Beyond Any Doubt: Jesus Loves You

 

Doubt is a tool satan uses against you and against faith. Your heart gets troubled when you doubt God. Believe and stand firm in your faith.

 

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Our Misgivings About Jesus

From: Utmost.org

Have you ever said to yourself, “I am impressed with the wonderful truths of God’s Word, but He can’t really expect me to live up to that and work all those details into my life!” When it comes to confronting Jesus Christ on the basis of His qualities and abilities, our attitudes reflect religious superiority. We think His ideals are lofty and they impress us, but we believe He is not in touch with reality— that what He says cannot actually be done. Each of us thinks this about Jesus in one area of our life or another. These doubts or misgivings about Jesus begin as we consider questions that divert our focus away from God. While we talk of our dealings with Him, others ask us, “Where are you going to get enough money to live? How will you live and who will take care of you?” Or our misgivings begin within ourselves when we tell Jesus that our circumstances are just a little too difficult for Him. We say, “It’s easy to say, ‘Trust in the Lord,’ but a person has to live; and besides, Jesus has nothing with which to draw water— no means to be able to give us these things.” And beware of exhibiting religious deceit by saying, “Oh, I have no misgivings about Jesus, only misgivings about myself.” If we are honest, we will admit that we never have misgivings or doubts about ourselves, because we know exactly what we are capable or incapable of doing. But we do have misgivings about Jesus. And our pride is hurt even at the thought that He can do what we can’t.

My misgivings arise from the fact that I search within to find how He will do what He says. My doubts spring from the depths of my own inferiority. If I detect these misgivings in myself, I should bring them into the light and confess them openly— “Lord, I have had misgivings about You. I have not believed in Your abilities, but only my own. And I have not believed in Your almighty power apart from my finite understanding of it.”

 

FEBRUARY 26, 2015From: Crosswalk.com

I Don’t Want to Raise a Good Child 
LYSA TERKEURST

“Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.” Proverbs 22:6 (NIV)

When my daughter Hope was in high school, she decided her senior year should be adventurous and a little out of the “normal” box. A lot out-of-the-box, actually.

She withdrew from traditional school. Applied with the state to homeschool. Enrolled in online college courses that would allow her to get both high school and college credit simultaneously. And planned to spend a month serving in Nicaragua doing missions.

This didn’t surprise me, really. Hope has always liked charting her own course. This thrills me now. But it didn’t thrill me so much in the early years of raising this strong-spirited child.

When she was really little I was scared to death I was the world’s worst mom, because Hope was never one to be contained. And I honestly thought all her extra tenacity was a sign of my poor mothering.

One day I took her to the mall to meet several of my friends with toddlers to grab lunch. All of their kids sat quietly eating Cheerios in their strollers. They shined their halos and quoted Bible verses and used tissues to wipe their noses.

Not Hope.

She was infuriated by my insistence she stay in her stroller. So, when I turned away for a split second to place our lunch order, she wiggled free. She stripped off all her clothes. She ran across the food court. And jumped in the fountain in the center of the mall.

Really, nothing makes the mother of a toddler feel more incapable than seeing her naked child splashing in the mall fountain. Except maybe that toddler refusing to get out and said mother having to also get into the fountain.

I cried all the way home.

Not because of what she’d done that day. But rather because of how she was every day. So determined. So independent. So insistent.

I would beg God to show me how to raise a good child. One that stayed in her stroller. One that made other people comment on how wonderfully behaved she was. One that made me look good.

But God seemed so slow to answer those prayers. So, over the years, I changed myprayer“God help me to raise Hope to be who You want her to be.” Emphasis on, “God HELP ME!”

I think I changed my prayers for her because God started to change my heart. I sensed He had a different plan in mind for my mothering of Hope.

Maybe God’s goal wasn’t for me to raise a good rule-following child. God’s goal was for me to raise a God-following adult. An adult who was just determined and independent and insistent enough to fulfill a purpose He had in mind all along.

Today’s key verse reminds us we are training children so that when they are old they will not turn away from Biblical principles, but rather implement them in their life-long pursuit of God. Remember, the things that might aggravate you about your child today might be the very things that, when matured, make them great for God’s kingdom tomorrow.

I’ve certainly seen this in raising Hope.

I don’t know which mama needs to hear this today. But let me encourage you from the bottom of my heart with three simple mothering perspectives you must hang on to:

1. Don’t take too much credit for their good.
2. Don’t take too much credit for their bad.
3. Don’t try to raise a good child. Raise a God-following adult.

And all the mamas of fountain-dancing children said, “Amen!”

 

 

My Grace is Enough

Streams in the Desert

But he said to me, “My grace is enough for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” So then, I will boast most gladly about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may reside in me. (2 Cor 12:9)
The other evening I was riding home after a heavy day’s work. I felt very wearied, and sore depressed, when swiftly, and suddenly as a lightning flash, that text came to me, “My grace is sufficient for thee.” I reached home and looked it up in the original, and at last it came to me in this way, “MY grace is sufficient for thee”; and I said, “I should think it is, Lord,” and burst out laughing. I never fully understood what the holy laughter of Abraham was until then. It seemed to make unbelief so absurd. It was as though some little fish, being very thirsty, was troubled about drinking the river dry, and Father Thames said, “Drink away, little fish, my stream is sufficient for thee.” Or, it seemed after the seven years of plenty, a mouse feared it might die of famine; and Joseph might say, “Cheer up, little mouse, my granaries are sufficient for thee.” Again, I imagined a man away up yonder, in a lofty mountain, saying to himself, “I breathe so many cubic feet of air every year, I fear I shall exhaust the oxygen in the atmosphere,” but the earth might say, “Breathe away, O man, and fill the lungs ever, my atmosphere is sufficient for thee.” Oh, brethren, be great believers! Little faith will bring your souls to Heaven, but great faith will bring Heaven to your souls.
—C. H. Spurgeon
His grace is great enough to meet the great things
The crashing waves that overwhelm the soul,
The roaring winds that leave us stunned and breathless,
The sudden storm beyond our life’s control.
His grace is great enough to meet the small things
The little pin-prick troubles that annoy,
The insect worries, buzzing and persistent,
The squeaking wheels that grate upon our joy.
—Annie Johnson Flint
There is always a large balance to our credit in the bank of Heaven waiting for our exercise of faith in drawing it. Draw heavily upon His resources.

 

February 26

From: Back to the Bible

Leviticus 17:11 (NIV) 11For the life of a creature is in the blood, and I have given it to you to make atonement for yourselves on the altar; it is the blood that makes atonement for one’s life.

Blood brings life giving oxygen and nutrients to every cell in our bodies. It carries away the waste from every cell. Without this wonderful process of both bringing nutrition and carrying away waste, we quickly die. Our brains cease to function after only a short time without sufficient blood flow. Truly, blood is our physical life.

God told Moses that the reason He designed us this way was so that the blood could make atonement for us on the altar. It makes atonement or covering for our sins. As the priest would slay the once- a- year atonement sacrifice, he would gather the blood to sprinkle before the Ark of the Covenant where God dwelt. The blood brings life, and the blood takes away impurity.

Man’s rebellion against God is so serious that only death is a sufficient penalty. Since life is in the blood, blood must be spilled as justice. From the foundation of the earth, God determined that it would be the blood of His own Son. That was the only blood that could take away the impurity of the world. All other blood was insufficient to remove sin. They had their own sin that needed to be removed. The blood of animals could cover for a time (atonement) until the sufficient blood was shed, the blood acceptable to God for the sins of the world.

Thank God today that He made a way to do what you could never do. Without the blood of Jesus there would be no hope for the removal of the impurities of your life. Like a person with liver failure, you would have died on your own poisons. But the blood of Christ cleanses us from all sins.

Pray: Thank Him for the wonder that took place upon the cross.

Evening

February 26

Matthew 13:13-15 (NIV) 13This is why I speak to them in parables: “Though seeing, they do not see; though hearing, they do not hear or understand. 14In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah: “‘You will be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving. 15For this people’s heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.’

The disciples couldn’t understand why Jesus spoke in parables. The natural man would think that a smooth compelling message would draw more people to the cause. Jesus was after more than numbers. He was seeking to draw people into a kingdom. This required a heart change, not merely a convinced mind. People will follow the intelligent speaker because of his ability to persuade. Then someone a little more persuasive comes along and they follow him. Jesus was after hearts.

Parables had to be interpreted by the Holy Spirit. A heart that knew it was helpless would seek to understand and the Holy Spirit would help them find. Revelation brings transformation. There is a personal interaction with the Holy Spirit. It has nothing to do with the persuasion of men, but everything to do with the power of interaction with God. This will never happen if the heart is calloused. There must be the recognition of need.

If Jesus had spoken plainly, the hardhearted in the crowds would be even more accountable on the Day of Judgment. It is the grace of God that Jesus spoke in parables, that the hungry might find a personal interaction with the Holy Spirit, and that the calloused in heart might not have increased condemnation. He is speaking in parables today, too. Your days are filled with them. Do you have eyes to see? Are your ears hearing? It all depends on the condition of your heart. We can all ask for the mercy and grace of God to soften our hearts so that they will be sensitive to what He is speaking to us.

Prayer: Lord, help me to see how much I need You. Soften my heart that I might receive what you are saying to me.

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