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Do You Know What You Need?

Do you know what you need?

I can tell you better what I want more than what I need.  I want a big piece of chocolate cake without reaping the consequences.  I want my kids to be obedient without giving me a hard time.  I want to work less, sleep in and go on vacation more.  The same goes for my kids.  I ask are you hungry, do you want something to eat?  Ten minutes later they tell me they’re hungry.  I’ve learned over the years don’t do what they say, do what they need.

What I need?  That’s a different story.  I know I need to be discipline even though I don’t want to.  If I wasn’t disciplined I would eat whatever I wanted, let time go by and never get anything done.

Not knowing what we need is apart of most of our stories.

Did you know in America there are over 52,000 Self-Storage units?  That means despite the 65% of Americans who already have garages to store ‘stuff,’ there’s an additional 21 extra feet to store more ‘stuff.’

In a study of overeating rats, Scientists examined their eating habits and their reward system (dopamine receptors).  What they found was once the rats started down the path of overeating it drove them towards a dysfunctional reward system.  In order to feel the ‘reward’ or satisfaction of eating they had to eat more in order to feel the ‘reward,’ which led them to their downfall.

It makes me question with our hoarding and addictive tendencies, do we even know what we need?Click To Tweet

Give me what I need not what I want.

One story in the Bible reminds me of what happens when we look within and seek God for provision instead of relying on ourselves or the world to rescue us.

In 2 Kings, a widow who was in financial trouble came to Elisha who her husband had worked for.  She tells Elisha of her troubles, how creditors are looking for her.  Elisha asks her, “How can I help you?  Tell me, what do you have in your house? (2 Kings 4:2).  She tells him I don’t have anything except a small jar of oil.

Elisha then tells her go to your neighbors and ask for jars, bring them back to your house, shut the door, pour the oil into all the jars and put them to the side (2 Kings 4:4).

“She left him and shut the door behind her and her sons.  They brought the jars to her and she kept pouring until they were full” (2 Kings 4:5).

3 Lessons from the Heart:

Three important lessons can be learned from this message.

 1.  She Chose Wisdom.  Out of desperation, the widow who was in fear of losing her two sons to the creditor as slaves, turned towards Elisha, a man of wisdom.  As a widow she was in a desperate situation, no husband, no way to financially provide for her sons, she chose to seek counsel of a wise man (Elisha) instead of acting out her fear.

2.  God Provided.  Elisha asked, “What do you have?”  When the widow came to Elisha, he didn’t immediately dive in to rescue her by giving her what she needed, he pointed her to look within to see what she already had.  As Christians we are called to love others, but we also can be guilty of taking over the role as the Savior and rescue people from their situations instead of helping them gain the skills they need to do for themselves.  There comes a time when helping helps and when helping hurts.  Elisha didn’t create a cycle of dependency, he gave her the skills to utilize the resources she already had.

3.  God Multiplied.  The oil never stopped flowing until all the jars were filled.  God used what she had and made it plentiful, into more than she needed.  Elisha said, “Go, sell the oil and pay your debts.  You and your sons can live on what is left. (2 Kings 4:7).  The jar plan Elisha told her, sounded kind of crazy.  But she trusted and obeyed and God multiplied what she had.

How Amazing is our God?

One thing the widow did that makes an impression on my heart is how she embraced the suffering.  She was dealing with the grief of her husband, having to be the primary breadwinner/caretaker of her sons and deal with everything on her own.  She didn’t throw her hands up, say ‘I give up,’ and let her sons be sold as slaves.

When she pursued wisdom and embraced the suffering, it drastically changed her situation.Click To Tweet

What do you need?

Looking at our world, there is an epidemic of brokenness.  A world that turns towards crime, drugs, prostitution, eating, hoarding to fill a void of something we all desperately need–LOVE.

We can have everything taken from us but if we still have love, we have everything we need.  Things and stuff can be replaced but the love from others cannot.

God’s love is the solution to brokenness.

God's love has the power to mend and provide in ways this world can never do. Click To TweetDo you need Love?  Leave a comment below how can I pray for you?

The best way to receive love is to give it.  Who can you love on?  A widow, a person who needs groceries, a parent who could use a date night?  Every small act of kindness makes an impact in someone else’s life.

Prayer-  Dear Lord,  Give me what I need, not what I want.  When I ask for what I want, it makes me dependent upon worldly things that leaves me only wanting more temporary rewards.  I need you Lord.  I want you God.  You are my Maker, my Lord who knows what I need.  Help me seek you, stay focused on you so you can give me the desires of my heart.  Help me be like the widow, who chose wisdom, had faith and trusted in you Lord and allowed you to lead her Lord.  I thank you and praise you for who you are.  In Jesus name, Amen.

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A Love That Transcends All Borders

There are some things in this life that are hard to describe unless they are witnessed firsthand.  I have been a nurse for almost 19 years and have witnessed some of life’s most amazing and devastating moments.  I would like to share with you one of those moments today that has been ingrained forever in my heart.  

This particular day, I had already finished a couple of cases in the operating room.  People who know me, know I wear a cross necklace.  As I entered the room of the next patient, he saw the cross I was wearing around my neck.  Before I had the chance to introduce myself, he held out his hands for me to hold.  He took my hands then said, “Do you believe Jesus Christ is your Lord and Savior?”  I said, “Yes.”  It was obvious this patient did not speak much English.  He smiled and said in his broken English, “Then you are my sister.” 

Here was a man (probably of Russian descent) whom I’ve never met before, embracing and proclaiming me to be his sister in Christ before he even knew my name.  

As I was still holding this man’s hand, I responded back to him, “Then you are my brother.”  

What’s so amazing about this moment, it didn’t matter this man could barely speak English. It didn’t matter he didn’t know my name—he didn’t need to.  He only needed to know that I loved and accepted Jesus as my Savior.  We didn’t need to speak the same language to understand God’s love for us.  God’s love is the language the blind can see and the deaf can hear.

“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Galatians 3:28 NIVClick To Tweet

This man showed me it doesn’t matter if we are Catholic, Greek or Jewish.  When we accept the love of Jesus, we become the same lineage, united by the blood of Christ which makes us brothers and sisters.  In God’s love, there are no orphans left behind.  It doesn’t matter if we came from a broken home, a perfect home or don’t have a home.  The love of Jesus provides a home for everyone– his love is our home.  We are all apart of God’s one big family when we accept Christ as our Lord and Savior, adopted by the blood of Christ.

“God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure.”  Ephesians 1:5 NLT

Once we are adopted into God’s family, we become new citizens not of this world but of heaven.  

“For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ;”  Philippians 3:20

God’s love is what transforms our hearts and our lives.  

“who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.”  Philippians 3:21

My patient recognized I was a part of his family that day because I was wearing my cross.  What if I wasn’t wearing my cross?  How would others recognize we are apart of the same family?

Watching the news, there is so much division and hard to tell who is apart of God’s family because of our differences.  Even in our differences, God’s love is what unites us.  

His grace is what saves us.  When Christ lives in us, his loving kindness overflows from within us, allowing others to see the love of Jesus.  When we give the lovingkindness of God, others will know how much God loves them and in Christ, we are all apart of God’s holy family.

“Therefore, my brothers and sisters, you whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm in the Lord in this way, dear friends!” Phil 4:1

There is no greater love than the love of Jesus.  God could have lived anywhere in the world but he chose to live in our hearts! (author unknown).  You are loved my sister (or brother)!

Are you apart of God’s one big family?

How can we show others we are apart of God’s family?

Nothing unites us and draws us closer to God than when we read scripture together!  It’s not too late!  Join the Bible reading plan. 

Want to tell others how much God loves them? Click Here For Free Valentine Printable Cards with Bible Verses!

 

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Want to know more about being apart of God’s big family?  Are you my brother or sister in Christ?  Please introduce yourself, I would love to hear from you!    Please Leave Your Comments Below.  Have a Blessed Week!


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Finding Victory in Our Struggles

Have you ever struggled with something and wondered ‘God where are you?’  Or asked God, ‘Why Me?’ or ‘God do you even care?’  

Have you ever prayed so hard for God to answer a prayer and wondered, ‘God are you even listening?’  

I have been there.  I have asked God all of these questions before.  I don’t have all the answers to why things happen the way they do.  I do know God loves us and desires us to live a victorious life in Him, despite our defeating circumstances.   So how does one go from Defeat to Victory?  

The answer lies at the cross.  

Where do you stand at the cross?

Sides of the Cross:  
Do you stand behind the cross?  You can see the cross, but you can’t see the victory or the suffering of Jesus.  You can’t bring yourself to walk up to the cross because you don’t think the cross can help and can’t see it’s true meaning.  You live in continually defeat of your circumstances, because you put your faith in what you see.  

Do you stand at the side of the cross?  You can see the cross and the suffering, but you can’t bring yourself to walk up to the cross and reach out your hand because you are holding onto your sin.  You have deemed yourself not worthy of the cross.  You live with unforgiveness and can’t seem to let go.  

Do you stand in front of the cross?  You go ahead of God, get in a mess look around and then ask ‘God where are you?’  You can see the cross but it is far out of your reach.  You desire the crown but not the suffering.  You chase what the world considers valuable.  You want to pick and choose the parts of Jesus you want.  You’re surrounded by busyness and distractions.  Temptations are running you’re life drawing you further away from the cross with each choice you make.  The enemy is claiming victory over you keeping you far from God’s truth and out of reach of the cross.   The enemy doesn’t want to let you get too close to experience and see the victory of Jesus.  He doesn’t want you to see the whole Jesus and experience Him in his entirety in his suffering, his mercy, his grace, his richness, his servanthood, or his enduring love.   

Do you stand at the cross?  You partake in everything Jesus has to offer;  the suffering and the crown.  You allow the power of the cross to intercede on your behalf.  You lay your burdens and sin at the cross, you have given everything to God, there is nothing getting in the way of him.  Your life has been completely surrendered to him.  You allow the cross to empower you to live in the victory of Christ!  

OR

Do you even see the cross at all?  You are surrounded by unbelievers.  You have stopped going to church altogether and don’t even know the last time you’ve prayed.  You have fallen far away from God.  Maybe you used to have a relationship with him, but you have been burned, either by a judgmental Christian, a corrupt church, or dead-end circumstances that lead you to know where you want to be.  You have lost your hope and don’t trust God at all.

Jesus didn’t die on the cross for nothing.  He didn’t stay in the grave– He was resurrected.   Our burdens were meant to be left in the grave and never carried beyond the cross.  The power of the cross is nothing without the resurrection.  Satan would like nothing more than to keep us broken inside that empty tomb.  He would like to keep us blinded and whisper lies from the world to keep us from seeing the truth.  We can have all the evidence in front of us, but if we don’t have faith we will miss it altogether. 

Do you live in the power the cross or continual defeat?  Victory lies within the cross, not far away from it, not behind it, not beside it, not ahead of it, but within it.  

There is victory in our struggles.  To experience the entire victory, we must allow Christ to live within us by inviting him in so he can work and within us. 

The victory will never be experienced on the sidelines.  It will never be experienced when the cross is out of our reach.  The victory is something to be done together as a team  (Jesus and us) to be fully engaged in, participating in, not just watching.  The victory is won by actively living out our faith even in our trials, even when we’re persecuted.  Oh, how glorious is the reward of the victory.  It’s all for us to have right now and it’s right in front of us.

Our victory is only one step away.  We are only one step away from surrender.  One step away from forgiveness.  One step away from letting go and letting God.

Where do you stand at the cross?  Are you able to confidently live out your faith to overcome your everyday battles?  You are made to be victorious.  Don’t allow circumstances to conquer and defeat you.  Satan is the defeated one, not you.

Where do you find your victory when you have struggles?

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I would love to hear from you!  Leave your comments below.


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