Simplifying Sarah

Posts Tagged ‘devotional

I was listening to the song “My Romance” by Jesus Culture this morning… it came on while I was in the shower, and after I got out and dressed I replayed it, and even busted out my Angel Wing Banners and just danced before the Lord in my bedroom… it was beautiful.

“The angels dance around You
The earth it sings about You
Open up the heavens Lord
Let Your Kingdom come to earth
My praises all surround You
My soul can’t dance without You
Open up the heavens Lord
Let Your kingdom come to earth”

Last night, after I had read my chapter from Stanley’s book, I continued to read in 1 Samuel where Samuel annoints David, and it struck me for the first time, just how much God really loves the underdog! If it were modern day, and I was in Jesse’s living room, I imagine it might look something like this…

“One of my sons is going to be annointed? Well, here, take this one, he’s my first born- he’s got everything going for him, and he’s good ‘king’ material… See? Oh… you don’t want this one… well- he’s the second born, this is what he’s good at, oh… not him either? (All the way through until Samuel asked if there were any more sons)… Well, we have David, but he’s the youngest… really not much more than a child now, and quite frankly, I’ve already introduced you to my best… But… whatever you say.” Maybe it was completely different than that, but it also struck out how Samuel told them ‘we will not sit down until you bring him’… I don’t know if Samuel was alone, and was talking about him and God, since God was communicating so freely, or if he brought his entourage with him… but I like the idea of God not sitting down and giving up on me. There are so many times he could have been like ‘Geesh, Sarah really isn’t getting it… thats it, I’m done”, but He saw, and continues to see, the bigger picture of my life. Yeah, choosing another son may have made a better “king” (maybe), but we would sure be missing a huge chunk of the Bible if it didn’t concern David! God saw the bigger picture… and I need to look for the bigger picture in my life too.

-Mrs. W.

 

“We have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand.” -Romans 5.1-2

This chapter spoke to me like no other, so far. Maybe its because its where we came from…. Being so stressed out because we tried to do everything ourselves, without letting God in, or without spending time with him… Stanley says “in His presence, there is an abundant sense of acceptance, rest, and unconditional love for all of us who keep going past the point where God says, “Stop and be with Me for a while.””No, I don’t think its God”s plan for us to disobey and leave him, but his grace is sufficient for me… and you too. Here is more of Romans 5.3-5

” More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.”

Be blessed,
-Mrs. W.

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“His lovingkindness is great toward us.” -Psalm 117.2

God loves us with a sacrificial love. How do we know this? John 3.16- “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whosoever should believe in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”… it was a sacrifice. Stanley says this, “His love is sacrificial- given to us a an act of grace and without hesitation.” Throughout my life, as a Christian, I’ve always had to juggle spending quality time with God, versus doing my own thing… and I’ve been guilty of believing that because of how messed up my spiritual walk has been, his love for me has been on a sliding scale, like Oh, wonderful, I’ve spent 6 out of 7 days this week in prayer every morning, this week God really loves me… but last week, I only met with him once out of 7… last week God couldn’t care less about me.  But this isn’t true. No matter how my understanding of his love may vary, he remains the same. I’m so incredibly thankful to God for that! God agape loves me! If you don’t really know what agape means, it’s absolute adoration… he is “tickled pink” by me… he loves me so much more- even more than I could fathom (whether or not I spent 1/7 or 7/7 days with him!)… but he hates my sin. This is why I should strive to spend time with him, learning him, enjoying his presence. When I intentionally learn to love God, I’ll intentionally learn to love my spouse, and anyone else. Mr. W. may know I love him, but if I’m not spending time with him, learning him, and enjoying his presence in my life… then all I gave him were empty words.

I don’t want to give empty words anymore,
-Mrs. W.

“We have thought on your lovingkindness, O God, in the midst of Your temple.” -Psalm 48.9

Today’s chapter talks about the unfailing love of God- and Stanley uses David as an example… no matter how much that man messed up, and sinned, God loved him so much… and it’s true for even me. In this chapter, Stanley wrote, “The steadfast love of Christ is our anchor for every storm and what satisfies the deepest longing of our hearts” … that’s so true. My anchor must be in the Lord, and the longer I spend with him, the more mornings I spend in his presence in quiet time, the more of his love I feel, and the more protected I am.  This chapter also pulled from Psalm 90.14, which is an absolutely wonderful verse, and one that I’m going to try to memorize…

“Satisfy us each morning with your unfailing love, so we may sing for joy to the end of our lives.” Psalm 90.14

-Mrs. W.

“The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” -Psalm 34.18

This chapter is pretty straight forward.. just one page front and back- and it’s main point (to me) is that “if our perspective on the love of Christ is clouded, we may give in to feelings of doubt, depression, bitterness and fear.” Oh geesh… in these last few months, I feel like I’ve ticked each of these off, at one time or another.
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I’m so glad that God meets our needs, even when we aren’t quite sure of what our needs are. As long as week keep him as our first need, and seek after him earnestly, he will hear us. No matter what my sins have bin, or will be… and no matter what size faith I have, nothing can stand in the way of God’s love for me. Nothing. Nothing on earth, or in the spirit will keep me from the Lord anymoe. I put my foot down, and the other foot too!

-Mrs. W.

“The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love.” -1 John 4.8

Today’s chapter really hit me hard. With every single struggle that Mr. W. and I have been faced with I’ve had the choice to either cling to God, to follow Matthew 6.31-33, and not worry because God would provide for me- or to do my own thing. Too many times have I done my own thing, and come to God as the second choice, what to do when all of my ideas fail. Clearly, in my actions, I haven’t expressed a real need for God. Just… wow.

“The fact is, anything that blocks our view of God has the potential to prevent us from following Him in faith.” Anything. ANYTHINGAny thing that blocks our view of God… Anything. I know, I keep repeating myself, but that’s just how it is! Ouch! Too many times have I gotten in the way, and blocked God… This chapter also talks about how if we keep blocking God, we definitely aren’t spending time with him… and if we stop spending time with Him, we stop learning how to love. He is love, by definition, and if we aren’t with our first love, we cannot love anyone else, or even ourselves.

Stanley references John 15.9, about Jesus telling us to abide in His love… God is so amazing! Yesterday in church, Pastor Boggs was talking about what it means to abide, and how it’s not just to go somewhere, but it’s to stay, sink your roots down, and to be actively staying… not just going stagnant. I want to abide in God’s love… I want to have that connection again. I read further in 1 John 4, and it’s when we really are abiding in Christ, in God’s love and mercy, connected, praying, etc. that we see the Spirit working in our life. I absolutely LOVE how The Message puts 1 John 4.13-16:

“This is how we know we’re living steadily and deeply in him, and he in us: He’s given us life from his life, from his very own Spirit. Also, we’ve seen for ourselves and continue to state openly that the Father sent his Son as Savior of the world. Everyone who confesses that Jesus is God’s Son participates continuously in an intimate relationship with God. We know it so well, we’ve embraced it heart and soul, this love that comes from God.”

This is almost bringng me tears… I need you Lord!
-Mrs. W.

I’m going on a 31 day adventure, reading Charles F. Stanley’s book, The Power of God’s Love… this is today’s post and thoughts about it…

“I have loved you with an everlasting love, therefore I have drawn you with lovingkindness.” -Jeremiah 31.3

Somewhere in the daily grind, the hustle and bustle… I’ve lost my first love. I’ve lost track of my love for the Lord. I stopped seeing his goodnesses as being truly good and started seeing his protection- when he says no- as being that he doesn’t LOVE me anymore. There… I said it. It hurts, and it’s absolutely horrible. Chapter 30 of Jeremiah is titled “The Restoration of Israel”… and it continues to go through chapter 31 also… so badly do I want to be restored! I’ve been faced with the fact that if I don’t get some things straightened in my life, everything will fall apart… oh Lord, how did I let it get this far? How did I get so lost, even though I know the truth, deep within? A relationship with God is exactly that- a relationship… it’s give, and take… he’s not just a genie to rub and request things of… and he’s not just a harsh judge that I can “tell God on you” when you hurt me… he loves me with an everlasting love… unconditional. Unconditional. Unconditionally- not based on me… which is great since I’m not even that good!

Lord, I’m so tired of not feeling that unconditional love. Sweep me over, take my breath away, I want to meet you today, in a brand new way.
Amen.