Tag Archives: future

2 Chronicles 36; Revelation 22; Malachi 4; John 21

The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” Let the one who hears this say, “Come!” Let whoever is thirsty come; whoever wishes may have the water of life as a free gift. Revelation 22:17 (NCV)

Jesus said to them, “Come and eat”…Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them, along with the fish. John 21:12-13 (NCV)

The end of the year is a perfect time to remember my past, not in such a way that bogs me down and makes me depressed over my failings, but in a way that lifts me up and gives testimony to God’s goodness in my life. It is a time to reflect on His timely provision, His faithfulness, and His constant beckoning.

This year has been a difficult one for me. Spending the first half of the year in the U.S. as a single mom to my two daughters while my husband ministered in India and then spending the second half of the year re-adjusting to life in a third world country has made for a lot of stress and struggle. I have dwelled much of the year in a desert place – physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually – hungry and thirsty for more connection, especially with Jesus.

“But for you who honor me, goodness will shine on you like the sun, with healing in its rays…” Malachi 4:2 (NCV)

As I look back, I am reminded of the oases that God offered me throughout the year, havens that allowed me to be refreshed, to heal, to be encouraged, to taste and see that He is good:

  • My family’s support. Though my parent’s house became overrun with baby paraphernalia and toddler’s toys, Nick Jr. and Sprout cornered the TV airways, and temper tantrums and time outs were a moment by moment occurrence, they welcomed us with open arms. They helped me love my kids on purpose and made it possible for me to care for myself as I transitioned into a mom of two.
  • My friends’ encouragement. I was re-united with women I’ve known for years and I experienced divine encounters with new friends. Bonding over coffee, playdates, and MOPS meetings gave me time for adult conversation and helped me remember that I am not alone in my journey as a woman, as a wife, and as a mother.
  • My church body’s acceptance. I am blessed to call many places of worship ‘home’; communities where I am readily received whether I’ve been there every week or only visit once in a blue moon. The people are caring, the corporate prayer and worship is a breath of fresh air, the pastors’ messages fill my spirit, and the nursery workers are God-sent, allowing me precious moments to spend time with God without worrying about my children.
  • My husband’s and in-laws’ provision. I grappled with the thought of returning to India because our living arrangements in the past had been less than ideal (150+/- square feet of living space without a place for a kitchen and without running water). When my daughters and I arrived, I was pleasantly surprised by an apartment on the second floor of my in-laws house which tripled our living space and provided a kitchen, a bathroom on the same level, and running water.
  • My daughters’ unconditional love. No matter how unruly and high-spirited my girls are, no matter how many times they do things that infuriate me and break my heart, there is nothing in the world quiet like the sweet, and sometimes sticky, hugs and kisses from my children. Their expressions of love melt my heart and strengthen my revelation of love with the Father.

The end of the year is also an opportunity to think about my hopes for the coming months. It is a time to make future plans, to make choices about what paths my journey will take. It is a time to listen to what the Lord is saying about His will for my life.

The Lord has been whispering the word ‘COME’ to me recently. “Come near to Me. Be connected to Me. Position yourself in My arms. Let Me be your priority. Let Me give you what you need, the desires of your heart. Let Me give you joy. Let Me show you the truth about who I made you to be. Let Me be your fulfillment. Let Me feed you and give you drink. Let Me give you peace, freedom. Rest in Me.”

The follower whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” When Peter heard him say this, he wrapped his coat around himself. (Peter had taken his clothes off.) Then he jumped into the water. John 21:7 (NCV)

When I hear these words spoken to me, I want to dive into His Glory. I want to drink His living water, His new wine until my thirst is abated. I want to be renewed by the rivers, baptized in His restorative blood once again. I want to run toward my Creator, my Savior. I want to embrace Him and never let go. I want to abide in His oasis and be filled by His daily bread. I want to draw close to His heart and rest forever in His presence. And, I am grateful that I am His daughter, His beloved.

Blessings – Julie (writing from Sholavandan, India)

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

May it be your best year yet, full of abundance and blessings!

Scripture taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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Genesis 16; Matthew 15; Nehemiah 5; Acts 15

…They heard the Good News from me, and they believed. God, who knows the thoughts of everyone, accepted them. He showed this to us by giving them the Holy Spirit, just as he did to us. To God, those people are not different from us. When they believed, he made their hearts pure. Acts 15: 7b-9 (NCV)

I love the grace that God extends to me. He has no logical reason to care about my life, except that He loves me beyond all reason. He sent His Son to die and rise again for me to make me pure and give me an everlasting life with Him. He made my black heart pure, white as snow. He accepts me as I am, flaws, faults, and all. He is not mad at me. He wants to bless me and give me good things.

I can look at all of the stories in the Bible and know beyond a shadow of doubt that I am not alone in who He cares for. He cares for everyone who is birthed on this planet, and even those who never had the chance to live. Every man, woman, and child, in the history of time, with the exception of Christ, lived a life full of selfish moments, angry emotions, bitter thoughts, and sinful actions. And yet as they experienced His love, even in a time when the Cross at Calvary was only a figment in God’s mind, they were restored and blessed.

Jesus answered, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and give it to the dogs.”

The woman said, “Yes, Lord, but even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.”

Then Jesus answered, “Woman, you have great faith! I will do what you asked.” Matthew 15:26-28a (NCV)

He yearns to be involved in my life and experience my faith, whether it is as huge as a mountain or as small as a mustard seed. The Bible tells me that faith moves mountains (Matthew 17:20).   Faith opens the doors and makes smooth the pathways that lead from a discouraging walk in the midst of misery to a life full of prosperity and blessing even in the center of trial. When I had no prospects as a slave to sin, the faith I had in Jesus Christ, made the way for an inheritance bigger than I could ever imagine, and even when I try to comprehend everything that is mine as an heir, I know I am still thinking too small.

He took the seven loaves of bread and the fish and gave thanks to God. Then he divided the food and gave it to his followers, and they gave it to the people. All the people ate and were satisfied. Then his followers filled seven baskets with the leftover pieces of food. Matthew 15:36-37 (NCV)

His plans for my life are better than anything I could plan on my own; they are grander than anything I could try to make happen. They are plans to prosper me and give me hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11). He takes the meager offering of my life, my talents, my loaves and fishes, and multiplies it into abundance. My offering becomes the plenty that helps feed the masses, a legacy that is still being written into my future generations.

The angel also said, “I will give you so many descendants they cannot be counted.” Genesis 16:10 (NCV)

And He doesn’t stop there. My faith in Him thwarts the enemy’s designs against me. It fertilizes the soil of my heart so that during the time of harvest the reaping will be plentiful, sheaves of hardy wheat with little chaff. What the locusts have eaten and destroyed through the years will be restored to fullness. What others have taken from me will be returned and extra given back.

“Give back their fields, vineyards, olive trees, and houses right now. Also give back the extra amount you charged—the hundredth part of the money, grain, new wine, and oil.” Nehemiah 5:11 (NCV)

I hold on to these truths, written in the Word. I grip them when I am lacking the strong faith of a Canaanite mother, when I am frustrated at the way the world is treating me. I hold on to God’s thoughts toward me as a lifesaving rope, knowing that without holding them in my heart, in tribulation I would be overcome.

Yesappa, thank You for Your love, Your grace, and Your mercy in my life. Thank you for full restoration and for truth. Thanks you for walking with me always. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

 

Blessings – Julie, Vadipatti, India (written in the U.S.A.)

 

Scripture taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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Filed under 66 Books, Acts, Bible in a year reading plan, Genesis, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, Matthew, Nehemiah, New Testament, Old Testament

2 Chronicles 15-16, 2 Corinthians 5

For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. 2 Chronicles 16:9 

Because you relied on _________ and not on the Lord your God, _______ has escaped your hand. 2 Chronicles 16:7 

Because King Asa relied on the King of Aram instead of God, the army of Aram escaped.   I don’t know why this phrase led me to fill in the blanks with my own self reliance, but it was rather enlightening.

Because I relied on my Writer’s Group and not on the Lord my God,

the ability to write anything inspired over the last year has escaped from my hand.

Because I relied on my husband’s strength and abilities and on not on the Lord my God, the confidence to achieve things on my own has escaped from my hand.

Because I relied on my youth and not on the Lord my God, much health and vigor has escaped from my hand.

I don’t really look back with regret, but the passage of time has shown me that choices I made without including God have resulted in less than ideal circumstances.

However, I feel very blessed. In spite of my less than stellar choices, God does not count my sins against me. I am a new creation in Christ. The old days are gone. I seek his face more and more. I am more eager to please him. I have become Christ’s ambassador, bringing encouragement to others just as the prophet Azariah did for Asa.

But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded. 2 Chronicles 15:7

            Large numbers of Israelites returned to Asa when they saw God was with him. The entire world comes back to God through the blood of Christ. This is not just good news. This is GREAT NEWS.

God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. 2 Corinthians 5:21

Asa didn’t listen to the seer or seek the Lord God in his final years. This serves as a warning to me. It is not how I began my life journey, but how I finish, that is most important. Hopefully, learning from my godless past, will ensure that I lean on God for my future.

Thank you, God that I don’t have to produce my own righteousness, which would be like filthy rags anyway. Thank you that I am made righteous by the spotless blood of the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ. May we be nose to nose always. In Jesus precious Name, I pray.

yicareggie

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