Is My Dedication Really to Christ?

Is My Dedication Really to Christ?

Kristi F

I am an Oklahoman by birth, a Texan by current living situation, but claim the world as my playground.I love to travel and hope to someday soon take our family on adventures to far off lands, where we can share God with others and experience all the wonders He has created.

I am a mother of 5 crazy, homeschooling children ages 10 & under, wife to an amazing man, and daughter of the King of the Universe!I enjoy reading, making my kids laugh, cooking, all things natural, learning to play guitar and dusting off my piano skills.One day I hope to run again, but until then I’m learning patience.

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Is My Dedication Really to Christ?

In essence this is what my 10 year meant when she asked,

“If you had the choice of being killed by a sword or dying for Jesus, which would you choose?”

Me: “I would choose to die for Jesus.” 

10 year old: “But that would really hurt?”

Me: “Yes, but only for a short time. An eternity in hell would hurt a lot more. Remember what Jesus said,So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven,but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven (Matt. 10:32-33). So even if the sword is very painful, I would rather choose Jesus than claiming he isn’t my Savior.”

10 year old: “Oh, yeah. That makes sense. I would rather die in my sleep or of old age than by a sword, but I’d rather have Jesus too.”

Oh, how I love my kid’s questions! This one has allowed us to unpack so much throughout the past couple of days. It has been amazing. It’s like everything that we have been reading in our Bibles over the years is coming together in and understanding is blossoming!  (Happy Dance, Happy Dance!)

Dedication

This question came while we were reading the Hanukkah story. Hanukkah actually means dedication and celebrates the day when the Temple in Jerusalem was once again dedicated to God after being desecrated by the Greeks.

Dedication.

Jesus celebrated this festival of dedication. He knew what it meant to be dedicated. His dedication to redeem our relationship with God that our sin destroyed led him from Heaven to Earth.

Dedication. 

He spent 30 years preparing, so he could live with a fierce focus that would lead to a physically excruciating end on the cross.

Dedication.

He overcame death and destroyed Satan’s hold on us, so that we could live eternally with God.

God sustained Jesus so he could have that kind of dedication.

We have the same choice to live with this kind of dedication. I know it seems out of our reach and if we were trying to do it by ourselves, I would completely agree that it is impossible. But with God all things are possible. With God, Jesus, and the amazing gift of the Holy Spirit, we can overcome. We are called to overcome, not by our own power, but by God’s might!

And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
– Hebrews 12:1b-3

 

Webster defines dedication as:

 

 

The Questions We Must Ask Ourselves

Are we really willing to dedicate ourselves to Christ?

If you are reading this blog, more than likely you at some point in your life decided to follow Jesus. You were overcome by knowing that even if you were the only person that had sinned, Jesus still would have gone to the cross to save you. The truth is we all have sinned and should all be overcome that Jesus dedicated himself to rescuing us from our sin.

Some of us, upon receiving his gift of grace, fall completely into digging into the Bible, learning all we can so that we can follow Christ. While some of us, just talk about how we follow God, but never really understand where he is leading, so we miss following his path, all the while proclaiming that we are on it.

(If you haven’t decided to follow Christ yet, email us, I’d love to chat with you. Honestly, I’d love to chat with you either way!)

So how do we know we are following Christ?

Our dedication to following Christ starts with reading his word. We pick up our Bible and read it. The fact that we have access to God’s word is a miracle in and of itself, but that’s a topic for another post. Don’t waste the miracle sitting in front of you. Take hold of the Bible. Even if it’s confusing now, just read it and pray for wisdom. God will give it to you. Then, prepare your heart.

Dedication Starts with Preparation

We have no idea how to dedicate our lives to God if we don’t prepare ourselves for daily dedication. This daily dedication starts by putting what we read into practice. Yep, it’s difficult. Some days more difficult than others, but it’s something we must do. If we don’t do it, then we are deceiving ourselves into thinking we are following Christ!

Deceiving ourselves?

That’s a bold statement but one James does not shy away from. He wants to make sure that if we say we are followers of Christ, then we actually follow Him.

Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves.

Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.

 But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.
– James 1:22-25

Dedication to Christ is a daily choice.

We get to daily choose to:

  • Recognize that Jesus has all Authority on Earth and is our Lord and Savior
  • Recognize that Jesus also has authority over all the details of our lives
  • Trust that He has gifted his followers with the Holy Spirit
  • Believe that his Holy Spirit will be our Counselor and guide us to fuller understanding
  • Lean into His strength and wisdom through prayer
  • Plunge ourselves into His Word like a thirsty soul longing for a sustaining drink
  • Dig into the Bible to find answers to how we should live our lives
  • Live for Jesus no matter what the cost

Another Question that Lead to a Better Answer

Later that day, my daughter had another question in regards to whether or not I would allow her to do something.

Instead of just saying “yes” or “no” and explaining my reasoning, I chose a different option this time. One that takes more time, but will serve her much better in the long run. I asked her,

“What does the Bible says about it? Do you believe Jesus would want you to do it?”

She didn’t know any verses right off that would tell her “yes” or “no,” so the next day we pulled out the Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance, our Bibles, and read through many passages to which her question pertained. There are many more she can still read to solidify what God’s will is in regards to her question.

The answer she started to find  in the Bible did not line up with what she wanted to do, so now she has a choice and she gets to choose. Will she continue to dedicate her life to Jesus or will she dedicate it to something else?

Taking a break from playing spin the dreidel to dig into the Bible!

As a parent, I pray that I will take advantage of these opportunities to continue guiding her and our other children in the right direction, helping them sort the truth from the lies, and showing them that even when we fail spiritually, Jesus’ grace is sufficient for us.

As followers of Christ, I realize we each get to decide every day if we will continue in dedication to Christ or if we will choose dedication to self. Just so we don’t get complacent, we should ask ourselves often,

“Is my dedication really to Christ?”

 

The Sparkle Box: A Christmas Tradition

The Sparkle Box: A Christmas Tradition

Kristin J

Kristin J

I am a happy wife and mother to my amazing husband and beautiful little girl and we are living the good life just outside of Oklahoma City. I was born and raised in Houston, Texas where both of my parents serve as ministers. With God’s great guidance, I ended up earning a degree in children’s ministry from Oklahoma Christian University! I am an extrovert and love to make friends and have deep conversations. My days are filled with the duties of motherhood and homemaking but when I find a moment to myself I enjoy reading cookbooks, blogs, and Karen Kingsbury’s books. I have a slight addiction to facebook and pinterest. Holidays are my favorite days. I love to cook meals that make people happy. I have a passion for family ministry and bible class teaching. Most importantly, my greatest desire to is to know my heavenly Father more each day.
Kristin J

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Last year I wrote about a tradition I grew up with called, the silver box. The idea behind it is that with our friends and family we exchanged words of kindness. Our words were like a gift, wrapped up in a silver box with a silver bow, edifying and encouraging. Our sweet tradition came from the book Silver Boxes by Florence Littauer. You can read more about this idea here: The Tradition of the Silver Box 

The Sparkle Box: A Christmas Tradition

Last year for Christmas my mom gifted our family with a precious book, The Sparkle Box as a way to continue the tradition with my husband and daughters. It was written by Jill Hardie and the beautiful illustrations are by Christine Kornacki.

In The Sparkle Box we meet Sam, a young boy who learns about the needs of others during the Christmas season. As his family helps others, they write these moments down and place them in a sparkle box. On Christmas morning Sam opens the box with his parents and they talk about their gifts in honor of Jesus’ birthday.

Tucked behind the pages of the story is a sparkle box that you can put together and use with your family.

We have assembled our little sparkle box and have it placed in our living room. We are already excited as we talk about our gifts for Jesus. Sponsoring gifts for a child through our church, bringing a hot meal to a busy family, cards for someone who could use some cheer, quarters in the red bucket outside of Hobby Lobby, donations to a local thrift shop where those in need can shop for free. These are just some of the ideas we’ve thought about for our family to do. I am also excited to blend this new tradition with our silver box tradition by acknowledging that our words of love and encouragement are also because of love for Christ.

The scriptures that inspired this story are:

“You are the light of the world- like a city on a mountain, glowing in the night for all to see.”- Matthew 5:14

“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”- Matthew 25:40

It is such a blessing to discover opportunities to honor Jesus throughout the holiday season. I’m so glad that our family will be using the sparkle box as a way to focus these festive weeks on the sort of love and kindness Jesus wanted us to show others.

To learn more about this fun tradition visit TheSparkleBox.com and read the book for free online through December 31, 2018! The website also has gift ideas and activities. This sweet story can also be purchased on The Sparkle Box

I’m going to close this post with the opening note from the book:

“Dear reader, you are the light of the world. Make it sparkle.”

Enough: Seeing Past the Guilt

Enough: Seeing Past the Guilt

Elizabeth P

Elizabeth P

I am a recovering Army brat who loves to travel and start new adventures. My handsome husband and I met at Oklahoma Christian University and he whisked me away to Kansas. So, I bought some ruby red high heels and made Topeka my home. I have a rough and rowdy Princess 4-year-old girl, amazing twin boys (almost 3) and a newborn baby girl who all make every day an adventure. We are grateful to be part of an amazing church in Topeka who regularly challenges and encourages our whole family. I have been both a full-time working mom and a stay-at-home-mom and/or both at the same time at one point or another. I am constantly seeking God’s wisdom on “balancing it all” and following His plan for my life, not mine.
Elizabeth P

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You are Enough for God

This is a topic that is hashed out regularly on blogs and sermons alike. I do not know that I have anything further to add to the conversation, but my hope is that someone reads this and knows that without a doubt – they are enough.

The Earthly Battle We All Face

Whether or not you are a believer in Christ, we are plagued by the human condition. An irony that while we are made in the image of God and created so intentionally, we also fail so deeply on a regular basis in all sorts of ways. Paul says,

“For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.”
– Romans 7:15.

Sometimes Christians say we are “living in the flesh” if we are struggling with an aspect of our lives that does not jive with what Christ has asked of us. That often leads to conviction and then sanctification. I want to be clear here that the guilt I am referring to with this post is not the conviction that comes with God’s molding of our souls, but I’m referring to the guilt that is brought upon by lies from the enemy that creep into our thoughts. Earthly guilt is a spiritual battle we all face.

I want to tell you now, no matter who you are or where you are at in life that you are enough for God. He loves you.  God may ask hard things of us, but His love never fails. Think about that again. His. Love. Never. Fails.

Overcoming Crippling Guilt

Speaking as a mom, (because, well, that’s something I understand right now LOL ) we often get bogged down in the daily failures. The things we miss, the shoes we forgot to send for gym class, the mountain of laundry and chores that have not been finished, the discipline that didn’t happen because you were tired or the anger you had when you finally lost your temper… (that’s a whole other post). I know that the guilt that cripples me is the guilt that comes from me seeking my worth in things of this world, or other humans -even tiny ones.  You can’t find satisfaction from your failures or the admiration you seek from your kids, other moms, even your husband or your parents.

These things we often feel guilty from do not hinge on eternity. I’m not dismissing the feelings, but I want other women out there to have an eternal perspective on their days. Fellow moms- you are the mom he gave to your kids, you are one he placed in their lives.

Colossians 3-2-5 says: Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 

What can you do each day to set your mind on the things above?

I’m not trying to add more guilt here, but I am wanting us all to look at our days with a little more eternal perspective.
  • What things are we consumed with that are not Godly and are causing us guilt from comparison?
  • Are we elevating the importance of something worldly and allowing it to overwhelm our day in a way that takes away from the good things?
  • Are we seeking contentment in God or what the someone thinks because your youngest’s hair didn’t get brushed that well?
  • Are we striving for the wrong kind of perfection? If so, that should not be our source of satisfaction or our achievement.

I want to leave you with 2 verses to combat any feelings of inadequacy in your day or in your life:

Hebrews 13:21 says,
“Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with every good thing to do His will. And may He accomplish in us what is pleasing in His sight through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.”
2 Corinthians 10:5 says,
The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 
Do not get bogged down in the guilt of comparison or from earthly standards. You are Enough.  God has created You for the time and place you exist in this world. Cling to the Truth and to the knowledge of Christ and His word.
Off the Beaten Path

Off the Beaten Path

Kristi F

I am an Oklahoman by birth, a Texan by current living situation, but claim the world as my playground.I love to travel and hope to someday soon take our family on adventures to far off lands, where we can share God with others and experience all the wonders He has created.

I am a mother of 5 crazy, homeschooling children ages 10 & under, wife to an amazing man, and daughter of the King of the Universe!I enjoy reading, making my kids laugh, cooking, all things natural, learning to play guitar and dusting off my piano skills.One day I hope to run again, but until then I’m learning patience.

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Ever since I was little, I’ve loved exploring. Encouraging our kids to explore is one main reason that I encourage them off the beaten path too!

Sometimes, these adventures bring up reactions that I don’t expect at all, which is exactly what happened on our last adventure.

A Time to Go Off the Beaten Path

We have been exploring a new area of Texas lately. Our adventures take us to new sites and sounds and many new parks. One of the parks we have enjoyed is the World Adventure Park. Not only does is the playground itself unique and have a built in scavenger hunt as well as enough swings for all our kids, but it also has a nature walk adventure.

After playing on the playground for about an hour, we started our nature walk adventure. At first, we followed the path. That was easy enough to do since the initial walkway had rails on both sides.

Soon enough that pre-built pathway ended and every time we came to a fork in the road, a different child had the opportunity to choose which path we would take.

It was at this point where I saw there were two distinct camps among our children:

  • One group wanted to take the scariest path every time.
  • One group wanted to take the safest path every time.

It was a fun time overall UNTIL we apparently took too many paths that led out of the park.

The Path that Led to Fear

After several off the beaten path choices, we ended up following a trickling stream. The canopy of trees grew a little denser but the path was clear. The footprints were clearing ours, a few dogs, and then one large animal print that was the size of my head. I chose not to point that one out to the kids because at this point one was starting to panic.

We were too far off the beaten path for him. He just wanted to go back home and did not want to continue.

A large hawk flew overhead. The trees rustled. His little hand stayed tucked in mine.

I encouraged him as best I could that we would find the main path again soon and he did not have to worry.

When big tears started to encroach the rims of his eyes, I realized his fears were overcoming him and we needed to stop and pray.

In my short exploring life, I have had some instances where panic started to set in and the only thing that keeps it at bay is inviting God in to overtake the situation.

So that is what we did. We stopped, circled up, and prayed. We prayed for calm hearts, the opportunity to see God’s beauty in what was around us, and to find the main path soon.

Turning Around

I have a forge on mentality. If something goes wrong, just keep going. In this case, I assumed that turning off the path that followed the stream and turning onto another path that seemed to go northward would get us back to the main park.

Well, we did eventually find an open clearing but it led to a baseball field, which according to my calculations was a little ways away from the park area where we parked.

So we turned around, retraced our steps, enjoyed a daytime owl serenading us until we found the main path again.

Needless to say,  my son’s heart was comforted in standing on the main path again.

The Spiritual Connection

“Going off the beaten path” spiritually isn’t necessarily a  horrible thing. Sometimes as a church body we get caught up in things that really don’t matter eternally or we allow a few to steer our spiritual connection with God instead of connecting to Him personally. In these instances, it is most definitely needed to go off the beaten path and encounter God ourselves and to listen to where the Holy Spirit is leading.

William Booth’s Example

It reminds me of the story of the William Booth, the man who started the Salvation Army. William Booth’s church leaders decided that the best course of action for his life was to preach to the church body and rejected his idea of going to the slums in the East End of London.

Instead of sticking with his leaders’ pre-approved notion of what God wanted for his life, he turned to the guidance of the the Holy Spirit and taught in the streets to the poor, homeless, and destitute. He left what was comfortable and choose to venture off the beaten path to a place where no one else from the christian community wanted to go. It was a path that looked scary and dark to most, but he wanted to bring light to the path.

His converts to Christ were prostitutes, thieves, drunkards, and those who would never step foot in a traditional church setting.  Reaching out to those in this environment was not easy, it required much prayer and trust in the Lord.

The Challenge

We might not have understood the history behind the Salvation Army, but that one man’s choice has impacted thousands of lives. Many of us probably think of the Salvation Army simply as bell ringers during the Christmas holiday. We may either throw in a few coins or try to avoid them, but I want to challenge you now. Every time you hear that bell ring this holiday season, pray and ask God if he is calling you off the beaten path.

Is God asking you to step away from the comforts of the Christianity that you know?

Is he calling you off the beaten path to reach out to those who would never enter the comfortable christian setting that we know?

Are you willing to go off the beaten path and follow Christ wherever He may lead?

Prayer Over Our Hearts

Oh, Lord, help us not get so comfortable that we shirk your calling to reach out to those who don’t know you yet. Give us your courage and strength to step off the beaten path and trust you no matter where you lead.

In the One who left the comforts of Heaven, took the pain of our sin upon him, so that we could have a path back to Heaven – Amen!

 

From Pain to Wisdom to Hope 

From Pain to Wisdom to Hope 

From Pain to Wisdom to Hope

We also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope.  Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us. 

 Romans 5:3-5

Pain

Pain is the high price of wisdom, but even after purchase, we can accidentally leave it on the shelf.  Sometimes pain is paid in installments that seem to stretch endlessly at regular intervals over decades, with no maturity date.  At some point, though, we may return to the point of sale to redeem what has been bought, but with additional interest, paid in sorrow.

My parents have been married a full fifty-five years, and from the beginning my mom always described her relationship with my dad as fitting together like a hand in glove.  Well, that’s not the type of relationship I have.  While my husband asked for my hand in marriage—that’s as far as that metaphor goes.  A culinary metaphor is more apt—like oil and vinegar, tangy and sharp, coming together temporarily for a splash of interesting and complex flavors, but soon separating into entities that will never mix.

Opposites attract, as the saying goes.  Opposites may indeed attract, but it is no sure sign of compatibility, and when two such people come together in marriage, it may be a covenant of pain.  Sometimes there is a vain comfort in feeling one’s sorrows are uncommon and unique, such as the tortured artist cutting off his ear, but leaving a legacy of genius.  I have been tempted to think the obstacles in our marriage are more formidable than that which is common to man, and I am not ready to give up that idea completely.

Age Old Obstacles

What is in the guise of unique, formidable obstacles, though, is actually an age-old Ephesians 5 problem.

Men want to be respected.  Women want to be loved.  We are no different here.  What makes our marriage one of perpetual, irresolvable conflict is the basis of our decision making.

After twenty-three years, we find ourselves at an increasingly pressurized impasse.  The path of peace for one is a trampling and violation of the other.  In other words, the decisions which make my husband feel respected come at the cost of my feeling unloved.  Conversely, the decisions which make me feel loved come at the cost of my husband feeling disrespected.

Can a wife solve her Ephesians 5 problem with 1 Peter 3?

1 Peter 3:1-6

Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives,when they see the purity and reverence of your lives.

Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.

For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to adorn themselves. They submitted themselves to their own husbands, like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her lord.You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear.

Be Like Sarah?

Peter holds Sarah up as a holy woman of the past who submitted to her husband, Abraham, and did not give way to fear. 

One account, in particular, highlights the tensions between the sexes regarding freedom, security, and the basis of decision making.  I will revisit this narrative from a decidedly biased, twenty-first century, female point of view, looking at how this rightly-heralded man of faith threw his wife under the proverbial camel, and how Sarah did not give way to fear.

Because of famine, Abram is going down to Egypt to buy grain.  He tells Sarai to inform the Egyptians that she is his sister so he will not be killed on account of her beauty.  Subsequently, she is taken into Pharaoh’s palace—think harem and concubine!  This experience must have been rife with reservations, rationalizations, and resentments.

Sarai’s reservations:

The Lord has certainly called my husband on this journey, but did Abram check with the God of heaven regarding this partially true yet deceitful strategy to circumvent his fear of Pharaoh?  What might happen to me once I leave the comfort and safety of my family?  Will I be raped by Pharaoh?  Does Abram have plans to rescue me from Pharaoh and be my knight in shining goat’s hair?

Abram’s rationalizations:

If Sarai really loves me, she will do whatever is necessary to protect me.  She will respect my authority and say everywhere we go, “He is my brother.”  Besides, she really is my half-sister, so it is not selfish or sinful, but reasonable and rational.

Sarai’s resentments:

That grievous goatherd sold me out to cover his own skin!  Abram does not cherish and protect me; I am nothing more than a bartering tool to be exchanged for his freedom.  Apparently, my security is a low price for him to pay!

Discussing this Event with My Husband

Certainly this story might be cast in a different light. 

In discussing the account with my husband, he mentioned maybe Sarai felt honored to represent their family interests at Pharaoh’s court.  Really?  Is there some secret Prophetic Men’s Justification Club?  Now, to be fair to my husband, his response was tongue-in-cheek, and to be fair to Abram, maybe he thought Sarai’s fate would be the same whether or not she said Abram was her brother.  But my point is that Abram’s decision might have been a bitter point of contention between them had Sarai given way to fear.

Darker Times of a Covenant Marriage

Later in this couple’s history, Hagar the slave woman is cast out because she and her son have no share in God’s covenant promises to Abraham. During the darker times in my covenant marriage, I have felt that being in the desert with Hagar seemed more alluring than staying in a covenant relationship that is fulfilled only through death.

We are in good company, though, regarding this angst as it seems even the Divine is not exempt from the painful conflict associated with covenant relationships.  Before the covenant vows were even said, God was ready to destroy the Israelites and start again with Moses after their idolatry with a mysteriously appearing golden calf.

In that light it seems strange that God would bind himself in relationship with his wayfaring people who time and again strain that union through adulterous affairs.  In fact, the only release from covenant is found in death itself.

The death that was eventually offered to the Israelites is that which is ultimately offered to us today:  either accept and participate in the death, burial, and resurrection of his Son, or face the cataclysmic death of the covenant relationship like the Israelites experienced in the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D.

There is Only One Option

The deeper, the longer, the more entangled that I become with my husband, the one that I intimately know and love, but with whom I am so painfully enthralled in irresolvable conflict, it becomes clear that the only option for this covenant is death.

I must either die to myself with the possible hope of resurrection to something both familiar and unknown, or our marriage will experience the obliterating finality of the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D.  One thing is certain.  Death is excruciating, and death to self no less so.  Is it possible, like Sarah, to do what is right and not give way to fear when your husband leads you on what seems a reckless and potentially dangerous path?  Can one’s reservations and resentments be crucified and discomforts tolerated?  Can one’s fear of the Lord be greater than the fear of where her man might lead her?

Something is going to have to die, but only one death has hope of resurrection.

Death imagery is actually woven into the fabric of our universe, a divine parable whispered through creation.  Every night the sun “dies” and the light is extinguished only to be reborn with dawn, sometimes in glorious splendor.  Or take seeds falling to the ground with seasonal, earthy death, returning markedly changed and fruitful.  Though we wish to shirk death, we were born to die.  Not only that, death is also our hope.  Each time we die a godly death within the context of our covenants, in that paradoxical death, we plant the hope of resurrection.

Edited by: John Michener, beloved husband, not grievous goatherd.

Praying Luke: The Name We Proclaim

Praying Luke: The Name We Proclaim

Kristi F

I am an Oklahoman by birth, a Texan by current living situation, but claim the world as my playground.I love to travel and hope to someday soon take our family on adventures to far off lands, where we can share God with others and experience all the wonders He has created.

I am a mother of 5 crazy, homeschooling children ages 10 & under, wife to an amazing man, and daughter of the King of the Universe!I enjoy reading, making my kids laugh, cooking, all things natural, learning to play guitar and dusting off my piano skills.One day I hope to run again, but until then I’m learning patience.

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The Name We Proclaim is Everything

The importance of a name. The Name we proclaim will determines the direction of our lives. Zechariah was given a chance to show his faith or lack of it, by simply proclaiming a name. We are given this same option.

Jesus say’s in Luke 16:10:

“Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.”

The power of believing God even in the smallest of details means that we are showing others our utter and complete belief. In this case, the “small” detail boiled down to a name. The name of a child who would then proclaim the name of the Lord Almighty!  The is the name under which every knee shall bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Now, the most important name you will ever say is Jesus Christ is Lord. You will either proclaim it with joy in His heavenly presence because you proclaimed it here on Earth or you will proclaim it out of fear, knowing that you did not carry his name as the biggest and smallest detail in your life. May we never have to dread this day. May we willing wear his name and share proudly with others that we are followers of Christ and they should be too!

As Zechariah wrote out his son’s on his tablet, in the silent but loudest voice he had, he proclaimed his faith in the Lord, the Name above all names! 

Luke 1:57-58

When we read this, Lord, we want to jump up and down for your mercy and what you did for Elizabeth too!

Oh , the mercy you had on Elizabeth! In her old age, after her decades of wanting a child and never being able to conceive, you miraculously opened her womb and gave her a son.

And not just any son, but one that would announce the coming Messiah!

What mercy and love you poured out over her!!

What a blessing to be able to celebrate this gift with her friends and relatives!

Let us be a people that rejoice along with our brothers and sisters who are receiving the gift of your mercy right now too!

Maybe it’s rejoicing in a marriage that is stronger in you now after the devil tried to rip it to shreds.

Maybe it’s rejoicing in someone coming to know your forgiveness and the gift of grace.

Maybe it’s one coming seeking forgiveness and receiving your mercy as she has confessed.

Maybe it’s rejoicing alongside someone whose decades long prayer has been answered.

Let us be a people who are faithful, loving, and rejoice along with those who are rejoicing in all you have done for them!

In the One who is faithful to all he created – Amen! 

 

Luke 1: 59 – 61

Lord, when you call us to stand strong and courageous, we often think of doing this against those who are opposed to you.

We don’t often think about standing strong and courageous when dealing with those who love you too.

But this is exactly what you called Elizabeth to do at the very moment when the miracle baby you had given her was about to be named.

No!

She stood up and with the voice you gave her proclaimed the name that you had determined this precious baby to be called.

No!

They would not name him after his father even though that was the tradition.

No!

It didn’t matter that they did not understand the why behind it.

She was standing tall and courageous up to the family that loved her but didn’t fully understand the prophesy and miracle that you had given to her husband.

Lord, we pray that we will be as bold, firm, and lovely with the ones that love us. May we not be swayed by their well-intentioned actions but hold on to the truth you have called us to live.

In the One who calls us to stand for truth no matter what anyone else thinks – Amen!

 

Luke 1:62-64

Lord, prepare our hearts to be challenged and questioned by others who don’t understand what you have called us to do.

Help us to stand strong.

We praise you for Elizabeth and Zechariah’s faith in what you told them to call their son.

They could have just flippantly dismissed what you said to do because it didn’t fit their traditions. You don’t call us to be a people of tradition but a people of faith.

Obedience brings about blessings sometimes immediately and sometimes eternally. We praise you for giving him his speech back again so that he could go on to tell his son about your amazing ways.

Let us not hold our tongues when they work so well. Let them sing your praises and glorify you through our faith!

In the One who gives us a reason to sing your praises – Amen!

 

Luke 1:65 – 66

When we humble ourselves to you and obey what you are calling us to do, Lord, you not only keep us in awe but you also keep those around us in awe too!

How awesome it was for everyone in the hill country of Judea to be wondering what plans God had in store for John!

He would be the one pointing the way to the Messiah!

They had know clue how important his role would be, but they understood that God was doing something big.

Lord, we know you are doing amazing things right now in our lives too. And just like John, you want us to point all those around us to the One, the only One, who can change their lives for the better.

May we not shrink back from the responsibility you have given us or pass it off to someone else. May we pray over those whom you have placed in our lives and share the good news with them too!

In the One who put us in this time and place for a reason – Amen!

Pray Luke from the beginning…

Praying Luke Praying Luke When the Time Comes Praying Luke: Perfectly Timed Encouragement Praying Luke: Glorifying the Lord in the Big & Small Details

#prayingluke #luke1 #prayingthebible

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