Come to the King
Esther was the queen. And her people were in danger. She didn’t know what to do but Mordecai told her “And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” He challenged her. He believed God gave her a gift, He put her in a position of power so that she could save His people. And Mordecai was right.
God gives us all gifts. “they were given to be a lifeline to others – or you lose your life…if your gifts don’t give relief, you don’t get real life.”
So I sit here pondering my gifts. What has God gifted me with and how am I using them? Am I even using them? Sometimes it comes naturally. Like cooking dinner for people, or covering a shift for someone at work, but sometimes its harder and an effort needs to be made. I’m not even always sure what my gifts are. Do you know yours?
“You are loved and carried and secure, and what else do you need when you have Him? You are free, free, to lavishly give away your gifts when all your value, worth, joy, and riches are in the greatest of gifts.”
Find one person you can help today using your gifts. What has God given you for “such a time as this”?
“Why would anyone inside the gate seek to be rich, and great, and honored in that world where his Lord was poor, and mean, and despised?”
Lifting up the little and small
Lately I have been so stressed. So worried. Things are constantly on my mind, weighing me down. This book has been such an encouragement. Every day it speaks directly to my soul. It says exactly what I need to hear. God knew that I needed this book for this time.
The one thing that totally jumped off the page today:
“When the King rules your world, you cease to rule or worry. All worry dethrones God. All worrying makes your King and God incompetent. There is a King born in Bethlehem and on the throne. You can breathe.”
Jesus is coming. He is coming to “rule the earth and make all the sad things untrue.” AMEN
Make all the sad things UNTRUE.
I CAN NOT WAIT FOR THAT DAY
“The wonderland is unfolding even now, Kingdom coming, because His Word “will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands” (Isaiah 55:11-12) The dance of the sugarplum fairies just withered a bit.”
What worries do you need to surrender to God, knowing He is FIRMLY on His throne?
The gift of the storm
“We all make mistakes but people forget them. And Jonah days come to everybody… This day’s done and there’s a new one coming tomorrow, with no mistakes in it yet.” Marilla
The holidays can seem like “A whole string of Jonah-days brazenly begging you to head in the opposite direction, to get away from the dark underbelly of people and agendas and loving the unlovely and loud.”
Don’t you just want to run away sometimes? I do. I want to go sit on a beach alone. With a book. And a fancy drink in a coconut. And pretend that my troubles don’t exist.
“You aren’t equipped for life until you realize you aren’t equipped for life. You aren’t equipped for life until you’re in need of grace.”
“The literal Hebrew word for wavering means sinking.”
Wavering between gods. Sinking.
“Every moment you live, you live bowed to something. And if you don’t choose God, you’ll bow down before something else.”
What things are causing you to sink? What is bringing you down?
“The only way to overcome idols in your life, is to see that Jesus gives you freely what every other god says that you can only get through your performance. Jesus gives you through His blood what every other god demands through yours.”
This world can be so dark. So lonely. Sometimes it seems like there is no help, relief, or saving. But God brings the light. He sent His Light down to us. “We are saved from our loneliness because God is love and He can’t stand to leave us by ourselves, to ourselves.”
We in turn are supposed to take that light and pass it on. “When you light a dark world and the unexpected places with a brave flame of joy; when you warm the cold, hopeless places with the daring joy that God is with us, God is for us, God is in us.”
“Unless you keep passing on the miracle of hope, you live like Christmas is a myth.”
What one thing can you do today to spark hope for someone else?
Looking on hearts
Samuel goes to find the next king. He looks at Jesse’s sons and thinks they are all handsome, strong, brave, but God has other plans. He chooses the youngest son. A boy. A dirty shepherd. David. And God tells Samuel to stop looking at the outside. “You can see it, too, how the world keeps looking for beauty in appearances rather than in His appearing.”
“You only begin to change your life when you begin to change the way you see.”
What can you do today to concentrate on seeing people’s hearts, not their appearance? Start learning to look deeper. Ask God to help your life be about the heart, not what’s on the outside.
Every little thing is going to be ok…
Ruth was so brave. She left her home. Her husband was dead. She followed her mother-in-law to an unknown land and an unknown God. Naomi went home bitter, but Ruth gave up her freedom for Naomi’s future.
“When we have an agenda for God, we can’t see the gifts from God.”
And the story unfolds. Ruth goes with Naomi. She doesn’t know what’s going to happen. But she has faith. She just happens to be in Bethlehem. She ends up at Boaz’s field. He happens to be a kinsman-redeemer for her family. She trusts Naomi & God and puts herself in Boaz’s path. She asks him to marry her. And he does. And she becomes an important woman in the line of Jesus Christ. She never knew this when she followed Naomi. When her future was so uncertain and grim.
“Every little thing is going to be okay because God is working good through every little thing. All that’s happening is happening to make miracles. The mundane is what’s making miracles.”
What is worrying you today? Are you missing the love all around you? Think of things that have happened recently that prove that God is at work in your life.
Joys are always on their way to us. They are always traveling to us through the darkness of the night. There is never a night when they are not coming.
Covenant of love
God gives the 10 Commandments. His Law. “They are God saying, ‘Here is My love for you.”
By obeying His Law, we give Him love. And He in return gives us love. “This commandment to relationship fulfills your longings and your love and your being.”
“Who needs more than being loved to death?”
A scarlet lifeline of hope
“The secret to the abundant life: to believe that God is where you doubt He can be.”
In Hebrew, the word used to describe Rahab’s cord that she threw out the window to save the spies is tikvah. It means hope. Rahab was a most unlikely person. God used her despite her tainted past, and He made her a part of Jesus’ line.
“No personal choice that muddied your life can ever trump the divine choice to wash your life clean.” This Advent, reach out and grab the cord. Reach out for Jesus. Our scarlet lifeline of hope.