Good News Daily – April 15

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Dear friend, 

Today is chilly, grey, cloudy, and rainy where I currently am on the road for Jesus. It amazes me I can be so filled with sunshine on a day like this. I have always been so very affected by the weather and world around me. But more and more I realize I need to be filled with and affected by and influenced by and led by the Spirit of God who lives inside His followers. On this grey day, I am honored and humbled to be able to share with you my newest devotional writing in the THREE messages below. Be encouraged!

love & blessings,

lara

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When God Says Go Back

Sometimes we leave behind a person, a relationship, a job, a location, a house, a volunteer job, ministry work, a neighborhood, a school, anything or anyone at all, only to discover through prayer and seeking biblically centered counsel that the Lord wants us to go back. Either because He never wanted us to leave in the first place. Or because He wanted us to leave for a season and then go back. But sometimes when this happens we are afraid, ashamed, prideful, rebellious, embarrassed, feel guilty, feel we have something better to do now, etc. We figure it’s too late or wrong to go back. We don’t want to go back. We’re worried about going back. Or anything else for that matter.

Friend, if the Lord is calling you to go back to something or someone, and you are clear of this through prayer and reading the Bible and seeking godly counsel if and as He leads you, go back. Go back. Go back. Go back. Go back for Christ’s sake. And trust the Lord to give you the courage and strength and all you need to go back in obedience to Him.

Dear Lord, help us to hear from you. Help us to seek you. Help us to move away from all the busyness of our lives and to take the time daily to spend alone with you, dear Father. Help us to commit ourselves to read your Word daily. Help us to seek your face. Throughout the day and night, and not just when we take set time apart with you, remind us to stay connected to you. Not to just pray to you, Father, but to LISTEN to you. And help us to know when you want us to go back. To return to something or someone we left whether it was your will or our own. When it’s your will to go back, help us to hear from you clearly and not to be confused. And help us by your love, mercy, grace, and strength to return for as long as you want for your purpose and ultimately for your glory, AMEN!

““But why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do the things which I say?” Luke 6:46

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God Didn’t Interrupt Me

I was busy doing the Lord only knows what as I can’t even remember now that I write this when the Lord all of a sudden impressed on my heart that I needed to go immediately to my computer to write a message He had just given me for my Good News Daily devotional writing. I confess I had a bit of hesitation but I knew better as He works on me continually about learning and choosing to hear and obey Him rather than to hold back. I went to the computer to write. Sometime in those few minutes it dawned on me that I had been interrupted by God – or so I thought. So I pridefully thought to be perfectly honest and precise.

God didn’t interrupt me, my friend. God was being God. The Lord was being Lord. Telling His daughter and servant what He wanted me to do when He wanted me to do it according to His will, His plan, for His purpose and glory. Do you see? I in my pride and arrogance had the audacity to think that God telling me to do something was an interruption to my plans. Yes, my plans. My agenda. When in fact a follower of Christ, a disciple of Christ, a servant of Christ, a daughter of Christ BELONGS TO CHRIST. And, as such, every moment of my life is to be submitted, surrendered, yielded, consecrated, committed to Jesus. So when the Lord has something for me to do, I need to do it. Not accusing God almighty of interrupting me. But humbly, lovingly, reverently submitting to Him and choosing to obey – the Lord. Yes, Lord.

Think this is just about me? It isn’t. This message is for all of us. For we all if we’re honest with ourselves are works in progress who need to ever learn how to more fully devote our lives to the Lord. In humility. Love. Faithfulness. And obedience. I encourage you, friend, to strive to devote yourself fully, wholly, moment by moment, to the Lord Jesus Christ. Now. And forever. AMEN!

Oh Father, forgive me for my pride. The more I see how despicable my sin is, the more I want to be rid of it. The more I want your forgiveness. And to not fall back into it. The more I want to please you. I am so sorry for my pride in all the ways I find it manifests. Lord, I am surely not alone in this. Forgive us all for our pride! Help us to learn to humble ourselves before you. Help us to live lives of love for you and of obedience to you. Help us to not see your will as interrupting OUR lives. Instead, remind us dear Father that we who believe in you, Jesus, as Lord, belong to you. Grow us in your image and ways, dear Lord, AMEN!

“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” Romans 12:1-2

“For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.” 1 Corinthians 6:20

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Clean Up Your Obedience

“I didn’t say three. I didn’t say one. I said two,” the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart.

I had sensed the Lord telling me to do something. Not something huge. Not something even worth repeating. A rather small thing in the grand scheme of things. But He had given me a number and made clear He wanted me to stick to that exact number. To do what He had told me to do not once, not three times, but twice. Yes, two times. Two. Why do I emphasize the number two? Because that is the number God gave me.

Some time ago, I was on the streets of New York City doing my ministry work there when the Lord told me that I needed to clean up my obedience. He told me my obedience was messy. He made it clear that obedience to Him means that I need to obey Him right down to the smallest of details.

If the truth be told, friend, don’t we sometimes pick and choose when we want to obey the Lord, how we want to obey the Lord, how fully we want to obey the Lord, and under what conditions we want to obey the Lord? If we even want to obey the Lord at all? And if we even choose to obey Him? Please consider this. JESUS CHRIST IS LORD. FOREVER. But do we not sometimes pridefully and quite frankly despicably think of ourselves as little “lords” of our own lives?

For those of us who need to clean up our obedience because it’s messy and needs refining and work in one way or another, let us remember who Jesus Christ is – and who we are. If we have placed our faith in Christ as Lord who died on the cross to pay our sin penalty and was raised from the dead and truly turned our lives over to Him for the promise of His forgiveness and eternal life with Him, we are HIS CHILDREN and HIS SERVANTS. HE IS LORD! Yes, Jesus is Lord forevermore!

Let’s clean up our obedience, shall we? Yes!

Father, forgive us, forgive us, forgive us for every way in which each and every one of us falls short regarding loving and obeying you. Give us all a hunger and thirst for doing right in your eyes. Help us to desire to please and honor and obey you. Show us where we need to clean up our obedience and help us to do so. Make us into children and servants of yours of whom you are proud! Oh, help us to love you and to bring you joy and pleasure and glory forever and ever! Help us to obey, yes, please, Father, AMEN!

Please note in the third set of scriptures below how the soldiers obey the centurion in charge of them. And note how Jesus remarks on the centurion’s faith in understanding this and in Christ. There should be no question for us. When Jesus says do something, we should do it. No debate. No resistance. No rebellion. Simply obedience. I am a work in progress and thank the Lord He is working on me. I pray He does the same with you!

“…He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.” Psalm 23:3

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.” Matthew 5:6

  “Now when Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion said to Him, pleading with Him, Saying, Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, dreadfully tormented. And Jesus said to him, “I will come and heal him.” The centurion answered and said, “Lord, I am not worthy that You should come under my roof. But only speak a word, and my servant will be healed. “For I also am a man under authority, having soldiers under me. And I say to this one, ‘Go,’ and he comes; and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” When Jesus heard it, He marveled, and said to those who followed, “Assuredly, I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel!” Mt. 8:5-10

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