fighting for His plan in your life. Keep plugging away no matter how overwhelming life may seem. Keep Him in focus and let the messiness of life and sin fall away. Our prize is eternal. Be in it to win it!
Colossians 3:23: “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.”
I think this very apropos for a Monday. Whether you’re an office manager, a CEO, a teacher, a garbage collector (anyone else thinking of Mike Rowe from Dirty Jobs?), a stay-at-home mom, a lawyer, a doctor, or a McDonald’s server, remember you work for Him. Always. When your day is really starting to suck, turn to Him who has a purpose in all things in your life. Be grateful you have work to do AND you get to do it for Him. How awesome is He?
1 Corinthians 10:13: “…God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.”
My husband is going through a hard time at work and I reminded him of this verse. God never gives you more than you can bear. He has a purpose is all that He does and all that happens in your life. You don’t have to understand it. You just have to have faith that God will handle it and will overcome it.
Romans 3:23: “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
This is for the perfectionists out there (myself included). We all fall short. Period. No way around it. Because of sin. Be gentle with yourselves when you do sin. Ask for forgiveness and give it to God. He knows. He understands. He forgives. He loves. Then move on with your life. Quit living in the past or the vicious ‘what if” cycle that only saps your energy and your mind. Embrace the here and now. The rest is dust.
Romans 1:20: “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature–have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.”
Most people read this verse as the reason there is no excuse to know God (I posted on this HERE if curious). What I want you to see in this verse is how God is everywhere, always, in nature, in everything on this planet. All you have to do is look. And He is there. Appreciate Him. Every moment of every day. Cause one day the life you know will end.
Genesis 50:20: “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.”
This is Joseph telling his brothers that what they did to him (threw him in a hole, sold him into slavery, landing in jail and all the other resulting hardships he had to endure as a consequence) were God’s plan. Man intends evil; God intends good. God brings good out of bad intentions. Joseph forgave his brothers and left judgement to God.
This is a reminder to all of us that despite the crap circumstances we may find ourselves in, God has a plan and it is for good. Sickness, death, tragedy, loss of a limb, senseless violence, financial troubles, bankruptcy, emotional trauma, depression, or overall sense of being lost in this chaotic world, God is there and He is working for good in our troubles. Have faith. Trust in Him. He will do the rest.