“He did right in the sight of the Lord, yet not like David his father; he did according to all that Joash his father had done. ” 2 Kings 14:3
In some cases, it’s ok to be mediocre. No one can be the best at everything and some things are not important enough to deserve our energy and time.
Other things, however, mean so much that they deserve our utmost.
I speak specifically to your heart toward God. Today’s verse gives a chilling description of the heart of King Amaziah. At first it sounds like he was getting a glowing review: he did right in the sight of God. The description quickly darkens when it says he didn’t do right like his ancestor David, a man after God’s own heart. King Amaziah was satisfied being “good enough”.
Call me an overachiever, but I want to do more than just get by in my walk with God. I want to be a woman after God’s own heart. I don’t want there to be any area of my life that I am satisfied with the bronze or tin when the gold of knowing God deeper is available by His grace.
How about you?
When we start talking about being pleasing to God, the mind automatically looks at the mountain of times we failed before, but that’s not where we should focus. We must focus on the power God offers to help us persevere and overcome. (1 Corinthians 10:13)
It begins with repentance and surrender. Are there morals you have let slip? Have you given up striving to hear Him say, “well done” because it seems nobody else is trying? The benefits of following hard after God far outweigh the “pleasures” of mediocrity. (1 Corinthians 2:9-10)
The cross was God’s way of reaching low to save us. Our best response is to aim high in pleasing Him.
“You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You.” Isaiah 26:3
It can be maddening dealing with people who seem to make a career out of being stubborn, addicted, ornery, irresponsible, negative, or whatever else.
Unless you decide to cut off the power you allow them to have over you!
Discover the freedom God desires you to have by realizing you can choose a better response to the chain-yankers in your life. God did not endow you with power to change other people, but He did grace you with power over how you respond to them.
Visualize the aggravator in your life doing their thing. Now imagine they have an invisible power cord that goes from their behavior and plugs into an outlet in your mind. When they act up, powerful waves of electric frustration surge through that cord to you and your blood pressure rises, you cry, get angry, or however else you normally react. You are miserable… until you pull. that. plug! You remind yourself that this person does not have final say in how your life goes. To pull the plug means you recognize God is in control, and by His Spirit so are you. You must believe this truth for this exercise to work.
Determine to make pulling that plug a daily part of your prayer life, My Friend, so you can get on with your life in peace!
“And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones who is my disciple, truly I tell you, that person will certainly not lose their reward.” Matthew 20:42
You do a lot of good that nobody sees, but what you do makes a difference. The world applauds massive deeds of goodwill and they should; however, your small deeds matter just as much to those you serve. Sometimes the ones you do for may forget to thank you or they cannot seem to thank you enough. Either way, God sees and will not let a single act of kindness or care escape the “Well Done” file He keeps on you.
Fill that file today for the glory of God!
“The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.” Job 1:21
We have all been there; heart burning from a disappointment or loss, standing in a place of worship, and having lips that do not want to sing. Fresh wounds try to distract us from acknowledging the goodness and faithfulness of the God Who let this happen. Natural and faulty reasoning ask angry questions and ugly words bubble to the surface of your heart, begging to jump out of your mouth. Yet, something stronger overrides the raw emotions and the simplistic questions. Though buried under the rubble of disillusionment, your faith rises with supernatural force and ignites hope. You remember that pain happens to everyone just like Jesus said it would; this is your turn. Though feelings contradict it, you know without a doubt that He is going through the pain with you. Relief seems far off, but you trust it will come simply because He said it would. In the darkness of your night season, you catch shooting-star glimpses of God’s goodness and gratitude moves your lips to utter a “thank you.” As others sing around you, a word or phrase highlights a truth your pain clouded. Even when the emotion is not there, the will to worship takes over because the truth is enough. The acknowledgement of one truth awakens remembrance of others and your heart worships through the tears.
The presence of God is constant and so is His worthiness of worship. May He give you the strength you need when you are hurting and when your offering is a struggle. In every season of your life, may you declare, “Blessed be the name of the Lord.”
“Though my father and mother forsake me,
the Lord will receive me.” Psalm 27:10
Rejection hurts! It tells you that you are insufficient in some way, that you do not have what it takes. How do you handle it?
You cannot let it cut away at the real you. Whatever ways you fall short in life, never let the fire of rejection burn into the most precious part of you, your worth. Always know that God made that part of you fireproof by blood. The blood of Jesus Christ, when you let God slather it over all your sins, settled the question of your value, your importance, and your dignity. Rejection has no jurisdiction in the realm of the soul. Hurtful words try to climb and destroy you, but no ladder can ever reach heaven and change the mind of the One Who declares you complete (Colossians 2:10). Treat the sharp bite of an ugly remark or a condescending look as a mere flesh wound, My Friend, because immunizations of God’s grace are standard for daughters of the King! Let them treat you like you are invisible, they are the blind ones who have no clue that you are His masterpiece created in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 2:10).
No, you cannot let rejection get you down. Handled properly, rejection can divert you to the truth and make you dance to the song of the One Who sings over you (Zephaniah 3:17).
“Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.” Proverbs 19:21
Planning is a necessary part of life; it helps you to organize and maximize how you spend your time. God delights when you channel your efforts to keep your priorities straight. Have you ever been sure you were doing what you were supposed to be doing only to feel like God dropped a giant “DETOUR” sign in your path? Maybe it was an unexpected pregnancy, a financial crisis, or a health issue you did not see coming. Life interruptions take all forms and it is natural for a little confusion or anxiety to set in as you try to make sense of them.
As a follower of Christ, you have a marvelous place to unload and to make sense of these divergences: the sovereignty of God. The truth is, you can do your best to follow what you believe is God’s plan, but you never have it down to a science. Because you are in a relationship with the Omniscient One, you will never be privy to all the information you need. You have something better: the knowledge that He is in complete control, that He loves you, and that His plan is always best. Never forget that the Almighty has the right to change your plans in any way He deems best. This is the way of the blood-bought believer. The true servant of God has no greater agenda than to carry out the program of the Master which may mean an unexpected change of plans.
Question: In what way has God changed your plans? How did you feel at first? What did you learn from the experience?
Cast all your anxiety upon him for he cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7
What is bothering you, My Friend? What in your life is weighing you down and clouding your heart? In the few quiet moments of your day, what keeps coming to the forefront of your mind and making you sigh with discouragement or worry or concern?
Jesus Cares. Maybe you already know that, but you need to hear it again. Jesus cares.
The cross was not just for your salvation, it was and still is a place to hurl off your burdens. This does not mean that the burden disappears, it just shifts to His capable shoulders. He wants to make a trade with you: your heavy burden for His light one, your anxiety for His peace, and your discouragement for His hope.
“How do I do that,” you may be asking. The transaction involves an honest prayer. It helps to remind yourself of the power and authority and majesty of your Burden-Bearer. Recount His love for you and then intentionally shift your heart’s heavy cargo to Him. Consider it now His problem to solve, His assignment to guide you out of the fog while you walk with the lightness and trust of a child.
If the heaviness returns, do it again. Got it?
Pray. Hurl. Repeat.