Truth Tuesday – Nothing Is Impossible for God!

If you find yourself waiting for God to answer something you have been praying about, I hope that today’s Christmas devotional will encourage your heart.  Begin by reading the scripture.

Luke 1:5-25English Standard Version (ESV)

In the days of Herod, king of Judea, there was a priest named Zechariah,[a] of the division of Abijah. And he had a wife from the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. And they were both righteous before God, walking blamelessly in all the commandments and statutes of the Lord. But they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and both were advanced in years.

Now while he was serving as priest before God when his division was on duty, according to the custom of the priesthood, he was chosen by lot to enter the temple of the Lord and burn incense. 10 And the whole multitude of the people were praying outside at the hour of incense. 11 And there appeared to him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense. 12 And Zechariah was troubled when he saw him, and fear fell upon him. 13 But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John. 14 And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth, 15 for he will be great before the Lord. And he must not drink wine or strong drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb. 16 And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God, 17 and he will go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready for the Lord a people prepared.”

18 And Zechariah said to the angel, “How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is advanced in years.” 19 And the angel answered him, “I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I was sent to speak to you and to bring you this good news. 20 And behold, you will be silent and unable to speak until the day that these things take place, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their time.” 21 And the people were waiting for Zechariah, and they were wondering at his delay in the temple. 22 And when he came out, he was unable to speak to them, and they realized that he had seen a vision in the temple. And he kept making signs to them and remained mute. 23 And when his time of service was ended, he went to his home.

24 After these days his wife Elizabeth conceived, and for five months she kept herself hidden, saying, 25 “Thus the Lord has done for me in the days when he looked on me, to take away my reproach among people

 From the time Zechariah and Elizabeth were married, I imagine their hearts longed and prayed for a child, but year after year no child came and Elizabeth faced a culture that treated her as if she was an embarrassment and disgrace. Yet, scripture tells us they continued to pray and wait for God to answer.  I’m sure both of them questioned the delay in their prayer being answered, just as we often do.

While they waited and prayed, what Zechariah and Elizabeth could not see was God orchestrating the timing of Elizabeth’s pregnancy to align perfectly with His will – His arrival to earth to redeem us.  Elizabeth became pregnant just a few months before the virgin Mary became pregnant with Jesus, the Messiah – Immanuel – God with us.  God’s plan was for Zechariah and Elizabeth’s baby, John, to be the one who would turn many people to the Lord and would publicly announce that Jesus was the Messiah and Savior, the “Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29)

The wait that Zechariah and Elizabeth experienced brought about an incredible answer to prayer.  One that must have been beyond anything they could imagine!  As I write this, these words come to my mind….BUT with God nothing is impossible!

Do you have concerns that grip you and cause you to feel afraid and even doubt that God is able fix a circumstance or resolve a difficult situation you are facing?  Perhaps you feel that it seems hopeless and out of God’s ability to handle.  Maybe it is something that you have been praying about for a very long time and haven’t seen God answer or change and you are doubting that He will.

Someone reading this right now might be protesting saying – “But you don’t understand.  My situation is impossible.”  “My husband will never change”.  “We’ll never get out of debt.” “My health will never improve.”  “My child will never come to know Christ.”  “There is no hope for my marriage.” “We will never become parents.”  “This situation with my job will never improve.”

Dear friend, God is the same today as He was when this story took place a very long time ago.  He can solve any concern or problem you and I have in our lives.  You may not be able to see what He is doing, but He is at work!

Let me share God’s words with you:

Matthew 19:26 – “Jesus looked at them and said, with man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

Ephesians 3;20 – “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly, abundantly, beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever.  Amen.”

Romans 8:28 – “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose.”

Read these verses over and over a few times.  As you do, name your situation and simply surrender it over to the One who is working it out for your good and for His glory.

God sees beyond the realm of your sight…your thoughts…your desires…your imaginations.  He operates Exceedingly.  He operates Abundantly.   He operates Beyond. He is always working out a miracle that transcends the farthest reaches of our thoughts…and all for His glory.

He may not be answering your prayers right now.  But this I know to be true and believe – He is orchestrating His plan and purposes for us and will unfold it in His timing.

So in the meantime…May I encourage you and I to do this…  Wait.  Pray.  Hope.  And get ready to do what Elizabeth did – give God the glory.

…And while you wait, let me also encourage you look for things daily where you say with great confidence and with heartfelt thankfulness, “God did this for me.”   It makes the wait just a little sweeter!

Have a grace full week resting in the truth that nothing is impossible for God ~

 

 

 

 

 

Truth Tuesday – Give Thanks For His Love Endures Forever

I know you are busy getting ready this week with your Thanksgiving plans but I wanted to take a moment to just share a simple, yet ever so profound promise with you found in Psalm 136:1.  One that I am taking the time this week to slow down for just a moment and really think about the implications in the words “for His steadfast love endures forever”.

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Truth Tuesday – A Week of Praise Worthy Thoughts

Thanksgiving is next week!  Can you believe it?!  Preparing for it will begin in my household this week.  Recipes need to be pulled out. There is a shopping list to make.  My husband and I are adding on some extra food preparation as God has put before us a family in need.  During the next few days, it will be busy in our household.

This is the time of year that is so easy to forget to take time to truly be grateful.  We find ourselves running around with our to do lists and when we finally sit down to the Thanksgiving table we find it hard to shift our minds into grateful thinking.

A couple years ago, a wonderful Christian author, Holley Gerth, posted on her blog a list of seven questions, one for each day of the week leading up to Thanksgiving, as a way to intentionally practice gratefulness.  Perhaps you would like to use these and enjoy participating in a week of being thankful while preparing for Thanksgiving.  You might even want to ask these questions to those around your Thanksgiving table. This is such a great idea for thinking praise worthy thoughts during a busy week of holiday preparation.

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Truth Tuesday – The Benefits of a Grateful Heart

We truly have so much to be thankful for in our lives each and everyday.  But in reality, life’s demands, struggles and concerns can cause us to feel quite discouraged and overwhelmed with defeated hearts instead of thankful hearts.  Or, we simply forget just to pause and give thanks because busyness has our heart wrapped up in getting things accomplished.

Perhaps what we need to remind ourselves is this – having a thankful heart can make a lasting difference in our life.  Consider these 10 benefits of a grateful heart:

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Truth Tuesday – Goodness and Mercy Are Right With You

Psalm 23 is a well known Psalm to many of us.  In fact, you may have it memorized.  It is a Psalm that has brought me comfort in my greatest times of need and reminds me of the care and protection of my Good Shepherd.

Let me encourage you to take just a few minutes to read this Psalm slowly.  Meditate on the words.  As you do, think of word pictures that are being portrayed in this Psalm and write them down.

Psalm 23 (NLT)

The Lord is my shepherd;
    I have all that I need.
He lets me rest in green meadows;
    he leads me beside peaceful streams.
    He renews my strength.
He guides me along right paths,
    bringing honor to his name.
Even when I walk
    through the darkest valley,
I will not be afraid,
    for you are close beside me.
Your rod and your staff
    protect and comfort me.
You prepare a feast for me
    in the presence of my enemies.
You honor me by anointing my head with oil.
    My cup overflows with blessings.
Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me
    all the days of my life,
and I will live in the house of the Lord
    forever.

As you read it, did you find yourself exhaling a bit and letting some of the concerns of your day just melt away?  There is such comfort found in this passage.  What words came to your mind?  These are words that I wrote down:

  • Rest
  • Peace
  • Stillness
  • Satisfied
  • Provision
  • Guidance
  • Relationship
  • Refreshment
  • Comfort
  • Purpose
  • Protection
  • Restoration
  • Assurance
  • Contentment
  • Confidence
  • Security
  • Goodness
  • Mercy
  • Blessing
  • Anointing
  • Belonging
  • Hope

Notice this Psalm does not promise us freedom from concerns and difficulties.  However, we are promised comfort, care, and the compassionate watchful eye of our Shepherd, Jesus Christ.  We are welcomed with favor to a place right at His table.  A place of secure belonging and contentment.  Our path may not be easy at times, but we are promised rest, goodness, refreshment and mercy along the way.

Stop for just a moment and thank Him for what words came to your mind today as you read this Psalm.  These are His precious gifts to you.

Now, before you go on your way today, go ahead and take another big breath and exhale.  Let the words of this Psalm go with you today.  He’s with you.  There is no need to be concerned or fearful.  Trust.  He’s leading you on for the purpose and glory of His great name!

Have a grace full week knowing that goodness and mercy are right beside you.

Truth Tuesday – Seeking Him Is Essential To My Wellbeing

There are days, when my time spent reading God’s Word and talking to Him are so rich and encouraging, my heart overflows with joy.  However, there are also days when I feel as though my time with God feels awkward, unfocussed and lacking.  It is on these days, that I have learned it is necessary to stop and get very still, asking God to reveal the reason behind these feelings.

Here is what He often shows me:

  • There is unconfessed sin in my life.
  • I am harboring a bad attitude that is in need of an adjustment.
  • I’m allowing fear and worry to consume my thought process.
  • My mind is filled with long to-do list of all the things that I want to accomplish that day.
  • I am simply going through the motions of my quiet time, checking it off the list, but not truly seeking Him and taking the time to want to hear what He has to say to me.

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Truth Tuesday – Where Is Your Dwelling Place?

Through out the Psalms, David would often refer to God as his fortress, refuge and strength.   In David’s world, the fortress was often walled off from the rest of the city, and was supplied with food, water and ammunition where people could be protected and defend the city.  David knew he didn’t need to fear anything because he had found God to be a fortress stronger than any attack he would ever face.

We all have our own fortresses we run to when we face difficult circumstances.  Our fortresses can be people or things, which we think will protect us, bring us happiness or take our minds off our problems.  These people and things are not always bad or wrong for us, but we must be careful to not make them our “go-to” priority for comfort and neglect trusting God, our true Fortress, Defender and Protector.  He is the only One who is stronger than any attack we will ever face and will faithfully provide us with direction and strength to go through the attack.

Take a moment today to read Psalm 91 and reflect on the goodness and power of God that is promised to us when we dwell (stay) and abide (live and rest) in His presence.

Psalm 91 New Living Translation (NLT)

Those who live in the shelter of the Most High
    will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
This I declare about the Lord:
He alone is my refuge, my place of safety;
    he is my God, and I trust him.
For he will rescue you from every trap
    and protect you from deadly disease.
He will cover you with his feathers.
    He will shelter you with his wings.
    His faithful promises are your armor and protection.
Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night,
    nor the arrow that flies in the day.
Do not dread the disease that stalks in darkness,
    nor the disaster that strikes at midday.
Though a thousand fall at your side,
    though ten thousand are dying around you,
    these evils will not touch you.
Just open your eyes,
    and see how the wicked are punished.

If you make the Lord your refuge,
    if you make the Most High your shelter,
10 no evil will conquer you;
    no plague will come near your home.
11 For he will order his angels
    to protect you wherever you go.
12 They will hold you up with their hands
    so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone.
13 You will trample upon lions and cobras;
    you will crush fierce lions and serpents under your feet!

14 The Lord says, “I will rescue those who love me.
    I will protect those who trust in my name.
15 When they call on me, I will answer;
    I will be with them in trouble.
    I will rescue and honor them.
16 I will reward them with a long life
    and give them my salvation.”

Have a grace full week dwelling in shelter of the Lord ~

 

Truth Tuesday – How Long, O Lord?

Have you ever asked God how long?  Or felt the raw emotions of feeling as if God had forgotten you?  In Psalm 13 David ask God that same question and also felt abandoned by God.  In despondency, David fell on his face, pouring out his heart to God.  As he did, he determined to trust God and the covenant of His unfailing love.  In the midst of the struggle with no end in sight, David meditated on God’s goodness and grace.  Through reflecting on God’s character and past dealings with him, David journeyed from crying to confidence, from despair to dependence to delight.

The next time you feel that the waiting is too long, you can do what David did:

  1. Call out to God and voice your concerns.
  2. Reflect on God’s character, trusting and rejoicing in His covenant of loyal love and His salvation gift for you.
  3. Sing a song of praise to the Lord, remembering all the times that God has been good to you.

Psalm 13

For the director of music. A psalm of David.

How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever?
    How long will you hide your face from me?
How long must I wrestle with my thoughts
    and day after day have sorrow in my heart?
    How long will my enemy triumph over me?

Look on me and answer, Lord my God.
    Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death,
and my enemy will say, “I have overcome him,”
    and my foes will rejoice when I fall.

But I trust in your unfailing love;
    my heart rejoices in your salvation.
I will sing the Lord’s praise,
    for he has been good to me.

Have a grace full week waiting on the Lord ~

 

 

 

Truth Tuesday – Being Completely Satisfied

All too easily and quickly, we look to people – our spouse, kids, family, friends, bosses, boyfriends, teachers and mentors –  for their approval and affirmation. We may even find ourselves looking for recognition in our possessions or position.  Do you ever catch yourself thinking, “if only I had or could…..then I’d be fulfilled.”  I know I have. But I have found that no matter how much I do or get, it’s never enough to fill me up and make me feel satisfied.  And it’s not suppose to!  Why?  Because the empty places in our hearts were created to be filled by God alone.  The deepest thirst of our souls can only be quenched by Him.  We will only have this thirst satisfied as we read His Word, meditate on the Word, pray, and spend time with Him, desiring to know Him more and more.  As we do this, we will come to know that His love for us is better than life itself….and be completely satisfied.

Spend some time today reading this passage  ~

Psalm 63

O God, you are my God;
    I earnestly search for you.
My soul thirsts for you;
    my whole body longs for you
in this parched and weary land
    where there is no water.
I have seen you in your sanctuary
    and gazed upon your power and glory.
Your unfailing love is better than life itself;
    how I praise you!
I will praise you as long as I live,
    lifting up my hands to you in prayer.
You satisfy me more than the richest feast.
    I will praise you with songs of joy.

I lie awake thinking of you,
    meditating on you through the night.
Because you are my helper,
    I sing for joy in the shadow of your wings.
I cling to you;
    your strong right hand holds me securely.

Have a grace full week longing for and earnestly seeking God…and sing for joy!

Truth Tuesday – God Wrote the Story of Your Life

Perhaps you have recently been caught off guard by something….a medical diagnosis, a change in a relationship status,  a loss of job, a pay cut, a loss of a dear family member, a friend that greatly wounded you.  It is during these times that we should remind ourselves of the truth that God is never blindsided or surprised by anything that happens to us because He wrote the story of each one of our lives.

God is well-aware of each and every “caught off guard moment”, and because he has already gone before us, he has also made a way for us to get through it.  As we travel these steps, following in his wake, we can be confident God will also walk beside us in the present and guard us from behind.  Truly, God knows us like the back of his hand, and we can rest and trust in the truth that his powerful presence hems us in on all sides Continue reading “Truth Tuesday – God Wrote the Story of Your Life” »