But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”
Can you even imagine what was going through Joseph’s mind and heart when he found out that Mary was expecting? What about when he realized that the baby she was carrying in her womb was the Son of God?
He had to be terrified, and that is confirmed by the angel coming to him to say “do not be afraid”.
Often, when God calls us to do something, we can become afraid as well. While what we are doing may never compare to marrying a woman who others believe to have done something she did not do and raising The Savior of the world from an infant into a man, it can still leave us feeling overwhelmed and scared. We forget what we know to be true: that God has it all under control. We stress over things like logistics, money, what others may think, and more.
But what we need to remember is what Joseph is proof of: If it is the will of God, and we stay on His course, everything will work out.
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The second that we let our flesh try to detour His plans, by negotiating our ideas in, that is the very moment that things start to go wrong. What if Joseph had said, “I will marry her, but we will not keep the child.” I doubt that any of our lives would be where they are today.
It is because Joseph did as he was instructed without fear that Jesus was able to thrive, grow, and eventually save the world. He trusted God and stuck to the plan. When God calls you, remember Joseph and do not be afraid.
Or what woman, having ten silver coins, if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp, sweep the house, and search carefully until she finds it? And when she has found it, she calls her friends and neighbors together, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the piece which I lost!’ Likewise, I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”
Luke 15:8-10 NKJV
Have you ever felt down and wondered if you mattered to anyone? Have you ever questioned if what you do to for God really matters to Him? What about considering if it really made a difference whether or not you served the Lord?
Many people have had those questions before. The enemy likes to put those thoughts in our heads, whether when we are contemplating salvation or during a struggle with our Christian walk. It’s a dark thought, and one many don’t want to admit they have weighed over in their head and hearts, but it’s true. Something that no one wants to talk about, but true.
However, Luke 15:10 brings something very important to light. The angels rejoice over each and every sinner that repents and gives their life to God. Every. Single. One.
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Life in this world is hard. Excruciating. It can become very lonely. But with Christ, not only do we have an almighty God who cherishes us. We have His son Jesus, all of the angels, and our constantly growing Christian family. Is that not amazing?
The next time that the enemy tries to sneak in and whisper lies into your ear, remember those angels that are in Heaven rejoicing over your soul. You are the lamb that the Shepherd left the 99 to find the 1. The coin that was found. The prodigal son… and every other parable that Jesus taught. He did it all for YOU! And if no one else ever wanted to follow Him, He would do it all again just for YOU! The angels rejoice over YOU!
While it doesn’t exactly follow the same lines of this scripture and post, I want to share with you the status that I posted on our Facebook page on Thanksgiving. Salvation is a wonderful thing, and if you have not asked God for forgiveness, I would like to invite you to right now.
Behold upon the mountains the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace! O Judah, keep thy solemn feasts, perform thy vows: for the wicked shall no more pass through thee; he is utterly cut off.
Nahum 1:15 KJV
Chaos. Mayhem. Murder. Evil. Protests. Uproar. Hate. Violence. Terror. Hurt. Pain. Trust. Hope.
Oh, sorry. I may have just confused you. Don’t worry, I completely realize that the last two words do not fit in with the first eleven. But that’s where the good news comes in!
Even though we are surrounded with wickedness, we are able to look to the one who publishes peace. Despite all of the evil on this earth, we can rest assured that it will not last. Keep your hope and trust in Jesus! In Him we’ll always find good news and peace!
All the days of the afflicted are evil,But he who is of a merry heart has a continual feast.
When I was a teenager, I was already in a nasty battle with depression and anxiety that began in my childhood: The outcome of adolescent hormones and grief along with some unfortunate circumstances. I would become overwhelmed with everything wrong and I just couldn’t seem to get a grip. My Grandma would ask me what was wrong, and as I began to list everything off she would quip back with scriptures like Proverbs 15:15, Proverbs 17:22, and many others. She would give examples that usually involved Polly Anna or Corrie Ten Boom. But most of all she reminded me of the promise that not only did she love me but so does a sovereign God that is on the throne.
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I’ll be honest, sometimes I hated her encouragement. I wanted to sulk, cry, and vent. I always knew she was right, though. So I dried my tears and reminded myself of all the things she told me and go on with a smile on my face until the next “end of the world teenage crisis” would happen.
A merry heart does good, like medicine,
But a broken spirit dries the bones.
Just like every other truth that is written in the Bible, the many scriptures about having a merry heart hold a lot of weight. If we don’t choose to be happy, even in the hard times, the negativity and darkness will overwhelm us and eventually lead to bitterness and extreme unhappiness. Without a merry heart, we see only the bad. But when we make that choice to be happy, no matter what, we are able to see the “sunny side” that the character Polly Anna talked so much about. With a merry heart, Corrie Ten Boom’s sister, Betsie, was able to thank God for the fleas that kept the Nazi guards from coming into their sleeping barracks instead of crying about one more problem during a time of extreme torment where evil truly afflicted every part of their days.
Now that I am an adult and have continued this battle with depression and anxiety, I understand more of what my Grandma was saying. I have seen God’s power in my life to know for certain that He is still on the throne. No matter how dark things may get, or how many nights are spent in tears, God is always in control. Even when it seems that there is no hope, I know that there is.
Does this mean that Christians should not seek medical help when things become unbearable? Not at all. By all means, if you need help, please get it. But it does mean that we should not focus on the evil around us. We should focus on the love of God, and rest in knowing that He will bring us through.
With a merry heart, we will strengthen and grow. The scripture is saying that with happiness we thrive. I am living proof. In fact, if I hadn’t chosen joy quite a bit these last few weeks, I would certainly not be smiling today.
Be warned: I am preaching to myself a lot in this post. I’m sure it applies to others as well, but I have pondered and prayed over this very thing.
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So many times I will see someone in need, someone broken, someone hungry and hurting and then think to myself, “If only I had the ability to help.”
It is so easy to forget that we are supposed to always be willing and able to help another in need. We are surrounded by billboards and voices telling us that we need to look out only for ourselves and keep everything we can. We are so overcome with greed that we are sometimes unwilling to give up our material items when God asks, let alone another human being that hasn’t even asked but rather obviously needs help. Of course, I wouldn’t even be talking about this if our current way of living was not contradictory to what is written in The Word.
When you reap your harvest in your field, and forget a sheaf in the field, you shall not go back to get it; it shall be for the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, that the Lord your God may bless you in all the work of your hands. – Deuteronomy 24:19
We are so stubborn and stingy, that we sit on our own material goods until they rot underneath us. What could have been shared with someone in need, we keep tightly in our grip.
What if we actually followed scripture? Oh sure, the Bible says to leave some of the harvest in the fields for those who pass through, and if we all had farms that would work. When we compare it to something we could do now, it all becomes so simple and doesn’t have to leave us in the poor house as well.
What if instead of ignoring the homeless man with a sign, we take him a meal and a coat? What if instead of spending money on something frivolous, we send help to missionaries or those working with refugees like those I talked about earlier this week with the #IAmYourVoice campaign? How about when we buy a pack of pencils in August, we pull out a few and set them aside for Christmas shoeboxes and/or stockings? Food banks for food we will never eat. A family in our church or a local shelter for clothes we never wear.
Now, I’m not saying to help someone else until you are in debt. I’m saying to share.
God calls us to help those who require help. To pray, to give, to have extra on hand should it become clear that someone needs it. God didn’t say to ask yourself, “If only”. He said he would bless us for all the work of our hands.
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As moms, do we ever really rest?
Between dishes, meals, laundry, getting the kids to school or sitting them down to do homeschool lessons, jobs, doctor’s appointments, church functions, sports, piano lessons, book club, and everything else that we may or may not do, life gets really busy. To add to it, society makes us feel that if we rest, we are lazy. As a result, if we take some time to actually truly rest, we feel guilty. Anyone remember that McDonald’s commercial from a few months ago with the two moms arguing over who was busier? My point exactly.
Exodus 34:21 (NKJV) says, “Six days you shall work, but on the seventh day you shall rest; in plowing time and in harvest you shall rest.”
As always, God’s way is better. He created us, so He knows our bodies, hearts, and minds need a time to unwind. Not just for the sake of our flesh, but our spirits as well. Not just when life is busy, but when times are calm too, “in plowing time and in harvest.”
When our hearts and minds are able to slow down and find peace, the focus turns to God. Our souls are fed and find nourishment. We spend time pondering on Him, attending church, reading the Word, and praying the way we should. With more rest, our stress levels lower and our health improves. Our families follow our examples and good habits are formed.
I’ll be the first to admit that I am guilty of not resting the way I should. Sometimes my idea of “rest” is not putting God’s word into action. All He asks for is one day a week. It’s not really too much, is it, considering all that He has given for us?
Will you join me, and rest in Him every Sunday?
Here is the “A Group Look Link Up” I told you all about earlier in the week! These are some great ladies, so be sure to head over to their blogs and get acquainted. Can you believe how patient they were with me with that unexpected 5 week trip? Sweet girls!