GOOD NEWS DAILY – May 20

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TODAY’S LITTLE LETTER FROM LARA

Dear friend,

When someone shared with me recently she could relate to my recent challenges coupled with some depression which has not been the norm for me in quite a long time, I responded based on a beautiful opportunity I had. See, she doesn’t believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. So there was a major difference in the battles we faced. I told her that despite how I felt in the midst of my battle, I had the love, hope, peace, joy, and comfort of the Lord Jesus Christ.

The Lord does NOT promise His followers that we will have a life on earth without challenges. But what He does promise His followers is that He will be with us through it all – and forever!

Though I have felt down and discouraged recently given some of the things I’ve been facing, I have not lost heart! I am filled with the love and hope of Jesus – and am experiencing in the thick of the battle that I am becoming closer to Him than I have ever been!

If you’re in the midst of big challenges right now, don’t lose heart! If you’re a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, hang onto Him and the Bible for dear life – and watch God almighty work in and through you even as you go through the battle. Remember, victory is in Jesus!

And if you’re not yet a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, may now be the time you turn from your sins, believe Jesus is Lord and died on the cross to pay your sin penalty and was raised from the dead, and surrender your heart and life to God and His ways now and forever!

Don’t lose heart! Give yourself over utterly to Jesus!

With love,

Lara

TODAY’S DAILY INSPIRATION

God’s Boundaries “Oh, magnify the Lord with me, And let us exalt His name together.” Psalm 34:3

Isn’t it something how often we humans tend to talk about “our boundaries” and how nobody should overstep “our boundaries” and how we need to tell people “our boundaries” and how God forbid someone breaks “our boundaries” and how then should we handle the people who broke “our boundaries”? It’s all about me, me, and me, isn’t it? What about God’s boundaries, friend, and what about overstepping and breaking HIS boundaries?

This came to mind because the Lord just days ago led me around New York City making very clear to me the boundaries of the area where He wants me to find a place to stay when He returns me to the city for a season of streets ministry work there. I can’t tell you how many times since then I have gone online and found apartments that interested me that were “slightly outside” God’s boundaries. Oh, how I tried to convince myself – and God – that it really wasn’t a big deal to disregard His boundaries. After all, I would be only just a bit off of what God wanted for me.

There’s a lesson in this. About boundaries. God’s boundaries. When God clearly makes known to us His will, we need to not overstep and break His boundaries. We need to not disregard and disrespect His boundaries. We need to not go against His will – not even “slightly”. WE NEED TO OBEY THE LORD.

Following Jesus isn’t about me, me, and me, and about our boundaries. It’s about the Lord and living in obedience to Him – and about in obedience to Him respecting His boundaries. Obedience to Christ isn’t about degrees of obedience. It’s not about partial obedience. It’s not about sort of obeying God. It’s not about kind of obeying Him but only up to a point. It’s about obedience to God almighty. Period.

Oh, sure, I could get an apartment two blocks away from where God has set His boundaries for me. But then I would be two blocks off of His will for me. Last year, He clearly showed me where He wanted me to stay in New York City for my 6 months of ministry work there. Then He showed me countless times why He had chosen that location when He led me to an enormous number of people to whom I had the privilege of ministering, giving out Gospel tracts, praying for, talking to about Jesus, and loving and serving in His name.

God doesn’t set random boundaries for no reason and no purpose. He doesn’t make known to us His will for our lives for no reason. He doesn’t give us instructions for no reason. He doesn’t have a plan for our lives just for the heck of it. God has a purpose in all things, and ultimately it is that He may be loved, served, worshiped, revered, honored, praised, enjoyed, experienced, proclaimed, known, believed in, turned to, and glorified!

May we humble ourselves before God almighty and respect His boundaries. MAY WE OBEY THE LORD! Completely. For His is Lord! Forever! Amen!

TODAY’S 365 BLESSINGS

365 BLESSINGS is a devotional book the Lord has led me to publish piece by piece even as I’m writing it rather than waiting until it’s in print to share it. Please join me & be blessed as I write my latest book…!

Blessing #47

“O Lord of hosts,
Blessed is the man who trusts in You!” Psalm 84:12

When I was a little girl, I was taught that the two foods kids hated most – spinach and liver – were healthy. I learned early that sometimes the healthiest and wisest and best for us isn’t always the easiest and most delicious. Trusting God with our whole hearts and whole lives – with absolutely everything – can seem so unbelievably hard if not impossible. And it can seem totally not delicious. Totally scary. Totally foreign. Totally uncomfortable. Totally overwhelming. Totally risky. But the very healthiest, wisest, and best for us is to TRUST THE LORD with absolutely everything – our very hearts included. Not only is trusting God the right thing to do, and healthiest, wisest, and best, but the scripture above makes plain and clear that WE ARE BLESSED when we PUT OUR TRUST IN THE LORD. Please, oh Lord, teach us day by day to put our trust in you! Just like a good parent teaches his or her kids to eat right, please Father teach us to trust right. In you, dear Lord, in you, yes, Father, oh yes! AMEN!

TODAY’S THE CROSS DEVOTIONAL

“Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.” Luke 9:23

Experiencing and enjoying intimacy with the Lord Jesus Christ comes with a price. A cost. And sometimes a very high one at that. It’s the price we pay when we die to self in order to live for Him, and when we choose obedience over disobedience no matter what our flesh may lose in the process in the way of our personal ways, wishes, and wants.

Obedience is an absolute necessity in having an ever-growing personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ, and repentance when we fall short of obeying God is a key ingredient also.

Friend, the satisfaction we find in living for ourselves with the end goal of accumulating and enjoying as many earthly pleasures and treasures as possible is only temporary and is NOTHING compared with the satisfaction we will find in living for Jesus and in enjoying ever-increasing intimacy with Christ forevermore!

Deny yourself, dear one, forsake whatever God tells you to let go, take up your personal cross, and humbly lovingly faithfully follow and enjoy the Lord for eternity!

How often must we deny self? To die to self? To take up our crosses? EVERY SINGLE DAY.

And how often can we enjoy the love and company of Christ when we are His through repentance and faith in Him, with our hearts and lives surrendered to God almighty? EVERY SINGLE DAY. And FOREVERMORE!

TODAY’S SERVING JESUS IN YOUR EVERYDAY LIFE

A Beautiful Testimony Up & Down the Stairs

“Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law. For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not bear false witness,” “You shall not covet,” and if there is any other commandment, are all summed up in this saying, namely, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.” Romans 13:8-10

When I hurried out of church early in New York City yesterday to make sure I would catch the subway in time to catch my bus back to my New Jersey hotel in time to take care of my beloved snuggly buggly cuddly cutey pie last four special needs ministry service doggies after so very sadly losing 15-year-old Dancer recently, my purpose was to hurry to be on time – not to be slowed down and delayed with the risk of missing my transportation back to the dogs.

But God had other plans, and if we’re to serve Him in our everyday lives, I believe we’re to be ever ready to love and serve Him in any given moment. No matter our plans, agendas, schedules, etc.

The late May day was relatively hot compared to the spring weather so far, so it didn’t surprise me an elderly lady was taking a break on the side of the sidewalk on the opposite side of the street with a big bag in hand.

I crossed the street to talk to her and ask if I could help her. At first she refused. Then she readily agreed. Next thing I knew, we were ever so slowly – yes, slowly as though I weren’t trying to catch a subway and bus! – walking down the street together with me carrying the bag until we reached her apartment building.

Then I pushed her until she agreed to let me carry her bag up the 5 – yes, 5 – flights of stairs to her apartment she had lived in for about 70 years. I had trouble making it up all the stairs, and I’m only 51!

On the way up, I met another elderly lady with a bag who was resting on the stairs as she tried to climb up 5 flights also to her apartment she had lived in for about 50 years. She refused my offer to carry her bag, but I was able to give her my Finding the Light Gospel tract before I climbed the rest of the stairs to drop off the other elderly lady’s bag at her doorstep. I then went back down the stairs where the first lady tried to give me $1 as a thank you.

I refused her $1 but gave her my Gospel tract which includes my personal story and the Gospel message. Then off I went to the subway and then to the bus station where I found out my bus was broken down and I would need to wait for about 45 minutes for a bus to take me back to the dogs. I hadn’t missed my transportation, but what I could have missed was the opportunity to share with two elderly women that the only way to a forever relationship with God instead of eternity in hell and the lake of fire is through faith in and a life devoted to Jesus Christ as Lord!

Friend, we can love and serve Jesus every day of our lives however His Spirit who lives inside His followers leads us when we are open to His leading, to His direction, and to the opportunities He gives us no matter how big, no matter how small, and no matter how convenient and comfortable or inconvenient and uncomfortable, no matter the cost to our flesh, for the glory of God.

Please keep your heart and eyes and ears wide open for opportunities each and every day of your life to share the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, to help people find and follow Him, and to spread His love near and far – for the glory of God, yes, AMEN!

LATEST MINISTRY UPDATE & PRAYER REQUEST

Over the past few days, I had a strong sense of how the Lord is working in and through me even as He leads me through my recent challenges. He is drawing me closer to Himself and making me more like Himself and using me to tell others about Him and how to follow Him. The struggle is not in vain! God has a purpose in it all! I often ask for prayers for the ministry, and the ministry’s special needs service doggies, and for the people around the worldwide God is reaching through the ministry.

This time, I ask you this. Please pray however you are led as I put one foot in front of the other and press on in the Lord’s work for the glory of God almighty, AMEN!

In His love,

lara

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