Tag : jesus
Tag : jesus
It feels good to be back in the saddle again after being out to pasture for a while.
I’m in San Antonio, Texas preparing to share my personal testimony tonight at an event, one of the first times I’ve spoken publicly since the pandemic began in March 2020. There are a few concerns. Will I remember everything? Will people respond? Will God’s presence be felt?
However, this morning, the Holy Spirit reminded me through a simple visual that His light cannot be contained.
As I saw the sunshine peeking through the blackout curtain in my hotel room, I realized that we cannot put a lid on God’s radiant light. It will shine through one way or another, and often we are the vessels God uses—if we are willing.
Matthew 5:14–16 says, “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”
Tonight, I am placing myself in a position to be a vessel of light and I am confident God will illuminate the room through me. One of the most effective prayers we can pray each morning is, “O LORD, will you give me an opportunity to shine for you?” When I pray to be a light, God almost always gives me an opportunity to glow for Him.
What about you? Are you willing to be a vessel of light today? The warmth of God’s radiant light, in and through you, could make an eternal difference in someone else’s life.
Was it supposed to rain today?
As I watch the skies light up outside and listen to the rain pound my back patio, I realize there was a change in the forecast and this definitely jeopardizes my plans to do a little work in the backyard today.
How do you handle change?
Change can be annoying.
It can be intimidating.
Change can be overwhelming.
But if you like adventure, it can also be exciting.
I’m having to think seriously about a possible radical change in my life. When worry tries to set in, I attempt to push back the thoughts. When I can’t sleep, I attempt to drift back into slumber. Most of the time that doesn’t work.
But I’ve found that when change knocks on my door, the best place to take it is to Jesus.
Colossians 2:3 says, “In Christ lie hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” Even though we don’t know how to proceed, Jesus will give us clarity concerning His will for our lives. I have received dreams, have obtained needed information through a non-fiction book I happen to be reading at this time, and counsel from my husband and friends. I feel I am being prepared for something new, but now I have to wait and see if I am correct about this particular change. I have prayed a bold prayer that if this is God’s will, then it will happen, and that will be my green light to proceed.
God does not want us to fear change. If we are full aligned with Him, then change is often used to advance us to a new level spiritually. In a devotion I read today it said our prayer should be, “God, do in me whatever you need to do so that I will exhibit your (spiritual) Fruit.”
So today, are you willing to be open to change even though it does not feel comfortable? If so, that’s part of what it looks like to fully surrender your life to God.
Sometimes God might ask you the question, “Would you give it all up for me?”
I was just asked to apply for a job with a nationally-known ministry, but it’s not based in the Dallas area where I live. If I was offered this position, I would most likely have to give up the bulk of my ministry work with Pearls of Promise and the doctoral studies that I felt called to last year.
My first thought was Absolutely not! I love my home state of Texas and I am satisfied by the media ministry work I am currently doing. I was slated to start doctoral studies in the fall. This abrupt directional change did not make sense.
But then I talked to my husband, Jeff, and I prayed. Jeff was surprisingly open to the idea of relocating to this major metropolitan area, and through prayer, verses like this one came to mind: “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it” (Matthew 16:24–25).
Jeff said, “Maybe this is a test.” After giving the decision over to the LORD, I decided that I wanted to pass the test, so I told the executive recruiter that I was open to applying.
Realistically, while I am qualified for the position, I find it highly doubtful that I will be their candidate, for several reasons, but it is a compliment to be asked to put my name in the hat. However, this possibility made me say to God, “If you want me to go, I will. My life, and everything in it, belongs to you.”
Today, I want to ask you if God called you to leave the comfort of your home and the niche you’ve created for yourself, would you be willing? Would you pass the test?
“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship” (Romans 12:1).
The beach is always my happy place but this time when we arrived in Northern Florida, there was a strong wind, gusting up to over thirty miles per hour. I knew I was in trouble when I saw the flag on the flag pole fully extended, violently whipping back and forth.
But I was at the beach, and I was there to enjoy it, so I braved the elements and set up camp shoreside. What I discovered is that it was not restful, like normal. The sand pelted my face and when I tried to read a book, it was difficult to keep my place because the gusts would turn the pages. I lasted about an hour at the beach.
I asked locals, “Is this normal for Perdido Key Beach?” They responded, “No, this is highly unusual. I don’t ever remember the wind being this bad.”
So I had hope that the next day would be better, but the wind kept howling for several more days, and what was usually a place to unwind became a battle to even stand upright because at times the wind threatened to push me over.
What occurred to me is that this wind is symbolic of the times we are living in. Strong winds of hate. Winds of evil. Fierce winds of war. In Isaiah 5:20, the Bible prophesies that evil will be called good, and good evil. I feel we are seeing this in our times.
When I returned from the beach, someone messaged us on our Pearls of Promise Ministries page and threatened to file a lawsuit if our POP Talk television show ever aired on his page again. In order to get maximum coverage we “boost” each show by about $20 so we can reach more people. This man blasphemed Jesus and cursed at me. The image he used for his Facebook page looked evil. I thought, God prepared me for this wind of hate.
Here’s the good news.
We’re not the ones who can calm the winds. Only Jesus can do that. When a violent wind whipped up on the Sea of Galilee and the disciples were frightened, Jesus rebuked the elements and said, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm” (Mark 4:39, NIV). The disciples, still terrified, said, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!” (Mark 4:41, NIV).
The wind did finally die down at Perdido Key Beach the last couple of days of the getaway, but only after I prayed fervently for the LORD to calm the winds. After a few days with my husband at the beach, my good friend and prayer partner, Donna, was arriving and I knew she would be disappointed with the weather conditions.
But I believed the weather scenario carried a message. In these last days, we need to cling to our faith as the opposition will get stronger. It will take prayer and Jesus’s intervention to withstand the winds of change.
Some weeks are just more difficult than others, right?
As I round the corner into the final stretch of this year at school, the classwork is intensifying, as is the ministry workload—we’re taping our POP Talk television show tomorrow, my husband and I are hosting our church small group Thursday night (that means cleaning the house as well!) and I am filling in as leader for a pre-service event before our church Shabbat Service Friday night. Combined with school homework, this seems like a lot. I’ve even had the thought, Did God really tell me to go back to school?
With so many demands on my time, last night I hit the wall. I thought about picking up the phone to vent with a friend, but instead I fell to my knees and humbly cried, “Help!” I asked God to give me the strength that I do not have on my own.
I’ve been studying the journeys of the Apostle Paul in the book of Acts over the past few weeks, and one of the things I love about Paul is that he never gave up, no matter the push back and no matter the trial. What I am seeing is that while some opposed his case for Jesus as the Messiah, others loved him and believed. What if no one had bought into his message? In every port, it seemed like there were friends who took care of his needs. God also saved him from shipwrecks, and before his arrest, he was provided Jewish believer friends like Priscilla and Aquila to work alongside him. Yet he was also beaten, placed in chains and theologically opposed. Paul received good and God saw him through the bad. That’s why he was able to say, “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:12–13).
The Greek word for “to be in need” actually means” to be brought low.” Paul knew what it was like to be down and out, but he also knew where to find a source of strength. Through “Him”—Jesus.
God did not design us to be self-sufficient. We are Him-Sufficient.
So I don’t know what’s going on in your life right now, but I felt like there is someone out there who needs to know that it is okay if your strength is zapped and you feel like giving up. Don’t throw in the towel. You can do all things—just not on your own. Today, will you ask Jesus to fill in the gap for the strength you are lacking? I am personally moving forward knowing He will provide what I do not humanly have on my own, and that gives me the confidence I need to manage what’s ahead.
“I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe him. This is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms” (Ephesians 1:19–20, NLT).
Will you join me for our next POP Chat Wednesday, April 28th from 6:30-7:30 p.m. CST? I will be speaking on the subject: “Nothing is Impossible with God.” If you have a situation in your life that seems “impossible,” then you will want to participate. We will worship, pray and discuss the message. Our Worship Leader this month is the talented Renee Rollins, who is a singer/songwriter and who even sang at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City! You will not want to miss this powerful gathering. Email email@example.com for more details.