Tuesday, March 28, 2017

8 Verses for When You Need to Remember Who You Are


Some days are long and filled with enough struggles to wear us down.

Maybe it’s the negative opinions of others and the comments they make sure we hear. Or perhaps it’s mistakes we’re trying to make up for and things we wish we’d done differently.

When this discouragement is on auto-repeat, it takes its toll on us.

It’s enough to make us forget that who we are is not found in what others say or think. Our identities are not found in what we’ve done or neglected to do.

Your identity, and mine, is who God says we are—chosen, loved, and redeemed.

Who we are is found in Whose we are.

Especially on these long, negative-filled days, we need to remind ourselves of who we are in Jesus—His chosen children—loved and redeemed. {Tweet this}

Here are 8 Scripture verses to turn to when you need to remember how much Jesus loves you.

Ephesians 1:4-5 NLT {Chosen and Loved}
Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure.

Isaiah 43:1 NLT {Called by Name}
But now, O Jacob, listen to the Lord who created you. O Israel, the one who formed you says, “Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are mine.

Ephesians 2:19 NLT {Part of God’s Family}
So now you Gentiles are no longer strangers and foreigners. You are citizens along with all of God’s holy people. You are members of God’s family.

Jeremiah 29:11 NLT {Created for a Purpose}
For I know the plans I have for you," says the Lord. "They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope."   

Ephesians 1:13 NLT {Identified as God’s Own}
And now you Gentiles have also heard the truth, the Good News that God saves you. And when you believed in Christ, he identified you as his own by giving you the Holy Spirit, whom he promised long ago.

Galatians 3:26 NLT {Child of God}
For you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus.

Psalm 103:3-4 NLT {Forgiven and Redeemed}
He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases. He redeems me from death and crowns me with love and tender mercies.

God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.

What verses do you turn to when you need to remember who you are in Jesus?

In Christ,
Laura 

[Photo credit: Unsplash.com]

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Embrace the Moments


I’m joining the Five Minute Friday community with Kate Motaung…5 minutes, no rewriting, and a one word prompt…
Embrace

Life doesn’t always go the way we would like it to. There are unexpected twists and turns that move us in a different direction than we had planned.

That’s where we have a choice—to get stuck in the way we wish things were or embrace where God has us and what He’s blessed us with.

Maybe you don’t see your current circumstances as a blessing. I get that. Sometimes I don’t either.

But even in the midst of difficult situations, we can still experience joy, love, and happiness. And most especially, a close relationship with God.

If we focus on what we don’t have, we will miss these moments.

But, when we accept where we are, then we are able to watch for the moments that matter. {Tweet this} When we watch for them, we will experience them. And embrace them as memories.

In Christ,
Laura

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Show Your Weakness


If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness.

Admitting weakness leaves us vulnerable and uncomfortable—a place we generally don’t like to be.

In 1984, there was a popular phrase from the Dry Idea deodorant commercials: “Never let them see you sweat.” 

The message was that you should never let your nerves, insecurity, or weakness show. You should always act strong and in control, even if you don’t feel it.

I’m reminded of this commercial as I read Paul’s words to the Corinthians. He advises that we show our weakness…the exact opposite of what society says.

I'm sharing this devotion at Christian Devotions today! I hope you'll join me there to continue reading...Show Your Weakness.

In Christ,
Laura

[Photo credit: Pixabay.com]


Thursday, March 16, 2017

Called to Peace


Peace. It feels unobtainable at times, doesn’t it?

We long to see peace in the world. And lately, even in our own country.

We want peace between each other, and at times we have it. Days when there is no active tension or quarrels. But, even that can be fleeting.

On a deeply personal level, we want to feel at peace. Peace within ourselves is a different definition than peace between people and countries.
Peace—freedom from disquieting or oppressive thoughts or emotions. (Merriam-Webster.com)
Peace within means there’s no personal conflict. It means freedom from worry, negative feelings, emotions out of control, and obsessing over things we should have done better or differently.

Peace within feels like a sigh of relief. Relief from the heavy weight we pick up in the morning and carry around until bedtime. Relief from the heaviness that keeps us tossing and turning all night.

I want that sigh-of-relief-peace, don’t you?

We search for it. Strive for it. And grasp at it. But on our own, our striving gets us nowhere. Why, when we try so hard, is peace unattainable?

Because that at-ease, everything-will-be-okay peace doesn’t come by our own hand. It comes from the One who promised us peace in an unpeaceful world. {Tweet this}

But when the Father sends the Advocate as my representative—that is, the Holy Spirit—he will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you. “I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.

Yes, that peace.

The peace we find when we focus on the One—Jesus—who promised us peace. The One who always keeps His promises.

You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!
Fix—to hold or direct steadily; to make firm, stable, or stationary (Merriam-Webster.com)
…all whose thoughts are fixed on you

Thoughts held firm, without wavering. Minds focused on Jesus while the world moves around us.

That’s how we find peace within…when our eyes are focused, and our thoughts are fixed, on Jesus. The One who is unshakeable in a constantly shaking world. {Tweet this}

And know that the peace of God (a peace that is beyond any and all of our human understanding) will stand watch over your hearts and minds in Jesus, the Anointed One.

God’s peace guarding our hearts and minds. Sigh.

Have a peaceful day!

In Christ,
Laura  

[Photo credit: Pixabay.com]


Friday, March 10, 2017

Called to Believe

believe—to accept something as true; to feel sure that someone is capable of a particular action; to have a firm conviction in the truth of someone or something.
Believing without seeing takes faith and trust. Faith in God—the One who never changes. And trust in God, through whom all things are possible. {Tweet this}

Abraham believed.

That is what the Scriptures mean when God told him, “I have made you the father of many nations.” This happened because Abraham believed in the God who brings the dead back to life and who creates new things out of nothing.
  
Abraham believed God’s promises. He believed that nothing was impossible for God.

We are called to believe like Abraham did, no matter what we can or cannot see in front of us. {Tweet this}

We are called to believe…

…with God, anything is possible.

…God can redeem and change situations.

He walks beside us, even when He chooses not to change a situation.

…in miracles, simply because of who God is.

…God is in control, especially when life feels out of control.

…there is hope because God always keeps His promises.

Even when there was no reason for hope, Abraham kept hoping—believing that he would become the father of many nations. For God had said to him, “That’s how many descendants you will have!” 
Romans 4:18 NLT

Like Abraham, we are called to believe because God is who He says He is.

Then Jesus said to the disciples, “Have faith in God. I tell you the truth, you can say to this mountain, ‘May you be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and it will happen. But you must really believe it will happen and have no doubt in your heart.

When we doubt, we will start to question if God is really able. We will start to wonder if He’s really in control. We will try to rely on our own abilities, instead of trusting God’s wisdom. {Tweet this}

Believing takes faith and trust. Faith in God—the One who gave us Jesus, who conquered sin and death through His death and resurrection. And trust in God, who is for us, not against us.

But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God.

We are called to believe we are children of God because Jesus paid the price for our sins. 

Not through anything we can do, but all because of what Jesus has already done.

Then Jesus told him, "You believe because you have seen me. Blessed are those who believe without seeing me."

May we believe when we see God’s work in our lives, and may we believe when God is quiet and we long to see Him.

May we believe like Abraham that God’s promises are true. And because we believe, may our faith and trust grow deeper and stronger.

In Christ,
Laura  

[Photo credit: Unsplash.com]


Thursday, March 2, 2017

The Power of a Kind Word


I was reminded today of the importance of a kind word.

A surprise hand-written note in the mailbox…with sweet encouragement…and a thank you. Completely unexpected—and deeply appreciated.

Just one way in which God works through us to reach others.

There is power in the words we speak. They can build up or they can tear down. {Tweet this}

There have been so many destroying words in the past year. It’s time for more thoughtful, considerate, uplifting words.

Words that encourage.

Words that promote healing.

Words that show thanks and appreciation.

Words that reflect Jesus.

What if each day we showed kindness with the words we speak? {Tweet this}

To our family and friends.

To our co-workers.

To the cashier and fellow shoppers.

To the stranger we cross paths with.

To those who inspire us and embolden us to make a difference in the world around us.

Kind words are like honey—sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.

May we choose our words wisely.

In Christ,
Laura 

[Photo credit: FreeImages.com]