Resting in Christ

Making Time With Jesus a Priority — Video Devotion

The shrill bleating of an alarm clock. A steaming cup of coffee. A brisk run as the sun rises. Or hurriedly serving breakfast, combing hair and stuffing lunch bags in the kids’ backpacks as they head out the door…. How do you start your day?

When my eyes open in the morning, my mind immediately begins whirring at a million miles an hour, laying out the day ahead of me. Sometimes in anticipation, sometimes in apprehension, and sometimes in dread.

But no matter my outlook on the day, I’ve learned that if I allow my feet to hit the floor without first connecting with Jesus, I’ll be heading toward defeat, relying on my own strength to get me through. While my efforts will never be sufficient, my Savior’s always will. If your schedule allows you to spend time with Jesus before you begin your day, that’s awesome. But, if you’re in a season where that’s not always possible, (like me!), simply take a moment to pray and intentionally place your day in His hands. I praise Jesus for the new day and His goodness, acknowledge my need for Him, and ask Him to guide my thoughts, words and actions throughout the day.

God provided food in the form of manna to the Israelites who wandered in the desert. It rained down from the sky each morning, not because He couldn’t rain down a week’s worth in one downpour, but because He wanted them to rely on Him daily. The Bible tells us in Exodus 16 that “Some gathered a lot, some only a little. But when they measured it out, everyone had just enough. Each family had just what it needed.”

The same is true for us. God knows what we need physically, emotionally, and spiritually, to get through each day, and He lovingly provides it for us…but we have to choose to come out of our tents, so to speak, and meet with Him.

So instead of pulling the covers up over your head tomorrow morning, spend your first few moments in Jesus’ loving embrace, and entrust your day to Him as you learn to live Wholly Loved.

If this devotion encouraged you, make sure to check out our Bible reading plan available now on the YouVersion app! You can find it HERE! And make sure to grab a copy of Drawing Near: 90-Day Devotional:

Cover image for Bible study devotionalEach day, God beckons us to Himself, calling us to rest in His love and grace. As we do, He heals our hurts, overpowers our fears with love, and restores us to the women He created us to be. This 90-day devotional, written by women who are learning themselves to live anchored in God’s grace, will help you deepen your faith and grow your relationship with Christ.

Buy it HERE.

Keep an eye out for our upcoming release, Anchored & Secure: Sixty Days of Resting in Grace!

 

Identity in Christ, Video Devotion

You Matter: Believing What God Says About You — Video Devotion

Worthless. Insignificant. Unimportant. Useless.

Has someone spoken those words over you? Have you spoken them over yourself? I know I have. Either way, they’re ugly words that can leave us feeling powerless-lies Satan is desperate for us to believe because they cripple our progress toward God.

But, with Scripture as our weapon, we have far more power than we realize.

Our Heavenly Father has never created anything worthless. We barely have to crack open the Bible to find proof that everything God made is intentional, unique and filled with purpose. Psalms 139:13 says: “For you formed my inmost being. You knit me together in my mother’s womb.” In fact, the Bible is teeming with statements about our value and worth in Christ. (I think God knew we were going to need constant reminders.)

While Scripture confirms that we aren’t worthless, the world determines our value by different standards. Let’s face it, we tend to judge ourselves by those same earthly standards! So, if we don’t stay close to God’s Word, where the truth is laid out for us, we can easily be burdened and wounded by earthly opinions, insults and lies.

I hold tight–no, I cling–to what God says about me in the Bible not only because it’s the truth, but because it’s there I find the power and strength to reject what the world says about me. Scripture is my ammunition against the lie that I don’t matter.

I relentlessly read these truths, speak them over myself, and write them down until they take root deep within me so I can wear them daily as my armor.

Isaiah 49 tells us that God has engraved us on the palms of His hands. Engraving is permanent, and it’s not easy or quick. In fact, it’s a task that is only completed if it’s worth it. I’m worth it, my friend, and so are you.

So, the next time you start to get sucked down by what the world says about you, open your Bible and immerse yourself in what God says about you, as you learn to live Wholly Loved.

Living loved

Listening for God

isaiah30-21b-web

My eyes popped open. Did anyone else hear that? To my relief, all heads were still bowed in prayer. Good thing—then no one would notice the tears that gently slid down my face as I struggled to keep it together. My heart pounded. God had just spoken to me for the first time.

I’d experienced my Heavenly Father’s magnificent voice, and I wanted more.

Because God first spoke to me in the context of worship, I anticipated that again. It made sense that I would hear from Him in church—His house, where everything was about Him, and where He had my undivided attention. However, as week after week of worship passed with no divine encounter, I began to feel discouraged.

Was that it—the one and only time I’d hear from God?

But, something deep within knew differently, and numerous verses in the Bible indicate otherwise:

“and when you turn to the right hand, and when you turn to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way. Walk in it.”” (Isaiah 30:21)

“My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” (John 10:27)

And even though I was relatively new to the concepts of Christianity, I knew that God desired a relationship with me. How could I have an intimate connection with someone if we didn’t speak regularly? I have ongoing communication with family members and close friends, so why should it be any different with God?

Then, I had get painfully honest with myself. If I know someone well, I can identify them simply by their voice. Could I do that with God? The way He spoke to me the first time was undeniable, but would it always be like that? Did I know my Heavenly Father well enough, through reading and studying His Word, to be certain I’d recognize His voice again?

christa-quote-listening-7-16iIt was clear that I needed to adjust my thinking. I’d made worship the exclusive place where I could experience God, assuming I had to physically go to church to encounter His presence. My attitude was an ignorant. “Ok, God, I’m here. Talk to me”I was limiting a limitless God, expecting Him to show up when, where, and how I wanted like an actor responding to their cue. Thankfully, God is much bigger than the confines of my expectations.

I wondered how many times I’d missed opportunities to connect with my Heavenly Father, because I was too busy looking for Him elsewhere—how many times I’d drowned out His still, small voice with the clanging of my own demands.

So, I quieted my soul, let go of expectations, and asked God to speak to me. I also began to dig into my Bible. Pretty soon, I started to hear Him. Sometimes it was a clear, resonating sound within—leading, guiding, affirming, or correcting me. Other times, it was small and sweet—a whisper to remind me He was near, a verse from Scripture that jumped off the page as I read, or worship lyrics that continually ran through my head. I felt Him speak to me through creation, heard Him when others’ words sparked something inside of me, and experienced His presence in ways that are simply too difficult to articulate.

As my relationship with God blossoms, I marvel and rejoice that the Creator of heaven and earth desires for us to be in constant communion with Him. He doesn’t need us, but he wants us—to be close enough to rest assured that we are known, seen, heard, held, and above all, loved.

Let’s talk about it! Do you hear God regularly, or is it a struggle to decipher His voice above the noise of life? What can you do today to draw closer to Him and position your heart to listen?

If you enjoyed today’s post, would like more inspirational content sent directly to your inbox, and want to stay up-to-date regarding what’s new with us, make sure to sign up for our free quarterly e-mailing. You can do that HERE.

And make sure to connect with us on Instagram and Facebook!

Scripture taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION(R), NIV(R) Copyright (c) 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. (R) Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Uncategorized

Freedom Through Surrender — Video Devotion


 

“I give up!”

The word surrender often makes us think of defeat and failure, right? But what if I told you surrender can mean victory…even freedom?

As a toddler, my mantra was, “I can do it myself!” Unfortunately, I carried that attitude into adulthood. I wanted to be in control and live my way, on my terms. To me, that was freedom—not being dictated by anything or anyone …certainly not God.

But my perceived liberty was a lie.

We were created with an innate longing—to be seen, known and loved. I now know only God can fulfill that desire. But, for years I tried to satisfy the craving with things the world promised would bring contentment. I just needed the right —job, relationship, house, clothes, physique, whatever—and then I’d be happy. Such pursuits, though, tethered me to them…enslaved me. I gave my all, but one by one, each accomplishment and item failed to live up to my expectations, or left me exhausted, living with regret. Ultimately asking: Is this all there is to life? I constantly felt restless and unsatisfied, like something was missing

I finally discovered what I was missing—the most important thing in life, the foundation that gives everything else in my life meaning and purpose. God.

Not the God I’d misunderstood for so long…the distant, controlling dictator. But, the One who “fearfully and wonderfully made” each of us for a specific purpose. The God who sees us—knows us better than we know ourselves—and loves us so much that He sent His Son, Jesus, in the greatest love story ever told—to rescue, to free us from bondage to a broken world.

“Surrender” has never been so victorious as the day I gave up serving myself and this world and placed my life in Jesus’ precious, nail-scarred hands. The day I discovered that living in His love is where true freedom is found.

Are you living free? Lay down your pride and fears today and run to Jesus, as you learn to live Wholly Loved.

Video Devotion

Conflict Resolution Through Humble Reconciliation–Video Devotion

“I LOVE conflict!” said no one ever. But, I’ve found out the hard way that evading relational disagreements is worse. The problem will keep growing, expanding, and festering until one day, “BANG!”, it explodes.

Sadly, we have to face the fact that conflict is unavoidable.

God designed us to be in relationship with Him, and with others, and for those connections to be deeply rewarding. But, because of sin, our relationships don’t function perfectly, do they? Friendships can go from marvelous to messy in an instant when we say or do something that hurts other’s feelings, or our friend does the same to us.

Because confrontation is ridiculously uncomfortable, when that happens, we may want to avoid one another, or pretend like nothing happened, which isn’t healthy. Of course, a worse option would be to vent on social media. That’s definitely not a good idea!

We know God desires reconciliation, but how do we make this happen?

The first thing I do is breathe and give myself some distance to think clearly. A response in the heat of the moment may indulge my feelings, but it’s not necessarily what God wants me to say or do. Then, I pray.

Matthew 5:9 says “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God” (ESV).

How can I be a peacemaker, God? His answer is always humility. In a humbled posture before God, I’m able set aside my desires, admit my inability to restore the situation alone, and ask for His for help. Help to see my own faults and shortcomings and how I may have contributed to the issue. Help in knowing when to talk to my friend, what words to say, for the strength to be a good listener and the grace to forgive. Above all, I ask that His love will prevail, and that He can be glorified in the situation.

Do you need to make peace with someone? God wants to help you. Humble yourself at His feet and allow His love to guide you as you learn to live Wholly Loved.

If you enjoyed today’s post, would like more inspirational content sent directly to your inbox, and want to stay up-to-date regarding what’s new with us, make sure to sign up for our free quarterly e-mailing. You can do that HERE. 

And make sure to connect with us on Instagram and Facebook!