Please find today’s FOUR MESSAGES below…! Enjoy! love & blessings, Lara
I was spending time with a mentor years ago, long before I went from being merely a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ to being a sold out follower of His, when she encouraged me to go through a list of people I needed to forgive and forgive them – OUT LOUD! Thank the Lord she told me to do it aloud. You will now read why!
I forgave one person aloud. Then another. And more people. Then I essentially said this.
“And I forgive you, Lord!”
She stopped me right then and there.
“God doesn’t need your forgiveness!” she said emphatically.
Why? After all, I had found myself mad at the Lord for various of my life’s circumstances, battles, and trials. Shouldn’t I forgive the Lord for the wrong He had done? For allowing that stuff in my life? For not answering my prayers the way I wanted? For giving me the life He had given me?
NO! NO! NO! She did her best to explain THE TRUTH. And, though I can’t remember much of what she said all these years later, rest assured I KNOW THE TRUTH. And I share it now with you.
THE LORD NEVER DOES ANYTHING WRONG! It is OUR PRIDE when we believe that He has. And it was MY PRIDE when I believed God needed my forgiveness. Truth is I NEEDED HIS FORGIVENESS! And I have many times since, and I still do day by day when I fall short.
The Lord is PERFECT. He is HOLY. He is RIGHTEOUS. He is SOVEREIGN. He is ALL-KNOWING and ALL-POWERFUL. He is ALMIGHTY. He never ever does anything wrong. He has a reason for everything He does and all He allows. And the reality is all of the hardness and yucky-ness and evil and darkness and sickness in this world came about because we humans are SINNERS. It is not His fault this world can be really, really tough. It is a result of the sinfulness of mankind. He never intended it this way. And He loves us so much He sent His Son Jesus to die on the cross to pay our sin penalty and raised Him from the dead so all who turn to Him in true repentance and devote ourselves to Him and His ways are forgiven and given everlasting life with Him.
Friend, God doesn’t need our forgiveness. We need His! I was so extremely wrong that day. And when I find even one iota of anger in me toward the Lord which almost never happens anymore, I know it is MY SIN. And I NEED TO REPENT!
Lord God, if anyone who reads this has anger toward you, help them to let it go. If they need your forgiveness, help them to seek and receive it through faith in Jesus as Lord. If they believe they need to forgive you, open their eyes and teach them what you taught me. Help us to HUMBLE OURSELVES before you and to live the way we are called. YOU ARE LORD! You are PERFECT! We are anything but. And we need YOU, oh Lord, and your love, mercy, grace, and truth and on and on it goes when it comes to needing you! Help us to live according to your ways FOR YOU, dear Lord. And thank you for your exceeding patience with us all. I love you, oh Lord! Thank you for giving me this message to share with people far and wide. AMEN!
“And whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” Matthew 23:12
Warning About the Devil!
“Stop!” the Holy Spirit spoke strongly to my heart. Strongly, no doubt, so I would hear! “This is the enemy!” I added the exclamation points because that is how emphatically the Lord broke into my thoughts and spoke.
I could not have been more distracted if I had tried. By the enemy. And his endless shenanigans to try to get me off course and diverted from the Lord and His will. Truth is I hadn’t tried. I truly thought I was doing the right thing. It was something that needed to be done. In my estimate anyway. Trouble is it wasn’t God’s will and timing, and I was distracted from doing what He wanted me to do. I just couldn’t see this for myself.
So the Holy Spirit who lives inside His followers and who empowers, equips, enables, leads, directs, gives wisdom, helps us, guides us, convicts us, rebukes us, chastens us, speaks to us, comforts us, advocates for us, counsels us, brings us into all truth (John 16:13), teaches us the Bible, changes us, and on and on, brought to light how I had fallen into temptation.
He showed me I was listening to the enemy, following the enemy, and caught in the enemy’s trap. Then He set me free so I could refocus on the Lord and on His will for me that day.
Friend, we need to recognize the enemy and his temptations and attacks. We need to resist him and the attacks. And if we have already fallen into his temptations and are under direct attack and need victory, we need to be sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit and to respond accordingly. In obedience to Christ!
Don’t fall for the enemy’s tactics and follow and fall prey to him. Follow the Lord!
Father, thank you for this message not just for those who will read it. But for me who is writing it! We all need it at one time or another, don’t we! Thank you for YOU, beautiful, awesome God! Thank you for your Son Jesus! Thank you for the Holy Spirit! Thank you for giving us victory over the enemy IN YOU, THROUGH YOU, and FOR YOU. Help us not to fall for the enemy’s ploys. Help us Lord to hear, obey, and forever follow you, oh Lord, AMEN!
“Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling [“falling” in the KJV], And to present you faultless Before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, To God our Savior, Who alone is wise, Be glory and majesty, Dominion and power, Both now and forever. Amen.” Jude 1:24-25
“No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.” 1 Corinthians 10:13
“Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.” James 4:7-8
Worn & Weary!
I feel so worn and weary sometimes. I used to feel this way amid decades of brokenness and heartache and the exhaustion of it all. Now I get this way from being on the road for Jesus, pushing myself hard in my ministry work, and caring for my handicapped ministry dogs.
Wherever we are in life, friend, hard or wonderful or both mixed together or somewhere in between, the best answer to feeling worn and weary is always the same.
We can get all the physical rest imaginable, and this is so very important. But the greatest, most healing, most blessed, most restorative and replenishing rest is found in the Lord Jesus Christ, in a forever relationship with Him, in trusting in and turning to Him, in time alone with Him, in reading the Bible, in pouring our hearts out to Him, in praying, praising, listening to Him, obeying Him, enjoying His magnificent company, in resting in His unfathomable love, in meditating on Him and on His Word, and in leaning back on His “everlasting arms.”
Find rest in Jesus, friend, find rest in Him! Take the time, friend, and the devotion, dear one, to rest in Him!
Father, cause us, lead us, help us to rest in you almighty God, dear Jesus, AMEN!
“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”” Matthew 11:28-30
“And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.” Galatians 6:9
“The eternal God is your refuge, And underneath are the everlasting arms; He will thrust out the enemy from before you, And will say, ‘Destroy!’” Deuteronomy 33:27
I can only imagine Jesus must have been pretty tired after miraculously turning a tiny bit of food into enough to feed thousands of people in what became with the help of His disciples a massive food distribution event! God is three people in one: God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Jesus at that time was God in the flesh, and as a human He could get tired!
So how perfect He went from the enormous event to the mountain to spend time in prayer to God the Father! There I would imagine He could step away from the noise and chaos of the crowd not to mention all their needs and unwind, delight in, rest in, and enjoy the fellowship of God almighty! He could pray and seek the face of God the Father! Nobody would be around! He would commune with His Father in heaven without interruption! But Jesus was interrupted! And watch how He responded to the interruption in the verses below.
Did He complain? No! Feel sorry for Himself? No! Resist the opportunity to go help and challenge and bring conviction to and teach His followers? No! Refuse to go and do what was easier and more comfortable and pleasing to Himself and relaxing instead? No! Show up with a bad attitude? No! He humbly, devotedly went off to serve people in need! He did all things in His ministry on earth at the leading and direction of God the Father in heaven and with the power of the Holy Spirit in which He had been baptized and who lived inside Him.
Friend, we are to do the same! To spend time alone with the Lord and the Bible when it is the Lord’s will for us to do so and to go serve a world in need filled with and led by and empowered by the Holy Spirit when it is the Lord’s will for us to do so. NOT complaining, feeling sorry for ourselves, resisting, rebelling, and having a bad attitude. Instead, humbly, lovingly, reverently with hearts filled with joy and thanksgiving for the glory of Christ!
Father, by your Holy Spirit lead us to spend time alone with you when you desire and lead us to love and serve you and others when you desire. Please give us the right heart, attitude, willingness, and strength to do so. And may we take no glory for ourselves. May you have all the glory for yourself as it should be. AMEN!
“And when He had sent the multitudes away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. Now when evening came, He was alone there. But the boat was now in the middle of the sea, tossed by the waves, for the wind was contrary. Now in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went to them, walking on the sea. And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out for fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.” And Peter answered Him and said, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.” So He said, “Come.” And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!” And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. Then those who were in the boat came and worshiped Him, saying, “Truly You are the Son of God.”” Matthew 14:23-33
“Serve the LORD with gladness; Come before His presence with singing.” Psalm 100:2