The day after the worst day of their lives.
Still. So. Dark. So hopeless. So sad.
Their beloved teacher — the one they really thought was the Messiah — lying dead in a tomb.
Sorrow, anger, confusion, guilt, doubt take turns swirling through their innermost being.
What now? What does this mean? Were we wrong all along? Have we been duped?
The devil is awfully crafty at planting destructive seeds when we are at emotional low points.
It is a hard, dark, loooooong day for the followers of Jesus. They wait. But they don’t even know what they are waiting for. For three years their decisions about where to go and what to do were made for them as they followed Him. Now what?
But God’s plan is unfolding. In the exact manner and timing He ordained.
The hope they are lacking we have on this side of the resurrection. Today is brutal for the disciples, but we know Sunday is coming.
God’s plan continues to unfold today. In the exact manner and timing He ordains. Charles Stanley writes, “The dark moments of our life will last only so long as it as necessary for God to accomplish His purpose in us.”
Resurrection, renewal, wholeness, joy is coming.
Creation’s response to the moment the the One all things were created in, for, and through...breathes His last human breath.
Matthew 27:45, 51-52, Mark 15:33, 38; Luke 23:44-45, Colossians 1:16
So how much does the ”whatever it takes” part of this quote freak you out?
This girl? Lots!
If you have been in it or stood by friends living in ”whatever it takes”, you know it is scary.
Your life, pride, what you love, reputation, health, family, employment...to put it all in God’s hand to get you where God wants you to be. We have all these ideas and plans about how things should go. We fight, plead, pray against certain things. But sometimes God has another plan.
Are we bold enough to pray for ”whatever it takes” outcomes even if God’s response is polar opposite of our prayer... If we know it will ultimately draw us closer to God? Do we truly believe this is the greater outcome?
I'm.scared, but i still say, ”It is”!
@officialtobymac sums it up..,
It’s all yours now
Take it away
My family, my career
Take it away
Take it away
It’s all yours now
So take it away
Take it away
It’s you I wanna live for”
If we look to anything other than the cross or supplemental to the cross, Jesus died for nothing. Death on the cross was plan A. There was no other plan; no other way to save us. The plan didn't end on the cross though. On the other side of the cross is life!
”Christ was crucified before the world was born. God orchestrated every moment of history necessary to lead Him to the Cross. Don’t think God has lost the plot on your story, either.” @louiegiglio
“You’ve graduated from teaching me how to survive to teaching me how to live.” ❤️
My 15-yr-old said this to me today in passing. I know this isn’t the prevailing position, but I LOVE the teen years. I love hanging out with her and talking about deep things with her and sharing books with her and getting her advice on things and planning schedules to meet requirements for college goals...all of it. Our family has been through a lot and the resulting decisions have been a blessing, even though they veered from the way I thought things would go. I know life is full of ups and downs with many storms and trials...I never want to take the beautiful times for granted. I kind of like these “learning to live” years.
And I imagine God looks at us — His children — the same. I think He loves to see us move from survive to thrive mode with Him. I imaging He enjoys these moments as we mature... the deeper discussion, bigger dreams, and just hanging out with us on a different level. He’s always there when we need more survival advice (which we will), but He must love walking with us as we learn to live!
"God hears you. And He answers prayers, I’m proof of that. Why did you stop praying? Did it feel like you were talking to a wall, and since nothing was changing it kinda just fell off? The God in whom we pray can bind lucifer up, He’s holding the whole earth, and even jupiter up. There is NO greater love, forget cupid and stuff. Christ excruciatingly crucified is crucial to us because He opened up the door for us to pray to the Father. So, when we don’t pray, what does that say to the Father? Keep praying because if God doesn’t change your situation, He may be changing you.” - Wade Johnson
Over the years I’ve facilitated a Passover Seder meal re-enactment with my kids and their friends, looking at the ceremony from a Christian perspective. A chance to reflect on the incredible significance of Jesus leading His disciples through the special meal.
Passover was a celebration of freedom. A celebration of the lamb’s blood on the doorposts leading to death passing over the Israelites. And this particular Passover meal was led by THE LAMB OF GOD who enables eternal death to pass over us and ushers in true freedom. So much significance in the remembrance…
The four cups – sanctification, deliverance, redemption, thanksgiving. Jesus changes the script taking one of the cups and says, “Drink from it all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.”
The washing not only of hands, but of feet. “I have set an example that you should do as I have done for you,” Jesus says.
The antiphony response of, “it would have been enough,” when Jesus knew none of it was enough; it had to be Him; only He would be enough. He came to die.
The reciting of Psalms to close the ceremony, “The stone that the builder rejected has become the cornerstone; the Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes,” they sing Psalm 118 together from memory.
Finishing the hymns, they make their way to the Mount of Olives; to the Garden of Gethsemane. Here Jesus prays, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”
It isn’t possible. There is no other way. If there were, God surely would have taken the cup from His Son.
Beth Moore in her Passion 2013 talk about the Last Supper points out that when we go through hard things and ask God to “take this cup from us”, we can have confidence in knowing that the only way he will leave it in our hands if it is absolutely crucial to what we are doing on this planet.
Click on the button below if you would like the Passover info sheet/script I use to do a re-enactment with your family or friends.
Like most days, the @myutmost devo today has been rolling around my mind all day. I regularly pray for God to give me discernment and direction, and then the faith and courage to be obedient. All good, I think. But the truth is, I’m always looking for the step after the abiding. The “what’s in it for me” part. I know all the right words to say, but how does my heart look?
If I try to be last in the hopes of the reward to be first, am I not really just trying to be first, but through a different avenue?
If I say the “salvation prayer” to avoid hell, but I have no interest in a relationship with God, will I even be satisfied in heaven?
What if I keep praying and seeking a big plan and big purpose, but God just wants me to seek Him. Will that be enough?
Is my desire to glorify God or get something for me?
God, I am a mess without You. Change my heart and desires. Help my heart catch up with my mind and what I know to be true satisfaction in You alone.
UPDATE: THE GIVEAWAY HAS CLOSED.
The first 50 people who tag someone on our Instagram post (with pic above) and click the link below (so we know where to mail it to you) will receive the three sheets of four stickers with "World Changer", "You are Beautiful", and "You are Loved."
You will also be entered to win a lined journal with the stickers & grace & gratitude bookmark + a ceramic Papillon bracelet (you pick color) and jewelry dish (both handmade in Haiti to support orphan prevention) + a mustard seed key chain (reminder that faith as small as. Mustard seed can move mountains)..all shown above!
Sticker offer (three free sheets if you click on the button above) ends and winner selected Sunday, March 25 at 8 pm ET.
Never give up on anyone or on God’s power to work in ways we don’t fully understand.
Relationship with God; surrender > comfort and an “easy” life 🙏❤️
Hard @myutmost devo to read...
“When you see a person who is close to grasping the claims of Jesus Christ, you know that your influence has been used in the right direction. And when you begin to see that person in the middle of a difficult and painful struggle, don’t try to prevent it, but pray that his difficulty will grow even ten times stronger, until no power on earth or in hell could hold him away from Jesus Christ. Over and over again, we try to be amateur providences in someone’s life. We are indeed amateurs, coming in and actually preventing God’s will and saying, ‘This person should not have to experience this difficulty.’ Instead of being friends of the Bridegroom, our sympathy gets in the way. One day that person will say to us, ‘You are a thief; you stole my desire to follow Jesus, and because of you I lost sight of Him.’”
Posting this again because it has come up again in several conversations (okay...conversations with myself, but I often need a good talking to. And if you ask God to show you what you need to work on, He doesn’t disappoint).
“The level of your irritation often reveals the depth of your idolatry.”
Some people and things are legitimately offensive. No doubt! But more often my irritation is tied to a sin area and idol in my life.
Those things that are offending me and getting under my skin...I need to peel back the layers...sometimes several deep. The more irritated, the deeper it usually is. What is really being offended? My pride, my view of success, my self-righteousness, my sense of entitlement, my selfish ambitions?
God, thank you for not only revealing these things to me, but for also being the One to give all power to change them when I am unable to.
We are not perfect. We will always disappoint other people and ourselves.
The good news is, we don’t have to be. God sent the One who was to not only die for us, but to transfer His perfection to us.
Perfection in our own power isn’t the goal. Life in Jesus — the One who is perfect — is the goal.
Freedom, friends. 🙌❤️
But how do we not worry? Telling ourselves not to worry generally only escalates the worry. And now we are worried + frustrated with ourselves for not being able to stop worrying.
The only way is to fix our eyes on Jesus and let Him do all the work. Seek FIRST His kingdom, and let the rest follow. What is impossible to us, God says, “Bring it! I’ve been waiting for it.”
Preaching this to myself tonight. Thought someone else may need it too. 🙏❤️
📷 background pic @indego_africa ...
Reflecting more on today's #NTin2018 passage from Luke 11 and living in the light...
From today’s @myutmost devo...
”Bring it immediately into the light and confess, ’Oh, Lord, I have been guilty there.’ If you don’t, your heart will become hardened through and through. One of the penalties of sin is our acceptance of it. It is not only God who punishes for sin, but sin establishes itself in the sinner and takes its toll. No struggling or praying will enable you to stop doing certain things, and the penalty of sin is that you gradually get used to it, until you finally come to the place where you no longer even realize that it is sin. No power, except the power that comes from being filled with the Holy Spirit, can change or prevent the inherent consequences of sin....For many of us, walking in the light means walking according to the standard we have set up for another person. The deadliest attitude of the Pharisees that we exhibit today is not hypocrisy but that which comes from unconsciously living a lie.”
God, let us never become dull to our sin or accept false light as the standard for which to walk. Fill us with the Holt Spirit to not only convict us (most of us are well aware of certain sins we are harboring), but to give us the courage and power to defeat sin. To repent. And to walk the other way. Toward Your true and holy and only pure light.
Finally saw @greatestshowman today ❤️.
Why is our natural pull to keep seeking love from everyone, when we have just what we need, even more than we need, right in front of us?
Why do we chase approval from ”that group” or ”that person” when we are already so loved and valued?
Joy, peace, contentment at our fingertips, but we walk away from it in search of the elusive ”what if”?
Why do we always think, ”everything would be better/perfect if I just had....”? Even when we see others unfulfilled by that mindset; we somehow think it is different for us.
It was what brought Satan down and what he uses to try to drag us down with him, starting with the first humans. And it works.
How can everyone on the outside see the trainwreck when we can't?
God, You are enough. You are MORE than enough. My tribe is a gift from You and they are exactly what I need.
Be the [boss, friend, employee, volunteer] you want to have.
I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. It’s really just a variation on treating others as you would want to be treated. Often our default mindset is to think about how something impacts us or what is in it for us, but let’s face it, this attitude only makes us miserable.
My work situation changed dramatically years ago when I took on the mindset of being the employee and support I would want to have. For example, instead of grumble about an assignment that probably wasn’t in my realm, I would take it on with enthusiasm, not begrudgingly. Instead of complaining about an unfair issue, I would brainstorm solutions before taking it to my boss... and with a good attitude, not a “can you believe this?!?” posture. When given the audience with senior leadership in my company, I did everything I could to support my boss and make her look good. This is what I would want my employees to do. When someone reached out to me for support in my area, I went out of my way to help and make it easy/less work for them, instead of making them jump through hoops to get what they needed. This is what I would want someone in a support area to do for me. I hear a lot of people say they are hesitant to take extra steps or elevate others because they fear being taken advantage of, but I haven’t found that to be the case at all. In fact, I feel I am getting more grace and support in return.
Same with being the boss, being a friend, being a volunteer at church or another organization...be the boss/friend/volunteer you would want to have. Put yourself in their shoes, and then act accordingly. It is such a win-win. Funny how Jesus is always right. 😀
We are so accustomed to making everything about us. Even the Bible. But it isn’t about us. We aren’t the ones to receive the glory. We are the givers of glory to the One who deserves it.
It is almost offensive to us hear that...which further illuminates our pride.
If we are only following Jesus for what it does for us, we are missing the point. The point is Jesus. The point is God’s glory.
If passages about submission and surrender rub us the wrong way, we may need a check on our pride.
Yes, God loves us so much! He sent His Son to die for us. But we aren’t the center of the universe. It isn’t all about us. I fear when we go so far out of our way to always make it about us, we water down and distort truth.
It’s hard. It’s so counter-culture. But it’s a good check on where our heart is.
I fail miserably. My default is defensiveness. I often reflect on this quote, “the level of our irritation often reveals the depth of our idols.” Am I idolizing myself, my reputation, my importance, my social status, what I “deserve”?
I’m still thinking over Monday’s @myutmost devo and this...”Our motive for surrender should not be for any personal gain at all. We have become so self-centered that we go to God only for something from Him, and not for God Himself. It is like saying, ‘No, Lord, I don’t want you; I want myself. But I do want You to clean me and fill me with Your Holy Spirit. I want to be on display in Your showcase so I can say, ‘This is what God has done for me.’ ‘Gaining heaven, being delivered from sin, and being made useful to God are things that should never even be a consideration in real surrender. Genuine total surrender is a personal sovereign preference for Jesus Christ Himself.”
Hard stuff, but I believe we either seek truth or we live in lies. I love you guys. God loves you guys. I want us to know and seek truth and genuine surrender. We can be adored and it not be all about us at the same time.
I don’t know about you, but I get a little paralyzed about starting something if I think (know!) I won’t be good at it. Days, months, years pass without even trying, even though the desire and nudge is there.
But the truth is, no one is really good at anything without practice. We just have to START, no matter how painful and ugly (and maybe even embarrassing) it is at first. We’ll never get better if we don’t start, right?!
And I would much rather look back and say, “boy, I really stunk at that back then...” than to say, “I can’t believe I never even tried.” 😀
Follow me. Come and change the world with me. - Jesus ❤️
No better invitation!