I absolutely enjoy bible study! Each of us have our own methods of bible study but one of the things I enjoy doing is dissecting the section I am reading. I have been studying in length the Lord’s Prayer and a specific line in that prayer created a desire within me to write a blog post on it.
“And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. ’” Matthew 6:13
Does God actually lead us into temptation?
Two things jumped out at me here:
1. God has given us the freedom to make our own choices… We have free will.
2. The definition for temptation: Merriam-Webster dictionary defines temptation as
: the act of tempting or the state of being tempted especially to evil : enticement – something tempting : a cause or occasion of enticement
Ok…. But what does the bible say about this? “When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed.” James 1:13-14
So who tempts us then? The tempter. In Matthew 4:1-11 we note it is Satan.
“Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.”” Matthew 4:1-3
Now you may be asking… Well why does God allow Satan to tempt us? His word tells us “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.” James 1:2-3
God knows how much we can take… “if this is so, then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials and to hold the unrighteous for punishment on the day of judgment.” 2 Peter 2:9
God if faithful. God tells us that “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And 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 endure it.” 1 Corinthians 10:13
Our Lord understands! “Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.” Hebrews 2:18 When you may feel and think that it is only you that is being tempted with a particular sin, know that you are not alone! Satan is a liar and is deceiving many.
So when tempted consider yourself blessed: “Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.” James 1:12
Thoughts: The only way to resist temptation is to be spiritually awake at all times and consistent in prayer.
Prayer: Abba Father may we rejoice! Rejoice in your name always. Lord strengthen us to resist the Devil at his onset and guard our minds as stated in Philippians 4:8 to “whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” In Jesus name. Amen
A colleague approached me today explaining that she had an exciting debate last night with friends on the topic, “Who is God…” A discussion around trying to identify who is God.
We spoke a little on it, but because I was running off to a meeting, I promised her that I would do some biblical research and provide her with answers in scripture. I also thought to share it here on this site and look forward to your feedback on this topic.
This of course is a highly debated topic over the centuries and one that I feel will have a different response based on your faith, maturity level in Christ and your current situation and understanding.
We all need to understand and appreciate that none of us could ever fully understand who God is but through reading his scripture, prayer, fasting and worship we can increase in our knowledge of who HE is.
We can only truly try to describe who God is through HIS attributes or inherent characteristics. So what does the bible say about who is God?
God is Creator
Above all, God is the creator and sustainer of all things. “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” Genesis 1:1
Not only has God given life to all things but HE also sustains us. “This is what God the Lord says— the Creator of the heavens, who stretches them out, who spreads out the earth with all that springs from it, who gives breath to its people, and life to those who walk on it:” Isaiah 42:5
God is Holy
“Each of the four living creatures had six wings and was covered with eyes all around, even under its wings. Day and night they never stop saying: “ ‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty,’ who was, and is, and is to come.”” Revelation 4:8
The holiness of God is the portrayal of his moral excellence. Holiness means morally perfect, pure and set apart from all sin. HE is high and lifted up!
God is Unchanging and Eternal
We first understood that HE was an unchanging God when “Abraham planted a tamarisk tree in Beersheba, and there he called on the name of the Lord, the Eternal God.” Genesis 21:33
Later, God reminded Moses of his covenant promise to both Abraham and Jacob when “God said to Moses, “ I am who I am…” Exodus 3:14 to show his unchanging nature. But no other verse I feel clearly demonstrates it more than Revelation 1:8““I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.””
God is love
And the greatest of these is love… Stop and really think… God didn’t need to create this universe, but HE chose to do it all because of HIS abounding love. There are so many different references in the bible where God shows HIS great love for us by HIS grace and mercy and ultimate sacrifice of HIS son, Jesus Christ.
God is Powerful
We serve a God that is not confined to just one space, one moment in time and one understanding. “The eyes of the Lord are everywhere, keeping watch on the wicked and the good.” Proverbs 15:3
God is just awesome! God is spirit, all-powerful, all-knowing and is everywhere! “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 people are without excuse.” Romans 1:20
The bible also tells us that “The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.” Colossians 1:15
God is Righteous
God is faithful, righteous and just. The righteousness of God refers to the moral laws he has provided to us like the Ten Commandments and his pursuit of justice. “Your love, Lord, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies. Your righteousness is like the highest mountains, your justice like the great deep. You, Lord, preserve both people and animals.” Psalm 36:5-6
His faithfulness reaches to the skies, HIS righteousness is as solid as mighty mountains and HIS judgements are as full of wisdom as the great oceans.
God is Truth
Our God of justice is truth. “Whoever invokes a blessing in the land will do so by the one true God; whoever takes an oath in the land will swear by the one true God. For the past troubles will be forgotten and hidden from my eyes.” Isaiah 65:16
And even more powerful, “Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6
HIS Son who was the image of God was pure truth.
God is good and generous
God promises great blessings to those who seek and fear HIM. HE shows us goodness “Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.” Psalm 34:8
HE is ever so generous “Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? … So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ …But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Matthew 6:26, 31, 33
God is wisdom
We cannot even begin to understand the vast wisdom of God. ““For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8-9
We see HIS wisdom daily in creation and the fulfillment of our lives. “to the only wise God be glory forever through Jesus Christ! Amen.” Romans 16:27
The bible also states, “Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out! “Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor?”” Romans 11:33-34
God is merciful and forgiving
David’s prayer in Psalm 86 beautifully extols the merciful and forgiving characteristics of our God in which I have highlighted just two verses: “You, Lord, are forgiving and good, abounding in love to all who call to you…But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.” Psalm 86:5, 15
Thought: Who is God to you? Explore that question this week and seek answers in HIS scripture, through prayer, fasting and worship.
Prayer: Abba Father, you are called by many names. Your glory and power is everlasting. Praise be to your holy name. May we draw ever nearer to you that when questioned of our faith and beliefs, we are well prepared to answer. In Jesus name. Amen
The excitement of a man of color running for President has been definitely overshadowed by this year’s candidates.
This post isn’t about who you should vote for nor is it going to compare the candidates but I want to explore the biblical view of voting.
Did you know that there are over 5-7 million Christians registered to vote in the US? And of that figure only about 50% actually vote!
The bible is our guide for all things so what does the bible say?
Choose for your tribes wise, understanding, and experienced men, and I will appoint them as your heads.’
Moreover, look for able men from all the people, men who fear God, who are trustworthy and hate a bribe, and place such men over the people as chiefs of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties, and of tens.
Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.
First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.
I have listened to quite a few preachers over the past few months speaking about the candidates and voting but not one of them has followed the bible instructions.
Seek ye First the Kingdom of God. In all things seek Christ. Pray and ask him for guidance and wisdom.
The bible states that God will make rulers and dethrone them. So should you vote? Yes!
“He changes times and seasons; he removes kings and sets up kings; he gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding;” Daniel 2:21
God has blessed you with the opportunity and freedom to vote. Are you going to thank him by seeking him first in your choice and obeying him or are you going to turn your back on him?
“And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left.” Isaiah 30:21
Lastly, If we as God’s people would obey him and listen to his voice for all of our voting rights (from school leaders to councils, senators and presidents) what joy we would bring to God’s heart and how it would bring the change we want for our government and country.
Thought: Who is God leading you to vote for? Have you prayed and fasted or have you given up or just don’t care? Don’t fall into despair. Seek Christ. Listen and obey.
Prayer: Yahweh, you are Creator and Ruler of all. The Great I AM. Praise and glory be to your Holy name. Forgive us Lord for accepting the back seat and not taking a stand for voting. Forgive us when he have plowed ahead and not included you in helping us decide who you want in office. We are faced with choices that may fill us with despair but your word reminds us that you are in control so we lean on you for guidance and strength. May your will be done. In Jesus name. Amen.
Can I tell you… Sometimes this is a mantra in my head…. Keep your mouth shut woman!
The past few months have been interesting. Do you know the song ” I am blessed”? I love this song! Technically I only know the chorus, but it is all I need:
I am blessed,
I am blessed
Every day of my life
I am blessed
When I wake up in the morning,
And I lay my head to rest
Every day of my life I am blessed.
— Mr. Vegas
And not only do I love singing it but when asked how I am doing, my response is always “I am blessed”.
It makes no sense to complain or get stressed over anything… In all things I have life and a God who promised to never forsake me or give me more than I can bear so I AM BLESSED!
So when the devil brings it on… With a smile on my face or tears in my eyes I state I am blessed.
A few days ago in a round table at work we were doing a leadership exercise and at one point it was asked “how do you handle a hard day?” My response was automatic … I pray and praise God. I went on to say that I am very focused on becoming a Godly woman, a woman after God’s own heart and a friend of Jesus.
As soon as I said it… I felt the devil laughing and a thought flew in my mind that I shouldn’t have spoken that out loud to that specific group.
Has God ever lead you to be silent? At that moment I realized I should have kept my mouth shut.
“Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night.” Psalm 1:1-2
Jesus himself told his disciples to be silent about things they had seen (Mark 8:30; Luke 9:36) or the healed to not say anything (Mark 9:30).
There are times when God is talking to you and you can’t tell others. There are times when HE is leading you into your blessings and you can’t share it. They don’t see where God is taking you!
The scripture “and do not give the devil a foothold.” Ephesians 4:27 was resounding in my head. Sure enough, two days later a team member accused me of something, and my boss, without asking me basically tried and convicted me. My first reaction was shock and disbelief. Then came the emotions. My love and trust in that team faltered. And all through this I’m trying to fight all of these emotions and praying for Christ strength and for me to handle this right.
And it was as if my mind opened up and I remembered the scenario from the other day. With tears flowing I laughed and started singing “I am blessed” and giving God all the praise and glory.
What else did I expect? Of course the Devil was going to use that opportunity to try and knock me down.
We will go through storms and seasons but we need to trust that God will see us through it.
Thought: Words are power. Be mindful of the people around you and what you say. Sometimes God is telling us to be silent.
Prayer: Yahweh, we pray for your strength and courage when the evil one tries to knock us down. You promised us in your word that you will never forsake us or give us too much to bear. Guide our tongue Lord and may all we do be pleasing to you. Amen
Let’s reflect on the story of Cain and Abel. A sad one.
A tale of disobedience, jealousy, deception and murder.
“Adam made love to his wife Eve, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Cain. She said, “With the help of the Lord I have brought forth a man.” Later she gave birth to his brother Abel. Now Abel kept flocks, and Cain worked the soil. In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the Lord. And Abel also brought an offering—fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The Lord looked with favor on Abel and his offering, but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor.
So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast. Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.” Now Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let’s go out to the field.” While they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him.” Genesis 4:1-8
The bible doesn’t say why Abel’s gift was more pleasing to God but we get a sense that Cain and Abel understood what was required for a sacrifice.
Abel’s obedience has followed him in history. He is listed as the first of the Heroes of Faith (“By faith Abel brought God a better offering than Cain did. By faith he was commended as righteous, when God spoke well of his offerings. And by faith Abel still speaks, even though he is dead.” Hebrews 11:4) and a man of righteousness/ first martyr for truth (“And so upon you will come all the righteous blood that has been shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah son of Berekiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar.” Matthew 23:35).
Cain gave something but Abel gave his best.
Let us not be like Cain and always follow Abel by giving our best. Let us fight temptation at its onset …“but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death. Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters.” James 1:14-16
What does God ask of us?
I say continually to others that all I have, has been giving to me by God and as such I am just a steward who is required to give to others joyfully and with love. Scripture tells us that “the earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it;”Psalm 24:1
God not only calls us to be obedient but also that we come to him with a clean and pure heart. If we are desiring to give God our best then we need to check our motives as God knows our heart and will evaluate the quality of what we give as “our best” to him.
Thought: Are you giving joyfully your best to Christ? Are you giving with a cheerful heart your best to others? If not, seek Christ in finding opportunities that you can spread his light.
Prayer: Abba Father, your word reminds us to never worry about tomorrow as tomorrow will take care of itself. You are our Creator and will always provide our needs. Instill in us all a joyful spirit if giving not only our best to you but others as well. Amen
A recent situation within my community spurred me to call the mother of a teenage boy who acted in a manner that concerned me greatly. In speaking with her and retelling the story of what took place, the mother exclaimed her frustration with everyone.
After allowing her time to vent, I quietly asked her “Well did you go to Jesus?”
Exhaling heavily, she said “No, no I did not.”
I reminded her that we should always seek God first and be careful at how we try to reach out to humans for help. We will be disappointed every single time! We need to trust in the Lord.
““But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”” Jeremiah 17:7-8
To conclude, I also reminded her that she needed to stop blaming others, her son, family and even herself for all the problems she is going through… She wasn’t blaming the right person!
Thought: Who are you blaming for your troubles? Read my post, it is time you go to War! Be careful that you do seek Christ first in all things.
Prayer: Abba Father, your word tells us that the evil one has come to steal, kill and destroy. Forgive us when we choose to seek help first from others instead of going straight to you. Lord help us to trust in you alone so that we are like trees planted in water, flourishing and producing good fruit in season. In Jesus name. Amen
In a recent bible study we were focusing on what the bible itself was all about and someone happened to mention this verse which took hold in my heart.
Can you just imagine the beauty, joy and peace it would be for each of us to actually bring joy to God’s heart?
But what is joy? We all know happiness. A fleeting emotion that is short lived. Joy on the other hand is a deep setting emotion that is long lasting.
Many of you probably are asking what I then asked next… How can I bring joy to God’s heart?
As with all areas in our life the bible provides clear direction on how we can do this:
6 ways to bring joy to God’s heart
Believe in God
“By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death: “He could not be found, because God had taken him away.” For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God. And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” Hebrews 11:5-6
We need to first believe. We need to have faith and trust him in all areas of our lives.
““As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.” John 15:9-11
We need to study God’s word and obey his commands.
Growing in God
“For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God,” Colossians 1:9-10
God loves when we live our lives trying to grow closer to him. We do this not only by our worship, prayer, fasting and study of his word but also by following his commands.
“I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.” Luke 15:7
When we repent and accept God as our Lord and Savior it truly pleases God.
“After his baptism, as Jesus came up out of the water, the heavens were opened and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and settling on him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy.”” Matthew 3:16-17
Living as Jesus did… You may know the phrase WWJD (What Would Jesus Do). May not be an easy pill to swallow but bringing joy to God will take everything we got and more.
“The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing.” Zephaniah 3:17
The reality is that HE loves us as we are and we bring joy to him. But we should live our lives in a way where we show obedience and trust; we honor and worship his name.
Thought: Are you bringing joy to God’s heart? What could you do differently to bring joy to God?
For free resources on praying powerfully, you can access them here.
Prayer: Abba Father, renew in me a spirit that wants to continually bring joy to your heart. May I trust and obey your will. Amen
It surely is coming. We may not be sure of much else in our future but we all know we are going to die.
What if you knew the exact day you were going to die? The story of Elijah tells us that not only did he know the day he was going to be taken away from this world but he knew somewhat how he would be taken.
“When the Lord was about to take Elijah up to heaven in a whirlwind, Elijah and Elisha were on their way from Gilgal. Elijah said to Elisha, “Stay here; the Lord has sent me to Bethel.” But Elisha said, “As surely as the Lord lives and as you live, I will not leave you.” So they went down to Bethel. The company of the prophets at Bethel came out to Elisha and asked, “Do you know that the Lord is going to take your master from you today?” “Yes, I know,” Elisha replied, “so be quiet.”
Then Elijah said to him, “Stay here, Elisha; the Lord has sent me to Jericho.” And he replied, “As surely as the Lord lives and as you live, I will not leave you.” So they went to Jericho. The company of the prophets at Jericho went up to Elisha and asked him, “Do you know that the Lord is going to take your master from you today?” “Yes, I know,” he replied, “so be quiet.”
Then Elijah said to him, “Stay here; the Lord has sent me to the Jordan.” And he replied, “As surely as the Lord lives and as you live, I will not leave you.” So the two of them walked on. Fifty men from the company of the prophets went and stood at a distance, facing the place where Elijah and Elisha had stopped at the Jordan. Elijah took his cloak, rolled it up and struck the water with it. The water divided to the right and to the left, and the two of them crossed over on dry ground.
When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, “Tell me, what can I do for you before I am taken from you?” “Let me inherit a double portion of your spirit,” Elisha replied. “You have asked a difficult thing,” Elijah said, “yet if you see me when I am taken from you, it will be yours—otherwise, it will not.” As they were walking along and talking together, suddenly a chariot of fire and horses of fire appeared and separated the two of them, and Elijah went up to heaven in a whirlwind. Elisha saw this and cried out, “My father! My father! The chariots and horsemen of Israel!” And Elisha saw him no more. Then he took hold of his garment and tore it in two.”
But what stuck in my heart in this story is the relationship of the teacher / mentor and his student or we can even say two close friends.
It was obvious here the love that Elisha had for his mentor Elijah. Everywhere Elijah went he refused to leave him. Every time the prophets mentioned Elijah’s departure from this earth, Elisha refused to speak of it. How it must have saddened him to know his friend was leaving him! A man he considered a father.
Food for thought: Death is coming. So are we living our lives in a way that we are mentoring / teaching the younger generation about Christ? Are we seeking the light of Christ to go with us daily?
Prayer: Father, increase my faith that I will never leave your side. Guide me in ways that I can bring others close to you. Amen
As you grow in your Christian maturity, you really start loving and enjoying your prayer life.
It is no longer about praying once in the morning and once in the evening because your soul continually cries out in prayer and worship to God throughout your entire day!
When I first became a Christian, I was daunted by individuals who either prayed very long or were so eloquent in their prayers. I was nothing like that… but I wanted to be. The problem was the practice required to do that nor did I really reflect on why I wanted what they had.
As I grew in Christ I realized that:
1. I didn’t need to pray like ‘them’ (““And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.” Matthew 6:5-8)
2. I just needed to be me and come to God with a pure heart (“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Romans 12:12)
But in my desire to pray and learn as much as I could on praying, it allowed me to reflect on 6 important reasons why we should have a prayer life. And the greatest guideline can be found in the prayer that Jesus taught us to pray (Matthew 6:9-13):
Reasons why we should pray
““This, then, is how you should pray:”
“‘Our Father in heaven,”
Praying helps us build a closer relationship with God. The start of this prayer shows our acknowledgment of who we are praying to. Our God is a holy and majestic God who has called us his children. How reassuring it was for me to know that my God who created all things and is the Great I AM, deemed me as his child and showed his love for me by stating I could call him Father.
“hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”
Our God is holy. Our honor, praise and fear brings glory and reverence to his hallowed name. How we use his name including the importance of how we use a capital G or lower case g (especially when we are too tired and feeling lazy) is all important to how we show reverence to his holy name. “[HIS] kingdom come” is that eternal promise given to us of a new heaven and earth when Christ returns (2 Peter 3:7-13 http://bible.com/111/2pe.3.7-13.niv). “Your will be done” is a reassuring faith that we are to trust in God’s perfect purpose.
“Give us today our daily bread.”
Who alone provides all of our needs but God. He is our sole provider. His word reminds us not to worry about anything but to trust him (Matthew 6:25-34; Romans 8:28; Hebrews 11:1). We are to trust God daily for all of our needs. He will provide.
“And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.”
God restores us through confession and healing. How a relief it is to know that my God forgives all my sins. And HE provides me with an opportunity to heal by my forgiveness of others. When we don’t forgive people in our life it traps us into our own prison. One where it controls our lives negatively. So the concept of forgiveness is one that is freeing and provides us with the freedom to love everyone and just let it all go and give it to God. God also warns us that if we don’t forgive others their sins he won’t forgive ours! (Matthew 6:14-15)
Revelation and Resilience
“And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’”
God doesn’t lead us into temptation but he does sometimes allow for us to be tested. God allows us to see and understand his wisdom through prayer and reading HIS word. This provides us revelation in our testing and helps in the delivery of us from Satan (the evil one). We need to be resilient in asking God for strength and courage to overcome our tests and he promises us that he will not only give us what we ask (Matthew 7:7; Luke 11:9-13) but also will deliver us from our temptations (1 Corinthians 10:13; Isaiah 40:31).
Father, hallowed be your name. Forgive us when we don’t spend enough time with you but want so much. Show us opportunities throughout our day to praise, glorify and honor you as well as situations and people that we can pray for. Grant us thy wisdom, strength and courage to recognize our temptations and overcome it to choose YOUR way in our lives. Amen
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: the act of picking or deciding between two or more possibilities
: the opportunity or power to choose between two or more possibilities
: the opportunity or power to make a decision
: a range of things that can be chosen
In some cases we are comfortable with others making choices for us (i.e. Spouse). We also understand and recognize that individuals or entities (i.e. The military) will make choices on our behalf that we have no control over. After all in many aspects, the choices of the mass affects us all (i.e. Elections).
Jesus Visiting Mary and Martha
“As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”” Luke 10:38-42
This story resonates loud with me as a woman. When we have guests over, don’t we get all flustered or focused on pleasing our guests? We have to make sure the house is presentable, food is cooked, everyone is comfortable and all are being served. It can get quite stressful at times especially when it is someone we deem as VIP (Very Important Person)!
The thought of not doing any of that and just sitting down to listen to that VIP makes me honestly start panicking. I have a heart of serving and my desire is always to ensure when persons are in my home, they are comfortable and served well.
In this story though, Jesus reminds us that there is a difference. Yes there is an importance to serving and taking care of our guests but it is more important to sit at our Savior’s feet, listen to his word and commune with him. It really is a matter of our priorities.
Likewise, as Christians we can be so busy doing God’s work and forgetting the vital importance of us spending quiet times with him.
Martha’s struggle was that she got caught up in the details and forgot the priorities. There is a proper time to serve and work and a proper time to listen to Jesus.
Mary chose what was better. She chose to listen to Jesus instead of being in the kitchen with Martha. Will we do likewise?
Yahweh, forgive us if our service has become self serving. Help us to learn the importance of serving you like Martha but equally the importance of sitting quietly at your feet and communing with you. Amen