Your Season is Coming

All of us get discouraged when the fruit of our spiritual seed is not apparent. God designed us to bear much fruit for Him. Trust God is doing His work in you even when you cannot see what is under the soil. If you stay connected to Jesus, you will be fruitful. Jesus promises this in John 15:5.

Psalm 1:3 promises that those who resist wickedness and delight in the Lord will “yield their fruit in its season.”

Your season is coming!

The counsel and help of the Lord

What a week! In addition to national and global concerns, like everyone else, I had personal concerns. Two separate Psalms were timely for me, and I hope they bless you.

The first Psalm came when I felt overwhelmed by the decisions I needed to make. For every choice, there are pros and cons. I went to my daily Scripture reading and received this message:

I bless the Lord who gives me counsel;
in the night also my heart instructs me.
I keep the Lord always before me;
because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.

– Psalm 16:7-8 (NRSV)

I am looking for and expecting the counsel of the Lord!

The second Psalm came when I just needed help because I was at a dead end. I remember thinking, “I need help!” Then, I came across a familiar Psalm that the Holy Spirit made fresh to me:

“…from where will my help come?
My help comes from the Lord,
who made heaven and earth
. (Psalm 121:1-2)

I am looking for and expecting the help of the Lord!

He is with us During Change

This message is for those of you going through a change – whether desired or imposed. Change can be scary. I typically like change, but I’ve been through some shifts that shook me to my core identity. You’ve been through the same.

In devotions this morning, I came across a familiar Scripture to me, but it had fresh vocabulary in the NRSV translation.

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change, though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea” – Psalm 46:1-2 (NRSV)

The word “change” jumped out to me and gave this passage more depth. With God’s help, we will not fear the most unimaginable change. He is with us!

Seek Him despite doubt

The first few days of January are a blessed time in the Kingdom of God for many of us. In these early few days, Bible reading plans restart, prayers awaken, church participation increases, and Christian people generally start fresh in their friendship with Jesus. This is good!

If you doubt God and the church, this is also a great time to lean into spiritual practices. You can choose to be led astray by those doubts, or you can honestly approach God in hopes of finding more of Him. Faith does not mean we have every question answered, but we seek Him despite the ambiguities. Pursuing Christian truth during you struggle with doubt is a form of faith. God will honor this faith.

Be encouraged by this truth:

“And without faith it is impossible to please God, for whoever would approach him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.” – Hebrews 11:6

Health Update

I continue to thank God for helping me get through my recent illness and allowing me to preach yesterday. In an interesting twist, I think the adrenaline and oxygen to project my voice actually made me feel better!

Also, words cannot express my appreciation to Beth Allison for her wisdom and care for me. I was a stubborn patient, and she was so caring. Here is one of the guiding Scriptures that encouraged me during this time, and I hope it inspires you today:

“I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the LORD In the land of the living.” – Psalm 27:13 (NASB)

Participating in Worship Matters

Whether you attend a church physically or carve time out of your day to worship online, your participation makes a difference in our world. Plus, it makes a difference in you.

This is one of my favorite Scriptures:

How can I repay the Lordfor all the good he has done for me?I will take the cup of salvation and call on the name of the Lord.I will fulfill my vows to the Lordin the presence of all his people. – Psalm 116:12-14

God Likes You

Most people believe God loves them. He has to, right? Isn’t that God’s job description?

But, does God like me?

When you believe God likes you, you will live in confidence that He is for you!

“… but the Lord was my support.
He brought me out into a broad place;
he rescued me, because he delighted in me.” – Psalm 18:18-19

You are a Saint

Years ago, a book by Beth Moore titled “When Godly People Do Ungodly Things” was released. I eventually read the book – and it was good – but I was initially encouraged simply by the title. I was not alone!

We are image-bearers of God, so we are not created to sin. Shake off your mistakes and missteps, and step into your God-given identity. Through Christ, you are a saint.

Find the Goodness of God in Your Life

These words by Dallas Willard really help me, and I am being reminded of them today. I hope they bring you comfort and focus:

“Your life is not something from which you can stand aside and consider what it would have been like had you had a different one. There is no “you” apart from your actual life. You are not separate from your life, and in that life you must find the goodness of God. Otherwise, you will not believe that he has done well by you, and you will not truly be at peace with him. You must find the goodness of God and the fellowship of Jesus in who you are, or your love for the Father and his unique Son cannot become the foundation for a life of abundance/obedience.”

Hope on a tough Monday

I was encouraged in the sermon yesterday by Aubrey McGowan to “be diligent in filling up your well with hope.” This week of Advent reminds us that enduring hope only comes through Jesus.

The Monday after Thanksgiving is a tough day to get back into rhythm, so we need to pay attention to our emotions to remain in hope. Move slow and steady, and focus on Jesus the best way you can. Better days are ahead!